Corporate News

Mercedes-Benz at the 2010 Paris Motor Show

Words John Clark | September 30, 2010
Powerful, confident designs are the hallmarks of the innovations presented by Mercedes-Benz at the 2010 Paris Motor Show
Words John Clark September 30, 2010

Ultimate efficiency paired with powerful, confident designs are the combined hallmarks of the innovations presented by Mercedes-Benz at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. “We are now witnessing the automobile being invented for the second time”, explains CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche. “Currently we are making advances in efficiency which are unprecedented in automotive history. As the inventor of the automobile, we feel we have a very special responsibility for its future.” Just one example is the introduction of the ECO start/stop function in the CLS and CL-Class.

With its exciting, bold design and refined performance, the all-new 2012 CLS-Class continues to lead the segment which its predecessor created. All the engines in the CLS-Class are new and provide improved fuel economy compared with the previous models. Also contributing to improved fuel economy is the electromechanical Direct-Steer system fitted as standard equipment and celebrating its world premiere in the CLS. The 2012 CLS-Class is also the first car in the world to feature available LED High Performance Active headlamps. The all-new CLS goes onsale in the U.S. in mid-2011.

Mercedes-Benz is also focusing on fuel consumption and exhaust emissions in the exclusive top-end segment with the restyled 2011 CL-Class. In addition to the newly developed BlueDIRECT technology with third-generation spray-guided direct injection, the CL550 4MATIC makes a significant contribution towards reducing consumption by 22 percent. The 2011 CL-Class will be available in U.S. showrooms in November.

The automobile will be 125 years old next year, and the company responsible for this invention is still very much at the forefront of mobility today. Mercedes-Benz is highlighting its leading role by presenting a whole series of innovations at the Paris Motor Show – and as such is acknowledging the words of its founding father Carl Benz: “The passion for invention will never die.”

As part of this, Mercedes-Benz Accessories will be presenting an innovative docking station which will be showcased in an S-Class – after all, mobile entertainment is what the Apple iPad is all about. The prototype demonstrates how the tablet computer could be integrated into the rear of many Mercedes-Benz models: safe, easy to operate and always ready to use.

125 years of Daimler and Benz

Inventing the automobile for the second time

The automobile will be 125 years old next year, and the company responsible for this invention is still very much at the forefront of mobility today. Mercedes-Benz is highlighting its leading role by presenting a whole series of innovations at the Paris Motor Show – and as such is acknowledging the words of its founding father Carl Benz: “The passion for invention will never die.”

“We are now witnessing the automobile being invented for the second time”, explains CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche. “Innovative mobility concepts such as ‘car2go’ have played just as big a role in this as our eDrive products for local emission-free motoring.” The future for vehicles with combustion engines is only just beginning too, according to Zetsche: “Currently we are making advances in efficiency which are unprecedented in automotive history. As the inventor of the automobile, we feel we have a very special responsibility for its future.”

Advances in efficiency: V6 with 25 percent lower consumption

By way of example, Zetsche pointed to the new V6 engine generation celebrating its premiere in Paris in the Mercedes-Benz CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY (not available in the U.S.), which consumes 25 percent less fuel than its predecessor, as well as the S250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY (not available in the U.S.) which sets new standards in the luxury class. In addition to such innovative engine technology as BlueDIRECT or the remarkable performance enhancements achieved in the diesel engines, other systems contributing towards the increase in efficiency include the ECO start/stop function, the enhanced 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and optimized aerodynamics and auxiliary equipment.

Furthermore, hybrid technology has also been consistently expanded. The successful launch of the S400 HYBRID has been quickly followed by a series of other models, including a diesel hybrid for the first time. At the same time, the combination of combustion engine and electric drive has paved the way towards completely emission-free mobility.

On the road to sustainable mobility: real solutions for electric vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has succeeded in making a widespread impact on electric mobility with its A-Class E-CELL, the electric family car suitable for everyday use in urban areas. Celebrating its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show, this fully-functional five-seater features a battery-electric drive and a range of more than 124 miles. Another pioneer of new urban mobility, the smart fortwo electric drive, is now already in its second generation and has been in production since November 2009. Initially limited to 1,000 units for its first production run, this figure has now been increased to 1500 examples thanks to the high demand for the vehicle. Large-scale production of the compact city runabout is due to commence from 2012.

New concepts in mobility: car2go, Paris Autolib, car2gether

The car2go mobility concept began for the public in the spring of 2009 in the German city of Ulm and was extremely successful: some 20,000 customers have taken advantage of the scheme and registered with car2go. The share of car2go customers making up the population of Ulm, meanwhile, has grown to more than 10 percent, while a third of young drivers between the ages of 18 and 35 have already received the car2go authorization stamp on their driving license. A good half of all customers use car2go on a regular basis, while several hundred make use of it every day. Since its launch, more than 350,000 rental transactions have been completed, mostly for a duration of between 30 and 60 minutes. Currently up to 1000 fully automatic rental transactions are recorded each day. In Austin, Texas a second pilot trial of car2go has been running since November 2009. Soon the project is due to start in more international cities – and with the world’s series production car made especially for car-sharing projects, the “smart car2go edition” with solar roof.

Thanks to car2go, Mercedes-Benz has more experience than any other car manufacturer in the integration of car-sharing projects. This know-how, in conjunction with the smart fortwo electric drive, has enabled the company to take over the role of supplier for vehicles and technology as part of a bid by a consortium for the largest car-sharing project in and around Paris, called “Autolib” (a combination of “automobile” and “liberté”/freedom). Some 3000 electric cars are to be made available for hire at approximately 1000 charging stations located around the capital. The project is due to start in September 2011.

In addition, for the first time at the Paris Motor Show the company will be presenting a preview of some one-off two-wheel smart vehicles. Both the smart escooter and the smart ebike are equipped with a battery-electric drive and as such make ideal vehicles for use in the city.

Furthermore, Daimler has also developed another innovative mobility concept for urban conurbations: car2gether. This system enables car-sharing rides to be notified quickly and simply online, and can be accessed either from a PC or via a mobile smartphone. This month Daimler has started trialing the system as part of a pilot project in Ulm.

World premiere: the all-new Mercedes-Benz CLS

Refined sportiness

With its exciting, bold design and refined sportiness, the all-new 2012 CLS benefits from the fact that – as the inventor of the segment – Mercedes-Benz is a whole generation ahead. All the engines available in the CLS are new and provide an improvement in fuel consumption of up to 25 percent compared with the previous models. Also making a contribution to the increase in efficiency is the electromechanical Direct-Steer system fitted as standard equipment and celebrating its world premiere in the CLS. The 2012 CLS is also the first car in the world to feature available LED High Performance Active headlamps.

A generation ahead: with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle category in 2003 which for the first time combined the elegance and expressiveness of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a sedan. The customers were delighted, the competition astounded: for years the CLS has endured as the only four-door coupé in its class, and since October 2004 to the present it has been the car of choice for around 170,000 buyers around the globe. “Customers all over the world benefited from our bold move to launch a completely new vehicle concept onto the market”, explains a delighted Dr. Joachim Schmidt, head of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz. “And with its exciting design, the new edition of the CLS also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé.”

The engines: up to 25 percent lower consumption but with higher output

The ultimate in efficiency: this is the hallmark of the engines which are used in the new CLS. Both the output and torque of all units have been increased compared with the previous models, and at the same time consumption has been significantly reduced by up to 25 percent. In the U.S., the V8-powered CLS550 will produce 402hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. In Europe, two six-cylinder models will initially be available in January 2011: the CLS350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY producing 265 hp and the CLS350 BlueEFFICIENCY producing 306 hp and fitted with the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engine range will be extended just two months later with the addition of the CLS250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, producing 204 hp. In the ECE consumption cycle, it consumes 5.1 liters of diesel/100 km.

