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2004.08.21

小さな整流板

駐車場に停めてあったトヨタ・プリウス(新型のほう)をボーっと眺めていて、下回りに変なものが付いているのに気が付いた。

ほかのクルマではあまり見たことの無い位置に、小さな整流板が付いているのだ。

まるで泥除けが前後逆に付けられたような、ホイールハウス前方にある幅20cm×高さ5cmほどのプラスティックの板。4輪全部に装着されている。ほっほう、こんな板でも整流作用があるんだな、気流をタイヤが踏み込んだり、ホイールハウスで巻き込む気流の乱れは、けっこう空気抵抗の要因になると聞いたことがある。F1とかの世界ではそういう機能の小さなウイングが付いてたりしますもんね。

クルマ全体から見れば、ものすごく小さな部品なんだけど、たぶん風洞実験とか流体解析で選定したんだろうなぁ、この形と位置。少しでも燃費向上に役立っているんだろうか。なんか、涙ぐましい努力を感じちゃいました。

たかがプラ板、されど立派な機能部品。
エンジニアリングって、そーいう面白さが隠れている。

ここ造った人、Good job!

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