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William Maley

Geneva Motor Show: Duel Of The German Hot Hatches

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

February 17, 2013

For those who like hot hatches, you'll like the showings at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Both Audi and Mercedes-Benz will be showing off their new wares.

First up is Audi with the new S3 Sportback. Using the new MQB based A3 as a start, Audi drops in a turbocharged 2.0L TFSI engine producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes to all four wheels via quattro. You do have the choice between six-speed manual or S-Tronic automatic. 0-60 MPH takes about five seconds for the automatic, and a half second slower for the manual.

Being based on the MQB platform, the new S3 Sportback is about 154 pounds less than the outgoing model. Not bad.

Other changes for the S3 include a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, and eighteen-inch wheels.

Meanwhile at Mercedes-Benz, they have unveiled the new A45 AMG. Starting with a basic A-Class, AMG worked its magic to make into a snarling beast. Outside changes include black accents to the chin spoiler, rocker panels and mirror caps, black wheels, and a set of rectangular exhaust outlets. Inside, there are numerous red accents throughout the cabin. There is also a set of sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four producing 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That goes through a seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission down to all four wheels via Mervedes 4Matic AWD system. 0-60 MPH takes about 4.5 seconds. Other performance changes include retuned suspension and steering, and a new three-stage stability control system that is specific to this car.

We'll we see either model in the states? Possibly, but in a different form. Audi has never sold S3 in the states and chances are that if Audi does give the nod to the S3, it would likely be in a sedan. As for the A45 AMG, chances again are somewhat slim. We'll likely be seeing the A-Class' partner in crime, the new CLA class in AMG form at the New York Auto Show later in march.

Source: Audi, Mercedes-Benz

2013 Audi S3 Sportback 2
Album: Audi S3 Sportback
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Mercedes Benz A45 AMG 4
Album: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
9 images
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William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release for the S3 is on Page 2, A45 AMG is on Page 3


Ingolstadt, 2013-02-13

The new Audi S3 Sportback

- New 2.0 TFSI with 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque, but just 6.9 liters per

100 km (34.09 US mpg)

- From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds

- Five doors for even better functionality

Audi S3 Sportback

221 kW (300 hp). 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds. The new Audi S3 Sportback offers best-in-class performance. Its efficiency is also exemplary. The 2.0 TFSI averages just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg).

The four-cylinder engine in the S3 Sportback has been overhauled. The only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.

The high-performance four-cylinder engine responds immediately to the driver's wishes and boasts a sportily sonorous sound. When the Audi drive select system is in dynamic mode, the engine's power is also underscored acoustically. The 2.0 TFSI provides power and exemplary efficiency alike by relying on many new technologies, ranging from dual injection through the Audi valvelift system and an exhaust manifold integrated within the cylinder head to innovative thermal management.

When equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic, the S3 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 5.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just five-tenths of a second more. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Launch Control delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip. The 2.0 TFSI consumes just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.60 US mpg] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback.

The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The dual-clutch transmission can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode.

Equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and a redesigned multi-plate clutch, this new high-end vehicle in the model line can accelerate more quickly and safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and stable in all conditions, even rain or snow.

The front axle is 52 millimeters (2.05 in) farther forward compared to the previous model. The 2.0 TFSI is more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than the previous engine and is tilted backward by 12 degrees.

In addition to a sophisticated suspension and the S sport suspension, which lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in), the axle-load distribution (59% to 41%, front to rear) and new, progressive steering contribute significantly to sporty handling. The key to progressive steering is that steering movements determine the steering ratio. This results in stable and virtually neutral steering characteristics for outstanding precision during sporty driving and easier steering while parking.

The new Audi S3 Sportback features 7.5 J x 18 wheels. The low rolling resistance of the 225/40-series tires helps reduce fuel consumption. The calipers of the large brakes, which measure 340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter up front, are painted black and bear S logos. They can optionally be red. The electromechanical parking brake governs the rear axle. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) reflects latest-generation technology.

The new S3 Sportback comes standard with Audi drive select. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering.

