Mercedes cars are heavy due to various different reasons all related to being a luxury car. Mercedes offers luxury vehicles intended to give drivers top-of-the-line enjoyment, so keeping their vehicles lightweight is not the top priority for the German automaker.
Mercedes cars need to live up to their luxury car designation, so they have many different parts that all work together to offer a synchronized sophisticated driving experience.
Mercedes’ driving characteristics are a direct result of countless testing sessions to make sure every specific part works in tandem with the rest. To make sure one part works in the best way possible, it’s often necessary to add additional parts to make the experience Benz worthy.
All of this increases not only weight of the vehicle, but also the stability. A heavier car is usually offered with wider track tires, which in turn increases the grip a car has.
The four-wheel-drive systems makes Mercedes-Benz cars heavier
Modern-day four-wheel-drive systems, such as 4MATIC offered in Mercedes models are considerably heavier than a two-wheel drive system. Furthermore, a 4WD system makes the car a lot more stable, especially in less-than-ideal conditions, such as snow or ice.
Modern-day Mercedes cars tend to highlight the advantages of more weight, and meticulously engineer out all the disadvantages that would typically come with having a heavier car. For instance, the suspension system of a modern-day Mercedes automobile is backed by a complex anti-roll system known as Active Body Control.
The weight of the Mercedes cars affects stability
Normally, as a car changes direction, especially at higher speeds, the weight of the car is transferred side to side. This results in the car leaning toward the direction it’s steering into, which can affect stability.
This is where Mercedes Active Body Control steps in. The system uses engineering wizardry through complex anti-roll bars that push against the force of the weight transfer experienced at higher speed direction changes. Thus, making the car’s suspension a lot stiffer to ensure the car stays as level as possible.
On the other hand, while the car travels in a straight line those roll bars are disconnected, making the car’s suspension a lot softer. This increases the car’s comfort and stability over uneven ground.
Of course, adding these advanced systems increases the weight of Mercedes’ vehicles.
Safety and Reliability
As far as marketing claims are considered, Mercedes tends to deliver. Especially when it comes to safety, Mercedes continuously lives up to the best IIHS ratings.
But for a carmaker to be able to achieve such high safety standards, strict rules must be followed, and weight is not a top priority compared to the safety of the occupants.
Heavy cars protect the driver more in crash situations
A heavier, sturdier car tends to provide better protection in a crash situation compared to a lighter car. Most Mercedes cars are fairly large as far as dimensions are considered, and there is a lot more car structure to be destroyed before the damaging effects reach the occupants.
Another example of clever engineering associated with the weight of the automobile is the way that the heavier car components are packaged. Modern-day Mercedes cars, especially sports cars, tend to distribute the weight evenly alongside the chassis making the car a lot safer and gives it better handling.
And they predominantly place the heavy components down low in the car chassis, as it lowers the center of gravity and helps make the car more nimble and able to change directions more easily. This also results in increased safety and performance.
As far as reliability is concerned, Mercedes tends to overengineer many different structural parts of the body such as the frame. By using more layers of metal materials, the frame of the car is strengthened to increase safety. It also makes these parts a lot more reliable, but does add more weight as a consequence.
Technology and comfort
As Mercedes continues to offer newer models, they also offer many newer features and technologies. A newer model usually comes with ”more of everything” which results in higher weight compared to the last-gen model.
Mercedes also constantly increases the size of the automobile to fit all the safety, infotainment, and comfort technologies. Also, a newer model usually offers a lot more space inside the cabin, which in turn lengthens the car or makes the packaging more efficient, both of which add weight as a result.
Specific SUVs made by Mercedes such as the GLS offer 7 seats. And to deliver a Mercedes Benz-worthy experience, all 7 passengers must be able to indulge in the comfort and luxury features. This also increases the weight significantly.
A lot of the weight in modern-day cars is also down to sheer amounts of sound-deadening materials, which isolate the cabin tremendously, making the driving experience a lot more relaxing.
FAQs about car weight
What are the drawbacks of a heavier vehicle?
While a heavier car works in the favor of a more compliant driving manner, Mercedes cars are huge, and there is no getting around the laws of physics. Heavier cars suffer from unfavorable fuel efficiency as well. If a car carries more mass, it needs a more powerful engine for it to drive as effortlessly as a Mercedes.
Mercedes tends to invest vast amounts of R&D into making their cars fun to drive, especially the AMG models. But a heavy car traveling at decent speeds carries a lot of kinetic energy, and it takes considerable force for the car to come to a stop compared to a lighter car.
While a heavier car may prove to be a safer option in the event of a crash, the car you are crashing into does not share the same benefit. For instance, the gross weight of a 2020 GLS 450 is a colossal 7000+ lbs.
What are the benefits of a lightweight car?
A classic recipe for a dynamically superior automobile is less weight and more power. Mercedes offers a couple of those as well. The latest one being the all-new 2021 AMG GT Black Series weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600kg/3500 pounds, which is on the lighter side for a feature-packed car with a huge engine in 2020.
The benefits of a lighter car don’t stop there. Lighter cars tend to be a lot more efficient when it comes to fuel consumption. An engine in a lightweight car does not have to work as hard compared to a heavier car. All of which results in more money in the bank, and not at the gas stop.
Many high-performance cars today use state of the art manufacturing techniques with next-gen materials, such as carbon fiber and magnesium. These materials offer a lighter car and increased levels of rigidity and safety, but they also increase the cost of production.
Are modern cars getting heavier?
The answer is yes and no. If you consider more compact cars, you may be able to see a small increase in weight, but nothing significant. The same can be said about larger cars as well. Cars have tended to increase in size throughout the years, but modern manufacturing techniques and efficient material management tend to keep the weight at bay.
Car manufacturing is becoming more and more regulated due to the many different safety concerns. And many new systems have yet to see the light of the day. It is rather impressive how car brands manage to keep the weight at a similar level for years, but at the same time incorporating ample amounts of new tech and safety features.