Enhanced Aero Package

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Enhanced Aero Package

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Enhanced Aero Package

  • Enhanced Aero Package

     Curtis Cibinel updated 1 week, 5 days ago 25 Members · 47 Posts
  • Wes Man

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 9:01 am

    What if Aptera scrapped the “Off-Road” package and instead had the option for an “Enhanced Aero” package? I’m sensing that 95% of people online would prefer more ground clearance. Or maybe make the flat bottom of the wheel pants also out of that wear away foam?

    Market the “Enhanced Aero” package for those who want the pinnacle of efficiency from Aptera.

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Aptera is already pushing aerodynamics to the absolute practical limit for a safe, street legal vehicle. Apart from being physically smaller (ie 1 seater to reduce frontal area) which would require massive redesign I don’t see any way they could improve efficiency.

    • Cameron Berg

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 9:19 pm

      +1 on aerodynamics are already the priority. I want to see Aptera really lean into the off-road option and make it a significant ground clearance difference.

  • John Voules

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 9:57 am

    My belief is that the pinnacle of efficiency is what they will be showing us as the GAMA vehicle. Changing anything would make it less efficient.

  • Vernon Sinnott

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 10:17 am

    The Gamma vehicle’s wheel pants were only 3″ off the ground. Why not make all the wheel pants what is currently referred to as the off road version? Standardizing that uses less material. Makes sense and would eliminate wear and tear on the wheel pants. I don’t want to be replacing the foam every couple hundred miles.

    • Wes Man

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 10:35 am

      Yes, this is what I was getting at, thanks.

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      September 17, 2022 at 7:16 am

      The foam is not supposed to be replaced. It is more valuable scuffed.

      At the show they stated that expected road abrasion could scuff off based on your driving dynamic to wear to the most perfect aerodynamics. Think a foam material like the soles of your shoes. They selected material that would not discolour when scuffed. It is as-designed to wear the zones out and then be satisfied with the best aerodynamics you can have given your surroundings.

      • Steve Wanamaker

        Member
        September 17, 2022 at 11:43 am

        No, the foam doesn’t wear to better aerodynamics. It starts out that way. It wears to your driving environment – your speed bumps. Any wear will cause a slight decrease in efficiency. An engineer at the show said roughly: the perfect height for efficiency is zero inches.

  • Kevin Bradbury

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 10:24 am

    The way I take what @Wes Man is saying is: Aptera should do the inverse of how they are currently marketing the options.

    Current: Hyper efficient model as the base with an option of the less efficient “Off-Road Package”.

    He’s suggesting: Make the less efficient “Off-Road” the base and option the hyper-efficient “Enhanced Aero”.

    • Tim Dean

      Member
      September 14, 2022 at 10:37 am

      With only 3” of clearance between the bottom of the wheel pants and the road, imagine cruising at 70 mph and blowing a tire! The wheel pants would crash into the ground and be destroyed. The wheel pants should be at least 3” higher than the wheel rim.

      • Gabriel Kemeny

        Moderator
        September 14, 2022 at 3:00 pm

        The sidewall of the tires on Aptera are probably less than 3″, so the blowout may damage the wheel pants from the inside (from the tire itself), but the tire carcass and the rim will still keep the wheel pant itself off the ground.

        • Dennis Swaney

          Member
          September 14, 2022 at 5:24 pm

          The tires are 195/45×16 so the side wall is 195 x 0.45 = 87.75mm Dividing by 25.4, gives us a 3.45″ sidewall.

          • Steve Wanamaker

            Member
            September 17, 2022 at 11:47 am

            The wheel pants clearance was measured at the show to be 3.5″ by two different people. I was one of them. The suspension engineer I talked to said that this is a test height. We talked about a corner case where the tire is completely flat and the wheel pant is resting on the ground. It may be extremely difficult to remove it. So the pant can be too low for practical reasons.

    • Joel Smith

      Member
      September 14, 2022 at 11:35 am

      That’s how I read it also. I like it.

      I’d like to think that the extraordinary lack of clearance on the recently displayed Gamma is just an unfortunate accident of the rush to get it ready, and not actually the planned clearance we can expect on the production model. The appeal of Wes’s idea may be tempered by that.

