Archive for July 2009

Mercedes-Benz-Blog enters the summer holiday

There are times in life when you really want to say STOP!There are also times in life when it's time to rest a bit after a hard work!Indeed, there are many times in life when you feel a little break would do miracles to you!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, dear visitors of Mercedes-Benz-Blog, summer has already knocked at the door, and we felt now it's the perfect time to let it in.

Don't be upset, because we will be back in business after the 10th of August. Up to then, we will certainly have the necessary time to fully recharge our batteries.

Have these words been said,


Adrian Dorofte
Editor In-Chief, Mercedes-Benz-Blog

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

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J. D. Power APEAL study 2009: The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the best car in the USA


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 22, 2009 – Mercedes-Benz and smart drivers are particularly satisfied, according to the latest J. D. Power APEAL survey about the best vehicle concept. In this exhaustive customer survey the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was awarded the highest number of overall points for the third time running, and is therefore not only the best car in its segment, but at the same time also in the entire US market. Other winners in their segment were the SLK and, for the first time, the smart, which its buyers appreciate as the best car in the Sub-Compact Cars segment. This result by the internationally renowned market research institute underlines the high level of Mercedes customers' satisfaction with the quality and design of their new cars.

The 2009 APEAL study ("Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study") by the market research institute J. D. Power reflects how satisfied car buyers were with their new cars after driving them for three months between December 2008 and February 2009. Around 81,000 new car buyers delivered their verdict on a large number of aspects in a detailed questionnaire. These included driving characteristics, exterior and interior design, operating functionality, stowage space, but also e.g. also the noise made when closing the doors.

A maximum of 1000 points was achievable. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class scored 887 points – the highest number in any of the categories. This makes the luxury saloon the best car in the USmarket, as well as the measure of all things in the large premium car segment. The S-Class therefore easily defended the first place it had already achieved in 2007 and 2008.

The Mercedes-Benz SLK was also the winner in its class, gaining 28 points after the last model facelift. Other improvements were achieved by the M-Class (plus 10 points), the R-Class (plus 7 points) and the C-Class (plus 6 points). The overall average achieved by the Mercedes models was 841 points – an outstanding result. In this study, car buyers made very positive mention of the fact that in their view, Mercedes-Benz has made very substantial progress in reducing fuel consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions.

The smart was represented in the APEAL study for the first time, and the two-seater immediately took first place in the Sub-Compact Car segment.

This outstanding result in the APEAL study means that within just a few weeks, and for the second time this year, Mercedes-Benz has emerged a winner in a customer survey conducted by the well-known USmarket research institute J. D. Power and Associates. Only recently, top marks for highest product quality were achieved in Germanyfor the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) survey, which is regarded as the perfect buyers@ guide. First place overall across all categories was won by the Mercedes-Benz CLK, which also took first place in the sports car rating. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was able to prevail in the luxury segment, taking first place in this significant ranking.

The J. D. Power studies of this year therefore confirm the outstanding status enjoyed among demanding car buyers by the vehicles made by the world's oldest automobile manufacturer.

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Shaping Future Transportation


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 21, 2009

- Drastically reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emissions
- Hybrid drive technology leading to the fuel cell
- Mercedes-Benz presents three new hybrid concepts
- Natural-gas drive going from strength to strength
- Active Brake Assist: only from Mercedes-Benz and Setra
- Around half of all serious commercial-vehicle accidents are preventable
- Daimler leads in the introduction of safety systems
- Unique: the Front Collision Guard for touring coaches

Shaping the future of transport on a sustainable basis is more than just an economic or technical challenge for Daimler and its well-known brands as the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer – it is a social responsibility. "Shaping Future Transportation" is the name of an initiative that takes a comprehensive approach to place the focus on both environmental aspects and safety.

Drastically reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emissions

Daimler AG continues to place the highest priority on the drastic reduction of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and exhaust emissions in commercial vehicles, as part of the Shaping Future Transportation initiative which commenced at the end of 2007.
BlueTec diesel technology, which is already proving its effectiveness in more than 220,000 Mercedes-Benz trucks and 17,600 Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches, emphatically demonstrates the fuel-saving potential of conventional diesel engines. More than 90 percent of these vehicles already meet the EU's Euro 5 exhaust emission standard coming into force from autumn 2009. BlueTec vehicles consume between two and five percent less fuel than Euro 3 vehicles, and emit correspondingly less CO2. At the same time their exhaust gases contain at least 80 percent fewer particulates and up to 60 percent lower nitrogen oxide levels.

The development work also continues apace where vans are concerned. The automatic start-stop function, which is available as an option for the Sprinter, allows significant fuel savings of between five and eight percent in city traffic and pays for itself within just a few months.

World market leader for hybrid drive systems in the commercial vehicle sector

A key role on the road to the drive systems of tomorrow is played by hybrid technologies, which appear capable of reducing diesel fuel consumption by up to one third depending on the type of operation. This is indicated by the experience in the USA and Japan, where buses and trucks produced by the Daimler brands Orion, Freightliner and Fuso are in customer operation in large numbers.

With around 2,000 Orion hybrid buses on the roads of North America, more than 500 Freightliner trucks and about 600 light trucks and Fuso buses, Daimler is the world market leader for hybrid systems in the commercial vehicle sector. Including natural-gas-powered Mercedes-Benz trucks, buses and vans in Europe, the total number of commercial vehicles with alternative drive concepts delivered to customers for day-to-day operations is well over 10,500.

Continuous expansion of activities

Alternative drive technologies from Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses are now due to enter customer operations in further product segments and regions. In North America, Freightliner will be delivering 1,500 M2 hybrid trucks to customers over the next two years, and producing hybrid versions of the legendary school buses by Thomas Built Buses. In Japan the second hybrid bus generation is already on the market in the form of the Fuso Aero Star Eco Hybrid. In Germany the first example of the Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid distribution truck has entered pilot operations with customers in 2008 and was recently allocated with the “Environment Engineering Award” of the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg In August 2008, Europe's largest fleet trials of hybrid trucks began in London with ten Fuso Canter Eco Hybrids.

In the short-range public transport sector, the articulated Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid bus entered the customer trials at the turn of the year 2008/2009. This new vehicle concept already marks a technological turning-point on the way to the Zero Emission Vehicle.

