All posts in “Mercedes-Benz”

2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Gets New Safety Tech!

The steady drip-feed of information about the upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class has continued today. Known for its innovation, it is no surprise that Mercedes-Benz is packing the latest technology into its flagship sedan.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to be the most advanced luxury sedan yet. Previous generations of the S-Class have debuted airbags and three point seatbelts. These days, innovation moves much faster and so, keeping the S-Class on the cutting edge has been a challenge for Mercedes-Benz.

Among the features which debut on the S-Class is a new E-Active Body Control suspension system. The optional package uses a 48-volt system, with control units which analyse the driving situation 1,000 times per second, to regulate the damping and spring forces individually at each wheel.

Road surface scan returns too, using stereo multi-purpose cameras to monitor the road surface. Curve driving mode is also available, carried over the outgoing model, which allows the vehicle to lean into bends.

A new pre-safe function adds “Impulse Side” which detects when a side impact might occur and raises the suspension within a few tenths of a second.

Inside, occupants are protected by the world’s first frontal airbag for passengers in the rear seat. Mercedes-Benz has illuminate the belt buckles too.

An internal MBUX Interior Assistant camera can now be used to detect a child seat and display a custom belt fastening message.

Rear-axle steering is something we have seen from other manufacturers. It makes its debut on the S-Class, reducing turning circle by up to 2 metres and improving agility.

Driver assistance is improved too. Active blind spot assist and active steering assist are too programs that have been upgraded.

Stay tuned for more information!

Leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series Photos Spoil Surprise

Leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series Photos

The Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series has leaked online. New photos show the hotly anticipated Black Series model sitting in a workshop completely uncovered.

Positioned above the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro, the Black Series will be the most extreme version of the AMG GT to date.

Leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series photos show its Aerodynamics

The leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series photos show extensive modifications to the wide-body of the supercar. Starting from the rear, the Black Series gets a new rear diffuser with rear wheel vents sitting either side of massive quad exhaust tailpipes.

The twin rear spoiler looks adjustable in the photos with an interesting mount which sits towards the central of the rear end. The rear boot lid is also replaced with a more distinct lip than any other GT model.

The sides include a new skirt and a new front wheel vent. Towards the front, the bonnet is all-new, incorporating carbon fibre accent panels and a set of fender vents to cement the extreme new look.

The front bumper has a comprehensive redesign too with a new grille, deeper front splitter, carbon fibre flicks and a set of canards.

Its not clear if the dual tone finish is the release colour, or whether the parts are exposed to show where Mercedes-AMG has made modifications. Regardless, it seems clear that we weren’t supposed to see the finished product just yet.

What else do we know about the Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series?

Leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series

What these leaked Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series don’t confirm is what hides underneath. It’s almost certain that the 4.0 litre V8 will receive some work. Reports in other publications have confirmed that the tune will likely push power up to 720 hp and 850 Nm of torque.

We also expect Mercedes-AMG to make the Black Series limited edition.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan: 5 Things We Like

We’ve had to wait a while, but we can test drive cars again. Recently I got a call from Mercedes asking if I wanted to drive the new A35 AMG Sedan. My first thought was, especially after driving the A 45 S AMG earlier this year, that this wouldn’t be much of an experience. That turned out completely different as we later came to find out…

White Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan

What we know is that the A35 Sedan’s engine produces 306 hp together with 400 Nm of torque. Coupled to the 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, it manages a 100 km/h sprint of just 4.8 seconds. Nothing much to say about this new hot hatch except for the good things, but here are my 5 reasons why the A35 AMG Sedan is a really nice car.

The looks

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Rolling

In a way, being able to hide in traffic is always fun, but the sporty looks reveal the character of this car. Because of this, the car doesn’t escape the attention of the other drivers, which is pretty good. Small, sporty and attracting attention are 3 characteristics that go perfectly with the A35 AMG Sedan.

