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    Drew Dowdell

    Mercedes is ending the roadster after 2020

    Mercedes is saying goodbye to one of its icons. The 2020 SLC marks the final year for the compact roadster. 
    In celebration, Mercedes-Benz is making a special Final Edition version of the model for 2020 and debuting it at the Geneva Auto Show next month.  The Final Edition SLC will be available in both SLC300 and SLC43 AMG variants. 
    The SLC300 will come in Selenite Gray with gloss black door handles and mirrors. Based on the AMG Line trim, it will have a lowered ride height, bigger brakes,  and more sporty bumpers. 
    The SLC43 AMG comes in Sun Yellow, a homage to the Sunburst Yellow the original 1996 SLK debuted with. 
    The engines carry over with a 2.0 liter turbo 4 in the 300 putting out 241 hp and a twin-turbo 3.0 V6 making 386 hp in the 43. 
    The 2020 SLC will reach dealerships in late 2019. 
    Mercedes-Benz press release on page 2

    The SLC Final Edition
    Let the sun shine in: special edition of an iconic roadster When the SLK first appeared as a production model in 1996, it caused a sensation and founded a new generation of roadsters. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz had produced a roadster whose vario-roof redefined the roadster segment by combining open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather that had never been available before. Furthermore, the SLK started its career in the launch color Yellowstone, an unusual choice for Mercedes-Benz. In honor of this world premiere, the Final Edition of the AMG SLC 43 is available in the exclusive paint finish Sun Yellow. Boasting an extensive range of equipment and unique interior details, the special edition of the SLC marks the pinnacle of the current model generation. The 2020 Mercedes- Benz and Mercedes-AMG SLC Final Edition will arrive in U.S. dealerships in 2020.
    Painted in Selenite Grey, the SLC 300 Final Edition boasts a distinctive look with an AMG Styling front bumper with trim strips sporting a silver chrome finish on the lower section. The door handles, mirrors and rear brace feature a high-gloss black finish with exclusive "SLC Final Edition" badges on the front fenders, below the chromed fin. Also eye-catching are the standard-fit 5-spoke AMG light-alloy 18-inch wheels with high-gloss black finish.
    The special model is based on the AMG Line, which includes AMG Styling bumpers at the front and rear, a sport suspension with 10 mm lowering as well as a larger braking system with perforated brake discs and front calipers sporting "Mercedes-Benz" lettering as standard equipment.
    A striking combination of two-tone Nappa leather in Black/Silver Pearl with Grey topstitching characterizes the interior and can be found on the standard- fit sport seats, the door trim and the door center panels, among other areas.
    The Grey seat belts echo the color of the topstitching. Carbon-fiber look leather inserts in the head restraints and the upper section of the seatbacks round off the exquisite interior design of the SLC Final Edition.
    The head restraints and the selector lever of the automatic transmission are covered with carbon leather and bear silver SLC lettering. The trim elements on the instrument panel and the center console sport a bright aluminum finish. The standard-fit multifunction sport steering wheel combines carbon leather in the upper and lower segment with smooth nappa leather in the grip area. Sporty details of the steering wheel are the flat bottom, the 3-spoke design, the black paddle shifters and the spoke faceplate with "Mercedes-Benz" lettering.
    Other standard appointments of the Final Edition include black floor mats with an embroidered logo, AIRSCARF neck-level heating, seat heating, and the Memory package for the seats, steering column and exterior mirrors. Furthermore, the package includes 4-way lumbar support for the driver and front passenger.
    Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Final Edition
    The Final Edition of the AMG SLC 43 emphasizes the racy appearance of the performance roadster with the exclusive Sun Yellow paint finish and a host of high-gloss black elements, among other features. These include: the front splitter, the fins of the air intakes and the fenders, the base of the centrally positioned star, trim elements in the rear fascia, the side mirror caps and door handles. Matte black 5-spoke AMG light-alloy 18-inch wheels with yellow rim flange and tires of size 235/40 R 18 at the front and 255/35 R 18 at the rear further underscore the sporty character of the roadster.
    The two-tone leather appointments in Black/Silver Pearl with Grey topstitching and seatbelts, as well as carbon-fiber look leather applications, provide visual highlights in the interior. The AMG Performance steering wheel with carbon- embossed leather in the upper and lower segment, as well as Nappa leather in the grip area, features a crystal grey 12-o'clock marker and an additional "AMG EDITION" badge on the steering-wheel trim. The AMG Final Edition of the SLC 43 has numerous comfort features from series production, including AIRSCARF neck-level heating, seat heating for the driver and front passenger as well as the Memory package for the exterior mirror, seat and steering column settings.
    Here are the Final Edition models at a glance:
    SLC 300
    Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
    Number of
    Displacement (cc)
    Rated output (hp)
    Rated torque (lb-ft)
    0-60 mph (s)
    Top speed (mph)
    (electronically limited)
    A success story for over 20 years: Mercedes-Benz SLK and SLC
    After its launch in 1996, the SLK marked the start of a new era for the traditional Mercedes-Benz brand, and its roof design served as a model for many other open-top vehicles.
    In January 2011, Mercedes-Benz presented the third model generation, currently still in production, which bears the in-house model code R 172. This series combines light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, and striking sports car design with absolute day-to-day suitability. From April 2016, the SLC appeared as a technically and visually optimized further evolution. The name change acknowledges the close relationship with the C-Class, with which the roadster shares many of its technical features. A resounding success: the model series has a worldwide community of fans, with sales of over 710,000 units since 1996.
    The model history at a glance:
    1994: Design studies in Turin and Paris 1996: World premiere of the SLK (R 170) at the Turin Motor Show 2000: Comprehensive model update for the SLK 2004: World premiere of the second-generation SLK (R 171) at the Geneva Motor Show 2008: Model update for the second-generation SLK 2011: Third generation of the SLK (R 172) 2016: Model update for the third-generation model, renamed SLC generation 2019: Premiere of the Final Edition special models of the third generation

    Drew Dowdell

    "..we will not be able to meet the demand in 2019 and probably not by 2020"  -  Dieter Zetsche Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

    If you haven't ordered a Mercedes Benz EQC, you might be waiting a few more years. While not even on sale yet, Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars says that the automaker will have difficulty meeting the demand in 2019 and unlikely even in 2020.  He told Die Welt "But we're doing everything we can to achieve maximum capacity".  Official production estimates for the model have not yet been released.
    The Mercedes Benz EQC will debut in the US in 2020.  Its two electric motors are rated for 402 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque.  The 80kWh battery pack is capable of taking the crossover approximately 228 miles or more.   Official range estimates have not yet been released.
    Production of the EQC will begin in Bremen soon, while China production will start later in 2019.

    William Maley

    Also will see the departure of the standard-wheelbase variant

    The next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to arrive very soon, with sales beginning sometime next year for Europe. But we don't know much about it, until now.
    Autocar recently published a report proving some interesting details about the next S-Class. The big news is that Mercedes will only be offering electrified powertrains for the S, including mild (using an electric motor mounted in the gearbox) and plug-in versions. Engines are said to be variants of Mercedes' new inline-six in gas and diesel flavors, and the AMG-developed 4.0L V8.
    For the design, recent spy photos reveal that Mercedes will be implementing a new grille, tri-band LED multibeam headlights, and door handles that retract into the bodywork to improve overall aero. One change that may surprise buyers in Europe is Mercedes' decision to drop the standard wheelbase model and only offer the long-wheelbase variant. According to Autocar, the reason is due to the new E-Class coming close in size to the standard-wheelbase S-Class (193.7-inches for the E-Class vs. 201.7-inches for the S-Class). 
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    The more powerful GT S is about $22,000 more expensive

    Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for most of the upcoming AMG GT four-door expected to arrive in the first half of next year. The GT 63 will set you back $137,495, while the more powerful GT 63 S begins at $159,995. Both prices include a $995 destination charge.
    The 63 means a twin-turbo 4.4L V8 resides under the hood. The standard GT 63 produces 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Move up to the S and the V8 pumps out 630 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Both models come paired with a nine-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
    It's clear that Mercedes is aiming the GT four-door at the likes of the Porsche Panamera Turbo and Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
    Panamera Turbo: 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet, $151,500 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid: 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet, $186,200 The only model Mercedes hasn't announced pricing for is the GT 53. This model pairs a 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six engine with a mild-hybrid system to produce a total output of 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet. That will be revealed at a later date.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe V8 models to start at $136,500
    Pricing announced for all-new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe All-new, high-performance, 4-Door Coupe expands AMG GT family and offers unparalleled levels of performance and versatility Dec 17, 2018 – Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz USA today announced pricing for the V8 variants of the highly anticipated new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. The Mercedes- AMG GT 63, powered by a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo that produces 577 hp and 590 lb-ft peak torque, starts at $136,500*. The more powerful Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S produces 630 hp and 664 lb-ft peak torque and starts at $159,000*. Additional standard equipment for the GT 63 S includes the AMG Performance Exhaust System, the AMG Dynamic Plus Package including Active Engine Mounts, RACE Mode, Drift Mode, and AMG Drive Unit steering wheel controls. The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S will arrive in U.S. dealers in the first half of 2019. Pricing for the GT 53 variant will be announced at a later date.
    Drawing directly from the successes of the legendary SLS and AMG GT, the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe is the third vehicle developed independently by AMG, and its first unique four-door sports car. Engineering highlights of the new Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe include Active Rear- Wheel Steering, facilitating high agility and stability characteristics, standard electronically deployable rear spoiler, providing optimal rear downforce at a variety of speeds, AMG electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential, and specially adapted AMG Ride Control Sport Suspension based on Air Body Control.
    This expansion of the AMG GT family opens up the segment to those looking for a vehicle that combines the impressive racetrack dynamics of the two-door AMG GT sports car with everyday practicality, offering ample space for four passengers, with the unparalleled level of performance expected from Mercedes-AMG.
    *Prices excludes $995 destination and delivery charge.

    William Maley

    Too much of a good thing? Not so at Mercedes-AMG.

