Golf Ball Aerodynamics makes cars go further just like, well… golf balls

October 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

Could Golf Ball-like dimples increase car mileage? Apparently YES.

Could Golf Ball-like dimples increase car mileage? Apparently YES.

It is well-known that “Dimpled balls fly farther than non-dimpled balls” (wikipedia). Also there’s been some time since I first heard about the hypothesis that similar dimples in aircraft fuselage or cars bodies would make them more energy-efficient. But that was all about this theory. I didn’t see any development that would make it to the mass produced products.

Apparently The Mythbusters, the popular Discovery Channel show, did some work on this one. And the result was one that would make all green hypermilers one step closer to their Nirvana. The precisely controlled mileage test shown an increase from 26 to 29 mpg, a 3 mph improvement for a Ford Taurus covered with 1000 dimples. This is a nice increase in mileage and even though aesthetics is a bit affected and most design-savvy people would disregard this as a feature, automotive makers could consider it if they find a way to make the dimples smaller and more interesting looking. They have the resources and have R&D departments and could could also engage with universities to get this done.

Mythbusters Ford Taurus covered in golfball-like dimples

Mythbusters’ Ford Taurus covered in golf ball-like dimples

I would also suggest car makers to consider sharkskin micrometer-fine patterns for the fuselage and plastics inside the car (which by the way should be the bioplastic sort).

You can watch this video on autobloggreen website:
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§ 2 Responses to Golf Ball Aerodynamics makes cars go further just like, well… golf balls

  • primecipher says:

    This is pretty old but I just saw it and thought it still should be corrected. It wasn’t a 29 mpg improvement – it was a 3 mpg improvement to 29.65 mpg.

    • realthor says:

      Corrected, thank you for your intervention. This is indeed an old article and, even if I struggle to get the time write new content, having incorrect info doesn’t make me happy. So took the time to do it🙂 … I feel better now🙂

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