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    FCA and UAW Reach Tentative Agreement

    ...the final U.S. automaker makes peace with the UAW...

    The United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have reached a tentative labor agreement for a four-year contract the union and FCA said today.
    While details were not provided, the main framework of the deal is expected to mirror that of the deals made with Ford Motor Company and General Motors.   Those deals include signing bonuses of at least $9,000, no changes for healthcare, and a clearer way forward for temporary employees to become permanent status. 
    On December 4th, a council of the heads of UAW locals will meet and review the agreement and must approve it prior to sending it to members to ratify. 
    Some media reports say that negotiators secured promises of another $4.5 billion in investments on top of the previous $4.5 billion to open a new assembly plant in Detroit. Other facilities in Southeast Michigan would receive upgrades.   Further, the company has promised not to close any plants, and will allocate a new product to an Illinois assembly plant. 

    Ask Me Anything: 2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD

    ...my that's a big ship...

    In the C&G garage for the week is the 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD with a sticker price of $47,605. This is Hyundai's newest SUV, at least until the diminutive Hyundai Venue takes its place at the other end of the size spectrum.  The first impression I got from the Palisade was how big it is.  Even though it is around 7 inches shorter than a Buick Enclave, it looks bigger and beefier. Being a Limited means that it is in top trim with only carpeted floor mats as an additional option.  It's powered by a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated V6 producing 291 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque and equipped with start/stop.  On my quick initial test drive I found the start/stop function to be unobtrusive and quick to restart the vehicle when I was ready to roll.  Another immediate impression was with the sound quality of the Harmon Kardon sound system. I hooked my phone up via USB and Android Auto took over, playing my favorite Pandora station loud and clear. 
    Another feature I like is the video display in the dash when using the turn signal. It helps clear any blind spots one might have in this big SUV. 
    So while you're stuffing your faces with turkey this Thursday, think of questions you have about the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and post them below.

    Lincoln Introduces the Corsair Grand Touring

    ...Corsair gets a plug-in option...

    Los Angeles - At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Lincoln introduced the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, a plug-in hybrid trim.  Based on the standard Corsair, the Grand Touring's powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine and a permanent magnet synchronous motor.  The combined output based on Lincoln's calculations would be roughly 266 horsepower.  Electric All-wheel drive powers the rear wheels.  EV range is targeted at 25 miles EPA. 
    Power is conveyed through a PowerSplit electric continuously variable transmission with two electric motors working together to provide very smooth acceleration. 
    In addition to the five modes normally available to Corsair drivers, two additional modes are available on the Grand Touring;  Preserve EV mode recharges and saves battery power for later, the engine and motor work continuously to deliver full power.  The battery can be recharged up to 75 percent while in this mode. Pure EV mode is designed to keep the vehicle in all-electric mode as much as possible, only using the gasoline engine when the power demands exceed the electrical capabilities of the vehicle. 
    The Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring will be built in Louisville Kentucky and will go on sale summer of 2020. 

    Lincoln EV Getting Rivian Platform

    ...Lincoln gets a skateboard...

    The first product to come from Ford's investment into startup automaker Rivian will likely be a Lincoln SUV due to arrive sometime in 2022.  The vehicle will be all-wheel drive and compete against Rivian's own R1S which is priced at $72,500.  The models will share Rivian's skateboard platform, a design that combines the motors, batteries, controls and suspension into a single unit that the body can be built around.  
    The Rivian R1S is a three-row EV crossover with a range of up to 410 miles and will be built in Normal Illinois at a former Mitsubishi plant. It is expected to go into production sometime in 2021.
    There will also be a compact Lincoln EV crossover coming for 2021 that could be built on the same platform that the Ford Mustang Mach-E rides on. 
    EV sales have been tepid so far in the US, but Lincoln is banking on the EVs to be bigger sellers in the Chinese market. 

    Aston Martin Launches its First SUV

    ...Broad range of capability from sportscar dynamics to off-road versatility...

    Aston Martin has unveiled their DBX SUV in Beijing China.  This is the first SUV in the brand's 106-year history. It is being build at a new plant in Wales that is part of Aston Martin's second century rebirth plan. 
     The DBX uses a bonded aluminum construction method to help keep weight down. At 4,949 lbs., it's relatively light weight for a full-size V8 powered luxury SUV.  An adaptive triple chamber air springs allow the DBX to raise ride height by 45mm or lower by 50mm. This allows for versatility in terrain and handling, but also helps with getting into and out of the vehicle, or with vehicle loading.  The air ride system also allows for variable spring stiffness, combined with an electric anti-roll control system and adaptive dampers helps the DBX handle more like a sports car than an SUV.
    Powered by an new version of Aston Martin's 4-liter, twin-turbo V8, that is also found in the DB11 and Vantage, the 542 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft of torque V8 can propel the DBX from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 second and achieve a top speed of 181 mph. The engine feature cylinder deactivation to increase fuel economy. All-wheel drive is standard and the power gets to all 4 wheels through a 9-speed automatic. An active center differential plus electronic rear limited slip differential allows torque to be transferred front to rear and side to side on the rear axle. 
    The interior of the DBX, as expected, is a sumptuous place to spend your driving time. The cabin has been designed to accommodate the 99th percentile male and 5th percentile female provides class leading headroom and legroom. All of the seats are trimmed in full grain leather while the headliner and blind for the full panel sun room covered in Alcantara finish. Buyers can choose from wood, composite, and metal veneers to suit any taste. 
    A 10.25 inch screen sits flush in the center console while a 12.3 inch. Apple Car Play is standard as well as a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting with 64 colors. 
    The starting MSRP for the DBX in the U.S. is $189,900 with deliveries expected to start in late spring 2020.

    The Chevy Trailblazer Thinks You Don't Want a Cruze

    ...Cruze who?...

    Los Angeles - Chevrolet thinks that you don't want a Cruze anymore and instead you'll buy an SUV.  Enter Chevy's answer for that, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts under $20,000 and for those taking notes, that's less than the current Chevrolet Trax even though the Trailblazer is the larger vehicle, fitting between the Trax and Equinox in size.
    Themed after the larger Blazer, the Trailblazer looks wider in person than its specs suggest.  Powertrains match the Buick Encore GX on which this shares a platform.  Powered by either a 1.2L turbo or 1.3L turbo 3-cylinder engine, the Trailblazer will deliver up to 155 horsepower. Both engines are mated with a standard Continuously Variable Transmission with selectable stop/start capability. A nine-speed automatic transmission is also available on Trailblazers equipped with the 1.3L engine and all-wheel drive. The AWD is selectable so that drivers can choose between traction or fuel economy as conditions dictate. 
    The Trailblazer features 40/60 split folding second row seats, which enables the vehicle to accommodate objects up to 8.5 feet long. Overall storage capacity is rated up to 54.4cubic feet10 with the second row folded.
    Trailblazer is equipped with a comprehensive list of safety technology:
    Forward Collision Alert Automatic Emergency Braking Front Pedestrian Braking IntelliBeam Headlamps (Auto High Beam Assist) Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Rear Vision Camera Teen Driver Rear Seat Reminder3 OnStar4 Additional optional active safety and driver assistance features include:
    Adaptive Cruise Control - Camera Rear Park Assist Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross Traffic Alert HD Rear Vision Camera Trailblazer ACTIV is equipped with unique tires and shock tuning. The ACTIV dampers are tuned to enhance vehicle performance and ride comfort when traveling on gravel roads.  The Hankook Sport Terrain 17-inch tires feature an aggressive shoulder design and an all-season tread pattern.
    The front fascia on Trailblazer ACTIV has been revised with the lower section designed for improved ground clearance. Additional exterior differentiation includes two-tone roof, standard roof rails and trapezoid-shaped exhaust tips.
    Trailblazer joins the Trax and Equinox in showrooms in Spring of 2020.

    Mercedes-Maybach introduces the Maybach GLS 600 4Matic

    ...An ultimate luxury SUV from Maybach...

