The procurement of the individual parts for the near-series vehicle frame is currently in full swing. At the same time, the material, surfaces and layer structure of the first fiber composite parts such as the windshield frame and hood are being coordinated. Although these components, which contribute to structural rigidity, will not yet be fitted to the next driver test vehicle (FET), they should follow as soon as possible. The design surfaces of the hood and windscreen should no longer be touched after tool approval at the latest, and in fact already now. This makes it all the more important to ensure their aerodynamic quality in the form of a new, but this time final, computer simulation in AirShaper‘s virtual wind tunnel.

In this flow simulation, however, the surfaces of individual components are not considered in isolation and only on their own, as they are influenced by all adjacent components during their subsequent use. The upstream components in particular, such as the lamp mask and front panel, will have a major impact on the airflow to the hood and windscreen behind. However, rear add-on parts, rotating wheels or the wheel arch linings and their trailing edge can also influence the airflow of the front parts.

Ultimately, the shape of the rear of the vehicle has the most serious influence on driving resistance – this is where the battle is won. However, the front of the vehicle determines whether the airflow is distributed over the surface as undisturbed as possible – so the battle can already be lost here. The strategic answer to the current task is therefore to examine the entire vehicle body in a multi-stage flow analysis.

Since upstream surfaces have a greater influence on downstream surfaces, we will make changes to the front of the vehicle in iterative loops until we reach a sensible optimum. The limits that should not be violated are components that are already fixed, e.g. headlights and front axle as well as their working areas (light cone, movement envelopes). Once the surface geometry of the front has been fixed, subsequent surfaces are optimized in similar iterations.

While striving for optimization, the already defined shape of the vehicle design should not be changed as much as possible. The primary aim is to avoid making any aerodynamic errors when determining the final surface. At the same time, the opportunity is used to achieve the optimum. We are very excited ourselves!