Alternative fuels in fleet trials

A lower fuel consumption for trucks and buses with hybrid drive systems also leads to a reduction in exhaust pollutants, especially in the case of the much-debated CO2. In parallel with alternative drive technologies, the use of alternative fuels is also being researched in order to conserve resources of fossil fuels and reduce atmospheric pollution.
Daimler AG has been actively involved in the development and testing of biofuels for many years.

Latest example is a joint pilot test project focusing on fuel from sustainable production which was presented by the Daimler AG, Deutsche Post DHL, the energy group OMV, the Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG public transportation company, and the Finnish oil company Neste Oil in the beginning of June 2009. Since mid-2008, 14 series-produced Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses that run exclusively on sustainably produced NExBTL renewable diesel have been in service under everyday conditions in Germany. The vehicles have already covered one million kilometers. The field test shows that the combustion of the alternative diesel fuel from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in the engines results in significantly reduced emissions of pollutants. For example, emissions of nitrogen oxides decrease up to 15 percent. The overall CO2 balance is also positive: From the sustainable cultivation of palm oil and its processing to the fuel’s use in a vehicle, the CO2 emissions of the fuel used in the pilot test have been reduced by more than 60 percent compared to fossil fuels.
A further step are so-called second-generation biofuels : they can be produced from various forms of biomass, have a CO2 reduction potential of up to 90 percent and do not stand in direct competition with plants grown for food production.

Natural gas drive going from strength to strength

Around 2,100 natural-gas-powered Mercedes-Benz buses and municipal vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz Econic series (CNG/NGT) have been in customer use for the last eight years. Development is progressing at a rapid pace for natural gas power: the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter NGT has performed excellently in customer trials, and also entered series production recently. Around 1,700 of these vehicles are now on the road.

On the road to zero emissions

Thanks to continuous further development over the years, Daimler diesel engines have become high-tech power units that will continue to be developed further as the backbone of commercial-vehicle drive systems for many years to come. They show their great potential through constantly reduced emissions and increasing energy yields. Over several development stages, particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced by an average of well over 90 percent since 1990 alone. Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses with the latest BlueTec diesel technology combine these ecological advances with economic benefits for the vehicle operator. This is because compared to other emission control technologies, fuel consumption has been drastically lowered even further, producing a saving of around 2,000 litres per year for a long-distance truck, for example. This corresponds to a good five tonnes less CO2 over the same period for a single long-distance truck.

Compared to other vehicle types and in terms of fuel consumption per 100 km per tonne of cargo, the "one-litre vehicle" has long been a reality in the truck sector.
This was demonstrated by a series-production example of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, which showed its outstanding performance and economy by establishing a world record. In Nardo, southern Italy, a 40-tonne semitrailer combination covered a distance of just under 13,000 kilometres in seven days, with a fuel consumption of only 19.44 litres per 100 km under test conditions – a world record. In the case of a 25-tonne cargo this represents a fuel consumption of only 0.8 litres per 100 km per tonne, and in other words only 20.5 grammes of CO2 emissions per tonne of payload and kilometre – a fraction of that achieved by current passenger cars with hybrid drive. Accordingly the truck has entered the Guinness Book of Records as "the most fuel-efficient 40-tonne truck".

Hybrid drive technology leading to the fuel cell

Until zero-emission fuel-cell drive systems are economically viable, further significant advances in fuel economy are only conceivable with the use of hybrid technologies. Two different drive systems are used in hybrid vehicles. The energy released during braking is recuperated in the form of electrical energy, stored in batteries and used to power an electric motor. Thanks to this additional drive unit, a smaller and lighter diesel engine can be used to obtain the same overall performance.

For trucks Daimler has decided in favour of the so-called "parallel" hybrid. In this case the electric motor is integrated into the drive train, and usually contributes its output in parallel with the diesel engine. The hybrid buses produced by the Daimler brands Orion, Fuso and Mercedes-Benz employ what is known as serial hybrid drive. In this case a generator directly connected to the diesel engine supplies the energy to the electric drive motors.

In the hybrid buses from Fuso and the new Mercedes-Benz hybrid bus all the peripheral units are also electrically powered, therefore the bus is able to cover limited stretches under electrical power only, i.e. with zero emissions. The innovative concept of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, which features wheel hub motors, marks a technological transition towards the Zero Emission Vehicle. When the time comes to develop this future vehicle generation, it is basically only the diesel generator that will need replacing with fuel cells, as the electric drive components are already tried and tested.

In the beginning of June 2009 Daimler celebrated the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid in Vienna. The fuel cell hybrid bus is the first vehicle in Daimler Buses’ new generation of fuel cell buses. It combines the advantages of the diesel-electric Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, which was unveiled a few months ago, with those of the hydrogen-powered Citaro fuel cell buses, which have delivered impressive performance in fleet tests. An exceptional feature of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is its outstanding environmental friendlyness. The bus runs without emitting any pollutants and is virtually silent, making it ideal for use in highly congested inner cities and urban areas.

Economy is what counts

Given that the procurement costs for hybrid vehicles are around one third higher than for conventional diesel vehicles, economic aspects will be the deciding factor for the acceptance of alternative drive systems among operators in both the passenger and goods transport sectors.

Thanks to the achievable fuel savings, hybrid technology has come considerably closer to overall cost-effectiveness over the vehicle's operating life. At least in the early years, a general introduction in vehicle fleets will, however, require subsidies, for example on the part of governments and municipalities. The success of alternative drive technologies thanks to public subsidies in the USA and Japan confirms this.

Fleet operators in Europe still lack the benefit of such a decision-making basis as yet. The scheme for the use of hybrid-drive buses in city traffic announced by the German government is a first incentive for the necessary rethinking on the part of vehicle operators.

Focus on safety

Along with environmental protection, the focus of Daimler AG and its commercial vehicle brands is also on safety, with the ambitious vision of accident-free driving. The company's commercial vehicles are known to be innovative leaders where safety is concerned.

Active Brake Assist: only from Mercedes-Benz and Setra

With the emergency braking aid Active Brake Assist (ABA), Daimler Buses leads the field among premium touring coaches with the Mercedes-Benz Travego and Setra TopClass 400. No other coaches in the world are currently able to offer this emergency braking aid. If there is an acute danger of a rear-end collision with a slower-moving vehicle ahead, the patented system automatically initiates emergency braking after a series of warnings, thereby having the potential to save lives.
Active Brake Assist celebrated its debut in the Mercedes-Benz Actros three years ago. Mercedes-Benz continues to be the only manufacturer offering trucks with an emergency braking system. While this is not always able to prevent accidents, the automatic initiation of emergency braking when acute danger threatens can substantially mitigate the consequences.

