Mercedes-Benz USA to Launch G-Class This Fall; Rugged G500 Sport Utility to Sell for $72,500

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Mercedes-Benz USA

    NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA announced today that
 it will launch the rugged yet luxurious G500 sport utility vehicle in the U.S.
 this fall.  At a press conference preceding the New York International Auto
 Show (April 13-22 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center), company officials
 disclosed that the 2002-model G500 will be priced at $72,500.  The V8-powered
 G-Class is an exclusive, limited-production vehicle, and about 1000 to 2000
 annually will be sold in the U.S.
 
                               Off-Road Heritage
 
     A compact SUV that's about four inches longer than the popular
 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility, the G-Class is handcrafted at a special
 manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.  Called the Gelaendewagen in Europe,
 the G-Class is a no-compromise off-roader with a cliff-climbing, stump-pulling
 personality.  It can climb grades up to 80 percent, and it's even stable on
 lateral slopes up to 54 percent!
     Building on the success of the M-Class, the U.S. launch of the fashionable
 G500 addresses a strong market trend favoring high-end luxury SUVs.  Its
 primary competition includes the Range Rover 4.6 HSE and Lexus LX470, while
 secondary competitors range from the V8 BMW X5 to the AM Hummer.  G-Class
 buyers are likely to be people who can afford to buy a vehicle just for
 recreation but require that it be practical as well.  They're also likely to
 be very self-confident and proud of their individuality.
     With a simple, classic design - plus many technological innovations for
 safety and convenience borrowed from Mercedes cars -- the go-anywhere G-Class
 balances its proven off-road credentials with a liberal dose of sumptuous
 on-road comfort.
     Standard equipment on the gutsy G500 includes a full leather interior with
 burl walnut trim and a wood-leather steering wheel.  The G500 also comes with
 power windows, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats with memory, front
 and rear heated seats, cruise control, central door locks, and automatic
 climate control.
     Additionally, the new sport utility is equipped with a standard GPS
 navigation system featuring a large, integrated display on the center console.
 The display also controls a nine-speaker audio system (including a six-disc CD
 changer) as well as an optional integrated Motorola Timeport phone that can be
 operated hands-free through the in-dash display.  The phone comes with an
 electronic voice recognition feature that allows both the phone and the audio
 system to be controlled by simple voice commands.
     The exterior features body-color bumpers, rub strips, rocker panels and
 mirror housings as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and a stainless-steel spare
 tire cover mounted at the back.
 
                            A "Bulletproof" Chassis
 
     Proof of its military roots, the durable G-Class suspension makes use of
 super-strong rigid axles at the front and rear as well as longitudinal and
 transverse links with coil springs and gas shocks at all four corners.  The
 G500 uses a power-assisted recirculating-ball steering system, four-wheel disc
 brakes with ABS, and 7.5 x 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/60R18 tires.
 
                              Sophisticated Power
 
     The G500 sport utility is powered by the same 5.0-liter V8 as the S-Class
 sedan and SL roadster.  This technologically advanced, all-aluminum engine
 develops about 300 horsepower while operating at remarkably clean emissions
 levels.  This strong engine provides smooth, seamless power that belies the
 rocks-and-stumps heritage of the G-Class.
     The G500 engine uses a twin-spark/three-valve-per-cylinder arrangement
 that produces excellent power with low emissions.  Two intake valves are
 accompanied by one exhaust valve per cylinder, which makes room for two spark
 plugs per cylinder.  A dual-path intake manifold boosts torque at low engine
 speeds for remarkable acceleration and quicker response at all engine speeds.
 
              Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive With On-The-Fly Low Range
 
     The G500 harnesses its power through an electronic five-speed
 adaptive automatic transmission with Touch Shift and a sturdy full-time
 four-wheel-drive system, which includes a transfer case with electronically
 controlled high and low ranges.  Its fully synchronized low range can even be
 engaged on the fly, at speeds up to about 15 miles per hour.
 
