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1978 Colani Truck 2001

In 1978, renowned Italian designer Luigi Colani unveiled a groundbreaking prototype for a freight train, collaborating with 19 companies like FIAT, Pirelli, and Fichtel und Sachs. This futuristic design aimed to revolutionize the transportation industry, prioritizing both fuel efficiency and safety.


Colani's vision emphasized aerodynamics, aiming for a drag coefficient (Cx) of 0.4. This led to a unique design with a streamlined head car, minimal gaps between the train sections, and side fairings between the tractor's wheels. Safety was also paramount, with Colani introducing a novel solution. During a frontal impact, the driver's compartment would move back and up along guided rails while hydraulic devices absorbed the impact energy. The round windshield with three-bladed wipers further enhanced driver visibility.


The interior of the driver's compartment offered a glimpse into the future. Traditional analog gauges were replaced with digital displays, reducing visual clutter. Additionally, the design incorporated audible alerts to minimize the need for the driver to constantly monitor the instrumentation.


Through these innovations, the second-generation tractor achieved a remarkable drag coefficient of 0.38, translating to an improved average fuel consumption of 26.7 liters per 100 kilometers on highways.


While the "2001 freight train of the year" never entered full production, it showcased Colani's forward-thinking approach and remains a testament to his enduring legacy in design.


Technical Specifications:

  • Year of construction: 1978

  • Seating capacity: 2

  • Engine: Diesel, 8 cylinders, 17,200 cm3 displacement

  • Power: 350 horsepower (266 kW)

  • Wheel formula: 4x2

  • Road train length: approximately 15,000 mm

  • Width: 2,500 mm

  • Height: 4,000 mm

  • Gross train weight: 38,000 kg

  • Top speed: 120 kilometers per hour


Can't get enough of Colani trucks? Check out the 2001 DAF Aero 3000 Truck by Colani!


Source: From the collection "Behind the wheel" 1988-11 (Translated from Russian)

Images: Colani Design; Marchi Mobile