What’s new on the Mercedes stand?
Quite a confusingly long list when you include facelifts and revised engines. But the big story is the Vision GLK Bluetec hybrid, a concept SUV with a four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a hybrid module. It delivers 224bhp and 413lb ft torque while emitting a class-leading 157g/km CO2.
Other than the GLK, the SLK, CLS and SL have all been facelifted (the CLS barely changed, the SL most noticeably different), the entry level CLC coupe makes its European debut and the wraps have just come off the CL 500 4Matic coupe for the first time – the novelty being the four-wheel drive which, says Mercedes, doesn’t impact fuel consumption and is the lightest system of its kind at 70kg.
AMG is represented with the SL63, SLK55 and CLS63 while journalists were treated to a preview of the new ML63 SUV – significantly revised with a new front end, rear bumper and more aggressively sculpted arch extensions.
The hybrid module on the Vision GLK. It’s a small unit that sits between the engine and gearbox – no bulky gubbins in the boot, then – and stores energy under braking, releasing as much as 160Nm guilt-free as a kind of overboost function under acceleration. Word has it that AMG will use this tech too.
What were they thinking?
The R-Class SUV/hearse crossover was represented only in R500 4Matic trim. Word has it that the performance R63 has been quietly dropped. Who thought that was a niche that needed filling in the first place?
In a nutshell
A confusingly diverse range continues to proliferate, but promising fuel-saving initiatives are gathering momentum.