Mon, 23 Sep 2013 11:03:00 EST
The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix is the Monaco GP of the Orient - a weekend known more for its glamour and time-slot than on-track action, with a temporary circuit that punishes every mistake, usually terminally.
Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:58:00 EST
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas got the best of Free Practice 1, opening the curtain on a possible resurgence of Silver Arrows performance. By the time qualifying was done, though, it was his teammate Nico Rosberg who lined up second on the grid, followed by Romain Grosjean with a beautiful performance in the Lotus, Mark Webber in the Infiniti Red Bull, and Hamilton all the way back in fifth. Behind them were Felipe Massa outqualifying Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button getting the McLaren into eighth, Daniel Ricciardo with another good Q3 effort to get into ninth, and the shocker of Esteban Gutiérrez getting his Sauber into the top ten for the first time this year.
At the front of the pack was Sebastian Vettel. Again. But he was only ahead of Rosberg by a single tenth of a second...
Mercedes-Benz Titan. Mercedes-Benz Frontier. Mercedes-Benz pickup truck. None of these things roll off the tongue particularly well. We'd like to think that's the reason Daimler opted to kill the idea of rebadged Titan and Frontier pickups from corporate ally Nissan. In reality, the execution before the Frankfurt Motor Show was due to more complicated issues.
Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:01:00 EST
Yes, Mercedes, byword for German luxury, style and quality, would have slapped a three-pointed star on a pair of Japanese pickup trucks that have failed to resonate with consumers in the world's largest truck market. That slapping of badges isn't much of an exaggeration, at least on the outside. According to the report from Road & Track, the truck's front clip would have been tweaked, but beyond that, the sheetmetal would have been unchanged. The interior would have received a more thorough going-over by the team at Mercedes, while the suspension and noise, vibration and harshness tuning would have also received significant attention.
The trucks would have ended up being sold through the light-commercial branch of Mercedes-Benz - the same folks that will happily sell you a Sprinter van - had the deal gone through. Issues arose, though, first with the engines. Mercedes wanted a wider range of powertrains to allow it to tune models for specific markets, while Nissan said it couldn't engineer the wide variety of engines that MB wanted to drop under the hood. For the smaller truck, meanwhile, MB was interested in a hybrid or plug-in variant, according to R&T, although this was also shot down by Nissan.
After flirting for several years, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have finally tied the knot. Just don't expect to see any offspring to result from the union for at least three or four years.
Sun, 15 Sep 2013 18:15:00 EST
This according to Auto Express, which spoke with Daimler chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week. AE reports that a new range of AMG-developed turbocharged V8s, transmissions and electrical components will make their way into the successors to the current V8 Vantage and DB9, but that these models are still a few years off.
Purists might balk at the thought of a Mercedes-powered Aston holding true to the brand's heritage. But while David Brown (for whom the DB range is named) may have steered clear of shoehorning in Detroit muscle into his cars, the entirety of the company's current range is powered by engines borrowing technology from Ford, and that arrangement seems to have worked well for Aston until now. And if you're still skeptical, look no further than Pagani and its AMG-sourced engines and you should have all the proof you need that the new relationship between Daimler and Aston could be a success.
The next time you're waiting for a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, see if you can spot a Porsche Cayenne or Panamera zipping between aircraft on the busy tarmac. The high-performance German vehicles aren't there practicing for an upcoming autocross; they are tasked with whisking some of the airline's most important customers between flights so they can keep their busy schedules intact.
Sun, 15 Sep 2013 16:35:00 EST
Launched nearly two years ago, the program has proven popular with the automaker, airline and passengers as all benefit from the unique arrangement. Atlanta-based Porsche is able to showcase its cars to Delta's frequent-flying Medallion members, the airline is recognized for providing unusual perks to its high-value customers and those fortunate enough to be surprised with a quick lift are able to make connections without a stressful run through the terminal. Based on its success, the airline is rolling our similar programs in New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis this month.
And don't think Porsche is the only automaker working with an airline to entice its frequent flyers. Mercedes-Benz ran a program over the summer that offered purchasing and leasing incentives to MileagePlus Premier members of United Airlines, and the two are currently shuttling top fliers around Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the automaker's S-Class and GL-Class models.
When people ask us what car we would recommend for them, it's usually not easy to answer. To make a useful recommendation we must consider which of the numerous vehicle segments fits their needs best, and then choose one of the many vehicles offered in each segment. For some people, new cars don't meet their expectations of value, because they lose so much of it the moment they are purchased and driven off the dealer lot. For them, there's always the used-car market, where great deals can be found, but cars' histories of reliability and maintenance records - and perhaps that Certified Pre-Owned warranty - become ever-important factors playing into purchase choice.
Thu, 12 Sep 2013 09:31:00 EST
To help out, Edmunds has done us the favor of assembling a list of the best used vehicles money can buy, covering model years 2006-2011, according to what it considers the most important criteria when shopping for used autos: reliability, safety, value and availability. That means unreliable, unsafe, super-expensive or limited-edition models don't appear on the list, but instead cars from each segment that are more likely to satisfy the general population.
