Archive for Mercedes-Benz

2016 Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Quick Spin

When it comes to performance cars, we admire Audi’s template. There’s a basic model, then an S, and if applicable, an RS at the top of the range. Each vehicle has exponentially better dynamics than its lesser sibling, so that there’s no confusing the driving experience of an A5 with that of an S5 or an RS 5. Same with the A7, S7, and RS 7.

BMW has tried to replicate this formula with cars like the 135is and 335is, and more recently, the new M235i and X4 M40i. Mercedes’ analog is the new (stillborn) AMG Sport line, and this C450 AMG 4Matic challenger to Audi’s S4. It’s got the right credentials – AMG’s brand cache is backed up by a twin-turbo V6, a tweaked 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that sends two-thirds of its power to the rear axle, a sportier aesthetic, and sharper, more precise reflexes. But what a car like this needs is verve and drama. It has to make you want to drive it hard. With the C450, a week behind the wheel showed off stellar driving dynamics, but its character is too cool and businesslike – this is more C300 than C63.

Driving Notes

  • Unquestionably the star of the show, Mercedes’ new 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 is a hoot. More than any other piece of this car, it feels like a true product of AMG. It revs fast and fierce to its 6,500-rpm redline, and sounds damn good along the way, thanks to the AMG performance exhaust. And with all 384 pound-feet of torque on offer between 2,000 and 4,200 rpm, it always feels like the punch you’re asking for is readily available.
  • Mercedes went far enough with the C450′s engine, but it didn’t with the transmission; the C450 uses Merc’s long-serving 7G-Tronic automatic. It’s fine if you leave it in full automatic and the drivetrain in Comfort. It’s less fine if you switch to Sport or Sport+. And it’s really not fine at all if you select the full manual mode. It’s quick on wide-open-throttle upshifts and other aggressive situations, but it stumbles on downshifts. We found ourselves clicking the left paddle two or three times trying to force the seven-speed automatic to drop down. It was similarly fickle around town, where the gearbox just wasn’t keen on shifting up.
  • The polar opposite to the mainstream transmission is the C450′s suspension. Multi-link arrangements sit fore and aft and are paired with standard three-mode adaptive dampers plucked directly from the C63 AMG. They’re firm in their sharpest mode, offering up precise, sports-sedan-worthy reflexes and reactions to steering inputs without being punishing over Michigan’s third-world roads. Left in their softest mode, though, the ride is scarcely less comfortable than a C300 with the Sport Pack.
  • The steering also came up for special praise. It’s fast, precise, and wonderfully weighted without feeling taxing or difficult at lower speeds. What’s impressive, though, is how good the steering feels in its lightest mode. From on-center through to full lock, the weight builds consistently and naturally. It’s easy to forget this is an electric steering rack. Feedback is strong, too, so you’re never left guessing what the front wheels are doing. We also enjoyed the standard AMG steering wheel, and didn’t really see the need for the optional Alcantara tiller.
  • Prices for the C450 AMG start at $51,725, including $925 in destination charges. We’d describe our tester as popularly equipped. It lacked performance-minded options like the $2,500 AMG Performance Seats, carbon-fiber trim pieces, and upgraded steering wheel, but had virtually every convenience feature. Boxes ticked include the Driver Assistance Pack ($2,250), the Hands-Free Access Pack ($250), the Multimedia Pack ($2,230), the Lighting Pack ($800), the Premium Pack ($1,520), heated seats ($580), 19-inch AMG wheels ($850), an excellent head-up display ($990), front and rear parking sensors with active parking ($970), and a rear-view camera ($460). Finally, there’s that absolutely beautiful Cardinal Red Designo paint, which costs $1,080, bringing the as-tested price to $65,005.

