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Mercedes-Benz Holds Global Debut of Three New Production Cars at Detroit Auto Show

Watch the entire introduction from Detroit

MONTVALE, N.J., Jan. 8 Continuing the unprecedented product offensive that started in 1998, Mercedes-Benz unveils three new production models at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit at Cobo Center: the C-Class wagon, the C32 AMG sedan, the SLK32 AMG roadster.

First-Ever C-Class Wagon for the U.S.

Capitalizing on the already-successful C-Class sedan introduced last September, the 2002 C-Class wagon makes its World Debut in Detroit. The C320 wagon will become available next fall, powered by a 215-hp, 3.2-liter V6 engine. This first C-Class wagon for the US market will come with a long list of standard equipment, including safety items pioneered by Mercedes-Benz like smart front airbags, curtain side airbags, the Tele Aid emergency call system and ESP stability control. Like the larger E-Class wagon, the highly flexible interior of the C-Class wagon makes it an ideal car for people with an active lifestyle who need a versatile vehicle with high cargo capacity. One or both of the rear seats can be folded forward to create a flat loading area, and the wagon offers VDA cargo capacity ranging from 16.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up to 48.9 cubic feet with the seats down. An easy-to-use luggage cover also incorporates a retaining net partition.

Mercedes designers developed the C-Class sedan and wagon together. While both versions lead with the same elegant, sporty face, the distinctive lines of the wagon are marked by a long, curved roof that blends into angled roof pillars at the rear. At the top of the tailgate is a discreet, integrated spoiler that contributes to exemplary aerodynamics and high-speed handling.

Performance in its Veins: The New C32 AMG

Mercedes-Benz re-enters the C-Class hot rod ranks with the C32 AMG, which makes its world debut at NAIAS. This new supersedan offers all the value of the landmark C-Class plus the power, style, sportiness and luxury of Mercedes-AMG. Powered by a new 349-hp, 3.2-liter supercharged and intercooled V6 Kompressor engine, the C32 AMG not only develops an astounding 332 lbs.-ft. of peak torque, it delivers nearly 300 lbs.-ft. from just 2,300 rpm, making for outstanding drive-ability at all engine speeds. Early estimates indicate acceleration from rest to 60 mph in just 5 seconds, and it delivers this performance while meeting stringent emission regulations that don't take effect in Europe until 2005. A new high-capacity SpeedShift(TM) five-speed automatic transmission receives specific shift programming at Mercedes-AMG, making for the liveliest performance possible when needed, yet exhibiting refinement when driving under normal conditions. The C32 AMG's racing-derived brakes and suspension are engineered with great influence from Mercedes-AMG's competition experience and the C32 AMG's chassis is transformed to provide handling feedback and grip dictated by the new Kompressor V6 driveline. The C32 AMG receives its own unique design cues echoed by every Mercedes-AMG model. These are a direct result of research to minimize aerodynamic lift and maximize aerodynamic balance front-to-rear at top speed.

SLK32 AMG: Wind-in-the-Hair Roadstering with Extra Wind

This exciting compact sports car combines a new supercharged V6 Kompressor engine developed by the high-performance Mercedes-AMG division, the classic appeal of a roadster and the practicality of the award-winning SLK-Class, the first modern car with a fully retractable, electric hardtop.

The 349-horsepower SLK32 AMG promises shattering performance thanks to light weight and high torque, athletic handling and superb stopping ability. The new SpeedShift(TM) transmission provides up to 35 percent faster gear changes than a conventional automatic. Under heavy braking, SpeedShift will automatically downshift, selecting the optimal gear for the situation. Also, by tipping and holding the gear lever to the left, it will determine the best gear for maximum acceleration in any situation. With experience borne out by a number of racing championships, including this past year's DTM 2000 Championship with driver Bernd Schneider, Mercedes-AMG has engineered outstanding brakes to withstand hard repeated use. Front vented discs measure 13.15 inches in diameter, while the rear vented units measure 11.8 inches, serving enthusiast drivers under any circumstance.

C-Class Sports Coupe

Also shown at the NAIAS is the new C230 Sports Coupe for the 2002 model year. This trim new coupe is smaller than the C-Class sedan on which it is based, yet it offers all the Mercedes-Benz safety firsts also standard on the sedan, such as smart front airbags, curtain side airbags, the Tele Aid emergency call system and ESP stability control. The C-Class sports coupe debuts an innovative panoramic sunroof allowing skyward vision from the windshield header to the very rear of the car. Three glass sections include a front that pops up to deflect wind, a midsection that lifts up and glides rearward over the rearmost section, which is fixed. The C-Class Sports Coupe is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 190-hp engine, and offers the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual gear selection.