Archive for March 2009

E-Class tradition: Mercedes-Benz at the 2009 Techno Classica


Stuttgart/Essen, Germany, Apr 01, 2009

* Ten original cars from the E-Class and its predecessors at the world's biggest classic car show in Essen (1 to 5 April 2009)

* Anniversary 75 years of the Silver Arrows: original cars from the W 25 (1934) to Lewis Hamilton's world championship car (2008)

The E-Class takes centre stage for Mercedes-Benz at the Techno Classica 2009, the world's biggest classic car show, from 1 to 5 April in Essen. Nine generations from six decades plus one E-Class forerunner will be present, from the 260 D that debuted in 1936 to the brand-new E-Class of model series W 212.

"With this array of exhibits Mercedes-Benz documents the great importance of the
E-Class," says Michael Bock, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz Museum GmbH. "The E-Class is a companion of economic success, especially in Germany." Beyond that, the E-Class also has left a deep impression on automotive history in general with technical innovations and stylish design.

In addition, a special show featuring the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows gives the Techno Classica a motorsports flair – 75 years ago, in 1934, the legendary W 25 Grand Prix racing car entered its first competition. It will be on hand in Essen along with several of the later Silver Arrows, including the world championship cars of Mika Häkkinen from 1998 and Lewis Hamilton from 2008.

The Benz Patent Motor Car of 1886 completes the show appearance. A faithful replica of the world's first automobile will be on display.

Mercedes-Benz Young Classics presents itself in the foyer of the south entrance of the exhibition site. In this new initiative, Mercedes-Benz offers the brand's young classics for sale or rental. In addition, Young Classics arranges financing or insurance for vintage cars. The Mercedes-Benz stand covers around 4500 square metres this year, including all partners and the brand clubs.

The world's most successful luxury saloon

Hardly another model series stands as much for economic success and growth in the time after the Second World War as the E-Class. The direct and unbroken line of ancestors was established in 1947 by the 170 V (W 136 series), and it comprises a total of nine generations up to and including the W 212 series launched in 2009. But ever since the beginning of the 20th century, intermediate and luxury class cars have been a central element of the model ranges of the Mercedes and Benz brands.
Nine generations of the E-Class stand for technical innovation and pace-setting design too. No other car class of the Stuttgart brand has offered such a variety of body types in the past 60 years, from saloon, estate, coupé and cabriolet to special types such as chassis and long-wheelbase saloons. Since 1947 Mercedes-Benz has manufactured a total of over ten million saloons of the model family to make the E-Class far and away the world's most successful luxury saloon.

At Techno Classica Mercedes-Benz presents ten original cars from the E-Class and its predecessors.

Mercedes-Benz 260 D, 1936 to 1940: The Mercedes-Benz 260 D presented in the spring of 1936 at the International Automobile and Motorcycle Show in Berlin was the world's first production car with diesel engine. Owing to its low consumption and the low price of diesel fuel it was particularly economical. Along with its frugal consumption, the 260 D also impressed with pronounced reliability and longevity. In the Pullman saloon version it was the ideal taxi, and it was a popular touring saloon as well. But with 1967 units built, at first it played only a subordinate role alongside the 230 model, its petrol-powered counterpart of which around 20,000 units were built. As an upscale middle-of-the-range model the 260 D forms part of the roots of the E-Class. A 260 D Pullman saloon dating from 1939 is on display.

Series W 136 and W 191, 1947 to 1955: In 1947 the 170 V, the first post-war passenger car from Mercedes-Benz, went into production and simultaneously established the direct ancestral line of the E-Class. It was largely based on the pre-war model of the same name, and during the next years formed the backbone of the car range of Mercedes-Benz. From the saloon with 1.7-litre petrol engine, in 1949 the engineers derived not only the 170 D diesel car, but also supplemented the range with the prestigious 170 S saloon, available also as diesel variant 170 DS as of 1952. With spacious body, high ride comfort and solid high-class appeal, these models embodied attributes which are strong points of the E-Class even today. A 170 V model manufactured in 1950 is on display.

Series W 120 and W 121, 1953 to 1962: A new era dawned with the Mercedes-Benz 180 in August 1953. Its self-supporting chassis/body structure marks the departure from the traditional design with chassis and separate body. The integral three-box "Ponton" was regarded as very progressive and reduced wind resistance and fuel consumption. So the 180 model is a symbol of the innovative power of Mercedes-Benz that finds expression over and over again in the development of the E-Class. In 1954 the diesel variant 180 D followed; as third model the Mercedes-Benz 190 was included in the range in 1956, and the 190 D debuted in 1958. All in all around 443,000 four-cylinder "Ponton" models were built. A 180 model manufactured in 1958 is on display.

