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    William Maley

    Mercedes USA's CEO admits the future of diesel vehicles in the U.S. is unknown

    Mercedes-Benz is still waiting on the EPA to give the ok for them sell 2017 model year diesel vehicles. This is causing them to rethink their diesel strategy in the U.S.
    Speaking with reporters at the New York Auto Show this week, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler said engineers are still in talks with the EPA over their diesel vehicles. Exler admitted that he isn't aware of the current status of those talks. When asked about the future of diesel sales for the U.S., Exler said,
    "No decision made one way or the other."
    Before the EPA put all 2017 model year diesel vehicles under an intense review process, only 2 to 3 percent of Mercedes' total U.S. sales were made up of diesels.
    It should be noted that Mercedes-Benz has also canned plans on bringing over diesel version of the C-Class sedan last year.
    Exler said the focus going forward would be electric vehicles, with 10 new EVs being launch by 2025.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    By 2022, Mercedes plans on having 10 electric vehicles for sale

    Mercedes-Benz is going all in on electric vehicles with the launch of the EQ sub-brand by the end of this decade. Previously, the German automaker planned to have ten electric vehicles in the EQ lineup by 2025. But a new report from Automotive News says that timeframe has been pushed up to 2022.
    Why move this goal forward? According to the report, Mercedes wants to lessen the backlash various automakers are currently dealing with due to the diesel vehicles. Diamler, Mercedes-Benz's parent company is currently under investigation by German prosecutors for possible fraud and false advertising on some of their diesel models. Also, Diamler's plan on reducing CO2 emissions across their entire fleet hit a snag last year due to buyers going for larger vehicles.
    "We want to shape the profound transformation of the automotive industry from the forefront," said Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff in a statement.
    "Further fundamental changes will be required for Daimler to remain successful," as the industry adjusts to cars running on electric motors and capable of driving themselves, he said.
    We know that the EQ lineup will include two SUVs (one previewed by the Generation EQ concept from last year) and two sedans.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    More details spill on Mercedes-AMG's upcoming sedan

    Back in November, we first learned about Mercedes-AMG's next standalone model possibly known as the GT4, a four-door coupe. The new model would be previewed by a concept before going on sale in 2019. We now have some new details on this model.
    Autocar reports the GT4 concept will be shown next month at the Geneva Motor Show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AMG. A production model will soon follow a year later for European markets.
    The GT4 will serve as the replacement for the CLS Shooting Brake and use a modified version of Mercedes' modular rear architecture (MRA). According to sources at AMG, the GT4's variant of MRA will come with 'unique' wheelbase and track width measurements. The GT4 will also utilize aluminum and hot-formed high-strength steel in an effort to help cut weight.
    Power will come from a 4.0L V8 biturbo engine that will be offered in two states of tune - the highest one offering 600-plus horsepower. A performance-oriented version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive will come standard. There is also talk about adding integrated starter generator (ISG) that would add a brief boost of power along with improving fuel economy.
    A 3.0L turbocharged V6 is possibly in the cards as well.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    A German Unicorn is revealed

