With drivers these days demanding more and more fuel efficiency out of new vehicles, automakers like Toyota are coming up with innovative ways to reduce waste. Overall vehicle fuel efficiency can be reduced by any number of methods. Smaller engines paired with forced induction and direct injection can reduce the amount of fuel required to achieve similar power. Efficient transmissions can also make better use of lower amounts of horsepower and torque. Low rolling resistance tires can also improve efficiency. One direction that Toyota is experimenting in is aerodynamics.
By reducing the effect of drag on its vehicles, Toyota can further improve fuel efficiency, especially at highways speeds. Aerodynamics are one of the most crucial components of a high MPG vehicle and here are a few of the tricks that Toyota uses the most.
In order to make airflow over the top of the car less turbulent, vehicles like the 2013 Toyota Prius C make use of rear spoilers. These help the air leave the body of the vehicle smoothly and without creating much drag around the back of the car. They look great and improve fuel efficiency by extending the drop-off angle at the back of the vehicle as well.
Many people think that modern cars are low to the ground just for looks. While most cars do look nice when the body extends further to the ground, it can really help with aerodynamics too. On cars like the 2013 Toyota Avalon, a low front chin spoiler keeps a lot of the wind from getting under the car. Low side skirts and an aerodynamic rear bumper also help to redirect air away from the underside of the car. All of the exposed components and machinery on the underside create a lot of drag compared to the smooth top and sides of modern cars.
Certain parts of a car, like outside mirrors, can create a lot of drag by directing air where it is not wanted. In order to combat this effect on vehicles like the 2013 Toyota RAV4, Toyota makes use of Vortex Generators. These small, fin-like body components help air to slide off of the RAV4’s mirrors and away from the body. By reducing turbulence outside the windows, these fins make for less wind-noise at highways speed in addition to reducing drag! They may not look like they do much, but these tiny pieces are the finishing touch to an aerodynamic and efficient profile.
Be sure to stop by Cumberland Toyota in Cookeville, TN to check out our full lineup of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles.