Aptera › Community › Aptera Discussions › Ground Clearance
Ground ClearancePosted by Tom on January 11, 2022 at 11:35 am
Our driveway from the street is rather steep (going up from the street). I’m a bit concerned that the wheel covers (both front and back) may scrape the pavement (front wheel covers hitting the pavement before the wheel themselves reach the slope; rear cover dragging on the street/sidewalk after the rear wheel has started up the slope). I’m guessing this won’t be a problem, but I’d like to know ahead of time if I have to deal with it (I’d hate to have to get the off-road upgrade just so I can get up my driveway!).
Are there specs available regarding (1) How high the bottom of the cover is above the bottom of the wheel and (2) How far the front of the cover is from the center of the wheel. (Plus similar specs for the rear wheel.) With these numbers (and the “geometry” of my driveway) I think I can do the math to figure out if this is an issue or not.
john-malcom replied 3 months, 4 weeks ago 27 Members · 42 Replies
- This discussion was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Thomas Bushaw. Reason: Typo
- 42 Replies
Ground Clearancejohn-malcom updated 3 months, 4 weeks ago 27 Members · 42 Replies
lenModeratorJanuary 11, 2022 at 12:12 pm
Search FAQ Spreadsheet in this forum
The answers posted “back then” in Aptera’s answers are there.
We have heard they improved the wheel fairing’s aerodynamics further so until Production intent it is all evolving
paul-schultzMemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 3:25 pm
It is still a good question. Aptera should commit to an ‘approach angle’ and ‘departure angle’ specification for the wheel fairings/skirts. Some driveway entries almost look like a curb and can be very abrupt. Having the approach and departure angles would help and still allow them to tweak the fairing as long as they remain within these specs. Not an unreasonable level of detail to ask for in my opinion.
Of course an answer is to the driveway could be to approach it at an angle and not straight on, if possible. This lessens how abrupt the approach angle will be for the wheel fairing/skirt.
john-larocqueMemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 6:00 pm
They’ve said this about clearances (from the FAQ sheet):
“Right now it’s 14/12 deg on the front and 14/20 deg on the rear with 5″ of wheel cover clearance at each wheel. This is better than a lot of small cars, including sports cars. Also, the Off-Road add-ons will increase this significantly.”
“It will handle most potholes nicely with a 5″ clearance and good entry and exit angles on the wheel covers. Anything a Honda Civic can handle, we can too.”
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by John LaRocque.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by John LaRocque.
TomMemberJanuary 12, 2022 at 12:42 pm
John LaRocque, thanks for finding this for me in the FAQ sheet. I would interpret these angles as shown in the attached diagram. Would you agree?
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Thomas Bushaw. Reason: Added link
john-trotterModeratorJanuary 13, 2022 at 6:48 pm
I reserved the off-road package because of a problem I had with my Tesla Model Y – Performance. The car would sometimes scrape on the crest of the driveway, not entry or exit. (That puts the rub close to the middle of the battery!) In my case, the problem had to be solved by grinding a half-inch off the concrete. In our neighborhood of 1920s and 1930s homes, it’s not an unusual situation.
William_JMemberJune 21, 2022 at 11:36 am
The gamma render reveal showed the belly of the Aptera notably lower. Will this make the Aptera a low ground clearance (< 6.5 inches) vehicle? Any guess as to what the ground clearance will be? I’m not too worried about the wheel pants as they ride up with the wheels and scraping them will simply be a cosmetic issue. The belly could make some close approaches to speed bumps/humps, though and scraping the aluminum belly pan could perhaps breach the cooling system.
lenModeratorJune 21, 2022 at 11:50 am
Last I heard or saw…
5” at wheel pants which may be about 7” at belly but no hard sheet shared on that yet
john-trotterModeratorJune 21, 2022 at 4:15 pm
I noticed this as well and it made me more certain that “Offroad” is an option I want, although details are missing on what that option really is. My Tesla MYP scraped it’s “belly” at the top of my driveway, even though this was not the lowest flat-road clearance of the car.
