Cultivated sportiness is the common feature of the many new models presented by Mercedes-Benz at the first major European motor show of the automobile’s 125 anniversary year.

The C-Class Coupe, which celebrates its world premiere, is just as remarkable as the new-generation C-Class sedan and station wagon for its driving fun and outstanding efficiency. In keeping with their sporty character, the new C-Class models were introduced by players from the successful German women’s national soccer team.

A further highlight of this year’s “Geneva Salon” is the third iteration of the SLK, which redefines the roadster experience while consuming up to 25 percent less fuel than its predecessor. Making its debut on the eve of the show was the new top-of-the-range version of Mercedes’ bestselling model range – the C 63 AMG, which generates up to 358 kW (487 hp) and consumes around ten percent less fuel. The inventor of the automobile is also presenting the SLS AMG E-CELL, which makes its European motor show debut in Geneva.

The first “eye-catcher” at today’s Mercedes-Benz press conference was the Mercedes Simplex from 1902. The revolutionary design of the legendary sports car and its direct predecessor, the Mercedes 35 hp from 1901, defined the vehicle architecture that prevails throughout the auto industry to this day – a low center of gravity, long wheelbase and wide track are the basis for comfortable and sporty driving. It is in this tradition that the new Mercedes models make their debut in Geneva.

“All our new models embody the cultivated sportiness that is anchored deep in our DNA”, said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Every one of them delivers pure driving fun with exemplary efficiency – and none more so than the latest milestone in the 125-year history of the automobile, the SLS AMG E-CELL with battery-electric drive, which will arrive in our showrooms in 2013.”

The new C-Class Coupe – world premiere for third family member
Elegant design and an expressive character are what distinguish the new C‑Class Coupe, with which Mercedes-Benz is entering another new market segment in this, the 125th year of the company’s history. The youthful and sporty two-door, which celebrates its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show and makes its market debut in June, is the first classic coupe in the C-Class lineup. Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Member of Mercedes-Benz Cars Management responsible for Sales and Marketing said, “The new C‑Class Coupe is an individual and distinctive interpretation of our design philosophy.”

The newcomer boasts all of the same progressive technology as its extensively updated siblings. Here, too, the result is very clearly – pure driving fun matched with exemplary efficiency. It goes without saying that the elegant coupe is also equipped with a full range of technical highlights, including a host of assistance systems and new-generation telematics with internet access.

Market launch will see a choice of five modern direct-injection gasoline and diesel engines. The most fuel-efficient coupe version is the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with manual six-speed transmission and ECO start/stop function as standard. The NEDC consumption of just 4.4 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers equates to 117 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The top engine version is the V6 gasoline engine in the C 350 BlueEFFICIENCY. It generates 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm, yet consumes an average of only 6.8 liters/ 100 km. “With the expansion of the C-Class lineup, we are also consciously aiming at new customers,” said Dr. Schmidt. “The new model is youthful, stylish and dynamic. With it, we are offering an incredibly sporty entry into the world of Mercedes-Benz coupes.”

The new-generation C-Class – a bestseller in top shape
The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been extensively updated with more than 2,000 new parts and an innovative engine range. Following one of the most comprehensive mid-life facelifts in the history of the company, the bestselling vehicle in the current Mercedes-Benz product lineup has all the prerequisites to continue a unique success story – since its introduction three decades ago, sales of the C-Class and segment-founder the Mercedes-Benz 190 have topped 8.5 million units. Following model update, the new-generation sedan and station wagon have an even more dynamic and self-confident look. The interior has been extensively redesigned and is now presented in line with the Mercedes design philosophy of “Aesthetic Precision”. Premium materials and outstanding workmanship offer the perfect representation of the brand’s hallmark cultivated sportiness. A further innovation of the 2011 C-Class is the “COMAND Online” multimedia system with internet access.

Highly efficient direct-injection engines, the ECO start/stop function as standard and the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic available for all engines make sure that dynamic driving fun comes together with the very best efficiency. It is with this high-tech package that the new-generation C-Class achieves consumption improvements compared with the preceding model of up to 31 percent. The equally outstanding safety also benefits from features such as ten new driver assistance systems carried over from the E and S-Class.

A further strength of the C-Class is its scope and variety. The already distinctive individualization program has been further expanded with a wider range of equipment options. And, with the new C-Class coupe, Mercedes-Benz is adding another member to the successful C-Class family.

The new SLK Roadster – the third chapter of a great success story
With the new SLK, the most successful sports car in its class is now entering its third iteration. The athletic two-seater with classic roadster proportions takes open-air driving fun to an all-new level. It unites light-footed athleticism with stylish comfort, distinctive sports car design with full everyday usability, top performance with exemplary ecology. The SLK also marks the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL that can be switched light or dark at the touch of a button.

“With its countless technical innovations, the new SLK confirms its role as a trendsetter in the compact premium roadster segment that we founded with the first generation,” said Dr. Schmidt. Efficiency and spirit come together in the new four and six-cylinder engines with ECO start/stop function. They guarantee exceptional performance combined with up to 25 percent lower fuel consumption – a function, too, of the optimized 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission, which is now available for all models. A unique range of safety equipment also underscores the leading position taken in its segment by the SLK.

Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive – around the world with hydrogen
The “Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive” that is currently underway with three fuel cell-driven B-Class F-CELL vehicles demonstrates that local zero-emissions electromobility is already ripe for series production at Mercedes-Benz. At the start of the Geneva Motor Show, the latest status was as follows – after around 3,600 kilometers through Europe, the World Drive participants are now on the road in the USA. The second major stage runs from Florida on the Atlantic coast right through the United States to California, before heading north along the Pacific coast all the way to Vancouver in Canada. The tour then takes to the air in Seattle, heading first for Australia then China. With the world tour that began on January 29, Mercedes-Benz is seeking to demonstrate the enormous potential of fuel cell technology and, in particular, to lobby for the establishment of a hydrogen fuel station network. “Our fuel cell electric cars are ready to roll. All that is missing is a hydrogen infrastructure,” said Zetsche.

Source: Daimler AG