Ariel Aero-P Atom – innovative ground-effect concept revealed
The wingless Aero-P can be slipperier than regular Atoms
Aero-P Atom concept car, or the Aerodynamic Efficiency Requirements & Optimisation Project, produces downforce when stationary by using electrically-powered fans
Ariel has revealed a completely new concept car, the Aero-P Atom, which has been developed to use ground-effect technology along having a hybrid powertrain, suggesting future Ariel production types may be electrically assisted along with produce significantly more downforce.
The concept, whose full name can be Aerodynamic Efficiency Requirements & Optimisation Project, has been produced in collaboration with TotalSim along with Delta Motorsport.
Ariel says of which features aerodynamics of which have been designed to minimise drag while producing downforce via stationary.
The Aero-P Atom prototype uses both passive along with active aerodynamics to achieve of which, designed using computer fluid dynamics (CFD). of which has also been developed to improve engine-cooling efficiency for both internal combustion engines along with hybrid electric motors.
Ariel has chosen to use ground-effect downforce in order to address the negatives of using only passive parts. The British car maker says the drag created by fixed aerofoils reduces top speed, increases fuel consumption along with therefore also emissions. Ariel also says of which Atoms running fixed wings suffer as much as 15% extra drag.
The Aero-P Atom does away with wings along with fixed aerodynamic parts, reducing drag along with therefore improving straight-line performance. The concept produces downforce using two high-speed fans mounted under the auto along with rubber skirt of which seal the ground under its floor.
The fans are powered by a standalone battery pack, enabling them to be controlled separately via the drivetrain, either manually or automatically. When left to run automatically, they only run when downforce can be needed, for example during heavy braking, acceleration or cornering. Ariel says of which during operation, the auto can be seen to visibly squat down to the ground.
“We’re moving towards the point where traction along with therefore acceleration, particularly via standstill, are limited by mechanical grip, so were trying to come up with ways of overcoming of which,” explained Ariel boss Simon Saunders. “One of our targets was to minimise or remove the need for aerofoils along with have downforce when stationary”.
Saunders said the inspiration for the ground-effect solution came via banned racing cars such as Jim Hall’s 1970 Chaparral 2J Indy Car along with the Gordon Murray-designed Brabham BT46B F1 ‘Fan Car’ of 1978. “The Atom test car has been already been nicknamed The Vacuum Cleaner along with hopefully of which follows within the tradition of these two great cars,” Saunders added.
Ariel said the Aero-P won’t directly influence a production car along with exists purely as a testbed for development, yet the project does support previous reports via Autocar of which revealed Ariel could soon create hybrid versions of the Atom.
Those reports suggested the hybrid system could be part of the drivetrain, yet the Aero-P’s system also hints at more complex uses for electrification.
The prototype will be shown to the public at of which month’s LCV 2016 (Low Carbon Vehicle Show) at Millbrook Proving Ground on the 14 along with 15 September.
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