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SRT Viper dukes it out with Mercedes SLS Black Series in new Head 2 Head

Fri, 05 Jul 2013 19:58:00 EST

In Episode 36 of Motor Trend's Head 2 Head, now that the Corvette ZR1 is no more, Jonny Lieberman has to look overseas to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series for a challenger with similar philosophy to the SRT Viper: long hood hiding a high-horsepower engine set way back, rear-wheel drive, tiny trunks. That puts the Viper's 8.4-liter V10 with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque against the SLS AMG's 6.2-liter V8 with 622 hp and 468 lb-ft.
However, the congruences in philosophy and magnitude of numbers doesn't translate to the driving experiences of the two, which are literally and figuratively on different continents. Lieberman gets a handle on the two of them on Northern California roads, Randy Probst then finds out how, and how quickly, they can lap Laguna Seca.
They both get kudos for being improvements on their original sources, but only one of them can take the win. You can find out by watching the video below.

Watch Schumacher's hot lap of N"urburgring in Mercedes F1 car

Fri, 31 May 2013 16:58:00 EST

In advance of the Nürburgring 24-hour race last weekend, Mercedes-Benz put on a demonstration that had Michael Schumacher playing catch-up in a Formula One car against four examples of AMG metal. There were four cars sent off in staggered starts before Schumacher: an A45 AMG, E63 AMG 4Matic, SLS AMG Black Series, and an SLS AMG GT3 car. "Mr. Formula One," as the German television commentators call him, left three minutes after the SLS AMG GT3.
There are two videos of Schumacher's lap, the first is on-board footage - and even though there were several GoPros on the car the POV never cuts away from the front wing. You can hear the throttle and tell he's not pushing it, you can also tell how bumpy the track is. The second video is footage from the German Sport1 channel - with commentary in German - that shows all the cars taking off and takes the aerial view of proceedings. He looks to be going a lot faster in that one. You can compare and contrast yourself with the videos below.
Oh, and it's worth noting that, even with the likely restricted car, and the made-for-TV environment, Schumi turned in a quick lap. The nose camera shows the F1 car start to slow down on the back straight, near the start/finish line, right around the modern-length track record time of six minutes and eleven seconds.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class revealed again in 1:18 scale

Fri, 10 May 2013 15:46:00 EST

There is plenty to look forward to when it comes to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it could end up being a fairly anticlimactic reveal thanks to fully exposed spy shots, a leaked press photo and now images of a diecast version of the luxury sedan. Autoweek.nl has images showing a highly detailed 1:18 scale model of the redesigned S-Class that matches up with everything we've seen so far.
This isn't the first time a model car spoiled a new vehicle's reveal, as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and 2013 SRT Viper were both unceremoniously revealed in toy form first. World Car Fans is reporting that the car 2014 S-Class will be officially unveiled on May 15, but at this point, all that's left to wonder about is the official on-sale date and what will be under the hood.

Mercedes-Benz releases US-spec 2014 Sprinter details

Mon, 06 May 2013 18:26:00 EST

Last week, Mercedes-Benz released the details for the updated 2013 Sprinter intended for global markets, but this week it has announced what changes are being made to the US-spec version of the van for the 2014 model year, including the Freightliner model. As expected, most of the changes made to the European model will be present on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when it goes on sale in the US, which is expected to be this fall.
The biggest difference between the Sprinter announced last week and the one headed to our shores is what is found under the hood. While European Sprinters will come with diesel engines and offer the availability of a supercharged four-cylinder gasoline or CNG engine, US Sprinters will still offer the 3.0-liter V6 BlueTEC diesel. This year's Sprinter now comes standard with a new base engine, the 2.1-liter four-cylinder BlueTEC diesel. This smaller engine will produce 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, and will be paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission; the optional 3.0 V6 puts out 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and will be mated to a six-speed auto.
Fuel economy for the new Sprinter has not been announced, but Mercedes-Benz has made numerous changes with the goal of improving efficiency. To this end you'll find a new, low-friction rear axle and the optimization for the generator, fuel pump and power steering pump.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec gets 33 mpg, priced from $38,950*

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:30:00 EST

It's been more than a year since we first saw the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 Bluetec unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show, but it looks like the compact diesel crossover is finally starting to roll into dealerships. Those wanting to buy a diesel GLK will only have to pony up an extra $1,500 over a base, gas-powered GLK350, as the GLK250's starting price is listed at $38,590 (*not including $905 destination charge).
The turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel produces 200 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and Mercedes-Benz has also provided some fuel economy numbers for this model, with claimed EPA estimates of 24 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway. There is no listing for the GLK250 on the EPA's website yet, but the figures represent significant increase over the GLK350's lackluster 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway figures, which are for the rear-wheel drive model. The GLK250 comes standard with the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system - a $2,000 option on GLK350 - meaning that if you want an all-wheel-drive version of the 2013 GLK, it's actually cheaper to opt for the diesel model. Head over to the Mercedes-Benz site for the full 2013 GLK-Class configurator.

Mercedes Sprinter updated to take on Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:00:00 EST

By the end of this year, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be the second-oldest nameplate in its segment here in the States, but with hot new competition waiting in the wings, Mercedes-Benz is giving its hauler a freshened look and more equipment to stave off rivals. The Sprinter was a pioneer in bringing Euro-style delivery vans to North America, and it's inspired others to transplant their Continental offerings, with the all-new Ford Transit and Ram Promaster models launching shortly. It will also continue to do battle with lower-cost traditional competitors like the Chevrolet Express and Ford E-Series.
The big Sprinter will thus get a new look to go with more safety features and available technology. While the information released here technically covers the Euro-spec 2013 Sprinter (which goes on sale in September), the US market is expected to get the new Sprinter for the 2014 model year with many of the same features. Some of this new technology includes a Crosswind Assist feature as standard equipment and the availability of Collision Prevention Assist and Blind Spot Assist as optional safety measures - Mercedes-Benz says that all three are firsts for any van in the world. Also added to the updated Sprinter is a new 1.8-liter supercharged gasoline (or CNG) engine producing 156 horsepower, which will complement the line of diesel engines that carry over and help make the Sprinter the first cargo van to meet the upcoming Euro VI emissions standards. Additionally, a lower ride height is said to improve fuel economy and should improve handling while aiding ingress and egress for both people and cargo.
In terms of styling, the Sprinter's new face also looks more like the current line of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. This includes a more upright grille along with changes to the hood, headlights and bumper that lend it a closer kinship to models like the CLS-Class and the updated E-Class. The Sprinter will offer both halogen and HID headlights, while the latter will get LED running lamps and offer Highbeam Assist. The images shown here only reveal the exterior from front angles, but it looks like few, if any, changes have been made to the rear of the van. Interior upgrades include a thicker steering wheel, a new shift lever and the latest in audio, navigation and entertainment systems. Scroll down for the official press release for the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Boston bombers were tracked using Mercedes mbrace [w/video]

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:15:00 EST

We now know Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two brothers said to be behind the Boston Marathon bombings, planned to head for New York City to detonate more improvised explosive devices. As it turns out, that plan was foiled by the quick thinking of one Mercedes-Benz owner, diligent police work and the Mercedes-Benz mbrace system. When the brothers carjacked a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur identified only as "Danny," they didn't realize his Mercedes-Benz M-Class was equipped with the mbrace system, which can call for help in the event of an accident or track the vehicle in the event of a theft.
According to reports, the Tsarnaev brothers held Danny hostage for nearly 90 minutes while they drove around Boston forming a plan until they had to stop for fuel. When one of the brothers went inside to pay, the other put his gun down for a moment. Danny took the opportunity to unlatch his seat belt, open the door and run to another nearby gas station, where he told the owner to call the police.
When police arrived, they used the mbrace system to track the SUV after receiving Danny's permission, and it wasn't long before a shootout between police and the brothers ensued. When it was over, the eldest brother lay dead in the street. For more on the story, view the video report available below.

New Mercedes Unimog debuts to the cheers of little boys everywhere [w/video]

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 17:01:00 EST

The Mercedes Unimog, the superhero villain of the off-road world that's just waiting to make the jump to Transformer, has been completely upgraded for its new generation. There are ten models, expanding the range and getting new designations across the traditional all-terrain series and the implement-carrier series. Panoramic cabins get more visibility, multifunction steering wheels and better dash clusters, improved HVAC and a three-mode central tire inflation system. Outside, there are new items like LED headlights and daytime running lamps in the bumper, roof-mounted windshield wipers and a front-camera monitor for the implement carrier.
The new engine lineup is compliant with Euro VI, featuring four- and six-cylinder BlueEfficiency engines putting out anywhere from 156 horsepower to 354 hp. Powerplant placement has also been tweaked, the chassis members getting a revised curve to place the engine a bit further back and lower, maintaining off-road clearance and lowering the Unimog's center of gravity. The new location of the engine means the cabin has more room, and the wheelbase is shorter. Combined with a higher turning angle, the Unimog has a smaller turning radius than before.
The implement carrier gets what's called a "synergistic traveling drive," the bonus being that drivers don't need to stop in order to use an attachment - a hydrostatic transmission works with the regular manual transmission at up to 31 kilometers per hour for seamless switching.

Mercedes-Benz intros long-wheelbase E-Class for China

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:30:00 EST

Long-wheelbase sedans are a pretty hot commodity in China, and to keep up with the competition, Mercedes-Benz has introduced an extended version of the 2014 E-Class sedan at the Shanghai Motor Show. Audi, BMW, Volvo and even Cadillac offer extended versions of sedans specific to the Chinese market, and now the E-Class L, shown off in E400L guise, will give luxury sedan buyers in China yet another option.
Compared to the standard 2014 E-Class sedan, the new China-spec E-Class L has been stretched by 5.5 inches - all of which goes to the rear-seat passengers. According to an article on China View from earlier in the year, the market for chauffeur-driven cars is growing in the Asian nation, so automakers need long-wheelbase models like the E-Class L in order to fully compete. As for what powers this stretched E-Class, it's available in three models: the diesel E260L, the V6-powered E300L and the E400 Hybrid.
The redesigned E-Class and the all-new A-Class are just the first of 20 new Mercedes-Benz products that will be introduced into the Chinese auto market by 2015. Scroll down for the full press release on long-wheelbase E.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept gets mobbed in China

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 02:59:00 EST

If the reception it received at the Shanghai Motor Show is any judge of marketplace acceptance, Mercedes-Benz has a hit on its hands in the form of the GLA Concept. And we can understand why - we're quickly becoming fans of Mercedes' recent styling language, as defined by new models like the CLA and this GLA Concept.
The big news on the exterior front are the headlamp clusters, which have frickin' laser beams attached to their foreheads embedded inside that are capable of projecting videos and images on a screen. Plus, a pair of video cameras are mounted on the roof that can be used to capture driving excitement or removed and taken with you. How cool is that? We just hope they have a substantial locking mechanism to prevent would-be thievery...
If the exterior is mostly ready for production, with a few of the more outlandish elements moved to the trash bin - like, for instance, laser-beam headlamps and removable action cams - the interior is a true custom job that screams concept loud and clear. There are all kinds of jewel-like finishes inside, along with transparent surfaces showing what looks like metal latticework underneath and some awfully thick looking leather with massive exterior stitching done by hand similar to what you'd find on a baseball glove.