Mercedes to Sell Super-Aerodynamic Cars in 5 Years

by Benjamin Jones on May 8, 2009

After Mercedes released it’s E Class sedan with an industry leading drag coefficient of .24 (above) it was no big secret that the luxury car maker was going to push the envelope of aerodynamic efficiency. Despite the association between the word “aerodynamic” and the mental image of a bug-mobile, Mercedes has proven that they can do efficiency in a classy, almost invisible way.

Now the company is saying that they want cars with drag coefficients of 0.20 and less within 5 years. This would put Mercedes in the company of vehicles like the GM EV1 (0.19 coefficient of drag) and any number of concept cars that have never made it to production.

Coefficient of drag might not have the shock value of gas mileage figures, but consider this: 50 mpg may sound good but it only goes as far as fossil fuels. A vehicle with a low coefficient of drag will be efficient no matter what is powering it. These slippery Mercedes will get better gas mileage now and better electric range in the future.

And they still look pretty freaking sweet.

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1 Jim May 9, 2009 at 11:00 am

It’s this type of thinking that will put companies at the forefront of business and builds credibility. I’m already liking MB more.

2 Benjamin Jones May 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

Yes, I’m definitely liking MB more and more every day.

3 Jon W. May 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Kudos to MB. The aero push began in Germany back before WWII and hopefully this is a sign that they are picking up the torch and pushing it forward again (after a 70 year hiatus).

4 Benjamin Jones May 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Good point mentioning the pre-WWII era. There were certainly some interesting vehicles from the germans during that time period, perhaps I should make a post highlighting some of them. Thanks for the comment/idea.

5 Jon W. May 10, 2009 at 2:09 am

I just wrapped up a 3 week trip to Germany and visited all the major manufacturer’s museums (with the exception of Mercedes). If you need some pictures of a few of the cars from that period for the story let me know.

6 elhigh May 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm

They could’ve done this some time ago. Where’s that Boxfish concept gone? The cD numbers on that thing are fantastic, but it’s got the room of a minivan.

7 eco_generator May 22, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Wow! Just you wait, in a little bit one of the uber sedans with 400+ hp that can just loaf on the highway will be pulling in 40 mpg like its nothing!

…and there is nothing crazy looking (aero-wise) on that car! I am amazed.

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