Mercedes-Benz to go hybrid crazy on new C-Class range

March 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Hybrids powertrains are becoming common in all types of vehicles these days – race cars, supercars, luxury cruisers, the applications now seem endless. But the next-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be really pushing hybrid power to the masses according to recent reports.

Company sources have let slip that the next-generation of C-Class, due in late 2013, will feature hybrid drivetrains in almost every model. The only cars that will escape hybrid treatment won’t be the top-spec models but the smallest-displacement diesel-powered cars, which will already achieve excellent fuel economy. With fuel consumption being the major reason for this shift.

Getting emissions down and fuel economy has become vital for almost every manufacturer recently, and even luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz are no exception. Although it seems extreme to make all, or nearly all, of its highest-volume selling cars have hybrid drivetrains it would have a huge impact on the company’s overall fleet rating. It could also have a positive effect on how the brand is perceived.

Smaller engines, including four- and possibly three-cylinder motors, are tipped as the base for the hybrids, with the electric motors making up the rest of the required power. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz to go hybrid crazy on new C-Class range” »

First sketch of next-gen Mercedes A-Class leaked out

March 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The first sketch shot of the future generation 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class has just been leaked out over the web. This sketch represents the first chance to see the major design changes in Merc’s next-gen A Class, before its official debut at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show. The new A-Class is expected to be revealed next month and will likely go on sale before the end of 2011.

The 2012 Mercedes A-Class seems to borrow quite a few styling elements from the F800 concept, revealed in February 2010 (read news). The new A Class will be given a more dynamic and fluid exterior design, that will place it much closer to a hatchback body style. Initial expectations are that the upcoming A-Class will go on sale with a choice of both petrol and diesel engines. An AMG version is not expected at first, but never rule one out of showing up later especially with this type of sports styling. Continue reading “First sketch of next-gen Mercedes A-Class leaked out” »

Brabus unleashes 700hp SLS AMG on Geneva crowds

March 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from big horsepower mongers Brabus, but it’s now clear that the aftermarket tuner was saving something special for the Geneva Motor Show.

The latest outrageous creation from the German tuner is a new twin-turbocharged version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar that promises a mad output of 700 horsepower (520kW) and 847Nm of torque.

In addition to the frightening powerplant, the modified Merc also looks tougher with Brabus’ Widestar bodykit and a fully customised interior including some trick ambient lighting.

To achieve the massive dose of power, Brabus engineers developed a new twin-turbocharger system for the AMG’s 6.2-litre V-8, which includes high-performance exhaust manifolds, an oversized intercooling system and a dual-flow intake manifold with high-flow air filters. There’s also forged pistons and a remapped ECU with an electronic boost controller.

The end result is staggering performance and combined with the car’s seven-speed automatic transmission, the o-100kph sprint can be achieved in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed 340kph. Continue reading “Brabus unleashes 700hp SLS AMG on Geneva crowds” »

Brabus builds world’s first tuned car to meet new emissions standard

February 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Brabus has become infamous for taking Mercedes-Benz vehicles and upping the power output to make them monsters. But Brabus’ latest achievement is something slightly different as the tuning-house has just announced the world’s first performance tuned vehicle that meets the new Euro VI exhaust emission standard which goes into effect 2014.

The upgrade to the standard Mercedes vehicles is a plug-and-play control unit, named the Brabus Eco PowerXtra D6S module. The high-tech piece of kit achieves an increase in power output of 40.5 kW to 230 kW while peak torque goes from 620 Nm to 690 Nm when installed in a Mercedes-Benz S 350 BlueTEC.  That’s a fair chunk of power for a unit that simply plugs in while staying under the all-important Euro VI limits by 30 percent.

The Brabus ECO PowerXtra D6S kit also comes with a clever feature allowing it to be turned on and off. Through the Mercedes 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission the performance output can remain unchanged at 190 kW when the ‘Eco’ mode is engaged.  However, when the ‘Manual’ or ‘Sport’ mode is selected maximum power output increases to 230 kW at 3,600 rpm. With the power turned up the tuned S 350 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.5 seconds, that’s half a second faster than the standard production car. Top speed remains electronically limited to 250 km/h. Continue reading “Brabus builds world’s first tuned car to meet new emissions standard” »

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – officially unveiled

February 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After months of leaked info and speculation, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG has been made official, complete with images and speculation. The car will be given its official debut at the upcoming 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The C63 AMG has been revealed in two body shapes – a sedan and wagon but a coupe is also rumoured but unannounced.

