2012 CES: Mercedes-Benz shows the mbrace2 system

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 12, 2012

How Mercedes-Benz envisions the future of driving is displayed at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its new set of technological innovations includes the mbrace2 system, which feature its pioneering communications platform that was expanded to provide a complete cloud-based system.

With this system, consumers get a lineup of features and services that enhance safety, entertainment, information, vehicle care, and personal assistance. At the same time, the system provides cloud-based applications, speech recognition, Internet browsing and searching, traffic and navigation assistance, concierge services, automatic crash notifications and others.

The recently revamped 2013 SL-Class will offer the Mbrace2 as standard equipment. It will be offered as standard on more of Mercedes-Benz’s models this year.

Mercedes will also be showing off the mbrace2 smartphone app which enables drivers to communicate and send information to their vehicle before they get on it. The drivers would also be able to locate their vehicle, get it locked and unlocked, provide valet parking protection, get geo-fence alerts and Send2Benz, which supports the connection to other drivers so that they could sense and navigate in respect of each other.

Furthermore, Mercedes will unveil its newest suite of Advanced Driver Assistance System. This is a comprehensive active safety system that aims to prevent accidents.

A new Mercedes-Benz C350 coupe will be available so that the functions of the DriveStyle iPhone app could be demonstrated. With this app, drivers can interact with the vehicle instead of with the phone so that distractions will be minimized. Hence, accidents will be prevented.

Mercedes will initially offer the new SL-Class in two versions – the SL350 and the more powerful SL500. The Mercedes SL350 will be powered by a BlueDIRECT V6 engine that provides up to 225 kW (306 hp) of output. Meanwhile, the core of the Mercedes SL500 will be a BlueDIRECT V8 powerplant that delivers 12-percent more output (at 320 kW or 435 hp) than its predecessor.

With these outputs, the sixth generation of the Mercedes SL reaffirms its position as a refined athlete and an innovative trendsetter. Furthermore, the new Mercedes SL boasts of a more advanced and systematic approach to achieve an exhilarating performance.

In fact, the newest generation Mercedes-Benz SL is the first Mercedes series production vehicle that employs an all-aluminum bodyshell that is about 110 kilograms lighter than a comparable bodyshell made from sheet steel. While it is lighter, this aluminum bodyshell is more rigid and safer than its predecessor.

This aluminum bodyshell was achieved by cleverly and systematically employing aluminum alloys and tailor-made aluminum components, along with a few portions of high-strength steel and magnesium. It is understandable that adding more comfort and safety features and elements into the new Mercedes SL would mean additional weight that would offset the savings made through the aluminum bodyshell.

Seeing through this, Mercedes implemented an array of intelligent enhanced details to further reduce the weight of the SL. In figures, these resulted to a Mercedes SL350 that weighs 1,685 kilograms, or about 140 kilograms lighter than its predecessor.

These also resulted to an SL500 that tips the scale at 1,785, or around 15 kilograms lighter than the previous model. These numbers – pointing to an increase in longitudinal and lateral dynamics -- could be actually felt and perceived as soon as the driver gets behind the wheels of either the new SL350 or SL500, especially during cornering.

In addition, the new Mercedes SL boasts of a wider track both on the front (plus 38 mm) and the rear (plus 77 mm), resulting to better handling, greater agility and safer control.

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