Gas Turbine Cars & Drag

Gas Turbine Cars & Drag


2nd September 2015

Gas Turbine Cars & Drag

can you guess the date and drag co-efficient of the car above...

So Gas Turbine cars are works of the future. Or are they? The 1953 Fiat Turbina caught my eye when looking at Drag Co-efficients
It has a super slippery 0.16. Consider the fact the Honda Insight (and the horrible Prius) have 0.25. The slippery and landmark Audi 100 comes in at 0.3 (although i am sure it said 0.29 on the cars?). A surprise was the Alfa 155 at 0.29.

So the Fiat Turbina was super slippery, it also had a shaft HP equivalent 300hp engine at 22000rpm. I was surprised to read of its low top speed. Perhaps there were other issues. The estimated top speed was just 160mph. I would have thought more was possible given the slippery shape.

If you are thinking of good economy at speed or a high top speed in a race car where power is restricted then the Cd is very important. Of course drag is but one factor as we all know Downforce is the real key to speed around a circuit. Most customers I speak to aren't looking at aero. However I think a few hours with CFD and some simple changes could bring huge gains. I will be looking at a Motorsport degree to work on this area more in future.

Rover were actually the first with a Gas Turbine car. They made JET 1 and also the spectacular BRM Gas Turbine Race Car.

Jet-1 Car

Rover Jet 1

Rover-BRM Gas Turbine Race Car

ROVER BRM RACE CAR - gas turbine