Drag coefficient Stories April 28, 2016

Tesla recently confirmed that the base version of the Model 3 will be able to travel over 215 miles on a single charge with a battery pack “smaller than 60 kWh”. The relatively small battery capacity makes it clear that the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance is crucial to achieving the range, much like it is for the Model S and X, even with their higher capacity battery packs.

It became clear that Tesla knows the importance of aerodynamics after both the Model S and X achieved the lowest drag coefficient (Cd) in their respective segments. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he expects the Model 3 to achieve an incredibly low 0.21 Cd, which should be enough to make the Model 3 the most aerodynamic mass production car ever made.

Tesla is said to use Exa’s digital simulation tools to design its vehicles and Exa’s Vice President of Ground Transportation Applications, Ales Alajbegovic, shared his thoughts on the Model 3’s aero innovations. expand full story

Drag coefficient Stories November 17, 2015

A new source with connections at Tesla’s design group has informed me that late stage tweaking of the Model 3 is being done with an eye towards extreme minimization of wind resistance. The Model 3, which of course is the renamed Model E, is scheduled to be shown off for the first time publicly in March of 2016. The mass market Tesla is expected to be a smaller sedan/crossover platform that resembles the BMW 3 series in size. The range of the vehicle is expected to start at 200 miles and go up from there with various size batteries and drivetrains. The majority of Tesla employees are now working on this car.

What I’m hearing internally is that CEO Elon Musk is intensely driving the engineering designers to deliver a design with a drag coefficient lower than .20 which would make it the lowest of any mass production car in the world and close to extreme vehicles like GM’s EV1 and Volkswagen’s XL1 (pictured above), – both cars that have flat rear wheel covers… expand full story

Drag coefficient Stories September 30, 2015

Earlier this month when Audi unveiled its all-electric SUV, the quattro, some media were quick to dub it a “Tesla killer”, but now that Tesla officially launched its own SUV, I think it’s clear that it was a premature assessment. The quattro is set to have a similar range as the Model X, ~250 EPA-rated miles, but Audi is aiming at releasing the quattro in 2018, while Tesla delivered the first few units yesterday and already has between 25,000 and 30,000 reservations for the all-electric SUV. expand full story

Drag coefficient Stories September 16, 2015

Mercedes unveiled an interesting new concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show: a sedan which can change its features automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode once it reaches a speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). The concept is called the IAA, which stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, not to be confused with Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA), also known as the Frankfurt Motor Show, at which the concept is being unveiled. expand full story

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