Mercedes-Benz USA has had an extremely successful start to 2015, with the strongest first quarter in company history. Growth in the United States is in part due to the sleek new models in the SUV segment. In a double world premiere, the inventor of the premium SUV is presenting the extensively updated GLE and the new Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 at the New York International Auto Show. The newcomers are fully equipped to exceed the success of their globally popular predecessor, the M-Class. Mercedes-Benz is further intensifying its ongoing SUV offensive with the US market launch of the Mercedes-AMG G 65, the world’s most powerful off-road vehicle. With the GLC (previously GLK) and the GLS (successor to the GL), two more off-road vehicles bearing the three-pointed star are set to debut in the “Year of the SUV”. In parallel, the new smart fortwo is celebrating the start of sales in the USA. The ultra-compact two-seater is already eagerly anticipated in the nation’s main urban centers.
Since the world premiere of the SL Roadster in 1954, the New York International Auto Show has repeatedly served as the launch pad for great Mercedes success stories. The latest candidate for the “Hall of Fame” of bestsellers with the three-pointed star is the new GLE, the successor to the globally popular M-Class. The extensively updated full-size SUV combined refined comfort on and off-road with the versatility and robustness that is so typical of Mercedes SUVs. The new premium SUV fits in perfectly with the times thanks, in part, to its innovative drive technology. “The GLE 500 e 4MATIC is the first Mercedes SUV with plug-in hybrid technology. This high-tech drive combines the highest level of energy efficiency with outstanding performance and excellent road manners,” says Steve Cannon, President of Mercedes-Benz USA.
Highest efficiency, lowest emissions – the new GLE
A system output of 325 kW (442 hp) in the GLE 500 e 4MATIC guarantees potent performance – with CO2 emissions of just 78 g/km (3.3 l/100 km). The hybrid can also drive up to 30 kilometres with zero local emissions. The new GLE entry model on the European market is the GLE 250 d. The 150 kW (204 hp) four-cylinder diesel offers refined performance with fuel consumption previously unheard-of in this vehicle segment. The new GLE 250 d is the world’s first series-production full-size SUV with conventional drive to emit just 140 g of CO2 (5.4 l/100 km). Across the entire engine line-up, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the GLE are down by 17 percent against those of its predecessor.
More powerful and agile than ever – the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and GLE 63 S
With their amazing performance characteristics, the AMG models are making a major contribution to SUV sales success in the USA. The 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine in the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 is more powerful than ever and is available in a choice of two output variants with either 410 kW (557 hp) or as an S model with 430 kW (585 hp). The running gear has been completely reworked for more agility and equipped as standard with the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM for stabilising body roll. Engine responsiveness and transmission shift times are now even sportier, underscoring AMG’s signature Driving Performance. “We established the high-performance SUV segment in 1999 with the ML 55 AMG. Now, with the GLE 63, we are once again setting the bar a little higher when it comes to handling, responsiveness and precision,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Market launch in the USA – Mercedes-AMG G 65 with V12 engine
Delivering even more superlatives is the Mercedes-AMG G 65. The world’s most powerful SUV will be available for the first time on the US market. The 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine will generate 463 kW (630 hp) and delivers an astounding torque of 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft). The G 65 needs just 5.3 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 km/h, with its top speed limited to 230 km/h. With the G 65, Mercedes-Benz USA is reacting to a growing number of customer seeking more performance and exclusivity in the luxury off-road league. Sales of Mercedes-Benz SUVs in the USA grew in 2014 by eleven percent, with more than one third of all sales bearing the three-pointed star already attributable to its versatile all-wheel drive vehicles.
Market launch in the USA – smart
Making its big entrance in New York is the new smart fortwo. The agile and comfortable two-seater comes to market with the world’s smallest turning circle (6.95 m / 22.80 ft), outstanding safety equipment, the 89 hp top engine variant for the USA, the new twinamic DCT dual-clutch transmission and state-of-the-art connectivity features. The sum of its features makes it the new “it” car, wherever the issue is modern urban mobility.
“With its many features, the new smart already had a great start in Europe and we cannot wait to bring it to the streets of this great country and this great city,” says smart boss Dr. Annette Winkler, speaking about the US market launch. The fundamental strengths of the smart for two – manoeuvrability, safety, efficiency – are already the talk of the New York authorities. The New York Police Department (NYPD) is testing the predecessor of the new fortwo for its suitability as a patrol car on the streets of the Big Apple.