The Slipperiest Car on the Road

Fast, electric, safe — and a total "drag queen." Car and Driver magazine has found that the Model S is one of the "slipperiest" cars on the road (and yes, that's a good thing). In its latest issue, Car and Driver has published a comparison of five cars with low drag areas. Using a wind tunnel to determine each car's drag and lift properties, the magazine declared Model S the winner, beating out the Toyota Prius, the Nissan LEAF, the Chevy Volt, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Pointing out that the Model S "proves that you can look slick and be slick at the same time," the magazine enumerated the car's advantages, including:

  • The air suspension drops ride height at highway speeds 
  • A contoured chin below the grille helps to keep airflow attached as it sweeps under the flat bottom 
  • The front fascia's outboard corners deflect air around the tires 
  • Shutters block three grille openings until internal heat exchangers require airflow 
  • Spoilers and fences guide air away from the front wheelhouses  
  • A rear diffuser straightens flow to minimize lift and drag
  • Meanwhile, the optional carbon-fiber spoiler diminishes lift without penalizing drag

Read the full article in PDF form.

Photo credit A2 Wind Tunnel



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