Fundamentals, Basic Principles in Road Vehicle Aerodynamics and Design
Book chapter, 2014

The objective of this chapter is to briefly explain some of the basic principles of fluid mechanics applied to road vehicle aerodynamics. It introduces the main concepts of drag, lift, boundary-layer, wake separation, and so on. It also describes the importance and relevance of aerodynamics in the development process of new car models. Aerodynamics has a significant influence on other road vehicle properties such as performance, handling, contamination, and comfort. These aspects are highlighted in the chapter. An overview of a typical aerodynamic development process for high volume production cars is given. It explains the need for attribute balancing, engineering compromises, as well as other considerations such as costs and manufacturing. Interaction effects of different areas of the body are described in a general way in this chapter. Finally, we discuss some future styling trends, and the need of reducing cooling air, increasing under body paneling, and methods for flow control.

bluff bodies


passanger cars



Simone Sebben

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Tim Walker

Christoffer Landström

Encyclopedia of Automotive Engineering

9781118354179 (ISBN)


Basic sciences

Subject Categories

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics





More information

Latest update