by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Mercedes-Benz Cars at the Geneva Motor Show 2015: Product Offensive Continues at Full Speed

Following the best start to the year in company history, with record sales in January 2015 (+13.6%), Mercedes-Benz Cars is pushing forward at full speed with its product offensive. At the Geneva Motor Show, the brand with the three-pointed star is presenting a full programme of new models and innovations. The spectrum ranges from the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 – a racing machine for the very highest levels of customer sport – to the highly exclusive Mercedes-Maybach Pullman limousine, embodying the automotive luxury class in the very best Maybach tradition. Further Mercedes highlights at this high-profile springtime motor show in Geneva are the Mercedes-Benz C 350 e with plug-in hybrid drive, which is as dynamic as it is efficient, the avant-garde CLA Shooting Brake and the Concept V-ision e, based on the successful V‑Class and likewise equipped with plug-in hybrid technology. The ‘star-studded’ SUV offensive continues with the GLE Coupé and the spectacular G 500 4x4^2.

The resounding start signal for this year’s Geneva Motor Show was fired up bright and early at eight in the morning on the Mercedes-Benz stand. The latest race car from the brand with the three-pointed star rolled onto the stage with a rich V8 sound. “The new Mercedes-AMG GT3 is the perfect vehicle for customers who prefer to get their adrenalin kicks on the race track,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “That’s why we are starting 2015 not only as reigning double Formula 1 champions, but are also continuing our battle for supremacy in the hard-fought customer sport sector. Motorsport is a major part of our DNA.”

Following a record year for Mercedes-Benz in 2014 in terms of sales figures, turnover and profit, the company has already set a new sales record in 2015. Mercedes-Benz enjoyed a magnificent start to the year, with an increase of 13.6 percent. “We will use this powerful momentum for dynamic growth throughout the year,” continued Dr. Zetsche. “Playing a major role in this is our product offensive, which we are pursuing at full speed with a total of eight new models in 2015. The first highlight in the Mercedes-Benz ‘Year of the SUV’ is the new GLE Coupé. It will attract new customers with its sporty design and agile handling characteristics.”

C 350 e continues the hybrid offensive

The same applies to the new C 350 e. It is already the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second after the S 500 e to appear with Mercedes-Benz’s highly advanced plug-in hybrid technology. The company is applying full force to its offensive with this forward-looking technology, “We will bring ten new plug-in hybrid models to market by 2017,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes‑Benz Cars Development. “In Europe, our fleet emissions are already less than 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The new models based on our scalable hybrid platform will make a significant contribution to the continued reduction of CO2 emissions.”

The C 350 e makes a compelling case as a saloon and as an estate car with its exceptional dynamics and efficiency, enabling 31 kilometres of electric-only, zero-emissions driving. The drive delivers a system output of 205 kW (279 hp) and system torque of 600 Nm. This means that the new C 350 e achieves the performance of a sports car, yet has a certified consumption as saloon and estate of just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. This equates to CO2 emissions of merely 48 grams (estate: 49 grams) per kilometre.

V-Class Concept V-ision e – more performance with fewer CO2 emissions

A plug-in hybrid with a four-cylinder engine and system output of 245 kW (333 hp) also drives the concept V-ision e. “This concept vehicle shows the potential offered by the Mercedes of MPVs to address customer and market needs even more individually and exclusively in future,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes‑Benz Vans. “With pioneering Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid technology, we are able to increase the output of the most powerful V-Class currently available by a further 105 kW, while lowering consumption to that of a compact car. That’s what I call a forward-looking performance increase.” Inside, the Concept V-ision e offers a unique ambience of wellbeing with a modern loft-like character, Executive seats that can be controlled by app and the biggest panoramic roof in the segment.

Mercedes-Maybach Pullman – automotive high-end luxury

The new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman guarantees the very finest on-board accommodation. “The second model from Mercedes-Maybach takes over the role at the absolute pinnacle – as a state limousine with a classic face-to-face seat configuration in the rear,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “The length of 6.50 metres and the wheelbase of 4.42 metres deliver an incredibly spacious interior and first-class comfort. It goes without saying that the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman also embodies the very best in exclusivity.” This is further enhanced by the uncompromising sound quality and perfect musical enjoyment supplied by the exclusive Burmester® High-End 3D Surround-Sound system – the most expensive surround-sound system in an automobile.
















