Mercedes-Benz at Auto Shanghai 2009


Shanghai, China, Apr 20, 2009

Mercedes-Benz at Auto Shanghai 2009 - "Green Luxury" in all classes: the most economical and environmentally compatible automobiles made in Germany

At the Auto Shanghai 2009 show, Mercedes-Benz is reinforcing a market trend in China: the trend towards automobiles that combine status, comfort and safety at the highest level with exemplary efficiency and environmental compatibility. Mercedes-Benz makes "Green Luxury" a reality in all vehicle classes. This is above all demonstrated by the new S 400 HYBRID, which takes centre-stage in Shanghai at the world premiere of the 2009 S-Class. Performance fans among potential S-Class customers have the option of the likewise updated S 65 AMG. As a further example of Green Luxury, Mercedes-Benz is exhibiting the Concept BlueZERO, which is equally suitable for battery or fuel cell operation, at the world's second-largest automobile show.

The 2009 S-Class: pacemaker for automotive development

With an even more dynamic design, even more comfort and future-oriented innovations, the comprehensively updated 2009 S-Class is reiterating its claim to represent the standard in automotive progress. Technological highlights include the world's first series-production hybrid drive system with a lithium-ion battery in the S 400 HYBRID, which makes this top Mercedes-Benz model the most economical luxury saloon with a petrol engine. The fuel consumption of 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres corresponds to carbon dioxide emissions of just 186 grams per kilometre. This makes the new S 400 HYBRID the "CO2 champion in the luxury class".

The range of engines for the 2009 S-Class comprises eight modern petrol and diesel units, which consume up to seven percent less fuel than the previous series despite the same, high performance. As in the new E-Class, the high level of safety for which the S-Class is known is further enhanced by a unique combination of innovative camera and radar-based driver assistance systems, with new features such as Speed Limit Assist, the ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system and Adaptive Main Beam Assist. Even more agility and driving pleasure is ensured by Direct-Steer and the modified Active Body Control suspension system with crosswind stabilisation for the eight and twelve-cylinder models.

S 400 HYBRID: the first series-production hybrid with lithium-ion technology
Mercedes-Benz underlines its claim to leadership with the new S 400 HYBRID, the world's first series-production car to feature a hybrid drive system with a lithium-ion battery. This is yet another pioneering step by Mercedes-Benz towards the electrification of the automobile. The modified 3.5-litre petrol engine develops an output of 205 kW/279 hp, and the electric motor a further 15 kW/20 hp as well as a starting torque of 160 Nm. Combined output is therefore 220 kW/299 hp, with a combined maximum torque of 385 newton metres.

The Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID is based on the S 350, and features an extensively modified drive train. This encompasses a further development of the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, an additional magneto-electric motor, the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission specially configured for the hybrid module, the necessary power and control electronics, the voltage converter and the high-voltage lithium-ion battery.

Lithium-ion battery stores kinetic energy

When the vehicle is braked the electric motor acts as a generator, and is able to recover braking energy by a process known as recuperation. Working in finely tuned partnership, the electric motor supplements the braking effect of the combustion engine and the wheel brakes to deliver a smoothly progressive braking action. The recuperated energy is stored in a compact yet highly efficient lithium-ion battery in the engine compartment, and made available when required.

Major advantages over conventional nickel/metal hydride batteries include a higher energy density and greater electrical efficiency combined with more compact dimensions and a low battery weight. Thanks to space-saving installation in the engine compartment, the boot capacity and generous interior dimensions remain unchanged.

Efficient diesel and petrol engines

In addition to the trailblazing hybrid drive unit of the S 400 HYBRID, the 2009 S-Class is available with a choice of eight engines: two diesel units and six petrol units with six, eight and twelve cylinders. By means of specific aerodynamic fine-tuning, tyres with a lower rolling resistance and modifications to the steering, fuel pump and 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, Mercedes-Benz developers have been able to reduce both fuel consumption and CO2emissions by up to seven percent.

With diesel fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 199-201 grams per kilometre, the S 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (173 kW/ 235 hp) likewise boasts outstanding figures for the luxury class. Mercedes-Benz achieves this exemplary efficiency with a tailor-made BlueEFFICIENCY package, which also includes closed underbody panelling and decoupling of the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission at standstill.

The 3.0 litre diesel engine is also used in the S 350 CDI 4MATIC. The second diesel variant is the eight-cylinder S 450 CDI (235 kW/320 hp) with a displace-ment of 4.0 litres. The range of petrol engines comprises the six-cylinder S 350/ S 350 4MATIC (200 kW/272 hp) with a displacement of 3.5 litres and the two eight-cylinder units in the S 450/S 450 4MATIC (250 kW/340 hp; displacement 4.7 litres) and S 500/S 500 4MATIC (285 kW/388 hp; displacement 5.5 litres). The flagship model is still the S 600 with the 380 kW/517 hp twelve-cylinder biturbo unit (displacement 5.5 litres), which accelerates the luxury saloon to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. The Mercedes-AMG high-performance contribution to the range is the S 65 AMG with a 450 kW/612 hp twelve-cylinder engine.

