Gen3 taking shape as Supercars begins aero parity work
Wednesday 2nd June, 2021 - 6:00am
Supercars and UK engineering group D2H Advanced Technologies have begun the process of achieving aerodynamic parity between the Gen3 specification Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
Several parties have been tasked with the development of the next-generation car while a dedicated Gen3 working group headed by category CEO Sean Seamer has steered the direction of the project.
Among those shaping Gen3 is D2H, which has worked closely with Supercars and its Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) programme.
Last year D2H analysed and redesigned the VCAT programme to promote technical parity between its incumbent Ford Mustang and Holden Commodore.
D2H has been presented with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) models of the Chevrolet Camaro and new-look Ford Mustang by homologation teams Triple Eight Race Engineering and Dick Johnson Racing respectively.
The engineering group uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and artificial intelligence (AI) to create accurate, repeatable simulations.
“Clearly it’s ongoing and it’s on target for next year as advised,” Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess told select media, including Speedcafe.com.
“A lot of work is going on in the background with the two homologation teams, the steering group and the engineering group.
“Some things are still being designed. These processes are quite long at the moment.
“The two homologation teams are focusing on the fitment of their body. The outside surface, both manufacturers have presented their final sort of CAD.
“So we’re going with D2H in the UK going through paritising and equalising the two shapes, just so that they’re in the same ballpark when we do hit the circuit.
“But the two homologation teams at the moment are just focusing on the tooling and the moulding to produce the prototype panels.”
Aesthetically, the make-up of Gen3 cars has been changed since artist impressions of the next-generation cars were released late last year, as Burgess explained.
Fundamental to the implementation of the Camaro and Mustang is that the panels between the road-going version and the race-ready version have identical dimensions.
A new-look chassis designed primarily for two-door cars is key in facilitating that.
“I wouldn’t want to compare them to the renderings, the renderings were done very early in the piece,” said Burgess.
“But what I can say is that we purposely built in a month… [to allow] both manufacturers to go further down the road of incorporating as much road car DNA into the styling of the cars.
“For me, they look sensational. We’re not quite ready to put them on view yet. Both the manufacturers need to give us permission to do that, but they will carry far more road car DNA than we’ve ever seen on a Supercar before.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to be disappointed when they see them. It doesn’t have a great big rear wing on it anymore because we’re not trying to create circa 400, 450 kilos of downforce anymore, we’ll be down at 150 kilos or around that area.
“The number isn’t the be all end all. It’s about getting the parity between the two and keeping the right amount of drag on the cars. Obviously we don’t want to be going over 300 km/h down the chute at Bathurst.
“We’ve been doing a lot of simulation with a projected final weight to the car, which is a little bit tricky when you’re this far out, but where we think we’ll end up on weight, where we want to be on engine power and where we want to be on downforce and drag.”
Burgess said the category is still in the midst of developing componentry for Gen3; namely new suspension.
Supercars is close to finalising the specification of Gen3, though there remains scope for change after testing of its prototypes is completed.
As reported today, Supercars is planning to test its Gen3 prototypes in August.
“We’ve got a few other designers that are finishing off some other suspension; uprights and wishbones, suspension layout, roll bar positions, all these things,” said Burgess.
“So in concept, they are finalised in their position in the car, but then you have to turn the CAD into engineering drawings.
“It’s one thing to put the car together as a CAD model, but you can’t manufacture from a CAD model.
“The model is being turned into engineering drawings from which parts will be manufactured.”