Lightweight construction and aerodynamics: making significant contributions to efficiency

The intelligent lightweight construction used in the CLS makes a significant contribution towards addressing the classic conflicting goals of low weight and high strength. As a result the 2012 CLS550 is the first vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to be fitted with doors featuring a full aluminum construction. They consist of deep-drawn aluminum panels with extruded sections, and are around 52 lbs lighter compared with conventional steel doors. In addition, the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, parcel shelf, various support sections as well as major parts of the chassis and engine are all made from aluminum too.

Aerodynamics also play a significant role in the outstanding efficiency of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS. Although the new model is wider compared with the previous model and therefore presents a larger frontal area to the wind, it has still been possible to reduce wind resistance by up ten percent. This is thanks to a 13 percent improvement in the Cd value, which now stands at 0.26.

Electromechanical Direct-Steer system: a new steering sensation

Supreme driving dynamics coupled with superlative ride comfort on long journeys was the focus in developing the chassis for the new Coupe, whose design and functions are geared towards a stylish sportiness. To this end the chassis concept, which has already been well-received by the trade press and the public in the new E-Class, has undergone a thorough revamp, adding a central new component: the electromechanical Direct-Steer system is making its world premiere in the new CLS. This pioneering innovation is a radical step forward in the relationship between driver, car and road. This is because for the first time engineers have the freedom to freely choose and program a wide variety of parameters which can influence steering performance.

In addition, this steering technology also makes an important contribution to the overall efficiency of the CLS: the steering assist function only requires energy when steering actually takes place, cutting fuel consumption.

For the front suspension, the principle of a three-link front axle with McPherson struts – as used in the E-Class – was adopted and developed into a special enhanced design for the new CLS. The principle of the lightweight independent multilink rear suspension, fitted to a subframe, was also adopted for use in the CLS from the new E-Class due to its unrivalled wheel location qualities. Compared with the previous model, all components have been modified to achieve higher levels of comfort and driving dynamics.

LED High Performance Active headlamps: enhanced visibility with complete functionality

The CLS is the first car in the world to feature dynamic LED High Performance Active headlamps, which combine the daylight color impression of LED technology with the performance, functionality and energy efficiency of today’s bi-xenon light generation. With a total of 71 LED’s, the headlamps have an exciting look and help to highlight the distinctive appearance of the CLS. The light specialists at Mercedes-Benz were also able to combine the LED technology with the familiar and innovative Adaptive Highbeam Assist for the first time, which has resulted in a completely new level of safety when driving at night.

There are additional benefits of LED-based lighting technology: the average operating life of an LED is around 10,000 hours, around five times longer than that of a xenon light. Also LED headlamps most closely approximate the color temperature of daylight. This means that LED light complements normal human perception patterns. Studies have shown that the closer the color of artificial light comes to daylight, the less the strain on the eyes. With a color temperature of 5500 Kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K).

New driver assistance systems: enhanced safety

More than a dozen driver assistance systems in the new CLS help prevent traffic accidents and reduce the severity of injuries. New optional equipment includes Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

Using short-range radar sensors, Active Blind Spot Assist warns the driver if it detects the risk of a collision when changing lanes. If the driver ignores warnings and the vehicle comes dangerously close to a vehicle in the next lane, Active Blind Spot Assist will intervene. Applying braking force to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle via the Electronic Stability Program ESP® creates a yaw movement which counteracts the collision course.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also linked to the ESP® for the first time. This system kicks into action if the Mercedes vehicle inadvertently drifts over a solid line to the right or left of a lane. In this case, Active Lane Keeping Assist uses the ESP® to brake the opposite wheels and thereby prevent the vehicle from crossing the line. A display on the instrument cluster warns the driver at the same time. If broken lane markings are crossed, the system controls an electric pulse generator in the steering wheel which generates vibrations for a short time – a discreet but effective cue to countersteer immediately. Before the braking system intervenes, the steering wheel always vibrates to provide a warning.

