Body: Lighter and stiffer

Mar 9, 2016
Less weight, excellent stiffness for superb handling coupled with optimum noise and vibration characteristics as well as high crash safety – the bodyshell of the new E-Class provides an innovative base which also facilitates new fuel consumption benchmark figures.
Thanks to intelligent lightweight construction, the body is some 70 kilograms lighter than a conventional steel body. To achieve this, sheet steel and die-cast aluminium are used as materials for most of the bodyshell. The front wings, bonnet, boot lid, and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminium. For example, to increase the local introduction stiffness, the damper brackets at the front are no longer of the usual sheet steel, but of cast aluminium. It was possible to integrate and merge in a single pressure die-cast part several parts that are made up of several steel components in conventional designs. In addition, there was a significant increase in the proportion of ultra-high-strength steel compared with the previous model. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption and makes for perceptibly sporty and agile vehicle handling.
Percentage weight of materials at a glance
New E-Class
Previous model
Aluminium (sheet and cast) %
16
5
Ultra-high-strength sheet steel %
6
3
 
Other design details include larger cross-sections as well as precisely calculated stabilising beads in the floor and bulkhead. High-strength adhesives are used extensively to firmly bond the parts, which, in turn, helps increase the stiffness of the bodyshell.
Body and bodyshell set a new benchmark in terms of overall vehicle stiffness. As a result, the ambitious goals for driving dynamics and noise level have been exceeded.
Safety takes precedence
The body has been designed for high crash safety. The saloon not only meets all current national and international laws, but also all rating requirements as well as the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety requirements, which are based on what actually happens in real-life accidents.
A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It consists primarily of high-strength and ultra-high-strength sheet steel and panels with graduated wall thicknesses designed to withstand specific local stresses. Many segments consist of hot-formed steels, which become very hard as a result of this production process.
The high-strength passenger cell is surrounded by specifically calculated deformation zones which have been extensively field-tested. Thanks to optimised dissipation paths and a combination of aluminium die-cast parts and ultra-high-strength materials, this set-up achieves outstanding crash test results (e.g. Euro NCAP and U.S. NCAP) and guarantees high occupant safety.
An important contribution to pedestrian safety is the active bonnet in the new E‑Class. The technical basis is a comprehensive sensor system in conjunction with intelligent algorithms in the airbag control unit, which decides when to trigger. After the pyrotechnical actuators have fired, the bonnet lifts by a noticeable amount at the hinge in fractions of a second to create additional space between the bonnet and the components in the engine compartment.
State-of-the-art headlamps
The new E-Class comes as standard with standard halogen headlamps. These incorporate an energy-saving LED daytime running lamp.
Alternatively, a static LED High Performance headlamp as well as an innovative MULTIBEAM LED headlamp system with Intelligent Light System and adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus are available.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Air suspension
16C43_27
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Chassis
16C43_28
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Steel suspension
16C43_29
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_01
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_02
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_03
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_04
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_05
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Dimensions
15C1222_06
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