Series W 110, 1961 to 1968: The next generation of the intermediate range of Mercedes-Benz can be recognised by the distinctive upright, pointed elements on the rear wings that gave the series the nickname "Fintail". It is not just the successful combination of spaciousness, comfort, performance, good value for money, and economy that set standards. In the area of safety it was the rigid passenger cell surrounded by crumple zones at the front and rear. The first models available were the 190 and 190 D saloons. From 1962 on they became available for the first time with automatic transmissions. In 1965 models with improved appointments and engineering followed, the 200 and 200 D. In the 230 that premiered simultaneously, a six-cylinder model complemented the product range. The advances in handling safety were documented in 1963 by the dual-circuit brake system with brake booster and front disc brakes. A 200 model built in 1965 is on display.

Series W 114 and W 115, 1968 to 1976: By the time production of this saloon introduced in early 1968 ceased, with more than 1.8 million units it had become the first Mercedes-Benz car model series to crack the million mark. The first models available were the four-cylinder 200, 220, 200 D and 220 D along with the six-cylinder models 230 and 250. For the first time an elegant coupé version also was available. The successful two-doors gave a little foretaste of the future variety of models in the intermediate range of Mercedes-Benz. In 1972 the 280 and 280 E joined the series as new top-of-the-range models. In the 240 D 3.0 of 1974 the first five-cylinder diesel engine in a production car marked a world premiere. Among experts the W 114/115 series is known mainly by its nickname: it was called "Stroke 8" because in the internal company documentation the model designations carry the suffix "/8", to show the year in which the series was launched, 1968. A 220 D built in 1969 is on display.

Series W 123, 1976 to 1985: In January 1976 the new generation excited customers with its great variety. In the series' first year, the models 200, 230, 250, 280 and 280 E as well as 200 D, 220 D, 240 D and 300 D were put on sale. The coupé, the long-wheelbase saloon and the estate – the first Mercedes-Benz estate ex factory – followed the saloon in 1977. Comfort and safety were exemplary owing to the rigid passenger cell, the innovative safety steering column, and the crash-protected fuel tank. From 1980 the anti-lock braking system ABS was available; two years later, the airbag. The series is the most successful in the annals of the E-Class: around 2.7 million units were built, including almost 2.4 million saloons and some 200,000 estates. On display is a 230 E built in 1982.

Series W 124, 1984 to 1996: The 124 series introduced in 1984 is the first vehicle family from Mercedes-Benz that bore the name E-Class, beginning in 1993. Uncompromising lightweight design and optimised aerodynamics ensured lower fuel consumption. A closed-loop catalytic converter that effectively cut pollutant emissions was available for all petrol models from 1985, five years later for the diesel models as well. The innovative multi-link independent rear suspension made highest levels of comfort and safety possible. The model range was made even more varied with the body variants saloon, estate, coupé, cabriolet and long-wheelbase saloon. In addition, in the saloon and estate models of the intermediate range Mercedes-Benz introduced 4MATIC four-wheel drive and the first four-valve-per-cylinder diesel engines. On display is an E 500 built in 1994.

Series W 210, 1995 to 2002: The new intermediate series from Mercedes-Benz viewed the world through four "eyes" in 1995 and immediately won the "red dot design award". For the first time the E-Class afforded a choice between three design and equipment lines: CLASSIC, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE. Numerous technical highlights from the Electronic Traction System 4ETS to the belt force limiter were part of the standard equipment. The new E-Class entered the market in 1995 with models E 200, E 230,
E 280, E 320 and E 420 as well as E 220 Diesel, E 290 Turbodiesel and E 300 Diesel. In subsequent years further models were added to the series, including the innovative E 220 CDI (1998) with common-rail direct injection and the E 200 Kompressor (2000). As of autumn 1999 all models of the E-Class were equipped with the Electronic Stability Program ESP®. On display is an E 200 model built in 2000.

Series W 211, 2002 to 2009: A new generation of the E-Class was introduced in 2002. Its technical innovations ranged from adaptive front airbags through two-stage belt force limiters to the active light function with bi-xenon headlamps and a sensor-controlled automatic climate control. In 2004 Mercedes-Benz presented the E 200 NGT, the most powerful production saloon with an eco-friendly natural gas drive. In 2005 three production E 320 CDI models set a long-distance speed record on a circuit in Laredo, Texas, covering 100,000 miles (around 160,000 kilometres) at an average speed of 224.823 km/h – one of the record-setting cars is on display at Techno Classica. In 2006 the E 320 BlueTEC was the first car in which Mercedes-Benz marketed the world's cleanest diesel technology. In 2007 the E 350 CGI with an ultramodern petrol direct-injection engine made its appearance. The renowned USmarket research institute J. D. Power and Associates presented the "J. D. Power Award" in gold to the E-Class in 2008 for being the highest-quality car in its market segment.

Series W 212, as of 2009: The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the trendsetter for safety, comfort and environmental compatibility in this market segment. The saloon further extends the brand's leading position in the luxury class with an unrivalled combination of driving assistance systems. They include, for example, ATTENTION ASSIST for drowsiness detection, the Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and automatic emergency braking, activated when the acute risk of an accident arises. The long-distance cruising comfort so characteristic of the E-Class is enhanced by Mercedes-Benz in the new saloon, for example, through intelligent body engineering with an increase in rigidity of up to 30 percent, with further improved seats and a newly developed suspension whose shock absorbers automatically adapt to the situation at hand. Just as outstanding as the safety and comfort are the environmental compatibility and economy: the four- and six-cylinder engines are direct injection units which use as much as 23 percent less fuel than before. The new CDI four-cylinders make do with just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) in the European driving cycle. This translates to 139 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. On display is an E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model from 2009.

75 years of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows

In 2009 Mercedes-Benz celebrates an outstanding anniversary: 75 years of the Silver Arrows. The first racing car bearing this legendary name made its appearance in 1934. This car and its successors scored top results in international races, set standards in terms of performance, and put the engineering to the acid test. The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows are evidence for the company's commitment to competition – every year and with every driver. At the same time, every victory clinched with these classic racing cars and every record established contributes to a legend which has been intriguing people to this very day, and which is effortlessly being continued by the modern-day Silver Arrows which have been entered in racing since the 1990s.

At Techno Classica Mercedes-Benz presents six Silver Arrows, the oldest dating from 1934, the youngest from 2008.

Mercedes‑Benz W 25, 1934 to 1936: The Mercedes-Benz W 25 with supercharged eight-cylinder engine was built for the 750 kg formula racing class introduced in 1934. Without fuel, oil and tyres the Grand Prix cars were allowed to weigh no more than 750 kilograms. Manfred von Brauchitsch drove the new car to victory on its first start, in the Eifel race on the Nürburgring. During the time it was used, from 1934 to 1936, the W 25 repeatedly was modified and equipped with increasingly more powerful engines. Mercedes-Benz managed 15 victories with it, including five double victories and one triple win, and Rudolf Caracciola was European champion in 1935.

Mercedes-Benz W 125, 1937: The Mercedes-Benz W 125 also was built for the 750 kilogram formula that determined the rules for Grand Prix racing cars until 1937. It was completely redesigned in the aftermath of the less successful 1936 season. Very successfully: the W 125 not only won the first race it entered, the Grand Prix of Tripoli, but chalked up six first-place, nine second-place and six third-place finishes in 12 international races in 1937. Down to the beginning of the 1980s it had the reputation for being the most powerful car to ever start in a Grand Prix race. Rudolf Caracciola won his second European championship in the W 125 in 1937.

Mercedes-Benz W 154, 1938 to 1939: For the 1938 season, the weight of the racing cars was no longer limited, but the displacement: to a maximum three litres with and 4.5 litres without supercharger. Mercedes-Benz had the right answer in the supercharged W 154, the make's first twelve-cylinder car. It won six of the nine most important races in 1938 – including three triple victories and one double – and helped Caracciola gain his third European champion's title; in 1939 the revised and uprated W 154 won five out of seven races. The most successful driver was Hermann Lang, who accounted for four of the five wins.

Mercedes-Benz W 196 R, 1954 to 1955: The first race in which the new 2.5-litre W 196 R competed, the French Grand Prix, ended in a double victory for Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling – what a brilliant return of the Silver Arrows to the Formula 1. For the high-speed course in Reims the flashy streamlined version of the racing car was the right choice. However, in most races of 1954 and 1955 the conventional racing car with exposed wheels was used – it was better for racetracks full of bends. The W 196 R scored three more victories in 1954, even five the following year, and Fangio became world champion in both years.

McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13, 1998: In the 1997 season, a silver-coloured car developed jointly with McLaren entered competition for the first time. In its first race the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-12 driven by David Coulthard won the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne to get the season off to a good start. Wins in Monza and Jerez followed. The MP4-13 was developed to comply with the new regulations for 1998. It demonstrated its dominance in its very first race: the two cars with Häkkinen and Coulthard at the wheel both finished a lap ahead of the third-place car. The MP4-13 helped Mika Häkkinen win the Formula 1 World Championship driver's title, while the team won the Formula 1 World Champion Constructor's title.

Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23, 2008: Following the successful 2007 racing season, in which the McLaren-Mercedes team competed with the MP4-22, the successor model was developed for 2008. The MP4-23 also won its maiden race, the Australian Grand Prix in March 2008. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes won five more races in this season (and placed second three times and third four times) to finish second in the constructors' competition. Lewis Hamilton wrote racing history in this car, capturing the World Championship driver's title on the last bend of the season's last race after finishing the previous season as runner-up.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Successful Market Launch of the New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan


Stuttgart, Germany, Mar 31, 2009

* Approximately 50,000 orders received

* High numbers of visitors: 350,000 customers attending the premiere of the model

* E-Class sets new standards for safety, comfort, and economy in the upper-range segment

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class got off to a great start last weekend. High numbers of visitors were reported by dealerships in Germany, with a total of 350,000 existing and potential customers attending the premiere of the model in the showrooms. At the time of the market introduction, some 50,000 orders had already been placed for the new E-Class sedan. Test drives of the model are also very much in demand, with around 5,000 being made with the E-Class on the weekend of its market introduction and a further 6,000 customers making appointments for test drives over the next few days.

Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: “We are very delighted that the new E-Class has got off to such a great start and that it has met with such great customer interest. For that the E-Class is of special importance to Mercedes-Benz: it is and will remain the ‘heart’ of the Mercedes-Benz brand and expresses its core values in an exemplary manner. The new E-Class sedan will once again set new standards for safety, comfort, and economy in the upper-range segment.”

Pioneering innovations for ensuring safe driving will either be standard equipment in the new E-Class or available in this vehicle segment for the first time. About a dozen assistance systems will be available to customers, including new developments from Mercedes-Benz such as Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist and Night View Assist Plus. The new E-Class sedan has outstanding fuel economy. The four- and six-cylinder engines have direct injection systems and consume up to 23 percent less fuel than their predecessors. The E 250 CDI, for example, is equipped with a 150 kW/204 hp engine with 500 Nm of torque that is 25 percent greater than the previous V6 diesel engine. At the same time, it consumes around 23 percent less fuel — only 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined cycle), which corresponds to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Mercedes-Benz is further enhancing the high level of long-distance driving comfort typical of the E-Class by fitting the new sedan with a number of new features, including intelligent body-systems with up to 30 percent greater rigidity, improved seats, and an all-new chassis whose shock absorbers automatically adapt to the driving situation.

The new E-Class is the successor to an internationally successful Mercedes-Benz model, the 211 series. Altogether, customers of this model have purchased 1.5 million sedans and station wagons since its launch six years ago. Over the past sixty years, the eight generations of the E-Class sedan have thrilled ten million customers worldwide.

The new E-Class coupe will hit showrooms in Europe on May 9, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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LEAKED: The New Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG

Source:Autocar - New Mercedes E63 AMG unveiled

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SPY - 2010 Mercedes-Benz R-Klasse FL


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Mercedes-Benz launches a new version of Actros for mining and civil engineering in Brazil


Stuttgart/São Bernardo do Campo/Brasilia, Germany/Brazil, Mar 30, 2009

* Strong market position in Brazil

* Actros was elected “Truck of the year” by journalists of 21 countries

On the basis of the success of the heavy-duty truck Mercedes-Benz Actros in the mining sector – the vehicle was brought to the Brazilian market last year and rapidly got recognized by its strength, robustness, resistance and state of the art technology. Mercedes-Benz brings now to the country a new generation model of this products line, Actros 4844 8x4, a dump truck version, appropriated also to the civil engineering works. Especially up-to-date assistance systems like the Telligent®-Braking System with ABS and ASR provide the driver with effective support for more safety and efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles have a long tradition in Brazil and a strong market position there since more than 50 years. In 2008, Mercedes-Benz achieved a total market share of 29.5% in the medium- and heavy-duty truck segment. The Brazilian truck market in this segment grew significantly until the end of 2008. Due to capacity bottlenecks, Mercedes-Benz’s market share did not increase in the same range. In Brazil, most sales are made with the Mercedes-Benz Axor and the Mercedes-Benz Accelo while the Actros covers special demands and is used mainly in the mining industry.

The third generation of Actros truck family has been further improved with 37 individual measures relating to economy, comfort, safety and design. As a first in this market segment, the fully automated Mercedes PowerShift transmission is now standard equipment.

Brand pledge “Trucks you can trust” creates confidence

The pledge of “Trucks you can trust” is derived from the high quality synonymous with Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and is a source of motivation for the more than 40,000 people employed by the Mercedes-Benz Trucks organization worldwide. The accuracy of the claim is demonstrated day after day by the reliability and quality of the approximately 600,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks on the road in more than 100 countries around the world. The pledge is also kept by the many other types of Mercedes-Benz trucks on the road, including the Atego and the Axor, all which continue to uphold the good reputation earned by legendary Mercedes-Benz vehicles during more than 110 years of truck history.

The “Trucks you can trust” pledge is underscored by market research results in Europe, which show, for example, that of all truck models in its competitive field, the Mercedes-Benz Actros is the least likely to break down on the road. Internal assessments also confirm customer statements that Mercedes-Benz trucks also are frontrunners when it comes to vehicle availability. The number of quality complaints has been reduced by more than half since the mid-1990s.

The new Actros in Brazil

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros came to Brazil already having international acceptance. In the last Commercial Vehicles International Show of Hanover, Germany – IAA - it was elected “The Truck of the year 2009”. This title is the result of an election carried out among specialized journalists of the transportation sector that includes 21 countries in Europe that acknowledged the achievements in economy, environmental friendliness, safety and comfort offered by its innovative technology.

Each of the three generations of Actros was, at their launching, appointed as Truck of the Year. “In each generation Actros offers more benefits for the customers, ensuring more productivity in the transport and, mainly, more operational profitability for the fleet owner”, states Eustáquio Sirolli, Product Marketing Manager – Trucks, of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil.

The Actros 4844 8x4 in Brazil is equipped with the powerful electronic engine OM 501 LA. This engine has optimum performance with savings in fuel consumption as well as reduced emission rates. Furthermore, it easily meets the mining and civil engineering work demands that require mainly higher operational speeds and bigger capacity to go uphill. The design of the new Actros generation gives to the truck a visual aspect that stresses its strong and robust appearance.

The heavy truck Actros 4844 8x4 is equipped with a 16 speed transmission, and a semi-automated gear shifting system. This system, the Telligent®, makes the shifting operations more rapid, smooth, precise and safe, making the work of the driver easier, because he may keep his hand on the steering wheel for a longer time, this way he is able to concentrate in driving the truck.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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F1 Sepang - Preview


Woking, United Kingdom, Mar 30, 2009

Lewis Hamilton
“Firstly, we shouldn’t get carried away by our podium in Australia. Yes, we had a fantastic race but we’re all aware that our car isn’t capable of repeating that sort of performance on sheer pace alone. And Sepang is one of the tougher tracks on the calendar, one where we will probably be further from the frontrunners than we were in Albert Park. The track is both fast and technical so requires good mechanical and aero grip. It’s much more aero-dependent and rear-limited than Melbourne so it may highlight some of the shortcomings in MP4-24. Nevertheless, we’re all really encouraged by the progress we’ve made and I know we’ll be pushing as hard as ever to put more points on the board in Sepang.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“The Sepang track is a challenge because it requires several compromises to get the best set-up. There are plenty of long straights, where you ideally need lower downforce, but that gives the car a tendency to slide too much through the high-speed corners. The best corners are Turns Six and Seven – the fast left-right esses behind the pits. In the car, you’ve not only got to find the optimum balance, but also make sure the brakes and cooling are efficient, otherwise you’ll be in trouble before you get to the end of the race. The only difficulty for me is the heat; coming from Finland, we often see the same temperature-readings – but with a minus in front!”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Despite a good result in the race, our performance in the Australian Grand Prix was not what we would like it to be, and the reality is that this weekend’s race in Malaysia is unlikely to offer a significant improvement in fortunes. Nevertheless, we are still pushing to introduce performance to the car – the close proximity to the opening race means there won’t be many large changes to the car but there will be several upgrades to existing components. For us, the mission is clear: we must introduce laptime to our car faster than our rivals to enable us to, firstly, catch the leading runners and then to be able to compete against them. It’s a task we take incredibly seriously and are confident that progress will be made sooner rather than later.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“With Lewis in third place, the season opener in Melbourne ended much better for us than we had expected after his 18th grid position. Compared to our test results in Barcelona two and a half weeks ago, we made a good step. This result was mainly due to Lewis’s perfect drive and a good strategy by our team. Moreover, some of the incidents in the race went in our favour. However, we cannot expect the same again this coming weekend in Malaysia. We all will work flat out to improve our technical package further – that’s a promise.”

