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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    SMART Could Be the Next Dead Brand

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      ...Slow selling brand has lost Daimler billions of Euros

    SMART may be the next brand heading for that great parking lot in the sky.  German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported that the brand's fate may be decided by the end of this year.  CEO Dieter Zetsche is leaving in May to be succeeded by Olin Kallenius.  Mr. Kallenius has no strong love for the brand, established in 1998 and is said to be more than willing to kill the brand if finances warrant it. 

    Since birth, SMART has lost billions of euros for Daimler, though the company does not break out financials by brand. 

    Back in 2017, SMART revamped its lineup into an EV only brand, further denting sales while increasing costs.  The current Smart FourTwo and FourFour are a joint effort with automaker Renault who markets the vehicle as the Renault Twingo.  Renault is reportedly reluctant to renew that cooperation for the next generation of the car.  SMART's sales have fallen to around 128,000 units a year as of 2018.

    Edited by Drew Dowdell

    Source: Automotive News

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    Was it ever really alive to begin with? Those cars took “POS” to a whole other level. 

    They were popular in Europe for a while. 

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    Was it ever really alive to begin with? Those cars took “POS” to a whole other level. 

    Quoted for Truth....

     

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    SMART Cars were a joke, premium fuel required for subpar fuel economy. Does not matter that they built a cage that could stay together when hitting a cement wall at 70mph, the human was still hamburger.

    Yea, time for Smart to Die and go to the history books in the Sky. Same place Fiat needs to go and Alfa should have remained.

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    I forget who said it, I believe I read it here, but I'm going to quote it without a name.

     

    "There is absolutely nothing redeemable about that car."

    It's sad when the only press I see for it is from a local *celebrity mechanic. Every now and then I see one on the road and I ask myself who would buy this thing and what were they thinking.  I like to get a look of the person driving to understand what demographic is paying money for such a thing.

     

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    I still think SMART should become the entry brand to Benz.  Partner with someone to make SMART into a Chevy/Ford/Hyundai/Honda fighter. 

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    1 hour ago, Scout said:

    I forget who said it, I believe I read it here, but I'm going to quote it without a name.

     

    "There is absolutely nothing redeemable about that car."

    It's sad when the only press I see for it is from a local *celebrity mechanic. Every now and then I see one on the road and I ask myself who would buy this thing and what were they thinking.  I like to get a look of the person driving to understand what demographic is paying money for such a thing.

    In Seattle for some weird reason, woman in their 40's usually Vegan are the most common buyers. The Vegan group here at work all own them. It is a very interesting group of people.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They were popular in Europe for a while. 

    And apparently even their love affair with them didn’t last. They absolutely had no shot in the U.S. and with good reason.

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    5 hours ago, dfelt said:

    In Seattle for some weird reason, woman in their 40's usually Vegan are the most common buyers. The Vegan group here at work all own them. It is a very interesting group of people.

    "How do you know someone is vegan?  Don't worry, they'll ***** tell you"

    • Haha 3

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    balthazar

    Posted (edited)

    Quote

    Back in 2017, SMART revamped its lineup into an EV only brand, further denting sales while increasing costs.

    Well.... that's certainly unusual.

    Edited by balthazar
    • Haha 1

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Final nail was their changeover to all-EV.  TAKE A HINT, BARRA!

    Smart cars were never a big seller here in the first place.  No need for Mary Barra to take a hint since she will not turn ALL GM vehicles into EVs.  There is still room for ICE cars for the next decade or so.

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    1 hour ago, ocnblu said:

    Final nail was their changeover to all-EV.  TAKE A HINT, BARRA!

    Sorry but all of their cars came with those very nails.It had jack to do with any EV plans and it is pure trolling and foolish to think that it was when their sales (and their cars) have been garbage since day one.

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    3 hours ago, regfootball said:

    "How do you know someone is vegan?  Don't worry, they'll ***** tell you"

    That is so true of them here. They are more than willing to ******* tell you! :P 

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    Sorry but all of their cars came with those very nails.It had jack to do with any EV plans and it is pure trolling and foolish to think that it was when their sales (and their cars) have been garbage since day one.

    Take a look at sales data and then report back.  Immediately.  Around here, still see a good few first-gen Smarts.  Hardly ever see the "bigger, better" second gen.  And ZILCH Smart electrics.

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    Seems geely has bought them from Diamler as it was loosing 500 to 700 million a year.

    Mercedes To Sell Half Of Smart Car Subsidiary To Geely, Financial Times Says

    http://flip.it/8rqhkX

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    19 hours ago, dfelt said:

    That is so true of them here. They are more than willing to ******* tell you! :P 

    if you google that there are tons of threads and memes that make fun of the vegans because they do that.

    14 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Sorry but all of their cars came with those very nails.It had jack to do with any EV plans and it is pure trolling and foolish to think that it was when their sales (and their cars) have been garbage since day one.

    Take a look at sales data and then report back.  Immediately.  Around here, still see a good few first-gen Smarts.  Hardly ever see the "bigger, better" second gen.  And ZILCH Smart electrics.

    when i sold the cars a few years back, we got a smart on trade and i took it for a spin.  The whole automanual trans and lawn mower engine was hugely primitive.  Obviously a funky little rig, but no f-cking way in hell i would want to be in a head on with a suburban in one of those things.

    Smart should refocus their marketing and try to appeal to those who want neighborhood cars or cars for things like rental property managers to drive around on site from building to building.

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    9 hours ago, regfootball said:

    if you google that there are tons of threads and memes that make fun of the vegans because they do that.

    when i sold the cars a few years back, we got a smart on trade and i took it for a spin.  The whole automanual trans and lawn mower engine was hugely primitive.  Obviously a funky little rig, but no f-cking way in hell i would want to be in a head on with a suburban in one of those things.

    Smart should refocus their marketing and try to appeal to those who want neighborhood cars or cars for things like rental property managers to drive around on site from building to building.

    Are they smart enough for that?

