Tag Archives: Mercedes Benz

ETC: Mercedes drastically reduces size of S-Class with new model cars

By Brandon Turkus

Mercedes-Benz S-Class scale models

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Mercedes-Benz takes its all-new S-Class quite seriously, even by German standards. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that even a scale-model Sonderklasse is carefully crafted. The miniatures in question cover the 2014 S-Class and come courtesy of three brands, in three different sizes, and are available through the Mercedes-Benz Collection.

The largest, and not surprisingly priciest, model is a 1:18-scale (making it about 11.4 inches long) creation from Norev. It features 145 individual parts, with opening and closing doors, trunk, and hood. For those that like to play with their expensive toys, the Norev S-Class comes with gloves. Dropping down the line is a 1:43-scale from Schuco that sits at 4.5 inches long. Like the larger model, it has a sunroof, detailed headlights, and multi-spoke wheels. With 55 parts, the doors, hood, and trunk can’t be manipulated, but it does come on a stylish plinth, with a case. The smallest model is by Herpa, and is a tiny 1:87-scale (about 2.3 inches long) miniature. Only 26 parts are used, but like the Schuco, it comes on a plinth and with a case.

All three models come with a choice of three paints, with Diamond White Metallic available across the range. The Norev model adds Blue Anthracite and Iridium Silver, while the Schuco can be had in Diamond Silver and Magnetite Black. The Herpa, meanwhile, runs a mix of the two, with Blue Anthracite and Magnetite Black.

Pricing is only available in euros, and includes Germany’s 19-percent value added tax. The Norev is 79.90 euros ($106.06), the Schuco is 29.90 euros ($39.69) and the Herpa is 15.90 euros ($21.11, all conversions are today’s rates.) Scroll down below for a press release from Mercedes.

Continue reading Mercedes drastically reduces size of S-Class with new model cars

Mercedes drastically reduces size of S-Class with new model cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes pondering Google Glass navi

By Brandon Turkus

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Engadget is reporting that Mercedes-Benz might be tinkering with Google Glass for its future navigation systems. The first, big-name wearable tech item of the 21st century, Google Glass has a huge degree of potential in a number of fields, not the least of which is the auto industry.

Citing the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Engadget mentions that Mercedes is focusing on producing genuine, door-to-door directions that combine the pedestrian and automotive applications that Google Maps has become known for. President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Johann Jungwirth, mentioned this seamless integration of directions is the division’s ultimate goal.

The idea is intriguing, but we’re probably going to be waiting on it for some time. Google Glass is still quite expensive and is far from being available at the local Best Buy. Until that day comes, it looks like we’ll just have to make do with going from our car’s navigation to a smartphone.

Mercedes pondering Google Glass navi originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes leads in US luxury car thefts

By Brandon Turkus

Mercedes-Benz hood ornament

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Mercedes-Benz makes some fine automobiles. The Silver Arrow’d cars are so good, apparently, that thieves can’t help but try to steal them. The German brand is at the top of the charts for luxury car thefts in the US, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, with New York City leading the way. (And those New Yorkers complain about Detroit being bad!)

The C-Class was the most stolen model, with 485 ganked between 2009 and 2012 in NYC alone, while the E-Class and S-Class (which also boasted the worst recovery rate, at 59 percent) both finished in the top ten. Following the C-Class was the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G. Not surprisingly, each of these were the most common models in their respective lineups. Los Angeles and Miami are also prime hotspots for luxury car thefts, according to the Detroit News report.

While getting your car stolen is pretty awful, there was one inspiring statistic compiled by the NICB – the average recovery rate across the board was 84 percent, with the Cadillac CTS getting recovered 91 percent of the time.

Mercedes leads in US luxury car thefts originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Freaky Five-Door: Audi Prices 560-HP 2014 RS7 from $105,795

By Alexander Stoklosa

2014 Audi RS7

Audi’s A7 luxury five-door is one of the most attractive cars on the market, but it has since birthed the higher-performance S7 and now, this: The 2014 RS7. Compared to the S7 and regular A7, the RS7 packs an additional 140 and 250 horsepower, respectively. Now Audi has revealed how much more than those two models the RS7 will cost. At a starting price of $105,795, the RS7 will set buyers back quite a bit more than the A7 and S7, but then Audi claims it can hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and top out at 174 mph.

