Posts

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS: finally, the S-Class of SUVs

01 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLS is built from the ground up to take genuine S-Class luxury into the SUV sector. It has debuted at the 2019 New York Auto Show

The most luxurious Mercedes-Benz SUV ever

02 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

The clue is in the name: the new Mercedes-Benz GLS, revealed at the 2019 New York Auto Show, aims to take S-Class luxury and refinement into the large SUV segment. It’s a market currently defined by the Range Rover, and challenged by the new BMW X7.

Range Rover rival

03 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

One thing is for certain: the GLS is a damn sight prettier than the brutish BMW. Whether it is as luxurious as the Range Rover remains to be seen. But Mercedes-Benz has been nothing if not exhaustive in its efforts to justify that ‘S-Class of SUVs’ tag.

Bigger than ever

04 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

It replaces a car derived from a model belonging to the class below – and that showed. This one also shares parts with other Mercedes, but it’s far less obvious. The fact it’s even larger than before – 77mm (3 inches) longer, 22mm (0.9 inches) wider and with a 60mm (2.4 inch) longer wheelbase – aims to underline its status as the firm’s topmost SUV. The old one was hardly small. This one is now 17 feet long and 6 feet 4 inches wide…

Impersonating a van

05 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

There is more space for those in the middle row of seats, comfier accommodation in the third row and, if you fold all the seats down (at the press of a single button), a 2,400-litre luggage compartment. That’s on par with vans, and way in excess of any estate car. Mercedes-Benz is even offering a six-seat version alongside the regular seven-seater, with middle-row chairs almost as decadent as those in the front.

A tall story

06 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Every seat is electric, seat-heaters extend to the third row and the sixth and seventh seats are ‘fully fledged’ chairs good for people over 6 feet 3 inches tall. Third-row passengers also get USB charging ports and Mercedes-Benz is offering five-zone climate control. So there need never be any argument that it’s too hot or cold, no matter how many people are on board.  

An aero SUV

07 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

The design follows the Mercedes-Benz ‘Sensual Purity’ idiom: sculpted surfaces replace individual edges and beading. The aerodynamic drag factor bears this out: a Cd of 0.32 is superb for this segment, despite the upright radiator grille and chrome-plated front underguard. Being so slippery also helps reduce wind noise at speed.

112 LEDs per headlight

08 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

The GLS’ lights are its jewellery. Multibeam LED headlights are standard; each side packs a staggering 112 LEDs and is as bright as legally permissible. Only beyond 0.4 miles’ distance does the brightness dip below the 1 lux reference value. By day, three LED running light segments mimic the S-Class sedan.

3D LED

09 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Mercedes-Benz is pleased with the muscular shoulder line on the GLS, which extends from the rear doors into the tail lights. These are two-piece LED units with a 3D look. The mandatory reflectors are located lower down, so the tail lamps can be flatter and more sculptural. Like an expensive piece of jewellery, they are surrounded by a thin chrome strip.

S-Class on steroids

10 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Inside, it’s amazing. Leather-lined and tech-packed, the GLS is like an S-Class on steroids, with a similarly breathtaking appearance (and, at night, ambient light show). Up front, it’s all built around the MBUX infotainment system, with twin 12.3-inch high-res screens, but the detailing is just as noteworthy – from the raised centre console to the chunky SUV-style grab handles.

High-tech rear

11 Mercedes-Benz NYIAS

It’s high-tech in the rear, too. Order the Rear Comfort Plus Package and a 7-inch Android tablet linked to MBUX is included, with its own docking station in the middle-row armrest. Use it to control radio, TV, media, telephone and a web browser, and also the rear seats themselves and every zone of the climate control system. You’ll also find second-row wireless smartphone charging and a plethora of USB ports.

Club-class entertainment

12 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Want to spoil those in the back? They already have ‘luxury’ head restraints with additional cushions, but they can also have lumbar massage, climate-controlled seats and a further-upgraded MBUX Rear Seat Entertainment System. This has dual 11.6-inch touchscreens that link to the smartphones of each person in the back.

Yes, there are diesel engines

13 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Diesel engines comprise the six-cylinder 286 horsepower GLS 350d 4Matic and the 330 horsepower GLS 400d 4Matic. Markets outside of the EU will get a GLS 450 4Matic, with a 367 horsepower six-cylinder gasoline engine boosted by 48V mild hybrid tech.

Gasoline great

14 Mercedes-Benz NYIAS

The most interesting model is the GLS 580 4Matic. This arrives shortly after market launch. Another gasoline motor, it produces 489 horsepower from a beefy V8, again boosted by a 48V system. All GLS have a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic, and off-road fans can option a transfer case for a low-range gearset.

