Mercedes CLA is the most aerodynamic production car of the world

Version française Car Engineer

With a drag coefficient (Cd) value of 0.23, the CLA sets a new benchmark – both within the Mercedes-Benz model range and among all production vehicles. The drag area, Cd x A – which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field, at 0.51 m². This record figure is undercut still further by the CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, which will be launched in June 2013. In this case the Cd figure is 0.22, while in terms of wind resistance the four-door coupé manages to breach another magic barrier: the figure here is just 0.49 m².Mercedes CLA aerodynamic tests

The good air flow characteristics, which are a major contributory factor to the vehicle’s low fuel consumption in everyday conditions, result from numerous aerodynamic optimization measures. These include the following features:
  • large diffusor cover
  • aero baffles
  • optimized rear muffler
  • aero covers for spring links
  • cover for rear axle subframe
  • optimized main cover
  • slotted wheel house liner
  • optimized lower stiffener
  • engine cover
  • demand controlled cooling air, using adjustable radiator shutter
  • optimized front apron
  • large area of underbody paneling and additional cladding in the center rear axle area
  • serrated wheel spoilers at the front and rear wheels
  • slotted wheel arch linings
  • low A-pillar shoulder
  • aerodynamically optimized exterior mirror housings
  • aerodynamically optimized rear end design (flush sitting boot lid and fins in tail lights)
  • aerodynamically optimized rear silencer with downstream diffuser
  • wheels and tires with low air resistance

Aerodynamic simulation

Source: Daimler

Romain’s opinion:

Drag coefficient always results in a trade-off between stylists and aerodynamic engineers work. It is pleasant to see that both the style and the drag coefficient have been successfully optimized to get a nice-looking car. It is in line with new Mercedes style strategy which aims at attracting young customers while reducing fuel consumption of its vehicles. Do you think it will be possible to further reduce the drag coefficient of 0.22 obtained on the Mercedes CLA?

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    About the Author

    Romain Nicolas

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