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New results from the evaluation of drag reduction technologies for light-duty vehicles
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on April 06, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Event: SAE WCX Digital Summit
Aerodynamic technologies were evaluated through full-scale testing of light-duty vehicles in a large low-blockage closed-circuit wind tunnel equipped with a Ground Effect Simulation System (GESS) and a Road Turbulence System (RTS). This work is part of a multi-year, multi-vehicle study commissioned by Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the evaluation of light-duty-vehicle greenhouse-gas-emission regulations. A 2016 paper reported drag-reduction measurements for technologies such as active grille shutters, production and custom underbody treatments, air dams, ride height control and combinations of these. This paper describes an extension to that work and addresses vehicle aerodynamics in three ways. First, whole vehicle body-shaping changes were evaluated by adding older or newer generation models, representing distinct body style redesigns, of select vehicles of different classes from the 2016 study. Second, newer vehicles were added to represent the market application of advanced aerodynamics in terms of body shaping and drag-reduction technologies. Third, drag reduction over a range of yaw angles is reported for new technologies such as side-mirror removal (in lieu of camera systems) and air curtains. This paper focuses specifically on drag measurements on the test vehicles, complementing a 2019 paper which focused on mean surface, wake and underbody pressure measurements carried out on a selection of these vehicles.