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AMG, Maybach, Buoying Mercedes as it Takes Global Luxury Lead

Is an all-electric AMG in the cards?

by on Jan.16, 2017

The Mercedes-AMG GT R takes on winter's worst in the latest expansion of the Forza racing game.

Once rare, Daimler’s AMG division seems intent on turning out high-performance versions of just about every possible Mercedes-Benz model – sometimes two or more, as it demonstrated at the Detroit Auto Show with the launch of several new Mercedes-AMG GT variants.

The latest AMG models are not just faster than ever, they’re flying out of showrooms at a record pace, with little indication of any slowdown in sight as the brand that began in a German garage marks its 50th anniversary.

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AMG isn’t the only brand-within-a-brand success story for Daimler. If anything, however, Maybach may be an even bigger surprise, having come back from the dead just two years ago as the marque for Mercedes’ most exclusive models. The reincarnated brand is now selling more cars in China each month than it did worldwide in its previous life.

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Mercedes Takes Wraps off New GLA Line-up

German maker's new compact utes come at right time.

by on Jan.08, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA 45 is as fast as it looks, clocking 0-to-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.

The small sport-utility market is red hot these days, especially the luxury segment, making the timing of Mercedes-Benz North American debut of its newly redesigned GLA line-up in Detroit just about perfect.

Introduced in 2013, the GLA group gets an exterior makeover that gives it better aerodynamics and a sportier look, executives noted. The series comes in three versions: GLA 250, GLA 250 4Matic and the GLA45.

Out of the Box!

The GLA 250 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine putting out 208 horsepower and 258 ft-lb of torque. However, the GLA 45 also gets a 2.0-liter inline four with a turbo, but it’s handcrafted by the folks at AMG. The result? 375 hp and 350 ft-lb of torque. (more…)

Mercedes Takes Wraps off New E-Class Coupe

Maker shows off new two-door.

by on Dec.13, 2016

Mercedes-Benz new 2018 E-Class Coupe joins the rest of the E-Class family for next year.

A day before Mercedes-Benz was set to debut its new E-Class Coupe – and a day after a brochure about the new two-door was leaked – the German automaker is taking the new model out from hiding.

Much like has already been chronicled, the new E-Class Coupe isn’t a dramatic departure from its C- and S-Class coupe cousins with very similar styling language. It’s also clear it is a sibling to the already introduced E-Class sedan and wagon.

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“With its clear, aesthetic lines, our new E-Class Coupe appeals equally to the heart and mind. It combines contemporary luxury, agile sportiness and high-tech engineering into an automotive personality with spirit, offering exclusive, refined driving pleasure,” said Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, in a statement. (more…)

Mercedes Teases 2018 E-Class Coupe

Belgian website reveals details from leaked brochure.

by on Dec.12, 2016

Mercedes teased the debut of its new E-Class Coupe with a short video; however, a leaked version of a brochure may provide a better look.

If the teaser that Mercedes-Benz released today hyping the unveiling of the 2018 E-Class Coupe is any indication, it won’t be a dramatic departure from its C- and S-Class cousins.

Much like its aforementioned family members, the E-Class couple looks shorter than the four-door model, which isn’t really a surprise. The coupe is set to be unveiled on Dec. 14.

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The front of the E-Class isn’t a radical change from its predecessor and the interior shot makes it appear to look very similar to the other Benzes mentioned here. However, the rear gets a change from the last model to keep it more in line with the styling on the new C- and S-Class coupes. (more…)

Luxury SUVs Outselling Sedans for the First Time

Redefining luxury.

by on Dec.12, 2016

Mercedes' C-Class sedan was the top selling luxury sedan in the U.S. this year, and Mercedes was the top selling luxury brand.

Barring an unforeseen December setback, Mercedes-Benz will top the U.S. luxury market this year. And its C-Class will top the sedan sales chart, as well.

But that’s not the victory it might seem, at least when it comes to the C-Class. So far this year, SUVs, not sedans, have been dominating the American vehicle luxury market, the Lexus RX outselling the Mercedes C-Class by about 35%.

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“Low gas prices, changing consumer tastes and attractive new vehicles are creating the perfect environment for luxury SUV sales to grow,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis for research firm Edmunds. “Given that luxury brand loyalty rates are typically higher than for volume brands, this trend has the potential to affect this vehicle segment for years to come.” (more…)

Major Automakers Team Up on Ultra-Fast EV Charging Project

System could deliver 300+ miles range in 10 minutes.

by on Dec.01, 2016

A Level 4 charger could give a long-range vehicle a "fill-up" in 10 minutes or less.

Another barrier to electrification is about to fall, thanks to a new coalition pairing BMW, Daimler, Ford and the various Volkswagen AG brands.

The automakers have signed a preliminary agreement that would begin rolling out a network of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations across Europe – setting the stage for the adoption of similar Level 4 technology in the U.S., as well. The chargers will deliver 350 kilowatts of direct current, or roughly 2.5 times the jolt of the Superchargers Tesla is deploying across much of North America.

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The new system would leapfrog other Level 3 chargers just beginning to come online in many parts of the world. More importantly, they would allow a vehicle like the new, 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt (or the European version sold through Opel) to get a full charge in 10 minutes or less.

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Mercedes-Maybach S650: Luxury Al Fresco

Giving Bentley and Rolls-Royce a run for your money.

by on Nov.16, 2016

The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is described as the “ultimate in open-air exclusivity.”

Daimler AG’s reborn premium luxury brand has been offering some tantalizing glimpses of its future, starting with the Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept, the nearly 19-foot retro-futuristic battery-electric vehicle revealed during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last summer.

Now, it’s rolling into the Los Angeles Auto Show with another tempting model, the maker describing the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet as the “ultimate in open-air exclusivity.” But the convertible isn’t just another show car, a grand total of 300 set to be produced, 75 of them for the U.S. market, and 12 of those are already claimed.

Auto Show News!

Like the stretched sedan that marked the return of the Maybach name – also at the L.A. Auto Show in 2014 – the new ragtop is based on an upgraded version of the familiar S-Class. But it gets a number of details that will signal to those you pass that this isn’t just another Mercedes-Benz, starting with the Double-M Maybach emblem on the fender – and even projected from the car’s puddle lamps. (more…)

Chevrolet Bolt Lauded as Motor Trend Car of the Year

Ford Super Duty, Mercedes GLC take Truck, SUV honors.

by on Nov.15, 2016

Pam Fletcher, GM's electric vehicle chief, and North American President Alan Batey hold the Motor Trend Car of the Year trophy.

It hasn’t even reached showrooms yet, but the Chevrolet Bolt has landed a big victory, the new battery-electric vehicle being named the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The widely followed award could give General Motors’ first mainstream, long-range BEV a leg up on competitors – including Tesla – at a time when plug-based vehicles are only beginning to show signs of momentum in a market largely motivated by cheap gasoline.

What a Winner!

Separately, the enthusiast publication also named the new Mercedes-Benz GLC its SUV of the Year, while the newly redesigned Ford Super Duty picked up a trophy as Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year during a ceremony marking the start of the annual Los Angeles Motor Show.

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Mercedes-Benz Taps Bremen Facility for EQ Project

Company picks location, but not date for EQ production.

by on Oct.28, 2016

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche announced that the Generation EQ will be built at the maker's plant in Bremen, Germany.

Daimler AG rolled out is new electric car brand, EQ, last month in Paris and it was assumed the idea would gestate for a bit.

However, Daimler and its Mercedes-Benz Group are moving ahead with the plans by announcing the implementation of the next step in its EV strategy by announcing the first production version of EQ will be built at its plant in Bremen, Germany.

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The announcement did leave Mercedes-Benz, which operates the Bremen complex, some wiggle room as the maker said only that the first EQ will roll off the assembly line by the “end of this decade.” (more…)

Strong Sales Boost Bottom Line for Daimler

“We are pursuing the right strategy,” says CEO Zetsche.

by on Oct.21, 2016

Daimler CEO Diester Zetsche reveals the Generation EQ concept car at the Paris Motor Show.

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class has scored a home run with luxury buyers – and with investors, demand for the new midsize model helping parent Daimler AG deliver a 13% increase in earnings for the third quarter.

Sales of the 2017 E-Class, as well as Mercedes’ expanding line-up of SUVs, helped offset a slump in Daimler’s truck business, the German maker handily exceeding analysts’ expectations for the July-September quarter.

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Earnings for the period hit 2.73 billion euros, or $2.97 billion, up from 2.42 billion euros during the third quarter of 2015. Revenues rose 4%, to 38.6 billion euros, or $42.4 billion. On a unit basis, sales of passenger cars rose 11%, to 565,564. (more…)