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300 hours of aero development equaled +3 MPG for the GMC Terrain.

media.gmc said:
2018 GMC Terrain Scores an Aerodynamic Touchdown

What do a football and an SUV have in common? Both rely on exceptional aerodynamics to perform to their fullest, and the GMC Terrain and Wilson leather NFL game footballs are perfect examples.

GMC Terrain engineers clocked more than 300 hours in the wind tunnel to refine every surface of the Terrain, from the front grille to the rear spoiler.

“Reducing the aerodynamic drag of an SUV is always a challenge,” said GMC Aerodynamic Engineer Alicia Bidwell. “Our engineering team paid attention to even the smallest details to deliver the size and cargo space our customers want.”

The Terrain’s lifted stance means that more air can flow under the vehicle and pressurize the chassis components, which increases aerodynamic drag. To reduce this drag and optimize aero performance, Terrain aerodynamicists used testing and simulation to craft features that effectively guide air to the back of the vehicle.

This attention to detail and craftsmanship delivered the next chapter of GMC’s design language and assisted in providing more athletic handling and bold performance for Terrain customers.

“The styling that you can see — and the mechanical components that you can't — work together in perfect aerodynamic harmony,” said Bidwell. “Ultimately, this means up to 3 more miles per gallon for the Terrain driver for an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined for AWD models.”

As a longtime sponsor of ESPN’s Monday Night Red Carpet Kickoff, GMC knows a thing or two about the American pastime. But the connection doesn’t stop there.

Just like airflow is essential for vehicle performance, football aerodynamics are critical for game time performance. While the vehicle and a football are vastly different in size and function, the aerodynamics teams for both analyze air trails using tools such as computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analytics.

“Many look at our NFL football and see it as a simple object,” said Daniel Hare, aerodynamics research engineer, Advanced Innovation, Wilson Sporting Goods. “However, the amount of engineering, particularly in the area of aerodynamics, that has gone into the ball is pretty extraordinary. Every millimeter of the football has been designed to maximize the airflow around it so we can extend its flight, reduce drag and help maintain stability as much as possible.”

Hare points to the classic football shape and how Wilson researchers have enhanced that shape over time to reflect today’s passing-centric game, where aerodynamic properties such as velocity, direction of motion and spin rate are critical.

Beyond shape, Wilson researchers also look at the pebble pattern of the leather on an NFL game football as well as the height of the laces, both of which are aerodynamic levers engineers utilize to optimize laminar airflow (the airflow that is smooth and consistent) while mitigating turbulent airflow, which is highly unsteady and unpredictable.

The stakes are high in Super Bowl LII and the crossover segment, but both GMC and Wilson feel confident they’ll score.
2018 GMC Terrain Scores an Aerodynamic Touchdown
 

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Interesting as I just bought 3 weeks ago a 2018 Summit White Terrain Denali AWD as my Daily Driver to go along with my 2014 Arctic White Z51.....As you can see, I am VERY partial to white as my car color of choice. I am averaging about 21.2 mpg 75% highway driving so I am running about 5 mpg short of the referenced 26 mpg but of course the 26 mpg is based on perfect laboratory conditions.


“The styling that you can see — and the mechanical components that you can't — work together in perfect aerodynamic harmony,” said Bidwell. “Ultimately, this means up to 3 more miles per gallon for the Terrain driver for an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined for AWD models.”

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I will certainly will monitor the mpg average since it's easily tracked on the mobile app. However, with all cars, the testing in the driving are based on perfect conditions and perfect drivers who drive the exact speed limits etc...I'll take whatever mpg I get and I feel the same way about my corvette relative to gas mileage in that I don't care about the mpg more than enjoying the car the way it is intended.

I drive cars however I want to drive them irrespective of MPG and gas prices as its just the cost of owning the car and more importantly its just also the cost to enjoy the car they way I see fit. This thread just caught my attention since I had just recently purchased the car being referenced.... I agree that 5000 miles will be a good barometer of true MPG especially in better weather but I guess the average might go from 21 to maybe 23 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
According to AAA, best vehicle mileage is not obtained until 15,000 miles.

We live in a pretty isolated area, rarely do stop and go, and for at least our ten last vehicles, we have exceeded manufacturers manufacturers claims of “combined” fuel economy. As two examples, on our 2017 WRX (now 20,000 miles on it), since brand new, we are averaging two more MPG than Subaru stated; and on our newest one, a ‘17 Mazda 3 GT with 6,600 miles, we are already exceeded projected, combined fuel economy, again since new, by 1 MPG.

Part of it is how we drive, but most of it is where we live, and what type of driving we typically do.

I would love to see what you mileage is on this trip kgrant, as well as what you are averaging when you reach 15K miles.
 

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It certainly does help when you are not in heavily populated areas as you mention don't have the stop and goes with the stop signs and rush out traffic like in the Motor City!

As you can see I am White Car Bias - LOL.... Here's my 2018 GMC Terrain Denali and the brother and sister. 2004 Lexus SC430-(wife's Toy) and 2014 C7 Z51-(Hubby's Toy) ...... Got in trouble when the wife got home and had to pull the Denali out so that she could pull her 2011 Porsche GTS Cayenne (Wife's Daily Driver) into her garage spot...I told the wife that a Red Cayenne has no place in a garage of white cars...You know how that conversation ended, Denali was evicted! LOL

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Update! 4500 miles in 2 months now and average is 21.1 mpg.... Maybe when winter is over and snow is gone, the mpg will get better and also could go from 4wd to 2wd in the summer should help as well.
 

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Kgrant, do you have summer/winter gas blending in MI? Here in Ohio, our Suburban and Corvette run much better on the summer blend. 2 to 3MPG better. We see it every year. Some years better, some not. In our Suburban, I thought something went right when on one tank we got 17 MPG, then the next tank full almost 21. Same route to and from the lake. Norm and I had a discussion about Z06 MPG. Turns out the Z likes the summer blend as well. Does anyone, much smarter than I, know what is changed? Is it for the temp dif? Humidity?
Always wanted to know. Now that I say this........ when I get her out with a fresh tank.......... will let you know.
 

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Here's an update, now with about 29k miles, the average mpg is 23 mpg up from 21 mpg. I guessed on this original post that it would end up around 23mpg and hit it dead on.

I will certainly will monitor the mpg average since it's easily tracked on the mobile app. However, with all cars, the testing in the driving are based on perfect conditions and perfect drivers who drive the exact speed limits etc...I'll take whatever mpg I get and I feel the same way about my corvette relative to gas mileage in that I don't care about the mpg more than enjoying the car the way it is intended.

I drive cars however I want to drive them irrespective of MPG and gas prices as its just the cost of owning the car and more importantly its just also the cost to enjoy the car they way I see fit. This thread just caught my attention since I had just recently purchased the car being referenced.... I agree that 5000 miles will be a good barometer of true MPG especially in better weather but I guess the average might go from 21 to maybe 23 mpg.
 
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