Intelligent suspension

15 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Airmatic air suspension is standard. E-Active Body Control, a 48-volt active anti-roll system is optional to help keep passengers settled and comfortable. It’s the world’s only tech that individually controls springs and dampers at each corner. ‘The world’s most intelligent SUV suspension’ scans the road for bumps and even ‘leans into corners’, like a motorcycle, to counteract roll. It has a similarly extensive repertoire of tricks off-road, too.

Engage Carwash mode

16 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

Oh, and check this: there is an official ‘Carwash function’. Select this and the suspension jacks up to the highest position, which means the carwash can blast out any dirt underneath the wheelarches from off-roading. It also folds in the door mirrors, deactivates the rain sensor, switches the climate control to air recirculation and turns on the 360-degree front camera to help the driver guide the GLS in and out. It’s all automatically deactivated when your speed rises above 12 mph.

From GLA to GLS

17 Mercedes-Benz GLS NYIAS

The Mercedes-Benz SUV range now comprises, wait for it: GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and G-Class. More than five million have been sold since the first Merc SUV, the M-Class, was introduced in 1997.

‘S-Class of SUVs’

18 Mercedes-Benz NYIAS

“The new GLS is the S-Class of premium SUVs,” stated Daimler AG board member and Mercedes-Benz development boss Ola Kallenius. “It embodies luxury, confidence and intelligence like almost no other vehicle.”

Tough and elegant

19 Mercedes-Benz NYIAS

Board member for design, Gorden Wagener, reckons it combines the toughness of an SUV with the elegance of a luxury saloon. “The interior is a synthesis of modern, luxurious aesthetics, hallmark SUV practicality, and digital high-tech. In our view, the new GLS, therefore, offers the best of all these worlds.”

New Mercedes-Benz GLS: on sale July

20 Mercedes-Benz NYIAS

The new Mercedes-Benz GLS, which is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, goes on sale in the USA from July 2019, then from Q3 2019 in Europe. Prices will be announced nearer to its market launch.

Mercedes-Benz GLB concept previews ‘robust’ small SUV

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has revealed a GLB concept at Auto Shanghai, previewing a small crossover that complements the existing GLA with added ‘spaciousness and robustness’.

Like the larger G-Class and GLS, this is a sturdier, more upright SUV with a traditional boxy silhouette.

Small yet practical

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes is going for broke in terms of practicality, too. In spite of being based on the same platform as the diminutive A-Class hatchback, the GLB is purportedly a full seven-seater.

Think ‘Nissan Qashqai+2 in a posh German suit’, mainly thanks to a long wheelbase of 2,829 millimetres. The Easy-Entry system also makes getting in the back nice and, er, easy.

Properly rugged

Mercedes-Benz GLB

Even this, a glitzy motorshow concept, isn’t lumbered with big, concept-car wheels. Big knobbly off-road tyres on 17-inch wheels fill the bulbous arches of the GLB nicely and are indicative of Mercedes’ commitment to this car being capable.

Alloy skid plates and spotlights on top further emphasise the off-road attitude. Short overhangs make for minimal scrapes when traversing ups and downs.

It’s still a Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz

All this, and yet when you take a look inside, you’re greeted with the cabin of a modern Mercedes. That’s to say, a welcoming, well-equipped, exquisitely styled and high quality interior.

There’s still rugged style here, but it’s not gratuitous. Mercedes’ excellent new MBUX operating system also features.

Under the skin of the GLB

Mercedes-Benz GLB

Beneath the bonnet, there’s a 224hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It features honing and shaping technologies to increase power while reducing friction and fuel consumption.

The 4Matic four-wheel-drive system also had to feature on such an off-road-oriented car, didn’t it? Day-to-day, there’s an 80-20 front-rear power split. Put it in Sport and that changes to 70-30. In Off-Road mode, you get 50-50 front and rear.

Will Mercedes make the GLB?

Of course it will. SUVs are the car industry’s bread-and-butter at the moment, especially smaller more accessible models. Given the amount of work that’s gone into this concept, and how production-ready it looks, not to make it would seem an awful waste. Merc higher-ups would appear to agree.

“The Concept GLB is a durable and practical SUV with compact dimensions,” said Britta Seeger, responsible for Mercedes-Benz car sales.

“Whether it is a generous, seven-seater family vehicle or a versatile leisure time companion, we are certain that this concept will be of great interest to our customers.”

Mercedes-Benz GLB

We’re on board with this one, you might be surprised to read. Soft-edged crossovers aren’t our thing, but we’d never say no to a boxy off-roader with chunky tyres and a slabbed nose.

