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The Mercedes-Benz 'Alustyle' basic carrier

 The Mercedes-Benz Alustyle basic carrier
Mercedes-Benz Alustyle basic carrier

A carrier for many different types of transport

Press Release

A carrier for many different types of transport

Easy and secure installation, great stability, and universal application - these are the key features of the basic "Alustyle" carrier from Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH, which comes as either a screw-mounted or rail-mounted carrier. This carrier system, which is available for use with a variety of Mercedes-Benz models, forms the foundation for mounting numerous types of roof cargo equipment, such as luggage boxes, ski and snowboard racks, and bicycle racks. Carriers are always precisely aligned to the size and shape of the vehicle body, to which they are firmly connected via a roof rail or other standard mounting component on the vehicle roof.

The "Alustyle" carrier serves as the foundation for fastening all other roof-mounted equipment offered by Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH. This universally useable transport solution consists of two elegantly shaped, high-quality aluminium profile tubes with strong steel bases. If the basic carrier is not required, it can be easily and safely stowed away in a special transport bag.

The carrier can be quickly mounted onto the vehicle roof. To ensure such easy installation, the specialists at Mercedes-Benz Accessories decided to use a connection with screws rather than with less-stable clamps. Although this solution is somewhat more expensive, it is more stable and also holds up under high stress. For those Mercedes-Benz passenger car models not equipped with roof rails, a high level of safety is ensured by a patented "fixed-point fastening" consisting of screw bearings located out of sight under flaps in the roof reinforcing rail. These screw bearings are themselves firmly bolted to the vehicle body. With estate and SUV models, the steel bases are clamped firmly to the standard roof rails.

As soon as the carriers have been fastened, they are locked to protect against theft. The carriers are designed in such a manner as to ensure that the sunroof functions normally even after a roof carrier has been mounted.

Unique: Customised system for roadsters

Mercedes-Benz offers the "Alustyle" system for A-, B-, C-, and E-Class models. It is also available for the new M-, R-, and S-Class, as well as for the CLS-Class and the CLK coupe. In addition, Mercedes is the first manufacturer to offer "Alustyle" variants for the innovative vario-roofs in the SL- and SLK-Class roadsters.

Low weight combined with great stability

The basic carrier system from Mercedes-Benz demonstrates that low weight and great stability are not mutually exclusive: Although the two aluminium tubes, including the steel bases, weigh only 5.7 kilograms, they can withstand loads of up to 100 kilograms. As such, they are perfect for transporting heavy roof boxes and complete sets of sport equipment. The "Alustyle" system also ensures excellent protection of roof-top cargo. For example, it not only fulfils the legal stipulations regarding crash safety, but also the much higher standards of Mercedes-Benz. The latter involved putting the "Alustyle" system through crash tests and driving it for long periods of time with up to 50 per cent cargo overload and acceleration stresses of up to 15 g¹. The result was that the carrier and carrier lock withstood even such drastic braking manoeuvres without falling from the roof or loosening.

Design: Elegant silhouette even with roof rack

Along with ensuring optimal functionality, the "Alustyle" designers also focused on making their system attractive looking. To this end, the roof carrier variants were developed in close cooperation with the DaimlerChrysler Design Centre in Sindelfingen - which is why they so perfectly match the elegant designs of the Mercedes-Benz models they are used with. An individual carrier set was in fact developed for each model, whereby the curved basic carrier in the set for the SL and SLK-Class roadsters follows the elegant lines of those vehicles. The carrier module is mounted solely on the upper end of the A pillar and at the rear in a manner ensuring that the vehicle's sporty silhouette continues to stand out. In addition, the fastening points for the carrier are designed to ensure that access to the boot is not restricted and the boot lid can be opened easily.

Ideal for winter sport: "Alustyle" ski and snowboard rack

The multi-functional "Alustyle" carrier system is particularly suited for winter sport enthusiasts. For one thing, it forms the foundation for the large-scale Mercedes-Benz roof boxes, which depending on their format can hold up to five pairs of skis. What's more, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH also offers ski and snowboard racks customised to perfectly fit the basic carrier:

The "Standard" rack version can accommodate up to four pairs of skis or two pairs of snowboards, while the "Comfort" version holds up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. A special feature of this variant is its practical "pull-out" function that makes loading and unloading easy. Both systems are suitable for use with carving skis and have been tested according to strict Mercedes-Benz standards. They can also be locked to protect against theft.

¹ g: acceleration due to gravity (g equals 9.81m/s²)
Source: Text & photos courtesy DaimlerChrysler AG
Published Dec 13, 2005 2:58 pm
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