Pickup trucks are some of the least aerodynamically efficient vehicles on the road, partly due to their large frontal area, upright design that fights the wind as you drive along but also the open bed in the rear that makes things even worse. Tesla decided to make its pickup very unconventional and it looks like it could have also made the vehicle more aerodynamic than traditional trucks too.
This simulation that popped up on Reddit seems to suggest the air flow around the Cybertruck’s body at speed is surprisingly smooth and there appear to be no major points that create turbulence. Interestingly, the simulation doesn’t seem to have a problem with the shape of the vehicle’s roof, showing air passing over the tip surprisingly smoothly.
There is one point in the C-pillar that seems to cause more turbulence, and the pressure difference inside the wheel wells do have an impact on the airflow (although the latter is unavoidable in any vehicle and the only way to fix it is to cover the wheels and move them more inboard).
The Tesla Cybertruck has a drag coefficient that is estimated to be around 0.39, which is good for a pickup, although it’s not the best. That distinction goes to the Rivian R1T whose drag coefficient of just 0.3 makes it the slipperiest pickup and this contributes to the vehicle’s good efficiency and impressive range.
If you compare the 0.39 Cd of the Cybertruck with what the Tesla Model S posted, there’s no contest. In fact, the Model S with its 0.208 Cd is almost twice as aerodynamic as the truck, since the latter cannot escape its considerably larger frontal area, the main reason for its much poorer Cd number.
D0 also note that the Cybertruck model put through the digital wind tunnel didn’t have mirrors or windscreen wipers and these are known to have a significant negative effect on vehicles’ aero.
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