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    Chevrolet Bolt Design Has A Lot Of Interior Space, But Is A Bit of Mess In Terms Of Aero


    • There's a lot of space in the Chevrolet Bolt, but something had to give.

    When it comes to designing a vehicle, comprises must be made. If you want a vehicle to have a sharp profile, that means giving up a bit of interior space and glass area for example. The upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV is no exception to this.

     

    Automotive News reports that designers tasked with designing the production Bolt gave up some aerodynamic efficiency to improve overall interior space. The Bolt has a drag coefficient of 0.32, while the new Toyota Prius has a drag coefficient of 0.24.

     

    “It’s a disaster for aero,” said Stuart Norris, lead designer on the Bolt.

     

    To compensate for the poor aerodynamics, Norris and his team at GM's South Korea design studio by employing underbody paneling, spoiler, active grille shutters, and even adjusting the size of the A-pillar. Six full-size iterations of various Bolt designs went into the wind tunnel to figure out which tweaks worked.

     

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    Why is this news?  It's still one of the nicest ninnie cars around.  Its brother Volt is its co-nicest.

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    ?  It has 200 miles of range.  That's almost half the cruising range my truck has.  What's not to like?

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    Guest Howie

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    Not great but, eh, the Nissan Leaf also hit 0.32 (according to C&D). The controversial silhouette of the Prius serves a purpose after all.

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    Should have a way better aero number than .32.  The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks.  Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

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    Should have a way better aero number than .32.  The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks.  Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.

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    The new Prius is god awful ugly.  When you see it in person there are so many angles, and weird cut lines.

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    New Prius is HIDEOUS.

    .32 on tall car like Bolt is not bad. Many sedans won't hit that yet. If bolt is a success maybe we'll get a bolt like sedan.

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    New Prius is HIDEOUS.

    .32 on tall car like Bolt is not bad. Many sedans won't hit that yet. If bolt is a success maybe we'll get a bolt like sedan.

    +1!

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    Average car is around .30 today,the best ones are around .23 or .24.  Some crossovers are in the .31 to .34 range.

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    Should have a way better aero number than .32.  The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks.  Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.

    The Prius' drag coefficient is only 0.24 though. Huge difference.

    Tesla Model X is also 0.24!

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    New Prius is HIDEOUS.

    .32 on tall car like Bolt is not bad. Many sedans won't hit that yet. If bolt is a success maybe we'll get a bolt like sedan.

    +1!
    2010 Ford Escape's is 0.29(Hybrid - but it was still quite the box compared to the '13+) The '13+ supposedly is 10% better but I can't find any numbers on it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficient

    2013+ Fusions are 0.275

    Last gen Mazda6 was 0.27

    1992 Camry sedan was 0.32

    VW CC is 0.284

    2011+ Dodge Durango is 0.33

    2014+ Subaru Forester is 0.33

    Every sedan nowadays is reaching and below a 0.32 drag coefficient.

    Edited by ccap41
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    I would have expected better than that. They likely could have squeezed more range out of it with a slipperier shape. 

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    Average car is around .30 today,the best ones are around .23 or .24.  Some crossovers are in the .31 to .34 range.

    Model 3 is 0.21! That's a slippery car!
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    .32 is the same as the 1982 pontiac firebird. Yay for technology and progress!

    The Trans Am was .32, the Firebird, at least the initial '82 with the 'bowling ball' wheels, was .29.

     

    Want to go back farther? The '48 Tucker was pegged at .27 (tho they rounded it off at .30), but the rear engine played a part there, not to mention the longer profile.

     

    - - - - - 

    There's a degree of variability in how Cd figures are determined:

    So in the same tunnel, the Volt is better than the Prius by .02.

    ​I think a lot of OEMs fudge their .cd numbers. How could anyone tell otherwise?

     

    Edited by balthazar
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    Should have a way better aero number than .32.  The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks.  Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.

     

    The Prius' drag coefficient is only 0.24 though. Huge difference.

    Tesla Model X is also 0.24!

     

    Who cares, in daily driving that little tiny bit does not make that big of a difference and the looks of the Bolt are way better than the Prius or Tesla IMHO.

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    shapes that don't have a good ratio for length to height really suffer.  The Bolt is short.  And it's tall proportion is rather tall.  Extra ground clearance don't help.  It's not a teardrop shape, the rear end is blunt......so .32 for being a barn door is still ok.

