Tag Archives: Mercedes-Benz

Classic French cars sold at Sotheby’s Villa Erba auction in Lake Como, Italy

This Talbot-Lago T150-C SS “Goutte d’Eau” Coupé by Figoni & Falaschi sold for €3.36 million at the RM Sotherby’s Villa Erba auction.

In the sumptuous setting of the shores of Lake Como, some 40 classic cars went under the hammer at the RM Sotheby’s auction. Of all the lots, two French classic cars stood out from the crowd.

A sensational Talbot-Lago T150-C SS “Goutte d’Eau” Coupé by Figoni & Falaschi sold for €3.36 million. This entirely restored “Teardrop” coupé is one of only two examples of the striking “Goutte d’Eau” built by Figoni & Falaschi with fully enclosed front fenders. Another big hitter at the sale was a 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Prototype, which sold for €3.024 million.

In third place came a 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8, which sold for €2.016 million. Three Ferraris also broke the million mark: a 275 GTS by Pininfarina dating from 1965 (€1.792 million), a 1964 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso by Scaglietti (€1.428 million) and a 1990 F40 (€1.064 million).

Note that several vehicles listed in the auction remain unsold, including a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Torpedo-Sport Avant-Garde by Saoutchik, which could have been the star of the sale (estimated at €6.5-€8 million), as well as some much more recent vehicles, like a 2016 McLaren P1 GTR (estimated at €3.2 to €3.6 million) and a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari (€2.75 to €3.2 million).

Bonham’s auctions Mercedes Benz 300SL for over a million in Belgium

The Mercedes-Benz has long been a classic car favourite, boasting sleek lines and finishes that are iconic even today. In true classic car fashion, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster fetched an astonishing €1,127,000 at a recent Bonhams auction held alongside the Spa-Classic meeting at the Spa-Francorchamps motor racing circuit in Belgium. Originally estimated at €600,000 to €800,000, it is the only model to have broken the €1 million mark.

The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was part of a prestigious collection of 12 cars recently discovered in a Swiss château. All of the models were snapped up, for a total of more than two million euros. As well as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, the collection included a 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-Litre Coupé (which sold for €174,800), a 1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante Convertible (€172,500) and a 1933 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom II Roadster (€111,550).

Of all the lots in the sale, Porsche models reached particularly dizzying heights, with sales including a 1958 356A Super Speedster (€322,000), a 1989 911 3.2-Litre Speedster (€280,000) and a 1993 911 Turbo 3.6-Litre Type 964 Coupé (€195,500). A few Ferraris also changed hands, including a 2006 575 Superamerica F1 (€293,250) and a 1996 F355 Challenge Coupé (€158,500).

The next Bonhams car auction will be held at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, June 30, 2017.

Car review: Mercedes E-Class Coupe, Luxury Driving with a heart

The new E-Class sedan is many things. It’s the most technologically advanced four-door car on sale today. It’s also one of the most connected. However, one thing it isn’t is exciting. It’s a car that appeals to logic rather than emotions.

With the new coupé version, Mercedes is hoping to address this shortcoming. “With its clear, aesthetic lines, our new E-Class Coupé appeals equally to heart and mind. It condenses contemporary luxury, agile sportiness and high-tech engineering into an automotive personality with esprit, offering exclusive, refined driving pleasure,” said Mercedes-Benz head of R&D, Prof. Dr Thomas Weber.

The coupé’s combination of a high waistline and sharply sloping roof definitely gives the car a much more striking appearance than its sedan counterpart while details around the grille and at the rear offer subtle nods to some of the company’s sportier models such as the SL.

And it’s a similar story inside. The coupé has a new cockpit layout with a two digital screens fused together that run across most of the dashboard replacing the traditional driver’s instrument binnacle and the centrally positioned infotainment system.

The steering wheel is also touch sensitive — it responds to taps and finger swipes. This means that you can take a call or turn up the volume without taking your hands off the wheel. All of which lends the cabin a very futuristic feel — and it’s apt as the car is bulging with next-generation technology.

For instance it has remote parking and can be summoned via a smartphone app. It can also automatically follow a car ahead on any type of road at speeds of up to 130mph. It offers the driver live, real-time traffic news, can autonomously brake to avoid potential collisions and, if you’ve misplaced the key, as long as your smartphone supports NFC, you can use the handset to lock or unlock the car.

As for performance, that will initially come from a range of four- and six-cylinder engines, the most exciting of which, a 3-liter V6 will offer 333hP and 100km/h in 5.3 seconds. However, hotter AMG versions are in the pipeline for late 2017.

The E-Class coupé will make its real-world debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 8.

Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet: Sensual Purity

Mercedes Benz unveiled its new Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet during the LA Auto Show, labelling it the most luxurious open-top vehicle in its history – a deliberate challenge to BMW-owned Rolls-Royce of course. The cab rounds off a good 130th year for the automaker, which released a special edition of the S-Class Cabriolet at the beginning of 2016.

However, whether the S650 Cabriolet can compete against Rolls-Royce Dawn and Bentley Continental GTC in the league of luxury convertibles, remains unknown. Maybach had struggled against these two names, which was one reason Mercedes folded into its main line

Only 300 S650 Cabriolets will be produced, each of them individually numbered and coming with a certificate of authenticity signed by Dieter Zetsche, the company’s chairman.

Obviously, the certificate isn’t what is going to make you purchase the car. The S650 Cabriolet comes with a twin turbo charged 6-liter V12 under the hood (it delivers 630hp, 1000Nm torque), with the capability of reaching 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds. We don’t know yet how heavy this beast is but that acceleration is nothing to sneer at.

For the interior, the cabin is bursting with luxury trim, fitted as standard, from its clever suspension for eliminating all roll in corners to the raft of next-generation active driver safety aids. Each model will get its own unique leather and wood trim, with all materials being exclusive to this model.


On the outside, the Swarovski crystal-packed headlamps, redesigned bumpers and unique 20-inch wheels should help set it apart from any competitively common Mercedes in the current range. There is also a choice of nine specially mixed paint finishes.

The final touch is a four-piece set of bespoke luggage that fits exactly into the car’s trunk and that will be made to match the individual client’s interior leather trim choices.


“The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Cabriolet represents the ultimate in luxury, showcased to perfection by our design philosophy of Sensual Purity,” said Daimler Chief Design Officer, Prof. Gorden Wagener. “The Cabriolet is a real beauty with an enchanting air.”

But philosophy and attention to detail notwithstanding, will the €300,000 model be truly different and special enough to convince clients to go with it rather than the aforementioned Rolls-Royce Dawn or even the “standard” S-Class Cabriolet? Only time will tell.

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet: Open-Air Driving

German automaker Mercedes-Benz is releasing its C-Class Cabriolet, which is a nice reminder that here in the tropics, droptops never get old. Well, barring the odd thunderstorm or two, which happens every other day… The new Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet offers a luxurious, open-air riding experience – with state-of-the-art features, of course.

The two-door cabriolet stays true to the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy, being an embodiment of sporty luxury. The front end features a diamond radiator grille, with LED High Performance headlamps and tail lights. A wide range of individualization options lets users choose their preferred upholstery variant, roof liner color, trim variant and paint finish. The interior reflects the nature of the car – sporty, luxurious, and modern. 


A Mercedes never restrains from providing a unique riding experience to its riders. The C-Class Cabriolet comes with either a no-frills black fabric version or a multi-layer acoustic soft top, to act as a shield from disruptive noises. The soft top, based on the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet, can be opened and closed in a mere 20 seconds (up to 50km/h. AIRCAP and AIRSCARF features are equipped in the vehicle, providing heating for those colder days when you still want to enjoy your cabriolet.

Let’s get into the technical elements of the range now, and bear in mind this isn’t a single model, it really is a whole range of vehicles. The various engines can deliver between 114 to 270 kW (156 to 367hp) of power, depending on your choice of model. Some of you will remember that Mercedes wants to bring the AMG experience to every level of car so yes, there is also an AMG version, the AMG C 43 4MATIC range. The suspension of the car is designed to provide a balance of comfort and agility, with the choice to opt for the electronically-controlled AIRMATIC air suspension.


The Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive concept provides semi-autonomous driving systems to boost the safety of the vehicle. ATTENTION ASSIST (available in all models) will alert drivers when they are losing focus or slipping to drowsiness. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS (also available in all models) acts as an automatic system to prevent accidental collisions. The roll-over protection system, specifically developed for the C-Class Cabriolet, also lessens the impact of untoward incidents.

To top it all off (no pun intended), the C-Class Cabriolet comes with a climate control system that responds to whether the top is up or down. Lastly, the car offers a lively infotainment experience with visual animations and a concert-grade sound system.

Mercedes Unveils ARROW460-Granturismo Yacht Design

You may recall that Mercedes-Benz announced the launch of its very own yacht back in April. At the Monaco Yacht Show, the car company unveiled the final design for the ARROW460-Granturismo and it is set to command a name for the brand at sea as it does on land.

The result of a collaboration between Mercedes and Silver Arrows Marine, the ARROW460-Granturismo promises unrivalled comfort with sports performance. The yacht’s luxurious interior offers creature comforts for up to 10 passengers, which is impressive considering that it is only 14 meters. The interior is trimmed with eucalyptus wood that has been treated so that its grain follows the contours of the cabin and the floor, finished in a sustainable composite material. Wraparound windows can slide open to invite a generous amount of light in. The windows can even be tinted or clarified with the simple touch of a button.mercedes-granturismo-yacht-interior

“By blending the maritime and automotive world with their respective design idioms, technologies and ideas we have created a new standard for motor yachts,” said Ron Gibbs, Chairman of Silver Arrows Marine. “[It] blends maritime engineering artistry with charismatic design and perfect elegance, familiar from the world of Mercedes-Benz.”

Mercedes Teases EV SUV Concept with Video

Mercedes Teases EV SUV Concept with Video

So, what is an EV SUV anyway and why does Mercedes have one? This new video (below) from Mercedes Benz skips these questions and instead asks drivers if they’re “ready to change.” Ok, it does offer a tiny glimpse of what to expect when its long-gestating plug-in electric (that is the EV part) SUV concept car arrives at the Paris Motor Show on September 29.

Expected to be called the EQG (this alphabet soup bit is par for the course for Mercedes) and to mark the launch of a new EQ Mercedes-Benz sub-brand, the concept car is high on futuristic styling and fluorescent mood lighting. Although the video gives very little substance to the company’s claims that the car is truly revolutionary, it does confirm that the show car will have a minimalistic yet luxurious cabin that follows current interior design language and the same proportions externally as the company’s current flagship GLS SUV.

Although Mercedes has toyed with electrification in the past (it sells an electric B-Class MPV and this month rolled out the latest generation of its electric SMART cars), the company is making a statement of intent with this show car: it takes plug-in electric vehicles seriously and it aims to be more Tesla than Tesla before the end of this decade.

According to the latest Jato Dynamics figures, published Tuesday, electric and hybird vehicle popularity is growing rapidly. Over the first half of 2016, 231,300 plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid cars were sold across Europe – that’s a 27% increase year on year – and means that together they now represent 3% of the current European car market. If growth continues at this rate, then they will represent 12-14% of new car sales by the end of the decade, and that is the moment when Mercedes will be planning to really launch its electric vehicle offensive.

And to generate as much interest and excitement as possible it should come as no surprise that Mercedes went for an SUV.

One in three Mercedes sold globally is now of the SUV or crossover variety. Over the first six months of 2016 there was a 22% spike in C-segment SUV sales in Europe – i.e., models such as the Audi Q3, meaning they now represent 10% of the market. Full-size SUVs have also experienced a 16% surge in popularity in the first six months of 2016. Cars like the Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser and Mercedes GLC represent 1% of the market or 106,000 sales.

However, Mercedes won’t have it all its own way at this year’s show. VW will also be using the event to unveil its next-generation EV concept and like Mercedes, Volkswagen is claiming its car will usher in a revolution and that it will be able to cover 400 miles on a single charge.


Mercedes Blazes Past 4-Million SUV Milestone

Thanks in part to its SUVs, Mercedes-Benz can celebrate its most successful August in its 100-year-plus history. According to the German automobile manufacturer, the firm has sold an outstanding 156,246 cars worldwide during the month.

“SUVs once again contributed significantly to the best-ever unit sales by Mercedes-Benz this August,” Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “Mercedes-Benz has already delivered more than four million SUVs to customers worldwide. Their popularity is rising year on year.”

Just over one in three of the 156,246 cars sold over the past month are of the SUV variety. Yes, that’s 56,286 sold in just one month. But Mercedes-Benz is not one to be satisfied with this figure; plans for a bigger push into the SUV market are in the works. To keep up with up-and-coming competitor Tesla for a share of the eco-friendly automobile industry, Mercedes is rumored to be unveiling a plug-in electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model X at the Paris Motor Show next month – check this space for updates.

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Mercedes-Benz SLC: A New Dynamic

After 20 illustrious years, Mercedes-Benz has swapped the ‘K’ in the SLC to a ‘C’ – could the roadster that once defined an entire car category be going through a mid-life crisis? Far from it –  this year, the German automobile firm acknowledges the SLK’s undeniable relationship with the C-Class, of which much of the roadster’s technology is inspired by, with visual tweaks and significantly optimised tech upgrades.

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Each car in the model line up — from the economical SLC 200 to the muscled-up Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 — sees the diamond radiator grille that is synonymous with the brand, only this time more steeply raked. This standard feature elongates the arrow-shaped bonnet, giving it its striking sporty silhouette. The electro-hydraulic Vario-roof now continues to operate up to a speed of 40km/h, so you don’t have to come to a stop should untimely meteorological circumstances hit. Other creature comforts include the Airscarf (a neck-level heating system) and the above-mentioned Magic Sky Control.

