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Mercedes Benz Bionic Fish Car Concept

DaimlerChrysler is using a new concept vehicle to examine the great potential of bionics for automobile development, and has achieved outstanding results for fuel consumption and emissions with a combination of pioneering diesel engine technology and innovative emission control methods. The concept models of the Mercedes-Benz bionic car are appearing as part of the "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition at the world-famous "MoMA" showcases trailblazing innovations in the fields of design and science.

One of the greates highlights, is the Mercedes-Benz bionic car, which was first unveiled in June 2005 at the Innovation Symposium organized by Mercedes Daimler AG in the US capital, Washington DC. As well as boasting near-perfect aerodynamics and a lightweight concept derived from nature, the mercedes car features a clean and economical high-tech diesel engine with BLUETEC technology, which plays a major part in cutting fuel consumption and reducing emissions by a substantial margin: in the EU driving cycle, the Mercedes-Benz bionic car consumes just 4.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers making it 20 percent more economical than a comparable production model. With an output of 140 hp, it delivers state-of-the-art, hallmark Mercedes-Benz performance.

Engineers, designers and biologists at Mercedes-Benz worked hand in hand to develop the Mercedes-Benz bionic car. Its template was a sea dweller from tropical latitudes: Ostracion Cubicus more commonly known as the boxfish. Despite its unusual-looking shape, the fish is extremely aerodynamic and can therefore move using a minimal amount of energy. It is also able to withstand high pressures and, thanks to an outer skin consisting of hexagonal bone plates, can survive unscathed following collisions with corals or other sea dwellers. In free flow, its body has an outstandingly low cd value of 0.06. These characteristics are also ideal ingredients for a car designed to achieve the best possible levels of energy efficiency and passenger safety.

The concept vehicle also played a pioneering role for Mercedes-Benz when it came to emission control. It was the first test car to be fitted with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology. The emission-control technology, which Mercedes-Benz calls BLUETEC, has been available for commercial vehicles since 2005 and in the E-Class 320 BLUETEC since October 2006. Another three vehicles featuring the world's cleanest diesel will be launched before the end of this year.

The result is a two-door vehicle with four comfortable, individual seats and a drop-shaped design that is 4.24 meters long, 1.82 meters wide and 1.59 meters high. With a drag coefficient (cd figure) of 0.19, the Mercedes-Benz bionic car is one of the world's most aerodynamic compact cars in its class. Today, this figure still stands as a benchmark for the aerodynamic optimization of car bodies.DaimlerChrysler researchers examined this bionic structure and transferred this principle to the Mercedes-Benz bionic car study with the help of a special calculation process. The process is based on the principles of bone formation and for instance allows up to 40 percent more rigidity to be achieved in the external door panelling than would be possible with conventional designs. If the entire bodyshell is calculated according to this bionic principle, the total weight is reduced by around one third with undiminished strength and crash safety.


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