2015 Ford F-150 Aero Improved With Air Curtain Technology
Subtle Slots Make Big Difference in Drag Reduction
Over the last 20 years, fullsize trucks have grown to be bigger than ever, and their styling has, at least visually, become more and more chiseled and angular. It would seem this trend toward bigger, blockier styling would give these modern beasts of burden the aerodynamics of the proverbial barn door. However, thanks to computer-aided design and extensive wind tunnel testing, today’s trucks are slicker than ever cutting through the air. One trick discovered by Ford engineers in developing the 2015 F-150 were some subtle air ducts at the front of the truck that channel air into and out of the wheel wells to create an “air curtain” effect, essentially creating a buffer of air over the front wheels and reducing drag from the wheel wells and front wheels and tires.
Unless you’re specifically looking for them, it’s easy to miss the small slots below the headlights that enable this wind-cheating effect, but they’re far from the only aero trick on the new F-150 to improve drag. The top of the tailgate is designed to give a spoiler effect, smoothing airflow. The bed is also incrementally narrower than the cab, further reducing drag. Even the rear taillights were specifically designed to aid aerodynamics. Despite its chunky appearance, these subtle design features help make the new F-150 the sleekest yet.