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New Mercedes-Benz hybrid bus in operation


Stuttgart/Mannheim, Germany, Mar 30, 2009

* 250 customers test the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid city bus

* World's largest lithium-ion battery in vehicle operation

* Diesel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 30 percent

* Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid – future-oriented technology for the city

* 40 years of Daimler hybrid buses

More than 250 customers from 15 countries recently had the opportunity to experience at first hand the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid articulated bus in operation for the first time. Experts from European transport operations praised a number of features of the 18-metre long hybrid city bus, including its completely emission-free operation on some stretches of the route, its quiet, practically jerk-free drive system, its unique vehicle concept incorporating four electric wheel hub motors, and also its use of the world's largest lithium-ion vehicle battery. This battery stores the energy from the diesel generator and the electrical energy recuperated during braking.

As a result the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid reduces diesel consumption by up to 30 percent, with a commensurate reduction in highly topical CO2 emissions. The new hybrid bus has successfully completed extensive practical trials over recent months, including several weeks of winter trials under extremely tough operating conditions near the Arctic Circle. The first vehicles will be delivered to the transport operators before the end of this year. Given appropriate public sector support for hybrid technology, market insiders expect a potential annual demand for at least 300 hybrid buses in western Europe, which would enable diesel fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and pollutant emissions in the cities to be drastically reduced. In North America the Daimler bus brand Orion already has 1700 hybrid buses in day-to-day operation, which makes it the world market leader for hybrid technology in commercial vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid

The Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid has a technologically very sophisticated, serial hybrid drive system which allows emission-free driving under battery power alone over short distances. The drive system is installed in an articulated Citaro G bus, and drives the centre and rear axles by means of four wheel hub motors – a combination that makes this articulated hybrid bus unique.

The diesel engine in the serial hybrid bus does not act as a primary drive unit, but rather drives the generator to produce electric power as required. This energy is stored by maintenance-free lithium-ion batteries mounted on the roof. The batteries are not only fed by the diesel generator, but also with energy recuperated during braking.

The energy generated by recuperation when braking on the approach to bus-stops or traffic lights is used both to supply the vehicle at standstill and when moving off. This means that the hybrid bus is able to operate purely under electric power, and therefore practically without emissions, when stationary and under acceleration – with a significant reduction in noise as well.

Power is transferred to the wheels of the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid by four electric wheel hub motors on the centre and rear axles. Even under heavy operating conditions, the 320 kW total output of the wheel hub motors is ample for an articulated bus.

Downsizing is among the greatest advantages of the serial hybrid system in the Citaro: instead of the large, 12-litre six-cylinder in-line engine normally employed in an articulated bus, a more compact unit with a displacement of 4.8 litres is used. As a result the engine weight is reduced from around 1000 kg to just 450 kg or so.

World's first lithium-ion battery in this output category

The lithium-ion battery used in the articulated Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid is in an output category of its own. The battery system generates 180 kW and is comparatively light in weight at under 350 kg. Major advantages over conventionnal battery systems include a higher energy density combined with a high storage capacity and a low battery weight.

Changes in the automobile industry are increasing the demand for clean, efficient and economical vehicles. According to forecasts, the market volume for powerful lithium-ion batteries is set to exceed the 10 bill. euro mark over the next decade, with the market for battery materials exceeding 4 bill. euros. In Germany alone, the government envisages at least one million electric cars populating the roads in the cities by 2020.

40 years of Daimler hybrid buses

With diesel-electric hybrid vehicles from Orion in North America, Mercedes-Benz in Europe and Mitsubishi Fuso in Asia, Daimler not only has the longest, but also the most extensive experience with alternative drive systems for commercial vehicles. The new Citaro with hybrid drive is a major step towards great economy and emission-free driving. Despite fuel savings of up to 30 percent, this complex hybrid technology nonetheless requires incentive financing. The support of politicians and the public sector in the form of subsidies is required to make the one-third higher costs for this technology in large-scale production worthwhile for both customers and manufacturers.

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F1 Melbourne - SUN - Race - Lewis Hamilton Third


Melbourne, Australia, Mar 29, 2009

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the first race of the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship, in third place. His team mate Heikki Kovalainen retired with a broken left front suspension, the consequence of a first-corner incident which was not his fault. Winner of the 58-lap race (307.574 kms) was Brawn Mercedes driver Jenson Button ahead of his team mate Rubens Barrichello; both achieved a 1-2 victory in the team’s first race.