Unique combination of driver assistance systems

A combination of ultra-modern assistance and protection systems turns the
S-Class into an "intelligent" partner for the driver. The car is able to see, feel, respond reflexively and act independently to prevent accidents or mitigate their effects. Mercedes-Benz also uses cameras in these systems - these are able to look well ahead, monitor the car's surroundings and interpret critical situations. One example is the optional Adaptive Main Beam Assist. This system recognises oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead, and then controls the headlamps to ensure the best possible beam range without dazzling other road users.

The Sindelfingen-based engineers have also developed Night View Assist further, and it is now equipped with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as the system detects pedestrians ahead of the car, they are highlighted on the display to make it easier for the driver to see them.

Lane Keeping Assist is another system that "looks ahead" for even safer driving. The system computer is able to recognise lane markings by evaluating the contrasting images of the road surface and the markings. If the vehicle leaves the lane recognised by the system unintentionally, the driver is warned by short vibrations of the steering wheel. The images supplied by the windscreen camera are also used by the new, optional Speed Limit Assist, which recognises speed limit signs in passing and shows the relevant speed limit in the central display (standard for S 600).

The drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST continuously monitors more than 70 different parameters. Once the high-resolution steering angle sensor recognises the steering behaviour that typically indicates the onset of drowsiness, a warning signal is sounded and "ATTENTION ASSIST. Break!" appears in the instrument cluster. Attention Assist is standard equipment in many models in the 2009 S-Class.

"Electronic crumple zone" for maximum occupant protection

Mercedes-Benz has also improved the long and medium-range radar used by Brake Assist PLUS and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity cruise control. Both systems assist the driver during emergency braking. If the driver is distracted and fails to recognise the immediate danger of a rear-end collision, the PRE-SAFE®Brake is able to intervene and brake the vehicle independently. For the 2009 S-Class the developers in Sindelfingen have improved this system even further: if the driver fails to react even after automatic, partial braking action, the PRE-SAFE®Brake activates the maximum braking pressure around 0.6 seconds before what is now recognised as an unavoidable accident - an emergency braking action that can significantly mitigate the severity of the impact. The system therefore acts as something like an "electronic crumple zone".

New: Active Body Control compensates the effects of crosswinds

The S-Class also meets the highest expectations where driving dynamics and agility are concerned. This is partly due to Direct-Steer, where the steering ratio varies with the steering angle, and modified Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilisation (optional for the eight-cylinder models, standard for S 600). For the latter, ABC uses the yaw rates and lateral acceleration sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP® to vary the wheel load distribution via the ABC spring struts, depending on the direction and intensity of the crosswind. This enables the effects of crosswinds to be compensated, or reduced to a minimum in the case of strong gusts.

Extra safety at the physical limits, as well as even more agility, is provided by
the Torque Vectoring Brake in the 2009 S-Class - targeted, one-sided braking intervention at the inside rear wheel when cornering. The result is a defined turning moment around the vehicle's vertical axis, which means that the car turns into the bend under precise control without any loss of handling dynamics.

Muscular, self-assured presence

The modified design reflects the effortless superiority and power of the 2009 S-Class. It is characterised by the more pronounced arrow-shape of the radiator grille, plus a new front bumper with a discreet light-catching contour and a chrome strip below the cooling air intakes. In future the exhaust tailpipes of all S-Class variants are visibly integrated into the rear bumper. The headlamps have bi-xenon technology as standard, and LED indicators on the lower edge of the headlamp housings are available as an optional extra. Eye-catching highlights are also provided by the two round foglamps and daytime driving lights on each side of the front bumper. Their location at the outer edges of the bumper underlines the muscular character of the S-Class.

State-of-the-art multimedia technology

In line with its self-assured character and its claim to be a technological trendsetter, the 2009 S-Class also sets standards where onboard infotainment is concerned. As a world first, on request Mercedes-Benz will equip its flagship model with the new SPLITVIEW technology for the COMAND control and display system centrally located in the centre console. This innovative display concept allows the driver and front passenger to view different content simultaneously on one and the same screen. While the driver uses the map-based navigation system, for example, the front passenger can be watching the latest film on DVD.

Interior: carefully selected materials and first-class finishing

When choosing the interior, S-Class customers now have even more scope for their personal preferences. A total of five different types of wood trim provide perfectly coordinated material and colour concepts to suit personal tastes.

Top-of-the-line AMG model now has even greater appeal

The Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG, the most powerful top-of-the-line S-Class model,
is now even more appealing: thanks to a series of subtle yet extremely effective fine-tuning measures, this high-performance saloon is even more striking and desirable than ever before. The updated technology ensures an even more dynamic driving experience as well as optimum active and passive safety.

The AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine of the S 65 AMG generates a maximum output of 450 kW/612 hp and a maximum torque of 1000 newton metres. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.4 seconds. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Despite unchanged engine data and performance figures, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced by up to three percent.