     

    it ain't this,

     

    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=91849

    Edited by regfootball
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    Should have a way better aero number than .32. The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks. Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.

    The Prius' drag coefficient is only 0.24 though. Huge difference.

    Tesla Model X is also 0.24!

    Who cares, in daily driving that little tiny bit does not make that big of a difference and the looks of the Bolt are way better than the Prius or Tesla IMHO.

    Efficiency is noticed daily. Every time you commute somewhere the vehicle's efficiency matters. Bolt looks terrible compared to the Tesla but better than the Prius, but that doesn't really matter as that isn't really the topic and it's opinion based anyway... If the 200 mile range Bolt could claim 220miles, wouldn't that be better? 0.08 isn't a "tiny" amount. If you keep the Bolt within city limits, it won't batter as your speeds will rarely see north of 40mph. Beyond that is where the benefits multiply for an efficient aero package on a vehicle.

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    Should have a way better aero number than .32. The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks. Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.
    The Prius' drag coefficient is only 0.24 though. Huge difference.Tesla Model X is also 0.24!
    Who cares, in daily driving that little tiny bit does not make that big of a difference and the looks of the Bolt are way better than the Prius or Tesla IMHO.
    Efficiency is noticed daily. Every time you commute somewhere the vehicle's efficiency matters. Bolt looks terrible compared to the Tesla but better than the Prius, but that doesn't really matter as that isn't really the topic and it's opinion based anyway... If the 200 mile range Bolt could claim 220miles, wouldn't that be better? 0.08 isn't a "tiny" amount. If you keep the Bolt within city limits, it won't batter as your speeds will rarely see north of 40mph. Beyond that is where the benefits multiply for an efficient aero package on a vehicle.

    Sorry but this whole argument is overblown. 200 miles is still far more than any other EV is this price range.

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    Take a look at your vehicle's DIC's; wife's Malibu averages around 30-32 MPH.
    Aero isn't playing a part in efficiency except on long highway trips.
    IOW; I doubt 0.08 cd is going to boost range from 200 to 220 for 90% of owners.
     

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    shapes that don't have a good ratio for length to height really suffer.  The Bolt is short.  And it's tall proportion is rather tall.  Extra ground clearance don't help.  It's not a teardrop shape, the rear end is blunt......so .32 for being a barn door is still ok.

     

    it ain't this,

     

    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=91849

    That is a Funky cool car! :D

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    Should have a way better aero number than .32. The Bolt isn't really a great looking car, tall hatchbacks tend not to look that good, so it isn't like they had to sacrifice aero in terms of great looks. Part of keeping EV range up is also cutting down drag.

    Way better looking than the butt ugly i3 car from BMW. that is truly ugly just like the Prius. I take this bolt over the BMW i3 or the prius any day.

     

    The Prius' drag coefficient is only 0.24 though. Huge difference.

    Tesla Model X is also 0.24!

     

    Who cares, in daily driving that little tiny bit does not make that big of a difference and the looks of the Bolt are way better than the Prius or Tesla IMHO.

     

    Efficiency is noticed daily. Every time you commute somewhere the vehicle's efficiency matters. Bolt looks terrible compared to the Tesla but better than the Prius, but that doesn't really matter as that isn't really the topic and it's opinion based anyway... If the 200 mile range Bolt could claim 220miles, wouldn't that be better? 0.08 isn't a "tiny" amount. If you keep the Bolt within city limits, it won't batter as your speeds will rarely see north of 40mph. Beyond that is where the benefits multiply for an efficient aero package on a vehicle.

     

    I understand what you are saying the the point being made. Yet GM is on Record that the battery in the BOLT is fully charged at 9rhs and you get 25 miles of range per hr charged so in essence they are saying the bolt has a 225 mile range and yet they are understandably saying 200+ till the EPA tests are done and certified and then we get the final number. LG also states that their battery packs have a range of 200 to 250 miles. So this makes me wonder just where the BOLT will end up at and at what speed is the final EPA number certified at. Might seem high to some folks and not the egg shape of Tesla or other experimental auto's but for a tall guy like me at 6'6" tall and wife that said it would be her next car so deposit down at Chevy, I am hoping that height of the BOLT equates to interior space that makes it a true 4 person car for tall people like me with a decent range.

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