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2004 Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz Reinvents the Vision Grand Sports Tourer

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Vision Grand Sports Tourer Hybrid On Display at 2004 Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Mercedes-Benz is displaying the Vision Grand Sports Tourer today during press activities preceding the opening of the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit, January 10-19, 2004. By combining the strengths of different market segments, the vehicle is another example of forward-thinking design by Mercedes-Benz. Powered by an innovative diesel-electric hybrid system, the Vision Grand Sports Tourer provides comfortable seating for six adults. Other technical highlights include full-time all-wheel drive, a seven-speed transmission, large perforated brake discs, 21-inch wheels and AIRMATIC air suspension -- all designed to ensure long-distance comfort and an outstanding level of active safety.

"The new Vision Grand Sports Tourer from Mercedes-Benz is a highly appealing and versatile touring car that offers space, comfort and power. This latest trendsetter will enable us to gain a firm foothold in what is a new and exciting market segment in mid-2005. We believe that the concept offers enormous potential for the launch of a new Mercedes model family," says Professor Jurgen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler AG Board of Management member in charge of the Mercedes Car Group.

Sedan, Wagon, And SUV In One

The Vision Grand Sports Tourer is a concept which offers the ultimate in versatility, style and performance. The Vision Grand Sports Tourer combines the attributes from many different segments -- sports sedan, station wagon, SUV -- to meet the evolving needs of consumers who want more than any of these vehicles alone can provide. Thanks to its intelligent use of space, the Mercedes concept offers first-class comfort with individual seats for six occupants.

First Class Comfort for Up To Six

The Mercedes-Benz Grand Sports Tourer vehicle concept addresses the need for a versatile car that can be quickly and easily adapted to perform a wide range of tasks. For example, the four rear seats can be folded individually to create up to 72 cubic feet of luggage space -- substantially more than a conventional luxury wagon. In addition, the flat floor and large tailgate make loading and unloading a snap.

Despite the car's size, the designers wanted to create a vehicle with striking lines that would have emotional appeal and an innovative look. The Vision Grand Sports Tourer features an arched roof line that sweeps from the A to D pillar -- a typical coupe feature that Mercedes designers have intentionally used on the concept vehicle to create sporty, dynamic elegance.

Hybrid Drive: From Zero to 62 MPH in Only 6.6 Seconds

A powerful diesel-electric hybrid marries a state-of-the-art V8 diesel engine with 247 horsepower and a 67-hp electric motor. As a result, the vehicle has 314 hp of total power and 634 lb-ft of torque available by European standards. The Vision Grand Sports Tourer has the acceleration of a sports car, sprinting from zero to 62 miles per hour in just 6.6 seconds, and the car's top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

Electronically controlled workload between the diesel engine and the electric motor enables the benefits of both drive systems to be used to the fullest. The zero-emission electric motor kicks in when low power is required, primarily parking and driving in stop-and-go traffic, while the V8 diesel engine springs to life only when more power is needed. During braking, the electric motor acts as a generator to recharge the drive battery.

The Vision Grand Sports Tourer breaks new ground by featuring a hybrid drive system in conjunction with full-time all-wheel drive -- a combination which offers further proof of the concept's immense potential.