    Mercedes-Maybach has finally taken the wraps off the Maybach GLS 600 4Matic. Debuting in Guangzhou, China is a good indication of where Maybach feels the heart of this vehicles sales will be even though it will be produced in the U.S.
    It extends the portfolio of the Mercedes-Maybach brand by combining the body design and technical basis of the GLS with the luxury of a top-class sedan. Its spacious interior with the highest-grade materials and extremely effective noise insulation creates a stylish and luxurious atmosphere. From their pleasantly elevated seating position, thanks to electronically operated roller sun blinds on the two rear side windows, the passengers can decide for themselves how much of their surroundings they want to see. The AIRMATIC suspension included with the fully-active E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL system effectively keeps the road bumps at bay. For the first time there is a dedicated Maybach drive program that ensures even more comfort. Access and egress are also highly convenient: when the doors are opened, the vehicle is lowered slightly, and an illuminated running board made of anodized aluminum quickly and silently emerges on the respective side of the vehicle. The V8 engine with a displacement of four liters, which can develop 550 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, is an engine variant developed exclusively for Maybach and moves the car discreetly and powerfully. The engine is combined with the 48-volt system EQ Boost. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC will go on sale in the U.S. in the second half of 2020.

    The rest of the extensive press release is on Page 2

    The Mercedes-Benz star surmounts the hood in the classic way, while the fine, vertical chrome struts of the Maybach radiator grille create a pinstripe effect. Effective chrome highlights around the side windows, and the chrome inserts in the side sill panels, lend dignity and elegance to the profile. The 22 or 23-inch wheels were developed exclusively for this model, with the 23-inch version echoing the pinstripe theme. The tailpipe trim elements with a small cross rib emphasize the model's identity as a Mercedes-Maybach. The same applies to the brand emblem, which is positioned at various points such as on the D-pillar. As a special, Maybach-specific feature, two-tone paintwork is available in eight different, elegant color combinations.
    Another eye-catching feature of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is the electronically extending running boards. They make accessing and leaving the high seating position both convenient and safe. With surfaces of anodized aluminum laced with black rubber strips, illuminated in the dark and particularly wide in the area of the rear doors, they ensure a very special visual appeal. When in their retracted state, the running boards are concealed behind the side sill panels. If a rear door is opened, the running board on the side concerned automatically swings into position in around one second. This default setting can be changed using a special menu in the MBUX infotainment system.
    The equipment features: luxury, leather and reclining seats
    The standard appointments of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC are already decidedly luxurious. The two outer rear seats can be electronically converted into reclining seats. Padded areas and the dashboard are finished in fine Nappa leather, with a range of further cushions and leather interior linings available on request. An electronic panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof with an opaque roller blind is standard, as are heated and ventilated massaging seats. Available on special request, the fixed center console transforms the car into a spacious four-seater whose rear is just as suitable for working as it is for relaxing. This console is available with extending, folding tables and even a refrigerator with space for champagne bottles. Suitable silver champagne flutes for this are available from the accessories range.
    A dedicated fragrance was developed for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS as part of the optional AIR BALANCE package: the white osmanthus blossom, floral and light, is rounded off by a gentle leather note and spicy tea.
    From the power transfer and suspension to the headlamp technology, the technical systems of the Mercedes- Maybach GLS correspond to the most comfortable equipment level of the technically related Mercedes-Benz SUVs. Starting from this basis, added value that is typically Maybach is often a further result. For example, noise insulation in the interior has been raised to an even higher level by installing a rigid partition and a fixed parcel shelf behind the rear seats, separating the interior from the luggage compartment. A separate air conditioner for the rear seats is standard, and features additional vents and heater boosters with which temperature control is even faster. There is a dedicated Maybach drive program for the suspension and powertrain; its settings offer passengers in particular the ultimate in ride comfort.
    With the standard MBUX Rear Tablet in the center console or the armrest between the rear seats, the extensive comfort and entertainment functions can also be intuitively controlled from the rear seats. The integration of digital devices used by passengers comprises all of the common standards.
    At a Glance
    GLS 600 4MATIC
    Number of cylinders/arrangement
    3,982 cc
    Rated output
    550 hp @ 6,000 – 6,500 rpm
    Add. output with EQ Boost
    Up to 21 hp
    Rated torque
    538 lb-ft @ 2,500 – 5,000 rpm
    Add. torque with EQ Boost
    Up to 184 lb-ft
    Acceleration 0-60 mph
    4.8 sec (est.)
    Top speed
    130 mph
    204.9 in / 79.9 in / 72.4 in
    (5205 mm / 2030 mm / 1838 mm)
    123.4 in (3135 mm)
    Track, front/rear
    66.9 in / 67.8 in (1699 mm /1723 mm)
    Turning circle
    41.0 ft (12.5 m)
    Successful sub-brand: Mercedes-Maybach
    The Mercedes-Maybach brand stands for exclusive luxury, maximum comfort and state-of-the-art technology in automotive engineering, services and accessories. It is seen as a trailblazer in defining style and status. The maxim of its name-giver Wilhelm Maybach was to create the very best from the very best. In 2014 Mercedes-
    Maybach was established as a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz as part of a brand realignment. Since its market launch in 2015, more than 45,000 examples of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class have been delivered worldwide. In 2018 more Mercedes-Maybach S-Class cars were sold than ever before: one in seven S-Class models sold was a Maybach.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Interview: Martin Hülder, Head of Product Management Mercedes-Maybach
    "Unique combination of comfort, technology and luxury"
    Martin Hülder has been Director of Product Management Mercedes-Maybach since November 2014. With a degree in automotive engineering, he has occupied senior sales and marketing positions at Daimler AG since 2007. He explains the role of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC for the brand's further development.
    Mr. Hülder, in a nutshell: What does Mercedes-Maybach stand for?
    Hülder: Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in comfort, top technology and therefore sheer luxury.
    With the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC, the brand is being extended with the addition of a model in the SUV segment. Why?
    The SUV vehicle concept has a major advantage for the luxury segment: the high seating position. In combination with the running boards, this makes access and egress outstandingly easy and convenient. Furthermore, the raised position gives the occupants a different perspective of the surroundings, and many Mercedes-Maybach customers greatly appreciate this. Incidentally, a raised seating position is nothing new in the luxury segment: the grand luxury sedans of the 1930s, such as the Maybach Zeppelin, had a similar seating height for the driver and passengers, and very similar proportions.
    Are you also aiming the GLS at new customers who are less interested in classic sedan models?
    Of course. We are also aiming at customers who already drive an SUV. The different entry and the different seating position are experiences they want to retain. The worldwide success of SUVs has changed the standards and habits of car buyers.
    Will the success of the luxury SUV come at the expense of the classical sedan models?
    We are convinced that there will tend to be a distinction in demand rather than a substitution. The differences in design and vehicle concept are simply too great for that. We therefore see the SUV as a supplementary offer. Our customers normally own several different vehicles – and if they drive an SUV, we want them to drive a Mercedes-Maybach that offers them the luxury they expect from the brand. By the way: Since its market launch in 2015, more than 45,000 examples of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class have been delivered worldwide. In 2018 more Mercedes-Maybach S-Class cars were sold than ever before: one in seven S-Class models sold was a Maybach.
    What distinguishes the Mercedes-Maybach GLS from other luxury SUVs?
    The unique combination of comfort, technology and luxury. The great spaciousness, especially in the second seat row, and the use of materials are just two examples. Attention to detail also makes a difference. Think of the electronically extending running boards, which have ergonomic advantages when entering and leaving the vehicle. Their design is classically Mercedes-Maybach: fully integrated into the side sill panels, they are not visible in the retracted position. There is also the very high standard of design, which for example includes louvres in a pinstripe design and illuminated surfaces – which makes getting in a real experience.
    What role does the Mercedes-Maybach GLS play within the portfolio?
    Following various limited-edition small series by Mercedes-Maybach, for example the S-Class Cabriolet or the G-Class Landaulet, the GLS will supplement the Mercedes-Maybach Portfolio alongside the S-Class. We are therefore able to offer customers with different preferences a wider choice.
    Are there also high-quality accessories suitable for the vehicle?
    Yes, the brand experience goes well beyond the vehicle itself and the available services. The brand rounds off the lifestyle of its customers with various accessories. The licensing partner "Maybach – Icons of Luxury" produces exclusive collections accompanying the brand, and individual accessories that perfectly complement the individual models--for example travel bags, sunglasses, leatherwear and home accessories. As well as first- class quality and design, the greatest importance is attached to the functionality of the products and accessories. Fine logo emblems and embossing lend a stylish touch to the products.
    However, the all-around brand experience goes even further. The exclusive international customer program "Circle of Excellence" offers unique events such as joint tours or test drives with new vehicles, opportunities for personal conversations with Mercedes-Maybach experts and brand ambassadors, and exclusive insights into our production locations.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Exterior design
    Luxury in its purest form