                 The Only Vehicle With Three Differential Locks
 
     The G500 distributes torque artfully through front, center and rear
 differentials and is the only production vehicle that features mechanical
 locks for all three differentials.  To reduce wheelspin in extremely
 low-traction situations, the center and rear differential locks can be engaged
 anytime that the G-Class is off-pavement.  In the unlikely event the vehicle
 gets stuck, the front differential can be engaged momentarily for maximum
 traction.
 
                   Diff Locks, Traction Control, and ESP, Too
 
     While differential locks are much appreciated by experienced off-road
 enthusiasts, the G-Class also comes with four-wheel electronic traction
 control that will help less experienced drivers through most conditions.
     Traction control is integrated with another Mercedes-Benz invention: ESP
 stability control.  Standard on all new Mercedes-Benz models, ESP detects an
 impending spin or slide and applies the brakes on one wheel -- front or rear,
 left or right -- to keep the car on track!
 
                      Safety - A Mercedes-Benz Core Value
 
     The safety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is most meaningful in one way -- real
 life.  All new developments are put into production based on careful analysis
 of actual traffic conditions and accident histories.  The technical safety
 aspects of the G-Class don't just meet government standards, but also reflect
 in-house Mercedes-Benz accident research.  Based on Mercedes-Benz' own
 stringent guidelines, the G-Class is designed for the greatest possible impact
 safety and features a tough body-on-frame design with a torsionally rigid
 chassis.
     Two-stage front airbags for driver and passenger deploy in two levels,
 depending on the severity of impact.  In most collisions, only one chamber of
 the generator is deployed, so the bag is not filled as fully or as quickly as
 it is in a severe front impact.  In a more serious accident, the second
 chamber is deployed 5 to 15 milliseconds later.
     Standard ABS anti-lock brakes provide directional control during emergency
 braking, while Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist automatically ensures full-power
 braking in panic stops.  In addition, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
 ensures stability when braking on curves.
 
                  Tele Aid - Much More Than Emergency Calling
 
     Mercedes-Benz brought a new dimension to automotive safety with the 1999
 debut of its Tele Aid system, which provides both convenience and emergency
 services at the touch of a button through a special cellular connection.  For
 emergency help, there's an "SOS" button above the rear-view mirror that
 immediately establishes voice contact with response specialists who can
 dispatch local police or other emergency services.  This also transmits
 precise location (through GPS tracking), car model and color to help emergency
 services locate the car quickly.
     If a collision deploys any airbag, Tele Aid automatically establishes
 contact.  The onboard transmitter is crash-secure and has access to redundant
 antennae.  Mercedes-Benz was first to make emergency calling equipment like
 this standard.
     The two non-emergency uses of Tele Aid are accessed from inside the center
 console.  One button marked with a wrench puts the client in direct contact
 with Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance.  To answer any questions about the
 car, another button marked "i" connects users with the Mercedes-Benz Client
 Assistance Center.
     Tele Aid eliminates the need to juggle a handset, dial a phone number,
 use a cellular access code or locate street names during an emergency.
 Moreover, the standard Tele Aid system does not require a cellular phone or
 service -- it operates on its own cellular system.
     An additional benefit of Tele Aid is vehicle theft tracking, which can
 actually help authorities locate the car once it's reported stolen.  Last
 year, Tele Aid was enhanced with a new remote diagnosis feature, as well as
 emergency door unlocking and theft alarm notification.
 
                            Web-Based Info Services
 
     Any Mercedes owner with a Tele Aid equipped vehicle and the in-dash COMAND
 display can now subscribe to new web-based Info Services.  Clients begin by
 using a home or office PC to customize personal preferences on their own web
 page (part of the Mercedes-Benz USA website at http://www.mbusa.com).  Then,
 any time they push a button beside the color LCD display, their selected stock
 quotes, news topics, sports and weather are downloaded from CNN Interactive
 and displayed on the screen.  Calendar reminders are also possible through the
 system.
 
     Mercedes-Benz USA is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of
 Mercedes-Benz cars and light trucks in the U.S.  Headquartered in Montvale,
 New Jersey, MBUSA employs approximately 1,500 people in 20 locations across
 the U.S.  Through a nationwide network of over 300 retailers, Mercedes-Benz
 USA sold 205,614 vehicles in the U.S. during 2000, setting the highest sales
 volume ever in its history.
 
