the “good surprise” of the first aerodynamic test

The Tesla Cybertruck is an electric pickup very different from more conventional models. A first independent aerodynamic test confirmed this.

The Cybertruck’s unique design has long raised questions about the model’s efficiency. Tesla’s electric pickup, in addition to its size, has very sharp lines. Elon Musk’s firm was hoping that this concept could be more efficient than that of a classic pickup.

The aerodynamic coefficient (Cx) of pick-ups is generally between 0.55 and 0.65. Elon Musk hoped that Tesla could obtain a Cx of 0.30 with his Cybertruck, which an independent firm studied.

It was Numeric Systems that carried out CFD tests to establish the efficiency of the pick-up. Computational fluid dynamics simulations gave a result of 0.39 for the Cybertruck’s Cx. Aleix Lázaro Prat, CFD engineer for Numeric Systems, describes the test results.

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He highlights in particular the surprises that arise from these simulations, around the aggressive lines of the vehicle. “Contrary to what many people might think, the protruding edge of the roof does not produce a great detachment”explains the engineer, noting a ” nice surprise “ with these results.

“It is true that the flow is not attached, but the air follows the slope quite fluidly. It’s quite remarkable, and a big advantage over other pickups. In addition, the diffuser has a clean effect in the center of the rear of the vehicle. This creates suction and reduces aerodynamic drag. »

Easy-to-determine improvements

Like Musk and his Cd target of 0.30, the engineer thinks that Tesla can greatly improve the efficiency of the Cybertruck. The front of the vehicle is, according to him, the point where most progress can be made.

“On the other hand, our results show clear turbulent structures created by the front of the vehicle, which connects the bumper and the hood, the vertical edge behind the front lights, the wheel arches, the styling of the rims and the geometry of the A and C pillars.”

“The generation of turbulent structures comes from the severity of the edges. These geometric features increase the vehicle’s drag, which reduces the Cybertruck’s range. Plus, given the sharp backside, the flow breaks off instantly and creates a noticeable low energy zone behind the top and side edges. »

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