The present paper exposes the study of the cooling system circulation effect on the external aerodynamic forces. We report here aerodynamic force measurements carried out on a simplified vehicle model in wind tunnel. Tests are performed for different airflow configurations in order to detect the parameters that can affect the aerodynamic torsor and to confirm others previously suspected, especially the air inlets localization, the air outlet distributions and the underhood geometry. The simplified model has flat and flexible air inlets and several types of air outlet, and includes in its body a real cooling system and a simplified engine block that can move in the longitudinal and lateral directions. The results of this research are generic and can be applied to any new car design. Results show configurations in which, with respect to the most commonly adopted underhood geometries, the overall drag coefficient can be decreased by 2%, the aerodynamic cooling drag coefficient by more than 50% and the lift coefficient by 5%. Finally, new designs of aerodynamic drag reduction, based on the combined effects of the different investigated parameters, are proposed.

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