Top-class new products and technical innovations are predominant on the Mercedes-Benz stand at this year’s Paris Motor Show. Highlights include the new-generation CL-Class and the new, high-performance models CL 63 AMG and S 63 AMG, as well as the new SLR McLaren 722 Edition, which celebrate their world debut in the French capital. During the press conference Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG and Head of Mercedes Car Group since one year ago, expressed his satisfaction with the development of the globally successful premium brand.
"We have worked hard and achieved a great deal – and now we are reaping the benefits“, Dr. Zetsche told the international media representatives. "Both efficiency and quality have improved in equal measure, as our customers are acknowledging. From January to August 2006 our worldwide unit sales increased by around eleven percent compared to the same period last year. Mercedes Car Group generated an operating profit of more than 800 million Euro during the first half of the year.” All in all, an increase over the 2005 unit sales level was to be expected for 2006.
Major contributors to this success include the new S-Class introduced one year ago, more than 77,000 examples of which have been sold since its market launch in September 2005. As the bestselling series in the worldwide luxury segment, the S-Class is well ahead of its competitors in all regions of the world. In Paris the S-Class celebrates its debut with the newly developed 4MATIC permanent four-wheel drive system. With the S 320 CDI 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering a combination of diesel power and four-wheel drive for the first time in the S-Class.
The other Mercedes-Benz model series are also producing outstanding results. The SUV family comprising the R-, M-, GL- and G-Class was able to double its sales to more than 103,000 units in the first eight months of this year, and since June the E-Class has regained its worldwide market leadership in the luxury business segment. Dr. Zetsche: "The new-generation E-Class represents the pinnacle in every respect. We will shortly be demonstrating this with an extraordinary long-distance rally which starts here in Paris on October 21 and ends in Peking, covering a distance of almost 14,000 kilometres.“ This feat will be performed by 33 E-Class models featuring the latest diesel technology, including standard examples equipped with our ultra-clean BLUETEC technology, which will be introduced in the USA in the E 320 BLUETEC on October 15. The rally cars will reach Peking on November 17, after just 28 days, in time for the most important Chinese motor show - "AutoChina 2006".
CL-Class: public debut of the masterpiece among luxury coupés
With the new CL-Class, which is celebrating its public debut at the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is re-emphasising its leading position in the luxury coupé segment. With more than 47,000 units sold worldwide, the preceding model has been the bestselling car in its class. The new luxury coupé is equipped with the most powerful engines in the Mercedes lineup: the V8 unit of the CL 500 has an output of 285 kW/388 hp, while the state-of-the-art biturbo V12 of the new CL 600 develops 380 kW/517 hp.
World debut of the SLR McLaren 722 Edition, CL 63 AMG and S 63 AMG
The new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition displays thoroughbred motor-racing attributes. With this new model variant, Mercedes-Benz evokes memories of the unforgettable victory achieved by Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with the start number 722 (indicating a starting time of 07.22 hours ) in the classic Mille Miglia endurance race of 1955. At the heart of this super-sportscar, a limited edition of only 150 examples is a supercharged 5.5-litre V8-engine developing 478 kW/650 hp. With a top speed of 337 km/h the "722 Edition” even betters the SLR, which remains in the model range.
With the CL 63 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is presenting the flagship model of the new CL-Class in Paris. Its wholly independently developed AMG 6.3-litre V8-engine develops an output of 386 kW/525 hp and 630 Nm of torque. The high-tech appointments of this luxury coupé include an AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control. The CL 63 AMG is the current highlight of the 2006 strategic model initiative by Mercedes-AMG – with ten brand-new cars to date. The S-Class is now also represented by the S 63 AMG and equipped with the 386 kW/525 hp high-tech engine. Both AMG models accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, and the maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
SLK "Edition 10": Showcar to mark the tenth anniversary of the Roadster
Ten years of the SLK-Class – a cause for celebration at Mercedes-Benz. At the "Mondial de l’automobile" fair in Paris, the company is presenting the "Edition 10" showcar, which has numerous distinguishing design features and gives the roadster a sporty and exclusive aura.
With its matt-grey metallic paint finish, the anniversary showcar is immediately distinguishable from a standard SLK sports car and illustrates a trend in the future colour styling of automobiles. The exterior also features dark-grey painted, high-sheen light-alloy wheels in a ten-spoke design, shod with wide-base tyres in size 225/45 R 17 (front) and 245/40 R 17 (rear). The wheels are also embellished with black-and-silver emblems bearing the Mercedes star. Dark-tinted rear light clusters also contribute to the exclusive appearance of the "Edition 10" showcar.
In the interior the driver and passenger are treated to a selection of fine materials. The seats and the armrest in the centre console are covered with black leather. Silver-coloured underlays beneath the centre panels of the seat cushions and backrests discreetly yet effectively accentuate the perforations in the leather. This sporty and elegant black-silver contrast is heightened further by the silver thread used for the decorative seams of the SLK sports seats. The liner of the vario-roof and the rear window surround are painted in black.