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    Quick Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic


    • When Power Corrupts

    I will admit that I have a thing for high-performance luxury flagships because of the sheer contradiction of them. Here is a type of vehicle whose main purpose is to coddle their passengers and provide smooth ride, and then drop in a bunch of performance goodies to make it into something completely different. But I never had the chance to drive one of these vehicles. That changed at the MAMA Spring Rally back in May where Mercedes-Benz had a 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic available for drives.

    Lets begin with the S-Class itself. The new model I think is one of the best looking S-Classes in quite a while. It takes the last-generation model and refines it. The front end is more imposing with the large grille and headlights, while the three-pointed star takes its requisite spot on top the hood. The back end gets a new trunk lid and revised styling for the tailights. AMG adds some subtle changes such as front bumper with larger air vents, larger matte-finish wheels, different finishes for the trim, and the endless amount of AMG badges. The only thing I would change is the black wheels as it ruins the look of the S63.

    Inside, the S63 AMG is pure class. Mercedes still knows how build a well-crafted interior in their higher-end models with high-quality wood, leather, plastic, and metal everywhere. The seats could rival a laz-a-boy recliner for how comfortable they are. The wide number of adjustments, heat, ventilation, and massaging function are the icing on top. Technology is everywhere with two massive screens stretching across the driver's field of vision. One screen features gauges and trip computer functions, while the other handles infotainment needs.

    Power comes from a twin-turbo 5.5L V8 engine with 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired up to a seven-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Sorry, no rear-wheel drive is available for this model. Step on the throttle and the S63 moves at rate that only performance sports cars can achieve. 60 MPH is reached in a scant 3.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 186 MPH. Driving on the back roads in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, it shocked me how quick the S63 can get up to speed.

    But more shocking is how the model rides and handles. The S63 is fitted with an air suspension that adjusted from comfort to sport, larger anti-roll bar, and a stiffer subframe carrier. These changes make S63 handle surprisingly well with no feeling of body lean and feeling very planted. It cannot fully mask the size of S63 though, which is ok. Put the suspension in comfort and it becomes a normal S-Class with a smooth ride and no hint of wind/road noise. Steering has good feel and weight no matter if you decide to drive around town or a back road.

    The S63 AMG 4Matic shows that Mercedes can make their top-of-line luxury sedan become a really enjoyable driver's sedan. You'll just have to pay a very pretty penny for the chance.

    Disclaimer: Mercedes-Benz Provided the S63 AMG 4Matic For The MAMA Spring Rally

    Year: 2014

    Make: Mercedes-Benz

    Model: S-Class

    Trim: S63 AMG 4Matic

    Engine: 5.5L Twin-Turbo V8

    Driveline: Seven-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 577 @ 5,500

    Torque @ RPM: 664 @ 2,250 - 3,750

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/23/18

    Curb Weight: N/A

    Location of Manufacture: Sindelfingen, Germany

    Base Price: $139,500

    As Tested Price: $164,535 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    Burmester High-End 3D Sound System - $6,400

    Black/Black Exclusive Napa Leather - $4,450

    Driver Assistance Package - $2,800

    Warmth and Comfort Package - $2,600

    Night View Plus - $2,260

    Twenty-Inch AMG 10-Spoke Forged Wheels - Black - $2,200

    Surround View Camera - $900

    Red Brake Calipers - $700

    AMG Performance Steering Wheel with Dinamica Side Grips - $500

    Air Balance Package - $350

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    15 MPG is pretty awful, but mercedes has over a dozen cars getting in the mid teens in the city.

     

    Should really have at least a 9-speed trans if not a 10, this is seriously behind the times. I'd like to see a 12-spd box for ultimate bragging rights... because you know this segment of car buyers like to get together, pull out their owner's manuals and talk about how many gears they have. :rolleyes:  

     

    Let's see, with a sticker of $164K, one can probably grab one new off the lot for $130K or so. Or wait 12 months and get one for the average sticker price of a new S470.

    It's pretty tough to kiss more dollars goodbye due to depreciation on any other car.

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    I agree that this is one of the better looking S-classes in a while probably since the W126 model. The previous one had sort of an imposing look, but the wheel fenders were a bit tacky as time went on.   I'm not a fan of black wheels or red brake calipers, those are options I'd leave behind for sure.  I have wondered how much better Active Body Control makes it, and I've read and seen reviews that with the road scanning suspension that the car basically glides over anything without feeling it.  My car has Airmatic which is great for ride quality but I can see how ABC would help take out any body roll or lean.

     

    I myself thought they would have used the 9-speed, but perhaps they didn't want to risk a new model with a new transmission, but 2015 S-classes still have the 7-speed.  The 2015 CLS will be the first to get the 9-speed, then it will spread to other models, that should help fuel efficiency.  But the S63 still gets better mileage than a CTS-V or BMW M5 despite being larger and more powerful than both of them, and having AWD which hurts fuel economy.

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    I agree that this is one of the better looking S-classes in a while probably since the W126 model. The previous one had sort of an imposing look, but the wheel fenders were a bit tacky as time went on.   I'm not a fan of black wheels or red brake calipers, those are options I'd leave behind for sure.  I have wondered how much better Active Body Control makes it, and I've read and seen reviews that with the road scanning suspension that the car basically glides over anything without feeling it.  My car has Airmatic which is great for ride quality but I can see how ABC would help take out any body roll or lean.

     

    I myself thought they would have used the 9-speed, but perhaps they didn't want to risk a new model with a new transmission, but 2015 S-classes still have the 7-speed.  The 2015 CLS will be the first to get the 9-speed, then it will spread to other models, that should help fuel efficiency.  But the S63 still gets better mileage than a CTS-V or BMW M5 despite being larger and more powerful than both of them, and having AWD which hurts fuel economy.

    Me thinks you have been hitting the Giggle Weed a bit too much. The CTS-V does much better on MPG than this over rated S.

     

    For what is being asked here dollar wise, you get better value and I feel a better over all auto than this S63.

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    Well the EPA rates the CTS-V lower than the S63 so I was going off that.  But Car and Driver in 2 different comparison tests with a CTS-V, one in 2009 and one in 2011 got 11 mpg each time.  So if they got 16 mpg on an S63, that is pretty good.

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    I'd imagine most that can afford this can afford and S65, even though the S63 is quicker 0-60, I'd want an S65 to have the V12.  Once you get into this price strata, why wouldn't you get the V12.

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    Interestingly I read a book about actual millionaires. It suggested people with real wealth often live modestly. I could afford to drive a much more expensive car and choose not to.

    Actually, were I a multi millionaire the Impala is as expensive a car as I would want. And I would prefer a VW GTI to an S class, personally.

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    ...and it is hard for me to like most modern luxury cars. Nothing Infinity builds comes close to a 72 Olds Cutlass visually. Why would I spend 60 grand on a car that looks worse than a car I lusted after in high school?

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    Even greater landslide depreciation??

    Luxury cars and McMansions are keeping the upper middle class broke and in debt. Don't want to get political, but the USA is a debtor nation to Mexico for Christ sake. We need to invest/save more as a society and spend less on frivolous crap (s class perhaps?). IMHO.

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    A friend & client of mine is a multi-millionaire. He once had a 1916 Case steam traction engine, just because. 
    He had a new S430, traded it in on a loaded Tahoe LTZ (had 2 in a row). Currently, he has a hyundai sante fe.

     

    Of course, the iffy reliability, poor dealer service and 8-months long wait for parts on the mercedes might have had something to do with the initial move to Chevy.

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    Also just plain simple and much lower maintenance on American built auto's. While not rich, I consider myself middle income class and saved up 3yrs to buy my Escalade.

     

    Biggest problem is those that want instant gratification without working hard, saving and then buying it. So many people are going in debt without really being ready.

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    A friend & client of mine is a multi-millionaire. He once had a 1916 Case steam traction engine, just because. 

    He had a new S430, traded it in on a loaded Tahoe LTZ (had 2 in a row). Currently, he has a hyundai sante fe.

     

    Of course, the iffy reliability, poor dealer service and 8-months long wait for parts on the mercedes might have had something to do with the initial move to Chevy.

     

     

    MB profoundly has its head up its ass when it comes to taking care of customers.

    Also just plain simple and much lower maintenance on American built auto's. While not rich, I consider myself middle income class and saved up 3yrs to buy my Escalade.

     

    Biggest problem is those that want instant gratification without working hard, saving and then buying it. So many people are going in debt without really being ready.

     

     

    Absolutely.  And if you had it....wouldn't you really rather have a Buick and money in mutual funds or real estate.  I mean....seriously?

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    A friend & client of mine is a multi-millionaire. He once had a 1916 Case steam traction engine, just because. 

    He had a new S430, traded it in on a loaded Tahoe LTZ (had 2 in a row). Currently, he has a hyundai sante fe.

     

    Of course, the iffy reliability, poor dealer service and 8-months long wait for parts on the mercedes might have had something to do with the initial move to Chevy.

     

     

    MB profoundly has its head up its ass when it comes to taking care of customers.

     

    Also just plain simple and much lower maintenance on American built auto's. While not rich, I consider myself middle income class and saved up 3yrs to buy my Escalade.

     

    Biggest problem is those that want instant gratification without working hard, saving and then buying it. So many people are going in debt without really being ready.

     

     

    Absolutely.  And if you had it....wouldn't you really rather have a Buick and money in mutual funds or real estate.  I mean....seriously?

     

    Buick has some great auto's, just have not found one that really fits my Shrek size. One reason I still only drive Full Size SUV's.

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    ...and it is hard for me to like most modern luxury cars. Nothing Infinity builds comes close to a 72 Olds Cutlass visually. Why would I spend 60 grand on a car that looks worse than a car I lusted after in high school?

     

    That was the exact reasoning behind my buying my '81 Oldsmobile instead of making payments on a new car.

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    As much as I make fun of MB as Chevroletdes Benz - my problem with these cars is the economics and longevity. MB for a long time has been bulwark of reliable machines while offering solid build after even 50 years of existence of those machines and there is no denying. I admired those qualities of MB. And given a choice I would like to own the old MB diesels, which I have respect for.

     

    MB has now become a consumer electronics builder with automobiles as secondary objective. And it reflects.

     

    While I was shopping for a car in 2012, the price of a CPO 2008 S600 with 29,000 miles custom Designo interior was $65,000. The car retailed brand new for $147,000. That is hell of a depreciation. A comparable mileage Escalade Platinum Edition or Z06 depreciated by only 35 - 40%.

     

    Besides that, if I buy a used S class, once the warranty runs out, the costs of fixing tech related stuff are astronomical. For e.g. LCD screen in the dashboard - $4,400. You now have a powertrain which is bulletproof saddled by shoddy electronics. Good luck keeping them on road for even 15 years like the past S classes did, because electronics will be outdated and once dead they are gone. MB is not going to supply those old parts as the technology would have advanced.

     

    The MB cars are thus becoming nothing more than glorified appliances. Unfortunately, trying to out-do the Germans the others are following this route. The automobile industry has reached its core-technological peak, now its grasping for crumbs through diversification of non-essential goals.

     

    Gone are the days when S class used to be easy to maintain and practically impossible to destroy. Judging by my BMW 330, great driving car with horrible electronics, my guess is S class will not be too different since it has hundreds of patents boasting how electronically advanced the car is.

     

    How many of us are still using Iphone 1 or Galaxy S1?

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    While I was shopping for a car in 2012, the price of a CPO 2008 S600 with 29,000 miles custom Designo interior was $65,000. The car retailed brand new for $147,000. That is hell of a depreciation.

    4 years of ownership and the depreciation ALONE costs you $82,000 !!

    Nothing quite says 'I'm dumber than dirt" than buying a top-shelf mercedes.

    Continually striving for ever-increased production and heavy downmarket pushing is NOT going to help Mercedes in any other way than to thin out the top of the lineup.

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    While I was shopping for a car in 2012, the price of a CPO 2008 S600 with 29,000 miles custom Designo interior was $65,000. The car retailed brand new for $147,000. That is hell of a depreciation.

    4 years of ownership and the depreciation ALONE costs you $82,000 !!

    Nothing quite says 'I'm dumber than dirt" than buying a top-shelf mercedes.

    Continually striving for ever-increased production and heavy downmarket pushing is NOT going to help Mercedes in any other way than to thin out the top of the lineup.

     

     

    Not that I was interested in buying it, I wanted for $hits and Giggles see what was the cost of owning a V12. A 2007 CPO CL600 at the same dealership was $55,000.

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    A 2007 is a borderline 8 year old car now.  Most cars at 7 or 8 years old are only going to hold 1/3 of their original value.  I have seen 2008 CTS for $15k, so 1/3 what is what new.  An S600 has to depreciate because there aren't many people on the used market that can afford to run a V12.  Only crazy rich people can pay that kind of cost, and they can afford a new one.  The S-class is still the best car in this class, has the most engine options and they have a coupe and soon to have a convertible.

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    Continually striving for ever-increased production and heavy downmarket pushing is NOT going to help Mercedes in any other way than to thin out the top of the lineup.

     

    Cadillac is planning a car below the ATS to compete with the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA.  If the ATS is $33k, then you gotta figure $28-29k for the new smaller Caddy.  They are copying the Germans at every turn, so GM must think the German strategy works.

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    A 2007 is a borderline 8 year old car now.  Most cars at 7 or 8 years old are only going to hold 1/3 of their original value.  I have seen 2008 CTS for $15k, so 1/3 what is what new.  An S600 has to depreciate because there aren't many people on the used market that can afford to run a V12.  Only crazy rich people can pay that kind of cost, and they can afford a new one.  The S-class is still the best car in this class, has the most engine options and they have a coupe and soon to have a convertible.

     

    Did you read my prior post? It was two years ago, specifically March 2012. In fact CL is one of the highest depreciating cars on the market. And why can't someone afford to own a CPO V12 instead of a V8? Let us hear your logical reasoning. Does it give like 2 mpg that people cannot afford to pay gas? Is it more expensive to maintain? Kinda confirms my notion of the S class being a outrageously priced appliance if you follow your own reasoning.

     

    First, 2008 CTS started at 32,000 and topped off at 45,000 and you are now talking about a seven year old model, which I will agree with the price you mention.

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    If the S-class was overpriced, it wouldn't be a market share god all over the world.  Every competitor undercuts the S-class by about $20,000 and it still outsells the BMW, Lexus, Audi and Jaguar combined.  If the S-class price was too high, buyers would go to cheaper alternatives.  The S-class is almost good value, it is a better car than what you get from a Flying Spur or a Ghost, and those cost over $200,000.