Around half of all serious truck accidents are preventable

Safety experts are convinced that Active Brake Assist helps to prevent rear-end collisions, thereby helping to save lives. Along with other safety systems it has long proved its worth in practice. The positive effects of safety systems have been shown by a large-scale fleet test, involving 1,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros semitrailer tractors, and the findings from comprehensive analyses of real accidents. Around half of all serious truck accidents on motorways are preventable. 50 percent of the trucks in the test were equipped with a safety package consisting of the lane assistant, proximity cruise control and stability control. The result was that compared to conventionally equipped semitrailer tractors, the number of serious accidents was halved for the vehicles with this safety package. And in cases where an accident did occur, the financial damage was an average of 90 percent less severe. These results were based on a monitoring period of twelve months and a total mileage of 106 million kilometres.

Mercedes-Benz is actively furthering the introduction of safety systems: both for the Actros and the Axor, the company has already put together attractive safety packages that have a noticeably positive effect on the buying decision. At the same time, negotiations with the insurance sector in Germany have led to the first premium discounts for trucks and buses equipped with particularly extensive safety systems.

Daimler leads in the introduction of safety systems

The ongoing safety initiative by Mercedes-Benz and Setra in Europe already began in the mid-nineties, with the introduction of the Electronic Braking System (EBS) and disc brakes all round for all new truck and bus model series.

Up-to-date assistance systems were then gradually introduced for the trucks, buses and vans – the majority as a market first. The Electronic Stability Program ( ESP ) has been standard equipment for all newly launched Mercedes-Benz touring coaches and vans for many years. In the case of vans, Adaptive ESP even recognises the vehicle's centre of gravity and therefore the load parameters.

The Lane Assistant, DISTRONIC and stability control are available for the heavy Actros and Axor truck series. The Mercedes-Benz Travego and Setra TopClass 400 touring coaches are also available with the Lane Assistant, and they include the Continuous Braking Limiter which prevents unwanted acceleration on gradients. The development progress in safety technologies was impressively demonstrated with the Safety Truck, Safety Coach and Safety Van fleet presented Europe-wide in 2006.

Active safety has a long tradition in the company: in the early eighties Mercedes-Benz and Setra already led the field when the anti-lock braking system (ABS) followed by acceleration skid control (ASR) were introduced. The same applies to the early introduction of driver training courses and safety training, for even the most sophisticated technology can only provide assistance – the responsibility continues to rest with the driver.

Strong emphasis on operating safety

Drivers benefit from the best possible support during their working day thanks to ergonomically perfected, driver-oriented cockpits, first-class mirror systems and the drive train itself. Trucks, buses and vans from Mercedes-Benz and Setra are traditionally particularly easy to operate. As early as the mid-eighties, Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to offer semi-automated and later fully automated transmissions in its trucks and buses. The standard features of the new Actros include the fully automated Mercedes PowerShift 2 transmission. The new, automated GO 240-8 PowerShift eight-speed transmission has been introduced for the premium Mercedes-Benz Travego and Setra TopClass 400 touring coaches as the only specialist bus transmission in this class in the previous year.

The company’s commercial vehicle brands are also the leaders in passive safety. Mercedes-Benz conducted rollover tests on buses and coaches in the 1950s, for example. The protection of other road users also plays a major role in all these developments. A collision between a passenger car and a commercial vehicle must not be wholly at the expense of the car.

Unique: the Front Collision Guard for touring coaches

The Front Collision Guard (FCG) shows how the two can be combined. This new and unique passive safety system for the protection of the driver and co-driver/courier during a frontal collision is included as standard in the new-generation Mercedes-Benz Travego and Setra TopClass 400 touring coaches. This complex, patented technology begins with a transverse section which acts as an underride guard. The structure behind this section consists of impact-absorbing elements that dissipate energy in a controlled manner in the event of a collision. In addition, the cockpit including the steering, pedal cluster and seat is now mounted on a solid subframe which can move to the rear as a complete unit during a frontal impact, thereby increasing the space for the driver by several crucial centimetres. The developers not only established the effects of the Front Collision Guard on a calculatory basis, but also verified them during crash tests to be sure.

Safety knows no boundaries

Although safety levels can vary greatly in the individual markets and regions, the development of new safety systems by Daimler AG’s commercial vehicle brands knows no national frontiers. In the early summer of 2008 Fuso presented a new Safety Truck based on its Super Great heavy-duty truck, for example.

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On the Road to emission-free Mobility: Mercedes-Benz – engine for sustainable mobility today, tomorrow and the day after


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 21, 2009

As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz also accepts responsibility for its future. The Stuttgart premium car maker is underscoring this conviction with its “Road to emission-free Mobility”, which is intentionally structured to pursue a number of avenues. The three core aspects of development work are the optimisation of vehicles with state-of-the-art internal combustion engines, further efficiency improvements with tailor-made hybridisation and local emission-free driving with fuel cell and battery-powered vehicles. This strategy has been implemented consistently since its introduction at IAA 2007 – under the heading “Road to the Future”. Based on the concrete results of their research and experience gathered from highly successful major projects testing alternative vehicle and drive concepts, Mercedes engineers have established the pre-requisites for local emission-free driving tomorrow and the day after. Furthermore, with a large and continuously growing fleet of efficient and environmentally compatible series production vehicles – including 58 extremely fuel-efficient and clean BlueEFFICIENCY models – the three-pointed star offers a broad-ranging selection of premium vehicles that combine economy and environmental responsibility with safety, comfort and refined driving pleasure.

The automobile of today occupies an extremely challenging position, whereby the demands made on its technology are increasingly stringent, multi-faceted and, at times, conflicting. Customers expect safe, comfortable and powerful vehicles that are also fuel-efficient and environmentally compatible. On top of that, dynamic growth in the global demand for mobility is faced with declining oil reserves, increasing energy prices and an ever stricter, yet internationally inconsistent, regulatory framework. Examples of this include the environmental zones already established in many cities and legislated quotas for emission-free vehicles.