The sound

Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan

Car after car, model after model, AMG always brings out one of the best sounds cars can make. When accelerating and/or shifting down, it’s pure pleasure to the ears. Now, with all the EU restrictions going on it’s getting harder to make loud sports cars like before, but the aftermarket sector never fails us here…with an aftermarket exhaust the A35 AMG will sound just as good as the previous gen A45!

4Matic

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan Wheels

What the 4Matic system does in the A35 Sedan is impressive. Even though 306 hp is reasonable when it comes to power, without all-wheel drive it would be a lot less pleasant to drive the A35 AMG, unless you are Honda…a good AWD system always comes in handy in a powerful hot hatch.

AMG Track Pack

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35

This small option is a must have in any AMG. Unfortunately I couldn’t test the A 35 Sedan on track, but the fact that you have “your personal race engineer”, because that’s what Mercedes AMG calls it, makes you long for track days. Tracks days have been opening up slowly after a long lockdown period, and you can be sure to find some A35 (sedans and hatches) lapping around during weekends.

Seat Options

A35 AMG Sedan Interior

Good seats ensure a good sitting position, that’s about the most important thing when driving any car. Thanks to the seat options offered on this model, you can adjust the seat to suit your needs, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy! You have the choice of AMG Performance seats for those who want a sporty feeling and the Sports seats for those who want a comfort oriented feel, the latter comes with the more exclusive leather package. The whole point of this car is to suit sporty needs and touring needs as well. It’s a perfectly balanced package that meets most driving needs and tastes.

Pictures by Wouter Desmet

Upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class Leaks Online

Photos have been posted on social media, showing what looks to be the upcoming, next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The photos show the car with minimal camouflage sitting in what looks to be a scrapyard. The photos are unverified at the moment, however, they clearly show the new S-Class in all its glory.

So what do the photos show? As you would expect, the German behemoth has not strayed from the tried and tested formula. The S-Class remains a large sedan, with an imposing front grille and a lavish interior.

The photos show that front grille grows in size with six chrome horizontal stakes. In the middle sits a large housing for various sensors. The S-Class is expected to go big on technology, in keeping with tradition. Mercedes-Benz has previously confirmed that the new S-Class will ship with level 3 autonomy.

At the rear, the taillights are tear-drop shaped, a design cue we saw on other models, such as the CLA-Class.

Inside, the S-Class gets a modern interior. The front features two prominent LCD screens, one traditionally dashboard mounted, the other lower down where the MMI and air conditioning controls would normally be found. This leaves large areas of the dashboard completely free of clutter.

The photos show that the S-Class gets a new Supersport steering wheel which debuted in the new E-Class recently. The rear seats get tablet-style infotainment screens too.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to debut sometime later this year, although that timeline is uncertain at the moment due to the ongoing pandemic.

Gallery: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S

23 years ago the A-class was launched. After a multiple evolutions, the A-class is no longer what it once was, and certainly not after the it has passed through Affalterbach for the AMG treatment. This is the latest and most powerful version ever, the A45 S AMG, has a 421 hp making it the most powerful 4-cylinder engine in production.

What to Spec?

Exterior and interior colors are definitely a matter of personal taste but we think the new super hatch does look good in bright colors. Our car is finished in Sun Yellow.

AMG performance seats – combination between good comfort and solid seating during a sportive ride. The design of the seats is of course a plus point. The red belts together with the other red accents make the A45 S even more attractive.

Conclusion

What a car! It is almost unbelievable what AMG has done with the A class. The 4-matic system does an impressive job of keeping the car on the road. The competition is shaping up well and we can only be happy as these are good times for car enthusiasts.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Review

One of our favorite SUVs is now also available with a Coupe body style. The GLE Coupe is being build in Tuscaloosa for the entire world along with the regular GLE and GLS models. On launch the available engine variants are limited to the 350d, 400d, AMG 53 4Matic and the plug-in hybrid 350de. We put three of them to the test.

Based on the new GLE, the new GLE Coupe looks a lot sleeker than the predecessor. The muscular front continues along the side with a strong shoulder line. The rear looks a lot better than the predecessor but is still not quite my thing. The triangular shaped rear lights look a bit out of place and the overall rear look is a bit boring.

