Aerodynamic Performance Assessment of BMW Validation Models using Computational Fluid Dynamics
Aerodynamic performance assessment of automotive shapes is typically performed in wind tunnels. However, with the rapid progress in computer hardware technology and the maturity and accuracy of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software packages, evaluation of the production-level automotive shapes using a digital process has become a reality. As the time to market shrinks, automakers are adopting a digital design process for vehicle development. This has elevated the accuracy requirements on the flow simulation software, so that it can be used effectively in the production environment. Evaluation of aerodynamic performance covers prediction of the aerodynamic coefficients such as drag, lift, side force and also lift balance between the front and rear axle. Drag prediction accuracy is important for meeting fuel efficiency targets, prediction of front and rear lifts as well as side force and yawing moment are crucial for high speed handling.