    • Haha 2

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      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      While pictures of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS leaked out a few days ago, Mercedes officially pulled the wraps off the big SUV today at the New York International Auto Show.
      The GLS is Mercedes' largest and most luxurious SUV, and in this new iteration it is even larger than before in most dimensions, but probably most importantly is the 2.4 inch longer wheelbase. That allows for more seating space. Three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offer all passengers a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort. The seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase the trunk space, while the seats in the second row fold flat.
      The GLS debuts a new engine with the GLS 580 4Matic. It is an electrified V8 with a 48-volt and EQ Boost, an onboard electrical system and starter-generator.  The base engine will be a GLS450 4Matic, a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-6 and EQ Boost. 
      As the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the new GLS indulges its passengers in every way, especially those in the rear. Here are some key comfort features at a glance:
      Executive Rear Seat Package: Separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats Electrically adjustable seats throughout as standard, as is the Easy- Entry function, which makes it easier to get into and out of the third row seats Simple folding-down of all rear seats at the push of a button Choice of either three-seat rear bench seat or two luxury individual seats with armrests in the second row Two fully fledged seats in the third row (for people up to 6.4 feet/1.94 meters tall) Heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row Five-zone automatic climate control available (standard on GLS 580) The GLS comes with the enhanced AIRMATIC air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard. This setup uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. All components have been enhanced compared with the previous generation, and the wheel suspension mountings have been optimized to maximize ride comfort. In addition, the air suspension keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
      The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale by the end of the year. 
      Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2


