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450,000 kilometre acid test for new E-class

Mercedes-Benz is racing 33 of its new E-class models from Paris to Beijing to put its latest incarnation to the test.

The 330 drivers will attempt to make the 450,000km journey in 26 days. The drivers will take it in turns throughout five stages.

The bridging between Europe and Asia over long stretches of the journey, follows the route of the first transcontinental car race in history which was started exactly 99 years ago on June 10, and which led from Beijing to Paris in 62 days.

The E-Class fleet leaves Paris on October 21 and consists of 33 series-production E-class models with diesel engines and all-wheel drive.

"70 years after Mercedes-Benz as the first car producer introduced the diesel engine in passenger cars, we now want to underline the performance of our modern diesel technology with the long-distance drive from Paris to Beijing," said Dr Thomas Weber, member of the board of DaimlerChrysler AG, responsible for group research & development of the Mercedes Car Group.

In this drive, the sportive challenge for the participants lies in achieving the lowest possible fuel consumption on both the individual stages and in total. Added together, the 33 E-Classes will drive more than 280,000 miles in 28 days, two of which are resting days for the teams. This equals more than 11 times the circumference of the equator.

  • Altogether 330 drivers will be sitting behind the steering wheels of the cars, taking the stages in turns. Amongst these are Mercedes-Benz customers from various countries, as well as journalists, taxi drivers and celebrities. Drivers interested in this challenge may apply for joining in for one of the stages on the internet at
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