Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report -

IT COULD be the safest car ever built. The Mercedes-Benz ESF (ex­per­i­men­tal safety ve­hi­cle) 2009 bris­tles with rad­i­cal tech­nol­ogy de­signed to pro­tect pas­sen­gers in ex­treme cir­cum­stances.

‘‘Safety is a cen­tral el­e­ment of the Mercedes-Benz brand,’’ Di­eter Zetsche, chair­man of Daim­ler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars says. ‘‘In this re­spect we have been set­ting the pace in the mar­ket for al­most 70 years.

‘‘The ESF 2009 shows we still have plenty of ideas and the ab­so­lute will to lead the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try in this field.’’

The safety mule, the first Mercedes has built since 1974, started life as an S400 hy­brid.

Then Benz’s free-think­ing safety ex­perts got to work and turned it into the ESF to show­case how far mo­torve­hi­cle safety can progress.

Tucked into the one-off su­per­safe limo are new ideas such as an un­der-car airbag brake, in­flat­able metal side struc­tures to im­prove side im­pact safety, seats that push the oc­cu­pants away from the im­pact and seat­belts in­side an airbag.

More than a dozen safety in­no­va­tions were built into the ESF at the com­pany’s test ve­hi­cle work­shops in Sin­delfin­gen.

‘‘With the ESF 2009, we have cho­sen to demon­strate the in­no­va­tive strength of Daim­ler,’’ says Thomas We­ber, Daim­ler ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber re­spon­si­ble for cor­po­rate re­search and de­vel­op­ment at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

‘‘Any­body ex­am­in­ing the ESF 2009 in de­tail will recog­nise that more safety and im­proved en­ergy ef­fi­ciency are not nec­es­sar­ily a con­tra­dic­tion in terms. We want to make progress in both fields with trail­blaz­ing ideas.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.