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Mercedes-Benz at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show: Innovative technology for a new level of refinement

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Stuttgart, Mar 04, 2008; Under the motto "The Culture of Driving", Mercedes-Benz is presenting attractive new products in five model series at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. These range from the new generation of the iconic SL Roadster, which celebrates its world premiere in Geneva, right up to the new, particularly economical BlueEFFICIENCY models in the C-Class, which return a fuel consumption up to 1.5 litres per 100 kilometres lower than that of the corresponding standard versions. In this way Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating its continued commitment to further reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions on a wide front: the new roadsters and coupés also consume up to ten percent less fuel than their predecessors.

"We are showing very clearly what Mercedes-Benz stands for in Geneva: a wide range of attractive premium cars which combine outstanding safety, comfort and refinement with efficiency and environmental compatibility", says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

World premiere in Geneva: the new-generation Mercedes-Benz SL

The centrepiece of the Mercedes-Benz presentation in Geneva is the new generation of the luxury SL Roadster, which celebrates its world premiere at the Show. Zetsche: "As a true design icon, the SL has embodied the fascination of the Mercedes-Benz brand for more than 50 years. Combining classic SL styling features with elements of our modern Mercedes design idiom has made the new generation even more expressive and emotional."

The new-generation SL is also at the top of its form in technical terms: a total of four new engine variants includes two new six-cylinder units which develop more output for a reduced fuel consumption. The three-litre V6 in the new entry-level SL 280 develops 170 kW/231 hp. The SL 350 is powered by a newly developed, particularly responsive sports engine. Output has increased by 16 percent to 232 kW/316 hp versus the previous 3.5-litre engine, while maximum torque has improved by ten Nm to 360 newton metres. With an NEDC fuel consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres, the SL 350 is however 0.4 litres more economical than the previous model developing 200 kW/272 hp. The model range continues to be spearheaded by the SL 500 with its V8 engine and the twelve-cylinder SL 600. Their engines now consume up to 0.4 litres less fuel per 100 kilometres than before. The equipment highlights of the new-generation roadsters include bi-xenon headlamps, which can be supplemented with the Intelligent Light System on request. New features include the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system developed and patented by Mercedes-Benz, and the newly developed direct-steer system, which makes the large roadster both more agile and at the same time even safer and more comfortable.

BlueEFFICIENCY: new Mercedes formula for particularly economical driving pleasure

In March Mercedes-Benz will commence the introduction of initially around 20 new BlueEFFICIENCY models, which combine typical brand values such as safety and comfort with exemplary efficiency and environmental compatibility. "To this end we have put together a whole package of fuel economy measures, which we will be offering in numerous models – from the A-Class to the S-Class", says Dr Thomas Weber, the member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for corporate research and for development at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "This package, which achieves overall fuel savings of up to twelve percent, includes aerodynamic fine-tuning, our new electric ECO steering system, intelligent lightweight construction, tyres with a low rolling resistance and generator management – to give just a few examples."

In Geneva, Mercedes-Benz is presenting no less than three new BlueEFFICIENCY models in the C-Class which are due to be launched starting in March, among them the 100 kW/136 hp C 200 CDI. The BlueEFFICIENCY version of this powerful diesel consumes only 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres, i.e. 0.6 litres less than the already very economical standard version. The C 180 KOMPRESSOR (115 kW/156 hp) covers 100 kilometres on 6.5 litres of petrol and has a fuel consumption 0.9 litres below that of the standard model. As the third new BlueEFFICIENCY model in the C-Class, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the C 350 CGI with latest-generation direct petrol injection in Geneva. Its considerably more powerful six-cylinder engine (292 hp) already consumes around ten percent less than the standard engine (272 hp). In conjunction with the measures taken for improved efficiency, the fuel consumption of the C 350 CGI has been lowered by 1.5 to just 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

Four more attractive new coupés and roadsters

Mercedes-Benz is presenting further attractive new products in Geneva in the form of the newly updated SLK Roadster, the facelifted CLS and the CL 500 4MATIC, the first all-wheel-drive version of its up-to-date and successful luxury coupé. These are joined by the new CLC, with which Mercedes-Benz will be offering a new entry-level model into the brand’s coupé family from June.

This newcomer combines a sporty and elegant appearance with an impressive driving experience. Like the updated SLK, the new CLC impresses with up to ten percent fuel savings compared to the preceding models. More powerful yet more economical: Vision GLK BlueTEC HYBRID

Powerful, economical and clean – these are the major attributes of the Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK BlueTEC SUV study presented in Detroit in January. Now the Vision GLK BlueTEC HYBRID presented in Geneva with its innovative diesel-hybrid drive goes one step further in terms of power and efficiency.

Its centrepiece is the newly developed 2.2-litre diesel engine, which celebrates its debut in the C-Class this year. This innovative high-torque engine develops 204 hp and an outstanding torque of 500 Nm, which is already available at 1600 rpm. Dr Weber: "This takes our new four-cylinder unit into dimensions which were previously the sole preserve of three-litre six-cylinder diesels or large V8 petrol engines – combined with exemplary fuel economy". In conjunction with the compact hybrid module the combined output of the Vision GLK BlueTEC HYBRID is 224 hp, while torque is a muscular 560 Nm. At the same time fuel consumption is further reduced to just 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.

Trailblazing breakthrough in lithium-ion battery technology In addition, Mercedes-Benz is presenting an essential innovation in the field of battery technology for hybrid vehicles in Geneva. As a world first, the Stuttgart company has succeeded in developing the lithium-ion technology so far used mainly in the consumer electronics sector to a stage where the high demands of the automotive industry are met. The new battery technology will first enter series production in the S 400 BlueHYBRID in the coming year. All in all, Daimler holds 25 patents which have made a breakthrough in this important technology possible.