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Using Smoke Grenades To Understand Acura NSX Aerodynamics


Acura NSX Aerodynamics

The second-generation Acura NSX is beautiful, but all of these striking lines actually serve an aerodynamic purpose, what Acura calls “Total Airflow Management.” The strategy can really be broken down into three main categories. First, there’s cooling for which air will flow through the vehicle, and through all 10 heat exchangers. Second, downforce must be considered to maximize grip, so there’s a flat underbody and rear diffuser for the air that flows underneath the NSX. Finally, you want to minimize drag to keep the car aerodynamically efficient, by manipulating the way the air flows around the vehicle.

To better understand the aerodynamics of the NSX, we’re going to be using flow-visualization paint. What this paint does is show you the real world properties of a vehicle’s aerodynamics. While computational fluid dynamics was heavily utilized in the design of the body shape, this paint will allow for you and I to actually see it all work on car itself. Occasionally you’ll see this paint used in Formula 1 on test days, where teams are looking to determine the effectiveness of their aerodynamics at specific tracks.


Also published on Medium.