 

SOURCE Mercedes-Benz USA
    NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA announced today that
 it will launch the rugged yet luxurious G500 sport utility vehicle in the U.S.
 this fall.  At a press conference preceding the New York International Auto
 Show (April 13-22 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center), company officials
 disclosed that the 2002-model G500 will be priced at $72,500.  The V8-powered
 G-Class is an exclusive, limited-production vehicle, and about 1000 to 2000
 annually will be sold in the U.S.
 
                               Off-Road Heritage
 
     A compact SUV that's about four inches longer than the popular
 Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility, the G-Class is handcrafted at a special
 manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.  Called the Gelaendewagen in Europe,
 the G-Class is a no-compromise off-roader with a cliff-climbing, stump-pulling
 personality.  It can climb grades up to 80 percent, and it's even stable on
 lateral slopes up to 54 percent!
     Building on the success of the M-Class, the U.S. launch of the fashionable
 G500 addresses a strong market trend favoring high-end luxury SUVs.  Its
 primary competition includes the Range Rover 4.6 HSE and Lexus LX470, while
 secondary competitors range from the V8 BMW X5 to the AM Hummer.  G-Class
 buyers are likely to be people who can afford to buy a vehicle just for
 recreation but require that it be practical as well.  They're also likely to
 be very self-confident and proud of their individuality.
     With a simple, classic design - plus many technological innovations for
 safety and convenience borrowed from Mercedes cars -- the go-anywhere G-Class
 balances its proven off-road credentials with a liberal dose of sumptuous
 on-road comfort.
     Standard equipment on the gutsy G500 includes a full leather interior with
 burl walnut trim and a wood-leather steering wheel.  The G500 also comes with
 power windows, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats with memory, front
 and rear heated seats, cruise control, central door locks, and automatic
 climate control.
     Additionally, the new sport utility is equipped with a standard GPS
 navigation system featuring a large, integrated display on the center console.
 The display also controls a nine-speaker audio system (including a six-disc CD
 changer) as well as an optional integrated Motorola Timeport phone that can be
 operated hands-free through the in-dash display.  The phone comes with an
 electronic voice recognition feature that allows both the phone and the audio
 system to be controlled by simple voice commands.
     The exterior features body-color bumpers, rub strips, rocker panels and
 mirror housings as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and a stainless-steel spare
 tire cover mounted at the back.
 
                            A "Bulletproof" Chassis
 
     Proof of its military roots, the durable G-Class suspension makes use of
 super-strong rigid axles at the front and rear as well as longitudinal and
 transverse links with coil springs and gas shocks at all four corners.  The
 G500 uses a power-assisted recirculating-ball steering system, four-wheel disc
 brakes with ABS, and 7.5 x 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/60R18 tires.
 
                              Sophisticated Power
 
     The G500 sport utility is powered by the same 5.0-liter V8 as the S-Class
 sedan and SL roadster.  This technologically advanced, all-aluminum engine
 develops about 300 horsepower while operating at remarkably clean emissions
 levels.  This strong engine provides smooth, seamless power that belies the
 rocks-and-stumps heritage of the G-Class.
     The G500 engine uses a twin-spark/three-valve-per-cylinder arrangement
 that produces excellent power with low emissions.  Two intake valves are
 accompanied by one exhaust valve per cylinder, which makes room for two spark
 plugs per cylinder.  A dual-path intake manifold boosts torque at low engine
 speeds for remarkable acceleration and quicker response at all engine speeds.
 
              Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive With On-The-Fly Low Range
 
     The G500 harnesses its power through an electronic five-speed
 adaptive automatic transmission with Touch Shift and a sturdy full-time
 four-wheel-drive system, which includes a transfer case with electronically
 controlled high and low ranges.  Its fully synchronized low range can even be
 engaged on the fly, at speeds up to about 15 miles per hour.
 
                 The Only Vehicle With Three Differential Locks
 
     The G500 distributes torque artfully through front, center and rear
 differentials and is the only production vehicle that features mechanical
 locks for all three differentials.  To reduce wheelspin in extremely
 low-traction situations, the center and rear differential locks can be engaged
 anytime that the G-Class is off-pavement.  In the unlikely event the vehicle
 gets stuck, the front differential can be engaged momentarily for maximum
 traction.
 
