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Old 12-22-2010, 11:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good lord, it's like looking at a car in a fish-eye lens in real life.



I can see where it gets it's aero advantage, but in my view that's really pushing it as far as a "conventional" hatchback roof line is concerned.. I doubt it's rear cargo area is as tall as the Leaf's, you can see how far the seat back and headrest intrude into the cargo area. What I would call the difference between a traditional hatch and the "fastback" or camm-back for the Prius & Volt is like the difference between the older CRX and Civic hatch.



You can see where the roof line comes to an end, above the tail lights (and the shorty windows in both). The actual rear window is also layed back into the roof line.



Where as the hatch backs still have vertical windows, basically.

I guess you could call it semantics. Points taken, however, and we can see which style is more aerodynamic.. Maybe Leaf 2.0 will change shapes.

This copy here is still a rough draft so if you want to revise it some, feel free.

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Old 12-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Haha - that is a fish lens photo. Exaggerated, compared to the A2 pics I've seen.

The only revision I'd make is to drop the suggestion that the car's aero is in any way exceptional. Given its smooth belly pan and minimal cooling requirements - 2 areas that contribute significantly to drag in "regular" vehicles - it's anything but.

It could have been much better. Nissan could have increased total cargo volume and reduced drag quite a bit more by working on that rear end. Maybe they were going for "style", or maybe they were somehow limited by the chassis they were working with. Dunno.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't understand how this thing manages such lousy aerodynamics. Granted, I love the Leaf, but why is it .29cd? That is the exact same number achieved in 1986 By my Pontiac Trans Am.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I thought I saw that the Leaf is Cd 0.27?
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Nissan's Leaf press release posted on Autoblog says 0.29 - source.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I skimmed your article and didn't read through the entire thing,since I am on vacation at the moment but overall, it looks well written, and laid out very professionally. In fact, i thought that you just did a copy paste of some other article online.

i wanted to point out just how bad that the aerodynamics are on the Leaf.

Lexus get a stock .25 Cd from the LS430. Nothing swoopy about this car with its upright grille, large uncovered wheel wells and overall very 'normal' looking design.
Yet the LS430 matches the Cd of even first generation Insight.







Opel designed the Opel G90 concept car which had a Cd of point twenty two. Notice the upright blunt front end which had a somewhat large open grille, and only a slight curve to the roofline. A partial wheel skirt was used, but for the moist part, the wheels were uncovered. To the uninitiated, the car looks a like like the current Versa. in profile.

http://www.carlife.net/data/file/car...B_00071010.jpg

***ADMIN EDIT*** Killed previous image embed because of google malware warnings.






One more : The VW Fox ( a.k.a. VW 'box ) at point 31 :



As far as the headlight gimmick, I have to ask how that the EV-1 got away with not having these frog eye headlights. It was electric after all, and with much less drag at .19, the sound of the air around the mirrors would be even more of an issue.



From what I see, Nissan is simply not trying.

Thanks for posting your article.

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Old 12-23-2010, 12:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I wonder how much additional range that the Leaf could gain by improving its' aerodynamics ?
As anyone can see from my above post, aero does not have to mean " jellybean ".

( Or ugly !! )

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Old 12-23-2010, 01:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a hard time believing that lexus has such a low cd. It has an enormous grill. I would love to see how that was accomplished.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The upper grill on the Lexus must be of the type that effectively closes at speed? If the bars are airfoils and / or are at the right angle, they passively will become blocked at speed. Ford had a grill that did this.

I like that Opel! The thing that the EV1 has that cannot be overlooked is the narrower rear wheel track, and I'll bet that you cannot get to Cd of 0.21 or below without this. And rear wheels skirts are obviously required to get to that level, as well. The Opel has vestigial skirts, and the original Insight has 'em and the EV1.

The underside of the Lexus must be very sleek? And I wonder if it had those wheels during the wind tunnel tests?
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't think it's fair to compare the EV1 and Leaf, a 2 door coupe and a 4 door hatch. As far as wind noise, it's something that effects every car differently, I wouldn't make that comparison either.

It's interesting on that little opel- rally car-like mirrors, and centerline-like drag wheels!


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