• Oct 30, 2011
A few years ago if you wanted a Mercedes-Benz Coupe your only choices were the dandyish CLK two-door or spending the GDP of a Polynesian island on an SL or CL. The options have grown – and grown more manly – lately, and according to a story in Auto Bild there's another one coming: the E-Class Superlight.

With a rumored arrival of 2015, this rethink of the E will weigh just 2,860 pounds, meaning it would shed 770 pounds compared to the current E Coupe. How? By being "made of super lightweight carbon fiber." Powerplants for the model are suggested to be a six-cylinder gas with a hybrid motor, or a fuel-cell hybrid.

If true, this is presented as Mercedes' response to BMW and Audi moves into plastics and light weight. And this wouldn't be the only challenger from Benz, with a lightweight B and an SCS also said to be in the works.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
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        • 3 Years Ago
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        Xedicon
        • 3 Years Ago
        You know, carbon fiber is really really expensive as far as building materials go, and to build with it quickly - oh wait you CAN'T build with it quickly because of this component required called resin that has to dry before you can do anything with the carbon piece. Then there's the problem of bolting things to carbon fiber - you can't just drill a hole in it and tap it - nope. Need inserts of some kind for the threads, or, you need an entirely different means of attaching things to it altogether, or you just start integrating more and more into the piece to try and avoid the issue altogether, and that is a total PITA. Then there's making sure you get the carbon fiber juuuuuuust right. Carbon fiber in certain forms is very light and very strong but also very brittle and prone to shattering, so finding the perfect resin / weave / weave pattern takes a lot of work. Expensive work. Oh and another thing! It's common for mechanical carbon fiber parts to have a fatigue life, something you want to make as long as humanly possible when it comes to making such an expensive car. Guess you have to go back to the whole resin / weave / pattern thing again, and put each piece through the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of miles of testing. Oh darn. Can't weld anything to carbon fiber either, so there goes that HUGE advantage that has to be used in hundreds of locations in a typical car, so you have to sort that out as well. Sounds cheap to me!
      Ghetto Cat
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like the 'carbon fiber is inexpensive and abundant' guys have gotten to them.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      As always with these outrageous weight-savings claims, I'll keep my enthusiasm in-check until it actually ships. 2860 lbs is only a couple of hundred pounds more than the current Miata, one of the lightest cars on sale today. It would be nice to see M-B take the lead in making cars out of Carbon, but I'll believe it when I see it.
      Len Robertson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Boeing Aircraft and the University of Washington announced forged composite carbon fiber a year ago last October. It's 50 times stronger than steel, lighter than magnesium, resistance to 3500 degrees and nearly as hard as diamond. Interestingly, Volkswagen has a factory at the Grant County airport 200 miles east of Seattle to construct carbon fiber bodies for their Lamborghini autos. One might find a factory in the middle of hundreds of square miles of wheat rather curious. Or they will until they learn that the Grant County airport has one of the longest runways in the world---thanks to the Old Cold War and the long gone B-36, a ten engined bomber that needed every inch of the 14,000 ft runway to take off. Truth is always stranger than fiction.
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      The ZR1's extensive use of carbon-fiber on body panels is a pretty old technology already, so why are these readers getting wet in their underpants about carbon fiber, is it because it is about a Mercedes??? WHO CARES!! old news that the Americans have been using for a while.
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Does not use a single bit of carbon fiber as a structural component, which is what this car would be doing to achieve such a low weight in what is normally a boat. This place is full of jingoistic trolls.
          Jordan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @me
          I agree with you... however, your word choice is quite poor. "Jingoistic" does not fit in this context... we're not talking about war or a foreign policy here.
      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      PLEASE use this lightweight for the AMG version PLEASE!!!
      Eta Carinae
      • 3 Years Ago
      Type your comment herewow, that would be crazy a mid size coupe weighing that amount.........that would make a splash in the mid size market.......
      Chris Young
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds very cool but 700+ pounds seems very ambitious. Its not as if the current fenders weigh very much. I know a standard size front fender in metal only weighs maybe 7-10lb so a CF fender might weigh around 4-5. Mercedes would have to fabricate areas like the entire unibody/frame to realize such a drastic weight reduction. If anyone knows how to do it Mercedes does. The decades in F1 has taught them a lot. An F1 car has around 800hp and weighs around 1400lbs fully loaded. Thats driver and fuel included. Empty the cars weigh under 1000lbs easily.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe they should start with ripping out pointless things like motors and heaters in the seats, and ginormous steering wheels with 50 buttons on them.
        Left Lane Driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ernie Mccracken
        E Classes are luxury cars, just because the Superlight is a sportier version of the car doesn't mean it's going to abandon the luxury aspect of the car... If you don't want all that luxury go with a C class.
          Joey Mcfreely
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Left Lane Driver
          C class has that crap too. It used to be that luxury meant refinement, interior material quality, smooth drivetrains, world-class engineering, and other indiscernable qualities. None of these useless gadgets for lazy people has ever had anything to do with "the luxury aspect of the car". These trinkets have ruined the luxury car market.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Screw the six/hybrid. I want a stonkin' 6.2 twin turbo.....with a manual shifter. No paddles, no auto, no SMG.
        Len Robertson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        How about the Jaguar CX-75 that does 0-60 in less than three seconds, the standing quarter in the nines at 156, tops out at 213 and gets more than 100 miles to the gallon? It comes out in 2013.
      Dick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Add a 50% luxury tax to it. It'll help get that foreign crap off our roads.
      Johnny_Se7en
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is so not going to happen, carbon fiber cost about $10.00 per pound then there is the cost of fabrication. In the end you would end up with a car that cost almost as much as a SLR.
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