The EV1 is a study in automotive sculpture. It appears to be designed so that there are no stepwise discontinuities. In other words if you travel away from any point on the body, the next point is reached gradually, with no creases, folds, bumps, or abrupt changes of direction as you move along the surface. If you imagine air following this easy path as it flows around the body you can see why the car is so slippery.

There's also significant taper to the body and greenhouse. The rear wheelbase is actually several inches narrower than the front wheelbase; the body looks like a boat or teardrop from above. The passenger cabin is flush glass all around with a solid roof. The roof forms a slight dome in that it rises towards the center. The rear glass tapers in and down noticeably, almost like half of a horizontal cone.

The result of this smooth shape is that air is minimally perturbed as it flows over the body. Discontinuities tend to generate turbulence which increases drag directly and can cause the airflow to become detached from the body. A detached flow can create more turbulence and drag elsewhere including further along the body. If GM has managed to keep the flow attached over most of the body on a streetable car, that alone is a major achievement.

Even the slight gaps and creases that are present appear to be designed to generate local turbulence, low pressure areas or vortices which may help keep the larger flow attached.

The bottom of the car is almost completely covered and flat. Only the rear suspension tube, front radiator opening and suspension/wheels protrude. The front 3/4 of the underside is flat. The fairing beneath the trunk rises gently aft of the rear suspension crossmember.

All moldings are flush or near so, but are relatively conventional applications of standard automotive materials.

All these details combine to create a whole which is much sleeker than anything else on the road, by a big jump. The first Audi 5000/100 of the 1980s was revolutionary with a drag coefficient at around 0.30. Today that excellence is matched by several production cars. The EV1 is under 0.20 as specified by Aeromotive's brief for an efficient electric car. At 0.19 no other car even comes close, including many wind tunnel prototypes.