Will the GLB replace the Defender before the Land Rover does? Maybe not quite, but the off-road emphasis is refreshing. Mercedes sold 820,000 SUVs last year. Can the GLB help make that a million in 2020? We wouldn’t bet against it.

Maybach G650: you could own one of the craziest luxury cars ever

Maybach G650 Landaulet

There are luxury cars and there are luxury cars. At one extreme there’s a Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a diesel V6. At the other, there’s this. The G650 Maybach Landaulet – and we’ll take no arguments on this – is one of the most ridiculous luxury cars ever made.

Produced as a run-out special before the new G-Class arrived, the G650 Maybach is the ultimate manifestation of the mafia drug lord’s SUV of choice. It’s the car to be seen in if you want to be taken seriously as an international proprietor of Class A opiates.

It’s also the ultimate dictator’s hack. Because even if your palace is lined with gold, are you really a dictatorial warlord if you don’t have a G650 in the garage?

We joke of course, but just look at the thing. We’d like to see a more appropriate prop for the garage of a Bond villain.

What is the G650 Landaulet?

Maybach G650 Landaulet

One of just 99 made, the G650 Landaulet takes luxury and off-road pretence to equal extremes. The 22-inch wheels, enormous arches and jacked-up ride are borrowed from the ‘squared’ G-Class models, while the extended wheelbase and soft-top lend themselves to the luxurious Maybach side of the G650.

Inside, it’s business as usual, until you get in the back. There, you’ll find reclinable leather chairs, champagne flutes, comfort pillows and stunning in-car audio and entertainment systems. Oh yes, and a fabric roof that rolls back and drops down just behind you.

Under the bonnet, there’s Mercedes’ twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12, good for 630hp. Because what else has enough torque to get those incredible wheels spinning?

Can I buy this one?

Maybach G650 Landaulet

Yes Sir, you can. It’s available for the tidy sum of £799,000 from Nuremberg-based dealer Autovermietung Zitzmann. What do you get for that? Well, it’s only done 100 miles, so that’s a bonus. There are no bullet holes that we can detect and, as far as we’re aware, it hasn’t been seized by the Federal Government. Not things that would typically pop up on an online car check, but still…

No, a Maybach G-Class is never going to be subtle, but we’d go as far as to say that in context, this is quite a nicely specced car: no chrome wrap or 30-inch aftermarket wheels.

It’s very much more Saudi Sheikh than Kanye West, and we can appreciate that. So, if you fancy showing the Kardashians their G-Wagen game is weak, step right this way.

New Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake is a ‘sports car with load space’

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the sleek estate version of its CLA at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and it looks… pretty great.

Since when is a fanfare made for a new estate car anymore? They’re going the way of the Dodo what with the SUV onslaught, right? For Mercedes, however, the wagon is alive and well.

‘A sports car with load space’

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

The Shooting Brake version of the CLA continues the saloon’s ethos of minimal lines and bold shapes. Its swooping roofline is perhaps the boldest since the original CLS ‘four-door coupe’ debuted in 2004. 

There’s genuine muscularity about the CLA SB, without it looking overly aggressive. That styling is functional, too, with an impressive 0.26 drag coefficient.

Inside the 2019 CLA Shooting Brake

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

The cabin is almost a direct carryover from the saloon, and that’s no bad thing. Mercedes is on a roll at the moment with its excellent MBUX operating system. When you’re not looking at a screen, you’re looking at a cabin that could pass for something twice as expensive.

Mercedes is also very proud of the new Shooting Brake’s practical credentials. The boot opening is 236mm wider (at 871mm) than that of its predecessor. Boot capacity is improved by 10 litres, to 505 litres, while passengers gain head, leg, shoulder and elbow space.

Class-leading driver assistance and safety

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

The CLA Shooting Brake combines Distance Assist Distronic, Active Steer Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Park Assist, upgraded cameras and improved radar to be (almost) able to drive itself.

It can scan the road up to 500m ahead and ‘drive partially autonomously in certain situations’.

AMG versions coming soon

Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake

A familiar range of petrol and diesel engines will be available by the CLA Shooting Brake’s market launch in September 2019. Topping the range is the CLA 250, with a 225hp four-cylinder turbocharged unit, driving via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

What about the AMG versions? Well, you can expect a CLA 35 and CLA 45 to be along soon afterwards. The latter should boast well over 400hp.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA revealed at Las Vegas tech show

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLAIt’s not just new technology being revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year – Mercedes-Benz is unveiling its brand new CLA compact coupe. And don’t worry, gadget fans, it’s not wanting for on-board wizardry.

