Computational analysis comparing aerodynamic performance of simplified sedan, wagon and SUV automobile configurations

Sammy Diasinos*, Kaustubh Dongre, James Keogh, Graham Doig, Tracie Barber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Aerodynamic drag is a significant factor in the fuel efficiency of automobiles and alternative configurations, such as; sedans, wagons, and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for example, are all expected to have significantly different aerodynamic characteristics. This study utilizes a Detached-Eddy Simulation to model the wake structure of the three previously mentioned vehicle configurations. The results indicate that an SUV and wagon can have approximately 30% and 15% more drag respectively than that of a comparable sedan and that the increase in drag can be attributed to the separation point from the roof of the vehicle due to the rear windscreen geometry. This has a significant impact on the formation of the C-pillar vortices and consequently the downwash and unsteadiness experienced in the wake of the vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFISITA 2014 World Automotive Congress
Subtitle of host publicationcomplete proceedings from the FISITA 2014 World Automotive Congress
PublisherFISITA World Automotive Congress
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
EventFISITA 2014 World Automotive Congress - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 2 Jun 20146 Jun 2014


ConferenceFISITA 2014 World Automotive Congress


  • Automotive aerodynamics
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Detached-Eddy Simulation

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