by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Silvretta E-Auto Rallye 2013: Pioneers of now and yesteryear demonstrate their skills on hills

From 4 to 7 July 2013, the picturesque alpine roads of the Montafon valley in Austria will once again provide the setting for the popular Silvretta E-Auto Rallye and the Silvretta Classic. Against a stunning mountain panorama, the route will put electric and classic cars alike through their paces as they demonstrate which vehicle is the most reliable and consistent on the challenging mountain stages.

This year, Mercedes-Benz Cars is entering even two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive vehicles into the Silvretta E-Auto Rallye. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL, the smart fortwo electric drive and two smart BRABUS electric drive will also be taking part. Thus, all commercially available models of Mercedes-Benz’s electric fleet are represented. Even the smart ebike will be tackling the area's steep slopes and is ready for a rigorous test outside the official ranking.

A special premiere at Mercedes-Benz shows that electric mobility has arrived already on the market. As the first customers Klaus Ambacher and Klaus Ege meet with their fuel cell vehicle the high alpine challenges: "We are sure that the future of powertrain engineering belongs to the fuel cell. For two years now we have ridden the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL in the company keenly and want to be part of this electro mobility summit absolutely."

"Our electric vehicles are convincing even on this demanding terrain and ensure a lot of fun while driving - not only in city traffic," says Christoph Horn, Head of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and adds: "Thanks to our attractive portfolio of serial electric cars, we believe that in the future more and more smart and Mercedes-Benz customers will take part in electric car rallies such as the legendary Silvretta."

Silvretta E-Auto Rallye in figures

At almost 350 kilometres in length with uphill gradients of almost 17 percent and a downhill gradient exceeding 15 percent in places, the course travels through this high mountain region at over 2000 metres above sea level and, thus, requires a high level of precision. After the start in Partenen, the driver teams will be covering up to 133 kilometres per lap along winding roads.

Every hundredth of a second counts as the drivers – equipped only with stopwatches – head to the ends of the various stages. It is not, however, the top speed that gets them onto the winner's podium of this three-day rallye through the Montafon's alpine landscape – skill and a consistent driving style are crucial.

Mercedes-Benz fields the largest electric fleet

The broad range of electric vehicles at the Silvretta E-Auto Rallye, from smart to the SLS through to the hydrogen-powered B-Class, indicates that Daimler is a pioneer in the field of electric mobility and will continue to focus on sustainable driving systems featuring battery and fuel cell technology into the future.

With zero local emissions, the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive super sports car incorporates technology from the high-tech world of Formula One, making it the most exclusive way to tackle the altitude with an electric drive system. The gull-wing model is impressive both for its sporty design and powerful performance: four electric motors provide a combined maximum output of 552 kW and torque of 1000 Nm. Even if victory is not won at Silvretta with speed, with the ability to cover the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, the SLS is the world's fastest electrically-powered production vehicle. The car has recently proven this in a record time of 7:56,234 minutes on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. Thus, the electric AMG super sports car is the first mass-produced electric vehicle that has circuited the legendary racetrack in less than eight minutes.

As one of the most experienced in the field the smart fortwo electric drive hurdles the challenging mountain stages with routine. Thanks to its powertrain system, the electric motor delivers maximum output of 55 kW and 130 Nm of torque for optimum acceleration. Also, in terms of speed, this nippy little car reaches the 60 km/h mark in less than 5 seconds. As the first series production electric car from a German automotive manufacturer, more than 2.000 smart fortwo electric drive were produced and supplied to European customers. In Germany the two-seater has been already market leader in the range of battery-electric cars. This year, production is being steadily expanded to meet great worldwide demand.

For the first time, two smart BRABUS electric drive will also be enjoying the mountain air. With maximum output of 60 kW, this city runabout features a new BRABUS sports suspension, aerodynamic detachable body components and monobloc light-alloy wheels to emphasize its dynamic, sporty appearance while delivering plenty of driving enjoyment.

Vintage cars and young classics line up for Silvretta Classic

The Silvretta Classic Rallye is held at the same time over a route of 660 km: some 160 "pioneers of yesteryear" will be evoking nostalgic memories as well as strong emotions. Rarities like the Mercedes-Benz SSK have already achieved dramatic victories such as in the legendary 1.000 miles race "Mille Miglia" in 1931. Weighing just 970 kilograms, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS with its trademark, the missing bumper, leaves the driver nothing to be desired on the dream roads of the Montafon and Vorarlberg.

Former Formula One racing driver Karl Wendlinger will be behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG race touring car still affectionately known as the "Red Sow". In the 1990s, the Austrian driver was part of the Mercedes Junior Team alongside Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen and took part in the World Sportscar Championship. Wendlinger was also one of the drivers in last year's Silvretta, displaying his skill in the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. "Of course, I am taking part again this time. Driving a legend like the 'Red Sow' through the mountains of my native land makes my racing driver's heart jump for joy," says Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador Karl Wendlinger prior to the race.

Other collectors' vehicles lining up at the start for Mercedes-Benz include the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster with a top speed of up to 250 km/h and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3. This sedan from 1968 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8 seconds. With the 116 model series Mercedes-Benz celebrated a double premiere back in September 1972: as well as introducing its luxury vehicle at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the brand established the new name "Mercedes-Benz S-Class" which thus became the exclusive identity for an entire model family. Since 2013, the new S-Class has been defining the state-of-the-art with innovations by Mercedes-Benz.















Credits: Daimler AG

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