|Heading out to Beijing.|
In an event designed to demonstrate the global potential of its diesel platforms, Mercedes-Benz is sending thirty-six Mercedes-Benz E-Class diesels—thirty-three E 320 CDIs and three E 320 BLUETECs—on a long-distance journey of more than 13,600 kilometers (8,452 miles) to Beijing, where the fleet is scheduled to arrive on 17 November. The driving challenge is not speed, but low fuel consumption.
The route of the “E-Class Experience” passes through France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Kazakhstan to China. The itinerary largely follows that of the first transcontinental car race in history, which was run between Beijing and Paris 99 years ago.
|Map of the route. Click to enlarge.|
On that occasion, the aim of the French initiators was to demonstrate the technical superiority of the car over the horse. The winner was the Italian aristocrat, Scipione Borghese, who crossed the finishing line after 62 days, with his competitors arriving in Paris three weeks later.
The long-distance route from Paris to Beijing is not about speed. Rather, the sporting challenge for the participants is to achieve the lowest possible consumption on the individual stages and across the overall distance.
70 years after Mercedes-Benz launched the diesel engine in series car production as the first manufacturer, we want to demonstrate again the high level of performance of the modern diesel engine in terms of emission, economy and range, even under the most extreme conditions.—Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the DaimlerChrysler Board of Management