Mercedes relying on six appeal to boost 2011 sales
MERCEDES intends to hit us for six next year. When its new 4dr CLS coupé arrives early in 2011 it will be one of six new or revamped models on their way here over the year.
Just before that -- indeed due within a matter of weeks -- will be a version of the new S-Class with BlueTEC emissions technology.
The CLS (left) is a January arrival, followed later in the year by a new SLK roadster, a facelifted C-Class saloon and a C-Class coupe in April.
Then towards the end of the year comes the new MP sports utility vehicle and a new B-Class.
Meanwhile, Mercedes has provided a glimpse of the new Magic Sky Control vario-roof to be offered as an option on its next generation SLK.
The original SLK, introduced in 1997, was one of the first open-topped cars to adopt the now-popular folding metal roof technology which has even made it on to some of the cheapest convertibles on the market.
Recent folding hard-tops, such as that fitted to Renault's Megane CC and Porsche's re-born Targa, however, feature large glass, rather than metal, panels.
Magic Sky Control is Mercedes' attempt to distinguish its glass roof from some of the others by overcoming one of the main disadvantages of clear tops -- the heating up of the car interior in direct sunlight.
Magic Sky Control allows a transparent roof to be darkened within a few seconds at the press of a switch. Particles in the glass position themselves in order to allow light to pass through when a current is passed through the roof structure, but when the current is switched off they adopt random positions, which blocks the passage of light.
Because the technology prevents light from shining through the roof when the current is switched off, the car's interior is protected from over-heating when it is parked and not in use.
Darkening the roof when the car is occupied reduces the load on the air conditioning system; that cuts down on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.