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1993 MARKS LAST YEAR FOR MERCEDES 4MATIC SYSTEM ASR TRACTION CONTROL EMPHASIZED FOR FUTURE PRODUCTS

 MONTVALE, N.J., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz of North America has announced that 1993 is the last model year in which their 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system will be available. Reasons for the decision cited by Mercedes officials include wide consumer acceptance of their ASR/ASD traction control systems and continued emphasis on increasing fuel efficiency of their future products.
 Introduced in 1989 in special versions of the mid-sized Mercedes- Benz 300E sedan and 300TE station wagon, the electronically controlled 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system has been acclaimed as a comprehensive, high-technology solution to the need for extra traction under a variety of driving conditions.
 In 1989, Mercedes also introduced two other computer-controlled traction systems: ASR and ASD. The ASR acceleration slip control system uses wheel-speed sensors to detect rear wheel slippage, automatically applying the brake on the slipping wheel, and if needed, reducing engine power automatically to match the available traction.
 ASD (available in four-cylinder, manual transmission and diesel models) is a sophisticated automatic locking differential, able to direct power to each rear wheel according to the traction at the road surface.
 ASR -- especially in combination with modern snow tires -- has proven to provide some of the benefits of four-wheel-drive, and at a lower price. Since its introduction in 1989, ASR traction control has become standard equipment on high-powered Mercedes-Benz models and is an available option for most others.
 The 4MATIC system adds about 300 pounds to the weight of the car and absorbs more power through its complex drive train. Both of these factors lower fuel economy, an area in which Mercedes-Benz wants to continue improving. Further, Mercedes has moved to more efficient four- valve-per-cylinder engines, which have not been developed in conjunction with 4MATIC.
 Lastly, research has shown that a Mercedes owner is increasingly likely to be part of a multi-car family, with different types of vehicles for varying needs (rather than requiring a single, all-purpose car). For example, many Mercedes owners also have access to a sport/utility vehicle.
 Like all 1993 models, Mercedes-Benz cars equipped with 4MATIC, ASD and ASR traction control are covered by a four-year/50,000-mile bumper- to-bumper warranty. All Mercedes vehicles -- even those produced decades ago -- are covered by the Mercedes-Benz 24-hour Roadside Assistance program, which includes a free tire change, a few gallons of fuel or a jump start if necessary.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Fred Heiler of Mercedes-Benz, 201-573-2245/


CO: Mercedes-Benz of North America ST: New Jersey IN: AUT SU:

WB-PS -- NY060 -- 0518 03/29/93 12:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 29, 1993
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