Once again the motor show in the French capital of Paris provides the venue for important model premieres by Mercedes-Benz. Centre stage is taken by an exciting two-door coupé which offers young drivers a particularly attractive entry into the sporting world of the Mercedes-Benz brand: the new sports coupé in the C-class. Another debut is being celebrated by the G-class for model year 2001, whose updated interior design and technical innovations offer even more driving comfort. In future this robust off-roader will also be equipped with the new Mercedes-Benz V8 diesel power unit, the world's most powerful car diesel engine.

An unusual design and perfect dynamics - these are the outstanding characteristics of the new C-class sports coupé. In technological terms the two-door car is based on the saloon and therefore offers all the trailblazing innovations of the new C-class. In styling and conceptual terms the sports coupé consciously goes its own way, however, meeting the individual wish of young, energetic people for a car which offers an exhilarating driving experience together with exemplary dynamics. The appearance of the sports coupé is characterised by the compact dimensions of the body, which is approx. 18 cm shorter than that of the saloon, and its powerful proportions. The typical vaned radiator with the centrally located Mercedes star and the striking, elliptical headlights clearly identify the car as a new member in a long line of exciting Mercedes coupés. The sports coupé will be on show in Mercedes-Benz company-owned sales and service outlets and dealerships in spring 2001.

Innovations: Panoramic sliding roof and SEQUENTRONIC

An extraordinary transparent interior and a special open-air experience are provided by the optional panoramic sliding roof - a new feature which is entering series production for the first time in the C-class sports coupé. The large expanse of glass extends across the entire roof. At the touch of a button the front section slides to the rear and provides an aperture approx. one third larger than that of a conventional sliding roof. Two electrically operated, internal roller blinds protect the interior of the coupé against strong sunshine when the sliding roof is closed.

As a further technical innovation Mercedes-Benz is equipping the C-class sports coupé with the automated six-speed transmission SEQUENTRONIC. This intensifies the driving experience with extremely rapid and precise gear changes while also reducing fuel consumption. Electrical impulses transfer the driver's gearshifting intention to the transmission - there are neither mechanical linkages nor a clutch pedal. A slight touch of the shift lever causes the system to disengage the clutch automatically, change gear and re-engage the clutch. In "Auto Shift" mode SEQUENTRONIC changes gear automatically.

Interior: Sporty touches and estate-car-like variability in the rear

Aluminium decorative trim, a three-spoke steering wheel with illuminated control keys for the car radio, car telephone and other functions as well as a sporty cockpit design are prominent features of the interior. The ergonomics ensure that the interior presents itself as a perfectly tailored "made-to-measure suit". The driver has all the controls well in hand - an important condition for dynamic and safe driving. The two rear passengers have the benefit of two comfortable, individual seats whose backrests and seat cushions may be folded down completely, creating a level loading space in the rear. In conjunction with its large rear hatch the sports coupé provides the variability of an estate car - depending on the position of the rear seat unit the luggage space can be increased from 310 to as much as 1100 litres (measured according to VDA).

Equipment packages: EVOLUTION for even more sportiness

Mercedes-Benz has put together the EVOLUTION sporting package for drivers who want an even more dynamic car. This includes 17-inch light-alloy wheels, 225/45 R 17 wide-base tyres, a lowered sports suspension, a leather-covered sports steering wheel and other high-quality sporting accessories with which the new Mercedes sports coupé emphasises its sporty attributes particularly impressively. In conjunction with body and suspension components by Mercedes-AMG the sports coupé equipped with the EVOLUTION AMG sporting package has tyres of size 225/45 R 17 (front) and 245/40 R 17 (rear).

Engines: 2.3-litre supercharged engine new in the C-class

State-of-the-art four-cylinder engines with a high performance potential power the sports coupé. With the high-torque, 2.3-litre engine (145 kW/197 hp) from the SLK roadster the new C230 KOMPRESSOR sprints from zero to 100 km/h in just eight seconds, achieving a maximum speed of 240 km/h. The engine range also includes the 120 kW/163 hp 2.0-litre unit with a belt-driven supercharger, the four-cylinder unit from the C180 (95 kW/129 hp) and the 2.2-litre CDI engine with common rail direct injection, which has an output of 105 kW/143 hp and a fuel consumption of only 6.2 litres per 100km (NEDC overall consumption, provisional figures).

G-class: Progressive in design and technology

The Mercedes-Benz G-class is on show at the Paris Motor Show with a new interior design, up-to-the-minute technical innovations from the S-class and an even more extensive range of standard appointments. The interior of this indestructible off-roader, which has been part of the Mercedes-Benz model range for more than 20 years with a total of 145,000 units produced to date, has been upgraded both visually and technically by Mercedes-Benz designers and engineers, thereby further increasing the exclusivity of this modern classic among the off-road fraternity. The main emphasis for the facelifting measures was on the aspects of long-distance comfort and functionality. In addition to modified interior door panels the G-class has been given a newly-designed instrument panel with updated switch arrays, a clearly arranged instrument cluster and a practical centre console which includes an armrest and a stowage compartment between the front seats.

A perfect atmosphere in the G-class is provided by a newly-developed, sensor-controlled automatic climate control system with separate temperature controls for the driver's and front passenger's side, swivelling ventilation outlets in the rear and an efficient dust/pollen filter.

Equipment: COMAND as standard equipment in the V8 models

Even more comfort is provided by the redesigned front seats with electric fore-and-aft and height adjustment, as well as the electrically adjustable steering column. A standard memory function stores the individual seat and steering wheel positions. As soon as the driver has removed the electronic ignition key the steering wheel automatically pivots upwards to allow convenient egress. The steering wheel remains in this position until the driver re-enters the vehicle.

The innovative operating and display system COMAND, which combines the car radio, CD-player, navigation system, TV-receiver and other functions within a single unit, is also available for the G-class from December 2000. This multi-functional system is standard equipment in the V8-models G400 CDI and G500. In addition, Mercedes customers in the G-class are able to utilise the latest telematics services such as dynamic route guidance on the basis of current traffic information, the automatic emergency call system TELEAID or the TELEDIAGNOSIS service.

In conjunction with TELEAID, Mercedes-Benz will for the first time also equip the G-class with the innovative voice control system LINGUATRONIC on request, which controls the car telephone and audio equipment.

Engines: Powerful V8 diesel engine and biturbo system

The Mercedes G-class model range has three engine versions: the G320 with a V6 engine (158 kW/215 hp), the G500 with a V8 petrol engine (218 kW/296 hp) and the new G400 CDI, whose eight-cylinder diesel engine (184 kW/250 hp) features common rail direct injection, intercooling and two turbochargers. With this, the world's most powerful car diesel engine, the G-class achieves a maximum speed of 180 km/h and a fuel consumption of 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC overall consumption).

Telematics: New Mercedes system in preparation

In the next few months Mercedes-Benz will be offering a trailblazing information and service system on the Internet by means of a new multi-channel portal. Visitors to the Paris Motor Show will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with this new development, which drivers will also be able to use via other channels such as the car telephone, WAP mobile telephone or the Short Message Service (SMS).