      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is the largest and most luxurious SUV from Mercedes-Benz and, above all, offers more: more space, more comfort, more luxury. The confident presence of its exterior stems from its impressive dimensions, which are larger than those of its predecessor. One of the benefits of the 2.4-inch (60 mm) longer wheelbase is interior spaciousness, especially in the second row. The three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offer all passengers a generous amount of space and outstanding seating comfort. The seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase the trunk space, while the seats in the second row fold flat. Furthermore, a six-seater variant with two luxurious individual rear seat Captain's Chairs in the second row is available for the first time. Also celebrating its world premiere in the GLS is a new engine: the GLS 580 4MATIC will have an electrified V8 engine featuring EQ Boost - a 48-volt onboard electrical system with an integrated starter generator. The GLS 450 4MATIC will feature a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo engine with EQ Boost. The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS will celebrate its World Premiere at the New York International Auto Show in April and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
      Also available on the new GLS, the sophisticated E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL active suspension paired with the 48-volt technology offers outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling and a high degree of off-road capability. Like the GLE, the GLS features the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. The new variable 4MATIC system ensures great agility on the road and strong performance off the beaten track. The new GLS has impressive aerodynamics in its segment, with a global Cd figure of 0.32. It also has a new Carwash function, which enables the car to be prepared for entry into a carwash with a single press of a button.
      As the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the new GLS indulges its passengers in every way, especially those in the rear. Here are some key comfort features at a glance:
      Executive Rear Seat Package: Separate tablet for controlling all of the MBUX comfort and entertainment functions from the rear seats Electrically adjustable seats throughout as standard, as is the Easy- Entry function, which makes it easier to get into and out of the third row seats Simple folding-down of all rear seats at the push of a button Choice of either three-seat rear bench seat or two luxury individual seats with armrests in the second row Two fully fledged seats in the third row (for people up to 6.4 feet/1.94 meters tall) Heated seats and separate USB charging ports for the third row Five-zone automatic climate control available (standard on GLS 580) "The new GLS is the S-Class of premium SUVs. It embodies luxury, confidence and intelligence like almost no other vehicle," states Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for corporate research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
      "The GLS combines modern luxury with the character of an off-roader," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Powerful highlights of the off-road design idiom combined with an elegance reminiscent of a classic luxury sedan. The interior is a synthesis of modern, luxurious aesthetics, hallmark SUV practicality and digital high-tech. In our view, the new GLS therefore offers the best of all these worlds."
      Since the M-Class was introduced in 1997, Mercedes-Benz has been building premium SUVs in the USA - the largest market for these vehicles worldwide. The full-size GL offering space for seven people was launched in 2006. In 2015, a facelift emphasized the luxurious character of this large SUV's second generation and also heralded the changing of the name to GLS. On top of that, the GLS is the market leader in its segment - just like the S-Class Sedan.
      At present, Mercedes-Benz offers seven models in the SUV segment (GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G-Class). The SUVs are a major structural pillar in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio, and greatly contribute to the growth of the brand. To date, more than five million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS, produced in the U.S. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be presented to the public for the first time at the New York International Auto Show.
      Exterior design: powerful presence
      Modern luxury both on and off the road: that is the design message of the new GLS. Its aesthetics are based on the confident presence that its impressive dimensions alone create (length 205.2 in, width 77 in). The wheelbase of 123.4 inches, which is 2.4 inches longer than that of its predecessor, makes the vehicle beneficially longer and gives it harmonious proportions, emphasized by the understated, elegant side design. The GLS follows the design strategy of Sensual Purity, and dispenses with individual edges and beading in favor of generously sculptured surfaces.
      The front section of the new GLS exudes a powerful presence: this is ensured by the upright radiator grille in an octagonal SUV interpretation, the prominent, chrome-plated under guard in the front bumper with the bone- shaped air inlet grille, and the hood with two power domes. This striking appearance is emphasized day and night by the distinctive headlamp design. The GLS is equipped with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps as standard, with a total of 112 LEDs per headlamp. These produce the maximum light intensity permitted by law, which results in the brightness of the main beam headlamps only falling below the reference value of 1 lux after a distance of more than 2,000 feet (650 meters). The daytime running lights with three LED segments underline the status of the GLS as the S-Class of SUVs.
      The GLS cuts an imposing figure from the rear, too. This is particularly ensured by the powerful shoulder muscle extending from the rear doors to the tail lamps, which enables the GLS to strike an imperious pose on the road. The two- piece tail lamps are based on LED technology, and their high-caliber, three- dimensional look conveys depth and solidity. The reflectors are relocated lower down, giving the tail lamps a flatter appearance. They are crowned by a slender, continuous chrome trim strip. The rear is strikingly rounded off with the chrome-plated under guard.
      Aerodynamics: exquisite fine-tuning
      The new GLS achieves global cd figures as low as 0.32 - a clear improvement compared with its predecessor (cd 0.35) and an impressively low figure in the large luxury SUV segment. The excellent aerodynamics help to reduce fuel consumption and limit wind noise, one of the areas on which development work focused specifically.
      Special attention was paid to the underbody and the air flowing through the engine compartment because the hallmark SUV shape, with its upright front end and high ground clearance, makes these areas susceptible to low- frequency airflow noise. A host of details were optimized with numerous computation loops, CAE simulations (computer-aided engineering) and measurements in the wind tunnel in Sindelfingen.
      Interior design: luxuriously elegant and powerfully progressive
      The interior of the new GLS is all about luxuriously elegant aesthetics, as evidenced immediately by the interior appointments that combine the comfort of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan with the robustly progressive detailing of an SUV. The central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in a distinctive dashboard support. The dashboard support flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element extends to meet the doors.
      The prominently wide, 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 good ergonomics, fluent surfaces create a modern, luxurious impression, rounded off by a broad area of trim and flush-fitting sun blinds. The controls with haptic and audible feedback appear to have been milled from a solid metal block.
      The large touchscreen of the MBUX infotainment system allows all the GLS comfort features to be controlled from the driver's seat. Very fine chiseling and the pyramid structures of the trim surfaces showcase the desire for perfection and craftsmanship. The new multifunction sport steering wheel with its striking spoke design accentuates the impressive appearance of the SUV's interior.
      Interior: generous amount of space in the second and third seat row
      The new GLS has a considerably longer wheelbase than its predecessor (123.4 in, an increase of 2.4 in). This creates more space, especially in the second seat row, which can also be adjusted. Legroom here is increased by 3.4 inches when the seats are in their rearmost position, which also makes it easier to get into the vehicle.
      As standard, the second row has a 60:40-split folding rear bench seat with adjustable 40:20:40-split backrests. Alternatively, it is possible to order the two luxury individual rear seats with armrests, between which it is possible to access the rearmost seats with ease. This is particularly useful when child seats are fitted in the second seat row.
      All seats are electronically adjustable. The same applies to the EASY-ENTRY function, which makes it easy to get into and out of the two individual seats in the third row. For this, the seats in the second row move a long way forwards and fold forwards.
      The seats in the third row are fully-fledged seats that are suitable for people up to 6.4 feet (1.94 m) tall and are heated for the first time. There are also two additional USB charging ports here.
      The new GLS has several climate control options: three-zone, four-zone or five- zone. If the GLS is equipped with the five-zone automatic climate control (as is standard with the GLS 580), the third row has its own zone with climate control vents in the roof. This zone is supplied by its own, electrically powered heater and air conditioner.
      A push of a button is all that is required to stow away the comfortable seats and make full use of the trunk space in the GLS. The switches on the left and right of the load compartment and on the front of the wheel arches on the front- passenger side in the C-pillar area allow the seats in the rear rows to be folded completely flat. It is also possible to fold down all the seats simultaneously by pressing the "ALL" button. The carpet-trimmed backs of the backrests form part of a flat, practical load area. Another push of a button lowers the trunk sill by approximately 2 inches to make it easier to load heavy or bulky items.
      Even more comfort in the rear: MBUX served on a tablet