It is against this background that the automobile must be made fit for the future, because no other form of transport offers so much individual freedom as the car. At the same time, passenger and commercial vehicles are among the world’s most powerful engines for growth and wealth creation. In European industrialised countries, 80 percent of all goods are transported by commercial vehicle and, worldwide, more than 50 million jobs are associated with the automobile. In order to be able to continue fulfilling this economically crucial role in the future, passenger and commercial vehicles must become cleaner and more efficient.

Multi-faceted solutions for complex task

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars comments, “None of our competitors are as well-positioned as we are across the board to fulfil customer requirements for individual and sustainable mobility. At IAA 2007, we showed that we possess the right solutions. Since then, we have been systematically bringing these technologies to market – from BLUETEC and petrol direct injection through to the S 400 HYBRID. And, in parallel, we are also pushing forward with the development of electric mobility. I am looking forward to IAA 2009 – because we have been doing our homework.”

“Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are already extremely fuel-efficient and clean, as demonstrated by our BlueEFFICIENCY models, of which we will have 58 on the market until the end of this year. The success of this concept is clearly demonstrated by the new E-Class, which combines state-of-the-art engines and the world’s best cd value in this vehicle class with further targeted vehicle optimisation measures, including lightweight design and intelligent energy management. All-in-all, we achieve up to 23 percent greater efficiency compared with the preceding model.” says Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Development for Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Mercedes-Benz – way ahead on the road to emission-free mobility

How do vehicle makers want to tackle the issue of “CO2”? Which drive technology is best suited to reduce fuel-consumption? And how can all of this be reconciled with the desire for safety, comfort and driving fun? Mercedes-Benz already provided many convincing answers to these questions with its “green” presentation at IAA 2007, sending a clear signal on the subject of sustainable mobility that has received a great deal of attention worldwide. However, the development of the technical foundation for highly efficient and environmentally compatible vehicles extends much farther back. Examples of the innovative power of Mercedes-Benz include:

- the 300 SL as the first series production vehicle with a four-stroke engine to use petrol direct injection (1954)
- the first test vehicles to be powered by hydrogen (1975)
- the first hybrid bus – the Mercedes-Benz OE 305 with combined
diesel/battery drive (1979)
- the first electric-powered passenger car test vehicle based on an E-Class estate (1982)
- the first fuel cell vehicle NECAR (New Electric Car) based on the MB 100 delivery van (1994)
- the introduction of CDI turbo diesel technology (1997)
- and the introduction of the first BlueTec commercial vehicle with the technology for the world’s cleanest diesel engines (2004)

Since then, Mercedes-Benz has been consistently pursuing the route to emission-free mobility. All relevant technologies – from CDI and BLUETEC, through petrol direct injection (CGI) and hybridisation to battery and fuel cell drive – have been further developed and, in some cases, have already been in series production for years.
In contrast to other premium manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz has the advantage of being able to use synergies from within the Daimler Group. One example of technology transfer between the commercial vehicle and passenger car divisions is the multiple award-winning BLUETEC exhaust gas treatment system. Presented at the IAA for commercial vehicles in 2004, the BlueTec exhaust treatment system for diesel engines made its debut in January 2005 in the Actros heavy truck, enabling it to fulfil the Euro 4 and Euro 5 exhaust gas standards ahead of time. May of the same year saw the launch of the first Citaro city buses with BlueTec. In 2006, the technology for the world’s cleanest diesel engines made its first appearance in a Mercedes-Benz passenger car – the E 320 BlueTEC – which was promptly voted “World Green Car of the Year 2007”.

Diesels as clean as petrol engines, petrol engines as fuel-efficient as diesels
More Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC passenger cars are set to follow this year. The GL, M and R-Class BlueTEC SUVs, which were already successfully introduced in the U.S. in 2008, will also come to the European market in autumn – along with the new E 350 BlueTEC. All new BlueTEC models already fulfil the limits laid down in the EU-6 standard scheduled for 2014.

Also in 2006, and in parallel to the optimisation of the diesel engine, Mercedes-Benz was the first vehicle maker to introduce extremely fuel-efficient piezo petrol direct injection with jet-guided combustion – in the CLS 350 CGI. This technology represents a milestone in fuel efficiency and also brings considerable reductions in emissions. Mercedes-Benz has since introduced petrol direct injection into 4 and 6-cylinder engine versions of the C and E-Class. Progress is particularly evident in the newly introduced four-cylinder direct injection petrol engines in the latest E-Class. Despite their significantly smaller displacements, they generate more power than the preceding six-cylinder engines, yet consume up to 21 percent less fuel. This technology is being introduced successively across all petrol engines. Highly efficient CGI engines are now also available in the C-Class.

The results speak for themselves – the new C 250 CGI boasts a fuel consumption of only 7.2 litres, at a power output of 150 kW/240 hp. Diesel versions start with fuel consumption as low as 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres. With a peak power output of 125 kW/170 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm, the most frugal C-Class of all time sets a new benchmark in fuel efficiency.

The objective of making petrol engines as fuel-efficient as diesels and diesels as clean as petrol engines, has already been achieved in many Mercedes-Benz models. The account balance of BlueEFFICIENCY models currently stands at – twelve models with a CO2 value below 140 grams per kilometre, 24 vehicles emit less than 160 grams per kilometre and a total of 36 models come in beneath 180 grams per kilometre. The new, extremely frugal CGI engines and the highly efficient BlueTEC exhaust gas treatment system contribute considerably to this result.

In particular, the technology for the world’s cleanest diesels has laid the foundation for the future of economical, high-torque diesel engines in the U.S. Right now, state-of-the-art diesel technology is delivering its best fuel-consumption figures in large saloon cars and non-hybrid SUVs in particular. This is evidenced by the success of the E 320 BlueTEC, with which Mercedes-Benz kicked off the renaissance of diesel power for passenger cars on the U.S. market in October 2006.

Further efficiency improvements through needs-based hybridisation

The main key to greater efficiency and environmental compatibility lies in driveline electrification – not only in electric cars, but also in vehicles with combustion engines. The potential is considerable – it ranges from ancillary units, through the start-stop function all the way to hybridisation. To this end, Mercedes-Benz has developed a modular hybrid platform that offers a vast range of expansion possibilities in terms of performance and field of application. Hybrid modules with various levels of power output and batteries with the right degree of capacity can be combined with the highest volume Mercedes-Benz petrol and diesel engines. All hybrid modules are – like the high-volume four and six-cylinder combustion engines – compatible with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. From this basis, all variations of hybrid drive can be realised – from mild hybrid all the way to full hybrid, which can also drive on electric power alone. One further option is the plug-in hybrid, whereby the battery can also be charged from an electrical outlet in order to extend its range. Mercedes-Benz is setting benchmarks with the broad range of this modular platform – from technology, through economy to safety and driving comfort.

