Parametric study of reduced span side tapering on a simplified model with wheels

Many modern vehicles have blunt rear end geometries for design aesthetics and practicality; however, such vehicles are potentially high drag. The application of tapering; typically applied to an entire edge of the base of the geometry is widely reported as a means of reducing drag, but in many cases, this is not practical on real vehicles. In this study side tapers are applied to only part of the side edge of a simplified automotive geometry, to show the effects of practical implementations of tapers.
The paper reports on a parametric study undertaken in Loughborough University’s Large Wind Tunnel with the ¼ scale Windsor model equipped with wheels. The aerodynamic effect of implementing partial side edge tapers is assessed from a full height taper to a 25% taper in both an upper and lower body configuration. These were investigated using force and moment coefficients, pressure measurements and planar particle image velocimetry (PIV). These geometries showed that the drag reductions are maximised with a 50% span, generating a vertically symmetric wake and less taper drag contribution when compared to a full span taper.