Aérodynamique et Style du Projet V.I.R.A.G.E.S. 870714
Within the V.I.R.A.G.E.S.* research program, Renault Véhicules Industriels, in cooperation with the experts of the Renault organization, and some component suppliers, has developed a class 8 tractor - semi trailor experimental vehicle. It constitutes a synthesis of solutions meeting relatively advanced objectives, when compared with modern vehicles of today, in various fields like energy management, safety, comfort and emissions, however irrespectively of usual regulatory, industrial and economic constraints.
Aerodynamics and style play a major role in final results and are the two main topics of the present paper.
Objectives in aerodynamics resulted from averall energy management objectives. In their original approach, aerodynamists have first elaborated basic shapes on a 1/10 scale model. Then, stylists have developed two differently oriented styles from which a final choice was made. Finally the shape optimization was completed on a 1/4 scale model in an automotive wind tunnel.
The VE 10, first full scale experimental vehicle has been built and tested. Among other results, spectacular fuel savings materialize the contribution of improved aerodynamics.