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      Convenient charging at home and on the road
      "Generation EQ" brings together the latest-generation charging technologies. The vehicle is ready both for charging at home by induction or wallbox and for fast charging. Mercedes-Benz energy storage units of the future could form an ideal symbiosis with the cordless charging system via induction or wallbox. Households that have their own photovoltaic system and which store their surplus solar power in a Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit can thus benefit from a "green" source of power that is extensively independent of the energy market.
      Significantly reduced charging times will come with the introduction of fast charging by the Combined Charging System (CCS). This European charging standard allows for fast charging with a far greater capacity than at present. Currently, charging capacities from 50 up to sometimes 150 kW are possible. In the medium to long term, a charging capacity of even up to 300 kW is planned. This would enable sufficient power for 100 locally emission-free kilometres to be recharged within five minutes.
      Driver assistance systems for maximum safety
      It goes without saying that "Generation EQ" also features the latest driver assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz. Using highly accurate maps from our partner HERE, the systems know such things as the precise curve radii as well as the position and size of a roundabout. The vehicle can then automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics to give the driver even greater comfort and
      relaxation. EQ thus takes a further step on the road to autonomous driving, always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. There is a special focus on the optimised interplay between the individual features, so- called "sensor fusion", i.e. the intelligent combination of data from different sensors. In the opinion of experts at Mercedes-Benz, this is one of the key requirements on the way to automated driving.
      Extended communication by Car-to-X technology
      But the engineers have gone one step further: for example, "Generation EQ" is equipped with Car-to-X technology and can exchange information with the infrastructure and other vehicles – an ideal basis for a series of new driver assistance features that build on existing systems and thus take a further step in the direction of accident prevention. It is also helpful for the driver to be informed about nearby recharging opportunities. As soon as "Generation EQ" realises that the destination cannot be reached on the available battery charge, it advises the driver of appropriate options on the navigation map.
      3D real-time map display from HERE
      Yet the digital interface can do considerably more: another highlight is the high- detail 3D city view with its trendsetting design. Technically, it is based on the map platform from HERE. This makes it possible, for example when searching for points of interest, for restaurants, shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to be especially highlighted. Other buildings recede elegantly into the background. A further focus in the design of the new HERE maps lies in reduced visual complexity while the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver can see only those buildings and information that are relevant for navigation. There is an exceptional interplay between cockpit and map, with the buildings on the map reflecting details of the instrument lighting. At the same time, the map display also gives a preview of new features, especially for electric vehicles: the driver is provided with information on charging stations as well as opportunities for inductive charging along the route. The high-detail display also includes an indication of the current energy consumption along the route.
      Intelligent driver assistance
      The focus of the user interface is on optimal driver assistance, such as when the main concern is to make best possible use of the available energy in the batteries in order to achieve the best possible range. The innovative consumption display provides the driver with feedback on their driving style while drawing attention to energy-saving  possibilities.
      Additional driver incentives are conceivable: the wide-screen display can be used to tell the driver that the current range is not just sufficient to reach the desired destination, but would also allow a detour for a spur-of-the-moment visit to friends. In addition, the driver can collect bonus kilometres as a reward for especially efficient use of the traction battery – a functionality similar to the one already familiar from current models. The trick is that the collected bonus kilometres make the occupants aware of the attractions or interesting places they can reach from the current location thanks to their driving style.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The future at Mercedes-Benz is electric if the Generation EQ is any indication. This electric SUV is a preview of a new lineup of electric vehicles under the EQ brand. EQ if you're wondering stands for "Electric Intelligence".
      "The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations," said Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
      Generation EQ's design looks like a futuristic GLC-Class crossover with a large "grille" featuring blue accent lighting, large greenhouse area, no door handles or mirrors to improve aerodynamics, and a set of 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there is seating for four people. The dash is dominated by a 24-inch high-definition display providing more than enough details for the driver. A floating center console features touch-sensitive elements to control various aspects of the vehicle.
      Two electric motors mounted on the axles produce 400 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The run to 60 mph takes under five seconds. A floor-mounted 70kW lithium-ion battery pack provides a range of 310 miles. Charging can be done through a high-speed “wallbox” or inductive floor charger. Down the line, Mercedes plans on launching a 300kW charger that will provide 62 miles of range in five minutes. 
      The platform that the Generation EQ rides on is modular and will go forward to underpin a number of vehicles in the near future.
      Mercedes will launch a production version of the Generation EQ before the end of this decade.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Live Pic Credit: Newspress
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Electric mobility: Mercedes-Benz flips the switch
      Generation EQ – mobility revisited September 29, 2016 - Paris/Stuttgart
      With "Generation EQ", Mercedes-Benz shows how electric cars can soon move into the fast lane: the concept vehicle, with the appearance of a sporty SUV coupé, gives a preview of a new generation of vehicles with battery-electric drives. The dynamic exterior design with its new electro-look underlines the focus on the powerful electric drive system: two electric motors, with a system output that can be increased to up to 300 kW thanks to scalable battery components, and permanent all-wheel drive deliver the guarantee of dynamic high-level performance. With a range of up to 500 kilometres and the typical Mercedes strengths of safety, comfort, functionality and connectivity, "Generation EQ" meets every demand in terms of contemporary, sustainable mobility. Also on the inside, the vehicle offers innovative solutions, including a completely new interior concept. Celebrating its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show, "Generation EQ" is the forerunner of Mercedes-Benz's new product brand for electric mobility, EQ. The name EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion and Intelligence".
