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Cars > Mercedes > Mercedes Benz Vision B Sports Tourer 2004

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Mercedes Benz Vision B Sports Tourer 2004

The innovative Sports Tourer concept developed by Mercedes-Benz is becoming more and more versatile. At the Paris Motor Show the Stuttgart brand is presenting a study of this future-oriented touring car in two variants for the first time: the European version of the "Vision R" Grand Sports Tourer is now joined by the new "Vision B" Compact Sports Tourer. Mercedes-Benz is thereby underlining the potential of this vehicle concept for a new model family.

The Sports Tourers by Mercedes-Benz: one idea - two cars

  • Dimensions
  • Design
  • Dynamism

The Sports Tourers by Mercedes-Benz: A class of their own

The innovative Sports Tourer concept developed by Mercedes-Benz is becoming more and more versatile. At the Paris Motor Show the Stuttgart brand is presenting a study of this future-oriented touring car in two variants for the first time: the European version of the "Vision R" Grand Sports Tourer is now joined by the new "Vision B" Compact Sports Tourer. Mercedes-Benz is thereby underlining the potential of this vehicle concept for a new model family.

Design, dynamism, dimensions - these are the shared hallmarks of the Sports Tourers which make them individual and distinctive. The design lines with their striking front ends emphasise the muscular and active nature of the Sports Tourers, which are equipped with high-torque CDI diesel engines. In the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" a newly developed V6 power unit ensures effortless performance. It has an output of 218 hp and already generates a maximum torque of 510 Nm from 1800 rpm. Generous seating space, exemplary comfort and a high level of practicality are other attributes shared by the Mercedes-Benz Sports Tourers, providing first-class conditions for relaxed and enjoyable touring.

The idea of the Sports Tourer, which Mercedes-Benz first presented in 2002, combines the advantages of familiar vehicle concepts such as a sporty saloon, estate, van and "Sport Utility Vehicle" (SUV) to create a new category in its own right. Accordingly the show cars impress with their size, comfort and practicality while meeting the highest expectations in terms of performance and dynamic handling.

The Sports Tourers are the Mercedes-Benz answer to the wishes of forward-thinking people for an automobile with an exciting design and a striking character which is equally suitable for family, recreational and professional use. Both concept vehicles provide this versatility.

Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R": 4+2-seater with luxury appointments

The Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R", which Mercedes-Benz is presenting in its European version with a wheelbase of 2980 millimetres in Paris, is designed as a 4+2-seater. The passengers have the benefit of comfortable, single seats and a level of spaciousness which exceeds that of many a luxury saloon. Tasteful appointments with fine leather and decorative trim of ash wood and aluminium contribute to the feel-good atmosphere in the spacious interior.

Thanks to four-wheel drive, air suspension and the powerful new V6 diesel engine, the large Sports Tourer has everything needed for dynamic driving pleasure. In conjunction with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, the
218 hp six-cylinder manages more than 32.0 mpg. The exhaust emissions meet the EU-4 standards, and the additive-free particulate filter system developed by Mercedes-Benz also reduces soot emissions.

Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B": intelligent concept for space and comfort

Thanks to its intelligent concept, the Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" is likewise in a class of its own. Arranging the engine and transmission partly in front of and partly beneath the passenger cell - according to the sandwich principle - gives this all-new touring car the interior spaciousness of larger saloons and estates despite its compact external dimensions.

The compact Sports Tourer is powered by a new four-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 140 hp and a highly respectable torque of 300 Nm. Other equally impressive attributes are a fuel consumption of less than six litres per 100 kilometres and exhaust emissions at EU-4 levels. A diesel particulate filter is also included.

Paintwork: world premiere of an innovative high-gloss paint

In line with the special nature of the Sports Tourer show cars, Mercedes-Benz is using a new type of exterior paint with a high-gloss finish for the first time. This surrounds the vehicle body like a metallic skin and emphasises its design lines even more strongly. This extremely shiny, high-luminance finish is the result of a new and highly sophisticated process which the Stuttgart brand intends to develop to series production maturity.

