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Mercedes-Benz Viano Pearl Production Luxury Van Using SPD-SmartGlass Technology

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Published on Mar 6, 2012

From Concept Car To Production: Mercedes-Benz Introduces Viano Pearl Luxury Van Using SPD-SmartGlass Technology At 2012 Geneva Auto Show

Geneva Auto Show World Debut --- Luxury auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has now introduced its third vehicle using Research Frontiers' (Nasdaq: REFR) SPD-SmartGlass technology at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show being held now through March 18, 2012.

The special limited edition of the Viano Pearl features as standard equipment SPD-SmartGlass technology in the luxury van's four side windows, allowing rear passengers enhanced privacy as well as instant heat, light and glare control. This glass is manufactured by Research Frontiers' licensee Isoclima S.p.A.

The Mercedes-Benz Viano Pearl exclusive touring van is the third automotive production vehicle to use SPD-SmartGlass technology. In January 2012 Mercedes-Benz launched its new SL roadster at the Detroit Auto Show. The SL was the second large-scale series production vehicle to offer MAGIC SKY CONTROL using SPD-Smart technology. In January 2011, Daimler introduced the new Mercedes-Benz SLK as the first car to offer this innovative feature.

This is the first vehicle produced by an automotive OEM that offers automotive side windows made using SPD light-control technology. These smart windows allow drivers and passengers to change the tint of their windows from dark to clear instantly with the touch of a button. The use of SPD-SmartGlass technology in roof glass and on its windows offers many benefits including enhanced privacy on-demand, improved security, and increased energy savings due to lower heat build-up within the vehicle.

SPD-SmartGlass technology enhances the driving experience and supports energy efficiency. Test data originally published by Mercedes-Benz regarding the panoramic roof on its SLK roadster shows the ability of the MAGIC SKY CONTROL panoramic roof to reduce sun exposure to 1/20th of direct exposure levels. When compared to conventional automotive glass, Mercedes-Benz reports that the use of SPD-SmartGlass on the roof of its SLK significantly reduces the temperature inside the vehicle by up to 18ºF/10ºC. This increases passenger comfort and reduces air conditioning loads, thereby saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions. It also blocks over 99% of harmful UV radiation. Use of SPD-SmartGlass technology in the side windows of the Viano Pearl further contributes to passenger comfort and energy savings because more heat and light are blocked inside the vehicle, offering greater privacy and creating a home theater-like atmosphere inside the vehicle at the press of a button.

Mercedes-Benz put the MAGIC SKY CONTROL SPD-SmartGlass roof through rigorous durability and performance testing in some of the most extreme conditions on Earth. This included testing in the arctic cold of Scandinavia (with temperatures below -22ºF/-30ºC) and the blistering desert heat of Death Valley, California (with temperatures exceeding 122ºF/50ºC).

The automotive press has hailed the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK and its MAGIC SKY CONTROL sunroof with SPD-SmartGlass technology. Motor Trend magazine calls MAGIC SKY CONTROL the "killer app," "the very coolest part of the SLK," "amazing stuff" and "without question the highlight of the new SLK." Car and Driver says "Being a Mercedes, the SLK will overflow with technology...but the coolest will be... MAGIC SKY CONTROL roof." And Automobile Magazine describes it as "Magic indeed."

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