    The Mercedes-Maybach GLS combines the body form and superior, robust technical basis provided by the GLS, the S-Class among SUVs, with all the technical and material luxury of a top-class sedan. It stylishly yet emphatically shows its special standing among the Mercedes-Benz SUVs. The Mercedes- Maybach bears the Mercedes star in the traditional way, upright on the hood. Where the Mercedes-Benz GLS sports a large star between two horizontal louvres in the radiator grille, the Mercedes-Maybach grille has a fine, elegant line of vertical chrome pinstripes as a motif. They widen into small oar-blades at the upper edge, blending into the chrome frame bearing the lettering MAYBACH at its top center.
    "The Mercedes-Maybach brand represents 'Ultimate Luxury' in its most contemporary, purest form," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "The brand's style is embodied in sublime beauty, supreme aesthetics and elegance. In order to define the luxury of the future, we are taking the concept of Sensual Purity to the next level and transforming ourselves from a premium manufacturer to the world's leading design brand."
    The headlamps with Intelligent Light System LED technology as standard present the entire front lighting as if in jewelry showcases. Below the radiator grille, the front bumper has a wide air inlet that discreetly suggests the power of the V8 engine with a finely woven grille in high-grade chrome. On the left and right of the radiator grille, this grille has finely curved trim strips for additional embellishment, and it tapers to form an elegant, slim cross-piece emphasizing the horizontal line between the radiator grille and the registration plate bracket. Below the chrome grille the bumper has a high-gloss black paint finish and a robust, high-gloss chrome underguard indicating the vehicle's considerably refined SUV character.
    The side view of the car likewise shows a refined reinterpretation of the SUV genes. The robust chrome surrounds of the side windows are subdivided by the chrome-plated B-pillar facings. This embellishing feature is a fixed part of the Mercedes-Maybach bumper signature, and externally emphasizes the length of the rear seating area. The black-painted side sill panels with chrome inserts and the strut-mounted roof rails, all typical SUV features, have also been made into embellishing features with their high-gloss finish and striking chrome highlights. On the D-pillar, an elegant Mercedes-Maybach badge underlines the high quality and great attention to detail. In the dark, a Mercedes-Maybach emblem projected onto the ground from the exterior mirrors is part of the welcome light show when opening the vehicle.
    Illuminated ramp: the extending running boards ensure a dynamic entry experience
    The side sill panels in particular are more than just an embellishment. They include a running board that automatically swings out for passengers to enter and leave the vehicle. Made from high-gloss aluminum with anti-slip rubber strips, the more than two-meter long running boards not only allow Mercedes-Maybach GLS drivers and passengers convenient access and egress, but also ensure an incomparable spectacle each time (see next chapter for details).
    The large wheels have a diameter of 32.5 inches (825 mm), while the rims measure 22 or 23 inches in diameter. Their multi-spoke design was conceived exclusively for the Mercedes-Maybach. The design of the 23- inch wheels echoes the pinstripe motif of the radiator grille. The slim, filigree spokes blend into the rim flange as small oar-blades, like the louvres of the radiator grille. The standard 22-inch wheels are made of die-cast aluminum painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, while the 23-inch wheels are made of forged, polished aluminum. The elegant hub covers are made of high-quality metal, and bear a Mercedes star surrounded by "Maybach" lettering on each side. The large, flush-mounted wheels completely fill the wheel arches. The SUV-specific wheel arch flares are painted in the vehicle color.
    Striking and elegant embellishments as design features are continued at the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Below the rear window, to the left and right of the Mercedes star, the car shows its model designation in a Mercedes-Maybach specific script. Below this a chrome facing extends across the entire width of the car, from the outer edge of the first rear light to its counterpart on the other side. A second trim strip is fitted at the height of the loading sill, and the rear reflectors are embedded in the broad ends of the reflectors like gemstones. The lower edge of the rear bumper is painted in high-gloss black, and carries a robust, high-gloss chrome underguard that encloses the two large, rectangular tailpipe trim elements. Between them a characteristic, horizontal connecting piece provides a further, typical Mercedes-Maybach design feature.
    Two-tone paint finishes are optionally available, and these underline the balanced proportions of the body. A total of eight combinations are planned, the color named first being that of the lower section: Lunar Blue/Iridium Silver; designoDiamond White/Obsidian Black; Iridium Silver/designoDiamond White; Iridium Silver/Selenite Grey; Obsidian Black/Kalahari Gold; Obsidian Black/Patagonia Red; Obsidian Black/Rubellite Red; Emerald Green/Mojave Silver. These paint finishes are rendered particularly elegant by the fluid course of the separating lines, where a fine pinstripe in the one color merges into the body of the other color along the vehicle's beltline. This fine line once again echoes the pinstripe motif.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Under the microscope: the electric running boards
    Spectacular impact assured
    One highlight of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS are the electronically extending running boards. They make accessing and leaving the high seating position both convenient and safe, and ensure an elegant spectacle.
    The running boards painted in high-gloss black are each 6.8 feet (2.06 meters) long, and have a maximum width of 21 centimeters in the rear door areas – they are slightly narrower below the front doors. They occupy the entire length of the side sill panels. Black rubber strips are inset into their surfaces of anodized aluminum, with their contours echoing the oar-blade pattern from the radiator grille at the rear end. At the rear end of each running board there is also a chrome-look Mercedes-Maybach emblem.
    When in the retracted position, the running board is almost invisibly concealed within the side sill panel. In this position it is inclined towards the center of the vehicle by around 45°, and closely follows the side sill. This means that ground clearance is not compromised. When a side door is opened, the running board on the side concerned is first moved downwards silently and smoothly by two electrically powered arms of die-cast aluminum each with four articulation joints, and then moves outwards to a horizontal position. The time taken between operating the door handle and deployment of the running board is roughly only one second. In the dark, as an addition to the ambient illumination provided by the open doors, the running board surface in the rear door area is illuminated by an LED strip in the side sill panel, including projection of the Maybach emblem.
    When the car is lowered by 25 mm by AIRMATIC when the door is opened, the distance between the road surface and the vehicle's underfloor is further reduced by the running board, making access and egress even easier. The anti-slip rubber strips ensure a secure foothold. The support structure of each running board is designed for a maximum load of 441 lbs (200 kg).
    If a rear door is opened, the running board on the side concerned automatically swings outwards. This default setting can be changed at any time, using a special menu in the media display. For example, it is also possible to keep the running boards permanently retracted or only activated on manual instruction. In manual mode, the running boards can also be deployed when the doors are closed. If the vehicle is moving at more than 10 mph, the running boards are automatically retracted. In the Off-Road drive program, the automatic function is always deactivated to avoid collisions with uneven surfaces. After the side door is closed, the running board retracts in around 1.5 seconds.
    The kinematics and installed position of the running board ensure that on level surfaces, deployment and retraction of the running board is possible without constraint even in the low-level position of the AIRMATIC. For safety reasons the automatic function has sensors similar to those used in the anti-pinch protection systems of power windows or sliding sunroofs. The procedure is therefore automatically stopped if a collision occurs with an obstacle.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Interior design
    Sure-footed styling and authentic luxury
    The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach uses the generous dimensions of the GLS to offer drivers and passengers comfortable seating in all four or five seats where they are able to use their time as they wish. Especially the Executive Rear can be used both as an office and as a private relaxation zone. The integration of digital devices plays an important role in every seat. High-resolution displays with brilliant graphics and touchscreens for controlling the extensive features further enhance the luxurious ambience. The Mercedes-Maybach user can perfectly integrate his or her digital environment into the car, whether as a self-driver or being chauffeured.
    The character of the interior is particularly reflected in the high-grade materials, which are fitted and finished with great care and a high level of craftsmanship. The generosity and luxury of the Mercedes-Maybach are reflected for example in the Nappa Leather lined dashboard and the horizontal, chrome-look louvres of the air vents. The latter make a discreet reference to typical Mercedes-Maybach details from the exterior design, for example the pinstripe decor of the radiator grille or the horizontal connecting piece of the tailpipe trim elements.
    The central element in the dashboard's design is an impressively sized screen unit embedded in an energetic, distinctively styled and fully leather-lined instrument panel. The instrument panel flows into the door panels, and the integral trim element likewise extends into the doors. At the same time, it creates the impression that the upper cockpit section is floating. The instrument cluster and media display (2 x 12.3-inch as standard) are housed behind a shared continuous glass surface to form a large free-standing screen.
    When the ignition is switched on, the passengers are welcomed on all screens by an animation with Maybach lettering and an exclusive color combination. There is then a choice of different display styles such as Sport, Progressive or Discreet, which contain different numbers of displays and adjust the ambience to suit the current mood. A presentation with brilliant graphics underlines the comprehensibility of the intuitive control structure. One unique feature of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is its learning capability, thanks to artificial intelligence. A further display style has been designed exclusively for the Mercedes-Maybach: Maybach Classic. In this case the overall mood is darkened to deep blue. Figures, needles and bezels are presented in rose gold. The virtual glazing of the tubes is discreetly engraved.
    The instrument cluster is divided into three separately selectable display zones – the two dial instruments and the central display field positioned between them. All three zones can be intuitively configured using the left touch control button in the steering wheel, allowing a very high degree of individualization. The driver can individually combine three function and displays that are important for his or her route and driving style.
    The multifunction steering wheel of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS in Nappa leather, or optionally wood, is pleasant to the touch, matches the upholstery and trim and is heatable on request. The left and right spokes have control arrays with touch buttons, and Maybach lettering on the clasp. There is a touchpad in the center console as a further means of controlling many vehicle functions. The prominent, raised center console creates a robust contrast with the flee-floating appearance of the dashboard. The console carries two robust, leather- covered grab handles as a gentle reminder of the car's SUV character. It also features an elegant handrest with the exclusive Maybach emblem.
    Ambience from the yachting world and rose gold as a symbolic Mercedes-Maybach color
    The high-gloss or open-pore wood surfaces of the trim elements, plus the upholstery in Nappa Magma Grey/Black or Nappa Mahogany Brown/Macchiato Beige as standard ensure a very high perceived value. The same color combinations are also available with the standard designo Leather package. For this a lighter upholstery color in Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl will become available as an alternative soon after market launch, awakening associations with interior design in luxury yacht-building and thereby underlining the high quality of the selected materials. One typical Mercedes-Maybach detail is the color rose gold for the piping on the white leather.
    Another feature exhibiting a high level of craftsmanship are the multiple box pleats along the centerline of the seat upholstery. The leather is indented at the center, and the two halves on the sides are folded in to face each other and form two padded pockets opposing each other across the indentation. The two pockets are sewn together at the top and bottom. The result is a smooth, stretched seat surface that can adapt itself to the contours of the back and is taut where the seat is supposed to give way less. The box pleat motif is repeated in the cushions accompanying the Leather package, where it is cleverly emphasized: the box pleat on the cushion covers allows a view of a sewn-in contrasting strip in the rose gold color tone of the piping.
    Wood trim elements with Mercedes-Maybach emblems matching the remaining decor are attached to the backrests of the front seats as standard, additionally enhancing the ambience in the rear. The screens for the MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment system can also be installed on the front seat backrests.
    The in-door speakers of the Burmester®  High-End 3D Surround Sound System are inset into the wood trim behind metal meshes. High-quality chrome work and Mercedes-Maybach badges in the interior create further highlights. A stimulating contrast is created by the traditional materials, their craftsman-like finish and the modern high-tech appointments of the Mercedes-Maybach.
    Luxury also means using the latest styling methods
    The LED optical fibers of the standard ambient lighting with 64 colors are inset into the door panels beneath the trim elements. They rise to the parcel shelf from the rear doors as "flowing lines," and elegantly envelop the seats. In the middle of the rear seat unit they then continue to the sides of the comfort center armrest of the five-seater, or the rear center console of the four-seater variant. They also surround the MBUX Rear Tablet, which allows the comfort features for the rear to be operated from there. Exclusively, and for the first time in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, the ambient lighting also includes optical fibers in the roof liner, on the left and right sides of the panoramic sliding/tilting roof, which especially emphasizes the effect of the roof aperture at night.
    The large panoramic sliding/tilting roof allows a great deal of light into the interior, as well as fresh air when required. Its electrically operated roller blind is completely opaque and allows privacy for the rear passengers, just like the electrically operated blinds on the rear side windows. Passengers will also find temperature- controlled cup holders in the extended center console.
    In the four-seater variant, the continuous center console has a lockable closure whose wood decor echoes the waterfall decor of the trunk division. Behind it is a stowage compartment, or if preferred, a large, refrigerated compartment. This can accommodate three 0.75-litre champagne bottles, for example. Below the lockable closure there is a heatable armrest in Nappa leather. In front of it is the MBUX Rear Tablet with a 7-inch screen diagonal for the control of all comfort features. The MBUX Rear Tablet can be removed from its charger/holder for convenience of use. The holder is located in the folding lid of the illuminated stowage compartment, which is also equipped with a 115V socket. In front of it there is space for an optional Wireless Mobile Interface, which can be optionally equipped with a Bluetooth receiver for discreet conversations.
    Between the rear seat footwells, the continuous center console has a wood trim element with a sliding cover which reveals temperature-controlled cup holders and a stowage compartment. Optionally this space can also be used to accommodate the silver champagne flutes available as Mercedes-Maybach Genuine Accessories, where a fixed space is provided in the lid of the refrigerator compartment.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Under the microscope: designo decor with "flowing lines" and "light lines"
    High-tech meets craftsmanship
    The pinstripe motif is a striking Mercedes-Maybach feature that can be found in numerous places, such as the radiator grille, running boards, wheel design or the air conditioning vents. This pattern has also inspired two trim designs. As a traditional material, wood is processed and finished to the usual standard of craftsmanship for these parts. However, presenting the guiding pinstripe theme is only possible using high-tech processes.
    With the available designo high-gloss black flowing lines piano lacquer trim, extremely fine, light "flowing lines" reminiscent of marquetry pass across the trim element, taking on its form and emphasizing its contours. They describe an elegant flourish and draw apart or come together to heighten the harmonious overall effect. These lines are created by skilled craftsmanship and precise digital technology.
    The carefully selected wood veneer has been aged for at least ten years, and a great deal of craftsmanship goes into cutting, reinforcing and stabilizing it before it is sanded particularly thinly to take shape. It is then mounted on a carrier which gives it shape, and dyed black. The actual application of the "flowing lines" now follows. A specially developed CNC milling cutter is used to define the fine lines in the layer of veneer, only a few tenths of a millimeter wide. These extremely precisely milled striations are also only just under one millimeter in depth. In the process the veneer layer is completely cut through, exposing the light carrier material. The difficulty of this operation is that the veneer can tear. To prevent this, the direction of milling must for example be adapted to the course of the wood fibers.
    After milling, all of the milling dust must be removed from the components, right down into the fine striations. Microscopic checks are performed to ensure that the lines are cleanly milled and that all residue has been removed. The tiniest of dirt particles would make the part unusable. Only if it gets this far unblemished does it receive a full coating by machine.
    The fine line pattern for the optional designo high-gloss brown light lines lime wood trim is produced in an altogether different way. In the first stage of the process, several layers of wood veneer are glued together to form a block. Every seventh layer is made of polycarbonate rather than wood. 0.6 mm fine slices are cut from the resulting layer-glued block perpendicular to the surface of the veneers and then sanded smooth. They form the veneer of the trim elements and are stained in a dark shade. The stain is then wiped away again so that the polycarbonate strips stand out as "light lines." In contrast to the "flowing lines" of the piano lacquer and magnolia trim, these lines run dead straight and parallel. When cutting and applying the veneers onto the molded parts, meticulous attention must therefore be paid to their alignment. These veneers are then fully coated with a clear coat.
    The finish, involving sanding and polishing, is then the same for both trim variants. Most of the work is done by hand, accompanied by frequent, careful checks. It takes a great deal of experience, finesse and a good eye to achieve an elegant surface. The walnut veneer receives a deep shine to which the "light lines" lend a unique structure. In the finely chiseled line pattern of the "flowing lines," it seems as though the light lines are inserted into the dark, high-gloss black surface of the piano lacquer or the magnolia veneer.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Dimensional concept
    Space for the good life
    The spatial concept of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS starts with the seated position high above the road surface, which puts the SUV concept into the luxury segment. Compared with the S-Class, the driver sits more than 9.8 inches (25 cm) higher, and the rear passengers almost 11 inches (28 cm) higher. This makes it particularly easy for occupants to get in through the wide door openings using the electric running boards. The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach uses the generous dimensions of the GLS to offer drivers and passengers comfortable and spacious seating. The rear compartment especially, with seats 4.7 inches (120 mm) further back than they are in the Mercedes-Benz GLS, serves as both an office and a private relaxation zone. The outer rear seats with their foot rests and the exceptionally wide backrest that can be inclined backwards up to 43.5° are ideal for deep relaxation on long journeys or even a rejuvenating power nap.
    The long wheelbase length of 123.4" (3135 mm) provides generous spaciousness in the interior. This results in the vast legroom of 43.4" (1103 mm), in which the calf supports for both outer rear seats can be extended. They are standard for both seating configurations – the five-seater or the four-seater. If the front passenger seat is moved into the chauffeur position, there is up to 4.4 feet (1.34 m) of legroom behind it.
    Moving the front passenger seat into the chauffeur position not only extends the legroom behind, it also inclines the backrest towards the seat cushion, taking account of the statutory requirements for the driver's field of vision, which may vary from market to market. Combined with the slightly higher sitting position in the rear seats compared with the front seats, this results in an exceptionally generous feeling of spaciousness with good forward visibility.
    The rear seats are optimized to provide an outstanding level of seating comfort, particularly in the two outer seats. Compared with the position of the second seat row in the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the seats are each moved 1.2" (30 mm) inward and 4.7" (120 mm) rearward. This means there is 0.63" (16 mm) more elbow room between the seat occupant and the door paneling in the Mercedes-Maybach. The headroom in the rear seats is 40.2" (1020 mm) when they are in the normal position with the backrests inclined 27° rearward.
