Mercedes-Benz is working to bring a vehicle with a drag coefficient of just 0.20 cd to market by as early as 2015. The company has been hard at work improving the aerodynamic efficiency of its vehicles in an attempt to reduce overall fuel consumption.
The 0.20 cd target might seem ambitious, were it not for the fact that the German luxury automaker currently produces the world’s most aerodynamically efficient vehicle: the new E-Class coupe. With a 0.24 cd, the new E-Class Coupe even maintains a “normal” design – or at least a design that one might expect in such a segment.
Surprisingly, this design is more effective at cutting through the air than those futuristic-looking hybrid models like the Toyota Prius, with its 0.25 cd rating. To put this in to perspective the original Honda Insight had a rating of 0.15 cd.
Rainer Tiefenbacher, the man behind the E-Class, told U.K. pub AutoCar that, “There is still plenty more to come as we explore ways of improving fuel efficiency. Designers are still learning about what works aerodynamically and are having to consider it more and more when they think about how a car will look.”
“There are big steps to be made, especially around and under the engine hood. Twenty years ago we celebrated a 0.30 Cd, in five years we will reach the next big step.”