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What’s behind each Mercedes-Benz light-alloy wheel?

Kharl Prado April 15, 2010

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What often comes to mind when you hear the name Mercedes-Benz. Most would answer the three-star badge, while others would think of the sporty SLS AMG or maybe the luxurious E-Class sedans. A further number of people would instantly think of Michael Schumacher and Formula One. But rarely will people think about wheels.

For Mercedes-Benz, the wheels are part of the whole vehicle design. That is why they put tremendous resources into developing their latest light-alloy wheel products. Here’s a peak at what each light-alloy wheel goes through before being given the three-star badge.

Each wheel design is digitally crafted using 3D computer programs that control the design and manufacturing process. Then it is put under the ZWARP, or ‘ZWei-Axiale Rà¤der-Prüfstand’, translated as ‘Biaxial Wheel Test Bench’. The wheel is hooked onto an external roller, not the actual vehicle, and is subjected under simulated forces by transversely moving the system along two axes, thus the ‘biaxial’ in its name.

Before final approval, the wheel is tested for corner bending and impact tests, as well as load testing of the wheel bolt connections to ensure performance and safety. The result is unwavering endurance through several lifetimes of your vehicle under normal road conditions.


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