The future of supercar aerodynamics

Over the past year, we have seen first indications of what the next crop of hypercar designs will look like. Among these are the Koenigsegg Regera, the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 (designed by the legendary Adrian Newey) and the Nio EP9 fully electric supercar. What makes these interesting is their radically different aerodynamic design philosophies, which take advantage of packaging possibilities bestowed by new, partially or fully electric powertrain configurations.

The current generation of hypercars still bases its aerodynamics on the insights gained in motorsport series such as Formula 1, Le Mans prototypes or the DTM. That is to say that they have the basic setup with a completely flat underbody close to the road, a splitter and front diffuser at the front, as well as a rear wing and rear diffuser at the rear.

Nevertheless, motorsport series limit creative freedom by imposing strict geometry constraints that serve to reduce downforce and thereby keep cornering speeds in check.  Similarly, powertrain configurations are not as varied and experimental here. This leads to a clear divergence between the opportunities present in supercar design when compared to motorsport series. The radically new aerodynamic concepts of the above-mentioned cars give an impression of this new found design freedom.

We will investigate these new concepts on a generic mid-engined supercar silhouette.The concepts we would compare to a traditional configuration include among others:

•    A diffuser along the full length of the car (EP9)

•    A ground effect car with a curved underbody (AM-RB 001)

•    Top mounted air intakes (EP9)

•    Exhausts shaped as diffuser fins (Regera)

Only with a robust and easily automatable simulation tool such as  STAR-CCM+® is it possible generate the geometries of interest, import them directly from CAD, simulate and post-process the results quickly enough to make these investigations feasible.

Session Time Slot(s): 
07/03/2017 - 8:55am-07/03/2017 - 9:20am
Convention Hall 1C
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