BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jul 2014
Vehicle: 2005 CL500
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One reason for my anticipatory interest in the new model is a general enthusiasm for sophisticated auto design, but a more focused aspect for me is my plan to have a deposit down soon on a build allotment and the possibility that I may be faced with finalizing an order before the first examples are available for me to actually set eyes on.
From browsing YouTube, I have seen 3 versions of the coupe so far: the base S550, the base with AMG wheels and a ground effects package, and the S63.
One of the notable design elements on the S Coupe is the chrome facing on the front splitter. (Personally, I like the looks of the version with the ground effects package the best.) I am of two minds, though regarding the use of a chrome finish in this area.
I presume that this part is a plastic of some sort with a chrome-look film and not true chromed steel. But, in either case, the finish has some strong benefits and some strong shortcomings.
For durability in the face of chemicals, grime, UV, and so forth, chrome is one of the best surfaces. For durability in the instance of impact, stone chip (plasticized version), or road rash, chrome is one of the worst.
If you have ever lived with chrome wheels, you have probably run into the problem of getting a small blemish of curb rash and finding that the finish began to deteriorate progressively from that spot and that there is no remedy for restoring it to an unblemished surface short of re-plating or replacing the wheel. Chromed plastic will not have that progressing deterioration problem, but will be similarly impossible to restore. There is no buffing out or feathering in paint, etc.
Now, the front splitter, it seems to me, would be uncommonly vulnerable to scrapes, chips, and rash.
My guess is that one would simply tolerate the accumulation of defects until replacing the strip with a fresh new one. In M-B parts pricing, surely that will run to hundreds of dollars.
If the above is a tolerably useful analysis, should we simply accept that part of the price of owning such a gorgeous vehicle with that striking sleek simitar of a splitter is buying a new trim piece every few years?