One of the most surprising things I ever learned about Formula 1 cars is that they have a really high coefficient of drag. It’s higher than most cars can get away with, and it’s way higher than an EV like the Rimac C_Two could ever hope to get away with.
Formula 1 cars are very aerodynamic, but the requirements for downforce mean that they don’t slip through the air very well. Makes sense when you think about it. But Rimac needs to design a car that can effortlessly slide through the air to improve its range while also producing enough downforce for it not to fly off a racetrack.
The solution, as is so often the case with modern cars, is active aerodynamics. Like most automakers, the testing starts in the computer, but Rimac is lucky enough to be able to send its car to a wind tunnel to validate its testing.
Specifically, the C_Two has a handful of key active aero elements. The active front splitter, the intelligent underbody air flaps, the adaptable air brake wing, all play an important role in ensuring that the C_Two can perform optimally whether it’s cruising on the highway or attacking a track.
The result of Rimac’s testing is 34% increased aerodynamic efficiency, according to the company. Testing in the tunnel meant that not only could Rimac determine how good the C_Two was at slicing through the air, but it could also make sure that the aero elements don’t stall under braking when the nose of the vehicle is pushed down.
And the advantages go beyond just downforce, too. The time spent in the tunnel means that Rimac can ensure that its cooling systems are getting air, something that will be important when the C_Two is under heavy load.
It will all play a role in ensuring that the Rimac C_Two is whole car, not just some sideshow.