For those who aren’t keen on doing the math, allow us to crunch the numbers and illuminate how the RS7 costs $40,400 more than the A7, which is powered by a 310-hp, supercharged V-6. The next-speediest model in the A7 family, the S7, is still $24,700 cheaper; it is powered by a lower-output version of the RS7’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. On the upside, the RS7 is quite a bit more affordable than the (less expensive) BMW M6 Gran Coupe, which, like the RS7, is just a slinkier version of a regular sedan. (The RS7 essentially is a sultrier RS6 sedan, while the BMW is an M5 with a less-practical back seat.) Mercedes-Benz’s rough equal for the RS7, the CLS63 AMG, was priced at less than $100,000 before it was refreshed for 2014—pricing for that car is not yet available, but it is still down 10 ponies on the Audi. (Mercedes-Benz hasn’t revealed how much it will charge for its newly all-wheel-drive E63 AMG wagon, but it should come in near the RS7.) Impressively, the RS7 is rated for the same 27 mpg on the highway as the S7 (down 1 mpg from the V-6 A7) and just 1 mpg lower in the city, thanks to engine stop-start and cylinder-deactivation features.



While buyers can get the A7 in Premium Plus and Prestige trims, content-wise, the RS7 comes standard with the ritzier Prestige gear. As befits a car in this price category, the RS7 is available with a number of luxury options and packages. Techies will gravitate toward the $500 Cold Weather package, $2800 Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise, front and rear cameras, lane-keeping assist, Audi Pre Sense Plus pre-crash system), the $5900 Bang & Olufsen sound system, and $2800 Innovation package (head-up display, night-vision camera). Vanity fans will dig the $2000 Comfort Seating package (ritzier leather with diamond-quilted inserts, 22-way power front seats with a massage function and ventilation), $4000 Carbon-Optic package (high-gloss black and carbon-fiber exterior trim; also requires $1000 sports exhaust), and $1000 21-inch five-spoke wheels.

Go all-in on the options, and the RS7’s price tag easily exceeds $130,000—but when you consider that Audi refuses to send Americans its excellent RS6 Avant wagon, what price can you put on owning a luxurious, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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Between the launch of the 2014 Mercedes S-Class, the debut of the S63 AMG (shown above) and reports about a new “super S-Class,” the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan has been in the news a lot lately. According to Car and Driver, Mercedes plans to introduce three new flavors of the latest S-Class at the Frankfurt, LA and Detroit auto shows.

We already heard that the plug-in hybrid version will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but this new report says that the V12-powered S65 AMG and S600 models will soon follow. At the LA Auto Show in November, the S65 AMG will hit the stage with a twin-turbo V12 expected to produce more than the current model’s 621 horsepower. This should make for one quick S-Class, no doubt able to shave a few ticks off the 2014 S63 AMG’s 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds.

Following the S65’s debut, Mercedes will reportedly take the wraps off its S600, which will use a less-powerful version of the mighty V12. The 2013 model year S600 produces 510 hp from its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V12, which is enough to propel the sedan to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. The updated version should only improve those figures. Stay tuned.

Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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There Will Be a Maybach Successor and It Will Be a Benz

By Jens Meiners

1997 Mercedes-Benz Maybach concept

Mercedes will place a new S-class atop its range to replace Maybach, much like this Mercedes Maybach concept from 1997.

Mercedes-Benz is readying an ultra-luxury version of the new S-class that is being designed to take over at a slightly lower market position than the ill-begotten Maybach. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Automotive News that the vehicle would compete with vehicles in the $200,000–$250,000 range—rather than the 400-large-and-up bracket Maybach inhabited. He added that the technological and luxury content will top that of the 2014 S-class as currently offered in the marketplace.