One idea - two cars

  • Innovative vehicle concept also as a Compact Sports Tourer
  • Outstanding in design, dynamism and dimensions

Getting to know the wishes of customers, observing social trends, researching the future and implementing new car ideas on the basis of the findings - that is the recipe of Mercedes-Benz. And a very appropriate one, judging by the success of the product initiative. It has given rise to new model series which have set trends in conceptual, styling and technical terms: the A-Class, M-Class, SLK-Class and - most recently -- the CLS-Class.

Success confirms and encourages further commitment. Mercedes-Benz remains true to its image as the pacemaker of the automotive industry. Mercedes specialists continuously think about the future, conduct an intensive dialogue with customers and develop new ideas. One of the results is a vision with thoroughly realistic prospects: the Vision Grand Sports Tourer.

This innovative car concept combines something which was previously regarded as irreconcilable at this level of perfection. In terms of dimensions, design and dynamism it adapts the attributes of familiar vehicle categories such as the sporty saloon, estate, van and "Sport Utility Vehicle" (SUV), and combines them into a new, distinctive profile. The result is a multifunctional automobile which meets the requirements of the modern motorist, a new interpretation of the touring car which is just as versatile, flexible and sophisticated as its owner. A car with many talents: generous space for both family and recreation, the presence of a luxury car, the comfort of a touring car and the dynamism of a sporty saloon.

In other words the Vision offers a completely new motoring experience with the image of the Mercedes-Benz brand, reinforcing the exciting aura of the Sports Tourer with an aesthetically appealing shape and technical perfection.

In 2002 Mercedes-Benz presented this car idea to the public for the first time, thereby setting the scene for a new, future-oriented market segment.

The Sports Tourer has meanwhile progressed from a vision to reality -- and is now attracting attention on two counts: at the Paris Motor Show Mercedes-Benz is presenting both the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" and - for the first time - the Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B", which projects this new automobile concept into a different vehicle class -- and into a further Mercedes model series for the future.

One idea - two cars:

  • The Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" in a European variant of the future touring car, which differs from the show car presented in January 2004 in having a 235-millimetre shorter wheelbase (2980 millimetres). The body has a length of 4922 millimetres, and this 4+2-seater has an extremely spacious interior.
  • The Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" is a new variant of this vehicle concept. Despite its compact external dimensions - the body has a length of 4270 millimetres - this five-seater offers the comfort and space of larger saloons or estates thanks to an intelligent design concept.

The guiding theme linking both design studies is 'Travelling and Experiencing'. The Sports Tourers reflect an attitude to life which young and young-at-heart people also like to express in their choice of car. Packing a suitcase on the spur of the moment and taking off for the countryside with friends or acquaintances, and already enjoying the journey as a shared experience.

This awakens a demand for automobiles that make this feeling of "togetherness" possible, but are also capable of meeting a wide range of other requirements - for business, shopping and on the motorway.

The Sports Tourers are the Mercedes-Benz answer to these customer wishes. Whether as the large "Vision R" or the compact "Vision B" version, both cars not only offer a unique experience factor, but also open up new perspectives in relaxed and safe car travel.

Dimensions, design, dynamism - these are the common attributes of the Sports Tourers which make them individual and give them an identity of their own.

Dimensions: a new size concept for comfort and space

First-class comfort on wheels -- the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" honours this promise with every kilometre. Up to six passengers can be comfortably accommodated on single seats to enjoy the journey. An entertainment system with flat-screen monitors on the reverse sides of the two front head restraints ensures that the time passes interestingly and quickly on long journeys.

The outstanding sense of spaciousness on board the larger Sports Tourer is also helped by the original, avant-garde vehicle concept. With a length of 4922 millimetres, the body is akin to a luxury saloon in size but is considerably more spacious in the interior. Take the distance between the seats, for example, an important indicator for freedom of movement and comfort: this measures 860 millimetres between the first and second seat rows, with another 780 millimetres available between the second and third rows. In terms of headroom

(rear: 1014 millimetres) and shoulder-room (rear: 1512 millimetres) the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" likewise opens up new dimensions in space and comfort.

The rear seat unit meets the requirement for a high degree of versatility. Depending on need, the single seats in both rear rows can be individually folded down and the rear centre console quickly and easily removed. This means that the luggage capacity can be variably adapted to suit different transport tasks - with no problem in taking along a mountain bike, skis, a snowboard or other recreational equipment.

The Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" transfers this travelling experience into a different vehicle class, with an equally impressive use of space. While the external dimensions of this design study correspond to those of a modern compact car, with a length of 4270 mm and a width of 1778 mm, the interior has a level of spaciousness which even larger saloons or estates are unable to match. The patented sandwich concept makes this possible: thanks to the space-saving arrangement of the drive unit partly in front of and partly beneath the passenger cell, almost 70 percent of the body length is available for the occupants and their luggage - the outstanding result of an intelligent dimensional concept which provides the best possible conditions for a high level of long-distance comfort.

A look at the individual measurements confirms these qualities of the Compact Sports Tourer: the distance between the seats is 840 millimetres, the rear shoulder-room 1382 millimetres and the rear headroom 980 millimetres.

Design contours for an impressive appearance

The two Sports Tourers demonstrate their membership of a new Mercedes model family by a shared design language. The front end of both show cars is characterised by a radiator grille with three horizontal vanes and the integral Mercedes star. Long, horizontal trim sections with high-quality chrome inserts give the front end a wide and particularly muscular appearance. The design unmistakably conveys attributes such as power, assurance and performance - qualities which both Sports Tourers certainly exhibit. The discreet yet unmistakable wedge-shape of the front end and the large air intakes in the front bumper trim accentuate this impression.

The headlamps are equally expressive. The "eyes" of this new Mercedes face are located well to the outside, emphasising the impression of breadth. The design and formal integration of the headlamps are in line with the distinctive character of both design studies: large, ellipsoid headlamps punctuate the front aspect of the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R"; they are slightly inclined to the rear and harmoniously blend into the lines of the bonnet and wings.

The Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" has large, striking headlamps which echo the lines of the bumper and ensure that the entire front end forms a single visual unit.

Transparency is an integral concept in both headlamp designs. Clear headlamp lenses make the high-performance lighting technology visible: bi-xenon headlamps which project their beams onto the road surface from shining chrome cylinders.

The bonnet contours are also a styling feature common to both Sports Tourers. It rises from the wings in a slightly convex shape and thereby accentuates the muscular presence of the front end. Sharply defined lines delimit the bonnet surface to produce an interesting light-and-shade effect, then connect with the A-pillars in a dynamic curve to continue to the rear end as a flowing line.

Taut composition of surfaces and lines

The arched roof line -- an important stylistic element in the Sports Tourers which conveys dynamism and elegance - spans the muscular shoulders of the bodyshell and produces a dramatic interaction between soft contours and tightly-drawn lines. The side aspect from the front wheel arches to the rear light clusters is divided by a prominent waistline, at the same time forming a refractive edge between the concave and convex door surfaces. Since this line also rises slightly to the rear, it emphasises the wedge-shape of the body -- and therefore the dynamic and powerful character of the Sports Tourers.

The same is reflected by the muscular contours of the wheel arches, which attract the eye to light-alloy wheels in a sporty twin-spoke design. Tyre sizes:

  • Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R": front: 255/45 ZR 21; rear: 295/40 ZR 21
  • Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B": 235/35 ZR 19

The design of the rear end also features the dynamic lines which link the front and side aspects, and which constitute an important element of the styling language expressed by both Mercedes studies. The waistlines rise gently as they progress to the rear, influencing the form of the rear lights and transferring the impression of muscularity to the tailgate. In the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" the line dips downward gently and blends into the rear bumper; in the Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" the side contour is horizontally continued at the rear end, thereby also dividing the tailgate.

Highly polished aluminium panels on the rear lights attract the eye and elegantly characterise the visual connection between the flanks and rear end. Circular lighting elements for the indicators and reversing lights are further highlights in the rear light clusters of the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R".

ALU-BEAM paintwork with a high-gloss effect

More than ever before, Mercedes designers have also used the body surface as a design feature in these show cars. The innovative ALU-BEAM paint surrounds the bodywork like a metallic skin, emphasising the design lines of the Sports Tourers more strongly than any other paint finish and enlivening it with designed-in light reflections.