The C-Class range runs the emotional gamut. The C300 is pinned down and businesslike. The C63 is wild and emotional and makes you feel like a well-heeled hooligan. More importantly, it has an intangible something that makes you want to push harder and faster – it’s what we expect from AMG these days, and the C450 just doesn’t quite have it. Yes, we’re getting used to this “AMG Lite” package, but until Mercedes can distill, bottle, and inject some more of that C63-ness into the C450 – or C43, as it’ll soon be known – it’s a hard vehicle to get wrapped up in.

South Korea car market soared 2% in April when Volkswagen smashed a new all-time record share.

In April, the car market in South Korea was up 2.6% partially recovering on cumulated sales data, now down only 1.3% from last year. While Mercedes confirmed the growing trend, Volkswagen increased the share at 1.7%, new all-time record here.

 

 

In spite of South Korea economy is struggling and internal demand falling, the light passenger vehicles market resists, also thanks to the tax reduction applied by the government few months ago. In April, sales were 132.136, up 2.6% with year-to-date sales were 488.381, down 1.3%.

All lobbies are very active in the country against the “invasion” from foreign makers as Koreans automakers are for the first time facing an internal competition and consumers are finally welcoming the opportunity to choose among hundreds models.

German Premium brands had already achieved in this country a respectable share, with BMW performing better than globally, in average.

Looking at the best brands performance:

Hyundai sold 58.365 vehicles further reinforcing the market share, climbed at 44.2%, up 1.0 points from first quarter 2013. Year-to-date sales were 212.121 with a share of 43.4%. The Sonata advanced as the models leadership.

Kia in second sold 40.554 cars with a share of 30.7%, up 0.4 points of share from the previous month. Year-to-date sales were 149.204 with a share of 30.6%, really stable if compared with the last three quarters. The Top model, the Morning (called Picanto in many others markets) has lost the leadership, slipping in second place.

Chevrolet/Daewoo in 3rd sold 10.260 units, with a share of 7.8%, down 2.2 points from the previous month. While March was above the expectations, April Performance was really awful! Year-to-date sales were 43.232 with a share of 8.9%.

SsangYong in 4th sold 5.115 units with a share of 3.9%, up 0.1 points from the previous month. Cumulate sales in April were 18.408 with a share of 3.8%. The top model, the Korando Sport, was ranked 20th.

Renault/Samsung was 5th with 4.535 sales and a share of 3.4%, down 0.3 points from the previous month. Year-to-date sales were 17.284 with a share of 3.5%, down 0.1 points from Q3.

BMW in 6th sold 2.719 units, with a share of 2.1%, down 0.1 points from the previous month. Year-to-date sales were 11.492 with a share of 2.4%. BMW share in Korea is already higher than in the World.

Mercedes was 7th with 2.324 sales and 1.8%, up 0.2 points from the previous month, consolidating a good progression shown in the last period. Year-to-date sales were 7.789 with a share of 1.6%.

Volkswagen was 8th with 2.206 units and a share of 1.7%, up 0.4 points from the previous month and new all-time record share in this market. Year-to-date sales were 7.256 with a share of 1.7%.

Audi was 9th with 1.713 units and a share of 1.3%, up 0.3 points from the previous month. YTD sales were 6.124 with a share of 1.3%.

Toyota outpaced Ford and advanced in 10th place with 551 units and 0.4% of market share. YTD sales were 2.041.

In the table below, the Top 20 brands, ranked for year to date position:

Rank Ytd

Brand

Apr

YTD 2013

Q3 2012

Q4 2012

Q1 2013

Mar 2013

Apr 2013

Ytd M 2013

1

Hyundai

58.365

   212.121

42,6%

43,9%

43,2%

43,0%

44,2%

43,4%

2

Kia

40.554

   149.204

31,5%

31,0%

30,5%

30,3%

30,7%

30,6%

3

Chevrolet

10.260

     43.232

9,6%

9,7%

9,3%

10,0%

7,8%

8,9%

4

SsangYong

5.115

     18.408

3,3%

3,3%

3,7%

3,8%

3,9%

3,8%

5

Renault Samsung

4.535

     17.284

3,6%

3,8%

3,6%

3,7%

3,4%

3,5%

6

BMW

2.719

     11.492

2,0%

1,6%

2,5%

2,2%

2,1%

2,4%

7

Mercedes

2.324

       7.789

1,6%

1,2%

1,5%

1,6%

1,8%

1,6%

8

Volkswagen

2.206

       7.256

1,4%

1,4%

1,4%

1,3%

1,7%

1,5%

9

Audi

1.723

       6.124

1,1%

0,9%

1,2%

1,0%

1,3%

1,3%

10

Ford

551

       2.055

0,4%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

11

Toyota

576

       2.041

0,8%

0,7%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

0,4%

12

Honda

503

       1.794

0,3%

0,2%

0,4%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

13

Lexus

573

       1.666

0,3%

0,4%

0,3%

0,3%

0,4%

0,3%

14

Mini

440

       1.495

0,4%

0,4%

0,3%

0,3%

0,3%

0,3%

15

Chrysler

304

       1.279

0,3%

0,2%

0,3%

0,2%

0,2%

0,3%

16

Nissan

301

           970

0,1%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

17

Peugeot

300

           890

0,1%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

18

Land Rover

230

           847

0,1%

0,1%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

0,2%

19

Porsche

155

           622

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

20

Volvo

119

           571

0,2%

0,1%

0,1%

0,2%

0,1%

0,1%

Hyundai Sonata advanced in first position among top models, with 8.730 sales and a share of 6.6%, up 0.4 points from the previous month.

The previous month leader, the Kia Morning, was second with 8.080 units and 6.1% of share while Hyundai Avante was third, down 1 spot, with 7.965 units, just 21 more than the Porter in 4th.

Hyundai Grandeur was 5th, followed by Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia K3, K5 and Bongo. The tenth was the Hyundai Grand Starex.

In the table below, the Top 25 models, ranked by last month position:

Rank Apr

Rank Mar

Rank 2012

Model

Apr

Ytd Apr

Q2 2012

Q3 2012

Q4 2012

Q1 2013

Mar

Apr

Ytd Apr

1

3

2

Hyundai Sonata

8.730

30.650

6,6%

7,3%

6,7%

6,2%

6,2%

6,6%

6,3%

2

1

3

Kia Morning

8.080

31.542

6,6%

6,6%

5,5%

6,6%

6,8%

6,1%

6,5%

3

2

1

Hyundai Avante

7.965

29.250

7,3%

7,3%

7,1%

6,0%

6,4%

6,0%

6,0%

4

5

5

Hyundai Porter

7.944

29.843

5,6%

5,3%

5,9%

6,1%

5,6%

6,0%

6,1%

5

4

4

Hyundai Grandeur

7.725

31.011

5,7%

5,4%

5,3%

6,5%

6,1%

5,8%

6,3%

6

6

7

Hyundai Santa Fe

7.444

26.926

5,1%

5,1%

6,0%

5,5%

5,4%

5,6%

5,5%

7

8

18

Kia K3

5.067

18.726

0,0%

1,0%

5,2%

3,8%

4,2%

3,8%

3,8%

8

9

6

Kia K5

4.973

17.998

5,8%

4,8%

4,2%

3,7%

3,8%

3,8%

3,7%

9

11

9

Kia Bongo

4.843

18.483

3,4%

2,6%

3,2%

3,8%

3,4%

3,7%

3,8%

10

10

10

Hyundai Grand Starex

4.266

16.464

3,4%

2,0%

3,2%

3,4%

3,4%

3,2%

3,4%

11

12

11

Kia Sportage R

3.616

12.279

2,8%

3,3%

2,3%

2,4%

2,4%

2,7%

2,5%

12

7

8

Chevrolet Spark

3.610

19.143

4,8%

4,3%

3,8%

4,4%

4,2%

2,7%

3,9%

13

13

13

Hyundai Tucson ix

3.414

11.412

2,1%

2,6%

2,6%

2,2%

2,3%

2,6%

2,3%

14

15

17

Hyundai Accent

3.084

9.617

2,2%

2,1%

1,8%

1,8%

1,9%

2,3%

2,0%

15

16

16

Kia Carnival R

2.762

10.090

2,1%

2,2%

1,8%

2,1%

1,9%

2,1%

2,1%

16

14

15

Samsung SM5

2.457

10.151

1,8%

1,8%

2,4%

2,2%

2,1%

1,9%

2,1%

17

19

14

Kia Sorento R

2.319

8.037

2,0%

2,8%

2,3%

1,6%

1,6%

1,8%

1,6%

18

18

12

Kia Ray

2.300

8.757

2,9%

2,5%

1,9%

1,8%

1,9%

1,7%

1,8%

19

17

21

Kia K7

2.285

9.575

1,1%

0,9%

2,1%

2,0%

1,9%

1,7%

2,0%

20

21

20

SsangYong Korando Sports

1.690

6.393

1,5%

1,2%

1,0%

1,3%

1,2%

1,3%

1,3%

21

38

45

Kia Carens

1.512

2.943

0,0%

0,0%

0,0%

0,4%

0,4%

1,1%

0,6%

22

20

25

SsangYong Korando C

1.493

5.814

1,0%

1,2%

1,4%

1,2%

1,2%

1,1%

1,2%

23

23

24

Samsung SM3

1.440

4.942

1,1%

1,3%

1,0%

1,0%

1,1%

1,1%

1,0%

24

26

23

Chevrolet Orlando

1.193

3.935

1,1%

1,1%

1,4%

0,8%

0,9%

0,9%

0,8%

25

28

27

Kia Pride

1.193

4.099

1,1%

1,0%

0,8%

0,8%

0,8%

0,9%

0,8%

 

RM’s Flagship Auction Brings Another Epic Collection – London 2012

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing


Back for a sixth year, RM is once again stepping up its game for what is going to be another stellar auction this October in London. This is the kind of sale that attracts serious collectors interested in both buying and selling, and has been the showcase of choice in previous years for Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s private collection. Here’s a quick look at a few of the killer cars coming to this year’s sale.

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti Berlinetta Tour de France

Having just seen a 1956 cross the block in Monterey for a whopping $6,710,000 back in August, there is much buzz about how much this 250 GT will pull in next month. This is one of just 36 single-louvre cars built, and was delivered with a competition spec engine, as it was destined to go racing extensively in 1960. It has seen a healthy level of restoration over the years and has made many an appearance at the Mille Miglia retrospective over the years.

1952 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon

1952 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon
1952 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon


Early post-war Bentleys have always seen strong collector values, and there is no doubt that this particular unit will be near the top of the heap. The R-Type Fastback was unveiled at the 1952 London Motor Show, and this is that exact car that stunned crowds with its sleek H.J. Mulliner sculpted body. It is the seventh of its kind ever built. Its 4.6L straight-six was good for a solid 130 bhp and could accelerate from 0-60 in just over 13 seconds, eventually winding out to a top speed of 101 mph.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing


The Gullwing has to be THE over-reported collector car of all time, but there is a level of morbid fascination many of us have when it comes to the sale price of these beautifulBenzes. Credit where credit is due, The Gullwing is still an incredible car and was miles ahead of its time. For those less familiar, the Gullwing was the first car ever equipped with a direct-injection engine, which practically doubled its horsepower output to 212 over the carbureted version’s 115 bhp, and rocketed up to its competition stomping top speed of 161 mph. Not bad for 1955!

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing


With such a heavy list of cars scheduled an appearance this year and a bit of time left for further consignments, there’s no doubt it will be yet another interesting year for RM in London. The only question left is how many records will be broken this time around.