    Behind the rear seats, the fixed load compartment partition with an exquisitely designed parcel shelf separates the interior from the luggage compartment. This solution offers advantages in terms of body rigidity, low noise levels and high climate comfort. The luggage compartment capacity is 18.5 cu-ft (525 liters). The loading space between the wheel arches is 41.7" (1058 mm) wide - enough room for four large golf bags. The through-loading height of the luggage compartment below the parcel shelf is 15.7" (398 mm), making it 0.87" (22 mm) higher than in an S-Class.
    The front seats provide the driver and front passenger with the same generous amount of space that is available in the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Even exceptionally tall people can find a relaxed and comfortable seated position thanks to the wide adjustment ranges of the seats. There is 40.4" (1025 mm) of headroom up to the standard-fit panoramic tilting/sliding sunroof.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Seating comfort
    Luxury you never stop feeling
    Seating comfort in all seats has always been a stand-out feature of all Mercedes-Maybach vehicles. In the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS, all seats are electrically adjustable, heated, ventilated and equipped with massage functions as standard.
    Multicontour seats, which can adapt to drivers and front passengers of any stature, are fitted as standard in the front. The seat cushion length--the part of the seat that supports the thighs--is electrically adjustable, as are the position and angle of the seat cushion and backrest. The backrests feature four-way adjustable lumbar support. Even the head restraints and the steering column are electrically adjustable. A memory function allows the settings to be stored together with those for the electric exterior mirrors.
    But even the ideal seat position can be too one-sided in the long run, which is why the ENERGIZING seat kinetics function is included as standard for the driver and front passenger. The system supports advantageous changes in the seating posture by means of minute movements of the seat cushion and backrest when on a journey. This encourages the driver and front passenger to "sit actively." Their seats also feature inflatable active cushions in the seat backrest bolsters for additional lateral support when cornering. In conjunction with the Driver Assistance package (standard), this feature is also used by PRE-SAFE®  Impulse Side.
    There is also a massage system included as standard for the rear Executive seats and the two front seats: ten pressure points in each backrest, which can be combined with heating elements for a 'hot-stone massage,' can give the seat occupant's back an effective massage. Each of the front seat cushions also includes four additional pressure points for massaging the seat occupants.
    Ventilated seats for enhanced well-being
    The front and rear seats in the Mercedes-Maybach are ventilated, including ventilation and heating of the seat cushions and backrests. Once activated, the ventilation operates in 'reverse' mode initially – in other words, air is drawn away from the passenger's body for around one minute at first. Cooled air is then directed at the passenger's body during continuous operation. In this way, the unpleasant effect of excessive heat transfer away from the body can be avoided. In cold temperatures, the fast-acting seat heating provides thermal comfort with almost no delay. If the GLS is equipped with Remote Start, seat heating and seat ventilation can also be activated before getting into the vehicle using the Mercedes me App on a smartphone.
    The Executive area in the rear is available in a choice of two different designs - with two or three seats. In both versions, the two outer seats are Executive seats with calf supports and backrests that recline a long way back. The multicontour upholstery offers good lateral support through the backrest and high comfort on long journeys and when driving on rough terrain.
    The height and angle of the comfort head restraints on the Executive seats are electrically adjustable. These head restraints feature additional cushions, which have already become a popular feature among Mercedes- Maybach S-Class customers. They are exceptionally comfortable, keep vibrations away from the passenger's leaned head and also meet the latest Euro NCAP requirements. With the standard designo Leather package, customers also get leather cushions for the thigh supports on the Executive seats and additional accompanying cushions with matching leather trim. These individually positioned cushions can make the sitting position even more comfortable.
    The comprehensive adjustment options for the rear seats make it sensible to have a memory function here, too, allowing several favorite settings to be stored and recalled. Another practical feature is the 'tidy up' button: a single push of the button is all it takes to return the rear seats and, if it has been moved into the chauffeur position, the front passenger seat to their original positions.
    The familiar and often copied Mercedes-Benz control panels are fitted in the front and rear doors to operate the many convenience features and adjustment options. It is even possible to activate the central locking from the rear doors. All of the rear seats' comfort functions can be controlled using the MBUX Command Center Rear as an alternative to using the control panels in the doors.
    There are also command menus that can be called up in MBUX, the MBUX Rear Tablet and the MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System. The MBUX Rear Tablet is housed in the extended center console in the four-seater variant, while it is located in the fold-out luxury center armrest with chrome trim element in the five-seater version. It also has space for an illuminated stowage compartment with two USB ports.
    The removable tablet further enhances ease of operation when the rear passenger has adopted a particularly comfortable, reclined position with the separate cushions. If the occupant then also wants to use the seat's ventilation or massage function, listen to music or adjust the ambient lighting, they do not need to sit up again to select the setting.
    Relax in comfort even more with ENERGIZING Comfort programs
    The ventilated seats and the massage functions are integrated into the ENERGIZING package's comfort control. ENERGIZING Comfort networks various comfort systems in the vehicle and uses lighting and musical moods plus a number of massages for a wide range of feel-good programs. The ENERGIZING COACH, which recommends these programs based on the situation, can offer programs such as Freshness and Vitality or, in conjunction with the Warmth and Comfort package, also Warmth, Joy and Comfort programs. If a compatible wearable or a smartwatch is worn, personal values such as stress level or quality of sleep optimize the accuracy of the recommendation.
    The programs all run for ten minutes. They are visualized on the media display with color graphics, and backed by suitable music. Individual functions of the programs can be deactivated. ENERGIZING Comfort also incorporates ambient lighting, which is harmoniously tailored to each of the individual screen designs. The light stages the interior like a work of art by composing color worlds from different colors.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Comfort appointments
    Pampering in total peace and quiet
    In addition to sumptuous spaciousness and exquisitely comfortable seats, the interior of the Mercedes- Maybach GLS offers the high standard of comfort appointments one would expect in the luxury class. The effective insulation of the interior to prevent disturbing noise and vibration means that these systems have an additional requirement to fulfill: they need to perform their tasks extremely quietly. This makes it easier for the driver and Executive passengers to converse, as does the intercom (two- way in-car communication) included as part of the standard Burmester®  High-End 3D Surround Sound System.
    The standard-fit THERMOTRONIC is likewise designed so as not to disturb the peace in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Accordingly the fan motor rests on rubber bearings so that no vibrations are transferred to the housing that might lead to a noise in the interior. A coating on the air ducts additionally dampens airflow noises. The air is then conducted to the vents after thorough filtering and temperature control according to the weather and the occupants' wishes.
    The standard-fit Executive Climate System (ECS) has a separate air conditioner for the rear and controls the temperature and the air quantity on the left and right and in both seat rows separately. Numerous vents ensure effective and draught-free air supply to exactly where it is needed. Those in the footwell at the front and rear operate independently from those in the B-pillars, for example. Above the rear doors there are additional, fixed outlet openings which are used by the rear air conditioner and make the ventilation particularly pleasant and indirect. Two additional electric heating elements in the rear footwell provide a pleasant temperature in double- quick time, even when it's cold outside.
    Discreet and comfortable: the air conditioning system thinks for itself
    The ECS system is configured so that the passenger adjusts the system for their seat once, and the automatic system then ensures the desired, pleasant interior climate every time. This is why several sensors measure the inside and outside temperatures, the angle of the sun and even the air humidity at the windscreen, so as to prevent misted-up windows before they can cause an issue.
    The control unit also detects poor air quality outside the vehicle, or receives a warning from the navigation system if the vehicle is approaching a tunnel. In both cases, the system automatically switches to air recirculation mode, and the side windows and sliding sunroof are closed. Like a good butler, the control system also remembers the personal preferences of up to seven different, regular users and one guest.
    A separate control panel in the rear and the menus in the MBUX Rear Tablet or MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System allow control of the Executive Climate System from the rear seats, too. Mercedes me connect can be used in conjunction with Remote Start to pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle by remote control before setting off.
    Warmth and Comfort package, the heated multifunction steering wheel and AIR BALANCE (all standard) allow individual adjustment of the ECS system. The Warmth and Comfort package includes heatable areas in the armrests and door center panels on all four doors and the armrest in the fixed center console.
    Even better air quality and enhanced wellness thanks to the AIR BALANCE package
    Even more wellness is assured by the AIR BALANCE package. This has two particularly clever features. One is active fragrance of the interior: activated, deactivated and variably controlled via a separate menu in the infotainment system, a fragrance generator perfumes the air entering the interior with a pleasant fragrance from a glass flask. The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS has its own signature fragrance: the white osmanthus blossom, floral and light, is rounded off by a gentle leather note and spicy tea.
