Originally posted by DuckMuck
One thing interesting about the underpanel is there are two NACA ducts on both sides of the panel...angled outwards towards the wheels...maybe they force-feed air towards the inner-two pistons of the four-piston brake setup on these cars...who knows? I am guessin' the panel is there to protect the alternator, starter, etc. on the V8 W124's...since a lot of the critical parts are buried under the car due to lack of space/access from under the hood...
2 issues here:
1. The ducts on the 400E/E420 has ducts (what the heck is NACA?) to direct ram air to the MOTOR MOUNTS. As you know, in this model the V8 is tightly crammed into the engine bay and it gets hot. Keeping the motor mounts ventilated is supposed to make them last longer.
2. The panel is officially a "noise encapsulation panel" to reduce road noise intrusion into the cabin, but yes, it does incidentally provide some protection from water, etc. to the alternator. It is also said to protect the forward driveshaft support bearing from salt and water.