MAN Nutzfahrzeuge will debut its new streamlined Concept S at this month's 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover. Why do you care? Because it foreshadows the future of road-based cargo transport designs (i.e. they're finally getting smooth and futuristic instead of blocky and dated), which by itself can lead to significant improvements in efficiency.
By aggressively attacking resistance in the wind tunnel, the coefficient of drag has been cut down a bunch (sadly, MAN doesn't provide any numbers). In turn, the unspecified engine (again, more info would be nice, MAN) now uses 25% less fuel / emits 25 % less fumes than "a comparable, conventional 40-tonne semitrailer tractor".
MAN says that "with the truck study Concept S, [it] is starting the discussion about efficient transportation of goods and the importance of aerodynamics in truck design." That's right, people are finally "starting" to think about the importance of aerodynamics and wind resistance in big-rig design. It's good to see MAN's getting on the ball, but what took so long?
By Phil Alex