Make space for elegance: The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate - PART VI


Stuttgart, Germany, Oct 12, 2009

Passive safety: Ready for (almost) anything

- New: pelvisbags in the front and adaptive belt force limiters in the rear
- Clever: Active Bonnet improves pedestrian protection

One minute the tennis bag is lying unobtrusively in the back corner of the boot. The next minute: bang - emergency braking - and the poorly secured load is already transformed into a dangerous projectile, which flies forwards, threatening the safety of the passengers. Very few drivers are aware of the immense forces which are created in the event of emergency braking and are then brought to bear in an accident. For example: in an accident at 55 km/h, a suitcase weighing 20 kg will strike the back of the rear seats with a force equivalent to a weight of more than 600 kg. This is precisely why the issue of load retention is of vital importance in the case of estates, given their large luggage compartments and diverse use as recreational and family vehicles. It is also precisely why the Mercedes engineers focused their attention on this specific issue when developing the new E-Class Estate.

A few examples:

- The combined luggage cover and retaining net, which is firmly attached to the vehicle body, comes as standard. The net can be attached both behind the first as well as the second row of seats. Irrespective of how far it is pulled out, an extraction lock with ratchet mechanism helps to ensure that no objects can come through into the passenger area.

- Mercedes-Benz has made the rear seat backrests significantly more stable than is required by the applicable legislation.

- With the new PRE-SAFE Brake function (optional extra), the effects of a poorly packed luggage compartment can be alleviated in the event of a registrated emergency situation. If the system initiates autonomous partial braking with around 40 percent of maximum braking power, the load will be automatically supported against the seat backrest and as such will be in a less dangerous position for the passengers in the event of a crash.

- Items can be tied down in the luggage compartment using the six lashing eyelets which are fitted as standard. The folding load compartment floor and EASY-PACKload management system also enable objects to be transported comfortably.

Materials: 78 percent of all panels are made from high-strength steel

Compared to the previous model series, the Mercedes engineers have enlarged the
deformation zones substantially in the front and rear sections of the new E-Class Estate as well as improving the energy flows. The front crumple zone has four
independently-acting impact levels, meaning that the forces can be distributed over a wide area while bypassing the passenger cell.

The occupant cell proves to be almost completely resistant to deformation in front, rear or side collisions or when overturning. Passengers can thus be assured of an
intact space even when the speed of collision is high.

Multi-piece longitudinal members and a solid cross member made of high-grade steel make up the most important components of the rear-end structure. An extruded aluminium hat-section profile between the rear centre section and the spare wheel well helps to stiffen the structure. Despite the increased through-loading width, it has been possible to improve rigidity in the rear area even further compared with the preceding model. This has been helped by the spare wheel well made of steel, additional diagonal struts beneath the load compartment floor and rear longitudinal members with closed cross sections throughout. The steel floor of the spare wheel well has been stiffened with an additional metal shell for optimum load bearing.

Typically for a Mercedes-Benz car, the fuel tank is located in a protected position beneath the rear seats, in other words ahead of the rear axle and, therefore, outside of the impact zone.

More so than ever before Mercedes-Benz has given preference to ultra-high-strength steel alloys for the body construction because they offer maximum strength whilst minimising weight and, therefore, are essential for meeting the strict safety and durability requirements. More than two thirds of all the bodyshell panels for the new E-Class Estate are made from these grades of steel. Resistance against distortion(torsion) of the body has been improved by around 50 percent compared with the preceding model.

Mercedes-Benz's intelligent material concept also involves the specifically targeted use of aluminium and plastic, both of which help to save weight above all. Hence the front end, bonnet, front wings and transmission tunnel brace of the new Estate are made from aluminium.

Pedestrian protection: Active Bonnet as standard

The protection of those road users who are most at risk has always been a top priority during the development of Mercedes passenger cars. Smooth-surfaced bodies, energy-absorbing bumpers, flush-mounted door handles, laminated-glass windscreens, folding exterior mirrors and recessed windscreen wipers are pedestrian-protection measures that have been features of Mercedes models for many years.

A new addition to the protection programme available as standard is the Active
Bonnet, which enlarges the deformation area, reducing the risk of injury to pedestrians. Upon impact with a pedestrian, the sensors send information to the electronic control unit which, in turn, activates two solenoids in the hinges instantaneously. These solenoids release the arresters so that the rear section of the bonnet is pushed upwards by 50 millimetres by means of spring force.

Restraint systems: nine airbags as standard

With nine airbags fitted as standard, not to mention four seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters as well as NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new E-Class Estate offers an even more extensive package of safety equipment than its predecessor. The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during a side impact. For the first time, pelvisbags are included as standard for front seat passengers, which in the event of a side collision can help to reduce loads in the pelvic area. Sidebags are also available for rear passengers as an optional extra.

Adaptive belt-force limiters in the rear

A further safety innovation: Mercedes-Benz is offering adaptive belt-force limiters for the rear seats as an option for the first time. These adapt to the size of passengers automatically. The system detects whether the rear seat passenger is large or small as soon as the seat belt is put on, based on the length of the pulled-out seat belt, and adapts its protective effect accordingly. The maximum restraint force is activated immediately if the rear passenger is large in size. In the case of smaller occupants, the force exerted by the belt is set to a lower level.
In addition to the ISOFIX child seat attachment system, integrated child seats are also available for the new Estate. They are designed for children from 22 months up to 12 years of age. If needed, the seat cushion can simply be pulled out from the rear seat bench by means of a handle and locked into a raised position. Side head restraints supplement the effect of the integrated child seat and provide head protection in the event of a side collision. They are fixed in place on the mounting supports of the standard head restraints.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by