How Much Does It Cost To Restore An Old Impala A Closer Look at the Chevrolet Impala SS

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A Closer Look at the Chevrolet Impala SS

The Chevrolet Impala SS has made its debut at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. And of course with its launching is the unveiling of the GM Racing’s all-new R07 small-block V-8 racing engine which provides a glimpse to the new direction in technology that America’s most popular racing series is heading.

One of the most powerful element in GM Racing’s toolbox is what the automaker calls as the CFD or the Computational Fluid Dynamics which is a mathematical simulation of the airflow around a vehicle. This new CFD technology is influencing the design of both racing and production automobiles. CFD also played an important role in GM Racing’s analysis and development of a racing version of the Impala SS which is considered as the new generation NASCAR race car that will make its debut in a competition that will be held in Bristol, Tennessee scheduled on March 25, 2007.

The CFD technology was first developed for aerospace and defense usage however it migrated to the civilian sector as supercomputers which became available to manipulate complex programs. “The CFD software requires a supercomputer because the number of calculations is immense. Foe example, our aerodynamic models typically have more than 10 million discrete data points that are used to calculate the force. It really is rocket science,” explained Bayless.

Although the price that is involved in this type of technology is high but the benefits of CFD are worth it. The highly advanced software makes it possible to see the invisible movement of air over the vehicle’s body.

Aside from the Impala SS becoming the new NASCAR race car of today it will be Chevrolet’s high-profile entry in Nextel Cup competition. The CFD played an important role boosting the identity of Chevy’s new on-track representative.

The Impala SS is entirely different from the Monte Carlo SS in terms of aerodynamics but also similar in some ways like both are equipped with quality GM auto parts like the high quality GM spark plug wires which are responsible for converting fuel into energy that powers the vehicle. For the Impala SS GM engineers have employed CFD to better understand the effects of the new body shape, front splitter, and adjustable rear wing on aerodynamic performance. “NASCAR specifications require the Impala SS to be wider and taller than the Monte Carlo SS that it is replacing, so its frontal area is larger and its aerodynamic drag is approximately 10 percent greater. Initially the Impala SS will have about 15 percent less downforce than the Monte Carlo SS, which has been highly refined over the years. The change from a spoiler to an adjustable rear wing appears to reduce turbulence in the wake of the car, so when two cars are running nose-to-tail, the less turbulent air behind the first car should alleviate some of the aerodynamic push experienced by the trailing car,” explained further by Bayless.

It is also important to note that although the CFD is a powerful engineering tool it is not designed to replace the conventional wind tunnels and track testing.

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