    Wagons are a rare species in the U.S. A high-performance wagon for the U.S. falls into the unicorn category. But Mercedes-Benz has been the one to carry the torch with the E55 and E63 wagons. Once again, Mercedes has gifted the U.S. with another high-performance wagon in the form of the E63 S.
    It follows the same recipe as the E63 S sedan; biturbo 4.0L V8 producing 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque; nine-speed automatic, and a performance-oriented version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system with drift mode. The wagon is slower than the sedan to 60 mph - 3.4 seconds vs. 3.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 180 mph.
    The E63 S wagon mimics the sedan in terms of exterior styling with a clam-shell hood, wider fenders, rear diffuser, and quad exhausts. Of course, when hauling ass, the E63 S wagon offers space to haul cargo as well. Open the rear tailgate and you'll be greeted with 35 cubic feet of space. You can expand this by folding the rear seats.
    Mercedes will be showing off the E63 S wagon at the Geneva Motor Show next month with sales beginning later in the year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The New Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon
    Sportiness meets space and intelligence February 01, 2017 - Affalterbach
    In the new E63 S Wagon, Mercedes-AMG combines the brand's hallmark Driving Performance with high utility value and the intelligence of the E-Class. As in the E63 S Sedan, the hand-crafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine with an output of up to 603 hp and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive deliver outstanding driving dynamics. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds sets a new record in this class. At the same time the engine is now even more efficient thanks to a cylinder deactivation system fitted as standard.
    Like the E63 S Sedan, the E63 S Wagon offers innovative drive technology and outstanding performance coupled with a unique design, exclusive appointments and the latest infotainment features for a wide range of connected multimedia applications.
    The new Wagon boasts even more agile response than its predecessor: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) 9-speed sport transmission is combined with a wet clutch. Another highlight is the new AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel- drive system, which combines the advantages of various drive configurations. Torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which is fully variable for the first time, ensures optimum traction in all road conditions.
    "The new AMG E63 Wagon combines our brand's hallmark driving dynamics with high everyday practicality. It is not for nothing that the model has been a permanent fixture in the AMG portfolio for 40 years. The powerful engine and the intelligent all- wheel drive underpin our claim to always be at the forefront of development when it comes to performance," states Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    Technical data at a glance          
    E63 S Wagon
    Hand-crafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo
    3,982 cc
    603 hp at 5,750–6,500 rpm
    Max. torque
    627 lb-ft at 2,500–4,500 rpm
    Drive system
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution and drift mode
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed sports transmission
    Acceleration 0-100 mph
    3.4 s
    Top speed
    180 mph (electronically limited)
    Exterior design
    Every detail of the exterior is designed to enable AMG Driving Performance to be experienced at first hand from every perspective. The distinctive, sporty design of the front end forward of the A-pillar demonstrates the lengths AMG goes to when it comes to development: For the first time on an AMG wagon, the hood is inset between the fenders and bumper like on a coupe, thus exhibiting an entirely new, more dynamic approach to the sculpting. More powerful-looking and 1.1-inches wider, the wheel arches accommodate the greater track width and the larger wheels on the front axle.
    A wide front bumper inspired by the design of a jet wing, with flics in black and a large front splitter, impressively epitomises the power of the new E63 S Wagon. It also showcases sophisticated cooling technology – a typical feature from motorsport and another visual reference to the powerful engine.
    The side sill panels make the wagon appear to sit lower on the road and elongate the overall line, culminating in a muscular rear end with an bumper insert sporting a diffuser look and the two high-gloss chrome-plated twin tailpipe trims of the exhaust system. The hallmark AMG V8 sound has been tuned specifically for the Wagon model.
    Designers and aerodynamics experts worked closely together to develop the E63 S Wagon. Their insights not only resulted in the striking AMG bodystyling but also the performance-oriented lift balance – for agile handling characteristics on country roads and optimum driving stability at high speed on the motorway.
    The new E63 S Wagon likewise sets standards in its segment when it comes to everyday practicality: boasting a generous 35 cu.ft. (SAE) of trunk capacity with the second row of seats upright, its trunk is the largest in the performance wagon segment. The rear seat back comes as standard with a new cargo-related functionality: it can be positioned at a 10-degree steeper angle creating even more usable trunk space. In addition, the rear seat back can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split.
    New peak of performance: Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers
    The versatile Hand-crafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine in the E63 S Wagon takes peak output to a new level at 603 hp. The maximum torque of 627 lb-ft is likewise a new high. It is available over a broad engine speed range of 2,500 to 4,500 rpm and so provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position. The E63 S Wagon completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.
    The standard-fit AMG Cylinder Management and a number of other measures make the new performance wagon exceptionally efficient. Twin-scroll turbochargers are installed for the first time to further enhance the performance and response of the AMG 4.0-liter V8 engine. They reduce the exhaust gas backpressure and optimize the gas cycle, resulting in higher output, exceptionally spontaneous response and higher torque at low revs.
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive
    The E63 S wagon comes with the innovative AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel- drive system fitted as standard. This newly engineered, intelligent system brings together the advantages of various drive configurations— torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which is fully variable for the first time, ensures optimum traction on any surface. The driver can rely on a high level of handling safety.
    An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque distribution is calculated continuously. The performance wagon can thus be driven in a continuously variable way from traction-oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. In addition to traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel-drive system also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
    Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission is specially tuned to the requirements of the E63 S Wagon, and features re-engineered hardware and software. The software enables extremely short shift times and fast multiple downshifts, while the double-clutching function makes for an emotional gearshifting experience. A wet clutch replaces the torque converter, saving weight and optimizing response, especially when accelerating.
    For a personalised experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
    The E63 S Wagon comes equipped with five different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs: "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport +," "RACE" and "Individual." These modes allow drivers to extensively influence the characteristics of the E63 S Wagon. Key parameters are modified - such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP®  and all-wheel-drive system. Independent of the drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual shifting mode, in which gearshifts are performed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Individual suspension settings can be selected as required. The "RACE" drive program has been designed for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits and all parameters are set for maximum performance.
    Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
    The agility and high cornering speeds of the new E63 S Wagon are attributable to the all-new AMG suspension with full-support multi-chamber air suspension. This suspension ensures exceptionally high levels of camber stability, driving dynamics and steering precision.
    A four-link front axle design uses forged aluminium components with wishbones, strut rod and spring link. Independent wheel control and wheel suspension parts enable higher lateral acceleration, but minimal torque steer on the steering system. The likewise model-specific, completely redesigned rear axle was specially adapted to the higher vehicle dynamics. The suspension thus ensures hallmark E-Class comfort with high levels of precision and driving dynamics.
    Personalised driving experience thanks to three-chamber air suspension system
    Thanks to a sporty spring and damper set-up and continuously variable damping, the new three-chamber air suspension system combines exemplary driving dynamics with excellent road roar and tire vibration characteristics. The stiffness of the air springs can be adjusted over a wide range by activating or deactivating individual air chambers, which enhances comfort and handling.
    There are three degrees of spring tuning, depending on the selected drive program and current driving status. The spring rate is hardened automatically in the event of sudden load changes, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or heavy braking, which effectively reduces roll and pitching while stabilising the performance wagon.
    The adaptive damping can be set in three stages – "Comfort," "Sport" and Sport +" – to choose between relaxed comfort on long journeys and maximum sportiness. The rebound and compression levels are adjusted independently of each other, and the freely programmable characteristics map permits a wide spread between the minimum and maximum damper force. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension settings are refined and are clearly perceptible.
    Rear differential lock: optimum traction
    For improved traction and vehicle dynamics, the E63 S Wagon comes with an electronically controlled rear limited slip differential. The electronically-controlled limited slip differential reduces slip on the inside wheel when cornering without braking system intervention, resulting in the ability to accelerate out of bends earlier and more powerfully. Additionally, this limited-slip unit allows the E63 S Wagon to remain more stable when braking from high speeds and improves traction when moving off.
    The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is the sensitive and proactive control it allows, which pushes the thresholds higher and makes it easier to drive at the vehicle's limits. The three-stage ESP® with "ESP ON." "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings works in precise unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and the all-wheel drive system, and is optimally tuned for outstanding dynamics.
    E63 S 4MATIC+ with dynamic engine mounts as standard
    Uniquely in this segment, the E63 S Wagon is fitted with dynamic engine mounts, which solve the conflicting goals of achieving as soft a connection as possible to the powertrain for high comfort and as rigid a connection as possible for optimum driving dynamics. The dynamic engine mounts are quickly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and handling requirements. These measures enhance the vehicle's precision when driven dynamically, while the soft setting increases comfort.
    Direct and with clear feedback: the AMG speed-sensitive steering
    The E63 S Wagon features electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering with a variable ratio, which impresses thanks to the rack ratio with precise and authentic feedback. Steering power assistance is variably adjusted in the stages "Comfort," "Sport" or "Sport Plus." Relevant steering feel characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program or can be personalised in "Individual" mode.
    Good sensitivity and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance braking system
    The large-sized high-performance compound braking system is reliable, quick and fade-resistant, even under high loads. The E63 S Wagon is fitted with internally ventilated and perforated 15.4" x 1.4" compound brake discs on the front axle with six-piston fixed callipers. In the rear, 14.2" x .9" discs and single-piston floating brake callipers are equipped.
    Optionally available is an AMG Ceramic Composite braking system, with 15.8" x 1.5" brake discs in on the front axle and and 14.2" x 1.3" discs on the rear axle.
    Sporty characteristics: the interior design
    The interior of the E63 S Wagon reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous, specially designed details. The AMG Performance Steering Wheel in black nappa leather is ideal for a sporty driving style. The driver and front passenger enjoy a secure position in the front sport seats, whatever the driving style, thanks to improved lateral support. AMG Performance Seats with integral head restraints can be ordered as an option. Additional interior touches include nappa leather trim for the dashboard and beltlines, seat belts available in crystal grey and a steering wheel with a grey '12-o'clock' marking.
    All important speed, safety and performance information appears within the driver's field of vision on the standard-fitment dual-12.3"screen digital instrument cluster. Gauges in a carbon-fiber look and distinctive typography lend the displays an especially sporty touch. The widescreen display also allows the driver can choose from three display designs unique to AMG: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive."
    Intelligent Drive
    The E63 S Wagon features all the connectivity and Intelligent Drive functions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon, such as DRIVE PILOT, which assists the driver with semi-automated driving in traffic jams or on routine trips.
    The world premiere of the E63 S wagon will take place at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2017.
    The E63 S Wagon is scheduled to be on-sale in the US by fall of this year.

    William Maley

    Rube Goldberg would be proud

    Automakers go to great lengths to avoid being hit with the 25 percent chicken tax when they import trucks or vans into the U.S. Mercedes-Benz takes the cake for the most absurd method.
    For the past decade, Mercedes-Benz would build Sprinter vans fully in Germany before disassembling them and shipping the pieces to South Carolina. Workers in a small assembly building would put the vans back together. This method allowed Mercedes-Benz to claim the vans as "locally made".
    "I really couldn't believe it. To build up and tear down, that's really something that hurts me, personally. And the costs!" said Volker Mornhinweg, worldwide head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
    Mornhinweg first learned about this back in 2010 and like us, found himself wondering 'WHY?!' Thankfully, Mornhinweg began working on making this process not seem like Rube Goldberg machine which will fully culminate with a new assembly plant in South Carolina that will be tasked with building the next-generation Sprinter, most likely in 2018.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 

    William Maley

    Information begins to flow on the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS

    Ever since Mercedes-Benz introduced the new E-Class earlier this year, there has been speculation as to when its sister model, the CLS would be redesigned. A new report says that it will take place in 2018.
    According to Automotive News, the next-generation CLS is expected to go on sale in the summer of 2018 for the U.S. The model will use Mercedes' Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) that is not only lighter than the platform underpinning the current CLS, but also bring more room. Spy shots reveal that the design of the next CLS will evolve, but will not depart from the current look. There is talk that the new inline-six that Mercedes announced earlier this month could be used for the CLS.
    The interesting bit about Automotive News' report is that Mercedes could move the CLS name to a new four-door sedan that AMG is currently developing, while the standard model would use the CLE nameplate. Also under speculation is that CLS shooting brake will be dropped when the next-generation model is introduced.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    Those who were hoping that Mercedes-Benz would bring the X-Class pickup to the U.S., we have some bad news for you. Dietmar Exler, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO tells Automotive News they are passing on bringing the X-Class here for the time being. At the moment, the market doesn't make sense for Mercedes to start selling it. That doesn't mean it will never come. Exler revealed the company will continue its analysis of the U.S. market along with keep track of how well the X-Class is doing in other markets.
    “It’s the biggest segment we’re not in. It’s overall an attractive, huge segment, but we need to make sure it’s the right time for Mercedes," said Exler.
    Exler wouldn't give a timetable of when the X-Class could arrive in the U.S. But he did hint that the second-generation model could be in the cards.
    “Once the next version of the truck comes out -- when we see the next iteration -- there might be an opportunity to bring it in the medium and the long-term.”
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz: Maybe we should skip out on selling diesels for the U.S.

