Not everyone who wants an electric car wants an SUV. There’s still life left for longer and lower electric vehicles — especially highway models optimized to maximize driving range.
But less than what you’d think would be traditional three-box sedans, with a roof, cabin and trunk. And many more of them will have hood and hatchback “kammback”.
Simply put, if you design a car around lower aerodynamic drag, it will be able to deliver more highway miles per kilowatt-hour of stored battery power — which means more costs. lower and lower environmental footprint for the vehicle. The sedan shape is prone to turbulence behind the rear window, but the softer slopes and tapered sides near the rear overcome the problem.
Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept
That’s especially important for entry-level luxury models, where all the numbers have to stand out from basic commuting gear but still hold onto the price point. That’s why, with Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX, which previews a new generation of compact to midsize electric vehicles on the MMA platform coming in 2024, Mercedes has made its aviation debut.
The EQXX concept achieves an excellent drag coefficient of 0.17 – much lower than any current production four-door system. And company officials have pointed to its aerodynamics as one of the keys to its projected real-world range of 621 miles on a battery pack with less than 100 kWh capacity, perhaps with Air freshener for battery.
Toyota Prius 2009
Volkswagen XL1 2014 (Euro Specifications) – First drive, Wolfsburg, June 2013
It’s no mistake that many of the most aerodynamic automotive designs have moved towards the same teardrop shape and kammback black roofline. The Toyota Prius Adopting it started in 2004, and it helped the nameplate to take the mpg level higher and become an iconic design. The Volkswagen XL1 of a decade ago was VW’s “one liter car”—a vehicle conceived to chase a 100 km target with just one liter of diesel, or 235 mpg. Dutch company Lightyear announced that its One electric car will The most aerodynamic car in the world, with Cd below 0.20. Even the Aptera, a tricycle, follows some of the same teardrop shapes to help allow driving range up to 1,000 miles.
You can also say that Kia Stinger and the Audi A7 family is also part of the kammback family. Both have a hatch, as well as protruding more rearward than most modern sports sedan designs.
Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept
In the EQXX, the teardrop styling, combined with the long roofline, the extension behind the rear wheels, and the tall, short rear end, aim to combine some of these ideas — but with practicality that would leverage the functional efficiency of a sedan into a new aeronautical savvy future.
According to Stefan Lamm, head of advanced design at Mercedes-Benz AG, it took four people to fit the concept and it needed to look “realistic” and “mature”. That poses a special kind of challenge compared to implementing a hyper-air concept.
Big one 2022 Mercedes EQS, the brash hatchback itself, has hit a staggering 0.20 coefficient of drag, but the intuitively shorter cars (180 inches longer for the EQXX) pose a bigger challenge on the road. wind tunnel.
That said, the EQXX’s drag coefficient of 0.17 involves some compromise between utilitarian and attractive design, versus the pursuit of wind tunneling end results. According to Teddy Woll, Mercedes’ head of aerodynamics, the lack of extra wheel splints — the flat covers found on the original XL1, EV1 and Honda Insight — is part of the give-and-take design. Getting the wheels close to the wheel clearance and have a smooth rim design, says Woll, provides “almost an effect similar to spats”. He admits that adding span won’t make the drag coefficient significantly lower.
1996 General Motors EV1
There’s a simple reason for that, Woll explains Green Car Report. Adding a span would require even more “tail” (slim) in the rear — think GM EV1 — to get the most aerodynamic advantages from such a change.
A slight narrowing to the rear allows for most of the advantage, says Woll. The EQXX rides on a rear track nearly two inches narrower than the front (1850 mm, vs 1900 mm), allowing the rear wheels to follow the airflow generated by the front.
While we’re skeptical that the tall, skinny tires – still only a possibility – and the narrower rear track will make it to production, some parts make sense to continue. customary. Sharp corners at the rear give the EQXX a lot of aerodynamic advantages, experts say, as does the low roofline compared to rear occupants. To compensate, future vehicles will likely not offer a space-consuming sunroof, instead offering a choice between a solar roof or a glass roof.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 2021 (AMG C63 S)
Future cars may have long rear windows and short openings, or they may be hatchbacks. Either way, they won’t be the sports sedans or sedans that have helped Mercedes, BMW and other luxury brands take the lead in previous decades. SUVs will have obvious compromises in form and capability, but from the sound of it, this is the profile of cars we need to accept for the future.
What do you think? Will you miss the profile of the classic sedan? Let us know in your comments section below.