IRONMAN World Champion, Sebastian Kienle Partners with Mercedes-Benz

Words Jim Davis | March 11, 2015
Mercedes-Benz is the official 2015 automotive partner of the reigning IRONMAN World and European Champion, Sebastian Kienle
Words Jim Davis March 11, 2015

A new partnership has been launched in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim: Mercedes-Benz is the official 2015 automotive partner of the reigning IRONMAN World and European Champion, Sebastian Kienle. On 10 March, Nicolai Berger, Head of Marketing Communications and Product Information for Mercedes-Benz Vans, handed over a new V-Class on behalf of the company to this outstanding 30-year-old athlete from Mühlacker in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The new training and support vehicle will allow Kienle to prepare even better for his races. The triathlete has now joined an elite group of world champions – which already includes Germany’s men’s national football team and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team with Lewis Hamilton – in driving a car with the three-pointed star.

Sebastian Kienle rides in Mercedes-Benz in Wind Tunnel

Sebastian Kienle rides in Mercedes-Benz in Wind Tunnel

“Flexibility, staying power and top-level performance – an exceptional triathlete like Sebastian Kienle and the Mercedes-Benz V-Class have much in common. It is factors like these that have made us keen to be involved in the sport of triathlon and we are delighted to be able to support the World and European Champion in defending his titles”, said Berger during the handover.

“The V-Class is the ideal training vehicle. Even though all my sports equipment, including my triathlon bike, takes up such a lot of space, there’s no need to compromise on comfort in the V-Class”, commented a delighted Sebastian Kienle on the partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

Kienle joins forces with Mercedes-Benz engineers for tests in the Untertürkheim wind tunnel

Following the handover ceremony, the triathlon world championship holder took the opportunity for a training session in the wind tunnel on the Mercedes-Benz site just outside Stuttgart. With the help of Volker Reichl, aerodynamics and acoustics expert for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Kienle was able to test the aerodynamic efficiency of his equipment with him on his triathlon bike. Such tests are all part of the 30-year-old’s meticulous preparation for the 2015 season.

Sebastian Kienle is considered one of the strongest cyclists on the international triathlon circuit. From 2010 until 2011 he held the world record for the 180-km cycle race in a long-distance triathlon. The 30-year-old professional athlete, who lines up for the Baden-Württemberg-based Tri-Team Heuchelberg, was voted Triathlete of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the specialist magazine “triathlon”. Following two world championship titles in 2012 and 2013 in the IRONMAN 70.3, over half the distances, Kienle last year secured the double of both the World and European Championship titles in the IRONMAN long-distance triathlon.

Sebastian Kienle with Mercedes-Benz in Wind Tunnel

Sebastian Kienle with Mercedes-Benz in Wind Tunnel

Mercedes-Benz to remain official automotive partner of the IRONMAN European Tour for the 2015 season

Mercedes-Benz Vans is a committed partner to the sport of triathlon and will this year, once again, remain the official automotive partner of the IRONMAN European Tour. Along with more general support, the deal includes the provision of V-Class vehicles to the national organisers for support and shuttle services all year round and for all competitions. In addition to this the new Mercedes-Benz MPV will be accompanying the European competition series with wide-ranging communications activities and comprehensive branding along the competition routes plus vehicle displays and its own exhibition area at the IRONMAN Expo in every event location.

IRONMAN is the elite form of triathlon. The race is made up of a 3.9-kilometre swim, a 180-km cycle ride and a marathon run over 42 km. The three disciplines are raced back-to-back without a break.

Sebastian Kienle with Mercedes-Benz

Sebastian Kienle with Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz V-Class: performance pure

The new V-Class is the ideal partner for people who enjoy sports and leisure activities: It boasts maximum flexibility and performance with the highest possible levels of safety and efficient energy consumption. In addition, it blends the generous amount of space and the functionality of an MPV with the hallmark strengths of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car.
The interior allows a wide range of seating and loading configurations. With a few quick movements, it can be converted from a load compartment for several bicycles to a comfortable MPV for the whole family or for business partners. Top performance is ensured by the ultramodern 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with two-stage turbocharging. The top-of-the-range 140 kW (190 hp) engine in the V 250 BlueTEC boasts a mighty 440 Nm of peak torque while still only burning a frugal 6.0 litres every 100 km.

Untertürkheim wind tunnel used to optimise wind resistance

The wind tunnel at the Mercedes-Benz site in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is used for testing the aerodynamics of all types of vehicle. The 9000 m³ of air contained within the 125 m tunnel, which is laid out as a ring, can be accelerated to as much as 250 km an hour – corresponding to a Category 4 hurricane. At the heart of the system is a nine-blade axial fan with a diameter of 8.5 metres and an output of 5000 kW.