Cool Concepts #3 - Mercedes-Benz Aero Trailer

The word ‘truck’ is almost always associated with the image of a big, slow-moving and a high-polluting vehicle. Atleast in India, this image of a ‘truck’ holds good as the design of the trucks that we get to see here are neither aerodynamic enough to punch a big hole efficiently in the air nor are they powerful enough to aid quick acceleration and high speeds. The situation only gets worse when it comes to tractor trailers as they are bigger, slower and more polluting than the regular trucks. It is not highly uncommon to see a single tractor trailer blocking the way and slowing down an entire chain of other vehicles on our highways. But, Mercedes-Benz seems to have a solution for this.

The ‘Aero Trailer Concept’ that was showcased at the Trailer 2011 show that took place in Belgium in the last week of November is Mercedes’ interpretation of how the future trailers should be. The trailer coupled with the Actros tractor is modern, stylish and aerodynamic – terms that you do not normally associate with a big rig. The design of the Aero Trailer proves that trucks can also look stunning and make us drool over their looks when they are not designed with rulers and set squares, as is often the norm. The Aero Trailer is not all show and no go as it boasts features like air dam, body taper and rear diffuser – things that would hitherto make sense only on exotic sports cars and F1 cars.


* Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz
* Model Name: Aero Trailer Concept
* Debut: Trailer 2011, Belgium
* Competitors: All other Trailers

Overall, Mercedes-Benz claims that the Aero Trailer offers 18% less wind resistance which, in turn, reduces the fuel consumption by 5%. For an average running of 150,000 km a year, that would mean a saving of 2000 liters of diesel fuel and a huge 5 ton reduction in the amount of carbon-di-oxide released into the atmosphere. Be it the air dam, the side trim panels, the rear diffuser or the rear end extension called “boat tail”, Mercedes-Benz has tested each of these features in the wind tunnel before incorporating them in the concept. With more than 25 years of research in aerodynamics, the company is planning a lot of other things that would make tractor trailers more endearing to the environment.

With all this hard work already done, I say ‘Bring it on, Mercedes-Benz’. If not for protecting the environment, at least it would make the roads a much better place to look at and drive through.

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