      On the other hand, I live in a rural setting where the benefit of extra ground clearance might easily outweigh extreme efficiency. Seems lots of folks share that concern.

      I certainly see (and often laugh at) the suped up Civics and Subarus that the “kids” have lowered so much that they scrape on every bump and pothole. There is merit to leaving that kind of “efficiency” to the extremists who want to pay extra for it (and live with the consequences).

      • Mark Salyzyn

        Member
        September 17, 2022 at 7:18 am

        At the show it was explained the rear lowering, front rising, as designed. They are trying to optimize the expected launch angle for curbs and ramps.

    • Wes Man

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 10:36 am

      👍

  • Jerry Freter

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 10:41 am

    I wonder how the standard version handles speed bumps and entering driveways. It looks like the wheel pants will scrape entering a driveway or going over a speed bump. Have they tested the car on speed bumps?

    • Mark Salyzyn

      Member
      September 17, 2022 at 7:21 am

      At the show videos, they said they have. The suspension, pants, and expected wear of the foam are all part of the compromises that work for maximum aerodynamics. They have speed bumps around their headquarters/factory!

  • Paul Evans

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Based upon the deluge of negative responses to the Aptera Owners Club measurement video, I believe Aptera will respond by testing the Gamma’s clearance to a variety of speed bumps, potholes, and other common hazards.

    Maybe we should stop collectively shooting our guns in the air and trust them to adjust the clearances.

    They’ve been more open, honest and responsive about their development than any other vehicle manufacturer I’ve seen!

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      September 14, 2022 at 3:27 pm

      The responses is how Aptera guages the community and sets their priorities. Overall I think this is productive conversation.

      Personally I’m fine with 3.5 inches of clearance for driving around town but hope the body has atleast 7 inches. Other areas have far more potholes. If I go offroad it’s good to know removing the wheel pants is easy enough (although 30 seconds seems unlikely in practise)

  • Scott

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 11:26 am

    That’s a great idea, Wes! And it already works within existing designs, parts, and options by just redefining what is considered baseline and what is considered different/option.

    I already ordered the Off Road Kit when I put in my reservation a long time ago, and that was when the baseline bottom was supposed to be somewhere around 5″ off the ground. It is apparently now only a little more than 3″ off the ground, which makes this standard “low rider” height impractical for the real world.

    This is one of several design choices where Aptera has prioritized being an academic research project that optimizes pure technical numbers (aerodynamics, in this case) over the post-purchase experience in real life for customers. Designing something from the beginning with intentionally “abradable” and disposable/replaceable parts (referring to the foam corners) just says “we know this is going to be a problem but we are going to leave it as is anyhow, with owners needing to replace parts and deal with it later”. These kinds of decisions will be the things that owners will likely gripe about in the future. They may even reduce value of early year models compared to later year models that address the issues (which were predictable though not actively addressed until real world owners repeatedly complain about it and changes get made in later year versions).

    I hope Aptera gives serious consideration to your suggestion. Banged up Apteras running around does not do anyone any good, including the Aptera brand and public perception.

  • Kevin Bradbury

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Here ya go, straight from the horse’s mouth.

  • Len Nowak

    Moderator
    September 14, 2022 at 11:36 am

    There was also talk about simply having a sliding bracket, which would allow us to slide up with as much height as needed. I doubt it would go more than the ~7” total GC were thinking…

    I live nicely with ~6.5 “ inches on my primitive roads

    ( There is the slight improved angle of approach on the pants too.)

    This way perhaps wheel pant change for occasional Off Road owner may not be needed.

    One pair of pants for all occasions!😉

    But they do have ideas for tougher wheel pants construction 🤞

    They have worked through much, this should a matter of settling on best ideas/results Mad I am sure using their ethos

    Lightweight

    Lean ( minimal components)

    Keep efficient / aerodynamic

    • Steve Wanamaker

      Member
      September 17, 2022 at 11:56 am

      I really like this. If you could pull out a spring-loaded pin and raise / lower. Perfection.