Credits: Daimler AG

Copyright © 2015, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Geneva Motor Show 2015: The All New Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing car enters the stage

To coincide with the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-AMG is presenting its very latest racing car: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. Meeting the FIA's GT3 race rules, it will compete in the world's most hotly contested customer race series. This successor to the successful SLS AMG GT3 is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT, which is shortly due to be launched to the accompaniment of outstanding reviews in the motoring media. Cutting-edge racing technology and the spectacular design predestine the new challenger for victories. With its clear commitment to international motor sport, the sports car and performance brand within Mercedes-Benz is once more demonstrating its development expertise for complete vehicles. Following an intensive test phase, the new AMG racing car is to be delivered to the first customer teams by the end of 2015.

Motor sport and Mercedes-AMG are inseparable entities: competition on the racetrack is deeply ingrained in the DNA of AMG, and constantly drives the team in Affalterbach on to achieve top-class performance. In no other customer race series of the world is there so much variety as in those held according to the FIA's GT3 rules. They attract the entire international sports car elite to the starting line. The mixture of demanding sprint races and legendary endurance classics around the globe constantly confronts the teams with new challenges.

"We are entering a hotly contested and strongly occupied competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The high technological level and fair race rules motivate us to be right up in the front rank with our new customer racing car," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "Our standard version of the AMG GT is already aimed specifically at the fiercely contested sports car segment. We are now systematically continuing this strategy on the racetrack as well. Only those who win against the best can substantiate a claim to leadership."

The spectacular design and cutting-edge technology of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will make their mark in customer sport, and the high racetrack performance of the standard GT already provides the best possible basis for this. The development team also had the benefit of the experience gained from the successes of the SLS AMG GT3. This first customer sport racing car from AMG, which celebrated its debut in 2010, has had an impeccable career with 187 victories, and was able to win the "Grand Slam" in 2013: the four endurance classics in Dubai, Bathurst, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps.

Sheer emotion and sheer power

The design lines of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 say everything about the character and ambitions of this racer: make way for a car that is primed for the attack, and wants only one thing, namely to win. Its matt paintwork in designo selenite grey magno covers the muscular contours like a second skin. As an alluring contrast, yellow exterior highlights create sophisticated effects in counterlighting. From whatever the viewing angle: this racing car from Affalterbach already makes a mighty impression at standstill, and embodies sheer power.

The widened body, the large air inlets, the diffuser and the enormous rear aerofoil – numerous features from motorsport give the Mercedes-AMG GT3 a decidedly dynamic appearance. At the same time it avoids any sign of unnecessary showmanship: all modifications to the body are in the interests of maximum downforce and aerodynamic efficiency, for best results on the racetrack. The specially incorporated features also improve the effective cooling of components subject to high thermal loads.

Front end with new "Panamericana" radiator grille and "shark nose"

The new "Panamericana" radiator grille is particularly noticeable when viewed from the front. Its design with vertical chrome struts is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing sports car. In 1952 this won the famous "Carrera Panamericana" endurance race across Mexico. With this modern reinterpretation of a classic design, Mercedes-AMG is paying respectful homage to its illustrious racing antecedent. Its victories are both a powerful incentive and an obligation to strive for peak position once again.

The three-dimensionally formed Panamericana radiator grille is more convex at the top than at the bottom – designers refer to these proportions as a "shark nose". It is particularly recognisable from the side, and gives the Mercedes-AMG GT3 a combative demeanour. The shape of the Panamericana radiator grille opens out downwards, suggesting the stylised "A" that is typical of the front end in AMG cars. The lower air inlet above the large front diffuser is likewise A-shaped. The carbon-fibre front diffuser transitions into a smooth underbody to produce hefty downforce together with the rear diffuser and rear aerofoil. Special cooling ducts in the front apron ensure efficient cooling of the front brakes, which are particularly subject to high thermal loads when racing.

AMG Lightweight Performance: carbon-fibre and aluminium spaceframe

To keep the vehicle weight as low as possible, the body is mainly of carbon-fibre: the bonnet, doors, front wings, front and rear aprons, side walls, side skirts, diffuser, boot lid and rear aerofoil are made from this particularly lightweight yet extremely strong material. As in the roadgoing version, the vehicle structure of the GT3 consists of a likewise extremely lightweight yet rigid aluminium spaceframe. With numerous detailed improvements, systematic implementation of the "AMG Lightweight Performance" strategy has resulted in an even lower kerb weight than that of the SLS AMG GT3.

