22nd May 2012
Novelis, the world’s largest producer of rolled aluminum and the world’s leading supplier of aluminum sheet to the automotive market, announced today that its material is featured extensively in the newly launched 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL. The latest-generation model marks the first full-production vehicle from Mercedes with a structure designed in aluminum.
The new all-aluminum body reduces the weight of the vehicle by approximately 140 kilograms (300 pounds) and provides improved fuel economy and driving performance. Novelis aluminum is used in the doors, hood, and various structural applications including the transmission tunnel, for which Novelis supplies a new three-piece tailored welded blank. Early collaboration between Novelis and Mercedes-Benz resulted in the use of Novelis’ new alloy, Anticorodal®-300 (Ac-300) to develop this innovative piece, which is joined by friction stir welding. The new alloy, which is also used in other structural applications, provides enhanced crash safety and strength.
“Ac-300 was developed specifically for use in automotive structural applications,” explained Roland Harings, Vice President, Global Automotive for Novelis. “As Novelis continues to expand its activities in the global automotive market, working closely with our customers to match their needs is essential. We are proud to continue our long standing partnership with Mercedes as a key supplier for the new aluminum Mercedes-Benz SL.”
The Mercedes SL was first created in 1952, with SL meaning Super-Light. Since then, the company has continually looked for ways to reduce the weight of the vehicle. The 2012 model is the lightest ever produced. Novelis is also a supplier of aluminum sheet for nine other Mercedes models.
“The Mercedes SL aluminum body structure weighs just 254 kilograms (560 pounds) and is being considered as a replacement for steel in every discipline,” said Dr. Thomas Rudlaff, Aluminum Body-in-White Manager for Mercedes-Benz. “Aluminum provides a more dynamic driving performance and lower fuel consumption creating measurable results for our customers.”
The new generation SL made its public debut in January 2012 at the Detroit Motor Show. It is now being produced in Sindelfingen, Germany and sold at Mercedes-Benz outlets and dealerships throughout Europe. Later this year, the vehicle will also be available in U.S. showrooms.
Press Release issued by Novelis