Press Kit: Mercedes-Benz at the North American International Auto Show 2006
Jan 08, 2006
Mercedes-Benz at the North American International Auto Show 2006: New GL-Class and E 320 BLUETEC under the spotlight
The Mercedes-Benz presentation at the North American International Auto Show 2006 will provide drivers in the USA with the perfect answer to their motoring needs: the E 320 BLUETEC will be celebrating its world premiere, which powered by the world’s cleanest diesel engine will be launched in the autumn in the US market. With the first BLUETEC production model, Mercedes-Benz is establishing “BLUETEC” as the name for the new generation of extremely economical, clean diesel engines. As another show highlight the German premium brand will be presenting its first full-size SUV, the new GL-Class. One particular feature of the powerful and comfortable seven-seater is the unitised body that is unique in the GL-Class segment. The extremely robust and spacious lightweight construction provides the new GL-Class with advantages in terms of drive comfort, dynamism and safety compared with its rivals. The new S 65 AMG, the 450-kW/612-hp flagship model of the eighth-generation S-Class unveiled a few months ago, is also celebrating its world premiere in Detroit.
With the launch of the E 320 BLUETEC in the USA in autumn, Mercedes-Benz will be offering the first series production car with advanced BLUETEC diesel technology. The six-cylinder diesel engine combines V8 power with four-cylinder consumption: 155 kW/211 hp maximum output and 540 Nm maximum torque despite average fuel consumption of just 6.7 l/100 km or 35 mpg.
BLUETEC: new formula for powerful, economical and clean diesel technology
At the heart of the first BLUETEC generation of engines for passenger cars is the ultra-modern V6 diesel engine, which Mercedes-Benz offers worldwide in numerous model series with the 320 CDI. The clean, economical and powerful Mercedes diesel engines are gaining in popularity wherever you look. The diesel engine is the most efficient combustion engine, and this is especially true of the Mercedes V6 CDI. Based around this modest power pack, the Mercedes engineers have come up with the world’s cleanest diesel engine to date. BLUETEC in passenger cars brings together four important factors:
  • In-engine measures reduce untreated emissions
  • The efficient oxidation-type catalytic converter the content of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) in the exhaust
  • The diesel particulate filter, which Mercedes-Benz fits as standard in many countries, almost entirely eliminates particulate emissions
  • These measures are now complemented – in the form of the latest innovation in the E 320 BLUETEC – by highly efficient technology that minimises nitrogen oxides
The cleanest diesel engines in the world go by the name of BLUETEC
The outcome of this package of measures is BLUETEC, the technology for the world's cleanest combustion engines working on the diesel principle. As a powerful, economical and clean drive system, BLUETEC can significantly help American drivers continue to enjoy large, powerful cars for many years to come – whether you are looking at large saloons, vans, light trucks or SUVs. BLUETEC diesel vehicles will have the potential to meet the world’s most stringent exhaust emissions standards, including those of all 50 US states.
Spurred on by rising fuel prices, more and more car buyers in America are considering the option of an ultra-modern diesel vehicle. Testimony to this trend has been the success of the current E 320 CDI since its market launch in August 2004. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz in the USA has seen growing demand for the brand’s other diesel models. The company therefore plans to launch the M-Class and R-Class variants with a 320 CDI engine in the fourth quarter of 2006. Other models are set to follow. The DaimlerChrysler plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has just what it takes to respond quickly to the new market situation in the USA. The Mercedes plant produces the M-Class and the R-Class – including the ML 320 CDI and R 320 CDI diesel versions that have proven extremely popular in Europe – and will also build the GL-Class, the full-size SUV customised specifically to the needs of US customers.
The new GL-Class: first class on and off-road
Mercedes-Benz is to unveil a compelling new model in the luxury Sports Utility Vehicles segment: the new GL-Class. The seven-seater premium off-roader is the first full-size SUV from the world’s oldest car manufacturer. The GL-Class offers first-class comfort along with excellent handling both on and off-road. Hallmark features include the spacious accommodation and the comfort of a saloon. If load space is more important than the number of seats, the rear individual seats can be stowed electrically, providing a completely flat load surface. In the five-seater version, luggage compartment capacity is 1240 litres. The GL-Class can provide up to 2300 litres of load capacity, with the load compartment measuring 2128 mm in length. The GL-Class sets another milestone with PRE-SAFE®, the comprehensive safety system, a first in this market segment.
With its poised, assured presence, the GL-Class leaves you in no doubt about its aspirations to conquer this market segment. The distinctive design idiom exudes power and exclusivity. Calm body surfaces, powerful, wedge-shaped features and striking details give the impression the luxury off-roader is surging forward even when stationary. The spacious body (length 5088 mm, width 1920 mm, height 1840 mm) is beautifully proportioned.