      "The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz will stand on four pillars: Connected, Autonomous, Shared und Electric. 'Generation EQ' is the logical fusion of all four pillars," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations."
      Electric-vehicle architecture for all models
      The new generation of electric vehicles will be based on an architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models, which is scalable in every respect and usable across all models: the wheelbase and track width as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to the modular building- block system. The vehicle concept is thus optimised to meet every requirement of a future-oriented, battery-electric model family. The basic architecture is suitable for SUVs, saloons, coupés, cabriolets and other model series.
      Similarly to the latest series-produced models from Mercedes-Benz, the vehicle architecture builds on an intelligent multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. This ensures that the requirements in terms of lightweight design, strength and cost efficiency are ideally met.
      Exterior design with new electro-look
      "Generation EQ is hot and cool," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "Its fascination lies in a reinterpretation of our design philosophy of sensual purity, the aim being to create an avant-garde, contemporary and distinctive electro-look. At the same time, the design of the visionary show car, which has been reduced to the essentials, reveals an alluring progressivity."
      The monolithic basic form of "Generation EQ" unites the genes of an SUV with the dynamic character of a coupé and a dash of shooting brake at the rear end. The squat, elongated greenhouse gives rise to muscular-purist proportions. The new electro-look is the result of a flowing transition from the gleaming black bonnet across the windscreen to the dark-tinted panoramic roof – an exciting contrast to the alubeam silver paintwork.
      Scarcely visible body panel joins, concealed windscreen wipers, cameras instead of exterior mirrors and an absence of conventional door handles emphasise the stretched, dynamic silhouette, making the SUV crossover appear as a unified whole while reducing its air resistance. An intentionally reduced side view, broad shoulders and large 21-inch light-alloy wheels make for a dynamic presence even before the vehicle moves off.
      Driver-oriented cockpit with new electro-look
      The focus of the driver-oriented cockpit is on simple, touch-based controls with a new electro-look consistently reflecting the exterior styling. The asymmetrical design of the instrument panel with its large, floating wide-screen display is tailored to the driver. The innovative, digital user experience differentiates "Generation EQ" from the familiar control logic in today's vehicles, while giving a peek into the future of user interaction at Mercedes-Benz.
      Interior with new, touch-based controls and no knobs
      The interior of "Generation EQ" is characterised by contemporary luxury, this finding its main expression in an all-new user interface, which combines emotive appeal with intelligence and user-friendliness while dispensing with traditional switches and knobs, except for the electric seat adjustment typical of Mercedes. Two of the three narrow spokes on the steering wheel are provided with touch controls, which are integrated into OLED displays (OLED = organic light emitting diode ). They indicate icons and symbols in the respective menus. The driver can swipe through the various menus and confirm their selection with a click.
      The 24-inch (53 x 11 cm) TFT high-definition wide-screen display presents all the relevant information, such as speed, range, driving data or navigation and map details. The innovation is apparent from the differentiation between a highly reduced and a complex display, including intermediate stages. Whether there is a low information density with a very clean look to the display, or whether extra content is on view, is left to the driver's personal preference.
      User interface design with individualised content
      The information density can be increased step-by-step from a digital display and built up into a single- or dual-tube instrument containing more detailed information and feedback on speed and range. These modular displays allow the content to be individualised. An attractive user interface design is ensured by, among other things, a world of colours in electric blue, white and rose gold – the colours of the instrument displays adapt, depending on driving mode or charging process, to allow fast and intuitive recognition.
      Bordered in rose gold, the centre console appears to float in space: dispensing with mechanical controls, it is equipped with touch-sensitive elements. Similarly to the touch controls on the steering wheel, the driver can use a finger to operate the automatic climate control and the infotainment system. As "Generation EQ" is devoid of conventional exterior mirrors, cameras are used to project an image of the traffic behind onto integrated displays in the doors. Both the door openers and the electric window lifters are touch-controlled.
      Avant-garde, functional interior
      "Generation EQ" comes with four individual seats. The reduced volume, impression of floating in space and avant-garde seat upholstery layout make for a visual lightness. A tailored sound experience is provided by speakers integrated into the head restraints. The side bolsters are covered in light-white leather, while perforations with a pixel rain look reveal a view of particles in rose gold. Stitching with a PCB look on the deep-brown centre sections produces an exciting contrast. TFT monitors for rear-seat entertainment are integrated into the front backrests.
      EQ: the new electric mobility brand from the inventor of the automobile
      EQ offers a comprehensive electric mobility ecosystem with products, services, technologies and innovations. The spectrum ranges from electric vehicles to wallboxes and charging services to home energy storage units. Mercedes-Benz will market future battery-electric vehicles under the brand name EQ. The name stands for "Electric Intelligence" and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion and Intelligence". The new brand encompasses all key aspects for customer-focused electric mobility and extends beyond the vehicle itself. Future models will embody the essentials of state-of-the-art electric mobility: the fusion of emotively appealing and intelligent design, exceptional driving pleasure, high everyday practicality and maximum safety, a hallmark of every vehicle from the inventor of the automobile.
      The close-to-production concept vehicle "Generation EQ" marks the launch of an architecture for battery-electric vehicles across all models. Dieter Zetsche:

      "In 2007, the e-smart was a pioneer of electric motoring. We're now flipping the switch. We're ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class."
      Both inside and outside: new light signature for electric cars
      With a new exterior and interior light signature, the inventor of the automobile presents the design trend for future electric vehicles with the star: the distinguishing mark of "Generation EQ" is the "Black Panel" front grille: the white- illuminated Mercedes star and all the light elements are integrated in this seamlessly glazed design element. The blue-illuminated surround gives a completely new interpretation of the typical Mercedes radiator grille. Illuminated LED optical fibres in electric blue produce a light show with exciting touches of colour.
      The peripheral light strip of the "Black Panel" is equally typical of "Generation EQ". Embedded in it are the white, powerful LED headlamps. Viewed from the side, the flowing E-line and beltline form a frame around the base of the mirror camera. Touches of rose gold in the chrome-plated E-line moulding and the spokes of the 21-inch wheels serve as a special eye-catching transition from interior to exterior.
      The rear lamps are of matching design, taking up the contour of the "Black Panel" and surrounded by an LED optical fibre in electric blue, which changes to red when the vehicle is moving and acts as a tail light. The central Mercedes star at the rear end is likewise illuminated in white. Similarly to the front end, the clasp-like light signature on the outside changes to orange as soon as the direction indicator is operated.
      Lighting mood: from welcome scenario to electric blue
      As the driver approaches the car, it automatically activates to welcome him or her with a specific colour mood in the interior. The welcome scenario is rounded off by digital light in the perforated interior door panels. Once the driver has taken their place, the lighting mood switches to electric blue, with the lights in the doors and on the seats dimming slowly. The wide-screen display gradually builds up to present the energy level. The navigation map shows all the destinations that can be reached on the current battery charge.
      Adaptive ambience lighting for a feel-good atmosphere
      A special feel-good atmosphere is produced by the adaptive ambience lighting on board "Generation EQ". There are lighting elements in the light strip underneath the windscreen, on the side and middle air vents, seats, door handles and interior door panels, on the centre console and around the Mercedes star in the steering wheel.
      Powerful electric drive: 300 kW total output with a range of up to 500 kilometres
      With two electric motors on the front and rear axles and a battery in the vehicle floor, "Generation EQ" embodies a powerful vehicle concept. The basis for dynamic high-level performance and safety comes courtesy of the electric all-wheel drive with axle-variable torque distribution and a battery installed deep in the vehicle floor between the axles. With a total output of up to 300 kW in the most powerful variant and a maximum torque of up to 700 Newton metres, "Generation EQ" accelerates to 100 km/h in under five seconds. In combination with the intelligent operating strategy from Mercedes-Benz, "Generation EQ" has a range of up to 500 kilometres.
      In the transfer to series production, Mercedes-Benz benefits not only from its in- house development and production expertise, but also from the Group's cross- model-series modular strategy for alternative drive systems and direct access to key components for electric mobility. The high-efficiency lithium-ion battery originates from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. Thanks to their modular design, the innovative battery systems have a model-specific total capacity of over 70 kWh.
      Convenient charging at home and on the road
      "Generation EQ" brings together the latest-generation charging technologies. The vehicle is ready both for charging at home by induction or wallbox and for fast charging. Mercedes-Benz energy storage units of the future could form an ideal symbiosis with the cordless charging system via induction or wallbox. Households that have their own photovoltaic system and which store their surplus solar power in a Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit can thus benefit from a "green" source of power that is extensively independent of the energy market.
      Significantly reduced charging times will come with the introduction of fast charging by the Combined Charging System (CCS). This European charging standard allows for fast charging with a far greater capacity than at present. Currently, charging capacities from 50 up to sometimes 150 kW are possible. In the medium to long term, a charging capacity of even up to 300 kW is planned. This would enable sufficient power for 100 locally emission-free kilometres to be recharged within five minutes.
      Driver assistance systems for maximum safety
      It goes without saying that "Generation EQ" also features the latest driver assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz. Using highly accurate maps from our partner HERE, the systems know such things as the precise curve radii as well as the position and size of a roundabout. The vehicle can then automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics to give the driver even greater comfort and
      relaxation. EQ thus takes a further step on the road to autonomous driving, always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. There is a special focus on the optimised interplay between the individual features, so- called "sensor fusion", i.e. the intelligent combination of data from different sensors. In the opinion of experts at Mercedes-Benz, this is one of the key requirements on the way to automated driving.
      Extended communication by Car-to-X technology
      But the engineers have gone one step further: for example, "Generation EQ" is equipped with Car-to-X technology and can exchange information with the infrastructure and other vehicles – an ideal basis for a series of new driver assistance features that build on existing systems and thus take a further step in the direction of accident prevention. It is also helpful for the driver to be informed about nearby recharging opportunities. As soon as "Generation EQ" realises that the destination cannot be reached on the available battery charge, it advises the driver of appropriate options on the navigation map.
      3D real-time map display from HERE
      Yet the digital interface can do considerably more: another highlight is the high- detail 3D city view with its trendsetting design. Technically, it is based on the map platform from HERE. This makes it possible, for example when searching for points of interest, for restaurants, shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to be especially highlighted. Other buildings recede elegantly into the background. A further focus in the design of the new HERE maps lies in reduced visual complexity while the vehicle is in motion. This means that the driver can see only those buildings and information that are relevant for navigation. There is an exceptional interplay between cockpit and map, with the buildings on the map reflecting details of the instrument lighting. At the same time, the map display also gives a preview of new features, especially for electric vehicles: the driver is provided with information on charging stations as well as opportunities for inductive charging along the route. The high-detail display also includes an indication of the current energy consumption along the route.
      Intelligent driver assistance
