Mercedes-Benz at the Geneva International Automobile Salon 2010
Premium automobiles that combine environmental responsibility with the pure fascination of Mercedes-Benz
by Marcus Bloom | 02 March 2010
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“We’re driving for victory not only in Formula 1, but also in ‘Formula Green’ – with premium automobiles that combine environmental responsibility with the pure fascination of Mercedes-Benz.” These were the words of Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, speaking today at the press conference marking the opening of the 2010 Geneva Salon. The brand with the three-pointed star is demonstrating here that the lowest consumption and CO2 figures can also be achieved with large, comfortable vehicles equipped with refined engines.
Star of the Premium Class in Geneva: F 800 Style with “green” technology and avant-garde design
One particularly impressive example of this is the F 800 Style which, here in Geneva, Mercedes-Benz is presenting under the title “efficiency meets elegance”. The new research vehicle delivers a comprehensive glimpse into the future of the premium automobile. The five-seat luxury class saloon, which offers a generously proportioned interior with intelligent seating, operating and display concepts, combines highly efficient drive technologies with innovative comfort and safety functions, as well as an emotional design language that interprets modern Mercedes design in line with the brand’s hallmark cultivated sporting character. A global first for large saloons is the all-new variable drive architecture. It is suitable for both fuel-cell electric drive, for a range of around 600 kilometres, and for use as a plug-in hybrid, with an overall range of around 700 kilometres and an electric-only range of 30 kilometres. Both variants of the F 800 Style enable premium mobility with zero local emissions combined with complete everyday usability.
“With the F 800 Style, we are underscoring our drive to bring together responsibility for the environment with practical customer benefits and automotive fascination”, said Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Our new research vehicle combines this leadership role in innovative drive concepts with classic Mercedes strengths in the fields of design, safety, comfort and superb performance.”
With an exterior vehicle length of 4.75 metres (wheelbase 2,924 mm, width 1,938 mm), all the components of the efficient and environmentally-friendly drive are packaged for optimum space usage in the engine bay of the F 800 Style and in cavities within the vehicle chassis. In terms of compact construction, both the plug-in hybrid and fuel cell systems require comparatively little packaging space. Thus, the interior of the F 800 Style is completely unencumbered.
F 800 Style with plug-in-hybrid – refined performance with 68 grams of CO2
In developing the F 800 Style with plug-in hybrid, Mercedes engineers paid particular attention to the further development of all-electric driving in urban traffic. Its drive unit consists of a V6 petrol engine with next-generation direct injection developing around 220 kW (300 hp) and a hybrid module with around 80 kW (109 hp) fully integrated into the casing of the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, as in the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID launched in mid-2009. Its substantial power reserves facilitate a top speed in electric mode of 120 km/h. This means that the F 800 Style can also handle out-of-town traffic conditions. The overall output of the hybrid drive stands at around 300 kW (409 hp).
The efficient drive and a CO2 bonus for battery-electric operation enable the F 800 Style to attain a certified consumption figure of 2.9 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres. This results in CO2 emissions of 68 grams per kilometre. With its efficient drive, the F 800 Style marks another step towards market readiness for the plug-in hybrid, which Mercedes-Benz will put into series production with the next-generation S-Class.
Considerable efficiency improvements in the new C and E-Class models
The brand with the three-pointed star is demonstrating its consistent approach to efficiency at the Geneva Salon with two new series production models – the new E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY consumes only 4.9 instead of 5.8 l/100 km, while its CO2 emissions are down from 154 to 129 g/km (preliminary combined figures). The C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY gets by on 4.5 l/100 km or 119 g CO2/km. Both models now have a special automatic start/stop system – combined in the E-Class for the first time with the further developed 7-speed automatic transmission.
Zetsche: “We have significantly reduced consumption and emissions with our BlueEFFICIENCY offensive. Our new models boast an excellent ratio of performance to CO2 emissions, thereby achieving an outstanding degree of efficiency.”
E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID – first diesel hybrid from Mercedes-Benz delivers amazing efficiency
Another particularly impressive example of this is the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. The first diesel hybrid from Mercedes-Benz has already successfully entered everyday testing and is scheduled for market launch next year. Its 15 kW electric motor facilitates electric-only driving and supports the 150 kW (204 hp) four-cylinder diesel engine under acceleration (boost effect). With a combined output of 165 kW (224 hp), the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID consumes 4.1 l/100 km. That equates to CO2 emissions of 109 g/km. This sets the comfortable, safe and smooth-running luxury saloon apart not only from its direct competitors, but also from smaller vehicles with considerably less power. When it comes to efficiency, this differential is even greater – with CO2 emissions of 0.48 grams per hp, the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID achieves an outstanding result.
“The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is yet another impressive demonstration of our ability to build the most efficient vehicles in the world,” said Dr. Thomas Weber. “Efficiency is a core element of our development strategy that we are implementing consistently in line with the formula – refined performance with simultaneously low consumption. And this enables us to fulfil the high expectations of our customers – exceptional environmental sustainability without sacrificing safety, comfort and dynamics.”
The new E-Class Cabriolet – “four seasons, four passengers”
The new E-Class Cabriolet, which celebrates its European premiere in Geneva, offers refined open-air driving fun from 5.4 l/100 km. “With the open-top four-seater, our successful E-Class family is complete,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The E-Class is very well received on the market; the saloon is currently the world’s best-selling car in its segment. In Western Europe, it has achieved a market share of 31 percent, and in Germany, as much as 56 percent.”
Thanks to its classic soft top, the open four-seater delivers that pure convertible feeling. True to the motto “four seasons, four passengers”, it combines comfort, elegance and year-round usability. This comes courtesy of features such as the unique automatic AIRCAP® wind deflector that deploys at the touch of a button and significantly reduces turbulence in the vehicle interior. It dispenses with the assembly usually associated with conventional wind deflectors and doesn’t interfere with the side profile of the cabriolet. Additional equipment also includes a redeveloped version of the AIRSCARF® neck-level heating system integrated into the front seat backrests, which blows warm air from adjustable air vents in the head restraints and warms occupants around the neck area like an invisible scarf.
For comfortable travel with the roof closed, there is the production standard sound-dampening roof. With this, the E-Class Cabriolet boasts one of the quietest interiors in the segment of four-seat premium soft-top cabriolets. The roof can be opened and closed at the touch of a button in just 20 seconds – even while driving at speeds of up to 40 km/h. Like all E-Class models, the Cabriolet, too, offers an outstanding level of safety. Standard equipment includes the “ATTENTION ASSIST” drowsiness detection system, “PRE-SAFE®” anticipatory occupant protection, the “Intelligent Light System” and the “DISTRONIC PLUS” adaptive cruise control.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – Official F1™ Safety Car
A further highlight of the 2010 Geneva Automobile Salon comes from the motorsport sector. When the new Formula 1 season starts in Manama, Bahrain (12 – 14 March 2010), it will do so with the most spectacular and highest-performing Official F1™ Safety Car of all time. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, celebrating its launch on 27th March 2010, is responsible for ensuring maximum safety in Formula 1. The Gullwing takes over from the SL 63 AMG, which served as the Official F1™ Safety Car in 2008 and 2009.