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Mercedes-AMG considering turbo fours, hybrid sixes for future performance sedans

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:30:00 EST

Think of the letters AMG and you'll probably end up picturing a performance sedan with a big V8. Such has become, after all, the Mercedes turning division's calling card. But with the introduction of its 2.0-liter turbo four, AMG is working at turning that notion on its head.
The highly potent engine produces 355 horsepower and is presently installed in the A45 AMG hatchback, CLA45 AMG sedan and GLA45 AMG crossover, giving Benz's smallest family a full range of performance models. But that might not be the full extent of the high-strung four-pot's use.
Speaking with AMG boss Tobias Moers, Britain's What Car? magazine reports that Affalterbach is considering slotting the same engine into larger models, particularly performance sedans like the C-Class. As we recently reported, Mercedes is already preparing to up the power from the turbo V6 in the C400 to slot a C450 Sport in below the C63 AMG. The C450 is expected to offer around 367 horsepower where the CLA45 AMG et al pack 355, but the lighter weight of the four-cylinder engine would likely offset the truancy of those extra dozen horses. Of course such a prospect would be much further down the pipeline than the C450 Sport which is expected to arrive much sooner.

2015 Mercedes C-Class order guide leaked

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:29:00 EST

We may not have an official starting price for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but as of right now, we can tell you about all the options for the eagerly anticipated new luxury sedan.
Benz Report has the entire order guide for the C-Class, with breakdowns from package pricing to how many different colors, wheel designs and lighting configurations will be available when the new model hits dealers later this year. As we mentioned in our initial review of the C-Class, there will be a pair of engine options, with the now familiar 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6, which can be had in all-wheel drive, only.
From there, though, the available options are impressive. Much like it does on the current car, Mercedes is offering a pair of packages that sort of define the entire car. With the C300, buyers will have the choice of either a Sport or Luxury package in addition to the base trim, while C400 buyers are limited to the Sport model.

Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:00:00 EST

Mercedes-Benz opted to tease the assembled media at its post-New York Auto Show party, showing off a pair of images of the exquisitely crafted interior of the highly anticipated successor of the SLS AMG - the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GT.
Slated for a debut in the fall at either Paris or Los Angeles (we're betting Paris), you'll note straight away that there's something wrong with this car's name. Where's the "Benz?" Well, it's been ditched to, as Mercedes says, "make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true." Sorry Karl.
"The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.

Daimler names Bernd Pischetsrieder to supervisory board

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:59:00 EST

Some executives in the automotive industry stay with one company for their entire careers, while others bounce from one to the other, often leaving their indelible mark on each automaker at which they serve. Bob Lutz is certainly an example of the latter. So is Lee Iacocca, having presided over Ford and later charing the Chrysler board. Carlos Tavares was chief operating officer of Renault before being nominated as chief executive at PSA Peugeot Citroën. But as far as the Germans go, nobody's jumped from the leadership of one automaker to the next quite like Bernd Pischetsrieder - especially now that he's been named to the supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.
An engineer by training, Pischetsrieder started his career at BMW in 1973, eventually rising to the office of CEO after twenty years. There he remained until 1999, only to be dismissed after orchestrating BMW's takeover of the Rover Group (of which only the Mini brand remains in the company's portfolio, the other brands having been sold off after his dismissal).
The next year he was named chairman of Volkswagen's Seat brand, and rose to the chairmanship of the entire Volkswagen Group two years later. Despite a largely successful four-year tenure (that gave birth, incidentally, to the Bugatti Veyron), disagreements with supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piëch saw him leave the helm at VW AG, focusing his attention on the Scania truck division. He's since been touted as a potential chief executive for Opel and for Continental, but neither potential was apparently realized.

Mercedes to roll out S65 AMG Coupe in July

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:31:00 EST

We're still a couple of weeks away from the public debut of the new Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe at the fast-approaching New York Auto Show, but already we're receiving word of an even more powerful version in the works. That, of course, would be the S65 AMG Coupe - the twelve-cylinder version of the latest S-Class Coupe, two-door counterpart to the S65 AMG sedan and replacement for the outgoing CL65 AMG.
Like the four-door version rolled out back in November, the S65 AMG Coupe would be distinguished from less powerful vehicles (which, lets face it, is just about everything) principally by its engine: a massive, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 that produces 621 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque and cares as much about global warming as an oil-shipping mega-tanker.
Because Merc's 4Matic all-wheel drive system can't handle that much torque, the ne plus ultra coupe would (like the S65 sedan but unlike the S63 coupe) be offered only in rear-drive form. That means it will have that much more trouble getting the power down to the road, but since the Magic Body Control suspension is similarly incompatible with 4Matic, the flagship coupe will get that trick suspension.

