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First Look: Mercedes E-Class Convertible

Beehive hairdos make a comeback in Detroit?

by on Jan.12, 2010

A claimed first, the Aircap electric wind deflector.

Mercedes-Benz launched the new E-Class Cabriolet with much pizzazz and a fashion look from the past.

The car rolled on the stage with three female passengers – all with “beehive” hairdos once the height of fashion in the sixties.

With this demonstration the Germans wanted to draw attention to the fact that the new convertible is equipped with what is claimed to be a world first, the Aircap electric wind deflector.

It pops up from the top of the windshield frame by the touch of a button and greatly reduces turbulence in the interior. Mercedes says it also “creates a pool of warm air.” The system consists of a wind deflector with a net that extends to some 2.5 inches and another deflector between the rear head rests.

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Bienenstock Frisur?

This latest development “enhances” the Airscarf, which Mercedes patented earlier and functions like a scar to keep the head and neck warm. It is integrated into the back rests of the front seats and lets warm air flow through outlets in the head restraints. For the E-Class Cabriolet, the system has been updated with adjustable outlet vents.

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Daimler Chief Commits to Formula One for 2009

Conserving cash can wait when it comes to racing, says fan and Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche.

by on Apr.09, 2009

TK

A Formula One team runs between $100 million and $200 million annually to maintain.

Daimler AG plans to stick with Formula One racing despite the company’s need to conserve cash and in the face of ongoing controversies regarding the conduct of its McLaren Mercedes team.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s chief executive officer, said the company will police the company’s Formula One expenditures more closely and watch budgets more closely, after he was pressed by stockholders at the annual meeting. The maintenance of a Formula One team runs between $100 million and $200 million annually, and several manufacturers have begun expressing doubts about the overall value of  the Formula One racing circuit.

Honda pulled out of the 2009 season to conserve cash by selling its team, the automotive equivalent of selling the crown jewels. While Ferrari took the works title, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton took the driver’s championship last year.

Several shareholders challenged Zetsche to justify his spending money on Formula One at time when it is losing money and more than one third of the company’s workforce in Germany is working short work weeks. In addition, Daimler is also asking the company’s works council for an additional $2.6 billion in concessions. Daimler has lost significant sums in the past two quarters and faces a liquidity crisis.

However, Zetsche, who considers himself a racing buff, said Formula One remained a valuable tool for the Mercedes brand, which has to spread its limited marketing dollars around the world. (more…)