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CFD development of the Jaguar XE

Due to be launched in 2015, the aerodynamic package for the Jaguar XE was designed in CFD using software supplied by Exa. Its sleek profile has the lowest drag coefficient of any Jaguar yet


For a car that is claimed to be Jaguar’s most aerodynamic yet, it might come as a surprise to hear that the XE's aero development was completed almost entirely in CFD. It was recently revealed in its final form at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and is the result of over 1,200 CFD runs and approximately 8,000 hours of virtual test time.

Software was supplied by simulation specialist Exa; the two companies collaborated together to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.26. This is thanks to innovations on the body of the XE such as the front bumper ducts, which channel laminar airflow over the surface of the front wheels to reduce drag. This is combined with lightweight under-floor panels running back to the rear silencer, creating an almost perfectly smooth surface, also greatly reducing drag.

The visualization above of the wake areas around the Jaguar XE was created using Exa PowerFLOW and shows key losses in the energy of the flow field leading to air resistance. On this vehicle the surfaces are contoured to deflect the flow around the tires and to create the minimal footprint in the trailing wake. The small and well-controlled wake regions behind the tires, mirror and vehicle base show the efficiency of the shape.

Meanwhile, the Exa PowerFLOW simulation of the Jaguar XE below, shows virtual particles tracking the flow from the vehicle A-pillar over the side of the roof, down the rear glass and onto the rear edge of the vehicle. These flow features are carefully tuned to optimize the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle, creating smooth paths for the flow to follow that minimize the air resistance.

One particular area that required several iterations concerned a cooling problem with the brakes. On the S model it was solved with a brake cooling duct from the front bumper.

To verify the development done in CFD, Jaguar created one validation model made of hard foam, which was used in the wind tunnel for fine tuning.


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