How to improve your vehicle's aerodynamic


How Automakers Improve Aerodynamics
  While some shapes are inherently more aerodynamic than others, aerodynamicists and designers subtly shape every vehicle to reduce drag. "We look at all areas of the car that come in contact with the air. Upper surface shape, under floor, wheels and even cooling and engine bay," says Ian Anderton, aerodynamicist at the Jaguar Design Studio in Gaydon, England. Automakers fine-tune the way the air attaches to the vehicle's surface, and the way it leaves the rear end.
  To improve aerodynamic, factory designers may make the following changes:
  • Round the edges of the front end
  • Tune the grille and fascia openings
  • Tune the wheel openings
  • Place spats (small spoilers) in front of the tires to reduce turbulence
  • Tune the size and shape of the outside mirrors and their attachment arms
  • Reshape the water channel on the A-pillars
  • Adjust the front fascia and air dam to reduce drag under the vehicle
  • Add side skirts
  • Tune the deck height, length and edge radius
  • Install a rear spoiler
  • Adjust the angle of the rear window
  • Tuck up the exhaust system
  • Use a diffuser to tune air coming off the underside
  • Install "belly pans," underbody panels that cover components and smooth airflow
Ford's Wegryn also predicts increased use of active aerodynamic devices in the future, such as:
  • Active air dams that drop lower at higher speeds (when driveways and speed bumps are not an issue)
  • Active rear spoilers that pop up to reduce lift at higher speeds, as on the Porsche 911 Carrera
  • Active ride height that lowers the vehicle at speed, which Ford employed on the Lincoln Mark VIII and which appears on Mercedes-Benz vehicles with Airmatic suspensions. According to Mercedes, "Lowering the ride height at speed results in a 3-percent improvement in drag."


How to Improve the Aerodynamics of Your Car
  Automakers spend a lot of time optimizing vehicles' aerodynamics. But is there anything we can do to improve — or at least not degrade — the aerodynamics of our own vehicles?


The best thing is to have low ground clearance. This will help reduce the effective frontal area and thereby improve efficiency. According to the experts from Mercedes-Benz, lowering the height of the car at speed will result in a 3% improvement in drag.


Minimize the frontal area. This will help improve acceleration and reach a maximum top speed at greater stability. With a narrow front, the air molecules will not be able to stagnate on the front part and the car will easily overcome the force of air.


Addition of spoilers is another way of improving aerodynamics. These are mostly used on sedans and help to create a downforce by creating a dam at the rear lip of the trunk. This downforce further helps to improve acceleration and mileage.


Inverted wing is another significant feature that plays a vital role in aerodynamics. These are very efficient and generate more downforce than drag. More downforce increases the weight on the car's roof and thereby improve its stability on road and cornering speed.


Front air dams also play a significant role in improving aerodynamics. It helps to restrict the air flow reaching the underside of the car, eventually creating lower pressure under the car. This further provides downforce and improves acceleration and top speed.


A small tail cone at the rear bumper can also make a big difference. This kind of design helps to improve air flow under the car and avoid air molecules to stagnate there


Reclining windshield helps to smooth the flow of air between the hood of the car and the windshield. Reclined design moves the force of air downward and creates a downforce.