                   Diff Locks, Traction Control, and ESP, Too
 
     While differential locks are much appreciated by experienced off-road
 enthusiasts, the G-Class also comes with four-wheel electronic traction
 control that will help less experienced drivers through most conditions.
     Traction control is integrated with another Mercedes-Benz invention: ESP
 stability control.  Standard on all new Mercedes-Benz models, ESP detects an
 impending spin or slide and applies the brakes on one wheel -- front or rear,
 left or right -- to keep the car on track!
 
                      Safety - A Mercedes-Benz Core Value
 
     The safety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is most meaningful in one way -- real
 life.  All new developments are put into production based on careful analysis
 of actual traffic conditions and accident histories.  The technical safety
 aspects of the G-Class don't just meet government standards, but also reflect
 in-house Mercedes-Benz accident research.  Based on Mercedes-Benz' own
 stringent guidelines, the G-Class is designed for the greatest possible impact
 safety and features a tough body-on-frame design with a torsionally rigid
 chassis.
     Two-stage front airbags for driver and passenger deploy in two levels,
 depending on the severity of impact.  In most collisions, only one chamber of
 the generator is deployed, so the bag is not filled as fully or as quickly as
 it is in a severe front impact.  In a more serious accident, the second
 chamber is deployed 5 to 15 milliseconds later.
     Standard ABS anti-lock brakes provide directional control during emergency
 braking, while Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist automatically ensures full-power
 braking in panic stops.  In addition, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
 ensures stability when braking on curves.
 
                  Tele Aid - Much More Than Emergency Calling
 
     Mercedes-Benz brought a new dimension to automotive safety with the 1999
 debut of its Tele Aid system, which provides both convenience and emergency
 services at the touch of a button through a special cellular connection.  For
 emergency help, there's an "SOS" button above the rear-view mirror that
 immediately establishes voice contact with response specialists who can
 dispatch local police or other emergency services.  This also transmits
 precise location (through GPS tracking), car model and color to help emergency
 services locate the car quickly.
     If a collision deploys any airbag, Tele Aid automatically establishes
 contact.  The onboard transmitter is crash-secure and has access to redundant
 antennae.  Mercedes-Benz was first to make emergency calling equipment like
 this standard.
     The two non-emergency uses of Tele Aid are accessed from inside the center
 console.  One button marked with a wrench puts the client in direct contact
 with Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance.  To answer any questions about the
 car, another button marked "i" connects users with the Mercedes-Benz Client
 Assistance Center.
     Tele Aid eliminates the need to juggle a handset, dial a phone number,
 use a cellular access code or locate street names during an emergency.
 Moreover, the standard Tele Aid system does not require a cellular phone or
 service -- it operates on its own cellular system.
     An additional benefit of Tele Aid is vehicle theft tracking, which can
 actually help authorities locate the car once it's reported stolen.  Last
 year, Tele Aid was enhanced with a new remote diagnosis feature, as well as
 emergency door unlocking and theft alarm notification.
 
                            Web-Based Info Services
 
     Any Mercedes owner with a Tele Aid equipped vehicle and the in-dash COMAND
 display can now subscribe to new web-based Info Services.  Clients begin by
 using a home or office PC to customize personal preferences on their own web
 page (part of the Mercedes-Benz USA website at http://www.mbusa.com).  Then,
 any time they push a button beside the color LCD display, their selected stock
 quotes, news topics, sports and weather are downloaded from CNN Interactive
 and displayed on the screen.  Calendar reminders are also possible through the
 system.
 
     Mercedes-Benz USA is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of
 Mercedes-Benz cars and light trucks in the U.S.  Headquartered in Montvale,
 New Jersey, MBUSA employs approximately 1,500 people in 20 locations across
 the U.S.  Through a nationwide network of over 300 retailers, Mercedes-Benz
 USA sold 205,614 vehicles in the U.S. during 2000, setting the highest sales
 volume ever in its history.
 
 SOURCE  Mercedes-Benz USA