If you’re Porsche fan, you already know what a racing livery is. A vinyl wrap design, applied to the exterior of a car to change its appearance or advertise the team sponsors. Vinyl wraps are popular among Porsche racers and owners because they can transform the look of a race car with unlimited colors, patterns, graphics, logos, sponsors, and make them easily distinguishable on the track.
The finishing touch of any race car, and typically the last thing to be done, is the racing livery. Despite all the mechanical work, tuning, weight reduction, and preparation involved in the car, the livery reveal is when a race car is born. But you might be wondering; how much weight am I adding here? You might be pleasantly surprised.
This article is brought to you by KI Studios, the best source for your high performance stripe kits, livery designs, and wrap prints. KI Studios has been designing and wrapping Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLarens for 23 years. Find us @kistudios on social media for examples of our latest projects.
How much does a vinyl wrap weigh?
Your wrap kit just arrived in a 30lb box. You might be thinking; I cut back on chipotle, for THIS? Have no fear. You saved a small fortune on guacamole and that wrap is lighter than it seems. Remove the packaging, peel away the backing paper, and trim off the extra slack. You are left with a thin film and a small portion of this weight.
To prove this point, we did a simple test: Remove a printed wrap from a car, wad it into a ball, and put on a scale. The result was surprising: the wrap weighed only 4 pounds! Two door coups / most race cars, such as a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Corvette Z06 GT3, Ferrari 488 Challenge, or McLaren 720S GT3 are all roughly the same amount of vinyl.
Does the weight of a vinyl wrap affect the performance of a race car?
Well, obviously, vinyl adds visual horse power. Your car is going to look much faster. That matters, right? OK, OK, back to science…No, the weight of a vinyl wrap does not affect the performance of a race car. Vinyl wraps do not add much weight to the car, and they are purely aesthetic and just for looks.
The power to weight ratio is a measure of how much power a car has relative to its weight. The higher the ratio, the faster and more agile the car is. A lighter car can accelerate faster, brake harder, corner better, and use less fuel than a heavier car.
A Porsche 992 GT3 Cup car is spec’d at a max power of 510PS and a dry weight of about 2,778 lbs. This divides into about 0.184 PS/lb. A vinyl wrap will add a well distributed 4 pounds of weight. Changing your power to weight ratio to roughly 0.183 PS/lb. A whopping reduction of 0.001 of horsepower PS/lb.
Back to visual horse power. If you look faster, and feel faster, does that confidence compensate for a 0.001 offset? I like to think so.
Does vinyl wrap add protection to my car?
A vinyl wrap technically adds a 2-3mil barrier between the hazards of the track, and the paint of your car. However, vinyl is made to be easily applied and removed. The same properties that make that possible, make it soft and a poor source of paint protection. It does not offer much resistance from rock impacts. Again the function of a livery / wrap is purely aesthetic.
Clear paint protection film / clear bra is an 8mil self healing film that is designed for protection. If applying both paint protection film and a vinyl wrap, it is recommended to apply the PPF first, and the wrap over the top. You could probably guess the about the weight of a clear bra now. Maybe that can be another article.
As you can see, vinyl wraps can make a race car look amazing, and they can also reflect the personality and style of the driver. Vinyl wraps can also help a race car stand out from the crowd and attract more attention and admiration from other racers, spectators, sponsors, media, etc.
Have a burrito, with the extra guac. You earned it. You’re lookin’ good, and you won’t even notice the combined 4lb that your wrap added from bumper to bumper. Drive safe, and enjoy.
If you are interested in getting a vinyl wrap for your race car, KI Studios is your trusted source for livery designs and wrap prints. KI Studios has been designing and wrapping Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLarens for 23 years. We have the quality, experience, expertise, and customer service that you deserve.
Find us on social media @kistudios and follow our latest projects.