Two Mercedes-Benz world premieres at Auto China 2012

DAIMLER AG - With two extraordinary world premieres, Mercedes-Benz cast a broad arc 
in Beijing from the brand's unique tradition to its dynamic future. The new‑generation G-Class made its debut here today under the motto "Forever young". With even more comfort and safety and modern engines, the off-road icon reaffirms its premier position among off-road vehicles that has brought it global success for the past 33 years. This is underscored by the new G 63 AMG with an eight-cylinder biturbo engine and standard ECO start/stop function. The highlight of this year's Mercedes appearance in the Chinese capital is the Concept Style Coupé. The close-to-production study offers an insight into the next member of the new Mercedes-Benz compact car family. The Concept Style Coupé is a clear statement of avant-garde design in the form of a sporty coupe for the mid-size segment. The series-production version is scheduled for market launch next year under the model name CLA.

The four-door Concept Style Coupé is a style rebel – non-conformist, provocative, masculine. "The design is expressive and powerful," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It makes a very clear statement. This is the car against which sporty mid-size vehicles will be measured in future." In keeping with its dynamic look, the Coupé study offers a host of technical highlights, including the new four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 155 kW (211 hp), 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Inside the Concept Style Coupé, a new quality benchmark is set by fine materials together with outstanding craftsmanship. The dashboard upholstered in white nubuck leather offers a rich contrast to the anthracite Alcantara on the upper surface of the dashboard. On the sports steering wheel, suede delivers exceptional grip, while all chrome trim pieces and controls have been anodised in black for the first time. The surfaces around the HMI operating unit shimmer in gleaming black anodized aluminium. The four integral seats with integrated head restraints come from the sport version of the new A-Class.

Sporty, fascinating and "always on"

While travelling, passengers can be "always on". This is made possible by COMAND Online together with Mercedes-Benz apps developed especially for use and operation while driving. Internet surfing is also freely available when the vehicle is at a standstill.

Dieter Zetsche: "It is our stated objective to attract new Mercedes fans in new markets and market segments. That can be achieved only with fascinating products like the Concept Style Coupé that we are launching next year under the name CLA. And the promise that we kept with the new A-Class also applies to the Coupé – the forthcoming CLA will transfer the fascination of the study into series production."

Targeted expansion of the Mercedes-Benz product line-up

Mercedes-Benz is conducting a targeted expansion of its product line-up with new models like the CLA. "That", says Dr. Zetsche, "Is the key to the success of our 'Mercedes-Benz 2020' strategy, with which we want to be number one in all relevant categories of the premium segment by the end of this decade – and that includes sales volumes." That the brand is on the right course is evident in the current results – in 2011, Mercedes-Benz returned the best sales figures in its corporate history, followed in 2012 by further sales records set in all three months of the first quarter.

In China, Mercedes-Benz will continue to strengthen its role as an active and successful player in the economy. Dr. Zetsche: "We will further expand our local production capacity and thus sustainably increase our market presence in China. By 2015, we want to have doubled our current local production capacity to more than 200,000 vehicles per year. Together with our partners, we will invest around three billion Euros in China over the next few years, thus creating the foundation for sustainable growth on the world's largest car market."

Forever young – the new-generation G-Class

As well as the avant-garde newcomer, Beijing also marked the debut of the latest edition of an equally unique Mercedes automobile. Under the motto "Forever young", Mercedes-Benz presents the new generation of the G-Class, which has been in production now for 33 years.

"The G-Class embodies many significant Mercedes-Benz brand values. Tradition is one of them, as is quality, durability and state-of-the-art technology," says Prof. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. The G-Class has been a success ever since it was launched in 1979 – unmistakable, authentic and solid as the proverbial rock. Its outstanding qualities have been recognized by countless awards, including "Off-Roader of the Year" more than twenty times – an honour it received once again in 2012.

G-Class 2011 – best sales figures in seven years

Thanks to its loyal and enthusiastic fan base, the "G" is also a success on the market. With vehicle sales of around 6,600, 2011 saw the forefather of the modern Mercedes off-road family achieve its best sales figures in seven years. The secret of its success lies in the combination of cult status and superior technical characteristics.

State-of-the-art technology and a still unmistakable character

Prof. Weber: "That is why we consciously made very careful updates to the outer appearance of the G-Class, with new LED daytime running lights and exterior mirrors. The inner values of the new generation, however, are enormously compelling – fine materials and perfect ergonomics dominate the interior. The dashboard and centre console have been completely redesigned. Standard features include the modern COMAND Online infotainment system with navigation and internet access." The palette of safety features can be augmented by the optional Blind Spot Assist, the PARKTRONIC parking assistant and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control.

Three powerful, efficient and refined engines

In China, the new generation of the G-Class comes to market as the G 500, powered by a refined V8 petrol engine with 285 kW (387 hp) and 530 Nm of torque. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz also offers the G 350 BlueTEC (155 kW/ 211 hp, 540 Nm) with state-of-the-art, clean diesel technology. New in the line-up is the G 63 AMG with eight-cylinder biturbo engine and standard ECO start/stop function, which also makes its debut in Beijing.

"With 544 hp and 760 Nm of torque, the 5.5-litre V8 has the power of a dragon," says Prof. Weber, referring to the Chinese Year of the Dragon. "The new engine delivers almost ten percent more torque than its predecessor, yet consumes 13 percent less fuel." The engine line-up is being expanded by the G 65 AMG with a V12 biturbo engine (450 kW/612 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque), which was also presented at Auto China and makes it the world's most powerful series-production off-road vehicle.