All posts in “Mercedes-Benz”

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Revealed with 306hp

The first AMG-tuned version of the GLB has been revealed in the form of the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35. The tuned version of the compact crossover follows the more general release of the new model earlier this year.

The formula is predictable by now. The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 uses the familiar 2.0-litre in-line 4-cylinder engine with its twin-scroll turbochargers to produce 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The power is channelled through an AMG 8 Speed DCT gearbox and a race start mode is also available.

The power allows for a 100 km/h sprint time of 5.2 seconds in the GLB 35 with an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. As with most AMG’s the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 gets AMG Dynamic Select with five drive modes; Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Two dynamics modes, “Basic” and “Advanced” switch the torque distribution, steering and ESP characteristics.

With greater power, AMG neede to provide greater stopping power. This necessitated a 4 piston fixed calliper setup at the front and a single-piston version at the back.

For the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35, the MBUX infotainment system has also been modified to display the AMG-specific display styles. Interior changes also include a nappa leather steering wheel with the option of an AMG performance version. As with non-AMG models, you can also order a third seating row.

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced.


Mercedes-AMG’s Project One Hypercar Delayed Until 2021

It’s Taking Longer Than Expected

There’s a lot to be excited about with the Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar. One of the things we were pumped about was that it was supossed to come out soon. Well, according to the German publication Auto Moto und Sport, the car will take some more time than was originally thought. The project has been pushed out to 2021. 

Why? Well, it seems that using a Formula 1 engine in a road car and making it legal is a little more tricky than Mercedes thought it would be. The company is finding that the new emissions standards are making things difficult according to Motor1. The engineers at Mercedes seem to have underestimated the task of transforming the V6 engine into a street-legal mill. 

The emissions issue is just one part of the problem. F1 engines are very special machines with complicated startup sequences. You can’t just toss one into a car and hit the starter button. Oil needs to be brought up to temperature and F1 engines are actually started with an external starter in many cases. This means engineers have a major task on their hands of making the engine more consumer-friendly while still achieving the power outputs promised to the world. Hopefully, Mercedes will get its house in order by 2021. We can’t wait for this car to come out. 

Watch Shmee Gush About Driving a Mercedes CLK GTR Alongside a McLaren F1, Porsche 993 GT1, and Others

A Momentus Event

In this video put together by VINwiki, YouTuber Shmee discusses the time he randomly got to drive the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR alongside five other insane supercars, two of which were the McLaren F1 and the Porsche 993 GT1. He tells an interesting story about how he flew into Bahrain to attend an event at the Bahrain International Circuit. 

He’d originally flown to the Middle East to go to a Lamborghini event and then to see some car collections in the area. He did those things and then had the opportunity to go back to Bahrain to partake in another event. So, he wrangled together some flights to get him there. 

Once there, the owners of the cars were going to do a parade lap of the circuit for some photography and video shoots, he was asked if he’d like to drive one of the six cars that would be in the lap. Of course, he said yes, and after some discussion ended up in the Mercedes CLK GTR. 

Before the lap was over, most of the cars decided to go out for one more lap when they weren’t supposed to. Speeds climbed and it sounded absolutely amazing. Watch the video below to see Shmee tell the story himself. 

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2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S Review

The Mercedes-AMG 45S is the “Super-sportscar” of the compact class and ranging topping offering from Mercedes-Benz.
With the previous third generation Mercedes-Benz A class getting it’s first taste of the AMG treatment over six-years ago, it was time for the team in Affalterbach to give the now fourth generation A Class a new incarnation. For this we headed to Circuito del Jarama on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain.

Now at Circuito del Jarama we get our first look round the new A45S which is now fitted with the worlds most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the M139. Producing an impressive 384hp as a “standrard” A45, the A45S manages to output an outstanding 421hp! This is an improvement of 40hp over the previous M133 DE20 LA engine found in the facelift third generation Mercedes A45 AMG, and gives the M139 a output of 211hp per litre which places it on-par with engines you’d expect to find in high class ranges. As with all AMG produced engines, the powerplants found in the A45 are from Affalterbach and adhere to the “One Man, One Engine” principle. The A45S will reach 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and will continue on to a top speed of 270 km/h, whilst the standard A45 is 0.1 seconds slower to 100 km/h (4.0) and is electronically limited to 250 km/h, though this can be raised to 270 km/h with the optional AMG Drivers package.
The new engine has been rotated around its vertical axis 180°, meaning the turbocharger and exhaust manifold are now positioned to the rear of the engine bay, allowing for a more aerodynamically and the flattest possible front section of the car. Inside the engine, Mercedes has coated the cylinders with their patented NANOSLIDE technology that is also found in their Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 engines.
Both variants of the M139 are coupled to the eight speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT-8G dual clutch transmission, which provides shifts in mere milliseconds, and comes equipped with the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. Also new for this generation of A45, is Drift mode, which comes as standard with the S and is included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC Plus package on the standard A45. Drift mode is called up when in “RACE” mode when the ESP is turned off and the transmission is in manual mode, allowing for powerslides on any road condition.

Twisting the wheel-mounted driving mode dial round to “Race” and you feel the car tighten up, the exhaust valves open and in general become more aggressive. Opening up the throttle and the power is almost instantaneous, the gearshifts are smooth and lightening quick with a little crackle and pop on every one, or when you lift of the throttle. The steering is light and responsive in conjunction with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, giving you feedback as you go through the corners and making you feel comfortable pushing harder into each upcoming corner.
The AMG Torque Control differential helps to bring the car back around on occasions when you find you’ve pushed a little too hard into a corner, with the font tighten up and the rear being pull round in a “powersliding” style.

Now back in the paddock area we have a better chance to look at the exterior changes on the new A45S. The most striking feature across both variants is the addition of the AMG specific grille on the A Class for the first time. The flared wheel arches and front winglets add to the aggressive look that the contoured headlamps and aerodynamic styled hood give the A45S. This continues round to the side of the car, where the AMG side skirts give the A45S a more road hugging stance, whist the wing mirrors are mounted in a similar fashion to those found on the larger coupes and sportscars. At the rear of the A45S, the thinner rear light clusters help to emphasise a wider rear, with the twin 90mm round exhaust pipes sticking out on both sides of the rear diffuser.
One optional extra that helps that were a big fan of is the AMG Aerodynamic package, which with its modified font splitter, winglets, additional diffuser blade and rear wing help to not only improve that handling abilities of the A45S through improved downforce, but also finish of the aggressive styling of the car. Other options include a range of 19-Inch alloy wheels, the AMG night package or a Silver Chrome package.

Inside the A45S the driver and passenger are seated in sports seats that have a firm lateral support and are covered in black ARTICO man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibre is timeless, and creates typical AMG highlights with double topstitching in yellow. The steering wheel comes in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, with either red, yellow or black stitching, galvanised gearshift paddles nestled just behind it and an adjustable button that allows the driver to set the AMG driving mode without the need to remove their hands from the wheel. As always, the centre console is present in a gloss black finish with a touchpad that is surrounded by additional switches that control the ESP, transmission mode and exhaust mode to name a few.

The MBUX infotainment system has three AMG styles, “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport”. When Supersport is selected you get a striking central, round rev countrer and with the other information being moved to the side in a bar form. Mercedes have also added the AMG Track Pace as standard to the A45S, meaning the virtual race engine is fully available through the MBUX infotainment system. By measuring more than 80 different vehicle-specific data channels, the drivers are then able to analyse and improve their driving skills. Another feature of the AMG Track Pace is the ability to record your own circuits into the memory, be it major race tracks famous across the world, or you nearest club circuit, and have the ideal racing line stored and displayed.

Out on the road the ride quality is very good for a “super-sports” compact car, and it’s only when you move into Sport+ and Race that you start to feel more of the road below, it handles the highways with ease and comfort. On the more winding mountainous roads that lead up the Sierra de Guadarrama, the A45S hugs the round, staying planted in the corners with the power coming back smoothly and quickly when you punch the accelerator on the exit.

With their completely re-designed A45 models, Mercedes-AMG has showcased their competence in developing an already class-leading compact into a ground breaking “Super-sportscar” both equally comfortable at highway cruising as it is at windy country roads and race tracks.
Overall the new Mercedes-AMG 45S is a cooling looking, extremely well equipped and punchy compact class car, that has definitely raised the bar in the “Super-sportscar”, compact class market!


10 Cool Cars From the 2000s Sure to Become Future Classics

Automotive nostalgia for the Nineties is having a moment. (Call it the Radwood effect.) After all, fawning over rad Japanese tuner cars from those days is more fun than reconciling ourselves with the fact that it’s been 25 years since Weezer’s self-titled blue album came out.

But all this enthusiasm for the 1990s had us wondering: Could the 2000s be next? Prices for cars from that era are still reasonable. And the defining features of many fun cars of the era — manual transmissions, naturally aspirated engines, not being crossovers — should age well moving forward.

Here, then, are 10 future classics for your consideration (and potential investment in).

BMW M3 (2000-2006)

There are the uber-purists who believe BMW lost its way in the early 1990s. For everyone else, the early 2000s were the halcyon days for BMW, with that era’s cars being a perfect fusion of modern engineering, classic BMW driving dynamics, and somewhat-conservative styling.

The E46-generation M3 may be, simply, the best car BMW has ever built. It packed the S54 3.2-liter naturally aspirated inline-six engine, with 338 horsepower and an 8,000 rpm redline. Whether it would come with a six-speed manual was a question one need not bother asking.

Honda S2000 (1999-2009)

The Honda S2000 may be the ultimate purists’ roadster. The original version had a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter VTEC putting out 247 hp — an impressive 123 hp per liter. It (only) had a six-speed manual, 50/50 weight distribution, and rear-wheel drive. With a 9,000 rpm redline and a power curve that topped out right near that limit, it was built to be driven hard. It’s also not bad to look at, whether it’s from before or after the 2004 facelift.

Audi TT (1998-2006)

The Audi TT was one of the most stunning, innovative concept cars ever — and it made it to production with its sleek Bauhaus look intact. The TT Mk1 was far more of a cruiser than a track car; the first models had to be recalled for dangerous handling at high speed. But a 225-hp engine, a smooth Audi six-speed stick, and baseball-stitched leather made it a fun car for most drivers. The best testament to the TT may be how many owners have pushed them past 150,000 miles.

Dodge Viper (1996-2002)

The Dodge Viper was the proud antithesis of the modern sports car. It had a stupidly large engine, a manual transmission, and no driving aids whatsoever. (Look out for trees.) The second-generation SR II had an 8.0-liter V10 putting out 450 hp and a six-speed manual. It kept the distinctive styling and stripped-down feel of the original, but in addition to a power upgrade, the later model added features like airbags, standard AC, and anti-lock brakes — things any sane driver would want.

Ford Mustang (2005-2014)

With the S197 — better known as the fifth-generation model — Ford decided the Mustang should look like the Mustang again. The company emulated the boxier style of the first generation and produced its best-looking Mustang since the original. It was not a mind-blowing performance upgrade over the fourth-gen, but it held true to Ford’s initial vision for a car that looked awesome, made a lot of noise and came at a price nearly everyone could afford. Indeed, it may have been too affordable: Ford opted to axe an independent rear suspension that would have improved the ride significantly but made it much more expensive.

Jaguar XK (2007-2014)

The Jaguar XK was Jaguar’s 2+2 grand tourer. Famed designer Ian Callum penned the second generation, and it was one of the cars that helped reestablish Jaguar as a sporty, sexy car manufacturer. There was no manual option, only a six-speed ZF automatic, but the XK makes up for it by offering three variants: naturally aspirated V8, supercharged V8, and even beefier supercharged V8. This wasn’t a Bond car, but it’s a car that can make you feel like James Bond on a budget: Even well-kept performance XKR versions with low mileage gavel for less than $30,000 on Bring a Trailer.

Volkswagen Golf R32 (2004)

The R32 is among the standouts from the Volkswagen Golf line. It was VW’s halo Golf for the Mk4 generation, and only sold in the U.S. for the 2004 model year. The R32 had every option and a massive (for a hot hatch) 3.2-liter VR6 engine putting out 238 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It also came with two excellent transmission options, a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual clutch transmission — the first to appear in a production car.

Saab 9-5 Aero (2000-2009)

Saabs were quirky, comfortable and Swedish — before the fallout of the GM bankruptcy made the brand all but defunct in the early 2010s. The 9-5 Aero was a performance version of the 9-5 executive sedan. It was a Saab that could haul ass — to a degree. The torque-heavy 2.3-liter turbo four’s output figures of 250 hp and 258 lb-ft were reportedly significantly understated. It could also be fitted with a five-speed manual.

Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (2003-2006)

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG was the precursor to the E63 AMG. It came as both a sedan and a wagon, and its supercharged 5.4-liter V8 produced 469 hp and 516 lb-ft. When new, it was the fastest four-door vehicle in the world: It accelerated from 0-100 mph in less than 10 seconds, more than a second quicker than the Audi RS6 and faster than a Corvette Z06. It only offered a five-speed automatic, because Mercedes’ seven-speed at that time could not handle the torque.

Pontiac Solstice GXP (2007-2009)

GM gave the Pontiac brand the boot during its restructuring — sadly, just as it was producing fun, intriguing cars. The Solstice was a classic two-seater, available as a coupe or a convertible. The GXP version had a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four putting out 260 hp and 260 lb-ft (though it could be tuned beyond that at the dealer) and an available five-speed manual. It weighed less than 3,000 pounds, and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The car’s production also included some period-perfect GM cost-cutting measures, but we won’t hold that against it.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Revealed with 421hp!

The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019 which starts this weekend. Available in two flavours, a basic CLA 45 and a powerful CLA 45 S, the specifications mirror those of the A 45 which has been released at the same time. Both cars use a new 4-cylinder engine which produces class-leading power. It has been heavily revised for the second generation and is sure to prove a sales success.

Much like the A 45, the CLA 45 gets a host of styling upgrades including that panamerican grille an with 12 vertical louvres, something that has come to define modern AMG’s. The CLA gets wider flared wheel arches, a bonnet power-dome and a wider front axel which give the CLA 45 a bodybuilder’s stance. The wheels are 18-inch designs with the S-models getting 19-inch versions. Elsewhere, AMG has developed a modified front splitter and additional flics, an additional diffuser blade, side spoiler lips on the rear apron and a rear bootlid spoiler.

Its under the bonnet of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S that the real news is found though. Mercedes-AMG has opted for a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine putting out 421 hp, a 40 hp increase over the previous generation. It produces a peak torque output of 500 Nm. In the basic version, power is slightly reduced to just 387 hp. The CLA 45 S manages a 4 second, 100 km/h sprint with an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.

The new engine is rotated 180 degrees which means that the turbochargers and the exhaust manifold are mounted to the rear. This allows the flattest shape, improving air ducting with shorter distances across the engine. Roller bearings are used in the shafts of the turbochargers for the first time which reduces engine friction. Boost is also significantly higher at 2.1 bar.

The Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S engine is coupled to an 8-speed dual clutch gearbox which delivers power to an all-wheel-drive system. AMG Torque Control acts as a differential, distributing power where it is most required. The rear gets a new set of round twin tailpipes.

The suspension is McPherson strut at the front with a 4-link setup at the rear. AMG uses frequency-selective shock absorbers. The dampers are optionally available with AMG Ride Control which offers three suspension settings. AMG Dynamic Select is standard with six driving modes ranging from Slippery for adverse weather conditions to RACE for the track.

Inside the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S, the latest MBUX infotainment system can be found. Sports seats are available and Artico and Dinamica are standard upholstery. The mix of black and red is typical of AMG. Costing and availability has yet to be announced.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Review

The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLS flagship SUV celebrated its debut in New York. As a nearly all American affair we had the opportunity to test the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 4Matic in Utah.

Nearly two thirds of all Mercedes-Benz GL and GLS models built since its first introduction in 2006 have been sold in the United States. I once dubbed it the ‘Beverly Hills Golf’ as the GLS is more common in Beverly Hills than a Volkswagen Golf in an average town in Germany.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will roll off the line in Tuscaloosa with four different engines. The entry-level 3.0 liter six cylinder diesel engine is tailored to the European market and meet the strict 6d emission standard. As a GLS 350d the engine delivers 286hp and 600Nm of torque. As a GLS 400d it delivers 330hp and 700Nm of torque. Outside of the Europe the new GLS is also available with a electrified petrol engine. This 3.0 liter six cylinder engine produces 367hp and 500Nm of torque. Thanks to 48V technology it can give extra 250Nm and 22hp of electric boost over short periods.

