Mercedes-Benz Cars is reaching for the skies at this year’s International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

With the aid of a special illuminated membrane, the large interior space of the venerable Frankfurt Festhalle (festival hall) has been divided into a series of fascinating themed rooms and areas, creating an excitingly light and stylish atmosphere. The amazing surroundings not only have an aesthetic appeal but also reflect the significant advances which the premium car maker has made in the area of sustainable, environmentally-friendly mobility. It is in just such an ambiance that Mercedes-Benz Cars has chosen to present new car models as well as trend-setting projects, demonstrating that fascination and environmental responsibility go hand-in-hand for the world’s oldest automotive manufacturer. This guiding principle has also been applied to the daring and highly-symbolic design of the membrane, which has made a significant contribution to reducing expenditure for this year’s show in terms of the materials, energy and air conditioning required compared with previous years, thus also helping to reduce the environmental impact.

Highlights from the Mercedes-Benz stand will be featured in live daily broadcasts via the internet. In addition, the press conference to be held from 10.30 – 11.00 a.m. on Tuesday, 15 September will also be broadcast live on the internet.

For the tenth time in a row, the festival hall is forming the backdrop for the Mercedes-Benz Cars stand at the International Motor Show. Visitors can look forward to initial highlights as soon as they step into the forum, which has been designed in the form of a display window and foyer. The large stands of Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMGand Maybach are all concentrated in the inner area of the Frankfurt festival hall which, with its visionary steel design, was once the largest self-supporting hall in Europe and is this year celebrating its centenary.

As a contrasting element, the large membrane, made from an extremely light material, stretches across the entire exhibition area. With a total area measuring 5030 square metres, it is probably the largest expanse of fabric ever produced in a single piece. The transparent membrane consists of 110 individual sections, into which 27 oval-shaped cut-outs have been made. Headlamps have been positioned behind these so-called „illuminated eyes“ to cast precisely the right light on the various exhibits. A 12‑mm‑thick steel cable has also been stretched around the outer edge of the membrane and this, together with two rings measuring 10 and 8.5 metres in diameter, helps to form high and low points in the structure, creating an exhilarating, multi-faceted space featuring bold sweeping lines and different spherical areas. These areas are used as the light and projection backdrop.

Created over a period of around two months by several hundred craftsmen and stand builders, this design gives a light, floating effect. It has been designed to symbolise the blue sky and thus the environment, which Mercedes-Benz is striving to protect with the latest, environmentally-friendly technologies. Its aesthetics and beauty represent a new era in individual mobility.

Responsibility in the use of materials and expenditure were also the focus of attention when work began back in September 2008 on the design for the Mercedes-Benz Cars stand at this year’s International Motor Show. The result is an overwhelming success: as a visual/spatial experience, the design of the membrane not only epitomises the path towards zero-emission mobility which Mercedes‑Benz Cars is following consistently, as demonstrated by its most environmentally compatible portfolio yet at the 2009 International Motor Show. It has also helped to reduce the expenditure for the hall and vehicle lighting by around 40 percent, and its vertical set-up provides such effective support to the ventilation in the hall that the costs for this are approximately 60 percent lower than in the previous year. The membrane and steel construction of the exhibition stand can be re-used again and again, while up to 90 percent of the stand itself is comprised of wood-based materials which are easy to recycle and to a large extent CO2 neutral.

On the ground floor of the festival hall, beneath the symbolic blue sky, visitors can expect a comprehensive presentation of the BlueEFFICIENCY vehicles from Mercedes-Benz as well as the world premieres of the new Mercedes-Benz SLSAMGand the E-Class Estate. Another focal point is the Vision S 500 Plug-in HYBRID, the Concept BlueZERO, flanked by the B-Class F-Cell, which is also making its world premiere.

The upper floor can be accessed via the traditional escalator. This is where visitors can expect to find a variety of additional striking vehicles, interactive exhibits and cutaway models illustrating such topics as safety, sustainability and design. Specialists from the Development department will also be on hand to provide knowledgeable answers to any questions which visitors may have.

Show highlights from Mercedes-Benz on the Internet
Those unable to make it to the International Motor Show can find out all the latest news via „IAA Live Talk“ at Mercedes-Benz.tv/iaa. A mobile camera team will be taking viewers to the Mercedes-Benz stand with a daily virtual live visit to the show between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. from 17 to 23 September. Among a variety of highlights, the broadcasts will feature details of the new SLSAMGgull-wing model, the new E-Class Estate, the BlueZERO Concept Cars and also all of the alternative drive forms on display at the show. In addition, there will be live talks on Mercedes-Benz design as well as the ESFsafety vehicle. Experts and engineers will be on hand to answer questions on all sorts of topics. A Twitter feed can also be subscribed to at www.mercedes-benz.tv/iaa, providing regular information and updates on programme highlights, current events and the background to the „IAA Live Talk“.

The press conference will also be broadcast live via the internet between 10.30 and 11.00 a.m. on Tuesday (www.daimler.com/corp/iaa2009/e).

Source: Daimler AG