Aston Martin and Daimler continue talks on SUV project, CEO required

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:45:00 EST

The Aston Martin Lagonda SUV concept revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show didn't earn the plaudits the company is used to when it reveals new models, and it has lived an uncertain life ever since. Thought to have been scrapped along with the entire revival of the Lagonda brand, then thought to have been resurrected due to Chinese, Middle Eastern and Russian demand, another year passed before we heard more definitive talk about an Aston Martin expansion when AutoCar reported that the Lagonda could be built on one of Mercedes-Benz's AMG SUV platforms.
A report in Automotive News Europe indicates plans have gotten serious, its unnamed sources saying that the English carmaker is talking to Daimler "to extend their cooperation to building an SUV." Neither Daimler, Aston Martin nor Investindustrial, the managing partner among Aston Martin's ownership consortium, would comment. But with Investindustrial having pledged to expand the range, competitors like Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini getting into the SUV racket and clear demand from current and future customers, it's easy to believe Aston Martin is working hard to put the pieces together.
One further potential bump on the road to an Aston SUV is the company's search for a new CEO. Ulrich Bez relinquished to top spot at the company at the end of 2013, and Aston reportedly will not finalize its model strategy without a new CEO in place.

Russia gives its Olympic medalists new Mercedes

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 18:30:00 EST

Russian medalists at the recently concluded Sochi Winter Olympics are being rewarded quite handsomely for their service to the Motherland. In addition to the $120,000 being handed out for each gold medal, the $76,000 being awarded for slivers and $52,000 given to bronze winners, now word has come out that each of Russia's medalists will be gifted a new Mercedes-Benz.
As with the prize amounts, the type of Mercedes offered was based on what sort of medal was won. Gold medalists got a new GL-Class, silver medalists were given an ML and bronze medalists were treated to a GLK. As prices for Mercedes are higher in Russia, the cheapest model, the GLK, was the equivalent of $59,500, according to The Moscow Times. The cars were handed out by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured above with figure skating medalist Julia Lipnitskaia.
"I was a bit shocked at the car I was given," Anton Shipulin, a member of the gold-medal biathlon relay team, told RIA-Novosti. "Of course I knew what kind of model it would be, but I didn't totally believe it." For athletes not old enough to drive, like 15-year-old Lipnitskaia, their Mercedes will come complete with a driver.

First official shot of Mercedes S-Class Coupe leaks out

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:30:00 EST

With the official debut for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe expected tomorrow, it shouldn't be a surprise that some clicky fingers have already managed to uncover an official image of the car before the unveiling. Outside of this sole image, though, there's precious little detail on the new car.
First posted by Autofilou and then picked up by WorldCarFans, the production S-Class Coupe isn't far off from the concept car we saw a few months back in Frankfurt. Like the concept, the leggy production model appears related, albeit distantly, to the S-Class Sedan. The hood and front fascia are longer and lower, befitting of a two-door, while the character lines in the profile are more pronounced. Obviously, the beltline and slim, B-pillarless greenhouse are coupe-only items. We can't see any details on the back of the car, although it does appear that the long hood has a correspondingly short rear deck.
We'll have all the details on the official replacement for the CL-Class when it makes its full debut tomorrow. Until then, what do you think of this lone image? Does it appear that Mercedes has got it right? In terms of design, where would you rank this with the departing CL-Class? Have your say in Comments.

Why all of this year's F1 noses are so ugly [w/video]

Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:31:00 EST

If you're a serious fan of Formula One, you already know all about The Great Nosecone Conundrum of 2014. Those given to parsing each year's F1 regulations predicted the strong possibility of the so-called "anteater" noses as far back as early December 2013. Highly suggestive visual evidence first came after Caterham's crash test in early January, with further proof coming as soon as Williams showed a rendering of the FW36 challenger for this year's championship. That car earned a name that wasn't nearly so kind as "anteater."
Casual followers of the sport - or anyone who gets the feed from this site - probably don't know what's happening, except to wonder why the current year's F1 cars are led by appendages that would make Cyrano de Bergerac feel a whole lot better about himself.
The short answer to the question of ugsome F1 noses is "FIA regulations and safety." The reason there are various kinds of ugsome noses is simpler: engineers. The same boffins who have given us advances including carbon fiber monocoques, six-wheeled cars, double diffusers and Drag Reduction Systems are bred to do everything in their power to exploit every possible freedom in the regulations to make the cars they're building go faster - the caveat being that those advances have to work within the overall philosophy of the whole car.

Paul di Resta returns to DTM with Mercedes

Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:40:00 EST

Some drivers manage to make the transition from one form of motor racing into another, and some run into trouble. Take Paul di Resta, for example. The promising young Scottish driver dominated Formula 3 racing in Europe in 2006, then moved over to Germany's hugely competitive DTM touring car series where he finished second in 2008, third in 2009 and first in 2010. But things didn't go as smoothly for Paul - cousin to retired Indy champion Dario Franchitti - when he moved in to Formula One with the Force India team.
In three years on the grid, he failed to score a single podium finish. Little surprise, then, that Force India opted not to renew his contract for this season. Left without a ride, di Resta is now going back to DTM with longtime supporter Mercedes-Benz, testing the new C-Class touring car today in Portugal. It's good news for Mercedes, which is celebrating 120 years in motor racing this season and, with 2005 champion Gary Paffett also on board, can now count two former champions on its DTM roster.
We wouldn't count Paul out of F1 for good, though. When he won the DTM title four years ago, he was also moonlighting as Force India's test driver, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him pull similar double-duty with the Mercedes F1 team (or another Benz-powered outfit) this year before spring-boarding back into grand prix racing in the future. At 27 years old, he may not have been the youngest driver on the grid this year, but he's still got a good few years ahead of him.