UPDATE: Aptera has released a new video on this topic. We've posted it at the bottom of this article.
Aptera Motors aims to produce and deliver the most aerodynamic passenger vehicle ever. With a targeted drag coefficient of .13 Cd, the Aptera could be 38% more aerodynamic than a Hyundai Ioniq 6. This is big news for efficiency. The startup also says its vehicle can likely attain 10 miles per kWh, a figure that would be simply incredible.
But for Aptera to proceed to the next step, the company recently announced that it would begin working with Italian design firm Pininfarina to validate its aerodynamics. This is the first time the Aptera rolls into a physical wind tunnel, and by doing this, it allows the engineers at both firms to exchange insights on how to further optimize the design.
While many vehicles are designed with efficiency as an afterthought, the engineers at Aptera devised the car aiming for the lowest possible drag coefficient from the start. With a truly unique and somewhat airplane-esque design, the Aptera should be designed to excel in a wind tunnel.
Gallery: Aptera Wind Tunnel
"Aptera's exterior design draws inspiration from the research of Professor Morelli, the same engineer behind the Pininfarina Wind Tunnel. By building on Professor Morelli's ideas, Aptera carries on this philosophy, continuing to push bounds of aerodynamic efficiency," Pininfarina's Head of Wind Tunnel, Alessandro Aquili, said.
While the work with Pininfarina and Aptera has just started, they aim to analyze the results and see if there are any more methods of further reducing the drag coefficient. With these insights, Aptera will go on to build its next batch of prototypes.
Aptera is currently testing its Gamma vehicle at the facility. Though Aptera notes that it will soon test its "Delta" prototypes at the facility later on. Aptera now has around five drivable prototypes, and the Delta version should be even closer to production spec.
"Working with Pininfarina to validate Aptera's shape marks an exciting chapter in our journey towards creating a passenger vehicle with the lowest drag coefficient ever," said Aptera's Co-CEO, Steve Fambro. "Pininfarina's expertise and validation will reinforce the aerodynamic excellence of our vehicle platform, and ultimately support the realization of Aptera."