This Peculiar Panhard Dyna Z Was The Result Of Rigorous Wind Tunnel Testing






The precursor of the Panhard Dyna Z was the Dynavia concept car, which debuted at the 1948 Paris Auto Salon. The Dynavia was an advanced aerodynamic design by Bionier, based on the natural movements of birds and fish. Admired by both the public and the press, the Dynavia signaled an acceptance of this advanced aerodynamic look for Panhard’s vehicles. Bionier was assigned to design a more production-practical body for the upcoming Dyna Z.

The Dyna Z had a smooth, modern look, compared to the Dyna X’s old-school separate fenders and awful aerodynamics. The Dyna Z was derived from a platform engineered by J.A. Gregoire (also used by the Dyna X) and a new body design by Louis Bionier. Panhard licensed the use of the Gregoire-designed platform and modified it over the years. It would form the foundation of all Panhard cars made through the end of the brand’s passenger-car production. 
Panhard understood early on how superior aerodynamics could improve the performance and economy of their vehicles. The Dyna Z’s body was tested in a wind tunnel and achieved an astounding (for the time) drag coefficient of 0.26, which is admirable even by today’s standards (the current Toyota Prius comes in at 0.27). The Volkswagen Beetle, by comparison, had a much poorer 0.48 coefficient of drag. Aerodynamically, the Panhard Dyna Z was way ahead of its time. Panhard advertised a top speed of 80 MPH and fuel economy of 39 MPG. Not advertised was the 24-second 0-60 MPH time.

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