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Drew Dowdell

Detroit Auto Show Reveal: 2015 Buick Avenir Concept: Comments

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At the North American International Auto Show, Buick surprised us all with this stunning concept vehicle, the Buick Avenir. Avenir in French means "Coming Soon" or "In the near future", and we certainly hope so.

The Avenir is a large sedan that visually can stand with the likes of the Bentley Mulsanne or the Mercedes Benz S-class, yet it does so with entirely Buick looks. Classic visual cues like the boat-tail trunk, the sweep spear, the large waterfall grille, and the 3-port fender vents merge with more modern cues like the check mark light pipes in the front and rear light clusters, and the hockey stick design element in the front doors to bring together old and new without looking over-wrought.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept 006

Power for the Avenir comes from a next-generation 3.6 liter V6 that features cylinder deactivation mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission which sends power to all 4 wheels through a twin-clutch AWD system. The new 3.6 also features start-stop technology to power down the engine when at red lights. The driver can select multiple suspension dampening modes to his or her taste.

One element that stood out to us was the return of colors to the Buick tri-shield emblem. I asked a Buick spokesperson if this means we might see a return of the tri-color tri-shield and they were noncommittal, saying only "There are many style and design features on this car that will be seen in future Buicks."... One can hope...

Press Release on Page 2

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Buick Explores Future with Avenir Concept

New design proportion, device integration, rejuvenating interior push brand forward

DETROIT – Buick introduced the Avenir concept today in advance of the North American International Auto Show – a flagship sedan exploring progressive design with new levels of passenger well-being and technology integration.

The Avenir – French for future – is distinguished by its premium sports proportions and all-new interpretations of traditional Buick cues. It is the creation of a global team of Buick designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick concepts, which pushed traditional boundaries, shaped future Buick models and influenced the entire auto industry.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go.”

The Avenir’s sculptural surfacing, expressive proportion and Buick’s signature sweep-spear bodyside visually cue an exceptional driving experience that awaits inside.

“The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind,” said Welburn. “Technology is seamlessly integrated and builds on the features that have become hallmarks for today’s production models – helping drive a new generation of customers to Buick.”

Additional vehicle highlights:

  • Personal seating for four
  • Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
  • Twenty-one-inch wheels
  • Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
  • Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • Driver-selectable suspension damping
  • Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
  • Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch-diagonal color touch screen
  • Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
  • Ionic cabin air filtration
  • Mobile device wireless charging
  • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

A new design direction with a nod to the past

A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish the Avenir’s proportion.

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “The vehicle remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues such as the sweep spear and boattail. The result is a piece of artistry that is precise in its character, beautifully proportioned. It really takes your breath away.”

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts a new face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

“The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be,” said Simcoe. “On the Avenir, it represents a break from convention and progressiveness in technology.”

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 204.5 inches (5,195 mm) in length and 76 inches (1,931 mm) in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Avenir’s sophisticated color palette, including a Crystalline exterior color and strained use of bright work accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.

“It’s a sculpted design with a lot of snap in the character lines – with a classic long, low proportion,” said Simcoe. “Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.”

A soothing environment with unprecedented integration

The Avenir’s four-place interior rewards the senses, makes managing technologies easier and enhances the feelings of personal space and well-being.

“A flowing, sculptural quality in the interior forms, deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting, create an environment that is inviting and comfortable,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director.

Interior surfaces - inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach - flow seamlessly through the cabin. It is a motif featured on the seats and carried through in other trim components – even the carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif in silk and bamboo.

“There’s an almost-three-dimensional or bas-relief effect to the design motif that adds depth and heightens the sense of place,” said Wetzel. “Layered and floating elements such as the center console enhance the perception of lightness, efficiency and dynamism.”

A color palette of light and natural tones blended with oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance the Avenir’s ambience.

“They’re rich, premium materials and warm colors innovatively executed to enhance the soothing effect of the interior environment,” said Wetzel.

Functionality is manifested in the Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds. The Avenir instantly configures gauge cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior customization while also recognizing the user’s music preferences, calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone’s GPS. It can even pick up a podcast the user was listening to at the moment it was interrupted.

