AD #1724 – Simulator Optimizes Aero, Cybersecurity Solutions, Lightweight Composite Suspension

October 16th, 2015 at 12:25pm

Runtime: 8:20

- New Simulator Optimizes Aerodynamics
- HondaVAC Doesn’t Suck
- Acura Highlights Top Safety Ratings
- How Do You Make Sedans Competitive Again?
- Lightweight Thermoplastic Suspension
- Protecting Cars from Hackers

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44 Comments to “AD #1724 – Simulator Optimizes Aero, Cybersecurity Solutions, Lightweight Composite Suspension”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    That new simulator is exciting.Wow,what the oems will learn from that will be a game changer,imho.

  2. Lisk Says:

    In F1 and the aerospace industry, haven’t they been using Computational Fluid Dynamics for years? I know F1 limits the amount of time teams can spend using the system.

  3. Lex Says:

    I just heard that The Viper will be discontinued by 2017. Can Autoline confirm this? If yes, what will replace it to compete against the Corvette?
    Maybe a Ferrari based sports car?

  4. Jon M Says:

    It is indeed a tough question as to how to make sedans more competitive. But if people don’t trade sedans for so-called CUVs because of a lack of sportiness, then a sportier sedan is not likely the answer. Cost may be the biggest factor to keep sedan sales chugging along. Most sedans can’t compete with the practicality that so-called CUVs offer; nevertheless, there are sedans that would suffice the average buyer. Therefore, I would say it might come down to “bang for the buck.” And even that is becoming hard to compete against.

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I think some of the sedans should be turned into station wagons for the family instead of more expensive suv’s/cuv’s.I think it’s about the versatility rather then the ‘sporty’ thing.Although the wagons can be made very sporty to suit one’s needs.

  6. Rob Says:

    Keeping sedans competitive; I’m not sure there is much that can be done. People like to follow trends. Remember when everyone wanted the Muscle car, then the stationwagon, then the minivan then it was the big SUV and now the CUV. The sedan has been around that whole time. They are wanted and have their market but will never be the next new thing because its not new even when its a completely new model. Its still just a 4 door car.

  7. Brett Says:

    Migrate the sedan to a 4-door hatch with higher hip point.

  8. MJB Says:

    Interesting that this wind tunnel simulator software was used on the Chrysler 200.

    I just come back from lunch and noticed (for the first time) three tiny fins on the upper surface of a Chrysler 200′s tail lights as I sat behind it at a red light.

    This software explains how it was they were able to realize that these tiny nuances in surface geometry could have a positive aerodynamic impact – without spending loads of time testing in a tunnel.

    Check them out:×1200/118.html?

  9. Rob Says:

    @5 You would think a sporty wagon would sell but like FCA proved with the Hemi Magnum and Cadillac with the nil sales of the CTSV wagon the interest just isnt there. I’m not sure even if the price would have been in the normal affordable range it would have mattered.

  10. HtG Says:


    I’ve noticed that the Subarus keep getting taller, raising the seat heights along the way. Sedans need to get higher so actual people can get in and out easily, and so they can see over the beltlines of the crossovers in the parking lot. It’s just russian roulette pulling out of a spot these days when half the cars are crossovers or bigger.

    btw AutlineDaily, why are we being asked our opinions on this or that topic? Usually focus groups get juice and cookies.

  11. MJB Says:

    My take on the ‘updating of the sedan’ is just leave it alone. It is what it is.

    Not to mention, it’s not like the sedan would literally change anyway. regardless of what is done (to it) the new amalgamation of components/functions/uses that results from all the tinkering around will not alter the sedan. It will merely create yet another brand new vehicle classification to keep track of.

    Long gone are the days of having just a handful of vehicle classes. I’d certainly like to see a comparison from 40 years ago to right now. There have got to be more than 20 out there by now.

  12. Brett Says:

    I smacked my head getting into a new Camry the other month. That tells me something about contemporary sedan design norms.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When fuel prices start going up, maybe people will notice that sedans get 20-30% better real world highway fuel economy than CUV’s with the same power train. CR’s steady speed 65 mph highway test shows this with Accord vs CR-V, and Camry vs RAV4. The manufactures could point this out.

    I’d like the EPA to change their highway test to better replicate real highway driving, like on the interstate at 75 mph. With a test like that, the sedan would probably get more than 30% better mpg. A wagon based on the sedan, with the same height and tire size would get the same mpg as the sedan, or very close.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Yeah, two of my favorite cars that didn’t sell were the Magnum and CTS wagons. Americans just like trucks, and trucky wagons.

  15. MJB Says:

    9. 14.

    Ditto. Especially that gorgeous CTS wagon. I’ve always said (to myself) if I ever HAD to get a wagon, it’d be that CTS-V.