First, the car itself. Consider this the four-door coupe version of the acclaimed Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The previous one was popular; Mercedes-Benz sold 750,000 of them, mainly to people who’d never owned a Merc before. Those buyers are typically 10 years younger than the average Mercedes customer, too. The firm is targeting more of the same this time.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The fact the new CLA is even sportier than the original should help. It’s longer, wider and a bit lower-slung, and Mercedes has worked hard to make the rear end smoother-flowing and less awkward. It’s tried to give it the ‘long-nose’ look of a proper GT, which isn’t easy to achieve on a compact car, but the balance is better here than the original.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Inside, it has the same open-plan architecture as the A-Class, complete with freestanding dual widescreen displays. With extra emphasis on sportiness and jewel-like detailing, the wow-factor is upped even more. The CES crowds are going to love it.

Underneath, it’s all A-Class, albeit with a lower centre of gravity and wider tracks front and rear. The suspension is firmed up accordingly (electronically controlled adaptive suspension is optional) and we’re told it will be the sportiest of all Merc’s compact-class cars. Wheels? From 16 inches to 19 inches. Of course, you really need the 19s.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The engine is a four-cylinder turbo that puts out 225hp and drives the front wheels via a DCT automatic gearbox. More engines will filter through in due course. But engines are immaterial: the new Mercedes-Benz CLA is all about the tech.

Gesture control

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The dual screens are built around the new MBUX architecture, and the CLA introduces the next development of that, called MBUX Interior Assist. This introduces gesture control, but don’t worry – it’s a step beyond the rather rubbish systems we’ve seen from brands such as BMW up to know.

For starters, it works in both sunlight and darkness. Raise your hand towards the interior mirror and the reading lamp comes on, reach over to the passenger seat and the area is illuminated, turning off again when your hand moves away. It recognises which passenger is gesturing, too – so an animated passenger won’t inadvertently turn the stereo volume up.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

There are gesture control ‘favourites’ too. Spread index and middle finger in a v-shape over the centre console (flick it the v-sign?) and commands can be stored – such as, ‘navigate me home’. Again, driver and passenger can have their own favourite commands.

“We are now igniting the next level with an intelligent interior assistance system for the compact class,” said R&D chief Ola Kallenius. “By recognising gestures, it facilitates natural operation.

“Hey Mercedes” and avocados

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Voice control has also been developed. Part of the MBUX User Experience, saying “Hey Mercedes” now works on much more complex queries than the launch system on the A-Class.

You can, reckons Mercedes-Benz, say, “Which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby that are neither Chinese nor Japanese?” and it will find just the place for you. You can ask it sport questions, stock exchange questions (“How has the Apple share price performed compared to Microsoft?”), even get it to do calculations (“What is the square root of three?”).

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

If you’re really keen, ask Hey Mercedes general knowledge questions. It really can, if you want, tell you the fat content of avocados, or the size of Texas. Coming to America first, other markets will follow with this next-level functionality in due course.

Oh, and if you have passengers in the car, they don’t need to zip it when you’re talking to your Mercedes: the system has been trained to respond only to the commands of the person who last said “Hey Mercedes”.

Tech fest

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

What else? The so-called Mercedes-Benz ‘Energizing Coach’ connects to a Garmin wearable device and logs stats such as stress level, pulse rate or quality of sleep. It duly adjusts the air-con, seat massage, lighting and music to give a bespoke ‘wellness’ mood tailored to both an individual and a situation.

“The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys,” says Mercedes-Benz. Presumably, if a driver hasn’t had much sleep, the air con chills and blasts accordingly, to keep them sharp.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes-Benz is even launching a special Vivoactive 3 Garmin smartwatch at CES to link up with it.

After being shown at CES 2019, Mercedes-Benz will ship the new CLA to other auto shows in the build-up to its market launch in May. The firm says it “sets new benchmarks for the compact class”. It certainly packs in plenty of tech for the CES faithful to get their teeth into.

Read more:

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro

Nurburgring-ready Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro leads refreshed 2019 range

Mercedes-AMG has updated its GT sports car for 2019 and introduced a hardcore flagship – the Porsche-baiting AMG GT R Pro

Mercedes Instagram 1 billion likes

Mercedes-Benz now has over one billion Instagram likes

Mercedes’ 35 million Instagram follows have liked its content over one billion times, making it the most-liked Interbrand Best Global Brand

Lewis Hamilton art car tribute for sale

Artist spray-paints Mercedes as tribute to Lewis Hamilton

 

Lewis Hamilton art car tribute for saleWith this year’s F1 championship in the bag, Lewis Hamilton has joined the ranks of Grand Prix racing’s all-time greats. To celebrate this living legend, artist Paul Karslake has created a Hamilton-themed art car. The results are… interesting.

Being a tribute to Lewis, it had to be a Mercedes-Benz, right? What steed for art car duty, then? An AMG SL? Maybe an AMG GT? Not quite, although the 2002 CLK 500 selected does at least pack V8 power.

Lewis Hamilton art car tribute for sale

 

Paul’s masterstroke, if you will, is the livery. It’s designed to ape Hamilton’s 2018 Formula 1 car, complete with a detailed portrait of Lewis on the bonnet.

The scheme required a mixture of Paul’s hand-painting and airbrush skills. Six layers of clear lacquer followed, locking down the livery beneath a glossy finish.

The CLK itself is far from standard. It sits on uprated Bilstein suspension with Cosmis Racing wheels, has a raucous performance exhaust and a raft of outlandish aero accoutrements to ramp up the racing appeal.

“The addition of the full bodykit and a specially-designed rear spoiler before I started added nicely to the look I wanted to achieve,” said Paul.

“But there are also some serious tweaks hiding beneath the surface, and it’s a brilliant fun car to drive.”

Lewis Hamilton art car tribute for sale

The car will be going up for sale with Historics on Saturday, November 24th at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey. The estimated take? They’re expecting this ‘one-off masterpiece’ to go for between £20,000 and £25,000.

Would you add this unique tribute to Lewis Hamilton to your collection? Could it be worth a small fortune in 50 years time? Stranger things have happened.

Read more:

Mercedes Pram

Baby Benz: Mercedes will now sell you a pram

Introducing the Mercedes-Benz baby carriage Avantgarde. That’s right, Mercedes will now sell you a pram.

The company is teaming up with veteran German pram manufacturer Hartan, which has been building baby buggies since the 1950s. 

So, what distinguishes it as a Merc? Well, you’ll be hard-pressed to mistake it for anything else, thanks to the AMG-style five-spoke wheels. They are much smaller than the 18-inch fare on many Mercedes cars, but the style is a dead ringer for those available on certain specifications of C-Class.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With an aluminium frame and seat unit, the baby carriage Avantgarde is ‘characterised by a very low weight’ (13kg all-in). The ‘handling dynamics’ should be notable, too, given it comes with adjustable suspension and air-chamber tyres. It moves ‘effortlessly on any surface’, says Mercedes.

There are three colour specifications available. Dessin Sport combines black, anthracite, grey and silver with red seams and red piping on the hood. The Dolce Vita is beige, sand and brown with an ‘Arenisca’ carrier. Dessin Deep Sea blends anthracite and blue with a ‘Seaskin’ carrier. 

The Mercedes pram will be available from certain baby outlets from this month. Will you be buying the ‘Mercedes of baby carriages’ for your little one?

Read more:

Brabus Widester

Mob goals: Brabus Widestar G-Class defies physics (and taste?)

Brabus Widester

What could possibly make the all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class any better than it already is? Well, Brabus, famed Mercedes tuner, has an idea, mostly involving giving it 700 horsepower…

More power isn’t exactly the top of the list of changes we’d make but hey ho. Welcome to the Brabus 700 Widestar.

The standard G63 is already the Kardashian/mob boss/Middle East oil baron daily hack of choice, but the Widestar takes it to the next level. And where better to debut such an outlandish machine than in Monaco at the exotic 2018 Yacht Show?

The looks

You won’t need to even fire up your 700hp Brabus Widestar to get noticed. 100mm-wider wheelarches can harbour enormous 23-inch Monoblock “Platinum Edition” wheels if you so desire. Measly 20s come as standard.

Brabus badging all around the car lets everyone know this is no (ahem) pauper-spec AMG. Roof-mounted LEDs are perfect for lighting up the next sand dune to be conquered.

The cabin

It should come as no surprise that the sky is the limit when it comes to speccing out the cabin of your new Brabus Widestar. The finest leathers, Alcantara, carbon fibre highlights and wood are all available.

The car on display in Monaco features a literally tasty-sounding vanilla and black leather cabin, with orange piping and vanilla seams.

The power

The power was perhaps the easiest thing to eek out for the Brabus Widestar. The B40 700 package is already available for other models that come with the 4.0-litre V8.

The changes include a new control module and a new engine map that up the boost and fuel flow, as well as an optional sports exhaust to really make it sing. There’s even a subtle “Coming Home” exhaust mode; an uncharacteristic consideration of others who might not want to hear your booming 700hp V8 truck as you leave of a morning.

That said, neighbours aren’t something we imagine Brabus Widestar buyers are blighted by.

Read more: