Mike Stevens | Nov 29, 2011

There is a concept in Japan known as 'dekotora', a localised portmanteau of the English words 'decorated truck'.

While those glamourised haulers are focused on 'form over function', Mercedes-Benz' new Aero Trailer study takes the form to a new level of fuel-efficient function.

The idea behind the Aero Trailer is simple: endow the big box with a slick shape that can cut through the air with greater ease, saving fuel and throwing out fewer of those nasty CO2s.

Giving the trailer its sleek profile is a front airdam, side aprons, a rear diffuser (now we've seen everything) and a tapered overhang at the rear.

mercedes benz aero trailer concept 02

Mercedes says the tweaks lower wind resistance of the entire truck-and-trailer combo by a huge 18 percent, saving more than 2000 litres of diesel and five tonnes of CO2 over 150,000km.

For now, the Aero Trailer concept can't be used on Europe's public roads because its length exceeds the current permissable by just under 500mm - the size of the tapered overhang.

"It is here that changes to legislation are necessary, as in the case of tail lifts and transportable fork-lift trucks, for instance, where exceptions of a similar magnitude are already granted," Mercedes-Benz says.

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