Even though there is yet sometime before the 2012 Mercedes Benz SLK makes its world debut, the company is all hyped up about the “Magic Sky Control” roof that it is going to introduce on this car. So enthusiastic are the makers that they have started giving out details of this technique in stills and videos.
Depending on the amount of light that is desired to come through the otherwise transparent roof top there would be some adjustments of the roof that would filter the amount of light that gets through. Electricity has been used to vary the opacity of this glass and not photo chromatic cells which is normally the case. There is therefore the benefit of full clear and full black out that is also possible at the touch of a button due to the electric technology used.
The advantage is evident. One can drive with clear light from top without rolling down the window during winter. This would give a lighted up yet warm drive during winter. Conversely during summer time one would blacken out the car interior completely and enjoy a cool drive.
The technology used though reads simple is difficult to implement. The plate condenser that has been used in the glass align themselves depending on the voltage applied to them. No power means the panel goes dark. UV filter chemical has also been used on the glass to make it safe for sunlight driving.
A test for effectivity of the technology and feature was carried out in Death Valley. Driving with no protection from the sun was burning down at 100 watts per square meter. As soon as the roof was placed in transparent mode the sun power reduced to 200 watts per square meter. With a complete black out effected the sun power came down to 40 or 50 watts per square meter.
The feature would come at an expected price of less than 2000 Euros which converts to $3,000 range.