Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren: The Technology | Part Three

Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren

Mercedes Benz SLR (2003)

This makes the SLR the world's first series-produced car to have a front crash structure made entirely from carbon fibre. The carbon fibre longitudinal members each weigh just 3.4 kg.

The passenger cell of the high-performance sports car is also made entirely from this high-tech material. In a head-on, side-on or rear-end collision, it offers the passengers an extremely rigid, safe survival zone. At the rear, two internal longitudinal members made from laminated carbon fibre and a robust cross member take on the task of energy absorption in the event of a crash - as a rule the passenger cell remains structurally unaffected.

Adaptive front airbags which deploy in two stages depending on the severity of the accident, newly developed sidebags which protect the head, plus belt tensioners and belt force limiters all form part of the new SLR's occupant protection system.

Ceramic brake discs and SBC™ for exemplary braking safety

The brake discs of the cutting-edge swing-wing door vehicle are also made from a high-tech material which meets the highest of standards. Here Mercedes Benz has used carbon fibre-reinforced ceramic to achieve outstanding performance, temperature-resistance and longevity. Thanks to the highly robust material, the SLR's large brake discs allow maximum deceleration of up to 1.3 g - a top value in a series-produced car. At the front axle alone a total brake pad area of 440 cm2 is available.

Further features of the new SLR include Sensotronic Brake Control (the electrohydraulic braking system), the Electronic Stability Program (ESP ), automatic tyre pressure monitoring, 18-inch wheels and aluminium suspension which bears the signature of experienced race car constructors - all of which create the necessary criteria for perfect dynamic handling and excellent driving safety.

Published 25 August 2003 Melanie Carter

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