Displaying items by tag: Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz is going all-in on their EQ line of vehicles, with six new cars confirmed to launch over the coming months and years. We’ve already seen spy shots of the EQS Sedan, which will be unveiled later this year. This time it’s the turn of the smaller EQE Sedan.

The EQE Sedan will be the second car to use Mercedes‘ new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA). Like the EQS Sedan, it’ll follow the hierarchy set by their legacy models, meaning that the EQE will play in the same segment as the E-Class.


 
However, the EQE won’t just be a simple rework of the E-Class body shell. It will be based on the new Modular Electric Architecture (MEA) and feature a swoopy cab-forward design, as we’ve seen with the EQS, inspired by the Mercedes Vision EQS concept car.

Like the EQS Sedan, the EQE Sedan (codenamed V295) will spawn an SUV variation. In what could prove to be a confusing naming convention, this soft-roader be called the EQE SUV.


 
From these images, it’s evident that the EQE is smaller in overall diameter than the EQS Sedan, with our spy photographers noting that it may even be slightly shorter overall than the current E-Class. But, thanks to the EVA platform’s flat-floor design, the interior is likely to be more spacious than the ICE-power car.

The EQE also offers a “proper” boot, unlike the five-door lift-back style featured on the EQS. The side profile’s most striking feature is how the beltline sweeps up in a manner not often seen in a Mercedes-Benz design. That said, the heavy camouflage and body panel disguise would indicate that the outlines of the rear quarter panels and the hood are not to be believed just yet.


 
The interior is expected to feature a version of the forthcoming MBUX Hyperscreen. The boundary-breaking dashboard features three screens sitting under one massive expanse of glass. The glass stretches from door to door and allows the front-seat passenger to have their own dedicated display.

Powertrains are yet to be confirmed, as the car itself looks set to be a 2022 model. What we expect, though, are twin motor setups with all-wheel drive. The German carmaker aims to offer the bigger EQS Sedan with a driving range of up to 435 miles (700 km), so expect to see similarly impressive figures from the EQE as well.
 
There’s also a strong likelihood that we’ll see AMG models of the EQE Sedan as well, set to take on the likes of the Taycan, e-tron GT, and Tesla Model S. Read more > https://mercedes-world.com/eq/mercedes-benz-eqe-e-class

mercedes-world.com

Published in Mercedes

More than 1.3 million Mercedes Benz vehicles will be withdrawn, because the emergency call system can send the wrong location after the accident due to a software error.

The car manufacturer made that decision after the accident that happened in Europe when the automatic system sent the wrong location of the vehicle.

During the investigation that began in October 2019, more similar cases were discovered, but according to the company's spokesperson, none in the United States.

Mercedes will withdraw a large number of vehicles from 2016 to 2021, including the CLA, GLA, GLE, GLS, SLC, A, GT, C, E, S, CLS, SL, B, GLB, GLC and G classes.

Daimler has announced that it will also withdraw the Metris 2016-2020 and Sprinter 2019-2020 cars.

Mercedes-Benz announced that it will inform the affected owners and update the software systems free of charge.

The withdrawal of the car is expected to begin on April 6.

Published in Blog/News
Sunday, 14 February 2021 09:07

2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 Coupe Review Test Drive

The schedule said a 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 was going to be showing up on Tuesday. The following week was therefore going to be a good one, at least automotively, with one of the finest sedans in creation gracing the driveway. Perhaps we’d take a nice family drive somewhere; take advantage of that big, comfy back seat.

Then the E arrived. It was missing doors. And B pillars. And that big, comfy back seat. This was in fact going to be a week spent with an E 450 Coupe. Admittedly, I had just assumed it would be a sedan and if I’m honest, I had pretty much forgotten the E-Class Coupe even existed. After all, two-door cars are increasingly an endangered species with scarce sales and a consequent meager selection of choices. To that point, the E 450 is the only car in its class. The coupes offered by BMW, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus are all smaller and cheaper, while there are a number of bigger and/or pricier choices.