    Thanks to the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal and demand for diesel vehicles beginning to shrink, Mercedes-Benz is wondering if it's time to pull back on their diesel efforts in the U.S. 
    "We have to look at that and see whether it makes sense to offer diesels in the future. We have not come to a conclusion but we obviously always tend to develop cars and offer vehicles according to customers' demands," said Matthias Luehrs, vice president of sales and product management for Mercedes-Benz.
    Dropping diesels for the U.S. "is a theoretical option," he went onto say.
    Mercedes have already dropped plans for bringing the C-Class diesel, a model that was supposed to go on sale earlier this year. Right now, the priority at Mercedes-Benz is getting EPA certification for the GLS-Class. Other models are expected down the road. 
    Luehrs said the company is currently doing market research and expects the first results to come in early next year.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    AMG is planning another dedicated model, this time in sedan form

    AMG, the division known for building some of the maddest Mercedes-Benz performance models has something very special planned for their 50th anniversary next year. Autocar reports that AMG will be showing off a new performance sedan 'Vision' concept at an event. This concept will preview a production model possibly named GT 4 that is expected to debut in 2019.
    The GT 4 will be AMG's third dedicated production model – following the SLS and GT. It will target the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental Flying Spur. 
    Codenamed 'X290', the GT 4 will differ from the GT as it will use a new modular platform from Mercedes-Benz, not a bespoke one found in the GT. However, various design cues of the GT will make its way to the new sedan. Power will come from a 4.0L BiTurbo V8 recently introduced in the E63. It will come in two states of tune and feature a tweaked version of the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 
    AMG is also considering whether or not the GT 4 should use a new integrated starter generator (ISG) that would not only give a quick boost of performance (around 20 horsepower), but also allow the vehicle to have a stop/start system to improve fuel economy.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    The return of the inline-six at Mercedes-Benz, along with two other engines

    Mercedes has unveiled four new engines this week that feature some clever technologies and will be appearing in models beginning next year.
    The big news is the return of the inline-six layout. Mercedes introduced two engines with this layout, a gas and a diesel. The gas engine is the more intriguing of the two as it will feature a 48-volt electric system. It will power an electric turbocharger and integrated starter-alternator (ISG). Mercedes says the ISG will provide some hybrid functionality such as providing boost when the vehicle leaves a stop and recovery energy. The engine is rated at 408 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes claims this engine emits 15 percent less CO2 emission than the current V6.
    The inline-six diesel does without the additional electrics, but it features a stepped-bowl combustion process, two-stage exhaust turbocharging, and a first for a Mercedes' diesel, variable valve timing. Horsepower is rated at 313, but no torque rating is given. Mercedes says it uses seven percent less diesel.
    Next up is a new biturbo V8. Displacing 4.0L, the V8 is rated at 476 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The V8 features a cylinder deactivation system that can shut off four cylinders to improve fuel economy by 10 percent. This engine will also be one of the first Mercedes models to feature a particulate filter - something commonly used with diesel engines.
    Finally, there is a new twin-turbo four-cylinder. This engine gets a set of twin-scroll turbochargers and a 48-volt belt-driven starter-alternator (BSA). BSA improves the engine's overall efficiency by recovering up to 12.5kW of power and minimizing turbo-lag up to 2,500 rpm. No power figures we're given on this engine.
    The new biturbo V8 will debut in the 2017, but we don't if the other engines will make it to the U.S. at this time.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Extensive strategic engine initiative from Mercedes-Benz: More powerful, more economical and cleaner
    Stuttgart/Sindelfingen. The biggest strategic engine initiative in the history of Mercedes-Benz will enter its decisive phase in 2017. Following the launch of the new four-cylinder diesel engine in spring 2016, next year will see the addition of no fewer than four more members to the all-new family of engines: six-cylinder in-line engines in both diesel and petrol versions, a new four-cylinder petrol engine and a new biturbo V8. At the same time, there will be world premieres for ground-breaking technologies, such as the Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG), the 48 V electrical system and the electric auxiliary compressor (eZV). These new technologies are tuned to the vehicles on state-of-the-art test rigs at the equally new Powertrain Integration Centre (AIZ) in Sindelfingen.
    "More powerful, more economical and cleaner - the new modular family of engines from Mercedes-Benz offers the right powertrain for every vehicle," says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, 62, Member of the Daimler Board of Management with responsibility for Group Research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "The systematic optimisation of our high-tech engines plays a crucial role in the road map towards sustainable mobility. They also need to be designed with a view to all current and future requirements. A key success factor in this regard is the extensive electrification of the powertrain."
    Systematic electrification: new six-cylinder in-line petrol engine M 256
    The new six-cylinder in-line petrol engine M 256 represents an outstanding example of electrification, including a 48 V electrical system. New, intelligent turbocharging, e.g. with an electric auxiliary compressor (eZV), as well as an Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG) provide the guarantee of excellent drivability with no turbo lag. The ISG is responsible for hybrid functions, such as boost or energy recovery, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. The bottom line is that the new six-cylinder in-line engine offers the same performance as an eight-cylinder machine while being much more fuel-efficient. The new petrol engine (internal code: M 256) launches next year in the new S-Class.
    Systematic electrification dispenses with the need for a belt drive for ancillary components at the front of the engine, which reduces its overall length. The narrow construction, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for near-engine exhaust aftertreatment. The 48 V electrical system serves not only high power consumers, such as the water pump and air-conditioning compressor, but also the Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG), which also supplies energy to the battery by means of highly efficient energy recovery.
    An additional bonus is the unsurpassed refinement of the six-cylinder in-line engine. Output and torque are similar to the current eight-cylinder engine, i.e. over 300 kW (408 hp) and more than 500 Nm. In comparison with the previous V6, the CO2 emissions from the engine have been reduced by around 15 percent.
    At 500 cc, the new machine has the same displacement per cylinder as the premium diesel engine family unveiled last year as well as the family of four-cylinder petrol engines.
    Most powerful passenger-car diesel engine in the history of Mercedes-Benz: six-cylinder OM 656
    The new top-of-the-line engine in the premium diesel family is likewise a six-cylinder in-line machine. The characteristics of the OM 656 include the stepped-bowl combustion process, two-stage exhaust turbocharging and, for the first time, the use of CAMTRONIC variable valve timing. Its design features a combination of aluminium engine block and steel pistons as well as further-improved NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder walls. Although there is a significant increase in output compared with the previous OM 642 (over 230 kW/313 hp instead of 190 kW/258 hp), the new engine consumes more than seven percent less fuel.
    Like the already unveiled four-cylinder OM654, the new six-cylinder diesel engine OM 656 is likewise designed to comply with future emissions legislation (RDE – Real Driving Emissions). All the components of relevance for efficient emissions reduction are installed directly on the engine. The integrated technology approach of new stepped-bowl combustion process, dynamic multi-way exhaust gas recirculation and near-engine exhaust aftertreatment, combined for the first time with variable valve timing, opens the way for further reductions in consumption together with extremely low emissions. Thanks to the near-engine insulated configuration, exhaust aftertreatment has a low heat loss and extremely favourable operating conditions. This is reinforced by the CAMTRONIC switchable exhaust camshaft, which supports the consumption-neutral heating of the exhaust system.
    Number of cylinders to suit the requirements: new V8 biturbo petrol engine M 176
    Dynamic power delivery combined with high efficiency: the new biturbo (internal code: M 176) is one of the most economical V8 petrol engines in the world. Its special features include cylinder shutoff at part load as well as the positioning of the turbochargers in the V between the cylinder banks. From its 3982 cc displacement, the new V8 biturbo produces over 350 kW (476 hp) with a maximum torque of around 700 Nm from 2000 rpm. The new engine will consume over 10 percent less fuel than its predecessor, which is rated at 335 kW (455 hp). The new V8 will launch with this technology next year in the new S-Class.
    For lower fuel consumption, when operated at part load the new M 176 shuts off four cylinders simultaneously by means of CAMTRONIC valve timing. This reduces the pumping losses while improving the overall efficiency of the remaining four cylinders by shifting the operating point towards higher loads.
    Sporty specific output: new four-cylinder petrol engine M 264
    A two-litre four-cylinder engine with a specific output of around 100 kW: the new Toptype petrol engine from Mercedes-Benz (internal code: M 264) advances into output regions previously reserved for high-displacement six-cylinder machines. At the same time, it consumes significantly less fuel than a comparable six-cylinder engine. The engine's special features include twin-scroll turbochargers, belt-driven 48 V starter-alternator (BSA) and electric 48 V water pump.
    The BSA is also responsible for fuel-saving hybrid functions:
    Easy start: virtually imperceptible starting and acceleration of the engine Boost in the engine-speed range up to 2500 rpm Energy recovery up to 12.5 kW Shifting of the load point: allows operation in a more favourable area of the engine map Coasting with engine off. In the interests of high power output and a spontaneous engine response, Mercedes-Benz has opted for twin-scroll turbocharging. Unlike conventional systems, a twin-scroll turbocharger merges the exhaust gas ducts of cylinder pairs in the flow-optimised manifold. This turbocharging concept with systematic cylinder flow separation produces high torque in the low-rpm range together with high specific output. Further efficiency measures include intake CAMTRONIC and a friction loss reduction package.
    Even cleaner: particulate filter for petrol engines as standard
    Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to opt for the large-scale use of particulate filters for petrol engines to further improve their environmental compatibility. After more than two years of positive experience in the field with the S 500, in 2017 further S-Class variants will be equipped with the new M 256 and M 176 petrol engines with this technology. The filter will then be gradually introduced in other new vehicle models, facelifted models and new engine generations, such as the M 264.
    The particulate filter for petrol engines reduces the emissions of fine soot particles. How it works: the exhaust-gas stream is supplied to a particulate filter system. The filter has a honeycomb structure with alternately sealed inlet and outlet channels. This forces the exhaust gas to flow through a porous filter wall, which traps the soot. The filter can be continuously regenerated under corresponding driving conditions.

