1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

In business, you have to be at the right place at the right time to catch the waves of product popularity that can mean windfall profits, and in the later 90s, Mercedes-Benz did just that. It introduced the 1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class at just the right time for maximum exposure and sales. At the time, most SUVs were still based on truck chassis, meaning that they generally handled quite poorly. The M-Class changed everything, by offering a design, chassis and suspension that altough were quite capable of off-roading, were superb. This allowed Mercedes-Benz to immediately grab a huge market share.

1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

The original M-Class, the ML320, was was powered by a 3.2-liter V6, with 3 valves per cylinder. It developed a more than respectable 215 horsepower and plenty of torque, driving all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. In terms of performance, it could reach a top speed (artificially limited) of 112 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in 9.3 seconds.

With its advanced suspension, all-wheel disc brakes with ABS and excellent sub-frames chassis, the 1997 Mercedes-Benz M-Class offered all the excitement of driving a nice car with the convenience of an SUV. It was assembled in Daimler’s USA factory in Alabama, and was able to be offered at a price which guaranteed sales, increasing its appeal even further.

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