Monday 26th October 1970
The Mercedes Benz ESF 05, the second of five experimental safety vehicles, was introduced to the public. Externally, the ESF 05 wore a comically exaggerated energy-absorbing front bumper, which protruded more than 14.5 inches from the car’s grille. While the rear bumper was a bit more tasteful, it was still more pronounced than that of a production car. The biggest limiting factor of the ESF 05, however, was likely its weight; in addition to the increase in wheelbase and modifications to the cabin, the car also carried significant structural modifications to front and rear, and combined these changes added a significant 1,463 pounds to the ESF 05. At the time of its reveal, the experimental ESF 05 may have been the safest sedan in the world, but Mercedes-Benz knew that few customers would park such a car in their driveway.