    Fragrance in the interior contributes greatly to the luxurious ambience but is also a matter of individual taste. Familiar AIR BALANCE fragrances from the Mercedes-Benz range are therefore also available as alternatives to the exclusive Maybach fragrance. The fragrance system's technology ensures that the fragrance also actually evaporates after system deactivation and air exchange. No perfume droplets stick to clothing or the occupants.
    Another function of the AIR BALANCE Package is air ionization by a high-voltage ionizer in the air duct. The ionizer generates negative ions which are attracted by the mainly positively charged airborne particles. With the magnetic attraction, they form heavier agglomerations and fall to the floor. In this way, certain viruses, bacteria and spores whose deactivation measurably benefits asthmatics and allergy sufferers are precipitated from the breathable air. Ionization freshens the air and keeps the occupants feeling fit for longer.
    Use the time: equipment for work and entertainment
    The Mercedes-Maybach GLS connectivity allows passengers to take their own digital environment with them into the car and integrate it perfectly there. At least four USB ports and WLAN/Bluetooth enable the occupants to incorporate and power their devices. The MBUX infotainment system supports the popular formats and internet protocols, and can manage up to eight different user profiles. Folding tables can be ordered for the large compartment in the fixed rear center console, turning the rear area into a comfortable mobile office.
    THE MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System is equipped as standard for entertaining the rear passengers. It includes two 11.6-inch touchscreens on which films or music can be played or, at a later point, the integrated web browser can be used. Each screen displays the content selected by the individual user. Special Mercedes-Benz Bluetooth headphones are also standard-equipped for a high-quality sound. In addition to the options offered by the MBUX infotainment system, users can also play their own media from a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. The MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System can also be controlled via the standard-fit MBUX Rear Tablet.
    The low noise level inside the Mercedes-Maybach GLS creates the ideal conditions for the Burmester®  High-End 3D Surround Sound system, which is designed to meet the highest individual requirements. Some 27 high- performance speakers and 24 separate amplifier channels provide an overall output of 1590 watts. It offers superb sound quality precisely tuned to the interior. Both systems have an integrated two-way ICC (In-Car Communication) system to make it easier for occupants in the front and rear seats to converse.
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Only floating is better
    A Mercedes-Maybach always aspires to offer the best suspension comfort in its class. The Mercedes- Maybach features the AIRMATIC air suspension with Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+) in addition to the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL based on the 48 V on-board electrical system, an innovation in suspension technology that meets the highest standards. A special Maybach drive program tuned for maximum ride comfort has also been developed.
    The front wheel suspension is a double wishbone suspension with the upper wishbone in a high position, which benefits spring travel when driving off-road. All transverse control arms and the steering knuckles are weight- optimized forged aluminum components. Their light weight and rigidity ensure low unsprung masses and create good conditions for uncoupling wheel suspension vibrations and oscillations from the vehicle body. The design of the front axle ensures separate introduction of longitudinal and lateral forces, which benefits both the vehicle dynamics and suspension comfort.
    Even the links of the four-link rear suspension are largely made of aluminum and are optimized based on the same principles as the front axle parts in terms of weight, handling dynamics and vibration comfort. Wheel control is by a cast aluminum lower wishbone and a forged aluminum upper strut rod, as well as an upper camber strut of sheet steel.
    Constant level
    The AIRMATIC air suspension responds particularly sensitively. It combines air suspension bellows with adaptive ADS+ dampers whose characteristics can be fully automatically varied at each individual wheel, in both the compression and rebound stages. While driving, a sophisticated sensor system and algorithms set the dampers according to the quality of the road to ensure that, for example, driving over a bump with just one wheel is not transmitted to the entire axle and the interior. At the front axle the springs and dampers are housed in one suspension strut, but they are separate at the rear axle.
    The driver personally and the selected drive programs can change the suspension set-up. However, the AIRMATIC control unit also uses sophisticated sensors and algorithms to analyze the driving situation and make automatic adjustments. This includes the level control, which is part of AIRMATIC. It keeps the ground clearance constant irrespective of the vehicle load but also makes changes. By way of example, the vehicle body is lowered by 15 mm at high speeds to reduce the aerodynamic drag and increase driving stability. At speeds below approximately 19 mph, lowering of the car by 25 mm can be activated to make it easier for occupants to get in and out.
    Superlative ride comfort with E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL
    Even better ride comfort and agility, plus completely new functions such as recovery mode, are provided by the newly developed E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension, which is combined with the AIRMATIC air suspension. This is the only system on the market that can individually control spring and damping forces at each wheel, suppressing rolling, pitching and lifting movements. 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 48 volts. The system is based on the AIRMATIC all-air suspension system and offers the same all-round self-levelling. Furthermore, the electrically driven hydraulic pump generates dynamic forces that overlay the air suspension forces and actively support and dampen the vehicle body, for example during linear and lateral acceleration or when driving on uneven roads. The body no longer squats or pitches during braking and acceleration, and 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.
    Additional features to enhance occupant comfort:
    In CURVE drive mode, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS actively leans into bends by up to 3° in three stages, like a motorcycle. This reduces the lateral forces acting on the occupants. Cornering is therefore made much more pleasant, especially for the front and rear passengers. The ROAD SURFACE SCAN function comprises a stereo multi-purpose camera that continually records the road surface ahead of the vehicle. The suspension struts are then activated so as to substantially reduce the body movements when driving over surface undulations, as the suspension responds even before the uneven stretch is reached. This enhances the comfort in particular away from paved roads. The recovery function is included as part of the Off-Road drive program and helps to free the vehicle more easily if it gets stuck in sand, for example. If possible the suspension level is automatically raised and lowered several times, which alternately increases or reduces the ground pressure of the tires and therefore improves traction. The car rocks itself free. Exclusive to the Mercedes-Maybach: the Maybach DYNAMIC SELECT drive program
    DYNAMIC SELECT offers a Maybach drive program developed specifically for the Maybach. It is fully focused on ride comfort for the rear passengers, while the Comfort drive program offers balanced ride comfort for the front and rear passengers.
    The Maybach program ensures that the body movements are at their lowest precisely at the Executive seats. There is therefore a vibration node here to minimize the amplitudes. Other program settings focus on the engine and transmission:
    Very flat accelerator curve for chauffeur mode Transmission tuning with fewer gearshifts for smooth driving Starting off in second gear No stop/start function The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS
    Sublime power in velvet gloves
    The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC is driven exclusively by the powerful and discreet M 177 a new, electrified variant of the V8 gasoline engine with a displacement of 3,982 cc, 48-volt on-board electrical system and integrated starter-alternator (ISG). ISG is responsible for hybrid functions such as EQ Boost or energy recovery, while allowing fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology. The development focused on the long-term improvement of the consumption and emissions figures. At the same time, the customers' power expectations need to be met. As a result, the engine produces an output of 550 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. An additional 184 lb-ft of torque and up to 21 hp output are available temporarily via EQ Boost. Power is transmitted by the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The wide spread of ratios for gears one to nine ensures a significant reduction in the engine speed and is a decisive factor behind the high levels of drive and ride comfort. Likewise standard is the transfer case with variable transfer of the drive torque from 0-100 percent (Torque on Demand) between the axles.
    The new biturbo is configured for high drive comfort and, at the same time, high efficiency and effective emissions reduction. Stand-out features of the V8 in this engine family include the cylinder shut-off in the part- load range. The variable valve control system CAMTRONIC shuts off four cylinders at once. This reduces the gas exchange losses while improving the overall efficiency of the remaining four cylinders in combustion mode by shifting the operating point towards higher loads.
    In the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC, the cylinder shut-off is active in the DYNAMIC SELECT Comfort drive program in the 800 – 3,250 rpm speed range. Above that engine speed or when the driver strongly presses the accelerator pedal, cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 are switched on within milliseconds. The transition between the two operating modes is seamless and with no loss of comfort for the occupants. A pendulum-type absorber reduces both fourth-order vibrations in eight-cylinder mode as well as second-order vibrations in four- cylinder mode.
    The two cylinder heads have particularly high thermal resistance and are thermally conductive thanks to a zirconium alloy. Their intake and exhaust ducts form the tumble, the movement of the air mass during cylinder charging, for particularly efficient and low-emission mixture formation and combustion. A third-generation spray-guided direct petrol injection system with piezo injectors also ensures multiple injections as needed with 100 to 200 bar. The two instantly responding twin-scroll turbochargers are positioned in the "hot inside V" between the cylinder banks to save space. Their boost pressure is adapted to the demand in real time by a control valve. These measures are intertwined and improve the thermal efficiency and the emissions level.
    To keep the mechanical losses low, the cylinder surfaces feature NANOSLIDE®  coating. Another measure implemen