Man accusses NYPD cops of joyriding in his car while he was jailed

 
Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

A New York man is accusing the New York Police Department of taking his Mercedes-Benz CL Coupe for a spin while he was locked up in jail. The New York Post reports 25-year-old Rashad Lewis was taken into custody on the third of August after officers stopped him for running several red lights. After searching his car, police found 13 fraudulent credit cards. Both Rashad and his passenger, Gregg Humphreys, were charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and booked in Manhattan. Rashad eventually made bail and was released a week later, and on August 15, he received a ticket from a red light camera showing his car blowing through an intersection.

Except Rashad was cooling his heels in a New York City lockup at the time. Either the police or a civilian employee of the department was having a good time with the Mercedes-Benz. Even worse, the car came back with a broken rear window and scratched paint. Officers listed the car in “good” condition when it was deposited at impound, though the NYPD says Rashad didn’t have any issues when he picked up the car five days later.

Rashad now says he wants to sell his car, and his lawyer has made it clear he has no intention of paying the red light camera fine. The NYPD has declined to comment on the incident.

 
 

“MERCEDES DRIVE THRU” in London

Mercedes Benz Drive Thru “MERCEDES DRIVE THRU” in London

What’s not to love about food and art? The two come together in what is called the “MERCEDES DRIVE THRU,” a temporary and driveable restaurant that’s designed by British food artists Sam Bompas and Harry Parr.

The aim is to provide “an exceptional sensory experience” highlighted by good food and some light art, accomplished by the duo with help from the Jason Bruges Studio, a multimedia collective in the UK.

A new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be one of the main draws of the restaurant, staged artistically to highlight the design and make it interact with the whole installation and light show. Basically, the car is used so guests can go through the building as they place their particular orders and with the lights all in the background. It’s an interactive activity that should excite many a guest.

“Mercedes is a brand with a high standard of quality, and the aesthetics of Mercedes design are a great inspiration for us,” said Bompas. “We create luxury dining, Mercedes produces luxury cars—working together to create the world’s best “drive thru” is therefore an obvious idea for what will be a remarkable feat of cooperation.”

This driveable restaurant can be found in the lobby of the Selfridge Hotel, found in Oxford Street (Mayfair) and guests can go there between September 13 to 16. If you’re in the area, you might want to check it out—it should offer quite a visual and gastronomic ride.

DTM 2012: Zandvoort Preview

dtm zandvoort 2011 race 7 597x399 DTM 2012: Zandvoort Preview

There’s four more races left in the 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season, and the whole Mercedes-Benz stable is gearing up to extend its lead in the three standings of DTM. After a bit of a disappointing showing in the last race at Nurburgring, the team is eager to bounce back.

“Zandvoort is one of my favourite tracks on the DTM calendar,” said three-time winner Paffett, who is still leading the drivers’ standings by 20 points. “The track offers a good mix of fast and slow turns—this variety gives me a lot of pleasure as a driver, and so I’m really looking forward to climbing back into the cockpit just one week after the Nürburgring.”

“I’m now really looking forward to Zandvoort,” said Jamie Green, who is third in the drivers’ standings and is 2 points from second spot at the moment. “The dune circuit is quite challenging and makes very different demands on the vehicle as compared to last weekend at the Nürburgring. The fast sections of track really suit me and the car, and, as has so often been the case this season, I expect a close fight for the top positions.”

Since the DTM races took to Zandvoort in 2001, Mercedes has won 5 out of the 11 races. Gary Paffett and company are looking to add to that tally this weekend.

Diesel in a Sportscar? The SLK 250 CDI Made it Possible

mercedes Benz slk250 7 597x398 Diesel in a Sportscar? The SLK 250 CDI Made it Possible

Before, nobody would ever think that a sportscar with a diesel engine will ever come to life. Some cannot believe that it could run that fast. But the SLK 250 CDI is now out to prove them wrong.

