DETROIT — With the world premiere of the next-generation M-Class sport/utility and the North American debuts of two more significant vehicles, the new-product cup is running over at the Mercedes-Benz stand during the Detroit Auto Show, the company announced on January 6. Beyond the first appearance of the 2006 M-Class, the show represents the first U.S. appearance of the Vision B and Vision R concept vehicles. The all-new 2006 M-Class is characterized by an aggressive wedge shape complemented by sweeping front fenders, dramatic shoulder lines, and a sharply angled windshield, as well as a completely redesigned interior that provides more comfort and more space. Scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. this spring and in Europe this summer, the second-generation SUV features a new unibody platform as well as redesigned suspension that delivers impressive on-road driving performance and comfort. With a focus on performance, handling and safety, the Grand Sports Tourer Vision R also combines the distinct advantages of several vehicles — the comfort and style of a luxury vehicle, the performance, and handling of a sports sedan, along with the versatility and four-wheel-drive traction of a sport/utility. Evolving from a concept first presented in 2002, the long-wheelbase Grand Sports Tourer Vision R is designed as a roomy six-seater – three pairs of comfortable single seats finished in leather, in a spacious interior trimmed with aluminum and olive ash wood. The individual seats in both rear rows can each be folded down, and dual-sourced flat-screen monitors built into the back of the front head restraints provide entertainment for passengers. As a dramatic indicator of comfort and roominess, the spacious interior of the Grand Sports Tourer Vision R boasts 34 inches between the first and second seat rows, and there's more than 30 inches between the second and third rows! Offering a glimpse into the future, the Compact Sports Tourer Vision B concept vehicle combines the advantages of a sports sedan, SUV, and wagon in one versatile vehicle. It provides the comfort and style of a luxury vehicle, the performance and handling of a sports sedan, along with the versatility of an SUV. Design and useful technology now make possible an automotive decathlete — a vehicle that can excel at a range of owner needs without sacrificing aesthetics. While the CLS500 will arrive shortly in the U.S. with a 302-horsepower 5.0L V-8, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes premiered the new CLS55 AMG. It is powered by the Engine Technology International magazine's "Best Performance Engine" of 2003. The coupe-like car with four doors now boasts a 469-horsepower V-8 engine from AMG, the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz. AMG has worked on the CLS power train, interior and exterior, including AMG sport seats with nappa leather and new-design 19-inch AMG alloy wheels.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials