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Although the improvements are fairly minimal on a boxy design like the Element, I notice that myself and several others on this forum make every effort to squeeze precious mileage out of our Hondas. What struck me as odd is that many people who make tons of mods overlook the little aerodynamics tricks that may very well grab you a few percent more efficiency.

The sudden end of the Element (geometrically speaking) causes flow separation that causes wake turbulence and a pressure drop, both of which contribute to drag. Clearly we cannot add a full 'boat tail' to streamline the body, but one could certainly replace their spoiler with a small fairing that curves down to reduce vortex shedding into the wake from over the roof. The same would go for the bottom, under the bumper. I notice that the sides are already lightly curved, and adding anything extra would most likely block the door or reduce visibility, so we'll leave that alone.

Obviously, we can't do away with the wheel wells if we ever want to turn or change a tire. Some people use fairings to cover the wheel wells in an effort to cut down on turbulence that the discontinuity in the body shape causes. I do believe there is a simpler, more aesthetically pleasing solution. Adding small (nearly unnoticable) vortex generators to the leading edge of the wheel wells would induce vorticity in the flow past the wheels. Induced vorticity means more energy in the flow, and a propensity for the vortex axis to stay pointed towards the rear of the vehicle, instead of into the wheel well.

As some of you know, a high pressure area builds in front of the vehicle while moving forward. A large grill area exacerbates the situation by making it easier for the flow to become stagnant, as there is an indentation of sorts where the grill is located. Air flowing through the grill enters into the engine compartment, which without splash pans on the bottom, causes the air to exit underneath or through the wheel wells in a turbulent fashion. The simple answer is to make a smoother front end with minimal grill area- whatever is required for cooling, and that's all.

I'll begin experimenting with a few of these ideas. I hope you do, too.
Just be careful of ruining the aesthetics of the machine. :lol: Let form follow function.
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