    Owning a Mercedes-Benz AMG model for a time was something special as there was only a few models to get the performance treatment. But the past few years has seen an explosion of AMG models that offering varying levels of performance. There is also the AMG-only models like the GT and GT 4. Some are wondering if AMG is going a bit overboard with this model expansion. Not so according to Tobias Moers, head of AMG.
    "The A35 family is not diluting the brand. We have shared components with the next 45. And driving-dynamics-wise it's on the same level as the current A45, but with less horsepower. It's a different segment and we're going to be really competitive with pricing," said Moers to CarAdvice at the Paris Motor Show this week.
    The A35 will sit between the standard A-Class and upcoming A45 AMG. It packs a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive, the A35 can hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
    "From my perspective, whether you're in the car...value for money, that's the key. Mercedes brought back in the past and A-Class...was the brand diluted then? I don't think so. When we introduced the A45 we had a lot of questions like that, was the brand diluted? No. We get access to brand new customers," Moers went on to say.
    Thus we have a double-edge sword situation; having more models allows for more people to experience AMG performance, but could also alienate those who spend the big bucks on the higher end models.
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    What we know about the flagship model for Mercedes' EQ lineup

    Mercedes' is planning to have 10 fully-electric models by 2022 - a mix of electric models for current nameplates and new models as part of the EQ family. We've already seen the EQ C crossover and the EQ A hatchback is waiting in the wings. A new report from Autocar has revealed some details on the EQ S, the flagship model of the EQ family.
    The EQ S is expected to launch in 2020 and be first model to use a dedicated EV platform. Known as MEA2, the platform features a lot of aluminum and is designed with a fully flat floor. The EQ C and and EQ A use modified versions of current Mercedes models: MQ C uses a variation of the GLC's platform, and the EQ A will be based on a revised version of the A-Class platform. 
    According to source, the EQ S will slot between the E and S-Class, and be similar in size to the CLS-Class. The EQ S will have a "shorter bonnet and ultra-short overhangs" to help maximize interior space.
    Power is expected to come from a dual-motor layout - one mounted on each axle. The EQ C has a similar layout and produces 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. We would expect something similar for the EQ S.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Going crazy with all of that tech!

    Mercedes-Benz couldn't have predicted the runaway success of luxury SUVs when it launched the first-generation M-Class over two decades ago. But the M-Class, now known as the GLE-Class has become one of the cornerstones of this field. Today, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new 2020 GLE before its official debut at the Paris Motor show next month.
    Evolution is the theme of the 2020 GLE's designs. Mercedes smoothed out the shape, which in turn has also made it look somewhat muscular. The automaker claims the new shape makes the GLE the most aerodynamic model in its class with a drag coefficient of 0.29 cd. The front comes with a new grille shape and big LED headlights. Wheels range in size from 19 to 22-inches.
    The GLE-Class has grown about five inches in overall length, while the wheelbase has increased by three inches. This allows for more legroom for the second-row, and the option of a third-row seat.
    Mercedes has gone all out on the tech for the interior. A pair of 12.3-inch displays houses the MBUX infotainment system. It can be controlled via a controller on the center console, touch, voice by saying  "Hey Mercedes"; and hand gestures. (I think there is such a thing as too many control methods -WM). There's a new heads-up display system that projects an large image (17.8 x 5.9-inches) out about 10 feet.
    Powertrains for the GLE-Class include:
    GLE 350/GLE 350 4Matic: 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder -  255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque GLE 450 4Matic: Turbocharged 3.0L inline-six with a mild-hybrid system - 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, additional 21 horsepower available in certain situations Both engines come paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
    The GLE 450 will have a 48-volt electrical system that allows it to have a clever air suspension known as E-Active Body Control. This system promises a smooth ride by having individual sensors at each corner monitoring various forces and making adjustments to the springs and dampers. The suspension also has a "free-driving mode" that is helpful when off-roading. If the GLE gets stuck in sand or snow, "the suspension level is quickly and automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction -- the GLE then rocks itself free," Mercedes says in their press release. We're wondering how many GLE owners will actually use this feature.
    For safety, the GLE will have a number of advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, and blind spot monitoring. New is the Active Stop-and-Go Assist that allows the GLE to take control of acceleration, braking, and steering at speeds up to 37 mph - something akin to Nissan's ProPilot system.
    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class arrives at dealers in the spring.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    The new Mercedes-Benz GLE
    The SUV trendsetter completely reconceived Sep 11, 2018 – Stuttgart: The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wealth of innovations. For example, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is a 48-volt active suspension system and a world first, while the driver assistance systems take another step forward with Active Stop-and-Go Assist. The interior is even more spacious and comfortable, with a third seat row available on request. The infotainment system has larger screens, a full-color head-up display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and the new MBUX Interior Assistant, which can recognize hand and arm movements and supports operating intentions. The exterior design not only exudes presence and power, but also sets a  new standard for aerodynamics in the SUV segment. The GLE will receive a new range of engines and the new 4MATIC system ensures great agility on the road and superior performance off the beaten track. The new Mercedes- Benz GLE will celebrate its World Premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.
    "The new GLE is not only more comfortable than ever before on the road, but also shows its superior off-road character off the beaten track. This alone shows our determination to reinforce our claim to leadership in the SUV segment," says Ola Källenius, responsible for corporate research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. "Significantly more space in the interior, the new control concept, considerably extended and refined driver assistance systems, the best aerodynamics in the segment, a completely new range of engines and numerous other innovations emphatically underline this."
    "The GLE exhibits iconic Mercedes-Benz design while remaining true to its character as an off-roader," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "With its design idiom it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity, thus representing modern luxury. The interior derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious and elegant design and the digital high-tech of our MBUX system."
    In 1997 Mercedes-Benz founded the premium SUV segment with the launch of the M-Class. Since fall of 2015 the model family has borne the name GLE, emphasizing its positioning as an SUV in the E-Class model family. At present Mercedes-Benz is highly successfully represented with seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, and G-Class). The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be presented to the public for the first time at the Mondial de l'Automobil in Paris in October 2018. The GLE is produced in Tuscaloosa (Alabama/USA), and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.
    The five most important innovations in the new GLE:
    E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: Fully networked hydropneumatic, active suspension on a 48-volt platform, for the first time in combination with a newly-developed air suspension. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitch and squat. Active Stop-and-Go Assist: This driver assistance system enables the GLE to recognize traffic jams at an early stage, actively supporting the driver in stop-and-go traffic up to approximately 37 mph. Turn-off function of Active Brake Assist: activation of Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Assist when turning across the opposite lane. If there is a risk of collision when turning across the path of oncoming vehicles, the vehicle will be braked when traveling at low speeds. Fully-variable 4MATIC®: Available for the first time on the GLE, fully variable all-wheel drive controls the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 0-100% depending on the selected driving mode. Seating comfort: The new GLE has a much longer wheelbase (+3.1 inches / 80 mm), with corresponding interior spaciousness. Comfort is particularly enhanced by the fully adjustable second seat row, and a third seat row is also available as an option. Exterior design: powerful presence
    The aesthetic appeal of the GLE is based on the harmonious interaction between emotion and intelligence. This is characterized by timeless beauty, a combination of high-grade technology and craftsmanship and a focus on what is really important.
    The design of the new GLE is defined by modern luxury both on and off the road. The vehicle's proportions with a long wheelbase, short overhangs and large, flush-fitted wheels already leave no doubt that it can handle any terrain. The GLE follows the design strategy of sensual purity, and dispenses with individual edges in favor of generously modelled surfaces. The surfaces interact with precise graphic elements.
    The front section of the GLE exudes presence and power: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated underguard and the hood with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasized by the distinctive headlamp design by day and night.
    The ULTRA Wide Beam of the LED Intelligent Light System produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law.
    Viewed from the side, the wide C-pillar, typical of the GLE, conveys self- assured stability. The large wheels in sizes from 19 to 22 inches are housed in wheel arches with prominent liners. This underlines the GLE's robust SUV character, as do the pillared roof rails and the optional Illuminated Running Boards. The chrome surrounds of the windows are reminiscent of a premium sedan.
    The GLE also cuts an athletic figure from the rear. This is emphasized by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the C-pillar to the rear lights. The reflectors are relocated lower than before, giving the rear lights a more flattering appearance. They are also in two sections. This not only gives an impression of width, but also creates an unmistakable night design with illuminated blocks typical of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, in this case with backlit edge lighting. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated underguard.
    Aerodynamics: detailed fine-tuning for the best Cd figure in this class
    The new GLE has a Cd figure from 0.29, the best in its segment. This is also a significant improvement over the preceding model (Cd 0.32). The excellent aerodynamic properties make a key contribution to low fuel consumption in everyday conditions. A host of details were optimized with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen.
    The measures taken include:
    Cooling air control system behind the radiator grille for need-related metering of the airflow (AIRPANEL) Wheel spoilers with aerodynamically optimized moldings ahead of the front wheels Additional wheel spoilers ahead of the rear wheels Side spoilers with D-pillar seal on the tailgate Rear lights with special spoiler lips Large area of underbody and propshaft tunnel paneling, flush fuel tank cladding, aerodynamic cladding on the rear axle, aerodynamically optimized diffuser lining. Aero-wheels with aerodynamically optimized tires. Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive
    The interior of the new GLE derives its fascination from the contrast between the luxurious, elegant ambience of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan and the robust, progressive features of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard's design is a sporty, stylish cockpit unit embedded in a striking dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element also extends around the driver and front passenger to meet the doors.
    The prominent, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the free- floating appearance of the dashboard. As a typical feature of off-roaders, there are two prominent grab handles on the center console. Apart from comfort and ergonomics, flowing surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting roller blinds. All the controls and displays are enhanced by the new design. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block. Very fine chiseling shows the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new sport steering wheel with its striking, sculptured spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
    Interior: more space in the rear and an optional third row seat
    A size larger: the new GLE has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (117.9 inches, +3.1 inches). This creates significantly more space, especially for passengers in the rear. Legroom in the second seat row has increased by 2.7 inches to 41.1 inches. Headroom in the rear with the standard, fixed rear seat unit and 40:20:40 backrest division has increased by 1.3 inches to 40.4 inches. And because the A-pillar is more upright than before, spaciousness and entry comfort in the first row has been further improved.
    On request, and as a world first in the SUV segment, a second seat row with six fully electric adjustments is available. The right and left seats can be separately adjusted fore-and-aft by up to 3.9 inches, the backrests are adjustable for angle and foldable in a 40:20:40 ratio, and the head restraints are adjustable for height. In typical Mercedes fashion, the rear seat adjustments are controlled by a switch in the door panel. The backrest can also be completely folded down electronically, using a switch in the luggage compartment.
    Useful holders and protective elements have been specially developed as accessories for practical stowage of recreational equipment in the interior. In conjunction with the AIRMATIC air suspension, the vehicle's rear can be lowered by around 1.6 inches using a switch, for easier loading and unloading.
    Even more flexibility is possible with the optional, folding third seat row, which provides two extra seats. Thanks to the EASY-ENTRY® function of the fully electrically adjustable second seat row, the two rearmost passengers can conveniently reach their seats.
    Seat kinetics is another innovation available for the front seats in conjunction with fully-electric seat adjustment with memory function. Seat kinetics supports changes in the seating posture by means of minute movements of the seat cushion and backrest.
    ENERGIZING Comfort: now with a guide
    The optionally available ENERGIZING Comfort system networks various comfort systems in the vehicle, and uses musical and lighting moods plus a number of massage modes for a wide range of feel-good programs.
    The ENERGIZING COACH is a new feature. This function, based on an intelligent algorithm, recommends one of the programs depending on the situation and individual. If a Garmin® wearable is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimize the accuracy of the recommendation. The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys.
    MBUX: now with an intelligent interior assistant
    The GLE is equipped with the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. The revolutionary system includes two large 12.3” screens as standard, which are arranged in-line with each other for an impressive widescreen look. The information of the Instrument Cluster Display and the multimedia display is easily legible on the large, high- resolution screens. Showcasing elements in an emotionally appealing manner underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure and impresses with brilliant graphics.
    Depending on mood or to suit the chosen interior, the user has a choice of four different styles:
    Classic is a further development of the classic display style in an elegant and light material mix. Sport has a high-tech turbine look with decidedly sporty black/yellow contrasts. Progressive presents digitalism in reduced form. In the Understated (Discreet) style, all displays are reduced to only what is absolutely necessary. The optional MBUX Interior Assistant also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition. A camera in the overhead console registers movements of the driver's and front passenger's hands and arms. When a hand approaches the touchscreen or the Touchpad on the center console, the media display changes and individual, elements are highlighted. The system is able to distinguish the driver's hand from that of the front passenger, and therefore knows which seat the massage function is to be activated on, for example.
    In addition, there are functions that can be controlled by simple hand gestures: the reading lamp can be switched on and off by extending a hand towards the rearview mirror, for example. The driver and front passenger can both program a personal, favorite function which is initiated using a horizontally outstretched index and middle finger
    General operation of the multimedia system has been improved in numerous respects. For example, the settings menus are in a new design and the initial setup assistant has been improved. The 40 or so new MBUX functions in the GLE include, for example:
    Support for off-road specific driving modes (free-driving mode and individual wheel actuation) Extended off-road displays in the instrument cluster display and Head- Up Display (linear and lateral inclination, Torque on Demand, suspension level) The setting for the full-screen map in the instrument cluster can be changed directly there ENERGIZING COACH Automatic driver's seat adjustment: if the body size is entered, the seat automatically moves to a usually suitable position A unique feature of MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience is its learning capability thanks to artificial intelligence. With its predictive functions, MBUX anticipates what the user would like next. For instance, anyone who often phones their mother on Tuesdays during their commute home will receive her contact as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week on their way home. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.
    Other strengths include touchscreen control of the multimedia display as standard, and the use of augmented reality technology for the navigation display: a video image of the surroundings is enhanced with helpful navigation information, for example directional arrows or house numbers are automatically superimposed directly onto the image in the multimedia display. This makes it easier for the driver to search for a certain house number, or to find the correct road for a next turn. The intelligent Voice Control has also been improved with Natural Langauge Understanding, and is activated by the keyword "Hey Mercedes."
    The optional Head-Up Display with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and extended projection distance also sets new standards. Important information is projected into the windscreen, reducing distraction from the traffic situation. There is also less eye fatigue for the driver, as the eyes do not constantly have to refocus between close-up and long-distance vision. A system of lenses and mirrors projects a full-color image measuring around 17.8 x 5.9 inches (45 x 15 centimeters) into the windscreen. To the driver it appears to float above the hood at a distance of around 10 feet. Now more than twice the size, the virtual image is 20 percent brighter for better legibility in bright conditions and has space for further information about the current audio source, the current phone call and the reception and battery status of the connected phone. In addition it shows the arrival time and distance to destination if route guidance is active. The driver is able to select the information considered relevant, including additional off-road content such as vehicle inclination, torque distribution and acceleration forces.
    Powertrains for the new GLE
    The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will be launched with a variety of engine offerings for the U.S., including a 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine for the GLE 350 and GLE 350 4MATIC that produces 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The new 3.0L inline six-cylinder turbo engine with EQ Boost in the GLE 450 4MATIC produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and is systematically electrified with 48-volt technology. The Integrated-Starter Generator (ISG) is responsible for functions such as EQ Boost and energy recuperation, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
    ISG eliminates the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length as well as reduces the wear parts of the engine. The slim design, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for near-engine exhaust after treatment. The 48- volt on-board power supply serves not only high power consumers such as the water pump and air-conditioning compressor, but also the Integrated-Starter Generator (ISG), which also supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recuperation.
    4MATIC all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off-road
    In all variants of the new GLE, power is transmitted by a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The broad ratio spread of gears one to nine allows a clearly perceptible reduction in engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high level of energy efficiency and ride comfort. With the four-cylinder engine in the new GLE 350, 4MATIC all-wheel drive is realized with a transfer case which transmits the drive torque to the axles in a fixed ratio of 50:50 percent. Spinning wheels are addressed by braking intervention at the relevant wheel.
    A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch is used for the other engines, including the GLE 450. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100% (torque on demand) between the axles.
    Also when driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with torque on demand allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
    Driver assistance systems: superior support in traffic jams
    The new GLE marks the debut of the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. The level of active safety has not only been improved further compared to the preceding model, as some Intelligent Drive functions are also unrivalled beyond the SUV segment.
    High-mileage drivers aren't the only ones familiar with this tricky situation on highways: on rounding a bend, the end of a traffic jam suddenly appears. This is where the new GLE assists the driver, as traffic management on highways now already begins in advance, including assistance in stop-and-go traffic and after the traffic has dissolved.
    This is because when Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC®, working with Route-Based Speed Adaptation, is activated, the new GLE is able to recognize and respond to traffic jams or slow-moving traffic with the help of information from LiveTraffic before the driver becomes aware of the hazard. When a traffic jam is recognized (and if the driver does not choose a different response), Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC reduces the speed to around 60 mph as a precaution. This gives Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Funtion the ability to brake the vehicle to a standstill in good time when the end of a traffic jam is recognized.
    When actually driving in traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist can markedly reduce the driver's workload: where there are lane markings, the system is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining a safe distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 37 mph. Moving again after being stopped can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop.
    Once the traffic jam dissolves, the GLE will accelerate back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC®. If the driver has not set a specific speed, then this will be the recommended highway speed.
    To recognize traffic jams, Active Stop-and-Go Assist evaluates the road category, speed, and distances from vehicles travelling ahead and in adjacent lanes. In addition to the stereo multipurpose camera (SMPC) and long-range radar, it uses the front multi-mode corner radar sensors to recognize vehicles that are cutting in. If Active Steering Assist and Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC are activated, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is switched on automatically when highway traffic is recognized. This is indicated by "Stop- and-Go Assist active" in the instrument cluster. As soon as Active Stop-and-Go Assist is active and the vehicle is moving in traffic, a traffic jam symbol is added to the "green steering wheel" symbol of Active Steering Assist in the instrument cluster.
    Always ready to help: numerous other assistants are available
    It is not only by giving driver support in traffic that the new GLE further expands Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive and takes another major step towards autonomous driving. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and properly steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions by Route-Based Speed Adaptation. This is complemented by Evasive Steering Assist, a considerably improved Active Lane Keeping Assist and also the additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.
    The turning function of Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function is completely new: If there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when turning, the GLE can be braked at the speeds typical of such maneuvers.
    Braking intervention takes place if the driver signals the intention to turn (indicators) and the vehicle can be braked to a stop before crossing the lane marking. Oncoming vehicles are recognized by the front long-range radar sensor and the stereo multipurpose camera.
    In addition, the new GLE is equipped with Active Blind Spot Assist with an added Exit Warning Assist. This function can lower the risk of a collision with other road users, such passing cyclists. Active Blind Spot Assist monitors the blind spot when at standstill, and can warn the driver of approaching vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles when opening the door. This function is active for up to three minutes after switching off the engine. The warning appears in the exterior mirrors and is given audibly via the instrument cluster.
    E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL: the 48V suspension
    Even better ride comfort and agility plus completely new functions such as free-driving mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is now combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel. This means that it not only counteracts body roll, but also pitching and squat. Together with Road Surface Scan and the curve inclination function, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is the world's most intelligent SUV suspension and makes an extraordinary level of comfort possible.
    E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, developed in-house by Mercedes-Benz, has a 48V operating voltage and is optionally available for engine variants with the 48V system. On poor road surfaces, the system is even able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared to the preceding system in the S-Class. The hydropneumatics generate dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads.
    Free-driving mode is a completely new off-road function: if the GLE has become bogged down in a sand dune, for example, this can help to free the vehicle more easily. If possible the suspension level is quickly and automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction – the GLE then rocks itself free.
    Individual wheel actuation is another new function for off-road driving. This allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen of the multimedia display, thus improving the vehicle's attitude on rough terrain when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted.
    E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLE also has the curve inclination function. Like a motorcycle, the GLE leans into bends and thereby allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. If the GLE is equipped with a stereo multipurpose camera, Road Surface Scan becomes possible where a camera continuously scans the road surface, and the suspension responds in advance to any undulations before the vehicle drives over them.
    In addition to E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL, a newly developed steel suspension and a newly developed AIRMATIC suspension with the Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+) are available.
    The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will celebrate its World Premiere at Mondial l'Automobile in Paris in October 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.

