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Stuttgart – The readers of the German trade journal "Auto Zeitung" have voted the new Mercedes-Benz CLS the best model in the luxury segment. Another first place – for the second time in succession – went to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as best super sports car. Both cars received the renowned "Auto Trophy". Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars, took receipt of the prestigious awards yesterday evening at the Meilenwerk centre in Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, the campaign for the Mercedes SLS AMG, entitled "Is it still a car?" was voted the best advertising campaign of the year. Andreas Fuhlisch, manager of Bauer Media KG, presented the corresponding award to Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales and Marketing.

This was the 23rd annual readers’ poll conducted by "Auto Zeitung" to determine the best cars of the year. 103,848 readers cast their votes, choosing the new Mercedes-Benz CLS as the best car of the year in the luxury segment. Following the "Goldenes Lenkrad" award, this is the second readers' poll to be topped by the second generation of the four-door coupé, which was only presented in August 2010.

With its fascinating and sensuous design coupled with refined sportiness, the latest version of the CLS benefits from the fact that Mercedes-Benz is a generation ahead of the competition in the luxury class, by virtue of it having founded the segment. All the engines in the CLS are new and provide for fuel savings of up to 25 percent in comparison to their predecessors. Two six-cylinder models will be available from the time of the market launch in Europe in January 2011: the CLS 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY rated at 195 kW (265 hp) and the CLS 350 BlueEFFICIENCY with a power output of 225 kW (306 hp) and featuring ECO start/stop function as standard. The economical four-cylinder diesel rated at 150 kW (204 hp) will follow in March and the powerful V8 with 300 kW (408 hp) of power in April. Both of these engines will also come with the ECO start/stop function as standard. Another standard feature contributing to enhanced efficiency is the electro-mechanical Direct-Steer system which is being premiered in the CLS.

The new CLS also sets new standards in the area of safety. The features offered for the new four-door coupé include twelve intelligent driver assistance systems. The CLS is also the first automobile in the world to offer dynamic LED High Performance headlamps as an optional extra. With these new headlamps the Intelligent Light System, which is already well established in Mercedes models with Bi-xenon headlamps, can be combined with LED technology for the first time.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has topped the readers' poll as best super sports car for the second time in succession. With its fascinating lines and striking gullwing doors, the super sports car evokes memories of the legendary 300 SL from the 1950s. This outstanding, thrilling design is backed up by equally exquisite engineering and technology, including aluminum space frame body, AMG 6.3 liter V8 front mid-engine with dry sump lubrication, a power output of 420 kW (571 hp) and 650 Newton meters of torque, 7-speed double clutch transmission in transaxle configuration and agile sports suspension with aluminum double-wishbone axles. This unique combination of high-tech features guarantees the very highest level of driving dynamics.

Vehicles from Mercedes-Benz traditionally put in a good showing in annual polls to determine the best cars of the year. In 2009 the Mercedes E-Class and the SLS AMG received the "Auto Trophy", while in the year before the Mercedes GLK scooped this important award.

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