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The body: Stable foundation
OverviewActive safety: Helpful assistantsAerodynamics: As sleek as they comeFit for off-road excursions - Multi-talented: The new Mercedes-Benz GLAMultimedia features: Always well informed and entertainedPassive safety: A protection programme for every eventualitySuspension: The right set-up for every useThe body: Stable foundationThe design: Quality and self-assuranceThe engines: Four and 4x4The Mercedes-Benz management team on the GLA: "Element of our strategy for the future"The model range: Many ideas for individualisationThe transmissions: Shifting comfort combined with efficiencyUnder the microscope: endurance testing - A vehicle lifespan at time lapse speedUnder the microscope: GLA Edition 1 - Special incentive at the startUnder the microscope: Renewable raw materials - High-tech parcel shelfUnder the microscope: 4MATIC - Added traction
The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, best-in-class NVH comfort and outstanding passive safety. Weighing around 400 kilograms, 73 percent of the bodyshell is comprised of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. In the area of the side roof frame and the new C-ring structure in the rear, hot-shaped steels – the highest strength category possible for body steels – are used.
The specifications book for the GLA posed two special challenges to the body engineers: the optionally available glass sunroof, far and away the largest in its class – 64 percent of the roof surface is glazed in order to provide the passengers in all seats an airy sense of spaciousness and the large tailgate opening to facilitate loading of the GLA.
Given the torsional stiffness of the body, to achieve the same high level as with a closed steel roof the roof bows in this area had to be adequately replaced. This was achieved with a double-skinned roof frame to support the B-pillars, an enlargement of the cross-section at the D-ring (the rearmost member of the body), the use of hot-shaped steels, and with an extremely sturdy glass sunroof frame firmly bolted to and bonded with the body structure.
For the wide tailgate opening, which enables easy loading even with bulky objects, the engineers developed a new body structure. Along with the usual D-ring an additional C-ring finds use. These two closed ring structures form an extremely stable unit and ensure excellent torsional stiffness. They also compensate for the loads generated by the new spindle-type actuator of the optionally available automatic tailgate. Very large forces occur there especially when automatic opening begins.
In addition, the two rear shock-absorber strut fixtures are supported by the C-ring. This decisively improves the resistance to forces transmitted from the rear axle connection and thus the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics in general.
The GLA body confirmed the success of these measures during the severe marathon "track & field endurance test" over 80,000 km.