      Luxury in the new GLS is shared generously among all passengers, particularly if the Executive Rear Seat Package is ordered. It includes a 7-inch Android tablet in its own docking station in the second row's larger luxury center armrest. The tablet allows control of all MBUX comfort and entertainment functions (see next section) from the rear seat rows, such as access to the radio, media, phone and a web browser. It can also be used to control the Executive Rear Seat Package and the five-zone automatic climate control for the rear seats. The driver can seamlessly assume control of all options and features from his or her seat at any time too.
      The center console also offers a wireless charging compartment for smartphones and additional USB ports. Rear passengers are indulged further still thanks to luxury headrests with additional cushions and the rearward- extended center console between the front seats with cup holders.
      It is even possible to order rear seats with a lumbar massage function and climate control as an additional option for the Executive Rear Seat Package Plus in the second row.
      MBUX with Interior Assistant
      The GLS is equipped with the latest generation of the infotainment system MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Upgrades compared with the A-Class, in which the revolutionary system made its debut, include two large 12.3-inch screens as standard. The information on the digital instrument cluster and central media display is easily legible on the large, high-resolution screens. The presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure.
      The optional MBUX Interior Assistant also allows intuitive 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 for whose seat the massage function is to be activated, 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 interior mirror, for example. Furthermore, the driver and front passenger can each store personal favorite functions such as "navigate home" or "call office."
      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 calls their mother on Tuesdays during their drive home will receive her telephone number as a suggestion in the display on this day of the week. Anyone who regularly switches over to a radio station with news at a certain time also receives this as a suggestion.
      Also available is a next-generation full-color Head-up Display, which sets new standards with a resolution of 720 x 240 pixels and an extended projection distance.
      Powertrain: all engines have an EQ Boost integrated starter generator
      The high aspirations of the new Mercedes-Benz GLS are also clearly apparent in its engine line-up. Powerful six and eight-cylinder engines deliver the comfort and effortlessly superior power that suit the characteristics of this luxurious vehicle.
      The introduction of the GLS 580 4MATIC will mark the world premiere of a new, electrified V8 gasoline engine with 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter generator. It has an output of 483 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated starter generator (ISG) is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or 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. The slim design of the in-line engine, together with the physical separation of intake/exhaust, creates space for close-coupled exhaust after treatment. The 48 V on-board electrical system 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.
      The Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 4MATIC is also available with a six-cylinder in- line engine electrified with 48-volt technology. This sophisticated engine produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, with a further 184 lb-ft of torque and 21 hp available via EQ Boost over short periods.
      4MATIC variable all-wheel drive: agile on the road, superior when off- road
      In all variants of the new GLS, power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The broad ratio spread of gears from 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. A transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch is also fitted as standard. This allows a variable transfer of drive torque from 0-100 percent (torque on demand) between the axles.
      Also new, and available as an option on the GLS 580, is a transfer case specially configured for superior off-road driving characteristics. In addition to the controlled multi-plate clutch with torque-on-demand function, it also features a reduction gear for off-road driving.
      When driving on the road, and particularly when cornering, the two fully networked transfer cases with torque-on-demand function allow a further improvement in handling safety and agility by specifically influencing the degree of yaw to induce oversteer or understeer.
      Driver assistance systems: even better support
      The new GLS is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems giving cooperative support to the driver. These systems further enhance the level of active safety.
      When Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation is activated, the new GLS 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. For example, when a traffic jam is detected on the highway (and if the driver does not choose a different response), DISTRONIC reduces the speed to around 62 mph (100 km/h) as a precaution.
      A new feature of the Driver Assistance package: when actually driving in a traffic, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping the vehicle in the lane and maintaining a safe distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 37 mph (60 km/h). In addition, restarting can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop. Once the traffic jam clears, the GLS accelerates back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation. If traffic signs differ from this, the sign posted speed limit is automatically given priority.
      Suspension: AIRMATIC air suspension as standard
      The GLS comes with the enhanced AIRMATIC air suspension system with Adaptive Damping System Plus fitted as standard. This setup uses highly complex sensor systems and algorithms to adapt the damping characteristics to the road condition and driving situation in real time. All components have been enhanced compared with the previous generation, and the wheel suspension mountings have been optimized to maximize ride comfort. In addition, the air suspension keeps the car at the same level, regardless of the load on board.
      Carwash function: ready for cleaning
      One new standard feature is the Carwash function - which comes in handy, especially for a large vehicle like the GLS. When this function is selected, the suspension moves to the highest position, which reduces the track widths due to the axle geometry. This makes it easier to drive into a carwash as well as remove any dirt remaining in the wheel arches from the last off-road trip. The Carwash function also:
      Folds in the exterior mirrors. Closes the side windows and the sliding sunroof. Suppresses the rain sensor information so that the windshield wipers remain switched off in the carwash. Switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode and, after eight seconds, activates the 360° camera's front image to assist the driver when driving into the carwash Deactivates these settings automatically when the driver drives out of the carwash and accelerates to a speed above 12 mph. Outstandingly intelligent suspension: E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL
      Even better ride comfort and agility plus new functions such as recovery mode are provided by the optional E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the newly developed AIRMATIC air suspension. This is currently the only system on the market that can individually control spring and damping forces 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 CURVE, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL makes an exceptional level of comfort possible, and supports the claim of Mercedes- Benz to build the world's most intelligent SUV suspension.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL operates with a voltage of 48 V. On poor road surfaces the system is even able to recuperate energy, roughly halving the energy requirement compared with 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.
      The off-road functions include rocking mode. For example, if the GLS has become bogged down in a sand dune, this can help to free the vehicle more easily in many such situations. If possible, the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which changes the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction and allows the GLS to rock itself free. Individual wheel actuation is another function for off-road driving. This allows the level at each wheel to be individually adjusted via the touchscreen of the media display, thus improving the vehicle's alignment on rough terrain when one wheel is stuck in a ditch or a wheel spring is fully contracted. This also helps to increase traction and the torque at the wheel.
      E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL in the GLS also has the curve inclination function CURVE: like a motorcycle, the GLS leans into bends and thereby allows cornering in three stages with practically no centrifugal force. If the GLS is equipped with a stereo multi-purpose camera, ROAD SURFACE SCAN becomes possible: the camera continuously scans the road surface, while the suspension responds in advance to any undulations before the vehicle drives over them and largely compensates for them. In this way, the GLS improves the perceived road quality.
      The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Concept GLB at the Shanghai Motor Show today.   The GLC Concept is to fit between the Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLC in the lineup, yet have a more rugged appeal than the two.
      The concept sits on a relatively long wheelbase (111 inches) for its size and offers seating for up to 7 passengers. It is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo producing 224hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It send power to the wheels via an 8-speed dual clutch transmission with 4Matic All-wheel drive standard.  The 4Matic is configurable into three modes depending on driving preferences and conditions.  In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
      Inside is Mercedes MBUX system that looks largely carried over from the other A class cars and that can be activated with the phrase, "Hey Mercedes". 
      While Mercedes calls this a concept, we feel it is just a thinly veiled one as it uses a lot of production hardware. The production model will look pretty close to this concept.  
      Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2


      Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB
      This is how spacious and robust a compact car can be With the Concept GLB at Auto Shanghai (April 18 to 25, 2019), Mercedes-Benz shows what SUV ideas on the company's compact car platform might be realized alongside the GLA as a sporty all-rounder. While the latter promises engaging driving enjoyment with its coupe-like lines, the Concept GLB places an emphasis on spaciousness with a robust character. The concept car (length/width/height: 182/74/75 in) has space for up to seven occupants, thanks to its long wheelbase (111 in). A number of sturdy features also signals that the Concept GLB feels right at home on rough tracks.
      "We asked ourselves whether there is still space between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV range. The Concept GLB is the answer to this question. With it we are demonstrating the creative ideas we have for this segment, too," says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. "The Concept GLB is a durable and practical SUV with nonetheless compact dimensions. Whether it is a generous, seven-seater family vehicle or a versatile leisure time companion: we are certain that this concept will be of great interest to our customers." Customers highly appreciate the varied SUV portfolio of Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than six million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV. In 2018, with more than 820,000 units sold, the SUVs were the strongest segment for Mercedes-Benz.
      SUV genes brought to the forefront: Exterior design
      The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB has a distinctive presence in the world of compact SUVs thanks to its muscular proportions. The clear, surface- accentuated contours with minimal lines and precise joints convey effortless superiority and modernity. The upright front section with striking MULTIBEAM LED headlamps is clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear. The long wheelbase and large greenhouse are key factors providing generous space for up to seven occupants.
      The muscular and sensuously contoured vehicle shoulder dominates the side view, an effect reinforced by the rising beltline. All-round protective cladding divides the overall proportions and emphasizes the vehicle's off-road character.
      The harmonious color concept has exterior paintwork in designo cashmere white magno with high-gloss black parts (e.g. the claddings or integrated roof box) as a contrast, plus discreet orange highlights in the radiator grille and as lettering on the outside mirror housings.
      The chrome underguard at the front with integral air inlets in a stainless steel look emphasizes the off-road qualities. The rear underguard echoes this theme, creating a balanced overall picture.
      Extra show car elements: equipped for expeditions
      With a series of distinctive extra elements, the concept vehicle exhibits a particularly robust character. At the front and rear, two shrouds emerge from the roof frame and accommodate LED spotlights acting as ambient lighting and orientation aids when driving off-road.
      The black roof rails end in a curve at the front and rear. A roof box is mounted on the rear area. The aggressive-tread off-road tires are on robust 17-inch wheels in a two-color design.
      High-quality finish and very spacious: the interior
      The interior of the Concept GLB reveals its membership of the new Mercedes- Benz compact car family, but as a showcar and SUV it has special leather features and trim elements. For the first time in a compact model by Mercedes- Benz, a third row seat is equipped, with two additional single seats that can be recess-flushed into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. These seats are far more than emergency seats, and offer comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants.
      Making space: flexible seat arrangements in the second and third row
      The backrest of the middle seat row is 40:20:40 split-folding, and can be folded down to create a level load surface. The seat surfaces have a 40:60 division. The second row is fore-and-aft adjustable by 5.5 in – by 3.5 in to the front, to increase luggage space or legroom for occupants right in the rear, and by 2 in to the rear if particularly generous legroom is required in a five-seat configuration. An eight-stage backrest incline adjustment in the second row also facilitates adjustment according to the space or comfort requirements.
      To facilitate access to the third row, the seats in the second row have an Easy- Entry function: when the unlocking lever on the top outer edge of the backrest is operated, the backrest folds forward and the entire seat can be pushed forward. A total of four child seats can be attached in the second and third seat rows.
      Contrast in chestnut: exclusive leather and open-pored walnut
      The seats, fittings and door panels are partially lined in nappa and nubuk leather, the predominant color tone being "chestnut brown". Echoing the exterior highlights, there are orange trim strips and seams in a few key places. The center sections of the front seats have two parallel rows of perforations in their woven nubuk leather covers, revealing the orange-colored fabric sub- layer. These extend from the front edge of the seat cushion to the upper edge of the integrated head restraint.
      The wood trim elements on the dashboard and center console are open-pore walnut. The walnut panels have a chiselled honeycomb pattern that fades out towards the edges. The pedals in the footwell feature decorative inserts in the same material within a high-gloss metal surround, with an identical honeycomb pattern.
      Dashboard: MBUX and off-road elements
      The basic architecture of the dashboard corresponds to that of the B-Class, with a widescreen cockpit facing the driver and functions and displays controlled via the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX. New features are the off-road- type tubular elements in milled aluminum, which round off the dashboard at the lower end. These give the dashboard support an impression of robustness, power and a certain factor of fun. Below the three round center elements is the air conditioning control panel with an intentionally analogue look, whose buttons create the impression that they have been milled from a solid aluminum cylinder.
      The robust character of the interior continues on the center console. Aluminum tubular elements with a brushed structure in a grab-handle look lend solidity to the design of the components and controls. Along the doors, the SUV character is reinforced by the horizontal grab handle, which forms a robust part of the door panel structure as a machined aluminum tube.
      Powertrain: Four-cylinder turbo with 224 hp
      The Concept GLB is powered by the M260 four-cylinder gas engine combined with an 8-speed-DCT dual clutch transmission, with a maximum output of 224 hp and peak torque of 258 lb-ft. The engine block of diecast aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners has CONICSHAPE® technology, which is also known in-house as "trumpet-honing". To further minimize piston friction and lower fuel consumption, the cylinder bore is widened at the lower end of the cylinder liners. The resulting conical shape resembles the mouth of a trumpet.
      An innovative low-friction oil and optimized piston rings also reduce friction losses. To take account of the higher specific output, the pistons themselves feature cooling ducts. This also ensures more efficient combustion. The balance shafts for smooth running are located in the lower section of the crankcase. To enhance comfort even further, there is a centrifugal pendulum damper in the powertrain.
      The aluminum four-valve cylinder head also features CAMTRONIC, a variable valve timing system that allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side of the valve assembly. In the partial-load range, this variable valve lift adjustment allows less air to be fed to the combustion chamber with a smaller valve lift, which leads to lower gas cycle losses. In higher load ranges the system switches to the higher valve lift to achieve the engine's full power delivery.
      All-wheel drive as a matter of course: 4MATIC with three selectable characteristic maps
      The Concept GLB is equipped with the permanent all-wheel system, 4MATIC, with variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
      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, which is electro-mechanically operated. Via a crown wheel and a ball ramp, an electric motor exerts an axial force on the clutch pack to open or close the plates. The rear axle differential compensates the different paths/rotational speeds of the rear wheels. The advantages of this control system are above all non-rpm-dependent operation across the entire actuation range, pilot control of the clutch while still stationary and higher efficiency thanks to the ball ramp concept.
      A look back at Shanghai 2013: world premiere of the Concept GLA
      This is not the first time a compact SUV concept has celebrated its world premiere at the Shanghai auto show: On April 18, 2013 the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA drew public attention. As a sporty, coupe-like evolution of this vehicle class, the showcar pointed a new way in the compact SUV segment. It combined a sporty spirit with the all-round qualities of a robust recreational companion.
      The multitalented GLA became orderable from the end of November 2013, and deliveries began in March 2014. Since then the GLA has become a major contributor to the success story of the compact Mercedes-Benz models. In 2018 over 609,000 customers worldwide took delivery of their new A or B-Class, their CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA. This means that in 2018, one in four cars sold by Mercedes-Benz was a compact model.

