The FINANCIAL — New models, new drives and new ideas for urban mobility in megacities: Mercedes-Benz and smart are staging a rich celebration of innovation at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show.
One of the highlights of the show is the world premiere of the Vision Tokyo design show car. The “urban transformer” embodies another trailblazing space concept from Mercedes-Benz which reflects the brand’s growing appeal to a younger clientele. Also celebrating its market premiere in Japan is a model which was presented in the spring: the Mercedes-Benz GLE. The successor to the globally successful M-Class is being launched in a market in which Mercedes-Benz reported continuing dynamic growth in 2015. Counter to the current downward trend in Japan (-7.1 %), since the beginning of the year Mercedes-Benz’s sales have risen by 13.3 percent compared with the corresponding period last year, thereby clocking up the highest number of registrations among all premium import brands. Following on from the successful launch of the new smart generation in Europe, China and the USA, the stage is now set for the debut of the perfect city car in Japan, too, with the joint market premiere in Tokyo of the new smart fortwo and forfour, according to Daimler.
“Mercedes-Benz’s sustained success in Japan is based first and foremost on our attractive and diverse product portfolio,” observes Kintaro Ueno, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Japan, Co. Ltd. “At present we are able to offer our customers 26 model series and 123 variants – the perfect foundation for further growth. Mercedes-AMG has long been an integral part of our success. Japan is among the top five markets worldwide for the unique vehicles from our high-performance and sports car brand.”
Mercedes-Benz is continuing to make its mark with new products in Japan. At the Tokyo Motor Show it is presenting the new GLE as a fitting continuation of the strategic product initiative in the year of the SUV. Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly revised its best-seller in the SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE include considerably more appealing front and tail ends and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and drive system possible. Across the available engine range, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by 17 percent on average compared with the preceding series. For the first time in its SUV history, Mercedes-Benz offers a plug-in hybrid model, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, which combines maximum efficiency with outstanding performance. The new top-of-the-range V8 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 4MATIC is now stronger and more appealing than ever, with an expanded model line-up and even more power.
Mercedes-Benz is underscoring its leading role in the field of drive systems with innovative and clean BlueTec diesel engines, a diesel hybrid and also plug-in hybrid models which will be available on the Japanese market in the new year.
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: connected lounge for megacities
Following on from the F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle as an autonomous luxury saloon, Mercedes-Benz is now presenting a new show car of the same ilk which has been developed with the needs and wishes of the so-called “Generation Z” in mind. The Vision Tokyo shows the car of the future as a special type of mobile living space – a chill-out zone in busy megacity traffic. The Vision Tokyo is the latest trailblazing spatial experience to come from Mercedes-Benz: its monolithic structure, futuristic design idiom and unique lounge ambience in the interior define it as luxurious, young and progressive – thus making it a fitting tribute to the sophisticated and trendsetting metropolis that is Tokyo. “The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities,” explains Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “The Vision Tokyo is our tailor-made product for young people in megacities.”
The Vision Tokyo is a homage to the urban Generation Z, the cohort of people born since 1995 who have grown up with the new media. The Vision Tokyo takes things another step further: innovative algorithms allow it to evolve constantly; Deep Machine Learning and an intelligent Predictive Engine mean that, with each journey, it becomes more and more familiar with its occupants, their likes and preferences. All of which makes the Vision Tokyo the perfect partner for Generation Z.
smart fortwo and forfour: champions of urban mobility
The new smart generation is already successfully established in Europe, China and the USA. The stage is now set for the city car’s debut in Japan, as well: the smart will be in the spotlight at the Tokyo Motor Show in the guise of the fortwo and the forfour. “Tokyo is the world’s largest urban centre – the blueprint for all megacities around the globe,” notes smart boss Dr Annette Winkler. “As such, Tokyo is the perfect place to discover the strengths of the smart as the perfect city car.”
In urban conurbations subject to ever denser traffic and ever more strictly regulated parking amenities, the smart fortwo’s special strengths – ultra-compact dimensions, unbeatably small turning circle, great agility – really come into their own. With its equally pronounced manoeuvrability, the now even more flexible smart forfour is also an excellent choice for the city. The smart among the four-seaters features intelligent charging management, for example. As champions of urban mobility, both smart models boast more functionality, more safety and more comfort than ever before.