The main innovation and highlight of the new Mercedes-Benz GLS range however is the GLS 580 4Matic. As the world’s first electrified petrol V8 this 4.0 liter engine produces 489hp and 700Nm of torque with an additional 250Nm and 22hp boost available. 0-100 km/h is done in a respectable 5.3 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h. The 48V system with integrated starter generator allows for energy recuperation and powers things like the water pump and air-conditioning.

We had the opportunity to test and review the capabilities of the new GLS in Utah on the road as well as off-road. The first thing you will notice when you start the 4.0 V8 in the GLS 580 4Matic is that is significantly quieter than the 4.0 V8 found in the G500. Clearly the GLS 580 is trimmed for comfort rather than sportiness. Also in its power delivery it is quite linear and not as fierce as a non-electrified V8. I’m quite a turbo fan so I found characteristics a bit underwhelming. It is faster than it feels and it is easy to underestimate the speed at which you are traveling in the new GLS.

The last generation GLS was not worthy to be considered a SUV version of the S-Class as it lacked comfort and luxury. Mercedes-Benz changed that fundamentally with the new GLS. It is equipped with virtually every thing you can wish on the luxury front including individual rear seats with seat cooling and massage function. The new E-Active Body Control – which I hope they rename to something cool and easy to remember like Flying Carpet Suspension – is amazing and adds a whole new dimension to passenger comfort as well as driving dynamics. In comfort and eco driving modes it filters out nearly every bump and hole in the road. Switch to curve mode and the car leans into the corner as if you are on a jetski. But switch to Sport or Sport+ and the electronically controlled system reduces body roll of the massive SUV to a bare minimum.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 3rd Row Seats

Inside the GLS is available as 6- or 7-seater version with a lot of convenient options. The seats on the second and third row can be adjusted or folded electronically. The third row can have its own climate controls with air vents in the ceiling. The 6-seater setup with two individual rear seats is standard in the US and makes it a lot easier to access the third row.

In the front the cockpit is dominated by two large screens which provide all relevant driver information and infotainment. The design mimics that introduced on the GLE including the really annoying low position of the start / stop button at the spot where normally my right knee would be. That issue aside the rest of the ergonomics and usability are very good and leave little to be desired.

What so spec?

Planning to get a GLS and not sure what to spec? Here are a few things we would recommend!

– E-Active Body Control – The Airmatic air suspension is not bad but the e-active body control takes ride comfort and driving dynamics to a whole new level. An absolute must.
– Driver Assistance Package – Includes a range of driver assistance systems that make driving safer and more relaxing. Includes adaptive cruise control and lane assist with a range of advanced features like assistance in stop and go traffic, automatic adapting to the speed limit and active brake assist.
– Panoramic Sunroof – Normally I’m not a fan of the small hole in the roof that car manufacturers call a sunroof but the nearly all glass roof of the GLS adds a lot of light to the interior.

What about the competition?

Mercedes-Benz clearly set a new benchmark in the 7-seater SUV segment but in the ultra-luxury SUV market there are a few other contenders to be considered.

The Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan are both a lot more expensive than the top of the range SUV from Mercedes-Benz. For that extra buck they provide finer materials, more exclusivity and more personalization. However they cannot match the comfortable driving dynamics and the infotainment system of the GLS.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS

The two direct rivals include the Audi Q7, which feels a bit dated already, and the BMW X7 which launched last year. The X7 offers a very similar package to the GLS but cannot quite deliver the same level of innovation and luxury as the GLS.


The new Mercedes-Benz GLS sets a new benchmark in the segment. For the first time it is a true SUV version of the S-Class with all luxury possible. The E-Active Body Control is an incredible piece of engineering that takes comfort and driving dynamics to unexpected new levels. The new electrified 4.0 V8 in the GLS 560 on the other hand is not quite as sporty as I had hoped which leaves me with a strong craving for a GLS 63 AMG.

Now’s Your Chance to Own a 2004 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500

When it comes to commercial off-road vehicles, there’s the Unimog and then there’s everything else. Whether you’re using it for hauling, climbing or as the base for a sweet expedition camper, the Unimog is a…

Watch a Porsche 911 GT3 RS And Mercedes-AMG GT R Attack the Nurburgring

Two High-Powered Cars Doing What They Do Best

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the Mercedes-AMG GT-R are two amazing performance machines, and there’s no better place for the drivers of these two cars to have some fun than the Nurburgring. The cars are very evenly matched. When Mercedes set its official time in the GT-R it was the fastest rear-wheel-drive sports car with a time of 7:10.9 in 2016. Porsche has managed to best that time since 2016, but it’s safe to say both cars are performance beasts. 

In the video below, you can see just how evenly matched the two cars are. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS starts off behind the Mercedes-AMG GT-R and follows pretty closely to its tail. About halfway through the video, the cars change positions and the Porsche GT3 RS takes the lead with the Mercedes following closely behind it. 

Both drivers push the cars pretty well in the video and you can tell that these two would make for a hell of an official race. It would be awesome to do a lap of the Nurburgring without all of the other cars out there. These two have to slow down fairly often to make it around other track day goers. However, we’d hate to suggest kicking anyone off the track. It looks like a beautiful day to take on the Green Hell. 

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Watch the Upcoming 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series at the Nürburgring

Mercedes-AMG Has an Amazing Car

The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series is the range-topping coupe for the manufacturer. According to Car Magazine, the vehicle is supposed to be the fastest-accelerating Mercedes-AMG of all time. It will be beaten, of course, by the AMG One hypercar. However, it’s still going to be one amazing machine.

Recently, the YouTube channel Automotive Mike spotted the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series testing at the Nürburgring. The film shows the car driving around on public roads around the track and then it shows a few minutes of the car taking on the various corners at the illustrious racetrack.

The car features a heavy camo wrap so you can’t see many of the details of the model. One thing you can tell is that it’s going to sound really wonderful. The test driver of the car is, at times in the video, really getting after it on the track. This kind of rigorous testing is exactly what Mercedes-Benz needs to do to see just what the car can do and where it needs to be tweaked.

The Black Series is bound to have more horsepower than the other versions of the AMG GT. Currently, the top-of-the-line AMG GT R has 577 hp. The Black Series should have well over 600 hp, making it the true sharp end of the stick for the automaker.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Revealed Officially

The first performance version of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Landed this week in the form of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The baby sedan gets entry level performance from the Mercedes-Benz in-house tuner with an increased spec sheet, potent engine and new styling tweaks. It’s a stop-gap until the CLA 45 arrives, yet it seems more than worthy of carrying the AMG badge!

The Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 will prove attractive to those looking for affordable performance. Under the bonnet sits a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 302 hp and 400 Nm of torque. It hits 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds with a top speed limited to 250 km/h. The power is routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.

At the chassis side of things, AMG have retained the front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension with specific setup. An optional adaptive damping system provides three settings. This can be combined with the variable-ratio steering system. AMG has focused on performance and handling for the CLA 35, aiming to capture the “young active lifestyle” group.

Visually, the 35 gets a heavily restyled front bumper with a lower front splitter element, larger air ducts and a revised grille. The side elements include AMG door mirrors and more prominent sills. The rear bumper is also redesigned. It gets a new multi-channel diffuser and a small lip spoiler together with twin chromed tailpipes.

Inside, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 gets the latest Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX operating system. It uses standard digital instruments and an infotainment display. It gets AMG specific features including a Supersport mode that introduces AMG-specific data. Design touches have also been added such as the ARTICO man-made leather surfaces with DINAMICA microfibre in black with red contrasting stitching and red seat belts.

Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 has yet to be announced. It will debut at the New York Motor Show 2019 which starts later this month.

2nd Generation Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake Revealed

Following the unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Sedan at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas earlier this year, the Geneva Motor Show 2019 was the destination for the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. The next generation Shooting Brake gets much the same specification as the Sedan, with the added practicality of a larger rear boot!

The Shooting Brake will be available to order from September. The design is virtually identical to the Coupe until you get to the rear door. It is characterised by a long bonnet, compact greenhouse, coupé-like window lines, muscular shoulders and a crouched rear. The rear design is completely new.

The CLA Shooting Brake is 48 millimetres longer than before, 53 mm wider but 2 mm lower. The boot opening is wider than before and the tailgate is electronically operated with hands-free access. It gets 10 litres additional load space, up to 505 litres from 495 litres.

As with the Coupe, the only model mentioned in the press release is a mid-range CLA 250. It uses a four-cylinder petrol engine to produce 225 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Mercedes-Benz will offer a range of diesel and petrol engines with manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The CLA will also benefit from 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Mercedes-Benz have been rolling out MBUX across the range recently. The CLA Shooting Brake gets the latest version of the system. The CLA Shooting Brake also gets some of Mercedes-Benz’s latest technology including Active Distance Assist with recourse to maps and navigation data, Active Steer Assist, Active Lange Change Assist and Active Park Assist.

Meet the Limited Edition Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster

There’s Finally a Drop Top Version

The only problem we had wit the Mercedes-AMG GT R was that you couldn’t get it without a roof. That changes with the Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster. However, only 750 of the drop-top car will be made. That means if you want one you’d better act fast because this is not just a roofless version of the car. It’s quite special.

The car gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. A dual-clutch seven-speed transmission routes power to the rear wheels. Put the top up, and you can get from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 3.5 seconds. You can also sprint to a top speed of 197 mph. 

The car’s wheels were widened by 1.8 inches at the front and 2.2 inches at the rear. The aerodynamics package added to this car reduces lift of the front end by 88 percent at 155 mph. Mercedes fitted the car with its active air system, called Airpanel, for cooling.

The carbon ceramic brake rotors (15.3 front and 14.2 rear) are paired with some striking, large yellow brake calipers. The car also gets retuned suspension and steering. It features a nine-mode traction control system, adaptive dampers, speed-sensitive steering, and rear-wheel steering.

As you might expect, the car looks amazing inside, with AMG Performance seats that have diamond-quilted leather along with plenty of leather trim. The rest of the interior features either carbon fiber or piano black material. The special drop-top, fabric, three-layer roof utilizes an aluminum, steel, and magnesium frame. Pricing for this model was not announced.

41′ AMG Carbon Edition

In 2018, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S was a big hit among car enthusiasts. One of its biggest features is the 630-horsepower engine that pushes it up to 195 mph. Fans of the German marque have nothing but praises for this very capable machine. The fact that it’s so rare to encounter a performance car with four doors, makes it such an awesome ride. The automaker is ready to take the hype up another notch with the introduction of a special item. The 41′ AMG Carbon Edition is about to make a big splash of its own and we are trembling with excitement.

The sleek and sexy speedboat made its debut at the 2019 Miami International Boat Show. It’s actually the eleventh collaboration project together with Cigarette Racing. Drawing inspiration from the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, the upcoming vessel will showcase top-notch handling, versatility, and performance. This stunning watercraft flaunts it racing roots with four Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines. The quadruple configuration produces a total of 1,600 horsepower, which more than enough to push it up to 72 knots.

The 41′ AMG Carbon Edition boasts a lightweight construction thanks to the generous use of carbon fiber and composite materials. Overall, its approximately 250 kg lighter than the company’s 2017 GT R Performance boat. Sources indicate that uses an innovative sandwich construction structural laminates to keep its hull rigid and durable. Moreover, this lightweight approach also lowers the vessel’s center of gravity to improve its handling. To commemorate its release, the carmaker also reveals a companion vehicle with matching red and black livery.

Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Learn more here

Mercedes-Benz GLC Facelift Revealed With New Engines and Tech!

The Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift has been revealed. The 2020 model is an expected release for the Geneva Motor Show 2019. The success of the previous generation makes the facelift model an important release. With BMW and Audi both vying for position within the segment and a recent onslaught of premium SUV’s in other areas of the market, Mercedes-Benz will be hoping that the GLC Facelift will endear it to a new generation of customers.

The exterior design of the Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift receives a beefier look. LED headlamps are now standard with a new ‘torch-design’ daytime running light. The radiator grille is also redesigned with new double louvres and diamond lattice. The paint palette is also increased with a new graphite grey option and four different options are available for the wheels ranging from 17 through to 19 inches.

At the rear, the bumper has been redesigned with new exhaust shrouds. The LED tail lamps are new too and chrome surrounds for the skid plate finish the look. An AMG-line specification adds a chromed diamond grille, AMG specific front apron and angular exhaust tips with additional options such as 20 inch wheels.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift gets a new range of engines. All are 4-cylinder for now. The GLC 200 4Matic puts out 197 hp and the GLC 300 4Matic, 258 hp. Both use a 48-volt on-board power supply and belt-driven starter-generator, recovering up to 10 kW of energy and saving fuel. The diesel models come without the hybrid technology, the GLC 200d 4Matic produces 163 hp, the GLC 220d 4Matic 194 hp and the GLC 300d 4Matic 245hp. The diesel models come equipped with the 9G-Tronic transmission.

Inside, the Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift uses the latest MBUX infotainment system. It starts with the new multi-function steering wheel with multi-touch control. The MBUX system is familiar by now with a wide range of operating possibilities ranging from touch through to gesture control. On the GLC, two high resolution displays have been fitted. The instrument cluster measures 12.3 with either a 7 inch or 10.25 inch central display.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Facelift

The Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift also adds further assistance systems. Dynamic Body Control and Dynamic Select receives modified settings. Active Distance Assist and Active Steer Assist have been modified to help support the driver. The GLC facelift also utilises Active Braking Assist, Active Parking Assist, Trailer Manoeuvring Assist and Car-to-X Communication, a swarm-type technology.

We recently drove a prototype out in Northern Sweden. You can read that story here. We will be looking to follow it up with a drive on tarmac after the official reveal in Geneva next week!

Electrifying, Seven Seat, Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Revealed

The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz GLE Class gets a performance model in time for the Geneva Motor Show 2019! The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 gets a now familiar engine together with some visual enhancements and a bigger standard specification list!

The engine is AMG’s 3.0 litre inline 6 cylinder unit. In the GLE it produces 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque with an electronic auxiliary compressor helping to make the delivery as linear as possible. The EQ Boost starter generator briefly provides an additional 16 kW of output plus 250 Nm of torque and feeds the 48 V onboard electrical system. The GLE hits 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds and achieves an electronically limited speed of 250 km/h.

Mercedes-AMG has also confirmed that for the first time, the EQ Boost starter-alternator is also responsible for idle speed control. The engine’s belt drive for the ancillaries is no longer required. Instead, Mercedes-AMG has filled the space with an exhaust gas aftertreatment system mounted near the engine. If emissions aren’t your thing, AMG also offers an optional AMG Performance exhaust system!

The power is delivered through an AMG 9-speed automatic gearbox. The GLE 53 also gets 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive as standard, AMG Active Ride Control as an option and AMG Dynamic Select. In Comfort, it sits 15 mm closer to the ground and the ride height can be increased by as much as 55 mm. Dynamic Select offers “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual” settings, complemented by two off-road-specific settings: “Trail” and “Sand”.

Visually, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 gets the AMG specific radiator grille with 15 vertical strips. The front bumper gets larger air intakes and chrome trim. Chrome trim and new exhaust pipe tips finish the rear end. An optional AMG Night Package includes heat-insulating, dark tinted windows as well as front splitter, trim elements in the front apron and the outer air inlets, mirror covers, window frames, roof railing, diffuser and tailpipe trim finished in black.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53

Inside, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 gets red accents which contrast the Artico and Dynamic black leather. The seats are AMG-specific and the trim gets a brushed aluminium look. AMG carbon trim is available. The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 retains its third-row seating option too!

Elsewhere, most things are the same as the standard GLE. The infotainment system is an AMG specificities version of the MBUX system. The instrument cluster and the multimedia display combine as one unit and have all of the features you could possibly need in a modern SUV.

Cost and availability are yet to be announced. We will catch up with the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 at the Geneva show next week!

Prototype Drive: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45

It is supposed to straighten out the hierarchy in the sporty compact class, according to the terms of AMG in Affalterbach: The new Mercedes-AMG A 45, which comes to market in the summer of 2019 and boasts an output of considerably more than 400 hp. In terms of straight-line performance, it will not only outshine its immediate predecessor, but also the Audi RS3 and the BMW M2 Competition.

The 420 to 430 horsepower strong engine draws its power from 2 liters of displacement; the power is transmitted to all four wheels through a lightning-quick eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Even more important are lateral dynamics. Here, Mercedes-AMG has upped the ante: The rear axle can distribute the torque freely through a sophisticated system jointly developed with supplier Magna Powertrain. It ensures extreme agility and allows for controlled oversteer with unprecedented precision.

The system uses two electronically controlled clutches that can distribute the force between the two rear wheels in an instant. We were allowed to ride along in a prototype – and were convinced convince that in comparison with the regular “ESP Off” program, a drift can not only be more easily initiated, it is also much easier to maintain. In everyday use, this may not matter much, but on closed circuit it is a lot of fun. Roadholding at high speeds is improved by an optional aerodynamic package with “flics” and a remarkably big rear wing.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45

The combination of a high-performance engine and a sporty chassis elevates the next AMG A 45 to performance car status. The brutally responsive engine is clearly audible, driver and passengers sit in tightly upholstered seats with plenty of lateral support, and in front of the driver, there is the latest MBUX dashboard which offers an unusual variety of customization options. The production car will feature AMG-specific screens. Decor and seat trim are AMG-specific as well.

Incidentally, the sensational technology of the new A45 is not limited to this model: there will also be an AMG CLA 45 and the AMG GLA 45 crossover, but the latter is not expected to appear until 2020. And if you don’t quite want to take the leap from the regular 250 models to the AMG 45 models, there is the Mercedes AMG A35 as well as its upcoming sister models CLA 35, GLA 35 and GLB 35, powered by a 306-horsepower engine. That is an impressive achievement. But the hierarchy is now redefined with the AMG 45.

36 Hours in South Africa with the Mercedes-AMG G63

07:15 local time, and I’ve just touched down at O. R. Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. This would mark the start of a whirlwind 36hour trip to the Cradle of Humankind and Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary with Mercedes-AMG and their all new Mercedes-AMG G63.

An hour or so after landing at O.R. Tambo International and we are pulling up to The Cradle Boutique Hotel, to the north west of Johannesburg. The Cradle Boutique Hotel is situated on 7,000 hectares of private nature reserve, that boasts 16 timber & thatched roofed luxury self-standing cottages, in the 47,000 hectares UNESCO Paleoanthropological World Heritage site known as the Cradle of Humankind.

Situated in the Cradle of Humankind are the Sterkfontein Caves, a network of caves that have produced more that a third of the early hominid fossils found prior to 2010, some of which date back around 3.5 million years.
The Cradle Boutique Hotel on the other hand is a lot younger, but worthy of being in the same surroundings, run to subsidise the understating and preservation of the heritage and landscape surrounding the hotel grounds. Some of the many options available to visotrts to this area of outstanding natural beauty include, private safaris, fossil explorations, games walks and magnificent views of the Highveld.

After checking into the Cradle Hotel, we arrived at the latest addition to the Hotels new pavilion. Positioned in front of the Pavilion area three new Mercedes-AMG G63 AMG’s, two of which are Edition 1. With the new 4.0-litre biturbo V8 replacing the previous generations 5.5-litre biturbo V8, it develops 585 horsepower and 850Nm whilst also hitting 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds on its way to a 220km/h top speed, or 240km/h with the optional AMG Drivers package. This new engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission that now has a model-specific calibration, meaning the engine and transmission are in greater unison.

Inside the cabin, there is a redesigned dashboard that blends two 12.3-inch display screens seamlessly joined together, with three different views being available, “Classic”, “Sporty” and “Progressive”. There is also a new AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in nappa leather, a perforated grip and flat bottom, which comes as standard. The exclusive “Edition 1” edition G63 is the flagship model of the range, and comes with additional paint options and matte-graphite grey sports striping along the side of the vehicle. The 22-inch cross-spoked wheels are finished in matte black with a red painted rim edge. The red highlights continue through the cabin with red contrasting stitching on the dashboard, centre console, door panels and rear seats.

Opposite the line-up of new G63’s are five classic G-wagons from throughout it’s history, all brought along by members of the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen Club of Southern Africa. Through this line up you could see the evolution of the G-wagen, and how it still kept the same characteristics and details that the originals did 40-years previous.

After lunch and the introduction to the new Mercedes-AMG G63, we were handed the keys to our ride for the first driving experience, a matte-black Mercedes-AMG G63 Edition 1. After leaving the hotel we headed north-west, giving us a chance to test the new G63 on some faster, flowing ‘R’ roads. Thanks to its new front axle arrangement and electro-mechanical steering the G63 feels more grounded, agile and direct whilst sweeping round these long and tightening bends on our way to Derby in the neighbouring North West Province. Around Halfway through our drive we pulled over for a short photoshoot with another of the edition-1’s.

After the photoshoot I switched in to the passenger seat for the short trip back to the hotel. On the inside the new G63 feels more spacious, with a more user-friendly layout and a very similar infotainment system that Mercedes-Benz began rolling out with the E-Cass the previous year. One essential feature on a hot day like today is the cooling seats, that when combined with the smooth ride of the G63 in comfort mode and the massage function of the seats, is very reminiscent of the S63.

Once returning to the hotel, there was time to quickly freshen up before sundowners by the pool followed by a bush cookout with entertainment from some tribal dancers.

The next day it was an early start, and back in to the G63 AMG First Edition to powering our way northwesterly through rush hour traffic around Pretoria to make our way to Kevin Richardsons Wildlife Sanctuary. You may have heard of Kevin Richardson and his Wildlife Sanctuary before, as he is commonly known as “The Lion Whisperer”. Kevin’s Sanctuary is a self-sustaining African carnivore sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation. With the aim of teaching and bringing awareness to the ever increasing decline of lions and other large carnivores due to decreasing habitat, illegal meat trade, hunting, disease, and other illegal trades.