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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Concept GLB at the Shanghai Motor Show today.   The GLC Concept is to fit between the Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLC in the lineup, yet have a more rugged appeal than the two.
      The concept sits on a relatively long wheelbase (111 inches) for its size and offers seating for up to 7 passengers. It is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo producing 224hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It send power to the wheels via an 8-speed dual clutch transmission with 4Matic All-wheel drive standard.  The 4Matic is configurable into three modes depending on driving preferences and conditions.  In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
      Inside is Mercedes MBUX system that looks largely carried over from the other A class cars and that can be activated with the phrase, "Hey Mercedes". 
      While Mercedes calls this a concept, we feel it is just a thinly veiled one as it uses a lot of production hardware. The production model will look pretty close to this concept.  
      Mercedes-Benz Press Release on Page 2


      Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB
      This is how spacious and robust a compact car can be With the Concept GLB at Auto Shanghai (April 18 to 25, 2019), Mercedes-Benz shows what SUV ideas on the company's compact car platform might be realized alongside the GLA as a sporty all-rounder. While the latter promises engaging driving enjoyment with its coupe-like lines, the Concept GLB places an emphasis on spaciousness with a robust character. The concept car (length/width/height: 182/74/75 in) has space for up to seven occupants, thanks to its long wheelbase (111 in). A number of sturdy features also signals that the Concept GLB feels right at home on rough tracks.
      "We asked ourselves whether there is still space between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV range. The Concept GLB is the answer to this question. With it we are demonstrating the creative ideas we have for this segment, too," says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. "The Concept GLB is a durable and practical SUV with nonetheless compact dimensions. Whether it is a generous, seven-seater family vehicle or a versatile leisure time companion: we are certain that this concept will be of great interest to our customers." Customers highly appreciate the varied SUV portfolio of Mercedes-Benz. To date, more than six million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV. In 2018, with more than 820,000 units sold, the SUVs were the strongest segment for Mercedes-Benz.
      SUV genes brought to the forefront: Exterior design
      The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB has a distinctive presence in the world of compact SUVs thanks to its muscular proportions. The clear, surface- accentuated contours with minimal lines and precise joints convey effortless superiority and modernity. The upright front section with striking MULTIBEAM LED headlamps is clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear. The long wheelbase and large greenhouse are key factors providing generous space for up to seven occupants.
      The muscular and sensuously contoured vehicle shoulder dominates the side view, an effect reinforced by the rising beltline. All-round protective cladding divides the overall proportions and emphasizes the vehicle's off-road character.
      The harmonious color concept has exterior paintwork in designo cashmere white magno with high-gloss black parts (e.g. the claddings or integrated roof box) as a contrast, plus discreet orange highlights in the radiator grille and as lettering on the outside mirror housings.
      The chrome underguard at the front with integral air inlets in a stainless steel look emphasizes the off-road qualities. The rear underguard echoes this theme, creating a balanced overall picture.
      Extra show car elements: equipped for expeditions
      With a series of distinctive extra elements, the concept vehicle exhibits a particularly robust character. At the front and rear, two shrouds emerge from the roof frame and accommodate LED spotlights acting as ambient lighting and orientation aids when driving off-road.
      The black roof rails end in a curve at the front and rear. A roof box is mounted on the rear area. The aggressive-tread off-road tires are on robust 17-inch wheels in a two-color design.
      High-quality finish and very spacious: the interior
      The interior of the Concept GLB reveals its membership of the new Mercedes- Benz compact car family, but as a showcar and SUV it has special leather features and trim elements. For the first time in a compact model by Mercedes- Benz, a third row seat is equipped, with two additional single seats that can be recess-flushed into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. These seats are far more than emergency seats, and offer comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants.
      Making space: flexible seat arrangements in the second and third row
      The backrest of the middle seat row is 40:20:40 split-folding, and can be folded down to create a level load surface. The seat surfaces have a 40:60 division. The second row is fore-and-aft adjustable by 5.5 in – by 3.5 in to the front, to increase luggage space or legroom for occupants right in the rear, and by 2 in to the rear if particularly generous legroom is required in a five-seat configuration. An eight-stage backrest incline adjustment in the second row also facilitates adjustment according to the space or comfort requirements.
      To facilitate access to the third row, the seats in the second row have an Easy- Entry function: when the unlocking lever on the top outer edge of the backrest is operated, the backrest folds forward and the entire seat can be pushed forward. A total of four child seats can be attached in the second and third seat rows.
      Contrast in chestnut: exclusive leather and open-pored walnut
      The seats, fittings and door panels are partially lined in nappa and nubuk leather, the predominant color tone being "chestnut brown". Echoing the exterior highlights, there are orange trim strips and seams in a few key places. The center sections of the front seats have two parallel rows of perforations in their woven nubuk leather covers, revealing the orange-colored fabric sub- layer. These extend from the front edge of the seat cushion to the upper edge of the integrated head restraint.
      The wood trim elements on the dashboard and center console are open-pore walnut. The walnut panels have a chiselled honeycomb pattern that fades out towards the edges. The pedals in the footwell feature decorative inserts in the same material within a high-gloss metal surround, with an identical honeycomb pattern.
      Dashboard: MBUX and off-road elements
      The basic architecture of the dashboard corresponds to that of the B-Class, with a widescreen cockpit facing the driver and functions and displays controlled via the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX. New features are the off-road- type tubular elements in milled aluminum, which round off the dashboard at the lower end. These give the dashboard support an impression of robustness, power and a certain factor of fun. Below the three round center elements is the air conditioning control panel with an intentionally analogue look, whose buttons create the impression that they have been milled from a solid aluminum cylinder.
      The robust character of the interior continues on the center console. Aluminum tubular elements with a brushed structure in a grab-handle look lend solidity to the design of the components and controls. Along the doors, the SUV character is reinforced by the horizontal grab handle, which forms a robust part of the door panel structure as a machined aluminum tube.
      Powertrain: Four-cylinder turbo with 224 hp
      The Concept GLB is powered by the M260 four-cylinder gas engine combined with an 8-speed-DCT dual clutch transmission, with a maximum output of 224 hp and peak torque of 258 lb-ft. The engine block of diecast aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners has CONICSHAPE® technology, which is also known in-house as "trumpet-honing". To further minimize piston friction and lower fuel consumption, the cylinder bore is widened at the lower end of the cylinder liners. The resulting conical shape resembles the mouth of a trumpet.
      An innovative low-friction oil and optimized piston rings also reduce friction losses. To take account of the higher specific output, the pistons themselves feature cooling ducts. This also ensures more efficient combustion. The balance shafts for smooth running are located in the lower section of the crankcase. To enhance comfort even further, there is a centrifugal pendulum damper in the powertrain.
      The aluminum four-valve cylinder head also features CAMTRONIC, a variable valve timing system that allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side of the valve assembly. In the partial-load range, this variable valve lift adjustment allows less air to be fed to the combustion chamber with a smaller valve lift, which leads to lower gas cycle losses. In higher load ranges the system switches to the higher valve lift to achieve the engine's full power delivery.
      All-wheel drive as a matter of course: 4MATIC with three selectable characteristic maps
      The Concept GLB is equipped with the permanent all-wheel system, 4MATIC, with variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive program "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter- axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.
      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, which is electro-mechanically operated. Via a crown wheel and a ball ramp, an electric motor exerts an axial force on the clutch pack to open or close the plates. The rear axle differential compensates the different paths/rotational speeds of the rear wheels. The advantages of this control system are above all non-rpm-dependent operation across the entire actuation range, pilot control of the clutch while still stationary and higher efficiency thanks to the ball ramp concept.
      A look back at Shanghai 2013: world premiere of the Concept GLA
      This is not the first time a compact SUV concept has celebrated its world premiere at the Shanghai auto show: On April 18, 2013 the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA drew public attention. As a sporty, coupe-like evolution of this vehicle class, the showcar pointed a new way in the compact SUV segment. It combined a sporty spirit with the all-round qualities of a robust recreational companion.
      The multitalented GLA became orderable from the end of November 2013, and deliveries began in March 2014. Since then the GLA has become a major contributor to the success story of the compact Mercedes-Benz models. In 2018 over 609,000 customers worldwide took delivery of their new A or B-Class, their CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA. This means that in 2018, one in four cars sold by Mercedes-Benz was a compact model.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes took the wraps off the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 ahead of its debut at the New York International Auto Show next week.   The CLA 35 is the sleeker, more coupe-like version of the Mercedes-AMG A 35 Sedan that was unveiled two weeks ago. Much of the same hardware that goes into the A 35 is here in the CLA 35 as well.
      Power is rated for 302 hp at 5800 RPM and 295 lb-ft of torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm from the 2.0 liter twin scroll turbocharged engine. 4Matic all-wheel drive is standard and can run in front-wheel drive mode or an even 50-50 split front to rear. 
      Like the A 35, the CLA also gets body reinforcements to help with torsional rigidity (which makes us wonder about the non-AMG cars - DD). The interior gets an update to the MBUX system that allows you to say "Hey Mercedes!" to control certain in-car functions.
      You can read more about the A 35 AMG  here.
      The Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 will officially debut at the New York Auto Show on April 17th at 10:15 eastern.  Stay tuned for more coverage from the show.
      Mercedes press release on page 2