The highest-priced S-class to reside outside this über-luxurious range-topping S-class will the the upcoming S65 AMG—which we hear will bow in Los Angeles this November—the AMG models, however, place high emphasis on extreme power and ostentatious sportiness. Benz’s challenger to the Bentley Flying Spur and the Rolls-Royce Ghost would have to display more restraint and a more-conservative style. The upcoming high-level S-class could have a slightly longer wheelbase than even the long-wheelbase model we get stateside, but it won’t come close to the now-discontinued Maybach 62.

Daimler’s decision means that the brand will abandon the segment occupied by both the Maybach 57 and the Maybach 62, which competed head-on with the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the Bentley Mulsanne. Born out of the inability to snatch up either Bentley or Rolls-Royce brands, Maybach never came close to achieving its projected market performance, and has been regarded as an unnecessary aberration for Daimler at best.



At the S-class launch in May, Mercedes chief designer Gorden Wagener told us that the new S-class is positioned “a half-segment above the outgoing model,” and that its “classic lines” would make it a credible successor of the Maybach. Our own sources tell us that one of the styling elements of the upcoming, top-level S-class will be traditionally styled, high-gloss, machined wheels. The new model is expected to arrive in 2015 as a 2016 model.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

2015 Lexus GS F Spy Photos: The GS Gets F’d Up

By Alexander Stoklosa

2015 Lexus GS F (spy photo)

What It Is: A completely undisguised Lexus GS sedan prototype decked out in high-performance, F-style gear. Lexus’s high-performance F sub-brand is similar in concept to BMW’s M or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG, but has thus far only churned out the IS F sedan and the LFA supercar as full-fledged models, as well as a passel of F Sport–branded trim levels for the IS, GS, and LS. Currently, the GS sedan lineup consists on the GS350, GS350 F Sport, and GS450h hybrid. READ MORE ››

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Proposed advertising merger will bring competing auto brands under one roof

By Brandon Turkus

Publicis Omnicom merger sign goes up at stock exchange

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Publicis Groupe SA and Omnicom Group are a pair of major marketing companies that are on the brink of merging, a move that will form the largest advertising company on the planet. Naturally, this effects the automotive world, as the two companies count a number of ad houses that service the industry under their respective umbrellas, including BBDO Worldwide, Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi.

According to a report on Automotive News, the pending merger will bring a number of brands’ advertising efforts under one very large roof, and could lead to a shakeup in how auto marketing functions. With Chevrolet, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz all run by the same group of agencies, the potential for conflicts of interest is obvious.

What this means in the short term isn’t entirely clear. As AN states, one agency managing multiple auto clients isn’t unheard of. It’s merely the scale of the Publicis/Omnicom merger that has people concerned. In the long term, the joining could lead to some realignment, although Ian Beavis, executive vice president of the Nielsen Company’s global automotive group, told AN, “I wouldn’t expect any wholesale changes,” as any movement is, “going to take a while.”

Still, the deal hasn’t received approval from regulators. According to Automotive News, if the deal is given the go-ahead, the agency would have a combined revenue of $22.7 billion in 2012.

Proposed advertising merger will bring competing auto brands under one roof originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Benz is Getting Busy: Outlining the Next Year of S-class Debuts

By John Lamm

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC should be joined by the S65 AMG come November.

Based on what our sources in Stuttgart are telling us, Mercedes-Benz wants its new S-class to be all things to all (relatively affluent) people. We’ve already driven the new S550 and the latest S63 has been revealed ahead of its arrival on showroom floors early next year, but the three-pointed star has a handful of fuel-conscious and fire-breathing S-classes in store for this coming auto-show season.

If you’re in the crowd concerned with consumption, we encourage you to recall four years ago, when Mercedes showed off its Vision S500 plug-in hybrid concept. Making use of a 3.5-liter V-6 and a 60-hp electric motor, the Vision S500 was good for 18 miles of electric range and a 0–60 time of 5.4 seconds. Mercedes has confirmed that this model will head to production, and we’re told to expect it at the Frankfurt auto show in September before going on sale in early 2015. Final powertrain details have yet to be confirmed, but we’d expect the production-spec S500 to stay relatively close to the show car’s specifications.