    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz's interpretation of a pickup truck from Nissan

    Previous Page Next Page Mercedes-Benz has unveiled two concept versions of the upcoming X-Class pickup. 
    The X-Class Stylish Explorer is likely a preview of the production model that we'll be seeing next year. It features a massive Mercedes-Benz grille, flared-out wheel fenders, 22-inch wheels, and a set of sporty bumpers. The X-Class Powerful Adventurer comes with a raised ride height, winches on the front and rear bumpers, meaty off-road tires, and interesting design for the tailgate. The interior features a lot of design ideas and pieces from other Mercedes models such as the vents for the HVAC system and protruding screen from the center stack. The Powerful Adventure features a fire extinguisher as well because why not.
    The concepts feature a V6 turbodiesel engine and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive paired with a transfer case with low gears and two differential locks - this combination will be available on higher trims. Lower trim trucks will get turbodiesel four-cylinders and the choice of either rear or all-wheel drive. Under the skin, the X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara and uses the same chassis, albeit with some slight changes.
    “With the X-class, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target is to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The pick-up will set new standards in a growing segment,” said Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche in a statement.
    The X-Class will be built alongside the Navara and Renault Alaskan in factories in both Spain and Argentina. Sales are expected to begin next year in Europe, with other key markets such as Australia and South Africa following thereafter. A decision on whether or not the U.S. will get the X-Class is still up in the air at the moment.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Mercedes-Benz Vans expands product range: Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS – First outlook on the new pickup bearing the three-pointed star
    Product range expansion for sustainable global growth Market launch in late 2017 Key markets Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia Investments in the high nine figures Two design variants, one message: the first true premium pickup The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety Stockholm/Stuttgart – With the Concept X-CLASS, Mercedes-Benz Vans gives a concrete outlook on its new pickup, the X-Class, in Stockholm. The first premium pickup will combine the best of two worlds. This is demonstrated impressively by Mercedes-Benz with two design variants of the concept car. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer illustrates that the future X-Class will possess all the strengths of a classic pickup – tough, functional, strong, and with off-road capability. The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer goes a step further and shows what will distinguish the pickup bearing the Mercedes star. The X-Class will be a true Mercedes from the hallmark brand design and comfort to the driving dynamics and safety. This will make Mercedes-Benz the first premium manufacturer to account for the changing customer requirements in the global segment of mid-size pickups, and it will make the tough one-ton pickup with seating for up to five persons the first to be attractive as an urban lifestyle and family vehicle.
    With the pickup, Mercedes-Benz Vans will expand its product range with a fourth model series. At the same time, the brand bearing the three-pointed star will become the first premium manufacturer to occupy the promising segment of mid-size pickups. Daimler AG will make investments in the high nine figures (euro) in the new model series by the time of the market launch. It will be launched in late 2017 under the name Mercedes-Benz X-Class. The key markets will be Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
    Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio. Our target: we want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment."
    "We will open up and change the segment of mid-size pickups – with the world's first true premium pickup for the modern urban lifestyle", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise. Ladder-type frame, high-torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us. As an added value we bring safety, comfort, agility, and expressive design – in other words, everything that distinguishes vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. We will thus appeal to new customers who have not considered owning a pickup before."
    Changing segment: Mercedes-Benz first premium manufacturer of a pickup
    Worldwide the market for mid-size pickups is undergoing a radical change. Gone are the days when they were bought as mere "workhorses". Instead, they are becoming increasingly popular as versatile vehicles for a simultaneous private and commercial use and as vehicles for a strictly private use. The percentage of privately used pickups has been growing steadily for years. Accordingly, the double cab has emerged as the dominating body style, because it offers room for up to five persons. More and more private and commercial customers ask for vehicles with the characteristics and comfort features of a passenger car. A similar development took place in the segment of off-road vehicles some 20 years ago. Back then, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium manufacturer to launch a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the M-Class, and completely redefined the off-road segment – with lasting success.
    "The Concept X-CLASS design variants interpret the hallmark brand design idiom of our SUVs in a most expressive form, and embody the dichotomy of our design philosophy: they are hot and cool", says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its progressive design the powerful adventurer expresses cool modernity and thirst for adventure, while the stylish explorer on the other hand uses pure emotion to provide a tangible experience of modern beauty."
    Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer: progressive design with SUV looks
    The Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, painted in a cool elegant white metallic, impressively demonstrates how the Mercedes-Benz pickup will make a decidedly stylish statement in its segment and in the urban environment. The contrast of emotionally appealing and yet purist surface treatment ("hot") and technically precise, innovative and clever details ("cool") reinterprets the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The athletic design lends the concept car a markedly expressive and dynamic appearance. The distinctive front represents an evolution of the hallmark SUV face of the brand – with a more massive powerdome on the bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings. The classic SUV front apron and the strongly flared wheel arches put even more emphasis on the sense of width, and give the vehicle an even more solid stance on the road. At the same time, the front cites the single-louvre grille with centrally positioned Mercedes star, the face of the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupés.
    The flared front and rear wings make room for a wide track and large tyre/wheel combinations for tough off-road use. 22-inch light-alloy wheels with a contrasting anthracite chrome finish give the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer a towering and superior stance. The running boards are integrated into the bodywork and emphasise the athletically sculpted body. Depending on the angle of the incoming light, the paintwork developed specifically for this concept car lends the urban pickup a look that gives the athletic profile even more emotional appeal.
    The extremely short front overhang, the very long rear overhang and two long lines stretching along the side amplify the focus placed on driving dynamics. The rear of both concept cars sports the hallmark chromed SUV trim at the lower edge, and, as a distinctive feature, a continuous LED light strip in a slim chrome surround on the tailgate. It points to the unique character of the future pickup.
    Stylish interior with a high level of operating and display comfort
    The interior of the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer is an equally emotional and stylish statement – characterised by an intriguing contrast of warm and cool colours, as well as by high-quality materials. The world of colours and materials translates the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The sensual touch and feel of the brown, very natural nubuck leather on the seats provides a cosy feel. This warm colour, which is also found on the dashboard, is combined with cool white nappa leather. The trim made of open-pore smoked oak contrasts with the brushed and polished aluminium trim elements. The world of modern luxury is realised in a highly stylish fashion.
    The modern flair is further boosted by round air vents, the free-standing high-resolution central display as well as the central controller and multifunctional touchpad. Similar to a smartphone, all telematics functions can be controlled with the touchpad by using gestures or by entering letters and characters. Mercedes-Benz thus introduces the most modern control and display concept in the segment of mid-size pickups. At the same time, the characteristics and functionalities typical in the pickup segment have been retained, such as the handbrake in the centre console.
    Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer: the redefinition of toughness
    Complementing the Concept X-CLASS stylish explorer, the second concept car focuses on the classic traits of a pickup. The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer with a lemonax metallic paint finish stages toughness, durability, and off-road capability. As a result, it impressively underscores the fact that the future Mercedes-Benz pickup will combine comfort and style with the basic virtues of this vehicle category.