    William Maley

    Meet the first Member of Mercedes' New Electric Sub-Brand

    Mercedes-Benz is the next luxury automaker out the gate with their first electric vehicle, the 2020 EQC. This is the first model in Mercedes' EQ (short for Electric Intelligence) sub-brand that is expected to have 10 models by 2025.
    The exterior looks a bit like a GLC crossover brought from the future. The overall shape and dimensions of the EQC are similar to the GLC. Up front is where most will decide wether they like it or not with a large emblem that lights, two grille styles, black material running around the outer edges, and boomerang-shaped headlights. Inside, the EQC is recognizable as a Mercedes with a similar dash design and dual rectangular 10.25-inch media displays. A rose gold finish on the trim is available on the the Electric Art trim.
    The Mercedes MBUX infotainment system has some features that are exclusive to the EQC such as a navigation system that can figure out a route to maximize range and the ability to set charging times.
    Under the skin, the EQC follows the template of other electric vehicles by using a dual motor layout and a 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Mercedes says the electric motor on the front axle is set up for economy - this will provide the power for most situations. The motor on the back axle  "adds sportiness." Total output is rated at 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The dual-motor layout also brings forth all-wheel drive traction.
    Mercedes estimates that that EQC can travel 200 miles on a full charge, disappointing when you consider the Jaguar I-Pace can travel 250 miles - although the Jaguar has a larger 90 kWh battery pack. (UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has told The Verge that the 200 mile range mentioned in the press releases is wrong. It is now citing a range of about 450 km, about 280 miles. We should note this figure is based on the NEDC standard, which tends to be more optimistic than the EPA standard.)  No timeframe was given on how long it takes to recharge the EQC on a home charger. Mercedes does say that on 150-kW DC charger, the EQC's battery only needs 40 minutes to get an 80 percent charge.
    Sales of the EQC begin next year in Europe, while the U.S. has to wait until 2020.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    The new Mercedes-Benz EQC
    The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles The highlights
    Mercedes-Benz is flipping the switch. The new EQC is …
     … The first Mercedes-Benz under the product and technology brand EQ
    EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" It is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion" and "Intelligence" The EQC is part of a growing family of all-electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Conceived to meet all the requirements for a battery-electric drive system Convincing in the sum of its attributes with respect to Mercedes-Benz comfort, quality and operating range An estimated electric range of around 200 miles  … Progressive in design
    Pioneer of an avant-garde electric look Progressive luxury design points the way to the future Large black-panel surface as a striking front feature Optical fibers as a visual link to the torch-like daytime running lamps Sporty, stretched silhouette Innovative interior design inspired by the world of consumer electronics  … Excitingly dynamic
    A dual motor electric drivetrain at each axle, with a combined output of 402 horsepower Superior and confident driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle Various driving modes with different characteristics Battery recuperation can be adjusted as the customer requires, using gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. In "D Auto" mode, the EQC can adapt recuperation according to the traffic ahead with the aid of ECO Assist  … The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles
    Latest-generation driving assistance systems including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist Extensive crash test programs, meeting strict Mercedes-Benz requirements Stringent additional tests completed for the battery and all components carrying electrical current Pre-climatization for a comfortable cabin upon arrival in all temperatures Extremely quiet interior Trailblazing MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience with numerous EQ-specific functions Integration into ongoing series production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen Battery produced by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE  … More than just a car, and a symbol of a new era of mobility
    Comprehensive services for electric mobility for today and tomorrow Relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty Dialogue with visionaries, business people and opinion leaders in the "EQ Community" New event formats "EQ Dinner" and "EQ Nights" Entry into Formula E for the 2019/2020 season It was at the 2016 Paris Motor Show that Mercedes- Benz first presented its new product and technology brand for electric mobility. In mid-2019, the EQC will be the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be launched globally under the EQ brand. With its seamless, clear design, it is  a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes. These are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 402 horsepower. A sophisticated operating strategy enables an estimated electric range of around 200 miles (preliminary estimate). EQ  also offers comprehensive services with Mercedes  me  connect,  which makes electric mobility convenient and suitable for everyday driving. The EQC also symbolizes the start of a new mobility era at Daimler. The EQC will celebrate its World Premiere in Stockholm on September 4, 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2020.
    As the first Mercedes-Benz model under the new product and technology brand EQ, the Mercedes-Benz EQC has many trailblazing design details and color highlights typical of the brand. Both inside and out, the EQC embodies the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. This arises from the combination of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design.
    By virtue of its muscular proportions, the EQC is classed as a crossover SUV. The extended roofline and window layout with a low shoulderline and the coupe-like roof visually position it between an SUV and an SUV coupe.
    A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface combining the headlamps and grille. For the first time, the black panel is bordered at the top by an LED Light Band as a visual link between the torch-like daytime running lamps. At night, this creates an almost uninterrupted, horizontal light band.
    The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. One example is the louvered edges of the upper dashboard and door trim which resembles the cooling fins of a hi-fi amplifier. The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit. The unmistakable Mercedes-Benz wing profile is asymmetrical, with a "cut-out" in the driver area. This is where one of the visual highlights of the cockpit is located - a high-tech, high gloss housing with rectangular air vents with key-shaped, rose-gold colored louvres.
    Powertrain: Dynamic performance meets efficiency
    As the first Mercedes-Benz model to be launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC features an all-new drive system development with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. These give the EQC the confident and dynamic driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle.
    To reduce power consumption, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimized for best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear motor adds sportiness. Together, they generate an output of 402 hp and a maximum torque of 564 lb-ft.
    Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet.
    The lithium-ion battery, which has a usable energy content of 80 kWh supplies the vehicle with power. The power consumption and range of electric vehicles depends very much on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs through DYNAMIC SELECT, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL for an individually customizable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using paddles behind the steering wheel.
    The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to lift off the accelerator, for example when the vehicle is approaching a change in speed limit, and by functions such as coasting and specific control of recuperation. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed.
    Technical data*
    Estimated Range
    Up to 200 miles
    Drive system
    2 asynchronous motors, all-
    wheel drive
    Rated output
    402 hp
    Peak torque
    564 lb-ft
    Top speed (mph)
    112 mph (electronically limited)
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    4.9 s (est.)
    Battery capacity
    80 kWh
    Length / width (width with mirrors) / height
    187.4 / 74.2 (82.5) / 63.9 in
    Track width (F/R)
    64.0/63.6 in
    113.1 in
    *provisional data
    Charging: Flexible and fast
    As standard, the EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for fast AC charging at home or at public charging stations.
    Charging at a home wallbox is up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. It is faster still with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC – for example via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA. Depending on the SoC (status of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station. In around 40 minutes, the battery can be charged from 10 - 80 percent SoC (provisional data).
    The multimedia system MBUX: with EQC-specific functions
    The EQC features the innovative multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - which has numerous EQ-specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. EQ-optimized navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX.
    The MBUX touchscreen display has a special EQ menu where numerous EQ features are grouped. Alternatively the user can access the EQ menu of the MBUX system directly using a hard key in the lower left control panel. Thanks to natural language recognition, the EQ-specific voice control helps the driver to operate the EQC.
    Intelligent services: Relaxed travel from start to finish
    EQ with Mercedes me connect provides comprehensive services for the electric mobility of today and tomorrow. The most important new services and functions of the EQC planned for market launch include:
    Pre-entry climate control: This ensures that the vehicle interior is at the desired temperature on departure. It can be programmed directly via MBUX or via the Mercedes me connect App. A sophisticated system with a heat pump and electric heater boosters pre-climatizes the interior for optimal comfort in the cold winter or hot summer days.
    The EQ-optimized navigation bases its calculation on the fastest route, taking into account the shortest charging time. The route planning also responds dynamically to changes, and can take place both offboard and onboard, externally (via the Mercedes me connect App) and within the vehicle. Thanks to EQ-optimized navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can easily find charging stations, and Mercedes me Charge gives them convenient access to the charging stations of numerous providers.
    Active and passive safety: EQC-specific safety concept
    The EQC is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems. In the Driver Assistance Package, these include new functions such as predictive speed adjustment when approaching traffic: when traffic is detected, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® reduces the speed as a precaution.
    The EQC also meets the highest requirements with respect to passive safety: in addition to the usual, extensive program of crash tests, Mercedes-Benz applies further, particularly stringent safety standards to the battery and all component parts carrying electrical current. These standards exceed legal requirements. The vehicle structure of the EQC has been adapted to suit the special requirements of the electrical components and battery, and is configured to achieve the usual high safety level. For example, a new subframe surrounds the drive components located in the front section, and this unit is supported by the usual mounting points.
    Mechanical protection of the battery: the high-safety design begins with the installation position of the high-voltage battery beneath the vehicle floor. The energy storage unit is surrounded by a stable frame that can absorb energy. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and these are able to absorb additional forces in the event of a severe side impact. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to prevent the battery from being pierced by road debris.
    Electrical protection of the high-voltage system: the extensive experience of Mercedes-Benz with high-voltage drive systems has led to a multi-stage safety concept that deploys in the event of an accident. The high-voltage system automatically shuts down, according to the severity of the accident. There are also shutdown points where emergency teams can deactivate the high-voltage system manually.
    Testing: Endurance tests around the world
    By market launch, 200 prototypes and pre-production vehicles of the EQC will have covered several million miles across four continents (Europe, North America, Asia and Africa). The test program comprises more than 500 individual tests. Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the EQC must pass all of the demanding test programs. There are also special tests for the electric powertrain, the battery, and the interplay of all powertrain components.
    In the process the test experts are able to build upon the extensive findings from their digital testing work, used to ensure both the buildability of the vehicle and for the simulation of crash behavior, aerodynamics and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). In addition there are intensive tests on numerous test rigs at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen. The ratio between digital and real testing is roughly 35 to 65 percent.
    Production: Preparations in full swing in the Bremen plant
    Production of the EQC will start in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. The new EQC will be integrated into ongoing series production as a fully electric vehicle, and the very latest production technologies will be employed.
    In typical series production, the joining of the powertrain to the body is called the "marriage." One decisive innovation is the battery-joining center where the EQC undergoes a second "marriage" following installation of the two electric motors in the bodyshell. This is where the EQCs are equipped with a battery for the first time. The body is suspended from a C-carrier and deposited on a frame. Support arms raise the battery to the vehicle's floor from below, and an employee monitors the automatic bolting in place.
    In parallel with this, production of our own batteries for the EQC is coming on stream at the expanded battery plant in Kamenz (near Dresden) Germany.

    William Maley

    Note to Self: Don't ask Daimler employees to help out in a heist

    It is no secret that automakers will go to extreme lengths to analyze a competitor's vehicle. For example, Daimler was accused by a couple last year of renting their privately owned Tesla Model X to dismantle and preform various tests. The automaker put the vehicle back together before returning it, but there was significant damage that caused the couple to bill Diamler for that and other items such as lost income. The company has once again found itself making headlines for pulling another stunt.
    German paper Der Spiegel reports last year that Deutsche Post DHL held a demonstration event for their new StreetScooter electric vans for possible customers to get feedback. One of the 'customers' was a nursing-care service from near Frankfurt that wanted to see if the van would work for patient transport. But suspicions arose when Deutsche Post DHL checked the address given by the service and found out it was a fake. The supposed nursing care service only existed on paper as a 'mailbox' company.
    Good thing that Deutsche Post DHL made sure the vans used at the event had GPS trackers. Engineers were able to track the vehicle to a Daimler factory in Stuttgart - a long distance from Aachen where the event was held. They would also discover the van was being driven on Daimler's test track. After getting some lawyers, Deutsche Post went over to the site and demanded their vehicle. Daimler would comply and returned it a half-hour after the visit.
    Daimler told Der Spiegel that it was fair game for them to take and examine the vehicle since Deutsche Post DHL would be offering it to third parties. But it should be noted that Daimler didn't have an explanation to the nursing-care service cover story.
    Maybe it is just us, but we would assume that some sort of GPS tracker is in a vehicle for a driving event. It would make us think twice about taking a vehicle. One thing is for certain, we're not asking any Daimler employee to help us out in a heist.
    Source: Der Spiegel