The GLE Coupe has a 60mm shorter wheelbase than the normale GLE. This adds to better handling and a sportier character. And it has to be said, during our test drive from Innsbruck to the mountain village of Kühtai the GLE Coupe feels lighter and nimbler than you would expect from a car this size and weight. Even though the winter tires put a dampening effect on the car’s true driving dynamics it is clear that the GLE Coupe is among the sportiest SUVs out there.

Inside a modern cockpit awaits. The optional contour seats provide excellent support and comfort. The two large MBUX screens can be controlled with the touch pad in the center console – which I still need to get used to – or the two touchpads on the steering wheel. The car is packed with comfort, connectivity and convenience options. The only thing that really annoys me is the low position of the start/stop button as this is exactly where my right knee is.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe 400d

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 400d comes with a 2.9 liter inline six-cylinder engine internally known as OM 656. It is paired with a 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. The R6 engine produces 330hp and no-less than 700Nm of torque. The torque is available from as low as 1,200 rpm which allows for effortless overtaking and a sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 240 km/h.

The GLE Coupe 400d is the only model available at the moment with the excellent new E-Active Body Control suspension system. That alone should be a reason to consider the 400d variant of the GLE Coupe.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de

The 350de combines a small 4 cylinder diesel engine with a electric powertrain with a capacity of 31,2 kWh. According to the NEDC emission cycle this is good for 106 full electric kilometers. Combined the 350de delivers 320hp and 700Nm of torque. 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 6.9 seconds. 80% charge is reached in 20 minutes.

The normal GLE plug-in hybrid was the first hybrid with more than 100 kilometers range and the GLE Coupe is the first car in this segment with such a significant all electric range. Thanks to its exceptional fuel economy and low CO2 emissions the GLE Coupe 350de will be an attractive buy in many European countries with high CO2 taxes.

Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe 53 4Matic

The sportiest GLE Coupe available from launch is the AMG GLE Coupe 53 4Matic. The 3.0 six-cylinder petrol engine packs 435hp and 520Nm with an additional 22hp and 250Nm of boost thanks to the 48V mild-hybrid system. 0-100 km/h is done in 5.3 seconds and the GLE Coupe 53 AMG has a top speed of 250 km/h. In Sport Plus the GLE Coupe 53 AMG provides some audible drama with enhanced engine sound in the cabin and some pops and bangs from the exhaust. Not as loud as a 63 model but still entertaining.

The suspension is firmer and the panamericana grill along with wider wheel arches, AMG sideskirts and an AMG exhaust express the sportiness of this AMG model that fills the gap between the regular line-up and the upcoming GLE Coupe 63 AMG. Inside you can find AMG specific trim and MBUX has been expanded with a AMG track pace function, even though I doubt many customers will use that in their GLE Coupes.

What to Spec?

Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Specs

Thanks to the new WLTP emission certification process there is are a lot less individual options for customers to chose when speccing their car. Because the weight and emission effects of all optional extras have to be calculated most car manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz grouped individual options in packages to significantly reduce the number of possible configurations. But there is still something to chose so here are our recommended things to spec on your new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe:

E-Active Body Control – Full active suspension system which recognized bumps and holes in the road and adjusts the suspension so that you don’t feel a thing. Nice gimmick is the ‘Curve’ setting which leans the car into the corner like a boat or skier. This suspension system is what sets the GLE truly apart from the competition.

Driver Assistance Package Plus – This package includes the most important safety and driver assistance systems including the latest version of Mercedes-Benz’s Adaptive cruise control with speed limit recognition and adaption, traffic jam assist and lane assist.

Energizing Package Plus – This includes the best seats Mercedes-Benz offers today including seat heating, seat cooling and massage function.

Keyless-Go Comfort Package – Once you had this in your car you never want to go back to using the key to open and close your car.

Parking Package with 360 degree camera – Due to the sheer size of the GLE Coupe and sloping roof line with a larger than usual black spot the 360 degree camera is a big help in narrow parking garages and inner-city streets.