Mercedes-Benz SLC 300

Mercedes-Benz SLC 300

Slap the AMG tag on any Mercedes-Benz car and it immediately becomes high-performance. At the heart of the AMG SLC 43 is a revvier 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine that produces a feistier 367hp than the AMG SLK 55’s 302. The model obliges 100km/h in 4.7 seconds. Comparatively, the new entry-level SLC 180 sees an output of 156 hp. Higher up the scale is the SLC 200 and SLC 300, both equipped with a 1991 cc four-cylinder engine, which produces 184hp and 245hp respectively. In the SLC 43, the AMG Sport exhaust system reacts with two adjustable exhaust flaps to adapt the sound to one of the five modes on the Dynamic Select feature, which hooks up to the engine, transmission, steering and suspension for a customizable ride. The SLK would be so proud.

Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Interior

Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Interior

Like the latest E-class series, the SLC is chock full of new assistance and safety systems. The new Active Brake Assist (previously called a lengthier Collision Prevention Assist Plus) provides autonomous braking that reduces risks of rear-end collisions when the driver fails to react despite intermittent alerts. The LED Intelligent Light System adapts to light and driving conditions including fog and cornering situations, while the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus adjusts between high and low beam by detecting other illuminated road users for dazzle-free continuous usage. Small children are also no longer at risk of getting injured by airbags when a pressure sensor detects the use of a child seat.

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Inside, Mercedes-Benz attempts to heighten the luxury experience with aluminum trim parts and carbon fiber finishes. Contrasting red needles on black dials, as well as an improved new-generation sports steering wheel reaffirm’s the SLC’s resolution to being race-centric. The infotainment display is also significantly larger, but remains lacking in the system upgrade department. Otherwise, expect “sun-reflecting” leather upholstery that has a perforated design, or the “sun-reflecting nappa leather” option that sports contrasting piping and top-stitching with two new colourways added– saddle brown and platinum white.

Mercedes Goes Long with New C-Class Coupe

“Seduction of the heart and mind”, ran Mercedes-Benz’s tagline for its new-generation C-Class Coupe. And sure enough, the car is all we’ve come to expect of a C-Class Coupe, except it’s now a little sexier, and a lot more intellectual.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé (C 205) 2015Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The first thing that strikes you about this car is its sporty façade. The new coupe is given a longer bonnet – there’s 60 millimetres more of it – and a raised window line for a sleeker, more aggressive look. And if you notice a couple of similarities between this and the S-Class, you’re not alone – the same sophisticated fascia, and horizontally oriented tail lights are reminiscent of its big brother.

This updated C-Class coupe is powered by various engine options of course. For example, there’s a 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder version and a twin turbocharged V6…and then there’s the C63 AMG. Featuring the German brand’s new Airmatic suspension, the car sees continuously adaptive damping according to its five driving modes: eco, sport, comfort, sport + and individual, the latter being customizable according to personal driving preferences.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé (C 205) 2015Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Its interiors are equally captivating. With a wheelbase extended by 80 millimeters, the C-Class Coupe is fully 95 millimeters longer, and 40 millimeters wider than before, so that means a roomier interior for all passengers. Mercedes Benz then decks this extra space with integral sports seats, its sportiness emphasized by special upholstery color combinations of saddle brown and black, porcelain – in the Edition 1 – nut brown and black with turquoise topstitching.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé (C 205) 2015Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Despite its discreet appearance, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe is a force to be reckoned with. Internally, a 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo powers the machine, its two turbochargers uniquely positioned inside the cylinder “V” instead of outside the cylinder banks for a more optimal throttle responses, lower exhaust emissions and more compact dimensions. The upgraded edition is marked by the AMG’s characteristic 18-inch light alloy wheels, special bumpers and sills and its diamond radiator grille features pins in chrome.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé C 250 d 4MATIC, hyacinthrot, Leder Porzellan/schwarz Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé C 250 d 4MATIC, hyacinth red, leather porcellain/black Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé C 300, Selenit Grau, Leder Cranberry rot Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé C 300, selenit grey, leather cranberry red

This car might be touted as the S-Class’ more affordable cousin (read less interesting), but against opposition (in this case we use the BMW 4-Series and Audi A5), the car proves to be stellar. While the trio all have the license to look very good, the BMW’s black plastic inserts pale in comparison. Its unfussy, uncluttered interiors and decent hardware, however means that it’s a joy to ride in nonetheless. Meanwhile, the Audi, though physically steely and industrious, has been reported to be quite a bit of a squeeze, its smaller stature no match for the Beemer, and definitely not the Mercedes. The BMW might be the most powerful of the lot engine-wise, but it also provides the least torque. The Mercedes C-Class might have unfavorable fuel economy stats due to its automatic gearbox, but its V6 produces more torque and provides an extra 200cc more than the Audi and the BMW.

Mercedes-Benz Introduces Luxury Motor Yacht

Mercedes-Benz may not be the first to have been the first to unveil the first-ever luxury motor yacht — we’re looking at you Aston Martin and Bugatti — but the German automaker is making a splash nevertheless. The Arrow460-Granturismo was presented to the world in Côte d’Azur, France.

The 14-meter long ‘silver arrow of the seas’ is the perfect blend of what motor and boating fans look for. With a 960 horsepower (706 kW), the yacht brings the performance of Mercedes-Benz sports cars with the unique innovations of the boating industry. This move to areas outside the automotive industry is another chapter in the brand’s expansion.

Commenting on the debut of the “Arrow460–Granturismo,” Silver Arrows Marine Chairman Ron Gibbs said: “Almost everything about Arrow460-Granturismo is unique, from its concept to the smallest bespoke detail. It is a motor yacht with a personality that truly embraces life, combining the best marine engineering with the inspired innovations and elegance that the world associates with the Mercedes-Benz name. By merging marine and automotive worlds, with their respective design language, technologies and ideas, we have created a new standard of motor yacht, unlike all others.”

Slick Hammer: Mercedes AMG GT S

Replacing a well-loved leader is never easy, but that is the task that the Mercedes-AMG GT S will have to do, as it takes the place of the iconic Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a car that cemented the AMG name once and for all as a bona fide performance badge.

But it is a job that the AMG GT S does well, and it proves again that Mercedes-Benz is ready to push AMG to the next level. The AMG GT S follows its predecessor in being fully designed and developed solely by the AMG brand, and this two-door two-seater proudly takes its place at the top of the Mercedes-Benz range, being the Stuttgart carmaker’s flagship sports car model.

Unlike the SLS AMG however, which was a brute force of a car designed to pummel rivals into submission with its muscular power, the AMG GT S take a slicker approach to things. The new car is smaller, and is now targetted at that other icon from across Stuttgart town, the Porsche 911. This is demonstrated by its dimensions, with the AMG GT S both shorter and lower than the SLS AMG, giving it a taut look that helps it assert a rather intimidating stance. The dramatic gull-wing doors are now absent too, replaced by regular-looking items on the AMG GT S.

Things have been downsized under the bonnet as well, with the AMG GT S now sporting a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine. Sure, it is not quite the sledgehammer that is the previous car’s monster 6.3-litre V8, but that doesn’t mean that the AMG GT S is incapable of rattling your senses. The handcrafted powerplant churns out a hefty 503bhp and 650Nm of torque, which is still enough to send you rocketing from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.8 seconds, and continue to a dizzying top speed of 310km/h, enough to get you into plenty of trouble with the authorities.

And you do this while cocooned in a snug and sporty interior that has been designed to let you know in no uncertain terms that this car means business. The suede-covered steering wheel complements the plush leather upholstery, and the car is assembled with precision Teutonic quality, as you’d expect from Stuttgart’s best. Sporty metal bits such as the pedals add further to the occasion.

As the highlight of Mercedes-AMG’s range, the AMG GT S proves to be absolutely deserving of its place at the top. All hail the new king, slimmer, trimmer but equally powerful and exciting as before. Business as usual for AMG then.


Story Credits

Text by Ben Chia
This article first appeared in Men’s Folio Singapore.

London Fashion Week 2016: Who to Follow

London Fashion Week kicks off today and the talk leading up to the show largely focuses on the return of the revered fashion house Alexander McQueen to the lineup. Under the watchful eye of Creative Director Sarah Burton, the label is making a homecoming after 10 years for the Autumn-Winter ’16 collection. Joining McQueen in a comeback to London is leather goods brand Mulberry, now under the direction of new creative director Johnny Coca.

Alexander McQueen and Mulberry join nearly 80 designers in the UK capital to unveil their collections. Other notable names to look out for include Belstaff, Burberry, Christopher Kane and Vivienne Westwood. Meanwhile, newcomers include shoes and accessories brand Charlotte Olympia, which will host its first catwalk show this season, and Belgium brand A.F. Vandevorst. Another highlight will be the Topshop Unique show, which fashion photographer Nick Knight has been lined up to shoot, and which will be unveiled in real time on the brand’s Instagram account (which will be crazy cool).

For the first time in LFW history, around 35 million people across the UK will see content from the proceedings, including runway shows, on 60 outside screens in nine different cities thanks to a collaboration between media company Ocean Outdoor and The British Fashion Council (BFC). The event will also see around 200,000 copies of The Daily, the official LFW broadsheet, distributed around the city.

