Tesla Cybertruck with an interesting design made a surprise in the first independent test of simulation of aerodynamic characteristics. It has an unofficial drag coefficient of 0.39.

When Tesla introduced the Cybertruck, the design was polarizing to say the least. Some were completely in love with the design while others hated it with a passion. One thing both sides can agree on is that it’s a pretty new design — it’s so unusual that real-life images of the electric pickup look almost like CGI.

There are many reasons for the new design – the most important of which is probably the fact that Tesla wants to build a truck with a stainless steel exoskeleton, which creates some limitations in terms of design. Tesla also drew inspiration from cyberpunk fiction such as Blade Runner for its pickup design.

But Tesla also thought it could make a more aerodynamic pickup truck with this new design. Pickup truck designs are, for the most part, very similar and typically have a poor drag coefficient of 0.55 to 0.65 Cd.

Now, a new study on the aerodynamic performance of the Tesla Cybertruck shows that the electric pickup truck has a drag coefficient of about 0.39 Cd.

Aleix Lazaro Pratt, a CFD engineer for Digital Systems, used the company’s aerodynamic modeling technology to conduct a study they published on LinkedIn.

The engineer shared the positive aspects of the design from his research:

Contrary to what many people think, the sharp edge of the roof does not create a large gap! It is true that it does not join the flow, but in fact the air goes down the slope quite smoothly. The boundary layer does not grow significantly. This is very distinctive and a great aerodynamic advantage compared to other pickups. Moreover, the diffuser makes a significant impact in the center of the rear of the car! It creates suction and reduces the wave.

However, he also saw plenty of room for improvement:

On the other hand, our results show clear turbulent structures created by the leading edge connecting the bumper and hood, the vertical edge just behind the headlights, the wheel arch “defenders”/surround geometry, the rim styling, and the front and rear A-pillar geometry. The creation of turbulent structures is caused by the sharpness of these edges. These geometric features increase the vehicle’s drag, which ultimately reduces the CYBERTRUCK’s range. Also, due to the sharp trailing edge, the flow is instantly separated and creates a much larger low-energy area (the wake), mostly visible behind the top and side trailing edges.

It’s important to note that Numeric Systems does not have the final geometry of the Cybertruck, and thus should not be fully representative of the final product.

There are factors like the lack of side mirrors, which we don’t know if they will be implemented in the production version of the truck next year.

CEO Elon Musk previously hinted that Tesla might deliver a truck with removable side mirrors.

Musk also said he believed in it Tesla managed to reduce the Cybertruck’s Cd to 0.30 with some improvements that would be amazing for a pickup this size.

Tesla is expected to soon introduce a production version of the Cybertruck, which is finally due to go into production in mid-2023 after numerous delays.

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