S 400 HYBRID – the most fuel-efficient luxury saloon with a petrol engine

This is the position occupied by the S 400 HYBRID, with which Mercedes-Benz was the first European manufacturer to offer a hybrid passenger car. The combination of the modified V6 petrol engine and the compact hybrid module makes the S 400 HYBRID the world’s most fuel-efficient luxury saloon with a petrol engine (7.9 l/100 km, NEDC combined). At 186 grams per kilometre, it also boasts the world’s lowest CO2 emissions in this vehicle and performance class. Furthermore, the S 400 HYBRID is the first series production hybrid with state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology.

The modular hybrid concept from Mercedes-Benz enables the application of petrol and diesel engines of various configurations, as demonstrated by the Vision E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. Mercedes-Benz experts believe that clean diesel hybrids currently offer the greatest potential for fuel savings in the upper vehicle segments.

Equipped with the new four-cylinder diesel, the Vision E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID underscores this position with its low combined consumption of around 4.5 l/100 km (preliminary figure). This equates to CO2 emissions of only 119 grams per kilometre. At the same time, the diesel hybrid generates a refined level of performance that, at 165 kW/224 hp and between 580 and 600 Nm of torque (both combined), is above that of current six-cylinder diesels.

“An S-Class with less than four litres consumption is do-able”

This is the positive answer to the fundamental question surrounding the future of large cars. Dr. Thomas Weber comments, “Comfortable, refined and safe premium cars such as the E-Class and the S-Class are among our core competences and a major factor in our business model. That will remain the case in future, too. Adopting the formula of ‘BlueEFFICIENCY package plus hybrid platform’, even an S-Class with less than four litres fuel consumption is conceivable - specifically through the combination of a plug-in hybrid drive with targeted vehicle optimisation, particularly in the fields of aerodynamics, lightweight design and energy management.”

Mercedes-Benz has at its disposal all the necessary conceptual and technological means for the systematic electrification of vehicles. This means that diesel and petrol engines – combined with efficient transmissions - will remain, as they have been for many decades, the backbone of road-going mobility around the globe.

The combustion engine is irreplaceable for the foreseeable future

The application of state-of-the-art internal combustion engines with and without hybridisation is an indispensable option for the future. In the first instance, they are needed if only because electric drivelines cannot be produced in the required numbers and at the costs necessary for the high-volume segment in the short term. Therefore, the quality of combustion engines will also be a decisive factor in determining how much fuel can actually be saved and the degree to which emissions can be avoided.

One thing is clear – all advances being made mean electric vehicles will not be able to replace vehicles with combustion engines in the short term. Modern diesel and petrol engines will also remain the driving force for the automobile in the longer term – in individual mobility with passenger cars, over long distances in particular, and especially in the transportation of goods with heavy trucks. As a consequence, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed a broad-based approach, in which the internal combustion engine continues to play an important role that is far from being that of an obsolescent model.

The outcome is a multi-faceted driveline mix – dependent on vehicle class, usage profile and customer preference, Mercedes-Benz is bringing to bear a range of different vehicle concepts with tailor-made drive solutions. In long-distance travel, the dominant force will continue to be modern combustion engines with and without hybrid modules, complemented by fuel cell vehicles. This scenario can be boosted by plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars for cross-country traffic. In city traffic – primarily in the increasing number of mega cities around the globe – the roads will be characterised largely by local emission-free vehicle concepts with battery and fuel cell drives.

Comprehensive commitment to alternative fuels and infrastructure

This broad-based and determined commitment also encompasses – over and above the further development of driveline technology – the testing of alternative fuels and the development of a suitable infrastructure, in respect of facilities such as battery charging points and hydrogen fuel stations. Examples of this work can be seen in projects such as “e-mobility” Berlin or the fuel cell project in Hamburg.

For the project in Berlin, Daimler is providing more than 100 electric vehicles from the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands. Project partner RWE is managing the construction of 500 electricity charging stations throughout the city. For the Hamburg project, Mercedes-Benz is supplying the city with ten fuel cell buses and 20 B-Class F-CELL vehicles, while Vattenfall sources the necessary hydrogen from regenerative energies and partners Total and Shell build a total of four hydrogen fuel stations in Hamburg.

For tomorrow and the day after – cars with electric drive

In parallel to the optimisation of vehicles with combustion engines, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz engineers are working intensively towards the company’s stated long-term goal – local emission-free driving with fuel cell and battery-powered vehicles. Mercedes-Benz and smart electric test vehicles have already proven themselves in far-reaching field trials, clocking up several million emission-free test kilometres under everyday driving conditions. The latest generation, equipped with close-to-production technology, is currently being tested within the scope of ongoing pilot projects.

The electric car – one of several options

In respect of the minimisation of CO2 emissions in road traffic, the electric car is currently being presented as the “favourite”. This has led to the impression among the general public that the age of the electric car is right around the corner. It is fair to say that, whether they run on fuel cells, battery power or range extenders, electric cars offer enormous potential when it comes to environmental friendliness. They are, however, not yet ready for series production. Alongside insufficient production capacity for powerful and safe batteries, there is also no comprehensive infrastructure of charging facilities or of hydrogen fuel stations for fuel cell vehicles. Local emission-free, quiet and highly efficient driving is, in the first instance, most suited to major urban areas, where access restrictions and environment zones are now commonplace.

A critical pre-requisite for all electric drive systems is a powerful, safe and reliable energy storage device. The performance of the overall electric system is dependent upon the battery, starting with its storage capacity. For this reason, Daimler is focusing its attention on the development of a powerful traction battery. Alongside the aforementioned characteristics, it must also have a long lifespan and a high level of crash safety and be suitable for recycling. All these pre-requisites are offered by the new lithium-ion battery, which has already proven itself in hybrid applications. Its particular benefits lie in its compact dimensions combined with a considerably higher capacity compared with existing nickel metal-hydride batteries. Furthermore, thanks to the innovative cooling system and temperature management, it also possesses a high degree of reliability independent of climatic conditions and outstanding cold-start characteristics.