    A nice outfitted Volvo 850 would be a close 2nd choice.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Maybe not as much 40 years ago, but there were a lot MORE vehicle classes 50 years ago. There were 2 and 4 door sedans, 2 and 4 door wagons, 2 and 4 door hardtops, 2 and 4 door convertibles, pickup trucks, passenger SUV’s (Suburban), Jeeps, and others I’m not thinking of. Not only that, there were millions of build possibilities for most of the vehicles.

    While today’s vehicles are much better, the actual choice is pretty boring, with only 4 door sedans, 4 door tall wagons, pickup trucks, and only a handful of anything else.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 A college friend recently bought a used CTS non-V wagon. He has always liked wagons, his first car being a ’58 Plymouth wagon. He has a Magnum SRT which he is keeping, and the CTS is now his primary car.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    HtG , I think you nailed it. Many people now are buying bigger/taller vehicles so they can see over Trucks and SUVs. As a owner of a low coupe, It is impossible to see over or around these mobile billboards in a parking lot. Backing out becomes Russian Roulette when you have the Speed racers roaring through the lanes.
    Station Wagons, I’d like to have another wagon , loved the Taurus I inherited . Wish Ford would bring over the Mondeo Estate as Fusion wagon. I’m hoping Kia green lights the concept they showed a few months back.

  19. MJB Says:


    I suppose, Kit. Maybe, then, we’re about to catch back up to where we used to be. All I know is every time you turn around there seems to be a new body type being introduced. I think one of the most recent was the four-door coupe (think BMW)

  20. MJB Says:


    Gotta start backing IN to those parking spaces ;)

  21. HtG Says:

    20 It doesn’t help. I’ve even had trouble getting out of a lot and into traffic because every time I try to inch forward to see traffic coming from the left, the CUV/SUV on my left will do the same thing for some reason. Grrrr.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The only reason I bought that 2012 equinox I had was because I didn’t want a subaru,or a vw wagon.I retrospect I should have gone for the subie,but that was what it was at that time.Mini vans,which are no longer ‘mini’ was too big for my needs as well.Until I seen the promotion of the Ram promaster city,I didn’t really know what I was going to get to replace my nox.It took me 8 months to get the city,and it was well worth the wait.Small on the outside,big on the inside,comfortable to drive,and for being rated at 21 city mpg’s,I’m getting consistant 24 plus city,so no complaints from me.That is my new station wagon now,lol.

  23. rick Says:

    how to make sedans competitive again? could a crossover achieve same fuel economy as a sedan? i think not, best fuel economy of midsize non hybrid gas powered sedan, no more diesel cheats please! 40mpg hwy, you know 45mpg hwy non hybrid midsize is coming, go ahead pull them forward. new 2017 mazda6, altima, sonata, optima are already at 40mpg hwy. in europe vw gas powered 1.4L passat gets 40mpg or better hwy. stop bs ing around and bring it already.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 G.A., your van is only a foot longer than my ’89 Caravan, and about the same width.

  25. Albemarle Says:

    I don’t see a problem having customers move from sedans to a more expensive cuv. Didn’t you just make more money?

    It’s an interesting bar discussion to conjecture why, but as long as you still have the customer, they are happy, and they have spent even more money with you, I think this is a problem all businesses would like to have.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Selling more CUV’s is probably good for car companies, for now, but they have mpg standards to meet in the future. Today’s CUV’s do well on gas compared to older tall wagons, but they are still gas hogs compared to cars.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Never mind most of what I just said. CUV’s are “trucks” , so even with their worse mpg, they are probably about break even, or an advantage for CAFE. As it stands now, car buyers will have to care more about mpg for efficiency to bring them back to cars.

  28. HtG Says:

    CUVs also have a styling advantage over cars due to pedestrian safety standards that force high engine hoods onto sedans. The things look awful, while the CUVs look proportional. Maybe it’s only me who hasn’t adjusted.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think many CUV’s are well proportioned but, since I mostly drive cars, it still annoys me that these things have taken over America, blocking my view most of the time. When I started driving, probably 90% of the vehicles on the road were cars. Now, it’s 50%, at most.

  30. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 24 Kit: That’s pretty cool.How much bigger is these newer mini vans compared to what you have? I know they are a lot bigger then what I have now.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Checked out the Promaster van, really nice vehicle, I have yet to see one on the road around these parts, but I would most certainly prefer it over a more expensive and less capable mini van.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 Both of our vans are about 6 inches narrower than today’s “minivans.”

    Do you like your transmission OK? I think the main criticism has to do with its being “different,” with two non-friction dog clutches requiring serious rev matching on some shifts.

  33. Enn Norak Says:

    I’m on the same page as HtG, comment #10, regarding seat height being a competitiveness factor in sedans; however, seat height must not be achieved at the expense of headroom. RR is rumored to be developing a “tall sedan” in response to Bentley’s Bentayga.