Conclusion

The new GLE Coupe is a very attractive car. The coupe-style body gives it a sporty appearance but obviously limits its practicality compared to the normal GLE. The optional E-Active Body Control suspension is only available on the 400d but adds a whole new dimension to comfort and driving fun which makes it an engine variant worth considering. We are obviously eager to try the upcoming GLE 63 AMG but the GLE 53 AMG provides a good alternative for people with a somewhat smaller budget that still looking for fun. The GLE 350de with 100km full-electric range is very attractive for people looking for a car to commute in.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

Official: Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR Concept Car unveiled at CES 2020

Avatar will be remembered in the hall of fame for movies, not only for its eye watering budget, Oscar haul or blockbuster earning, but also for its fresh and previously unseen take on sustainable mobility, the environment and the harmony between human, machine and nature.

Mercedes-Benz took notice of this and unveiled a concept car dedicated to a collaboration between the makers of the Avatar movie and the Germany automaker at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR, the ‘car’ takes inspiration from a plethora of elements from the film. AVTR translates to stand for Advanced Vehicle Transformation and embodies the vision of Mercedes-Benz designers, engineers and trend researchers for mobility in the distant future.

It cannot be argued that the exterior is striking, particularly the huge illuminated spheric-shaped wheels. They do not just look snazzy, but also serve a purpose: The Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR can move sideways by approximately 30 degrees given its ability to move the front and rear axels in the same or opposed directions. It is powered in a visionary way, too. Graphene-based organic cell chemistry has been used to build the batteries. This means they are totally recyclable.

Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR Seats

As with recent Mercedes-Benz Vision Concepts, the interior is where the things get really funky. There is a ‘biometric connection’ between man and machine. Occupants do not use a conventional steering wheel; instead there is a multifunctional control element in the centre console that allows human and vehicle ‘to merge’. In addition gesture controls allow the driver to pick various modes that bring the outside world into the vehicle.

Aim is to increase awareness of the surroundings by showing beautiful animated visualisations of the surroundings you are travelling in. But this Fantasy-inspired concept car can do more than just bring the outside world in; lift your hand and pick Pandora-mode by closing the palm of your hand and you will be emerged in the world of Avatar.

Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR Price

Regardless of the tech or the details, it cannot be denied that this is a concept car that captures the imagination and would look at home in a movie such as Avatar. Surprisingly for such a comprehensive collaboration the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR will not feature in the 2021 Avatar 2 movie. But Avatar and Mercedes-Benz fans alike can see the Vison AVTR at this year’s CES followed by the Geneva Motor Show 2020 in March and the Beijing Motor Show 2020 in April.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

Zombie cars: 9 discontinued vehicles that aren’t dead yet

  • Image Credit: Dodge

Like zombies, these dead cars still sell among the living

Car models come and go, but as revealed by monthly sales data, once a car is discontinued, it doesn’t just disappear instantly. And in the case of some models, vanishing into obscurity can be a slow, tedious process.

That’s the case with the nine cars we have here. All of them have been discontinued, but car companies keep racking up “new” sales with them.

There are actually a lot more discontinued cars that are still registering new sales than what we included here. We kept this list to the oldest and most unlikely vehicles still being sold as new, including a couple of supercars. Every car on this list was discontinued at least two years ago. We’ve ordered the list in order of fewest vehicles sold. Click on the image above to get started.

Last updated January 2019

  • Image Credit: Dodge

2014 Dodge Avenger: 1 sale

Wow. We’re truly amazed. Someone actually bought a brand new 2014 Dodge Avenger in 2019. The Avenger was uncompetitive when it was new, and it’s woefully uncompetitive now. Here’s hoping the sole individual who parked a new Avenger in their driveway in 2019 got a smoking deal.

