car-engineer english version car-engineer version française

2016 Camaro aerodynamic lift improvements


After 350 hours of wind tunnel testing – often 24 hours a day – the new Camaro will slip more easily through the wind, and drivers of the Camaro SS will experience an improvement in reduced aerodynamic lift.

These changes illustrate the lengths the aerodynamics team went to for improved performance, stability, cooling and lower wind noise intrusion.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Aerodynamics

“The importance of aerodynamics increases exponentially as we increase vehicle performance,” said Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design manager. “As engine output increases, we need more engine cooling. As acceleration and top speeds climb, we need to reduce lift for better high-speed stability. However, we cannot make any changes at the expense of increasing drag, which can hurt fuel economy.”

“To balance these different aerodynamic targets, we tested literally hundreds of changes on the new Camaro, millimeters at a time.”

For example, the initial design called for the lower grille bars to be set at a 20-degree angle to the horizon. However, after meticulous testing, the team improved engine-cooling airflow by 1 percent by shifting the angle to 13 degrees – a change that achieved the airflow target while maintaining the original grille design.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro front grille bars

And rather than a traditional front air dam to reduce aerodynamic lift, the team developed a flush belly pan that stretches from the front grille to the center of the vehicle. Paired with small “spats” forward of the front tires, the underbody helps reduce total lift by 30 percent – while also reducing aerodynamic drag.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro fender

Chevrolet will introduce the all-new, 2016 Camaro on Saturday, May 16, during a special public event at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park.

Source: GM
Romain’s opinion:
It is always difficult to balance the need for down forces with the need to reduce the aerodynamic drag. The only solution found so far to avoid this trade-off is to use active aerodynamic devices. But this is a quite costly technology. Do you think that in the future, the shape of our car will vary with the speed at which we drive?

Leave a Reply