    Seat comfort is the number one priority for me so my ideal sedan would have a tall body with ride height somewhere between a contemporary sedan and SUV, and seat height should be electrically adjustable even on the base model. The competitive sedan should have thick cushy seats yet a roof high enough to allow occupant entry without banging one’s head on the roof in the process.

    A taller sedan would increase the front cross section of the vehicle and hence wind resistance; however this could be compensated by eliminating the center console and reducing the body width without affecting seat width.

    I drive an SUV with above average seat comfort but would prefer a sedan for the security of a trunk to hide luggage during road travel.

    On the subject of light thermoplastic suspensions, ride would surely improve due to a more favorable sprung to unsprung weight ratio; however, I worry about material fatigue leading to catastrophic failure. It’s not good enough to design a critical component to last the life of the car. I require a safety factor of at least 2 or 3 or some sort of fail-safe innovation.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 The car I drove while in high school, a 1950 Plymouth, would meet your criteria in several ways. It was 65-66 inches tall, about the same as today’s mid-size SUV’s, with high seating but lots of head room. It had no console. There was no seat height adjustment, though.

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: The FCA built ZF 9 speed is smooth as silk in town driving.The 3:73 diff gears are perfect for the 2.4L to get me up to hwy speed when merging.The only real complaint I have is with the tires that come on the promaster city.They are rated XL’s,for the load capacity of the cargo vans,so they are stiff as a board.I will replace them with Cooper CS5′s early on next spring.

    @ Pedro: The Ram Promaster City Wagon suffers from what has to be the worst launch of any new vehicle.It took me almost 8 damn months to get mine.A recent search showed zero pmc’s in a 200 mile radius.WTF? And it beats the hell out of the ford transit connect…easily.The nissan/chevy nv 200/city express is a bad joke on anyone who buys it,imho.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA: Yeah, I barely can find any at any local dealer, what is the problem with FCA, they did the same thing with the Dart, only had manuals available at the onset, driving off any prospective buyers. The few that I did see, are the cargo version of the van, I guess they don’t want to take sales away from the Town and Country or RamVan

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There is a maroon PMC Wagon, and a white PMC cargo at the dealer in Kokomo, Indiana.

  38. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I call it my weirdmobile.It ain’t big,it ain’t small,it’s a strange looking van,and I just love it.When I’m out and about doing stuff and picking up a few things,people in the parking lot just kinda stare at it wondering what th’ hell it is,but they never ask me anything about it.

    On the other hand,when my wife takes it somewhere people are always asking her what it is,where did we get it and so on.So I said to her the other day,I wonder why nobody ask’s me anything about it,they just stare.She said with my long gray hair,long gray beard,and tattos,I just look scary.Thanks hon……I think ;}>

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My sister and partner are considering a PMC Wagon. They have a Forester and a first gen Jeep Liberty, and are considering replacing the Jeep with something having more space than either. The Transit Connect might also be an option. Any of today’s so-called minivans are too big for their garage.

  40. Rob Says:

    Lots of comments here about CAFE requirements and what people really want to drive. Makes a good point that the government will continue to make regulations that prevent people from being able to drive what they really want. I guess they could continue to impose a gas guzzeler tax but you force the automakers to make cars no one wants..

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems to me that people really want to drive tall wagons, and I don’t see the government preventing that. The car companies seem to be greatly limiting the choice of what I like, for a primary car, non-tall wagons and hatchbacks.

  42. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: With the transit connect you have a very large rear lift gate/hatch.With the pmc you have split rear doors.That was a big plus for my use.

  43. Rob Says:

    Kit the government does regulate the automakers from building what people want by overall CAFE requirements. If they already have a fleet of vehicles that only get 28mpg they are forced to build some 35+ mpg cars even if their is no market for them in order to achieve the mandates. So maybe everyone wants big SUV and V8 engines and tall wagons but they cant just make those vehicles without building the econo boxes that often get sold at cost.

  44. Al Says:

    I’ve always driven sedans, and the best designs had two things that I can’t find in todays sedans.
    1. The rear window should be vertical for several reasons. The rear pillar is smaller and you get a better view. Snow doesn’t accumulate on the rear window. The hot sun does not enter via the rear window and you can make a trunk lid that allows full easy access to the trunk. Finally the rear doors can have a square shape that allows better access, headroom and outward vision. The very long sloping rear windows of nearly all sedans today drives me nuts. And by the way, I had one sedan in 1993 with a vertical window and still achieved 29mpg with a V6, so there was no wind drag. The cars I had with the vertical rear windows also had deep trunks, and I can say for a fact todays trunks will not allow anything of height in there. And no – I do not want stuff in the back seat incase I have a front end accident in which everything shifts forward.