Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate Aerodynamics


Aerodynamics – Aerodynamically efficient


The new C-Class Estate also owes its high efficiency to its low Cd value – the lowest in its segment.

The new C-Class Estate follows in the Mercedes-Benz tradition as the trendsetter in the aerodynamics discipline: the best variant achieves a drag coefficient of Cd = 0,27 and sets the benchmark in the premium estate segment. The new Estate has larger exterior dimensions than its predecessor; its frontal area has been increased by 0.05 square metres to 2.23 square metres compared with the preceding series. This is, however, more than offset by the improved drag coefficient. The drag area (vehicle cross-section multiplied by Cd value) was reduced by as much as five percent to 0.60 (predecessor 0.63).

Intensive detail work for Cd-benchmark

The aerodynamics engineers achieved the top Cd-an extensive bundle value with of measures. Together with the designers, the intensive use of computer-based airflow simulations allowed them to find a basic aerodynamic shape already in the early design phase, which was the prerequisite for further optimisation in the wind tunnel. The optimum ratio between rear width and rear roof height had to be found when optimising the C-Class Estate. The wind resistance could only be reduced substantially compared with the predecessor thanks to the graduated sweeping momentum of the roof, combined with an extended roof spoiler and the associated side spoilers.

A host of other detailed optimisation measures provide the new Estate with the lowest Cd-value in its vehicle segment. For instance, the A-pillar was optimised in many details and ensures a flow around the vehicle with little turbulence. In concert with the aerodynamically and aeroacoustically optimised mirrors it contributes to a reduction in drag and wind noise. Specially shaped front and rear wheel spoilers optimise airflow around the wheels.


Wind noise minimised

Special attention during the aeroacoustic development was on further improving wind noises caused by the air flowing around the vehicle and its detachable body parts compared with the preceding model. In particular the impact of the air flowing over the side windows plays an important role in near-field acoustics and have been decisively minimised. The low-frequency noise characteristics were also improved right from the simulation phase through a host of detail optimisations – such as on the main floor of the bodyshell and the new aluminium doors.

The fine-tuning of the door seals, whose concept was taken from the S-Class, was finally conducted on the actual vehicle in the wind tunnel in order to fully meet the aspirations of the C-Class as a premium estate.