New light-alloy wheels from Mercedes-Benz Accessories: Putting on the shine
Stuttgart
Apr 01, 2011
Stuttgart – In good time for the switch from winter to summer tyres at the beginning of spring, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH is offering new wheels designed to lend Mercedes vehicles an even more impressive appearance. In line with customers' wishes, the accessories specialists are broadening the range of popular bichromatic wheels. Apart from their visual merits, these wheels also boast an outstanding standard of quality. Wheels from Mercedes-Benz Accessories are required to meet the same high specifications as standard production wheels. Neither certification nor registration with the TÜV technical inspection authority are required when fitting these wheels, as they all form part of the vehicle homologation.
Alongside the wheels sporting an impressive single-tone paint finish, the high-sheen bichromatic light-alloy wheels derive their additional appeal from the interesting contrast between the apparently bare metal surface and the painted surfaces. These wheels lend the vehicle a yet more exclusive appearance and are considered by the designers at Mercedes-Benz to be more than just a passing fad. "Both the studies by our colleagues at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design studios throughout the world and intensive market research reveal one and the same picture. Bichromatic wheels are becoming ever more popular," notes Klaus Frenzel, who oversees design development for new wheel models at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center.
For spring 2011, Mercedes-Benz Accessories is offering new light-alloy wheels amongst others for the following model series (as per March 2011):
SLK-Class 43.2 cm (17") Incenio 10-spoke wheel
Surface finish: Bichromatic palladium silver / high-sheen
Wheel size 7.5J x 17 ET 42 / tyre size 225/45 R17
€ 289.-*
Optional for the rear axle: Wheel size 8.5J x 17 ET 36 / tyre size 245/40 R17
€ 295.-*
SLK-Class 45.7 cm (18") Incenio 5-twin-spoke wheelSurface finish: Bichromatic palladium silver / high-sheen
Wheel size 7.5J x 18 ET 42 / tyre size 225/40 R18
€ 315.-*
Optional for the rear axle:
Wheel size: 8.5J x 18 ET 36 / tyre size 245/35 R18
€ 325.-*
CLS-Class 48.3 cm (19") Incenio 10-spoke wheel
Surface finish: Bichromatic black / high-sheen
Wheel size 8.5J x 19 ET 34.5 / tyre size 255/35 R19
€ 399.-*
Optional for the rear axle:
Wheel size 9.5J x 19 ET 48 / tyre size 285/30 R19
€ 405.-*
Finish: Bichromatic titanium silver / high-sheenWheel size 8.5J x 19 ET 34.5 / tyre size 255/35 R19
€ 405.-*
Optional for the rear axle:
Wheel size 9.5J x 19 ET 48 / tyre size 285/30 R19
€ 411.-*
* recommended retail price incl. 19% VAT
Wheel design as a leitmotif
As with the standard and optional light-alloy wheels, the design of the accessory wheels focuses above all on emphasizing the vehicle design in the respective model lines. To this end, the designers resort primarily to sculptural, modelled surfaces featuring powerful flowing lines. Totally contrasting design approaches are perfectly possible within a model series. Most S-Class customers expect elegant wheels, for example, which may give rise to a delicate, multi-spoke look or equally to an essentially flat-featured, less structured design, for example. In contrast, SUV models and all-terrain vehicles always call for striking, powerful, almost muscular wheels. In the case of roadsters and coupés, the prime emphasis is on sportiness.
Similarly to vehicle designers, wheel designers are also required to look into the future, as the complex development process entails a time lag before their designs are launched on the market. Future developments and trends are identified with the support of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios around the globe, by means of extensive customer surveys, contact with dealerships and market research and with recourse to specialised agencies. These investigations reveal a clear picture. The trend towards larger wheels fitted flush with the outer body contours is continuing in all categories of vehicle. This design style signals power, dynamism and driving stability. Equally, Mercedes-Benz customers will wish for even higher-quality wheels in future, featuring sophisticated surface finishes, stylish colour design and a broader choice of individual options. Against this background, Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-Benz Accessories will further expand their current range of around 130 wheel models, so as to offer their customers even greater scope for individualisation.
Highest quality standards
The same high safety standards apply to all the light-alloy wheels on offer – there are no differences in quality between the models belonging to the standard and optional equipment and the versions available from Mercedes-Benz Accessories. The customer always receives a product which is tailored perfectly to Mercedes-Benz vehicles: it supports their exemplary ride comfort and high driving dynamics and fulfils the high requirements of the design idiom, additionally combining high performance with an outstanding service life. These merits result on the one hand from close collaboration between the vehicle development staff and the wheel development specialists. In order to win their Mercedes stars, wheels additionally have to pass a comprehensive test programme which goes well beyond the statutory licensing requirements for use in road traffic. This includes effective testing procedures geared towards the toughest service conditions encountered in real driving conditions, even extending to tests in cutting-edge x-ray systems and computer tomographs.
Care and handling tips
Even the best development programme, the most innovative production technology and a perfectly coordinated test programme are unable to influence how customers treat their vehicles, including the valuable light-alloy wheels. The manner in which wheels are handled continues to have a major influence on their value retention and the safety of the vehicle. Useful tips:
  • Clean the winter/summer wheels thoroughly after changing in the spring/autumn, regardless of whether steel or light-alloy wheels are fitted
  • Do not use aggressive cleaners. Products recommended by Mercedes-Benz are gentle agents which will clean the wheels effectively
  • Do not clean with sharp or rough sponges
  • Observe the specified wheel tightening torques. Wheel bolts which are too tight or too loose will damage the wheel in the long term
  • Do not oil or grease wheel bolts, as at the specified tightening torque this will result in excessive pre-stressing, which may cause damage to both wheels and bolts
  • Use only genuine Mercedes-Benz wheel bolts
  • Check the wheels after they have taken heavy knocks, e.g. when driving through deep potholes. If deformation is visible, be sure to have the damage checked at a dealership
  • Fit only the size of tyre approved for the wheel
  • When carrying high payloads and/or towing a trailer, adjust the tyre pressure accordingly and be sure to observe the permissible wheel loads
The success story of light-alloy wheels began in the 1970s
Mercedes-Benz introduced light-alloy wheels into large-scale production at the beginning of the 1970s, with forged aluminium wheels from renowned manufacturer Fuchs. The first wheel was initially optionally available for the 280 S to 300 SEL 6.3 saloons of model series W 108, its ornate design earning it the nickname of the "baroque wheel". Following this premiere, the light-alloy wheel became available in ever broader-ranging variants. Its success was ultimately sealed in the same decade with the introduction of the aerodynamically optimised flat Fuchs forged wheel, which went on to attain legendary status. Apart from a small number of exceptions, virtually all standard production vehicles from Mercedes-Benz are fitted with light-alloy wheels today. The extent of their success is demonstrated by the following comparison: the "baroque" model attained annual sales in the order of 4600. Today, the majority of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are fitted with light-alloy wheels. Together with the sales notched up by Mercedes-Benz Accessories, annual production of these wheels has risen to around 4 million.
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Norbert
Giesen
Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Series, Sports Communications
Phone: +49 711 17-76422
Fax: +49 711 17-98651
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