New Concept Mercedes Offers Hybrid Power
The North American International Auto Show 2004, to give it its full title, opened its door this week and as ever, the show was not short of interesting machinery. One of the more radical vehicles on show is the Mercedes - Benz Vision Grand Sports Tourer, which lays the foundation for what Mercedes calls "a new class of car"
The idea behind the prototype Tourer is to combine the advantages of the family sedan, the van, the station wagon and the sports utility vehicle. This may seem a near impossible task but Stuttgart claims to have achieved its objectives by creating a versatile car suitable for family use, leisure, travel or work, all within a strikingly elegant set of clothes. While the show car is still strictly a concept vehicle, senior Mercedes officials are openly stating that a full production model will see the light of day early in 2005.
The exterior styling is especially notable for the curved roofline, but it's the interior, which is of greater interest. There is space for up to six passengers, each with their own individual seat housed in three rows. Each passenger can choose between DVD or CD for entertainment but if passengers are not a priority, the four rear seats fold away to create a huge load area of 2030 litres easily accessed through a large rear door. This concept car is equipped with M-B's 184 kW V8 turbo diesel motor in combination with a 50kW electric motor, which is used in parking manoeuvres and stop-start traffic or whenever traffic conditions need little power.
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