The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Mercedes-Benz at 2010 LA Auto Show: 2012 CLS63 AMG, B-Class F-CELL, Partnership with Ducati - COMPLETE VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Mercedes-Benz CLS63AMG

SEE ALSO: Complete PRESS PASS Coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show

LOS ANGELES - November 17, 2010: Stunning design, superior performance and groundbreaking efficiency - that is the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. The four-door coupe, which was unveiled earlier today at the LA Auto Show, features the all-new AMG V8 biturbo engine generating an output of up to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, as well as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed Sports Transmission. Fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (estimated figures) represents an improvement of up to 33 percent compared with the preceding model. The 2012 CLS63 AMG goes on sale in the US in the summer of 2011.

The combination of AMG Adaptive Suspension with the adaptive damping system and a new front axle arrangement, plus new electro-hydraulic AMG sports steering delivers supreme handling and dynamics. From a visual standpoint, the 2012 CLS63 AMG cuts an impressive figure with its athletic stance and distinctive exterior and interior design. The brand new active LED high-performance headlights are available as an option, with LED Daytime Running Lamps fitted as standard.

"The new CLS63 AMG writes the next chapter in the success story created by the CLS55 AMG and CLS63 AMG, which have been amazing our customers around the world since 2004," says Ola Källenius, General Manager of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "The CLS63 AMG is a unique, high-performance automobile - it sets new benchmarks in design, performance and efficiency."

As with the S63 AMG and CL63 AMG, drivers of the CLS63 AMG benefit from the new eight-cylinder motor known internally as the M 157. The new AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine features a combination of high-tech components - in addition to spray-guided gasoline direct injection with piezo injectors, it boasts an all-aluminum crank-case, four-valve technology with variable camshafts, air-water charge-air cooling, generator management and stop/start system. From 5,461 cm3, the eight-cylinder generates a maximum output of 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. In combination with the optional AMG Performance Package, output rises to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft. Both versions of the CLS63 AMG deliver exceptional performance - acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.4 and 4.3 seconds respectively, with a top speed of 155 mph in the standard version and 186 mph with the Performance Package (electronically limited. All figures are preliminary).

The key difference between the two performance levels is the maximum charge pressure of the twin turbochargers, which is 14.5 psi in the standard CLS63 AMG and 18.8 psi with the Performance Package. Moreover, the version with the Performance Package boasts an attractive engine cover with carbon-fiber applications.

Quantum leap - 33 percent improved fuel economy
Despite a substantial increase in output compared with the preceding model with the AMG 6.3-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine producing 507 hp and 465 lb-ft, the new CLS63 AMG goes 4 miles further in the city on one gallon of fuel, making it 33 percent more fuel-efficient - no less than a quantum leap. With estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, the new AMG V8 coupe is not only considerably better than all of its direct competitors in the exclusive segment of high-performance four-door coupes, it is also more fuel-efficient than many far less potent vehicles. Both performance variants have identical fuel economy.

Click PLAY to watch the complete Mercedes-Benz Press Conference

Mercedes-Benz brings fuel-cell electric vehicles to the U.S.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
B-Class F-CELL

Right in time for the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the new B-Class F-CELL, the first series production fuel-cell powered electric vehicle available in the U.S. Selected customers will take delivery of the first lease vehicles before the end of 2010. By 2012, a total of 200 of these environmentally friendly cars will be on the roads in California and Europe.

"California, with its progressive environmental legislation, is the ideal region for everyday operation of a true zero-emissions vehicle," says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development for Mercedes-Benz Cars. With the model year 2011 B-Class F-CELL, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to offer a fuel-cell powered Zero-Emissions Vehicle that has been certified by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board). Dr. Thomas Weber: "After more than 362,500 miles covered by the A-Class F-CELL test fleet, we are continuing to build on our experience with the latest generation of electric cars with fuel cell drive. With the BClass F-CELL cars in California, we will have more than doubled the size of the existing fleet in customer hands - marking a further milestone en route to bringing this technology to market by 2015."

Latest generation of fuel-cell powered vehicles
With an operating range of around 240 miles (Euro driving cycle, 190 miles estimated EPA) and short refueling times, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL combines local zero-emissions mobility with long-distance comfort and compelling performance figures. The technical basis for the drive system of the B-Class F-CELL is the optimized, new-generation fuel cell system. This is some 40 percent smaller than the system in the A-Class F-CELL - which has been undergoing practical trials in the U.S. since 2004 - but generates 30 percent more power, while consuming 30 percent less fuel. The cold-start capability of the B-Class F-CELL is down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 136 hp electric motor in the B-Class F-CELL develops a powerful torque of 214 lbft from standstill and delivers driving pleasure and dynamics on par with a two-liter gasoline engine.

Everyday use by customers
The B-Class F-CELL is extremely well suited to everyday driving. During the NHA Hydrogen Conference & Expo in May 2010, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enthused, "I would love one of these fuel-cell powered Mercedes cars!" On the basis of market research data, Mercedes-Benz has chosen a representative customer group consisting of fleet operators, public institutions, public figures and private customers. The primary aim is to gain further experience in day-to-day operation, which can then be incorporated into subsequent models. A typical full-service monthly lease rate will be $849 excl. tax over a term of 24 months and includes the cost of hydrogen fuel.

Fuel cell safely integrated into the sandwich floor
At the heart of the B-Class F-CELL is the new-generation electric drive system powered by fuel cell, which is compact, powerful, safe and fully suitable for everyday use. The fuel cell generates the electric drive power directly on-board the vehicle from the chemical reaction of oxygen and hydrogen, which produces absolutely no harmful emissions - only pure water. The key drive components are located in the sandwich floor, where they are well-protected. This space-saving arrangement also leaves the vehicle interior and trunk fully usable.

Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to produce a fuel-cell based electric drive system in a series-production compact car. Vehicle safety is at the very high levels expected of a Mercedes and is further enhanced by the location of the fuel tanks within the sandwich floor. The comprehensive safety concept devised for the B-Class F-CELL takes into account the specific characteristics of the innovative drive system. Mercedes-Benz has extensive experience in fuel-cell electric drive and high-voltage battery technology with vehicles such as the A-Class F-CELL and S400 HYBRID. This expertise, gained over many years, flowed into refining the concept. In other words, the high level of safety means that Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles can use underground parking lots, multi-story parking garages or tunnels with no restrictions whatsoever. The vehicle design also makes for particularly safe and agile handling characteristics.

Operating range of around 240 miles* - fuel stations within range
The hydrogen used to run the fuel cell is stored in three tanks at a pressure of 10,150 psi. Each tank holds just under 8.8 lbs of the gaseous fuel. The tanks are hermetically sealed, preventing the escape of hydrogen into the atmosphere, even if the vehicle is left to stand for long periods. Thanks to this high-pressure fuel storage, the B-Class F-CELL can cover a distance of up to 240 miles (*Euro driving cycle, 190 miles estimated EPA) on a full tank, more than twice the range of the 2004 A-Class F-CELL. Once the tanks are empty, they can be filled simply and quickly in less than 3 minutes, thanks to a standardized refueling system.

Targeted fuel cell initiatives
In order to further the commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles, Mercedes- Benz is involved in the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), an association of automobile manufacturers, energy suppliers, government agencies and technology companies, as well as in the newly formed Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).

While the CaFCP is currently pursuing the transition from a demonstration project to early commercialization of fuel-cell drive systems at all levels, the State of California has already made $27 million available toward the development of a hydrogen infrastructure, with an additional $14 million anticipated in 2011.

There are currently five public hydrogen filling stations in the greater Los Angeles area, with four more due to open by the end of 2010. One is also planned for the San Francisco Bay area.

Cooperation Agreement signed between AMG and Ducati Motorcycles

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The initial aim of the cooperation agreement is to develop common marketing activities. The cooperation agreement was signed today, during a press conference at the Los Angeles Motor Show, by Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH and Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

"I am very pleased that we are able to announce our strategic cooperation with Ducati today. AMG and Ducati ideally complement each other, as both companies share the same values: racing as the driving passion, and high performance plus exclusivity as the central brand messages of both AMG and Ducati. This longterm cooperation will help us to jointly access new customer groups," said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

"I am especially proud to have AMG as one of our sponsors for the MotoGP team. I am also very pleased that our joint marketing activities are well under way. In AMG we have found a partner who perfectly reflects our brand values of high performance, motorsport, excitement and our sense of unmistakable style and design," said Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

The first visible results of the cooperation between AMG and Ducati will be joint marketing and sponsoring activities. AMG will support the Ducati MotoGP team as an Official Car Partner from 2011, for example. During selected AMG events, participants will be able to take test drives with Ducati motorcycles, and Ducati customers will similarly have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the latest AMG high-performance cars at events.

Joint events are planned for the members of the AMG Private Lounge, in which more than 13,000 AMG customers worldwide are registered.

The partners are currently examining the further activities and strategic steps they might undertake together in the near future.

Ducati and AMG: racing, high performance, exclusivity

Founded in 1926, Ducati initially produced components for radios. From 1946 Ducati focused on the manufacture of motorcycles, and gained a first-class reputation in the two-wheeler sector over the subsequent decades. Today this motorcycle manufacturer based in Bologna, Italy stands for performance with cutting-edge technology, numerous motorcycle racing victories and characteristic design. The brand image ideally complements that of AMG.

AMG was founded in 1967, and is seen as a pioneer in motorsports and performance enhancement. In the following years AMG developed from a twoman operation to a company of worldwide renown. Numerous racing victories, technological tours de force born of the racetrack, unique high-performance cars and an unmistakable brand experience such as e.g. the AMG Driving Academy have come together to form a decidedly exclusive brand image.

Founded in 1999, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is an autonomous vehicle manufacturer. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, AMG is responsible for all development processes relating to the chassis, engine, suspension, brakes, electronics, aerodynamics, interior and design, right up to final approval of the complete AMG car. Mercedes-AMG GmbH also manages all marketing and sales related aspects in its own right.