Mercedes-Benz
NYSE : DCX

September 12, 2005 09:26 ET

Mercedes-Benz: 'Coming Home' With Four World Premieres

FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany--(CCNMatthews - Sep 12, 2005) -

The focus of the Mercedes-Benz press conference at the beginning of the 61st International Motor Show in Frankfurt was on the world premiere of the new S-Class. In his first appearance as the new head of the Mercedes Car Group Dr Dieter Zetsche also presented three further world firsts from Mercedes-Benz: the European version of the R-Class, the high-performance ML 63 AMG sport utility vehicle and a near-production study, the Vision R 63 AMG.

"My last visit to the IAA was six years ago while I was still at Mercedes. For me today is a sort of coming home." With these words Dieter Zetsche welcomed the guests attending the Mercedes-Benz press conference. "After just twelve days in the job the opportunity to present a new S-Class is beyond my wildest expectations", Zetsche went on to say. In response to the speculation there had been in the days leading up to the Motor Show, Zetsche promised that he was going into his new job as Chairman of the Mercedes Car Group "with 100% commitment, a great deal of pleasure and for a timespan which is open-ended."

As a member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG Dieter Zetsche was able to look back on six years of successful work as the head of the Chrysler Group before taking over responsibility for the Mercedes Car Group on September 1. On January 1, 2006 he will be taking on a new function in addition - that of Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO of DaimlerChrysler AG. "Our customers worldwide ", said Zetsche, "benefit from strong brands that offer distinctive, appealing products. Mercedes-Benz is the jewel in the crown of this portfolio and is excellently placed thanks to its unique model range."

The new S-Class: luxury car and paradigm

The new S-Class is set to reinforce the traditional leadership role of the world's most successful luxury car model series and once again become a benchmark for the entire automotive industry as a pioneer of new technology - especially in the field of safety, and with particular emphasis on accident prevention. Among the highlights in this area is the new night view assist system, which considerably enlarges the driver's range of vision in the dark. A further top-notch innovation is the extended Brake Assist, BAS PLUS, which works with two powerful radar systems and which can reduce the risk of rear-end collisions by up to 75 percent.

In addition to developing innovative driver-support systems, Mercedes-Benz has also devoted much attention to driver-fitness safety. The result is an array of intelligent convenience-enhancing features backed up by simple, intuitive operation which mean that the new S-Class relieves the workload on the driver, demanding less of his or her reserves - as has been scientifically proved by pulse-rate and blood-pressure measurements.

New suspension and new engines

Another main area of focus during the development of the new S-Class was the synthesis between handling dynamism and ride comfort. The new Mercedes flagship features an ultramodern, sophisticated suspension including, among other things, the further optimised AIRMATIC air springing system plus the ADS II adaptive damping system as standard.

Three out of the four engines initially available for the new S-Class are also new developments. Compared with their predecessors they generate up to 26 percent more output and up to 15 percent more torque - despite in some cases significantly lower fuel consumption. At its market launch in the autumn Mercedes-Benz is offering two leading-edge petrol units: the 3.5-litre V6 with 272 hp and an all-new V8 petrol powerplant. In the S 500 this potent eight-cylinder engine produces 388 hp and 530 Nm of torque, which are among the best "vital statistics" in the segment. From the first quarter of 2006 the engine range is being extended with the addition of the V12 bi-turbo - now unleashing 517 hp - in the top-of-the-range S 600, plus a diesel, the S 320 CDI with 235 hp and 540 Nm.

Three further world premieres of M-Class and R-Class models

Alongside the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz also presented three more new cars in Frankfurt, among them the ML 63 AMG, the most powerful M-Class ever. Its 510-hp, 6.3-litre V8 boasts the highest specific output (81 hp per litre) of all naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engines currently on the market, making the ML 63 AMG the most powerful production SUV in the world. The new engine will also become available in other AMG models during the course of 2006; it is also at the heart of the near-production R-Class study being presented in Frankfurt, the R 63 AMG.

The third world first being presented by Mercedes-Benz is the European version of the R-Class, which has a short wheelbase and tauter suspension tuning. It is in this model variant that the 224-hp diesel will be making its debut at the beginning of 2006, a powerplant with particularly good fuel economy and a particulate filter as standard. In its efforts to help reduce fuel consumption worldwide Mercedes-Benz is continuing to apply state-of-the-art diesel technology. In the words of Zetsche, "I'm confident that our pioneering diesel technology will also be successful in the USA in the future. From 2006 we will be launching the 320 CDI V6 engine in various Mercedes models in the USA."

Internet site

More photos from Frankfurt International Motor Show 2005 as well as news from DaimlerChrysler at: www.media.daimlerchrysler.com

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