After a tour round the sanctuary there were background stories on all the lions. These stories included the life each one had led, how they had ended up in his sanctuary and some of the ailments and diseases the lions had due to their upbringing in “Lion Farms”, where they were destined for nothing more than to be a rich tourists trophy hunt, or to be ground down into an east-asian traditional medicine.

Mercedes-Benz have been in partnership for the past couple of years with Kevin, supplying him with his own G-Wagen, and offering support and platforms when needed to get the ever increasing severity of the plight of the Lions out to the wider world. One way in which the Lions lives are enriched at the sanctuary, compared to other Wildlife Parks, is Kevins ability to create a bond with the Lions. This allows him greater access and freedom with the Lions, allowing hime to observe and interact with Lions in their enclosures, ranging from feeding them to play fighting and grooming them.

This includes taking the lions out in small groups to specially demarcated areas away from their enclosures, where the lions are able to stretch their legs and get environmental enrichment from their surroundings which in turn helps to stimulate and keep their brains and body active. We joined Kevin on one of these enrichment walks with one of our G63 AMGs and a viewing 4×4. Once the designated spot Kevin arrived with the Lions, they explored the area surrounding the G63 wondering freely around, heading back at the sound of his voice and bonus of fresh meat. For around 45-minutes the two females and one male lion casually explored the chosen area, the G63, and the small amount of surrounding shade as temperatures soared, before it was time to head back.

Whilst loading the Lions back onto their truck for the short journey back to the sanctuary, we saw that they still had their big cat personality too, they were fighting over the last bit of fresh meat on the floor of the truck. It was then time for us to round up the remaining G63 AMG’s and find our way back out of the sanctuary and on to the R573 and then M18 for the drive back to The Cradle to for a late lunch, and to depart for the airport.

So, 36hours after landing in South Africa I was back on a Boeing 737, with the same cabin crew that I flew down with, reminiscing about this amazing trip, and the Mercedes-AMG G63.
The G63 is a big step up over the previous generation of G. It feels more responsive under throttle and smoother in the gear changes with its new gearbox calibration, whilst the new suspension set-up makes it feel sturdier and more comfortable at high speeds in the corners.

It’s also worth mentioning the fantastic work Kevin and his team are doing in looking after all their animals, whilst also bringing new exposure and insight to the realities of the majority of the Lion Parks, and the trade that goes on behind them, and how they can and showed be brought into line so that we don’t lose more endangered species.

For a full review of the Mercedes-AMG G63, read Des Sellmeyer’s review here

G-Power Reveals 800 hp Mercedes-AMG C63 Sedan

G-Power recently released a series of modifications for the Mercedes-AMG C 63. This is unusual as G-Power have traditionally been known for their BMW supercharger packages. With the death of series-produced naturally aspirated engines and the prevalence of turbocharging, there is little demand for the humble supercharger. This is why G-Power seem to be moving away from BMW and into other German brands.

It’s take on the Mercedes-AMG C 63 is impressive. The 4.0 litre V8 has received some significant attention. The C 63 left the factory with 510 hp, after some felting in Germany, the sedan gets a heady 800 hp. The power is released through the combination of an ECU tune and a new set of turbochargers. The later come optimised with a larger CNC-machined compressor and turbine wheels, an optimised compressor housing and an enlarged intake area.

G-Power have also fitted lighter pistons, made changes to the manifold and a new high performance fuel pump. A new system and replacement down pipes complete the package together with a new exhaust system. In order to handle the impressive performance increases, G-Power have reinforced the C 63’s standard transmission.

Aside from the distinctive wrap, G-Power engineers have also added a set of its characteristic Hurricane RR wheels. The 20-inch forged rims are shod with 255/30 ZR20 tyres at the front and 285/30 ZR20 tyres at the rear. With all of the modifications, the G-Power Mercedes-AMG C 63 is capable of a 100 km/h sprint in just 3.4 seconds with a top speed in excess of 330 km/h with the limiter removed.

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As you would expect, the cost of these fairly extensive modifications is substantial. The engine modifications cost 8,500 euros, turbochargers an additional 5,420 euros, intake system 1,250 euros, down pipes 2,240 euros and transmission enhancement 1,500 euros. Complete with a 2,892 euro charge for the ECU enhancements, 800 hp equates to an additional 21,000 euros. Of course, go to Brabus, Renntech or any other tuner and you likely pay the same money…

Daimler to Spend $23 Billion on Electric Car Batteries

Electrification is the hot topic these days for the mainstream manufacturers. The technology is developing at such a rate that in the very near future, most popular models will have a hybrid or EV option within the range. The rapid introduction of electrification has led some of the biggest manufacturers to pledge massive investment. Mercedes-Benz are the latest, announcing the allocation of €20 billion ($23 billion) to the purchase and development of battery cells together with a further €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in eight battery factories in Germany, China, Thailand and the United States.

The ultimate goal for Mercedes-Benz is to offer an electric or hybrid version of all its models by 2022. The investment ensures that it has sufficient supplies for this, at least until 2030. The target for Mercedes-Benz is to have 130 electric and hybrid models by 2022, in addition to electric vans, buses and trucks.

Rival German manufacturer Volkswagen recently announced a similar €50 billion ($57 billion) investment in group technology which will benefit the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and, possibly, Lamborghini. It is understood that BMW’s investment in batteries and electrification is on a similar scale. The likes of Ford, Renault, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler are also known to be heavily investing in technology.

Mercedes-Benz recently released the EQC, an all electric version of the GLC. It is the first of 10 pure electric vehicles to come from the German manufacturer. The 5 seat SUV rivals the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and recently release Audi E-tron Quattro. This in itself was a major engineering project with more than 200 prototypes built and millions of kilometres driven in development miles. Electrification is big business!