by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Geneva Motor Show 2012 – Mercedes-Benz model offensive with eight newcomers

At the 82nd Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is presenting dynamic and efficient reinforcements in the ongoing model offensive – eight new models in four different vehicle classes. The focus of today’s show appearance was the world premiere of the new A-Class. The Mercedes athlete in the compact segment is cool and “green” – emotional in its design, dynamic in its performance with an output of up to 155 kW (211 hp), and highly efficient with emissions figures starting at 99 g CO2/km. Plus, with the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz becomes the very first vehicle maker to integrate the iPhone® fully into a vehicle’s operating and display concept. Also celebrating its world premiere in Geneva was the new SL 63 AMG, which offers considerably more dynamics than its predecessor with 30 percent lower fuel consumption. The new series-production SL celebrated its European premiere, as did the new E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. The world’s most fuel-efficient full-size model makes do with just 4.2 litres of diesel per 100 km (109 g CO2/km).

“The A-Class makes a clear statement on the new dynamism of Mercedes-Benz”, said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Together with the successful new B-Class and three further model variants based on this vehicle architecture, it will be an important driver in our ‘Mercedes-Benz 2020’ growth strategy. We are expecting a conquest rate of more than 50 percent for the A-Class. And that’s why we say that ‘A’ now stands for attack.”

Representatives of the international press were able to gain a first impression of the new A-Class on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show. Dr. Dieter Zetsche unveiled the Mercedes athlete in the compact segment as part of an exclusive presentation. The “first pulse of a new generation” was experienced live by an audience that included Germany’s national soccer coach Joachim Löw and team manager Oliver Bierhoff, as well as national players Benedikt Höwedes and Mario Götze.

The new A-Class exudes dynamism from the very first glance – its sits lower to the ground than its predecessor by up to 18 centimetres. The radical design language that was introduced with the “Concept A-CLASS” to an enthusiastic reception worldwide has been systematically carried over into series production. With a reinterpretation of the classic two-box design, Mercedes-Benz designers created an emotional exterior with an extremely sporty character. And with a cd figure starting from 0.26, the A-Class sets a new benchmark in its class.

Premium interior and full iPhone® integration

The sporty appearance continues into the interior. Added to that is a premium feel that is unique in this vehicle segment. The operating concept also sets benchmarks with a fully integrated smartphone. The driver now has access to the main content of his iPhone® with the “Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone®” and an app concept developed in-house by Daimler that brings “Digital DriveStyle” into the vehicle. This enables the full range of smartphone capabilities to be used safely and conveniently inside the car, too, for the first time.

All functions of the iPhone® integration can be used with the Audio 20 entry device, and will also be available for a wide range of other Mercedes-Benz models as of this summer. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz will shortly be enabling the in-car use of smartphones with other operating systems.

New petrol and diesel engines with exemplary efficiency

A wide range of spark-ignition and diesel engines fulfils every performance desire and, at the same time, marks the current state-of-the-art in efficiency – for the first time, a Mercedes-Benz with an internal combustion engine will emit just 99 g CO2 per kilometre. The output spectrum ranges from 80 kW (109 hp) for the entry-level diesel through to 155 kW (211 hp) for the new 2.0-litre petrol version. Mercedes-Benz is introducing an innovation in the 1.6-litre petrol engine in the shape of CAMTRONIC – by adjusting valve lift on the inlet side, the volume of fresh air is restricted under partial load and fuel consumption reduced. All six engines are equipped as standard with direct injection and the ECO start/stop function. As an option, they can be combined with the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic.

The new A-Class – exemplary in dynamics and safety

At the same time, the A-Class provides impressive proof that safety is not a question of price at Mercedes-Benz – the radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system and ATTENTION ASSIST are part of the standard equipment. Well-known safety features from the larger Mercedes model ranges are also available for the A-Class for the first time, including PRE-SAFE® and DISTRONIC PLUS, as well as the blind spot, lane keeping and speed limit assistants. The sophisticated chassis design chassis design guarantees high active safety and previously unheard-of handling characteristics. The most dynamic version in the lineup is the A-Class Sport engineered by AMG, on which the visual relationship to the Concept A-CLASS is particularly evident thanks to the new diamond grille.

E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID – the world’s most fuel efficient full-size car

With the E-Class diesel hybrid, Mercedes-Benz is starting a new chapter in the brand’s core segment and setting benchmarks for full-size business vehicles along the way. The S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which is available as both a saloon and estate, sets new records in efficiency. The world’s most fuel-efficient full-size model sets the pace with outstanding efficiency figures (4.2 l/100 km) combined with high power output. The four-cylinder diesel in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID generates 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 Nm of torque. The electric motor delivers 20 kW and 250 Nm.

“Our modular hybrid drive reduces consumption and increases driving fun and comfort at the same time,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Plus, the system is so compact that is fits entirely into the engine compartment, complete with the battery. This means that there are no reductions in available space, neither in the interior nor the boot.” Mercedes-Benz is the only premium manufacturer to offer an estate with hybrid drive – the load-master among hybrids.

World premiere for a top-class athlete – the new SL 63 AMG

With a power output ranging from 395 kW (537 hp) to 415 kW (564 hp), the new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG offers the perfect pre-requisites for unparalleled dynamics and a uniquely refined driving experience. Systematic lightweight design sets the new generation of the high-performance roadster – and the entire new SL line-up – apart. Thanks to an all-aluminium body-in-white and carbon-fibre rear lid, the weight of the SL 63 AMG is down by 125 kilograms. A performance boost is delivered by the combination of a further refined AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control, new AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG high-performance composite
brake system and AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.

“Typically for AMG, we have once again loaded the top version of the SL with a few more horses, forming the basis for its supreme dynamics,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing. “At the same time, the performance specialists in Affalterbach have also achieved an impressive improvement in efficiency. The new SL 63 AMG boasts average fuel consumption of just 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres, 4.2 litres less than its predecessor.” This means that the reduction in fuel consumption for the AMG version matches that of the series-production model at around 30 percent.

Efficient driving fun as standard – more new models for the C and E-Class

Alongside the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz is adding two more efficiency champions to its C and E-Class lineup. Among the most fuel-efficient cars in its class is the E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, which will reach dealers in March. Thanks to the Aerodynamics package, electric power steering (EPS) and a longer rear axle ratio, the 125 kW (170 hp) full-size model consumes just 4.5 litres of diesel per 100 km. This equates to CO2 emissions of 119 g/km – ten grammes or almost 8 percent less than before. Arriving on the market in parallel is the C 180 BlueEFFICIENCY as the new entry-level petrol C-Class. The 115 kW (156 hp) 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder consumes just 5.8 l/100 km. The CO2 figure of 136 g/km marks an improvement of up to 21 g/km (ca. -1.0 l/100 km) compared with the previous C 180 with similar equipment.

C-Class Sport – the C-Class has never been so dynamic

With the new Coupe models “sport – engineered by AMG”, as well as the AMG Plus sports package, the selection of sporty C-Class versions is greater than it has ever been. The new coupe models C 250 Sport and C 250 CDI Sport are exceptionally dynamic, with specialists from AMG involved in their development. Both models offer the visually upgraded AMG Plus sports package, the more direct speed-sensitive steering and sporty transmission settings in S and M mode (in combination with 7-speed automatic). The new models will be available on the market starting June 2012.

Credits: Daimler AG

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