  • Patrick Dunn

    Member
    September 14, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Ground clearance has been my main concern with the designs we’ve seen. I don’t foresee any off-roading, but my driveway entrance has a pronounced dip.

    • James Wolf

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 10:36 am

      It would be great if you could manually adjust the wheel pants up a few inches. Or if Aptera would design a system for the wheel pants were you could adjust the wheel pants clearance from inside the vehicle. This would make it easier to park next to the curb without scratching the wheel pants or going up a steep driveway.

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    September 14, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    The focus of this thread has been on the wheel pants, but I have also worried about the belly clearance since it is this surface that can be at risk on driveways or rutted roads. Did anyone actually measure this?

  • Riley …

    Member
    September 15, 2022 at 1:43 am

    To add even more efficiency to your earo mods you could remove all unnecessary weight for example fixed side windows as in the picture below a lightweight 10kwh battery and a single rear wheel hub motor. Aptera could sell it for a lower per unit cost but with better profit margins. Having the vehicle lighter would be a greater improvement over the already excellent aerodynamics, i wonder how many miles a 10kwh battery could do, possibly 140 miles.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 8:45 am

      I love those doors. Also great for optics. Given the door opens narrower than the wheels I don’t see opening the door as a problem. If Peter (3rd party) does make them I could end up replacing my doors.

      I could definitely see an appeal to a 1wd for those in southern climates (definitely never in snow). Acceleration would drop to ICE econobox levels but this could definitely add some efficiency. If the loss from awd are something to go by this could mean 10% gains. The doors aero advantage is hard to know but they did say that the size and location of the window lip was substancial so eliminating it would be great.

      If Aptera continues to invest in options for their core vehicle I could see appeal in these options. Variants do add logistics and manufacturing challenges but since this 1wd would primarily be just putting in the rear motor of the awd it probably would be that different.

    • Scott

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 9:03 am

      Riley, I definitely would pay extra as a stand-alone option for a fixed side window that eliminates the current view-blocking mid-window frame, even if it was not the full cool bubble door in the picture. As you mention, it would actually be easier and less expensive/complex to manufacture than the current setup. There could be two different types of doors available in the assembly line, handled like other current options.

    • Jorge Gonzalez

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 2:00 am

      Right To Repair, if you believe the efficiency is still “broken”, it’s all yours to repair, that’s how I think about it. There probably will be custom made doors, there probably will be damaged car doors, so there probably will be trade-in options. Personally I’m not thrilled about an “all window” door, that basically throws out all the safety of a real solid car door. And what exactly is there to see with the added visibility in the lower part of the door? A blurry road zipping by? Roadkill?

      • Riley …

        Member
        September 16, 2022 at 3:19 am

        I haven’t sat in the vehicle myself so can’t speak for the potential gains in visibility of an all window door. I imagine it will dramatically improve parking next to curbs, I have personally curbed multiple sets of nice new rims and it sucks. I agree it would decrease side impact safety, my primary prerogative was to save weight by removing the ability to roll down the window. I would be happy with the current door design and just removing the upper window split with a larger fixed piece of glass.

  • Wes Man

    Member
    September 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

    My biggest concern came from watching the Aptera Owners Club video where he very honestly asked about the ground clearance while turning the vehicle. If the ground clearance drops anywhere close to the estimated 1 inch, I don’t think any of us are getting into our driveways.

    I’m ok with paying more for the off road package. I’m ok with adjustable height on the wheel pants. I’m just asking someone to verify the best choice for the base model.

    • George Hughes

      Member
      September 15, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      My concern are the rutted roads I occasionally encounter.

      I’m wondering if because of Aptera’s very wide stance and centered rear wheel, it can straddle the ruts because if you ever got trapped, the pants would be worse for the experience.

      • Joel Smith

        Member
        September 15, 2022 at 2:40 pm

        Looks like a good day to work from home to me! Got my PV, battery bank and Starlink already. I’ll save the Aptera for after the plows come thru.

      • Harry Parker

        Moderator
        September 15, 2022 at 2:50 pm

        Looks to me like nothing but a raised truck or tractor could handle those ruts! Or a snowmobile. 😁 Dirt road?