      The focus of the user interface is on optimal driver assistance, such as when the main concern is to make best possible use of the available energy in the batteries in order to achieve the best possible range. The innovative consumption display provides the driver with feedback on their driving style while drawing attention to energy-saving  possibilities.
      Additional driver incentives are conceivable: the wide-screen display can be used to tell the driver that the current range is not just sufficient to reach the desired destination, but would also allow a detour for a spur-of-the-moment visit to friends. In addition, the driver can collect bonus kilometres as a reward for especially efficient use of the traction battery – a functionality similar to the one already familiar from current models. The trick is that the collected bonus kilometres make the occupants aware of the attractions or interesting places they can reach from the current location thanks to their driving style.
    • By William Maley
      For a time, the V6 was looked down upon in the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang because they were seen as lackluster. The engines didn’t match aggression that was being expressed by the exterior of the coupes. But rising gas prices and increasing regulations on fuel economy and emissions has the likes of GM, Ford, and FCA revisiting the idea of a V6 muscle car. We recently spent some time in a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 to see if it is worth it.
      I will argue that the Challenger is still the meanest looking out of the three muscle cars on sale. Dodge’s designers were able to bring the design of the original Challenger into the modern era without making it look like a complete mess. The little details such as the narrow grille, quad headlights, fuel filler cap, and rectangular taillights are here and help it stand out. Our tester featured the optional Blacktop package that adds a blacked-out grille, black stripes, and a set of 20-inch wheels. The downside to bringing the original Challenger design into the modern era is poor visibility. Large rear pillars and a small glass area make it somewhat difficult to backup or making a pass. The good news is that a number of Challenger models like our SXT Plus come with a backup camera as standard and blind spot monitoring is available as an option. The Challenger’s interior hasn’t changed much since we last reviewed it back in 2014 with the SRT 392. It is still a comfortable place to sit in and controls are in easy reach for the driver thanks to the center stack being slightly angled. Still, the limited glass area does mean you will feel somewhat confined. Power for the SXT is Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, you need to step to one of the V8 engines. The V6 is quite surprising with how much performance is on offer. Step on the accelerator and the V6 moves the Challenger with surprising authority. Power comes on a smooth rate no matter what gear you find yourself in. The eight-speed automatic is one of best in the business with smart shifts. Only disappointment is the V6 doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Challenger. There isn’t that muscular roar when step on the accelerator. A new exhaust and some tweaking in the engine could fix this issue.  As for fuel economy, we got an average of 23.4 mpg. Not bad for a coupe that is rated at 19 City/30 Highway/23 Combined. One item that the Challenger is known for is its ride comfort and this hasn’t changed. Even with the optional Super Track Pak fitted to our tester, the Challenger was able to provide a cushy ride over some of Michigan’s terrible roads. Road and wind noise are kept at very low levels. Speaking of the Super Track Pak, this should be mandatory equipment on the V6 model. With firmer suspension bits, it makes the Challenger feel slightly smaller and reduces body roll around corners. However, it cannot mask the Challenger’s weight. Pushing it around a corner, the Challenger feels quite big and not as nimble the as the Chevrolet Camaro I drove afterward. The Challenger SXT Plus starts at $29,995. Add on a few options such as the Blacktop package and you’ll came to an as-tested price of $34,965, pretty good value for a muscle car. Going with the V6 option in the Challenger isn’t bad a choice. You get the looks of a muscle car and some decent performance. But as I drove the Challenger during the week, I couldn’t help but think about what if I had the V8. Six is good, but eight is even better. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: SXT Plus
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6,350
      Torque @ RPM: 268 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/30/23
      Curb Weight: 3,885.2 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $34,965 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SXT Plus 3.6L V6 Package 21V - $3,000.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,095.00
      Sound Group II - $795.00
      Blacktop Package - $695.00
      Super Track Pak - $695.00
      UConnect 8.4 NAV - $695.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      For a time, the V6 was looked down upon in the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang because they were seen as lackluster. The engines didn’t match aggression that was being expressed by the exterior of the coupes. But rising gas prices and increasing regulations on fuel economy and emissions has the likes of GM, Ford, and FCA revisiting the idea of a V6 muscle car. We recently spent some time in a 2016 Dodge Challenger V6 to see if it is worth it.
      I will argue that the Challenger is still the meanest looking out of the three muscle cars on sale. Dodge’s designers were able to bring the design of the original Challenger into the modern era without making it look like a complete mess. The little details such as the narrow grille, quad headlights, fuel filler cap, and rectangular taillights are here and help it stand out. Our tester featured the optional Blacktop package that adds a blacked-out grille, black stripes, and a set of 20-inch wheels. The downside to bringing the original Challenger design into the modern era is poor visibility. Large rear pillars and a small glass area make it somewhat difficult to backup or making a pass. The good news is that a number of Challenger models like our SXT Plus come with a backup camera as standard and blind spot monitoring is available as an option. The Challenger’s interior hasn’t changed much since we last reviewed it back in 2014 with the SRT 392. It is still a comfortable place to sit in and controls are in easy reach for the driver thanks to the center stack being slightly angled. Still, the limited glass area does mean you will feel somewhat confined. Power for the SXT is Chrysler’s 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, you need to step to one of the V8 engines. The V6 is quite surprising with how much performance is on offer. Step on the accelerator and the V6 moves the Challenger with surprising authority. Power comes on a smooth rate no matter what gear you find yourself in. The eight-speed automatic is one of best in the business with smart shifts. Only disappointment is the V6 doesn’t sound like it belongs in the Challenger. There isn’t that muscular roar when step on the accelerator. A new exhaust and some tweaking in the engine could fix this issue.  As for fuel economy, we got an average of 23.4 mpg. Not bad for a coupe that is rated at 19 City/30 Highway/23 Combined. One item that the Challenger is known for is its ride comfort and this hasn’t changed. Even with the optional Super Track Pak fitted to our tester, the Challenger was able to provide a cushy ride over some of Michigan’s terrible roads. Road and wind noise are kept at very low levels. Speaking of the Super Track Pak, this should be mandatory equipment on the V6 model. With firmer suspension bits, it makes the Challenger feel slightly smaller and reduces body roll around corners. However, it cannot mask the Challenger’s weight. Pushing it around a corner, the Challenger feels quite big and not as nimble the as the Chevrolet Camaro I drove afterward. The Challenger SXT Plus starts at $29,995. Add on a few options such as the Blacktop package and you’ll came to an as-tested price of $34,965, pretty good value for a muscle car. Going with the V6 option in the Challenger isn’t bad a choice. You get the looks of a muscle car and some decent performance. But as I drove the Challenger during the week, I couldn’t help but think about what if I had the V8. Six is good, but eight is even better. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: SXT Plus
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6,350
      Torque @ RPM: 268 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/30/23
      Curb Weight: 3,885.2 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $26,995
      As Tested Price: $34,965 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SXT Plus 3.6L V6 Package 21V - $3,000.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,095.00
      Sound Group II - $795.00
      Blacktop Package - $695.00
      Super Track Pak - $695.00
      UConnect 8.4 NAV - $695.00
    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz has decided to crash luxury off-road wagon party that Audi and Volvo are putting on by introducing the E-Class All-Terrain. 
      The All-Terrain sets itself apart from the standard E-Class wagon with new bumpers, plastic surrounds for the wheel arches, and a wheel/tire package for this specific model. The ride height has been raised by an inch, but the air suspension system can raise the vehicle by about 0.3 inches. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system features an 'All Terrain' mode that allows the vehicle to go a little bit further into the bush. 
      For the time being in the UK, the E-Class All-Terrain will only be offered with a 2.0L turbodiesel-four with 192 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Engines for other European markets haven't been announced.
      Mercedes-Benz will debut the E-Class All-Terrain later this month at the Paris Motor Show, with sales beginning sometime next year. Don't hold your breath on the All-Terrain coming to the U.S. anytime soon.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Stuttgart.  From unpaved tracks to steep, serpentine snow-bound roads, the new E-Class All-Terrain can tackle routes where conventional estates have to give up, thanks to greater ground clearance and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. Rugged styling and flared wheel arches also give it a tough look. The E-Class All-Terrain makes its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show 2016. The first cars will arrive in the UK from spring 2017, while pricing and specification will be announced in early 2017.
      “No E-Class has ever been as versatile as the All-Terrain. The new model combines a striking look in SUV style with the intelligent space concept of the estate. This is coupled with lots of innovative safety features and the multi-award-winning E-Class interior,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler management board responsible for Sales and Marketing of Mercedes Benz Cars. “With 4MATIC all-wheel drive as a standard feature and increased ground clearance thanks to the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension, the All-Terrain is a flexible all-rounder – for unpaved roads, family and leisure time.”
      Thanks to off-road styling elements the All-Terrain has a powerful and robust appearance which also distinguishes it from the classic estate. Dynamism and modern luxury unite to make the All-Terrain an ambassador for the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of the sensuous clarity that defines modern luxury.
      An eye-catching feature of the front is the SUV-style two-fin grille with the star integrated in the centre. The distinctive front bumper and lower panelling, electroplated in silver-chrome, also contribute to the robust appearance. The top part of the three-part front bumper is painted in the body colour and the lower part comes in grained black plastic.
      At the side, the black wheel arch covers are a distinctive feature that emphasise the car’s all-terrain character. This also applies to the black side skirt that features a chrome trip strip. Three exclusive alloy wheel sets in 19- and 20-inch formats with higher sidewalls give the vehicle a confident look, greater ground clearance and enhanced comfort on rough roads.
      The All-Terrain also features a model-specific three-part bumper at the rear with the top part painted in body colour and the lower part in grained black plastic. Further features typical of an SUV include robust load sill protection and an underbody guard electroplated in silver-chrome.
      The interior includes aluminium-carbon look trim that is exclusive to the All-Terrain, stainless steel sports pedals and floor mats with All-Terrain lettering. The equipment is based on the AVANTGARDE interior line, while EXCLUSIVE and designo appointments are optionally available [UK details are to be confirmed]. The new model boasts all the load compartment flexibility of the E-Class estate, such as the rear seat cargo position and a standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat back. All E-Class innovations relating to safety, comfort and convenience are available.
      The All-Terrain will be launched as an E 220 d 4MATIC (143 kW/194 hp) with the newly developed four-cylinder diesel engine. A short time later a variant with a six-cylinder diesel engine will follow. Both models come with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
      Technical data at a glance:
      E 220 d 4MATIC Number of cylinders/arrangement 4/in-line Displacement (cc) 1950 Rated output (kW/hp at rpm) 143/194 at 3800 Rated torque (Nm at rpm) 400 at 1600-2800 Combined NEDC fuel consumption (l/100 km) 5.1–5.2 Combined CO2 emissions (g/km) 137-139 Efficiency class A Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 8.0 Top speed (km/h) 232 Figures for version with 9G-TRONIC,
      The All-Terrain has DYNAMIC SELECT as standard. This enables five driving programmes to be selected with different engine, transmission, ESP® and steering characteristics. A special model-specific feature is the All-Terrain driving programme, which offers settings for off-road driving and was derived from the GLE. The even more comfortable suspension configuration and the large wheels with higher sidewalls noticeably further increase ride comfort on rough roads compared with the E-Class.
      Selecting the All-Terrain driving programme with the driving programme switch raises the chassis via the standard AIR BODY CONTROL by +20 mm up to a speed of 35 km/h. The thresholds for ESP®, active yaw control and acceleration skid control (ASR) are adjusted accordingly. The All-Terrain driving programme has a special indicator in the vehicle display. Information displayed there includes the steering angle, the vehicle level (position of the air suspension), the angle of slope and the angle of inclination, the accelerator/brake position and a compass.
      Thanks to air suspension three levels from 0 to +35 mm are selectable. Independent of the driving programme the highest level can also be selected manually with the level button on the centre console. The E-Class All-Terrain is 29 millimetres higher than the E-Class Estate – 14 mm of which is due to the tyres’ larger height/width ratio and 15 mm to the normal driving level of the air suspension. The ground clearance is 121 to 156 mm.

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