For those who like their full-size luxury sedans to knock their lederhosen off, the next few months will prove to be entertaining. Our sources have told us to expect the all-conquering S65 AMG to bow at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The current car’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 is tuned to produce 621 horsepower capable of hauling the 5000-pound sedan to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. We’d expect a slight bump in output, a curb weight some 200 pounds less than its predecessor, and a sub-four-second 0-to-60 time. Six weeks later in Detroit, look for the standard V-12–powered S600 to make its debut.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Auctions: Shelby Cobra, Mercedes 300SL and 1947 Woodie from Petersen Museum headed to auction

By Jonathon Ramsey

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The changes happening at the Petersen Museum have been making the rounds in major press, but it probably won’t be until August 18, during Pebble Beach, when we get the full story on what’s happening; that’s where and when museum reps plan on announcing the way forward for the SoCal institution. In the meantime, the museum is still reorganizing its collection, and that means auctioning some of its showpieces at this weekend’s Auctions America event in Burbank.

Three of the stars are a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, one of less than 20 produced with a three-speed C-4 automatic transmission, a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL owned by actor Robert Stack and the last 1948 Ford Sportsman ‘Woodie’ ever produced. The Cobra, now restored to its original white exterior and red leather interior, was a factory demonstrator that first sold for $5,250. Showing just 38,950 miles on the odometer, its pre-sale estimate is $800,000 to $1 million.

The 300SL is actually a 1957 model but wasn’t titled until Robert Stack took possession in 1960. The lead actor in the The Untouchables TV series used to drive by the Sunset Boulevard Mercedes dealership to ogle the car, but couldn’t justify spending the money to buy it. When he and the producer of The Untouchables won Emmys for the show, the producer, who happened to be Desi Arnaz, bought the car for Stack. He owned it his whole life, it has been left as Stack drove it and still bears the California license plate “UNTCHBL.”

The 100-horsepower 1947 Woodie is considered to be the last Sportsman ever built, one of just 28 examples produced that year. It’s been thoroughly restored and returned to its Maize Yellow hue, with the original Birdseye Maple along its flanks and gray cardboard lining in its trunk.

They will go up on the plinth with rarities like a Jaguar XJ220, 1974 Mercedes-Benz 600 LWB Pullman Limousine and 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona. You can read about the cars and the auction in the press releases below.

Continue reading Shelby Cobra, Mercedes 300SL and 1947 Woodie from Petersen Museum headed to auction

Shelby Cobra, Mercedes 300SL and 1947 Woodie from Petersen Museum headed to auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Optimistic Lexus bumps US sales target higher

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Last year Lexus sold 244,166 cars in the US, slotting into third place in the luxury segment behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this year Lexus said its target was 260,000 units in the US (which would still put it behind BMW’s and Mercedes’ numbers from last year), but Automotive News reports that it has raised its upper outlook to 270,000 cars.

The half-year pace hasn’t been enough to make either number, but Lexus is gunning for a 15-percent gain in IS sales behind the arrival of the 2014 model, and this is also the first full year of sales of the new ES and LS. Lexus will most likely end the year in third place in the luxury segment behind BMW and Mercedes again, even if it does sell 270,000 units, but has said its prime directive is “good, steady growth.”

Optimistic Lexus bumps US sales target higher originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Mercedes celebrates its service departments with ill-advised anthem

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Worker anthems are always dicey (Exhibit A: the Hyundai Steel song), focused as they are on ideologies and products that usually don’t register beyond the bounds of the factory floor and burdened with dirge-like tunes and queerly reverential lyrics. Mercedes-Benz created a peppy tribute to its service department workers called Your Best that avoids the morass of the dirge but doubles down on the queer lyrics. Thanks to it being on YouTube, it also comes with imagery that is the closest we think we’ve ever come to service department erotica.

As far as we can tell the song is from the standpoint of a Mercedes trilling hosannas to company wrenches. The taste of the lyrics above should tell you all you need in order to hit the ‘play’ button, but if you need more, two lines later comes “I don’t like when they hit the brakes, want them to keep up with my speed.”

