The time averaged wake structure of three characteristic vehicle shapes viz. Estate, Fastback and Notchback was studied on the basis of flow visualization and wake surveys behind smooth quarter scale models in a wind tunnel. The models differed through their upper rear-end shape. Flow in the separation bubble at vehicle base and the subsequent formation of a pair of longitudinal vortices aft of this region is analysed. The kinetic energy of the rotational motion in the wake is evaluated to give a “vortex drag” rating for the vehicle shapes investigated. Effect of body details was assessed by a parallel set of experiments with detail models of same principal dimensions. Force measurements supplemented the investigations.

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