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Design Engineering - Aerodynamic Optimization: Automotive Engineering’s Next Strategic Frontier

With the unprecedented demands on today’s vehicle engineering organizations, automakers face a daunting challenge to reach their next targets for aerodynamics drag using traditional tools and methods. Trial-and-error development using wind tunnel testing achieved a coefficient of drag of 0.3. Introducing digital simulation to sequentially improve designs brought CD down to 0.24 for today’s best performing cars. But most companies have the next target set to 0.2. Without either a radical increase in time and resources — not a realistic solution for most — or else a radically more efficient and effective approach to aerodynamics engineering, this target will remain all but out of reach.