The flow created by the shape of a vehicle and by environmental conditions, such as cross-winds, will influence the dynamics of a vehicle. The objective of this paper is to correlate the driver’s subjective judgement of drivability with quantities which are measurable during a vehicle test. For this purpose, a sedan vehicle, fitted with different aerodynamic external devices that create disturbances in the flow field, were assessed on a test track. These configurations intend to result in substandard straight line drivability. The aerodynamic devices investigated are an inverted wing, an inverted wing with an asymmetric flat plate and an asymmetric air curtain attached under the bumper. The devices generate more lift and asymmetric forces resulting in increased vehicle sensitivity to external disturbances. Pairs of configurations with and without bumper side-kicks are also tested. The side-kicks create a defined flow separation which helps to stabilize the flow and increase drivability. Plots of mean and standard deviation and ride diagram of lateral acceleration, yaw velocity, steering angle and steering torque are used to understand vehicle behaviour for the different configurations. Ride diagrams are used to visualize vehicle excitations with transient events separated from the stationary signal. The range of the measured quantities for understanding the drivability is not predicted in advance and it turns out that the error margins of the measurements are smaller than the measurement uncertainty of the Inertia Measurement Unit. Although the outcome lacks the ability to objectively quantify subjective judgements, it provides a useful qualitative assessment of the problem as the trends agree well with the subjective judgement of the driver.
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