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

Article by Christian Andrei, 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.

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