A streamlined object will cut through the air with less resistance, just like a sharp knife cuts through materials better than a dull one. Streamlining means less aerodynamic drag and therefore less fuel is needed to propel a car forward. With the big-three Detroit automakers now asking for a government bailout, one only has to look back a few years to see how hard they worked to keep overall efficiency ratings at a paltry 21 miles per gallon. They took the easy route of producing boxy sofa-beds-on-wheels.
The 1947 Saab, shown above, says everything with it’s design—efficiency, speed, and fun. The Model T Ford started production in 1908 and achieved a fuel efficiency on the order of 13 to 21 mpg (5 to 9 kilometres per litre or 11.1 to 18.7 litres per 100 km), about the same as today’s best selling U.S. car models.
It is just a matter of time before someone manufacturers a green car, at a reasonable price, that makes it visually cool to be energy efficient—all while achieving 100mpg. Design and efficiency should go hand-in-hand. Apple did it with the iPod and iTunes by taking advantage of new technology and reinventing how people listened to and purchased music. The auto industry is about to do the same—with or without Detroit.
photo source: http://www.nnauto.cn/nnauto/Factory/Saab/saab.htm