Exterior: classic Coupé styling with distinctive front

The new CLS builds on the pioneering role of its predecessor yet at the same time is an entirely new interpretation. What immediately strikes the eye is the innovative front design, which is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Visually, the radiator grille is not integrated into the hood but is formed separately. This highlights the long, sporty hood even further. The grille is dominated by the large central star, which underlines the car’s relationship to the other coupés of the brand and also enhances brand identity.

The typical CLS outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, athletic form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure above the wheelwells slopes off towards the rear. Referred to by the designers as the dropping line, this novel design feature also represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich forms of historic Mercedes sports cars.

A distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

The interior: design brings quality to life

The interior of the CLS is also distinguished by a timeless design which combines straightforward elegance with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. An eye-catching feature is the wrap-around cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver’s door over the instrument panel and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated seamlessly into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

The CLS also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise an exciting mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces. The refined sportiness of the interior of the CLS is further reflected in the generous use of high-quality trim elements. They are located on the instrument panel, the center console and on parts of the door linings. Customers can choose between two exclusive types of wood: high-gloss brown burl walnut or high-gloss black ash.

World premiere: the restyled 2011 CL-Class

The epitome of luxury coupés

With stylish, eye-catching design, exclusive appointments and cutting-edge technology, the extensively updated 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class underscores its flagship position in the world of refined automobiles. Powered by a new 429-hp V8 biturbo engine which achieves a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy and 23% improvement in CO2 emissions, the CL550 4MATIC opens a new dimension of efficiency in the luxury coupe segment. This significant reduction is achieved thanks to the newly-developed BlueDIRECT technology with third-generation spray-guided direct injection, energy-efficient control of alternator, fuel pump, air-conditioning compressor and power-assisted steering system. It also features the use of low rolling resistance tires and, on the CL600, the energy-optimized Active Body Control system. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz developers equipped the CL-Class with state-of-the-art multimedia technology, thus helping this model retain its position as the epitome of quality in its class. The 2011MY CL-Class will make its U.S. debut in Autumn of 2010.

With the new generation of the CL-Class, Mercedes-Benz is emphasizing fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions in this exclusive high-end segment. According to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: “The CL is the ideal ambassador for our brand. It combines in a particular degree those things that characterize Mercedes-Benz: fascination, perfection and responsibility. And with the new generation we have gone a step further, too – especially in the realm of efficiency. But in terms of design, safety, comfort and output, too – the CL shows the way forward: simply follow Mercedes.”

In the realm of safety, a combination of cutting-edge camera and radar-based assistance systems – unique in the luxury coupe segment – including the innovation of the Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist systems, makes the CL-Class a “thinking” partner of the driver. The modified Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilization system and the Direct-Steer system also contribute to enhancing safety and driving enjoyment.

Design: a muscular, confident presence

The exterior appearance of the new CL-Class is characterized by the taught profile of the hood, the dynamic V-shape radiator grille and the curving headlamps – design details that discreetly but effectively emphasize the car’s elegant yet powerful lines.

The front bumper presents a new three air intake design accented with a prominent chrome trim strip. An LED strip with chrome surround for the daytime running lights is elegantly integrated in the side openings for the brake cooling air. With standard Bi-Xenon Headlamps with active curve illumination and Adaptive Highbeam Assist, the headlamps offer state-of-the-art illumination. LED turn indicators and position marker lamps round off the car’s advanced image while the rear of the vehicle is characterized by the newly-designed tail lamps.

New V8 bi-turbo engine with innovative technology

The new-generation CL-Class also assumes a pioneering role with its drivetrain. Under the hood of the CL550 4MATIC a new V8 biturbo engine with BlueDIRECT technology delivers impressive power. With its 4663 cc displacement, the eight-cylinder engine produces 429 hp so that despite 0.8 liters less displacement, it is still around 12 percent more powerful than its predecessor, which had an output of 382 hp. At the same time, torque was raised from 391 lb-ft to 516 lb-ft – an increase of 32 percent. The new engine achieves a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy and 23% improvement in CO2 emissions. The CL5550 4MATIC requires a mere 4.9 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph (previous model: 5.4 seconds). Summing up: the CL550 4MATIC is significantly more agile, torquey and thriftier than its predecessor.