A further increase in status is ensured by the new, more arrow-shaped radiator grille of the S 65 AMG, which has chromed twin louvres. The new front apron features two striking, AMG-specific LED daytime driving lights and two air vents on each side. Sideskirts continue the line of the front apron through to the rear of the vehicle, where the new rear apron features yet another highlight: the centre section of the diffuser insert is now painted in the same colour as the vehicle body. New tail lights with 52 LED's in the form of a double "C" also give the S-Class an unmistakable appearance from behind. A distinctive element of both models comes in the guise of the sports exhaust with two chromed twin tailpipes, featuring a V12 design. The S 65 AMG also comes with 20-inch forged wheels painted in titanium grey and polished, in size 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear).

Asian premiere for the new E-Class

The new E-Class saloon is celebrating its Asian premiere at Auto Shanghai 2009. The special features of the world's bestselling luxury class saloon include a unique combination of driver assistance systems. Among them are drowsiness detection, Adaptive Main Beam Assist and automatic emergency braking, which can help to prevent accidents. The long-distance comfort for which the E-Class is known is enhanced even further by intelligent bodyshell technology, with up to 30 percent greater rigidity, further improved seats and a newly developed suspension system whose shock absorbers automatically adapt themselves to the current driving situation. In the interior, high-grade materials, high-quality finishing with great attention to detail and perfect ergonomics ensure the feeling that Mercedes customers have always cherished: "Welcome home".

Independent analysts also assess the new E-Class as the series with the highest value-retention in its class. The projected residual value is an outstanding 62 percent after three years.

Up to 23 percent lower fuel consumption

Another factor is the exemplary efficiency of the new E-Class, which consumes up to 23 percent less fuel than its predecessor. Dr. Thomas Weber, the member of the Daimler AG Executive Board responsible for corporate research and development at Mercedes-Benz Cars: "All the four and six-cylinder engines for the E-Class now feature the very latest direct injection. We have also equipped these models with our fuel-saving BlueEFFICIENCY package. This means that two thirds of the new E-Class models consume between 6.8 and 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres, with the excellent second figure applying to no less than three CDI models."

The new CDI diesel engines are happy with just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined). This corresponds to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre. All the engines in the new E-Class meet the EU5 emission standard.

Extensive trials covering more than 36 million test kilometres

Where quality is concerned the new E-Class will also better its already outstanding predecessor, which twice scored first place in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating. Dr. Weber: "The new E-Class has been prepared to perfection for its launch. It has absolved comprehensive virtual tests with digital prototypes, and a total of 36 million test kilometres. This means that the new E-Class has successfully passed a more extensive test programme than any previous Mercedes model.

Concept BlueZERO: three-fold proof of the everyday practicality of zero-emission vehicles

With the near-series Concept BlueZERO, Mercedes-Benz is showing the way towards environmentally compatible electro-mobility in Shanghai, with no limitations to day-to-day practicality, interior space and payload. The intelligent, modular concept based on a single vehicle architecture allows scope for three models with different drive configurations, which are able to meet all customer requirements with respect to sustainable mobility:

- the BlueZERO E-CELL with battery-electric drive and a range of up to 200 kilometres using electric drive alone

- the BlueZERO F-CELL (fuel cell) with a range of well over 400 kilometres using electric drive

- and the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS with electric drive and additional internal combustion engine as power generator (range extender). This version has an overall range of up to 600 kilometres and can cover a distance of up to 100 kilometres using electric drive alone.

The three BlueZERO variants are based on the unique sandwich-floor architecture which Mercedes-Benz introduced some ten years ago, initially for the A-Class and then for the B-Class, one of the aims being to integrate alternative drive systems. Advantages of the modified construction include the positive effect of the major drive components on the centre of gravity, their space-saving design, and the fact that they are extremely well protected within the vehicle underbody. The five-seater BlueZERO concept cars also set standards in terms of lightweight design, interior layout, and body form.

"The flexible BlueZERO concept allows electro-mobility for every requirement, and highlights the fact that Mercedes-Benz is the world's only car manufacturer to already have in place all the key technologies for electric cars offering full everyday practicality", says Dr Thomas Weber.

All three BlueZERO variants share the same key technical components, while the design and vehicle dimensions are identical. Measuring just 4.22 meters in length, the BlueZERO models combine compact exterior dimensions with a generously proportioned and variable interior and luggage compartment. Five fully-fledged seats, a payload of around 450 kilograms, and a luggage compartment capacity of over 500 litres make for outstanding everyday practicality. Thanks to their sandwich construction with a raised sitting position, the cars also offer an exceptionally high level of crash safety, plus excellent all-round visibility.

Compared to electric cars based on conventional vehicle platforms and originally only designed for use in combination with internal combustion engines, Concept BlueZERO offers the following conclusive advantages:

- Thanks to the integration of the batteries or energy generators within the spacious sandwich floor, interior spaciousness is fully retained.

- The powertrain technology built into the sandwich floor ensures a low centre of gravity and extremely safe, agile handling.

- Crash safety is of the extremely high standard associated with Mercedes, thanks to the sandwich concept and the housing of major powertrain components between the axles.

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

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