    William Maley

    Completing the A-Class trifecta

    We have seen the A-Class hatchback and the stretched A-Class sedan. Last night, Mercedes-Benz finally revealed the 2019 A-Class sedan for the U.S. This will take the place of the CLA as the entry point for Mercedes-Benz.
    The regular A-Class sedan is the same as the long-wheelbase variant in terms of design; large grille, trapezoidal headlights, and bold lines along the side. Overall length is 2.3-inches shorter than the LWB variant (179.1 vs. 181.4 inches). Interestingly, the new A-Class sedan is very close in size to the current CLA - slightly shorter in overall length (179.1 vs. 182.3 inches) but having a longer wheelbase (107.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches). Wheels range in size from 17 to 19-inches. The interior matches up with its overseas brethren with a modern dash design, and a pair of screens (either 7 or 10.25-inches) featuring the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system.
    Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the choice of front or Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive. An torsion-beam rear axle is standard on the front-wheel drive A-Class when equipped with 17-inch wheels. Opt for either the larger wheels or AWD and the rear suspension changes to a four-link independent setup.
    No word on pricing, but the 2019 A-Class sedan will be arriving at Mercedes-Benz dealers towards the end of the year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    The all-new A-Class Sedan
    Compact entry into the world of Mercedes-Benz premium sedans Jul 26, 2018 – Brooklyn: The family of compact cars from Mercedes-Benz continues to grow: the all-new A-Class Sedan will launch at the end of the year. The four-door sedan has a wheelbase of 107.4 inches and the proportions of a dynamic and simultaneously compact sedan with short front and rear overhangs and boasts impressive space in the interior. In addition, the sedan model has A-Class virtues familiar to the rest of the world. These include a new and efficient engine and high levels of safety thanks to the available state-of-the-art driving assistance systems on par with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The new A-Class is also the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup to introduce the intuitively operated MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system. The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere in Brooklyn, NY in July 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018.
    "Following the successful start of the A-Class, things at Mercedes-Benz are happening in quick succession with regard to the new family of compacts. In response to the wish of many customers, we now offer the A-Class for the first time as a sedan," says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. "Anyone looking for a compact, sporty sedan with a separate trunk now has a new, attractive alternative. It will attract new customers for Mercedes-Benz."
    The new generation of compacts has made a key contribution to the rejuvenation and image-change of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The launch of the four-door CLA Coupe in 2013 was the first time a compact car from Mercedes-Benz was sold in the U.S. market. In 2017, nearly one in two buyers of a Mercedes-Benz compact car in the U.S. had previously driven a competitor vehicle, and more than 50-percent of the CLA custome rs were new to Mercedes-Benz (first-time buyers and conquests).
    The 1997 A-Class originally established the compact car segment of Mercedes-Benz that exists today. Since then, more than six million models have been delivered worldwide. As the seventh model, the A-Class Sedan further expands the range of Mercedes-Benz compact cars. A logical addition, because with the C, E and S-Class, Mercedes-Benz continues to hold its position as a top-manufacturer of premium sedans.
    The key dimensions of the new A-Class Sedan:
    Length: 179.1 in Width: 70.7 in Height: 56.9 in Wheelbase: 107.4 in The A-Class Sedan offers great utility with roomy shoulder, elbow and headroom and easy access to the rear. The improvement to rear headroom space is particularly exceptional and the trunk was designed for practical usability with a large trunk opening that allows for comfortable loading and unloading of larger luggage items.
    Engine & Performance
    The A-Class Sedan will be available as an A 220 and as an A 220 4MATIC, both equipped with a 2.0L inline-4 turbocharged engine that produces 188 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 7G-DCT dual-clutch transmission.
    Equipment & Appointments: KEYLESS-GO® with HANDS-FREE ACCESS Available
    The standard equipment for the A 220 and A 220 4MATIC is extensive and includes the revolutionary MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system with touchscreen) with Voice Control. As with every Mercedes-Benz, safety is also a top priority, so sophisticated safety systems including Active Brake Assist and adaptive braking technology with Hill Start Assist and the HOLD function are standard. In addition, the A-Class Sedan can be customized with unique design and equipment lines including Progressive (standard) and the optional AMG Line. A Night Package is also available as an option.  
    KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS will also be one of the available options. The HANDS-FREE ACCESS function conveniently enables the hands-free and fully automatic opening of the trunk lid with a kicking motion of the foot under the rear bumper.
    Design: Superior Sportiness and Modernity
    The A-Class Sedan seamlessly embodies the design idiom of Sensual Purity with its purist design that emphasizes distinct yet harmonious surfaces. Clear, formal shapes emphasize surface areas with reduced lines and precise gaps. The new A-Class Sedan has the proportions of a dynamic and compact sedan with short front and rear overhangs.
    The deep greenhouse and compact rear-end contribute to the vehicle's dynamic boost. The 17 to 19-inch wheels and pronounced wheel arches give the A-Class Sedan a sporty stance on the road.
    The design of the front-end looks very progressive. This impression is enhanced by the low, elongated hood, the chrome slim-line headlamps, the torch-like daytime driving lights, the optional single-louvre diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and, of course, the central star.
    A precisely characterized line runs along the muscular and sensual shoulder to emphasize the perfectly contoured side volume, while the side mirrors sit on the beltline.
    The two-part taillamps emphasize the width of the rear end. The rear reflectors were relocated to the modular two-part rear bumper. Depending on the selected equipment, the rear bumper is available with a black diffuser or with a chrome trim strip and chrome tailpipe tips.
    Interior Design: Revolution from Within
    The interior of the new A-Class is completely redefined with a modern, avant-garde look. Mercedes-Benz has taken a completely new approach, revolutionizing the compact class from the inside to create a new feeling of spaciousness. The unique interior architecture is predominantly reformed by the avant-garde design of the dashboard. The designers completely dispensed with the cowl above the cockpit. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity--the widescreen display is completely free-standing. The sporty turbine look of the new air vents is another highlight.
    Below the main body is a low-lying section with fenders that appear to float, as there are no connections or shape transitions to the surrounding area. The ambient lighting accentuates the free-floating impression of the substructure. The 64 colors of the optional ambient lighting make five times as many colors available than before. It is not just the variety that has increased, as the emotional presentation also sets new standards in this segment. The different colors are composed into ten color themes to create a lighting display with spectacular color changes.
    The fully free-standing cockpit is available in two configurations:
    Two 7-inch displays (standard) Two 10.25-inch displays (optional) MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience: Unrivalled Experience
    The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the completely new MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience multimedia system -- ushering in a new era for connectivity. A unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to Artificial Intelligence. MBUX is customizable and adapts to the user, creating an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
    Depending on the specification, further strengths include the high-resolution widescreen cockpit concept with a touchscreen media display with Augmented Reality capabilities, a digital instrument cluster display, Intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition - activated with the keyword "Hey Mercedes." The touchscreen is part of the comprehensive MBUX touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the Touchscreen, Touchpad on the center console and Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel. A head-up display is also optionally available.
    MBUX revolutionizes the user experience in the car. Emotionally appealing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure through brilliant 3D maximum-resolution graphics which are calculated and displayed in real time.
    New and improved connected services are being launched with the new multimedia generation MBUX. These include the functions based on Car-to-X Communication (information from vehicle to vehicle on events recorded by sensors, e.g. emergency braking, ESP® intervention, or a manual system message from the driver, e.g. about an accident) and vehicle tracking, which makes it easier to find the parked car.
    INTELLIGENT DRIVE: Functions from the S-Class
    The A-Class is optionally available with the very latest driver assistance systems with functions adopted from the S-Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain conditions. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation with improved camera and radar systems that allow it to see more than 1,500 feet ahead (up to 500 meters). The A-Class also uses map and navigation data for certain assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® is able to provide route-based support to the driver in numerous situations and predictively adjust the speed when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Active Emergency Stop Assist and the intuitive Active Lane Change Assist are also included as part of the Driver Assistance Package.
    Active Brake Assist is standard for the new A-Class. Depending on the situation, it can help to effectively mitigate or avoid the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead. The system can even recognize crossing pedestrians and cyclists, and can intervene or support the driver in possible collision scenarios.
    Active Lane Keeping Assist is able to warn the driver by means of pulsed vibrations in the steering wheel when the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane at speeds between approximately 37 and 125 mph. If the vehicle passes over a solid line, it can pull the vehicle back into the lane by applying the brakes on one side. In the case of a dotted line, such intervention takes place only when there is a danger of collision with a vehicle in the adjacent lane (including danger from oncoming traffic).
    PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision. If the vehicle is stationary and the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes, thus minimizing the risk of a secondary collision and of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
    Passive Safety: Highly Stable Passenger Compartment and Modern Restraint Systems
    The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to be developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. Every single body shell component was developed according to loads and stresses encountered, with respect to geometry, material thickness, joining technology and material quality (increased proportion of high-strength and ultra-high-strength sheet steel).
    The centerpiece of the body's safety concept is the highly rigid passenger compartment. A greater use of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel results in an impressive rigidity when subjected to accident-induced stress – for example, in frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions and roll-overs.
    The driver and front passenger seats each have a three-point seat belt with a belt force limiter and belt tensioner. As standard, the new A-Class is equipped with driver and front passenger airbags, a driver's knee airbag and window airbags. Unlike in many competing models, the window airbags cover the A-pillar for more complete passenger protection. Thorax-pelvis side airbags are also standard in the front and available as an optional addition for the rear.
    LED Intelligent Light System: Optimum Visibility in All Conditions
    The optional LED Intelligent Light System is another example of the technology transfer from the luxury to the compact class. It allows for the extremely quick, precise and electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the given traffic situation. Each headlamp features multiple individually actuated LEDs. The daylight-color of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and positively effects concentration. The road ahead is precisely and brightly illuminated. As standard, the new A-Class is equipped with LED Headlamps with integrated LED Daytime Running Lamps.
    Suspension: Agile and Comfortable
    There is a choice of suspension systems for the A-Class depending on driver preference. The line-up of wheels ranges from 17 to 19 inches.
    The front axle of the new A‑Class features a McPherson design. For models with 4MATIC, adaptive damping or larger wheels are fitted with a complex four-link rear axle. All other models have a weight-optimized torsion-beam rear axle.
    Production: Aguascalientes, Mexico and Rastatt, Germany
    Production of the new A-Class Sedan will begin this year in Aguascalientes. The COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes) joint-venture production plant in Central Mexico will expand the Mercedes-Benz Cars compact-car production network to five locations on three continents. COMPAS is a cooperative project with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Daimler and Nissan each hold 50% of the shares in COMPAS.
    Production of the new A-Class Sedan at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt Plant in Germany will start in 2019. Rastatt is the leading plant for compact cars in the global production network. The plant is responsible for the global production control as well as quality and supplier management. In addition, it supports smooth start-ups at the other plants by training their employees and offering other services. In April, the new generation of A-Class compacts already began coming off the line in Rastatt. 
    The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere in Brooklyn, NY in July 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018.