Buick’s user experience designers are also pushing the Avenir’s technologies for home integration, which would allow accessing home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.

“The Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier,” said Wetzel.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favorite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

“The use of color, material, form and amenities can affect a person’s mood and feeling,” said Wetzel. “The Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.”


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Now that is a Buick.

 

This car is headed for production and what you see is about 90% from what I can see. Note it has the crush space with the high nose for over the engine and other little details not normally put into a show car.

This is also the car Mark Reuss spoke of about being a more dramatic Panamera. Also if you look back at the Holden ad that spoke of Holdens future they had a Holden version of this on the screen on the designers desk.

I see this car as a Buick, Opel and Holden it will replace the Zeta so this may be a 2018 or mid year 2017.

What I see here is a Bentley and Panamera.  I have asked for an automaker to take on the Bentley scalped styling and it looks like Buick has stepped up. Whole the A & S Cadillac is not bad this styling could age it fast.

 

I expect the greatest changes to take place to the interior as it is the most show car like as there are things that will need to be added but other than that. Wow!

Hell I was never a big fan of the big Waterfall but they have made me love this one with the Opel V in it.

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Based on the name of the concept I would be unsurprised to see a potential production model called the "Park Avenue"

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I like everything back to the C-pillar. The front fascia & lighting details are VERY nice, but a shorter rear overhang than the front is not something I would gravitate toward. I see a number of other details I would have refined differently, tho overall on the exterior I'd give it a 8.5/10.

Hope to hell Buick slots something in this tier for production.

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Stunned and happy to see what GM is still capable of with regard to the bedrock brand of the company.  This is what Buick deserves to be.

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Buick was kind of the doctor's car when GM owned 50% of the US market: elegant non-flashy luxury compared with the more excessive Cadillac... Can the two coexist, or does this show that GM really doesn't need Cadillac if they can build up the Buick brand to its former glory?

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As for the name this car deserves better than an old name. Also if you want people to know you have changed you better not rehash the past.

 

Do not count Cadillac out as they are not to where they are going. The Buick will fill the gap left by Cadillac. You need to let GM finish the whole picture before you get too judgmental.

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As for the name this car deserves better than an old name. Also if you want people to know you have changed you better not rehash the past.

 

Do not count Cadillac out as they are not to where they are going. The Buick will fill the gap left by Cadillac. You need to let GM finish the whole picture before you get too judgmental.

If this picks up the current 'value-oriented' Cadillac buyers, fine. If Cadillac fails to move upmarket enough, I see trouble ahead. No strategy is without risks, of course; just trying to point the risks out.

Edited by ZL-1

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I agree with Balthazar about the short rear end, other than that this is quite impressive.  I'd love to see this turned into a Riviera especially if the rear is allowed to grow and flow better. 

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Very impressive Buick. Love it all except for the coupe look. I like the more traditional sedan look.

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This is Lovely in so many ways! Buick needs this car STAT!! Position it above the LaCrosse on a proper RWD/AWD Platform with no less then 400HP!!

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I actually quite like it, although from the side it looks a bit like a Tesla Model S with a longer hood.  I don't like short rear decklids or a Panamera style rear end, this isn't too bad, but from behind the C-pillar I think it could be better.  They did well in front of the C-pillar, I question if there is a market for it, I think sales numbers would be like Kia K900 or Hyundai Equus.

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@ZL-1

 

That is just it Cadillac is on a mission that it can no be let to fail. Hence the investment and complete buy in by GM to give them what ever it takes to build the cars and engines of their own  they need to make it.

 

Buick will do fine in its segment and fill in very nice for where Cadillac has been. But they will not get their own engines and options as Cadillac will get. The full buy in by GM will bring things we could not imagine a year ago. Hell did you ever think they would get their own powertrains again? That is only a hint at what is coming.  

Hell few people saw this coming to Buick and wondered whey they were saved in the first place. Yet GM hid this car in plain site in the Holden add last year and Mark spoke openly about it.

The bottom line is this is not the old GM and for once the people who are not the problem within are winning control.

