Mercedes-Benz likes to claim that the G-Class is in an elite class, and that it is even a true automotive icon. While its hard to not look past some of its cruder elements, its also really hard to argue otherwise considering the elite pedigree that this long lasting nameplate has gained over the years, But even an icon needs to evolve from time to time to keep its status on the totem pole, and Mercedes-Benz is keen on doing just that for the 2019 model year.
Exterior updates may seem very minimal at first glance, but a closer look reveals smoother surfaces, reshaped front headlights, slimmer signal lights, new wheels, and lightly tweaked taillights. Thankfully the basic boxy look is kept intact, and that should please the legions of eager loyalists that have turned what was once a pet project for the Austrian military, into a cult hit that has withstood the test of time for several decades now. When you look at the cold hard numbers, the G-Class scores minimal gains throughout with length increasing by 2.1 inches, width measuring in 4.8 inches wider, and a small 0.3 inch gain in height.
These gains make themselves apparent in the interior, where the 2019 G-Class boasts more room for passengers especially in the rear. This is certainly an improvement over the old G-Class which had tight accommodations back there especially for a vehicle of its size. The long wheelbase as well as a slight tweak to the location of the rear seats helps create 6 extra inches of interior room which should please taller passengers looking to stretch out on long trips.
Interior quality has also seen a massive leap, with softer plastics, more leather appointments, and healthy splashes of chrome trim scattered throughout. There are still elements of past G-Class iterations present with a notable one being the dash mounted grab handle on the passenger side of the cabin, as well as the relative lack of front mounted cup holders.
While the cushier interior and the removal of the front solid axle may make it seem that the 2019 G-Class has gone soft at first glance, but a closer look reveals that the core elements of the G-Class are still present and accounted for. Those include the novel three locking differentials, a low range gear, as well as potent approach and breakover angles. lastly the independent front suspension may signal the end of an era for the once all solid axle G-Class, but look for on-road behavior to drastically improve as well as increased civility over rougher terrain.
When the 2019 G-Class initially arrives in dealerships, it will be offered only as a G550 model with the same 4.0 liter biturbo V8 as its outgoing predecessor which in and of itself is not that bad of a situation. This V8 is a favorite among buyers, and the old adage holds itself true “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”It’s 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque are nothing to balk at either, with the engine benefiting from an all new nine speed automatic transmission. Buyers will also be pleased to hear that Mercedes engineers finally pitched the ancient recirculating ball steering setup for an electrically assisted rack and pinion steering gear. While it will most likely not be the blinding bolt of revelation that many expected in terms of involvement, it should be a noticeable improvement over the old G-Class.
Pricing for the 2019 G-Class will be revealed closer to its official market launch in late 2018. After the G550 has a chance to formally plant itself in the marketplace, other variants will follow suit including AMG versions in 2019. It is currently unknown if Mercedes will produce another V12 AMG G-Class, but if not, look for one of the V8 models to pick up the slack while returning slightly better fuel economy.
After months of rumors, speculation, as well as a lone teaser image. Mercedes-AMG has at long last unveiled the Project ONE hypercar, which aims to seek and destroy all in its niche segment when it is unleashed on the road.
As expected, the exterior styling of this near production concept was designed with pure purpose and intent. The whole body of this visually stunning masterpiece is crafted out of carbon fiber monocoque, while the front fenders rise above the wheels and transition to the rear and its ultra wide tail lights. However, the detail that stands out the most in our eyes is the roof mounted scoop that channels air to the F1 derived V6 that lurks underneath.
Unlike other race derived engines, this spunky 1.6 liter actually uses F1 technology, and boasts a staggering 11,000 revs before it hits the limiter. To help avoid valve float, traditional valves and springs have been replaced with pneumatic valve controls, while an electrically operated turbocharger pumps even more cool air into the engine. Mercedes-AMG claims that all these radical tweaks help Project ONE have 40 percent thermal efficiency, as well as produce “over” 671 horsepower when linked to the electric motors.
Speaking of the front wheel mounted electric motors, they make 161 horsepower each, and can rev up to 50,000 rpms. The lithium ion batteries that power the motors only weigh 220 lbs, and have four times more cells than the batteries in the Mercedes F1 W06 hybrid race car. Mercedes also revealed that the system runs at 800 volts, which is double the voltage typically used in the firm’s other plug-in systems.
The interior of Project ONE is perhaps the most extreme form of function over style we have ever seen. A Formula 1 inspired steering wheel greets the driver’s hands, while a color display replaces conventional gauges. A second screen is also mounted on the center stack but other than that, many typical luxury and entertainment features have been pitched for the sake of weight savings. This follows in line with another recently unveiled hypercar, the Aston Martin Valkyrie which also sheds luxury features for the sake of maximum performance. The seats themselves are very spartan, but Mercedes engineers did retain power adjust-ability for the pedals and steering wheel so that the Project ONE can be experienced by a wide range of drivers.
All of this power is transmitted to the rear wheels through an eight speed automated manual transmission designed exclusively for Project ONE, with pushrod coil over suspension helping to keep the car straight and solid through even the twistiest of turns. This should please lucky buyers, while also causing sleepless nights for the Valkyrie, as well as the McLaren P1.
With all of this power, and potent race ready technology, it’s no surprise that Project ONE will be a very limited release, with Mercedes-AMG only producing 275 copies before production ends. Buyers looking to pre-order one for their garage will have to keep their checkbooks at home since the whole production run is already sold out with each example going for $2.27 million each.
The trail of teasers and statements surrounding the much hyped Project ONE hypercar are nearing the home stretch. With the Frankfurt Auto Show fast approaching, Mercedes-Benz has upped the ante by releasing a shadowy teaser image.
The lone image does not reveal very much, but the few elements that do stick out of the darkness offer compelling clues to the car’s wild capabilities. Mercedes claims that the Project ONE is “a two-seater supersports showcar” and it serves as the current pinnacle of the German auto giants engineering capabilities.
However, its also safe to call the Project ONE a road going Le Mans prototype with a Formula 1 engine. In fact, Project ONE evokes memories of the fabled CLK-GTR supercar. Unlike that model though, the Project ONE will be a visually innovative look into the future, especially with its performance hardware. This includes the Formula 1 grade engine and hybrid system, as well as the electronic systems.
The roof mounted scoop also hints at the aerodynamic tweaks that are in store for this car with much of the inspiration coming from Le Mans spec race cars. Look for the interior to invoke function over form with many racing elements and materials being used instead of the usual assortment of leather, wood, and other luxuries that define typical Benz models.
Performance for the Project ONE comes from a 1.6 liter turbocharged V6 that incorporates hybrid assistance technology and is largely based on the setup that sees duty in the 2015 Mercedes-AMG W06 Formula 1 hybrid car. Naturally, the engine will be reworked for road use with Mercedes claiming that it can last for 31,000 miles between rebuilds. This is impressive considering that the engine has a rev limit of over 10,000 rpm and packs “over 1000 horsepower.” This is achieved with the help of four electric motors with two mounted on the engine, and the remaining pair on the front axle.
When the Project ONE makes its debut in Frankfurt, it will appear as a near production prototype with the first deliveries expected to take place in 2019. Don’t bother pre-ordering through your local dealer unless you have done so already. Mercedes-Benz is only making 275 copies, with all of them being pre-sold for a cool $2.6 million each.
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.