Radical Aerodynamic Semi Truck With 0.29 Cd Offers Dramatic Fuel Savings

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

We’ve looked back at a boxy old International, so how about we gaze into the future? Aerodynamics is overarching key to improved transport fuel efficiency, since hybrid and other advance propulsion technologies have limited impact on long-haul trucks. This proposal by European truck maker MAN slips though the air with a 0.29 Cd (coefficient of drag), instead of the more typical 0.57 Cd. That represents a dramatic potential improvement in economy, but at the expense of an irregular-shaped cargo trailer. That’s going to be a big impediment to the trailer and cargo-handling standardization predominant in the industry. But it shows the potential available. More details on this and some early efforts at truck streamlining after the jump: Here’s the link to the full story and more pictures.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Dec 06, 2009

    I would think that simply adding skirts to box in the wheels on the trailer would be an economical compromise. Added bonus-the potential for ground effects.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Dec 07, 2009
    Even if the reduction in drag could offset the reduction in carrying capacity, those things will never work because every warehouse in America is designed for a trailer with doors that swing open and flush with the side of the trailer. Just try finding a place to dock that at a Wal-Mart or Home Depot. It ain’t going to happen. If the trailer uses a semirigid fabric or segmented cone that could be pulled back or folded away, it could work.
  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.