Dodge Avenger Information

Dodge Avenger

  • Image Credit: Lexus

2012 Lexus LFA: 3 sales

The first supercar on this list (which otherwise is full of highly lackluster automobiles) is the Lexus LFA. It’s an exhilarating car to drive, and is packed full of interesting technology. Lexus sold a total of 3 LFA coupes last year to what we have to guess are very satisfied customers. By our count, there ought to be 5 more unsold LFAs sitting somewhere on dealer lots in America.

It’s also worth noting that Lexus only sold the LFA for two model years, 2011 and 2012, which means it is by far the oldest new vehicle on this list.

Lexus LFA Information

Lexus LFA

  • Image Credit: Chrysler

2016 Chrysler Town & Country: 5 sales

The Chrysler Town & Country was already an old vehicle when it was officially killed off in 2016. The basic van was introduced for the 2008 model year, and saw only refreshes until its conclusion eight years later. Some of those updates were helpful and kept the car at least somewhat competitive.

Still, we’re thankful Chrysler replaced it with the Pacifica, a superb van that is arguably the best in the segment. And if you do happen to really like Chrysler’s older minivan offering, the Dodge Grand Caravan is still on the market.

In any case, Chrysler managed to sell five of these minivans so far this year. Here’s hoping the buyer scored a great deal.

Chrysler Town & Country Information

Chrysler Town & Country

  • Image Credit: Dodge

2017 Dodge Viper: 5 sales

The second supercar on our list out is one that we love. We don’t think there are a bunch of unsold Dodge Viper coupes sitting on dealer lots all across America. Nevertheless, five lucky individuals managed to bring new Vipers home in 2019.

At least we know those buyers are out there having fun!

Dodge Viper Information

Dodge Viper

  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2017 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: 8 sales

Mercedes-Benz sold the B-Class Electric Drive in the United States from 2013 through 2017. Though the rest of the world gets other versions of the B, only the electrified variant was sold here in the States. And it was never a big seller — just over 3,500 were sold over its production run in America. Now that 2019 has come to a close, we can add eight more to the total.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Information

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

  • Image Credit: Dodge

2016 Dodge Dart: 25 sales

Dodge discontinued the compact Dart back in 2016, just three years after its launch. The automaker just wasn’t able to compete with the segment leaders like the Honda Civic or the sales juggernaut that is the Toyota Corolla. Despite the fact that it’s been dead for several years, Dodge managed to sell 25 Darts in 2019.

Dodge Dart Information

Dodge Dart

  • Image Credit: Jeep

2017 Jeep Patriot: 27 sales

The Jeep Patriot initially launched back in 2007 alongside its more car-like Compass sibling, but while that vehicle got a redesign and is still on sale in Jeep dealerships, the boxier Patriot ended production in 2017.

Apparently there are a handful of Patriots still collecting dust on dealership lots in America, because the automaker tallied 27 total sales last year.

Jeep Patriot Information

Jeep Patriot

  • Image Credit: Chrysler

2017 Chrysler 200: 48 sales

The Chrysler 200 is actually a pretty nice sedan, with good looks and decent driving dynamics let down by a lack of roominess, particularly in the back seat. Chrysler never really found its footing in the ultra-competitive midsize sedan segment, but apparently has a bunch of leftover 200s floating around in America with a total of 48 sold in 2019.

  • Image Credit: Volkswagen

2017 Volkswagen CC: 58 sales

Volkswagen discontinued the CC in 2017, and the slinky coupe-shaped sedan recently got a replacement in the form of the 2019 Arteon. Here’s hoping last year’s 58 CC buyers managed to get a good deal on their new old sedans.

Volkswagen CC Information

Volkswagen CC

The Mercedes-AMG One sounds just like a Formula One car

Billed as the closest thing to a road-going Formula One car, the Mercedes-AMG One, unveiled as a close-to-production concept at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show, is still under development. Mercedes-Benz’s go-fast division released an update on the project that shows the hypercar in action.

Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton took a break from winning races around the world and trying to save the planet to check in with the team developing the One. Designing a groundbreaking hypercar is an expensive and time-consuming process, and the One stands out from its peers because it uses a street-legal version of the powertrain found in AMG’s championship-winning Formula One car. This explains why development has taken so long. Deliveries are now tentatively scheduled to begin in 2021, about two years later than originally announced, but it sounds — literally — like AMG’s most powerful street-legal model will be worth the wait.

“The sound is pretty much exactly the same as it is in the race car,” Hamilton pointed out. Video footage of the One going around a track hints it will take a turn like a race car, too.

The turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 is the One’s main source of power, and its main source of delays. Getting it to comply with emissions regulations was easier said than done. It idles at 1,200 rpm, which is high for a road car but low for a Formula One car, which turns at a stratospheric 5,000 rpm when it’s waiting on the starting grid. The electrified part of the powertrain consists of four electric motors, including two that zap the front wheels into motion, and they also need to be fine-tuned for road use. All told, the One will put over 1,000 horsepower under the driver’s right foot. The tradeoff is that the powertrain will require a major overhaul after about 30,000 miles.

Mercedes-AMG will cap One production at 275 units, and pricing starts at $2.7 million. That’s an eye-watering sum, but the hypercar market is stronger than ever, and every build slot was spoken for before the model made its official debut. Don’t expect to bag a used example shortly after deliveries begin; AMG is going to great lengths to ensure reservation holders don’t flip their car for a profit.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S: Flagship AMG SUV Revealed

During a week when the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 captured most of our attention, Mercedes-AMG also had a few announcements to make. The biggest (literally) was its new flagship SUV, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S!

The biggest story here is that the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S gets the latest version of the ’63’ drivetrain. It receives mild-hybrid treatment for the first time.

As with other Mercedes-AMG models, it comes equipped with an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. The performance is short-term, however, it allows 22 hp of output and 250 Nm of torque. As well as the additional performance, the EQ Boost system supplies the 48-volt electrical system, recuperates energy, shifts the load point, enables gliding and restarts the engine with the start/stop function.

Otherwise, the V8 engine is pretty familiar with twin turbochargers mounted within the V. It produces 612 hp and 850 Nm of torque which helps reduce the 100 km/h sprint time to 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h or 280 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s package. The power is routed through a 9-speed automatic transmission, configured specifically for this model.

The suspension benefits from AMG Ride Control+, air suspension with special spring/damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping ADS+. The damping can be preselected in the usual three stages – “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”. The air suspension allows the ride height to be lowered by 10 mm in the latter two. In Comfort, the ride height only lowers at 120 km/h.

The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S uses active roll stabilisation for the first time too. Much like the system which Audi uses, the Mercedes-AMG system uses two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators on the sway bars at the front and rear axle.

Safety systems also receive an update with the latest versions of the Active Distance Assist Distronic system and the Driving Assistance package Plus.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S Rear

Overall, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S also gets the usual AMG Dynamic Settings, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Trail and Sand. The ESP settings also include “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Pro”.

The rest is pretty much the same as the new Mercedes-Benz GLS. The interior gets the latest MBUX infotainment system. The displays form a Widescreen Cockpit. The instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display merge into one and can be operated through a touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control.

The interior also benefits from AMG sports pedals, ARTICO man-made leather and high-gloss anthracite limewood trim elements. The AMG seats use black AMG nappa leather as standard. The 3-spoke AMG steering wheel is also a new addition.

On the outside, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S gets an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres in high-gloss chrome. The bonnet gets a heavily contoured power dome, AMG has also added flared wheel arches, side skirts and new exterior mirror housings. 21-inch, 10-spoke lightweight-alloy wheels are standard painted in tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish. Six further wheel variants up to 23 inches are available.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

Exclusive: V12 Will Return in Next Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2021

Good news for fans of the V12 engine. During an exclusive interview with GTspirit, today at the Guangzhou Auto Show 2019, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius confirmed that the V12 engine will return in the next generation 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Doubts about the return of the V12 engine were raised when Mercedes-Benz released the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 earlier this week. 600 modes normally receive the iconic V12 power plant, yet the GLS features a V8 unit instead. It has now been confirmed that, in the S Class at least, the V12 will live on.

