MemberSeptember 16, 2021 at 9:51 pm
The reason I’ve heard stated for the width is that the wheel pods need the separation from the cabin portion of the car to minimize the drag co-efficient. Having the fenders too close simply caused much greater wind resistance.
Regardless, the change in width will require at least a new front suspension geometry with the penalty being an increase in drag because the wheel pods are now ‘too close’ to the main body; a design the founders rejected out of the box on first principle.
The good news is the production process for the Aptera body is based on the design intrinsic to what amounts a custom mold. That means the lines of the European model may include a narrower cabin or even slightly different lines.
My expectation is they will try several potential designs; maybe even on that brings the front wheels in-board with fully formed fenders… IF that is what the analysis of the aerodynamics suggests delivers the lowest drag.
Of course it could be the same suspension geometry is used but the distance between the suspension mounts are narrowed with the hit on drag but it sounds like the need of being slippery through the air may not be as valuable in road-width restricted locales, including cities. Speeds are typically much lower in these environments and, if the hit on the highway results in 9.2 mi/kwh instead of 10.5, the smaller-width variant would likely get a following.
If Aptera chose a full-fendered design , it might make sense to launch that city variant as a new model with increased space for solar.
The good news is the task of adapting the Aptera to reduce the track, can involve changes across a spectrum of modifications from quick, down and dirty to the germination of a distinct city model.