    William Maley

    Needs to get approval before Mercedes-AMG can go forward

    A new report from Autocar says that Mercedes-AMG is proposing a new entry-level sports car to take on the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman. The model is being presented as a indirect replacement to the slow selling SLC to Mercedes-Benz’s board of management. According to sources, the model is in the "conceptual stage" and needs approval from the board.
    But it is clear that AMG has given some thought if this project is given the green light. The design is said to have clear links to the upcoming Project One hypercar, and come in a coupe and convertible. For power, Autocar says the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that will be used in both the new A35 and A45 hot hatches. Output will range from around 300 to more than 400 horsepower. There is a possibility of the engine being placed in a mid-mounted setup.
     “A lot of thought has gone into how Mercedes-AMG can better leverage its success in motorsport, particularly Formula 1 and endurance racing. One idea is a sports car that is relatively attainable financially and ideally suited to track day running. But it is just an idea and not a committed project right now,” said a source.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Only available in Nashville and Philadelphia

    Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to join the subscription service game. 
    The Mercedes-Benz Collection has launched a two-year pilot program in Nashville and Philadelphia which will give subscribers access to 30 models variants for a monthly fee ranging from $1,095 to $2,995. There is a one-time activation fee of $495 when you sign up.
    "We know there is a market opportunity for people who would like the ability to move in and out of vehicles, depending on what they need or want at a particular point in time, or who don't want to own a vehicle right now. That's why we are excited to test the waters with Mercedes-Benz Collection," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler in a statement. 
    Three subscription tiers will be on offer - Signature, Reserve, and Premiere. Each tier will have a selection of models ranging from sedans to SUVs. Each tier will also have a selection of AMG models. The monthly fee will include 24/7 roadside assistance, insurance, and maintenance. Subscribers will use an app on their phone to choose any vehicle within their tier and will be dropped off by a concierge service.
    Mercedes hopes this program will help bring in new customers and encourage current ones to consider buying a new model.
    "There will be customers who will test five to 10 vehicles [via the subscription program] and then decide to buy one model," said Exler.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mercedes-Benz

    Mercedes-Benz launches broadest luxury vehicle subscription plan in the U.S. with "Mercedes-Benz Collection"
    Luxury Vehicle Subscription Service to Launch as Pilot in Nashville and Philadelphia Mercedes-Benz today launched Mercedes-Benz Collection, providing the broadest offering of any luxury automaker for those drivers who prefer the variety and convenience of a subscription service. A collaboration between Mercedes-Benz USA, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA and Mercedes-Benz dealers, Mercedes-Benz Collection allows subscribers to switch between different types of vehicles depending on their needs or lifestyle. The service is available as a pilot in two cities: Nashville, TN and Philadelphia, PA. 
    "We're always looking to stay ahead of our customers' needs and wants, as well as to bring new people to the brand," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO for MBUSA. "We know there is a market opportunity for people who would like the ability to move in and out of vehicles, depending on what they need or want at a particular point in time, or who don't want to own a vehicle right now. That's why we are excited to test the waters with Mercedes-Benz Collection."
    "Customer's appetites are changing when it comes to how they access products and services, and our financial and mobility services are evolving to fit those demands. Adding Mercedes-Benz Collection's subscription services to our product portfolio is a natural fit," said Geoff Robinson, vice president, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC. "We are working to provide one of the most diverse offerings in the market today and expect to learn a lot from this pilot."
    There are three tiers in the program – Signature, Reserve and Premier – with two offered in each city and prices ranging from $1,095 to $2,995 per month (depending on city/level). Subscribers pay a one-time activation fee of $495 and may then choose from all the vehicle body styles offered in that subscription tier, including Mercedes-Benz SUVs, sedans, coupes, cabriolets, roadsters and wagon models. Each tier also allows access to the company's popular high-performance Mercedes-AMG models.
    The Mercedes-Benz Collection works through a combination of the new Mercedes-Benz Collection app and a local concierge. Once subscribed, customers initiate vehicle exchanges, concierge communication and other actions via the app. Concierge staff then ensure the delivery is consistent with the details and preferences in the customer's profile. Subscribers can access any type of vehicle within their tier with no mileage limitations. The monthly subscription fee for the tier also includes insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance and vehicle maintenance.
    How It Works:
    Those interested can download the Mercedes-Benz Collection app via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and hit "Sign up" Users then create an account (provide a credit card, select a plan and provide a picture of the driver's license associated with the account). Information is verified, and driving and credit history are checked (subscriber may be contacted with any questions). In most cases, the application is processed and the subscriber is contacted within one business day. Subscriber is contacted to find out his or her vehicle needs and desired delivery time and location. After the first delivery, subscribers put their requests in via the app. Requests received by noon can typically be fulfilled the next day. Concierge delivers the new vehicle washed, with a full tank of gas and takes away the previous vehicle. Further information on Mercedes-Benz Collection is available at collection.mbusa.com.   

    William Maley

    That's not a Buick....

    Mercedes-Benz has been teasing for the past few weeks their showing at Auto China which is expected to be an SUV. But thanks to someone accidentally posting photos on the official Mercedes-Benz website, we have gotten our first look at the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept - quite the mouthful.
    The design... the less said about it, the better. It's a sedan with a tall ride height - think Volvo S60 Cross Country or Subaru Outback sedan. The front features the tall, vertical slat grille seen on the facelifted Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The rear end styling is similar to the S-Class coupe with small taillights and angled trunk lid. The interior picture reveals seating for four, blue accent lighting, and a Maybach-branded tea set for rear passengers.
    The powertrain is comprised of four electric motors delivering a total 738 horsepower, and an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an estimated range of 310 miles.
    Source: Autocar, CarNewsChina

    William Maley

    From two to possibly three

    Mercedes-AMG has its eye on adding a third standalone model to join the GT Coupe/Cabriolet and GT 4-Door Coupe.
    Speaking with Autocar, Mercedes-AMG's head Tobias Moers hinted about a new model. One model that can be crossed off the list is an SUV.
    “There was a clear space in the market for the four-door GT, but we already have many excellent AMG SUV derivatives and it makes no sense to steal from them just so we can make our own car,” said Moers.
    Autocar speculates the new model could be a competitor to the Porsche Boxster/Cayman. It would also be a perfect replacement for the slow-selling Mercedes-Benz SLC.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Still will be used in Maybach models

    The days of high-performance V12s sitting under the hood of AMG models is coming to an end.
    Speaking with Automotive News at the New York Auto Show, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers said the brand would stop selling V12 models once it phases out the 65 line that uses them.
    "There is still demand for a V-12, but if you move forward with a V-12 in the future, the investment will be too high, in my perspective. You have to increase power, and you have to move forward with the technology in that engine. We'd better invest our money into electrified V-8 vehicles," said Moers.
    The current 6.0L V12 is still capable for future models explained Moers, but not for the high outputs AMG is looking for.
    The phaseout of the 65 lineup has already started with the last-generation G65. Back in October, AMG announced the G65 Final Edition, marking the end of a V12 option for the boxy SUV. The next-generation S and SL-Class will also drop their 65 models in the next-generation.
    That doesn't mean V12s will be disappearing from other Mercedes-Benz models. The Maybach subbrand is expected to continue offering a V12 option.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Already testing the program in Germany

    Subscription services are beginning to become more popular as more companies and OEMs come into this market to offer consumers a range of different vehicles that can be swapped. Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker planning to launch such a service in the U.S.
    "We plan to have something ready within this year. We are in the final conclusion" stage, said Britta Seeger, global head of sales for Mercedes-Benz to Automotive News.
    "With everything we see from the markets, from the customer … going forward, choice is really the topic of the future. Customers are so diverse and they want to have different offers. Subscription is another part of how to offer mobility to our customers."
    Earlier this month, Mercedes launched a pilot program called Mercedes me Flexperience at two of Germany's largest Mercedes' dealership groups. Customers who sign up can select and drive up to 12 new vehicles for a year at an undisclosed monthly rate depending on the vehicle segment. The rate includes insurance, maintenance, repair, tires, and up to 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) a year. As for vehicle choices, customers can choose from four different segments: A, C, E, and S-Class models and their crossover and AMG variants. Customers can upgrade to a higher model segment for an additional cost. 
    When it comes to swap into a new vehicle, a customer can do it through the Mercedes me Flexperience app.
    Details as to where Mercedes plans to launch the pilot program for the U.S. and pricing are still being worked out.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Citing internal emails and documents

    It seems Volkswagen wasn't the only German automaker that was using a defeat device in their diesel vehicles. Over the weekend, German paper Bild am Sonntag obtained documents that revealed Diamler may have been using illegal software modifications to pass emission tests. U.S. investigators looking into Daimler found two engine management functions,
    Slipguard: Recognized whether or not the vehicle was being tested in a lab Bit 15: Turned off the emissions cleaning after 26 kilometers (16 miles) of driving Bild also cited emails from Daimler engineers questioning whether or not the functions were legal or not.
    “The authorities know the documents and no complaint has been filed, The documents available to Bild have obviously selectively been released in order to harm Daimler and its 290,000 employees," a Diamler spokesman told Reuters.
    The spokesman declined to comment on the content of the documents, saying that it " had agreed upon strict confidentiality with the Department of Justice."
    Diamler has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Stuttgart prosecutors over allegations of possible cheating.
    Source: Bild via Reuters

    William Maley

    Good-bye Mr. Benz?

    The past few years have seen various automakers pull out of the Detroit Auto Show due to them figuring out better ways to spend their marketing dollars. This year alone saw Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Porsche be no-shows. Mitsubishi and Volvo were there in a small capacity, but due to the local dealers putting up a display. There could be another automaker joining the no-shows next year.
    Automotive News has learned from a senior executive source at Mercedes-Benz that the German automaker may withdraw for the 2019 edition.
    "We have to look at whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there's a more effective format for our needs. The G class was the perfect product to debut this year, but the likelihood we will be in Detroit next January is very slim. That doesn't mean however we are ruling out a return in 2020," the source said.
    A source at Mercedes' parent company Diamler casts further doubt of Mercedes-Benz making a return to Detroit.
    "With the number of models we have there's always a new car waiting to be launched. That's not the reason. Trade shows were designed so potential customers could easily compare prices across brands in one day, but this is no longer contemporary," said the source.
     "Once you make the decision you're out, why go back?"
    Like many automakers, Mercedes-Benz has been looking at different ways to debut models and reach consumers. Such methods have included off-site showings and holding their own events.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