    Mazda CX-30 Debuts for the U.S.

    slots between the CX-3 and CX-5...

    Los Angeles - The Mazda CX-30 originally debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 2019.  Now Mazda is bringing it to the Los Angeles for U.S. consumption.  The CX-30 is the latest vehicle on Mazda's new generation of vehicles that are getting complete makeovers to feel more luxurious in spite of their price.  Slotting between the tiny CX-3 and compact CX-5, the CX-30 takes on a Goldilocks approach of not-too-big not-too-small.  It has more of a coupe like roofline than the other two as well.
    Mazda paid special attention to the interior with a comfortable and luxurious cabin.  Engineers focused on reducing noise, harshness, and vibration to create a serene space for driver and passengers. Speakers of the sound system were repositioned in order to improves sound and reduce areas where outside sounds could intrude into the cabin. 
    Mazda is debuting their connected services on the CX-30 with the MyMazda app.  The app can handle remote starting, locking and unlocking the doors, or even activate the hazard lights. Vehicle status such as oil life, fuel level, and tire pressure can be monitored from the app as well. The app will notify owners of important vehicle alerts or recalls. Emergency services such as towing or 911 can be contacted through the system as well. 
    While European customers get a choice of engines, the U.S. spec CX-30 will only come with a single engine option; the Skyactiv 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower, a best in class figure for a standard engine, and 186 lb.-ft of torque. 
    There will be four trims available, base, Select, Preferred, and Premium. Base price starts at $21,900 for the front wheel drive model and $23,300 for the base AWD model. 
      Front-Wheel Drive i-Activ All-Wheel Drive CX-30 $21,900 $23,300 CX-30 Select $23,900 $25,300 CX-30 Preferred $26,200 $27,600 CX-30 Premium $28,200 $29,600

    2020 Genesis G90 Debuts for America

    ...A new flagship for Genesis...

    Los Angeles - The Genesis G90 made its North American debut this evening at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new G90 introduces the next design theme for the Genesis family. It is a total reskin of the existing car. Genesis calls the design Horizontal Architecture and Athletic Elegance and it is reflected inside and outside the car.
    The interior embodies the Horizontal Architecture theme with harmonious flow of horizontal surfaces such as the HVAC vents, audio controls, and wood trim. 
    On the connectivity front, it is the first Genesis vehicle to offer over-the-air wireless updates for maps and software. Its 12.3-inch display navigation system is now touchscreen and a uses a copper user interface with copper accents. Standard are Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirror Link. Intelligent Car Management Service personalizes the driving experience by using data to analyze driving patterns and informs the driver of necessary maintenance and vehicle wear.
    The interior environment is more serene, thanks to Active Noise Cancellation, which reduces noise, vibration and harshness using leading audio technology to reduce unwanted noise intrusion. Occupant convenience is enhanced by when entering tunnels through automatic external air prevention. The adaptive control suspension minimizes vibration in real time and precisely manages body motions throughout the range of dynamics with minimal compromises to ride comfort.
    Safety technology that comes standard is Lane Follow Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Doors, and Highway Driving assist. There are 10 standard airbags.
    Powering the G90 is a choice of 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft of torque or a 5.0 liter V8 producing 420 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic and are available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Fuel economy for the V6 Turbo is 17 city / 25 Highway while the V8 16 city / 24 highway (RWD) or 15 city / 23 highway (AWD)

    The 2020 Genesis G90 goes on sale in North America in December 2019

    Kia Unleashes the Seltos

    ...Brings Ruggedness to the entry level SUV segment...

    Los Angeles - Kia unveiled the 2021 Kia Seltos at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. The Seltos brings a new level of ruggedness and refinement to the entry level crossover segment.  The Seltos slots between the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage in the brand's lineup.  It has a longer wheelbase than is typical and a long hood to give it a sense of size though in a small package.  Front and rear skid plates and black wheel arches emphasize off-road capability, and the standard AWD on the base model makes that capability a reality. 
    The Seltos is powered by either a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft of torque or an up-level 1.6-liter Turbo that produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. Power is routed to the front or all wheels by a CVT on the 2.0 or a 7-speed DCT on the 1.6T. 
    The body is composed of 61 percent advanced high-strength steel and further enhanced with 374 feet of structural adhesives to offer a stiff structure without increasing weight. 
    Inside there is an available 10.25 inch touchscreen, Bose sound system, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and multi-Bluetooth capability allowing for two phones to be connected to the infotainment system at the same time. 
    Safety technology includes Kia's available "Kia Drive Wise" safety suite that includes things like blind spot monitoring, smart cruise control, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, forward collision avoidance, and driver attention warning.

    The base LX AWD will have a starting price below $22,000 and the FWD SX will have a similar starting price.   

    VW ID. Space Vizzion Rolls out a Wagon on the MEB Platform

    ...Ready for an electric wagon?...

    Los Angeles - Volkswagen has rolled out the 7th vehicle on the MEB platform at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Known as the ID. Space Vizzion, it is an all-electric wagon concept that previews a potential production vehicle for North America and Europe. It has a super efficient drag coefficient of 0.24 and carries and 82 kWh battery for a range of up to 300 miles.
    The concept car is powered by a 275-horsepower motor mounted in the rear. A second motor could me mounted up front giving a total system output of 365 hp and all-wheel drive. 
    Inside, the ID Space Vizzion is chock full of modern touches such as an augmented reality heads up display, new "AppleSkin" material is used in the seats and doors. The color spectrum of the infotainment system also changes according to the selected background lighting color. If the ID. SPACE VIZZION detects a stressful situation, such as rush hour traffic jams, the system suggests switching to a relaxation mode in which a calming ambient lighting shade is activated.

