The side windows create drag, reducing the efficiency
This new mechanism will be used on models with frameless glass
A mechanism will take the glass out of its channel and push it out flush against the door
With the electrification of the automotive industry well on its way, finding ways to improve the efficiency of vehicles is becoming more important than ever.
Improving efficiency doesn’t only come with changes to the powertrain however, with aerodynamics being a key component.
BMW understands this and it has developed a new type of flush-mounted side windows in order to reduce drag.
Before the mid-80s, cars had side windows that were installed quite far into the door, meaning that the pillars surrounding them jutted out significantly. In a move to improve aerodynamics and fuel consumption, automakers began adopting what they called “flush-mounted windows”. These windows were much more in line with the outside skin of the door, but BMW believes improvements can still be made on this design.
A patent filed by the German automaker shows a new mechanism to be used on side window in order to make them actually flush with the outside of the vehicle.
This is because BMW believes eliminating the drag caused by the seals around the windows could enhance the efficiency of its vehicles and even lead to greater range on its electric cars, especially when driving on the highways.
The mechanism would move the window out of its tracks when it reaches the top of its travel and then push it out until it is flush with the surrounding structure. A panel attached on the roof will reportedly keep water out of the window when it is opened.
This technology will be used on vehicles equipped with frame-less windows, such as coupes and Grand-coupes and most likely electric cars, although they might not be seen in production for a while still.