Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard 4MATIC – An Armored Car That Can Withstand Even Kalashnikov and Dragunov Sniper Rifle Shots!
Mercedes-Benz has come up with an armored version of the S-Class for the “heads of state and business leaders” called the S680 Guard 4MATIC. This automaker has been building such special vehicles since 1928, but it’s the first ‘Guard’ that features an all-wheel-drive system. It comes with a VR10 certification, which is the highest ballistic test rating that’s available for civilian vehicles. As for the price, you’ll have to shell out over $500,000 to own it.
Watch Mercedes Crash the 2020 EQC Electric SUV
The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first all-electric model part of the EQ family, Mercedes’ range of vehicles designed from the get-go with electrification in mind. The EQC hasn’t yet reached third-party crash testers such as the EURO NCAP or the NHTSA, but the car apparently passed with flying colors the German automaker’s own internal crash tests.
Unveiled publically at this year’s Paris Motor Show, the EQC is Mercedes’ first bet for the new-generation EV market. It’s a compact luxury SUV, similar to the gas-powered GLC-Class, that will be on the market next year. Mercedes-Benz revealed that it already put the EQC up against a few rigid structures for some in-house evaluatory crash tests at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center for Vehicle Safety (TFS).
Mercedes Recalls AMG GT S In The U.S. Due To Powertrain Issues
The Mercedes-AMG GT S may be a tremendous sports car, but even it isn’t immune to the gremlin that is the automotive recall. Every car is susceptible to problems as the AMG GT S found out when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 136 AMG GT S coupe models in the U.S. because of issues with the powertrain.
According to the NHTSA, the root cause of the problem lies in the adhesive bond between the carbon fiber driveshaft and the rear flange. In the agency’s words, the bond “may fail,” which could result in the loss of torque to the rear wheels. In the event this happens, the driver may not be able to move the vehicle, or in other cases, cause a deceleration when the car is moving. This could increase the risk of a vehicular crash, a situation that prompted Mercedes to issue the recall and a stop-sale order on all the affected models.
Mercedes didn’t say whether the problem has caused any crashes, injuries, or fatalities, but it did admit that the problem came to its attention when it received a complaint in the U.S. back in October 2015 from a driver that head “noticeable noises beneath his vehicle.” Two similar cases have been reported, although those incidents happened in Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The recall is expected to begin by the end of June 2016. As such, AMG GT S owners are advised to contact Mercedes’ customer service and if it’s determined that their cars are one of the 136 affected models, Mercedes dealers will replace the carbon fiber driveshaft at no cost to the owner.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Dozens of new cars get tested each year by the main European crash testing organization, EuroNCAP, but only a small percentage of those vehicles achieve truly high scores. This happens in part because EuroNCAP has kept improving its testing procedures almost on a yearly basis, with the newest requirements in 2014 involving autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems and other technologies part of the "Safety Assist" criteria, which is a branch of active safety.
A couple of novelties happened during the crash tests that took place in 2014, with EuroNCAP testing no less than five models available with either full-electric or hybrid propulsion. The second premiere was probably the fact that all the so-called Large Family cars tested in 2014 achieved the top five star rating, with the only difference between them being the overall score. With that being said, EuroNCAP has just released a list of the five highest performing cars in terms of overall score, spread around five different model categories: Supermini, Small Off-Road 4x4, Small MPV, Small Family Car and Large Family Car.
As it happens, only one Supermini achieved a five-star rating, and therefore the highest overall score in its category, despite no less than 14 cars in its segment having been crash tested during 2014. Pretty much the same situation happened in the Small MPV category, where only one car received the highest rating — over half of the vehicles tested scoring a rather shameful three stars. Interestingly enough, the Tesla Model S was surpassed by the Lexus NX hybrid as far as the best-scoring alternatively fueled vehicles go, albeit by only a small margin. The five best scoring cars of 2014 at EuroNCAP are the Skoda Fabia, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan, Nissan Qashqai and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
More details after the jump.
