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Archive for the ‘Mercedes’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World

Ford F-150

Determining the value of a car brand can be a tricky exercise. There are so many variables to consider that ultimately, the results may differ from one study or another. What we do know is that, at the very least, the cream always rises to the top. The standings may be different depending on who the author of the study is, but it’s pretty much the same automakers making up a majority of the list.

In this exercise, we’re taking a look at the ten most valuable car brands, at least through the eyes of Interbrand, an independent agency that specializes in determining the world’s most valuable brands. Obviously, such a task involves creating a specific set of formulas and calculations using a variety of available information, including a company’s financial forecast and then using it with its own in-house-developed “role of brand” and “brand strength” calculations. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is, especially in the current automotive climate where buzz words like “electrification,” “ride-sharing,” and “autonomous driving technology” have staked bigger pieces of influence among automakers of all shapes and sizes.

Even then, there are also certain requirements that each automaker has to meet to be eligible to be included in the list. These requirements include having a sales presence on at least three continents and having a third of a company’s revenue coming from its home market. Ultimately, it all boils down to a lot of tech jargon that’s a little above my head. What I can tell you, though, is that the final list that Interbrand came up with is both expected and revealing. A few notable names made it in predictable spots while a few surprise inclusions definitely raised our eyebrows.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

10. Porsche


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 644852

Brand value: $10.13 billion

Top-selling model: Porsche 911

It seems crazy to think that at one point in the last 20 years, Porsche was a struggling automaker that somehow couldn’t get out of its own way. Things have definitely changed since then, and a big part of that is tied into the German automaker’s decision to enter a market that it previously shied away from. Taking a risk, Porsche ultimately decided to build the Cayenne SUV, and the rest is history. Today, Porsche cracks the top 10 list of “most valuable auto brands in the world” for good reason. It’s arguably one of the most beloved automakers in the world, and it’s rounded its model lineup to include a performance saloon known as the Panamera to go with a steady diet of sports cars led by the Porsche 911 Turbo.

9. Volkswagen


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 569578

Brand value: $11.52 billion

Top-selling model: Volkswagen Beetle

If you’re surprised that Volkswagen is so far down on this list, don’t be. This is Volkswagen the automaker, not the auto conglomerate that owns three brands on this list. On the bright side, VW actually posted improvements in terms of its brand value compared to last year. It’s incremental growth of just one percent, but it’s growth compared to 2016 when it actually posted a drop of one percent in value. Still, it could’ve been a lot better for Volkswagen had it not gotten itself mixed into the Dieselgate scandal. Look for a better year ahead for the German automaker when the calendar flips to 2018.

8. Nissan


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 656181

Brand value: $11.54 billion

Top-selling model: Nissan Sentra

If there was an automaker that earned its place in this ranking, it has to be Nissan. That’s not an indictment on the automaker’s past, but a celebration of what it has achieved in recent years. Between launching models that have been positively received and maintaining a level-headed approach in an industry that’s continues to evolve like this one, Nissan has turned in one growth year after another, culminating in a four-percent growth for this year that was good enough to land it in the top 10 list of most valuable car brands in the world.

7. Audi


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 635406

Brand value: $12.02 billion

Top-selling model: Audi A4

The Nissan of Europe, or is Nissan the Audi of Japan? Either way, the comparison fits because Audi always seems to be third fiddle in Europe to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, just like Nissan plays the same role in Japan to Toyota and Honda. That’s not a slight towards either Audi or Nissan because both companies have thrived doing their own thing. In Audi’s case, it has managed to build up a brand that’s worth $12.02 billion, becoming the most valuable auto brand under the Volkswagen Group. This year, Audi even posted a two-percent growth that probably should be bigger had it not been weighed down by Dieselgate. Still, look for Audi to remain competitive to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as it always has been in recent years.

6. Hyundai


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 533707

Brand Value: $13.2 billion

Top-selling model: Hyundai Elantra

It says a lot about Hyundai’s growth as an automaker that it finds itself on this list with some of the most established brands in the auto industry. This wasn’t always the case though, as the Korean automaker’s surge up to mainstream popularity didn’t happen until the last decade. But, thanks to an aggressive push towards relevancy and the introduction of popular models like the Elantra, Tucson, and Santa Fe, Hyundai’s ascension up the ranks is looking less fluky and more of a result of hard work and dedication. Don’t even be surprised if, by next year, Hyundai finds itself in going up the ladder into a more prominent spot on this list. That’s the kind of outlook we’re now expecting from a company that already increased its value year-on-year by at least five percent.

5. Ford


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 700456

Brand value: $13.64 billion

Top-selling model: Ford F-Series Trucks

Ford is the only American automaker on this list. It is a little bit embarrassing to see what’s become of General Motors and Chrysler, but at least Ford is representing the US here to a certain extent. The good news for the Blue Oval is that it posted a five-percent increase in its own value and getting it up to $13.64 billion. The bad news is that a lot of the automakers its ahead of have as good a chance as any to move up the rankings for next year’s list at the expense of Ford. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen because of the company’s strong foothold in one of the world’s biggest markets, but then again, stranger things have happened so it’s not a certainty that the automaker will retain its spot in the rankings. It is worth pointing out though that of the ten auto brands that made it on this list, only Ford can boast of having a pickup truck as its top-selling model. That counts for a win, right?

4. Honda


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 651046

Brand value: $22.70 billion

Top-selling model: Honda Civic

Barring the unlikely event of seeing something catastrophic come out of Honda, it looks like a certainty that Honda’s going to retain its status as the fourth most valuable auto brand in the world for the next few years. That’s because it’s brand value of $22.70 billion is on an island by itself. Ford needs to almost double its value to be able to even sniff Honda’s, and conversely, the Japanese automaker needs to double its own value in order to come close to competing against the company that sits third on this list. Still, a value of $22.7 billion is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it comes as a result of a three-percent growth compared to its value from the previous year. The timeless popularity of the Honda Civic has a lot to do with Honda being where it is, but so does the continuing presence of its robust crossover and SUV lineup that’s led by the CR-V. Look for Honda to remain one of the most valuable auto brands in the world for all the reasons I just mentioned.

3. BMW


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 629375

Brand value: $41.62 billion

Top-selling model: BMW 3 Series

Well, that was a huge leap, wasn’t it? From Honda’s $22.7 billion in brand value, we move up to BMW’s, which has a brand value of $41.62 billion. This is the power of what BMW has to offer and the niche it has carved for itself – sportier than an Audi, less uptight than a Mercedes – tells you exactly how the German automaker has built up its own brand to become a force to be reckoned with it in the industry. It still has a few miles to go before it can catch up to its biggest rival, but rest assured, the blueprint towards long-term success and sustainability is being put to good use. For one, a plethora of new models with more advanced tech features are scheduled to be released soon to complement some of Bimmer’s most popular model lines. Imagine what kind of cache it can gain with the release of the BMW 8 Series? For all of its success, it is quite ironic that BMW finds itself in this enviable position despite minimal movement on its brand value.

2. Mercedes-Benz


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 536045

Brand value: $47.83 billion

Top-selling model: Mercedes C-Class

The king of German automakers finds itself in the second spot, trailing only the king of Japanese automakers. It should be said that Mercedes’ ascension up the ranks didn’t happen by luck or sheer happenstance. It comes as a result of record-breaking sales that helped pave the way for the company to enjoy its highest profits and revenue in its entire history. Add that to its ever-increasing global popularity and the introduction of affordable models like the CLA-Class, and it becomes clearer and clearer as to why Mercedes-Benz actually increased its brand value by a whopping 10% year-on-year. At the very least, it created a big separation with BMW’s own brand value, something I’m sure the fine folks over at Mercedes are more than happy to point out.

1. Toyota


Money Talks: The 10 Most Valuable Car Brands In The World - image 509693

Brand value: $50.30

Best-selling model: Toyota Corolla

Sitting pretty at the number one spot is Toyota, a position it has held for a few years now on the back of being the biggest automaker in the world. Toyota’s dominance as a carmaker can be best seen in the fact that it still holds a pretty good lead over Mercedes-Benz despite seeing its value take a dip by six percent. That tells you that there’s room for Toyota to have a down year and still reign supreme as the most valuable auto brand in the world. I don’t see the company’s status get challenged for at least a few more years, but that loss in value could become more worrisome if it starts becoming a trend. For now, the auto world still kneels at the feet of Toyota, as do companies like Netflix, Facebook, McDonalds and Disney for that matter.

PostHeaderIcon Dashboard of Next-Gen Mercedes G-Class Spied

Interior images of Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming 2019 G-Class have just leaked online thanks to Dutch Autoweek. The photos show a mockup of the dashboard, complete with its massive infotainment screen, swanky air vents, and modern design. Of course, the dash isn’t the only new part of the 2019 G-Class – rather, the entire body-on-frame SUV will be brand new. That’s something that hasn’t happened in several decades.

The more upscale dash matches what we know the new G-Wagen. It will be wider, longer, and have better on-road refinement thanks to an independent front suspension system and adaptive dampers. Basically, Mercedes is taking its high-class Jeep Wrangler and making it much more refined. The G-Wagen will still be insanely capable off-road, though, thanks to a full-time 4WD system and locking differentials front, center, and rear. Those diff lock controls are positioned prominently between the center air vents, suggesting the G-Wagen will still be marketed as a go-anywhere SUV.

Other visible details include controls styled after the S-Class sedan, a bank of toggle switches, and an analog clock. The gauge cluster is also analog, but we’re betting the S-Class’ full digital cockpit will be available. We can’t wait to see the rest of the interior, and thankfully, that likely won’t be long. Rumors suggest Mercedes will debut the 2019 G-Class at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show in January. For more spy shots and speculation, read out speculative review of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class here.

Interior Of the 2019 G-Class vs. the interior of the 2017 G-Class

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References

Mercedes G-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683652

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2013 Mercedes G-Class - image 448960

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model

Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition

Mercedes-AMG has decided to pull the plug on its iconic G series SUV’s with the Final Edition model before it stops the production. The company will manufacture 65 units which will be sold worldwide.

The G65 Final Edition will feature 21-inch alloys finished in matte bronze with silver brake calipers. The mirrors, bumpers, and spare-tire cover get the bronze treatment as well. The running board and exhaust get matte black elements, tying the whole package together.


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740073
“Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin”

On the inside, Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin. Floor mats and grab handles feature the words “Final Edition” on them. The brown stitching complements the black Nappa leather upholstery well.

Under the hood is the famous, 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces a mammoth 621 horsepower. This astonishing figure is enough to pull this 6000-pound beast from standstill to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds! It is mated to an AMG 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

30 of these units will be available for the US market, and Mercedes will carefully handpick the dealers to whom the G65’s will be allotted. The order book will open soon, and the car is priced at an “affordable” $252,690. The car will be manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in Graz, Austria.

Author’s Take


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740072
“The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart.”

The Mercedes AMG G65 Final Edition marks the end of an era. The G-class has been the company’s longest-running production car, spanning a life of almost 40 years. The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart. Although the G65 is being laid to rest, an all-new camouflaged Mercedes G-wagon had been spotted last year. It is just a matter of time that the heavily re-worked model hits the floor, thus resurrecting the legend.

Given the enviable clientele of G-series, it is not “how” the car will be sold with sky-high price, but “how quick” all 65 units hit the road.

References

Mercedes G-Class


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 739733

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition.


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450391

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G 65.


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683652

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
- image 729331

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63.

PostHeaderIcon Is The Mercedes-AMG Project One Worth $5.2 Million?

Aston Martin made it known that flipping a reservation slot for the Valkyrie hypercar will come with a lot of consequences. Now it’s Mercedes-AMG’s turn to shed light on its position after a reservations spot for the Project One hypercar has found its way into the market, specifically on German online marketplace Mobile. The price of the slot? A whopping $5.2 million, which would be more than double the $2.4 million price of the actual hypercar.

