Completely redeveloped SL Roadster
Before the year is out, Mercedes-benz will present a completely redeveloped SL Roadster made for the first time almost entirely from aluminium. The aluminium bodyshell of this vehicle weighs around 110 kg less and reduces the overall weight of the new SL by 140 kg compared to its predecessor.
The bodyshell structure of this luxury sport car accommodates the Frontbass sound system and it will also feature Magic Vision Control adaptive windscreen wipe/ wash system. The new- generation Mercedes- Benz SL is sporty and lightweight with only a few components not made from aluminium. The designers used even lighter magnesium for the rear panel and high- strength steel tubing has been integrated in the A- pillars. Dr Thomas Rudlaff, who was responsible for the aluminium bodyshell, said less weight means more dynamism and less consumption.
‘‘ In other words: the motoring enjoyment increases and the environmental burden sinks.’’
In terms of rigidity, safety and comfort, the intelligent lightweight construction of the aluminium structure enables components to be optimised for their specific task.
Different kinds of aluminium are used depending on the component, made either by chill casting or vacuum die casting, worked into extruded aluminium sections or into aluminium plates of different thicknesses. The result is high rigidity, high safety levels and low resonance and vibrations.
The parts are assembled using diverse load- adequate joining methods including MIG welding, hemming, bonding, flow hole bolting, self- piercing rivets or friction stir welding.