UnidentifiedDrivingObjectMemberJune 22, 2022 at 4:59 am
The steep angled dip of my driveway meeting the street gutter, the narrow tall speed bumps at work (and everywhere else) and the concrete stopping blocks are my concerns. So I opted for the ORK and it’s convenience (and peace of mind) it offers. The extra clearance of the front and rear wheel pants also helps to have both easier access to inspecting tires (for punctures, tire wear, etc) and the Schrader tire valve (air adjustments) as well. The extra clearance would definitely help as well, in running over those unavaidable pot holes, esp the middle area of lanes (rear wheel tire..on target). Yeah, I’ll eat the 3% efficiency hit. Besides, with the continuous trickle solar charging (even while SoCal driving), it’ll likely be a wash.
ROMADMemberJune 22, 2022 at 8:24 am
sonya-brownMemberJuly 14, 2022 at 11:34 am
I’ve just joined the community and was wondering if the Aptera would scrape the crest of my driveway. I have a Model S that did until I activated the suspension to always raise when approaching driveway. Sure would be nice if that could be added to the Aptera. Or I’ll probably have to change my order to the off-road package.
- This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by Gabriel Kemeny. Reason: Title fix
- This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by Norman Roberts.
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
lenModeratorJuly 14, 2022 at 11:48 am
He heard recently they have improved the wheel covers and made it more robust…but haven’t heard the angle of approach and there appears to be a protective scuff segment in the front. Originally we were hearing 5”GC.
As you know the angle of approach of the nosecone is amazing/much higher.
I hope the upcoming Gamma reveal will touch on this as we all wait for fuller details as they race to production intent
I have the Off Road kit in my reservation too but hope I will not need it . I love the aerodynamic look
I hope that helps!
TomMemberJuly 14, 2022 at 12:13 pm
A few months ago I did a little mock-up for my driveway. The dimensions and clearances were estimates (and have probably changed since then). The vulnerable point appears to be the trailing end of the front wheel pants. I think it will be okay, at least for my driveway.
curtis-cibinelMemberJuly 14, 2022 at 12:51 pm
The safe angle of attack for the aptera is quite high since the distance between the tire and front of the wheel pants is very little compared to a traditional car. Aptera (red area is the latest) can seem to handle a ~16 degree approach angle and a model s can only handle about ~12. Aptera will not have any extra challenges with driveway crests and likely will have less issues.
john-trotterModeratorJuly 14, 2022 at 1:08 pm
I still worry about the belly of the car itself. This questions comes up and everyone focusses on the wheel pants. I still think a vulnerability is the cresting of a sharp driveway top. The 6″ overall clearance on my Model Y was fine front and back, but reduced to “minus half inch” in the middle of the battery pan. 1K$ for grinding the concrete fixed it. I ordered Off-Road, just in case, but any clarification we get on that option always runs off into the wheel pants discussion. I am even more nervous because the last renders for the Gamma seemed to show an even longer, lower belly.
michael-jamesMemberSeptember 17, 2022 at 4:44 pm
I have speed bumps in my complex. Will Aptera wheel base, so low to the ground, be able to go over them?
kerbe2705MemberSeptember 17, 2022 at 11:24 pm
Aptera is a vehicle designed to be driven, just like any other vehicle on the market: The company will not release a vehicle that can’t negotiate common, everyday road hazards.
“Wheelbase” is defined as “the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels.” I think what you’re asking about is “ground clearance”. The distance from the lowest point of the Aptera’s belly to the ground beneath it is approximately 5″.
robert-engelhartMemberSeptember 18, 2022 at 7:16 am
I think your missing the point of his question. Can the aptera go over typical speed bumps without damage? Obviously it’s a car designed to be driven why even state that. Speed bumps in Florida can be 3 1/2 inches high, Speed Humps can be up to 6 inches high. Obviously you can see the concern as the wheel pants are measured right now at 3 1-2 inches. Making them so low to gain a few miles seem very stupid to me. I really want this car to work but they need to address these questions. The new 2023 Chevy Equinox EV is looking pretty damn good to me starting at 30k.
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by robert engelhart.
- This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by Gabriel Kemeny.
thomas-edmondsMemberSeptember 18, 2022 at 10:11 am
How much difference in overall efficiency does an inch or two on the pants height make?
Are we worrying about this too much?
