The world premiere of the new SL and two all-new hybrid models took centre stage on the Mercedes-Benz stand at the opening of the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new models from Mercedes-Benz delivered a strong impetus for the new automotive year and for the future of the brand as a whole – directly in the wake of the best sales year in company history.
For the first time, the all-new SL Roadster is made almost entirely from aluminium and weighs up to 140 kg less than its predecessor thanks to intelligent lightweight design. The result is more agility and dynamic character combined with improved comfort and increased crash safety. The new BlueDIRECT engines are more powerful, yet up to 29 percent more fuel efficient than the engines in the outgoing model. More driving fun with even lower fuel consumption is also on offer from the two new E-Class hybrid models – the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is the world’s most fuel-efficient full-size car, consuming just 4.2 litres of diesel per 100 km (109 g CO2/km). The gasoline-powered E 400 HYBRID, which will be launched first in the USA, delivers fuel economy of 27 mpg (combined).
“In 2011 we sold more than 1.36 million cars worldwide – more than ever before. 2012 will see us push forward with our product offensive and repeat two things that worked extremely well last year – we will launch another six new models and we will set the bar even higher by making green cars cooler and cool cars greener,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the NAIAS press conference. To back this up, Mercedes-Benz presented the sixth generation SL. Compared with its highly successful predecessor, the new model offers a considerable boost in sporting character and comfort and sets new benchmarks in the luxury roadster class. Plus, it comes with a full serving of everyday usability.
Classic proportions and outstanding aerodynamics
The stylish luxury sports car has classic proportions with a long hood and a compact cockpit set well back. Finely honed details and air vents with chromed fins from the dynamic tradition of Mercedes-Benz Design add visual emphasis to the SL legend.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “There are around 900 million cars on this earth and thousands of models. But there is but a handful of automotive icons. Our SL is one of them – it has class, it has style, it is the embodiment of comfort and luxury. But it combines all of that with an unbelievably sporty and dynamic character.”
Moreover, the new SL boasts outstanding aerodynamics. Alongside the lowest drag coefficient (cd = 0.27 in the SL 350), it also offers the lowest level of wind noise – almost on par with a closed saloon – as well as the very best airflow and noise characteristics with the top down.
“The new SL offers everything that defines an absolutely top-class premium roadster,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing. “It is two things rolled into one – a dynamic sports roadster and a luxurious coupé. Or, as we say, it is both athlete and connoisseur.”
Mercedes-Benz hybrid offensive with the E-Class
With its two new E-Class hybrid models, Mercedes-Benz is turning a new chapter in the brand’s core segment and thereby setting new benchmarks for full-size business saloons. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which is available as both a saloon and estate, sets new records with its efficiency. The world’s most fuel-efficient full-size model boasts exceptional fuel consumption figures (4.2 l/100 km) and outstanding performance. The four-cylinder diesel in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID delivers 150 kW (204 hp) and generates 500 Nm of torque. The electric motor develops 20 kW and 250 Nm.
The V6 spark-ignition engine in the E 400 HYBRID delivers 225 kW (306 hp) and generates 370 Nm of torque, plus a further 20 kW and 250 Nm from the electric motor. The fuel economy in accordance with American CAFE standards stands at 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.
“This modular hybrid technology opens the way for us to add hybrid models to other model ranges in the near future,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.“With a clear focus on the varying needs of the global markets, we can offer precisely those models that our customers are demanding. Alongside a considerable reduction in fuel consumption, the E‑Class hybrids are very impressive to drive – this is hybrid driving on a premium level.”
The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is initially planned for the European market, while the E 400 HYBRID will be launched first on the American market and later offered in further countries such as Japan and China.
Source: Daimler AG