The wind resistance falls by 18 percent, the fuel consumption by virtually five percent: the design study from Mercedes-Benz goes by the working title “aero trailer” and shows how it is possible to reduce yet further the already low consumption and thus also the CO2 emissions of state-of-the-art trucks such as the new Actros. Mercedes-Benz will be presenting its ideas for the first time on the occasion of the “Trailer 2011” show taking place between 25 and 29 November in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Numerous individual measures drastically lower the wind resistance of the entire tractor unit. A front airdam on the trailer reduces the distance to the tractor unit and lowers the wind resistance by one percent. Meanwhile side trim panels contribute an eight-percent improvement. They are slightly drawn-in at the front and characterised by an opening at the rear. This steers the air in the direction of the striking rear diffuser. The diffuser has the shape of a parallelogram and links up with the underbody panelling. This improves the wind resistance by one to two percent. A rear end taper measuring slightly more than 400 mm in length forms a crucial part of the aerodynamic concept. It features folding elements to facilitate access to the load compartment. The rear end taper improves wind resistance by a further seven percent.
All in all the aero trailer lowers the wind resistance of the entire semitrailer tractor by approximately 18 percent. In the experience of Mercedes-Benz this results in a reduction in fuel consumption amounting to almost five percent in real-life road traffic. Not too much? Let's calculate. In the case of an average mileage of 150,000 km a year this means a saving of some 2000 l of diesel fuel and relieves the burden on the environment to the tune of over five tonnes of CO2 per annum.