    William Maley

    Dawn of the Sprinter

    The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is considered by many in Europe to be the class leader in vans and is beginning to garner a following here in the U.S. To keep this going, Mercedes unveiled the third-generation Sprinter at an event in Europe. 
    Mercedes is touting the flexibility of the new Sprinter with more than 1,700 configurations on offer. The van offers three different drivetrain choices (front, rear, and all-wheel drive), six different body styles, varying length and height options, and engines ranging in power from 113 to 188 horsepower. Front-wheel drive models get a nine-speed automatic, while rear and all-wheel drive models make do with a seven-speed. Mercedes will also launch a fully electric model known as the eSprinter next year. Various configurations will be available that offer different range and payload.
    But that isn't the only item Mercedes is touting with the new Sprinter. Like the new A-Class, the Sprinter comes with Mercedes' all-new MBUX infotainment system. The system comes with some additional features that are part of the Mercedes Pro Connect services. These include inventory monitoring, vehicle tracking, and allow communication with the driver and fleet operator.
    Not much has changed in terms of the exterior aside from a larger grille and slightly smaller headlights.
    Buyers in Europe can place orders for the 2019 Sprinter right now, with deliveries expected to begin in June. U.S. buyers will have to wait till the end of the year before they can get their hands on the new Sprinter. We'll hopefully have specific details on the Sprinter for our market before then.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Sprinter world premiere in Duisburg
    Well-proven attributes, new dimension in connectivity and variety: Mercedes-Benz presents the third generation of the Sprinter
    Feb 6, 2018 – Stuttgart/Duisburg
    New Sprinter will be available by the end of 2018 in the US market New connectivity services make fleet management significantly easier Detailed improvements with a major effect on the cab as a workplace Legends are made by performance. Since its European market launch in 1995 (2001 for the USA), the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has given its name to an entire vehicle class thanks to its outstanding qualities. Today the third generation of this best-selling van is celebrating its world premiere in the newly constructed Mercedes-Benz logistics center on the Mercator Island in Duisburg. It will be available in the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle centers and Van ProCenters in the US market by the end of the year. The new eSprinter will enter the market in 2019 (US availability TBA). It is part of the strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans for electrification of the commercial van fleet.
    "The inland port in Duisburg stands for globality and modern logistics at the highest level. It is therefore the perfect environment in which to present the new Sprinter. The Sprinter continues to embody the traditional attributes that have made it so successful worldwide since its market launch – flexibility, robustness and economy. At the same time it impresses with unrivalled modernity, for example with its connectivity and variability. This makes it the first end-to-end system solution for commercial fleets, both for Mercedes-Benz Vans and for the entire industry," says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
    Constant control over the fleet with Mercedes PRO connect services
    The third-generation Sprinter impresses with its progressive design plus comfort and safety features at a passenger car level. At the same time it offers maximum cost-effectiveness thanks to lower total operating costs and customer-oriented features. Comprehensive internet connectivity is one of the most important new features. The new, networked services of Mercedes PRO connect combined with the likewise completely new multimedia systems provide the perfect basis for all logistical and transport requirements. This begins with the complex management of a large fleet and ends with the small company fleet. Mercedes PRO connect links the fleet manager with all the vehicles and drivers in the fleet. This enables assignments to be managed online, and vehicle information such as location, fuel level or maintenance intervals to be retrieved almost in real time. Several packages available ex- factory with central fleet, vehicle, driver and location-based services will be introduced on market launch of Mercedes PRO connect. Mercedes PRO connect professionalizes our customers in terms of effitient fleet management, improved navigation, efficient analysis of driving style, digitalized recording and remote vehicle operations.
    Even more variable and at home in all sectors
    The Sprinter is more versatile than ever, bringing the potential total to more than 1,700 different configurations worldwide (USA product program is TBA). This maximized modularity defines the core of the new Sprinter concept, reflecting both sector-specific requirements and different customer segments. The product range includes, for example, solutions for courier services on the last mile delivery, for goods transport over longer distances or for service technicians using their vehicle as a mobile replacement parts store. The new Sprinter can also be put to work as a camper van or bus, and can be used as an ambulance by rescue services.
    Mercedes-Benz Vans also raises the Sprinter segment to a new level where safety features are concerned. The assistance systems available for the new Sprinter include a self-cleaning rear-view camera in the rear-view mirror, a 360-degree view parking camera system, and a rain sensor with an integrated Wet Wiper system for optimum visibility even during the wiping process.

    William Maley

    We'll be seeing this as a sedan, while Canada will be getting the hatchback and sedan

    Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the new A-Class hatchback at an event in Amsterdam on Friday. While the U.S. will miss out on the hatchback, it does give us a preview of what to expect with the upcoming A-Class sedan, due sometime later this year.
    Styling-wise, the A-Class follows in the footsteps of the CLS-Class. This means a cleaner body with fewer creases and smoother lines. Details to be called out include a hood that slopes down further than the previous generation, sharply angled headlights, and a wider rear end. Mercedes claims the A-Class is the most aerodynamic model in the class, with a drag coefficient of just 0.25.
    The interior is quite the departure from the outgoing A-Class. A more modern design is punctuated by the new MBUX (short for Mercedes-Benz User Experience) system. Buyers can choose from three different screen layouts (two 7-inch displays, one 7-inch and one 10.25-inch display, or two 10.25-inch displays) that appear to be floating on top of the dash. The system features natural speech recognition technology and is activated by saying "Hey Mercedes". The system also comes with a new interface, the ability to control the system via touch control buttons on the steering wheel or a touchpad on the center console, and the ability to learn a driver's preferences through artificial intelligence algorithms.
    Three engines will be available at launch for Europe; a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 163 horsepower; a 1.5L turbodiesel four-cylinder producing 114 horsepower; and a turbocharged 2.0L four with 221 horsepower. All engines can be paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch. An AMG variant is expected down the road.
    Order books for the A-Class open up in Europe next month, with deliveries taking place in the spring.
    It should be noted that Canada will be getting the hatchback sometime later this year along with the sedan.
    “Our U.S. colleagues have already confirmed that they will only sell the sedan version of the A-Class. Both hatchback and sedan versions will be available in Canada; we will share more information about the sedan later this year,” said Brian D. Fulton, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz 
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Stuttgart/Amsterdam. The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is as youthful and dynamic as ever, but grown-up and comfortable like never before. It completely redefines modern luxury in the compact class, and revolutionises interior design. Technologically the new A-Class not only takes first place thanks to MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: it also offers a number of functions that were previously the preserve of the luxury class. In certain driving situations, it is able to drive semi-autonomously for the first time, and MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available on request. All models of the new A-Class are also powered by new, efficient diesel and petrol engines, and although Mercedes-Benz has retained the sporty appearance, the utility value has increased. The new A-Class can be ordered from March onwards, with first UK deliveries in June.
    "With the fourth generation of the A-Class, we are redefining modern luxury in the compact class. To do this we have opted for a combination of uncompromisingly dynamic design and an intuitive operating concept," says Britta Seeger, the member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars sales. "With MBUX – the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience – we are creating a completely new customer experience."
    "New technologies must place the focus on people and make their lives easier. The new A-Class does this in many ways, and becomes an emotional and intelligent companion," says Ola Källenius, the member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One good example is MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience: it combines intuitive and natural operation with intelligent, learning software."
    "The new A-Class embodies the next stage in our design philosophy of Sensual Purity and has the potential to usher in a new design era," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. "With clear contours and sensual surfaces, we present high-tech that awakens emotions. Form and body are what remain when creases and lines are reduced to the extreme. The interior represents modern luxury at a level previously unattained in this class, and translates intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience."
    Exterior design: Exercise in purism
    The purist, surface-accentuating design of the new A-Class is the next step in the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. On the basis of a compact two-box design, optimised dimensions and proportions have led to a new interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class's design.
    The exterior of the new A-Class stands for sportiness, dynamism and emotion. The progressive front design with a low bonnet, flat LED headlamps with chrome elements and torch-like daytime driving lamps ensures an emotionally appealing and alluring appearance. The striking radiator grille with Mercedes star, whose silhouette opens out towards the base as a reinterpretation of its predecessor, features pins in a diamond look and a central silver louvre to underline the sportiness of this model.
    The vehicle is visually extended by the longer wheelbase and character line along the side. The bonnet slopes down more heavily than in the preceding model series, emphasising the dynamic, upright front. The larger wheel arches for wheels from 16 to 19 inches emphasise the sportiness of the new A-Class and make it sit more squarely on the road. The vehicle has a wider look at the rear end thanks to a more heavily waisted greenhouse, which also emphasises the shoulders, and to the wider-spaced rear reflectors in the modular, two-section rear bumper. The slim, two-section tail lights ensure an emotionally appealing, alluring appearance.
    With a Cd figure from 0.25 and a frontal area (A) of 2.19 m2, the new A-Class is the aerodynamic leader in its segment. For the first time in the compact class, Mercedes-Benz uses a two-section AIRPANEL (optional). This louvre system behind the radiator grille opens its adjustable louvres depending on the cooling requirement. There is an additional louvre system in the air inlet below the registration plate, which further improves system performance.
    Interior design: A revolution from within
    The interior of the new A-Class is completely redefined with its modern, avant-garde look. Mercedes-Benz has taken a completely new approach, revolutionising the compact class from the inside with a new feeling of spaciousness. The unique interior architecture is shaped in particular by the avant-garde design of the dashboard: for the first time a cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity. The Widescreen display is completely free-standing. The air vents in a sporty turbine-look are another highlight.
    The dashboard is divided into two three-dimensional, horizontal sections: the lower section is visually separated from the main body of the dashboard by a "trench", and it appears to float in front of the dashboard. The ambient lighting enhances this effect, accentuating the free-floating impression of the substructure. The 64 colours of the optional ambient lighting make five times as many colours available than before. And it is not just the variety that has increased, as the emotive presentation also sets standards in this segment: the different colours are composed into ten colour worlds to allow an avant-garde lighting display with spectacular colour changes.
    The completely free-standing display is available in three versions:
    with two 7-inch displays (17.78 cm), with one 7- and one 10.25-inch (26 cm) display and with two 10.25-inch displays. MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience: Unrivalled experience
    The new A-Class is the first Mercedes-Benz model to feature the completely new multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience, which also ushers in a new era in Mercedes me connectivity. A unique feature of this system is its ability to learn thanks to artificial intelligence. MBUX can be individualised and adapts to suit the user. It thus creates an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
    Its further strengths include the high-resolution Widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation of the media display, the navigation display with augmented reality technology plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the code word "Hey Mercedes". A head-up display is also available. The touchscreen is part of the comprehensive MBUX touch-control concept – a triad consisting of the touchscreen, touchpad on the centre console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel.
    MBUX is a revolution of the user experience in the car. Emotively appealing showcasing features underline the comprehensibility of the control structure and thrill through brilliant 3D maximum-resolution graphics, which are rendered, i.e. calculated and displayed, in real time.
    New and improved Mercedes me connect services are being launched with the new infotainment generation MBUX. These include navigation functions based on Car-to-X communication (information from vehicle to vehicle about events registered by sensors, e.g. emergency braking, ESP® intervention, or manual reporting e.g. of an accident by the driver), and Vehicle Tracker, which makes it easier to find the parked vehicle, as well as outputting a message if the parked vehicle suffers an impact or is towed away.
    The Mercedes me app collection can be placed as an icon on the screen in a user-friendly way and can be freely sorted on the homepage like all other main applications. In addition, online content such as current filling station prices or the availability of parking spaces in the multi-storey car park are displayed in MBUX. Online updating is a simple way of allowing new content to be made available in MBUX.
    Spaciousness and seating: The A-Class has grown up
    Despite its sporty look, the new A-Class has considerably more utility value, making it as youthful as ever but grown-up like never before. More shoulder, elbow and headroom plus easier access to the rear are clear benefits, as is the larger and more family- and recreation-friendly luggage compartment. All-round visibility has also been considerably improved. This enhances both safety and the impression of spaciousness.
    The capacity of the luggage compartment behind the rear seats is 370 litres – 29 litres more than in the preceding model. Thanks to two-section rear lights, the loading aperture is 20 cm wider than before, and the luggage compartment floor is 11.5 cm longer. In conjunction with the Load Compartment package, the rear seat backrest can be positioned more upright, e.g. to accommodate bulky boxes. The stowage concept is equally practical: The oddments compartment in the centre console ahead of the shift lever has been considerably enlarged. A cup holder on the centre tunnel for mugs, cans and bottles up to 0.5 litres is a new feature in conjunction with the equipment lines. Much detailed effort has also gone into the improved all-round visibility. All in all, the area obscured by the pillars has been reduced by 10 percent compared to the preceding model.
    At the same time, comfort features from higher vehicle segments make an appearance: on request, and for the first time in this model series, not only seat heating but also seat climate control and a Multicontour Seat package with massage function are available for the front seats. A total of three different front seats are available for the new A-Class: the basic model, the comfort seat and the sporty integral seat available in combination with the equipment lines.
    As well as a special seat design, the Seat Comfort package (standard with some equipment lines) includes height adjustment of the front passenger seat and angle/depth adjustment of the front seat cushions. With the seat climate control, there is a radial fan in each seat cushion. The air taken in through the perforated seat cover flows through the seat structure and is vented downwards and to the rear. With the Multicontour Seat package, the side bolsters and lumbar support can be individually adjusted by an electrically driven pneumatic pump. A massage effect in the lumbar area is provided by air chambers.
    Quiet running: there is strength in serenity
    Quiet, vibration-free driving characteristics are a major factor in the grown-up, premium driving impression made by the new A‑Class. Alongside effective insulation of the suspension from the vehicle body and aeroacoustic measures, the bodyshell itself plays a decisive role. During the development of the A-Class, particular attention was given to high overall structural rigidity and the connecting points between the body, suspension and powertrain. Significant increases in introduction rigidities were especially achieved at the suspension connecting points that are so important to road roar, and the interior noise level was considerably reduced.
    The comprehensive noise insulation concept of the new A-Class includes components such as the air and coolant management systems or trim parts in the interior being configured so as to improve noise insulation as well. Wind noises have also been significantly reduced compared to the preceding model.
    Intelligent Drive: functions from the S-Class
    The new A-Class has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 500 m ahead. The A-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations, and predictively and conveniently adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Also on board are e.g. Active Emergency Stop Assist and intuitively understandable Active Lane Change Assist.
    The new A-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.
    PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the brakes of the vehicle when stationary, thus minimising the risk of injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by an impact from the rear.
    The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. Every single bodyshell component was developed according to the loads and stresses encountered, with respect to geometry, material thickness, joining technology and material quality (increased proportion of high-strength and ultra high-strength sheet steel).
    The centrepiece of the body's safety concept is the highly rigid passenger cell. Its great rigidity when subjected to accident-induced stress e.g. in frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions and rollovers is above all due to the greater use of high-strength, ultra high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel.
    The driver and front passenger each have a three-point seat belt with belt force limiter and belt tensioner. In conjunction with the PRE-SAFE® system (optional equipment), the front seats are equipped with reversible belt reel tensioners. Both of the outer rear seats are fitted with a seat belt with reel tensioner and belt force limiter. The new A-Class is equipped with driver and front passenger airbags, a driver's kneebag and windowbags as standard. Unlike in many competing models, the windowbag also covers the A-pillar for more complete passenger protection. Thorax-pelvis sidebags are likewise standard in the front, and available as optional equipment for the rear.
    MULTIBEAM LED headlamps: optimum visibility in all conditions
    The optional MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are another example of the technology transfer from the luxury to the compact class. These allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation. 18 individually actuated LEDs are housed in each headlamp. The daylight-like light colour of the LEDs is easy on the eyes and has a positive effect on concentration. The road ahead is precisely and brightly illuminated. LED High Performance headlamps are a further option. As standard the new A-Class is equipped with halogen headlamps with integrated LED daytime driving lamps.
    New, efficient petrol and diesel engines
    The following three engine variants will be available on the launch of the A-Class, or shortly afterwards[1]:
    A 200 (120kW/163 hp, 250 Nm; with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission combined fuel consumption 5.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 120 g/km) or six-speed manual transmission (combined fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 133 g/km) A 250 with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission (165kW/224 hp, 350 Nm; combined fuel consumption 6.0 l/100 km, combined CO2emissions 141 g/km) A 180 d with 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission (85kW/116 hp, 260 Nm; combined fuel consumption 4.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 108 g/km) All the new A-Class models are powered by new, efficient engines: Two new four-cylinder petrol engines are available at market launch. Innovations in the M 282 with a displacement of 1.4 l and up to 120 kW include cylinder shutoff (initially in conjunction with the 7G-DCT transmission) and the delta shape of the cylinder head. The second new petrol engine is the M 260 with a displacement of 2.0 litres, 165 kW and 350 Nm.
    New features include CAMTRONIC for the intake camshaft. Both petrol engine series have a particulate filter as standard.
    Also new is the four-cylinder diesel (OM 608) with a displacement of 1.5 litres, up to 85 kW and up to 260 Nm. Its highlights are a near-engine mounted emission control system with AdBlue® technology, a turbocharger with optimised responsiveness and water intercooling. A new 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission is also being introduced. Further new engines will follow. The fuel tank has a capacity of 43 litres as standard, with a 51-litre tank optionally available.
    On request the new A-Class is available with the permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC with fully variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive system has been developed further, and now offers even more driving pleasure and efficiency. Using the DYNAMIC SELECT switch, the driver is able to influence the 4MATIC characteristics even more than before. 4MATIC components include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear axle differential with an integrated multiplate clutch. This is no longer electro-hydraulically powered, but instead electro-mechanically.
    Suspension: agile and comfortable
    There is a choice of suspension systems for the A-Class, depending on engine variant and driver preference. 16-inch wheels are standard equipment. DYNAMIC SELECT is standard equipment, and at the touch of a button also provides an individual driving experience in conjunction with the suspension with active damping control (optional).
    Like all its predecessors, the new A-Class has a McPherson front suspension. The more powerful versions such as the A 250 and all 4MATIC models have a sophisticated four-link rear suspension. The rear axle is mounted on a subframe isolated from the bodyshell by rubber bushings so that fewer vibrations are transferred from the suspension to the body. All in all, the proportion of aluminium in the suspension components is one of the highest in any suspension system in this vehicle class. The entry-level A 200 and A 180 d models have a torsion beam rear suspension.
    As standard the new A-Class is equipped with a comfort suspension with steel springs and DYNAMIC SELECT. The comfort suspension lowered by 15 millimetres has specially configured springs and dampers for more sporty characteristics. The suspension with active damping control enables the driver to choose the preferred damping characteristics.

