Mercedes-Benz Launches Three Diesel Powered SUV's at New York Auto Show
by Marty Bernstein
Marketing & Advertising Editor
With the price of oil reaching $111 a barrel and gasoline headed for the unthinkable $4 per gallon, the best answer to the fuel and environmental issues is diesel. And one of the first auto compa-nies to respond to the changing dynamics of the marketplace is Mercedes Benz.
Mercedes-Benz is unveiling three new sport utility vehicles powered by the world’s cleanest state-of-the-art diesel engines at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, open to the public March 21-30, 2008 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
The impressively fuel-efficient 2009-model diesel SUVs – the ML320 BlueTEC, GL320 BlueTEC and R320 BlueTEC – get 20-30 percent better fuel economy, surprisingly good performance and extremely low exhaust emissions. treatment system that meets the most stringent 50-state emis-sions limits.
This latest generation of electronically injected CDI engines is changing consumers’ dated per-ceptions about diesel engines. The BlueTEC diesels have impressive cruising range up to 600 miles traveling at highway speeds, and these well-appointed SUVs can do all that without sacrific-ing performance. In addition, V8-like pulling power makes the BlueTEC diesels ideal for towing.
What’s more, the company’s family SUV – the M-Class – features bold restyling for the 2009 model year. Redesigned front bumpers incorporate new headlights with a distinctive step along the lower edge that continues around a larger, lower grill that holds three large silver ribs. Angu-lar air intakes, widely set fog lights and chrome trim help give the 2009 M-Class a broader, stronger face.
A recontoured rear bumper with recessed reflectors and a stainless-steel skid plate that wraps around its dual exhausts also give the new M-Class a broader stance. Larger outside mirrors provide even better visibility.
Inside, door panels now have an upholstered center section, and the seats boast a sportier de-sign and a four-stage power lumber support for the driver’s seat. A new four-spoke steering wheel features built-in multi-function buttons and shift paddles. New advanced-technology fea-tures include an in-dash 6-disc DVD changer, hands-free Bluetooth phone system, a high-performance telematics system, and a port for connecting audio devices such as an iPod.
The standard audio system comes with a color display, a double radio tuner, speed-dependent volume control and a keypad for phone numbers and radio frequencies. Optional equipment in-cludes a voice recognition system, a 610-watt digital Harmon Kardon Logic7 audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system with two eight-inch screens, wireless headphones and an inte-grated DVD player with dual-source capability.
New standard equipment on the 2009 M-Class, PRE-SAFE® is a revolutionary safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occu-pants during those valuable seconds before impact.
The PRE-SAFE system that made its debut on the S-Class automatically tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact, and the front passenger seat moves to a position that can provide better protection. Side windows also close to provide better support for the window curtain air bags. If the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.