Mercedes is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its AMG performance in bold fashion and has unveiled the limited edition of its Mercedes-AMG GT3 racer as part of the broader festivities.
Dubbed the AMG GT3 Edition 50, this special edition model is based off of the standard GT3 race car which was first introduced to the world two years ago at the Geneva Motor Show. Unlike that model however, the AMG GT3 50 features everla unique upgrades that aim to make it standout on the race track. For starters, the Edition 50 is bathed in a “real black” color which is actually a slick matte black finish. The appearance of this color is the first time that an AMG car has ever been equipped with this type of paint.
Each door features a “50 YEARS OF DRIVING” logo made out of carbon fiber, and even the seat belts get in on the act thanks to a stitched “AMG 50 YEARS OF DRIVING” emblem. Other than these minor tweaks, the bulk of the styling is largely unchanged which is a good thing given how sinister it already looks.
The performance hardware also carries over largely unchanged with the 6.2 liter “hand built” V8 still lurking under the hood. However, AMG engineers have slightly tweaked the exhaust system, and the Edition 50 sidelines the restrictor plates, which in turn increases power. While this may hinder its ability to be raced on some circuits, we are confident that the extra noise and velocity will be appreciated by both owners and racing fans.
As a bonus, each AMG GT3 Edition 50 will be delivered to buyers at AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach with buyers also having the opportunity to participate in a one on one racetrack coaching session to allow them to better wield their potent track weapons when thrashing them around the twists and turns of the world’s racing circuits. They will also be able to do so with impeccable timing thanks to the Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG” watch that will be provided by IWC Schaffhausen.
Buyers looking to add an Edition 50 GT3 to their paddock will have to contend with the biggest difference between it and the normal GT3, volume. Unlike the “standard” GT3, Mercedes will produce only five examples of the Edition 50 with each example arriving with its own distinct number plaque.
A new report from Daimler owned Smart reveals that the brand will stop selling a large slice of its current lineup in the U.S. and Canada, with only EV models making up the range after 2017.
This decision was shared to Smart dealers via a letter that was written by Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dieter Exler, and was not made public. Automotive News however, managed to obtain a copy of this letter which reveals.
“Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current smart product portfolio,” he explained. “The smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero-emissions smart electric drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada.”
Production of the U.S. spec fortwo will cease in April, but sales will continue until the present inventory runs out, which will give dealerships time to sell them to interested buyers. The first deliveries of the electric models will begin this summer, and expect the full rollout to be completed in early fall.
The announcement does not come as a suprise since the brand’s North American sales have been slowly dwindling over the past few years. According to Automotive News, the brand’s, peak sales year was in 2014, when it sold 10,453 cars. Since that time, sales have plummeted, with the brand only selling 6,211 units.
The first generation Smart car was a compelling idea when it first came out, and it managed to have strong success due to the spike in oil prices in 2008. However, with gas prices lower, and demand for SUVs and crossovers on the rise, many Americans were simply not interested in the pint sized two seater.
Smart’s decision to go EV only after 2017 applies to the U.S. and Canada. Buyers in other markets like Europe, will still have access to the current generation fortwo petrol model, which is powered by a Renault sourced three cylinder engine.
Ever wondered what would happen if you took the superbly capable G-Wagen SUV, and infused it with the opulent luxury that the Maybach brand can only provide? Mercedes-Maybach has provided the result of this mad scientist-esque cocktail, the limited production G650 Landaulet.
The Landaulet is a stretched version of the iconic G-Class, but stands out thanks to its soft top, as well as its foot high ground clearance. The G Wagen is already a uniquely awesome beast to drive on and off the road, but the highlight feature lies above the rear axle.
Normally, the G-Wagen’s rear seat accomodations are on the tight side, but the stretched wheelbase on the Landaulet allowed Maybach designers to create a cocoon like rear space with indvidual leather seats borrowed from the Maybach badged S-Class.
The seats can coddle occupants with a hot massage, or fully recline for passengers that like to stretch out and relax on long journeys. The center console features switches that allow passengers to raise or lower the glass partition, as well as operate the power top.
Performance for the Landaulet comes from the familiar 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine that makes 630 horsepower and 730 lb-ft of torque. All of this muscle is sent to all four wheels through an automatic transmission which promises to make this limo-esque vehicle a rocket at any speed.
Meanwhile, Unimog inspired portal axles help give 17-inches of ground clearance, and also amp up the G-Wagen’s already impressive off-road capabilities. Look for this to be a highlight with well heeled guests when trekking off the beaten path.
