Summit meeting of the flagships

World premiere of the new S-Class // Mercedes-Benz

With a show in a class of its own, Mercedes-Benz cele­brated the world premiere of the new S-Class at Airbus in Hamburg-Finken­werder on 15th May 2013. At this presen­ta­tion, based on a concept produced by OSK and which received world­wide atten­tion, the ruling Queen of the Airways, ...

With a show in a class of its own, Mercedes-Benz cele­brated the world premiere of the new S-Class at Airbus in Hamburg-Finken­werder on 15th May 2013. At this presen­ta­tion, based on a concept produced by OSK and which received world­wide atten­tion, the ruling Queen of the Airways, the A380, was flanked by the appear­ance of the future Queen of the Road. “The intro­duc­tion of a Mercedes S-Class is always an event of the century. But it happens much more frequently,” wrote the Frank­furter Allge­meine Zeitung (FAZ) in 2005. “Another ‘century’ has now passed, and the presen­ta­tion of the S-Class of the year 2013 really is yet another major event,” was the judge­ment of the FAZ on 21st May 2013.

Specially for the world premiere of the new Mercedes flag­ship, OSK had erected a pavilion bristling with multi-media equip­ment in the Airbus delivery centre - at the exact spot where, normally, Airbus customers from Europe and the Middle East take delivery of their new A380. Some 750 inter­na­tional guests from poli­tics, the economy and the media waited expec­tantly for the presen­ta­tion of the S-Class. On a 200-square-metre LED video wall they expe­ri­enced live how the new guiding star for luxury travel touched down on board a DHL Airbus A300-600 cargo plane as “Ger­many’s most valu­able package”. For an appear­ance appro­priate to its status, the limousine was flown from Stuttgart to Hamburg exclu­sively for its world premiere.

Then the gigantic video screen opened up like the door of a hangar to reveal an A380 surrounded by all 20 current Mercedes-Benz models. A fire­work display lit up the cloudy sky, and the white fleet of star-sporting vehi­cles swung into motion - dancing a ballet on the runway. To the rhythm of the live music played by the Hamburg Phil­har­monic Orchestra and specially composed for the premiere, the new S-Class “danced” splen­didly at the head of the family of other models, driving up onto the stage. The first passenger to emerge from within was the world famous star Alicia Keys. Beaming, this musi­cian sat down at the grand piano and sang “How it feels to fly” as well as her current mega-hit “Girl on fire”. This spec­tac­ular produc­tion was trans­mitted to the entire world via live stream.

To expe­ri­ence with all five senses the unique­ness and claim to lead­er­ship made by this new luxury limousine - this was what Mercedes-Benz demanded to cele­brate its world premiere. Grammy-winner Alicia Keys had trav­elled specially to Hamburg a few days before the start in Liver­pool of her Euro­pean tour. 19 musi­cians from the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Prof. Johannes Schild, played a variety of pieces which the inter­na­tion­ally successful composer of film scores Marius Ruhland had composed espe­cially for the world premiere.

From the culi­nary point of view, too, the visi­tors expe­ri­enced a palate-tick­ling summit meeting of enjoy­ment. Mercedes-Benz had opened, for this one evening only, a “ten-star restau­rant” unmatched anywhere in the world. Five German star chefs special­izing in different styles of cooking and sharing a total of ten Michelin stars among them each created a special dish of their own.

Beside the “ten-star restau­rant”, the presen­ta­tion stage and the back­stage areas, the 2,000-square-metre-or-so premiere pavilion housed an S-Class show­room, a VIP lounge for guests like Franz Beck­en­bauer, Michael Schu­macher, Vicky Lean­dros, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko in addi­tion to an exten­sive product exhi­bi­tion with a high propor­tion of multi-media items. On an area of no less than 550 square metres, guests could expe­ri­ence the high­lights of the new S-Class via inter­ac­tive touch screens, animated film sequences, wall graphics, specially-made exhibits and a mobile acoustic studio.

Erecting the tempo­rary building was a tour-de-force of logis­tics. For about a fort­night, as many as 100 crafts­people from a wide variety of trades were kept busy every day. A total of 160 artic­u­lated trucks brought the mate­rials required, which included over 500 metric tonnes of steel, 4,000 square metres of timber, 400 spot­lights, 96 loud­speakers, not to mention the LED video wall 28 metres wide and seven metres high. Supplying the addi­tional power of 3,000 kVA meant laying 25 kilo­me­tres of new cabling, installing 40 power distrib­u­tors as well as providing stand-alone gener­a­tors. Nor was it only the precisely posi­tioned loud­speakers which ensured the event’s “good tone”: there were also 26 output signal path­ways and a mixing console with 168 input chan­nels. 400 lamps with 130 elec­tric motors in some 1,000 metres of traverse rigging showed off the S-Class in the best possible light.

“A world premiere in a class of its own” - this was the unan­i­mous opinion of the invited guests, including around 400 jour­nal­ists from all over the world. Thus Dr. Dieter Zetsche’s hopes were fulfilled: “If you are asked what the world premiere was like, I hope you will say S-Class!”

The response to the new S-Class from guests at the premiere, the world’s press and Internet visi­tors was over­whelming. Publi­ca­tions on the Mercedes-Benz Face­book page alone reached more than 14 million users. In addi­tion, daily news­pa­pers and specialist magazines gave compre­hen­sive coverage to the event - from the tabloid Bild Zeitung via the Handels­blatt right up to the Inter­na­tional Herald Tribune.

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A show from a different star

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(Focus online)

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A spec­tac­ular show

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(Welt online)

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Huge

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(Handels­blatt online)

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As grandiose as the company could make it

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(Inter­na­tional Herald Tribune)

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This presen­ta­tion based on the idea of bringing together two top German tech­nolo­gies like the A380 and the S-Class, the care and lavish­ness of its imple­men­ta­tion unmis­tak­ably shows where Mercedes-Benz posi­tions its S-Class: as the top product of auto­mo­bile construc­tion, as the best car in the world.

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(myau­to24)

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Impos­sible to imagine more Mercedes

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(Clas­sic­Driver)

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