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Investigations of the Rear-End Flow Structures on a Sedan Car

Kounenis, Charalampos; Bonitz, Sabine; Ljungskog, Emil; Sims-Williams, David; Lofdahl, Lennart; Broniewicz, Alexander; Larsson, Lars; Sebben, Simone

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Charalampos Kounenis

Sabine Bonitz

Emil Ljungskog

Lennart Lofdahl

Alexander Broniewicz

Lars Larsson

Simone Sebben


The aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions, of a road vehicle depend strongly on its flow structures and the pressure drag generated. The rear end flow which is an area of complex three-dimensional flow structures, contributes to the wake development and the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle.This paper seeks to provide improved insight into this flow region to better inform future drag reduction strategies. Using experimental and numerical techniques, two vehicle shapes have been studied; a 30% scale model of a Volvo S60 representing a 2003MY vehicle and a full scale 2010MY S60.First the surface topology of the rear end (rear window and trunk deck) of both configurations is analysed, using paint to visualise the skin friction pattern. By means of critical points, the pattern is characterized and changes are identified studying the location and type of the occurring singularities. The flow field away from the surface is then analysed using PIV measurements and CFD for the scale model and CFD simulations for the full scale vehicle. The flow field is investigated regarding its singular points in cross-planes and the correlation between the patterns for the two geometries is analysed.Furthermore, it is discussed how the occurring structures can be described in more generalized terms to be able to compare different vehicle geometries regarding their flow field properties.The results show the extent to which detailed flow structures on similar but distinct vehicles are comparable; as well as providing insight into the complex 3D wake flow.


Kounenis, C., Bonitz, S., Ljungskog, E., Sims-Williams, D., Lofdahl, L., Broniewicz, A., …Sebben, S. (2016). Investigations of the Rear-End Flow Structures on a Sedan Car. .

Conference Name SAE 2016 World Congress and Exhibition
Conference Location Detroit, Michigan
Start Date Apr 12, 2016
End Date Apr 14, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 5, 2016
Publication Date Apr 5, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2017
Pages 2016-01-1606
Series Title SAE Technical Paper Series
Series ISSN 0148-7191


Published Conference Proceeding (6.9 Mb)

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