A detailed numerical study on aerodynamic interactions of tandem wheels on a generic vehicle

Radoje Radovic, Fatemeh Salehi, Sammy Diasinos*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Wheels contribute significantly to the aerodynamic performance of ground vehicles. Many studies have focused on investigating a single wheel either in isolation or in a wheelhouse. However, there has been less focus on the flow field around a rear wheel, especially when considering varying proximity to the front wheel, despite its importance on aerodynamic forces. In this study, a generic reference body is modified and fitted with a rear wheel within a wheelhouse and analysed while the wheel spacing varies. Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) modelling was employed to allow for multiple variations to be considered and the model produced results in good agreement with experimental results. The results confirm that two upper rear wheelhouse outflow vortices are only present when the wheel spacing is short. It was found that the drag values were minimal for the wheel spacing at a critical distance of 1.5 wheel diameters. At this wheel spacing, the formation of the outboard jetting vortex is prevented at the rear wheel, and hence, the rear wheel drag is reduced by more than 10%. Any further reduction in the spacing does not provide any drag benefits. Also, the outflow from the front wheelhouse is projected further away from the body, drawing flow from the rear wheelhouse into the outboard jetting vortex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number281
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • wheel aerodynamics
  • drag reduction
  • vortex interaction


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