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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This Designer's Idea For An Aerodynamic Mercedes-Benz Limousine Aims To Cheat The Wind

You might think that the most aerodynamic vehicles on the market are #supercars. But you'd be wrong. While their manufacturers may spend an inordinate amount of time and energy perfecting their supercars' aerodynamics in wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics simulators, the amount of #downforce they generate and cooling they require for their mechanical components offset any wind-cheating slipperiness their designers and engineers might pursue.

No, the most aerodynamic cars are... well, they're dedicated hybrids and EVs like the Volkswagen XL1, Tesla Model S, and Toyota Prius. But a close second are luxury sedans. Their elongated forms and emphasis on quiet cruising result in some of the cleanest forms out there. But one designer aims to take the idea even further.

His name is Roman Egorov, and he works as an automotive designer for Citroën. He previously interned at BMW as well, but in pursuing his master's degree, he worked up this design for (and with support from) Mercedes-Benz as his thesis project.

Egorov's idea was to design a traditional three-box limousine with the aerodynamic profile of a one-box lozenge. To get there, he borrowed some tricks from racing prototypes and road-going supercars, only without the downforce and cooling requirements.

The design pictured here channels air from the grille through a cutout in the hood, over the roof and through an open aerodynamic trough of sorts to exit cleanly rearwards. Underbody aerodynamics appear to play a significant role as well in keeping the airflow smooth and uninterrupted as well, contributing to a sleek shape that could potentially influence the future luxury sedans – be they from Mercedes or Citroën's DS brand.

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