Dr.DMemberSeptember 18, 2022 at 10:18 am
The wheel and the pant are in a fixed relationship. The question is whether the angle from the tire contact point to the front edge of the pant is a larger angle than the one from the pavement through the rise of the speed bump/hump. If so, then no contact. If not, then contact.
dave-coppsMemberNovember 17, 2022 at 12:42 pm
I saw this image fro a very recent Aptera video and I was very concerned. At the very least, Aptera should be able to clear average speed bumps . I’m glad to have the replaceable parts on the wheel covers , but let’s not make replacing them a weekly occurrence. Would love to hear from the Aptera team that we can easily clear speed speed bumps. 😊
chris-merriottMemberNovember 18, 2022 at 4:26 pm
Steve from Aptera Owner’s Club is saying he was told that the “tips” of the wheel pants will be EVA foam and are intentionally made to grind down to adapt to your driving environment. Meaning, if you consistently drag the rear or front of the wheel pants on your driveway, the EVA foam will slowly erode where the dragging occurs and will eventually stop dragging as long as the environment stays the same. The EVA will be the same color throughout the component so it will not appear as if any damage has occurred and will still look finished.
craig-merrowMemberNovember 17, 2022 at 1:02 pm
Been thinking about that with Maine roads and speed bumps. Most shouldn’t be a problem, but if the standard Aptera had a good 6″+ for the underside it should be ok. I was also thinking about driving in snowy conditions; wonder if the pants would act like a plow to clear a path for the tires? Also, with the shape of the underbelly, there is probably a much reduced risk of getting stuck as there isn’t as much area for snow to pack underneath unlike a normal vehicle.
ImAlwaysMIAMemberNovember 18, 2022 at 8:19 am
Important to remember that the approach and departure angles of the front wheels change based on how tight you’re turning. So the intended ride height clearance isn’t very accurate without context. Based on the gamma pictures/footage the pants don’t seem to be able to clear anything more than inch or two.
jesthorbjornMemberNovember 18, 2022 at 2:59 pm
The wheel pants that rock forward and back during a turn are easily the most distressing new feature (defect?) that I see on the new gamma vehicle. Far more so than the yoke, solar panel defects, dubious cup holder, etc.
Sure the rocking is a consequence of the angle of the pin around which the wheel turns. Every car employs that feature to make the vehicle “want” to recover from a turn to go straight again as we all expect it to. That makes it seem that much more an intractable problem on the Aptera.
With every other car that effect is concealed from view within the wheel well and only manifests on the wheel which is symmetrically round and may already be spinning so you don’t really notice it. With the Aptera it’s out there in your face; especially as it takes the wheel pant with it on its seeming crazy weeble-wobble.
I find myself hoping that the folks at Aptera are doing something clever about that. Maybe there’s a way for one or more mounting points for the wheel pants to be inboard of the pivot pin providing an anchor point to counteract the rotation imparted by turning?
Something anyway cause that’s damned unsightly now.
joshua-rosenMemberNovember 24, 2022 at 7:00 am
I’m going to wait and see about the off road option before I add it to my order. They haven’t given any details about it yet. Is it just higher wheel pants or are they changing the suspension? If the ride and handling is the same then I’ll probably go for it but if they sacrificed the ride or handling so that it can really go off road then I’m not interested. I do occasionally drive on unpaved roads in places like Vermont but those are still roads they aren’t trails. I have zero interest in actually taking the thing off road but I do want to be able to drive over a pothole without destroying the car.
Pragmatic_to_a_FaultMemberDecember 15, 2022 at 10:42 am
I’ve recently discovered a new issue that falls into the ground clearance problem<div>I don’t know about where you guys live, but where I live, they’ve started installing these traffic calming devices which boils down to gigantic speed bumps, they call them speed humps some of them are as much is 8 inches off the ground, i’m more concerned now about the belly pan and rear Wheel cover, dragging then I am the fronts</div>
kerbe2705MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 3:15 pm
I call all y’all’s attention to this video, starting at about 4:40: The current “adjustment” of Gamma filmed traversing a parking lot speed bump:
GreekMemberDecember 17, 2022 at 4:10 pm
Kerbe, thanks for the pics! Looking at APTERA’s tire, you can actually see a nice chunk of the wheel. Between the tire thickness and the wheel, 4” minimum visually to me. At Super Charged Gama reveal definitely had different hoods.
The speed bump was not the most aggressive I’ve seen. In Chicago “speed bumps” matter. I still think for most of my driving I’ll be fine…really sometimes I know I will have to take a different rout.
Awaiting For My Christmas Gift,
Full APTERA Reveal
kerbe2705MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 3:23 pm