Mercedes-Benz is steadily continuing its product offensive in the year of the SUV. With the close-to-production GLC Coupé concept, the inventor of the automobile is providing a glimpse in Shanghai of forthcoming new models for the booming global off-road segment. The exceptionally sporty show car carries the idea of the GLE Coupé over into a more compact segment. In parallel, the brand with the three-pointed star is also celebrating the market premiere of the new GLE and GLE Coupé in China, where Mercedes-Benz is enjoying continued dynamic growth. After another record year in 2014, with a sales increase of 28 percent, Mercedes-Benz is expanding both its model range and its local production in the Middle Kingdom. At the Beijing plant, the GLA compact SUV is now the fourth Mercedes-Benz model to roll off the production line. The presence of Daimler in China will soon also be reinforced by the new smart fortwo, which is also celebrating its market premiere in Shanghai.
“We have good reason to pay close attention to SUVs. They are fascinating automobiles in a growing segment. We are expecting double-digit growth rates in China over the next few years,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, speaking at Auto Shanghai. “The GLE Coupé shows just how convinced we are by the success of this vehicle concept, which is why we will bring further models to market that combine the look of a coupé with the versatility and off-road capabilities of a Mercedes SUV. The GLC Coupé concept provides a very clear indication of how they might look.”
The show car combines coupé styling elements with the sensual purity of the design language applied to forthcoming generations of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. This emotional tension is further enriched with characteristic details, including the twin blade radiator grille, a bonnet with power domes and a four-pipe exhaust system. References from the off-road world such as the 21-inch tyres, the underguards front and rear, the increased ground clearance and the running boards along the side emphasise the performance potential of the GLC Coupé concept. The drive technology fulfils the promise of performance. The V6 biturbo with 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Nm familiar from the AMG Sport models delivers incredibly athletic propulsion. Power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive.
Mercedes-Benz SUV family expands
The Mercedes-Benz SUV family is definitely growing. “We will build a production version of the GLC Coupé concept,” says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Marketing & Sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “That means we will have seven models on offer here in future, with the spectrum ranging from the compact GLA all the way to the G-Class, the founding father of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family.”
Mercedes-Benz goes full-steam ahead in China
“Great products – produced locally. That’s our recipe for the long-term success of Mercedes-Benz in China,” says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Greater China. Troska continues, “China has our full attention, and this is paying dividends. 2014 was another record year for Mercedes-Benz, with an increase in sales of 28 percent and more than 270,000 units sold. We are planning further double-digit growth in China for 2015 and well in excess of 300,000 cars sold.”
Among the new models for China, the world’s largest car market, is the new S 500 e with innovative plug-in hybrid technology, delivering fuel consumption of just 2.8 litres per 100 kilometres and 67 grams of CO2. The S 500 e therefore already undercuts the exhaust standards applicable in China as of 2020 by around 45 percent. The new C 200 4MATIC also marks the first C-Class model with all-wheel drive to come to China.
Emotional, efficient and low in emissions – the new GLE
Alongside fresh looks, the extensively revised bestselling Mercedes-Benz SUV, which will soon be launched in China, offers a wide-ranging package of measures that deliver best-in-class figures for emissions and drive. One example is the new GLE 500 e 4MATIC, the first Mercedes SUV with plug-in hybrid technology. The high system output of 325 kW (442 hp) contrasts with low CO2 emissions of 78 g/km, equating to an average fuel consumption of 3.3 l/100 km (NEDC).
Elegance paired with off-road talent – the new GLE Coupé
Celebrating its premiere in Shanghai is the GLE Coupé, with an output of up to 270 kW (367 hp). The top model of the production version is the GLE 450 AMG Coupé 4MATIC, representing the new AMG Sport model product line. Its extensive standard equipment includes the DYNAMIC SELECT handling system, the Sports Direct-Steer system and the brand’s familiar driver assistance systems, as well as the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive.
China launch – smart
The ultimate city car, the new smart fortwo, is entering the world’s largest car market. “The new smart fortwo is quite simply the perfect city car, particularly for China’s many urban areas. And I’m convinced that, following its great start in Europe and its premiere on the US market in New York, it will also find plenty of friends in the great cities of China,” says smart boss Dr. Annette Winkler, speaking at the launch event against the backdrop of Auto Shanghai in China. “China has influenced the design and development of our new two-seater more than any other country, which is why this car fulfils all the customer requirements in this important market,” continues Dr. Winkler.