 The special high-gloss finish and intense colour are the result of a newly developed process which Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer worldwide to employ: the tiny 100 to 300-nanometre pigments which create the metallic effect in conventional paints are subjected to a particularly sophisticated process to produce the new ALU-BEAM paint. They are also very much finer (30 to 50 nanometres) and are therefore integrated into the paint surface more evenly. This means that the light is reflected more intensively with a more glossy effect.

In the Sports Tourer show cars this innovative paint is shown in "Sterling" (Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R") and "Steel" (Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B").

Mercedes-Benz intends to develop this innovative paint technology to series production maturity together with a well-known paint manufacturer.

First-class atmosphere in the interior

An enjoyable driving experience - this claim for the Sports Tourers is particularly well met by the design of the interior. A harmonious composition of forms, colours and materials enhances the time spent on board these modern touring cars, creating a definite feel-good atmosphere in conjunction with the generous interior dimensions.

Glass is used as an important design feature. It not creates the visual link between the exterior and interior, but also provides an interior flooded with light and reinforces the feeling of spaciousness. Light is an important interior design element for Mercedes designers - and has a pronounced effect on perceived comfort.

The muscular styling language of the body design, which is mainly based on the interesting contrast between convex and concave surfaces, is continued in the interior of the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R". The dashboard, door panels and tunnel trim reflect the performance potential of the car with striking, muscle-like surface contours. While the upper section of the dashboard, the soft arm supports on the doors and the seat surfaces are in a pleasant "mohair beige" colour shade, the remaining features in the interior create an interesting contrast with a lighter variation of this colour. Trim strips and panels in open-pored "olive ash" wood underline the stylish elegance of the interior.

The cockpit represents both high-tech and heritage: large dial instruments with aluminium faces project from circular aluminium cylinders which are inclined slightly inwards and awaken memories of the racing sports cars of bygone years. Nonetheless they feature the latest information and display technology to give the driver all the information required - from the ambient temperature to directions from the navigation system. The attractively formed centre console accommodates the COMAND unit, air conditioning controls and other functions.

In keeping with the car's more youthful, sporty character, the dashboard, seats and inner door panels of the Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" are lined with a new, high-tech fabric material whose airy lightness creates associations with the textiles used in high-quality sportswear. The ventilation vents above the centre console, the operating console of the COMAND unit and automatic climate control unit, as well as the fascia of the instrument cluster, are in polished aluminium whose high-gloss finish creates a visual link with the ALU-BEAM paintwork of the body. As in the "Vision R", other trim parts are in open-pored "olive ash" wood.

The Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" shows its formal relationship to the large Sports Tourer by the staggered design of the dashboard, the comfortable arm supports in the doors with their conveniently placed switches for the power windows, and the sporty four-spoke steering wheel.

Dynamism: new CDI-engines for top-class diesel driving pleasure

The elegant body styling of these design studies conceals the stout heart of a long-distance runner: diesel engines with a torque of up to 510 Nm, a fuel consumption of only approx. six to nine litres per 100 kilometres and exhaust emissions complying with the relevant EU-4 standards.

In the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" Mercedes-Benz is presenting a prototype for a new V6 diesel engine which is ideal for a car in this category. With the help of common-rail direct injection and a variable turbocharger, this CDI unit develops

218 hp from a displacement of three litres and already makes a maximum torque of 510 Nm available from 1800 rpm. The effortless power developed by this six-cylinder unit is accompanied by silky-smooth running and a fuel consumption more than 32.0 mpg. This is in major part due to the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, whose intelligent shift control system makes full use of the V6 diesel engine's performance potential.

Other technical features of the Grand Sports Tourer "Vision R" include permanent four-wheel drive with 4ETS electronic traction control and AIRMATIC air suspension.

The latest diesel technology also ensures a dynamic driving experience in the Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B". The newly developed four-cylinder diesel engine has an output of 140 hp and 300Nm of torque from 1600 rpm.

By virtue of the newly developed, continuously variable AUTOTRONIC transmission, the engine generates its maximum output more rapidly than with a conventional automatic transmission and is able to accelerate the show car with no interruption in tractive power. In typical sports car fashion, AUTOTRONIC is operated by gearshift buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The Compact Sports Tourer "Vision B" is capable of more than 47.0 mpg.

Mercedes Benz Vision B Sports Tourer 2004


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