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Old 09-27-2020, 06:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Over fenders/aero widebody

This seems random especially since I’ve been absent a while but I’m about to shift back to commuting a long distance to work and highway fuel efficiency will be of paramount importance, and I’m planning a set of mods to my Saturn to reduce drag even further than in its current form.

My first thought was to redo my rear wheel skirts, partly because they’re getting tired and worn and partly to improve on the design. Having read about the new Mini Cooper GP and it’s fender flares being described as setting off from the body, and I had an idea. Instead of partial wheel skirts that don’t cover the entire wheel or skirts that curve sharply outward to cover the wheels at expense of having the curves to add drag, have a large flat panel set off from the body of the car by, say, an inch. Being not sealed to the body it should add little frontal area, prevent turbulence from the wheelwell, and could be extended rearward to sharpen the radius of the rear end for better separation. If I decided to implement this in the front, the panel being offset from the body by an inch, I could close off the front and top portion of the wheel well a little and probably make the front edge of the panel into an intake for a full height wheel air curtain.

... or am I totally crazy? Opinions? I mean it would prob take me at least 2 sheets of coroplast to make and whatever I use to stand the panels off from the body

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Old 09-27-2020, 06:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think I understand what you are describing, but pictures/napkin sketch would help a ton.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Basically something like pictures but with an inch gap between the panel and the existing body of the car
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I understand. I don't have any idea how that would do aero wise though. It's probably worth trying. As long as that's not a design feature of the Mini then I would say go for it.

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Old 09-27-2020, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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To be honest, I can't really see it helping. Adding the fenders to the front will make the airflow past the fender no longer attached, which will reduce efficiency. In the rear, adding skirts doesn't improve economy by that much, and adding the frontal area will likely just reduce mileage.
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There would still be air flowing through/under the panels, I don’t think it would be that much frontal area increase (less than I lost by deleting the mirrors). My wheel skirts need redone at any rate, they’re beginning to go concave

Sadly the only way to know for certain is to test and these are something big enough they would be permanent, pass or fail
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
Sadly the only way to know for certain is to test and these are something big enough they would be permanent, pass or fail
Just make them look cool and if they help, great. If not then oh well. It's your car make it look how you want it to.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Just make them look cool and if they help, great. If not then oh well.
Agree it would disrupt the flow down the sides.

Consider the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Need better pictures of that Mini?
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I doubt anyone in the world could answer definitively. Make some mock-ups and test them via throttle-stop testing (assuming a mechanical throttle).
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Old 09-27-2020, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I went looking. Haven't found a clear picture of the gap, but from this angle the shape is not well integrated with the existing features like the wheel arch and the vent.


https://gaadiwaadi.com/most-powerful...-la-auto-show/

I'm reminded of a design that Harry Bradley did for VW Trends in the 1980s. I'd thought I had scanned it in and uploaded it but I guess not (I'll have to find that issue).

He just space the stock [Beetle] fenders out 1˝ - 2" and filled the gap with a wire mesh. The parking lights in front and the tail lights in back were hidden underneath.

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