The Detroit auto show, is the place to be if you want to see the latest and greatest from the OEM auto manufactures. I was lucky enough to be requested by a my friend Kelly (www.TexasTypeAMom.com) to attend the Detroit auto show, the 2015 North American International Auto Show. While I was there, I was with the Ford Digital Summit group and researched the Ford line up for her website. Honestly though, I was impressed with Ford. Their engineering and aerodynamic improvements were better than most of the other brands. I am always looking for new ideas, techniques and technology to adapt into the car builds. I prefer to learn and emulate rather than judge them based on its brand. While I can not show you everything at the Detroit auto show, I will show you some of the highlights from a hot rodding perspective.
Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the the three-day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own. – Matt
First off, check out the press releases from Ford.
The new Ford performance vehicles are driving innovation to pretty much all their models. Ford is using an aerodynamic design feature from these flagships. They have created an air barrier (“Air Curtain”) at the front wheel openings to reduce drag. They are channeling the smooth air from the front of the vehicle into an opening, duct it through the front fender, and create an exit port at the outboard edge of the inner fender. The ducted air exiting the inner fender over the wheel and tire promotes smooth air flow over the side of the wheel and tire that would normally be turbulent air. Basically, the ducted air promotes laminar airflow down the side of the body. The logic behind this is to minimize drag and get better fuel economy.
This next photo is my interpretation of how this works
The next shot is of the exit port in the inner fender
Everything from the Mustang to the F-150 had these air curtains
Ford really took their time hiding these inlet and exit ducts. I think this is one of the reasons I like this innovation – it’s subtle and effective.
After seeing this new tech, I wanted to take this design and modify it to serve a dual purpose. My thought was that one could duct the air around the wheel as seen here and also duct the air to the brakes for cooling with a “Y” in the duct.
I did not see any other OEM manufacturer making use of the air curtain technology. In fact, GM and Dodge were using a different design. Aerodynamic splitters with fender extensions at the edges. The extensions at the edges are nearly perpendicular to the air stream. These produce more down force on the nose at high speeds.
The big press release from Cadillac was the announcement of the CTS-V with its 640Hp and 630Tq. Check out part of their press release I was fortunate enough to get in on.
The highest trim package on the C7 Z06 vette (the Z07 aerodynamic package) also uses fender extensions with winglets, carbon fiber splitter, hood heat extractor, and an adjustable wickerbill spoiler. These extensions on the edges of the splitter were the most extreme on the production vehicles I saw. All of these aerodynamic add-ons are for downforce.
The Dodge brothers were attacking aerodynamics pretty much the same way.
I was impressed with some aftermarket additions to this Challenger. Again, great ideas to adapt to older cars, check out these next few photos of this green Challenger.
I typically like 2 door cars over 4 door cars, but Cadillac, Dodge, and Chrysler all had some pretty cool 4 door high performance vehicles. This Chrysler 300 also had some nice attributes.
I think the Chrysler 300 Seats would work very well in a G-body with the angles and pleating in the seats
Very cool cars at the Detroit auto show from the big three. The foreign market had a few pretty good looking cars too, but people were always in the way when I wanted to take photos. The last video here is with some of the other cars, but just without a clear shot. Enjoy!
So whats next? Back to work on the HotRodRegal and the LSX El Camino with the final exhaust installs, electric cut-outs, Ididit steering columns, and a how to True Trac video! Keep checking back for the latest tech installs from our garages.