Targeted commitment to electric mobility infrastructure

In order that the electric car can become a real option for the security of sustainable mobility, a number of technological limitations must first be overcome. In particular, the thus-far relatively low range of batteries and their lengthy charging times are in conflict with what people have come to understand over a period of decades as “auto-mobility” and what they continue to expect – freedom, the ability to drive anywhere at any time, and to be able to refuel in virtually every part of the world. Daimler and Mercedes-Benz are thus committed to the development of the necessary infrastructure within the scope of programs such as “e-mobility Berlin”. Further challenges still to overcome include the costs, technical every day usability and, not least, the issue of regenerative primary energy.

Mercedes-Benz has already developed suitable vehicle concepts. The close-to-production Concept BlueZERO provides a tangible perspective on environmentally compatible electric mobility. The intelligent, modular concept uses a single vehicle architecture to facilitate three models with different driveline configurations capable of fulfilling all customer demands for sustainable mobility. These are the BlueZERO E-CELL with battery-powered drive and an electric-only range of up to 200 kilometres; the BlueZERO F-CELL with a fuel cell that achieves an electrical range of considerably more than 400 kilometres; and the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS with electric drive and an additional combustion engine as a range extender. This version boasts an overall range of up to 600 kilometres and can drive on electricity alone for up to 100 kilometres – it is also completely suitable for everyday use in respect of safety and packaging.

At the very core of electric mobility is the battery. State-of-the-art, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries are at the heart of vehicle electrification in all areas. This is why Daimler is working on the industrialisation and standardisation of this battery technology, thus establishing the pre-requisites for the achievement of reasonable margins and enabling products to be offered at fair market prices. The development objective is the standardised, industrialised production of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles, as well as for fuel-cell and battery-powered vehicles.
In the field of lithium-ion technology, Daimler benefits from its in-house expertise gathered over many years of research work. The company has already filed more than 600 patent applications in respect of battery-powered vehicles over the last 30 years – more than 230 of which are in the field of lithium-ion technology. In order to secure its pioneering role in this sector over the long term, Daimler took a 49.9 percent shareholding in Evonik subsidiary Li-Tec in 2008. In addition, the joint venture “Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG” (shares: 90% Daimler, 10% Evonik) was also founded.

This means that, as of 2012, Daimler has exclusive access to production capacity for state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries that can then be manufactured to suit the specific requirements of all individual automotive applications – ranging from hybrid to electric vehicles, and from passenger to commercial vehicles. Thus, Daimler has direct access to the key technology for emission-free driving. In parallel, Daimler is also pushing forward the development of electric drives, where it makes sense to do so, together with other partner.

Sustainable mobility through a needs-based drive mix

“The mobility of tomorrow will not be borne by one solitary solution, but instead, the load will, quite literally, be spread across several shoulders,” comments Dr. Thomas Weber. “The key to forward-looking, i.e. environmentally compatible and, at the same time, needs-based auto-mobility, is a multi-faceted drive mix comprising combustion engines, hybrids, battery power and fuel cell drives. These drive technologies, that we are systematically bringing to market to the benefit of our customers and the environment, are an integral part of our strategy for sustainable mobility.”

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BlueTEC models and new GL-Class pave the way for a successful future: Mercedes-Benz 2009 SUV campaign


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 21, 2009 - BlueEFFICIENCY and BlueTEC technologies, efficient engines, even more attractive appointments, all-new body elements and an upgraded interior will make the Mercedes-Benz GL even more appealing. In its new model year, the world’s top-class luxury SUV will consume up to 8 percent less fuel (preliminary value) and be even more environmentally compatible. Other outstanding features of the GL-Class will include excellent handling both on road and off road, exceptional roominess and the comfort of a luxury saloon.

Beginning in autumn 2009, Mercedes-Benz will also offer the world’s most extensive range of SUV models equipped with especially efficient SCR exhaust gas treatment technology. Besides the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, customers will also have the ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC models to choose from. The fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly trio of models already created a stir during their first sales year in the USA and they are sure to also boost the appeal of this vehicle class in Europe.

The GL-Class is becoming even more appealing

The GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz continues to hold the top position in the market segment of luxurious sports utility vehicles, but that's not all: the latest model updates have made the premium off-roader even more attractive. In addition to introducing various technical modifications and innovations that particularly boost the fuel efficiency and environmental compatibility of the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC featuring the BlueEFFICIENCY technology, the designers have made the vehicle’s striking body even more appealing. The GL-Class’ expressive presence is further accentuated by modernised bumpers, redesigned chrome underbody protection at the front and the rear, a new radiator grille and fog lights/daytime driving lamps connected by a chrome bar. Other new features include light-alloy wheels measuring between 18 and 21 inches and reworked chrome tailpipes. The range of colours is supplemented by two new metallic paintjobs: “Tenorite Grey” and “Palladium Silver”. The tow bar is now hidden behind the rear apron and is swung out when needed.

The premium off-roader also offers the very best in safety. The safety features encompass a variety of assistance systems, including the innovative safety concept PRE-SAFE®, which automatically prepares the vehicle and its occupants for an impending collision by optimally activating the protective functions. The SUV’s Intelligent Light System (ILS) optimally distributes the light across the road in line with the respective driving situation and weather conditions. Standard features also include LED daytime driving lamps and taillights.

Luxurious interior with outstanding feel-good factor

The up to seven occupants of the GL-Class will enjoy an incredibly spacious interior that provides passengers with the pleasant ambience that is typical of Mercedes-Benz and comparable to that of the S-Class. The redesigned leather/ARTICO seats with contrasting trimming will be a real eye-catcher in the new model year, while the top-of-the-line GL 500 model will be available with exclusive nappa leather appointments. All vehicles will have a new range of instruments, a multifunction nappa leather steering wheel and crash-responsive NECK PRO comfort headrests for the driver and the front-seat passenger. The interior’s attractiveness is further enhanced by optional equipment such as two-tone leather appointments in black/cashmere beige or black/alpaca grey and the indirect ambient lighting employed in the S-Class. The range of interior trim options is augmented by the variant “anthracite-coloured poplar”.

