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Old 09-01-2008, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Drawing a line for aerodynamics

something occured to me in the 1980s, early 90s. The first zippy little car I ever drove was an mx6 (a mazda). As it turns out, ALL zippy fwd cars have some easily identifiable association with sumilar aerodynamics, size and shape to this very flunking day.
I felt very confident climbing into the 80s mph on a dirt road...and then it happened. the cars back end floated for at least a mile. I knew not to touch the brakes. the biggest frustration was letting off throttle letting the engine be the brake...and the transverse idiot design fed the float. It is in all cars today. every last fwd ricer..
I drew the line. I would rather a slightly jacked up goofy shape that will tell me way way before sports car attempt that the car is too light to pretend with aerodynaimcs. Weight is the bigger factor, and as it turns out...when you do have weight...noone talks aerodynamics anymore.

Be Careful with your hypermiling aerodynamic pursuits. Obvious flaws may be for the very reason I just spoke. A false sense of confidence is deadly...aerodynamics is one of them.

A four wheel drive in the little car category helps, even in places that don't need it. Imagine if they made it a standard to really acheive instead of cheapskating with life and death...

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Old 09-01-2008, 12:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Put the bottle/pipe/joint down dude.......
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Humm... You were doing over 80 mph on a dirt road, and you think it was aerodynamics making the rear end float? Sure :-)
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgd73 View Post
something occured to me in the 1980s, early 90s. The first zippy little car I ever drove was an mx6 (a mazda). As it turns out, ALL zippy fwd cars have some easily identifiable association with sumilar aerodynamics, size and shape to this very flunking day.
I felt very confident climbing into the 80s mph on a dirt road...and then it happened. the cars back end floated for at least a mile. I knew not to touch the brakes. the biggest frustration was letting off throttle letting the engine be the brake...and the transverse idiot design fed the float. It is in all cars today. every last fwd ricer..
I drew the line. I would rather a slightly jacked up goofy shape that will tell me way way before sports car attempt that the car is too light to pretend with aerodynaimcs. Weight is the bigger factor, and as it turns out...when you do have weight...noone talks aerodynamics anymore. Be Careful with your hypermiling aerodynamic pursuits. Obvious flaws may be for the very reason I just spoke. A false sense of confidence is deadly...aerodynamics is one of them.

A four wheel drive in the little car category helps, even in places that don't need it. Imagine if they made it a standard to really acheive instead of cheapskating with life and death...
I seem to recalled reading about Bajoos and his AeroCivic... Weight was added. Aerodynmics were the outcome.

Its not the weight. You can add weight and get better FE. You can subtract weight and get better FE. Its the aerodynamics. If I drove a 1970s Mustang, and swapped all the metal with fiberglass... I will only get minimal results. Same thing as if I had a 2001 Lancer. Weight reduction only goes a short distance.


Thats about all I can figure he's talking about. I could be way off.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's in just about every FWD car and has nothing to do with aerodynamics. It's the front to rear weight ratio. FWD cars are usually so light in back that they fishtail easily. Your 80 mph on a dirt road is about the same as driving normally in the snow.

One reason I prefer wagons is they have a little more weight in the back. I also keep some extra weight in back too for better control. One reason I won't drive my Celebrity in winter is it fishtails too easily. My friend noticed the same thing between a Taurus sedan and the equivalent Taurus wagon.

Letting off the throttle to be the brake, same deal. When going down a steep slippery hill, I'll often shift into Neutral so I don't have the front end trying to hold me back and encouraging the rear end to break loose. At least when using the actual brakes to maintain speed, I have 4 wheels slowing me down instead of the 2 front ones.

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