Alrighty then. You’ll find the short version and the five-minute version (!) below.

Continue reading Mercedes celebrates its service departments with ill-advised anthem

Mercedes celebrates its service departments with ill-advised anthem originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 28 Jul 2013 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mitsubishi Recall, Mercedes Nine-Speed Auto, Bugatti Special Edition: Car News Headlines

Mitsubishi has issued a recall on certain versions of its Outlander Sport, Mercedes-Benz has introduced a new nine-speed automatic transmission and Ford and Toyota have gone their separate ways on developing a new hybrid system for their respective big pickup trucks and SUVs. All this and more in today’s car news, right here on The Car Connection… …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at The Car Connection

Report: Ford books $1.2B profit in second quarter on strength of trucks

By Brandon Turkus

Ford logo

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Ford is rolling along nicely, with a positive second-quarter sales report and a $2.3 billion profit in North America. The Dearborn, Michigan-based manufacturer captured $1.2 billion globally from April to June, with a $177 million profit in Asia. Even in Europe, the land of doom and gloom for automakers not named Mazda, Ford saw some success as it lowered its expected full-year loss from $2 billion to $1.8 billion. The company lost $348 million in Europe during the second quarter, which, believe it or not, represents a $56-million improvement over 2012.

According to the report on CNBC, Ford enjoyed a three-percent increase in pre-market trading thanks to the news. The strong demand for the F-150 propelled growth in the US market, while Ford’s 47-percent increase in Asian sales can be attributed to the new EcoSport crossover and Kuga (Ford Escape in the US) arriving in the somewhat fragile Chinese market.

Pre-tax profits for Ford are expected to be in the neighborhood of $8 billion by the end of the year, with sales the US, Europe, and China all looking up. The company also shifted $4.78 billion of asset-backed debt in the form of bonds, according to a report by Bloomberg. This move came amidst rumors of the Federal Reserve cutting back on its $85-billion-per-month bond purchases. Ford wasn’t alone among automakers looking to sell off debt, though, as Mercedes-Benz and Nissan shifted around $1 billion each in bonds relating to auto loans.

Ford books $1.2B profit in second quarter on strength of trucks originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released

By Chris Paukert

North American Car of the Year crystal award

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Is it that time of the year again already? The 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year award “long list” has just been revealed, with 29 nominees sliding into the car category and 19 up for consideration in the truck/utility space. As ever, both NACTOY lists serve to illustrate the ever-widening scope of product that our industry has to offer. Tiny electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Spark EV and luxury bruisers like the new Maserati Ghibli bookend the car list, and the truck/utility nominees continue to illustrate the growing popularity of crossovers.

Last year, the Cadillac ATS claimed the car award (the Ram 1500 took home the truck category), and this year, General Motors has a healthy crop of nominees, including two from Cadillac (CTS, ELR) and four from Chevrolet (Corvette, Impala, Spark EV, SS). On the other side of the fence, the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins are also vying for the coveted cut crystal. Kia and Mercedes-Benz also have a lot of vehicles up for consideration. The Korean brand is represented by the Cadenza, Forte, Soul, and Quoris on the car side, and the Sorento on the truck/utility front, while Daimler will see its B-Class, CLA-Class, E-Class and S-Class models in the mix.

As ever, the long list gets its name because it serves as broad brushstroke roundup of new or substantially updated vehicles released in time for consideration. Given the fluid nature of new vehicle releases, the long list shows which vehicles are eligible for consideration – some of them may not have been seen or driven by the NACTOY’s 50-strong juror pool yet. Select vehicles may thus fall off the list if they do not become available for judging in a timely fashion, while other vehicles not shown on the list may be still be added at this stage. Later this fall, after jurors have driven the vehicles, a first round of voting will be held, and the resulting “short list” of a dozen or so vehicles will trigger further assessment followed by another vote that will result in three finalists for each category. A final round of voting will commence, and the winners will be announced at January’s Detroit Auto Show.

Check out both lists of nominees by scrolling below, then have your say on who you think should win in Comments.

*Full Disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.

