Cars of Futures Past – MercedesBenz ESF Series | Hemmings Daily

10 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

Cars of Futures Past – ESF Series

The Mercedes-Benz ESF 05 experimental vehicle. Photos courtesy AG.

As the 1960s came to a close, the States Department of Transportation was growing alarmed at the increasing of fatalities on U.S. roadways. In the DOT began a program in 1968, automakers to develop Experimental Vehicles (ESVs) and hosting the Conference of the Enhanced Safety of Two years later, in 1970, the standards for occupant protection in were set, and they daunting front, rear and impact standards. Mercedes-Benz was one of manufacturers to rise to this and over the next four the Stuttgart-based automaker would 35 ESVs (ESFs in German), upon five experimental all in the name of improving traffic

The DOT standards called for ESVs to frontal and rear rigid impacts at a speed of 80 KPH (49.6 and side impacts against a pole at 20 KPH (12.4 MPH). frontal and rear bumper at speeds up to 16 KPH (9.92 MPH) expected to leave no permanent to the vehicle, and automakers were to develop automated seat systems, as this was seen as the way to ensure regular and ongoing belt use among American Foreign governments were encouraged to participate in this safety research, which led to the ongoing European Enhanced Safety Committee (EEVC).

The Mercedes-Benz ESF 13.

By the end of May 1971, Mercedes-Benz had its first ESV, based on a W114 sedan. Aside its rather substantial front and bumpers, as well as its safety-oriented matte-black body stripes, ESF 03 look significantly different any other mid-size Mercedes-Benz yet the car proved capable of meeting the 80 KPH against a fixed barrier test, as well as exceeding the 20 KPH crash test. It was an impressive even for a company as safety-centric as but the ESF 03 was never “officially” shown to the

The first model to make a appearance was ESF 05, shown in October of and also developed from a sedan. In keeping with the ESV ESF 05 was designed to withstand a frontal against a fixed barrier or of 80 KPH (49.6 MPH); a side against a fixed barrier or of 25 KPH (15.5 MPH); a rear of 80 KPH (49.6 MPh); and a drop of 0.5 meters (19.7 Inside, occupants benefited five three-point seat and the fronts were mechanized to use. Each belt was equipped with force to reduce injury, and both and rear seat passengers further protected by airbags. seat airbags, which the outboard passengers only, mounted in the oversize front and to maintain rear legroom, the was increased by 100 millimeters (3.9 Finally, all potential impact within the cabin were with impact-absorbing polyurethane adding one more layer of for front and rear passengers.

The Mercedes-Benz ESF 22.

Externally, the ESF 05 wore a exaggerated energy-absorbing front which protruded more 14.5 inches from the grille. While the rear was a bit more tasteful, it was still pronounced than that of a car. The biggest limiting of the ESF 05, however, was likely its weight; in to the increase in wheelbase and modifications to the the car also carried significant modifications to front and rear, and these changes added a 1,463 pounds to the ESF 05.

At the time of its reveal, the experimental ESF 05 may been the safest sedan in the but Mercedes-Benz knew that few would park such a car in driveway. Its next variation on an shown in June 1972 and ESF 13, took the lessons learned ESF 05′s development and packaged in a more palatable sedan Like the ESF 05, the ESF 13 was constructed to withstand the same front, rear and impacts, yet managed to look a conventional sedan. Front travel, for instance, was increased to inches, yet the bumper structure little more than sedans of the day. The secret was Mercedes-Benz had redesigned the car’s and rear, and a new front extension the enhanced front bumper. In the of an accident, both front and bumpers were designed to under the car, absorbing energy without adding to safety risk.

Cutaway of the Mercedes-Benz ESF 24.

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

Like the ESF 05, the ESF 13′s drawback was its weight. Changes to and rear body panels 21 inches in overall length the additional sheetmetal and safety boosted the car’s weight by pounds. Though more in appearance, it’s likely the car’s weight and performance would have made the car in the open market, yet it further Mercedes-Benz’s knowledge of how to construct automobiles.

In March 1973, the German presented its next evolution of the now based on the W116 (S-Class) Like its predecessor, ESF 22 took towards achieving a more design, albeit at the expense of Instead of withstanding an 80 KPH MPH) frontal impact, the ESF 22 was to endure a frontal fixed-barrier of 65 KPH (40.3 MPH); a pole impact of 50 KPH (31 a side impact against a pole of 20 KPH (12.4 a side impact with vehicle of 35 KPH (21.7 and a rear impact of 50 KPH (31 Additionally, the ESF 22 was tested in an oblique crash with a moving of 65 KPH (40.3 MPH), and was again subjected to a drop of 0.5 meters (19.7 inches).

occupant safety features four three-point harnesses passengers excluding the driver), with force limiters and pre-tensioners. The driver also a three-point harness with a limiting feature, but an airbag was in lieu of belt pre-tensioners. upping the safety ante, the ESF 22 received anti-lock brakes, a safety advance for an automobile in Despite the car’s enhanced features, its overall weight was 631 pounds more than a S-Class. Clearly, Mercedes-Benz was how to build safer cars didn’t sacrifice performance, or fuel economy.

The final ESV shown by Mercedes-Benz the release of its ESF 2009, in 2009) was the ESF 24, in June 1974. Once based on the S-Class, the car was entirely in appearance, yet could withstand a barrier impact crash at (40.3 MPH). Its passenger systems mirrored those of the ESF 22, and the car again demonstrated the capabilities of brakes. Despite the longer-travel bumper and associated structures still added 10.4 to the overall length of the car), the gain of the ESF 24 was now down to 422 pounds. the ESF 24, Mercedes-Benz had demonstrated that a car on safety need not sacrifice or performance.

Many of the experimental previewed in Mercedes-Benz’s ESF vehicles made it into production including anti-lock braking debuted as an option for the 1978 airbags (include passenger and side airbags); reinforced with integrated and motion headrests; automated seat (thankfully eliminated by the mid-1990s); belt pretensioners and force improved side impact and even pictogram-labeled controls, to minimize driver distraction.

Few would argue that cars are safer than of years past, and many are now working toward a goal of fatalities and zero injuries. or not such targets are achievable to be seen, but the lessons learned the ESV program have undoubtedly in meeting that goal.

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009


Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

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