Intelligent solutions promote excellent safety
The GL-Class makes full use of the advantages of its unitised body, combining optimum strength with intelligent lightweight steel design. The result is excellent passive safety. Combined with the front and rear deformation zones, the high-strength occupant cell forms the base for exemplary occupant protection. The front section includes precisely defined ample crumple space between the body and the major assemblies underneath. In conjunction with impact zones that are designed to yield, this design provides a high degree of protection both for pedestrians and cyclists.
The GL-Class meets all the requirements of a state-of-the-art, luxury SUV and redefines them on a higher level. It also offers the hallmark Mercedes characteristics such as superlative robustness, ruggedness and long-term durability.
Outstanding handling on and off-road
4MATIC – the permanent all-wheel drive from Mercedes-Benz – provides the GL-Class with superior handling whatever the conditions. Together with the standard-fit AIRMATIC air suspension, the precise speed-sensitive power steering and the ADS Adaptive Damping System also fitted as standard, the imposing GL-Class (wheelbase 3075 mm) handles impressively.
The ultra-modern engine line-up in all GL-Class models provides superlative ride comfort and majestic performance coupled with superior fuel consumption figures compared with other vehicles in the class. Alongside the 165-kW/224-hp V6 engine in the GL 320 CDI, the range of diesel models includes the new-generation high-performance V8 diesel in the GL 420 CDI, which has an output of 225 kW/ 306 hp and maximum torque of 700 Nm. Both diesel-powered versions undercut the EU4 limits and feature a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. The GL-Class is also available with two ultra-modern V8 petrol engines, including the 5.5-litre engine launched earlier in the new S-Class, which also has an output of 285 kW/388 hp in the GL 500. The second and youngest member of this ultra-modern V8 family is celebrating its world premiere: the 250-kW/340-hp 4.6-litre engine in the GL 450 fulfils, like its bigger brother, the stringent EU4 limits (USA: LEV II standard).
All GL-Class engine variants come with the standard-fit 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission with its unique technology. The 7G-TRONIC helps – in no small part thanks to its wide range of ratios to reduce fuel consumption, as do the lightweight construction and the excellent aerodynamics (Cd 0.37) for such a large vehicle. The world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is taking place at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2006. US customers will be the first to savour the delights of the new trendsetter in the spring; European customers will have to wait until September 2006 for a taste of the versatile off-roader.
The new S 65 AMG: the world’s most powerful series-production car
The new Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG embodies exclusivity and dynamism in a wholly new dimension. The compelling top-of-the-line model of the brand new S-Class delivers 450 kW/612 hp and reaches peak torque of 1000 Nm – more than any other vehicle in this segment. The maximum output of 450 kW/612 hp is available from 4750 to 5100 rpm, while the maximum torque of 1000 Nm can be called on from 2000 to 4000 rpm. Even as low as 1000 rpm, the AMG V12 biturbo engine already delivers 570 Nm of torque to the crankshaft, while 750 Nm is on tap at 1500 rpm.
The AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine provides superlative performance: it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in just 13.3 seconds (provisional figures). The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
High-tech features from the motor racing stable
In line with the superb performance of its engine, the new S 65 AMG comes with exclusive high-tech features – from the transmission, through the suspension to the brake system:
  • The drive power is transferred to the wheels in the new S 65 AMG via the AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission with AMG steering-wheel gearshift paddles and DIRECT SELECT gearshift
  • The AMG sports suspension with the Active Body Control system is the perfect complement to the sophisticated drive technology. The suspension virtually entirely eliminates the body movements that occur when moving off, negotiating bends and braking
  • The completely newly developed AMG high-performance composite brakes based on the ADAPTIVE BRAKE system set new standards in terms of stopping distances, sensitivity and durability. Composite brake discs at the front and rear with a diameter of 390 and 365 millimetres respectively ensure the shortest stopping distances, remarkable strength and outstanding sensitivity
  • Multi-piece 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with mixed tyres provide the contact with the road. 255/40 ZR 19 tyres are fitted on 8.5-inch-wide wheels at the front, while 275/40 ZR 19 tyres combine with 9.5-inch-wide wheels at the rear
Unmistakable AMG bodystyling creates a distinctive look
Hallmark Mercedes elegance coupled with distinctive sportiness – the impression the new S 65 AMG leaves you with at first glance. At the front the redesigned AMG front apron with enlarged air intakes adds an athletic touch. The two slanted struts and integrated round fog lamps set in chrome rings make the S-Class look even wider and lower. The side skirts take up the line of the AMG front apron and emphasise the dynamic feel of the side view; all reinforced through the “V12 biturbo” lettering on the front wings.
The exclusive interior appointments fit in perfectly with the dynamic exterior: the extensive burr walnut trim, the “Exclusive PASSION” leather upholstery and the AMG dynamic sports seats with their own distinctive design add that touch of distinctive flair. The AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its specially sculpted rim and the AMG aluminium gearshift paddles with “up” and “down” lettering is a joy to hold and behold. One of the most eye-catching features in the interior of the new S 65 AMG is the exclusive analogue clock with its “IWC Ingenieur” design in the centre console. High-quality AMG door sill panels provide the finishing touch for the interior.
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