Mercedes has always had an interesting relationship with the New York International Auto Show, having chosen to use that venue many times to roll out cars that would prove to be highly significant for the German marque. This year’s NYIAS will prove to be no different when the three-pointed star will roll out a whole range of hybrid models, including a hybrid version of its ML SUV.
The New York International Auto Show is where Mercedes first showed the 300 SL Gullwing to the world, and has always been the venue when the boys from Stuttgart wanted to show us, and the world, something special. Merc, like everyone else building cars, realizes that we are going to have to deal with things environmental, and deal with them right quick. In addition to recently rolling out its new line of clean (er) diesels, Mercedes has decided to go down the hybrid path in a BIG way, rolling out several new models with that green drivetrain, and even choosing to equip a version of its M-Class, the auto darling of the well-healed soccer-mom, with the gas & electric drive.
Outwardly it still looks like an ’09 M-Class. Big, tall, you sit high and can see way down the road, built like a tank (safe) comfortable and best of all (for some) it’s got that three-pointed star on the hood, so you can let those nouveau-riche Lexus owners know what’s what.
The new ML 450 HYBRID consumes almost 50 percent less than the ML550, although it boasts over 90 percent of the maximum power generated by the V8 model. That’s significant, but just the kind of product you’d expect Merc to make.
\”The intelligent control of the hybrid driveline automatically selects the optimum drive configuration. Depending on conditions, the ML 450 HYBRID can operate entirely on electric power or on the combustion engine alone or on a combination of both drives.\” Or so says Ernst Lieb, CEO and President of Mercedes-Benz USA. The ML 450 HYBRID is equipped with the all latest hybrid technology that a bunch of German engineers could cram into it (which would have to be a lot). The ML 450 HYBRID (yeah, they use all caps for some annoying reason) offers outstanding efficiency in both urban, stop-and-go traffic as well as highway driving at increased engine loads and higher speeds.
The ML 450 HYBRID put out 335 hp and 381 lb-ft of torque, both respectable numbers, even for a ride this wide. The hybrid ML was conceived specifically for the North American market, natch, since we Americans look at having our cake and eating it too as being some sort of birthright. The ML 450 HYBRID gets 24 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg city, making it the most efficient vehicle in its segment, which tells you more about that segment than it does about the new ML.
Naturally the Mercedes’ engineers have ensured that the ML 450 HYBRID drivetrain is fully automatic and seamless when switching from gas to electric drive, so you will notice nothing unusual when driving Muffy & Jody on their appointed rounds.
Here’s the press release from Mercedes Benz
Mercedes-Benz at the 2009 New York International Auto Show: World premiere of the ML 450 HYBRID – Mercedes-Benz presents the most efficient full-hybrid SUV in its class
New York, Apr 08, 2009
with the world premiere of the ML 450 HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz is setting the first of a total of five accents at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The new ML 450 HYBRID is the first full hybrid from a European manufacturer and was specifically developed for the North American market. Other debuts at the Mercedes-Benz press conference at the NYIAS include the facelifted U.S. version of the GL-Class, the sedan and the coupe versions of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which are celebrating a double U.S. premiere in New York, and the latest high-performance sedan to come from the Mercedes-AMG performance brand – the E 63 AMG. All of these new models offer safety, comfort and driving pleasure at the very highest levels and are distinguished by their exceptional efficiency. Despite an increase in power output, the E 63 AMG consumes up to twelve percent less fuel than its predecessor. The ML 450 HYBRID comsumes almost 50 percent less than the ML550, although it boasts over 90 percent of the maximum power generated by the V8 model.
\”It is our clear objective to make every model generation better in every respect. We pay particularly close attention to safety, comfort, efficiency and environmental compatibility – something clearly demonstrated by every single one of the models we are presenting in New York,\” says Dr. Klaus Maier, Head of Marketing and Sales for Mercedes-Benz Cars. One clear example of this is the new E-Class, which was launched very successfully onto the European market at the end of March. \”At its market introduction, we already had over 50,000 orders – a fantastic result in such tough times as these,\” continues Dr. Maier. \”This proves that it is possible for an automaker to overcome a crisis when it offers attractive and desirable products – and Mercedes has plenty of those.\”
With the new four-cylinder engines offered in the European line-up, the ninth gene-ration of the E-Class is up to 23 percent more fuel efficient than its successful predecessor, which commanded a market share of up to 30 percent within the business sedan segment. That this is also possible on the U.S. market is demonstrated by the Vision E 250 BlueTEC presented by Dr. Maier.