    No word yet on when and if the ID. Space Vizzion is coming to market, but with the expansion of Chattanooga already underway to build the ID cars, the ID Space Vizzion's production counterpart could be here sooner rather than later. 

    Buick Encore GX Comes to the U.S.

    ...just a smidge bigger than Encore...

    Los Angeles - Buick introduced the Buick Encore GX to the U.S. at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Encore GX is Buick's 4th entry into the crossover segment and sits slightly above the Encore in size and price.  The Encore GX will come with a host of standard safety features such as: 
    Forward Collision Alert Automatic Emergency Braking Front Pedestrian Braking Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Following Distance Indicator IntelliBeam headlamps with automatically-adjusting high/low beams Available safety features depending on trim level will include: 
    Rear Park Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Camera Mirror, provides a wide, less obstructed rear view while parking and driving Hands-Free Power Liftgate with logo projection, one of only two vehicles within the compact SUV segment to offer this feature Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera (camera-based) Head-Up Display Automatic Parking Assist with Braking High Definition Surround Vision camera system The Encore will be powered either by a 1.2-liter Turbocharged or an up level 1.3-liter turbocharged engine.  In front wheel drive versions, both engines will send power to the wheels via a continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive models get the 1.3-liter engine and a 9-speed automatic. AWD will also be driver selectable allowing for better traction or better fuel economy depending on driving conditions.  The top engine will produce an estimated 155-horspower and 174 lb.-ft of torque with a GM estimated 31 mpg highway rating. 

    The Buick Encore GX goes on sale early 2020

    Nissan Redesigns the Sentra for 2020

    ...More Maxima for your minima...

    Los Angeles - Nissan has unveiled the 2020 Nissan Sentra at the LA Auto Show Today. The new Sentra takes on the look of the larger Altima and Maxima to bring some harmony to the Nissan sedan lineup. The Sentra is Nissan's best selling model in the U.S.
    Nissan is adding Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard equipment for 2020 with additional driver assisted technologies available.  The platform is all new, now with an independent rear suspension and electric rack steering. A new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit.  The new motor produces 149 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft of torque, an increase of 20 percent and 16 percent respectively. Fuel economy is also projected to improve. All 2020 Sentra models come equipped with the latest generation Xtronic transmission.
    The center of gravity has been lowered by lowering the overall height 2.2 inches and increasing the track by 2.0 inches. 
    Trim levels have been simplified to S, SV, and SR with just two option packages. The interior has been upgraded and refined to be more premium feeling. Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are standard with NissanConnect. 

    The 2020 Sentra goes on sale in January 2020.

    Lexus LC 500 Convertible Improves on the Hardtop

    ...taking it off without gaining weight...

    Los Angeles - Lexus unveiled the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible at the LA Auto Show today, ending speculation over whether the model was actually coming or not. 
    Typically when manufacturers make a convertible version of an existing car, significant weight penalties crop up as structural bracing is added to preserve rigidity. Lexus was able to move supports, and bracing to produce a convertible with only minimal weight gain while maintaining structural integrity. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
    Power of the LC 500 Convertible is the same as the coupe, with a 5.0-liter V8 rated for 471 horsepower, 398 lb.-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble, all done without any electronic enhancement. 
    The top is a 4 layer design and the mechanism includes a tonneau cover for when the soft top is stored. The top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animation on the display shows the tops progress through the motions. The cloth colors are offered in black or beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
    The car being shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show is a limited edition model with a run of 100 units. It comes in Structural Blue with a white interior and blue top. 
    The LC Convertible's HVAC system is designed to maintain temperature year round even with the top down. Neck heaters are included in the seats while the dash outlets are designed to direct heated or cooled air to the driver's hands.  For 2021 the LC Convertible gets Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Car Play standard along with a 10.3-inch multimedia screen. 


    2021 Toyota RAV-4 Prime has 302 Horsepower

    ...Most powerful, quickest, and most fuel efficient RAV-4 ever...

    Los Angeles - Toyota Debuted today the Toyota RAV-4 Prime, a plug-in version of their RAV-4 hybrid.  The RAV-4 Prime ups the ante with a big bump to the horsepower figure, 302 horses combined between the gasoline engine and electric motors.  The gives the RAV-4 Prime a projected 0-60 of 5.8 seconds, the second fastest 0-60 in the Toyota lineup, while also delivering 90 MPGe. The RAV-4 Prime is capable of driving up to 39 miles in EV mode, making it the highest range PHEV SUV on the market. 
    In building the Prime, Toyota added a new higher capacity lithium-ion battery and a booster converter. That, combined with more powerful motor/generators give the electric side of the hybrid system an 83 horsepower boost. The engine is a variant of the 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline unit found in the standard RAV-4 Hybrid and it produces the same 176 horsepower.  The larger battery is mounted under the floor so there is no compromise on interior space and it adds to a level of stability by giving the RAV-4 Prime a lower center of gravity.  
    RAV-4 Prime's electric on-demand all-wheel drive system is the same setup as found in the RAV-4. Rear mounted electric motors power the rear wheels on demand, including heavy acceleration situations. The AWD system also works to reduce understeer during cornering for better handling performance. 
    Starting with the 2020 model year, every Toyota Hybrid Battery Warranty has been increased from 8 years or 100,000 miles to 10 years from original date of first use, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Available in SE and XSE grades, the RAV-4 Prime will be available mid-summer 2020 as a 2021 model year. 

    Review of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature: A Little Something For Everyone

    ...The compact crossover that checks all the boxes...

    2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
    Mazda is on a mission lately to make their products feel more premium. They have been tuning their vehicles to be quieter and more refined in order to give them an air that they are above their class. This second generation of the Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque.  For 2019, Mazda added the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine from the CX-9. On regular gas, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque, but if you fill it up with 93 octane, the horsepower figure bumps up to 250.  Available only on the Grand Touring and Signature trims, the 2.5-T makes the CX-5 the compact crossover with the most available torque.  Mazda sent a CX-5 Signature for me to try for a week to see what I thought.
    There’s no replacement for displacement… maybe
    The biggest CX-5 news for 2019 is the engine options. There is the 2.5-T mentioned above and a 2.2-liter turbo diesel. Both are exciting entries into a relatively conservative segment.  The 2.5-T is the second-largest displacement engine available in the segment, behind the 3.2 liter V6 in the Jeep Cherokee.  This 4-cylinder puts out quite a bit more torque than the bigger V6, though the Jeep produces more horsepower (271 @ 6,500 rpm). Even among 4-cylinders, this is the largest displacement you can get, but none of those others offering 2.5 liters also offers a turbocharger. This engine is rated by the EPA to get 22 city / 27 highway.  I got about 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Zero to 60 is a claimed 6.2 seconds.
    Under normal driving, the engine is quiet and composed, with torque coming on quickly when called for. When the pedal is mashed at speed, the CX-5 leaps forward with minimal turbo lag and gives off a strong growl from under the hood. The only time you can really feel any lag in the turbo is if you are starting from a dead stop. Overall, you never feel without power at the tip of your toes and the sounds, and lack of sounds, from the engine room is quiet and refined.
    One area the CX-5 falls behind on is in the transmission department. Although the transmission offers smooth shift and is willing to downshift when called upon, a 6-speed automatic almost feels anachronistic in a time when all of its direct competition is sporting 8 or 9 speeds. I never thought there would come a day when 6-forward gears aren’t enough, but here we are. Adding 2 or 3 more gears to the CX-5 would further liven up the already sporty crossover and help keep the turbocharged engine firmly in the good places of its torque band.
    Ride: Al dente – Firm but tender
    If there is a brand that Mazda is looking to emulate here by being premium without the premium badge, it would likely be BMW.  The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to spill your latte. Steering is on the heavy side with precise control and great on-center feel.  Body roll is minimal. Pushing the CX-5 into corners is fun and the standard G-Vectoring Control Plus makes sure you stay planted where you intended to be.  The i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive mostly runs in front-wheel-drive mode until microscopic amounts of wheel slip are detected and then some torque is instantly transferred to the rear wheels.  Mazda programs the AWD system to always have at least a little bit of torque going to the rear in order for the transfer of torque to happen faster. 
    It’s what’s inside that matter most
    Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
    There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
    The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
    There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
    Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
    The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
    The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
    The Verdict
    The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
    Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.

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