Mercedes-Benz has a long and storied history as an armored vehicle manufacturer. Be it Adolf Hitler’s bulletproof 770K limousine or the early, army-spec G-Class SUVs, the Germans have provided the world with some of the best ironclad rigs. More recently, Stuttgart has been developing and selling armor-plated automobiles through its Guard program, which already includes a generous range of sedans and SUVs, such as the E-Class and the M-Class. Going into the 2015 model year, the Stuttgart crew expanded its flagship S-Class lineup by adding the S600 model to the Guard program. The result is astonishing, as the segments most luxurious and comfortable limousine has also become the safest vehicle in the world.
Surrounded by a two-inch-thick steel plate and bulletproof glass, the S600 Guard is certified for ballistic protection class VR9. That’s the highest ballistic protection class as of 2014 and makes the S-Class safe against anything from small fire arms to grenades. In fact, the S600 Guard is the first vehicle in the world to be fully certified as having VR9 levels of protection, a feat that’s likely to send it in the fleets of many heads of state.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard.
For the better part of a decade, The Formula One Safety Car has been driven by veteran DTM racer Bernd Mayländer. So when a discussion begins on anything and everything to do with the lineup of Mercedes vehicles that have served as safety cars for F1 races, no one is more qualified to talk about them than Mayländer.
In this video, Mayländer does just that, taking us on a short history lesson regarding the line-up of Mercedes models that have had their turn in silver and emblazoned with F1 decals with matching emergency lights fitted on top of the roof.
From the Mercedes CL55 AMG in 2000 - his first year as F1 Safety Car driver - all the way to the current SLS AMG, Mayländer discusses all his memories from all his babies, recounting the unique qualities of all the cars and even picking his favorite among the bunch.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not the SLS AMG.
And as an added treat, Mayländer, at the end of the video, unveiled the newest F1 Safety Car, the Mercedes SLS AMG GT, which will begin its time on track for the 2013 Formula One season.
Mercedes USA has announced a voluntary recall for 432 units of the 2013 SL-Class roadsters due to an air-conditioner refrigerant line that can tear in a severe frontal crash. The vehicles affected were built from from December 19th, 2011 through May 31st, 2012 and are use the R1234yf refrigerant.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if the refrigerant escapes from the hose, the gas mixture could be released into the engine compartment and cause a fire.
"Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, conducted product testing of a vehicle not sold in the U.S., but equipped with the same refrigerant. According to Mercedes-Benz, the testing was designed to replicate worst-case conditions expected in a severe frontal crash that would cause a rupture of the air-conditioner refrigerant line. A rupture of a refrigerant line will result in a gaseous mixture of refrigerant being released into the engine compartment. The testing determined that the escaping R1234yf refrigerant may ignite under specific conditions. The resulting fire could spread to additional combustible materials."
Mercedes announced that if someone is driving an affected model, they should address their local dealer who will replace the R1234yf refrigerant with a new, R134a refrigerant.
TOPCAR has popped back into the TopSpeed offices, straight out of Russia, with an all-new bespoke vehicle. Last time we caught up with our Russian custom car friends they were getting their Panamera Stingray 9/25 ready for the 2012 Moscow International Automobile Salon. Now they have delivered us a little more comfort and loads of safety with their Guard upgrade kit for the 2005 through 2013 Mercedes-Benz S600.
TOPCAR began by stripping this S600 down and adding in bullet-proof glass and paneling to keep its occupants safe. While the armoring is cool and likely costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, we are interested mostly in what the armor is protecting. No, not the occupants, we are talking about that gorgeous interior!
The entire interior covering has been removed and replaced from headliner to floor – yeah, we said the floor too – with an elegant blend of lozenge-textured crocodile, Nappa, and Alcantara leather. Sure, using crocodile leather isn’t the most PETA-friendly thing in the world, but when you have the roughly $100K that TOPCAR put into the interior, you can tell PETA to go save a squirrel. Plus, we’re pretty sure their presence in Russia is nearly non-existent.
The crocodile leather wraps up the seats, doors, dashboard, and floor. Gracing the luggage compartment is diamond-quilted Nappa leather, making a comfortable ride for your golf clubs or whatever else you like to stick in your trunk. With our contact at TOPCAR volunteering that sometimes the term “crazy Russian” is justified, we will leave the other trunk-dwelling objects to your imagination.
You also get a huge amount of custom Karelian birch wood trim to set off all of this beautifully crafted leather. To wrap up the package, TOPCAR replaced all of the Benz’s lowly chrome trim with gold-covered pieces. I mean, you can never rock crocodile leather with chrome trim after Labor Day, right?
“Wow” just about sums up this car. When it comes to tiptoeing the line between fantastically gorgeous and horrendously overdone, TOPCAR toed that line with the expertise we expected. Awesome job!
After upgrading the SLS AMG with a new name and better specs, Mercedes has also opted to replace its Safety Car version with the new Mercedes SLS AMG GT. The new SLS AMG GT Safety Car will be used during the 2012 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix on September 21st, 2nd, and 23rd.
The new Safety Car will be present with an aluminum spaceframe construction that helps keep its total weight down to just 3571 lbs. It will be powered by the same V8 engine found in the standard model, which delivers a total of 591 HP and is mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with optimized shift times. Next to this impressive engine, the SLS AMG GT Safety Car also received a high-performance ceramic composite brake system and weight-reduced AMG 10-spoke forged light-alloy wheels painted in matte black with a high-sheen finish.
As if all of this wasn’t enough to get the fans’ attention, Mercedes has also allowed the Mercedes SLS AMG GT Safety Car to stand out with a number of LED lights and a specially developed rear silencer that provides an even more sensational V8 soundtrack.
There are three types of accidents in the world of car racing: expected, freak, and “how in the [insert favorite expletive] did that happen?” Well, an accident involving an AMG racecar, air line, and four Mercedes DTM crew members falls into the latter of those three categories.
This is a clear example of a pit crew simply not following the most basic of pit rules: clean your crap off of pit lane after you’re done and secure your air hose properly until you are ready to use it. After a fairly quick pit stop by the AMG coupe during practice at Zandvoort on Friday, the coupe speeds away. The crew directly in front of the car apparently left their air hose dangling over the track in anticipation of a pit stop of their own and the car’s rear spoiler caught the hose.
Well, the hose turns into a massive bull whip with a crack that would make Indiana Jones feel inadequate. As it whips around, it catches four crew members and drops three to the tarmac. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, as Mercedes has released a statement that three of the four were released from the hospital and are back on the job, but one remains in the hospital with serious, but not life threatening, injuries.
From the 1:10 mark to the 1:15 mark, you can see the accident in slow motion and you can really get a look at how lazily wrapped the air hose is. The hose that the Mercedes hit was hanging halfway down, whereas the rest of the hoses in pit lane are tightly wrapped and well above the top of the spoiler.
We’re sure this team is in for a quick and harsh lesson on pit-lane maintenance and organization. Then again, getting bull whipped by an air hose may be lesson enough.
Autonomous driving is on the tips of all of our tongues at any given moment, as it is the most likely “next generation” step in the automotive world. One of the key components of perfecting automated driving is the introduction of car-to-car-to-object communication – communication between cars and traffic-control devices. Think of it as a Facebook for the automotive world. Every car needs to update its status and plans to all of the other cars and the traffic controls “in its network” (in the area), so that they know how to plan accordingly.
Sure automated driving works okay via a series of sensors, but that only allows so much. This social networking allows car to plan routes, avoid traffic, avoid accidents, and so forth, ahead of time. Germany has taking the driver’s seat in this matter, by introducing the Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany (sim TD) - which allows controlled testing of these communication systems. Mercedes-Benz is one maker that will provide Germany with cars for this testing program and has now chosen to do some of its own car-to-car-to-object testing at its own facility in Palo Alto, California. During its infancy, this system will utilize the network of cars to sense a line of stopped cars over the peak of a hill or around a blind turn, helping prevent a rear-end collision because the driver and automated sensing devices couldn’t see the stopped cars.
