“It’s great to see this show big again,” trumpeted Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG chairman, as he introduced two new models, the new generation Mercedes SL and Smart for-us urban pick-up.
Both cars are two seaters but that’s pretty much the only common factor. As an iconic German roadster dating back to the ’50s, the SL is a flagship model in the Mercedes line-up. For 2012, the new generation SL focuses on a lightweight body (308 lbs less than previous model) and up to 30 percent better fuel efficiency.
“The new V-8 SL offers the same performance as the previous V-12 version and the same fuel economy as the previous V-6 SL,” noted Zetsche.
Mercedes turned to comedian Jon Lovitz for help in introducing the Smart for-us, an electric two-seat pick-up version. “It’s environmentally friendly but safe as a nutshell,” said Lovitz. Destined for the U.S. market, the Smart for-us has an 80 mile range.
Mercedes also debuted two full hybrid versions of the E-class, the gas version of which will come to the US this summer with 27 mpg fuel economy.