The BlueDIRECT technology package of the V8 biturbo includes a series of new developments, unique in their combination. Worthy of mention among these is the third-generation spray-guided direct gasoline injection with piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition with up to four ignition sparks within a millisecond. Together both enable an innovative combustion process called “homogenous split”. Other factors contributing to the exemplary low fuel consumption continue to be the consistent use of friction-optimized pistons, piston rings and cylinder barrels, the on-demand control of oil pump and the new three-phase thermal management in the coolant circuit. The luxury coupes also controls the alternator depending on the type of driving and on-board voltage. Kinetic energy is recuperated in the overrun mode.

The CL600, with its 510 hp 12-cylinder biturbo engine and 612 lb-ft. of torque remains the top-of-the-line model: it accelerates the luxury coupé from a standstill to 60 mph in a breathtaking 4.5 seconds.

A unique combination of driver-assistance systems

The 2011 CL-Class further enforces its position as an automotive masterwork and a technology platform with the most advanced assistance and protection systems. These highly perceptive assistants convert the coupe into a “thinking” partner that can see, feel and react instantly if it detects a hazard, acting autonomously to prevent accidents or to mitigate their effects. The trailblazing driver assistance systems in the CL-Class are based on state-of-the-art radar, camera and sensor technology.

Active Lane Keeping Assist is a new safety feature making its debut on the CL-Class as part of the optional Driver Assistance Package. If the vehicle threatens to cross a continuous lane marking line, the system actuates an electric motor in the steering wheel, causing it to vibrate briefly – giving the driver a discreet but effective warning hint to countersteer immediately. The active system springs into action if the Mercedes coupe unintentionally crosses a continuous lane marking line to the right or to the left. In this case, the car intervenes by gently braking the wheels on the opposite side of the car, helping the driver to stay in the lane. Active Lane Keeping Assist is built upon the existing ESP® Electronic Stability Program.

Active Lane-Keeping Assist evaluates information provided by a camera mounted on the inside of the windshield. It identifies the contrast between the road surface and the lane markings. In addition, the optional radar system scans the side of the roadway for dividers and other roadway edge markings. The system also evaluates the driver’s actions and can reliably determine whether the car is departing from the lane intentionally or not. For instance, there is no warning if the driver accelerates hard just before passing or when accelerating onto a highway, or if he brakes hard or steers into a curve.

Targeted brake actuation: Active Blind Spot Assist

Another innovation Mercedes-Benz offers for the CL-Class is Active Blind Spot Assist, a system that makes use of a multi-stage warning concept. If the system detects that a lane change would be too dangerous, it warns the driver by displaying a red triangle in the glass of the exterior mirror. Close-range radar sensors monitor the area immediately to the side and to the rear of the car. If the driver disregards this warning and, for example, uses the turn indicator, an audible warning also sounds. If the driver continues to ignore the warnings and comes dangerously close to a vehicle in the neighboring lane, the system acts: a corrective braking intervention via ESP® is applied to the wheels of the opposite side of the vehicle. This causes a yaw movement about the car’s vertical axis due to the unequal distribution of the braking forces. If an accident still cannot be avoided, the active Blind Spot Assist system can reduce the consequences of a collision through the brake actuation.

Assistants to see and be seen better

The Adaptive High Beam Assist system is now offered as standard equipment on the CL-Class. This camera-based system can recognize oncoming vehicles or vehicles ahead with their lights on, and then softly transitions from high-beam to low beam to create the best possible lighting conditions without dazzling other drivers. In addition, Mercedes-Benz offers the optional Night View Assist PLUS system for the CL-Class, featuring a special infra-red camera for pedestrian detection: pedestrians are now specifically highlighted in the display, to help alert the drivers in low light conditions.

