Ventilation drag or the aerodynamic torque generated by spinning of the wheels is a large part of vehicle aerodynamic losses, up to 40 counts of drag. This effect is not usually measured by any wind tunnel testing facilities. ARC is developing and building in-house a full scale wheel rig for use in its wind tunnel to help push the industry forward. This wheel rig will be available for public use when completed. Generation 1 testing on the rig has been completed and generation 2 development is currently underway. Long term development will include being able to mount an entire corner of a car onto the rig.


This wheel rig will be of particular interest to automotive OEMs, aftermarket developers, tire and wheel manufactures to help them understand ventilation drag better and test new ideas to lower aerodynamic loses.

Test and Development areas include:
Rim offset
Rim spoke styling
Rim internal shaping
Tire tread
Tire shoulder design

The full scale wheel rig will utilize ARC's model motion balance measurement system. This system has been design to give high levels of repeatability from test run to test run, test to test. To remove the effects of mechanical drag, multispeed weight tares and test speeds will be used.

Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) will make measuring ventilation drag an increasing priority. These regulations require all manufactures to measure all variations on their vehicle. This, in turn, will drive the industry to find other places to help qualify gains being made on vehicle efficiency.

To contact ARC about the full scale wheel rig, call 317-291-8600 or e-mail


The ARC Full Scale Wheel Rig is used for the following Solution Packages
Aerodynamic Development Consultancy Vehicle Design


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