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 the experimental ESF 05 may have been the sedan in the world, but Mercedes-Benz that few customers would such a car in their driveway. Its variation on an ESV, shown in 1972 and dubbed ESF 13, took the learned from ESF 05′s and packaged them in a more sedan body. Like the ESF 05, the ESF 13 was to withstand the exact same rear and side impacts, yet to look like a conventional Front bumper travel, for was increased to 16.5 inches, yet the structure protruded little than conventional sedans of the The secret was packaging; Mercedes-Benz had the car’s front and rear, and a new extension masked the enhanced bumper. In the event of an accident, front and rear bumpers designed to tuck under the absorbing impact energy adding to occupant safety

Cutaway drawing of the Mercedes-Benz ESF 24.

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

the ESF 05, the ESF 13′s biggest drawback was its Changes to front and rear panels added 21 inches in length while the additional and safety structures boosted the weight by 1,551 pounds. more contemporary in appearance, likely that the car’s and performance penalty would made the car uncompetitive in the open yet it further progressed Mercedes-Benz’s of how to construct safer 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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