By on February 24, 2010

The biggest (only?) fringe benefit of my job is what I learn. Decades of perusing old books and magazines don’t begin to add up to the collective knowledge and perspective that TTAC’s commentators provide. Case in point: I wrote the Illustrated History of Automotive Aerodynamics because I’ve always been smitten by streamlined cars ever since I saw a Tatra as a young child. And I thought I had all the slippery bases pretty well covered. But thanks to a late comment by NeilBlanchard, I’ve been introduced to what is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable aerodynamic cars ever, the 1938 Schlörwagen.  It was originally tested at Cd 0.186, but a later test by VW in the seventies of a model resulted in a Cd of 0.15. Either of these values put the “pillbug” at or near the top of the list of the most aerodynamic concept cars ever built, like the Ford Probe V of 1985, with a Cd of .137.

Built on the chassis of the rear-engine Mercedes 170H, it was substantially faster as well as 20% to 40% more fuel efficient than its donor car. The Russians took the Schlörwagen as war booty and conducted tests as a propeller driven vehicle (below). It represents a state of aerodynamic efficiency in league with the most aerodynamic cars being considered today, such as the Aptera. Thanks Neil; and the article has been duly updated as well as my knowledge.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

11 Comments on “An Illustrated History Of Automotive Aerodynamics Postscript: 1938 Schlörwagen...”



Recent Comments

  • akear: Hackett is turning out to be as loathsome as I thought he would. At least Fields had a vision for the future....
  • akear: Have you noticed just about all the Japanese car makers produce better sedans than Detroit. GM what a disgrace!
  • Ltd1983: You should actually visit Charleston sometime. It might be in SC, but it’s full of latte-sipping,...
  • threeer: So maybe some of that $300 Billion (plus) trade deficit we “enjoy” with China year over year is...
  • Penguinlord: “All work, and no play? Give Jack a Mighty Boy!” Unfortunately for my slogan, this thing...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States