Ask ARSE: Is Tesla's Cybertruck Aerodynamic?

We've been all hands on deck recently, but it's good to be back into the swing of things and able to once again: Ask ARSE.

"Hey ARSE, you guys seem to be in the know with the new Cybertruck from Musk. Just wondering about the design and how aerodynamic it is or is it just for show? Cheers, Walt."

 

Thanks for the question, William.

The Cybertruck has definitely caused quite the stir of late and we'd be delighted to look past the specs and into the actual design of the vehicle body itself.

If you've been living under a space rock and aren't sure what we're talking about, Elon Musk the serial entrepreneur has, at last, dropped the design for his electric truck through his automobile company Tesla. 

The Cybertruck specs.

The truck sports the ability to hit 100km/h in less than '2.9 seconds' in the most powerful offering of the car, which houses three electric motors. 

The truck is also massive.

It dwarfed the onlookers at the launch and is considerably taller than the Ford Raptor, its closest competitor model. 

The size of the truck allows ample storage that can even fit Tesla's new Cyberbike. 

However, the design is more 'rigid' than folks are used to, with car enthusiasts going so far as to say its ugly. 

But aesthetics aside, is the Cybertruck aerodynamic or a powerful brick?

Fortunately, an aerospace engineer ran the design of the truck through a fluid dynamics software program to see.

Is the Tesla Cybertruck aerodynamic?

Justin Martin built a truck digitally from the specifications and created an avatar as close as can be.

The wheels and farings have been omitted with calculations making up for the missing data as there is simply too much to measure and account for without having a truck in an actual wind tunnel.

The wheels of the Cybertruck are unique to say the least.

The images are a conservative result of the test and all things considered they are quite promising.

As you could probably guess, red is bad and blue is best.

To be expected, the pinch points were the very hard lines and block portions at the very front and over the top.

A digital image of the Cybertruck testing its aerodynamics

The most important part of aerodynamics is maintaining a smooth airflow along the body of the vehicle and although the truck is blunt, it does create a smooth airflow along its body. 

If airflow breaks away from the vehicle into the surrounding air it forces turbulence and therefore drag.

The truck hits the air with the blunt front and then airflow smoothly envelops the rest of the body to the rear. 

The cybertruck windshield creates a small amount of drag but overall the vehicle remains aerodynamic.

The other pinch point is the top of the ramp shaped windshield. 

The large tray at the back, which Tesla calls the 'vault', slopes gradually downward and helps the air reattach to the truck to a degree.

Most pickup truck of the same type immediately drop off and create massive turbulence and drag. In saying that, the same effect is found at the tail of the vault where air bustles and swirls behind. 

Is the Tesla Cybertruck aerodynamic?

We have to say, yes it really is. 

Could it be more aerodynamic?

Of course, but the history of aerodynamics in vehicles has become far more about aesthetics than performance. 

The Tesla Cybertruck is about as aerodynamic a truck as you could find and the design is not limited to how it looks. 

Thanks again William and we look forward to any more questions you have in store. 

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