At Auto Shanghai 2019, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the world premieres of close-to-production show car Concept GLB and the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L 4MATIC developed exclusively for China. The compact car from Affalterbach made its first appearance on the world stage at the Mercedes-Benz press conference. On the eve of the show, more than 400 invited guests were able to form an initial impression of the latest Mercedes-Benz SUV line-up: On show alongside the Concept GLB were the battery-powered EQC and the new GLE, both of which celebrate their China premieres in Shanghai. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, also announced another all-electric compact SUV: the EQB will be available in China from 2021.
Best quarter ever – sales in China continue to grow
Mercedes-Benz achieved its strongest sales quarter ever in China with a total of 174,343 cars sold in the first three months of this year – marking an increase of 2.6 percent. In fact, January 2019 was the strongest sales month ever for Mercedes-Benz in China – for the very first time, deliveries of cars with the three-pointed star exceeded 70,000 units in a single month. The “Made in China, for China” strategy pays off: More than 70 percent of Mercedes-Benz models delivered in China are also produced locally.
World premiere of a performance saloon exclusively for China
The world premiere of the new Mercedes-AMG A 35 L 4MATIC marks the arrival of an attractive entry point into the World of Driving Performance. The four-door notchback model was developed specifically for the Chinese market and offers plenty of room in the rear thanks to six centimetres more wheelbase. The impressive performance of the agile notchback comes courtesy of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharge engine with 225 kW (306 hp) – available in China for the first time – the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7G dual-clutch transmission, the AMG suspension and the variable AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with electromechanical rear differential. The A 35 L 4MATIC is based on an extended wheelbase of 2,789 millimetres (instead of 2,729 millimetres), and displays its powerful proportions with short, sporty overhangs front and rear. The radiator grille with its dual fin, the AMG Line front skirt with air-intake flics, the front splitter and trim elements in silver chrome set characteristic AMG design accents.
“The all new AMG A35 long-wheelbase is the first AMG ever to be produced by the Beijing Benz factory,” says Nicholas Speeks, President and CEO of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co. “It is the first 35-series model to come to China and it opens new possibilities for Chinese customers to enjoy AMG performance in an extended wheelbase limousine.”
Concept GLB: leisure companion and sturdy family vehicle
Another highlight at the 18th Auto Shanghai is the Concept GLB, which also celebrates its global debut. The close-to-production compact SUV lays the focus firmly on space and sturdiness. Thanks to its long wheelbase, it offers room for seven, and exudes refinement and modernity through its clean, sculptural surfaces with reduced lines and precise joints. The interior design of the concept vehicle is aligned with the family of new compact Mercedes-Benz models, although the show car is fitted with dedicated leather upholstery and trim. The Concept GLB is powered by the M 260 four-cylinder petrol engine paired with the 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission to deliver 165 kW/224 hp and a peak torque of 350 Nm. It is also equipped with the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque distribution.
“The Concept GLB combines the advantages of multiple worlds: it is a genuine seven-seater, a genuine SUV – and is built on a compact platform. We are convinced that this vehicle format will inspire many customers in China and all over the world,” says Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “ We will therefore present the series version of the GLB this summer.”
Start of a new mobility era – in China, too
Making its first appearance in front of a Chinese audience is the Mercedes-Benz EQC – the first model from the EQ product and technology brand. Its powerful proportions clearly define the EQC as a crossover SUV. The elongated roofline and the greenhouse with its low waistline and coupé-like roof dropping towards the rear position it visually between an SUV and an SUV coupé. The EQC has a compact electric powertrain (eATS) front and rear, giving it the handling characteristics of an all-wheel drive with dynamic torque distribution between the two driven axles. The asynchronous machines have a combined maximum output of 300 kW. At its core is a lithium-ion battery produced in-house and mounted into the floorpan. With an energy capacity of 80 kWh (NEDC), it uses an intelligent operating strategy to supply the vehicle, thus enabling an electric range of more than 445 km (NEDC).
“The EQC’s design stands out with its stylish silhouette and its distinctive light band, while having a truly premium interior with exquisite craftsmanship in the cabin,” says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Management Board of Daimler AG responsible for China activities.
Trendsetter packed with innovations
Also celebrating its China premiere is the Mercedes-Benz GLE. The SUV is not only dynamic and comfortable on-road, it is also more skilled than ever off-road. With its long wheelbase, short overhangs and big, flush wheels, its exterior design shows that it cuts a fine figure and is very much at home on any terrain. Its cd figure starting at 0.29 also marks a best-in-class for the SUV segment. The interior is even bigger, with options including a third row of seats and fully electric adjustability for the second row. New driver assistance systems raise the level of active safety even further. The infotainment system is equipped with larger displays and the latest generation of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) learning infotainment system with intuitive, natural operation via gesture recognition.
“The all-new GLE from Mercedes-Benz takes a further step forward in both design and features to reconceive what a premium SUV should be. We have a vehicle with an extended wheelbase to allow room for seven seats; we have 48-volt technology that optimizes performance and fuel consumption and we have first-class connectivity with the MBUX system,” says Nicholas Speeks.
Six further market premieres in Shanghai
Also on show for the first time on Chinese soil are the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class; the A 220 4MATIC as both standard and long-wheelbase variants; the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster and the Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupé as well as the long-wheelbase variant of the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e.
Source: Daimler AG