It’s taken me two decades to find the one worthwhile detail on the W210: the rear wing of the Estate model is assembled properly.
Recently I was regurgitating some of my thoughts on plastic bumpers. I showed some examples of how manufacturers typically had a visible weld on the extra bit of metal under the rear lamp.
Here’s how Saab did it:
And here is where the irritating little line would be if Mercedes had designed the car as was standard practice:
It’s not that simple though. The tailgate aperture is very wide so the depth of the draw is not as great as perhaps it is on a saloon or other estate cars. The depth of the draw is already governed by the sheet metal above the lamp. So Mercedes were committed to a deep stamping anyway but also to a wide lift-gate aperture to maximise the ease of loading. It made no sense to have a welded tab here.
Ford’s 2000 Mondeo avoids the deep draft by dint of those stacked lamps. But the corner has to be turned below the lamp:
And here it is in detail:
What we learn from this is that most manufacturers will avoid deep drafts on their body panels; sometimes the designers ask more than the steel press people can or will manage.