Given the exclusivity of the AMG Project One – production is limited to just 275 units – it’s easy to see why a slot for the yet-to-be-released hypercar is being put up for sale at that price, especially if someone’s willing to spend that much just to get the 1,500-horsepower walking piece of Formula One technology. Whether it’s right to flip or not is another question entirely though. A lot of people in the business, Aston Martin included, has drawn a perfectly clear line in the sand on where it stands on the issue. According to CEO Andy Palmer, anybody who even thinks about flipping his reservation spot for the Valkyrie in the name of financial gain would automatically lose their slot and be barred from buying future Astons of similar exclusive ilk. For its part, Mercedes-AMG has yet to comment on the Project One reservation slot being put up for sale, but since the dealership in question DI Automobile is located in Munich, Germany, it should only be a matter of time before the German automaker reaches out the dealer, or even updates its policy on the matter. As debatable as the act of car flipping is, a lot of automakers are beginning to take a stand on the practice, and it’s hard to imagine Mercedes-AMG sit on this issue and let it happen without at least making its voice heard.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Mercedes-AMG needs to make a stand on this, and it needs to do it fast


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 731401
“$5.2 million is more than double the $2.4 million price of the actual hypercar”

I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite here and go nuclear on the owner of this Mercedes-AMG Project One reservation slot for trying to sell it for more than double the price that Mercedes-AMG is asking. For one, I’m on the fence when it comes to the practice of flipping. I understand all the negative connotations that are attached to it, but I also don’t know enough about a seller’s reason to make judgments on his intentions. This instance, though, is different because of all the circumstances behind it.

Here’s what I can tell you: even if I had that money, there’s no way that I’m spending $5.2 million on the Mercedes-AMG Project One. It’s just too much for a car that has yet to prove it’s worth the $2.4 million Mercedes-AMG is asking for it. I get that it comes infused with the most advanced Formula One-derived technology that a production car can have, but there are still too many unknown variables about it that spending more than $5 million for a build slot just doesn’t make any sense for me.


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 730635

As far as the automaker’s position is concerned, I get it too that they’re being protective of the sanctity of the process behind securing a slot for a hypercar like the Project One, or in Aston Martin’s case, the Valkyrie. If something like this is allowed to pass, the whole process will be cheapened, possibly to the point wherein future products to come from the same automaker won’t have the same auto of exclusivity. Aston Martin’s taking the proactive approach here, and that’s well within its right to do so. Same thing with Porsche and Ferrari, both of whom have already taken steps to crack down on potential flipping of its exclusive sports cars. Ultimately, I fully expect Mercedes-AMG to do the same.

Whatever reasons flippers may have, one thing is clear, at least from an automaker’s point of view. Given the requirements that need to be passed to even be eligible for a build slot, it would be extremely unlikely of there being any other reason that these spots are being sold at a premium other than making a profit out of it. If it were something cheaper like toy collectibles or trading cards, I wouldn’t have an issue with the flipping.

But for a $2.4 million hypercar? Something’s amiss there, and the automaker – Mercedes-AMG in this case – needs to act on it to prevent it from happening.

References

Mercedes-AMG Project One


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 731855

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG project One.



Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath

2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath

Estate vehicles, or wagons as we like to call them, aren’t supposed to do 211 mph. It’s just one of those things that don’t happen as far as automakers are concerned. But the car tuning world is a different story, and we see a good example of that with Vath’s latest tuning program for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate.

A lot of us are familiar with Vath’s work in the past, especially when it comes to Mercedes-AMG models. It has put in work to develop kits for the AMG SL 65, AMG C 450, and the sedan version of the AMG C 63. Heck, it’s even worked on the previous version of the AMG C 63 Estate. To say that Vath knows what it’s doing with Mercedes-AMG models is an accurate portrayal of the tuner’s abilities, and we see those abilities on full display once again with its new program for the meaty estate. Pick a section of the AMG E 63, and there’s a chance that Vath has something for it. The estate’s exterior? Check. Interior? Check on that too. Drivetrain? You better believe it. There are even “miscellaneous items” on the table, just in case you’re in the mood to get those. This is the kind of comprehensive tuning program that Vath has built its name on. There may be more popular tuning firms in the world out there, but when it comes to quality Mercedes-AMG tunes, few are as consistently good as Vath.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate by Vath

Exterior

  • Front Carbon Spoiler
  • Rear Carbon Spoiler
  • Roof Spoiler in Development
  • 20-inch V2_GT wheels w\ Continental tires
  • Suspension Lowered by .78 – 1.5 inches

2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743459
“The carbon aerodynamic pack included in the program adds a front spoiler and a rear diffuser into the body of the car”

If you own a Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate and you’re looking to give it an aftermarket jolt, this is the kind of program that you’ll need to pay attention to. The exterior, for example, may not look much in the context of a tuning build, but there’s enough of it there to play a significant role in improving the overall makeup of the estate.

For example, the carbon aerodynamic pack included in the program adds a front spoiler and a rear diffuser into the body of the car. A roof spoiler is also being developed at the moment so it’s availability is subject to when the piece will be ready to be offered. The impressions created by the aero kit are hard to notice, I know, but observe the front section of the Vath-tuned AMG C 63 with the standard model. Notice the slight difference?

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Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate by Vath

It’s the same story in the rear section of the performance estate as the new diffuser help make for a more dynamic-looking profile. Complementing the carbon aero kit is a set of 20-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in a set of Continental tires.

Interior

  • Floor mats in Black Velor w\ Silver Vath logo
  • New Speedometer reads 360 kph

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate - image 569895

Note: Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate pictured here.

There’s not much going on in the interior of the AMG C 63 Estate, but unlike some tuners who prefer to keep the upgrades in this section to nada, Vath does offer spankin’ new floor mats as part of the whole package. Likewise, a new speedometer is also on the catalog, one that’s dialed up to 360 km/h (224 mph) to better reflect the estate’s new performance capabilities, which I’m about to get into.

Drivetrain

  • Mercedes 4.0-liter, Biturbo, V-8
  • Tuned to 700 HP & 664 LB-FT (190 hp and 148 lb-ft more than stock)
  • 0-to-60 in 3.3 seconds (supercar acceleration)
  • Top speed unlocked to 211 mph (the same as a Porsche 911 GT2 RS)
  • Vath Turbo with stock electronic tuning
  • Custom exhaust with new downpipe (115 x 85 mm)
  • Vath oil cooler for engine and transmission
  • Vath Brake Optimization (racing brake fluid, steel braided lines, and sport brake pads)

2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743462
“The car delivers 700 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque – or 190 horsepower and 148 pound-feet more than standard”

If you’re going to end up paying for the steep price of this program (more on that later), this is the section where you’re going to see most of your money go. Not that it’s a bad thing because Vath did yeoman’s work on the AMG C 63 Estate’s 4.0-liter biturbo V-8 engine to get its output up to supercar levels. The meal ticket item in this entire program is Vath’s power pack, which is largely responsible for getting performance hauler’s output to a staggering 700 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Do a little subtracting, and that equates to output gains in the amount of 190 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of twist. Impressive, right? Well, it gets better.

The extra horses provided by the said power pack helps the AMG C 63 Estate uncork a sprint-to-60-mph time of just 3.3 seconds. 3.3 seconds for an estate! Not only is that time 0.8 seconds quicker than its standard counterpart, but it also falls in the range of established sports cars like the Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2, the Porsche 911 Targa 4S, and the McLaren 540C. In case you’re wondering, these cars are regarded as entry-level supercars. That’s the kind of performance mark you get with this Vath-tuned Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate.


2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743455
“The extra horses provided by the said power pack helps the AMG C 63 Estate uncork a sprint-to-60-mph time of just 3.3 seconds”

And if that’s not enough, the German tuner also did away with the top speed limiter installed by Mercedes-AMG. Rejoice then because the car’s top speed isn’t limited to just 155 mph, nor is it capped at 180 mph with the optional AMG Driver’s Package. The actual number is well beyond my own imagination as the estate is said to be capable of hitting 211 mph with the whole tuning kit in place. You know which sports car also sports the same top speed? The Porsche 911 GT2 RS. How’s that for perspective.

Outside of the sensational power pack, Vath is also offering a custom exhaust system as part of this program. It’s a little pricey (again, more on that later), but it should be good enough to supply that raspy roar when all that power is on display.

Suspension


2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743457

In keeping with its goal of providing a comprehensive tuning program for the AMG C 63 Estate, Vath is also offering suspension upgrades in the form of a suspension lowering kit and upgraded brakes. Nothing speaks to a car’s desire to be totally lethal and drivable at the same time than having that suspension lowering kit installed.

Pricing


2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743466

It always seems that as impressive as a tuning package is, the biggest factor surrounding it always has to do with the price. It’s a similar case with this program from Vath because if you’re interested in getting it, you’re going to have to pay at least €21,420 for it. That converts to just under $25,000 based on current exchange rates. A quick breakdown of the prices of some of the individual pieces can be seen in the table below.

Item Price (€) Price ($)
Power kit €12,800 $15,000
Custom exhaust system €3,440 $4,000
Continental tires €3,050 $3,500
Speedometer €2,130 $2,500

Notice that I said “at least”? That’s because certain elements of the kit don’t have prices attached to them, so if you’re preparing to spend for this kit, do so under the assumption that your costs could go up to about €30,000, or a shade under $35,000.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate “Rottweiller” by Piecha


Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate "Rottweiler" by Piecha - image 670936

As surprising as it sounds, the tuning world actually has a soft spot for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate as a number of other tuners have developed aftermarket programs for the car. One recent one to do it was Piecha Design, another tuner noted for its Mercedes kits. It may not have attained the same power gains as Vath did – “only” 612 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque – but it sure did make up for it with a pretty cosmetic package highlighted by sporty graphics, including a two-color racing stripe that runs the length of the wagon and a purposeful aero kit that’s made up of a new front spoiler lip, side skirts, and a roof-edge spoiler made from glass-fibre reinforced plastic.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate “Rottweiller” by Piecha.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath - image 743458

It’s hard to point to the one thing that makes this program stand out because a few of the elements being offered have appeal in them. But in the end, this kit being offered by Vath for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate is defined by the power upgrade, and on that end, there aren’t a lot of programs that can compete with what the German tuner is offering. I mean, 700 horsepower for an estate, even a performance-oriented one at that, is insane on all fronts. But Vath made it happen so if you have any interest to get the program, do so with a full amount of confidence…and then let us know about it afterward. We’d gladly hear stories about how a 700-horsepower AMG C 63 Estate runs.

  • Leave it
    • Pricey
    • Not enough variety
    • Other options available

References

Mercedes C-Class


2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate - image 569894

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate.



Read more Mercedes news.

PostHeaderIcon What in the World is Mercedes doing with this SLS AMG Electric Drive? Is an Electric AMG GT in the Works?

So, remember that failed electric sports car that Mercedes tried to make happen back in 2013? You know; the one that started out as the SLS AMG E-Cell in 2011 and became a “production” model with the name SLS AMG Electric Drive. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know what it was, considering not even 100 examples were sold when it went on sale. That was back just a few years ago when the four-motor car was good for all of about 160 miles on a full charge – not even enough to have a full day at the track or a nice Sunday drive. So why was Mercedes just caught testing one on public roads again? It was even caked with all kinds of testing equipment. Clearly, Mercedes has something new in the works. The question is: What?

Well, we have a feeling that Mercedes-AMG could be planning to bring an all-electric AMG GT to market before it signs the death warrant on the current generation. The current model is set to run to at least 2020, and if Mercedes plays its cards right, it could have an electric model on the market yet again by 2019. Whether or not it would perform any better sales-wise is a completely different story, but when you take into considering the fact that electric cars are more common now, battery technology is better, and new material can make cars lighter than before, a 250-mile all-electric GT is entirely feasible.

If this is actually the case, Mercedes could have retrofit an advanced, lightweight battery and lighter, more powerful motors into one of its old prototypes and is actually putting it through the paces to see if the technology can hold up to a beating. After all, a car like the AMG GT is meant to be driven, and hard, so if a second run at having an electric sports car is going to work, Mercedes needs to deliver something that can overshadow the best it’s got at this point in the GT lineup. The real question is whether or not an electric GT can actually be successful. After all, less than 100 of the SLS AMG Electric Drive were sold, so perhaps the truth is that we don’t want electric sports cars and maybe Mercedes should quit trying to make it a thing.


