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Auto blogWed, 06 Mar 2013 12:00:00 EST
Mercedes Makes A Mighty Little Sedan
We got overexcited when the W203 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan came out in 2001, calling it the "Baby Benz" when it really wasn't. We knew that, too, but our enthusiasm for a model more like the old 190 of the '80s was so strong that we were willing to stretch the first-gen C-Class to fit that mold. Today, the C-Class has done what all German premium cars do: grown in size. In this case, grown to satisfy the market intentions of the previous E-Class.
There was the tall A-Class sold from 1998 through 2010, but we never considered that a serious small Benz in the proper spirit, nor was it ever offered in the US. Regardless, we've been craving a smaller, premium, sexy sedan all the while.
Take the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell, stretch it and take off the wheels then make it float and you've basically got the just-unveiled Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept. Powered by an all-electric powertrain that offers 2,200 horsepower and 2,213 pound-feet of torque (and uses "numerous components" taken from the not-quite-as-yellow SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive), the sleek concept is being called the "world's most powerful electric drive powerboat." What that means is a top speed of over 100 miles per hour from four 60-kWh lithium-ion batteries and two banks of six liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors. And the 240 kWh of total energy should provide plenty of juice out on the water.
Launched (but not literally) at the Miami International Boat Show today, the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept is the result of a partnership between Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing. The boat is 38 feet long (much longer than the 15-foot SLS) and is plastered with AMG branding on the sides and top of the bow above the matte chrome yellow paint (officially called AMG Electricbeam mango). Two 220-kW chargers can refill the batteries, dockside, in about seven hours.
The idea of a powerful electric boat is nothing new (Henrik Fisker talked about a plug-in hybrid watercraft late last year), but this is the first time we've seen Mercedes put its EV technology on the water. Anyone who's afraid of driving an EV in the rain should take note. Check out the complete press release below.
With the redesigned 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class getting closer to production, the camera-wielding crew over at Autospies somehow managed to get inside of the car to snap some detailed spy shots. As the prototypes continue to shed camouflage, it would appear that Mercedes-Benz is getting closer to unveiling the car, and with the Geneva and New York auto shows coming up, it could be sooner rather than later.
From what we can see of this car's interior, the overall look of the S-Class' cabin isn't a ground-breaking departure from the current car, but it has been completely redesigned with more advanced technology. The styling is now even more upscale with larger swaths of wood, more shapely door panels (without the built-in armrest cubbies) and the concept-like two-spoke steering wheel. The highlight of this car though is probably the two massive digital screens with one being used for driver information and the other used for navigation, audio and infotainment systems. One other detail we noticed about this car is that it was equipped with the new 360-degree camera that debuted on the new GL-Class and will also be used on the 2014 E-Class. We also know that the next-gen S-Class will be getting the new cloud-based MBrace2 infotainment system.
As for the exterior design, it looks like the next S-Class will carry a similar profile as the current car, but we can see through the camouflage that the new styling will fit in better with current Mercedes-Benz products. Up front, the grille is much larger is flanked by aggressive LED-trimmed headlights, while the rear view of the car shows us the LED brake light now at the top of the rear window, a more pointed trunk opening and a more squared-off rear fascia with exhaust outlets pushed to the corners.