2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-ClassParis, France – Mercedes-Benz has unveiled several new models at the Paris Auto Show, including the redesigned CLS-Class and CL-Class, an A-Class powered by a fuel cell, and a new docking station for the Apple iPad.

“We are now witnessing the automobile being invented for the second time,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz. “Currently we are making advances in efficiency which are unprecedented in automotive history. As the inventor of the automobile, we feel we have a very special responsibility for its future.”

The all-new 2012 CLS-Class includes new engines, along with electromechanical Direct-Steer, which will be fitted as standard equipment and is being premiered worldwide in the CLS. It is also the world’s first car to feature available LED High Performance Active headlamps, the company said. It goes on sale in in mid-2011. In overseas markets, it will be available with a new V6 BlueEFFICIENCY in the CLS350, in addition to the S250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY model. In the U.S. and Canada, an efficient V8-powered CLS550 will produce 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.

Lightweight construction will also be used in the new model, featuring the first doors on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle fully formed from aluminum, which are 23 kg lighter than conventional steel doors.

The restyled 2011 CL-Class will include the CL550 4Matic with newly-developed BlueDIRECT technology with third-generation spray-guided direct injection, which makes a significant contribution towards reducing consumption by 22 per cent.  The 429-horsepower V8 bi-turbo engine achieves a 10 to 15 per cent improvement in fuel economy and 23 per cent improvement in CO2 emissions. The CL600 will feature an energy-optimized Active Body Control system. The car will go on sale in November of 2010.

Celebrating its world premiere at the show is the A-Class E-Cell, an electric family car suitable for everyday use in urban areas. The fully-functional five-seater features a battery-electric drive and a range of more than 200 km. The company also announced that the Smart Fortwo electric drive, now in its second generation, has been in production since November 2009, with its initial production run of 1,000 increased to 1,500 vehicles due to high demand. Large-scale production is due to start from 2012.

In addition, the company has presented an innovative docking station for the Apple iPad, showcased in an S-Class. The prototype demonstrates how the tablet computer could be integrated into the rear of many Mercedes-Benz models. Mounted on the back of the front seats at head restraint height, the holder charges the iPad, can be turned and tilted for the best viewing angle, and if the vehicle is fitted with the Mercedes-Benz InCar Hotspot, even an iPad without cellular functionality can be connected to the Internet. The docking station, which will take about an hour and a half to install, will be available in the U.S. market in 2011.

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