Under the bonnet, the C63 AMG keeps the naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V-8 engine, this stonking motor produces 336kW of power or 358kW with the optional AMG Development Package.

Power is sent through the AMG SpeedShift MCT seven-speed transmission, which comes with four different driving modes ranging from comfort to a full manual setting. There’s also a Race Start function that provides for rapid launches off-the-line. Gear changes are performed in just 100 milliseconds, and the transmission automatically rev-matches.

When it comes to performance the C63 AMG is definitely no slouch and will accelerate to 100kph in 4.4 seconds with a limited top speed of 250kph.

In terms of design the C63 took plenty of inspiration from the SL63 AMG and features an aggressive front look with an aluminum bonnet, a single-bar grille, and new headlights with LED indicators. Other features include a modified rear bumper with integrated diffuser, revised tail lights, and special 18-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is dressed up with a new dashboard design and integrated TFT display screen. There’s leather upholstery and aluminum trim, some gloss piano black surfaces and there are a mass of customisable options. Continue reading “2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – officially unveiled” »

Mercedes-Benz puts old foes back together for new ad (+video)

January 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mika Häkkinen is a name well known to many of us, he’s the ice-cold two-time Formula One World Champion. He’s also a Finland native, which means the man knows how to handle a vehicle in almost any weather conditions. Mercedes-Benz has caught up with the ex-champion and hired his services to drive in a new ad showing off its 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

In the advertisement clip, Häkkinen finds himself on a snowy road in an E350 wagon when he rolls up behind an old SL. The driver of the SL is just not moving quick enough for Mika, and upon passing the classic Merc, he is greeted with the face of a familiar foe. You probably don’t need two guesses to work out who it is but we won’t spoil it for you.

Check out the Mercedes-Benz’s “Sunday Driver” advertisement clip below. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz puts old foes back together for new ad (+video)” »

MacLaren brings back the SLR for one final limited-edition

December 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been over a year since the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was officially discontinued, but the hard hitting machine just won’t die and is back for one last fright. Around 2,000 examples of five different variants of the supercar were built over the course of five years of production. The SLR was the final love child of the Mercedes-Benz and McLaren partnership and since its farewell the companies have gone their separate ways, on the track and off. Since the seperation both parties have stayed busy but now it’s time for one final celebration of the SLR.

Apparently what you see in the image above was created by McLaren as an aftermarket kit for existing models and unveiled at the recent Essen Motor Show, this McLaren Edition SLR packs revised aerodyanamics, steering, suspension and interior tweaks. The result is an exclusive encore for the exotic beast with only 25 examples on offer.

It’s official – Mercedes Benz to build CLS Shooting Brake

November 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz has now officially confirmed rumours that its CLS Shooting Brake concept, is heading into production. First shown in China earlier this year, the shooting brake model with the sloping tail end will use the same platform as the second generation CLS sedan and will go to market in 2012.

The CLS Shooting Brake will be built at the Mercedes-Benz Plant Sindelfingen on the same production line as the CLS and the E-Class Sedan.

Very little info on the new model has been officially released but it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake model will more or less carry the same lineup of gasoline and diesel engines as the new CLS sedan. The CLS Shooting Brake range should also include a flagship AMG model powered by Mercedes’ new 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out at least 536-horsepower.

Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars made the big announcement and said, “The CLS still makes waves with its fascinating design and wows customers for our brand. With the new generation of the CLS we expand our pioneering role in this segment. We aim to extend this success story with the CLS Shooting Brake and complement our product portfolio with another appealing model. This car is based on the great tradition of a stylish, cultivated sportiness which has always characterised the great Mercedes Coupes, and it takes this unique legacy an exciting step further. At the same time it points the way towards the future design idiom of Mercedes-Benz.”

The production version of the CLS Shooting Brake will most likely make its world premiere at a major motorshow event either late next year or early 2012.