Com­pletely re­de­vel­oped SL Road­ster

Shepparton News - Shepparton Car Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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