The E-Class Cabriolet, SLS AMG and automobile design as an art form

Detroit – Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the world premiere of the new E-Class Cabriolet at the North American International Autoshow 2010. It not only completes the successful E-Class family, but also features a world first: the AIRCAP® draught-stop, an easily operated system that considerably reduces wind turbulence in the open interior of this all-year convertible.

The stars on show in Detroit also include the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a Gullwing model that combines automotive passion and high-tech at the highest level. Mercedes-Benz is also presenting a surprise in the shape of a beautifully executed automobile sculpture, a work that alluringly communicates car design as a new art form.

Mercedes-Benz is adding a particularly attractive and emotionally appealing member to the successful E-Class family with the new Cabriolet. Thanks to its classic fabric soft-top, this four-seater convertible provides open-air driving pleasure in its purest form.

In line with the motto “Four seasons, four people”, all-year suitability was at the top of the specification list for the developers. Features ensuring year-round open-top driving enjoyment include the automatic AIRCAP® air deflector and draught-stop system.

This can be deployed at the touch of a button, and considerably reduces wind turbulence in the interior of the new Mercedes E-Class‑Cabriolet, so that a “warm air bath” is created even when the roof is open. It also eliminates the installation procedure for conventional angled draught-stops, the individual rear seats remain accessible and the side contours of the Cabriolet are not disrupted.

Comfortable travel with the roof closed is ensured by the standard acoustic soft-top, which has a particularly high level of sound insulation. With the roof closed, the E-Class Cabriolet has one of the quietest interiors in the four-seater premium convertible segment with a fabric roof. The roof can be fully automatically opened and closed within 20 seconds – and even on the move up to a speed of 40 km/h.

Standard equipment also includes a further development of the AIRSCARF® neck-level heating system integrated into the front seat backrests, which blows warm air from adjustable vents in the head restraints to warm the neck and shoulder area of the seat occupant like an invisible scarf.

The E-Class is the heart of the Mercedes-Benz brand. With the new Cabriolet, the E-Class family now has four attractive models. Trailblazing innovations characterise all the variants in the E-Class model series. They include direct-injection diesel and petrol models that combine high efficiency with superior power delivery.

Exemplary safety features include the drowsiness detection system “ATTENTION ASSIST”, the preventive occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, the advanced technology of the “Intelligent Light System”, the active bonnet and the proximity control system “DISTRONIC PLUS”.

Over and above the innovations shared by all the models in this family, the individual variants have new features that enhance comfort, safety and attractiveness on a model-specific basis. The E-Class is the clear leader in its market segment: In Germany the market share of the E-Class Limousine in its comparative segment is approx. 60 percent and in Western Europe (excluding Germany) over 40 percent.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, due to be launched in spring 2010 offers automotive passion and high-tech at the highest level. This Gullwing model dazzles with its purist design, intelligent lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics. The new SLS AMG is nothing short of a masterpiece by Mercedes-AMG GmbH. As its first completely independently developed vehicle, the super sports car is the highlight in the company’s‑more than 40-year history.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is an alluring proposition with its unrivalled technology package: an aluminium spaceframe body with gullwing doors, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid-engine developing 420 kW (571 hp) peak output, 650 Nm of torque and dry sump lubrication, seven-speed double-declutch transmission in a transaxle configuration, sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones – this superlative combination guarantees driving dynamics of the highest order.

This ‘Gullwing’ accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 317 km/h (electronically limited).

The purist design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG impresses with its passionate sportiness, and reinterprets the breathtaking lines of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. As the stylistic highlight, the striking gullwing doors give the SLS AMG an incomparable charisma.

Art and automobile design

Mercedes-Benz is not only treating visitors to the North American International Autoshow 2010 in Detroit to the E-Class Cabriolet and the SLS AMG, but also to a beautifully executed automobile sculpture. It represents a vehicle body taking soft, flowing form from a level surface, suggesting the shape of a car in a sophisticated and encoded manner – as an exclusive, sensuous creation.

The sculpture is therefore a work that alluringly communicates car design as a new art form. It shows that designing and modelling at Mercedes-Benz Design has a great deal to do with creativity and the work of artists. Naturally the sculpture also challenges the onlooker to speculate which future, real product may be nearing the end of its flowing design process here.

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