The Fascination of Mercedes-Benz

  • 24-Sep-2008 11:44 EDT
MercFascination1.jpg

The Mercedes-Benz ConceptFASCINATION concept, which will appear at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, is based on next-generation E-Class underpinnings.

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A significant appearance at October’s Paris Motor Show will be Merce­des-Benz­’s ConceptFASCINATION based on the next-generation E-Class architecture. The company describes its proportions as "unconventional" and regards it as a coupe with "shooting brake" (station wagon) overtones. It has distinctive body style V-shaping at front and rear.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman­ of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, said of the design study: "ConceptFASCINATI­ON offers a completely new interpretation of the coupé." Its frameless side-window line creates a continuous arc from front to rear, uninterrupt­ed by a B-pillar, and its side windows can be lowered completely.

The rhomboid-shaped headlamps feature the latest generation LED technology plus C-shaped fiber-optic inserts serving as running lights. The single-louver radiator grille carries a centrally positioned Mercedes’ star, and the front apron includes a small double-wing assembly at the base. Flat, horizontal LED lights extend round the back of the car, linking it visually with the sides.

Mercedes-Benz designers like panoramic roofs, and that of the concept is large and sheds a lot of light on an interior with an equestrian feel. Thick leather covers the aluminum center console. Leather also covers the upper section of the dashboard. Nubuck leather is used for other surfaces. The dashboard continues the V-shape theme; the instrument cluster has five tubes and silver dials.

The center of the load compartment is occupied by a folding smoked glass table, which rises out of the floor at the touch of a button to reveal a compartment housing a humidor. The table can also be pulled to the rear for easier access from outside. Doing so provides access to a refrigerated compartment for drinks and champagne flutes.

If all this sounds a touch ethereal, there are some more serious aspects to the concept. It is based on the next-generation E-Class coupe and is powered not by some exotic V12 gasoline engine but by a 2.2-L 150-kW (201-hp) four-cylinder diesel featuring BlueTEC and AdBlue technology.

The concept extends Mercedes’ focus on introducing coupe lines—as it has with the CLS—into a wider variety of models. Other companies that have tried this in the past include Reliant, with its Scimitar coupe/wagon that first appeared in the late 1960s powered by a Ford V6 engine.

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