There are some real goodies on the list, including but not limited to vehicles such as the capable Honda Fit, the cultish Honda Accord coupe (which can be had with a 240-horsepower V6 and a six-speed manual transmission some years), and the powerful Chevrolet Corvette. While Edmunds' choice of the Volvo C70 for best used convertible baffled us at first (not that it's a bad car), it redeemed itself by stating that the Mazda MX-5 still is an unofficial top choice if you don't require more than two seats.
Judging by how long we waited to get a clear shot of the Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid, you'd have thought hybrid cars were only driven by Terminators and that the technology arrived only 48 hours ago through a wormhole in the Mercedes stand. The newest member of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class hybrid band - joining the S400 Hybrid and S350 BlueTEC Hybrid, it hits notes like a 5.5-second sprint from standstill to 62 miles per hour, up to 19 miles of ion-powered running and uses three liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers in Europe (78.41 mpg US, but our mpg test cycle is different than their mpg test cycle).
Tue, 10 Sep 2013 18:02:00 EST
The lump up front is a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6, the lump in back - note the reduction in trunk space - is a pack of lithium-ion batteries that juice an 80-kilowatt electric motor. Other than having four drive options for controlling electric drive and battery usage, it's all S-Class all the time, with leather-covered everything and those mountainous thrones that bring to mind words like "Archduke" and "Papal."
You'll find our hard-earned gallery from the Frankfurt Motor Show floor above, and more words of information in the press release below.
Mercedes-Benz trotted out its CLA45 AMG-based racer at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. We first showed you the sedan in the deluge of news and reveals that precedes most good auto shows, and were blown away by the car, formally known as the CLA45 AMG Racing Series.
Mon, 09 Sep 2013 15:00:00 EST
We were strolling by the Mercedes stand, and figured we'd pop in and take a look at the new racer and its carbon-fiber body panels, gutted interior, and race-sourced aero parts. It's a looker, both as a road car and a track weapon. It's not clear what series the CLA45 AMG will qualify for, although it does seem like a shoe-in for the World Touring Car Championship. Let us know what you think of the CLA racer down in the comments. In the meantime, we've got a full gallery of live images up top, along with the stock images that were posted last week on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page.
The massively overhauled 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will start at $92,900, not including a $925 destination fee, when it arrives at US dealers in October. That's a 2.8-percent drop over the 2013 S-Class, although Mercedes is fast to point out that a drop in price doesn't equate with a drop in equipment for the executive sedan.
Wed, 28 Aug 2013 09:29:00 EST
Besides an extra 20 horsepower from the 4.6-liter, biturbocharged V8, the S550 sports a standard panoramic sunroof, keyless start, a rear-view camera and LED headlights, taillights and interior lights. Adding the German manufacturer's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system bumps the S550's price up to $95,900.
If the S550 doesn't quite cut the mustard, you can wait until November, at which point Mercedes will quite happily sell you the new S63 AMG 4Matic for $139,500. Power is also up on the S63, from a max of 563 ponies with an AMG Performance Package to 577 horsepower as standard on the 2014 model.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing a major product offensive to counteract lagging sales in the Chinese market, aiming 20 new or updated models at the People's Republic in the next two years, according to a report by Reuters. The plan is part of MB's so-called 2020 Initiative, which will see the Stuttgart-based manufacturer dump 2 billion Euros ($2.67 billion) into its Chinese market vehicles in a bid to boost sales to 300,000 units by 2015.
Mon, 19 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST
Were it to succeed, China would become the largest market for the Silver Arrow, outpacing Germany and the United States. Leading the charge will be the redesigned E-Class, which is set to launch in China this week. That will quickly be followed by the S-Class, and eventually by the GLA-Class in 2014.
Mercedes has struggled in China, especially relative to its German competition, BMW and Audi. Where Mercedes saw a mere four-percent increase in 2012 sales to 206,150 units, Audi was up a staggering 32 percent, while BMW's numbers jumped 41 percent. While some voices, according to Reuters, accuse Munich and Ingolstadt of boosting their numbers through hefty incentives, the fact remains that Mercedes was just walloped by its competitors last year.
LA To The Grand Canyon In The Mercedes-Benz Of RVs
Piloting an 8,500-pound motorized house down the highway is far from my idea of fun, yet inexplicably, I'm enjoying myself. My grin has nothing to do with my camper's handling, as this heavily accoutered Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives like a 25-foot long breadbox. My smile has nothing to do with on-road stability, as the ten-foot-tall, slab-sided vehicle reacts to wind gusts like the vertical stabilizer on a Boeing jet. My delight has nothing to do with its throttle or braking response, either, as both are as numb as your forehead after the eighth beer.
This monstrosity makes me happy for one reason - my passengers are undeniably having a good time.