Mercedes-Maybach plans to only build 99 examples of the G650 Landaulet, and will ship the first units to dealerships this fall. Pricing as well as avalibility were not released, but look for a small batch of examples to already be spoken for ahead of its official debut.
Following on the heels of the debut of the E-Class sedan last year, Mercedes Benz has come full circle with the unveiling of the 2018 E-Class coupe ahead of its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.
The coupe shares its underpinnings with the E-Class sedan which has allowed the 2018 model to be longer, wider, and taller than its predecessor with the wheelbase increasing by 4.8 inches. Underneath this potent platform is an all new body that is softer than before, and shares its inspiration with the range topping S-Class coupe as well as the smaller C-Class coupe. This is an improvement over the last generation coupe, and the rear fascia in particular serves as a compelling visual element for the 2018 E-Class coupe. The one thing that has not changed is the exclusion of a formal B-pillar, which helps transform the E-Class coupe into a true hardtop design. Buyers looking to spice things up can opt for the optional Sport package that brings aggressively styled front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and bolder wheels to the sleek two door.
the 2018 E-Class coupe’s larger dimensions will certainly be noticed and felt in the interior especially for rear seat passengers, with the company claiming that passengers back there will enjoy greater amounts of head, leg, and shoulder room than before which is not a bad thing. Sharing the sedan’s interior design is also not a bad thing with the coupe retaining the basic elements that helped make the E-Class four door stand out in its segment. The key difference is the air vent design with Mercedes claiming that they were largely inspired by jet turbines.
The coupe also gets the sedan’s standard 12.3 inch infotainment display, and can be equipped with an optional version that merges with the 12.3 inch display used in the instrument cluster to create a seamless focal point in the otherwise attractive cabin. In addition. the system also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as the newly minted Mbrace Concierge Service.
Unlike the sedan which comes in a myriad of trims, the 2018 E-Class coupe simplifies things and will only be available in two trim levels: the base E400 rear-wheel drive E400 and the all-wheel drive E400 4-MATIC. Both variants get their performance from a twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that is good for 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque and is meshed with a 9-speed automatic transmission. While these figures match the previous generation model, minor tweaks to the engine allow the peak torque to start and end slightly higher in the rev range. The coupe will also offer two different suspension options and come with either standard springs and shocks or an optional air suspension.
Mercedes chose to not reveal any pricing information in its unveiling, but the company did reveal availability figures with the 2018 E-Class coupe expected to arrive in Mercedes dealerships in the summer of 2017 following its debut in January. While the company stopped short of announcing any future coupe variants, it would not be too surprising to see a convertible as well as an AMG version enter the lineup in the near future to help give the two door much needed flexibility. As far as the AMG goes, it could either be a milder E43 version with a slightly upgraded V6, or it could go all in and arrive in E63 guise with the car shoehorning the AMG GT’s twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 into its elegantly sculpted hood.
Following years of rampant speculation and rumors regarding the notion of a three pointed star pickup truck. Mercedes Benz has lifted the veil off of the Concept X-Class which is allegedly a ‘concrete outlook’ on a production version of the firm’s first ever pickup truck.
The two trucks on hand at the unveiling show off the two distinct styling motifs that will define the new model. The off road oriented “adventurer” X-Class features a sporty yellow-green paint job and features a lifted suspension, knobby off road tires, and protective cladding on key points of the truck. The adventurer even comes equipped with a winch, though we will wait until it can be used in the real world before issuing a final verdict on its full capabilities.
The ‘explorer’ model on the other hand arrives as the decidedly more on road oriented variant and shares much of its cues with existing Mercedes Benz offerings. Benz designers went for more posh with this truck and equipped it with 22-inch chrome wheels as well as a snazzy white metallic paint job. The end result is an X-Class that is decidedly more upscale, and should please buyers looking for utility that can still have a styling statement.
The interior of both trucks also showcase the flexibility that exists in the X-Class. The ‘explorer’s’ interior focuses on luxury and features warm colors as well as healthy amounts of wood trim that helps add new dashes of elegance to the functional cabin. Annoyingly the screen for the infotainment system is still not formally integrated into the dashboard like other luxury offerings, but look for it to still deliver sharp clarity and quick inputs regardless.
Meanwhile the ‘adventurer’ goes for all out brawn, and carries over the exterior’s green hue and incorporates more supportive seating. The center stack shares much of the ‘explorer’s’ layout but Mercedes designers gave it more aluminium accents and even equipped it with a portable fire extinguisher or extra safety.