Race Summary

The start: Heikki started 12th on the grid whilst Lewis had qualified 15th. However, due to the broken fourth gear, the gearbox had to be changed and according to the rules, Lewis had to move back on the grid. He started 18th. Lewis was 13th after the opening lap. At the first corner, Heikki was hit by Mark Webber’s Red Bull Renault and returned to the pits with a broken left front suspension; he retired.
The race, lap 5: Whilst pole sitter Jenson Button (Brawn Mercedes) held a 4.2sec lead, Lewis was now 10th.
Lap 11: Lewis pitted from eighth place (12sec) and resumed in 15th position.
Lap 19: Following an accident of Kazuki Nakajima (Williams Toyota) the Safety Car was deployed. Lewis was 12th.
Lap 25: Re-start. Lewis improved to 10th position.
Lap 41: After pit stops of Felipe Massa (lap 31), Robert Kubica, Kimi Räikkönen (both on lap 39) and Sébastien Buemi (lap 41), Lewis was now fifth.
Lap 43: Lewis came in for his second stop (7.8sec) and dropped to 10th, immediately ahead of Felipe Massa.
Lap 49: Lewis drove in ninth position; one lap later, following Timo Glock‘ pit stop, he was eighth.
Lap 52: Lewis improved to seventh, after Fernando Alonso had pitted.
Lap 54: Lewis overtook Nico Rosberg and was now sixth.
Lap 56: Collision of Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, both retired and the Safety Car was deployed again. Lewis moved up to fourth.
Finish (lap 58): Lewis finished the race in fourth position whilst Brawn Mercedes drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello achieved a 1-2 victory. Lewis had passed Jarno Trulli during the second Safety Car period whilst the Italian had a short off; however, Lewis let Trulli repass afterwards. After the race, the stewards gave Trulli a 25sec time penalty which meant that Lewis was third.


Lewis Hamilton

"We scored way more points than we could have realistically expected. I was looking to try and get one point, so to get six is a great achievement. We've definitely not forgotten how to win: our strategy was perfect and the team did a fantastic job. Considering the package we've got, I wrung every last ounce of pace out of the car, drove one of my best ever races and absolutely raced my heart out - I'm so satisfied. Also, my heartfelt congratulations to Jenson - he's driven brilliantly all weekend and both he and his team really deserve this success."

Heikki Kovalainen
"Obviously, my race was very short. Webber had a moment at the first corner and his front wheel hit my left-front. It was a racing accident - these things unfortunately happen."

Martin Whitmarsh
"Today was one of those days on which Lewis demonstrated very clearly just what a fantastic racing driver he is. Throughout the race he showed great speed and tenacity, tempered when necessary by commendable patience. The car we supplied him wasn't as competitive as we'd have liked it to be - we've made no secret of that - but we're working flat-out, night and day, to improve it. The points Lewis scored today are of course very welcome - and, as and when we regain our form, we hope they'll take on a greater significance still. As for Heikki, he started with a heavy fuel-load and could also have scored points today - but, sadly, and blamelessly on his part, his race was ended early on when he happened upon an incident involving two other cars. Lastly, well done to all at Brawn GP - and of course also to Mercedes-Benz, whose superb engines powered the first three cars."

Norbert Haug
“Lewis finally in third place and the best car with KERS - this is more than we had expected after starting 18th. He drove an excellent race under very difficult circumstances and proved his world-champion class. During the second Safety Car period, Trulli had an off and Lewis overtook him for third place, but he let Trulli past again. But the stewards' decision after the race gave him back third place. It's a shame for Heikki; without the first-corner multiple-car collision which was not his fault, he also could have scored a solid result in this turbulent race. Congratulations to Brawn GP, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello on their one-two victory - three times Mercedes-powered cars in the top three makes us happy. Our customer team did a great job and we helped to 'Keep the Customer Satisfied'!"

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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UPDATE:F1 Melbourne - Lewis 18th for tomorrow


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F1 Melbourne - SAT - Qualifying - Heikki 14th, Lewis 18th


Melbourne, Australia, Mar 28, 2009



P3 programme

The afternoon’s final practice session was spent fine-tuning set-up ahead of qualifying. Heikki completed two timed runs (5 laps/1m27.284s; 3 laps/1m26.652s) to finish the session 11th overall. He noted an improvement to the car’s overall pace and handling balance.


In contrast to Lewis, Heikki began the Q1 session on Bridgestone primes, posting a four-lap run (1m27.016s best) before switching to the option. Despite admitting his lap was not perfect, he set a 13th-fastest 1m26.184s to move comfortably into Q2. The second session was less productive: Heikki set a 1m25.726s on the option tyre which would only line him up 14th. “The car’s overall balance was good,” he said, “we just don’t have enough grip at the moment to make the best use of it. The team has worked so hard, and we have made progress over the past few weeks so it gives us all a lot of hope that we will get back to the front before too long.”


P3 programme

Two runs for Lewis (4 laps/1m27.923s; 4 laps/1m27.812s) as his engineers worked to improve the set-up. The session was spent productively improving overall balance, ironing out stability issues before switching attention to a final run (2 laps/1m26.714s) on the option. He finished in 12th.


Opting for two single-lap runs on options, Lewis set a decent 1m26.454s to finish the Q1 session 15th fastest. However, the final run to improve his time resulted in the car suffering a sudden loss of drive, leaving Lewis to coast back to the pits. “Something broke on the rear of my car on my second flying lap in Q1,” Lewis explained. “I just lost all drive in the gearbox and couldn’t continue.” A five-place grid penalty for changing the gearbox means Lewis starts from 20th tomorrow. “We’ll have fun in the race,” he added. “My congratulations to Jenson and everyone at Brawn GP – they have done a fantastic job all weekend and have a lot to look forward to tomorrow.”



“A gearbox failure – a broken fourth gear – on Lewis’s car in Q1 prevented him from setting as quick a time as he might otherwise have been able to, but at least he got through to Q2 even if he was unable to take part in it. Heikki's first quick lap in Q2 was solid - but his next fast lap was quicker in sectors one and two but unfortunately not quicker in sector three. He therefore missed out on getting through to Q3 – by less than half a second.

“Both drivers did a good job, though, in circumstances that were difficult for us all. The reality is that we’ve made progress in the past couple of weeks, but clearly not enough. There’s more to come, though, and everyone at Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart is working as hard as they can to turn things around in the shortest time possible.”

“Heikki did a solid job and made best use of the pace offered by the car. It’s a shame that Lewis suffered a gearbox problem, which should not happen when he was on his best lap so far – there was not such a problem during more than 7000 km of testing. Our speed was obviously not great, however Kimi and Nick – who were also both running KERS – were respectively 0.35s and 0.25s ahead of us, and Fernando is not more than 0.15s away. But of course, we have to continue to improve dramatically. Congratulations to Brawn GP for a superb debut. We are especially happy that our Mercedes-Benz engine powers the whole front row.”

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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F1 Melbourne - FRI - Free Practice


Melbourne, Australia, Mar 27, 2009


Today’s run programme targeted the following objectives: aero and mechanical set-up work, prime and option tyre evaluation, tyre degradation analysis over a long stint.


P1 programme

“Although the track was very green and slippery, the car felt good from the start of the session,” said Heikki. “Our balance was good, particularly in the high-speed corners, and KERS deployed well, working smoothly throughout both sessions.”

Heikki quickly felt comfortable with the car and the operating window of the tyres, setting a 1m27.982s best – which placed him near the top of the P1 timesheets. He followed it up with a six-lap run (1m27.495s) as the track continued to evolve.

P2 programme

Focus shifted from set-up work to tyre evaluation over longer runs. Heikki completed four runs (four laps/1m28.148s; three laps/1m28.757s (cut short by flat-spotting a tyre at Turn Two); 11 laps/1m28.064s (the first on options); nine laps/1m27.802s).

The time differential between the two compounds didn’t appear to be too marked – and both held up well over the course of a stint.

“A reasonable first day – even if the times don’t properly reflect that,” Heikki said, after finishing 17th on a 1m27.802s. “We saw some decent pace and made some progress which was pleasing for the new guys on my car this year.”


P1 programme

Lewis started with a five-lap run (best time 1m30.105s) to form a baseline for the day’s programme. A later four-lap run saw Lewis visibly working his tyres on his first flying lap, yielded a 1m29.042s. A two-lap, final run of the session produced a best of 1m31.747s.

“The first session didn’t prove too productive for us,” said Lewis. “We worked hard to get the prime tyres to operate effectively, but the track conditions and our set-up made it difficult to get them to work, and it didn’t give me the confidence to push hard.”

P2 programme

Some set-up work between the sessions made Lewis more comfortable. He completed runs of six laps (1m27.958s best), seven laps (1m28.431s), seven laps (1m27.813s) and a shorter, three-lap stint (1m29.438s) to evaluate set-up changes.

“The changes we made after P1 made the car feel much better,” said Lewis. “We’re still working to refine the balance – and we have a number of issues still to address – but we are heading in the right direction.”

While the focus of the run programme precluded the setting of low-fuel fast laps, MP4-24’s speed over a long run looks better than testing indicated, although it is too early to accurately predict overall. Lewis finished the day with a 1m27.813s best, 18th fastest.


“We arrived in Australia fully aware that we’d be facing a tough start to the season. But we adhered to a disciplined programme today, focusing on tyre durability work, and weren’t swayed by a desire to post flattering times. Equally, we’re now focusing on implementing the performance steps we’ve planned for the next few races. Overall, then, we’ve made good progress recently but are well aware that we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

“After the winter tests, we knew that we would have a difficult start into the season. While our car has improved since the Barcelona test, we still have a lot of work to do.”

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