In the long run, this system may end up being the basis that automated driving on a regular basis spawns from. Using sensors alone to eliminate the driver’s need to control a car is pretty dangerous, as the sensors can only see what the human eye can see. This automotive network, on the other hand, allows the car to see things well in advance, making automated driving the safest driving method. That sounds like a good plan to us.
We’ll keep you updates as testing continues.
Since airbags have become commonplace in cars in the last two decades – yes, it’s been that long – we have seen all sorts of different airbags in different locations to protect against various crashes. Now Mercedes is adding a new airbag of sorts to its 2014 S-Class. This newfound device is called the beltbag.
Here’s how the beltbag works. When the car is involved in a crash, the rear seatbelts will inflate with air and help cushion the seat’s occupant against torso damage caused by the belt. If you’ve ever been in a hard enough crash to jar you forward, you know how badly a seatbelt can bruise your chest and abdomen. The airbelt is supposed to prevent that damage.
This isn’t the first airbelt to be released though, as Ford included it in its optional features on the 2011 Explorer. This is, however, the first time it is a standard feature. We are curious as to why Mercedes did not add this feature to its front seatbelts, as the jolt forward is no different in the rear than it is in the front.
We also wonder how many years this will remain an optional feature before the NHTSA decides that this needs to be standard in all cars, thereby driving up the cost of a new car even more... Keep in mind, even front airbags were once only an option, as were tire pressure monitors, traction control, and ABS. Now those features are all required, in one for or another, on all cars sold in the U.S.
We’ll get to see this new belt system in action in Geneva next spring, which is when Mercedes-Benz unveils its new S-Class.
With the 2012 DTM season ripping its inaugural race, the time was ripe for the series to introduce the vehicle that would serve as its official safety car. This year, the German Touring Car Masters Championship has tapped the 2013 Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series to serve that role.
Following in the reins of the the C63 AMG, the BMW M3, and a host of several Audis, the C63 AMG Black Series has been fitted with a number of modifications in order to serve its role as the DTM’s official safety car.
Among them include an aerodynamically optimized light bar on the roof and energy-efficient, fast-response LEDs in green and orange. The car also has a modified AMG sports exhaust system and a special rear silencer that allows the car’s 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine to produce 517 horsepower and 457 lb/ft of torque. This makes it capable of hitting 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 186mph.
For the exterior, the car carries a slew of packages, including an AMG Aerodynamics Package that carries a genuine carbon fiber front splitter on the front apron and a fixed carbon-fiber rear aerofoil with an adjustable blade. It also has the AMG Track package that includes rear axle gear cooling and a set of 19" forged AMG wheels wrapped in Dunlop Sport Maxx Race tires. Lastly, there’s the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package that includes exterior mirror housings, inserts in the side sill panels, and a diffuser insert, all made from carbon fiber.
For the interior, the C63 AMG Black Series Safety Car was given a pair of AMG Sport bucket seats, each coming with four-point seat belts, and an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather and Dinamica.
The Mercedes SLS AMG was first used as a Safety Car back in 2010 shortly after its official debut. Now, for the 2012 racing season, the SLS is returning as the Official F1 Safety Car. The Safety Car is based on the standard SLS AMG, with absolutely no changes made to the standard 571 HP 6.3-liter V8 engine, or its suspension and braking system.
What Mercedes did do was add a newly developed exhaust – designed to provide an even more emotionally-charged sound experience - as a tribute to the Formula 1 fans. Next to this, the Safety Car also received a roof light bar that boasts an aerodynamically efficient profile. The bar’s light functions are handled by LEDs which offer a fast response time and low power consumption. The colors change to green when the Formula 1 drivers can overtake the Safety Car or orange when no overtaking whatsoever is allowed. The roof light bar also incorporates a TV camera and a second camera located next to the rear number plate that allows the driver and co-driver to keep an eye on the Formula 1 cars.
The interior of the Mercedes SLS AMG Safety Car is almost identical to the production car, except of course for the two central monitors placed in the cockpit, which are used to monitor the progress of the race.
