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October 06, 2002

Currently playing: Erasure - Boy

Currently playing: Erasure - Boy
Mercedes Benz E-Motion (new E-class launch event) hit Southern California today.

Basically, a big tent with very nice h'ors ordurves (sp?), drinks, a few massage therapists, Saks' Fifth Avenue doing makeup for the ladies, music, and a Mercedes structural demostration cut-away car. Out back they had an exit tent with gift bags (KitchenAid, Sony, Saks' promotional stuff, plus a nice Mercedes hat), a cook with a BBQ demonstrating stuff (looked good, actually!)... and the entire Mercedes range setup for you to look at and sit in. (Left to right, G500, CLK320, SLK320, S430, SL500, E320, and ML320, I think...)

We can't forget the driving. The E320 road course was a "luxury driving course." Wait in line, get in, get accomodated, do an acceleration then a braking test, then a slalom and low-speed turns, then a rough-surface test. Boring, but the slalom wasn't bad, although the rough-surface test was very poorly done- other events I've been to used much harsher rough-surface tests.

The E500 course was the performance driving course. Similar thing, but the acceleration and braking points were more aggressive, then it was a much higher speed course of gently sweepers, some tight turns and a hairpin, I think. The E500 is a compotent handler, and probably a good one for a luxury sedan... but it wouldn't be my performance sedan of choice. Definitely respectable, but its luxury intent is clearly stronger than its sporting intent. The autostick wasn't too bad, but the lack of engine noise made it hard to use; you had to constantly watch the tach.

Barry, Alex, and I had a nice two hours of fun at Mercedes' expense, though. Jae, Jay, and Cheston were there too, so that was cool. Besides, beating up on a new car... how can I resist? All in all, it was a nice, ritzy presentation. I prefer the Saab or the Car and Driver events I've been to before though; more driving time and less restrictions. =)

Posted by brian at October 6, 2002 03:39 AM

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