Mercedes-Benz Middle East and Levant has ignited its 2012 ‘Year of the SUV’ strategy with the launch of a completely redesigned and powerful new M-Class, setting a new benchmark in the premium segment. With dynamic AMG sports styling as standard, three potent engine options, unparalleled ride comfort, and cavernous, high-quality luxury interiors - the bold new M-Class confidently conveys intent to meet performance with sophistication. Men’s Passion was there at the launch.
Available across the region in ML 350 and ML 500 variants, a new generation of BlueEFFICIENCY petrol engines boast 306 and 408 hp respectively, and reach triple figure km/h from a standtill in just 7.6 and 5.7 seconds. Permanent all-wheel drive delivers excellent driving dynamics on both sand and tarmac, whilst innovative handling controls and a new chassis ensure excellent safety whilst leaving competitors seeing smiles in the M-Class’ rear view mirror.
For those craving the sonorous notes of Affalterbach’s sinister creations, a high perforformance 250km/h (electronically limited) ML 63 AMG variant is also available. Packing the fierce AMG 5.5 litre V8 bi-turbo engine made famous by the award winning CLS 63 AMG, driven by 525 horses and 700 nm of torque the ML 63 AMG thunders from 0-100km/h in a sports car beating 4.8 seconds. An optionally available AMG Performance package delivers a further 15hp and 70nm, allowing the luxury sports SUV to harness 557hp and 760nm to rocket to a century in a blistering 4.7 seconds.
Frank Bernthaler, Director, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes -Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant: “The luxury SUV segment is a market in which we have been making strong in-roads to date. Mercedes-Benz SUVs had a record year in 2011 and we plan to make a big an even bigger statement in 2012. With its strong features, powerful heart, intelligent technologies and masculin design, the all new M-Class epitomises our new approach and spearheads Mercedes-Benz ‘Year of the SUV’ sales strategy for the Middle East.”
The design of the new M-Class with its GCC standard sports styling exudes self-confidence, athleticism and power. The front of the vehicle is dominated by a central three pointed star, whilst from the side, elongated lines and a rear sloping roof line give sporty appeal and emphasise the on-road credentials of the new SUV.
AMG bodystyling adds high-gloss black louvres under the radiator grille, and two outer air intakes, whilst LED running lights as standard deliver a sporty scowl underlined by the front apron’s matt silver chrome trim strip and a wider appearance.
The headlamps cut a particularly high-quality and exclusive figure in combination with the optional Intelligent Light System (ILS). The athletic front apron is integrated with the distinctive front wings, made wider on either side in order to accommodate the 20” light-alloy wheels in elegant fashion. Dynamically profiled side sill panels establish a visual link between the front and rear of the vehicle.
The striking rear apron with simulated black air outlet openings further emphasise the vehicle’s width in addition to trim strips in matt silver chrome, which cite the design of the front apron and frame the sports exhaust system. Two sets of chrome twin tailpipes deliver a throaty grumble from the M-Class engines.
Inside delivers the sort of comfort normally the reserve of Mercedes-Benz flagship saloons. Seats have been designed to offer high long-distance comfort and optimum lateral support, with 34mm and 25mm more elbow room in the front and rear respectively than its predecessor, and the spaciousness boosted by a panoramic sliding roof and three tone ambient lighting.
Keeping drivers coffee warm on the long ride in to work is assured by heated climatised cup holders as standard, whilst the optional COMAND online satellite navigation system stays on track. Its 2,010 litres of boot space is the best in the segment.
Frank Bernthaler adds: “The M-Class is a story of success. With more than 1.2 million vehicles sold, it is the best-selling SUV in its segment globally, and also enjoys the loyalest customer base. We will be continuing this success with the new M-Class in the Middle East, which will make an important contribution to our sales growth over the coming years.”
Mercedes-Benz is available in Kuwait at Mercedes-Benz Kuwait Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co, telephone 1-833-111
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #39 April 2012