What in the World is Mercedes doing with this SLS AMG Electric Drive? Is an Electric AMG GT in the Works? - image 742277
“The SLS AMG Electric Drive wasn’t exactly your daily driver.”

Don’t get me wrong, the SLS AMG Electric Drive was a cool car, but it was a little ahead of its time. Sure, it’s only been four years, but back then range anxiety was a very real thing. Four years ago, 160 miles – especially in a sports car (yes, I know it worked for the Nissan Leaf) – just didn’t cut the mustard. It may work for someone who wants to commute back and forth to work each day, but if you want a fun-filled day at the track or to hit the highway for hours at end, you better drive something with a gas tank. Besides, the SLS AMG Electric Drive wasn’t exactly your daily driver. I mean it could have been if you didn’t drive far and all, but it’s got more of that “toy” status than it is something that you drive to work each day.


What in the World is Mercedes doing with this SLS AMG Electric Drive? Is an Electric AMG GT in the Works? - image 742276
“If Mercedes is really planning an all-electric AMG GT, you can expect to see it in the next year”

As of now, however, battery-powered vehicles have become a little more normal. And, getting 300 to 400 miles out of a battery isn’t exactly unheard of. There’s plenty of performance to be had from electric motors too. So, if Mercedes is really planning an all-electric AMG GT, you can expect to see it in the next year or so as it will debut before the brand ends the GT’s current generation. Expect to see it blow the old Electric Drive out of the water as Mercedes knows it needs to up its game if a new electric sports car is going to be any more successful than the last failed attempt.

What do you guys think Mercedes is up to? Are they planning something, or is some engineer really bored and trying to win a bet? Let us know in the comments section below.

References

Mercedes SLS AMG


2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell - image 366651

Read our full review on the 2013 Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell


2013 Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive - image 475366

Read our full review on the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe – Driven

Let’s get this out of the way up-front: I don’t “get” the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe or its cohort of other luxury-brand SUVs that have sporty, coupe-like rooflines. And I have not had the pleasure of driving most of the GLC 300 Coupe’s competition: sport-tinged SUVs like the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan come to mind.

These are intended to be more fashionable, driver-centric versions of their boxy-backed, taller SUV sisters. To that end, the GLC 300 Coupe was pretty fun to drive, as SUVs go. But it probably makes some cargo space and headroom sacrifices compared to the non-Coupe GLC 300. After all, as with fashionable clothing, sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice comfort for vanity.

Design Notes


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741318
“The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe seems to meld a C Class Coupe roofline with the lower body and ride height of a GLC Class SUV”

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe seems to meld a C Class Coupe roofline with the lower body and ride height of a GLC Class SUV.

The nose is all GLC, with M-B’s tall, muscular grille design and a huge Three-Pointed Star logo that announces to the world that yes, you are driving a Mercedes. Twin-projector headlight lenses are interestingly shaped and contain LED eyebrows that stand out from other daytime running lights on the road.

Fat, directional Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tires make themselves known even from the front view. Measuring 20 inches tall and 255 millimeters wide, they give the GLC 300 Coupe a contact patch more than 10 inches wide at each tire. If this is supposed to be a sports car among compact luxury SUVs, the front view clearly communicates as much.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741320
“There’s a sharply sloping windshield and a rounded roofline that would look more at home on a sedan or coupe”

The side-view is when things start to get interesting. There’s a sharply sloping windshield and a rounded roofline that would look more at home on a sedan or coupe, hence the GLC 300 Coupe’s name.

That roofline transitions to the rear hatch almost like a liftback sedan, with a rear glass that is more horizontal than vertical and a tiny faux trunk lid at the very back. The lower side shares a lot with the current non-Coupe edition of the GLC 300, with a clean design that features a crease just below the door handles and a slighter crease in the lower quarter of the doors. The big 20-inch wheels have 14 spokes and fit the sporty personality of the design.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741322
“It’s almost like someone took a C Class Coupe and stretched it in Photoshop to make it appear taller.”

At the rear, the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe can be polarizing. It’s almost like someone took a C Class Coupe and stretched it in Photoshop to make it appear taller. That faux trunk lid has a smooth lip at the top that almost evokes a spoiler, bridging two wide taillights. The lack of vertical daylight opening in the rear hatch glass becomes apparent when viewed from this angle. Once again, those chunky Michelins make themselves known from this angle, poking out just a bit from the lower rear bumper face.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length (Inches) 186.3
Overall height (Inches) 63.1
Overall width (Inches) 82.5 (w/mirrors)
Wheelbase (Inches) 113.1

Interior Notes


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741305
“It appeared to be making an appeal to the emotions of drivers who have traded in their C Class Coupes because they need to haul kids now”

When I opened the door of my 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe tester, its sporting pretenses became clearer. Bathed in optional red leather, it appeared to be making an appeal to the emotions of drivers who have traded in their C Class Coupes because they need to haul kids now, but they don’t want to feel like they have completely given up on enjoying a sporty drive now and then.

Thankfully, the red leather was limited to the seats. The steering wheel, dash, and door panels were more tastefully done, in my opinion, with black leather, soft-touch injection-molded plastics, aluminum accents, and black woodgrain trim.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741298
“The steering wheel felt great in my hands, with perforated leather and nice sport grips at 10 and 2”

The steering wheel felt great in my hands, with perforated leather and nice sport grips at 10 and 2. My only nitpick was with M-B’s control interface. It felt like stalk overload, because Mercedes puts a tiny shift lever on the column as well as a cruise control stalk. Combine that with the turn signal/windshield wiper control stalk and the tilt/telescope steering adjustment stalk, and it can be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated. I think using a small directional pad-style button for steering wheel adjustment, as many automakers do nowadays, would go a long way to improve the situation. So would putting the cruise controls on one of the steering wheel spokes.

The dash was pleasing to look at, though not distracting, and featured Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND infotainment suite with a floating, tablet-like screen mounted in the center stack. It was controlled by a combination control dial and touchpad in the center console, where a shift lever traditionally might be found in a vehicle like this. I found the controls relatively easy to master, though I liked the comparative simplicity of the control wheel I saw in the 2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 a little better. That model lacked the directional pad, and I think that made it easier to use.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741304
“Rear seating was plentiful for my kids, one in a rear-facing car seat and the other dangling his lanky six-year-old legs from a booster”

The 14-way power driver’s seat with memory was very comfortable. Rear seating was plentiful for my kids, one in a rear-facing car seat and the other dangling his lanky six-year-old legs from a booster. Mercedes-Benz didn’t provide measurements for interior leg- and headroom, but I had no trouble transporting my family of four in the GLC 300 Coupe.

What I did have a little trouble with was transporting our weekly grocery haul in the cargo area. Again, Mercedes-Benz didn’t provide interior dimensions or capacity measurements, but I found the sloping rear glass cut into the GLC 300 Coupe’s ability to haul tall, boxy cargo.

The interior had a couple of surprise-and-delight features, however. One was the HVAC system’s perfume option. It was ingenious, and it kept the car smelling great — if a bit feminine — all week. I later learned GLC 300 Coupe owners can get different scents from their Mercedes-Benz dealer, so I’m sure there’s a wide range of scents for every nose. The HVAC system sends air past a perfume canister’s perforated lid on its way out the vents, giving it a light scent that is not too heavy. It’s fully adjustable, and you can even turn off the smell if you want. It was part of the Air Balance Package, a sensible (for German cars) $350 option.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741292
“Another thing that delighted me was the Burmester Surround Sound audio system”

Another thing that delighted me was the Burmester Surround Sound audio system. With 14 speakers and a 10-channel, 640-watt amplifier, it provided plenty of thump for my tunes and remained crystal clear all the way up and down the volume range. I often say the measure of a good sound system is how clear it sounds at either extreme — low and high volume. By that test, Burmester delivers an exquisite system here. Well worth the $850 upgrade price. You won’t build a system that sounds this good using aftermarket car audio, not even for twice that price.

The Drive


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741289
“The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine was plenty stout, offering up 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque”

My tester was equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and as with previous 4MATIC-equipped Mercs I have driven, it made the GLC 300 Coupe a joy to throw around corners. Yes, even with its tall, SUV ride height, you can have fun with a GLC 300 Coupe in the twisty stuff.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine was plenty stout, offering up 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the latter coming on pretty low in the rev range and staying strong through a relatively wide band as revs climbed. It was kind of like a denatured version of the raucous, 375-horse AMG-tuned 2.0-liter engine I experienced in the CLA45. Turbo lag was not noticeable in day-to-day driving, with the boost coming on early and smooth to provide power to squeeze into an opening at the top of the on-ramp.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741313
“The suspension tuning of the GLC 300 Coupe did a great job controlling body roll when driven in a spirited manner”

I’d go so far as to say the GLC 300 Coupe moves far better than any SUV of its size ought to be able to move. Chuck it into a sweeping bend, lay into the throttle, and it doesn’t get addled. It just squats down and holds its line. I’m sure 4MATIC plays a huge role here, but let’s not overlook the suspension tuning of the GLC 300 Coupe, which did a great job controlling body roll when driven in a spirited manner, but did not beat me up over rough pavement and potholes. So many sporty SUVs compromise ride comfort in the name of handling, but not the GLC 300 Coupe.

Power is delivered to the wheels by a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that was exceptionally smooth in my experience. Its kick-down was quick when I needed to pass a slower-moving car on a two-lane highway, and it was never harsh in its shifts, even in the sportiest “Sport +” driving mode. Shift paddles let me control the action myself if I wanted to.


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741328
“The GLC 300 Coupe made good on its promise to deliver a sporty driving experience”

Even though I wasn’t sold on the exterior design or the red leather seats inside, the GLC 300 Coupe made good on its promise to deliver a sporty driving experience in an SUV that rides higher than your typical Mercedes-Benz sedan. I enjoyed the drive a lot. I just didn’t get its look.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo
Horsepower 241 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 273 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,000 RPM
Transmission 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic
Curb weight (Lbs) 4,045
0 to 60 mph 6.4 seconds

The Competition

BMW X4


2015 BMW X4 - image 545240

One could argue the BMW X4 is the reason Mercedes-Benz built the GLC 300 Coupe. With the X4 launching in 2014 and finding its niche of buyers, M-B was not to be outdone, introducing the GLC 300 Coupe in 2015 as a 2016 model.

BMW X4’s base 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo gasser is right on-par with the Merc, at 240 horsepower. It’s down a gear to the GLC 300 Coupe, however, with eight forward speeds. Performance is likely to be very similar between the two, as the BMW has xDrive all-wheel drive standard and should offer the brand’s usually well-sorted suspension.

Pricing is very similar between the two, with base MSRPs starting at $46,600 for the GLC 300 Coupe and $47,600 for the X4 xDrive28i.

If you’re shopping between these two, it’s probably going to come down to which one you like to look at the most. For me, the BMW is better-looking inside and out, but that’s not to say I find either model particularly beautiful.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW X4.

Porsche Macan


2015 - 2017 Porsche Macan - image 533189

The Porsche Macan paralleled the BMW X4’s introduction in 2014. Where Porsche differs from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, however, is that there is not a more traditional SUV-shaped Macan. BMW’s X3 and Mercedes-Benz’s GLC 300 are both more upright, boxy-profile crossovers. The Porsche Macan has a design that seems to split the difference between sporty, sedan-like roof profile and useful, SUV-like roof profile.

The base Porsche Macan comes in at $47,800 and is far more attractive to my eyes than either the GLC 300 Coupe or the X4. It offers similar performance credentials to those competitors, too, putting down 252 horsepower and making the run from zero to 60 MPH in about 6 seconds. All-wheel drive is standard.

Porsche offers an interesting middle step between the base Macan and the high-performance Macan GTS. The Macan S puts down 340 horsepower and shaves about a second off the base Macan’s zero-to-60 time for an extra $7,500 or so. To get more performance out of the GLC 300 Coupe, you have to pony up for the $60,400 GLC 43 Coupe that barely edges out the Macan S at 362 horses and a 4.8-second zero-to-60 time. Likewise, to get a faster BMW X4, you have to go for the X4 M40i for $59,250. For that additional cheddar, it’ll get to 60 in 4.7 seconds thanks to 355 horsepower.

Ultimately, even though I have not driven the Macan, it looks like the deal of the segment. Combining its more attractive looks with its class-competitive performance and lower cost of entry for the faster Macan S, it’s definitely an appealing package.

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche Macan.

Infiniti QX50


2016 Infiniti QX50 - image 648242

An interesting competitor in this group is the Infiniti QX50. Like the Porsche Macan, it has just enough of the car-like roofline to make it look a little sexier than your average luxury SUV. The main area where it differs from the mostly four-cylinder competitors above is its standard 3.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower.

Its seven-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive are deficits, however, and its refinement is not likely to be on the same level as that of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Porsche. And its technology features are not going to be nearly as advanced as the above competitors. Infiniti’s optional audio system is made by Bose, and will pale in comparison to the GLC 300 Coupe’s Burmester audio system.

But the Infiniti QX50’s unique selling proposition here is value. It’s a whole lot of sporty crossover SUV-thing for the money, coming in at a base price of $34,650. If you want to compare all-wheel drive models since the above competitors all offer it standard, the Infiniti QX50 AWD will set you back $36,450. It’s a relative steal. Load up a QX50 AWD with options, and it’ll probably be about on-par with the base prices of some of the competition above.

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti QX50.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe - Driven - image 741326
“It’s really fun to drive, for a compact SUV”

Just because I don’t dig the exterior design of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe does not mean it’s a bad car. It’s really fun to drive, for a compact SUV. It was practical enough for most of my uses. It wasn’t too thirsty, getting mid-20s MPG in my mixed driving.

At an as-tested price of $63,505, it offers a lot of driving enjoyment from a powertrain that won’t suck your bank account dry on fuel costs. EPA rates it at 22 MPG city, 27 MPG highway, 24 MPG combined. Furthermore, it was plenty roomy and comfortable for my family.

For those who like the “coupe” styling melded with SUV practicality, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe certainly deserves a look and a test drive.

References

Mercedes-Benz GLC


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe - image 670295

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA

With just over 500 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is far from what you or I would consider a supercar. It’s got some burn to it, sure, but it’s not going to win any races when you line it up against the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world. Imagine, then, what kind of program it would take for the AMG GT S to have the muscle for that action. Well, stop imagining because it’s actually come to life, all thanks to the fantastic folks over at IMSA. For your enjoyment, folks, I present to you the Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA.

Now, this is what a fully realized AMG GT S is supposed to look like. It may not be as sexy as its big bro, the AMG GT R, but it sure does make up for it in extra girth and muscle. That transformation was achieved in large part because of the work put in by the German tuner. There’s plenty to discuss here, including the steps by which IMSA was able to not only visually transform the AMG GT S. but increase power and performance to reach certified supercar territory.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo

Exterior


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739741
“Take out the whole panels and put these carbon fiber pieces on the car, and you’re looking at a coupe that, at least according to IMSA, now weighs just under 1,300 kilos”

Carbon fiber, carbon fiber, and more carbon fiber. That was the blueprint IMSA laid out in designing the exterior upgrades for the AMG GT S and it followed it to a tee. What you see here now is a sports car dripping in the precious (and lightweight) stuff, including on the whole bumper and spoiler assembly, hood, roof, wings, trunk lid, and, of course, the rear wing. Take out the whole panels and put these carbon fiber pieces on the car, and you’re looking at a coupe that, at least according to IMSA, now weighs just under 1,300 kilos (2,866 pounds). Do the math and that’s weight savings amounting to 300 kilos (661 pounds). It may not sound like much, but it’s a huge diet for a car that relies heavily on its performance credentials.

Finishing off the exterior upgrades is a set of 20- and 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels from IMSA Racing. These wheels are then wrapped in 305/30-series and 315/30-series Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires in the front and rear, respectively.

Interior


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567783

Note: Standard Mercedes-AMG GT pictured here.

There’s always a rub when it comes to interior upgrades. Some tuners proudly showcase theirs whereas some ignore this section of the car completely. Then there are those that offer personalized upgrades, which essentially leaves it in the customer’s hands. IMSA’s interior upgrades for the AMG GT S sit along those lines, other than the fact that the tuner installed a roll cage inside for safety reasons. Apart from that piece of equipment, every surface that can be improved upon in the cabin lies in the personal whims and preferences of the buyer. That’s why IMSA refused to identify what kind of upgrades it gave to this showpiece model since the absence of expectations make it far more interesting for potential buyers of the whole program.

Drivetrain


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739748
“The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo now has 848 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal”

Programs or projects with insanely long names are usually indications that a specific kit has something special to offer. The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo is no exception because its engine upgrade is, in a word, potent. It also involved a lot of work on IMSA’s part, including the modification of the sports car’s turbochargers, the addition of new forged pistons, the installation of a new intake and intercooler, and the complete re-engineering of all these new components that allows them to function and live up to the enormous expectations IMSA put on its shoulders.

Happy to say, then, that the result more than lived up to the hype. The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo now has 848 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. Plain and simple, those are supercar-worthy numbers. Much more important are the ramifications of having that much power at the sports car’s disposal. IMSA didn’t say how this massive engine spike translates as far as performance times go, but let’s go back to the part of the car weighing 300 kilos less than its standard counterpart. If the AMG GT S can hit 0 to 60 mph in just under four seconds, the AMG RXR One Super Gran Trusmo should have enough (extra) power in its engine to blow that figure out fo the water.


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739745
“The AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo should be able to hit 60 mph in vicinity of 3.1 to 3.3 seconds”

Don’t be surprised if the difference is massive either because, in my mind, the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo should be able to cover the same ground in the low-three-second mark. Perhaps somewhere in the vicinity of 3.1 to 3.3 seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph? Those numbers are completely unattainable for a standard AMG GT S, but they should be well within reach for a heavily modified AM GT S like the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo.

Suspension


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739749

No surprises on this front either, considering the kind of power the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo has at its disposal. Somebody puts that many upgrades on a car and it’s bound to need suspension upgrades to help the sports car maintain an appropriate amount of balance and sufficient handling. So, that’s precisely what IMSA did, and it threw in carbon ceramic brakes behind the wheels for good measure.

Price


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739750

Did you expect a specific price figure for this program? If you did, then I’m sorry to disappoint you because IMSA isn’t releasing any pricing details. That’s probably due to the fact that there are elements in the whole program – the personalized options – that would cause the final price to vary. The tuner did say that it’s only building a limited number of the RXR One Super Gran Turismo, so if you’re interested in getting one, now’s as good a time as any to make that inquiry. Who knows, if you hold off on doing it, you might lose out on the however many models IMSA plans to build.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser - image 678801

It’s been a while since the Mercedes-AMG GT S received a significant tuning upgrade that made a lot of noise in the business. There have been some past kits that have piqued our interest over the years, including this one from Lorinser. It’s actually one of the first programs were featured for the AMG GT S and it certainly didn’t disappoint, though it probably would’ve been much better if it featured an aero kit of some sort.

In case, the program did have a hefty engine upgrade amounting to an increased output of 595 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Consider that the AMG GT S came with a standard output of 503 ponies and 479 pound-feet of twist and you’re looking at extra power amounting to 92 horses and 37 pound-feet of torque. According to Lorinser, the upgrades are good enough to help the sports car hit 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. A 0-to-124-mph time has also been clocked at 10.1 seconds on its way to hitting a top speed of 186 mph.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser.

Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory - image 669228

If there ever was a tuning kit that really put the fear of metal on the AMG GT S, it was Mansory’s program from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. This one covered the full boat, beginning with a massive carbon fiber wide-body kit made up of components like a front lip spoiler, a ventilated carbon fiber hood, wheel arch extensions, extended side skirts, and a fancy rear wing at the back.
Those pieces were complemented by a fancy work on the interior that included red carbon fiber sports seats dressed in a hand-stitched, three-color premium leather upholstery.

The real highlight though is the work Mansory put into the sports car’s 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8 engine, none more important than replacing the existing turbochargers with larger turbos and installing
a high-flow air filter and adding an optimized ECU unit. The result is an output of 730 horses, a massive bump of 227 ponies over the standard AMG GT S, and translating itself to an acceleration time of just 3.4 seconds from 0 to 62 mph to go along with a top speed of 205 mph.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739742

Without question, this is one of the most comprehensive tuning programs that I’ve seen created for the Mercedes-AMG GT S. There have been a lot of them, sure, but very few have come within the scope of what IMSA was able to do. From the generous use of carbon fiber on the aero kit to the personalized interior options and the robust engine upgrade, the German tuner left no stone unturned in turning the AMG GT S into a full-fledged supercar with ill intent on anybody that gets in its way.

  • Leave it
    • No set price so costs could go through the roof
    • Limited availability
    • Definitely not for everyone

References

Mercedes-AMG GT


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567767

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT.


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739030

Read more car tuning news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition

With almost 40 years of history now in the books, it’s time for the Merc G-Wagen to get a substantial update. But before that happens (the new-gen is expected to show at the Detroit Motor Show next year), the German automaker is releasing a new, glossier, limited production run dubbed the G 65 Final Edition. Bearing the same AMG-branded bones as the standard G 65, the Final Edition adds a host of aesthetic enhancements to help it stand out from the crowd. Outside, you’ll find large wheels, specialized trim pieces, and black and bronze coloring, while the interior comes decked out in nappa leather, carbon fiber, and unique badging, all set in the traditional top-shelf G-Wagen luxury.

Merc says over a third of its G-Class vehicle sales are the AMG variants, so it makes total sense to release this spruced-up special edition before we wave goodbye. With only 65 units slated for production, Mercedes is banking on exclusivity to move this thing, because they certainly won’t come cheap. Pricing starts at a whopping 310,233 Euros, which is around $368,000 at current exchange rates (10/19/2017). And in case you’re keeping track, that’s about $150,000 more than the standard AMG G 65. Seriously. So what the hell makes it worth all that extra outlay? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition.

What Makes The Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition Special?

What’s It Got Under The Hood?


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450391

Note: standard Mercedes-AMG G 65 pictured here.

“The V-12 gets a double-dose of turbocharging to produce 630 horsepower, plus 738 pound-feet of torque between 2,300 and 4,300 rpm”

Take a peek behind that three-pointed star on the grille, and you’ll find the same AMG-tuned 6.0-liter V-12 engine that you’d get in the standard model. Once again, the V-12 gets a double-dose of turbocharging to produce 630 horsepower, plus 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque between 2,300 and 4,300 rpm. Lighting the fire is a multi-spark ignition system, with 12 individual twin-sparking ignition units. Adding some underhood glitz is a carbon fiber and aluminum engine cover.

That’s a lot of go, and although the AMG G 65 weighs in at a ground-pounding 3 tons (6,050 pounds), it’s got the right stuff to hit 62 mph in 5.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 230 km/h (143 mph).

“Top speed is electronically limited at 230 km/h (143 mph).”

Routing the muscle is an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission, which feeds a standard AWD system. The Final Edition also gets the same off-roading chops as the standard models, rocking high-travel suspension that enables slope climbing up to 80 percent, the ability to wade through water 60 cm (24 inches) deep, stability while driving at 28 degrees, a 27-degree angle of approach and departure, and a 22-degree breakover angle.

Sounds Pretty Standard, So Why Is It So Expensive?


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739732
“It comes equipped with new 21-inch wheels, complete with a five twin-spoke design, alloy construction, and bronzed color finish”

For starters, it comes equipped with new 21-inch wheels, complete with a five twin-spoke design, alloy construction, and bronzed color finish. Under the plus-sized rollers, you’ll find calipers finished in silver, while AMG Sport trim strips were added to the flanks. Additional matte bronze detailing was added to the skid plates, bumper trim, and side view mirrors housings. The radiator grille gets a black mesh insert and matte bronze surround, while high-gloss black was added to the protective strips. In the rear, the spare wheel cover is covered in glossy obsidian black paint, while matte black was added to the running boards and exhaust tips.

What About The Interior?


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739560
“The Final Edition adds stuff inside as well, tossing in the design Exclusive Package and adding nappa leather to the seats, plus carbon fiber to the seat side bolsters”

The Final Edition adds stuff inside as well, tossing in the design Exclusive Package and adding nappa leather to the seats, plus carbon fiber to the seat side bolsters. Light brown stitching is prevalent everywhere. Additional carbon fiber was added for the trim, while further bronze stitching adds a little more color. The grab handles get the Edition lettering milled right into them, while the floor mats get light brown leather edging. There’s also a flat-bottom AMG Performance steering wheel, which comes covered in black nappa leather, as well as the Seat Comfort package with “climatised” seats.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739561

Granted, only European pricing has been announced at this point, but even then, the price tag on this thing is rather ridiculous. When you break it down, you’re basically paying an extra six-figures for some wheels, black and bronze trim, and the bragging rights to say you own one of 65 limited edition G-Wagens. But to be frank, that’s more than enough for Merc’s customers in this segment. Expect it to sell out fast.

References

Mercedes G-Class


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450390

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G 65.


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683652

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
- image 697064

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 may look like a car that has little care for the world of aftermarket tuning, but that couldn’t be further away from the truth. The hulking SUV has actually been a favorite subject among aftermarket tuners, and we see that on full display with this new tuning program from Poseidon.

The program is called the G 63 RS 850, and you don’t need to be a mathematician to know that the “850” in the program’s name refers to the kind of power the AMG G 63 now has at its disposal. The extra grunt is complemented by a series of exterior and interior upgrades, all of which combine to create a tuning kit that establishes a more flamboyant personality out of Mercedes-AMG’s resident mastodon. The RS 850 kit may not be the first program for the AMG G 63 to dip into this kind of tuning upgrade, but rest assured, this upgrade brings a lot more to the table than what we’ve seen in the past. Consider this program, then, a top-of-the-line choice for owners of the AMG G 63. Whatever you may want to do to your premium, off-roading ride, there’s a good chance that Poseidon has the upgrade that’ll leave a smile on your face.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG G 63 RS 850 by Posaidon

Exterior


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739020
“This particular finish is striking in its own right, specifically the way it shines in the light”

If you want your Mercedes-AMG G 63 to stand out, then Posaidon has you covered with what it cals a “Crazy Color Edition” Solar Beam Yellow paint finish. It’s actually not the first tuning program for the SUV to feature a color similar to this one, but this particular finish is striking in its own right, specifically the way it shines in the light. There’s some burst-like elements to it that make it pop out even more than those traditional yellow finishes.

Complementing the flamboyant color scheme is a set of 22-inch alloy wheels that come wrapped in 285/40R22 high-performance tires. Gold-painted brake callipers are located just behind the wheels, attention-grabbing in their own right.


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739024
“Complementing the flamboyant color scheme is a set of 22-inch alloy wheels that come wrapped in 285/40R22 high-performance tires”

There are no aerodynamic modifications to speak of though that shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering that the AMG G 63 isn’t the type of car that’s going to need that many aero bits to begin with. It’s one of those cars that’s fine on its own.

Interior


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739027
“Carbon fiber trim is the big star in this section as it adorns a significant amount of real estate in the cabin, including the center console and tunnel”

From afar, the interior of the AMG G 63 looks pretty bland but a closer look at it reveals the complete opposite. Carbon fiber trim is the big star in this section as it adorns a significant amount of real estate in the cabin, including the center console and tunnel. The interior’s also dressed abundantly in black leather with contrast yellow stitching providing the matching look with the SUV’s exterior body paint. On the tech front, the tuner also installed an in-house speed camera update that can be integrated into the SUV’s Comand online navigation system.

That’s the extent of Poseidon’s work on the interior of the AMG G 63. It’s not mind-blowing, but it sure is effective in creating a unified look between the exterior and interior of the car.

Drivetrain


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739026
“The end result is an output of 850 horsepower and 995 pound-feet of torque, staggering numbers even for an SUV as capable as the AMG G 63”

This is where Poseidon’s expertise comes into the forefront. The tuner is known for its engine upgrade programs so it’s no surprise that the AMG G 63 RS850 comes with an impressive engine tune of its own. At the heart of the upgrades is an remapped ECU unit and an uprated intake and intercooling system. Together, these components are joined by in-house upgraded turbochargers and a stainless steel sport exhaust system with sound damper control and free-flow sport catalytic converters.

The end result is an output of 850 horsepower and 995 pound-feet of torque, staggering numbers even for an SUV as capable as the AMG G 63. In fact, do the math and the resulting power actually adds 279 ponies and 335 pound-feet of twist into the mix from the SUV’s standard output of 571 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

“Those numbers translate to an incredible acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 177 mph”

Those numbers translate to an incredible acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 177 mph. Again, compare that to what a standard AMG G 63 is capable of and you’re looking at a much more capable SUV when it comes to accelerating off the block and reaching a higher top speed.

Check out the AMG G 63 RS 850’s performance capabilities by the numbers.

Model Horsepower Torque 0 to 62 MPH Top Speed
Mercedes-AMG G 63 RS850 by Posaidon 850 horsepower 995 pound-feet 3.6 seconds 177 mph

Chassis and Suspension


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739018

Upgrades to the SUV’s chassis are also included in the program since it’s going to need one with that much extra power now available on that all-too familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. With the engine mods in place, the tuner also threw in an adaptive damping system with three varying settings.

Pricing


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739019

There’s no word yet on how much the program is going to cost, but you can expect it to be more than just a pretty penny. After all, a base AMG G 63 already costs upwards of $140,000 so to get that program on the car, you’re probably looking at a price point that’s in the neighborhood of $200,000, donor AMG G 63 included.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG G 65 900PS by Brabus


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Brabus 900PS - image 731591

If there ever was a tuner that can develop its own tuning kit for the AMG G 63 (or G 65 this case) and still look good doing it, Brabus is as good a choice as any. The German tuner actually presented a new program for the SUV a month ago and it featured a good amount of upgrades across numerous sections of the AMG G 65. Chief among these modifications is a carbon fiber wide-body kit that gives the G 65 a new look to appreciate.

It also received a “luxury overhaul” in the interior made up of different shades of fine leather to go with a reconstructing the configuration of the cabin to extend the center console all the way to the rear.

The most important upgrade though is on the SUV’s engine. See, Brabus wasn’t content with just playing around with the G 65’s 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Instead, it increased the displacement of the engine before proceeding on improving its engine mechanicals. The result is an output of 888 horsepower and a limited torque figure amounting to 885 pound-feet. That translates to a 0-to-62-mph sprint time of just 3.9 seconds to go with an increased top speed of 168 mph.

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 900PS by Brabus.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739021

There aren;’t that many tuners who are brave enough to develop a program for a car like the AMG G 63. On that measure alone, Posaidon’s RS 850 kit immediately checks a lot of boxes. It also helps that Posaidon has a reputation for building some impressive tuning projects in the past, and this doesn’t appear to be too different from any of its past works. It’s complete in the sense that it coves plenty of a customer’s “wants” and “needs” yet it still retains much of its AMG G 63 identity. It’s been said that the best tuners can adapt themselves to any car or situation. Consider this kit for the AMG G 63 as another example of the abilities of Posaidon as a full-fleged tuner of some of today’s most peerless exotics.

  • Leave it
    • Could be pricey
    • Not for everyone
    • Body color could attract ware more attention

PostHeaderIcon The Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Is All Set For Its Hollywood Debut

Justice League is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, and a film of this magnitude is going to attract a lot of heavy, cross-brand promotional partnerships. This kind of collaboration is particularly prevalent in the superhero film genre. We’ve seen Audis in the Iron Man movies, and Avengers: Age of Ultron and Acura in the Thor movies, and The Avengers. The massive audiences generated by these movies is the perfect place for publicity and, with Justice League scheduled to hit theaters on November 17, Mercedes-Benz will be prominently featured in the movie, specifically the Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept.

Yep. The same virtual car that the Silver Arrows presented back in 2013 for the Gran Turismo video game is now a movie star. Ok, that’s not entirely true because it’s not actually top-billing the movie., but it will play a prominent role as Bruce Wayne’s very own daily driver because that’s just how Batman rolls. Joining the Vision Gran Turismo Concept in the movie is the E-Class Cabriolet, which will be driven by no less than Diana Prince herself, who we know more popularly as Wonder Woman. The two Mercedes vehicles will play starring roles in the automaker’s partnership with the DC movie blockbuster, but it also won’t be Merc’s only involvement in the promotion of the movie. A series of commercials centered around Justice League will also be shown in the lead-up to the movie’s hyped up release. We literally have a little over a month before Justice League hits theaters all over the world so keep an eye out on all the Mercedes commercials featuring our favorite superhero in the coming weeks. The first one, called “Hard to Resist,” has already aired, and we can see it in all its glory in the video below.

Justice Leage X Mercedes-Benz: Hard to Resist

A brief refresher on the Mercedes-Vision Gran Turismo Concept


The Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Is All Set For Its Hollywood Debut - image 737298
“The AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept could turn into one of the most famous Hollywood cars of all time, at least depending on how Bruce Wayne uses it.”

It’s been four years since Mercedes-AMG unveiled the Vision Gran Turismo Concept and like fine wine, it’s gotten better with age. Nothing has changed from how it looks, but that’s precisely the point. The AMG Vision Gran Turismo was designed with a timeless look, highlighted by certain elements taken from the 1952 Mercedes 300 SL race car. The concept was also one of the first Mercedes models to feature the dotted front grille that’s become a prominent fixture among the automaker’s current lineup. Beyond its design, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept also showcased an AMG-sourced V-8 biturbo engine that pumps out an output of 585 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The numbers sound pedestrian now given the going-rate in power that most of today’s supercars have, but remember, the concept was designed to weigh just 1,385 kilos or about 3,053 pounds. Do the math, and that converts to one horsepower per 2.4 kilograms. The concept has never reached production status, nor will it ever. It was designed exclusively for the Gran Turismo racing game franchise though it is interesting that it’s ventured into new opportunities outside of the video game world. Who knows, now that it’s starring in Justice League, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept could turn into one of the most famous Hollywood cars of all time, at least depending on how Bruce Wayne uses it.

So superhero movies are magnets for automakers?


The Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Is All Set For Its Hollywood Debut - image 737298
“Companies like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Acura are not the only ones to have dipped their toes in tying their brands up with major movie franchises”

Oh, you better believe it. Companies like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Acura are not the only ones to have dipped their toes in tying their brands up with major movie franchises. Chevrolet was a prominent partner in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and if you want to step outside the world of superhero movies, you can point to a number of other film franchises that have benefitted from collaborations like this one.

The biggest example is the Fast and Furious franchise. Dodge vehicles have been prominently used in all eight movies of the franchise while other makes and models have had their turn in the spotlight. That’s how big the F&F franchise has become. Speaking of which, you can also look at all the cars the Transformers franchise has used in all five of its movies.


The Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Is All Set For Its Hollywood Debut - image 737296
“Joining the Vision Gran Turismo Concept in the movie is the E-Class Cabriolet, which will be driven by no less than Diana Prince herself”

Then there’s the James Bond franchise and Aston Martin’s long-standing ties to it. This example is specifically perfect because the partnership between movie franchise and automaker stretches all the way back to the beginning of the Bond movies. It’s still going strong to this day, as shown by the involvement of the Aston Martin DB11 in the last Bond movie to be released, Spectre.

So does Mercedes-Benz have a future in show business now that one of its most high profile concepts is going to make its film debut in one of the year’s biggest movies? It’s too early to tell, but if the AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept does well in the movie, it could be in line to get its own feature-length movie. Ok, that’s not happening but, then again, stranger things have happened in Hollywood.

References


2013 Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept - image 532430

Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept.

Mercedes E-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet - image 707528

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet.

PostHeaderIcon Hot Vee For Velocity – A Look at the Mercedes-AMG GT’s Turbo Layout

Many modern automakers use turbocharging to create more power from an engine without negatively affecting fuel economy during mundane driving. Most turbochargers can be found bolted to the exhaust manifold and hanging off the engine’s side. While economical to engineer and produce, this turbo layout can be less efficient due to extra-long plumbing, which causes the dreaded turbo lag. However, a few automakers employ what’s called a Hot V engine layout that’s designed to nearly eliminate turbo lag while also making it easier to ingest cooler air into the combustion chambers.

How does it work? Well, Engineering Explained takes a deep look at how Mercedes-AMG uses a Hot V design on its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 found in the GT.

Long story short – a Hot V engine uses reverse-flow cylinder heads that pull cool air from two separate intake manifolds mounted on the outside of the engine and expel the hot exhaust towards the inside of the engine’s V. Basically, the intake and exhaust manifolds trade places. This allows the turbochargers to be mounted within the engine’s valley and very close to the exhaust ports. The advantage is reduced turbo lag thanks to the close proximity of the turbo’s compressor wheel to the combustion chamber. Reduced turbo lag directly translates to improved throttle response and a near-instant gain in boost.

Aside from that benefit, a Hot V design also keeps intake temperatures cooler. This happens because the intake manifolds are located on the outside of the V where ambient airflow is greater and heat soak is less prevalent. A reduction in intake temperatures means cooler air. Cooler air is denser and can therefore provide more oxygen to the combustion process, thereby improving the engine’s power output.

Mercedes is only one automaker to use the Hot V design. BMW uses it on its modern twin-turbocharged V-8s like in its M products, Audi’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 uses it, and the Porsche 918 even has a Hot V despite it not having turbos. Ferrari even used a Hot V design in its Formula 1 engine from 1981 to 1984, 1.5-liter twin-turbo V-6. Sports car fans might be surprised to hear both Ford and General Motors uses Hot V designs on their V-8 turbodiesels. Yep, both the 6.7-liter Power Stroke and 6.6-liter Duramax have their turbochargers mounted up top.

References

Mercedes-AMG GT


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567775

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT.


2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe - image 700638

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C.

PostHeaderIcon Hot Vee For Velocity – A Look at the Mercedes-AMG GT’s Turbo Layout

Many modern automakers use turbocharging to create more power from an engine without negatively affecting fuel economy during mundane driving. Most turbochargers can be found bolted to the exhaust manifold and hanging off the engine’s side. While economical to engineer and produce, this turbo layout can be less efficient due to extra-long plumbing, which causes the dreaded turbo lag. However, a few automakers employ what’s called a Hot V engine layout that’s designed to nearly eliminate turbo lag while also making it easier to ingest cooler air into the combustion chambers.

How does it work? Well, Engineering Explained takes a deep look at how Mercedes-AMG uses a Hot V design on its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 found in the GT.

Long story short – a Hot V engine uses reverse-flow cylinder heads that pull cool air from two separate intake manifolds mounted on the outside of the engine and expel the hot exhaust towards the inside of the engine’s V. Basically, the intake and exhaust manifolds trade places. This allows the turbochargers to be mounted within the engine’s valley and very close to the exhaust ports. The advantage is reduced turbo lag thanks to the close proximity of the turbo’s compressor wheel to the combustion chamber. Reduced turbo lag directly translates to improved throttle response and a near-instant gain in boost.

Aside from that benefit, a Hot V design also keeps intake temperatures cooler. This happens because the intake manifolds are located on the outside of the V where ambient airflow is greater and heat soak is less prevalent. A reduction in intake temperatures means cooler air. Cooler air is denser and can therefore provide more oxygen to the combustion process, thereby improving the engine’s power output.

Mercedes is only one automaker to use the Hot V design. BMW uses it on its modern twin-turbocharged V-8s like in its M products, Audi’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 uses it, and the Porsche 918 even has a Hot V despite it not having turbos. Ferrari even used a Hot V design in its Formula 1 engine from 1981 to 1984, 1.5-liter twin-turbo V-6. Sports car fans might be surprised to hear both Ford and General Motors uses Hot V designs on their V-8 turbodiesels. Yep, both the 6.7-liter Power Stroke and 6.6-liter Duramax have their turbochargers mounted up top.

References

Mercedes-AMG GT


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567775

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT.


2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe - image 700638

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C.

PostHeaderIcon Hot Vee For Velocity – A Look at the Mercedes-AMG GT’s Turbo Layout

Many modern automakers use turbocharging to create more power from an engine without negatively affecting fuel economy during mundane driving. Most turbochargers can be found bolted to the exhaust manifold and hanging off the engine’s side. While economical to engineer and produce, this turbo layout can be less efficient due to extra-long plumbing, which causes the dreaded turbo lag. However, a few automakers employ what’s called a Hot V engine layout that’s designed to nearly eliminate turbo lag while also making it easier to ingest cooler air into the combustion chambers.

How does it work? Well, Engineering Explained takes a deep look at how Mercedes-AMG uses a Hot V design on its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 found in the GT.

Long story short – a Hot V engine uses reverse-flow cylinder heads that pull cool air from two separate intake manifolds mounted on the outside of the engine and expel the hot exhaust towards the inside of the engine’s V. Basically, the intake and exhaust manifolds trade places. This allows the turbochargers to be mounted within the engine’s valley and very close to the exhaust ports. The advantage is reduced turbo lag thanks to the close proximity of the turbo’s compressor wheel to the combustion chamber. Reduced turbo lag directly translates to improved throttle response and a near-instant gain in boost.

Aside from that benefit, a Hot V design also keeps intake temperatures cooler. This happens because the intake manifolds are located on the outside of the V where ambient airflow is greater and heat soak is less prevalent. A reduction in intake temperatures means cooler air. Cooler air is denser and can therefore provide more oxygen to the combustion process, thereby improving the engine’s power output.

Mercedes is only one automaker to use the Hot V design. BMW uses it on its modern twin-turbocharged V-8s like in its M products, Audi’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 uses it, and the Porsche 918 even has a Hot V despite it not having turbos. Ferrari even used a Hot V design in its Formula 1 engine from 1981 to 1984, 1.5-liter twin-turbo V-6. Sports car fans might be surprised to hear both Ford and General Motors uses Hot V designs on their V-8 turbodiesels. Yep, both the 6.7-liter Power Stroke and 6.6-liter Duramax have their turbochargers mounted up top.

References

Mercedes-AMG GT


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567775

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT.


2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe - image 700638

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition

Mercedes-Benz has dropped a new special edition for the 2018 GLS, its three-row SUV. It’s called the Grand Edition, and it brings a swanky new leather treatment to the interior and the choice between two sets of 20-inch alloy wheels. The Grand Edition can be had on the GLS 350d, 400, and 500, but is only offered in Europe. Sorry, Cowboy. Though Joe America can’t have this beast parked in his driveway, more of his cattle will be found inside.

As mentioned, the interior’s new extended leather treatment involves a leather-covered dashboard with real, open-pore wood accents and seats with quilted patterns and a porcelain and espresso color combination only found in the Grand Edition. Outside, those getting the Grand Edition can choose to get the Exterior Package, which includes a slightly more aggressive lower front fascia and AMG-style 20-inch wheels. All Grand Editions come with badges on the front fenders denoting their grandeur.

Continue reading for more details on the Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition.

What makes the GLS Grand Edition special


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736667
“Added comfort and exclusivity are often all it takes to push customers to upgrade.”

In reality, the Grand Edition isn’t all that different. Yes, there are “exclusive” wheels, new stitching patterns in the seats, and Nappa leather and wood on the dash, but that’s it. Then again, that’s all it takes to push customers to upgrade – added comfort and exclusivity.

While this isn’t Mercedes’ first time launching a Grand Edition SUV, there is speculation this might be the current GLS’ swan song. Spy shots have already surfaced of a large SUV draped in camouflage and wearing a three-pointed star. A new GLS would certainly be welcomed. Though its exterior aesthetics have aged rather well, the SUV’s interior – particularly its dashboard – is in serious need of an update. Just look at that center stack. It has telephone buttons like its 2003. An S-Class/E-Class treatment would definitely be a welcomed upgrade, digital dash and massive screens included.


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736670

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736672
“Mercedes is offering the special edition trim on the GLS’ three main trims – the 350d, 400, and 500, all with 4Matic AWD”

But back to the 2018 GLS Grand Edition.

Mercedes is offering the special edition trim on the GLS’ three main trims – the 350d, 400, and 500, all with 4Matic AWD. The GLS 350d 4Matic is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel making 258 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The GLS 400 4Matic is powered by a gasoline-drinking 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Topping the range is the GLS 500 4Matic motivated by a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 with 456 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. All versions come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and all horsepower specs are measured in PS, pursuant to European standards.


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736673
“Adding the upgraded interior package of the Grand Edition costs £5,950, and the exterior package adds another £2,300”

As for costs and availability of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition, Mercedes has already opened the ordering books and models will be arriving in European showrooms in March of 2018. Adding the upgraded interior package of the Grand Edition costs £5,950, and the exterior package adds another £2,300. That currently equates to $7,764 and $3,001 respectively.

What do you think? Are the interior and exterior upgrades worth the extra cost? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Mercedes GLS


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class - image 654033

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS.


2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class - image 713883

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG A40

Mercedes is on a mission to replace its models every six years or so. So, with the current generation A-Class turning five years old as of 2017, it was no surprise to us when we saw the next-gen prototype putting in some work somewhere in Europe. Alongside the redesigned hatchback, Mercedes-Benz is also testing a new version of the AMG A45. More importantly, it seems that the German company wants to introduce a new model into the lineup. It’s reportedly called the AMG A40 and will slot below the familiar AMG A45.

As of June 2017, the prototype is still wrapped in lots of camo and padding, but that isn’t to say that we can’t identify some of the changes we can expect when the model does shed its prototype skin. It’s rather obvious that the next-gen A-Class will bring some evolutionary changes, all of which will find their way on the performance-oriented versions. The biggest news here is this new A40 trim, which will most likely be sold as an answer to the Audi S3 and BMW M140i. Until we get some official information, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about this hot hatch.

Update 10/23/2017: It’s only been a few weeks since we last so the Mercedes-AMG A40 out testing on the roads, and white as rain, it was caught in public again. Not a lot has changed, but there is something noteworthy to mention, so check out the spy shot section below for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG A40.

Spy Shots

October 23, 2017 – On the Long Road to Production


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 740090

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 740098

At this point, very little is changing on the Mercedes-AMG A40. When you combine that with the fact that we’re seeing it for the second time in less than a month, it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing the official production model soon. As of now, most of the padding that originally covered the prototype has been removed, leaving just the camo to distract our eyes. On the other hand, the slightly wider fenders leave us wondering if these fenders are, indeed, wider or if they are simply still padded down a bit. Then again the wheels are a bit wider to support the 400+ horsepower under the hood, so it’s not outlandish to think that they may very well be a bit wider than on the standard A-Class. It would certainly be refreshing, anyway.

With that in mind, this prototype is still sporting the same Panamerican grille, and still rocks out the same production headlights and hood. This time around, the headlights are on, so we can see the LED lights illuminated in both the front and the rear. The side skirts look to have gotten a little more aggressive up front while the rear end now gets official dual exhaust outlets. Speaking of which, did you notice something weird about those outlets? Since when does Mercedes-AMG use dual, circular outlets instead of a single rectangular unit? That’s quite interesting, don’t you think? We suspect that Mercedes will be debuting the new A40 AMG sometime in the near future with the Detroit Auto Show or Chicago Auto Show being potential candidates if Mercedes is thinking of bring it to the United States. Well, unless Mercedes decides to surprise us at the Tokyo Motor Show later this week. What do you all think? Fill us in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

October 4, 2017 – Droping some padding and getting a new face


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 736303

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 736302

This time around, the A40 hasn’t exactly shed any camo, but it has shed a lot of padding. The most noticeable change to us is that the hood is now a production hood, while the headlights also follow suit. Instead of those annoying projection-like units on the last mule, we’ve got the official LED units with the top-positioned LED strip. The lights are sleeker, sit a little higher in the body, and are slanted downward toward the nose to provide extra character. With that in mind, the other major factor here is that we’re getting a look at a completely different fascia and a different grille. Now, it’s not likely that the A40 will end up with a grille that looks anything like what you see here, as it will likely feature AMG’s current grille design, but there could be something more in the looks. It is sporting a big, fat Mercedes emblem that was cleverly wrapped tight enough so you could see its camel toe peeking through.

“The most noticeable change to us is that the hood is now a production hood, while the headlights also follow suit”

As you can see, the lower fascia isn’t exactly production ready as of yet, but it is on its way and clearly under development. The passenger side is rocking out a number of drilled holes while the passenger side is rocking just a few in place of the traditional corner intakes. To put it simply, Mercedes is trying to figure out just how fake those corner intakes need to be for the best aerodynamics, performance, and efficiency. Oddly, the front in now features a smaller, or shorter, air dam that features curved edges without any of the fancy stuff on the sides. A small louver crosses the air dam at the tip, which could indicate a strange front-end styling here or just a cheap and easy way for Mercedes to mount that front plate for testing purpose. Only time will tell for that one.

To the sides, nothing has really changed thus far, but we can now see that the A40 will have smaller side mirrors that is predecessor and the mule we saw a few months ago. This time around our photographers didn’t get as good of a shot of the rear, however, we can see that some of the camo has been removed from the taillights, At this point, it’s hard to tell if these are production units or not, but given the fit an finish I would guess that the production model will at least sport the same style of lights, most likely with a larger number of LEDs present.

What do you guys think so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

October 6, 2016 – First testing session


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719231

2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719233

Exterior


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719231
“Since there’s so much camo and padding, the number of enhancements that we can spot to the new AMG A40 are pretty slim.”

Since there’s so much camo and padding, the number of enhancements that we can spot to the new AMG A40 are pretty slim. If the front fascia is truly representative of change, then it looks like the A40 could get circular running lights up front, with smaller air intakes on the corners. The air dam will likely grow a bit, but the radiator grille should remain roughly the same size and shape. It looks like the headlights will be much smaller on the A40, but it’s really hard to tell. There does appear to be an aggressive body line on each corner of the fascia, which could indicate that the A40 could be void of corner intakes at all. The hood is heavily padded, leading us to believe that it will change dramatically by the time the car hits dealers. Expect to see muscular lines on each side, just like on the current A45.


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719230
“The A-pillars on this model looked to be angled a bit more aggressively, and the roof may sit just a little lower.”

Moving over to the sides, the biggest thing we’ve spotted is the shape of the windows. The A-pillars on this model looked to be angled a bit more aggressively, and the roof may sit just a little lower. This leads to shorter windows overall, especially in the back. As you can see, the rear doors are now a little bit longer than before, and the upper curve of the rear doors curve downward farther back. This makes for a larger stationary window and wider primary glass in the rear door. Notice how the rear side of the door actually follows the contour of the rear wheel well on this prototype? It also looks like the fuel filler door will be square on the A40.


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719236

2015 Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC - image 635510
Future Mercedes-AMG A40 Current Mercedes-AMG A45
“All told, the A40 should be a bit more aggressive than the standard model, but not as sporty as the range-topping A45.”

Farther back, the pillar between the back doors and the rear hatch is now a little bit wider. Sure, there’s a lot of padding on the rear hatch that helps to throw us off a little, but if you look closely, you can spot the extra length. The more you look at it, the more it becomes clear that the extra length on the new A40 will be found in the rear. To go along with the wider rear pillars, the rear fascia is now at least twice as long as before. In reality, it makes this car look more like a small wagon that a hatchback.

Around back, the biggest difference is that the rear hatch is actually a little bit wider, and comes to a very sharp point where it jukes inward around the taillights. It also looks like the rear hatch will also get its own taillight lens, but those reflectors could just be there to throw us off.

All told, the A40 should be a bit more aggressive than the standard model, but not as sporty as the range-topping A45.

Interior


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492687

Note: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG interior shown here.

“It's safe to assume that it will have the same features as the redesigned A-Class plus a number of unique items.”

Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten a good look inside the future A40, but it’s safe to assume that it will have the same features as the redesigned A-Class plus a number of unique items. From the outside, we can spot the hump over the instrument cluster as seen in the current model, and it’s safe to assume the floating infotainment display will also carry over, albeit with some improvements and maybe a slightly larger screen. Expect to see the traditional circular HVAC vents, but the audio control panel in the center stack should be toned down quite a bit. The center console will evolve a bit, but nothing too extreme. There will naturally be race-inspired sport seats (likely optional though), and there will be little doses of color accenting here and there.

Drivetrain


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492587

Note: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG drivetrain pictured here.

“Expect the AMG A40 to arrive with at least 300 horsepower, but no more than 320 horses.”

We’re expecting the A-Class to debut with some updated engines, while other engines will be replaced altogether. Considering the A-Class will use an updated version of Mercedes’ MFA platform -– dubbed MFA2 -– Merc will have the chance to offer more drivetrains than ever before across the entire range. The platform is also lighter, and obviously longer, so it has that going for it as well.

The current A45 uses a 2.0-liter that delivers some 381 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to push the A45 to 62 mph in a matter of 4.2 seconds on the way to an electronically limited 155 mph. With output of the new AMG A45 likely to increase to a bit over 400 horsepower and maybe 380 pound-feet of torque, the AMG A40 will bridge the gap between the range-topping model and the A250 trim. All told, expect it to arrive with at least 300 horsepower, but no more than 320 horses.

Ultimately, the A40 should be quicker than any other A-Class but slower than the A45. Look for 4.5-second sprints from 0 to 62 mph and the same top speed limited at 155 mph
As is the case with the current A45, shifting duties should be handled by an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed sports transmission.

Pricing


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719223

As of June 2017, U.K. pricing for the A-Class starts from £20,715 (around $26,700), while the range topping 250 AMG retails from £30,225 to £36,200 (about $38,970 to $46,680), depending on specs. The AMG A45, on the other hand, starts from £41,875 (around $54,000). It’s safe to assume that the A40 will split the difference between the 250 AMG and A45, meaning it should start from around £36,000 (some $46,420). Unfortunately, unless Mercedes-Benz suddenly decides to bring the A-Class range to the U.S., the AMG A40 won’t be available on this side of the pond.

Competition

BMW M140i


2017 BMW M140i - image 705769

2017 BMW M140i - image 719218

Unfortunately, BMW has yet to produce a successor for the BMW M1, so the closest we can get to it is its newest little hatch, the BMW M140i. While it’s not a full-fledged M car, it replaces the M135i and comes with a little extra juice on tap. Unlike the Mercedes-AMG A40, the M140i uses a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. It delivers 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is an increase of 10 horsepower over the M135i and 46-horsepower less that the current Mercedes-AMG A45. The M140i can hit 62 mph in about 4.6 seconds when equipped with an eight-speed automatic or 4.8 seconds with the standard, six-speed manual. When equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive, the M140i hits the same benchmark in just 4.4 seconds. Pricing for the M140i starts from £32,650 (around $42,070) for the three-door version and from £33,180 (around $42,750) for the five-door version. Just like the A-Class, the BMW 1 Series isn’t available in the United States.

Read our full review on the BMW M140i.

Audi S3


2017 Audi S3 - image 671902

2017 Audi S3 - image 671900

The Audi S3 is yet another reason why Mercedes needs an AMG A40. Slotted between the A3 2.0 TFSI and the bonkers RS3, the S3 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that cranks out 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Fitted with an S-Tronic transmission, the German hatch needs 4.6 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. Styling-wise, it has a sportier exterior and fancied-up interior compared to the regular A3, but it’s not as menacing to look at as the RS3. Pricing starts from £33,505 (around $43,170) for the two-door S3 and from £34,125 (about $43,970) for the five-door S3 Sportback version.

Read our full review on the Audi S3.

Conclusion


2018 Mercedes-AMG A40 - image 719233

Mercedes isn’t playing around with that hand-built 2.0-liter engine. We’re talking about a small-ish four-cylinder that’s delivering a lot of power. It would be nice if the new A40 came with a little extra compared to its rivals, but I really don’t see this model sporting more oomph than the BMW M140i. The hot-hatch market is pretty strong these days, and in theory, a model like the AMG A40 could also be competing with cars like the Focus RS and the Civic Type-R under the right circumstances. Sure, those cars aren’t German, and some don’t exactly approach 400 horses like the AMG A45 and the RS3 Sportback, but they are big hitters in the hatch market. Now, if only we could convince Mercedes to bring the A40 to the U.S., I’d be a happy camper.

  • Leave it
    • Probably not U.S. bound
    • It is a little pricey

References

Mercedes A-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - image 720850

Read our full review on the next generation 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.


2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
- image 492695

Read our full review on the previous 2014 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.

Update History

Update 10/4/2017: We’re finally getting a second look at the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A40 and this time around there are some serious changes taking place that brings the little hatch much closer to its goal of being production ready in 2018. Check out our special update section below to see what the changes are and learn more about them.

PostHeaderIcon Hugh Hefner’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

The death of Hugh Hefner has caused the world to turn its attention to the Playboy Magazine founder and publisher. Aside from his lavish lifestyle, infamous mansion, many wives, and countless mistresses, Hefner was also known for his car collection. From Corvettes to Ferraris, his garage was almost exciting as the pool’s grotto on a Friday night. But perhaps one of Heff’s classiest, rarest, and most highly regarded is his 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman.

Mercedes began making the 600 limousine in 1963 and carried the car to 1981. Despite this 18-year production run, only 2,677 examples were built. That number is further divided into three thanks to the three body styles Mercedes offered. There was a short wheelbase, of which 2,190 were built. There was also a Landaulet (convertible rear top), of which only 59 were built. Then there’s Heff’s car – the long wheelbase version. While not as rare as the Landau, only 428 exist in the world. Adding to the 600’s worth is Mercedes’ over-engineering of nearly every component. Everything that moved was hydraulically operated, including the windows, sunroof, seat adjustments, trunk lid, and doors. It even has a load-leveling suspension, which of course, ran off hydraulic pressure. Powering the car and its 2,176-psi hydraulic pump was a massive 6.3-liter V-8 developing 300 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It was more than adequate for hustling the limo at speeds over 130 mph.

Heff’s six-door 600 was last known to have been sold in 2001 at a Barrett-Jackson auction. While that was 16 years ago, its price might surprise you. Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

Hugh Hefner’s Icon Status


Did You Know That Hugh Hefner's Playboy Has Roots To The Auto Industry? - image 734916

Naturally, having been owned by Hugh Hefner certainly gives this Mercedes even more clout than it would normally have. Hefner, the well-known publisher of Playboy Magazine, started the publication back in 1953 with a target towards young, wealthy, single men. Racy photos of pin-up models was its focus – something that wasn’t widely accessible or accepted in those days. Playboy’s first issue featured photos of Marilyn Monroe, which was soon discovered to have been used without Monroe’s permission.

“Love or hate him, it’s impossible to deny his influence on modern Western culture.”

That wouldn’t be the last of Hefner’s run-ins with legal troubles or head-buts with societal norms. Through the 1950 and 1960s, Playboy played a pivotal role in reshaping America’s view on sexuality, nudity, and women’s rights. Aligned with the free-spirited Hippie movement of the 1960s, Playboy helped transition the country from socially conservative to a more liberal attitude. Even till his death on September 28, 2017, at 91 years of age, Hefner’s status as an icon remained strong. Love or hate him, it’s impossible to deny his influence on modern Western culture.

What Makes This Mercedes Special


Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735167

As for Heff’s car, well, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman is special in its own right. It hails from the days when Mercedes over-engineered and over-built everything. This not only set the precedent for German engineering, but also for Mercedes being synonymous with quality and luxury.

“Accompanying Hefner in 600 ownership were people like The Pope, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Jay Leno”

It’s no wonder why most 600s were owned by dignitaries, royalty, and celebrities the world over. Accompanying Hefner in 600 ownership were people like The Pope, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, and Jay Leno. Even Jeremy Clarkson has one. But not every 600 went to respectable people. A few notorious world leaders had keys, including Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-un, Saddam Hussein, and Pablo Escobar. There were even a few James Bond villains who had one – fictionally, of course.


Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735164

Hugh Hefner's 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman - image 735163

At the 600’s heart was a stout 6.3-liter V-8 engine known as the M100. It was far from agricultural, having incorporated cutting edge technology like sodium-filled valves, fuel injection, and a dry sump oiling system. Interestingly, sodium-filled valves were first seen in piston-driven aircraft engines. The W100 featured a cast-iron engine block and single overhead cam over each bank. Forged connecting rods and pistons boosted strength and longevity. The result was 300 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque that hardly needed more than just basic maintenance. It was mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and sent power to the rear wheels.

“The W100 featured a cast-iron engine block and single overhead cam over each bank”

As mentioned, most everything that moved inside the 600 was actuated by an intricate, high-pressure hydraulic system. While leaks might be a concern, owners never had to worry about a window regulator shorting out or a fuse blowing on these items.

As for the price when new, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman sold in the U.S. for $24,000 in 1965. In today’s money, that’s roughly $185,700. Interestingly, a 2017 Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic costs $173,495, meaning Mercedes has kept its high-end limousine at a relatively stable price. Compare that to any pickup truck or sports car today versus its predecessor, and you’ll see how impressive that is.

As for Heff’s 1969 600, it sold in 2001 at a Barrett-Jackson auction for $78,100. Though that was 16 years ago, that’s not a bad price at all. In fact, a quick online search resulted in one 1969 Mercedes 600 Pullman, though impeccably restored, selling for a dizzying $895,000! Needless to say, the 600 Pullman might be one of the most collectible Mercedes in history.

References


2016 Pagani Huayra Tempesta - image 727810

Read more auction news.


The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid - image 731096

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Although it has been toying with electric drivetrains for decades, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled more concept cars than production models up until now. The SLS AMG Electric Drive was its first important statement in the world of EVs, followed by the B-Class Electric Drive in 2014. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz announced its first family of battery-powered vehicles, called EQ, and a couple of new concept cars followed. One of them is the EQA, a compact hatchback that looks like an A-Class from the future.

Mercedes’ first EV in the compact segment, the Concept EQA joins Concept EQC, a small SUV that’s scheduled to move into production in 2019. There’s no word as to when the EQA will become a production model, but we do know that the German automaker intends to launch 10 EQ models by 2022. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the EQA will be one of the first to enter the market and could arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at the concept car in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA.

Official video

Exterior


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 730879
“While it retains the overall shape and size of the A-Class hatchback, the EQA is indeed a futuristic take on the compact”

While it retains the overall shape and size of the A-Class hatchback, the EQA is indeed a futuristic take on the compact vehicle. Mercedes says that the exterior styling is a new evolution of the Sensual Purity design seen on the Concept A Saloon with reduced sharp edges and lines. Although the two show cars are pretty different, I can definitely see a common core. And yes, the EQA boasts a more organic design and the alubeam paint finish makes it look like it’s about to melt and morph into something else.

Okay, I might have been watching too much of the Terminator franchise recently…

Arguably the most striking detail is the front grille. Which isn’t actually a traditional grille, as the element has been replaced with a black panel made almost entirely of LED matrix lights. Basically, the Panamericana-like grille you see there is actually displayed, much like the aggressive headlamps that run into the muscular front fenders.


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 732166

2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 732165
“The standard grille has been replaced with a black panel made almost entirely of LED matrix lights”

Making it that much more interesting is the fact that the “grille” can completely change in appearance depending on the driving mode engaged. In the Sport mode, it displays a flaming wing in horizontal format, while the Sport Plus mode activates vertical, red slats in the style of the familiar Panamericana grille seen on production cars. The illuminated star in the middle remains visible in both modes.

The headlamps also feature innovative technology, in the form of laser fibers. Unlike laser diodes, where electrical energy flows into a semiconductor, fibers use a laser-activated medium that is embedded in the center of a fiber-optic cable. This provides more homogeneous lighting of the road. And of course, gives the concept a cool appearance.


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 730887
“The rear is unlike any other Merc out there”

The sides seem featureless at first glance, but the beltline has a nice curve and highlights the beefed up rear fenders toward the back. The side skirts also feature an LED stripe. Much like any concept, the EQA rides on oversized wheels, in this case measuring 20 inches.

The rear is unlike any other Merc out there. It’s not exactly outlandish, but the red bar that runs across the entire width of the fascia is a new design feature for compact Mercedes cars. The lower fascia is rather simple and the bumper features the same blue LED strips as seen at the front and above the side skirts.

Drivetrain


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 732158
“The Concept EQA draws its juice from an electric drive system that combines two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery”

The Concept EQA draws its juice from an electric drive system that combines two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery that generates “over 200 kW” and a maximum torque of “over 500 Nm” of torque. This converts to more than 268 horsepower and over 369 pound-feet of twist. The company also mentions scalable battery components, which means that the drivetrain could be designed to deliver different outputs. All that power goes to the wheels through an all-wheel-drive system and pushes the EQA from 0 to 62 mph in around five seconds. That’s pretty impressive and proves that Mercedes has the technology to deliver a solid competitor for the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt.

The range is competitive, too, being estimated at 400 km, or 249 miles. What’s more, the concept can be charged via induction or wallbox, as well as a rapid charging station through which the EQA can gain a range of 100 km (62 miles) through only 10 minutes of charging. The battery is said to be innovative due to its modular design and model-specific capacity of over 60 kWh.


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 730889
“The drivetrain is capable of more than 268 horsepower and over 369 pound-feet of twist”

The EQA concept also showcases new, intelligent charging solutions that are supposed to make owning and using an EV a lot easier. One solution is to enable customers to charge their cars at any electric station and pay without having to register without having to register for various portals or hold a range of different cards. The company calls this system “me-based charging” and says that the customer will remain “within the Mercedes-Benz electromobile ecosystem and gets all of the services from a single source.”

The German automaker also wants to develop new energy storage units for cordless induction charging systems or the existing wallbox. However, it seems that these storage units will work best with households that have their own photovoltaic system. The idea is to store the household’s surplus solar power in a Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit and then use it as a “green” source of power that is independent of the energy market.

In addition to the new technology, Mercedes-Benz also announced plans to expand its electric charging station network in Europe through ChargePoint Inc, an American charging solution provider that offers more than 33,000 charging spots in the United States.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA - image 730887
“The Concept EQA is a bit more than a typical concept car”

The Concept EQA is a bit more than a typical concept car. While futuristic by design – the kind that won’t make it into production – it showcases many technical solutions that will become available in a few years. The display in the front grille is a solid example. Because electric cars don’t need a large radiator like conventional vehicles, carmakers can use that space for all sorts of features. And the EQA’s intelligent display is a very cool idea that will most likely appeal to tech geeks. The EQA also signals Mercedes arrival in the compact EV segment, but it’s also part of its ongoing assault on the electric car market with the recently announced EQ division.

Third, it comes with an important announcement that Mercedes-Benz is developing new, quicker charging solutions as well as an online payment system that will make owning and using an EV much easier. Living with an electric car isn’t as easy as it could be, mostly due to a limited charging station network, and it’s great to know that a big automaker such as Mercedes-Benz is doing something about it. All told, the Concept EQA should not only kick off Mercedes’ venture into the compact EV market, but it should also debut some innovations. And I’m looking forward to seeing them.

  • Leave it
    • The production EQA won’t look anything like it

References

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ


2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept
- image 690133

Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ.

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - image 720850

Read our full speculative review on the next generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class.


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 730644

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

The S-Class – previously known as the “Special” Class – is Merc’s full-sized coupe and sedan, a flagship luxury vehicle that promises the highest levels of refinement, the finest materials, and the most advanced technology offered by the German automaker. Following its reintroduction in 1972, there have been six generations of the S-Class, with the latest generation introduced for the 2014 model year. But now, the calendar is telling me the date is 2017, and all that luxury, technology, and opulence can be had with some green sensibilities as well. Merc’s latest entry in this segment is the S 560 e, the successor to the S 550 e, which once again seeks to find a balance of both long range and a local emission-free motoring, all with that characteristic Mercedes gloss. The S 560 e just broke cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it when it hits U.S. dealers in 2019, it’s expected to arrive with a twist-happy 3.0-liter V-6, 25 miles of all-electric range, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and plenty of Eco-focused features, plus all the traditional luxury bits, of course.

The S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid is the latest effort from Mercedes as it pushes for more extensive electrification across its entire lineup. Both all-electric vehicles and hybrids are slated to see a big boost in the Merc portfolio, so expect to see the same stuff previewed in the S-Class trickle down to the more accessible models.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

The S-Class – previously known as the “Special” Class – is Merc’s full-sized coupe and sedan, a flagship luxury vehicle that promises the highest levels of refinement, the finest materials, and the most advanced technology offered by the German automaker. Following its reintroduction in 1972, there have been six generations of the S-Class, with the latest generation introduced for the 2014 model year. But now, the calendar is telling me the date is 2017, and all that luxury, technology, and opulence can be had with some green sensibilities as well. Merc’s latest entry in this segment is the S 560 e, the successor to the S 550 e, which once again seeks to find a balance of both long range and a local emission-free motoring, all with that characteristic Mercedes gloss. The S 560 e just broke cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it when it hits U.S. dealers in 2019, it’s expected to arrive with a twist-happy 3.0-liter V-6, 25 miles of all-electric range, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and plenty of Eco-focused features, plus all the traditional luxury bits, of course.

The S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid is the latest effort from Mercedes as it pushes for more extensive electrification across its entire lineup. Both all-electric vehicles and hybrids are slated to see a big boost in the Merc portfolio, so expect to see the same stuff previewed in the S-Class trickle down to the more accessible models.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid.

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$10,188.00 (27 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,230.00
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS RS AUTOMATIC 20" WHEELS 20K MILES #105619 Texas Direct Auto
$26,530.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 15:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,530.00
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1952 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1952 Chevy Pickup Truck
$14,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:13:36 PST
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette 3LZ 2015 Corvette Z06 (Z07 package)
$60,300.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 10:43:24 PST
Buy It Now for only: $68,500.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 29K #800633 Texas Direct
$37,480.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,480.00
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1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1967 Marina Blue 427 Convertible
$50,100.67 (5 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 18:43:21 PST
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6 speed FAST AND FURIOUS,no reserve
$22,600.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 18:46:57 PST
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2016 Chevy Camaro 2SS "Chicago Blackhawks Edition"
$49,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-21-2017 13:34:35 PST
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
$10,300.00 (28 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
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1966 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 1966 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 289 V8 A-code w/ Pony Interior
$13,150.00 (15 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 15:38:34 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
$44,230.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Like New 2015 Mustang GT Premium *2100 Miles, Recaro Seats, Loaded!
$34,500.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:35:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,500.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
$43,100.00 (111 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups deluxe chrome 1955 chevrolet cameo like GMC suburban and apache
$16,000.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $16,000.00
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
$5,400.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,230.00
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2004 Chevrolet Other Pickups 2004 Chevy Colorado truck 5 speed manual transmission
$1,900.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 13:58:19 PST
Buy It Now for only: $1,900.00
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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
$27,900.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $27,900.00
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1957 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1957 Chevy 3100 Chevy 4X4 Pickup Restomod Short bed
$14,201.01 (13 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 19:29:41 PST
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1951 Ford Other Pickups F3 1951 Ford F3 F Series Pickup Farm Truck Patina Flathead V8 No Reserve
$1,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 19:15:00 PST
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