The holidays are always a time to gather your closest family and friends to rejoice and celebrate. Of course, sometime celebrations get a little out of control and Johnnie Walker - yeah, the high quality whiskey brand that just hooked up with Porsche for the Porsche Design Johnnie Walker Blue Label Private Bar - wants to ensure that a night of good times doesn’t turn into a night of debacle. They reached out to race car drivers like Mika Häkkinen and Jenson Button to take part in the most powerful autograph they could sign: a pact to not drink and drive.
The unusual and spectacular thing about these signatures is that they were made not by a pen, but by a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. That’s right, the drivers signed their names on the asphalt by doings donuts to the shape of their signatures. The sheer control needed for such a task is incredible, as these drivers will tell you in the video. Everyone needs to use that same amount of control when they decide it’s time to head home.
It seems that Mercedes is headed towards some dark days now that they are facing a class action suit due to alleged defects in the M156 V8 motor. Reports coming in are stating that there seems to be a premature wear that occurs as a result of the material used in the camshafts. Let’s break it down a bit more.
Mercedes’ V8 AMG engines have cast nodular iron camshafts, but the valve lifters are made of 9310 grade steel. The complaint is that this combination of materials is contributing to premature wear of the M156 motors. This can be due to improper heat treating of the metals or improper offset. Seems like an easy fix, but the problem is that the company has known about this issue since 2007 when a service bulletin was released by Daimler, but the company has failed to take action on the matter.
This 6.2 liter V8 engine is used in models such as the C63 AMG Coupe, the ML63 AMG, and the SLS AMG supercar. In these vehicles, it can develop between 450 to 570 HP.
At this time, there is only one plaintiff who is alleging financial losses of about $25,000. Sometimes tells us this is going to snowball into many, many more people coming forward with the same problem. We’ll keep you posted as more details surface.
Mercedes USA is out to teach us all a little something through their AMG Driving Academy Performance series, and their second episode highlights the need to learn how to brake, AMG style.
In this episode, AMG Driving Academy instructor, Tommy Kendall, explains the apparent contradiction that to go fast, you must first learn how to go slow. The video will show Tommy as he demonstrates the fundamentals of braking, including threshold braking and trail braking.
Most drivers feel the need to speed at some point or another, so learning how to keep control of your car through braking is an absolute must in order to have your thrills and still be able to walk away from the experience. In our opinion, every automaker that produces high performance vehicle - such as the AMG models by Mercedes - should offer these same type of training course for their customers.
While taking a trip as a medical car for the 2011 Formula One season in Estate form, the Mercedes C63 AMG is welcoming a new job as the Safety Car for the 2011 DTM season. The snazzy Mercedes will make its first appearance on May 1, 2011 at the opening race of the German Touring Car Masters season at the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg with racing driver, Jürgen Kastenholz, behind the wheel.
The C63 AMG Safety Car comes equipped with the AMG Performance Package that will ensure the 6.3-liter V8 engine delivers a total of 687 HP. The engine will be mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission, which incorporates a wet start-up clutch and four transmission modes as well as double-declutching and RACE START functions for optimum driving dynamics.
The Safety Car will also feature enlarged openings and side air outlets, an AMG carbon-fiber spoiler lip on the boot lid that reduces lift at high track speeds, and multi-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange. The Mercedes will be further distinguished by DTM Safety Car logos, an LED light bar on the roof, and the stroboscopic flashing LED lights at the front and rear, plus a number plate illuminated with LEDs and the words "Safety Car" on the boot lid.
After the political tensions in Bahrain caused the delay of the 2011 Formula One season, the world’s most prestigious racing series is finally set to turn on the green light at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
While the obvious attractions of the race are the Formula One race cars themselves, a few other tricked out vehicles are gearing up to make their services available for the 2011 season. Serving as the official medical car is the 2012 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Estate. Despite already serving the same role for the past three seasons, the C63 AMG Estate that will be used this year comes with a number of improvements, from a refreshed design, updated technology, and of course, a performance upgrade.
All of these refreshments and upgrades still underlie the car’s official purpose out on the track for all the races of the 2011 Formula One season. It’s there to provide immediate medical assistance for any harrowing crashes and, while all of us are probably united in saying that we hope that we don’t ever get to see this car out on track, it’s always a good idea to have a car as capable as the C63 AMG Estate to be on-call when an accident - or worse, tragedy - strikes.