Vision E 250 BlueTEC – the most fuel-efficient and cleanest diesel technology
For this concept, Mercedes engineers have combined the all-new four-cylinder diesel engine with BlueTEC, the technology of the world\’s cleanest diesels. The outcome is the most fuel-efficient and cleanest diesel model in this vehicle class. With a range
of up to 44 mpg (5.3 l/100 km), it achieves a fuel efficiency that is better than most hybrid vehicles on the U.S. market. Thanks to highly effective exhaust gas treatment, the E 250 BlueTEC fulfills the U.S. Bin 5 and ULEV emissions standards, which are among the toughest in the world. At the same time, the four-cylinder offers a level of engine refinement and performance on a par with that of a six-cylinder, thanks to its high torque (381 lb-ft / 500 Nm), 7-speed automatic transmission and Lanchester balancing shafts.
The new E-Class arrives on the U.S. market with the latest V6 and V8 gasoline engines – the E 350 (268 hp, 258 lb-ft, 17/24 mpg) and the E 550 (382 hp, 391 lb-ft, 15/22 mpg). These are complemented by the ground-breaking, 50-State compliant E 350 BlueTEC (210 hp, 400 lb-ft, 23/32 mpg). All three engines are fitted as
standard to the 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission and boast further improvements in fuel efficiency.
New E-Class Coupé – powerful elegance and dynamic performance
The new E-Class Coupe boasts the same technology as the sedan version. Mercedes-Benz has created a special highlight its model range with the powerfully elegant design of the two-door coupe, while continuing a tradition that has repeatedly aroused enormous passion throughout the history of the E-Class.
The new E-Class Coupe is a very special combination of emotion and efficiency. With the classic coupe profile unhindered by a B-pillar and with fully retractable side windows, the new two-door provides a particularly sporty interpretation of the dynamic design of the new E-Class. At the same time, the most aerodynamic variant sets a new record in wind resistance. With a Cd value of 0.24, the coupe is the world most aerodynamic series production car.
ML 450 HYBRID – four-cylinder fuel consumption with eight-cylinder power
The ML 450 HYBRID is equipped with the latest in hybrid technology, which offers exceptional efficiency in both urban stop-and-go traffic and unhindered highway driving at increased engine loads and higher speeds. Ernst Lieb, CEO and President of Mercedes-Benz USA says, \”The intelligent control of the hybrid driveline automatically selects the optimum drive configuration. Depending on conditions, the ML 450 HYBRID can operate entirely on electric power or on the combustion engine alone or on a combination of both drives.\”
The performance figures for the ML 450 HYBRID (335 hp, 381 lb-ft) are at the level of a classic eight-cylinder SUV with permanent all-wheel drive. \”Yet, its fuel consumption and its emissions are up to 60 percent lower,\” continues Ernst Lieb. Conceived specifically for the North American market, the ML 450 HYBRID achieves highway gas mileage of 24 mpg (21 mpg city), making it the most efficient vehicle in its segment. Classified as a SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle), the SUV complies with the strictest current U.S.emissions standard. At the same time, the ML 450 HYBRID guarantees a refined driving experience combined with increased driveline comfort with a system output of 335 hp and an overall torque of 381 lb-ft (517 Nm). The powertrain is controlled fully automatically, meaning that the driver can concentrate on the traffic and enjoy the driving experience of the ML 450 HYBRID without additional operational effort.
Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG – the high-performance version of the E-Class
Shortly after the introduction of the new E-Class, the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz Cars is presenting the new E 63 AMG. \”One of the terms applied to our new E 63 AMG is \’German Engineering\’, although the USA is really its true home. Because here,\” according to Head of AMG Volker Mornhinweg, \”we have a particularly loyal customer base and a very enthusiastic AMG E-Class fan community. And the new Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG is definitively the best AMG E-Class ever – an all-in-one sports car and business sedan.\” The dynamic sports sedan is suitable for everyday use and boasts exceptional performance and exhilarating handling characteristics.
Particular features of the E 63 AMG include the all-new AMGRIDE CONTROL sport suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, the likewise all-new front axle and the distinctive design. With pioneering driver assistance systems, the
E 63 AMG is further extending its leading position in the field of safety.
The 386 kW/525 hp AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine generates 8 kW/11 hp more power than its predecessor. Yet the fuel consumption of the new E 63 AMGhas been reduced
significantly. With 12.6 liters of Super per 100 kilometers (NEDC overall, preliminary values, equal to ca. 18.5 mpg), the fuel consumption of the E 63 AMG is almost twelve percent lower and marks a best-value in the segment of sports sedans with more than 377 kW/500 hp.