Parametric study of asymmetric side tapering in constant cross wind conditions

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) often have blunt rear end geometries for design and practicality, which is not typically aerodynamic. Drag can be reduced with a number of passive and active methods, which are generally prioritised at zero yaw, which is not entirely representative of the “on road” environment. As such, to combine a visually square geometry (at rest) with optimal drag reductions at non-zero yaw, an adaptive system that applies vertical side edge tapers independently is tested statically. A parametric study has been undertaken in Loughborough University’s Large Wind Tunnel with the ¼ scale Windsor Model. The aerodynamic effect of implementing asymmetric side tapering has been assessed for a range of yaw angles (0°, ±2.5°, ±5° and ±10°) on the force and moment coefficients. This adaptive system reduced drag at every non-zero yaw angle tested, from the simplest geometry (full body taper without wheels) to the most complex geometry (upper body taper with wheels) with varying levels of success; providing additional drag reductions from 3% to 125%. The system also shows potential to beneficially modify the cross wind stability of the geometry.