GL 350 CDI 4MATIC with BlueEFFICIENCY technology provides lots of driving pleasure while reducing fuel consumption

In addition to the GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC featuring SCR technology, the GL‑Class is now available with BlueEFFICIENCY technology in the GL 350 CDI 4MATIC. This model consumes around 5 percent less fuel than its predecessor without any change in performance. The vehicle’s V6 engine continues to generate 165 kW/224 hp and already provides its maximum torque of 510 Nm at 1,600 rpm. On average, the diesel engine consumes only 9.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

Like all other BlueEFFICIENCY models from Mercedes-Benz, the GL also features an extensive package of measures that help reduce fuel consumption. Besides the direct-injection diesel engine, these include the efficient 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission that switches to neutral when the vehicle is waiting at a traffic light or in a traffic jam in order to reduce engine load and fuel consumption. Fuel consumption is further reduced through the use of lower rolling resistance tyres.

Aerodynamics have been improved by redesigning the radiator grille and adding more spoilers to the areas surrounding the front wheels. The GL’s fuel consumption is further reduced by the energy-saving electro-hydraulic power steering system. And thanks to a fuel consumption computer and a display showing current fuel consumption, GL drivers can always regulate their fuel consumption and, if necessary, adjust their driving behaviour.

Superlative drive comfort: GL 450 4MATIC, GL 500 4MATIC and GL 450 CDI 4MATIC equipped with V8 engines

Superlative power delivery and maximum drive comfort are among the special attributes of the two V8 petrol models, which also fulfil the EU5 standard. The GL 500’s 5.5-litre V8 engine delivers 285 kW/388 hp and a torque of 530 Nm. Within 6.5 seconds the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h almost as quickly as a sports car, and the top speed of 240 km/h is also comparable. In the GL 450, the V8 petrol engine has a displacement of 4.6 litres, an output of 250 kW/340 hp and a maximum torque of 460 Nm. The vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 235 km/h. The V8 diesel engine in the GL 450 CDI 4MATIC delivers 225 kW/306 hp, and its 700 Nm of torque create ideal conditions for achieving superior drive comfort.

Safe and agile both on and off the road

Besides featuring the innovative 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, the standard-fitted AIRMATIC air suspension, the high-precision direct steering system and the standard-fitted Adaptive Damping System (ADS), the imposing GL surprises customers with its impressive handling properties and ensures outstanding drive comfort and active safety. As a fully fledged off-roader, the GL performs well not only on the road but also when driving cross-country. The modified AIRMATIC system allows the vehicle to achieve a ground clearance of up to 307 millimetres. The Offroad-Pro technology package that is available as standard greatly improves manoeuvring in difficult terrain, thanks to the use of gear ratio reduction and multiple disc locks at the rear axle and the centre differential. The driver’s task is further simplified by additional electronic handling systems, such as Offroad ABS, Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and anti-stall assist.

BlueTEC campaign: R, ML and GL-Class now available in Europe with the world’s cleanest diesel technology

The GL 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC boast impressive performance, high torque, great fuel efficiency and low emissions, which make them some of the world’s cleanest premium SUVs. The latter two models can now also be ordered in Europe , where they will become available this autumn. The vehicles’ environmental friendliness was confirmed by the readers of Bild am Sonntag and a panel of experts who together awarded BlueTEC the “Green Steering Wheel”. The commission already certified last year that this technology has the greatest ecological potential of all of the currently available environmentally friendly automotive innovations.

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F1 Budapest - Preview


Woking, United Kingdom, Jul 20, 2009

Lewis Hamilton
“The Hungaroring is one of the most demanding circuits for drivers because you’re busy throughout the entire lap. It’s a bit like a kart circuit - there are lots of twists and turns and the only place to relax is along the start/finish straight, which is quite short. It’s also quite low-grip which makes overtaking particularly tricky. But I really enjoy the place - I won here in 2007 and was on pole last year. It’s a circuit that really rewards consistent, precise driving - push too hard and you tend to lose rather than gain time. Given the potential we showed in Germany last weekend, I’m hopeful of getting a result that demonstrates the improvement we’ve made over the past few weeks.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“Obviously, I won in Hungary in 2008 so it will be nice to come back to Budapest again. This race is likely to be won or lost in qualifying: you’ve got to be at the front and run an aggressive first stint if you are to succeed in the race. The track is also quite hard on tyres so you need to find a balance that will allow you to look after your rubber until the finish - the softer rubber, in particular, tends to suffer at the end of the race so you have to be careful. I’m really looking to running the team’s new upgrade package this weekend. I had a strong weekend at the Nurburgring and I didn’t let a single car past me in the race - with the improved car I’m really hopeful of getting another strong result at the Hungaroring.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“While Lewis demonstrated during practice and qualifying at the Nurburgring that our upgrade package appears to provide us with a sizeable step forward in performance, it was frustrating that damage to the rear bodywork left us unable to fully ascertain that benefit in the race itself. For Budapest, both Lewis and Heikki will be equipped with the new package and we are hopeful that it will enable us to mount a more sustained attack towards the front of the field. The Hungaroring is a circuit where we as a team have enjoyed many successes in the past and we travel there this weekend hoping to provide concrete evidence that we’re decisively turning our fortunes around for the remainder of the season.”

Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"The Grand Prix circuit just outside Budapest is, after Monaco, the one with the lowest average speed. The layout, consisting of more slower corners, where mechanical grip is especially important, should suit us quite well - as demonstrated already in Monaco. However, I currently would consider our technical performance still not good enough to repeat last year’s victory with Heikki - but in any case we at least have been in the lead for a few metres at the Nurburgring - until Lewis’s right-rear tyre was hit which caused a deflated tyre, damaging the underfloor - which prevented Lewis later from achieving good lap times. Everybody in the team is giving it their all to continue the upward trend with both cars.”

McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix…

10 years ago (August 15 1999)

Starting from pole position, Mika Hakkinen led from start to finish to notch up his fourth victory of the season. Team-mate David Coulthard drove a tenacious race, setting fastest lap and grabbing second position after the final stops, usurping Ferrari’s Eddie Irvine, who finished third.

20 years ago (August 13 1989)

Nigel Mansell out-foxed Ayrton Senna, boxing the Brazilian in behind Stefan Johansson’s Onyx, to sensationally win in Budapest. Alain Prost finished fourth. The race had initially been dominated by Williams driver Riccardo Patrese, who was enjoying the first fruit of the team’s Renault-powered renaissance before retiring from the lead with a holed radiator.

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Motor Trend journalist takes the new SLS AMG for a ride around Nordschleife track, Nurburgring

You simply cannot remain untouched by that beautifully roaring V8 engine!

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class: New, efficient four-cylinder models ready to roll


Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 17, 2009 - Mercedes-Benz is adding to the engine line-up for the new E-Class by introducing two economical four-cylinder models. The E 200 CDI
BlueEFFICIENCY developing 100 kW/136 hp consumes 5.2 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, while the new E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY has an output of 135 kW/184 hp and consumes 7.2 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres.

Sophisticated, efficient four-cylinder engines make for lower fuel consumption and less environmental pollution without having to compromise on classic Mercedes attributes such as ride comfort and driving enjoyment. As shown by two new E-Class models, which Mercedes-Benz is introducing to complete its engine line-up in the executive category.

The diesel powerplant in the E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY has a displacement of
2143 cc, an output of 100 kW/136 hp, and consumes 5.2 to 5.5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (CO2 emissions: 137 - 145 g/km), enabling the Saloon to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 10.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h.

The petrol engine in the new E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY boasts a displacement of 1.8 litres and an output of 135 kW/184 hp. It takes 8.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h and has a top speed of 232 km/h. This model consumes 7.2 litres of premium unleaded petrol (RON 95) per 100 kilometres (CO2 emissions: 169 g/km), not least thanks to the ECO start/stop function, which is fitted as standard in conjunction with the six-speed manual transmission.

These are all-new four-cylinder powerplants with direct injection. One of the main features of the new diesel engine is latest-generation common-rail direct injection. The likewise new four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection is fitted with a turbocharger as well as adjustable intake and exhaust camshafts.

The key technical data

Cyl. - 4
Displacement - 2143 cc
kW/hp - 100/136
Nm - 360
0-100 km/h - 10.2
Max. km/h - 210
l/100 km - 5.2-5.5
CO2/km - 137-145 g

Cyl. - 4
Displacement - 1796 cc
kW/hp - 135/184
Nm - 270
0-100 km/h - 8.5
Max. km/h - 232
l/100 km - 7.2
CO2/km - 169 g

* All figures refer to six-speed manual model

Like all the other engine variants for the new E-Class, which have already been awarded the Environment Certificate by TÜV Süd (Technical Inspection Authority in southern Germany), the two new powerplants comply with the EU5 limits.

Other key attributes of the world's best-selling luxury saloon, alongside its exceptionally ecofriendly design, include a unique combination of driver assistance systems, such as drowsiness detection, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and automatic emergency braking, which can help to prevent accidents. Further classic E-Class hallmarks include a high level of long-distance comfort, high-quality interior materials, build quality displaying unerring attention to detail and perfect ergonomics.

Prices for the E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY start at € 38,734.50, while those for the
E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY start at € 39,508. The market launch is expected in September 2009.

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LEAKED: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG US ordering brochure

This brochure, or better called, guide, offers the necessary hints into knowing key facts about and personalyzing your own future Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. As already said, this is a US specifications version and it contains information about the engine, performance and specifical high-end technologycal systems which will make their debut on the supercar, and also about the available paint finishes, leather upholstery, trims, multimedia and infotainment systems, rim models and special packages(like the carbon fiber one).

More details & photos:
WorldCarFans - Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing US dealer ordering guide leaked

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New swing-wing model with purely electric high-tech drive system: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive – the exciting future of the supercar


Affalterbach, Germany, Jul 16, 2009 – Mercedes-AMG is paving the way ahead: with the new SLS AMG with electric drive, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars is developing an exciting super sports car with zero-emission high-tech drive. This model sees Mercedes-Benz and AMG displaying their expertise in the development of alternative drive solutions for high-performance super sports cars, delivering further proof of their pioneering status in this market segment.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGwith electric drive transforms the vision of powerful and locally emission-free super sports cars into reality thanks to an innovative drive system: powerful forwards thrust is provided by four electric motors with a combined peak output of 392 kW and a maximum torque of 880 Nm. The four electric motors are positioned near the wheels, substantially reducing the unsprung masses compared to wheel-hub motors. One transmission per axle transmits the power. This intelligent all-wheel-drive system allows dynamically optimised power transmission without any losses by means of Torque Vectoring – in other words the specifically targeted acceleration of individual wheels. In its first pilot phase, the SLS AMG with electric drive incorporates a liquid-cooled high-voltage lithium-ion battery of modular design with an energy content of 48 kWh and a capacity of 40 Ah. The 400-volt battery is charged by means of targeted recuperation during braking whilst the car is being driven.

Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds

When it comes to dynamics, the electrically driven SLS AMGdelivers an unequivocal statement: the swing-wing model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds – putting it on the same high level as the SLS AMG with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp.

"With the SLS AMG with electric drive, we wanted to redefine the super sports car. For us, it is not just about responsibility. We attach just as much importance to excitement and classic AMGperformance," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity

The purely electric drive system was factored into the equation as early as the concept phase when the new swing-wing model was being developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. It is ideally packaged for the integration of the high-performance, zero-emission technology: by way of example, the four electric motors and the two transmissions can be positioned near the wheels and very low down in the vehicle.

The same applies to the modular high-current battery, whose modules are located in front of the firewall, in the centre tunnel and behind the seats. Advantages of this solution include the vehicle's low centre of gravity and the balanced weight distribution – ideal conditions for optimum handling, which the electrically powered SLS AMG shares with its petrol-driven sister model.

Key data at a glance:

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive

Max. output - 392 kW
Torque - 880 Nm
0-100 km/h - Approx. 4 s
Rated capacity - 40 Ah (at 400 V)
Energy content - 3x 16 kWh = 48 kWh

The installation of the drive components required no changes whatsoever to the swing-wing model's aluminium spaceframe body. And there were just as few constraints when it came to maintaining the excellent level of passive safety and high degree of long-distance comfort that are hallmarks of Mercedes cars.

Strategic alliance for fast electrification of the car

The electrically powered SLS AMG sees Mercedes-Benz and AMGcontinuing to pursue their aim of minimising the amount of time it takes to bring about the electrification of the car. Their strategic involvement in Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Evonik Industries AG, will provide the battery technology required in future. Daimler has the leading role in this joint venture for the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications.

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