The Mercedes Benz Viano | Part Five

The front section of the body consists of a front-end assembly containing two deformation boxes, which are fixed to the front ends of the side members. In the event of an impact, these absorb maximum kinetic energy and in minor collisions prevent damage to the side members of the frame. Behind the front-end assembly is the engine, mounted longitudinally on a subframe, and the front-axle module including the steering and suspension.

Detailed analysis has allowed the roof structure, which consists of a front and rear roof frame and horizontal roof bows, to be optimised and reinforced against the effects of shaking and vibrations. The attachment of roof-mounted carrier systems was a consideration in the development of even the entry-level model. Roof rails, and glass tilting/sliding sunroofs in the front and rear compartments are all available as an option.

The generously-sized front, side and rear windows are flush-bonded. The windscreen is made of laminated glass and is a load-bearing element of the passenger compartment. The side windows come with tinted glass as standard and the passenger compartment can also be ordered with a dark-tinted option.

Like the sliding door and tailgate, the wide-opening driver's and front passenger doors have been designed with a steel sandwich construction which optimises rigidity and keeps weight to a minimum. The large side sliding doors - 985 mm in width x 1240 mm in height - make loading and unloading even bulky goods that much easier. They can also be locked and unlocked by radio remote control in the same way as the tailgate. A new feature allows the sliding doors and tailgate to be locked and unlocked independently of the front doors.

The tailgate has an opening angle of around 90 degrees and is fitted on both sides with dual-purpose gas-filled struts, which serve as a limiter for the opening angle and aid the closing process. The tailgate is also perfectly equipped to accommodate the Mercedes Benz bicycle rack available as an accessory.

continues... | Part Six
Published 27 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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