Following a year in which the company has introduced or upgraded nearly its entire product range, two new Mercedes-Benz models have been presented with awards by BBC Top Gear Magazine.

Writing in the January 2006 issue, presenter of the eponymous BBC2 programme, James May, said: “Mercedes-Benz. Purveyor of high-quality automobiles. Such high quality, in fact, that we’ve given the company two awards this year.”

The CLS-Class Coupé, launched in the UK in March 2005 was voted Luxury car of the Year. Combining the best of both saloon and coupé worlds, the CLS-Class offers practical four-seat accommodation wrapped in a taut, beautiful bodyshell. Its looks are backed with dynamic ability, too. With a range of powerful V6 and V8-engines under its bonnet, and chassis settings some 40 per cent stiffer than its E-Class stablemate, the CLS-Class has quickly proved to be the hottest car of 2005.

It’s a view that James May endorses. He explained: “To our minds, no car has ever struck the balance between capability and devil-may-care good looks quite as well as the Mercedes CLS.”

The new S-Class Saloon, which arrives in the UK in spring 2006, has now won its first British award. Seen by many as the benchmark limousine, the new model once again sets the automotive standard for quality, technology, ability and refinement. Among its many features is world-first technology like the PRE-SAFE® preventative occupant safety system; NIGHTVIEW infra-red headlights; and new DISTRONIC PLUS and Brake Assist PLUS systems which help make driving in traffic a positive pleasure.

The S-Class adds to its technological armoury with a host of other features, too. Space and comfort abound, with seats that can cool, heat and – thanks to piezo electric motors – give a range of relaxing or invigorating massages. Research has shown that over a 500 km route, S-Class drivers were an average of six per cent more relaxed – with heart beats five BPM slower – than drivers of competitors’ vehicles.

Describing this relaxed, luxurious feeling, Mr May added that the new S-Class was: “?pushing the outside of the envelope of true repose on every conceivable level – including a fair few that the rest of us hadn’t thought of?”

By winning both the coveted Luxury car and Limousine awards, the Mercedes-Benz star will be shining even more brightly this Christmas.