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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if the fancy aerodynamic hubcaps on the 2018 Clarity are supposed to be the same on the driver's and passenger's side of the car.
Not being an engineer, but just looking at the way they are shaped, it seems like the ones on the driver's side are right and the other side would be more aerodynamic if the car were going in reverse.
What am I missing?
 

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Nothing that I can see. It is in my opinion just Honda being cheap., They only have to manufacture one design. BTW, it its the same with other Honda models.
 

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It's not so much the shape or direction of the design but the surface area and the turbulence caused/not caused during rotation that makes the wheel aerodynamic. As the Clarity has "blended braking" there isn't so much need to air-cool the rotors as a great deal of the braking is handled by regeneration and not friction.
 

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There is a lot going on with airflow around the Clarity wheels. Probably most owners know this but for those who don't the scoop on the rear doors is not the typical fake scoops that cars often have, these scoops actually take in air and direct it over the rear wheels, creating an air curtain which reduces turbulence. If you look in the forward part of the rear wheel well you can see the exit where the air comes out, the opening is actually in the back part of the rear door. When I am showing this to people I stick my hand into the scoop and then into the exit in the wheel well to show that this is a real air scoop. You can also shine a flashlight through to demonstrate this. Also if you open the rear door and put your eye up to the opening you can see right through it.

Not everyone knows this but the front also has a scoop, it's just not as visible as the rear scoop. It's in the very lowest left and right corners of the front bumper, you kind of have to bend down to see them. The exit is in the forward part of the wheel well similar to the rear wheels. Again a flashlight shining through the openings helps to see this, obviously better at night or in your garage.

Then of course there are the infamous rear fender skirts, which some people think was just a misguided design idea, but in fact they help control the airflow over the rear wheels. Skirts for the front wheels would probably also be effective but of course it's not practical since the front wheels have to turn.

Last but not least are the aerodynamic wheel covers, which according to Honda do help somewhat with reducing drag. As for the covers being directional, in theory they work better on one side of the car than the other but presumably the difference, if any, is small enough that it doesn't make it worth stocking two different parts.
 

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A lot of the "ugliness" of the Clarity is due to the aero-tweaks 2002 mentioned. One of the biggest source of drag at highway speeds is actually the turbulence generated by spinning wheels. By directing air directly at the lower front of each tire Honda's engineers reduced this by over 50% per wheel.
 
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Last but not least are the aerodynamic wheel covers, which according to Honda do help somewhat with reducing drag. As for the covers being directional, in theory they work better on one side of the car than the other but presumably the difference, if any, is small enough that it doesn't make it worth stocking two different parts.
Just so long as the "wrong side" does not negate the gain from the "right side"!

Smells like an opportunity for after-market to make the correct (reversed) wheel cover for the less efficient side!
You know how willing some people are to pay $200 to save money, even if it's only $100 over the lifetime of the car!
 
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