On European models, the images supplied by the windshield-mounted camera are also used by the new, optional Speed Limit Assist (not available in the U.S.), which recognizes speed limit signs in passing and shows the relevant speed limit in the central display and on the navigation system’s map display.

For the new-generation CL-Class, Mercedes-Benz has also improved the long and medium-range radar used by Brake Assist (BAS PLUS) and DISTRONIC PLUS proximity cruise control.

An “electronic crumple zone”: the PRE-SAFE® Brake

Mercedes-Benz offers another radar based system for the luxury coupé as a component of the Driver Assistance Package: PRE-SAFE® Brake with automatic emergency braking. If the driver is distracted and fails to recognize the imminent danger of a rear-end collision or the warning signal of an assistance system, PRE-SAFE Brake can intervene and autonomously apply partial braking. If the driver fails to react even after automatic, partial braking action, this new version of PRE-SAFE® Brake activates maximum braking pressure around 0.6 seconds before an unavoidable collision – this emergency braking action can significantly mitigate the severity of the impact. The PRE-SAFE® Brake thus acts as a kind of “electronic crumple zone”.

ATTENTION ASSIST Warns Drowsy Drivers:

Drowsiness is one of the most common causes of accidents. This is why Mercedes experts have developed the ATTENTION ASSIST system which forms part of the standard equipment of the new CL-Class. The system continuously monitors more than 70 different parameters in order to identify driver drowsiness and provides a warning before the dangerous microsleep phase begins. Observing the driver’s steering behavior has proved to be a particularly strong indicator: several years of practical research by Mercedes-Benz have shown that drowsy drivers make minor steering errors which they often correct very rapidly in a characteristic way. This steering behavior is recognized by a special steering angle sensor. Observing the driver’s eyes cannot always provide conclusive evidence of sleep since many drivers can experience micro-sleep withtheir eyes open.

Active Body Control reduces the effect of a crosswind

The CL-Class also meets the highest standards in terms of driving dynamics and agility. This is in part thanks to Direct-Steer, which can vary the steering ratio based on the steering angle, and modified Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilization (standard on the CL600, CL63 and CL65 AMG). This latest stage in active body development modifies the wheel load distribution via the ABC spring struts within milliseconds (depending on crosswind direction and intensity) to help compensate for crosswind forces.

The Active Body Control suspension system – which ushered in new dimensions of driving dynamics in the preceding CL-Class in 1999 – is unique worldwide as it not only regulates roll, but pitching and squatting movements as well, ensuring a perfect harmony of comfort and handling stability. Since the introduction of this innovative system, engineers in Sindelfingen have continuously refined it, so that eleven years later it still marks the pinnacle of automotive engineering. In addition to crosswind stabilization, the new suspension features an energy-optimized hydraulic pump that takes part of the burden off the engine, contributing towards reducing fuel consumption.

Additional safety and agility during spirited driving is provided by the standard Torque Vectoring Brake in the new CL-Class – targeted, one-sided braking intervention at the inside rear wheel when cornering. This enables the luxury coupe to turn into the bend under precise control with even greater agility.

On-board infotainment: the most advanced multimedia technology

In line with its serene character and sophisticated technology, the CL-Class also sets standards for onboard infotainment. The latest innovation, SPLITVIEW technology, is optionally available for the COMAND system centrally located in the center console. This innovative display concept allows the driver and front passenger to view different contents simultaneously on the same screen. For example, while the driver uses the map-based navigation system, the front passenger can watch a DVD.