Continue reading 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released

2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan - front three-quarter view, silver

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Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.

The current FWD platform for MB underpins the CLA, the B-Class, the GLA-Class, and the A-Class. The B-Class will arrive in North America as an EV for spring of 2014, while the production GLA crossover will arrive three to four months after that. The five-door A-Class won’t be crossing The Pond. Sad faces all around.

According to AN, another model will be based on the front-drive architecture, but it won’t be coming to the US market. Set to arrive next year, rumors are that it’ll be a wagon version of the CLA, sort of like the ill-named five-door CLS Shooting Brake that is also a Europe-only item.

As for the rumored CLA convertible and two-seat roadster, if those two arrive, it’s not going to be until the second-generation of the current architecture hits the market. Even then, their future is in uncertain, as Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG told Automotive News, “We are considering the final portfolio of the next generation of our compact cars. We have to define it and we may expand the portfolio.”

Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz Creates Ultra-Luxurious, Ultra-Cool Golf Cart Concept

By Alexander Stoklosa

Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart Concept

It’s not entirely clear why, but Mercedes-Benz—“the official patron of the PGA tour” and sponsor of pro golfer Adam Scott’s right breast—recently held a global contest that involved its fans submitting ideas for the ultimate golf cart. The results came in, were compiled, and apparently the overwhelming consensus among the entries was that Mercedes-leaning golfers yearn for a cart that rivals their car in terms of luxury. The three-pointed star guys presented the criteria to its designers in Carlsbad, California, who churned out the Vision Golf Cart concept you see here. It debuted it at this year’s British Open championship.

Loaded to the gills with luxury features, the Vision cart is less “the Mercedes-Benz of golf carts” and more a Benz car that happens to look like a golf cart from Tron. As Gordon Wagoner, Benz’s VP of design, puts it, “Why not [treat] a golf cart like a car, and [make] it a ‘golf car?’ ” Well, for starters, Volkswagen already makes a ‘Golf car,’ but we suppose that integrating carlike attributes into the ultimate golf cart makes some sense. Still, we’re struggling to see why Benz needed to design the Vision at all when a GLK-class can hold some clubs and seems capable of tackling a grass field.

Silly design brief aside, the all-electric Vision Golf Cart is an impressive bit of fantasy. Users can plug the Vision in to charge it, or it can be juiced up via the roof-mounted solar array—likely at a much slower, cloud-dependent pace. Electric hub motors mounted provide power. Inside, you won’t find a steering wheel or pedals; instead, a central joystick controls the vehicle. This is both bad and good, because it allows either front passenger to control the Vision. A series of touch-screen displays controls the air-conditioning and infotainment systems—for staying cool while streaming Caddyshack, natch—and the vehicle also packs heated and ventilated seats and Benz’s Airscarf neck-warmer technology. A head-up display is integrated into the windshield and can show golf course layouts, scores, and weather info.

A USB iPod/iPad dock lets occupants use their devices to play music through the Vision’s speakers, while a Bluetooth connection ensures captains of industry can still bark orders at their subordinates while away from the office. Golf-specific touches include a cooler—the beer is up to you—as well as cooled or heated cup holders. For golfers who aren’t so good at golfing, there’s an emergency “fore” button that, when pressed, sends a warning signal “to golf carts within the danger zone.” It isn’t clear how that zone is determined, or how Mercedes expects folks to override their instinctual pride and dignity to press that button. Since sometimes it rains on golf courses, rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers are included, as is a retractable lightning rod that is intended to be better at attracting electricity than nearby golfers’ clubs. Snap-on, lightweight doors can be deployed to further battle the elements.


Report: More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up

By Damon Lowney

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The last time we checked in on the battle of refrigerants, France had enacted a registration ban on some Mercedes-Benz vehicles because their air-conditioning systems were loaded with R134a, which was found to be harmful to the environment by EU tests. Now, other EU states are considering banning the substance, according to Automotive News, as they push for a new refrigerant, R1234yf, to be used in new vehicles across the board.

