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How Modern Aerodynamics Focus on Fuel Economy


Automotive design has been using aerodynamics since a long time to improve its performance. This combination of art and science behind sculpting motor vehicles was to achieve a “slippery” move at the beginning, but now it is more focused on gaining more miles per gallon and not miles per hour. Compared with the earlier vehicles, the ones that we see frequently on the road today are better examples of aerodynamic engineering and we hope that the future cars and trucks would be more likely become aerodynamic wonders.

We discussed with the experts of the Kia Temecula on the aspect how the current aerodynamic designs in the modern cars are contributing in achieving better fuel economy.

Change Can Cost

The latest focus of the aerodynamics design implemented in making of the cars will carry a few details on that drag-inducing turbulence that gets created in the cars. So far it hasn’t been cost-effective enough or successful in addressing these issues, but now with smoother grilles and cleaner undercarriages things have changed for better.

While aerodynamics does affect the surface of a vehicle entirely, only the surfaces that are directly visible have received the majority of attention for its designs. Hence, the improvements in styling are directly proportionate to its sales appeal. Today, aerodynamics designers and engineers are seen to be more focused on areas that were previously overlooked. They are now working on things like shutters that can close the grille openings during driving at higher speeds to reduce the wind resistance.

Slippery Doesn’t Always Mean Sleek

Well, till now, aerodynamics engineers have concentrated designing only the visible surfaces, that gave the world delightfully streamlined cars for decades. But with time the concept of design has changed as well as the theories that got evolved. Today aerodynamics is all about how to manage the airflow in the best possible ways along with all its elements like turbulence, drag and lift.

It’s All About Coefficient of Drag

Since the days of 1980s the importance of aerodynamic efficiency has been felt, as the effective quality of a vehicle’s aero profile is held to be synonymous with the amount of drag that its shape keeps creating as the vehicle cuts through the air. This is known as the coefficient of drag, or Cd. The trick is, the lower the number is, the better it gets.

Understanding Airflow

In earlier days, the first set of automobiles were just a little more than the buggies and the carriages attached to the horses were unhitched. Slowly this concept of transportation got replaced by the sputtering of internal-combustion engines. As gathered from the Kia dealer Temecula experts, Aerodynamics did not come into the picture since the vehicles at that time were too slow to be affected by any air resistance. But today, while driving cars at highway speeds, a car needs to use more than half of its engine power working at the wheels just to overcome the aerodynamic drag.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, with the combination of engine and transmission, the improvements with vehicles took a turn with using lightweight materials. This helped in improving the aerodynamics in a car as well that can help the automakers set a new goal for attaining better fuel economy.