New York, USA, Mar 31, 2010 – Following the successful start to the year with a clear rebound against the first quarter 2009, Mercedes-Benz is pushing forward with its model offensive on the U.S. market. Taking center stage at today’s Mercedes press conference on the 2010 New York International Auto Show was the world premiere of the new-generation R-Class. The original SUV tourer has been extensively updated – including a completely redesigned front end. A further highlight was the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The racing version of the SLS AMG boasts stunning design and throroughbred racing technology, and makes its debut to coincide with the market launch of the road-going version. On top of that are three attractive new E-Class models for the U.S. market – the debut of the E 350 BlueTEC marks the arrival of another incredibly clean and efficient driveline variant of the successful sedan, which holds a 35 percent share of its market segment in the U.S. and remains the undisputed number one in its class. In May, the U.S. market will also welcome the new E-Class Cabriolet and the E-Class Wagon, which comes to market as the E 350 4MATIC with permanent all-wheel drive.

“Thanks to our successful model offensive, we are able to offer a uniquely wide range of tailor-made products designed to meet the needs of a demanding customer base,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Marketing and Sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars. “A significant proportion of this success is down to the innovative vehicle concepts with which Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly established and opened up new market segments,” he continued. “These include the R-Class, the original SUV tourer, which we have now extensively redesigned and upgraded.”

The most important exterior feature of the new-generation R-Class is the completely redesigned front end. It underscores the unique personality of this multi-talented vehicle that boasts an impressive array of inner values. These include the spaciousness of modern SUVs, as well as the comfort, exclusivity and prestige of Mercedes-Benz sedans. At the same time, the latest generation offers the interior versatility central to the R-Class vehicle concept, while also delivering the tough characteristics and all-wheel drive features of Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

New R 350 BlueTEC – one of the world’s cleanest diesels

When it comes to the engine range, Mercedes-Benz engineers placed particular emphasis on efficiency and environmental sustainability. With the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering one of the cleanest diesel models worldwide. The V6 engine generates an output of 155 kW (210 hp) and 400 lb-ft (540 Nm) of torque. The diesel is equipped with AdBlue© exhaust treatment and, despite performance improvements, consumes only 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers (combined EU cycle), which is 0.3 liters less than its predecessor. It already fulfills the emissions requirements for the EU6 standard due for introduction in 2014. All gasoline and diesel versions of the R-Class fulfill the EU5 standard. In the U.S., the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC achieves 18/24 mpg city/hwy. and meets emissions standards in all 50 states.

New R 350 CDI 4MATIC – refined performance with reduced consumption

The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC (not available in the U.S.) combines the performance
of a V8 model with the low consumption figures of an economic V6. It needs only 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), thus bettering its predecessor by 0.8 liters – despite its significantly improved performance. While the peak output previously stood at 165 kW (224 hp), the modified V6 diesel now delivers 195 kW (265 hp) and an exceptional torque of 620 Nm (457 lb-ft). The sportiest version of the R-Class with a diesel engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 7.6 seconds (0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds) and reaches a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).

Dr. Joachim Schmidt: “The new-generation R-Class is the most modern and versatile SUV tourer on the market. This amazing combination of safety, comfort and sporting character with outstanding functionality and exceptional efficiency is something you can find only at Mercedes-Benz.”

Successful E-Class family – now also complete in the U.S.

At the end of the first quarter 2010, Mercedes-Benz continues to consolidate its position as the leading luxury brand in the U.S. A major part of this success belongs to new models like the GLK and the new E-Class Sedan and Coupe. The sedan is the most successful model in its class, commanding a 35 percent share of its market segment, which is double the figure at this time last year.

“We want to continue this success story, which is why the next few weeks will see us launch three new E-Class models onto the U.S. market,” says Ernst Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “In summer, with the new E 350 BlueTEC, we are
introducing another incredibly clean and efficient driveline variant of the successful sedan. Plus, we are also completing the E-Class family with the cabriolet, which goes on sale May 10, and the E-Class Wagon, which we are offering as the E 350 4MATIC with permanent all-wheel drive.”

The E-Class Wagon – elegance meets functionality

The E-Class Wagon combines the elegance, comfort and outstanding safety of the sedan with a unique level of functionality. Alongside the maximum load volume (70 cu. ft. / 2,000 liters), the key features of this versatile vehicle include its straightforward usability. One touch of a button is all it takes to open the tailgate automatically. Two simple movements are enough to fold the rear seat backs completely – freeing up all 6.5 ft. (two meters) of load space. And the third seat row is folded out in just three easy steps, converting the E 350 4MATIC to the only seven-seater in its class.

SLS AMG GT3 – stunning race version of the super sports car

Mercedes-Benz is bringing a particular highlight to New York with the world
premiere of the new SLS AMG GT3, coinciding with the U.S. market launch of the SLS AMG. Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of the Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “With the GT3 racing version, we are opening up a whole new area of business for AMG, encompassing the development, production and sales of customer sports vehicles.” Thanks to its lightweight construction and superior dynamics, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG offers an excellent basis for a competitive race car. “With the stunning GT3 version, we are responding to strong demand from our customers for a vehicle to compete in this attractive motorsports series,” continued Mornhinweg.

With the GT3, AMG is once more demonstrating its unique experience gathered from more than 40 years of motorsports and its outstanding expertise in the development of unique, high-performance vehicles. The racing version of the new “Gullwing” is being developed and produced by AMG in close cooperation with HWA AG. HWA is contracted by Mercedes-Benz Motorsport to manage the company’s DTM team and is one of the most successful teams in international motorsport. Sales are scheduled to begin fall 2010, with homologation of the GT3 version due for completion in time for the 2011 racing season.

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