• Feb 15, 2007

The top three concerns for your typical car buyer are reliability, safety, and fuel economy. With all the safety requirements automakers have to achieve, weight can ultimately begin to balloon. You can get an Audi A6 Avant that weights over two tons! Of course additional weight brings lower fuel economy, which neither customers nor automakers want. Vehicles are also growing in size with each new generation. These 2-4 inch growth spurts help increase industry-wide weight by up to 1% per year.

Daimler Chrysler, like the rest of the industry, is doing what it can to tackle this problem head-on. Lighter high-strength steel and tactical use of aluminum is finally putting a dent on weight gain. The company is leaning on engineers and suppliers to lessen the load of individual components to help. The first real evidence of the weight loss game is in the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The vehicle has grown dimensionally yet it retains its 3200 lb weight. Lighter cars and trucks will be good for all of us with better fuel economy and typically more lively handling. We're hoping this C-Class weight-loss success story isn't just another fad.

[Source: AutoWeek]



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  • 13 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like the Sebring. Same platform?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmm
      As I was saying..
      The L SERIES CARS.. were a SALES and brand mgt DISASTER!! Those cars tipped the scales at about 3200lbs.. but it felt like a good 4500. The driving experience felt heavy. Didnt stop worth a g-damn.

      I got news for ya.. ""why not the LS2/LS7"" THOSE SATURN L series.. cars WERE GARBAGE. Thats why they arent around anymore.

      They didnt advertise them.. and they didnt sell. As for the Audi's door panels... its standard AMERCIAN AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN.. that the driver window switches.. are on the door.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My A6 is 7 years old, and it's over 2 tons too. Yeah, if you look at Audi's stats is appears that A6s don't weigh that much, but the weights are stated for a fairly stripped down model. If you have a sunroof and an automatic (and almost all of you do), then your A6 is over 4,000 lbs. Even an S4 is only about 100 lbs lighter when configured the same (although more of them are stick shifts).

      Luxury cars are heavy, even when pretending to be sporty.

      Accordsforall:
      The old plastic Saturns are heavier than a comparable Civic or Celica. But they weren't anywhere near 4,000lbs. The plastic panels added 100 to 150 lbs of weight, putting the Saturns around 3,000lbs. And BTW, they sold very well. And I wish my Audi had those "weird door switches" my Saturn had. If it had, I might not have had to have the switch panel replaced in it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh that comment about old Saturns being heavy is total BS. Doing a Google search brings up weights of 2350 pounds or less for a Saturn SL. Well okay, some people have converted them to electric vehicles, and then they tip the scales at 3300 to 3500 pounds with all those batteries. Criminy, my 2006 Jetta is 3200 pounds or so...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know about the tactical use of aluminum, but if you are interested, here is all of the information you would want about the application of high-strength steels in the C-Class to make it lighter.

      http://www.worldautosteel.org/articleMercedesBenz20070202.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Give designers a spline tool and give the nanny-state the power to mandate that we all drive puff-pastries, and this is what we end up with. In some sense, we deserve it."

      agreed, desigining a car is all about comprimise. as customers, we have been buying based on what features a car has. dvd nav, side curtain air bags, seating for 7. what is the result? we get worse milage than we did in the late 70s. even with all our "weight shedding" advances.

      the sad thing is, now that there are all these huge cars and trucks on the road, its unsafe to drive a small car. what i used to call a small car is no longer legal to sell in the US.

      that is the price that we have paid for our big cars loaded with features. im stuck here scratching my head wondering if the car that i want to own will ever be made, and if it is, will it be legal for me to buy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not too impressed by "Crossovers" that weigh 5000 lbs, a la GM's new Acadia/Outlook twins. 5000 lbs used to be a heavy duty pickup truck, now even light duty 1/2 tons are 5400 lbs or more. Big luxury cars like the 7-series, S-class and Audi A8 weigh in at 4400 or more lbs, the new Lexus LS is 4600 or so lbs, and uber-luxury cars like the Maybach, Rolls-Royce and Bentley's are coming in at almost 6000 lbs. Even the new Mitsubishi Lancer is over 3000 lbs. When wil the madness stop?
      • 7 Years Ago
      'And the Sebring.. is as I believe something shared from MITSU
      Posted at 11:08AM on Feb 15th 2007 by Accordsforall'

      Again accordsrboring, you know not of what you speak! The Sebring is built by DCX on a platform that was jointly developed with Mitsubishi for the Caliber/Compass/Patriot, then highly modified for the Sebring/ Avenger. PLEASE know what you're talking about when you post, otherwise you just look like a Honda fanboy
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe the Challenger won't weigh so much now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      well, 13,000 employees sent to oblivion, that should lighten their load by 1,950,000 lbs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has anyone else noticed that the move to thinner and lighter steels has made body panels more dent prone? Seems to me the old Saturns had it right with dent resistent plastic bodies.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I despise how fat cars are today. Today's 3-series makes yesterday's 5-series look like a compact. Is there a 4x4 out there that doesn't give the impression of being a fat, past-its-prime, middle-age athlete? Even the wrangler has gotten fat!

      Give designers a spline tool and give the nanny-state the power to mandate that we all drive puff-pastries, and this is what we end up with. In some sense, we deserve it.

      I'll stick with the old stuff. It's is too bad, because I'd prefer a modern combustion engine.

      Cheers,
      prat
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