Aluminium space frame for light weight and highest strength
The SLS is also taking a new approach in its body concept. For the first time ever, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are presenting an automobile, where both chassis and body are made of aluminium. This leads to significant weight savings compared to the traditional steel construction, as shown by the car's kerb weight of just 1,620 kilograms.
The vehicle's all-new body consists of an aluminium space frame, which combines intelligent, lightweight design with the highest strength and thus further boosts the SLS' excellent handling properties. Light aluminium profiles combine the force nodes to create a stable structure. The large, low-lying cross-sections of these aluminium profiles exhibit high resistance torques, thereby ensuring the desired direct transfer of drive, braking and chassis forces. Undesired flexibility is reduced by the structure; the vehicle responds rigidly, directly and as if it was almost free of torsion.
The intelligent aluminium space frame, which has been optimized in terms of weight, is 45 per cent aluminium profiles, 31 per cent aluminium panelling, 20 per cent cast aluminium and four per cent steel. Ultra high-tensile, hot-rolled steel is used in the A-pillars to further improve occupant protection. The body-in-white weight is 241 kilograms -- and given that the maximum power is 571 hp, represents a top value in the super sports car segment.
Lower centre of gravity and transverse reinforcing struts for perfect dynamics
The overall vehicle concept has been designed with the lowest possible centre of gravity. That means a low connection between the drive train and the axles, as well as the lowest possible arrangement of the body-in-white components that contribute to rigidity. Examples include the connections between the front and rear sections and the occupant safety cell, which are resistant to bending and torque. These connections have been consistently designed to run along the lowest possible force paths. The result is not only a low centre of gravity but also a harmonious, and thus efficient, transfer of force within the vehicle's structure.
Another hallmark of the lightweight construction is the transverse reinforcing struts that are integrated into the body-in-white structure at the front and rear axles. The profiles connect the side members exactly at the points where the strongest forces act on the body-in-white when the vehicle is taking a fast bend. The advantages of this painstaking solution are a matchless degree of transverse rigidity and the avoidance of heavy secondary stiffeners or consoles.
Passive safety at the highest level
The aluminium space frame forms the basis for providing outstanding passive safety. The comprehensive range of standard equipment includes three-point seatbelts, seat-belt tensioners, belt force limiters, and up to eight airbags: adaptive front airbags, a kneebag each for the driver and front passenger, two seat-integrated sidebags and two windowbags for protection from side collision.