Mercedes-Benz stand at the Dubai International Motor Show
Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz stand at the Dubai International Motor Show 2011 DIMS were left with three-pointed stars in their eyes yesterday, as the luxury German automotive manufacturer revealed a trio of magnificent new machines for the Middle East from its stand.
Celebrating 125 years since company founder Carl Benz built the very first automobile, Mercedes-Benz was first to fire-up the DIMS 2011 engine as the show‘s inaugural press conference, unveiling the all new M-Class SUV in the region for the first time, and launching the hotly anticipated new SLK 55 AMG and SLS AMG Roadster in the Middle East.
The M-Class unveil precedes an expected launch in early 2012, and follows the continued regional success of Mercedes-Benz SUV sales performances in 2011 driven by the compact GLK, popular ML, full size GL - which has doubled in sales between 2010 and 2011 - and the evergreen G-Class, which endures as the benchmark for SUVs in the region. Built with the modern SUV owner in mind, the new M-Class is characterised by core traits of power and sophistication, and stands apart from competitors as a true pioneer on every terrain.
Unveiling the luxury off-roader, Frank Bernthaler, Director, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant said: “The current ML SUV has been experiencing year on year growth since 2008, and 2011 has proved to be the pinnacle in terms of sales and popularity to date. With that, the ML has more than proven itself in the region and has paved the way perfectly for the arrival of the M-Class, which is now available to order.”
The latest creations from Mercedes-Benz’ AMG performance division to embody the “Driving Performance” brand claim were also on show, with Mercedes AMG CEO Ola Källenius flying in specially from AMG HQ in Affalterbach to launch the eye-catching and unmistakable new SLK 55 AMG, and sensational new dream car – the SLS AMG Roadster.
With an AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine developing a peak output of 422 hp, 540 Nm of torque, and accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds with a (electronically limited) top speed of 250 km/h, the SLK 55 AMG outperforms all of its direct competitors and takes its place as the most powerful SLK of all time.
Forming part of the third-generation of the SLK Middle East launch in June, the new top-of-the range AMG’s eye-catching and unmistakable expressive design demonstrates its individuality even at first glance. With GCC pricing starting from USD 79,250, the first customers will receive the car in January 2012. Distinctive AMG light-alloy wheels, specific AMG bodystyling with AMG spoiler lip and two chrome-plated twin tailpipes at the rear complement the classic roadster proportions, while adding a markedly athletic touch. High levels of driving dynamics are ensured thanks to the AMG sports suspension with Direct-Steer system, Torque Vectoring Brakes and 3-stage ESP®, as well as the AMG high-performance braking system.
But the star show was undoubtedly the launch of the SLS AMG Roadster. This super sports car thrills with a perfect synthesis of open-top driving pleasure, outstanding driving dynamics and systematic lightweight construction, with the overall visual appearance of the new two-seater marked by its purist design.
Technological highlights of the SLS AMG Roadster read like an A-B-C of modern sports car engineering: the combination of an aluminium spaceframe body, an AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication developing a peak output of 571 hp and 650 Newton metres of torque, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a transaxle arrangement and a sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones is guaranteed to make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster – while ensuring outstanding driving dynamics and roadster motoring pleasure.
Jettisoning the iconic gullwing doors of its older brother, the compact fabric soft top of the SLS AMG Roadster marks an evolution for the ground breaking super sports car, opening and closing in just eleven seconds, and able to be operated on the move at speeds up to 50 km/h. With a price tag starting from USD 214,400 in the GCC, the dream will become reality for the lucky few who will be first to receive the Roadster later this month.
Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH said: "Systematic lightweight construction, outstanding performance and a breathtaking design combined with sensuous open-air driving pleasure – the new SLS AMG Roadster perfectly embodies the AMG philosophy of German engineering and craftsmanship.
The gull-wing model has already thrilled sports car fans all over the world, and now the open-top version is set to cause a further sensation."
Also on display at the Mercedes-Benz stand was a replica of the world’s first automobile, the Number 1 Patentwagen built by Carl Benz in 1886, as well as Mercedes-Benz Guard armoured vehicles including the S 600 Guard and S 600 Pullman Guard.