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Two extremes at Mercedes in Detroit. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

Two extremes at Mercedes in Detroit
Detroit debuts for wild hypercar and green vision of the future from Mercedes-Benz.
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Daimler's charismatic Chairman, Dr Dieter Zetsche, addressed a huge audience the evening before the Detroit motor show previewing two new models and a future-looking concept. During his speech Zetsche talked of tough times ahead for the automotive industry but said Mercedes's constant innovation would help see the company through the market downturn. Pointing out that he was only half right about prospects for 2008 he called the first half of last year the 'good old days', adding that every car maker is feeling the pain of the final quarter downturn last year. Adding that the industry is a victim of the crisis rather than a cause Dr Z claimed that unlike some others Mercedes wouldn't be compromising its long term goals with short term cuts.

The products Dr Zetsche then went onto introduce couldn't have been more different. The SLR Stirling Moss, the ultra exclusive 100-run fully open hypercar sees the SLR bow out in crazy fashion, it incongruously sharing a stand with Mercedes's vision of a greener future in the guise of its BlueZero concept. The real star of the evening though was a preview of the next generation E-Class - due in the UK later this year - the new saloon not on the show floor in the Cobo Centre. Instead the E-Class's official public unveiling will be at the Geneva show in March.

With green motoring firmly in the limelight Zetsche joked that with its new saloon Mercedes would be giving 'E a new meaning', hinting at possible future hybrid models - using a version of the hybrid system from the S-Class. Graciously Zetsche wished his rivals success in the tough marketplace, adding that at Mercedes-Benz the word crisis is an opportunity for change, and that Mercedes is determined to lead that change.

Kyle Fortune - 11 Jan 2009


2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.

2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Image by Kyle Fortune.









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