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Wheel Skirts

Discussion in 'Technical' started by vfx, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Never been a fan myself but I think we have to get over it.
     
  2. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    I will walk first :biggrin:
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    why so? We've seen cars without it
     
  4. graham

    graham Active Member

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    #4 graham, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
    I think vfx is referring to the fact that covered wheels are more aerodynamic than uncovered - and most of the energy to move a car goes into overcoming wind resistance. So as cars necessarily become more efficient in the future, wheel skirts are probably going to become prevalent.

    The Protoscar being an efficient sports car may well be the shape of the future. The Roadster? Not terribly aerodynamic. Admittedly I question the aesthetics of going with wheel skirts in a convertible...
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #5 TEG, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
    The old Honda insight was one of the most efficient cars on the road. The car companies all know that wheel skirts help, yet very few are willing to use them. I gather that the look scares too many customers away, so there is a big barrier to adoption.

    honda-insight-hybrid.jpg

    Tesla could have used them on the Roadster, but it really would have ruined the look.

    Protoscar LAMPO:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #6 vfx, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
    Some auto makers will be employing them to reduce drag. They might become common

    *edit* Graham said it better..

    That is, until battery and charging tech overcomes. (A thousand mile battery on a 10 minute charge will mean we will go back to heavy inefficient cars -because we can. )
     
  7. walk_n_wind

    walk_n_wind Member

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    Somewhat related - did you notice the fin attitude, if that's the right term, in the Model S wheels?

    3488103831_4d39d98512.jpg

    Seems like they designed it to present the least amount of wind resistance during rotation. Or it just looks like that to the fluid-dynamics ignorant like me :)
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    mmhmm.. compare it to the current insight... I think they got the picture. I'm sure there are comprimises
     
  9. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    They are in the business of selling cars, not to have the most efficient car in the world (unless this means the best sales). So of course they are willing to sacrifice some efficiency if it means more car sales.

    Though the success of the Prius (which doesn't look conventional either) is kind of encouraging for public acceptance of aerodynamic tweaks that look unconventional.
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #10 doug, May 19, 2009
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
    So I guess Aptera is different enough that its wheel covers gets a pass from those who don't like them? Or do those people also not like the Aptera?

    aptera1.jpg
     
  11. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Aptera gets a pass from me. Somehow being that the wheels are away from the car makes it look like less of a wheel skirt. I do not mind the looks of the Aptera. Mind you not on my list of bests either but certainly not on the worst looking car list.
     
  12. walk_n_wind

    walk_n_wind Member

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    I say make skirts an option - while I laugh @ the supposed S's option of aerodynamic door handles (mostly because I feel they'd be an insignificant increase in aero), I think the idea is a good one. Some will feel skirts take away from the presentation, some may disagree, and some won't care if they get significant increase in efficiency.

    So, make it an option and big-up your numbers by posting the mpgs (or equivalent) with the skirts on. That way, everybody wins!
     
  13. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Skirts should be optional but not on CARS !!! LOL
     
  14. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Well that's the point isn't it? They could have the best car in the world, but if it isn't aesthetically-pleasing, they're going to slim down their potential buyer pool.

    So my point was that yes, the original insight had them, new insight does not. I think they got the hint that most people think they're fugly.

    The aptera is so quirky that the wheels aren't even near the top of the list of concerns lol. Though, the way the car is set up (wheels away from the body), I think it would have looked more odd if they WEREN'T covered.

    The look they've got going on is pretty natural IMO, ala small planes:

    [​IMG]

    or: http://www.flyingsummers.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/IMG_2876.JPG
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Agree on the 'pass' for Aptera. It is pushing the envelope in a good way and isn't trying to look conventional at all.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    aptera1.jpg

    Those are cheap heavy steel rims hidden under the cowlings. I wonder if they have plans to upgrade those?
     
  17. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Why bother if they're not visible?
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Reduced weight.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    How about translucent wheel skirts?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Maybe. I would have to see them in person. Also, I would think that over time with road dirt and all that they would lose their translucentcy (is that a word ?)
     

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