    The Concept X-CLASS powerful adventurer towers above it all with a height of 1.90 metres. Large tyres of size 35x11.50, the huge ground clearance, and the athletic design instil respect even at first glance. The brand's hallmark SUV radiator grille with two louvres, front and rear underride guard, wing claddings, and matte carbon wheel arches additionally underscore the superior off-road aesthetics. An electric winch at the front and a metal hook at the rear are further indications of the toughness and power of the future pickup.
    With its progressive design the concept car exudes independence and thirst for adventure in their purest forms. This feel continues in the interior. Matte carbon elements in the exterior and interior, metallic brushed surfaces, and a bold colour scheme lend the vehicle a sense of power. The lemonax metallic exterior paint finish is perfectly tailored to the interior colour highlights. The colour and material concept underscores the outdoor look with glossy black nappa leather and the use of carbon-style black embossed leather surfaces. To ensure the seats provide lateral support in all handling situations and in any terrain, the seat side bolsters are trimmed with black leather that offers extremely good grip and has a pleasantly soft touch and feel.
    The X-Class: powerful engine, high ride comfort, and exemplary safety
    As is the norm for Mercedes-Benz, customers of the X-Class will be able to choose from different equipment scopes to customise the exterior and interior. In addition, the premium brand will develop a special range of accessories for the pickup, for example bed covers and various styling elements. Thanks to the tried and proven modular strategy, a host of interior components that customers know and appreciate from the C-Class and V-Class will be found in the X-Class – from the perfectly finished high-quality materials and the infotainment system to the ergonomic seating comfort. As a result, the pickup will offer the "welcome home" feeling typical of the brand, and define a new level of comfort and value appeal in the segment of mid-size pickups.
    The X-Class will also set new standards in the segment with regard to connected life. Thanks to the communication module with on-board SIM card, it will be possible to use the extensive Mercedes me connect services. Drivers can connect with their pickup by smartphone, tablet or PC at any time and from anywhere. For example, to send navigation destinations to the vehicle or query where the pickup is parked and how much fuel is in the tank. In addition to these optional remote online services, standard services such as accident recovery, maintenance management and breakdown management will also be available.
    Variety will likewise distinguish the engine range. The top-of-the-line model will be powered by a V6 diesel in combination with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. The high-torque engine will provide high driving dynamics on the road and off the road. The all-wheel-drive system will combine an electronic traction system, a transfer case with reduction gear, and two differential locks. The traction system and the electrically operated on-demand differential locks channel the power to where traction is best. Under extreme off-road conditions, the rear differential and the inter-axle differential can be locked. This will make it possible to safely master difficult obstacles and inclines.
    The powerful drive system and the tough ladder-type frame will make a payload of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of up to 3.5 tons possible. Enough power for transporting some four cubic metres of firewood on the pickup bed and a sail boat hooked up to the trailer coupling, for example. At the same time, the specially constructed suspension with wide axles, a five-link rear axle with coil springs, and a precisely calibrated spring/damper set-up will ensure a high ride comfort – on the road and off the road. The pickup bearing the three-pointed star will impress with precise steering, a comfortable ride, and agile cornering. It will absorb bumps in a superior fashion, making it a perfect fit for the urban environment.
    Like all Mercedes vehicles, the pickup will be distinguished by exemplary safety. Modern driver assistance systems based on cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors will support and relieve the driver in many situations, and in so doing equally enhance safety and comfort. A host of assistance systems will already come as standard.
    The Mercedes among pickups: focus on five customer groups
    The X-Class will combine the strengths of a pickup with the value appeal, comfort, driving fun, and safety that distinguish the vehicles bearing the Mercedes star. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will bridge the gap between commercial and private and between urban and rural use. It will consequently appeal not only to pickup owners wishing for more car-like characteristics, performance, safety, and comfort, but also and above all to people who drive a passenger car, SUV or van. Extensive market research studies conducted by Mercedes-Benz with potential customers in the target markets bear this out.
    Mid-size pickups currently have the largest share of the total vehicle market in Australia with 14.1 percent. Argentina comes close behind with 11.6 percent. This means that in these countries, one out of every eight registered vehicles is a pickup in the one-ton category. In Brazil, mid-size pickups have a share of almost five percent of the total vehicle market. That figure is 0.5 percent in Germany, 1.3 percent in Great Britain, 1.4 percent in Turkey, and 0.8 percent in Russia.
    Based on its market research studies, Mercedes-Benz has identified five customer groups for the X-Class, which are of different relevance in the individual countries.
    One important target group is constituted by families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products. They use the pickup mostly for commuting to work, for shopping, taking the kids to school or sports activities, for weekend trips, and vacation. The key markets are Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.
    Another target group for the X-Class are successful adventurers, who live in an urban environment and participate in outdoor sports such as skiing or riding jet skis, or have their own boat. They need a comfortable premium vehicle for everyday use that at the same time offers sufficient cargo space and towing capacity for their recreational equipment. The top markets are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, and Germany.
    In addition, the Mercedes-Benz pickup will have the potential to inspire trend-conscious individualists with an affinity to premium products. They lead an independent lifestyle and want a vehicle outside the mainstream that underscores their personality and status with a unique design. Independent individualists use the pickup as an "everyday vehicle" in the city, for evening and weekend activities, and for sporting events. The key markets for this target group are Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, and Brazil.
    The fourth customer group comprises business owners such as building contractors, architects, and service providers who want to use their pickup for commercial and private purposes: that is as a comfortable company car for customer meetings, which is equally perfect for transporting customers and employees as well as tools and building materials, as an "everyday vehicle", and as a vehicle for weekend activities. Significant markets for business owners are Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Argentina.
    Landowners, such as cattle ranchers in Argentina, soy bean farmers in Brazil or vintners in South Africa, also use their pickup for commercial and private purposes. They need a vehicle that on the one hand takes them through unpaved terrain and has sufficient cargo and towing capacity. On the other hand, it must be suitable for driving to customer and supplier meetings as well as for use as an "everyday vehicle" for the family.
    Production cooperation with Renault-Nissan
    The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class in Europe will begin in late 2017. The new model series will be positioned in the segment at an attractive price. The pickup will be manufactured in a production cooperation with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Production for the European, Australian and South African markets will start at the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The X-Class for the Latin American market will roll off the assembly lines at the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, starting in 2018.
    With the X-Class, Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance expand their strategic cooperation which began six years ago. This affords Mercedes-Benz fast and cost-efficient entrance to the fast-growing segment of mid-size pickups. In addition, both companies benefit from optimal utilisation of the production capacity. Nissan is the second-largest manufacturer of mid-size pickups with a payload of one ton in the world, and can look back on more than 80 years of experience in producing and marketing these types of vehicles.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    The All-Terrain is a maybe for the U.S.


    Mercedes-Benz will be launching the E-Class All-Terrain wagon in Europe to take on the likes of the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90 Cross Country. But Mercedes might bring the All-Terrain to the U.S.
    "We're still debating that and thinking about it. It's a very, very exciting vehicle, and we're taking a look at overall production, volumes that we have to have and business case and so on. So we'll see. Decision not finally made," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler.
    Mercedes already announced that the regular E-Class wagon would be coming to the U.S. early next year, so trying to build up a case for bringing the All-Terrain becomes slightly easier. Also, a number of automakers that still sell wagons in the U.S. make them somewhat capable off-road to take advantage of the current SUV/Crossover craze.
    If Mercedes' U.S. office is able to make a case, Exler said it could arrive as early as next year.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Is it EQ?

