Browse Publications Technical Papers 2015-01-1559

Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Cars at Yaw 2015-01-1559

The aerodynamic drag characteristics of a passenger car are typically defined by a single parameter, the drag coefficient at zero yaw angle. While this has been acceptable in the past, it may not allow a true comparison between vehicles with regard to the impact of drag on performance, especially fuel economy. An alternative measure of aerodynamic drag should take into account the effect of non-zero yaw angles and some proposals have been made in the past, including variations of wind-averaged drag coefficient. For almost all cars the drag increases with yaw, but the increase can vary significantly between vehicles. In this paper the effect of various parameters on the drag rise with yaw are considered for a range of different vehicle types. The increase of drag with yaw is shown to be an essentially induced drag, which is strongly dependent on both side force and lift. Shape factors which influence the sensitivity of drag with yaw are discussed.


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