Edited by hyperv6

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The concept is on an amalgamation of older platforms. This exact car is a styling exercise, but one that could be built on coming platforms. Dont be surprised if certain elements of the next Lacrosse remind you of this car.

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@ZL-1

 

That is just it Cadillac is on a mission that it can no be let to fail. Hence the investment and complete buy in by GM to give them what ever it takes to build the cars and engines of their own  they need to make it.

 

Buick will do fine in its segment and fill in very nice for where Cadillac has been. But they will not get their own engines and options as Cadillac will get. The full buy in by GM will bring things we could not imagine a year ago. Hell did you ever think they would get their own powertrains again? That is only a hint at what is coming.  

Hell few people saw this coming to Buick and wondered whey they were saved in the first place. Yet GM hid this car in plain site in the Holden add last year and Mark spoke openly about it.

The bottom line is this is not the old GM and for once the people who are not the problem within are winning control.

Hope GM delivers on those promises. The talent is surely there t just needs proper Management.

 

I think this Buick car can (maybe together with a NG FWD LaCrosse) effectively replace the XTS in terms of target demographics and independenttly of the wheels driven being front or rear. Maybe even go a little beyond what the XTS offers to 'soft' luxury buyers today.

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I actually quite like it, although from the side it looks a bit like a Tesla Model S with a longer hood.  I don't like short rear decklids or a Panamera style rear end, this isn't too bad, but from behind the C-pillar I think it could be better.  They did well in front of the C-pillar, I question if there is a market for it, I think sales numbers would be like Kia K900 or Hyundai Equus.

This is just like all the coupe style MB auto's with short deck lids. You should love it no matter what since they praise MB by building a coupe short deck auto.

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This car is intended for the Omega and on one web site they posted GM info on the use of Aluminum in the construction and that is would share its construction with the CT6. The only unanswered questions was would it also carry the aluminum exterior panels as the CT6.

 

If you note the body on this car is very producible and even the nose incorporates the needed height to meet the engine to hood crush space. If this were only as show car that would have never been put in.

 

I expect this car with in two years with only the major changes coming to the interior . No 12" Video screens in the seats etc.

 

Z GM has always had the talent just not the system that enabled them. Lutz opened that door when he was her and today Mark and Mary both are continuing to keep those doors open and opening more.

Now if they can just finish off the infighting of those who remain that want to return to the old ways. That faction is getting smaller and weaker as GM has been succeeding with new product. The fight over Cadillac's path has been the most difficult but with their move to set them apart this will remove the fight in the other side. This is what NYC is all about for Cadillac. It keeps the enemies from within farther away.

The Buick here and new Lacrosse will not replace the XTS. These cars will suppress anything the XTS would have ever accomplished.

 

The real need right now is a good solid Marketing Plan for all the division. They have some great product out there and coming that people need to know about. Right now Cadillac Marketing is piss poor and Buick is only a little better but needs to be built on to move them forward.

 

Also I had an Aussie say they are getting word of an Holden RWD V8 coupe any one have news on this. I am not surprise to hear this but would like detail.

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The Avenir looks more like the Model S or almost Panamera shape at the back. I like the car overall but would prefer more trunk. The CLS I think looks good, but my favorite Mercedes designs have always been E and S class which are more 3 box design.

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Panamera is distinctly dowdy in appearance, it cannot get past the 'limo builder' look of an obviously stretched 911. In other words; it's a terrible adaptation- the tiny front & rear clips of a sports car tacked onto a fat sedan body. It has no fluidity. A LaCrosse looks more cohesive and frankly, more upscale. Panamera is not remotely a stylistic comparison. Avenir is galaxies above the Panamera.

 

CLS is a very sleek design- that should have been the s-class all along but the roofline gives 3" less headroom front & rear than the S, and that's crucial for livery service.

 

I'm reading comments attributed to GM folk that the Avenir is NOT intended for production, which is borderline criminal, of course. We'll see.
But the production changes are of some concern. Avenir is wearing 21" rims - that's not going to happen. The concept LaCrosse GL wore 20s but largest you can get on the current car are 18s. The way the Avenir sits is a huge piece of it's visual impact- if a production car only gets 18s, a lot of wind is going to slip out of its sails. I'm not expecting to see this built at 85% of the concept.

