• Feb 9, 2007
Back when my whip was a Volvo 740, I ventilated my taillights, too. Actually, it was more like drilling drain holes, but once all the trapped water escaped, you can bet that the compromised seal allowed plenty of air to flow through the lamp. Mercedes has applied intelligent thought to using the taillight as a hidden aerodynamic diffuser on the new C-Class, resulting in a slick Cd of .27. Instead of marring the design with some kind of tacky, nasty lip spoiler on the trunklid, the aerodynamic wunderkinds at MBZ have applied some clever trickery to keep the arse of their newest kostspieliges auto looking slick.

A lip spoiler changes the airflow behind the vehicle by interrupting the smooth flow coming over the top of the car. That interruption reduces lift. The problem with a spoiler, is that they require a specific shape to attain their spoiling effect, dictating styling direction. The C-Class engineers have taken an alternate route to addressing the vortices out back. The taillights act as diffusers, pulling air from underneath the vehicle and venting it out of slits in the lamps. The high pressure air under the car now has somewhere to go, which reduces lift. An elegant alternate solution that achieves the same result as the old spoiler. The air coming out of the taillight lenses also affects airflow along the sides of the car for the better, keeping turbulence behind the new C-Class down. We can't say how close you'll have to ride your bicycle to this thing to get sucked along by the bubble, or how badly it'll mess up your hair when it passes by, what with all that air blowing all over the place, but it sounds like a clever trick.

[Source: worldcarfans]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      _________________________________________________
      NEW GENIUS COMMERCIAL, MADE IN STUTTGART:

      NEW C CLASS SAYS TO DOCTOR Z: "WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY AIRFLOW, SO MY REAR END DOES NOT LIFT UP?"

      DR Z SAYS, "BLOW IT OUT YOUR TAIL LIGHTS!"
      _________________________________________________
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lexus IS has that too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The R107 SL, which started production in 1971, had ribbed taillights to keep them free of dirt and snow, a feature which was prominent on MBs for the next twenty-five years. It's neat to see them go at innovative design again.

      Now, as people have said, let's see them innovate the reliability back in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mercedes is getting beaten to shreds by Lexus because they focus too much on elaborate designs like this but neglect the basics. Japan uber alles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if those intakes and slits will clog up in snowy/icy/dirty conditions?
      • 7 Years Ago
      These Benz guys really sweat the details. Its interesting, the C-class almost always finishes near the bottom of the pack in entry luxury car comparisons, but sports some of the most satisfied owners over the long haul.

      My guess is that on things that aren't measured in a comparison -- like how tired your butt feels after 12 hours of driving -- Benz does well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't wish to comment on the actual article but applaud the author's use of the word "arse". Great to see UK English pervade it's way into Autoblog!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very cool, kind of like what we're seeing on the LF-A prototypes.. but less extreme... well i guess those are for cooling the engine... nm... nice none the less
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would be a great innovation! For sure my brother, who's been driving my car right now, will definitely like it if my volvo tail lights will be ventilated. I just wished they'd thought about that before...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cool!

      And, as with Mercedes circa 1985, the concave shape of the taillight lens will likely help blow off snow. Which is good because you should know when the $50k Merc in front of you slams on its brakes during the winter.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So it sounds like it will shoot mud to tail gaters?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess that's similar to the ridges they put on the leading edge of the sunroofs and sideview mirrors to cut down wind turbulence noise.I guess we can look to that to be the next active styling feature on cars(strakes at the rear corners designed to diffuse and cut down drag).
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