The Mercedes-Benz Bionic Car was developed to explore the great potential which nature offers as a model for the development of automotive technology. The objectives were reduced drag, greater rigidity with low weight, undiminished levels of safety and the lowest possible fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Bionics – a combination of biology and technology – is a recent field of interdisciplinary research which brings biology together with engineering science, architecture and mathematics. The basic principle is to take nature's solutions to problems, developed in the long process of evolution, and make them usable for man.
In a new departure, Mercedes-Benz researchers and engineers looked at the natural world in order to find a model which, both in terms of its overall make-up and the details of its form and structure, was a close approximation to an aerodynamic, safe, comfortable and environmentally compatible car.
They found the boxfish, a highly skilled swimmer which, despite its box-like body, has outstandingly low flow resistance – a property which is extremely valuable with regard to aerodynamics. An accurate model of this tropical fish was found to have a drag coefficient (Cd) value of just 0.06.