Cybertruck Drag Coefficient Could Be Modified to be Near That of a Hatchback

Tesla Cybertruck CFD 1 photo
Photo: Justin Martin/Electrek
Enough time has passed since Elon Musk unveiled the Cybertruck so that now we can judge the machine without being under the shock of what we’ve seen. And the bottom line is that, like it or not, the Cybertruck is coming, and it will do so probably in the shape presented to us in late November.
So now the only question remains: how will the insanely-powerful, weirdly-shaped pickup perform on the road?

One of the biggest questions asked in the industry was – and still is – just how would air flow around this boxy thing? Tesla did not reveal anything official about the car’s aerodynamic capabilities, so we can only guess.

Those with some skill in using computational fluid dynamics have already set out to try and show how air flows around the edges of the truck. One guy in particular, with no access to official data and using just Cybertruck official photos, came up with a model we presented last week.

The model, although obviously not entirely reliable, shows that airflow doesn’t seem to be causing the problems we were expecting, as it both sticks to the car and fluidly flows around it, even after hitting the pointy edges of the body.

This simulation caught the eye of Elon Musk himself, who said in a Twitter post that given enough effort, the Cybertruck could reach a drag coefficient of 0.30. That’s better than the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, and somewhere in between the 2007 Mazda3 and the 2004 Ford Focus.

“With extreme effort, Cybertruck might hit a 0.30 drag coefficient, which would be insane for a truck. Requires tweaking many small details,” Musk said.

Regardless of where the final number lands, given the available simulation and the numbers announced by Musk, it’s safe to say the Cybertruck is not the advancing cube of metal we all considered it to be.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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