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The car is stunning.  I drove it in my dreams and it rides beautifully.  I have shown it to a few people and "wow that is simply beautiful" was the common reaction.

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      In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, spaciousness and comfort, in combination with the raised seating position, elegant design and finest materials, particularly in the rear, give rise to a luxury experience at the highest level. The vehicle stands in exemplary manner for the typical Mercedes-Maybach values: traditional craftsmanship, uniqueness and individualization.
      Exterior design: harmony of sensuality and purity
      Smooth, extravagant surfaces with no beads or sharp edges create an image of sporty elegance: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury has a majestic look. With its balanced proportions, the vehicle has tremendous presence.
      The front end is accentuated by the distinctive chrome-plated radiator grille with its fine vertical bars in the style of a pinstripe suit. The new grille design celebrated its world premiere in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, the exclusive coupe concept car that delighted aficionados and fans of the brand in 2016. It also inspired the latest reinterpretation for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
      In combination with the low-profile front headlamps with three lamp units, the grille dominates the front view of the vehicle while emphasizing its brand affiliation. The large air inlets along with the horizontal air inlet with integral chrome blades underline the sportiness of the SUV sedan while lending it a dynamic look. The air inlets are crossed by the brand's typical honeycomb pattern. A continuous trim strip extends from the split bonnet across the roof through to the rear end.
      Unlike a conventional sedan, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury offers a significantly higher, SUV-typical seating position and therefore a sublime driving experience. This addresses the desire of many customers for a feeling of protection and security – a challenge for the designers. Ultimately, the task was to harmoniously transfer the familiar three-box design  – hood,  passenger compartment and trunk – to an SUV-like architecture.  This produces an interesting tension between the poles of sportiness and Mercedes-Maybach luxury.
      The upright C-pillar, long, gently forward-sloping hood and compact notchback dominate the sportily elegant side view. The muscular volume of the flank is accentuated by a long wheelbase and short rear overhangs. The overall appearance is rounded off by 24-inch turbine-look wheels.
      Truncated running boards in machined aluminum are integrated in the lower door area. They are illuminated in white and bear the Maybach logo. The overall vehicle is accentuated by subtle chrome trim above the running boards as well as in the lower area of the front and rear ends. The electrically extending door handles are flush with the sides.
      At the rear end, the three-part lamps are reminiscent of the design of the front headlamps. Situated above them is the visually vertically split rear window. Another striking feature is the modeled underride guard with diffuser look. It, too, is permeated by the Maybach pattern from the front end.
      Sublimeness meets lightness: interior design
      The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury features an exciting contrast between high-level sportiness and luxurious spaciousness.  This show car is the ultimate embodiment of a luxury dream automobile. The goal of the interior designers was to provide echoes of the series-produced vehicles while transporting them into an unprecedented world of luxury. They created a symbiosis of sportiness, modernity and elegance, giving an idea of coming generations of Mercedes-Maybach models.
      Exclusive materials with high-grade highlights exude exquisite quality in the interior, thereby underlining the vehicle's superlative luxury. The generous feeling of spaciousness, together with the high-contrast color compositions, make for an unattained luxury experience. The colors employed are typical of the brand, such as rose gold, crystal white and pearl grey. Flowing forms, delicate fabrics and aluminum parts create an exciting contrast between the sportily elegant details of an SUV and the lightness of a sedan.
      As the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is intended primarily for chauffeur-driven use, its design is strongly focused on the rear passengers and their well-being. It is in the rear that the feeling of cozy spaciousness is at its most intense.
      The driver's area and cockpit are reduced to the essentials. Air vents, which reflect the design of the radiator grille, surround the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit with double 12.3-inch displays. The feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced by a light, contrasting bottom part of the instrument panel as well as by the reduced height of the dashboard. Overall, the interior creates an atmosphere of luxurious coziness that allows the occupants to relax pleasantly. To emphasize the visual lightness, the rose gold frame of the front seats is open, exposing the white leather to view. The color/material scheme celebrates the superlative luxury of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach with exquisite materials and breathtaking surfaces.
