DETROIT — What do a football and an SUV have in common? Both rely on exceptional aerodynamics to perform to their fullest, and the GMC Terrain and Wilson leather NFL game footballs are perfect examples.
GMC Terrain engineers clocked more than 300 hours in the wind tunnel to refine every surface of the Terrain, from the front grille to the rear spoiler.
“Reducing the aerodynamic drag of an SUV is always a challenge,” said GMC Aerodynamic Engineer Alicia Bidwell. “Our engineering team paid attention to even the smallest details to deliver the size and cargo space our customers want.”
The Terrain’s lifted stance means that more air can flow under the vehicle and pressurize the chassis components, which increases aerodynamic drag. To reduce this drag and optimize aero performance, Terrain aerodynamicists used testing and simulation to craft features that effectively guide air to the back of the vehicle.
This attention to detail and craftsmanship delivered the next chapter of GMC’s design language and assisted in providing more athletic handling and bold performance for Terrain customers.
“The styling that you can see — and the mechanical components that you can’t — work together in perfect aerodynamic harmony,” said Bidwell. “Ultimately, this means up to 3 more miles per gallon for the Terrain driver for an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined for AWD models.”
As a longtime sponsor of ESPN’s Monday Night Red Carpet Kickoff, GMC knows a thing or two about the American pastime. But the connection doesn’t stop there.
Just like airflow is essential for vehicle performance, football aerodynamics are critical for game time performance. While the vehicle and a football are vastly different in size and function, the aerodynamics teams for both analyze air trails using tools such as computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analytics.
“Many look at our NFL football and see it as a simple object,” said Daniel Hare, aerodynamics research engineer, Advanced Innovation, Wilson Sporting Goods. “However, the amount of engineering, particularly in the area of aerodynamics, that has gone into the ball is pretty extraordinary. Every millimeter of the football has been designed to maximize the airflow around it so we can extend its flight, reduce drag and help maintain stability as much as possible.”
Hare points to the classic football shape and how Wilson researchers have enhanced that shape over time to reflect today’s passing-centric game, where aerodynamic properties such as velocity, direction of motion and spin rate are critical.
Beyond shape, Wilson researchers also look at the pebble pattern of the leather on an NFL game football as well as the height of the laces, both of which are aerodynamic levers engineers utilize to optimize laminar airflow (the airflow that is smooth and consistent) while mitigating turbulent airflow, which is highly unsteady and unpredictable.
The stakes are high in Super Bowl LII and the crossover segment, but both GMC and Wilson feel confident they’ll score.
With a strong foundation of manufacturing trucks since 1902 and now selling in a dozen countries across the world, GMC offers purpose-built vehicles designed and engineered to the highest standard. From the all-new compact SUV Terrain to the Sierra HD, our trucks and crossovers deliver GMC’s signature combination of intuitive technologies and premium execution, with the popular Denali sub-brand representing the pinnacle of GMC design, performance and amenities. Details on all GMC models are available at www.gmc.com, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at www.facebook.com/gmc.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II