Mercedes-Benz Zamboni

At the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated the new all-wheel-drive S550 on an ice rink.

Mercedes-Benz drives on ice.
S550 on ice, with figure skaters CNET/Sarah Tew

At the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated how its S-class could be used to smooth the ice of a skating rink. Or the company might have been demonstrating the new all-wheel-drive S550. Either way, most of the Mercedes-Benz floor area at the show was covered with ice, along with ice skaters chasing an S550 around the rink. Mercedes-Benz has offered its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system in a variety of its models and used the Detroit show to announce its availability in the S-class. Mercedes-Benz brags in its press literature that it first developed an all-wheel-drive system in 1907.

The German automaker has been going to extremes to show off its new S-class, previously with the two-level structure it built inside a concert hall for the 2005 Frankfurt Auto Show, where it launched the redesigned S-class. BMW used big ice blocks to unveil its Hydrogen7 car, which might not seem as an impressive a feat as building an ice rink. But BMW has ice blocks at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, a region where frozen water doesn't naturally occur.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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