An Integrated Study of the Ford PRODIGY Aerodynamics using Computational Fluid Dynamics with Experimental Support 2000-01-1578
The Ford P2000 prototype vehicle represents Ford Motor Company's commitment towards environmental stewardship through high fuel efficiency and low tailpipe emission. Low aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cd), weight reduction, and power train efficiency improvements are required in order to accomplish the overall fuel economy target. The objective of this study is to establish an aerodynamic efficient body shape (Cd = .20) that meets the cost, weight, styling, package and fuel economy targets. Furthermore, this vehicle must be able to be operated and manufactured. A new computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method based on a lattice gas approach was piloted for developing and evaluating body shape design alternatives in support of the P2000 PRODIGY aerodynamic objective. Wind tunnel tests were performed to further explore the aerodynamic opportunities that are beyond the capability of the computational method as well as validate the CFD prediction. Measurements included balance data and a series of wake surveys.
The initial design was evaluated using CFD prediction and two major design alternatives were created based on the aerodynamic recommendations. Both designs provided over 20% reduction in Cd when compared to the initial concept. Subsequently, over twelve design alternatives were created using CAD to further investigate the opportunities to reduce the Cd and prioritize the design during the 9 month period. Over 120 hours of scale model wind tunnel tests were conducted to further refine and reduce the Cd of six of the most viable design themes during the study. Balance data were collected to calibrate the CFD prediction and to guide the Cd target range. A full size clay was constructed and tested to confirm the final Cd target.