The Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009 is a new Experimental Safety Vehicle from Merc that introduces several innovative systems to deal with everyday accidents.

A slew of vehicle safety systems are being showcased by Mercedes-Benz. The German premium car maker has created an Experimental Safety Vehicle, the ESF 2009 which is based on the upcoming S400 Hybrid. It is their first vehicle of this nature since the ESV 24 which was introduced at the 1974 Geneva Motor Show.

The ESF 2009 features inflatable metal structures developed to save space and increase crash protection. These include side impact bars which would be blown to pressures of between 10 and 20 bar. When deflated they could save some weight and actually allow for other safety apparatus to be fitted.

Then they have an auxiliary brake in the floor of the ESF 2009. What makes this brake interesting is that it works with a bag that is similar to interior air bags but is much tougher. When the car senses an imminent collision the brake bag inflates to create friction with the road thus also slowing the car down. In addition to that it lifts the car up by up to 80mm to compensate for dive.

The interior, along with standard air bag and restraint systems is fitted with seat bolsters that shift the passengers about 50mm into the centre of the cabin should the car sense that a side impact is about to take place. The other safety features of interest arereflective tyres and air bags installed inside a seatbelts.

Full details and more photos expected to be released in the coming weeks.


Gallery: Mercedes ESF S400 Hybrid Concept 2009 initial photos