Happy New Year!
Turns out carefully designed edges are more aerodynamic than overly-rounded edges and corners. Maybe we were going in the right direction all ready in the late 80s and early 90s? Ha.
Wayne Koester was pleasantly surprised. Koester, who was a Ford aerodynamicist at the time, had been assigned to turn the popular boxy Fairlane design study that was introduced at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, inspired by the woody station wagons of the 1940s, into the production Flex crossover. But he had to produce a shape slippery enough to provide acceptable fuel mileage, and he feared the boxy show car would have to be radically revised.
To his surprise, in hundreds of wind-tunnel tests the original edges produced less drag than curved ones. In the bumper, headlights and hood, in fact, aerodynamics were improved by carefully designed edges.
Usually, aerodynamic shapes are rounded forms that slip through the air. But the wind tunnel is proving that counterintuitive, edgy shapes can reduce the drag coefficient and save fuel or battery power.
Reminds me of this clip from Crazy People..