      Sporty, stylish, intelligent and dynamic: The new CLA 35 is the latest point of entry to the world of Mercedes-AMG. The four- door coupe shares the progressive technology with the A-Class, but is even bolder with its iconic design and the intelligent MBUX interior assistant. The high torque 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine delivers 302 hp, distributed to all four wheels via the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and variable all- wheel drive. Sporty driving performance (acceleration from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds est.) is combined with a range of versatile driving experiences - from very sporty to refined and comfortable on long journeys.
      "With its iconic design and agile driving dynamics, the new CLA 35 is an attractive offer for a young, active and lifestyle-conscious target group. These customers define their requirements very clearly: They expect exciting design from their vehicle alongside superior performance and inspiring handling characteristics. The new CLA 35 embodies just this attitude to life – and  enables stepping in to the fascinating world of AMG Driving Performance in a particularly emotional way,"says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
      Icon with a sporty design: the exterior
      The unique design of the CLA Coupe is one of the new model's key purchase reasons. The AMG designers therefore aimed to maintain its basic form with wide wheel arches and a slim profile. The two power domes on the hood were also adopted as sporty details. The new radiator grille with classic twin louvers and an AMG front bumper with flics on the air inlets are distinctive features of the CLA 35. Other distinguishing characteristics include silver chrome trim elements in the outer air inlets. From a side view, the aerodynamically optimized 18-inch light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design (19-inch wheels are optionally available) and the accentuated side sills catch the eye. The rear bumper with a new diffuser insert, the small spoiler lip on the trunk and the two round tailpipes on the left and right dominate the rear view. The two-piece, narrow tail lamps and the license plate housing placed low in the bumper add to the CLA's wide rear appearance.
      Sporty interior featuring MBUX infotainment system
      Frameless doors open to an interior with a high-tech ambience, where quality and elegance meet digital displays. The interior scene can be catered to specific tastes thanks to the standard 64 color ambient lighting. The distinctive interior design is evident with the available MB-Tex and microfiber DINAMICA in black with red contrasting stitching and red seat belts, as well as in the available combination of MB-Tex in black/digital grey. Red piping on the microfiber DINAMICA trim elements and ventilation outlets with a red ring are additional unique accents.
      The combination of a sporty design with sophisticated details is also evident in the MBUX infotainment system with its innovative operation and display. In the new CLA 35, MBUX replaces the previous COMAND systems and creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
      Appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit, and consequently emphasize the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
      With the newly available MBUX interior assistant, select infotainment functions can be operated without touch, along with switching the reading light on or off. The assistant differentiates between driver and passenger interaction and recognizes certain hand positions and movements. The interaction area for the MBUX interior assistant is in front of the media display up to the center console, including the touchpad between the driver and front-seat passenger.
      The MBUX interior assistant recognizes movement toward the various operating elements of the infotainment system. The operator's seat is enlarged on the media display if one's hand moves toward the touchscreen. The most suitable operating elements are automatically pre-selected. In the radio and media menu, the MBUX interior assistant reduces the number of operating steps. In the navigation menu, the system fades in the display as soon as the hand moves to operate the touchscreen or touchpad, so that a symbol is selected directly. When displaying the camera image, as soon as the hand moves toward the touchscreen the MBUX interior assistant enables the four camera operating symbols from the 360-degree camera to be faded in. This means that the front, rear, right or left camera view can be selected directly.
      The CLA 35 also comes with our new trailblazing voice control, activated with the words "Hey Mercedes". Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognizes and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and  vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.
      Fully digital instrument cluster with three AMG display styles
      Customers can choose between three AMG display styles for the instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport"and "Supersport". The "Supersport"mode is particularly striking, with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data.
      Touchscreen multimedia display and new center console
      The 10.25 inch touchscreen multimedia display also emphasizes the dynamic character with individual AMG displays, such as visualization of the driving programs, AMG TRACK PACE and telemetry data.
      The AMG-specific center console in piano black finish with standard touchpad has additional buttons that control the functions of ESP®, manual transmission mode and the Adaptive Damping System. When combined with the optional leather package, it also features a silver chrome surround.
      New AMG steering wheel generation with optional steering wheel buttons
      The next generation of AMG steering wheels provide the perfect link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel rim with a flat-bottom, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting.
      The built-in Touch Control buttons, familiar from some of our other models, are a new feature. The Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right activate the voice control and telephone, and regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the infotainment system.
      The steering wheel with innovative AMG steering wheel buttons is available as an option. These consist of a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke, plus two vertically positioned color display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke. The AMG drive programs are actuated directly via the controller. With the two configurable display buttons and the additional switches, further AMG functions can be controlled within easy reach directly on the steering wheel.
      Reinforced body-in-white with increased torsional rigidity
      Specific measures to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell help enable the precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis, even when driving at speed. A "shear panel", a bolted aluminum plate under the engine, also increases the torsional stiffness of the front section of the CLA 35. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase rigidity.
      New four-cylinder turbo engine with 302 hp
      The 2.0L Inline-4 turbo engine is a new development and is based on the M260 four-cylinder engine in the new A-Class. The new drive boasts a quick response to accelerator pedal commands, high torque (295 lb-ft max. torque from 3,000 rpm), a lively response and an emotional engine sound. The crankcase made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminum reduces the vehicle weight where it matters most for driving dynamics.
      The twin-scroll turbocharger combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a significant power increase at higher engine speeds. The housing of the twin-scroll turbocharger is divided into two parallel ducts. Together with two separate ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to channel the exhaust gases separately on the turbine wheel.
      This results in a further advantage of twin-scroll technology -- minimization of the mutually adverse effects of the individual cylinders on the gas cycle. The exhaust gas backpressure is reduced and gas exchange and engine  efficiency are improved.
      Numerous engine measures increase efficiency
      The high technological standards of the new four-cylinder engine are also underscored by numerous efficiency-enhancing measures. These include CAMTRONIC variable valve control, intelligent thermal management for engine and oil, high-precision piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition. In production,  the patented CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing reduces internal engine friction and also increases efficiency.
      Agile gear ratios: AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Transmission
