A generation ahead: the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Top Quote The third generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class scores particularly highly on outstanding energy efficiency and on average the new model range consumes 25 percent less fuel than the previous models. Further strengths of the premium SUV with permanent all-wheel drive include exceptional safety and well-balanced ride comfort as well as excellent driving dynamics both on and off the road. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 13, 2012 - What's more, the new M-Class features an array of new chassis developments and innovative dynamic handling control systems which further enhance both driving enjoyment and handling safety. A characteristic body design and a variable interior with a high wellness factor add to the richness of the driving experience in this new model.

    With the M-Class, it's always been a case of combining the comfort and luxury of a saloon car with the off-road characteristics and the emotiveness of an SUV. The fact that the new M-Class is as fuel-efficient as the economical saloon cars displaying the Mercedes star makes the all-wheel-drive model even more desirable. A range of state-of-the-art engines, a class-leading cd figure (drag coefficient) of 0.32 and extensive BlueEFFICIENCY measures lay the foundations for outstanding energy efficiency.

    A model of success: the M-Class sets new standards in the world of the SUV

    • The new generation of BlueDIRECT petrol engines ensure excellent economy and an outstanding life cycle assessment of the new M-Class. The new M-Class has the potential to set standards in the SUV world once again: one average it consumes one quarter less fuel than its predecessor and as such will be the most economical vehicle in its segment."

    The ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY petrol-engine model, on the other hand, delivers a convincing performance thanks to the technical details of the new BlueDIRECT engine generation. The key here is the third-generation direct petrol injection system with spray-guided combustion and new piezo injectors that have an injection pressure of 200 bar, together with multi-spark ignition (MSI) and a new stratified combustion process. In this case, the NEDC consumption of 8.5 l/100 km is 25 percent lower than that of the previous ML 350 4MATIC model. The ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY meets the requirements of the EU5 standard, currently the strictest standard in force for petrol models.

    Long-distance champion: a high level of efficiency ensures a long range

    The excellent fuel economy is underpinned by a comprehensive package of BlueEFFICIENCY measures as well as by this state-of-the-art engineering. In addition to the ECO start/stop function that comes as standard, these measures include the new seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with a new fuel-economy converter, friction-optimised bearings and a transmission oil thermal management system. Low-friction axle drives, electric steering, the optimised belt drive with decoupler, the on-demand control of all ancillary components and pumps, and tyres with low rolling resistance also play their part in reducing fuel consumption. What's more, intelligent lightweight design has stopped the weight from spiralling upwards.

    Intensive simulations undertaken with the digital prototype, along with final touches added in the wind tunnel, ensure a perfect flow of air around the vehicle. The key factor determining the low wind resistance is the aerodynamic efficiency of the basic body shell, including the optimised design of the front bumper, of the A-pillars and of the roof spoiler, plus numerous other detailed improvements.

    The result: a high level of comfort and outstanding driving dynamics on and off the road

    Even the standard version of the new M-Class offers a high level of comfort, dynamic on-road handling and outstanding off-road capabilities. For the first time, the M-Class chassis with steel suspension features selective damping. The driver is assisted by electric steering, which ensures the optimum level of steering assistance for the current driving situation. In addition to this, the SUV impresses with the smallest turning circle in its market segment.
    For driving off the beaten track, the ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY is equipped with extensive off-road features as standard, including 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive, 4ETS electronic traction control and an off-road button which activates a special off road driving mode. Furthermore, the start-off assist system makes hill starts easier, while the Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) automatically keeps the M Class at the speed set using the cruise control stalk.

    The optional ON&OFFROAD package for the new M-Class has six driving modes for optimising driving dynamics and handling safety, as the optimum drive system control is provided for an extremely wide range of on-road and off-road operating conditions. The driver can select from one automatic mode, two special off-road modes and three on-road modes using a rotary control in the centre console. In terms of "hardware", the ON&OFFROAD package comprises an underguard, a two-stage transfer case with reduction gear, an inter-axle differential lock and enhanced AIRMATIC functionality that allows a maximum ground clearance of 285 millimetres as well as a fording depth of 600 millimetres.

    Active roll stabilisation in the form of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM can be optionally combined with both the AIRMATIC air suspension with Adaptive Damping System (ADS) and the ON&OFFROAD package. This system uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles and compensates for the roll angle of the body through bends, increasing agility and driving pleasure in the process. The system has the additional effect of increasing handing stability and therefore safety, particularly at higher speeds. Further benefits of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM include superb ride comfort both when cornering and driving in a straight line, together with enhanced off-road abilities.

    Well thought-out: safety at its best

    In line with the Mercedes-Benz brand philosophy, the new M-Class represents the embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz holistic safety concept of Real Life Safety, which is derived primarily from what happens in a real accident situation. The extremely robust occupant compartment of the M-Class, together with the front and rear deformation zones, forms an effective basis for the occupant protection system. With nine airbags, activated on demand in accordance with the accident type and accident severity, can reduce the loads exerted on the occupants. In addition to active safety systems such as the standard-fit Brake Assist (BAS), which can help to prevent an accident or reduce the severity of an accident.

    Both active safety and driver-fitness safety in the new M-Class are further improved by assistance systems that will already be familiar, primarily from the S- and E-Class. The standard equipment package includes the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, the anticipatory safety system PRE SAFE® and a tyre pressure warning system, as well as adaptive brake lights and Brake Assist (BAS).

    Impressive credentials: the design

    The new generation is instantly recognisable as an M-Class by its characteristic body design with the hallmark C-pillar shape. It combines high levels of design, appeal and ease of use to create a powerful presence. The front of the vehicle is dominated by the powerfully self-confident design of the radiator grille with its centrally positioned Mercedes star, giving it that typical M-Class look. Seen from the side, the elongated lines give formal emphasis to the on-road credentials of this vehicle, whose compact proportions are defined by a large wheelbase and short overhangs. The C-pillar that is so characteristic of this model series takes its cue from earlier generations of the M-Class and differentiates it very clearly in stylistic terms from its competitors. At the same time, the way the roof line slopes down to the rear underlines the sporty appeal of the new M-Class. No pillar is visible in the transition from the rear side window through to the rear windscreen. This, together with the similarly wrap-around effect of the two-part rear light unit with LED fibre-optic technology, and the lowered roof with its large roof spoiler, add up to an overall harmonious design. The rear bumper, which features an integrated chrome-effect load sill guard in a new "wing design", defines the characteristic appearance of the SUV's rear end.

    Upgrade as standard: interior with a first-class ambience

    The interior design concept clearly combines an authentic SUV experience with a sense of wellbeing that is usually the reserve of top-class Mercedes-Benz saloons. While an expressive dome shape embodies the power of an SUV, the gently sloping contours of the dashboard in the front passenger area afford an outstanding sense of space, thereby highlighting the vehicle's suitability for long journeys. The spacious, bright interior offers substantially more elbow room than its predecessor (an extra 34 millimetres in the front and an extra 25 millimetres in the rear), thus enhancing spaciousness. Eye-catching features on the dashboard include a large trim element that matches the trim used for the doors and therefore creates a harmonious wrap-around effect. The seats in the new M-Class have been designed to offer high long-distance comfort and optimum lateral support. All of the key settings can be adjusted electrically. New features include rear seat backrests adjustable for angle. Folding both backrests as well as the seat cushions forward creates a level load compartment with a capacity of 2010 litres up to the roof lining - a record in this segment.

    The new M-Class comes as standard with the Audio 20 CD system, which comprises a radio with twin-tuner, a colour display with a 14.7 cm screen diagonal, with 6-disc CD changer, an MP3/WMA/AAC-compatible CD player, a USB interface and an AUX-IN socket in the centre armrest. The Bluetooth interface also allows hands-free telephony and Audio Streaming for the transfer of music.

    The new M-Class is now available in Hong Kong.
    About Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Limited
    Established in 1986 and based in Hong Kong, Mercedes-Benz China Limited (MBCL) was the wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG and the franchise-holder for all imported passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle products under the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart brand names in the Northeast Asia region (China, Hong Kong and Macau). In 2005, MBCL moved all P.R. China operations to Beijing for further business development. On January 1, 2006, Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Limited (MBHK) was established to take over the wholesale business for the Hong Kong and Macau markets.

    Internet address:
    All press information is available on the Mercedes-Benz website for the Hong Kong market at Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the Internet at:

    For media enquiries, please contact:
    Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Limited
    Samson Leung, tel: +852.2594 8733, samson.leung ( @ ) daimler dot com
    Victoria Chu, tel: +852 2594 8861, victoria.chu ( @ ) daimler dot com

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