Mercedes-Benz USA has launched a Tweet Race to the 45th Super bowl in what the company describes as a leap of faith into social media. The destination of the race is the Super Bowl on Feb 6th next year, the means of travel is by Mercedes-Benz, the fuel to get there is tweets by the gallon. The prize is a brand-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupe.

Mercedes are looking for 4 two-person teams of drivers, to compete against each other and gather the most tweets and Facebook likes, with the winning team picking up those keys to a new C-class Coupe.

Teams will start out in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tampa racing across to Dallas, Texas with a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl in what should be a frantic socially-fuelled game, provided of course other Mercedes’ fans join in to provide their fuel…

To compete, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license, be a U.S. citizen, and be over 21 years old – and plenty of willing followers. Unsurprisingly Mercedes aren’t leaving this social media experiment to chance, instead they will be selecting teams from amongst those candidates most likely to make it to the Super Bowl. Mercedes will contact semi-finalists on 24th December who will then be asked to create a short video putting forward their case for selection. Mercedes will then announce finalists on January 5th with the actual race kicking off on February 2nd.

If you’d like to join in then the first step is to like their Facebook page, here. Then you’ll be instructed on how to enter the competition, which is likely to involve you encouraging as many friends to tweet their support for your team’s selection.

Once the competition is underway, it won’t be a straightforward drive to Dallas – there will be a series of challenges that earn each team points towards their overall total. The team with the collective highest number of points will be deemed the winner, where points will be allocated based on success in the challenges and the number of overall tweets by supporters.

It all sounds like a great way for Mercedes of building engagement with their brand by promoting the social activity of their fans – that’s precisely how social media should work, so it will be fascinating to view the end results.

Mercedes will be running a 60-second Super Bowl TV ad during the next few weeks, but if you’d like to get involved then make sure you register on their Facebook page by December 22nd, 2010.