      The luxurious lightness of the interior is emphasized by the color crystal white, the finest Nappa leather and a sensual shade of brown that features a light metallic finish on the instrument panel. Gleaming surfaces in polished aluminum generate exciting reflections while mirroring the highlight: the rose gold-coated seats. The claim to the ultimate in luxury goes hand-in-hand with extreme technical challenges. For instance, the intense Mercedes-Maybach signature red metallic finish is applied by expert hand in several coats. Tradition and modernity are reflected in the form of appealing contrasts. The entire interior is surrounded by a large-area trim level. Dark ebony forms an exciting contrast with the surrounding areas of white leather. Wave-like, flowing lines of light are integrated flush into the wood surfaces, impressively uniting the analogue and digital worlds. The tailored seat upholstery layouts take up the lines of the trim while giving a reinterpretation to the typical diamond shape. The fine perforations are in rose gold. Thought through down to the smallest detail, crafted with love and affection.
      Modelled on the S-Class
      As in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the especially comfortable seats impress with their adjustment kinematics. Unlike in a conventional sedan, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, while the seat angle and height adjustment are combined. Extra-soft knee cushions afford protection and comfort. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The crystal white Nappa leather seats are enhanced by diamond stitching in rose gold.
      The wide center console extends through to the rear. It is equipped with an integral, heated tray with teapot and cups, allowing exquisite tea-drinking enjoyment while on the road. The philosophy of tea plays a key role in bringing body and mind into balance while discovering the path to inner calm and vitality.
      The tea service is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony, known as "Magic Wood." At the press of a button, the handmade service of finest china can be electrically retracted into the console under a sliding cover finished in high- gloss black.
      Enhanced user experience at the highest level
      The Mercedes-Benz user experience, too, represents the definitive embodiment of a luxury dream car. The design language is warmer and brighter, creating a  luxurious atmosphere. The car was created entirely in a 3D real-time graphic environment. Like a butler, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury acts with anticipation, instead of offering long menus and lists. The vehicle plays music to match the current mood, knows the appointment calendar and plans the routes accordingly. In the rear, various flavors of tea and relaxation programs are on offer, depending on who the rear passenger is.
      The familiar ENERGIZING Comfort has been carried over from the S-Class. Systems such as massage, fragrance, light and music are combined, helping to regenerate and improve concentration. This holistic comfort and infotainment system can be individually programmed and adapted for every world market.
      The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz user experience in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is the comprehensive touch control concept – a combination of touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel. Alongside the intuitive control experience, reduced driver distraction is a further advantage.
      The control concept of the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit comprises three levels with rising information density: home screen, base screen and a submenu. The voice control adjusts to the user's voice and adapts new vogue words or changed use of language. In addition, the system does not employ stereotypical responses, but uses interactive variation.
      On the aesthetic front, it is based on the traditional Chinese ink painting style with its simplicity, white surfaces and balanced proportions.
      State-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology
      The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors, it offers fully variable all-wheel drive. The output from the powertrain is 750 hp (550 kW). The flat underfloor battery has a usable capacity of around 80 kWh, producing a range of over 200 miles (500 kilometers according to the NEDC). The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
      The fast-charging function is also convenient: thanks to DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes, enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around   60 miles (100 kilometers).
      The battery can be charged by cable at public charging stations, conventional domestic socket outlets or, even more conveniently, by induction. The charging current is contactlessly transmitted by an electromagnetic field below the car.

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    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz has been teasing for the past few weeks their showing at Auto China which is expected to be an SUV. But thanks to someone accidentally posting photos on the official Mercedes-Benz website, we have gotten our first look at the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept - quite the mouthful.
      The design... the less said about it, the better. It's a sedan with a tall ride height - think Volvo S60 Cross Country or Subaru Outback sedan. The front features the tall, vertical slat grille seen on the facelifted Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The rear end styling is similar to the S-Class coupe with small taillights and angled trunk lid. The interior picture reveals seating for four, blue accent lighting, and a Maybach-branded tea set for rear passengers.
      The powertrain is comprised of four electric motors delivering a total 738 horsepower, and an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an estimated range of 310 miles.
      Source: Autocar, CarNewsChina

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