    William Maley

    The Volkswagen Diesel Emission Scandal Killed Any Demand for Them

    Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed that it is not planning to sell any more diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. Speaking with The Detroit Bureau, Mercedes' head of R&D Ola Kallenius said there isn't enough demand for diesels with the three-pointed star - citing they only made up three percent of total sales in their best year. A lot of the decrease can be laid at the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal.
    “The diesel doesn’t fit into our portfolio in the U.S.,” said Kallenius.
    There will be one group of Mercedes-Benz models that will be keeping diesel engines, the Sprinter vans. Sales of these models are continuing to rise.
    Source: The Detroit Bureau

    William Maley

    Hatchback? No. Sedan? Yes.

    Mercedes-Benz has never sold the A-Class in the U.S. as it wasn't sure consumers would buy a luxury hatchback. But Mercedes will be finally bringing over the next-generation A-Class, but as a sedan.
    "We truly believe that now with the body style we have the right answer for the market," said Britta Seeger, Mercedes-Benz's global sales chief to Automotive News.
    When the model launches next fall in U.S., the A-Class sedan will become the brand's entry-level model. Mercedes is aiming the model at younger buyers that are new to the brand. 
    "It's a very attractive car for younger people. But not only for younger people — it can have a broad audience because it's a nice entrance into the Mercedes-Benz family," said Seeger.
    Currently, the cheapest way to get into a Mercedes-Benz is the CLA-Class with a pricetag of $32,700. It is expected that the A-Class sedan will start under $30,000. When asked about this, Seeger said, "We will see."
    Click here for more Mercedes-Benz News
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Will be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show

    Back in June, we reported in the rumorpile that Mercedes-AMG was planning to launch a new lineup of models with the 53 designation. These models would set themselves apart due to them being equipped with a mild-hybrid setup. The redesigned CLS-Class would be the first model to debut the 53.
    Speaking to Automotive News, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed the existence of the 53 and that the CLS would be the first. All 53 models would be powered by a higher-output variant of the new turbocharged 3.0L inline-six paired up with a 48-Volt electrical system. Moers wouldn't say how much power the 53 series will produce but hinted that the AMG variant of the inline-six would produce somewhere in the range of 400 horsepower.
    With the new 53 lineup, the CLS will lose out on having an AMG 63 model. Moers said that would be taken up by a new four-door version of the AMG GT. A concept of this model was shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
    More information on the AMG 53 will be announced next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Will launch with the next-generation A-Class

    Mercedes-AMG offers two tiers of performance on certain models; the warmed-up 43 series and hyperbolic 63 series. They'll be doing something similar with the launch of their next-generation compacts.
    Speaking to Top Gear, AMG boss Tobias Moers revealed that they'll be offering a slightly de-tuned and cheaper version of the A45 compact called the A35.
    “I see a huge opportunity for the A35. It’ll be the A45’s little brother, an engine performance A-Class. The price point will be low, and not everything we can do with the 45 we can afford for the 35," said Moers.
    “But it’s a step into a new segment where we’ve never been present in the past. I have my own approach how to do that; we have to have a close look at the competitors and who is going to be our benchmark. Then we work out what the task is of the A35 in setting the new benchmark.”
    Rumor has it that the next-generation A45 will produce 400 horsepower from a turbocharged four-cylinder. This could mean the A35 might produce somewhere in the range of 300 horsepower, providing an alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R and Honda Civic Type R.
    We're wondering if we could see a 35 variant of the CLA, which will be the first of Mercedes' next-generation compacts we will get.
    Moers also revealed a couple of other tidbits of what's in store for AMG
    Confirmed the existence of the 53 series, which pairs a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six and a mild-hybrid system. We'll get our first look at it with the CLS 53 at next month's Detroit Auto Show. The V12 could be on its way out from AMG. “The V12 market has changed, and I think it could be that we have to call it ‘done’,” Moers said. “We still have V12 aficionados, but they’re more into Maybach. We don’t need a luxury car like that in our AMG portfolio, so it could be that this is the last generation of V12 AMG S-Class’.”
    Source: Top Gear

    William Maley

    Will pickup trucks become a status symbol like SUVs in Europe? Mercedes hopes so.

    SUVs at one time were seen as utility vehicles that could get you through the worst mother nature had on offer. Now SUVs have moved upmarket, becoming a status symbol at the school's parking lot and not tacking some off-road trail. Mercedes-Benz believes something similar could happen with pickup trucks.
    "SUVs are elegant lifestyle products with a high-quality finish to them. Not every customer takes them into the wilderness anymore. We believe pickups could go in a similar direction," said Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-Benz vans boss to Automotive News.
    Mercedes-Benz will soon be launching their first truck, the X-Class in a number of markets. Certain markets such as Europe and South Africa, Mercedes hopes to capture "trend-conscious individuals".
    There is a big pitfall to Mercedes' prediction. JATO Dynamics wrote in a research note that the X-Class will face "several challenges" in Europe where many customers see pickup trucks as work vehicles, not something like a daily driver. But that might be changing. As we reported last week, sales of pickup trucks in Europe have been climbing steadily.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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