Flics mounted on the sides of the front apron generate downforce at the front axle, as do the so-called "louvres", the wheel arch air vents at the top of the front wings. On each side, the wider body compared with the standard version of the AMG GT3 creates space for the wide track of the double wishbone axles and 45.7 cm (18-inch) light-alloy wheels with centre locks. An air inlet on the left and right shoulders ahead of each rear wheel conducts the necessary cooling air to the transmission at the rear axle. The standardised connection for the fast-fuelling system is located in the C-pillar, where it is ergonomically ideal for the pit crew.

Maximum downforce and aerodynamic performance

A large, central aperture in the bonnet has the appearance of a gaping mouth. Its purpose is to expel large volumes of air warmed by the cooling module. Behind the front wheels there are noticeable wheel arch air vents which likewise conduct away warm air. Air inlets ahead of the rear wheels assist cooling of the rear brakes. Directly in front of each one is an exhaust tailpipe – it is from these scarcely muffled "sidepipes" that the typical AMG eight- cylinder sound thunders. Music to the ears, not only of hard rock enthusiasts. Below the side skirts, the smooth underbody ensures an efficient airflow beneath the vehicle.

Extremely wide and sporting its large rear aerofoil, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 also cuts an impressive figure from the rear. Maximum downforce at the rear axle and high aerodynamic performance are ensured by the multiply adjustable rear aerofoil and the prominent diffuser. Large apertures in the rear apron expel the warm air from the rear wheels.

Naturally aspirated, high-revving AMG engine as a well-proven power unit

The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine, with additional improvements for the new racing car, ensures the fulminating power already familiar from the SLS AMG GT3. Low operating costs, long service intervals, the user-friendly technology and, not least, the great reliability of this naturally aspirated, high-revving AMG engine were the reasons for staying with this concept for the customer sports segment. Dry sump lubrication obviates the need for an oil sump, allowing the V8 engine to be installed low down in the chassis and well behind the front axle.

As is usual for the standard production engines, the racing engine also has an AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the technician who assembled it: Production of the V8 engine is a manual operation following the traditional "one man, one engine" principle applied in the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach. Naturally these AMG engine specialists are particularly proud to be assembling engines that are used to compete on legendary race circuits.

The sequential six-speed racing transmission of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is mounted at the rear axle (transaxle concept), and connected to the engine by a torsionally rigid torque tube. A drive shaft rotates at the engine speed inside the torque tube. Both components are of lightweight carbon-fibre. A multi-disc locking differential integrated into the transmission acts together with the adjustable traction control to ensure that the engine power is optimally transferred to the racetrack during acceleration. The driver shifts the six gears using two steering wheel shift paddles. Gearshifts are performed by pneumatic actuators which are likewise integrated into the transmission.

Double wishbone suspension of aluminium

Like the roadgoing version, the GT3 has a double wishbone suspension made almost completely of aluminium. This solution once again demonstrates how closely regular production and racing technology are linked at AMG. The same applies to the vehicle concept, with a low centre of gravity, perfect weight distribution, long wheelbase and wide track. This layout guarantees precise self-steering characteristics, high lateral acceleration, first-class agility, high traction and low inertia during fast changes in direction. On the different race circuits, all of these attributes give the driver the advantages necessary to achieve top placements.

For their individual, circuit-specific setup, customer teams are able to precisely set the springs and dampers, stabilisers, suspension height, track and camber. The servo-assisted, direct ratio rack-and-pinion steering likewise contributes to agile handling. The development team paid particular attention to the vehicle's predictable handling and good controllability at the critical limits. In these respects the SLS AMG GT3 has already scored top marks from racing drivers all over the world.

Neither did the AMG engineers accept any compromises when it came to the brakes: Good deceleration is ensured by a fade-resistant and very effective steel racing braking system with composite technology and adjustable racing ABS. Rapidly replaceable brake linings reduce idle time during endurance races. The pneumatic jacking system with four plungers integrated into the underbody allows fast pit stops and tyre-changes.

Major focus on functionality and safety

Functionality and safety are dominant features in the cockpit of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. In addition to high passive safety standards, ergonomics was very high up in the list of development specifications. A clearly laid-out interior, ergonomic access to the controls and good ventilation to ease driver stress are very important aspects during sprints and endurance races.

The cockpit layout is basically the same as that of the roadgoing sports car: the low, sloping dashboard resembles a powerful wing, and emphasises the width of the car. Numerous controls are arranged in the prominent centre console, whose shape is reminiscent of an NACA air intake, e.g. the main switch, the switch activating the ignition and the starter button for the V8 engine. A manual brake balance adjustment is located next to the rotary switch for traction control and ABS. Reverse gear and the fire extinguishing system can also be activated on the centre console.

