Stuttgart – The readers of the motor magazine Auto Zeitung have chosen the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class the best off-roader in the over 30,000 euros price segment. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG took first place twice – the Roadster as best convertible in the over 30,000 euros segment and the Coupé variant as best super sports car – for the third time in a row. All three models received the prestigious "Auto Trophy". The awards were accepted at Meilenwerk in Düsseldorf last night by Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, and Dr Joachim Schmidt, Member of the Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Sales and Marketing.
This was the 24th annual readers' poll conducted by Auto Zeitung to determine the best cars of the year. Almost 100,000 readers cast their votes, choosing the new
Mercedes-Benz M-Class as the best car of the year in the "over 30,000 euro off-roader segment". Following on from the "Goldenes Lenkrad" award, this is the second readers' poll to be topped by the third generation of the successful SUV, which was only presented in June 2011.
The readers valued not only the characteristic and distinctive design and variable interior, with that all-important sense of wellbeing, but also the excellent energy efficiency and thus environmental acceptability of this premium SUV. The permanent all-wheel drive system of the Mercedes-Benz M‑Class also proved a determining factor thanks to its well-balanced ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics, both on and off road, along with the car's outstanding range and high level of safety.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing Coupé has topped the readers' poll as best super sports car for the third time in succession. The open-top SLS Roadster simultaneously scooped the award in the over 30,000 euros convertible segment to give the SLS a double victory this year. The super sports car owes this outstanding position to its fascinating lines, which evoke memories of the legendary 300 SL from the 1950s. But it backs this up by exquisite engineering and technology, including aluminium body, AMG 6.3 litre V8 front mid-engine with dry sump lubrication, a power output of 420 kW (571 hp) and 650 Newton metres of torque, 7-speed double clutch transmission in transaxle configuration and agile sports suspension with aluminium double-wishbone axles. This unique combination of high-tech features guarantees the very highest level of driving dynamics both in the Gullwing Coupé and in the Roadster.
Traditionally, Mercedes-Benz vehicles always figure prominently in voting for the best cars of the year's crop. In 2010 the Mercedes-Benz CLS and, for the second time, the SLS AMG were awarded the "Auto-Trophy", while the year before the Mercedes-Benz
E-Class and once again the SLS AMG came away with top honours.