    Earlier this week, we reported on the rumor that Mercedes is planning a new subbrand for electric vehicles that might launch towards the end of the decade. Now, Autocar has found a number of trademark applications by the German automaker possibly revealing the name of this new subbrand.
    The applications filed in the United Kingdom revolve around the letters EQ and includes such names as,
    EQA EQC EQE EQG EQS EQ Inside EQ Boost Generation EQ

    Autocar speculates some of the names could be used for electrified versions of current models (ex: EQC for C-Class). EQ Boost might be used for hybrid models.
    We know Mercedes is planning to show an electric SUV concept next month at the Paris Motor Show. This might be where we learn if EQ is the name or not.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Mercedes follows BMW with creating a subbrand for electric vehicles

    Mercedes-Benz is planning to launch a handful of electric vehicles in the near future, and those vehicles will be part of a new subbrand.
    Bloomberg has learned from sources that the German automaker will be taking a page out of BMW's playbook and introduce a new subbrand that will be comprised of two electric sedans and two SUVs - something we first reported back in May. A name hasn't been chosen yet according to the sources. What is for certain is that Mercedes will show off a concept electric SUV at the Paris Motor Show in September. Using a new platform for electric vehicles, the concept is expected to boast a range of 310 miles. Mercedes hopes to start selling vehicles under this subbrand before the end of the decade.
    But doing a subbrand for electric vehicles is a risky proposition. BMW's i hasn't made any real impact in terms of sales or recognition. This has caused the brand to delay plans for another i model. Whether Mercedes-Benz is able to avoid the pitfallls remains to be seen.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    Those who were hoping for a rear-drive E63, we have some bad news

    As much anyone will tell you there is no such thing as too much power, there is a point where power will just overwhelm the tires and you'll be sitting there, doing a burnout. This is why you're seeing more manufacturers adding all-wheel drive to their vehicles to actually get the power down to the wheels.
    The latest one is Mercedes-AMG. Speaking with Top Gear, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says the next-generation model will be available with all-wheel drive. The reason comes down to people preferring the current model with the all-wheel drive model.
    “But we are going to introduce a completely new four-wheel drive system, one which we’ve never had in the company. That’s going to be the biggest step we ever did with a generation. In Germany we had the choice of 4x4 and 4x2, and 90-plus per cent bought the 4x4. People in that segment are looking for four-wheel drive,” said Moers.
    It should be noted when Mercedes introduced the refreshed E63 for the U.S. in 2014, you could only get it with all-wheel drive. Elsewhere, you had the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
    Moers also dropped that the next E63 would use the same biturbo V8 as the C63 and AMG GT. For the E63, the engine will get a number of changes including new cylinder heads and a different arrangement of the turbos. The plan is to produce around 600 horsepower.
    “I’m more focused on the overall package. Maybe not in the past, but we’ve moved to that, to a certain extent. Power should be in line with the overall capabilities of the chassis. It’s more important to have a precise throttle response than all that power. You need a certain level and in that segment, it’s around 600bhp.”
    It is expected that the E63 will debut this fall at the Paris Motor Show in September.
    Source: Top Gear

    William Maley

    There's a new modular electric platform coming soon from Mercedes

    Mercedes-Benz will be showing off an EV concept at the Paris Motor Show this fall. This concept EV will be riding on a new modular electric platform that will underpin a new dedicated EV in 2020.
    Last week at an event in Stuttgart, Mercedes teased this new modular platform. A lithium-ion battery pack is mounted to the floor and a set electric motors will be used on the front and rear axles. This layout is similar to the modular platform used by Tesla. Range is expected to be around 310 miles for the production model.
    We're wondering if this platform is the rumored MEA (Modular Electric Architecture) we first reported on last month. Sources tell Car and Driver the dedicated EV will be a crossover that is GLC-sized, something we learned in our May report.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz, Car and Driver
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Road #3: Electric pioneer Mercedes-Benz significantly expands carbon-free mobility
    Reducing CO2 emissions across all vehicle categories is a top priority for Daimler AG. Electromobility has an important part to play in this regard. The company already has a large number of electric vehicles on the market, and the product range is set to continue to grow. Prof Dr Weber: "We are investing massively in electromobility, and we are convinced that the market is now ready. With the new vehicles we offer, we want to impress the benefits of the new mobility on car owners who have not yet opted for an electric vehicle."
    The smart fortwo electric drive made Daimler the first manufacturer to offer a series-produced electric vehicle in 2007. Today, the company will soon have more than a dozen vehicles on the market including vans and commercial vehicles that are capable of emission-free driving. The range is going to be significantly expanded in the near future. The fourth generation of the smart as a fortwo and also as a forfour for the first time ever is being launched onto the market before the end of the year. The smart fortwo coupé electric drive, smart fortwo cabrio electric drive and smart forfour electric drive are making their global débuts at the Paris Motor Show in September 2016. With the début of the fourth generation of the electric smart, smart will be the only automotive manufacturer in the world to offer its entire range of models either powered by internal combustion engines or operating entirely on battery power. The new smart fortwo electric drive is being launched onto the US market by the end of this year, where approximately 25 percent of all battery-driven smarts have been sold recently. This will be followed by the European market launch of the two- and four-seat models in early 2017.
    This will be followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL with innovative plug-in fuel cell technology from 2017. Fuel-cell technology is an integral part of Daimler's powertrain strategy. The benefits are obvious: a long operating range and short refuelling stops as well as a broad spectrum of possible uses ranging from passenger cars to urban buses. A new generation of vehicles is being launched from 2017 on the basis of the Mercedes-Benz GLC. The Mercedes-Benz engineers joined forces with partners in the Daimler network of expertise to develop a new, compact fuel-cell system which for the first time fits into conventional engine compartments. The GLC F-CELL also boasts another innovation for the next generation of fuel cell vehicles in the form of a large lithium-ion battery. Rated at around 9 kWh, the battery serves as an additional energy source for the electric motor and can be charged externally by means of plug-in technology for the first time. The combination of the fuel cell and battery systems in concert with the refinement of the intelligent operation strategy offers the best possible efficiency and comfort. With this set-up, the GLC F-CELL achieves a combined range of around 500 km in the NEDC.
    Another important step is the development of a multi-model electric vehicle architecture for battery-powered vehicles. The first model is to be launched onto the market before the end of the decade.
    The light-duty Fuso Canter E-Cell truck has been undergoing commercial fleet testing since 2015. This was initially carried out in Portugal where they are produced, and five of the vehicles have also been on the road for the City of Stuttgart and the logistics company Hermes since April this year. Instead of a diesel, an electric powertrain with a strong permanent-magnet motor delivers an output of 110 kW (150 hp) to the rear axle via a single-speed transmission. 650 newton metres of torque allow the six-tonne vehicle to accelerate almost as fast as a passenger car, and are available from the very first second of driving.
    Dozens of fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses have already been proving their mettle for twelve transport operators on three continents since 2003. The next milestones on the way to the future are the Citaro E-CELL (battery-powered) and Citaro F-CELL (fuel cell-powered). Both are based on a shared e-platform, which allows tailored electromobility for any city and even any bus line. The capacity of the battery and charging technology are adjusted to suit the specific requirements. The forecast: By the year 2030, 70 percent of all newly acquired Citaro buses will run on electricity with zero local emissions.

    William Maley

    Mercedes joins the off-road wagon brigade

    Earlier this week saw Mercedes-Benz introduce the next-generation E-Class wagon. But there is a new variant that will debut later this fall.
    Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Autocar that a model to compete against the Audi A6 Allroad and the upcoming Volvo V90 Cross Country will be shown at the Paris Motor Show in September. Known as the E-Class All Terrain, the wagon will feature Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system and an air suspension that can be raised or lowered depending on the terrain.
    “It won’t be as good as an SUV off road, but it will be able to go farther than most owners will expect,” said Michael Kelz, chief engineer on the E-Class.
    The exterior will come with plastic body cladding, new bumpers, and underbody protection.
    Mercedes-Benz will kick off sales of the E-Class All Terrain early next year. At the moment, there are no plans to bring it to the U.S.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Meet the new E-Class Wagon (and it's coming to the U.S.!)

    It may seem odd for an automaker to launch a new wagon in the U.S. considering how crazy we are for crossovers. But Mercedes-Benz knows there is a small subset of luxury buyers who prefer the looks and practicality of a wagon. For those, Mercedes has announced a new E-Class wagon.
    The 2017 E-Class wagon takes the shape found on the sedan and adds a longer roof and rear tailgate. Using the same 115.7-inch wheelbase as the sedan, the wagon will offer more interior space. As to how much, Mercedes doesn't provide that information. But considering the current wagon offers 57.4 cubic feet of cargo space, we expect it to be about the same or slightly more.
    Like the current E-Class wagon, Mercedes-Benz will only offer the 2017 model in one configuration: A Biturbo 3.0L V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque (known as the E400). This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
    The interior is handsome with high-quality materials and a design that is reminiscent of the S-Class. There is seating for seven thanks to a rear-facing third row (best reserved for small kids).
    Mercedes says the 2017 E400 wagon will arrive in the U.S. early next year. Pricing will be announced at a later time.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Press Release is on Page 2

    2017 E-Class Wagon: Peerless in German Luxury
    The all-new MY2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon is expected to be on sale at U.S. dealers by early 2017:

    June 06, 2016 - Stuttgart.

    Innovative engineering and a compelling conception of space make it the most intelligent wagon that Mercedes-Benz has ever built.
    In terms of the space, the all-new model year 2017 E400 Wagon will launch by early 2017 and will continue to be the only German luxury wagon available in its segment. Its cargo volume and, in spite of a much sportier roof line, headroom and elbowroom in the rear are best in class. The E400 Wagon will once again will offer a third row folding bench seat as standard equipment in the USA.
    "The new Wagon is as dynamic as the Mercedes-Benz brand and as spacious as our customers expect. Intelligent features such as the cargo position for the rear seat backrest with its 40:20:40 split as standard allow even better use to be made of the generous load-carrying capacity," says Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. "And what is more, the Wagon obviously has all the innovations of the new E-Class – the most intelligent executive sedan in the world."
    For the market launch in the USA, the new E400 4MATIC Wagon will be available with a six-cylinder Biturbo engine that generates 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The E400 4MATIC Wagon is equipped as standard with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission.
    Intelligent load compartment: large, versatile and easy to access
    The E-Class Wagon's load compartment is one of the biggest in the segment globally. As standard, the rear bench seat has new cargo-related functionality: it is possible to position the backrest at an approximately 10-degree steeper angle, creating an additional space for cargo while continuing to enable full use to be made of five seats.
    As with the all-new MY2017 E-Class sedan, the rear seat backrest folds down in a 40:20:40 split as standard, opening up plenty of potential configurations between transport capacity and seats. To release the backrests, there are electric switches located in the load compartment and to the right and left next to the backrests.
    Developers paid particular attention to practical dimensions and innovative management of the load space. With a minimum load compartment width between the wheel arches of 43.3 inches, it was possible to retain the preceding model's already-impressive measurements. The proven combined cargo cover and net is back, offering both security from prying eyes and safety. Thanks to an electric motor, the load compartment cover moves upwards automatically when the tailgate is opened.
    The EASY-PACK tailgate provided as part of the standard equipment can be opened and closed very easily at the touch of a button for comfortable loading and unloading. Operation is electromechanical. To prevent the tailgate making contact with the garage roof, for example, it can be halted in any position.
    Optional KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS makes loading cargo even more convenient: to open the trunk, all that is required is to make a kicking motion with one's foot underneath the rear bumper and the trunk lid will be opened and closed automatically.
    A self-levelling rear air suspension continues to be equipped as standard. This ensures that the Wagon remains level, even when fully loaded with cargo or when towing. With AIR BODY CONTROL, all-round air suspension is available as an option.
    Exterior design: dynamic proportions, powerful-looking at the rear
    The new E-Class Wagon appears modern, confidently stylish and dynamic, and looks like the E-Class Sedan through to the B-pillar. From the long hood, a silhouette emerges that flows across the long roof with its sporty curve into the powerful rear of the wagon with its steeply tapering rear window. Short overhangs, a long wheelbase and large wheels make for dynamic proportions. In conjunction with the high beltline, the low, stretched side windows make the vehicle seem longer. Flowing into the greenhouse, the sidewall's positively exaggerated lines extend powerfully towards the rear. Completing the exterior form, the rear has broad shoulders over the rear wheel arches for a sensual look. A roof spoiler with a third brake light (LED) defines how high the broad, functional tailgate can open. From a visual perspective, horizontal lines at the tail end and the rear window both emphasize width, as do the horizontally aligned, two-piece LED tail lights with integral chrome trim. Complementing the form, LED reflectors underscore the vehicle's character by creating a design highlight by day and night. On the tailgate, the wide, chrome-plated handle acts as the visual centerpiece.
    As on the Sedan, the powerful front will vary depending on the chosen design and equipment line. The Luxury model features the classic Mercedes radiator grille with the star on the hood, and the Sport model can be recognized by the central star on the sports radiator grille. Each variant of radiator grille gives the E-Class a distinctive character, be that elegant or sporty.
    Interior design: a synthesis of emotion and intelligence
    Inside, too, the Wagon utilizes the Sedan's award-winning design. The instrument panel can be adorned with two optional wide, high-resolution displays, each with a 12.3-inch screen. Located under a shared glass cover, they merge to form a widescreen cockpit. The driver may configure the fully digital display to show the information and views that are relevant for them. There are three different styles to choose from: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive." Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel allow the instrument cluster and multimedia system to be controlled at the swipe of a finger and have made their debut in the new E-Class.
    Further controls are provided in the form of a touchpad with controller in the center console, which can also recognize handwriting, plus the voice- operated control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.
    High-quality materials define the interior style. They include natural grain wood, and wood in a yachting look with flowing lines as a contemporary interpretation of inlaid wood. The use of authentic materials is continued in the optionally leather-covered doors and the beltline. Another Mercedes hallmark is the high-quality look and feel created by meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Just as carefully composed is the material and color concept with various shades of brown, including attractive color combinations such as macchiato beige/espresso brown or macchiato beige/saddle brown. The design and equipment lines include enhanced ambient lighting featuring 64 colors, offering plenty of opportunities for personalized adjustment.
    When it comes to the seats, their ergonomic, sculptural form combines Mercedes-Benz's hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look, featuring a unique design for each line. Other new features in this segment are Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated steering wheel, heated armrests in the doors and on the center console, and the quickly responding heated front seats Plus.
    Relieved of much noise and vibration: one of the quietest wagons
    In the interior, the new E-Class Wagon is one of the quietest vehicles in its class – even though an wagon is at a disadvantage by design compared to a sedan due to the large resonating body. Quiet running and low vibration make a significant contribution to the level of energizing comfort, particularly on long journeys.
    A whole raft of measures help to reduce vibrations and noise. As on a cabriolet, struts strengthen the main floor and front end of the body shell. For that reason, the vehicle body is very rigid and transmits less noise.
    Special insulation on the bodywork (including on the bulkhead, sidewalls and main floor), as well as sound absorbers under the rear seats and on the wheel arches, keep noise out of the vehicle interior. The kinematic design of the chassis, axles and steering system reduces disturbances that can be caused by road surfaces, the wheels being out-of-balance or when braking. Engine and transmission mounts have also been optimized in terms of noise levels.
    Various aeroacoustic measures have been taken. These include sealed door handles, seals on the door joints and optimizing details associated with the geometry of the sealing sections for the side windows. Improvements have also been made to the formed parts for the inside sealing rails so that these are connected to the window run channel without any gaps by positive locking. As on the E-Class Sedan, the exterior mirrors and A-pillar have been optimized in terms of aeroacoustics. The roof structure and the tilt/sliding sunroof module have been aeroacoustically improved to benefit noise comfort in these areas too. In the case of the panoramic sliding sunroof, multiple wind-deflection measures (wind deflector, covers and seals with the appropriate geometry) ensure the same high level of noise comfort as in the preceding model, despite the larger aperture.
    The Acoustic & Comfort package is available for US customers on both the sedan and wagon models. A special acoustic film in the windscreen and side windows ensures low levels of background noise in the vehicle interior. The Acoustic Comfort package contains further sound- insulating measures such as additional insulation in the rear footwell and on the center tunnel. To provide excellent heat insulation in the interior, the windscreen, side windows and rear windows are made of laminated safety glass with another layer of film that absorbs infrared. Surfaces in the interior like the armrests, steering wheel and seats get less hot from solar radiation as a result.
    Intelligent Drive: all the E-Class innovations are on-board
    As the most intelligent executive sedan, the E-Class sets new benchmarks in terms of safety, comfort and reducing the driver's workload. These innovations are, of course, also available on the wagon. Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard. It is able to warn the driver of impending collisions, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.
    Other highlights include DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes- Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically keep the car the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, it can also follow them at a speed of up to 130 mph.

    William Maley

    Two sedans and SUVs are said to be the vehicles in question

    Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to launch four new electric vehicles - two sedans and two SUVs - by 2020. Autocar reports that the German brand is accelerating plans after the German government announced that it would be offering subsidies on all EVs priced less than €60,000 (about $66,900) to spur sales.
    The outgoing R&D boss at Mercedes-Benz, Thomas Weber has put these plans into motion and hinted that the electric models will share links with standard models. This means the sedans will have a connection to the C and S-Class, while the SUVs will share bits from the GLA and GLC.
    Sources tell Autocar that the designs share the basic elements with the gas-powered models, but will have their own touches to make them recognizable as EVs. In terms of platforms, the two sedans and GLC-sized model will use a new one known as MEA (Modular Electric Architecture). MEA allows Mercedes to offer an electric vehicle with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in combination with three electric motors. The GLA-sized model will utilize the same platform that underpins the B-Class Electric Drive.
    As for power, Mercedes' r&d is working on a range of electric motors producing 75 to 400kW (101 to 536 horsepower). Batteries will come from Accumotive that will provide a minimum range of 250 miles.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    The ultimate decision on whether or not the Mercedes-Benz pickup comes to the U.S. still hasn't happened, and the CEO says it might be awhile before one is reached.

    Last April, then Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon said they wanted the truck that was announced for other markets and said a decision would be reached towards the end of the year. A few months later, Cannon said the decision had been pushed back to sometime in 2016. Now, Cannon's successor says there isn't a timeframe as to a final decision.
    "It's whenever. I don't think we do ourselves a favor to come up with a defined timetable. It's more important that we get it right," said Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA to Automotive News.
    Exler explained the previous timeframe announcements dealt if they wanted to get the new truck around the same time as other markets.
    "If we miss the window, then we come a year later," Exler said.
    This might be a good thing as Exler said it would give them time to make sure the truck is a true Mercedes-Benz model inside and out.
    To help Mercedes ultimately make a final decision, they are talking with a select group dealers about the truck. Exler mentioned that they could do customer clinics.
    Already, the owner Mercedes-Benz's largest dealer in the U.S., AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said Mercedes should scrap the plans as it will face a huge challenge against the likes of Ford, GM, and Ram.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Mercedes-Benz considers whether or not to send the crazy G500 4x4² to the U.S.

    The Mercedes-Benz G-Class (Geländewagen) has somehow become the brand's Frankenstein. What we mean is the SUV has been part of a number of crazy projects. A key example is the G63 AMG 6x6 which brought together a turbo V8 and a number of off-road tweaks to make it a complete monster.
    The latest creation is the G500 4x4² (4x4 squared) which takes some of the hardware found in the 6x6 (portal axles) and a lifted suspension, and places it into a standard G550. Mercedes says the G500 4x4² offers 17.7 inches of ground clearance (the standard G550 only offers 8.1 inches of ground clearance) and can ford up to 39.3 inches of water. At the moment, Mercedes sells the G500 4x4² in various European countries. But that could be changing.
    Speaking with Motor1, Bart Herring, Mercedes' general manager of product planning in the U.S. said the G500 4x4² could be coming to the U.S. At the moment, the German automaker is currently deciding and Herring said it's "very close to a good decision".
    The G-Class isn't a big seller for the brand in the U.S. Sales last year totaled 3,616 models. But that number is an increase over 2014 sales (3,090 models), so it appears there is demand for this model.
    Source: Motor1.com

    William Maley

    Mercedes Decides to Add Another Variant to the S-Class Family

    Mercedes-Benz wants to try and fill every little niche in the automotive marketplace. Case in point is doing a four-door coupe for the next-generation S-Class.
    Expected to arrive sometime after the next-generation S-Class, due in 2020 or 2021, the S-Class four-door coupe will wear the SEC nameplate. This name hasn't been seen since 1993 when it was used for Mercedes' flagship coupe. Sources tell Car the SEC will use the mid-section of the long-wheelbase of the S-Class sedan paired with the front and rear end of the coupe. Expect alterations to make the various bits look coherent.
    The obvious question is WHY?! The S-Class lineup is doing quite well for Mercedes in terms of sales. The past several years have seen over 100,000 S-Class models sold. The German automaker believes they can add more sales with another variant.
    Source: Car Magazine

    William Maley

    Mercedes-AMG, are you feeling ok?

    Mercedes is going a bit overboard with the number of AMG models it offers. At the moment, you have a choice of 38 models that have gone through the AMG treatment. But Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG says more are coming.
    "We're going to expand our portfolio to 48 different models by the end of the year," Moers told Automotive News.
    The obvious question is 'WHY?' It comes down to growth. Sales of AMG models rose 40 percent to 68,875 vehicles. This is most likely due to the introduction of less-expensive models such as the CLA45 and GLA45.
    We wouldn't be surprised if there are '43' models such as the C43 Coupe and E43 that are part of these expansion plans.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Mercedes' plans to show off a truck concept this year, with a production model to follow a year later

    Mercedes-Benz's new truck could be arriving much sooner than we thought. Auto Express has learned from sources that Mercedes will be showing off a concept truck at the Paris Motor Show later this year. The concept is expected to provide a preview of the production model.
    Speaking of the production model, Mercedes vans CEO Volker Mornhinweg told Auto Express that the company is planning to launch the truck in late 2017. Mornhinweg didn't say which countries would get the truck first.
    Auto Express also learned that a range of gas and diesel engines will be on offer, with a hybrid model possibly coming later in the truck's lifecycle. Other details line up with our report back in January.
    Source: Auto Express

    William Maley

    New information comes out on Mercedes' new truck

    We are still a few years out before Mercedes-Benz launches their new midsize truck, but new details have come out about the model.
    CarAdvice got some information from an insider at a recent design forum in Australia. First, Mercedes will be calling the truck either X-Class or Z-Class. It seems the automaker is leaning towards X since it brings up images of ruggedness.
    The truck will only be offered in a crew-cab variation which allows Mercedes not to spend a lot of time developing a regular or extended cab variations. It also gives Mercedes the ability to distance their truck from the Nissan Navara - the model which Mercedes is using as a base for their truck.
    “Yes, to come to an attractive price we are using a common platform, but all the rest is done by Mercedes – to design, to develop the vehicle specifically to meet Mercedes criteria,” said Daimler board member Thomas Weber at the Detroit Auto Show.
    There will three trim levels ranging from standard work truck to a fully-loaded model with all of the luxuries. Two diesel engines; a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder (188 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque) and a turbocharged six-cylinder (255 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque) will be on offer. A part-time four-wheel drive system will be standard on the base and mid-level model. The top trim model gets a full-time system.
    One question still up in the air is whether or not the U.S. will get this truck. Then Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon expressed interest in selling it here and that a final decision is expected sometime this year.
    Source: CarAdvice

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