Aerodynamic drag of a compact SUV as measured on-road and in the wind tunnel

Jeff Howell, Chris Sherwin, Martin Passmore, Geoff Le Good

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Growing concerns about the environmental impact of road vehicles will lead to a reduction in the aerodynamic drag for all passenger cars. This includes Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and light trucks which have relatively high drag coefficients and large frontal area. The wind tunnel remains the tool of choice for the vehicle aerodynamicist, but it is important that the benefits obtained in the wind tunnel reflect improvements to the vehicle on the road. Coastdown measurements obtained using a Land Rover Freelander, in various configurations, have been made to determine aerodynamic drag and these have been compared with wind tunnel data for the same vehicle. Repeatability of the coastdown data, the effects of drag variation near to zero yaw and asymmetry in the drag-yaw data on the results from coastdown testing are assessed. Alternative blockage corrections for the wind tunnel measurements are examined. A reasonable correlation between wind tunnel and on-road aerodynamic drag data is established for the configurations tested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2002-01-0529
Number of pages10
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventSAE 2002 World Congress - Detroit, United States
Duration: 4 Mar 20027 Mar 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Aerodynamic drag of a compact SUV as measured on-road and in the wind tunnel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this