The platform for the X-Class is borrowed from the Nissan NP300 Navara pickup truck, and makes it a traditional body on frame rig. The Navara also is shared with Renault where it is known as the Renault Alaskan. Look for the production version of the X-Class to tone down the wild styling elements somewhat especially the radical tail light design on the tailgate. As expected from a Mercedes Benz offering, look for some unique elements to remain intact though the bespoke truck will unlikely stray too far from its Navara roots.
Mercedes stopped short of revealing a full suite of engines for the pickup but did confirm that the range topping variant will be powered by a V6 diesel engine. The model will also feature the company’s familiar 4-MATIC all-wheel drive system which should prove to be a valuable asset on the off-road minded ‘adventurer’ while giving the ‘explorer’ the confidence it needs to tackle snowy weather conditions. It is unknown what other engines will see duty in the X-Class but with the Navara offering a four cylinder exclusive lineup, look for Benz to use its own engines including a petrol burning V6 as well as its own four cylinders.
“Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise,” promised Mercedes-Benz Vans CEO Volker Morhinweg. “Ladder type frame, high torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us.”
The X-Class is expected to launch later next year and will focus on buyers in Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Europe. However the company neither confirmed or denied the prospect of bringing the truck to the U.S. market, and personally we think that it should not make the trip across the pond. This is mainly due to the near absolute domination of the segment that is enjoyed by the domestic Big Three as well as the costs of importing and marketing the truck to U.S. buyers which would most likely outweigh any form of profit made from the relatively niche level of sales that the X-Class would experience in this country.
Following a prior confirmation, Mercedes Benz has lifted the veil off of its upcoming E-Class All Terrain wagon which is the German firm’s response to the Volvo V90, and the recent wave of rugged off road oriented wagon models.
As expected, the exterior styling of the All Terrain is largely based on the standard E-Class estate with copious amounts of exterior body cladding added to help it cope with off road excursions. Overall its a handsome design, but it lacks the balanced flow seen in rivals such as the Volvo V90.
The All Terrain also comes with 4-MATIC all-wheel drive standard, but the model stands out thanks to two model exclusive all terrain modes as well as a slightly tweaked air suspension that works in concert with the forementioned all-wheel drive system. However style and flair has not been completely chucked to the wayside, and it is most evident in the three new designs for the 19 and 20-inch wheels that supposedly cater to adventure seeking buyers.
The interior of the E-Class All Terrain is also mostly carried over from its on-road sibling, but the All Terrain boasts several minor differences which include stainless steel pedals, aluminum-carbon themed trim, and floor mats with prominent “all terrain” logos. The level of interior features is largely based on the Avantgard interior line, but buyers in the U.K. will be able to add elements from the Exclusive and Designo lines with other markets possibly being given the same privileges in the near future.
Performance for the E-Class All Terrain will still eventually be provided by a suite of diesel and gasoline engines, but the company threw a curveball, and revealed that the new model will initially launch only in E220d 4-MATIC trim with the engine producing 194 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is enough punch to get it to 60 mph in a commendable eight seconds flat with top speed maxing out at an equally respectable 144 mph.
Mercedes did not confirm whether the E-Class All Terrain will make the trip to U.S. shores or not, but look for the company to make a formal announcement on that prospect after the European version has time to settle into the marketplace.
Following the recent wave of soft road capable wagon entries revealed by Audi Volkswagen, Volvo, and Subaru. Mercedes Benz has revealed that it too intends to get in on the act, and will bring the E-Class All Terrain wagon to wow onlookers at the Paris Motor Show.
While the company did not reveal any further details about the E-Class All Terrain, look for it to follow the design path blazed by entries such as the Audi allroad and the Subaru Outback, and come equipped with a raised suspension as well as toughened body panels to help it endure off terrain adventures. Expect Mercedes’s dependable 4Matic all-wheel drive system to be standard issue in the E-Class All Terrain, and perhaps be paired with a suite of off-road spec goodies including hill descent control, as well as tweaked stability and traction control systems to help the car stay surefooted on challenging obstacles.
Performance for the E-Class All Terrain will come from the same suite of gasoline and diesel four and six cylinder engines that power all other variants of E-Class with each engine being mated to an automatic transmission. This is also on par with its competition and their shared power plants and transmissions.
Look for the 2017 Mercedes E-Class All Terrain to begin either later this year or sometime in 2017 following its public debut in Paris where it will share the spotlight with the recently unveiled GT and GT C roadsters as well as the standard E-Class wagon (pictured.) It is currently unknown if Mercedes Benz will sell the E-Class All Terrain in the U.S. market due to our country’s low interest in station wagon offerings. Despite this, it has been proven that there is possibly some room for growth in this country which has been spearheaded by both Volvo and Volkswagen’s commitment to offer the V90 Cross Country and the Golf-based Alltrack wagon on our shores.
