Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 is a 6×6-2 [w/video]

Near-series show car G 500 4×4²: The G-Class Squared

Stuttgart, Feb 21, 2015 — Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class. This is the credo followed by the developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6, and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4×4². The basic recipe for this overcomer of everything is simple: take the superior all-wheel-drive powertrain including portal axles from the 6×6 – take away one axle – and blend it all with a newly-developed variable chassis and the series-production G-Class body. A large pinch of V8 power with 310 kW (422 hp), a set of 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, carbon-fibre body parts and then just gourmet ingredients from the seductive designo Exclusive range for the interior – and the 5-star menu for all off-road enthusiasts is ready.

A new addition to the extreme G-Class model family: the G 63 AMG 6×6 has a model brother in the form of the G 500 4×4². The near-series show car is a new highlight in the superlative-rich history of the G-Class and blends all the advantages of the model series. The series-production models of the G-Class supply the unshakeable foundations in the form of the body and ladder-type frame, which compensate for the considerably increased performance of the G 500 4×4² without any problem and also without any type of reinforcements. The G 63 AMG 6×6 donates an amended version of the ruggedly determined permanent all-wheel-drive powertrain with portal axles. The engine compartment houses a completely new V8 engine with a displacement of four litres, direct injection and biturbocharging. Also new is the chassis with dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping. Finally, in the interior, the G 500 4×4² occupants enjoy comfort and an ambience on a par with a luxury saloon.

New engine offers V8 biturbo power
The 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine in the G 500 4×4² stands out for its sublime power delivery, the targeted lightweight construction, as well as its high efficiency. The newly developed eight-cylinder features twin turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – what is known as the ‘hot inside V’. The advantages lie in the compact engine design, the optimum response and the low exhaust gas emissions. The piezo direct petrol injection used exclusively at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process has been enhanced in the third generation to meet all future statutory requirements. In series production, the highly efficient and economical 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine would meet the Euro 6 emission standard, including the maximum particulate emissions level that will not take effect until 2016.

The V8 crankcase consists of an aluminium alloy and ensures maximum strength with the lowest possible weight. The cylinder walls in NANOSLIDE® technology are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinder liners, minimise the inner friction and thus the fuel required and facilitate maximum mileages. NANOSLIDE® was developed by Daimler starting in the year 2000 and has so far been used successfully and reliably in over 200,000 engines since 2006.

Twin sidepipes on both sides in front of the rear wheels modulate the G-typical sound of the G 500 4×4² and master the entire repertoire of potent sports cars – from soft mumbling in neutral through sonorous humming in the partial-load range to emphatic booming when accelerating under full load. A welcome side effect of the sidepipes: there is improved off-road capability, because in the rear area there are none of the usual rear silencers, which could otherwise restrict the angle of departure.

Things are really looking up both on and off-road
In view of the key data for the chassis and powertrain it seems more than logical that the off-road world starts for the G 500 4×4² where other vehicles capitulate. But it is surprising that the new “G” puts in an absolutely convincing performance on the asphalt. Due to the considerably wider track of the portal axles compared with the series-production car (+299 mm), the large 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels and the adjustable damping with its Sport mode, the enhanced G-Class drives through bends so dynamically that the occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle. This also applies to tours on unsurfaced slopes or snow-bound roads, in which case the performance of a high-powered rally car kicks in.

For anyone preferring to use the G 500 4×4² off the beaten track, the optional off-road size 37 x 12.5 x 18-inch MT tyres are recommended. Permanent all-wheel drive, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and three differentials lockable whilst on the move will not be found on conventional cross-country vehicles. This results in merciless driving dynamics in all conditions. Even the highest sand dunes are stormed by the show car with ease, whilst rocky terrain is scaled like a chamois, and water is driven through without any problems.

The portal axles developed for versatile applications supplement the off-road portfolio of Mercedes-Benz and are the technical highlight of the G 500 4×4² show car. As opposed to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. Therefore, on the G 500 4×4² the ground clearance rises to 450 millimetres and the fording depth – or rather the diving depth – to 1000 millimetres. Here are the off-road data in comparison with the series-production Mercedes-Benz G 500:

G 500 4×4² / Long-wheelbase G 500

Ground clearance
450 mm / 210 mm

Angle of approach/departure f/r
52°/54° / 36°/27°

Breakover angle
47°/ 21°

Tipping angle
30° / 28°

Fording depth
1000 mm / 600 mm

Slope climbing ability
100% / 100%

Wheelbase
2850 mm / 2850 mm

Track, front/rear
1774 mm / 1475 mm

Wheel/tyre combination
9.5 J x 22 (325/55 R 22) / 7.5 J x 18 (265/60 R 18)

At the highest level: the portal axles’ tricks
But the portal axle design has yet more decisive advantages which render complex adjustments superfluous: through the unchanged position of the rigid axles in relation to the chassis, the anchorage points of the suspension, the steering connection and the position of the cardan shafts all remain identical. In addition, the reduction in the portal transmissions balances the huge rolling circumferences in both the off-road and the on-road tyres. The gear ratios, speedometer drive and ABS sensor system also remain unchanged. This reduction in the hub drives also has the effect that the drive torque is first set at the wheel and thus the mechanical loads in the entire powertrain, in particular for the drive shafts, are reduced.

Mobile declaration of independence – the chassis
The chassis is fundamentally based on the series-production G model and offers a perfect symbiosis of sporty dynamism and relaxed comfort, both on the road and off it. The new damper adjustment, derived from rally sport, has a decisive effect here. Two spring/damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel. One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics. The second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable damping, which thus varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the current driving situation. With this set-up, considerable kingpin inclination is possible between the settings SPORT and COMFORT, which the driver can select using a button in the centre console. The switching times between the two modes are record-breakingly low, at 15 milliseconds.

During dynamic cornering the sporty setting performs sterling work, because the significantly tauter connection of the chassis allows higher cornering speeds. If the driver is more in the mood for pleasurable cruising, the COMFORT setting effortlessly dampens all the unevenness in the ground. In extreme situations such as abrupt evasive manoeuvres, the system automatically switches over to the firm setting for the sake of maximum possible handling safety. The comfortable setting also helps during off-road sessions, because the wheels retain better surface contact. Even on heavily contoured off-road terrain, every surface traction possibility can be utilised effectively.

Company with unlimited liability: beadlock wheels with MT tyres
Optimised tyres are available for the G 500 4×4², especially for punishing off-road trips: mud/terrain tyres (M/T) in size 37 x 12.5 x 18 inches on special beadlock wheels. Normally the usual wheel/tyre combinations refuse a traction-promoting lowering of the air pressure for journeys on sand, for example, to 0.5 bar. Here 1.0 bar is the lowest limit, because beneath this low pressure the tyres can come off during steering manoeuvres or ingression of sand can infiltrate the sealing surface between the tyre and wheel rim and thus leads to a slow puncture. Not so with the G 500 4×4². Here special two-piece 18-inch beadlock wheels are used. With this type of design, during assembly the tyre is pinched in so tightly between the two wheel halves and an inner beadlock ring that it cannot slip off the rim and no sand can enter, even in the case of total loss of air.

Should the chassis ever still come into harsh ground contact in spite of an anticipatory driving style and the excellent ground clearance, the developers have displayed far-sightedness here, too, and integrated a robust, two-piece underguard in stainless steel. These means that the most important assemblies in the front and rear area are well protected against impact and more severe shocks.

Sporty luxury squared
In visual terms the G 500 4×4² raises no doubts as to its passion. The voluminous tyres, the huge distance to the ground, the height of nearly 2.25 metres with a width of virtually 2.10 metres and the clear, straight design command respect right from the first glance. Further highlights: the trim with the integral LED light strips above the windscreen and the elaborate partially painted wheel-arch flarings – both in fine carbon fibre – plus the front bumper on the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models.

The interior appointments make a sportily luxurious impression. The G 500 4×4² offers an exclusive ambience with the designo Exclusive package. The seat bolsters and head restraints as well as the dashboard, centre console and armrests in the doors are styled in black designo leather with white contrasting topstitching. The seat surfaces and door panels are covered in DINAMICA microfibre and impress with their attractive diamond-design quilting. In addition to this there is DINAMICA trim for the roof liner and the body pillars.

