A study of computational methods for wake structure and base pressure prediction of a generic SUV model with fixed and rotating wheels

This study is an evaluation of computational methods in reproducing experimental data for a generic SUV geometry and an assessment on the influence of fixed and rotating wheels for this geometry. Initially, comparisons are made in wake structure and base pressures between several CFD codes and experimental data. It was shown that steady-state RANS methods are unsuitable for this geometry due to a large scale unsteadiness in the wake caused by separation at the sharp trailing edge and rear wheel wake interactions. URANS offered no improvements in wake prediction despite a significant increase in computational cost. DES and Lattice Boltzmann methods showed the best agreement with experimental results in both wake structure and base pressure, with LBM running in approximately a fifth of the time for DES.