july 29, 2021 - Skoda

The ŠKODA FABIA: Best-in-class for aerodynamics

› Successful model’s fourth generation boasts best-in-class drag coefficient of cd = 0.28

› Numerous enhanced details contribute to reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions

› Aerodynamics development done mostly using CFD simulators

Mladá Boleslav, 29 July 2021 – The fourth-generation ŠKODA #fabia comes with aerodynamics that are more sophisticated than ever before – and unmatched by any competitor model in its class. Sporting an emotive and dynamic #design, the all-new #fabia achieves a drag coefficient of just cd = 0.28 – considerably undercutting its predecessor (cd = 0.32). This outstanding aerodynamic #efficiency is the result of numerous small-scale enhancements, such as clever cooling shutters with active slats, which help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The aerodynamics development for the #fabia saw ŠKODA invest over 3,000 CFD simulations, with the results then verified and fine-tuned 
during subsequent test drives.

Vít Hubáček, responsible for the aerodynamics development of the ŠKODA #fabia, says, “Even though the all-new #fabia is larger than its predecessor – its frontal area has increased by around three per cent – we have reduced its drag coefficient by almost ten per cent. This alone cuts CO₂ emissions by almost three grams per kilometre in the WLTP test cycle. To achieve this, we performed more than 3,000 aerodynamic tests, around 80 per cent virtually, using CFD simulations running on a supercomputer. An ordinary PC would have taken more than 2,000 years to perform the same job.”

The result of the aerodynamics development for the all-new ŠKODA #fabia is a drag coefficient of cd = 0.28, with the fourth generation considerably undercutting its immediate predecessor (cd = 0.32) while at the same time establishing a new benchmark for the small car segment. The all-new FABIA’s outstanding aerodynamics make a significant contribution to the reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. The aerodynamics development saw collaborations between experts from several departments, such as designers, aeroacoustics specialists as well as engineers responsible for the car’s body, underbody and engines. Moreover, ŠKODA cleverly combined virtual tests using computer simulations with physical test drives, with the latter used predominantly to verify and confirm the results of the simulations. 

Tens of thousands of supercomputer hours
The ŠKODA #auto Aerodynamics department worked largely in virtual space during the development of the all-new #fabia. As optimising vehicle aerodynamics is an extremely demanding task and even a minute change can give rise to numerous consequences in other areas, the engineers used supercomputers in order to test as many variations as possible by way of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations. Over the course of around three and a half years, they performed over 3,000 of these fluid dynamics simulations, which required tens of thousands of hours of computing time. 

The role of aerodynamics in the #automotive industry has grown considerably in importance over recent years, and this trend will continue as emissions regulations become ever more stringent. ŠKODA #auto has taken this to heart and significantly increased its staff capacities and competence in this area. While twenty years ago, just three aerodynamics specialists were responsible for the entirety of the ŠKODA #auto output, there are now three for the #fabia alone.

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