News

The strange design of the Tesla Cybertruck achieves an amazing drag coefficient: 0.39

The design, the fundamental characteristic of Tesla’s electric pick-up, which attracted so much controversy with totally polarized opinions, now becomes its main characteristic again. Beyond the fact that the Tesla Cybertruck is an electric vehicle equipped with the high technology of its manufacturer, its strange design It was the most commented when it was presented. Now, after the virtual simulation tests (and unofficial) shows that it wasn’t just about designing something different, it was also about improve the very poor aerodynamic efficiency common to this type of vehicle.

With the Cybertruck there was and is no middle ground: staunch defenders of its design and criticism and attacks on somewhat grotesque forms. The only thing both parties could agree on was novelty, something that is indeed indisputable. That feature now comes to offer a surprise that perhaps only those who designed the vehicle expected. In the CGI simulation tests (performed virtually by computer) the results have been more than encouraging.

The design of the Cybertruck responds to several criteria that the manufacturer wanted to capture in it. The first is to integrate it into a stainless steel exoskeleton, which forces some concessions in terms of design that lead to very regular and sharp geometric shapes. There is also the emotional part, because Elon Musk wanted to be inspired by science fiction and blade runner cyberpunk culture to present him as an emotional vehicle that his followers could not resist.

But apparently there was also a third criterion that now comes to light: aerodynamics. For the most part, typical pick-up designs perform very poorly in aerodynamic tests, achieving drag coefficients of the 0.55 or even 0.65. However, in the Cybertruck aerodynamic performance study, the result is that this coefficient is reduced to 0.39.

Aleix Lázaro Prat, CFD Engineer for Numerical Systems, used the company’s aerodynamic simulation technology to carry out a study that has been published on LinkedIn. It includes some pretty amazing results. The first is that contrary to what many anticipated, the sharp edge of the roof in its encounter with the windshield it does not produce large eddies. At this point the airflow detaches from the bodywork, but continues on its way without causing turbulence. “The boundary layer doesn’t grow substantially which is quite noticeable and a huge aerodynamic advantage compared to other trucks.” Also, rear diffuser works very well creating a suction and reducing the exit wake.

aerodynamic coefficient tesla cybertruck-interior1
The drag coefficient of the Tesla Cybertruck could be further reduced by modifying the design of the wheel arches, the sharp geometry of the A and C pillars and the sharp edges of the rear.

On the other hand, in the study, it is also noted that the design has a lot of room for improvement. The results show the turbulence created by the leading edge structures, the very complex shaped wheel arch protectors, and the geometry of both the A-pillar and the C-pillar. Those efficiency-impairing eddies are created by “sharpness.” of the geometric edges that increase the air resistance of the vehicle. In addition, at the very sharp rear (top and side edge) the airflow instantly detaches creating a considerably large low-energy zone (the wake).

Numeric Systems has not worked with the final geometry of the Tesla pick-upTherefore, this result should not be considered anything more than a preliminary step for those that are officially carried out with the production vehicle and in real wind tunnel tests. There are fundamental factors such as lack of rear view mirrors that it is still unknown if they will be replaced by cameras, will be conventional or even if they will be removable as Elon Musk hinted at his day. The CEO of the brand has said that the coefficient could be reduced even more up to 0.30which would be an extraordinary result for a vehicle of this type.

tesla-cybertruck_05
Last seen design of the Tesla Cybertruck, which still does not have a final production version.

The start date of the production of the final version and the first deliveries has been delayed in time, although it is expected to occur in mid-2023.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button