Thursday, June 09, 2005

DaimlerChrysler Showcases 70 MPG Bionic Diesel Concept

DaimlerChrysler has unveiled a new “bionic” concept car that achieves outstanding results for fuel consumption and emissions with a combination of diesel engine technology, innovative emission control methods and aerodynamic design inspired by a natural example.

The Mercedes-Benz bionic car seats four, delivers better than 70 mpg in the US test cycle and exceeds Euro 4 emissions standards. It is premiering at the DaimlerChrysler Innovation Symposium in Washington.

The model they chose was the boxfish. Despite its boxy, cube-shaped body, this tropical fish is in fact outstandingly streamlined. With an accurately constructed model of the boxfish, the engineers in Stuttgart were able to achieve a wind drag coefficient of just 0.06 in the wind tunnel.
Ok, first, 70 mpg totally rocks, right on DaimlerChrysler engineers.
Second, that car looks horrible. Maybe it grows on you in time but I don't like it at all.
Third, I like this whole bionics things. Why reinvent the wheel if nature has already done it for you?
Forth, who would have ever thunk that the boxfish was aerodynamic? I have seen those guys swim underwater (and they swim very slowly) and thought man that shape doesn't look very efficient at all. I really thought they were the Hummers of fish, and now it turns out they are even more Prius than a Prius. Now a tuna, that looks like an aerodynamic fish to me. But a boxfish? Since when is anything with the word box in it aerodynamic? I mean, take a look at this image (and while you are there check out the kick ass Nudibranchs photography). Aerodynamic? Are you kidding me? But I guess that is why they pay the big bucks to the marine biologists and bionic engineers to figure this stuff out.

via Green Car Congress

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