Aerodynamic styling involves adapting the shape of a vehicle to reduce the drag it creates as it moves through the air. Aerodynamics is the study of forces acting on objects moving through the air.
When a vehicle moves, the air exerts a force on the vehicle that resists its motion. This force is the aerodynamic drag and it has a significant effect on the fuel consumption of vehicles.
Aerodynamic drag is affected by vehicle shape, frontal area and speed.
The greater the frontal area of a vehicle or the higher its speed, the greater the aerodynamic drag will be.
Figure 1, below shows an example of a poor aerodynamic design with extensive regions of turbulence which create drag. Figure 2 shows the air-flow pattern around a more streamlined truck.
Figure 1 Typical Airflow Pattern around a Non-aerodynamic Truck
Figure 2 Typical Airflow Pattern around an Aerodynamically Effective Truck
Substantial improvements in airflow around the vehicle can be achieved by relatively small modifications such as a modest curving to the front and side edges of the cab.