At this year’s Auto China fair in Beijing (April 20-28, 2008), the focus will be on the keenly anticipated world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. With its functional yet attractive and striking body lines, and extraordinary capabilities both on and off the road, this distinctive character sets new standards in the compact SUV segment. Equally certain to generate a great deal of interest are the new model generations of the SL, M and CLS-Class. The new SL continues the tradition of the sports car family that was founded by the legendary 300 SL "Gullwing" in 1954. This premium roadster with its decidedly sporty and serene design excels with outstanding performance, first-class safety features and luxurious comfort. Following its model update, the successful M-Class now has a significantly more striking appearance and gives an even more sporty, muscular impression. Specific fine-tuning measures have also made the four-door CLS Coupé - the initiator of a new automotive segment - considerably more attractive.
The compact SUV segment is now being enhanced by a new, distinctive character. This multi-talented newcomer not only sets itself apart from the competitive lineup by virtue of its functional yet strikingly attractive body design, but also reconciles attributes that were previously completely contradictory: thanks to the Agility Control suspension, outstanding performance and handling safety are now matched by a first-class level of ride comfort. Working in conjunction with the onboard electronic control systems, the variable 4MATIC four-wheel drive ensures perfect on-road performance together with well-balanced off-road capabilities. It is precisely this duality that makes the GLK-Class so attractive: while this model is among the more road-oriented vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz SUV range, it certainly earns the "G" in its model designation. "The GLK rounds off our extremely successful SUV family, and transfers typical Mercedes attributes such as refinement, dynamism and safety into a compact format. This means that the bar in this market segment has now been raised considerably", says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG.
Superior performance is assured by the range of powerful yet economical and environmentally compatible four and six-cylinder engines. As a BlueEFFICIENCY model, the GLK 220 CDI comes equipped with the new Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder diesel engine. This entry-level unit develops 125 kW/170 hp, but consumes only 6.9 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres. The rock-solid foundations of the GLK-Class are equally convincing. The extremely robust bodyshell provides the basis for exemplary passive safety, superior noise and interior comfort with the feel-good atmosphere typical of a Mercedes, and high value retention. A very high standard of onboard features and attractive equipment packages likewise distinguish the GLK from the rest of the compact SUV field. Moreover, the very latest systems such as the trailblazing PRE SAFE safety concept or the Intelligent Light System (ILS) are available for the first time in this market segment.
Sportier than ever before: the legendary SL-Class
In spring 2008, Mercedes-Benz is set to open another chapter in its long and legendary sports car tradition with the new generation of the SL-Class. Now in a new design, the world’s most successful premium roadster in its class is even more sporty and serene in all respects. This is matched by the handling characteristics of this two-seater, which is even more agile with the direct-steer system while offering even more safety and comfort. The SL range continues to be headed by the V12 flagship model, the SL 600, and the 285 kW/388 hp SL 500 with a V8-engine.
In the field of safety, the SL builds on its already substantial lead with bi-xenon headlamps and the optional Intelligent Light System, whose lighting functions are configured for typical driving situations. Another new onboard feature is the Mercedes-invented AIRSCARF neck-level heating system. This optional extra significantly improves comfort when driving with the roof down, and can extend the open-top season until well into the colder months. Information and entertainment for the occupants of the SL are provided by the standard COMAND multimedia system, which has likewise been completely newly developed and equipped with new functions.
M-Class: dynamic entry by the most successful of the SUVs from Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz has carefully updated the successful M-Class. The new generation of this dynamic and elegant SUV now has even more striking characteristic features, and appears even more sporty and powerful.
The front end of this off-roader is now characterised by a redesigned bumper, reshaped headlamps and a larger, even more imposing radiator. The rear end likewise has a redesigned bumper with inserted reflector strips which emphasise the vehicle width, as well as tail lights in a smoked-glass look. The standard appointments of the M-Class have also been considerably extended, and now include the unique PRE-SAFE®preventive occupant protection system, NECK-PRO head restraints and the newly developed telematic system.
The petrol model ML 350 4MATIC with its 200 kW/272 hp V6-engine impresses with a high level of smoothness and superior performance. Thanks to new front and rear aprons with chrome-plated underride guards and a larger AMG radiator grille, the top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG developing 375 kW/510 hp is now even more striking and eye-catching.
Since the second generation of the M-Class appeared in April 2005, no less than around 300,000 examples have been delivered to customers all over the world. This modern off-roader therefore continues to be one of the most successful vehicles in this high-growth market segment.
CLS-Class: fine-tuning measures for this successful design trendsetter
The unique, four-door CLS Coupé - the initiator of a new automotive segment - is even more attractive thanks to a number of fine-tuning measures. A prominent feature at the front end is the modified radiator grille, which now has two instead of the previous four louvres. In the air intakes, three-dimensional, diamond-shaped meshes painted in atlas grey add even more self-assurance and emphasise the width of the vehicle. A new design also for the exterior mirrors, which have larger lenses and integrated, arrow-shaped LED indicator repeaters. New, attractive 17-inch light-alloy wheels lend even more appeal to the side aspect. At the rear, the CLS catches the eye with a new rear apron, new tail lights and modified exhaust tailpipes. As in the M-Class, the revised interior of the CLS is enhanced by the new telematics generation. In addition to the new entry-level engine of the CLS 280, the CLS 350 CGI is a convincing proposition with its up-to-date V6 CGI engine featuring innovative piezo-electric injection and a spray-guided combustion process. From now on the flagship model in this series, the CLS 63 AMG with its 378 kW/514 hp AMG6.3-litre V8-engine, is fitted with 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and a new AMG sports exhaust system.
Auto China: most successful motor show in the Middle Kingdom
The biennial Auto China fair is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008. Organised by the Munich exhibition specialist IMAG together with its Chinese partners, the Auto China fair has become the most successful motor show in the Middle Kingdom. From April 20 to 28 (Aril 20/21 only trade visitors/press) around 1500 exhibitors are presenting their products in eight halls covering an area of 100,000 square metres at the New China International Exhibition Center. The exhibition site is located in the industrial area of Tianzhu airport in the Shunyi district of Beijing, and was planned and constructed as part of the urban development scheme for the coming Olympic Games. More than 600,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair.