Influence of a Diffuser to the Wake Flow of a Passenger Car
Paper i proceeding, 2012

To achieve more energy efficient transportation we have to reduce losses and resistance forces all over the vehicle. Aerodynamic drag is one of the primary resistance forces a passenger vehicle has to overcome and the force increases exponentially with increased speed. The under-body and rear-end geometry of a passenger car is a significant contributor to the overall aerodynamic drag and the shape of it is normally a compromise between styling, cost and other properties. To reduce the aerodynamic drag it is very important to have a good pressure recovery at the rear-end; to end up with a base pressure as high as possible. It is not necessarily the case that an optimized lower part of the rear-end for a square-back car has the same performance as a notch-back or fast-back car. This work investigates the rear-end flow and aerodynamic performance of a sedan and wagon car with varying rear-end under-body design parameters. The study is a numerical analysis using a standard CFD approach commonly used in the automotive industry. A parameter study of under-body covers with varying rear angles, making the rear floor act like a diffuser. The function of the rear floor working as a diffuser is similar regardless of the upper geometry, but its function as a drag reduction device can be very different. Results from this study show a potential to reduce aerodynamic drag of the sedan car approximately 10%, with the best diffuser angle and cover plates over the floor. The best drag reduction for the wagon car was 2-3 % and the optimum was at a smaller diffuser angle. Flow analysis of the wake shows how important it is the wake is balanced.

Fluid mechanics

Passenger cars



Ture Jesper Marklund

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonsteknik och autonoma system

Lennart Löfdahl

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Fordonsteknik och autonoma system

FEDSM2012 ASME 2012 Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting, July 8-12, 2012, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, USA

1093-4928 (ISSN)






C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)


Strömningsmekanik och akustik