This year, as you’ve probably noticed from all the teasers, rumors, spy shots and leaks, the most important release for Mercedes-Benz was the new S-Class. It was so important that Mercedes chose to reveal it with a big bang at the Airbus A380 delivery center.
But this article isn’t really about the new model, instead it explores the German luxury triumvirate, revealing its impact on the automotive industry as a whole, and briefly touching on a particularly interesting and innovative segment. Continue reading ‘Teutonic Wars: Luxury Arms Race’ »
Mercedes today unveiled the latest version of their flagship luxury sedan, the S-Class. This is a big one for Mercedes. Get it wrong and BMW and Audi will more than happily mop up any disaffected buyers. Get it right and they’ll retain their crown as the finest purveyor of German luxury automobiles. For Mercedes-Benz’s designers and engineers it’s a delicate balancing act to ensure the new S-Class is filled with enough high-tech gadgetry and cutting edge technology to get potential buyers oohing and ahhing. But that it’s not too radical of an overhaul that the rich old men who normally buy these things get put off by revolutionary styling or overly complicated infotainment systems.
From the outside it looks like MB’s designers have earned their pay. The 2014 S-Class is hansome, well proportioned, and should please both newcomers to the brand as well as loyal customers. To my eye it’s a far better looking than its predecessor, which from some angles looked a little clunky. The styling of the 2014 S-Class is also far more in-keeping with that of the new CLA, and Mercedes-Benz’s new design language as a whole.
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At this year’s Shanghai Motor Show (April 21 to 29), Mercedes-Benz will be showing off a premium-class SUV concept in the form of the Mercedes-Benz GLA. The GLA Concept showcases a number of the company’s latest advances in lighting, and some new styling features. It even shoots laser beams from its eyes! But more on that later.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing, said of the vehicle: “The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment – this is a sporty and more coupe-like evolution of this category of vehicle. The Concept GLA is a compact SUV that combines its sporting spirit with the all-round qualities of a tough, leisure-time companion. ‘Escape the everyday’ is the message that this car conveys to its driver. It also makes clear the further potential of our compact vehicle architecture, which provides the basis for the A- and B-Class models that led the German market in their respective segments in the first quarter of 2013.”
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Have you ever felt that some vehicles try just too hard to be awesome. The Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 might just fall into that category. But don’t let it find out you think that, or it’ll grind you into the desert sands like a tyrannical dung beetle.
Everything about the G 63 AMG 6×6 screams excess. But that should go down well with its intended clients, and judging by the official AMG photos – which show the vehicle tearing up the sand dunes of Dubai while camels look on with indifference – it’s pretty obvious who those clients are.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 is a 5.5 litre twin-turbocharged engine which puts out 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm) of torque. The power is channeled through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission to all six wheels. The drive system is derived from a 6×6 version which was developed by Mercedes-Benz for the Australian army.
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Gullwing America have been manufacturing the retro-modern 300 SL Panamerica for around four years now. Their recipe involves making a custom chassis, fitting a brand new Mercedes-Benz drivetrain into it, and then placing a lightly customised 300 SL reproduction body on top. However for one Eastern European client that simply wasn’t good enough. So he’s managed to get the company to build him his very own, one-off creation called the 300 SLC.
The Gullwing America 300 SLC is based on a 2012 SLS AMG Roadster, and its running gear and interior required only minor changes. However what did require major changes is the bodywork. Gullwing America have fabricated a handmade aluminium body for the vehicle based on the design of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC (W-188) – of which only 92 were made.
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Combining electricity and water is usually a bad decision. But if you happen to be Mercedes-AMG engineers and Cigarette Racing, then there’s nothing to worry about.
At the 2013 Miami International Boat Show (14-18 February) the two companies showed off their latest collaboration in the form of the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept. The high-performance electric drive system fitted in the off-shore powerboat makes it the world’s most powerful and fastest electrically driven motor boat. With an output of 1,656 Kilowatts and a maximum torque of 3,000 Nm, the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Powerboat Concept can reach over 99 mph.
The technology, performance and design of the Cigarette powerboat is closely based on the drive system used in the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive made in Affalterbach, Germany.
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With the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG, it marks the first time in AMG’s history that they’ve been involved with developing a vehicle for the compact class. And they have certainly made the most of it. The A 45 AMG boasts the most powerful series production 4-cylinder engine in the world, with its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine managing to produce an impressive 360 horsepower and 332 lb-ft (450Nm) of torque.
The transmission is a 7-speed dual clutch unit with three driving modes, a double-declutching function and RACE START setting for maximum acceleration from a standing start. The transmission sends its power to all four wheels via an AMG 4MATIC system.
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Ever felt that the C 63 AMG might not have enough power. No. Well no matter. AMG have gone and found some more anyway. A full 50 horsepower more in fact. Taking the total to… Yes you’ve guessed it. 507 horsepower. The increase in power is thanks to a technology transfer from the SLS AMG. New components include forged pistons adopted from the SLS AMG, together with new connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft. A remapped ECU is designed to make the most of the upgraded internals.
As well as the significant bump in horsepower, the torque output has also been raised, climbing from 443 lb-ft to 450 lb-ft (600Nm to 610Nm). The benchmark 0-62 mph (100km/h) run takes 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and Sedan versions, and 4.3 seconds for the estate. Top speed of all three is an electronically limited 174 mph.
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Say hello to the CLA. The all-new, and very stylish little brother of the handsome CLS. The CLA is yet another one of those four-door coupes, or as people who live in the real world like so say, sedan.
The CLA was debuted yesterday in Detroit to a select audience. But oddly it wasn’t displayed at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show – which is going on at this very moment. Instead Mercedes chose the Westin Brook Cadillac Hotel as their venue for the unveiling. The car will get a more public outing later this year at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The styling for the CLA is based on that of the Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe from 2012, and it’s a good looking motor by anyone’s standards. Remarkably, despite its sturdy proportions and conservative profile it somehow manages to record a drag coefficient of just 0.23, the lowest of any production car in the world! Including the various ugly, amorphous shaped hybrid vehicles whose sole mission is to be as efficient as possible. Somehow Mercedes’ designers and aerodynamic engineers have managed to conjure up a shape that slices through the air better than anything before.
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Ahead of its debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show next month, it appears that the all-new Mercedes-Benz has been revealed in a series of stylized press images. The pictures, which first appeared on the site Auto Monthly, show the AMG-prepared version of the car, so don’t expect quite such an aggressive bodykit or wheel arch-filling alloys on the more pedestrian versions of the CLA.
When sales start in April 2013, in Europe to begin with, the CLA will be available with four different engine options. The CLA 180 BlueEFFICIENCY with 122hp, the CLA 200 BlueEFFICIENCY with 156hp, and the CLA 250 BlueEFFICIENCY with 211hp. A diesel option comes in the form of the 170 CLA 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY.
Continue reading ‘Mercedes-Benz CLA Preview’ »