Rapid Aerodynamic Development of Two-Volume Vehicle Shapes
The objective behind this effort is rapid aerodynamic development of vehicle themes, in the early stages of vehicle development. This paper describes a process that is suitable for the development of two-volume (or two-box) vehicle shapes (such as station wagons, minivans or sports utility vehicles). Traditionally, aerodynamic development at this stage is accomplished using wind-tunnel tests of full or partial scale test models or relying on simulations of aerodynamics employing computational fluid dyanmics (CFD). In either case, the process is not particularly effective in sustaining the desired level of communication between designers (engaged in styling activities) and engineers (engaged in packaging and aerodynamics). A key drawback here is the delay in the generation of aerodynamic drag estimates for the proposals under consideration through use of wind-tunnel tests or CFD computations.