Body: The rigid and safe basis
The aluminium hybrid construction with body reinforcements of the new E-Class Cabriolet ensures great rigidity for agile handling characteristics and a high level of safety.
In a convertible, the lack of a roof often results in reduced body rigidity. The Mercedes engineers employed specific measures to counteract this during development. For instance, they made the bodyshell structures at the front end and in the floor exceptionally rigid. This rigidity provides the basis for excellent driving dynamics.
Other measures ensure a low noise level that is exemplary in this segment. For example, the floor and firewall were given additional rebates to minimise low-frequency noises, especially road roar.
The intelligent lightweight construction in aluminium hybrid design - a feature of the Coupé - has been retained. Most of the bodyshell components are made of die-cast aluminium and sheet steel. In addition, high-strength adhesives are used to a large extent to join components. This also helps to increase the rigidity of the bodyshell. The front wings, bonnet and boot lid are made of sheet aluminium.
The Cabriolet not only meets all current national and international crash requirements, but also the more stringent in-house Mercedes-Benz safety standards, which are based on what actually happens in real accidents.
A high-strength passenger cell forms the core of this concept. It consists primarily of high-strength and ultra-high-strength sheet steel and sheet metal with graduated wall thicknesses designed to withstand specific local stresses. Many segments consist of hot-formed steels, which become very resistant to deformation as a result of this production process.
The rigid passenger cell is surrounded by precisely calculated and practically tested deformation zones, which deliver outstanding results in impact tests (e.g. Euro NCAP and U.S. NCAP) thanks to targeted energy dissipation and support occupant protection to the maximum.
Modern restraint systems
In the event of an accident, the high structural safety of the body and the extensive array of restraint systems offer optimum protection. These include:
- Pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters on all front and rear seats
- PRE-SAFE® reversible belt tensioner on the front seats
- Front airbags for driver and passenger
- A kneebag on the driver's side
- Thorax/pelvis bags for driver and front passenger
- Curtain airbags integrated into the top edge of the front door panels to protect the head in the event of severe side impacts (headbags)
- Optional: sidebags in the rear
The roll-over protection system has been developed specifically for the Cabriolet. It consists of two cartridges that are fully retracted behind the rear seats and therefore invisible. If a roll-over is imminent, these cartridges are pyrotechnically fired, whereupon they shoot out to provide a survival space together with the A-pillar.