Innovation

Champion of aerodynamics.

The CLA is aerodynamically efficient and breathtaking in one.
Overseas model shown throughout.

Innovation

Champion of aerodynamics.

The CLA is aerodynamically efficient and breathtaking in one.
Overseas model shown throughout.

Aerodynamic perfection.

The picture shows the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé from the side in the wind tunnel in a test hall.
The image shows a 3/4 rear view of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé in the wind tunnel.

Aerodynamic perfection.

Even if it is only about thousandths – it is a tough fight. For 100 years Mercedes-Benz has been working on producing optimally aerodynamic bodies in series. This commitment is now crowned with the CLA: with a record Cd value of 0.23 and drag area Cd x A of 0.51 m², the result is a milestone in modern vehicle aerodynamics – smooth, flowing surfaces and lines so typical for Mercedes-Benz that give expression to the sporty spirit of this four-door coupé.

Intelligently flowing.

The picture shows a chart of the air flow in the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé.

Intelligently flowing.

With aerodynamics the car can become quieter as well as more efficient. Dr Teddy Woll, Head of the Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics departments and of the wind tunnel centre, knows just how significant the effect actually is. "The equation is simple: improving the wind resistance by 10 points means saving around 0.1 litres of fuel. When driving on the motorway around one quarter of a litre of fuel can thus be saved per 100 kilometres. If you wanted to achieve this effect through lightweight design measures, the car would have to become around 35 kilograms lighter. But wind noise is also a discipline in aerodynamics. Fewer air swirls mean less noise in the car. And with the CLA not only do we have the most streamlined car, it is also the car with the quietest interior in its class."

Ingenious details.

The image shows the radiator with louvre shutters on the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé.
The image shows a 7/8 rear view of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé in the wind tunnel.
The image shows the serrated wheel-arch spoilers on the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé.

Ingenious details.

The CLA skilfully glides through the air flow: through numerous technological innovations the engineers have succeeded in reducing the wind resistance to a minimum. For example through the radiator, which is fitted with louvre shutters which only open if the engine requires appropriate cooling. "We were able to improve how the air flow is guided under the car by generously panelling the underbody and fitting it with an aerodynamically optimised rear silencer and a diffuser", Dr Woll explains.
"We were also able to considerably reduce the flow around the wheels with serrated wheel-arch spoilers.
Plus there is our dynamic tail end with the spoiler lips on the boot lid and tail lamps with which we were better able concentrate the flow behind the car." The challenge here is to combine optimum airstream with an optimally designed shape.

"It's often a question of millimetres."

The picture shows the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé from the side in the wind tunnel.

"It's often a question of millimetres."

Aerodynamics and design go hand in hand. Dr Woll works with the designers from an early stage in development. "Even for the initial 1:4 models we determine proportions together and fine-tune the aerodynamics in the wind tunnel. This calls for good teamwork, as it's often a question of millimetres. The CLA is an excellent example of how good aerodynamics and great design do not contradict one another. It is the overall concept that matters here, and this is also the reason why the CLA's record Cd values cannot be achieved in all model series", the aerodynamics expert explains. "Nevertheless the other models in our compact car family will also achieve top Cd values." Spurred on to build even more aerodynamically efficient models, the engineers' hunt for optimisable details continues: with the aim of cracking a new record again.