The introduction of the new SLK 250 CDI by Mercedes-Benz not only marks the continuation of the company’s unique diesel engine heritage, but also serves to counter in impressive style the common misconception that diesel engines and sports cars are incompatible. The four-cylinder diesel engine in the Roadster delivers 150 kW (204 hp) from a displacement of just 2.2 litres to give the two-seater its characteristic sporty temperament. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h takes just 6.7 seconds – true sports car performance. Apart from all this, the SLK 250 CDI is the most economical and therefore the most environmentally compatible roadster in its segment. It is happy with 4.9 litres of diesel fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined consumption).

The New 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG with V12 Biturbo

The New 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG with V12 Biturbo The New 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG with V12 Biturbo

If you like the previous SLs, the you’d probably love the 2013 Mercedes SL 65 AMG that has the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G Tronic transmission that can get 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds. Not only that, the car has the 6.0L biturbo V12 engine that’s 7 pounds lighter with new turbochargers and exhaust system.

The engine output is up to 630PS with 1000 Nm of torque, which means more speed and power. And oh, the looks of the Mercedes SL65 AMG is something to be coveted too. Luxurious and gorgeous leather and amazingly beautiful exterior, I bet anyone would want that.

The thing is, this comes with a hefty price, €236,334 in Europe/Germany.

G63 AMG And G65 AMG Unleashed On The World

2048 12c380 011 597x397 G63 AMG And G65 AMG Unleashed On The WorldAt first glance, calling the latest G63 AMG and its big brother (the G65 AMG) new seems silly, given that the G-Class can be described as a venerable, even evergreen model in light of its continued production in the face of newer designs. But the G-Class exudes an aura of ruggedness and dependability that few vehicles, Mercedes or not, can match. Continuous improvements to the looks, interior and powertrain of the G-Class has resulted in a vehicle that is far from what the original designers envisioned.

Take as an example the new G63. Its drivetrain is adapted from the latest iteration of the ML63, which means it has AMG’s 7G-Tronic automatic transmission plus ESP, Mercedes’ excellent version of traction control. The heart of the G63 is AMG’s twin turbo V8 that punches out more than 540 horsepower. Even the jaded cannot fault that figure. And lest you imagine that the G63 is just all brawn, consider that it now rides on newly-designed 20-inch wheels with recalibrated suspension settings to reduce NVH levels. Yet it still maintains the rugged dependability the G-Class has become known for.

Inside, new instrument panel and state-of-the-art infotainment and assist systems greet the driver, complete with a TFT display panel. And apart from the standard leather trim, the G63 can be ordered with carbon fiber touches to lend it a more distinctive look.

For those who think that 540 horsepower is just adequate for this land bruiser, the truly exclusive-oriented can opt for the G65, which features a monstrous V12 fitted with twin turbochargers. With more than 610 horsepower to throw around, this animal of an engine should give the latest AMG G-Class the grunt to conquer any obstacle.

The CLS 63 AMG Stealth by GSC

 

GSC CLS63AMG 001 597x396 The CLS 63 AMG Stealth by GSC

What do you get when you soup up an already fast car using a package centered on a Stealth aerodynamic kit? That’s the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG Stealth by tuner German Special Customs.

The aerodynamic body of this tuned car, as well as its body color, really shows off the design that’s influenced by stealth airplanes. There’s a new hood with a broad shaft, fresh side skirts, and a broader front fascia. Instead of the Mercedes-Benz logo adorning the front grille, the GSC emblem is displayed on that section. Oh, the new bumber is also laced with LED daytime running lights for added functionality and style.

With those additions and the performance upgrades provided for the Stealth’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, the custom vehicle generates 225 horsepower more than the standard AMG variant. The Stealth’s 750 horsepower is aided by a new exhaust system, bigger turbochargers, and a bonus water cooler. New 20-inchers are in place, while drivers will also get to play nice with the front axle’s adjustable suspensions.

The GSC CLS 63 AMG Stealth has a top speed of nearly 350 kph, while its 0-100 kph time is rated at a mere 3.7 seconds.