Turns Out Air Does Flow Nicely Around the Cybertruck, CFD Simulation Shows

Billions of words were both spoken and written over the past few days about the Tesla Cybertruck, the most controversial car design in recent memory. The pickup has been called ugly, stunning, revolutionary, a huge step back in car design, and everything in between. But the reality remains that the Cybertruck is here and we have to deal with it.
Tesla Cybertruck in CFD 6 photos
Photo: Justin Martin/Electrek
Tesla Cybertruck in CFDTesla Cybertruck in CFDTesla Cybertruck in CFDTesla Cybertruck in CFDTesla Cybertruck in CFD
Subjective opinions about the car’s looks aside, the unveiling of the pickup raised a lot of eyebrows, as many started asking how such a boxy-shaped electric car could attain the advertised ranges, given the fact it constantly has to fight air and the vortexes its strange shape surely causes.

On its part, Tesla said nothing about the car’s aerodynamics, it announced no drag coefficient. Sure, the car looks like a metal toolbox, but keep in mind it has been drawn by an experienced team, and that most likely means it will deliver on its makers’ promises.

Given Tesla’s silence on the subject, an aerospace engineer by the name of Justin Martin took it upon himself to find out exactly how air behaves when it encounters the stainless steel monster. So he ran a simulation, and sent the results to Electrek.

Keep in mind that Martin did not have access to actual car renderings and files, and his simulation is based only on the study of Cybertruck official photos, transposed into a computational fluid dynamics computer software. That means the results are neither official, nor entirely reliable.

Yet, data seems to show all the concerns raised about Cybertruck’s capabilities were unfounded. It seems the airflow sticks to the car, even after hitting the pointy edge of the car’s roof, and flows around it without major issues.

What’s more important, no serious vortexes are created (except, perhaps, at the very rear), nor does the air hit the car as a stone wall.

Martin did not say anything about a drag coefficient value, as there are to many unknowns in the simulation he ran.
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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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