The standard COMAND control and display system with Bluetooth®, USB and SD card interfaces offers customers the possibility of exporting their stored data to other vehicles and multimedia devices. It is also possible to transfer and update navigation data. Mercedes-Benz integrates the Media Interface – an interface for mobile audio and video devices – via an auxiliary cable located in the glovebox. Standard audio equipment also includes radio, a 6-disc CD/DVD player with MP3 function, an equalizer with speed-dependent volume control and the 7.2 GB MUSIC REGISTER which stores around 2,500 digital music files in MP3, AAC or WMA format. The system recognizes music files played on CD, DVD or from the MUSIC REGISTER using its stored Gracenote® database, and shows the title, album and performer in the color display. The new Music Search function enables passengers to search SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music titles and performers.

The standard Navigation system features a nationwide map system stored on a 40-Gigabyte hard disk, enabling extremely rapid route calculation. Another factor contributing to a high level of navigation ease is the detailed 3-D map display with SIRIUS real-time traffic information.

The standard Voice Control system allows the driver to operate the navigation, telephone and audio devices via whole-word input — meaning the driver no longer needs to spell out his commands but simply speaks whole words when entering the destination, choosing a radio station or a music title from the Music Register, or when calling up a name from the phone book.

Co-developed by Mercedes-Benz and Harman Kardon® surround sound system with Discrete Logic7® technology delivers an outstanding performance with three-dimensional sound.

Interior: carefully selected materials and first-class finish

In the interior, too, Mercedes-Benz developers and designers perfected the CL-Class, paying careful attention to detail. A total of four different kinds of fine wood open up the possibilities for perfectly matched material and color concepts: a choice of light or dark high-gloss burl walnut, black ash and high-gloss brown poplar on the CL600. Important to note: in accordance with Mercedes-Benz’ corporate philosophy of sustainability, the CL-Class uses only European wood from renewable forestry sources. Most of the wood components are hand-made and matched individually for color and grain by experienced craftsmen.

The seating materials found in the new CL-Class are of the most exquisite quality. There is a choice of four tasteful color combinations for the vehicle interior: black premium leather, savanna/cashmere premium leather, ash/grey premium leather, sahara beige/black premium leather.

The multifunction wood/leather steering wheel of the CL-Class has also been modified by the Mercedes-Benz designers: the rim and airbag module are lined with soft nappa leather as standard. The new, flatter airbag module also lends a sporty touch to the multifunction wood/leather steering wheel sewn with sophisticated double stitching.

Apart from this, Mercedes-Benz makes more use of light as a styling element in the vehicle interior. Standard ambient lighting provides a choice between three lighting moods: solar (amber), neutral (white) and polar (ice blue).

Innovative holder featuring Mercedes-Benz quality

Apple iPad always ready for use

Mobile entertainment is what the Apple iPad is all about. Thanks to an innovative docking station, Mercedes-Benz Accessories is now demonstrating how the tablet computer could be integrated into the rear of many Mercedes-Benz models.

A prototype docking station is being presented at the Paris Motor Show in an S-Class, and the plan is to launch the integration solution for the iPad onto the market for a variety of Mercedes models after development for series production. Mounted on the back of the front seats at head restraint height, the holder significantly extends the usability of the iPad: the battery of the tablet PC begins to charge as soon as the device is placed in the holder. Once at the destination, it can be simply removed without having to be switched off, and during the journey all of the entertainment products stored on the iPad can continue to be used. The docking station can be turned and tilted to achieve the best viewing angle, and if the vehicle is fitted with the Mercedes-Benz InCar Hotspot then even an iPad without cellular functionality can enjoy the benefit of a full connection to the Internet.

The frame of the docking station, along with the attachment to the seat structure, have also been designed and tested in line with the high safety standards applied at Mercedes-Benz. A significant safety benefit is provided by the fact that the iPad is anchored in the docking station – unlike a device held in the hand or placed on a seat – and in the event of an accident cannot fly uncontrolled through the vehicle, potentially causing injury.

Installation of the docking station takes approximately 1.5 hours, and the vehicle does not require any preinstallation. All in all, the docking station is the perfect match for Mercedes-Benz in terms of its design, look and functionality, and at the same time also highlights the high quality feel of the vehicle interior. The docking station will be available in the U.S. market in 2011.