Mercedes-Benz CLA is the most aerodynamic production car in the world

Article by Christian A., on February 11, 2013

Mercedes-Benz is asserting that its new CLA180 BlueEfficiency Edition is the most aerodynamically efficient series production road car in the world, with a 0.22 overall drag co-efficient. This saloon is included in a lineup composed of five CLA models that will make their official debut at the upcoming Geneva motor show. When compared to the CLA’s cD figure, Toyota’s Prius has a rating of 0.25 while the rating for the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics is at 0.26.

The secret to its superiority when it comes to aerodynamics efficiency is its relatively small frontal area (2.21m2) and a sequence of small but effective refinements that are not seen in other CLA models. Some of these modifications include a reworked front apron, a better sealing for the headlamps surrounds, an adjustable radiator shutter and serrated spoilers to send air to the wheelhouses.

The CLA is equipped with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that Renault co-developed. This gives the CLA an output of 120bhp and 147lb ft of torque. It can accelerate to 62mph in 9.9sec and could reach a limited top speed of 118mph. It has a combined fuel consumption of 56.5mpg and a CO2 emissions level is at 118g/km.

The standard CLA180 has a rating of 52.3mpg and 126g/km. Mercedes-Benz aims to extend its aerodynamic development work by having a new wind tunnel at its Sindelfingen R&D plant.

It features a rolling road as part of a 19m long floor area and it can offer measurements at speeds of up to 165mph. Until the present, Mercedes-Benz has depended a lot on the University of Stuttgart's wind tunnel, which recently commemorated its 70th anniversary.

Its awesomely athletic dimensions and mightily vibrant design language, with its interchange between the varying curved surfaces, impart this four-door coupé with its unique appearance.

The car’s attractive characteristics include a bonnet that has its front end embedded with power domes and the diamond-shaped radiator grille. The light components and LEDs of the headlights are configured in a way that creates the trademark flared effect for the day driving lights and indicators. This light signature expresses the vehicles lively look and forms a new face for Mercedes.

Many details point to the fact that, at the design stage, the CLA signifies additional developments of the contemporary and classic Mercedes-Benz CLS. Three dominant lines create the vehicles structure when looked at in profile: the front edge structure over the wings moves to the rear in a signature dropping line. Another more muscular line reaches across the shoulder above the rear axle, while the third line spreads in a swooping curve from the front wheel back to the rear. All these lines together build depth and vibrancy to the profile.

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