Mercedes-Benz now offering in-car iPad integration

October 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Apple continues to push its products into various applications and in-car integration keeps marching ahead. Since its introduction, automakers have been paying close attention to the iPad with Hyundai planning to use the device as an owner’s manual in high-spec vehicles, while Chevrolet, Ford and Volkswagen have all developed apps for it, and BMW has gone further introducing an in-car docking system for the tablet.

Not to be out done, Mercedes-Benz has just announced plans to create its own headrest-mounted iPad docks. The units will allow rear passengers to use and charge iPads while cruising in the Merc, while those up front can focus on actually driving and pretending not to be disturbed by the pushing on their headrests. The big question is if it will ever really take off?

TV ad for 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

October 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

TV ad for 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Blow up the balloons – the airbag turns 30

September 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s probably one anniversary you can afford to forget, but that doesn’t make it any less important – the airbag has turned 30. Daimler is officially celebrating the airbag’s 30th anniversary and wants to tell everyone about it.

Three decades ago, the very first production car with the life-saving safety tech rolled off the production line, this began an industry-wide push for ever safer vehicles. That first airbag-equipped car was an S-Class sedan, and Mercedes-Benz claims it put a grand total of 13 years of research and development into the project before it even hit the street.

Thirty years later the airbag has saved over 28,000 lives since the technology was first introduced — and that’s just in U.S.A. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle without at least some form of airbag, and Mercedes-Benz says that all of its products have featured a standard driver airbag since 1992. Blow up the balloons and pop the champagne.

David Coulthard puts the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG through its paces

August 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

David Coulthard puts the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG through its paces

2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS leaks out before official debut

August 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

There’s been plenty of spy shots and speculation surrounding the upcoming next-gen Mercedes-Benz CLS sports sedan but there’s been no official material sourced from the Stuttgart automaker.That’s just changed with official images of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS surfacing online ahead of its Paris Auto Show debut next month.

The new images are taken from a official brochure that reveals an expected continuation of the new Mercedes styling language previewed in April’s Shooting Break concept and the SLS AMG.

The sectioned-off headlamp design has remained intact and there’s a prominent new upright grille. The generous use of LEDs should look great on the road at dusk.

Inside, the CLS continues to use its four-seat arrangement with a center console that extends the full length of the cabin.

Mercedes has kept tight-lipped about the technology powering the new CLS, although it’s rumoured to use the company’s new 225kW/368Nm 3.5 litre direct-injected V6, possibly along with a twin-turbo 4.6 litre V8 option that produces 320kW and 700Nm.

An AMG variant will probably be on the cards and will be motivated by the same 400kW 5.5 litre V8 currently appearing in new and updated AMG models.

Now that these leaked shots have hit the web, official images and details may quickly follow, before its scheduled Paris debut. Stay tuned.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers

August 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes has announced that its full-on competition spec SLS AMG GT3 is available for order and will be priced from €334,000 plus taxes ($606,000 NZ).

The car is on sale now and deliveries will begin in February next year to allow teams plenty of time to prepare for the 2011 season. The GT3 class for production based sports cars is really heating up these days with Mercedes now joining Audi, BMW and Porsche.

The SLS AMG GT3 car features a reworked nose, a ventilated hood, a carbon fibre front splitter, special rear diffuser, and a massive wing at the rear. Other racing extras include a carbon-fibre (CFRP) safety cell, a steel braking system, a six-speed sequential racing transmission (with steering wheel mounted paddles), and a high-tech integrated multi-disc locking differential.

Power comes from a 6.3-litre V8 engine, which interestingly is virtually identical to the motor found in the standard SLS AMG. In terms of performance, the car will accelerate from 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed above 300 km/h. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers” »

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing kicks off NZ tour

August 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing has arrived for the first time in New Zealand and will be on show from this weekend. The good news is everyone will get a chance to see this retro-inspired high-tech machine as it travels around the country on a nationwide tour.

This NZD$450,000 car is the jewel in the Mercedes-Benz crown. It’s the first of only nine SLS Gullwings that will land in New Zealand this year (seven of these have already been sold to customers).

For most of us, this is a car lotto dreams are made of, yet this weekend Aucklanders will be the first to get up close and personal with the SLS Gullwing as Coutts Newmarket holds an open day for the public. First released in 1954, the 2010 SLS Gullwing is a reinterpretation of the ‘Sports Car of the Century’, the original Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

“The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing is one of those very special vehicles, a car steeped in nostalgia and history. Quite simply it sets pulses racing. When we received our allocation of nine of these beauties we knew we had to give all Kiwis the opportunity to see an important piece of motoring history,” says Coby Duggan, Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car General Manager.

The vehicle is the reborn 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The original ‘Gullwing’ vehicle crowned Sports Car of the Century was the fastest production car of its day.

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing kicks off NZ tour” »

Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)

August 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Sales of the all new 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG begin globally next month, and Mercedes have released more images and specs on the upcoming super sedan.

Power for the S63 AMG will come from the new 5.5-litre twin-turbo AMG V-8 under the bonnet delivering up to 571 horsepower and a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque. The standard S63 is rated at 544 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which can be upgraded by 27 horsepower and 74 pound-feet with the addition of the AMG Performance package. Acceleration times are rapid for a luxury sedan at 4.5 seconds to 100 kph for the standard S63 and 4.4 seconds for the AMG machine.

Swapping the cogs is done automatically by a standard 7-speed AMG SpeedShift MCT transmission. Three different driving modes make for differing characteristics.

AMG triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/40 front and 275/40 rear tyres help get all the power to the ground, and a braking system based on Mercedes Adaptive Brake technology gives strong stopping power thanks to double floating front calipers and standard rear sliding calipers.

The S63 AMG can be bought in either long- or short-wheelbase platforms and is priced in Europe from 128,800 Euros.

See images of the S63 AMG in the gallery and check out a video below. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)” »