Designers at Chrysler Group are now focusing on developing more aerodynamic vehicles that offer better fuel economy. Chrysler’s design chief Ralph Gilles told political and business leaders at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference that aerodynamics are becoming an increasingly important design element for Chrysler as well as for the whole auto industry.
Gilles remarked during the conference that cars like the Audi A7 and the redesigned Toyota Avalon have proven that mid-sized sedans could enjoy an aerodynamic design usually linked with sports cars. Gilles remarked that the wind is starting to sculpt those vehicles.
He also contrasted the cars with the Chrysler 300's boxier design, but said the carmaker has realized it will have to follow the industry trend of creating sleeker cars.
With the trend, Gilles said Chrysler intends to make the 200 and 300 sleeker. Chrysler’s design chief remarked that the company has no choice but develop “some of the most wind-swept vehicles.”
According to Gilles, he and his design team spends around 200 to 300 hours in the wind tunnel analyzing a vehicle's aerodynamics during its design process. He said disclosed that in the past, a design team would spend only around 100 hours in the wind tunnel. Gilles said Chrysler Group is now focusing on employing people with experience in fluid dynamics, since vehicle design makes more use of aerodynamics to boost fuel efficiency.