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Mercedes-Benz Taps AM General to Build R-Class SUV

Alabama plant runs out of production capacity.

by on Jan.28, 2015

Mercedes-Benz is shifting R-Class production to AM General's plant in northern Indiana.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s problem is AM General LLC’s gain. The German automaker is out of manufacturing space at its Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plant so it’s tapping AM General to build the R-Class Grand Tourer at its plant in northern Indiana not far from Chicago.

Mercedes-Benz said booming sales have forced it to reorganize production of its sport utility vehicles and it plans to expand production capacity in the U.S. by utilizing the AM General plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, just outside of South Bend.

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The Mishawaka plant will join the production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, freeing up capacities at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which will then be used for the M-Class, the GL-Class and the new GLE Coupe due this summer. (more…)

Mercedes Add Second Plug-In Hybrid to Line-Up

New C350 hybrid combines fuel efficiency with performance.

by on Jan.12, 2015

The C350 can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 130 mph.

As gas prices in the U.S. continue to plummet, Mercedes optimistically debuted its newest plug-in hybrid, the C350, at the Detroit Auto Show.

The German maker’s newest hybrid, following the C300 BlueTEC hybrid in the C-Class, comes as most U.S. automakers are enjoying a sales resurgence of large trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

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However, Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG chairman, noted that there is an other advantage the new hybrid enjoys: it’s fast. The Sedan can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 130 mph and boasts sports-car like handling. (more…)

Mercedes Juices Up GLEs with AMG Variants

GLE 450 and GLE63 get performance upgrades.

by on Jan.11, 2015

The the GLE63 S Coupe, which is powered by an AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo laying down 577 hp.

As Mercedes continues to revamp what it calls the vehicles in its line-up, there are still three letters that always garner attention: AMG.

The German automaker is amping up the power on the new 2016 GLE 450 4Matic Coupe by offering it in an AMG Sport variant. The AMG Sport version of the GLE 450 Coupe sports a 3.0-liter V6 engine putting out 362 horsepower and 384 ft-lb of torque managed by a nine-speed transmission.

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“The GLE 450 AMG Coupe is our first sports model, and further highly emotional and performance-oriented models will follow in the near future,” said Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG, in a statement. (more…)

Mercedes Reveals Far-Reaching Autonomous Concept

First look: Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion.

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion Concept attempts to redefine the future of transportation.

Looking more like something that’s rolled off the set of a science fiction film than anything on the road today, the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car is intended to give us a glimpse of a very different future.

Powered by a pair of electric motors, the autonomous prototype making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is designed to show how tomorrow’s cars could be cleaner, safer – and transform themselves into living rooms on wheels.

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Measuring just an inch shorter than today’s Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and riding on a platform with a wheelbase nearly as long as a full-size pickup, the bubble-shaped F 015 is intended to be a “forerunner of a mobility revolution,” the maker suggests.


Cars Driving the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

From Auto Park systems to brain wave monitors, auto-mobile is the next big thing at the 2015 CES Show.

by on Jan.05, 2015

Mercedes offers a tease of the concept car it will introduce at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

When Mercedes-Benz unveils its new autonomous vehicle concept car this month it will skip the big Detroit Auto Show, turning instead to Las Vegas for the debut.

Like a number of its rivals, the German maker is planning a big presence at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. The largest annual event in Sin City, CES is typically a venue populated by TV, smartphone, computer and electronic gadget makers. But it has also become a major staging ground for the auto industry.

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“The last three years have really accelerated the role” of the automobile at the electronics show, notes Egil Juliussen, the director of research for the automotive technology group at think tank IHS. It’s because technology is becoming more and important in the car, he adds, noting “people want to use all of their mobile electronics in their cars.”


Mercedes Sets $167,000 Price for New Maybach S500

First sedans set to go on sale in February.

by on Dec.15, 2014

The new Mercedes-Maybach S600 will likely start at over $200,000 when it reaches the US.

The new flagship Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will go on sale next February at a starting price of 134,053.50 Euros, the German maker says, or the equivalent of $166,700 at current exchange rates.

That’s for the “base” Mercedes-Maybach S500, with the 12-cylinder S600 model commanding 187,841.50, or about $234,000. To put that into perspective, a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG sedan goes for $142,375.

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On the other hand, the two new ultra-lux models might be considered a veritable bargain compared to the original sedans offered when Maybach operated as a true, standalone brand. U.S. buyers pay around $340,000 for the M57, and $430,000 for the M62 S, with the Maybach Landaulet semi-convertible demanding a stiff $1 million.


First Look: Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

From concept to coupe.

by on Dec.09, 2014

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

Picking up on the design theme first revealed in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe, the Teutonic automaker is giving us a first official look at the all-new GLE Coupe it will introduce at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news in recent weeks, Mercedes has decided to confuse – er, clarify – things by restructuring its model nomenclature, a move that primarily impacts its coupe and SUV models. So, GLE is a new name for the old M-Class. And, for 2016, the familiar four-door will now be joined by a coupe.

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Well, make that a coupe-like SUV, the GLE Coupe adopting the sort of rounded roof line we’ve been seeing on recent BMW models such as the X6 while maintaining the convenience of keeping those rear doors. The overall look is more of a tall wagon than a traditional SUV.


Mercedes Hints at Driverless Car Interiors

CEO Zetsche will unveil autonomous concept at CES next month.

by on Dec.08, 2014

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche plans to unveil an autonomous concept at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas, but the maker released a few drawings in advance.

The race to put the first fully autonomous vehicle on the road is heating up. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG CEO, plans to unveil a Mercedes concept car loaded with the technology is hopes to use for its vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz released a few drawings of the interior of this vehicle, which allows the front seats to swivel around to face the back seat, allowing all of the occupants to engage in conversation. There’s even a small table in the center of the cabin that could act as a small coffee table.

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Zetsche will be the keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas, which is when he’ll show off this new concept. (more…)

Recalls Aside, Automobiles Becoming Safer than Ever

An era of zero fatalities may be within reach.

by on Dec.03, 2014

Volvo's new AstaZero safety proving grounds. The maker wants to see zero deaths in its vehicles.

With a record 54 million vehicles facing recall — and nearly another month to go before the books are closed on 2014 — it’s no surprise American automakers and auto buyers alike have been focused on safety this year.

But despite all the lapses that have seen dozens of deaths from faulty airbags and flawed ignition switches, there’s another side to the story: cars are safer than ever. U.S. highway fatalities are now about 40 percent down from their 1970s peak, even though there are more cars on the road logging more mileage.

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“I don’t think we’ve ever seen vehicle safety reach this level before,” contends Raj Nair, global product development director for Ford Motor Co.

The latest vehicles are not only better-equipped to survive crashes but also to avoid them altogether. That’s led several automakers, including both Nissan and Volvo, to declare that they hope to see no deaths occur in the new vehicles they bring to market by the beginning of the next decade.


Mercedes Launching More Affordable AMG Sport Line

New performance models will offer AWD as standard feature.

by on Dec.01, 2014

The first two AMG Sport models are set to make their debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

It will cost you a modest $29,900 to slip inside the popular Mercedes-Benz CLA, the maker’s entry-level sedan. But should you want to pump up the power and performance, expect to push that price tag up to $47,450 for the AMG-badged CLA45.

But as part of its bid to double sales over the next few years, the German maker is launching an all-new line of performance models that will slot between the “base” Mercedes family and the top-end performance division. To be called AMG Sport, we’ll get a first look at two new models when the Detroit Auto Show rolls into town a little more than a month from now.

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“The new Sport models represent a convincing proposition for our customers: genuine sports car technology becomes accessible, appealing to an even broader-ranging clientele worldwide,” explains Tobias Moers, chairman of the Mercedes-AMG management board. “In the next three years we aim to more than double our total sales for 2013.”