Adjustable racing steering wheel and pedal cluster

The quick-release racing steering wheel eases access and egress. Like that of the pedal cluster, its position is adjustable within a wide range for rapid adaptation to different sizes of driver. As only the steering wheel and pedals are adjusted, but not the seat shell, the car's centre of gravity and therefore the wheel load distribution always remain the same. This safeguards the setup during endurance races, where up to four different drivers often take the wheel. It also ensures that each driver is seated in the safest position within the confines of the rollover cage. Ergonomically arranged shift paddles allow gear changes without the driver's hands leaving the wheel – a further safety aspect. The driver is able to activate the two-way radio, headlamp flasher or drink function using keys on the steering wheel.

The central display is optimally positioned in the driver's field of vision. The so-called DDU (Digital Display Unit) provides all relevant information such as road speed, engine speed, operating temperatures, lap times, current gear and upshift indicator. A function key on the steering wheel is also used to switch between the information shown by the colour display.

Seat shell of carbon-fibre, rollover cage of high-strength steel

The safety concept of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 translates the exemplary safety level of the roadgoing GT to the racetrack. The development focus was on the greatest possible driver safety. One of the central elements of this philosophy is the carbon-fibre seat shell for the driver, which has a specially developed structure providing much greater protection than a conventional racing seat. The already well-proven concept of the SLS AMG GT3 was further optimised and adapted to the current FIA requirements.

Thanks to its special shape, the safety cell bolted to the rollover cage and aluminium spaceframe provides a high level of protection for the driver's shoulders, pelvis and legs, and it is also compatible with the HANS system (Head and Neck Support). The HANS system helps to prevent serious head, neck and spinal injuries, and is mandatory in many race series. The seat shell is individually foam-padded for every driver, features a six-point seat belt with reinforced anchorage points and provides an outstanding level of occupant protection.

Additional protection is ensured by the rollover cage of high-strength steel, which is bolted to the aluminium spaceframe and helps to rigidify this even further. It too was optimised for easier access and egress by the driver. An escape hatch is integrated into the roof, so that the driver can be rapidly rescued in an emergency if e.g. no access is possible via the doors. For reasons of balance, the carbon-fibre safety fuel tank is located directly behind the passenger cell and features an inner sac of elastic rubber.

Production at the Affalterbach plant

Production is in close cooperation between Mercedes-AMG GmbH and HWA AG, at the Affalterbach plant. A long-standing motor racing partner of Mercedes-Benz, HWA AG is one of the most successful teams in international motor sport: in total, the team won ten driver's titles (DTM and ITC) and three team titles for Mercedes-Benz and as such is the most successful team in the history of the DTM.

Deliveries to commence at the end of 2015

2015 will be devoted to the development and intensive testing of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The objective is to deliver a mature and reliable high-performance product to the AMG customer teams. Racing drivers Bernd Schneider, a long-standing Mercedes-Benz works driver and AMG brand ambassador, and Thomas Jäger, AMG customer sports coordinator, will take turns in the cockpit. They have supported customer teams as AMG pool drivers since 2010, and have meanwhile achieved numerous victories. In the summer the new GT3 racing car will be on the starting line in test races for the first time. Deliveries of the first customer vehicles are planned for the end of this year, so that customer teams can take to the starting line in early 2016. This is when the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will also impress with its ease of maintenance and extended service intervals.

187 wins since 2010, victory in eight endurance races in 2013

AMG and HWA will continue to provide their highly professional services in Affalterbach, and also replacement parts support at the racetracks, for customer teams still using the SLS AMG GT3. The gullwing racing car has notched up a total of 187 victories since the start of the AMG customer sports programme in 2010. In 2013 alone it won eight endurance races, among them a "Grand Slam" with four prestigious overall victories in Dubai, Bathurst, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps. The 2015 motor sport season has also begun with a fitting success: a double victory for the SLS AMG GT3 in the 24-hour race in Dubai.




~ Official photos and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH ~

Copyright © 2015, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Geneva Motor Show 2013: World premiere of the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman (VV 222)

The new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is being introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. Mercedes-Maybach's second model assumes the top-of-the-range position, with vis-à-vis seating in the partitioned-off passenger compartment, and at the same time stands as a proud example of the high-end automotive luxury traditionally associated with Maybach.

Its length of 6.50 metres alone is a sign of the special status of the Mercedes‑Maybach Pullman. It provides the space for a generously-sized and tastefully-appointed club lounge in the rear, with a multitude of creature comforts fitted as standard, thereby ensuring the chauffeur-driven limousine lives up to today's expectations of what constitutes total exclusivity and luxury. The VIP occupants sit on two standard-specification executive seats facing the direction of travel. They can enjoy the greatest legroom in the segment; and can get into and out of the car with the greatest of ease and comfort. As is typical for a Pullman, the four passengers can sit facing each other in the compartment with an electrically-operated partition window. Prices start at around half a million euros; the first customers will be taking delivery of their vehicles, which of course offer unrivalled scope for individualisation, at the beginning of 2016.

Many governments, heads of state and royal families around the world have for decades chosen Mercedes-Benz saloons with the designation "Pullman" to drive them with the stateliness and style befitting their status. With its new model, the company is now extending its unique position in this demanding segment: "Quite apart from providing spacious seating in first-class comfort for high-ranking passengers, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," commented Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Management Board responsible for sales and marketing of Mercedes‑Benz Cars. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."

The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman provides extremely spacious seating combined with unique features characterised by their extraordinary and perfect craftsmanship. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. These include the exquisite Maybach paint finishes, which are applied in several layers.

With a length of 6499 mm, the Pullman is another 1053 mm longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is an impressive 4418 mm. Furthermore, at 1598 mm in height, the Pullman is more than 100 mm higher than a Mercedes S-Class, resulting in a tangible increase in headroom.

The V12 biturbo engine in the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman has an output of 390 kW (530 hp). It has a displacement of 5980 cc and maximum torque of 830 Nm from 1900 rpm.

The name Pullman was originally applied to railway carriages with luxurious open-plan compartments manufactured by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. This name was soon also applied to the motor cars from Mercedes-Benz which were based on an extremely long wheelbase and offered a very generously-sized passenger compartment. In the rear, separated from the driver's area by a partition, there was space for four passengers to recline regally in four single seats facing each other.

Extremely spacious seating in the rear, entire vehicle interior is leather-clad

As its name suggests, the four seats in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman are arranged vis-à-vis. The owner and VIP guests are seated in the direction of travel on two executive seats which are part of the standard specification; other passengers can sit on the fold-down seats facing backwards. If specifically requested, the Pullman can also be delivered in an exclusive version without the additional seats.

The executive seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to their special adjustment kinematics. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined. For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion as standard. The two first-class travellers in the rear have the greatest amount of legroom of any car in the segment, as well as 60 millimetres more headroom than in a Mercedes-Maybach S‑Class.

It is easy and convenient to get to any of the seats, thanks to the large rear doors and the position of the passengers on the executive seats, which is even further to the rear. A real boost in comfort for those heads of state and monarchs for whom protocol dictates that they must take their places ahead of their interpreters. This seating arrangement also preserves their privacy, as a large proportion of their bodies is hidden by the rear roof pillar.

The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is upholstered in leather throughout as standard. Not only is the roof liner upholstered in high-quality leather, but also the door frames and seat consoles. As one would expect of a Maybach, there are three analogue instruments in the roof liner informing passengers in the rear of the outside temperature, speed and time.

The partition wall between the rear and the driver's area ensures discretion. The glass partition wall can be lowered electrically. It can also change from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows – in combination with the equally standard-specification curtains for the rear windows – for different levels of privacy. The standard-fit 16:9 format 18.5-inch (47 cm) monitor located in front of the partition can also be extended electrically.

Those who demand uncompromising quality of sound and appreciate perfect music reproduction can choose between two innovative Burmester sound systems. The existing Burmester® surround sound system delivers the legendary and unmistakeable magical sound for which the high-end audio specialist from Berlin is famous. But as an option par excellence, the Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System provides matchless listening pleasure and outstanding sound quality.

It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. The key account managers in the exclusive Maybach centres throughout Europe as well as the sales advisors in the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets are happy to provide further information on this.

The history: Pullman limousines from Mercedes-Benz

Happy birthday: the special protection version of the most famous Pullman limousine, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman, is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015. The first version of this luxury armoured version was built in 1965 to complement the portfolio of the luxury vehicle that was introduced in 1963. Having said that, the tradition of offering exclusive limousines with the Pullman name goes back even further at Mercedes-Benz: three special-design examples of the model 300 in Pullman dimensions, referred to in the vernacular as the "Adenauer Mercedes", were made in 1960. And following on from the model 600, Pullman versions of the S-Class 109 and 126 model series (special production) and the 140, 220 and 221 (both series production) were produced in subsequent years.













Credits: Daimler AG

Copyright © 2015, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.