Mercedes-Benz chooses Magna to manufacture SLS AMG body

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

While customers have threatened to pull out of their contracts due to Magna International Inc.'s impending takeover of Opel, it got a boost of confidence from Daimler AG which is actually its fifth-biggest customer. Daimler submitted a huge order of aluminum bodies for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, giving Magna some assurance that it would not pull out business from it.

Magna disclosed that the aluminum bodies would be built at the Magna Steyr unit based in Austria - Graz. Incidentally, it's also where the Mercedes-Benz G-class SUV is built.

In a statement, Magna co-CEO Siegfried Wolf said that it takes pride from being the only supplier in Europe that's able to make a body made only of aluminum. He said that it underlines its leading position in "challenging and innovative technologies." Magna's capacity to produce these parts is quite impressive and has great value for carmakers.

Aluminum is a third lighter than steel while offering extreme rigidity, says Autonews. Since aluminum has varying metallic properties, it is a more complicated material to use in cars than steel.

Different production methods are used for tooling, stamping, welding and painting aluminum. Hitting markets in early 2010 is the anticipated supercar that is fitted with two "gullwing" doors that swing upwards for entry. This design actually became legendary in the 1950s when Mercedes launched the SL300 sports coupe.

The new Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is considered one of the prime design icons of the brand. Now, its spectacular lines have been reinterpreted in the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The distinctive styling and the purist design of the new SLS AMG represents the carmaker’s philosophy of contemporary sports car engineering.

This is evident on its bonnet measuring just under two meters, a short rear section with an extendable aerofoil, long wheelbase, short overhangs and set-back low greenhouse as well as wide track and the large wheels. The proportions of the new SLS AMG super sports car reveal its set-back low-slung front-mid engine as well as dual-clutch transmission in transaxle configuration. Furthermore, the sporty appeal of the SLS AMG is also boosted by its gullwing doors, which evokes that of the 300 SL.

Also helping evoke the styling of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – aside from the gullwing doors -- are design cues like signature wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes star as well as the wing-shaped cross fins.

Lending the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG its dynamic on-the-road stance is its three-dimensional, sculptured face complemented by a swept-back front apron set into the sides. The powerful front end of the new SLS AMG is also made possible by vertically arranged headlamps and six large cooling air intakes. Featuring a metallic wing section, the central bi-xenon low-beam headlamp is bordered at the top and bottom by two LED indicators and LED daytime driving lights, respectively.

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