CLA250 EDITON 1. YELLOW SPORT RACING DOWN MIDDLE OF CAR.
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Auto blogWed, 16 Jan 2013 19:34:00 EST
After an argument with his adoptive parents that resulted in them taking away his mobile phone, an angry 13-year-old boy ran away from his home in Italy and headed straight to Poland to meet his biological sister. But instead of taking the train or hitching a ride, like most on the run, the young man (an accomplished go-kart racer and car enthusiast) grabbed the keys to his father's Mercedes-Benz and jumped behind the wheel for an impromptu road trip.
With less than 200 euros (about $270) in his wallet and a passport in his pocket, the youngster managed to put more than 500 miles between himself and his distraught parents, crossing two international borders in the process, before German police nabbed him just shy of the Polish border. According to reports, the vehicle was tracked - it wasn't his driving that alerted authorities to his location.
Reunited with his mother and father, who traveled to Germany to retrieve both their son and the vehicle, the young man apologized and acknowledged his error. As a result of his actions, social workers will increase checks on the family and we can be sure his parents are now hiding the keys.
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.
There appear to be two takes on Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche having his contract extended for three more years, to 2016. A report in The Detroit News quotes the chairman of Daimler's supervisory board, Manfred Bischoff, talking up the stability at the top, "With today's extensions of the contracts of Dieter Zetsche and Thomas Weber, we are maintaining the important continuity at the top executive level." Bischoff also stated that that Zetsche has a plan to "further enhance Daimler's overall performance."
Over at Reuters, though, the three-year extension was seen as a lack of complete confidence in Zetsche's plans, since his contract was supposedly meant to be extended by five years. A spokesman said the board decided to extend executive contracts by only three years if the person was 60 or would turn 60 during the contract, but that was news to observers. Zetsche wants to make Mercedes-Benz the top selling luxury manufacturer globally by 2020, but has fallen to third place behind Audi and BMW. It hasn't held the top spot 2005, and investors judged it valued at half that of BMW at the end of 2012 once Daimler's truck business was subtracted.
Analysts cites the fact that Daimler stock hasn't bested its rivals but twice in twelve years, and that the company revised its profit target downward last year by nearly one billion euros, warning of stagnant earnings this year and will miss its original margin target for 2013.