At the push of a button, the driver specifies whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode. An additional mode, individual, is available in models equipped with the MMI Radio or above. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.

Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the Audi S3 Sportback. This five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kilograms (3,185.68 lb) – 70 kilograms (154.32 lb) less than the previous model. Most of this reduction in weight is on account of the body.


The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG: Driving Performance for the new generation

Affalterbach – The A 45 AMG sees Mercedes-AMG embarking on a new era. For the first time in the company's history extending back over more than 45 years, Mercedes-Benz's performance brand is offering a fascinating high-performance vehicle in the compact class. The A 45 AMG is representative of the "AMG Performance 50" strategy for the future, which is to run up to the 50th birthday of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 2017. With a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world. The sensational power density of 133 kW (181 hp) outstrips even the most powerful super sports cars. At the same time, the engine also boasts supreme efficiency and complies with the EU6 emissions standard. The A 45 AMG also leads its segment in terms of fuel consumption, running on 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. These credentials indicate that a further high-performing member of the BlueDIRECT family is now taking to the road. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive onboard the A 45 AMG sets new standards in the car's segment.

The substance of the new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front- and

all-wheel drive provides the perfect basis for the A 45 AMG and at least two other high-performance premium automobiles from Affalterbach.In designing and developing the A 45 AMG, the experts at AMG have drawn on the company's decades of experience in motorsport and the production of powerful, high-performance vehicles. As such, the A 45 AMG will inherit the corporate DNA and embody the AMG brand claim "Driving Performance" to perfection: a fascinatingly sporty driving experience combined with impressive craftsmanship and pronounced individuality.

"The A 45 AMG will enable Mercedes-AMG to appeal to new customers and tap new markets," observes Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. We are adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance data to our range of unique high-performance automobiles."

"With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car," comments Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through."

Dynamic and individual vehicle for new target group

Spanning the age range from 30 to mid-40, the target group is younger than the AMG clientele to date. In successful careers and with an independent frame of mind, these customers seek a dynamic and individual vehicle.They wish to lend expression to their style- and trend-oriented way of life with a car from a recognised high-performance brand. The A 45 AMG provides the predominantly urban target group with an agile high-performance vehicle. Mercedes-AMG accommodates their tech-savvy and individual outlook on life with an extremely broad selection of optional equipment and appointments, colours and materials.

Typically AMG: the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world

Two figures show that the A 45 AMG holds pole position in its displacement segment:the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. A maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque are unmatched by any other mass-produced turbocharged four-cylinder engine worldwide. The power density of 133 kW (181 hp) is also absolutely unrivalled. In this discipline, the new AMG high-performance turbo engine even outstrips the most powerful super sports cars.

The high power and torque output and the combination with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard lead to extremely dynamic performance: the A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at 250 km/h (electronically limited). The specially developed AMG engine is also a model of efficiency – the A 45 AMG also leads its segment on this front, with fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. This is accompanied by particularly low exhaust emissions: the A 45 AMG already complies with the EU6 emissions standard which is not scheduled to enter into force until 2015, combined with the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 x 1011 which will be mandatory from 2017.

The key data at a glance:

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

Displacement

1991 cc

Bore x stroke

83.0 x 92.0 mm

Compression ratio

8.6 : 1

Output

265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm

Max. torque

450 Nm at 2250 - 5000 rpm

Engine weight (dry)

148 kg

Maximum engine speed

6700 rpm

Power density

133 kW (181 hp)

Peak pressure

up to 140 bar

Maximum charge pressure

1.8 bar

Fuel consumption NEDC combined

6.9 – 7.1 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

161-165 g/km

Emissions standard

EU6

Acceleration 0-100 km/h

4.6 s

Top speed

250 km/h*

*electronically limited

The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.

Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap

Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. At a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine also leads the field in this respect.

The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The two striking tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating, full engine sound which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.

An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the reserve of engines with more than 4 cylinders.

High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG

The high driving dynamics of the A 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components belonging to the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The large cooler section at the front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.

Cooling of the transmission oil is integrated in the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.

Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence

Similarly to all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine". An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda – where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the "one man, one engine" production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission

Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive – the drive package onboard the new A 45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess.The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the A45 features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.

"Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment

Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is so-called "Momentary M mode". In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode ("M") without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up- and down-shifting into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.

The shift times in manual mode "M" and in Sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car.Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts with a more emotional sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. The ECO start/stop function is also active in "C" mode.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The new A 45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus firmly was on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission . This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.

A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multi-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, such as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the A 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50 : 50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.

3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist

An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the A 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented "ESP ON" mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.

Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates "ESP SPORT Handling" mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle's dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates "ESP OFF". In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. When the driver steps on the brake pedal in the course of braking in "SPORT Handling" mode or "ESP OFF" mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system are restored.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the A 45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In "ESP SPORT Handling" mode and "ESP OFF" mode it supports the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.

AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle

Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new A 45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface. The more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.

The four-link rear axle of the A 45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The A 45 AMG comes as standard with twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.

AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system

The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.

Exterior design with sporty and muscular highlights

Mercedes-AMG adds emphatically sporty and muscular highlights to the emotional exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sporting the new dynamic style, sculptural character and feature lines on the sides. These refinements ensure that the A 45 AMG looks the part as a distinctive high-performance automobile – a genuine AMG through and through.

The front view of the A 45 AMG is characterised by the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. Striking black flics surround the large cooling air intakes at the sides. An interesting side view is guaranteed by the AMG light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and the side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. The "TURBO AMG" lettering on the wing is exclusive to the top model of the A-Class. The AMG rear apron with its highlighted air outlet openings at the sides features a diffusor insert and trim in matt titanium grey. Two square, chrome-plated tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap add an appropriately bold finishing touch.

Dynamic and exclusive interior design and appointments

Inside, too, the new A 45 AMG boasts a heady mix of hallmark Mercedes-AMG dynamism and exclusivity. The sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and the AMG DRIVE UNIT set new standards in terms of both appearance and quality. The dashboard trim comes in carbon-fibre look – a perfect match for the five air vents in black/red, the red seat belts and the AMG door sill panels. The AMG instrument cluster presents information by means of a central colour display with the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.

Numerous individualisation options are available for the A 45 AMG (selection):

-AMG Aerodynamics package: AMG rear aerofoil, additional flics in front apron, larger front splitter

-AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing

-AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre

-AMG rear aerofoil

-AMG Exclusive package

-AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt black with high-sheen rim flange

-AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised waistline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim

-AMG Performance exhaust system incl. tailpipe trims in specific design

-AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning

-AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic key with AMG emblem

-AMG Performance seats

-AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)

-Red painted callipers

Expressive and exclusive: the A 45 AMG "Edition 1"

The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" stands apart both on a technical level and in terms of appearance.As is familiar from the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, the fully appointed "Edition 1" model variant boasts an expressive composition of exclusive exterior and interior details. The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" focuses on the car's affinity to motorsport: the exterior paint finish in cirrus white corresponds with the AMG sports stripes in matt graphite grey on the bonnet, roof and sides. The red highlights on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors and rear aerofoil leave a lasting impression. These highlights combine to perfection with the red painted brake callipers and the AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels painted in matt black with special AMG hub caps in central-locking look. The 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels are fitted all-round with tyres in size 235/35 R 19. Both the AMG Night package and the Aerodynamics package feature as standard for the "Edition 1", providing the perfect finishing touch to the model's motorsport-inspired character.

Black and red dominate the interior of the A 45 AMG "Edition 1", too.Red contrasting stitching embellishes the AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the top section of the dashboard in ARTICO man-made leather and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the "Edition 1" badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.

The world premiere of the A 45 AMG will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, whose doors open on 5 March 2013. The sales release date will be 8 April 2013; the market launch in Germany will begin this June.

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    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz USA Reports November Sales of 30,838, up 1.6%
      Dec 1, 2017 – ATLANTA: Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported November sales of 30,838 units, an increase of 1.6% from the 30,363 vehicles sold during the same period last year. Mercedes-Benz Vans reported best-ever November sales with 3,274 units (up 27.7%) and smart reported 130 units, bringing the MBUSA grand total to 34,242 vehicles for the month (up 2.2%). On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz retails totaled 302,043 units.
      "November was a solid month for Mercedes-Benz, with strong demand for the 2018 model year S-Class, SUV lineup and high-performance AMG GT models," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. "Additionally, our dealer partners and entire MBUSA team played a central role in our first place ranking in the 2017 JD Power Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) for both luxury and overall industry."
      Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in November included the C-Class, GLC and GLE model lines. The C-Class took the lead at 6,001, followed by GLC sales of 5,357. The GLE rounded out the top three with 4,914 units sold.
      Mercedes-AMG high-performance models sold 3,294 units in November, with a total 30,116 sold year-to-date (up 49.6%).
      Mercedes-Benz Passenger Vehicles Nov-17 Nov-16 Monthly % YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Yearly %               B-CLASS 31 52 -40.4% 633 578 9.5%               CLA 1,884 2,070 -9.0% 18,390 23,916 -23.1%               C-CLASS 6,001 7,261 -17.4% 70,947 69,822 1.6%               E-CLASS/CLS 4,735 4,642 2.0% 45,927 46,045 -0.3%               S-CLASS 1,803 1,475 22.2% 13,704 17,309 -20.8%               SLC 220 270 -18.5% 2,600 3,067 -15.2%               SL 257 273 -5.9% 2,663 3,418 -22.1%               AMG GT 281 89 215.7% 1,425 1,129 26.2%               GLA 2,288 2,227 2.7% 21,524 22,194 -3.0%               GLC 5,357 3,876 38.2% 42,491 43,854 -3.1%               GLE 4,914 4,694 4.7% 48,772 46,217 5.5%               GLS 2,869 3,108 -7.7% 29,250 27,180 7.6%               G-CLASS  198 326 -39.3% 3,717 3,497 6.3%               TOTAL 30,838 30,363 1.6% 302,043 308,226 -2.0%               Vans1 3,274 2,564 27.7% 30,947 30,444 1.7%               smart 130 563 -76.9% 2,905 5,025 -42.2%               MBUSA Combined Total Nov-17 Nov-16 Monthly % YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Yearly %               GRAND TOTAL 34,242 33,490 2.2% 335,895 343,695 -2.3% 1 Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Sprinter and Metris Vans are sold and marketed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans USA, respectively.
    • By William Maley
      Audi of America marks November sales increase as the new Q5, new-to-the U.S. A5 Sportback and Q7 lead consumer demand
      Q7 sales rose 26 percent; Q5 increased sales by 31 percent Sales of the new A5 Sportback totaled 1,130 SUV sales increased 23 percent HERNDON, Virginia, December 1, 2017 – Audi of America reported a November sales increase of 12 percent to 19,195 deliveries, as the Q7, new Q5 and the new-to-the U.S. A5 Sportback, lead consumer demand.
      November was the 83rd straight record sales month for Audi of America. The previous November record was set last year with 17,118 deliveries. Audi has now sold 199,534 vehicles in the U.S. this year. Year-to-date, Audi sales have increased 6.7 percent.
      "Positive consumer response to the Q7, new Q5 and new-to-the U.S. A5 Sportback shows that Audi's award-winning engineering and technology can succeed in a highly competitive market," said Cian O'Brien, chief operating officer, Audi of America. "Encouraged by robust consumer demand and our annual Season of Audi Sales event, we're positioned for a strong finish to 2017."
      Consumer demand for the new Q5 and Q7 helped drive November's sales increase.  Deliveries of the Q5 were up 31 percent to 5,467. The Q7 deliveries increased to 3,292, and have now increased 23 percent year-to-date. SUV sales for Audi increased 23 percent to 10,351.
      The addition of the A5 Sportback to the A5 Cabriolet and Coupe lineup has brought total sales to 2,243 over last November. Sales of the A5 Cabriolet and Coupe more than doubled to 1,113.
      AUDI US SNAPSHOT
      --MTD--
      --YTD--
      Model Line
      Nov '17 Actual
      Nov '16 Actual
      Yr/Yr % change
      Nov '17 YTD  Actual
      Nov '16 YTD Actual
      Yr/Yr % change
      A3
      1,336
      1,669
      -20.0%
      18,979
      24,943
      -23.9%
      A3 e-tron
      38
      394
      -90.4%
      2,607
      3,691
      -29.4%
      A4
      2,690
      3,143
      -14.4%
      30,518
      30,678
      -0.5%
      A5
      2,243
      482
      365.4%
      18,343
      7,763
      136.3%
      A6
      1,340
      1,532
      -12.5%
      14,334
      16,670
      -14.0%
      A7
      453
      576
      -21.4%
      4,357
      5,747
      -24.2%
      A8
      217
      343
      -36.7%
      2,861
      3,648
      -21.6%
      allroad
      297
      271
      9.6%
      2,879
      1,989
      44.7%
      Q3
      1,592
      1,613
      -1.3%
      18,266
      18,001
      1.5%
      Q5
      5,467
      4,187
      30.6%
      50,109
      43,154
      16.1%
      Q7
      3,292
      2,605
      26.4%
      33,508
      27,288
      22.8%
      R8
      39
      63
      -38.1%
      716
      654
      9.5%
      TT
      191
      240
      -20.4%
      2,057
      2,792
      -26.3%
      Total Audi Sales
      19,195
      17,118
      12.1%
      199,534
      187,018
      6.7%
      Total CPO Sales
      3,480
      3,705
      -6.1%
      43,244
      41,923
      3.2%
    • By William Maley
      The Mercedes-Benz CLS is patient zero when it comes to the four-door coupe design. The first-generation model was a stunner and stood out from the other Plain Jane Mercedes models at the time. The second-generation model lost some of that distinctiveness but was still something a bit different from other sedans in Mercedes' lineup. Today at the LA Auto Show, Mercedes introduced the third-generation CLS.
      As we noted yesterday when pictures of the 2019 CLS leaked out, the new model is a bit stale in terms of the design. Mercedes says this is the evolution of their “sensual purity” design philosophy which appears to mean the various creases and bold lines are removed. The front end is similar to the CLA with a similar grille shape and wider headlights. The back features a trunk lid design similar to the C-Class and S-Class coupes.
      But the big news is what lies under the hood. When the CLS arrives in the U.S., it will only be available with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six producing 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain also features a mild-hybrid system featuring a 48-volt electrical system and a combination starter and generator. It can provide an additional 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque for short bursts, along with improving fuel economy. This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and choice of either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
      Mercedes-Benz will begin selling the 2019 CLS in the U.S. next fall.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The new Mercedes-Benz CLS
      Third generation of the original Nov 29, 2017 – Stuttgart/Los Angeles: The new CLS pioneers the new design idiom of Mercedes-Benz, which is recognizable by its clear contours and reduced lines. Its character is marked by a grille contour that widens towards the base and a forward-slanting front section. Other features include wide, low-set headlights and two-section taillamps. At the same time the design reflects the timeless aura of the first CLS, which founded a new segment and quickly became a design icon. The CLS is equipped with a new inline six-cylinder engine and is the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup with 48-volt technology with ISG that offers increased efficiency and comfort. Like its predecessors, the new CLS exudes self-assured sportiness in exemplary style: a highly emotional vehicle offering impressive long-distance and acoustic comfort coupled with thrilling, unrivalled technology. Additionally, the all-new four-door coupe seats 5 passengers for the first time. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS will have its World Premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and will go on sale in the U.S. by Fall 2018.
      In 2003, with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle segment that combined the elegance and dynamic feel of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a sedan for the first time. With the third generation of the CLS, Mercedes-Benz is building more strongly than ever on the aura and unique character of this trendsetting model: the new model has pure CLS genes with its arching waistline, flat side window lines and low greenhouse. At the same time it is another example of the logical evolution of the Sensual Purity design idiom: sharp edges and lines have been significantly reduced. It blends seamlessly into the current Mercedes-Benz coupe family with numerous design features.
      The in-line six-cylinder engine in the CLS450 and CLS450 4MATIC is completely new, boasting 362 hp in addition to a 21 hp boost from the integrated starter- generator.
      The sporty CLS also has a comfortable side: AIR BODY CONTROL suspension, ENERGIZING Comfort and the very latest infotainment generation with Inductive Wireless Phone Charging with NFC pairing accentuate this.
      The standard appointments of the CLS are very extensive: highlights include AMG body styling, newly designed LED headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND® display, ambient lighting including illuminated air vents, Car-to-X Communication and Smartphone Integration.
      Exterior: Self-assured sportiness in the style of Mercedes-Benz coupes
      "The new CLS is a design icon as the archetype of the four-door coupe. In line with our hot & cool design philosophy, we have reduced its DNA to an extremely puristic level while emotionally charging its beauty," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.
      Striking front-end features include the diamond grille typical of Mercedes-Benz coupes, with a single louver. The silhouette of the radiator grille widens towards the base, resembling the contours of the grille on the Mercedes-AMG GT. The hood is completely surrounded by body surfaces. The very flat and wide headlamps with inward-slanting flanks dynamically follow the contour of the grille.
      The side design is characterized by the high, arching waistline and the sporty, low greenhouse with frameless side windows. The forward-slanting front end is reminiscent of a shark's nose, and appears longer thanks to the fully inset hood. The contours follow the design philosophy of sensual purity: lines and edges are greatly reduced, and the surfaces are generously arched.
      Also typical of the CLS is the muscular rear shoulder line which blends smoothly into the flat rear end. Characteristic coupe features include the two-section taillamps, reflectors positioned in the rear bumper, location of the license plate in the bumper and the Mercedes star at the center of the trunk lid.
      Like the headlamps, the LED taillamps have a crystalline appearance and create a three-dimensional effect. Their low positioning accentuates the width of the vehicle.
      Interior consistent color scheme, Widescreen Digital Instrument Cluster
      The luxurious interior of the CLS Coupe impresses with its clear basic lines, and echoes the sensual, flowing contours of the exterior. The high-grade choice of materials shows a very high level of finish.
      The sporty, width-accentuated cockpit and color combination creates an impression of particularly generous spaciousness. For a flowing overall impression, the wave-like course of the interior design extends from the front to the rear doors, opening up at the B-pillars. As a new highlight of the ambient lighting, the illuminated air vents are reminiscent of jet aircraft turbines. The sporty impression is also reinforced by the hand-finished appearance of the seats.
      The CLS450 is equipped with a high-resolution central display with a wide screen diagonal of 12.3 inches, and is optionally available with two 12.3-inch displays that merge to form a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared, continuous glass cover.
      The center console with open-pored or high-gloss wood appears to be free-floating thanks to its surface trim.
      In the fully digital cockpit, the driver is able to feely configure the information content according to need and the driving situation. Three different styles can be selected depending on preference, mood or to suit the interior appointments: Classic, Sport or Progressive.
      The ambient lighting is individually adjustable in 64 colors, and also includes the air vents. When the temperature setting of the air conditioning system is changed, it briefly changes color to show whether the temperature is being made warmer (red) or cooler (blue).
      The seats were also newly designed exclusively for this model series with high- quality piping. The outer seats in the rear have the same appearance as the front seats, creating a sporty single-seat impression, although the CLS Coupe is in fact a five-seater for the first time. When required the backrests can be folded down in a 40/20/40 ratio.
      Wellness on long-distance journeys: ENERGIZING Comfort
      ENERGIZING Comfort links various comfort systems in the vehicle. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the surface and steering wheel heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and allows a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. As a result, well-being and performance levels are enhanced.
      These six programs can be selected:
      Refresh / Freshness Warmth Vitality Joy Comfort / Well-Being Training (three training modes – muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance – each with several exercises). Intelligent Drive: Technology from the S-Class
      The new CLS generation has many things in common with the new S-Class, the automotive flagship of the entire industry. The CLS is equipped with the latest generation of driving assistance systems, with route-based speed adaptation and driver support provided by the Driver Assistance Package.
      The range of driver assistance and safety systems features a modular design and as standard includes Active Brake Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. Newly standard as well is PRE-SAFE® Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision).
      The optional Driver Assistance Package consists of Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, PRE-SAFE® PLUS and PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of bends or junctions. Active Lane Change Assist has also been significantly improved.
      Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the new CLS also has an even better view of the surrounding traffic. For the first time it also makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behavior.
      The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument cluster shows the driver at a glance which assistance functions have been selected, and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on-screen as well as in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel.
      In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 3 seconds are now possible, during which time the CLS starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic.
      The LED Intelligent Light System is now optionally available with advanced LED headlamps and Ultra Wide Beam high beams. The Ultra Wide Beams produce light at an increased width for maximum illumination of the road and surround area. For the driver, this means a clear improvement of the already great lighting performance of the LED Intelligent Light System. Adaptive Highbeam Assist is also part of the LED Intelligent Light System and allows drivers to drive with activated main beams without dazzling other road users. When there are oncoming vehicles or vehicles in front, the LEDs of the high beam modules are switched off. The other areas of the road continue to be illuminated with the mainbeam.
      Suspension
      The new CLS has a four-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. A dynamically set-up steel comfort suspension is standard equipment. The optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension has been improved, adjustable and adaptive damping system. The driver is able to choose vehicle characteristics from comfortable to sporty using the driving mode switch.
      New engine: with EQ Boost and 48 volt onboard electrical system
      The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz CLS is powered by a completely new in- line six-cylinder engine.
      The new, systematically electrified in-line six-cylinder with EQ Boost (integrated starter/generator) and a 48 volt onboard electrical system powers the CLS450 and CLS450 4MATIC. Its performance data: 362 hp and 369 lb-ft plus a further 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque available via EQ Boost over short periods. The integrated electric motor known as EQ Boost assists the combustion engine, for example when accelerating, makes driving without the combustion engine possible ("sailing") and supplies the battery with power by means of high-efficiency recuperation. By doing so it makes fuel savings possible that were previously the exclusive domain of high-voltage hybrid technology. All in all, the new in-line six-cylinder engine delivers the performance of an eight-cylinder engine with significantly lower consumption. The CLS450 is equipped with a particulate filter as standard.
      The new CLS450:
       
      CLS450 / CLS450 4MATIC
      Number of cylinders/ 
      arrangement
      6/in-line
      Displacement (cc)
      2,999
      Rated output (hp)
      362 hp @ 5,500 – 6,100 rpm
      Add. output from EQ Boost (hp)
      21 hp
      Rated torque (lb-ft)
      369 lb-ft @ 1,600 – 4,000 rpm
      Add. torque from EQ Boost (lb-ft)
      184 lb-ft
      Acceleration 0-60 mph (sec)
      TBA / TBA
      Edition 1: Particularly exclusive launch model
      The exclusivity of the CLS can be heightened even further with the Edition 1. Numerous standard luxurious features include the COPPER ART interior concept with seats in black pearl nappa leather with center sections in a diamond design and copper-colored accents, copper-colored contrasting topstitching on the center console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings, and a unique diamond grille with matt chrome pins and louver with a copper-colored shimmer.
      The exterior is based on the AMG Line. Special features include the LED Intelligent Light headlamps as standard and 19-inch multi-spoke AMG light alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen rim flange. The special model is recognizable by the "Edition 1" lettering on the front fenders.
      Highlights of the interior include:
      Dashboard support lined in black nappa leather Center console and dashboard support trim in Natural grain black ash wood with matching center console IWC analogue clock with exclusive dial face Vehicle key in high-gloss black with high-sheen chrome surround Floor mats with "Edition 1" badge and copper-colored piping Chrome "Edition 1" lettering on the center console and "Edition 1" display on the welcome screen.
      View full article
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