by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The all new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake: The infotainment programme - Office, TV lounge and concert hall

The Shooting Brake's multimedia facilities cover your every need – keeping you up to date with happenings in the world or at the office and offering high-end audio quality into the bargain.

The CLS Shooting Brake is equipped with the Audio 20 CD radio as standard, featuring a twin tuner, mp3-capable CD player and a USB connector in the centre console. The TFT colour display has a diagonal of 14.7 cm. The basic background colour of the displays is silver grey. Thanks to a "cover art" function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown if their details are stored in the audio file.

A top line in the Audio 20 CD's menu navigation helps the user to find his way around the system's functions and can be operated via the controller. Wireless music playback is possible from Bluetooth®-capable terminal devices. Text messages can also be displayed. As optional extras, the Audio 20 CD can be combined with a six-disc CD changer and the Becker® MAP PILOT entry-level navigation solution.

The Becker® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the entry-level Audio 20 CD radio. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls, voice output via the vehicle's loudspeakers and display on the Audio 20 screen, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

With internet connection, navigation and emergency call function: COMAND Online

COMAND Online, optionally combinable with a six-disc DVD changer, offers internet access. Customers can either surf the web as they wish while the car is stationary or call up a Mercedes-Benz app whose particularly fast page loading and simple operation make it suitable for use while driving. Integrated apps include Google™ Local Search and Weather and the facility for downloading a route which has previously been configured on a PC using Google Maps and transmitted to the car. In addition, apps for Google™ Streetview and Google™ Panoramio are available for COMAND Online. Streetview enables locations all over the world to be seen in 360-degree perspective views and at street level. Panoramio allows access to millions of photographs which have been taken and uploaded by other uses at locations all around the globe. Streetview and Panoramio thus provide comprehensive means of studying routes and checking out sights and destinations before embarking on a journey. A new feature is the "News" app which enables news on politics, finance and technology to be called up online in the vehicle. Information is displayed in such a way that it is clearly legible while on the move. Further apps, such as stock market news or a parking space finder, can be also be accessed via the Mercedes online shop ( ).

The high-resolution colour display has a diagonal of 17.8 cm. Photos can be shown on the large screen and turned over manually, as in a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new types of representation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The new Cover Flow function, for instance, sorts the title images of the music albums stored in a carousel-like form, so that the driver can easily leaf through their music collection. The memory for compressed audio files (mp3, wma and aac formats) is now 10 GB in size.

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.

The fast hard-disc navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include a 3D display with three-dimensional city views. Also new: routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be stored or imported via an SD card. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the current cards for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years.

COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new "One Shot" input function for the navigation system is particularly convenient, whereby the place and road can be spoken directly after one another. This function is currently available in seven languages and significantly enhances ease of operation. With COMAND Online and LINGUATRONIC, music can also be conveniently searched for in the CLS Shooting Brake via voice control. The system first asks in which category it should conduct the search (artist, title, year). The category is selected by saying it directly or by saying the row number of the relevant category which appears on the screen. This is then followed by further questions about title, artist or album.

Mercedes-Benz emergency call system: emergency services are notified automatically

In combination with COMAND Online, the CLS Shooting Brake is equipped with the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system. As long as COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system can automatically alert the emergency services within a matter of minutes in the event of a serious accident.

After the airbags or belt tensioners are triggered, the vehicle's exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent by SMS to a special emergency centre, with positional data also being transmitted using the DTMF method (dual-tone multi-frequency) at the same time. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a holiday trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the emergency centre will be notified quickly with accurate information. The driver can also make the emergency call manually as "MB emergency call" is always the first entry in the system phone directory.

On receiving the call, the emergency centre establishes voice contact with the vehicle occupants in a matter of seconds. A particularly practical aspect in an emergency is that communication takes place not in the language of the country where the accident has occurred but in the language which the driver has preset in COMAND Online.

Other than any mobile phone communication charges, which would only arise in the event of an actual emergency call, no charges are incurred by the driver for the emergency call facility and no contractual relationship – other than the regular mobile phone contract – is required.

The ultimate in audio pleasure: the two high-end systems

Mercedes-Benz developed the “Logic7” surround sound system together with the audio specialist harman/kardon®. Based on technology never before seen in a car, this system delivers three-dimensional sound as a natural 360-degree musical experience for all passengers. The audio signals are distributed via a 9-channel DSP amplifier and a two-channel booster with a power output of 610 W, connected to fourteen high-performance loudspeakers. In conjunction with COMAND Online a multi-channel listening experience with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS is possible.

At 1200 W, the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end-surround-system offers even more output. This system features a 16-channel DSP amplifier and ICEpower amplifier in combination with 14 high-end loudspeakers. This array of speakers includes two tweeters featuring "Acoustic Lens Technology" with LED lighting in front mirror triangles. The mid- and low-range speakers in the front and the tweeters and low-range speakers in the rear feature aluminium covers in silver chrome. Individual sound settings can be carried out using the B&O-specific "True Image" COMAND menu.

A front-row experience throughout the trip: TV and Rear Seat Entertainment

Numerous optional items are additionally available to customise the CLS Shooting Brake to the users' own multimedia needs. These include:

- Digital radio (DAB)

- Rear Seat Entertainment System: two 17.8 cm displays with integrated DVD player, infrared headphones and infrared remote control, plus USB and SD card interface

- TV tuner: digital TV reception, supporting multichannel sound, EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) and teletext, for example

- Convenience telephony: in the armrest, with universal interface for various cradles, extended telephone functions, charging function and external aerial for optimum reception

- Telephone module: with Bluetooth® (SAP profile) in the armrest for telephony and internet connectivity, with separate SIM card reader

- Media interface: universal interface in the centre armrest for connection of mobile audio devices such as MP3 players and iPod® with the aid of USB, iPod and Aux-in cables

All new infotainment items are also available in the CLS Coupé with immediate effect.

Credits: Daimler AG

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