Why the Racing Industry Needs Great Engineers
01 Sep 21
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Categories: Motorsport and Automotive Performance Engineering, Undergradute
The most aerodynamic shape in the world, the teardrop, comes from nature. With its rounded nose at the front that tapers towards the rear, the shape is formed by the flow of water down an object meeting opposition from the air around it. This stunning shape that nature has given us has been used many times over the years to inspire vehicle aerodynamics and design.
When it comes to vehicles, good aerodynamics can equate to easy speed and energy savings too. Aerodynamic vehicles can go faster and they also use less effort to get where they’re going. This is why so many of the vehicles we associate with speed feature this particular shape. The history of aerodynamics in vehicles of all types confirms this with Donald Campbell’s Bluebird, the Japanese Shinkansen (bullet train), and Concorde immediately coming to mind. Similar shapes have also been noted frequently in the automobile world. Here, we take a look at some of the most aerodynamic vehicles ever made.
Of course, the history of aerodynamics is full of cars that were specifically designed and built to make record-breaking speed record attempts. These include:
The Goldenrod - Built by Canadian brothers in 1965, the Goldenrod was an incredibly aerodynamic car with a coefficient of 0.1165, it was powered by four Chrysler Hemi V-8 engines each capable of producing 600 horsepower. For 26 years, from 1965 to 1991, it held the world land speed record with an average speed of 409.277 mph
Nuna Solar Car – When it comes to vehicle aerodynamics and design, the Nuna is certainly up there with the more unusual models. In fact, it looks less like a car and more like a spaceship. The car was developed by a team at Delft University in the Netherlands and worked solely on solar power. The most recent model they created, the NunaX, had evolved significantly in design from their first attempt and had an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.07.
Throughout the history of aerodynamics, many of the cars that have been designed have been created for record breaking rather than general use. However, there are a number of manufacturers who have designed and produced some of the most aerodynamic cars you will find on our roads. These include the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA, the Hyundai Ioniq, the Toyota Prius and Audi A6. The most recent car to join this list is the electric Mercedes EQS, which has been billed as the world most aerodynamic production car with a drag coefficient of just 0.20.
If you dream of a future involving high performance engines, but not necessarily one where you are behind the wheel, then vehicle aerodynamics and design could be for you. At the University of Bolton, our undergraduate BEng (Hons) Automotive Performance Engineering (Motorsport) course could offer you that exciting first step into the world of performance engineering, helping you gain the skills and expertise for a fast-paced career in Motorsport Engineering.
The University of Bolton has been voted in the Top 10 in the UK for Teaching Quality for the third year running*. Our quality educational provision along with our diverse, inclusive supportive environment, offers students the opportunity to experience #UniAsItShouldBe.
If you would like to learn more about the university and our automotive performance engineering motorsport course, we would be delighted to talk to you. Our team of friendly advisors can be contacted by messaging firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on +44 (0)1204 900 600.
*The Times and The Sunday Times 2021, 2020, 2019 UK
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