 
This scarcity is a tragedy. There’s an indelible romantic quality to coupes, especially ones as beautiful as this one, its curvaceous body slathered in silky Mojave Silver paint. They are indeed inherently less practical than a sedan or, ugh, a crossover coupe. They’re also inherently not a transportation appliance. By choosing a coupe, you’re far more likely to have drives that are more about the journey than the destination. Trips that are about the one or two people sitting up front, rather the kids or friends in back, and all the stuff you crammed into the trunk to enjoy away from the car at that destination. I can remember every coupe I took on a road trip: the Mercedes CL65 to the Grand Canyon, the Nissan GT-R to Vegas, the Challenger to Phoenix, the LC 500 to Bend, Oregon. All the sedans and SUVs everywhere else? They’re just a blur.

In a way, though, choosing a coupe is also the practical acknowledgment that back seats are often rarely used and trunks rarely filled. You can file a crossover coupe’s all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance into that folder as well. If you already have a practical car at home, why not indulge in a little automotive romanticism? When did we all get so sensible and boring?


 
Probably around the time that traffic became unbearable everywhere and the vast majority of driving a chore. Why have a romantic car when so many people see nothing romantic in driving? We are not those people, though; certainly not if you find yourself routinely reading Autoblog. While much digital ink has been spilt in the crusade to #SaveTheManuals, some should be held in reserve to protect coupes from going extinct. Just as much would be lost.

Although the E 450 Coupe shares its interior design with its sedan and wagon siblings, the grand, opulent nature of it seems far more fitting in this most romantic of variations. The broad swath of open-pore wood seems to lap across the dash likes waves and cascades down the center console. The four rotary air vents stare out like the engines of a 747, their inner workings aglow in multi-color ambient lighting that complements the color glowing from behind the trim below. There are the grand, futuristic MBUX displays, the intricate Burmester speaker grilles and the novel, twin-spoke AMG steering wheel. This E-Class Coupe may not have been graced with one of the striking two-tone color combinations, but even in all-black, this cabin stands to make every drive that much more of an event, which, to belabor the point, is a coupe’s raison d’etre.


 
To that end, actually driving the E 450 is as special as one would hope. In true grand touring tradition, it can cosset you comfortably for countless miles with a ride that’s far cushier than anything you’ll find in a sports coupe (a BMW M4, for example). True, our test car benefited from ample sidewall courtesy of 18-inch wheels, significantly reducing the chances of harsh reactions to gnarled pavement. Yet in its pocket was also the optional Air Body Control air suspension, a cool $1,900 that’s very well spent. In addition to providing the aforementioned plush ride one might expect from something dubbed an “air suspension,” its ability to firm up the damping and lower the ride height also improves handling. While most cars today have some sort of drive modes that alter various components and controls to create a more relaxed, comfortable or engaging driving experience, the E 450’s goes a bit further by actually transforming the car’s character.

With the suspension considerably firmer, the steering tauter, the transmission staying in lower gears and the throttle more responsive to delicate inputs, you might as well be in a different car. That’s neat, because the car you were previously in was pretty great. So is this one, but in a different way. In Sport+, or to a lesser extent Sport, it suddenly feels smaller and more agile, as if shrink-wrapped around you. At the same time, the suspension never becomes intolerably firm, nor the powertrain overcaffeinated. It doesn’t try to be a sports coupe and is better for it.


 
Under hood, the E 450 has Mercedes’ innovative new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with EQ Boost mild-hybrid system. It’s good for 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and when paired with 4Matic all-wheel drive as this was, dispatches 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. True to the car’s character, this is a rather undramatic powertrain. There are no histrionic AMG exhaust noises, and if Mercedes pipes in anything fake through the sound system, it’s certainly not noticeable. It’s incredibly smooth and effortless in its power delivery, which probably shouldn’t be surprising for an inline-six amplified by a turbocharger and an electric motor. If there is a dynamic complaint, it’s that the nine-speed transmission’s Sport+ mode isn’t quite as eager to downshift when braking as in AMG applications.

One also has to acknowledge that by going with a traditional hardtop coupe design and dispensing with the B pillar, you can detect a slight loss in structural rigidity, especially over bumps. There’s no flex or creaking or anything overt, but there are also no free lunches. At least the resulting meal of freer-flowing air and the classic coolness of a hardtop is forever tasty. Pity about that little vestigial window bit at the rear.


 
Losing the B pillar also makes it far easier to climb into the back seat, but this is still a coupe. It’s obviously a lot less practical than a four-door car. At least it’s a big coupe. The trunk measures a perfectly usable 10 cubic feet, and the back seat offers sufficient legroom for average-sized adults. Headroom is surprisingly good too, although taller folks may find the car’s rather aggressive tumblehome making contact with the side of their head. Weird.

Really, the E 450’s biggest drawback is one common with every newer Mercedes: the MBUX interface is convoluted and frustrating. Sure, it looks pretty, but it’s laborious to switch between menus; too many icons are small and the same color as the background; and although it utilizes a touchscreen, the unit is so far away, I end up wanting to use the touchpad that falls readily at hand. Except touchpads are a terrible way to control things in a car. See Lexus, Remote Touch.
 
Yet much like that infernal bit of tech in the otherwise exquisite Lexus LC 500, my dislike of MBUX doesn’t come close to ruining the Mercedes-Benz E 450 Coupe. It may represent a segment of one, but it’s hard to imagine any brand possibly topping this masterful and appropriately romantic effort. It’s a special car and it made for memorable drives, even if here in early 2021, there was nowhere to really go. I suppose that makes a car like this even more important – your drives have to be about the journey since the destination is inevitably bound to be something no more exotic than Target or the drive-thru. 

mercedes-world.com

Published in Mercedes

Newly announced partnership with Nvidia will include over-the-air upgrades and could even yield a Mercedes App Store.

  • Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia have announced a new partnership that will bring upgradable AVs and, maybe, a Mercedes App Store.
  • This new deal doesn't exactly replace Benz's previous deal with BMW, which was put on hold last week due to future model timing.
  • Based on the Nvidia DRIVE platform, the new partnership will be used in every next-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicle starting in 2024.

When planning for the future, it doesn't hurt to give yourself some options. Last year, for example, Mercedes-Benz and BMW announced that they would work together on autonomous passenger cars that would be available to private customers starting in 2024. Last week, that cooperation effort was put on hold and then this week, Mercedes announced a new partnership with Nvidia on automated-driving technology to be trolled out in new Benzes starting in 2024.

Even though that could be read as Daimler swapping out BMW for Nvidia for its upcoming AV tech, the reality is a bit more complicated. A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told Car and Driver that the cooperation with Nvidia is independent from the one that was planned with BMW. "The timing with planned models from BMW did not fit, that is why we put the cooperation on hold and may resume later," she said. "With Nvidia we are looking at a software-defined architecture for automated driving features. This is different to what was planned with BMW."

Different and bigger. Danny Shapiro, Nvidia's senior director of automotive, told C/D that the future that his company's new deal with Mercedes-Benz offers comes with support from the top, which means Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and Mercedes-Benz AG CEO Ola Källenius.

"Don't think of [the announcement] as a product but a change in strategy and architecture that [Mercedes'] entire future lineup is based on," he said. "It's very significant on both sides. It's rare for an automaker to put so much trust in another company. Ola and Jensen have been working very, very closely on this. It's top down in both companies."

Every Mercedes Will Get Nvidia's AI Supercomputer

So, what's in the deal? As Shapiro said, a lot. Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia are going to build a new software-defined computing architecture for automated vehicles based on the Nvidia DRIVE platform that will be installed across the fleet of next-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles, starting in 2024.

"It's really a transformative business model for Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz," Shapiro said. "The entire fleet, every car from the entry A-classes to the S-classes, will have the highest-performance Nvidia AI supercomputer on board."

Shapiro said that each of these new Mercedes vehicles will come with the full surround sensor suite installed and then, similar to how Tesla does things today, it will be up to owners to decide if they want to activate features, either when they purchase the car or after the fact with an over-the-air update. "There will be different business models, subscription service possibilities or one-time fees or things like that, depending on the region, that potentially turns the car into a fully upgradable, perpetually upgradable device, and there potentially could be be a Mercedes App Store," he said.

The features include what Mercedes calls "state-of-the-art automated driving functionalities" that will be able to "automate driving of regular routes from address to address," but since Mercedes is only promising Level 2 and 3 autonomous driving, the driver may need to take over in some situations during the drive. Mercedes says future automated parking functions that use this system could offer up to Level 4 capabilities, which means the car could go park on its own.

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Mercedes
Monday, 08 February 2021 06:55

Top 5: road cars signed by Cosworth

Often in the world of cars, a story is repeated that begins something like this: "When you and those characters started this or that year, they didn't even know that…".
Well, this story won't start like that, because the brilliant minds in front of Cosworth foresaw the future very well and knew even better what they were doing. And this thesis is shown by these road cars with their signatures.
So here is a brief cross-section of the best that this ingenious duo has offered for road use…

There is no doubt that Mike Costlin and Keith Duckworth have become immortal since 1958. There is also no doubt that the engines and other components of this ingenious duo have been revered by millions of Ford fans and beyond over the years. Because what Cosworth has achieved in the world of engine optimization, refinement, performance increase and construction of legendary race cars, practically no one has ever managed to achieve.

Having Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and even a Cosworth-signed Subaru in my possession has always been something special. And the owners of various Sierra, Escort and other other cars were rightly proud of their cars.
Because Cosworth, despite all its flaws (and there were some), has always fascinated with its ingenious solutions, crazy ideas and revolutionary machines that power some of the most respected cars of all time.
Both on the street and on the track.

True car enthusiasts, whose coexistence with cars does not come down to blind worship of one brand or worse, one model of one brand, know very well what this legendary company has signed from 1958 until today.
But some of you esteemed readers might be surprised with our selection as part of Cosworth’s list of the best road races.

So there is no choice but to start with this short and sweet list of really special road races with Cosworth's signature…

Number 5: Ford Escort RS Cosworth

"Cossie"… "Cossack"… "Escort on steroids"… Indeed, this car has certainly been called by car enthusiasts over the years.
But all these names, adjectives, suffixes and slang names have one common denominator. And that comes down to one of the most special angry compacts of all time.

For many, this car marked an entire era of racing on the dirty and dusty tracks of the World Rally Championship.
For many, the RS Cosworth was the "car" that made them indulge in the world of cars in their entirety.
Many also swear by the absolute superiority of this Escort compared to the competition from that wonderful time.

And maybe all those many are right, but Ford with this car in its road edition did not intend to break any records, nor was it expected that this icon from the nineties and a few decades later would be adored by a huge amount of people.

The idea was to accomplish the series needed to comply with the homologation rules and that’s usually it.
But despite this, the Escort RS Cosworth still stands on the pedestal of the most special cars of all time - although through some figures, the wickedly high price and often questionable durability may not deserve it.

The Cossie, with its body just like an ordinary Escort, looked like a neighborhood hooligan.
His character was like the once famous movie diva whose alcohol drank his brain and reflexes, while due to frequent breakdowns, this Ford fell out of the car, which caused its owners to go bald unplanned.
But the two-liter engine with its 227 horsepower and all-wheel drive was absolutely fascinating even with a Turbo-hole the size of a Marianas furrow.
And then there’s that ingenious and equally oversized spoiler on which laundry could be dried.

Basically, if there is an icon on four wheels in the world that can be recognized from any angle, then it is precisely the Escort RS Cosworth.

Number 4: Subaru Impreza WRX STi CS400

Yes… Cosworth had his fingers in this legendary Japanese car as well. And you may not have known it, but it still doesn’t negate that fact, because this car really did carry Cosworth’s signature.

The idea was simple: to produce something really special and thus at least partially try to annul all the negative reactions that Impreza GR was collecting even in its strongest version.
Because the Impreza has always been a sedan, while the third generation of this model is presented in the form of a compact with five doors.

And yes… This Impreza was as disgusting to watch as it was shocking to comprehend. Therefore, Subaru struggled in all possible and impossible ways with various variations on the special editions of this body version for the Impreza, before the definitive capitulation and the release of the sedan (GV) version on the market.
But before that happened, for many the ultimate Impreza of the time

the woman was created in collaboration with Cosworth.

Basically, the ugly compact still wore vulgar spoilers and a design signed by the correctional team from the subject "design and engineering". I guess that’s why the focus this time was definitely shifted under the hood under which Subaru’s heart was pounding with Cosworth’s pacemaker.

The four-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine at Cosworth is disassembled into "simple factors" and then rearranged from start to finish. And the resulting condition was shaped into an EJ257 engine with almost 400 horsepower.

With those 400 horsepower combined with a billion minor and minor minor revisions to the chassis, suspension, and powertrain and braking system, the Impreza WRX STi CS400 accelerated to 100 km / h in 3.7 seconds. That is, in translation more convincing than some five times more expensive super-cars of that time.
But despite this, this very interesting project was very quickly doomed. Because the price of £ 50,000 in the UK was simply exorbitant.

Either way, Cosworth has turned this Impreza from an ugly duckling into a dark object of desire for many.
And that’s actually quite enough to say as a conclusion about this car.

Number 3: Audi RS4 (B5)

Admit that you had no idea that Cosworth was also fiddling with this mobile box from Ingolstadt.
But admit it or not, history confirms that Audi without Cosworth would never have presented the successor to the legendary RS2 - at least not in the form in which we know it and with which we are fascinated.

Now… You must be wondering how this somewhat obscure collaboration actually came about.
So here is the answer to that question…

Namely, as Cosworth as a company was on the verge of bankruptcy in the late 1990s, at one point the idea was born to split the company into two parts. The newly formed divisions were oriented separately towards road cars and those with which the team raced along the track.
In those years, Audi persistently tried to create a successor to the legendary RS2, so instead of cooperating with Cosworth, it simply decided to buy the road division of that company and throw the employees into the fire. And look at the miracles - it turned out great.
Because on the one hand Cosworth did not put the key in the lock forever, while on the other hand Audi produced one of the most special models of all time. And a model with a coat of arms.

Many swear that the first RS4 is also the last real Audi with the correct pedigree and without unnecessary marketing nonsense. Because this caravan already looked serious with its appearance, while driving it was able to embarrass many times more expensive, nominally faster and much more famous super-sports cars on the planet - by driving kids to school and Labradors to the toilet.
The 2.7-liter V6 engine was already a respectable force on the road. And after Cosworth's interventions on the engine in question (especially on the pistons and the exhaust system) with its 380 horses, this really became one of those cars that made the "haters" of the caravan want to have one in the yard.

acceleration to 100 km / h took less than 4 seconds, while top speed was limited to the agreed 250 kilometers per hour in Germany.
So even though I guess megalomaniacs and number addicts will say the proverbial "meh" and wave their hands, the Audi RS4 still remains one of the most brutal family cars the world has ever seen.
And without Cosworth, all this would not be possible.

Number 2: Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

That by any chance AMG was an official part of Mercedes' three-spoke empire, and that in 1983 the company's employees had the time, will and desire, who knows what the story of this car would look like.
But as AMG was not part of Mercedes' three-legged empire at the time, and as the company's employees were on a cigarette-two break just then, Mercedes-Benz dared to start a partnership with Cosworth.

And the result state was shaped into one title title as part of the DTM competition from the early 1990s, and countless victories during the seasons that preceded that success.
But before that, this seemingly ridiculous fruit of collaboration between crazy Englishmen and anal-precise Germans also set several world records, including the one of 50,000 kilometers traveled in one piece and at a (combined) speed of almost 250 kilometers per hour. And without any malfunctions, without a general breakdown of the system and without any service interventions.

So, here is an example that confirms that Cosworth can really put his signature on something permanent and high quality, so the critics of this Mercedes derivative of the 190 and the collaboration with Cosworth were soon (and forever) gagged.

Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 nowadays has a cult status. And deservedly so. Because from those times until today, it is not a common case for a company to present a car that is so close to the "ordinary" version, and at the same time stands fourteen light years away from it.
Because despite the fact that the 190 with its 185 horses and Cosworth's signature is not even the fastest limousine of its time, at the same time it clearly showed that it is one of the most special limousines of all time.

And by all accounts, it will remain so.
And rightly so.

Number 1: Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth

"As it was in the beginning, so it is now."

Because Sierra in this version with Cosworth’s signature literally kicked her ass wherever she appeared.

Europe has submitted to this Sierra several times and in several different domains of motorsport.
Australia too, and in the US and Japan this Sierra has earned an extremely high rating.
In a world of dust and dirt, Sierra has raised some of the best drivers of all time, of whom perhaps best to highlight is the legendary aggressor named Colin McRae.

The pedigree itself was present from some already past times in which Cosworth together with Ford played with several generations of Escort RS, so Sierra "only" continued that story. But the most special part of the "story" about the Sierra RS500 Cosworth was recorded on the street, ie among the "ordinary" people. Because it is in this segment that this car, despite a kind of handicap compared to competitors such as the BMW M3 (E30) and Audi UrQuattro, turned out to be a moral winner.

Namely, while Audi sold its UrQuattro in micron series and at the prices of preserved kidneys on the black market, and BMW moved the produced copies from garage to garage due to the lack of produced M-three models, Ford provided a larger production series for the Sierra RS Cosworth.
And with that, the Sierra took over the roads because of its accessibility, so it soon gained the status of a national hero in England. And that status holds to this day, when some of the preserved specimens at auctions record six-digit figures. And the version marked RS500 with its 500 produced copies only added that obligatory factor of exclusivity for this already loved and desired car.

The body extensions and the oversized rear spoiler from this uncompromising car certainly made a different beast than the ones moms, dads and taxi drivers rode on a daily basis. Although some still resent that the two-liter engine never got more than 227 horsepower, this is still the Sierra, which to this day is the alpha and omega for all those for whom the "fast Ford" is the ideal in the world of cars.

Ford produced a legend with this car, while Cosworth gave that legend a truly special beast with the character of an absolute savage. Ie. one of those cars that only the most capable behind the wheel could deal with in the right way.

And that’s why it’s the best road car Cosworth has ever put its signature on.

Do you agree?

Published in Blog/News

The Compare the Market website analyzed search data from 158 countries in 2018, 2019 and 2020

 Toyota is not only the best-selling car brand in the world, the brand is also the leader in terms of search on Google. BMW, last year’s number one, dropped significantly in this year’s search.

The Compare the Market website analyzed search data from 158 countries in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The total number of car brand searches in 2020 was approximately 88 million. According to the study, Toyota ranked first in 55 countries, representing 34.8 percent of the total number of countries analyzed.

A year earlier, that position was still occupied by BMW, which experienced a huge drop in search volume during the year ravaged by the pandemic. A year earlier, BMW was the most sought-after car brand in 118 countries, compared to only 34 countries in 2020. That represents a drop of 64 percent.

Mercedes-Benz is in third place again this year. Interestingly, the Kia and Ford brands did relatively well, finishing in fourth and fifth place. Both car brands were in last place in 2019, and each was in first place in only one country.

Published in Blog/News
Sunday, 31 January 2021 08:17

Mercedes-AMG G63 (2021) review: excess all areas

 

‘The old G-Class was a second or third car for most customers,’ Gunnar Guethenke (unsurprisingly nicknamed ‘Mr G’ as the head of Mercedes-Benz’s off-road division) told us back in 2018. ‘With the new model, we think it is a viable only car.’

That was a very big claim to make. Having tested one abroad and in the UK, though, we’re inclined to agree.

This G-Class represented the biggest shake-up in the model’s 40-odd-year history; the W463 model we all know and quietly admire had been on sale from 1990 until 2018. While there’s been little arguing about the streetside posing and rap-attack creds of the outgoing G, it drove, packaged and wobbled like a car knocking on the door of its 30th birthday party.

Here, we test the all-out AMG G63 variant.

What has changed with the latest G63?

Almost everything. Only three parts are carried over: the headlamp washers, the push-button door handles and the giant spare wheel cover bolted to the rear tailgate.

It’s still based around a sturdy (but new) ladder-frame chassis, built like steel girders to support a nearby suspension bridge more than a rich person’s plaything. Off it are hung steel and aluminium body panels, cleverly designed for maximum stiffness and a little less weight (mass falls by around 170kg, to a still-portly 2.5 tonnes).

Much of that heft is attributed to the serious off-roading hardware; the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class range comes as standard with three fully locking differentials (one at each axle and a central clutch, to maintain traction in all conditions) and a low-speed transfer box. Daimler claims this provision is unique among off-roading brethren.

Climb aboard the new G and you won’t confuse old and new cabins. The old G-Class had a woefully cramped passenger compartment; your elbows felt pinched by the door cards, rear-seat passengers had nowhere to put their feet and the instruments and electrical architecture reflected the Betamax generation from which they hailed.

The new car is bigger, for starters: 53mm longer and 64mm wider, for superior packaging. It shows – even full-sized adults will be comfy in either row, and the rear bench can accommodate two, or even three, grown-ups thanks to thinner front seats and an impressively almost flat floor. The boot is an adequate 454 litres, pinched by the sub-woofer on the left and fuel tank on the right. Access it via the mother of all side-hinged, heavy tailgates which now locks into place at any extension so it won’t blow shut in a high wind.

Most striking of all is the E-class instrumentation that’s transformed the dashboard: giant twin 12.3in digital displays are standard in UK models (elsewhere you can order retro physical dials, should you fancy) and all the latest Merc trickery is present and correct. So you can now enjoy Apple CarPlay to sync your phone, skip around the menus using wheel-mounted thumb trackpads and there’s even a wifi hotspot. On a G-wagen!

Oh, and there’s still a sturdy grab handle in front of the passenger, as a permanent reminder that this car is still all about scaling serious inclines more than the next playlist.

What’s the AMG G63 like to drive?

You quickly sense how thorough this overhaul is. The G might look incredibly similar from outside, all the way down to those faux rain gutters and sturdy exposed hinges that riff on the G aesthetic, but it’s essentially very modern.

This full-monty AMG G63 which brings the mother of all twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8s with a faintly ludicrous 569bhp and 627lb ft all the way from 2500-3500rpm. There’s also a G350d available in the UK, which we’ve ran as a long-termer.

The AMG G63 So it’s neck-snappingly quick, with 0-62mph in a claimed 4.5sec and you can derestrict it up to 149mph if you’re feeling especially brave. Performance is accompanied by the rudest of V8 blare, exaggerated in Sport mode to bounce off walls and draw even more attention than the set-square boxy G-Class already musters.

The old one was fast, too, but felt like it was about to hurl you off the road at the first sign of a corner or bump. The new chassis delivers a quantum leap in ride and handling, soaking up the majority of road scars and – praise be! – delivering something approaching steering response and feel.

Thank the new electric rack and pinion steering, replacing the stick-in-porridge accuracy of the old recirculating ball set-up. Look: the new G-Class might be lighter but it’s still nearly 2.6 tonnes and you’ll never make that much metal truly agile, but the new G-Class has a damn good go at it. There’s still some hefty body roll – something you clearly have to expect from an enormous box that’s lifted several feet off the ground – but, again, it’s a marked improvement from the old one.

The chunky tyres (up to 22 inches in diameter, and down to 18s on Euro-spec models) give up the ghost first, squealing like a pig escaping the abbatoir, but body control and general poise are to be applauded. Driving the G-wagen is a lesson in upright boxiness, those perpendicular windows affording a fine view out – the bubble-wrap front indicators acting as a gun sight as you haul in the hot hatch hooligan up ahead.

Will the new G-wagen off road like a Land Rover?

You bet. The G-Class has always been about genuine mud-plugging, as befits its ongoing military application among governments around the world. And the new one (still codenamed W463; it’s too iconic a badge to change, apparently) does more of the same.

Proper ground clearance (241mm), stubby ends for goat-like departure (30º), approach (31º) and breakover (26º) angles mean the new G-Class can scamper up the most extraordinary terrain.

The locking differentials help here, and you can adjust them on the fly at speeds of up to 30mph. You can feel each individual wheel grabbing at the ground and the low-speed transfer case means you can descend steep hills on tickover, as engine braking does its thing. It’s frankly incredible off-road – right up there with the best from Land Rover or Jeep.

Mercedes-AMG G63: verdict

There’s some truth to Guethenke’s claim that the new G is a jack-of-all-trades. It can be a viable only car – so long as you don’t mind the ostentation, the steep running costs and the image, which is part gangster-swagger, part military, part supercar slayer. It’s an extraordinarily versatile car and one gifted with that oft-forgotten automotive talent: character.

Source: carmagazine.co.uk

Published in Mercedes
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