EU testing has shown that the new chemical refrigerant, R1234yf, is safe to use in automobiles and less harmful to the environment than R134a. But after testing it independently, Daimler claimed that R1234yf could be the primary source of a vehicle fire in certain crash scenarios, if the pressurized refrigerant line broke and leaked onto the hot exhaust system. Germany, going against the EU ban, still allows vehicles with R134a to be sold within its borders.

In a meeting in Brussels with the EU’s Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles on Wednesday, representatives from the 28 member states discussed the issue and agreed that all vehicles sold within the EU must conform to the law. They stated vehicles that have already been sold with R134a must be withdrawn, just as France did by not allowing the registration of Mercedes-Benz A-class, B-class and SL cars built after June.

More talks between France and Germany will be organized to find a solution to the problem. But in the meantime, according to Automotive News, Daimler said that the vehicle ban in France alone could detract two percent from its global sales. Read the official EU press releases from the meeting in Brussels after the jump.

Continue reading More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up

More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Pacific Northworst LeMons Inspections: Austins, Saabs, and a Hudson Hornet

By Murilee Martin

Here we are at The Ridge Motorsports Park once again, for the third annual Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons, and the assortment of race cars preparing for Saturday’s race session looks to be one of the best we’ve seen this year. The weather promises to be strangely non-rainy, nobody threw a rod during practice, and British Leyland products are well-represented. Let’s check out the highlights!


King Henry the V8th Racing, having retired their Index of Effluency-winning Cadillac Sedan DeVille, showed up with their new car: a 1976 Chevy Nova, possibly inspired by the daily-driver ’76 Nova once owned by your LeMons correspondent.


Of course, the King Henry the V8thers haven’t forgotten their Cadillac origins.


This diesel Mercedes-Benz broke down early and often at last year’s Pacific Northworst, but perhaps Things Will Be Different this time.


The 1987 Plymouth Reliant-K wagon that NSF Racing put together for the 2012 season-ender and then handed off from team to team as part of their “K-It-FWD” program, has been traveling to nearly every LeMons race this season. So far, the K has raced in South Carolina, New York, Michigan, Texas, Colorado, California… and now Washington. Much of the traveling between races has been done without benefit of a tow rig, and now Pit Crew Revenge has taken over the K-racing duties. This car has yet to run well enough to have a real shot at the Index of Effluency, but we continue to keep our hopes high.


The two-stroke Saab of the Freewheeling Pikers (winner of the 2012 Pacific Northworst Index of Effluency) will be battling the Reliant-K for the Class C victory.


The Freewheeling Pikers won’t have the only two-stroker in this race; Balto, the snowmobile-engined Miata has returned to show that having the best power-to-weight ratio doesn’t always translate into the best on-track performance. Balto is absurdly fast, but drinks fuel like a container ship and breaks drive belts with depressing regularity.


As always, some teams dressed in costume.

<img src="http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/21-BS-Inspections-at-2013-Pacific-Northworst-24-Hours-of-LeMons-626×426.jpg" alt="" title="21 – BS Inspections at 2013 Pacific Northworst 24 Hours …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Official: 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

By Damon Lowney

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The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is officially a safe car, earning a five-star safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

GM General Director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness, Gay Kent, says that the 2014 Impala was “designed to provide excellent crash safety,” and there’s a long list of safety features to back up that statement, some of which are firsts for Chevrolet. Only a few years ago luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, were pioneers of radar-based safety technologies. Now the technology has trickled down to more affordable cars, such as the 2014 Impala, which also features traffic-sensing radar (a first for a Chevrolet), adaptive cruise control that adjusts vehicle speed and can stop it in gridlock traffic, crash-imminent braking, collision alerts and lane departure warning. The car also has a rear-mounted video camera paired with an ultrasonic system to help with parking, 10 airbags and the list goes on.

Of course, driver aides such as traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes come standard on the Impala, too, as does OnStar, GM’s GPS-based service that will send an emergency call for help if it senses the vehicle was in a crash.

Scroll down to read the press release about the full range of safety features that earned it a five-star crash rating, and be sure to check out the video of the crash test below.

Continue reading 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog