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Old 04-22-2009, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jeremy Cato writes another article about aerodynamics. Misinformation ensues.

We recently roasted Jeremy Cato, The Globe and Mail's chief auto writer, for praising the 2010 Camaro's 0.37 coefficient of drag as "pretty slick" (see http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...-0-a-7741.html ).

In today's Report on Green Solutions for Earth Day, Cato attempts to parlay his "knowledge" of things aerodynamic into general article about how automakers are increasing efficiency in the wind tunnel.

How to stop being a drag
Auto designers are finding that sharp edges can be just as aerodynamic as smooth curves

Here's a doozy of a quote:

Quote:
Take the boxy Ford Flex. It may look like a brick, but Ford's designers found that the Flex's shape cut 0.02 off the Flex's coefficient of drag. The end result, says [Ford designer] Callum , is a shape that is sleeker than many competitors, one that helps the 262 horsepower Flex get better fuel economy than curvier competitors such as the all-new Chevrolet Traverse
What he fails to mention however are the actual figures:



Ford Flex: 0.355 (source)
Chevy Traverse: 0.33 (source)



If the Flex gets better fuel economy than the Traverse, superior aerodynamics apparently isn't the reason. (Note: I don't know the reference area for each vehicle, so it's possible the CdA of the Flex could be less - but that's not a wind tunnel achievement, which is what the article suggests.)

The entire article isn't horrible - in fact, I'm happy to see the importance of aero being discussed in the mainstream press - but Cato doesn't do his homework (inexcusable, as the chief auto writer for Canada's biggest newspaper). And it bugs me that as a result, there are undoubtedly people out there this morning saying, "my, my! I didn't realize the Ford Flex was so wonderfully aerodynamic!"

Which leaves me skeptical about this other potentially interesting tidbit he relays:

Quote:
...the Volt slated for sale in late 2010, will be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. It will, in fact, be more aerodynamic than the 2010 Toyota Prius, which has a very slippery drag coefficient of 0.25.

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Of course you can't comment on the article... hah.


edit: there is a button to send a letter to the editor at the bottom though
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"as aerodynamically efficient as possible"... is this guy a journalist or a marketter? Is he being paid directly by these people to write articles about their cars? It strikes me that he is throwing away the term "journalistic integrity" with every article that we see here on ecomodder.

Is it possible that the total drag (CdA) of the ford is better than the Chev? Either way, they both suck.

Someone send him a link to these threads for his amusement We'd gladly help to educate him.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It could have less drag overall but as I think metro said it would have alot more to do with the frontal area of the car(wheel base on the Ford might be a hair narrower) than with its aero properties as the traverse is obviously more aero friendly in shape.

But he says SHAPE. The shape is not more aero. < is aero, C is kinda aero, I. . .not aero.

If the volt were aero as possible it will look like a rain drop and have polymer riblet adhesive applied over its outer-layer of paint that will make it look funny. I feel like its going to look alot more like a Camaro than a rain drop. . .and I feel like its going to have shiny glossy paint rather than a matte polymer over-top of its paint.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you squint at the Volt, you can see a Prius / Insight shape in there. There's just some 'styling' to make it look different.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
If you squint at the Volt, you can see a Prius / Insight shape in there. There's just some 'styling' to make it look different.
-grabs PM's shoulders and shifts to point in a new direction- you were looking at the 2010 Prius. The brick is the volt.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lol. :d

Here's a perfect picture. The back end of the Volt is a hatch, just like the prius. They made it look like a sedan, but it's not.


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Last edited by PaleMelanesian; 04-22-2009 at 06:11 PM..
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
"as aerodynamically efficient as possible"... is this guy a journalist or a marketter? Is he being paid directly by these people to write articles about their cars? It strikes me that he is throwing away the term "journalistic integrity" with every article that we see here on ecomodder.
That's because I only link the lousy ones.

He's capable of producing some decent articles. But stuff like this just makes me cringe.

Maybe I'm just missing the distinction: perhaps he's not a "journalist", he's a "reviewer". One supposedly presents issues, the other delivers an opinion.

But delivering factual errors with your opinion is still a bad idea!
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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lawls... I bet the mirror design shaves 3pts off the cD
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunchosen View Post
If the volt were aero as possible it will ... have polymer riblet adhesive applied over its outer-layer of paint
That's a funny, yes?

Just checking.

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