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Old 12-05-2007, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GM admits the Volt concept car's aerodynamics suck



Anyone with a basic understanding of aerodynamic design immediately understood from day one that the Volt plug-in hybrid (or range-extended EV) was an aerodynamic disaster on wheels.

Giant, chunky, pushed-too-far-to-the-outside, drag-inducing wheels.

I personally pestered the writers at ABG a little to see if they could find out its cD from GM. GM has been anything but shy about talking to the media about this vehicle, but nothing ever came out.

Last month, at a meeting with bloggers, ABG reported that GM exec/product honcho Bob Lutz admitted the car was a dog in the wind tunnel:

Quote:
When they put the concept into the wind tunnel it was a huge disappointment. Lutz said they might have gotten better results if they put it in backwards. (source: ABG)
I trust Lutz was just being dramatic when he claimed it was a "huge disappointment". I'm sure GM's aerodynamicists were shaking their heads at that comment.

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Old 12-05-2007, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow that's brutal. This says that the drag is .30. Is that not better than most passenger cars on the road today? I thought .33 was pretty standard. It was designed for urban-centric lifestyle so I guess aero is not it's strong point. If you look at the pic it looks like it has a Flux Capacitor on it.
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I figure that 0.30 cD mentioned in the carbodydesign article was a GM guesstimate. The article was written in January, but the Lutz comment came just last month.

0.30 is respectable for a 4 door passenger car.

But there's no way they could achieve that with the lower rear end design of the Volt concept. The wheels pushed out to the extreme corners (the rear wheels ARE the corners)? They did the opposite of boattailing there, never mind that the wheels themselves are giant air blenders!
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's the over there version. "Sigh"
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Sigh" is right! That was pretty much my reaction when I first saw the Opel version. Let's post a pic, just for comparison's sake:

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Old 12-11-2007, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Apparently they've improved the aerodynamics. But of course it doesn't look the same any more.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/5366669.html
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You scared me, but that's the old concept car he is talking about, not the production model which is much better in looks and aerodynamics (but nothing that knocks anyone's socks off).

Still, I think this is a perfect example of where GM has gone off the track and why they are facing bankruptcy. Apparently their professional automobile engineers didn't have a clue about how to add aerodynamic efficiencies to a car that requires them. Instead they made it look like a gangsta car. It was just more image over reality that has plagued Detroit for decades. It's almost like they didn't even think about the car as a system.

That Opel is a beautiful thing, and much more attractive than the new Volt. If the production Chevy Volt looked like that I'd be on the waiting list.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the opel models is actually much more close to the upcomming meriva, a small mpv


the previous version where clever little cars. and with a much more sleak hatchback like look and cool suicide doors these will do pretty well i think .
although it will go into production with a standard engine, but there are rumors several opel models would get mild hybrid engines....
as far as the original volt design...that was just dumb
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Instarx, I wouldn't blame the styling of the original Volt concept on GM's engineers. That's got "stylist" written all over it.

GM has shown time and again that when they let their engineers design for aero, they can knock them out of the park. They just don't often let them produce their designs.

FYI, updated thread discussion the Volt "production" version's aerodynamics: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ures-4629.html
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Opel

Quote:
Originally Posted by instarx View Post
You scared me, but that's the old concept car he is talking about, not the production model which is much better in looks and aerodynamics (but nothing that knocks anyone's socks off).

Still, I think this is a perfect example of where GM has gone off the track and why they are facing bankruptcy. Apparently their professional automobile engineers didn't have a clue about how to add aerodynamic efficiencies to a car that requires them. Instead they made it look like a gangsta car. It was just more image over reality that has plagued Detroit for decades. It's almost like they didn't even think about the car as a system.

That Opel is a beautiful thing, and much more attractive than the new Volt. If the production Chevy Volt looked like that I'd be on the waiting list.
Just remember that Opel is also Detroit!

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