Meanwhile, the BFC has revealed that its official Mercedes Benz chauffeurs will drive fashionistas around 32,000 miles during the event, 200kg of Lavazza coffee beans will be ground to help keep everyone alert, and that 500 cans of label.m hairspray are predicted to be used backstage.

London Fashion Week runs February 19-23. For more information, click here.


Mercedes goes from SLK to SLC

Ahead of the Detroit auto show and in the wake of the Land Rover Defender auction, there is a lot of motoring news to get through and we begin with Mercedes-Benz decision to go from SLK to SLC in 2016. Announced last week, even as we were pushing out news on the V12 S-Class, this one is a bit of a sleeper because there is more here than a new mix in the alphabet stew. The compact, drop top sportscar is getting a new look, new engines and new technology for a new era.

Set to make its first public appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, the new SLC (which is replacing the SLK) won’t be going on sale until April, but for those that like ferocious power, wind-in-the-hair motoring but no compromises when it comes to inner-city maneuverability or everyday cosseting, it will be worth the wait.

“In 1996, Mercedes-Benz redefined the roadster with its innovative vario-roof and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather,” said Ola Källenius, the company’s head of sales and marketing. “The renamed compact roadster remains an ideal combination of passion and rational common sense, appealing to both the heart and the mind.”


Nowhere is this truer than in the new six-model line up which offers a diesel and, for the first time, a 1.6-liter entry-level option. Even the range topping AMG 43 will serve up its power with responsibility.

With a twin-turbo 3-liter V6, it’s capable of going from 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds and of outputting 362bhp via a nine-speed gearbox complete with a range of pre-set driving modes for comfort, economy or break-neck speed. The outgoing SLK AMG had a huge V8 engine and lashings more horsepower, but it was only 0.1 seconds faster off the mark and is incapable of returning the new car’s 7.8 l/100 km.

Regardless of powerplant, all new SLCs come with the same revised nose, sloping hood and diamond grille that brings the car in line with Mercedes’ other sportier offerings — the AMG-GT and the SL. The folding metal Vario Roof has also been given a serious upgrade. It will now automatically raise or lower at speeds of up to 40kph and now also knows if there is too much luggage in the trunk to retract into the available space.


For those that are worried about catching the sun but still want to feel like the roof is down, the car can be specified with Magic Sky Control. This system allows the panoramic glass roof to stay in place but to tint or untint at the touch of a button to let the light in or keep it out.

Mercedes will announce pricing for the new car in Detroit on January 11.

Mercedes Brings Hand Finishing to G Wagon

Fans of old school rugged SUVs have had a rough week, with Land Rover retiring the tireless Defender but Mercedes is bringing the cheer with the G Wagon. A new”designo manufaktur” program for the aging SUV will ensure that it can turn up the style as well as continue to perform off road. Just like the Land Rover Defender, the Mercedes G Wagon has built its reputation and its fanbase on rugged, no nonsense looks and phenomenal off-road ability. For purists, this matters because the G Wagon is in quite a different class – in terms of pedigree – to the Bentley Bentayga, for example.

So, while the Defender is heading out to pasture at the end of 2015, the G Wagon is still going strong despite being in production since 1979. SUVs like the Cayenne and the Bentayga hadn’t even been conceived at that time.

To help it keep pace with changing tastes and to ensure that it can compete just as well with the Range Rover as it can with the Land Rover Defender’s upcoming replacement, the G Wagon is getting a seriously luxurious makeover.

Announced December 7, the “designo manufaktur” program will enable G Wagon owners to fully express their individuality and personal style. A huge choice of special exterior colors – solid, metallic, matte and pearlescent – is available, as is an extensive choice of alloy wheels and trim pieces in polished or matte metals and even carbon fiber.

Mercedes-Benz G-Klasse, designo manufaktur, Interieur: designo Leder sand/schwarz Mercedes-Benz G-Klasse,designo manufaktur, interiror: designo leather sand/black

However, this is much more than a list of options that one ticks off – just like Land Rover’s Special Vehicles Operations division or BMW’s Individual service, designo manufaktur is all about craftsmanship and tailoring, inside and out. Details are hand-finished, be they embroidered designs or legends in headrests or the external badging.

Clients can select any combination of the finest designo leathers for the interior including the dashboard, center console and door panels – even the seatbelts and headliner come in a choice of colors and finishes.

And, for those opting for the flagship AMG G 63 or G 65 models, the Dinamica package, familiar to owners of Mercedes’ AMG-badged performance sportscars is also available for the first time. That means a blend of black nappa leather and Dinamica grip-optimizing microfiber on the steering wheel, panels and headliner.

Mercedes debuts special edition A Class

Mercedes celebrates F1 success with the special edition Mercedes-AMG A Class, a “Silver Arrow for the road.” The Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic Petronas 2015 World Champion Edition offers four-wheel drive, 381hp, a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds plus a host of unique racing-inspired features and will be going on sale as a memento of the momentous 2015 F1 season.

This year has seen the Mercedes Petronas F1 team perform a clean sweep, coming first and second in the drivers’ championship and clinching the equally coveted constructors’ trophy too — and all before the end of the season.

To celebrate, the company has developed a “Silver Arrow for the road” in the shape of a flagship A Class decked out in an F1-derived external aerodynamic streamlining package plus 19-inch alloys and a special silver, black and green paint finish to match the F1 cars that that raced away to this year’s title.

This color scheme continues inside as contrasting stitching on the special performance seats with increased lateral support and race-focused steering wheel with 12 o’clock marker.

“With the World Champion Edition we would like to share with our customers our delight and pride in the strong performance of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG. “This is a way for every fan to share the success of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.”

The car will go on sale for just four months, starting in January, and prices will start at €65,402.40 plus local taxes.

All Season Supercar: Mercedes SL

In our earlier piece on the LA auto show, the story made a passing mention of a freshened up Mercedes SL so here is the full treatment. In all seriousness, the Mercedes SL is the vehicular equivalent of a 1960s supergroup. It’s so famous and had so many worldwide hits that like the Beatles or the Stones will comfortably survive even as musical tastes change and physical sales are replaced by streams.

However, just like Paul McCartney, the SL still has lots of creativity left and still needs to keep making appearances and putting on a performance to underline its relevance and to attract new fans.

And the latest facelift to the folding metal roof sports convertible, unveiled at the LA auto show last week, should do just that.

It gets a new nose and rear end that bring it aesthetically into line with the current flagship Mercedes-AMG GT sportscar but without crossing the line from strong to aggressive. There’s a new diamond grille and LED lights as standard and the front bumper air intakes are also bigger.

The SL’s party piece has always been that it can be driven with as much enthusiasm as a supercar when the mood takes but then, at the push of a button can turn into a drop-top boulevard cruiser and a host of new technological features transplanted from the flagship S Class sedan will make sure it continues to deliver in both respects.

“The SL is an all-season vehicle that is fully suited for daily use, but above all it is a dream car for those special moments,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales & Marketing.

In particular the new Curve suspension control system that literally leans the car into or away from a corner for better stability and comfort will be a much sought-after option as will be Mercedes’ industry-leading Distronic system that combines adaptive cruise control with automatic lane keeping and even steering assist.

The folding roof now folds even at speeds of up to 40km/h and there’s an automatic trunk space separator so that top up or down, there’s always storage space.

Engines for the new car, which range from the snarling V12 biturbo in the AMG SL 65 model down to the 3-liter V6 in the SL 400, have also been given a workout in terms of output, efficiency and emissions. The SL 400 offers an extra 35hp now while the performance flagship SL 65 delivers 630hp, a 0-100km/h time of 4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

“[The] high-performance roadsters offer a unique driving experience, combining hallmark AMG ‘Driving Performance’ with the pleasures of open-air motoring and superior comfort on long journeys,” said Mercedes-AMG GmbH board member, Tobias Moers.

30 World Premieres at 2015 LA Auto Show

From supercars to SUVs, in all some 50 new vehicles are scheduled to make an appearance at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. For some, like the Jaguar F-Pace,  the show will mark a first glimpse on US shores, but for 30 of that number, including the Ferrari F12tdf, LA will be the venue for the car’s first-ever appearance anywhere in the world.

But despite its brand appeal, Ferrari will have to fight for attention. Porsche will be bringing a racetrack-ready version of its Cayman, the GT4 Clubsport, to this year’s show and Lamborghini is prepping a new, more dynamic version of its Huracan supercar.

For those who want supercar performance with extra comfort and elegance, Mercedes will be unveiling its latest generation SL coupé complete, as always with folding hard top, and although it’s yet to confirm or deny rumors, McLaren could be showing off its 570S Spider too.

SUVs and crossovers are also going to be huge draws at this year’s event, especially as the West Coast is the unofficial world capital of the offroader. Range Rover is bringing its Evoque convertible — the world’s first premium compact SUV drop top. It will be doing battle, so to speak, with the Cadillac XT5, a new crossover that proves US carmakers can do luxury as well as any European brand, while Infiniti will be taking the wraps off the production version of its sub-compact X30 premium crossover.

Moving up the scale, Mercedes will be debuting its GLS-Class uber-luxury seven-seat SUV, a car it’s marketing as an S-Class with better ground clearance, such are its comfort and technological capabilities.

At a special event ahead of the show’s press day on November 18, storied Italian marque Alfa Romeo will be honored and a precession of past classics and current models will be on show, making the event the perfect occasion to finally reveal the brand’s first SUV after nearly two years of teasing.

Away from new cars, there will also be a huge supply of new technology, new announcements and new strategies at this year’s show. The Connected Car Expo will be showcasing 100 of the brightest tech start-ups with designs on the future of personal mobility and Volvo will be showcasing something called the ‘Time Machine Concept,’ believed to be a raft of autonomous driving features that won’t allow drivers to correct past wrongs or check up on their children’s future career choices, but could save drivers a huge amount of time.

The 2015 LA Auto Show opens to the public from November 20-29.

Mercedes Benz frazer apartment sofa

Mercedes-Benz To Design Apartments in London

Mercedes-Benz is entering the market for premium business apartments in collaboration with the Frasers Hospitality Group, a leading international provider of luxury serviced apartments.

Mercedes Benz frazer apartment sofa

Taking the interiors of its S-Class and Maybach models as a starting point, Mercedes-Benz has completely styled six apartments (of 100 square meters each) located  in London’s glamorous Kensington area.

Each Mercedes-Benz Living @Fraser residence has two bedrooms, a living area and fitted kitchen, but everything, from the lighting system to individual pieces of furniture, have been designed to create a seamless visual flow but one that exists without making the entire space open plan.

Mercedes Benz frazer apartment dining room

The position, choice and development fixtures and fittings help to outline dedicated spaces within spaces.

“As in our vehicles we have combined sensual surfaces and clean lines with intelligent high-tech functionality in order to create a perfectly conceived world of modern luxury that promotes wellbeing and relaxation,” explains Gorden Wagener, head of Design at Daimler AG.

Mercedes Benz living frazer apartment

A centerpiece of each apartment will be a multimedia system that the company calls the Black Magic Wall. An entire wall given over to digital entertainment and finished in high-gloss black, it will provide a huge visual contrast and is a careful nod to the deign aesthetic of a luxury car interior.

Mercedes Benz frazer apartment

The company turned to existing partners Burmester and Swarovski to help bring particular design and feature elements of the apartments to fruition, and if the initial London pilot scheme is a success when it opens to business travelers in November, a further nine apartments in Singapore will be similarly developed.

Mercedes-Benz IAA 2015

The Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA is a Shapeshifting Car

Mercedes-Benz IAA 2015

 is previewing the future of automotive with its Concept IAA at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Mercedes-Benz describes its Frankfurt show car as two concepts in one. And that’s because the IAA, which stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, is a shape shifter in the literal sense.

Mercedes IAA Concept

When standing still it’s a perfectly executed visual design exercise, but once it starts rolling and hits 80km/h, the car’s exterior elements realign, resulting in a shape with a drag coefficient of 0.19, which, according to the firm, is on a par with the greatest race cars ever built.

mercedes benz iaa concept interior

“Fascinating and technically sophisticated cars form the core of Mercedes-Benz. The ‘Concept IAA’ applies intelligent innovations to resolve the conflicting aims of functionality and aesthetics and shows that we still have plenty of ideas on how to achieve further improvements in efficiency,” says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

mercedes benz iaa concept seats

The Bugatti Veyron, the world’s fastest production car, also changes shape as it accelerates to better cut through the wind and to maintain grip at the limits. However, the IAA is pushing the idea to the max. The car actually grows in length by some 390mm as its aerodynamic properties change. The front bumper even moves under the car to improve airflow.

mercedes benz iaa concept cabin

All of which allows the 279hp plug-in hybrid to achieve an all-electric range of 66km and CO2 emissions of just 28g/kg. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

mercedes benz iaa concept top view

And it wouldn’t be a Mercedes if the interior didn’t offer something equally impressive. Despite the car’s huge size — over 5 meters — it’s designed to seat just four people in absolute comfort.

mercedes benz iaa concept side

There is a clear focus on the finest metals and glass finishes and on technology as a leisure and comfort facilitator. All controls appear and respond like the best tablet or smartphone user experiences, while car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication ensure the vehicle avoids accidents and congestion, is prepared for adverse weather conditions, and always knows what’s coming at the end of a junction.

Mercedes IAA Concept rear end

Mercedes-Benz wasn’t the only luxury automaker to show a four-door coupe concept in Frankfurt. Porsche unveiled the Mission E, its all-electric, battery-powered four-seat sports car concept.