Fitting your car with a body kit is one of the most exciting aspects of car modification. Unlike better brakes or a jump in engine power, the right body kit speaks to our nature as visual creatures, and you can enjoy it whether your car is on the track or just standing in your driveway. Of course, the perfect Mercedes body kits are about more than just good looks, it’s also about material choice.
The right materials for the right application can have a positive or negative impact on the result of your modification job. If you don’t know too much about the major differences between fiberglass and carbon fiber, our performance and styling division have put together a summary of the major materials used for body kits.
Fiberglass: Inexpensive And Lightweight, But Easily Damaged
Thanks to its light weight, fiberglass body kit parts won’t add much overall weight to your vehicle, even if large parts are used. Thanks to its resistance to corrosion, fiberglass won’t rust and is therefore a great option for anyone living close to the ocean where the air contains a high salt content – of course, that includes many of us Floridians! The downside to fiberglass is that because it is so rigid, it is susceptible to cracking if knocked or exposed to debris such as flying stones.
Carbon Fiber: High-Strength And Distinctive Appearance
Carbon fiber’s greater cost over all the other materials covered here is reflected in its many advantages. Look at almost any modern BMW M or Mercedes-AMG model, and you will find smatterings of carbon fiber inside and outside, a nod to the effectiveness and stylish sportiness of the material. Known more accurately as carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, it is a polymer-like epoxy that is then made stronger by using actual carbon fibers. The fibers are woven into the polymer to give the material its distinctive appearance.
There are no real disadvantages to carbon fiber (it is both strong and lightweight) besides its higher cost of production. A viable solution could be to go for spoilers and side skirts in fiberglass or urethane, and carbon fiber for the hood. Overall, this is the best material choice for your Mercedes body kit.
Polyurethane: Durable And Flexible, But Heavier Than Fiberglass
Unlike fiberglass, polyurethane’s flexibility means that installation is far easier, and it can also withstand minor impacts without being seriously damaged. For this reason, polyurethane is the more practical option for everyday driving, when your car is exposed to inattentive road users in crowded car parks, for instance. If you are looking for weight-reducing parts for racing, polyurethane won’t be your first choice as it is heavier than other materials.
ABS Plastic: Widely Used By Motoring Manufacturers
A thermoplastic blend, ABS plastic offers a better finish than fiberglass. While it isn’t quite as flexible as polyurethane, it does offer adequate dent protection and is heat resistant. These qualities help explain why ABS plastic is used by many major manufacturers for bumpers and other body panels. You can also find ABS plastic used as mobile phone enclosures, on small appliances, and golf club heads (thanks to its good shock absorption properties).
Take Your Time When Choosing Your Mercedes Body Kit
Choosing the right material or combination of materials is not a decision that should be made hastily. While fiberglass may be appealing because of its lower cost, installation costs are higher as it is more difficult to work with and finish off to a high standard. In all cases, the installation phase of the job is as important as the material you choose – even high-grade carbon fiber will look ordinary if not properly assembled. Speak to us about your needs and we’ll be happy to recommend a body kit that’s ideal for your Mercedes.