Wheel, air-scoops and aerodynamics

Paulbridges33

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Noobie here, having dropped a deposit with Cardiff UK Porsche Centre yesterday.

Apologies if this has been covered here before but I’m curious about the air inlet design.

Particularly, how air flow is intended to interplay with the alloy wheel and brakes. I read that it’s to aid aerodynamics….but also that flat (or closed “disc” alloys) create less drag. Is this all meant to come together somehow with the design of this vent? Is the car optimised for flat (solid?) alloys? Or perhaps the scoop design is intended to lessen drag on the popular (more “fashionable”) open style rims?

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Mike in CA

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First, I'm assuming that you're referring to the air inlets behind front wheel wells and not the intake vents in the front facia. If that's the case, this subject has been a bone of contention for me and it has been widely discussed in the context of the powered charging ports. The discussion has revolved around the fact that the vents are closed off when the powered ports are ordered and only open and functional when the car is equipped with the standard manual ports.

My assumption is that the vents are designed to allow air flowing past the wheels and into the wheel wells to exit more easily thus reducing pressure build up and improving aerodynamics and possibly reducing lift. The top vents in the fenders of a GT3RS perform a similar function. Unfortunately, I have seen nothing definitive which quantifies the aero improvement or indeed what benefit the vents actually provide.

Still, common sense tells me that Porsche wouldn't have included the vents in the first place unless they served a purpose. I wish I could provide more precise info. The debate will probably go on. ;)
 
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Paulbridges33

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First, I'm assuming that you're referring to the air inlets behind front wheel wells and not the intake vents in the front facia. If that's the case, this subject has been a bone of contention for me and it has been widely discussed in the context of the powered charging ports. The discussion has revolved around the fact that the vents are closed off when the powered ports are ordered and only open and functional when the car is equipped with the standard manual ports.

My assumption is that the vents are designed to allow air flowing past the wheels and into the wheel wells to exit more easily thus reducing pressure build up and improving aerodynamics and possibly reducing lift. The top vents in the fenders of a GT3RS perform a similar function. Unfortunately, I have seen nothing definitive which quantifies the aero improvement or indeed what benefit the vents actually provide.

Still, common sense tells me that Porsche wouldn't have included the vents in the first place unless they served a purpose. I wish I could provide more precise info. The debate will probably go on. ;)
Well, I was assuming the vents in front of and behind the wheel worked together. Is that not the case? Like you, I’m triggered by the notion that design could have been driven by form rather than function. The alloy wheel options being a case in point: so much discussion here on “what looks good” rather than “what works best”. 🤨
 

Skilly

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As mentioned, the pressure build in the wheel well housing is a factor that was likely the reasoning behind it - rather than having shark gill like vents on the top of the fender this design seems to try and accomplish the same in a more subtle manner - its not entirely clear if it does the job.

What is does accomplish is a nice vent to spray road debris in a more effective way down the side of your car. It's pretty dramatic; enough for Porsche to offer a kit as a retrofit that closes it off.
 

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The below were cited as good explanations in prior posts.
 

Mike in CA

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What is does accomplish is a nice vent to spray road debris in a more effective way down the side of your car. It's pretty dramatic; enough for Porsche to offer a kit as a retrofit that closes it off.
I suppose it depends on the kinds of roads and under what conditions one drives the car. So far, I've had no issue whatsoever with road debris out of the vents. Since I was aware this could theoretically be a problem, though, I extended my PPF coverage to include the doors.
 
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Mike in CA

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The below were cited as good explanations in prior posts.
I remember seeing those videos. They were interesting but I was disappointed at the time because, IIRC, there was no mention of the vents behind the wheel wells. I assumed it was because the Taycan being tested had the power charging port doors and therefore there were no open vents to reference or to test.
 

Mike in CA

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Well, I was assuming the vents in front of and behind the wheel worked together. Is that not the case? Like you, I’m triggered by the notion that design could have been driven by form rather than function. The alloy wheel options being a case in point: so much discussion here on “what looks good” rather than “what works best”. 🤨
That would be my assumption about the vents too; I just don't have any technical or engineering analysis to substantiate that assumption.

I don't know about the wheel design working in conjunction with the vents either, but from what I've read generally, the more open the design of the wheel, the greater the aerodynamic drag. I think the Mission E wheels are by far the best looking of the available Porsche OEM wheels but since they are the most open design, they are probably also the least efficient. Personally, I think the trade off is worth it.
 
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Paulbridges33

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I remember seeing those videos. They were interesting but I was disappointed at the time because, IIRC, there was no mention of the vents behind the wheel wells. I assumed it was because the Taycan being tested had the power charging port doors and therefore there were no open vents to reference or to test.
That a power door option is so material in this respect kinda blows my mind.
 

Mike in CA

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That a power door option is so material in this respect kinda blows my mind.
Yeah, well it may or may not be. All we know for sure is that the purposely designed vents get blocked off because of the hardware required for the powered charging doors. Is that meaningful? Absent data, that's anyone's guess.
 
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Paulbridges33

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Yeah, well it may or may not be. All we know for sure is that the purposely designed vents get blocked off because of the hardware required for the powered charging doors. Is that meaningful? Absent data, that's anyone's guess.
But why have a vent, only to then block it? 🕵🏻‍♂️💁🏼‍♂️
 
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