Seeking to finally put a stake through the heart of rampant rumors and speculation about a topless GT, Mercedes-AMG has formally unveiled the GT Roadster which aims to steal sales from the Porsche 911 droptop while reasserting the company’s plans to expand its performance footprint.
As reported in our last GT related report, the car will be offered in two distinct flavors that seek to please a wide range of buyer tastes. The base model simply called the GT Roadster uses the coupe’s 4.0 Liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes a healthy 469 horsepower, and allows the car to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 188 mph.
The up-level GT C wields a highly modified version of the base 4.0 liter that’s good for 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. This newfound power allows the GT C to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and hit a higher top speed of 196 mph. This is on par with the benchmark 911 turbo, but is a few digits shy of the F-Type SVR and its 198 mph top speed.
Both models channel their muscle to the rear wheels through a seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission that is controlled by shift paddles and incorporates a limited slip differential. The GT C stands out however thanks to the addition of an electronically operated differential as well as a model exclusive Race mode for its drive mode selector. The GT C also embodies its bolder attitude with visually distinctive exterior styling wider wheel arches and a novel electronic four wheel steering system borrowed from the GT R.
The interior of both models doesn’t stray too far from the base GT design theme, but the GT C brings sportier instruments and performance oriented sport seats to the festivities wheras the base GT Roadster focuses more on comfort and luxury versus outright track readiness. A key aspect for both models is their retractable three layer cloth top. This was chosen over a bulkier hardtop due to the weight savings it provides, and it can be open or closed in 11 seconds speeds up to 31 mph. The top is also avalible in three hues black, red, or beige.
The Mercedes-AMG GT and GT C roadsters are slated to make their public debut in a couple weeks at the Paris Motor Show before arriving in showrooms next year. Pricing information has not been released as of yet, but look for both models to command a premium price versus their coupe counterparts. In the meantime Mercedes-AMG has released a brief video of the duo in action which can be seen below.
Mercedes-AMG has released a lone teaser video that previews the upcoming GT C Roadster ahead of its debut in Paris.
While the video does not provide a detailed look at the car, the footage does collaborate with an earlier report that suggested the German company was planning to introduce two diffrent convertible variants at the Paris Motor Show. The first model would essentially be a topless version of the current GT coupe. Like that model, the roadster is expected to arrive with a twin-turbocharged 4.0 Liter V8 that would make 456 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The convertible’s slightly higher curb weight will make the model slightly slower to 60 mph than the coupe, with the car projected to complete the deed in just under four seconds.
The second model would be dubbed the GT C and it would serve as a border between the GT S and the recently unveiled 577 horsepower GT R variant. Its official performance figures as well as broader technological information have not been released, but horsepower is expected to reflect its role as the middle child of the lineup and ring in at 540 horsepower.
Both models will come equipped with a folding cloth top which was chosen over a more complex hardtop due to its simpler design, and the weight savings that it would provide. The base roadster’s styling will largely mirror its coupe sibling, while the GT C will most likely have its own unique identity front and rear.
Mercedes for its part has remained quiet on the subject so far (other than this teaser video) and it will be interesting to see if they donly Indeed bring two roadsters to the Paris Motor Show.
In a move to show its commitment to the future, Mercedes Benz has launched its adVANce initiative and has unveiled the first fruit of this program the futuristic Vision Van concept.
Designed to be mainly a design study, the Vision Van incorporates a number of futuristic styling cues that allow the van to stand out from the crowd. This includes the front grille
which features a built in lighting display that can be converted into a number of images including the lighting bolt and world map imagery featured in some of the firm’s press images.
The interior of the Vision Van is a simple yet clean design, and since it is supposed to reflect a fully autonomus era, the van is noted for its lack of a formal steering wheel and pedal assembly. The rear of the Vision Van however, will truly amaze observers thanks to the robotically operated “one shot” loading system that is designed to minimize the time lost due to loading or unloading cargo.
The roof mounted drone launcher (obviously a nod towards Amazon’s recent efforts) can launch several vehicles at once, and each drone is loaded or unloaded via a port in the roof. This novel feature could help extend the range of drone based delivery services, and Mercedes is quick to point out that the Vision Van is the first van to be equipped with such a feature.
Performance for the Vision Van comes from an all electric drivetrain that features a 75 kWh (101 horsepower) electric motor and an equally potent battery that allows the concept to achieve a driving range between 50 and 168 miles depending on the application that it is being used for.
While the Vision Van will most likely be limited to a one-off piece with no plans for production, it does offer a glimpse into the evolution of urban and suburban delivery service, and the additional levels of efficency and capability created by some of its automated technologies.