Official details for the V12 version of the Mercedes-Benz flagship limousine will be announced next year. It is likely that Mercedes-Benz will develop the current V12 engine, found in the S 600 and Mercedes-Maybach S 600, will be updated to comply with strict upcoming emission standards.

During our interview, we also spoke with We also spoke with Kallenius about the brand new Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 luxury SUV:

GTspirit: Exclusively available in China, the six-cylinder Mercedes-Maybach S 400 is the top selling Maybach model. Is there any chance we can expect a Maybach GLS with a six-cylinder any time soon?

Kallenius: “We launched the new Maybach GLS 600 with a V8 engine first but it is possible there will be a six-cylinder version of the GLS Maybach in due time. The AMG developed 4.0 liter V8 fits the GLS Maybach very well and was the obvious choice for launch of our first Maybach SUV.”

Asked about a possible Mercedes-Maybach GLS V12, the Daimler CEO is short and clear: “We have no plans for a Maybach GLS V12.”

Read more about the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

2020 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Officially Revealed

Its been a while since Mercedes-Benz did something with the Mercedes-Maybach range. We have had the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 for some time now. It was joined by a limited edition Cabriolet quite sometime after, and a Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet. Today, a proper production SUV has arrived in the form of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600.

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 debuts this week in Guangzhou, China. As the name suggests, it sits on the basis of a GLS Class, with the top end touches of the Maybach name.

Design

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Red

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 uses the classic Mercedes-Benz star atop the bonnet. The Grille is replaced with a chrome Maybach-specific version which complements chrome air intake mesh and trim surrounds. The wheels are massive, multi-spoke 23-inch models.

The Maybach emblem is on display at the D-pillar. The rear gets plenty of chrome too, with Maybach-specific tailpipes. Truth be told, the look differs only slightly from that of the G Class. The look is enough to give it a high-class feel though. Plus it looks less ugly than the competition!

There are a few special touches too. The Airmatic suspension is programmed to drop the ride height of the SUV by 25mm when the door is opened. Running boards swing out from the underside to allow for easier access.

Power and Chassis

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Engine

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 ditches the V12 powerplant. Sad times. In its place is the 4.0 litre V8, tuned to produce 558 hp and 730 Nm of torque. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h with a 100 km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds. The power is delivered through a 9-speed automatic transmission.

It is combined with the 48-volt system, Mercedes call EQ Boost. The 48-volt system also operates an E-Active Body Control system which uses an electronic sway bar setup to counteract dynamic forces. For example, in Curve mode, the body lens by as much as 3 degrees.

The suspension is Mercedes’ Airmatic system with something called Adaptive Damping System Plus (ADS+) as standard. This is connected to double wishbones at the front with a four-link setup at the rear.

The Airmatic system is designed to keep the body at a constant level using sensors and algorithms to smooth the bumps. Ground clearance is lowered by 15 mm at high speed to increase aerodynamic drag and increase stability.

Interior

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Rear Seats

The Maybach is every bit as customisable as you would expect. There is a wide variety of wood, leather and rim options. The driver sits 25 cm higher than in an S Class. The rear seats are 120 mm further back than in the standard GLS.

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 also makes do with only two rows of seats. That second row is ultra-luxurious though, with a five-seat or four-seat option. With the front seat in chauffeur position, the rear passenger gets 1.34 m of legroom.

The GLS 600 uses the MBUX system with a Maybach-specific design. Even the climate system fans have been specially optimised on rubber bearings. Rear passengers get two 11.6 inch touchscreens.

Availability

Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Front

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 will be available during the second half of 2020. Cost is yet to be announced, although the GLS 600 should be on offer worldwide.

Competition

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan. That’s the competition.

Of course, the Bentley Bentayga, the Lamborghini Urus, the Aston Martin DBX – all could be competitors. Yet none are quite so focused on pure luxury as the GLS 600.

Gallery

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

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.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

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. 

[embedded content]

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!

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

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.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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.

Conclusion

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…