Applus+IDIADA reinforces its presence in the USA with the acquisition of KARCO in California

Adelanto, California - 9th May 2018. Applus+ has acquired a majority position of
KARCO Engineering, LLC., a company based in the city of Adelanto, California, which
provides engineering and testing services, mainly in the field of Passive Safety for the
automotive industry.
Applus+ IDIADA started operation in the USA in the Detroit area in 2011, providing
engineering consultancy services to the automotive industry. The acquisition of KARCO and
its integration within IDIADA USA Business Unit is an important step forward in the company
strategy to expand its geographic reach by strengthening its position into the USA, especially
in the fields of Active and Passive Safety testing and engineering according to US
requirements. Furthermore, there will be mutual benefit from sharing technologies and knowhow.
Dr. Carles Grasas, CEO of Applus IDIADA declared: “After 10 years of cooperation between
both companies, this acquisition is the natural step forward that also reinforces IDIADA’s
vehicle safety testing global footprint and our presence in the United States.”
Mr. Tom Peng, KARCO General Manager added: “We absolutely felt that KARCO
Engineering was ready to take the next step in our business evolution and that by merging
with the leader in global automotive safety IDIADA, it would allow us to meet the industry
needs. The passion that the IDIADA has for providing world class testing solutions and
customer service is unmatched and we look forward to a bright future as part of the IDIADA
Mr. Michael Dunlap, KARCO Director of Operations also declared: "We are very excited to
be joining forces with a global leader in crash testing and automotive engineering. This
partnership will greatly enhance our capabilities and will allow us to provide the highest
quality customer service to all of our clients in the US and abroad."

Picture taken after the signature of the final agreement at KARCO premises
From left to right: Jennifer Peng, Frank Richardson, Carles Grasas, Jeremy Goddard, Carlos García, Joaquim
Huguet, Ramon Zabala, Tom Peng

Applus+ IDIADA presents a SUV concept car with a Cx value of 0.19

Geneva, 5th March 2018 - Aerodynamics is increasingly crucial in the improvement of electric vehicles’ range. At highway speed a 10% reduction in aerodynamic drag gives a 5% improvement in range. Responding to this need, Applus IDIADA presents at the Geneva International Motor Show 2018, the CRONUZ project, an EV compact SUV concept car with an optimal aerodynamic performance.

The CRONUZ was developed from a blank page to fulfil best-in-class aerodynamic values thanks to the seamless cooperation between Applus IDIADA’s aerodynamicists and designers. That cooperation allowed the upper-body to be optimized while keeping the design concepts. This concept car includes breakthrough aerodynamic solutions that include active and passive aerodynamic enablers that focus on key areas such as the wheelhouses and underbody.

Carles Grasas, CEO of Applus IDIADA declared: “The CRONUZ is the result of a research project that shows that compact electric SUV’s can break the barrier of Cx values below 0.2, while maintaining a streamlined and appealing design.”

Josep Mª Farran, COO of Applus IDIADA added: “This project is another example of IDIADA’s comprehensive engineering capabilities and unique approach that sets the vehicle functionality at the centre of the development process.”

CRONUZ technical specifications:

  • Compact electric SUV (C class) 1 electric motor per axle
  • 4 seats Lightweight BiW: 200 kg
  • Dimensions: 4,415 x 1,819 x 1,536 mm Skateboard battery pack platform: 200L
  • Wheelbase: 2,720 mm Closed under-hood with active grill shutter
  • Ground clearance: 177 mm Rear view cameras
  • Low-friction high-efficiency 195/55/R20 tyres Intelligent light system

Aerodynamics innovations within the CRONUZ Project

Active systems: various rocker and fairings were investigated achieving a potential improvement of 11 drag counts. This force reduction is achieved mainly by reducing forces on the wheels, and increased base pressure via reduced wake intensity. Assuming that the rocker and front fairing could break the design line, we decided to develop active systems for these parts.

Wheelhouse & underbody: The wheelwell areas and underbody are responsible for 40% of the aerodynamic losses and therefore have high potential for improvement. Design actions in this area include optimized rims and underbody wheelhouse covers that interact perfectly with the extended rockers and front fairings to minimize the wheel house air circulation. The effect of the wheelhouse covers and the rims makes a 44 drag count reduction posible.

CRONUZ Design features

The objective of the designing team was to create a minimalist aero design concept to achieve a pure and elegant form with surface and volume solutions to reach a Cx below 0.2. These are the main design features:

  • Emotional surfaces
  • Streamlined design form
  • Steering laser headlamps
  • Progressive brightness OLED stop lights
  • Dynamics active cooling system/grille
  • Driving integrated mirror camera

Final assessment in wind tunnel

The full-scale model was used for testing the vehicle configurations and enablers with better CFD performance, as well as confirming the accuracy of the CFD aerodynamic forces. The best performing vehicle configuration provided a Cx value of 0.19.

Detailed flow measurement in the wake to validate the simulation set-up, including mesh discretization, turbulence modelling and wind tunnel representation were also performed.