Through the middle years of the last decade, it became increasingly common for celebrities to show up at events like award ceremonies in the Toyota Prius as a way of demonstrating their support for environmental causes. Now that the realm of the hybrid is expanding beyond the iconic pioneer, other automakers want a piece of that celeb action too. At the Palm Springs International Film Festival that starts this week, stars are getting lifts in a fleet of new hybrids from Mercedes-Benz.
Both the S400 mild hybrid and the ML450 two-mode hybrid are ferrying the likes of Sean Penn and Helen Mirren to screenings and award ceremonies. While the hybrids are the (vehicle) stars, Mercedes is also highlighting its other "eco-chic" models, like the GLK350 and E350. The only eco part of these models, however, is the fact that they are upwards of 85 percent recyclable. Perhaps Mercedes should have brought some of its diesel, fuel cell and battery electric vehicles instead.
Mercedes-Benz Goes Eco-Chic At Palm Springs International Film Festival
As the official vehicle of the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, Mercedes-Benz rolled-out its environmentally friendly hybrid luxury vehicles for Hollywood's elite. The Festival, which runs from January 5-18, 2010, starts the winter awards season with a spectacular program of films and a must-attend gala.
The two week celebration of films kicked-off with the Gala Awards Dinner on January 5th, where celebrity presenters and honorees such as Sean Penn, Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Michelle Pfieffer, Lee Daniels, Rob Marshall, Diablo Cody, T Bone Burnett, Anna Kendrick and Jeff Bridges were driven in Mercedes-Benz 2010 S400 HYBRID luxury sedans and ML450 HYBRID SUVs.
"Mercedes-Benz is proud to support the festival and the Palm Springs International Film Society as a sponsor and official vehicle for the seventh consecutive year," says Jill Martinette, Mercedes-Benz Regional Marketing Manager. "The festival's red carpet arrivals and A-list honorees are a perfect opportunity to show that being eco-friendly is possible without sacrificing luxury."
The S400 HYBRID features the world's first lithium-ion battery in a production vehicle. The 275-hp V6 gasoline engine provides impressive fuel economy with an estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
The ML450 HYBRID mid-size SUV uses a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, two electric motors and sophisticated electronics to produce more than 46 percent better fuel economy than a comparable V8-powered ML550 model.
Throughout the two week festival, Mercedes-Benz is displaying several additional eco-friendly vehicles including the C300 Sedan, GLK350 SUV and the 2010 E350 Sedan and Coupe. Built with 85 percent recyclable materials, all four are powered by highly efficient V6 engines that achieve the California Air Resources Board's most stringent exhaust rating as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV).
About the 21st Annual Awards Gala
The Festival's 21st Annual Awards Gala, presented by Cartier and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and Mercedes-Benz, kicked off the 2010 awards season at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 5th. Hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart, the Awards Gala honored Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren with the Career Achievement Award; Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard and four-time Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress and Actor Award; QuentinTarantino with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award; Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman with its Director of the Year Award, Jeremy Renner and Mariah Carey with its Breakthrough Performance Award; T Bone Burnett with its Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing for Crazy Heart; and Anna Kendrick with the Rising Star Award.
About the Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Festival runs January 5-18, 2010. PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono. This year's Festival will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts. Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs. Screening information can be found at http://www.psfilmfest.org.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and CL coupes. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.maybachusa.com.