by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Los Angeles Auto Show 2012: Three world premieres from Mercedes-Benz

World-class high technology and new design ideas which break beyond conventional boundaries are to be featured by Mercedes‑Benz at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. Three newcomers will be celebrating their premiere on this automotive stage: the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, a smart fortwo electric drive which fashion designer Jeremy Scott has bestowed with wings, and the Ener-G-Force one-off vehicle featuring the genes of the Mercedes-Benz G‑Class. It shows how the off-road classic may still be able to influence the off-road design idiom of Stuttgart's premium automotive manufacturer in the future.

With the new SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, Mercedes-AMG is all set to present the high-end version of the already legendary gullwing model. Inspired by the racing version of the SLS AMG GT3, the super sports car excites with a breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and consistent lightweight construction. With a kerb weight of 1550 kg it is around 70 kg lighter than the SLS AMG, and achieves what even for super sports cars is an outstanding power/weight ratio of 2.45 kg/hp. Its AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine produces 464 kW (631 hp) at 7400 rpm and accelerates the gullwing model to a speed of 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

The AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension, the AMG high-performance ceramic composite brake system and the weight-optimised forged AMG light-alloy wheels with newly developed sports tyres, all help to raise the driving dynamics of the SLS AMG Black Series to a new level. Also making a contribution in this respect are the electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock and the enhanced AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. The AMG Aerodynamics package is optionally available to further boost the vehicle's driving dynamics.

A functional, sporty racing car atmosphere is prevalent inside the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, with high-quality materials demonstrating precision workmanship and exquisitely designed details, including the generous use of carbon fibre as found in the world of motorsport.
The market launch of the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series will commence in June 2013. The price in Germany (incl. 19% VAT) will be:

- SLS AMG Coupé Black Series: €249,900

Ener-G-Force – the off-roader for tomorrow and beyond

The question of whether the genes of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class dating from 1979 will still be asserting themselves in the distant future is being demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz in Los Angeles in the guise of a cool design study: the Ener-G-Force. According to Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars: "The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow’s adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model. Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz".

Built as 1:1-scale model, the design study is clearly inspired by the G-Class but presents a radical reinterpretation of this classic that looks far into the future. Important genes such as proportions and design elements were adopted conceptually and completely redesigned and updated in a clean concept for tomorrow and beyond. While the clear design idiom of the G-Class has remained, all surfaces are designed to express intensity and tension. The meticulously executed details are also a clear indication that the Ener-G-Force is the product of modern times. Like the G-Class, the Ener-G-Force sports a front with an expressive radiator grille that incorporates the headlamps. LEDs in the headlamps form lamp units in the shape of a G. This gives the Ener-G-Force a strong, iconic appearance and demonstrates dominance. The front indicators and position lights are mounted on top of the wings as a significant G-Class element.

Thanks to alternative drive systems, the Ener-G-Force should also be exceptionally environmentally friendly and able to demonstrate enhanced green-car characteristics. Four wheel-hub motors, whose output for each individual wheel is adapted precisely to the respective terrain by high-performance electronics, are designed to provide the pulling power. The striking side skirts also house quick-change battery packs. Changes in the colour of the illumination of the side skirts indicate the operating and charge status of the energy packs. A roof carrier and additional lamps are integrated into the roof.

The design study shows that the off-road classic from Mercedes-Benz, whose continuous history goes all the way back to the 1970s, could in fact tackle the future in a stylistically and technologically advanced version.

The smart grows wings

Internationally acclaimed fashion designer Jeremy Scott has used his imagination to give a smart fortwo electric drive a makeover and create an electric car which is full of a sense of ease and joie de vivre – and all set to launch a new era of urban mobility. A striking feature of the smart forjeremy is a set of wings, a typical trademark of the American star designer. They look like ignited rockets, and as such take on the form of avant-garde rear lights. The luxurious interior of the smart forjeremy is like a dream in white with chrome highlights, thus appropriately continuing the exclusive, elegant colour design of the exterior. The smart forjeremy is based on the current series production version of the smart fortwo electric drive and is not expected to remain an unattainable pipe dream. On the contrary, this haute-couture version is to be launched onto the market next year in the form of a special limited-edition model.

Credits: Daimler AG

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