Under the term "3D body engineering“, we incorporate all measures that make our vehicles lightweight and aerodynamic while offering maximum safety.
Under the term "3D body engineering“, we incorporate all measures that make our vehicles lightweight and aerodynamic while offering maximum safety. We rely on an intelligent material mix of high-strength steels, light alloys and plastics. The weight, life-cycle assessment, economic efficiency and above all the functional requirements on the components play important roles in the decision about what material we use where.
Intelligent lightweight construction can reduce the weight of the vehicle further without jeopardizing safety and comfort. Apart from the material selection, the component design and the manufacturing technology are also important: not every material is suitable for every component. The body shell accounts for the lion's share of a vehicle's total weight, at 35 percent. In second place is the chassis at 25 percent, the comfort and safety features account for 20 percent and the engine and transmission for the remaining 20 percent. This means that measures applied to the body shell have the greatest effect.
The C-Class - champion in lightweight construction
Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the aluminium hybrid body shell of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is around 70 kg lighter than a conventional one made from steel. The vehicle's overall weight is even reduced by around 100 kilograms. This makes the C-Class the "champion in lightweight construction" in its segment. This spawns numerous benefits: lightweight construction can cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent with no loss of power and at the same time it makes a lower centre of gravity possible, which results in noticeably sporty, agile vehicle handling.
We were able to make this leap in lightweight construction by various measures, including a completely new structural design and the use of an unusually high percentage of aluminium in large-scale production. Compared with the successful predecessor, the aluminium content has increased from less than 10 percent to almost 50 percent.