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.
2017 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.
2018 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.
2017 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
2017 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.
2017 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
2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The third-generation A-Class has been around for only five years as of 2017, but Mercedes-Benz is already working on a brand-new model. That’s not exactly surprising though, as the Germans are looking to replace each model after a six-year cycle in the future. This means that a new A-Class should arrive for the 2018 model year, a scenario backed by the fact that the Stuttgart-based company is already testing the fourth-generation model on public roads. Spotted stretching its wheels somewhere in Southern Europe, the upcoming compact appears to be in its early testing phase based on the heavy amount of camouflage covering its body. And even though some elements are far from finalized, the prototype provides quite a few hints about the changes Mercedes-Benz made to the hatchback.
The interesting thing about the upcoming A-Class, aside from the usual upgrades involving sportier looks, a refined, roomier interior, and more powerful and efficient engines, is that Mercedes is rumored to be considering two body styles. The five-door hatch could be joined by a four-door sedan, but this information has yet to be confirmed. Word also has it that it could be a China-model only. We should find out more about that in due time, including specific details about a public debut. The fourth-gen A-Class is expected to break cover at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, but we’ll be back to update this date as soon as we get confirmation. Meanwhile, have a look at my speculative review for more info on the new compact.
Updated 10/16/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Mercedes A-Class out for a new testing session. And even if the camouflage looks lighter, most of the details are still hidden.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
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.
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.
2018 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.
2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Launched in 2013, the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class has brought many innovations to the market. It also arrived in dealerships as a sportier, yet more comfortable proposition to the previous-gen S-Class, being praised for its fantastic ride, effortless acceleration, and the enormous amount of luxury and tech. In 2013, it had no rival, but BMW launched a new 7 Series in 2016, while Cadillac joined the full-size segment with the CT6. As a result, Mercedes-Benz updated the S-Class for the 2018 model year.
Although it’s safe to say that the outgoing S-Class was still competitive against its newer rivals, an update was necessary, especially in the tech department. That’s not to say that the S-Class was outdated, it’s just that Merc launched a range of new features with the latest E-Class, including semi-autonomous driving, that had to be offered in the top-of-the-line sedan too. Alongside the new tech, Mercedes also introduced a couple of new engines for the U.S. market and a new diesel for Europe. The facelift is rounded off by mild design upgrades and a revised model lineup.
Updated 10/06/2017: Mercedes announced prices for the new, 2018 S-Class. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
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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.
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