      • George Hughes

        Member
        September 15, 2022 at 5:56 pm

        Thanks …

        Some county road departments are better than others. The back roads have generally improved and the type of rutting above happens rarely. Still I’ve driven through mud-pits that were deeply rutted.

        I also think Aptera will have greater appeal in rural America than most. I see the guy with the ten year old F-150 keeping old trusty rusty but backing down on its full use as personal vehicle. Instead, because driving is almost free in the Aptera, he’ll just add it to the stable, so to speak.

        It is truly a different culture … and for many, most of their life and livelihood is based on having the right tool for the job. These are the people who will also really, really appreciate and embrace ‘right to repair’ probably to the point of hacking an Aptera to turn it into a tractor for ease of repair alone.

      • Jorge Gonzalez

        Member
        September 16, 2022 at 2:09 am

        You might just need to remove the pants and keep them off, streak all the way to work and streak all the way home, Aptera drivers without pants will be aptly called “streakers” by the internet.

      • Steve Wanamaker

        Member
        September 17, 2022 at 12:06 pm

        Just take the pants off. It will take something like a small ratchet with a T6 torque head. 4 bolts each. It will be a couple of minutes each.

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    Member
    September 16, 2022 at 3:37 am

    I think they have it right, they market themselves as super efficient, and super efficient should be the standard package. Case and point: 1) The “Safety Pilot” option adds weight and sensors, 2) The Enhanced Audio adds speakers and subwoofer, 3) Camping and Pet things add weight too. All these extra options subtract from efficiency at the cost of a new feature, finally we have the “Off Road” package, which subtracts from efficiency by exposing more tire and adding more robust fenders/pants, and one can only wish for rubber mats a cool lamp array and a large bead-lock tire (that would be well worth the $1,000).

    Perhaps Aptera’s next vehicle will be a light pickup truck, and even then an “Off Road” package still makes sense as opposed to having standard “Off Road” features with a “On Road” package to remove things and make it less “Off Road”.

    • John Voules

      Member
      September 16, 2022 at 6:34 am

      In many parts of the country it is illegal to have a vehicle with completely exposed wheels and tires on road.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  John Voules.
  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    September 16, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Aptera makes perfect sense for an efficient off-roader since it is still efficient in free-air-flow, right? In other words, if you put a Tesla model 3 up in the air away from the ground the drag increase is a lot worse than putting an Aptera body up in the air higher.

    But… the wheel pants and rear skirt would need to be addressed in some creative manner if more ground clearance is needed. Maybe a rubber skirt that flexes on contact?

    Say I want 400 miles of range with 8 inches of ground clearance (Like a gas Subaru))

    For a Model Y you can lift it and put on big tires but then you’re at 200 miles of range and basically screwed on meeting that goal.

    For an Aptera you can lift it, put less efficient tires on it, and swap the skirts out to something different and you’re still in the ballpark as long as it maintains reasonable aerodynamics.

    Or you can get a Rivian with air suspension and the big battery. But that’s complicated, heavy, and expensive, and frankly wasteful for most of us most of the time.

  • Thomas Edmonds

    Member
    September 17, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Perhaps a simple lever to throw that raises the pants?

    I have seen mechanisms like this.

    • John Voules

      Member
      September 17, 2022 at 11:51 am

      Ideally something that would work automatically with your speed. Aerodynamics take effect as speeds increase. Just like many sports cars with electronic adjustable rear wings, have the front hoods raise or at least the protective replaceable sponge material raise. Keeps efficiency when needed. When your city slow unit would raise. This should be the ideal solution, may not be cost effective but maybe necessary to achieve efficiency goals.

      • Thomas Edmonds

        Member
        September 17, 2022 at 12:08 pm

        Shouldn’t be too expensive. Just put an electric actuator on the lever mechanism.

        Could make it an option just for those who need it.

        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          September 17, 2022 at 12:41 pm

          Sounds like a great idea for an aftermarket upgrade. Aptera is an open right to repair company. they have said CAD models and resources would be available.

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