No word on adding Blue Shell Protection to the options list, though

I don’t know about you guys, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood perched in front of the television honing my racing skills in arcade games like the Nintendo classic Mario Kart. A good chunk of my adult life too, for that matter. The point is I’m super stoked Mercedes decided to include an arcade racing game in the new 2020 CLA Coupé compact.

Playing Video Games In The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA - It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

This latest addition to the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé’s infotainment offerings was unveiled during the 2019 Mobile World Congress technology convention in Barcelona late last month, during which Merc gave attendees a chance to try the very latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system features, as well as the fruits of of a number of tech company collaborations.

Thanks to one of those collaborations, the CLA now comes with a playable games app, specifically SuperTuxKart, an open-source arcade racer that looks as though it runs quite well on the Mercedes infotainment system platform.

“For thanks to autonomous driving, in the future there will be more time on board a car to make use of the entertainment on offer,” Mercedes explains in its press release.

Players use the CLA’s steering wheel to guide their character on the screen, while the pedals provide the throttle and brake inputs.

The interior lighting will also change from red to green at the race start, the HVAC system will actually blow progressively harder as your character races faster and faster, and the seat belts will tighten when you crash. Pretty cool stuff.

Mercedes Seriously Added A Kart Racing Game to the Infotainment System of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA
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While I have yet to play SuperTuxKart, can we all just take a moment to acknowledge how ridiculous those blue shells can be in Mario Kart? Seriously - I was leading the whole race, every single lap, and now I’m in last place on the final straight because some back-marker lucked out on a blue shell from the drop boxes? Bullshit! And yes, I am still salty, Scott.

On another note, I’m happy Mercedes is looking to give customers what they really want - more chances to play video games.

As for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, it comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing upwards of 221 horsepower (13 ponies more than the outgoing model) and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the output is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and available 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Sixty mph arrives in roughly 6.5 seconds.

Further Reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the current 2014 Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

2014 - 2015 Mercedes CLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Stuttgart/Barcelona. At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) from 25 to 28 February 2019 in Barcelona, Mercedes-Benz and the cross-Group initiative DigitalLife@Daimler are putting the spotlight on the significance of strategic partnerships for the digital transformation. Across an area spanning 320 square metres, technologies and innovations from various sectors can be experienced: for example the big-data platform eXtollo, which Daimler has developed on the basis of Microsoft Azure, and future mobility solutions for the bus. Also being presented are the CLA Coupé, which is celebrating its European premiere, the new Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined power consumption: 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km, provisional figures)1 and the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. On 25 February Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars plus Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, will be making a joint appearance. Current information at #FutureOfMobility #MWC19.

The Mobile World Congress is now a firm fixture in Daimler AG’s show calendar: this is the third time the car company has had its own stand at the tech congress. Its presence aims to make the various digitisation activities in the Group visible and tangible. This involvement is in conjunction with the DigitalLife@Daimler initiative: it provides impetus, develops new formats and acts as an intermediary between divisions – so that everyone in the company can benefit from the opportunities provided by the digital transformation and help shape the change.

"For us, digitisation is more than zeros and ones. It is also a mindset. For us, an open corporate culture is just as much a part of the digital transformation as innovative ideas and new products", say Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

As we open up strategically to new ideas and ways of working, the importance of new partnerships increases. An example of this is Daimler AG’s cooperation with Microsoft in building up the global big-data platform eXtollo. Behind it is the first cloud-based solution for evaluating large quantities of data on the basis of Microsoft’s cloud and data platform Azure, which meets the car company’s high security requirements. Big-data analyses are used, for example, in vehicle maintenance and development. The new cloud service makes it easier for Daimler employees to exchange data quickly, regardless of their location. The company can control and encrypt access to the data itself.

At the Mobile World Congress Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche will meet with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on 25 February 2019 from 5 p.m. They will talk about new cooperations and the technologies of the future and a corporate culture which is necessary to guide two heavyweights like Microsoft and Daimler successfully through the digital transformation.

Stand concept focuses on variety and dialogue

Visitors will find the exhibition area of Mercedes-Benz and DigitalLife@Daimler in Hall 6. The first ports of call for all fans of automotive innovations are the CLA Coupé, which is celebrating its European premiere at the MWC and putting the topic of gaming front and centre, and the "Mercedes-Benz of electric vehicles": the new Mercedes-Benz EQC.

On board the EQC visitors can discover features such as the latest generation of the multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes Benz User Experience. There is also an MBUX demonstrator. The innovative operating system will later be part of the CLA Coupé’s standard equipment. The CLA has been equipped with another highlight specially for its appearance at the show: a new gaming application. It facilitates a look ahead to the driving experience of tomorrow. For thanks to autonomous driving, in the future there will be more time on board a car to make use of the entertainment on offer.

First series truck with outside-mirror camera instead of outside mirrors, plus multimedia cockpit

The opposite side of the stand puts the focus on the Truck division. A walk-on 1:1 model of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is on display. A look into the cockpit makes it clear to what extent topics such as digitisation, partially automated driving and networking are also revolutionising the driving experience in the truck. The most striking highlights of the new Actros are the outside-mirror camera system, which affords optimum vision, and the intuitively controllable multimedia cockpit in the interior. The heavyweight’s key and most spectacular new feature is the Active Drive Assist. It sees Mercedes-Benz Trucks bringing partially automated driving to series production. The new Active Drive Assist can brake, accelerate and steer autonomously. The equipment also includes the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal from the telematics provider Fleetboard. Apps such as Fleetboard Driver make the driver’s work easier and can be used in the multimedia cockpit.

The connecting element at the centre of the show stand is what is known as the "Campus". It offers a stage for innovations from different corporate units of Daimler AG. Many of the projects unveiled here, including the big-data platform eXtollo, are benefiting from new forms of cooperation. By presenting new products and features which have yet to reach series maturity in some cases, Daimler is entering into a dialogue with partners and customers at an early stage. This approach underlines the company’s conviction that innovations must follow people’s needs and not the other way round.

The innovations being presented and discussed include the following:

DigitalLife Crowd Ideation Platform: on this internal platform Daimler employees can suggest ideas as part of competitions – Challenges – and comment on and assess then and even invest virtual money. More than 115,000 employees have already registered. Now the initiative is entering the next stage and is opening up the platform externally. Transparency, interaction and openness to new partnerships are thus advancing to a new level.
Digital travel companion for more road safety: In Barcelona, Daimler Financial Services is for the first time presenting a Proof of Concept for an app which combines behavioural and personal data from a smartphone and wearable with real-time data such as traffic data. As a digital travel companion the app supports the driver with individual recommendations on long car journeys. It is a digital addition to the drowsiness warner ATTENTION ASSIST from Mercedes-Benz, already installed as standard. As an app the service can be used irrespective of the brand and vehicle model.
Customer Journey Bus: using selected scenarios from the Innovation Lab Mobility Solutions, Daimler Buses is demonstrating how the travelling experience is set to change for bus passengers. At Mobility Solutions, Daimler Buses is working closely with startups and other partners. At the MWC the Lab is presenting the "Customer Journey" of the future at the MWC by way of example. It begins with smart and flexible planning of the itinerary, continues with immersive-gaming offers during the journey and extends to interactive sightseeing including real-time information on the windows of the bus.
In the Campus area the exhibitors are also inviting visitors to daily "DigitalLife TechTalks". In three to four discussion panels each day, experts discuss a variety of trend topics such as Urban Mobility, Intrapreneurship, Fit&Healthy and Digital Transformation in Formula 1. As part of the TechTalks Daimler is presenting features such as the app pacTris for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. PacTris is a digital loading assistant which helps even during the shopping experience when it comes to the question of whether and how the products and packages chosen best fit in the boot. Following the big success during pilots for the smart, pacTris is now being integrated as a new function for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Two stands, one aim: MWC and 4YFN

In parallel with the Mobile World Congress the startup fair "Four Years From Now" (4YFN) is taking place in Barcelona. DigitalLife@Daimler also has a stand there. In terms of content the presence follows on from the presentation at the MWC, by making the strategic significance of the DigitalLife crowd ideas platform tangible with the aid of concrete examples: internal startups from Daimler, which have submitted their ideas on the platform and put them up for discussion, are presenting the current status of their projects in the inspiring framework of 4YFN.

What exactly is DigitalLife@Daimler?

Daimler has already been investing in the digitisation of all its business processes for many years. In order to shape this change already, from a position of leadership, the company wants to strengthen all of its global units to enable them to form the basis for the successful implementation of new business models with an emphasis on the company’s 5C strategy. We shall: strengthen our core business (CORE), lead in new future fields (CASE), adapt our corporate culture (CULTURE) and adapt our divisional structure (COMPANY). The benchmark for each of these modules is our fifth and most important C: our CUSTOMERS. For a long time now, Daimler has made the digital transformation a key component of its corporate strategy. With DigitalLife@Daimler we are promoting the digital transformation in all divisions at Daimler and driving forward digital issues with an integrated and cross-divisional approach.

1Figures for power consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional, and were measured by the Technical Service. The figures for operating range are likewise provisional. No EC type approval and certificate of conformity with

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