YORK - Mercedes-Benz USA announced today that it will
launch the rugged yet luxurious G500 sport utility vehicle in
the U.S. this fall. At a press conference preceding the New York
International Auto Show (April 13-22 at the Jacob Javits Convention
Center), company officials disclosed that the 2002-model G500
will be priced at $72,500. The V8-powered G-Class is an exclusive,
limited-production vehicle, and about 1000 to 2000 annually will
be sold in the U.S.
A compact SUV that's about four inches longer than the popular
Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility, the G-Class is handcrafted
at a special manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria. Called the
Gelaendewagen in Europe, the G-Class is a no-compromise off-roader
with a cliff-climbing, stump-pulling personality. It can climb
grades up to 80 percent, and it's even stable on lateral slopes
up to 54 percent!
the success of the M-Class, the U.S. launch of the fashionable
G500 addresses a strong market trend favoring high-end luxury
SUVs. Its primary competition includes the Range Rover 4.6 HSE
and Lexus LX470, while secondary competitors range from the V8
BMW X5 to the AM Hummer. G-Class buyers are likely to be people
who can afford to buy a vehicle just for recreation but require
that it be practical as well. They're also likely to be very self-confident
and proud of their individuality,
With a simple,
classic design - plus many technological innovations for safety
and convenience borrowed from Mercedes cars - the go-anywhere
G-Class balances its proven off-road credentials with a liberal
dose of sumptuous on-road comfort.
equipment on the gutsy G500 includes a full leather interior with
burl walnut trim and a wood-leather steering wheel. The G500 also
comes with power windows, 10-way electrically adjustable front
seats with memory, front and rear heated seats, cruise control,
central door locks, and automatic climate control.
the new sport utility is equipped with a standard GPS navigation
system featuring a large, integrated display on the center console.
The display also controls a nine-speaker audio system (including
a six-disc CD changer) as well as an optional integrated Motorola
Timeport phone that can be operated hands-free through the in-dash
display. The phone comes with an electronic voice recognition
feature that allows both the phone and the audio system to be
controlled by simple voice commands.
features body-color bumpers, rub strips, rocker panels and mirror
housings as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and a stainless-steel
spare tire cover mounted at the back.
Proof of its military roots, the durable G-Class suspension makes
use of super-strong rigid axles at the front and rear as well
as longitudinal and transverse links with coil springs and gas
shocks at all four corners. The G500 uses a power-assisted recirculating-ball
steering system, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and 7.5 x 18-inch
alloy wheels with 265/60R18 tires.
The G500 sport utility is powered by the same 5.0-liter V8 as
the S-Class sedan and SL roadster. This technologically advanced,
all-aluminum engine develops about 300 horsepower while operating
at remarkably clean emissions levels. This strong engine provides
smooth, seamless power that belies the rocks-and-stumps heritage
of the G-Class.
engine uses a twin-spark/three-valve-per-cylinder arrangement
that produces excellent power with low emissions. Two intake valves
are accompanied by one exhaust valve per cylinder, which makes
room for two spark plugs per cylinder. A dual-path intake manifold
boosts torque at low engine speeds for remarkable acceleration
and quicker response at all engine speeds.
Four-Wheel Drive With On-The-Fly Low Range
The G500 harnesses its power through an electronic five-speed
adaptive automatic transmission with Touch Shift and a sturdy
full-time four-wheel-drive system, which includes a transfer case
with electronically controlled high and low ranges. Its fully
synchronized low range can even be engaged on the fly, at speeds
up to about 15 miles per hour.
Only Vehicle With Three Differential Locks
The G500 distributes torque artfully through front, center and
rear differentials and is the only production vehicle that features
mechanical locks for all three differentials. To reduce wheelspin
in extremely low-traction situations, the center and rear differential
locks can be engaged anytime that the G-Class is off-pavement.
In the unlikely event the vehicle gets stuck, the front differential
can be engaged momentarily for maximum traction.
Traction Control, and ESP, Too
While differential locks are much appreciated by experienced off-road
enthusiasts, the G-Class also comes with four-wheel electronic
traction control that will help less experienced drivers through
is integrated with another Mercedes-Benz invention: ESP stability
control. Standard on all new Mercedes-Benz models, ESP detects
an impending spin or slide and applies the brakes on one wheel
- front or rear, left or right - to keep the car on track!
- A Mercedes-Benz Core Value
The safety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is most meaningful in one
way - real life. All new developments are put into production
based on careful analysis of actual traffic conditions and accident
histories. The technical safety aspects of the G-Class don't just
meet government standards, but also reflect in-house Mercedes-Benz
accident research. Based on Mercedes-Benz' own stringent guidelines,
the G-Class is designed for the greatest possible impact safety
and features a tough body-on-frame design with a torsionally rigid
front airbags for driver and passenger deploy in two levels, depending
on the severity of impact. In most collisions, only one chamber
of the generator is deployed, so the bag is not filled as fully
or as quickly as it is in a severe front impact. In a more serious
accident, the second chamber is deployed 5 to 15 milliseconds
ABS anti-lock brakes provide directional control during emergency
braking, while Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist automatically ensures
full-power braking in panic stops. In addition, Electronic Brake
Force Distribution ensures stability when braking on curves.
- Much More Than Emergency Calling
Mercedes-Benz brought a new dimension to automotive safety with
the 1999 debut of its Tele Aid system, which provides both convenience
and emergency services at the touch of a button through a special
cellular connection. For emergency help, there's an "SOS"
button above the rear-view mirror that immediately establishes
voice contact with response specialists who can dispatch local
police or other emergency services. This also transmits precise
location (through GPS tracking), car model and color to help emergency
services locate the car quickly.
a collision deploys any airbag, Tele Aid automatically establishes
contact. The onboard transmitter is crash-secure and has access
to redundant antennae. Mercedes-Benz was first to make emergency
calling equipment like this standard.
The two non-emergency
uses of Tele Aid are accessed from inside the center console.
One button marked with a wrench puts the client in direct contact
with Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance. To answer any questions
about the car, another button marked "i" connects users
with the Mercedes-Benz Client Assistance Center.
Tele Aid eliminates the need to juggle a handset, dial a phone
number, use a cellular access code or locate street names during
an emergency. Moreover, the standard Tele Aid system does not
require a cellular phone or service - it operates on its own cellular
An additional benefit of Tele Aid is vehicle theft tracking, which
can actually help authorities locate the car once it's reported
stolen. Last year, Tele Aid was enhanced with a new remote diagnosis
feature, as well as emergency door unlocking and theft alarm notification.
Any Mercedes owner with a Tele Aid equipped vehicle and the in-dash
COMAND display can now subscribe to new web-based Info Services.
Clients begin by using a home or office PC to customize personal
preferences on their own web page (part of the Mercedes-Benz USA
website at www.mbusa.com). Then, any time they push a button beside
the color LCD display, their selected stock quotes, news topics,
sports and weather are downloaded from CNN Interactive and displayed
on the screen. Calendar reminders are also possible through the
USA is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of Mercedes-Benz
cars and light trucks in the U.S. Headquartered in Montvale, New
Jersey, MBUSA employs approximately 1,500 people in 20 locations
across the U.S. Through a nationwide network of over 300 retailers,
Mercedes-Benz USA sold 205,614 vehicles in the U.S. during 2000,
setting the highest sales volume ever in its history.