Details on the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate F1 Medical Car after the jump.
The ever-moving revolving door that is car recalls is moving once again and this time, the company that finds itself on the spotlight is Mercedes-Benz.
The German automaker has officially issued a recall involving a number of their vehicles – 2011 models of the E-Class, M-Class, R-Class, and GL-Class – over what the company describes as defective fuel filters.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an important item in these vehicle’s fuel filters – the O-ring – may have been improperly lubricated. The effect of this defect could lead to the car’s fuel spilling out onto roads, which could potentially lead to dangerous driving conditions not just for the driver of the affected car, but for other vehicles around it.
Mercedes has approximated that around 2,300 of their vehicles have this defect and thus subjected to the recall, which is expected to begin later this month. All affected vehicles are expected to go to their Mercedes dealerships and have the problems fixed at no cost to the car owner.
How far will Mercedes go to up the technological ante against other auto brands? How does € 160 million sound? That is how much Mercedes’ new driving simulator will cost counting the infrastructure, the driving simulator, and climate wind tunnels over a five-year period. This new driving simulator consists of a 360° screen, a fast electric power system, and a twelve-meter long rail for transverse movements. Adding to the technology is the ability of the simulator to take part of its energy from energy recuperation when braking.
"The new driving simulator enables us to reproduce highly dynamic driving maneuvers such as lane-changes even more realistically, and to research the behavior of the driver and vehicle in road traffic even more intensively," Dr. Weber explains. The press release goes on to say that "the facility is not able or intended to replace real test drives completely, but the simulator makes it possible to test the systems and components of future Mercedes models in all development phases."
We think it’s safe to say that Merc engineers should be upping their Playstation skills in no time!
Hit the jump to check out how this new driving simulator works!
Mercedes is not going to sit idly by and let Volkswagen’s “Junior” have all of the fame in terms of the autonomous driver. No, they have, instead, built an autonomous vehicle of their own with testing done on their very own closed track. Their vehicle doesn’t have a name, but it can perform safety-critical driving maneuvers with reflexes that will make any human driver look like a tortoise. These maneuvers are performed on the closed test track with Mercedes engineers who are just ecstatic that they do not have to be behind the wheel when performing dangerous maneuvers. As it was before, the safety of the engineers and test drivers was at risk when they had to perform these tests themselves.
Mercedes’ “Automated driving” is the next step up from the current intelligent assistance systems that allow assistance with specific problem areas such as lane changes, fatigue or poor visibility at night. The newest advancement with autonomous driving will allow for even greater assistance to the vehicle’s driver.
“With future driver assistance systems, we will be able to address even more complex traffic situations and therefore to ease the dangers of further accident hot spots – like intersections,” says Prof. Bharat Balasubramanian, Head of Product Innovations & Process Technologies at Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering Daimler AG. “Our new automated driving test methods help us to fulfill the extremely high quality and operational safety demands placed on our safety systems more efficiently.”
Hit the jump for the full story and press release.
Mercedes Benz has been known for its revolutionary standards of safety. After all, as one of the most luxurious and widely-respected car brands in the world, it has a reputation to protect.
That’s why the German-based automakers have introduced a new safety features on their 2010 E-class luxury-sedan. Called the Attention Assist, this new safety technology is intended to keep tired and weary drivers from dozing off into lala land.
The Attention Assist is capable of detecting abrupt steering corrections – a classic case of drowsy driving – done on the car and responds by emitting a low-frequency beep to alert the driver of his recklessness. If the beep isn’t enough to get the driver’s attention, an espresso cup – don’t ask us why – lights up on the dashboard reminding the driver to get his wits about himself if he wants to get home in one piece.
We’re all proponents for safe driving and understand the ramifications of falling asleep while behind the wheel of a car – it accounts for over 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths every year in the US. Hopefully, Mercedes Benz’s new Attention Assist safety feature can cut down on those staggering numbers.