      The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Transmission also contributes to the agile and dynamic character of the new CLA 35. The gear ratios are configured so that the driver experiences very responsive acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when upshifting.
      The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from a stationary position and is a high performance experience. The functions of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed transmission also include a temporary manual shift mode activated by operating the steering wheel shift paddles in any driving mode, and with the manual transmission mode "M"for manual gear changes with the shift paddles.
      AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive
      Dynamism, agility and performance – these three attributes characterize the standard all-wheel drive of the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The variable AMG 4MATIC+ combines the best possible traction with driving pleasure. The torque distribution is variable to suit the dynamic handling requirements. The spectrum ranges from front-wheel drive only to a 50:50 percent distribution to the front and rear axles.
      A multi-disc clutch that is integrated in the  rear  axle  transmission is responsible for the variable torque distribution between the  front  and  rear axles. It is controlled electro-mechanically. The influencing factors for torque distribution are the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, and the difference in  rotational  speed  between  the individual wheels, the gear selected and the accelerator position.
      The main advantages of electro-mechanical control over an electro-hydraulic system relate to more refined driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.
      As long as ESP® is activated, the 4MATIC+ system stays in "Comfort"mode. As soon as the driver presses the "ESP® SPORT Handling"or "ESP® OFF"button, the 4MATIC+ system switches to "Sport"mode – for even more agile handling and even higher stability limits.
      Five driving programs: vehicle characteristics with a wide spread
      The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Slippery,""Comfort,""Sport,""Sport +"and "Individual"enable a wide range of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic. They change relevant parameters, such as the responsiveness of the engine and transmission.
      The new "Slippery"drive program is optimized for low-grip, icy road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve. Smooth gear changes and earlier upshifts support a more stable driving character.
      The "Comfort"program stands for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, for example, thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
      "Sport"and "Sport+"place the focus on agility and driving pleasure with sporty engine and transmission tuning. The sound of the  turbo  engine  is  more striking. "Sport+"is particularly exciting with double-declutching during downshifts and partial cylinder cut-off via a brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection at full load.
      The "Individual"drive program enables specific parameters to be selected and saved according to personal preferences. In addition, the gliding function is available in the "Reduced"and "Moderate"drive settings.
      AMG DYNAMICS: more agility with high stability
      As a new feature in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the new CLA 35 comes with AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated dynamic handling control system extends the stabilizing functions of ESP® with responsive interventions according to the driver's wishes. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the rear inside wheel creates a defined yawing moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the CLA 35 steers quickly and very precisely.
      The different modes of AMG DYNAMICS are called "Basic"and "Advanced."When a drive program is selected on the multimedia display, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed with the corresponding additional information.
      "Basic"is assigned to the "Slippery"and "Comfort"drive programs. In this case, the CLA 35 shows very stable handling with a high damping of the yaw rate. "Advanced"is activated in the programs "Sport"and "Sport+."The CLA 35 remains neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic maneuvers, such as driving on winding country roads. In the "Individual"drive program the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels individually.
      AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension
      The layout of the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension provides solid straight-line stability and highly dynamic cornering performance. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are optimally coordinated.
      A McPherson strut construction is fitted on the front axle. The suspension is comprised of one wishbone below the wheel center, one spring strut and one tie rod. The special axle geometry reduces the influence of the drive on the steering – for high comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminum reduces unsprung mass, enabling a more sensitive response from the springs. The AMG-specific front steering knuckle has a radially bolted brake calliper – a technology originating from motorsport.
      The 4-link rear axle is connected with the body via a subframe. Three transverse arms and the trailing arm, the wheel carrier and the bearings from the proven A 45 are used on each rear wheel. This ensures maximum driving stability and agility.
      Adaptive damping system with three modes
      The optional Adaptive Damping System enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort- focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are both enhanced.
      Robust high-performance brake system
      The high-performance braking system enables fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. The front axle is fitted with new 4-piston monoblock fixed callipers and 13.8 inch brake discs, while the rear axle is equipped with 1-piston sliding callipers and 13.0 inch brake discs. The discs are ventilated   and perforated to dissipate heat and reduce brake fading, even with heavy use. The silver-painted brake callipers have black AMG lettering.
      Steering with special rack and variable ratio
      The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with variable ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on the drive program the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfortable steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering with the body and thus increases steering precision.
      AMG exhaust system with exhaust flap for sound modulation
      The exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard. Depending on the drive program selected, it modulates the sound from balanced to powerful.
      AMG TRACK PACE data log
      AMG TRACK PACE is also available as an option for the new CLA 35. The virtual race engineer is part of the MBUX infotainment system and permanently records more than 80 vehicle-specific data measures (e.g. speed, acceleration). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference to a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether they are currently faster or slower than the best time.
      After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyze and, if necessary, improve their driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-60 mph, ¼ mile, 60-0 mph) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the track has been left or if it has been shortened. This is possible using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds).
      The logged data is displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well-known racetracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored.
      Furthermore, it is also possible to record one's own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and be updated online.
      The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored racetrack to be displayed on the multimedia display or on the optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.
      World premiere and market launch
      The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 celebrates its world premiere as part of the New York International Auto Show on April 16, 2019 and will be available in U.S. dealerships starting late 2019.
      Data at a glance
       
      2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
      Engine
      2.0L Inline-4 turbo
      Displacement
      1991 cc
      Max. output
      302 hp at 5800 rpm
      Peak torque
      295 lb-ft at 3000-4000 rpm
      Drive system
      AMG 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
      Transmission
      AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Transmission
      Acceleration 0-60 mph
      4.6 s est
      Top speed
      TBA*
      * electronically limited

      View full article
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