Mercedes at the London motor show 2008

Published: 23 July 2008

London motor show video

Mercedes were one of the few premium brands to bother making an appearance at the 2008 London motor show and, although there were no whizz-bang world debuts, there was a reminder of just how busy the car maker has been recently.

What’s new on the Mercedes stand?

Not much. There’s not even one of the new AMG SL65 Black Series, all V12 biturbo 670bhp of it. Pride of place, instead, goes to the rather humdrum CLC – remember the C-class ‘sports coupe’ – and the latest version of the appealing CLS featuring clever ‘True Blue solutions’ eco-tech. 

The mildly facelifted A-class is also on show, though it’s easily missed. Mind you, the big bad Brabus Benzes are on the stand opposite to appeal to the horsepower junkies.

CAR’s highight

For kids, it’s a chance to drive a proper Mercedes and beat the folks in a driving test. There are full details at the London show, though you’ll have to go to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands in Surrey to do the driving. In a nutshell, any kid over 1.5 metres (4ft 11in) can compete against their parents. It costs £35 and runs through the summer holidays.

What were they thinking?

Mercedes will sheepishly admit that the Family Driving Challenge is ‘biased in favour of the children’. So there’s a good chance you’ll be shown up by your offspring.

In a nutshell

Pretty low-key stuff from Mercedes. But at least they’re here – unlike BMW and Audi.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage

CAR reader reports

To read CAR’s reader
reporter’s verdict
on the Mercedes stand,
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And now read CAR reader reporter Sandy T’s review of the Mercedes stand. Be sure to ‘Add your comment’ afterwards and rate their efforts

What surprised me most?

Where’s the hybrid? Where’s the apologies? And…is that the same expensive wooden stand recycled again at a major motor show? Here’s the marque which made little effort, but at least they showed up (Audi, BMW…)

Forget the PR spin : what’s the real story?

M-B seems to be playing a two-handed game. The blurb says they’re the first manufacturer to be awarded the ‘covetted’ ISO 14078 (?) for environmental sustainability, the same life-cycle rationale that says a Defender’s more environmentally friendly than a Pious. Coconut matting in the seats, water-based paint, blah blah…But who are they kidding? All I read is more and more horsepower from apparently infinite capacity. And that’s before you throw it over the gangway to the Brabus stand where SR71-style matt black is the finis du jour…

Reader verdict?

Merc has obviously got a limitless supply of volcanic matter which it needs to get rid of before the Eco police get wise. Trouble is each and every one leaves me with the desire to leave a tip. Why don’t I want one? Oh, and they make a couple of dull smaller cars too.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage