Mercedes-AMG spotted testing GLC63 at the ‘Ring

mercedes amg glc 63 spy1 Mercedes AMG spotted testing GLC63 at the Ring

Mercedes is preparing to replace its aging GLK-Class crossover with an all-new generation, and it’s tipped to alter the model’s nameplate to more closely align with the C-Class sedan upon which it’ll be based. The move to a GLC-Class nomenclature is all well and fine, but the tantalizing news revealed by this latest crop of spy shots is that an AMG version is apparently in the works.

Spied at the entrance to and roads around the Nürburgring, this prototype for the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLC63 shows a performance crossover with a lower, sportier suspension, along with upgraded wheels, tires and brakes and a more aggressive aero kit.

Under the hood, we’d expect to find the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 as the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63 sedan, in which the engine is offered in both 456- and 503-horsepower specs. As to which version will power the GLC63, we can’t speak at this point, but it could be both. Either version, however, figures to be more than enough to put the Audi SQ5 and the recently spied BMW X4 M40i to shame.

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Daimler divests remaining interest in Tesla

Daimler restructures cooperation with Tesla
Stuttgart, Germany, Oct 21, 2014

- Termination of share-price hedging and sale of 4% stake in Tesla
- Ongoing cooperation on current projects
- Daimler to continue sourcing powertrain for Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive from Tesla
- Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued.”

Daimler AG (stock exchange symbol: DAI) has reorganized its cooperation with Tesla Motors Inc. In this context, Daimler has terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and has sold its stake in Tesla of approximately 4%. The cooperation between the partners on the automotive projects is unaffected. Development work for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is completed, the partnership with Tesla remains in place.

“We pursue our strategy for emission-free driving consequently. Electric vehicles are one component of this roadmap. In Tesla we do have a bold partner. Together we launched the B-class Electric Drive successfully in the United States this summer. In November, the B-Class Electric Drive will be launched in Europe as well. We are convinced that this powerful electric vehicle for every day use will appeal to a lot of customers,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Furthermore, the batteries for the first generation of the smart fortwo electric drive had been from Tesla. The two-seater with electric drive is one of the best-selling electric cars in Germany. “Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued”, added Zetsche.

Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Finance & Controlling and Financial Services: “We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.”

The sale of Daimler’s stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around$780 million, which will be used to strengthen Daimler’s operational business. The impact on EBIT for the year 2014 is approximately in the same amount.

“We have supported Tesla as a startup company for many years and have learned a lot from Tesla. At the same time, Tesla was able to profit from our automotive expertise. The cooperation with Tesla is one component of our activities in the field of electric mobility. It optimally complements our involvement in Deutsche ACCUmotive,” explained Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Daimler has the industry’s biggest portfolio of electric vehicles, from cars and vans to buses and light trucks: smart electric drive, Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, B-Class Electric Drive, B-Class F-CELL, SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive, Vito E-CELL, Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid, Fuso Canter E-CELL and Freightliner Custom Chassis MT E-CELL All-Electric. Systematic hybridization is also a fixed element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz sold more automobiles with hybrid drive than all other German manufacturers combined. The focus will continue to be on plug-in hybrids in the coming years. By the year 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars will launch ten new plug-in hybrid models in all market segments.

Daimler initially acquired a 9.1% interest in Tesla in May 2009. 40% of that investment was transferred to Aabar Investments PJSC in the context of a joint strategic project in July 2009. Tesla has been listed on the stock exchange since the end of June 2010. As a result of capital increases at Tesla, Daimler’s stake in the company decreased to around 4%, without affecting the two companies’ strategic cooperation or joint development projects.

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Mercedes-AMG spotted testing GLC 63 at the ‘Ring

mercedes amg glc 63 spy Mercedes AMG spotted testing GLC 63 at the Ring

Mercedes is preparing to replace its aging GLK-Class crossover with an all-new generation, and it’s tipped to alter the model’s nameplate to more closely align with the C-Class sedan upon which it’ll be based. The move to a GLC-Class nomenclature is all well and fine, but the tantalizing news revealed by this latest crop of spy shots is that an AMG version is apparently in the works.

Spied at the entrance to and roads around the Nürburgring, this prototype for the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 shows a performance crossover with a lower, sportier suspension, along with upgraded wheels, tires and brakes and a more aggressive aero kit.

Under the hood, we’d expect to find the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 as the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63 sedan, in which the engine is offered in both 456- and 503-horsepower specs. As to which version will power the GLC 63, we can’t speak at this point, but it could be both. Either version, however, figures to be more than enough to put the Audi SQ5 and the recently spied BMW X4 M40i to shame.

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Mercedes moving some Sprinter production to North America

mercedes benz sprinter Mercedes moving some Sprinter production to North America

If you look at the Sprinter and wonder how Mercedes-Benz can possibly compete against locally produced commercial vehicles with a model built in Germany and shipped over the Atlantic, you’re not alone. In fact, in order to mitigate the tariffs (but at the cost of added logistical expense), Mercedes builds the vans in Germany, takes them half apart again, ships them as kits and reassembles them in Ladson, South Carolina.

Apparently the method is worth it, because the United States has become the largest market for the Sprinter outside of Germany. But Mercedes is understandably keen to cut down the costly process, and so it is reportedly looking to build the Sprinter somewhere in North America – although it has yet to confirm the move, let alone determine (or at least announce) where that location may be: in the US, Canada or Mexico.

According to Automotive News, regardless of where a new facility might be located, production would still continue in Germany, where Mercedes builds the Sprinter in two factories: one in Düsseldorf (150,000 units per year) and another in Ludwigsfelde (50,000/year). The Sprinter is sold as a Mercedes or as a Freightliner, was formerly offered as a Dodge and is still rebodied as the Volkswagen Crafter in a deal that is soon set to end.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe


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The S-Class Coupe is pushing my limits of sensory comprehension. And I haven’t even shifted out of Park.

Pressing the bare aluminum starter button, the S550 Coupe’s 4.7-liter biturbo V8 spins to life. Somewhat amazingly, considering the stable of 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque it produces, it’s nearly impossible to know if the engine is idling or not, at least without stealing a glance at the tachometer.

Confirmed: It’s alive. For a moment, at least. I turn off the standard stop/start technology, which somehow lends an alien silence to the proceedings when its electronic brains decide emitting hydrocarbons into the crisp autumn air isn’t necessary, bringing the engine back online. There’s a gentle comfort and reassurance in the almost white-noise sound and feel of the big V8 burbling ahead.

With so much technology packed into the S550′s sumptuous Designo-spec cabin, there is only so much my meager little mind can take in at once. Ahead lies enough LCD real estate to quench the needs of a graphic artist. The steering wheel, center stack and console are festooned with switches galore, and acronyms that may as well read ABC-123 for all I know about what they stand for and accomplish, the new S-Class Coupe is pushing my limits of sensory comprehension. And I haven’t even shifted out of Park.

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Two button presses have the chassis and drivetrain set into Sport, and the audible brap of the turbocharged V8 begins filtering through.

I take a moment to get acquainted with the buttons, knobs and levers actually required to drive, and make a mental note to investigate the non-essential bits later in the day. After setting the door-mounted, seat-shaped adjustments to put myself in the proper angle of attack behind the wheel, I flick the little column-mounted drive selector downward into D, and I’m off.

For the first 15 miles or so, I leave both the adjustable suspension and transmission tuning in Comfort (apparently translated as Controlled Efficiency in German) mode. Things are properly serene; quiet without feeling dull. I could drive like this all day, but I won’t. Two button presses have the chassis and drivetrain set into Sport, and the audible brap of the turbocharged V8 begins filtering through. The S550′s soundtrack is happily unencumbered by any fake engine notes pumped into the cabin, something that can’t be said of some competitors. However, there is a dual-stage, solenoid-operated exhaust system, and the more aggressive transmission and throttle tuning keeps the engine spinning at higher revs. It’s a lovely sound – as is the rich, full sonic experience of the Burmester audio system – albeit one muted somewhat by enough sound deadening material to silence a Michael Bay summer flick. Taking it all in, it’s hard not to realize that the S-Class Coupe really has to be all things to all people.

It’s asking a lot of engineers, no matter how talented or dedicated, to produce an automobile equally at home shuttling dignitaries to black-tie events as it is hurtling an enthusiast down a sinewy stretch of tree-lined blacktop, and yet the S550 is eminently capable of both seemingly disparate missions. It is, above all else and even considering the $119,900 asking price (before any options), an impressive achievement.

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I choose to slow down and enjoy the drive, rather than looking forward to the feeling of having conquered the road.

And so I choose to slow down and enjoy the drive, rather than looking forward to the feeling of having conquered the road. Familiarizing myself with just a few of the car’s array of driver-centric technologies, I settle into the heated and ventilated seat and enjoy an athletic massage, which is more vigorous in this latest Benz than in past examples I’ve sampled. If that’s not to your liking, consider the optional hot stone massage routine. Or visit a chiropractor. Your tenseness won’t have been caused by the S550 – all textures and hues of leather and wood are very attractive and of the highest quality, and there’s nary a surface that hasn’t been treated to some sort of soft-touch coating. The deep red quilted interior of the 2015 Edition 1 (seen in these images) is particularly attractive, and is set off nicely by the difficult-to-photograph Magnetite black metallic exterior paint and Swarovski crystal-embellished headlamps. Also, be sure to take a look at the metallized ash wood trim that strikes me as a reasonable $800 option.

While a touchscreen interface may be more easily mastered, Mercedes’ use of a joystick and touchpad surface right where the driver’s hand falls on the center console is relatively easy to use, and it keeps fingerprints from smudging the massive LCD screen that makes up half the dash surface. The other half is also LCD, and it’s the bit that sits directly in front of the driver, displaying digital versions of classic analog gauges. If we’re honest, the jewel-like clusters of past S-Class and CL-Class models were far prettier, but going digital allows the German automaker a massive canvas with which to present everything from speed, navigation directions and the various readouts of the car’s many user-customizable driving modes to a view straight ahead using the car’s available night-vision cameras. For 2015, Night View Assist Plus alerts both the driver and any living beings in the car’s path alike with flashing lights and high-pitch warning beeps.

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The run to 60 takes a scant 4.5 seconds, and behind-bars speed happens in a jiffy.

A full-color head-up display can mimic much of the information presented in the main gauge cluster, which means navigation directions can be seen in one place while audio or climate control functions can be displayed elsewhere. The only real issue I encounter in the S550 Coupe is that my somewhat long-torso build forces me to cut the very tops of the gauges out of view when the steering wheel is set at a proper angle. Other than that, ergonomic complaints are nil, and it’d be hard to believe anyone who said they couldn’t get comfortable in the front seats of Benz’s new flagship. In the rear, the confines are expectedly tighter, but it’s still possible to find enough space, even with the front seat set with someone my size to drive comfortably. The S Coupe is a proper four-passenger vehicle, with two well-defined buckets in back.

All S-Class Coupes boast the automaker’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Despite the presence of 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, I find it impossible to break traction from a dead stop. Considering the car’s mature, upper-crust demeanor, this isn’t a demerit. As much as I love to drive tail-out around the bends in a high-power coupe, such uncivilized tactics are completely out of character in the S550 Coupe. Instead, there’s an abundance of traction, even with the accelerator pinned to the floor. The run to 60 miles per hour takes a scant 4.5 seconds, and while the limited top speed stands at a modest 130 mph, the S550 Coupe has no trouble getting to that behind-bars figure in a jiffy.

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Its capabilities are more than sufficient for anything short of racetrack duties. Of course, there are AMG models for those kinds of antics, anyway.

Steering feel is better than expected of such a big coupe, tightening up nicely as speeds increase. Braking, too, is confident and free of drama, thanks to huge internally vented discs at all four corners. At the limits of adhesion, the Coupe remains graceful as it scrubs off speed, easily controllable and confident. It’s difficult to keep tabs on how fast the car is moving at times, so absolute is the lack of interior din and complete the feeling of solidity in the cockpit, but I’d judge its capabilities as more than sufficient for anything short of actual racetrack duties. Of course, there are AMG models for those kinds of antics, anyway.

The S550′s cool composure can be attributed, at least in part, to its standard Airmatic suspension and the aforementioned 4Matic drivetrain. Coupled with an ingot-stiff chassis and standard 19-inch wheels with 245/45 tires up front and 275/40s in the rear, the 4,707-pound coupe rides on the compliant side of firm – even when kept in Sport mode instead of Comfort – and in either case, traditional Mercedes-Benz descriptors like “bank vault” and “anvil” most certainly apply. The feeling of safety is further backed up by all the technologies that make up Mercedes’ so-called Intelligent Drive system, including pedestrian detection, steering and brake assist, cross-traffic assist, lane-keeping assist, adaptive high-beams and Collision Prevention Assist Plus that can autonomously stop the vehicle before an imminent impact.

Active Body Control technology that allows the car to lean into corners will be a late addition to the 2015 S-Class Coupe lineup. I was therefore unable to test the system’s merits, which sees the chassis leaning into corners like a motorcyclist, but I can say with confidence that I never felt as if its handling lacked in any way. In any case, we look forward to sampling Active Body Control when it becomes available as standard equipment on the V12-powered S65 AMG Coupe.

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This car is tasked with setting the bar from Mercedes-Benz that other automakers are challenged to meet. And it’s a high bar, indeed.

At what point does a car become so good that its successor has nothing to improve upon? I don’t know – and Mercedes isn’t there yet – but this 2015 S-Class Coupe is as close to daily-driving automotive perfection as you’re going to find in a showroom this year. Some items, such as the system that ionizes the air inside the cabin while injecting various driver-selectable scents, will certainly sound unnecessary to the general car-buying public, but it’s somehow fitting for the type of driver who actually has the wherewithal to shell out for a top-level Mercedes coupe.

According to Bart Herring, general manager of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA, the S-Class Coupe is designed by the automaker to “represent the pinnacle of automotive engineering at the time that it was built.” While that description doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best car for sale at any price in the world, it does mean the S550 Coupe is tasked with setting the bar from Mercedes-Benz that other automakers are challenged to meet. And it’s a high bar, indeed. For what it’s worth, Mercedes identifies the Bentley Continental GT, Rolls-Royce Wraith, Aston Martin DB9 and Vanquish, Maserati Gran Turismo MC and BMW 6 Series as the main competitors for its standard-bearing two-door.

Mercedes is happy to proclaim that the S-Class Coupe buyer is the most affluent of all its customers, and that the car, on average, is one of four sharing space in what we can only assume is an impeccably kept garage. An interesting stat, I think, but perhaps most telling is this: Out of the four cars owned by this lucky individual who can seemingly buy whatever he or she pleases, the S-Class Coupe is the vehicle that accumulates miles at the highest rate.

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Latest Mercedes-based Dartz comes with armor plating, available retina scanner

The DartZ Prombron Black Shark

Up until this point approved by 2 former 007 agents – Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, the DartZ cars
have been mainly used by the opposite side in the movie conflict – the villains.

Their ability to protect its occupants against any attack imaginable while having the biggest commanding presence of any nearby vehicles literally guaranteed, lured Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator (2012), Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) and lately Pierce Brosnan in The November Man (2014) to fully experience the real-life James Bond car features in a opulent and bulletproof package that DartZ offers. It is after all the main characteristic of DartZ. Bespoke, Opulent, Noble Drive.
———————————————————————— —————————————————-
…In James Bond movies, what is the most precious thing upon which usually depends the fate of our
planet?

Time – The Aeterno package

If you don’t want to count on the last seconds getting to your desired location, with our AMG
handmade engine with the ability to be tuned up to 1500 horsepower there is no lack of power and
speed.

Then when you arrive in the jungle that is the city, our sophisticated VERTU powered applications
allow your driver to quickly find the best way to avoid traffic and find the most convenient parking
spaces.

On the road and in spontaneous need of international flight? Skip the crowds and book a private jet from
any major airport in just 2 touches with BlackJet ™ feature incorporated in your vehicle.

V8+V2 / V12+V2

All these features, as mentioned before, are incorporated into 2 VERTU high-performance, bespoke and
opulent smartphones making sure you will never have to use anything serial-made, whether it be a car or
a smartphone, during your travels again. The VERTU products have been chosen by their similarities to
DartZ when it comes to performance, opulence, and customer experience. It is a definite status symbol,
having a Vertu phones made with the same bizzare leather with customizable monograms you choose
for your car interior. We have also prepaid Vertu Concierge for you. That gives you 24-hour worldwide
assistance, priority bookings, accessing money-can’t-buy events or finding the perfect gift. Your
Concierge will fulfil every request using their unique expertise and inside knowledge.

Coming from a choice of either V8 (63 AMG) engine or V12 (65 AMG) engine, in combination with 2
Vertu phones, our side badge is “V8 biturbo V2″ or “V12 biturbo V2″.
———————————————————————— —————————————————-.
..Let’s face it, you are bored of serial-made cars. We all are. Downsizing, eco-friendly recycled plastic
materials and law regulations are making ways to stand out among the best in the car industry very inconvenient. With Black Shark fully customizable features and appearance you get a car that is one-off
masterpiece and forever will stay that way.

Second to Nothing

It is the pinnacle model from DartZ and incorporates the full breadth of the company’s expertise,
including 2015 Mercedes Benz GL 63/65 AMG platform, the finest materials for the interior supplied by
Italy’s best – Luxpel and their special division Kolonial Touch using laser engraving and tanning, as well as
Bang and Olufssen’s Beolight and Beosound entertainment system making sure, that your multimedia
experience is the same as in your home cinema.

Bulletproof Safety as standard

Black Shark is short wheelbase version of the PRVY (?????? – The First), a newest vehicle designed
for Russian Federation’s leaders and inspired by powerful Black Shark military helicopter. That means
having security features such as electrochromatic windows for your privacy, custom safety
(disappearing) coach doorhandles (with anti-papparazzi shock-device), Kevlar-Titanium body to prevent
the use of magnetic mines, rotating bulletproof grill with DartZ badge and your customizable monogram
as well as armoring up to grade B7 using patented Soviet technology Kapsula for the guaranteed
comfort even in the toughest of environments today’s world provides. If that is not enough, our
engineers have developed the Golden Eye feature implementing fingerprint and retina scanner for
additional safety.

In addition to Mercedes Benz Driver Assistance package, we also install the most sophisticated driver
vigilance telemetric control system Vigiton, capable of constant monitoring of driver’s
psycho-physiological condition and overall awareness, so you don’t have to worry about unreliable
driver.

Your personal security doesn’t end with ‘hardware’ solutions. Your DartZ V2+ mobile application gives
you the ability to always know what is happening with your vehicle even when you are not traveling. You
always know where your car is, what are external and internal conditions (in case of fire or deflated tire), even activate sirens and lights to “scare off” crowds, that might make your traveling inconvenient.

You can also always use car’s camera systems to watch and record, to prevent vandalism, car accidents for insurance claim or anything else that might happen to you and your new Black Shark.
———————————————————————— —————————————————-
Leonard Yankelovich, DartZ’ s founder and owner despises the term SUV (first in Forbes article,
after that other companies such as Rolls Royce followed) when talking about our vehicles. “For our
customer this term degrades the car to a category including farmer’s trucks and grocery shopping utility
vehicles.” he says. “Despite luxury and supercar brands introducing their premium SUVs to the market in
the upcoming years, the situation doesn’t change for DartZ. Luxury corporate owned brand releasing
their serial-made car on steroids is still a far cry from the values that our brand and products bring to the
customer. Our customers already have all common supercars, limousines, but this is the only bespoke
product they get as the best of them all..”

Our car is based on 3 (non-lethal) bullets. Russian Imperial opulence in the interior, Soviet
military power in armoring and German engineering perfection as a platform. The first one traces back
to the year of 1869 when the Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in Riga, then a major industrial
centre of the Russian Empire. Originally the new company was a subsidiary of the Van der Zypen &
Charlier company in Cologne-Deutz, Germany. In 1894 the majority of its shares were sold to investors in
Riga and St. Petersburg, among them L. Tetelbaum, current owner’s Leonard F. Yankelovich’s direct
ancestor. The company grew to 3,800 employees.

The second bullet and turning point came in 1912 (then Russian Empire), when the company became
official Russian army’s supplier with the first armored car built in Riga in 1914 on the base of RussoBalt
model C base. The technology was eventually used in the upcoming decades as the foundation for
armoring luxury coaches for the Soviet union’s leaders and officials.

One of company’s branches – BTAZ, has detached itself, and is building spaceships right now.
As the modern technology developed over the century, we have decided to use world’s most
sophisticated technologies as the car’s platform – Mercedes Benz AMG. Engineering perfection for the
engine, transmission, suspension and chassis. Our third bullet. Try to dodge these.

It’s an honour for our company to be the successors of the RussoBalt house that raised the
famous engineer and grandfather of helicopters, Igor Sikorsky. Therefore the interior of 4 out of 5 Black
Shark trim editions is decorated with leather engraved and tanned motives from the aviation history.
———————————————————————- ——————————————————
Wondering why all the James Bond movie references in the beginning of this presentation?

The most sophisticated trim level of the new Prombron Black Shark is the real spy-car of the 21st century
and it will also be the only armored vehicle of the new trim line.

Military-sourced sniper-prevention roof, road-analyzer, distance explosive detector and signal jammer
are one of many features making this edition a fortress under any circumstances. Along with champagne
holder, sterling silver hand polished flutes, golden shisha and bespoke humidor, Xbox ONE, Playstation 4
and LTE hotspot installed to keep you or your partners and family occupied during your travels.

“Bond’s car was his only personal hobby. One of the last of the 4.5 litre Bentleys with the supercharger
by Amherst Villiers, he had bought it almost new in 1933 and had kept it in careful storage through the
war. [...] Bond drove it hard and well and with an almost sensual pleasure. It was a battleship-grey
convertible coupé, which really did convert, and it was capable of touring at ninety with thirty miles an
hour reserve.” wrote Ian Fleming in Casino Royale

Introducing teaser DartZ Prombron BlackShark 007 In signature Battleship (or Spy)-Grey

More information and pictures coming soon. Stay in touch to be first to spread the world icon smile Latest Mercedes based Dartz comes with armor plating, available retina scanner

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Six luxury-car features I’m ashamed to admit I love

2014 mercedes s class 29 Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

A hot compress felt wonderful on my sore back. The methodical kneading of my shoulder blades loosened the knots that formed over several hours of driving. The Swedish-style pulses firing into my lumbar region released more tension.

I wasn’t getting a much-needed massage following a recent road trip. I was getting it during the road trip.

I grew up riding in the back seat of a 1976 Chevy Nova. But once you use these lux features, it’s easy to go soft.

It came courtesy of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a car which provides an array of “hot stone” massage features in the driver’s seat. Controlled through distinct chambers in the seat, the luxury car offers six varieties of massages that lull a driver into automotive bliss.

On a barren stretch of interstate, the massage made my ride not just tolerable, but wholly enjoyable. I left the chair massage on for hours, and when the time came, I lamented the fact I had reached my destination.

These days, more and more luxury-car customers expect these sort of perks. Buying a luxury car is as much about the creature comforts as it is the precision of the powertrain. As the luxury carmakers seek to keep their brands a cut above the rest, they’ve gotten more creative in adding these indulgent innovations.

Over the past year, the seat massage has probably been my favorite creature comfort in a new car. But it has hardly been the only one I’ve come to appreciate.

Enjoying these new comforts doesn’t come naturally. I grew up riding in the back seat of a 1976 Chevy Nova. But once you use them, it’s easy to go soft. If it’s been a while since you got behind the wheel of a luxury car, here’s a look at a few of the advances you’re missing out on:


Heated Steering Wheels

escalade 1280 03 1 Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

Available on a wide variety of mainstream and luxury vehicles, steering-wheel warmers were at the pinnacle of my personal list of unneeded automotive technology. Between a decent pair of gloves and regular heat in the car, the warmers seemed redundant.

Then came last winter. Not sure how dreadful it was where you live, but here in Michigan I lost count of the number of subzero days. At one point, we went more than a month without breaking freezing. Steering wheel-warmers went from something I sniffed at to the unsung hero of the Michigan winter.


Seat Coolers

bmw seat cooler Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

Seat warmers have been available in most vehicles for more than a decade now. More recently, automakers have introduced their opposites, seat coolers. Done right, they can do a far better job at cooling occupants than the ordinary air conditioning. Sit in an Infiniti equipped with seat coolers, and it feels like you’re sitting on a slab of ice without the hassle of getting your pants wet.

Take note, that depending on the carmaker, some of these cooling systems can work better than others. Nissan and Infiniti’s rank as the best. The ones in many General Motors vehicles, however, are so ineffective the cooling effects can hardly be felt.


Seatbelt Extender

bmw seatbelt extender Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

Luxury cars provide the means to make exerting yourself in the most minor of ways an optional task. Take for instance, the BMW seatbelt extender. If you find the act of turning and grabbing your seatbelt too irritating, BMW’s extender eliminates that task.

Upon closing of the door, the extender pushes the seatbelt forward so the driver can grab it with a slight movement of the hand. Think of it as a personal automotive butler who brings you the seat belt when you’re ready. A wonderful feature for the lazy at heart.


Powered Trunk/Liftgate

rolls royce powered truck Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

Along the same lines in the exert-as-little-energy-as possible category comes the automatic trunk and/or liftgate button – as seen here in opulent Rolls-Royce Ghost formulation.

I hesitate to include it here, because powered liftgates are found on many mainstream cars. But you’d be surprised to know they’re not found on some luxury vehicles – certain trim levels on the Cadillac ATS and Audi A6 do not have this feature.

It’s easy to dismiss this as a frivolous feature. But once you’ve gotten accustomed to closing the liftgate or trunk with the push of a button, it’s a hassle to go back to manually closing them. (Have I really gotten this lazy? Yes, yes I have).


Mercedes-Benz Seats, Part II

2015 mercedes benz s class coupe 024 1 Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

Lest you think the only claim to fame for the Mercedes-Benz car seats is their massage capabilities, check out the additional comfort they provide when cornering.

The multi-contour seats contain air bladders that inflate or deflate as you round corners to bolster side support. Centrifugal forces be damned, these seats snugly hold your body in position.


Lambs’ Wool Floor Mats

rolls royce lambswool floormat Six luxury car features Im ashamed to admit I love

I could never advocate driving while barefoot. But I’ll certainly forgive you for wanting to should you ever sit behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce.

Slightly hard to illustrate with photographs (as you can surmise from our Ghost II picture above), the inches-deep, downy-soft pile of the Rolls floor mat is nevertheless one of motoring’s ultimate luxuries. If you have the means, I highly recommend them.

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German man drives Mercedes G-Wagen on 557k-mile, 26-year road trip [w/video]

35 years of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Anniversary with world record and special model

Stuttgart. One man, one G, one life’s work. That sums up the essence of an unprecedented global adventure. When Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out in their Mercedes-Benz 300 GD to visit as many of the countries around the world as possible, the G-Class was just ten years old. Today, some 26 years, just under 900,000 kilometres, and 215 visited countries later, Gunther Holtorf drove his cherished G – christened ‘Otto’ – back home to Swabia. The marathon vehicle will take pride of place in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, where it will go on show to visitors in the Classic Cars section from 21 October. As a world-record holder, ‘Otto’ will also be immortalised in the Guinness World Records. Since the finish of this unique journey around the world will coincide with the 35th anniversary of the G-Class, the occasion will be marked with the launch of the highly exclusive G 350 BlueTEC Edition 35 and G 500 Edition 35 special models.

When the vehicle was officially handed over to the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, was equally impressed by the driver and the vehicle. “I promise that there will still be a G-Class in the future. Will there be more characters of Mr Holtorf’s ilk in the future? I hope so,” said Dr Zetsche.

For 77-year-old Gunther Holtorf, his Mercedes-Benz 300 GD, which his wife Christine affectionately christened ‘Otto’, is quite simply the expedition vehicle par excellence for this kind of (torturous) tour. “In 1988, when I bought the car I was a bit more sceptical about the promise made by Mercedes-Benz, namely “Where there’s a G, there’s a way”. After all, I’d already seen something of the world beforehand and had a rough idea of what the vehicle would have to endure on this kind of world tour!” This initial scepticism gave way though to an unreserved trust in Otto’s capabilities as the years went by. Especially in precarious situations, the symbiosis between the Holtorfs and the G-Class grew.

Earth – Moon – Earth plus 80,000 km under gruelling conditions

The 300 GD covered over 250,000 of the just under 900,000 kilometres off-road, perfectly in tune with its innate characteristics. On gravel or washboard roads, in mud, on pot-holed roads or rocky uphill stretches in the mountains – for the suspension and chassis this punishing workout is equivalent to around 2.5 million kilometres under normal central European conditions. In addition to the challenging terrain there were also the disparate meteorological conditions to contend with, which ‘Otto’ took in its stride throughout all the world’s climate zones – from the unforgiving searing heat of the desert, through steaming jungle regions to the freezing cold of the Arctic climes. As if the demands on the 300 GD were not already high enough, ‘Otto’ actually always had to contend with overweight. Including expedition gear and food, with jerry cans, operating supplies, tools, recovery gear, spare parts and spare wheels, the expedition vehicle fully tipped the scales at 3.3 tonnes – around 500 kilograms in excess of the permissible gross vehicle weight. The roof alone of the cross-country vehicle had to take 400 kilograms. But according to the Holtorfs even that could not faze the world record vehicle: “Actually the G was always overladen, which is why I fitted it with reinforced springs and bad-road shock absorbers. Otherwise, ‘Otto’ remains like any series-production vehicle. The entire drivetrain with the engine, transmission and axles is still original. Neither the frame nor the body have shown any signs of fatigue.”

When the journey is an end in itself

By the time the vehicle crosses the finish line in Stuttgart today, Gunther and his now deceased wife Christine Holtorf will have travelled around 215 countries with Otto. “Travelled around – mind you!”, stresses the former pilot and aerospace manager. “A quick stop, with a stamp in your passport to prove it and a symbolic photo with the vehicle at the border crossing – that was never enough for us! In our eyes, you can only travel through a country once you’ve delved into the particular hemisphere, come into close contact with the locals and got to know their very many facets.” Once a country had been ticked off according to these criteria, another red line was added to the personal world map “ROUND-THE-WORLD RECORD TOUR 1990 – 2014.” This now definitive world map is criss-crossed by red lines and, in the course of his tour planning, had opened a few doors for Gunther Holtorf, letting him undertake journeys which hitherto had been deemed impossible. Such as through entirely inaccessible countries like North Korea and Myanmar or the grand tour through China across 25,000 kilometres with only him at the wheel. Gunther Holtorf calls these journeys “pioneer tours” – the first time a foreign vehicle with a foreign driver was allowed to drive through the particular country.

Before ‘Otto’ gets his definitive space in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, he’s going to be sent out on the road again for two years from the end of February 2015 – travelling around the Mercedes-Benz Centres and company-owned sales and service outlets in Germany and Europe. ‘Otto’ will accompany a touring exhibition developed specially for the vehicle, recounting his interesting stopovers and most impressive experiences. The tour is likely to kick off in Munich in February 2015 – details of other dates can be found at www.mercedes-benz.com.

Detailed Information to the „ROUND-THE-WORLD-RECORD-TOUR 1989 – 2014″ is available online:http://www.ottosreise.de/start.html.

Exclusive G-Class Edition 35 special model

As the body which has been unchanged for 35 years consistently demonstrates, its own lines are the only path that the G-Class never ventures away from. To illustrate this once more, the exclusive Edition 35 special model is available for the G 350 BlueTEC and G 500 models to coincide with the anniversary. The 18-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels sparkle in bright black, the front and rear bumper, wheel arch linings, exterior mirrors and the roof sparkle in obsidian black metallic. Together with the designo mystic white bright or palladium silver metallic paint finishes, this adds up to an extremely exciting contrast. Anyone looking for something a little more subtle can also opt for the obsidian black metallic paint finish for the body. Then the exclusive design features harmoniously blend in with the overall appearance. The standard-fit Sports package, including with AMG wheel-arch flaring and on the G 500 with sports exhaust system as well as a Chrome package with chrome highlights in the radiator grille, chrome surround on the seat adjustment switch panel and loudspeakers or the door sill panel in the luggage compartment with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering make the vehicle even more attractive.

Pure luxury and comfort in the interior

The interior of the Edition 35 models matches the exclusive exterior. Two high-grade leather upholstery and appointments options are available either in two-tone designo porcelain/black or single-tone designo black. In both cases red contrasting topstitching underscores the sporty touch of the special model. Together with the Exclusive package with leather-covered dashboard, AMG performance steering wheel and designo trim in black piano lacquer as well as the roof liner in stylish designo black DINAMICA microfibre the result is a luxurious interior. The adjustable multicontour seats with climate control guarantee the hallmark feel-good atmosphere on-board.

Basic prices for the Edition 35 versions:

G 350 BlueTEC: €84,900.00 (€101,031.00 incl. 19% VAT)
G 500: €94,800.00 (€112,812.00 incl. 19% VAT)

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