The most streamlined car in the world is currently the Mercedes EQS. Its slick bodywork has a Cd value of 0.20. Yet in the past there were cars that were even more aerodynamic.
The Volkswagen XL1 is a plug-in hybrid car with a Cd value of 0.189. Although the model name suggests otherwise, this Volkswagen is anything but XL. It has two seats. The driver and passenger sit behind each other. The plug-in hybrid car with a 0.8-liter TDI and an electric motor achieved a fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km on paper. The Volkswagen XL1 was therefore also called the 1 liter car. Volkswagen only built 250 units of the XL1, which, hold on, cost 100,000 euros.
The McLaren Speedtail is also smoother than the Mercedes EQS, with a Cd value of 0.19. To achieve this, the remarkably long (5.20 meters) super sports car does not have normal exterior mirrors. Instead, there are tiny cameras behind the front wheels that disappear into the bodywork at higher speeds. The front wheels are sealed and a large rear spoiler (which you expect on a super sports car) is missing. Instead, the butt features flaps that curve upward and have no hinge point.
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For the aerodynamics of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 the famous Spitfire from the Second World War was looked at. The designers added a wing to the side of the rear spoiler that was inspired by this fighter plane. This absorbs the airflow coming from the roof and reduces swirls around the spoiler. The design team also took inspiration from nature, such as the posture of a peregrine falcon as it dives at almost 400 km/h (!). All this has resulted in a Cd value of only 0.21.
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A Cd value of 0.36 means nothing at all in this list of slippery cars. Yet many people shout 'Citroën DS' when they have to name a streamlined car. But a Cd value of 0.36 was still very special in its time. Unfortunately, the reliability was also, er, special. The fame of the Citroën DS, also called 'Goddess' or 'Pike', was not limited to the car world; a copy is on display in the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in New York.
We conclude this list of slick cars with a Japanese counterpart of the first mentioned Volkswagen XL1. This 1999 Honda Insight is also a two-seater. A small electric motor supported the 1.0-liter three-cylinder 68 hp. The Honda had an abruptly sloping rear end and covered rear wheel arches. In the beginning, air conditioning was optional, because it only made the car heavier. But even with air conditioning, the Honda weighed just 850 kg. The Cd value was 0.25, making it the most streamlined production car in the world in 1999.
This post was last modified on December 12, 2023 6:14 am
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