The hub of the “G” world is in Graz
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class development department located in Graz is the centre of competence where all things “G” are concerned and is responsible for the development and series support of the legendary cross-country vehicle. Furthermore, Graz in Austria has been the production location for all civilian and commercial G-Class vehicles since 1979. Whether and when the decision on series production of the Mercedes-Benz G 500 4×4² will be made depends on the reaction which the near-series show car receives.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/03/mercedes-benz-g500-4×4-squared-video-geneva-2015/
Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 is a 6×6-2 [w/video]
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2016 Mercedes-Benz C350e Plug-In Hybrid casts a green light in Geneva

The new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e: Efficiency, dynamism and comfort – the best of three worlds

The new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e: Efficiency, dynamism and comfort – the best of three worlds
Following its premiere in the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is now offering its most advanced hybrid technology yet in the C-Class and, for the first time, also in an Estate model. The dynamism and efficiency of the C 350 e make it a convincing proposition in both its Saloon and its Estate guise. With a range of 31 kilometres in purely electric mode, local emission-free driving is now a reality. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205 kW (279 hp) and torque of 600 Nm.

The new C 350 e thus delivers the performance of a sports car and yet offers certified consumption figures of just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres both as a Saloon and as an Estate. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams (49 grams for the Estate) per kilometre. Both models are also equipped as standard with AIRMATIC air suspension plus a Pre-Entry Climate Control system that can be controlled via the internet, adding up to a truly exceptional level of driving and climate comfort.

Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: “The PLUG-IN HYBRID is an investment in the future of Mercedes-Benz and we believe it will become established as the successful technology for maximum efficiency coupled with powerful dynamic performance. We will be launching ten new PLUG?IN HYBRID models up to 2017″.

Following the C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the C 350 e is the second hybrid model in the new C-Class and the second Mercedes-Benz model to feature PLUG-IN HYBRID technology. Thanks to the combination of combustion engine and electric drive, hybrid drive systems deliver impressively low consumption, but with high performance. The electric motor is able to replace or support the combustion engine in situations where the combustion engine does not perform quite so well, and makes practical use of energy generated while braking by converting it into electric energy and storing it.

The C 350 e uses the currently most advanced form of hybrid technology. Its electrical energy storage unit is a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a total capacity of 6.2 kWh, which can be charged from an external power source and so makes an effective contribution to the low consumption and emission figures. The battery is water-cooled, weighs around 100 kilograms and is mounted in a sheet steel housing underneath the rear axle in order to maximise crash safety, driving dynamics and boot space.
Thanks to an intelligent on-board charging system, the battery can be recharged in around 1 hour 45 minutes at a wallbox or at one of the growing number of public charging points (230 V, 16 A, 3.7 kW single-phase), which in some cases offer privileged parking. Alternatively, charging via a standard domestic socket is of course also possible. Depending on the connection, a charge time of around two hours is achievable (with 230 V and 13 A, 3.0 kW).

Despite the space taken up by the battery, the C 350 e still has a boot capacity of 335 litres in its Saloon format and of 350 in the Estate model, or in the latter case of 1370 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down and, as ever, a level load compartment floor.

PLUG-IN HYBRID for the first time now with four-cylinder petrol engine
In the new Mercedes-Benz C 350 e, this hybrid drive concept is combined for the first time with an efficient four-cylinder petrol engine. From a displacement of just under two litres, it produces 155 kW (211 hp) and maximum torque of 350 newton metres. Its direct injection system with spray-guided combustion uses electronically precise controlled multiple injection and fast multi-spark ignition to deliver outstanding performance coupled with high efficiency and exemplary emissions. The electric motor of the C 350 e has an output of up to 60 kW and delivers torque of 340 newton metres. A total system output of 205 kW (279 hp), as well as torque of 600 newton metres, are thus available to be called upon.

7-speed automatic with additional clutch
The hybrid module of the standard 7-speed automatic transmission 7G-TRONIC PLUS incorporates both the electric motor and an additional clutch between the combustion engine and the electric motor. When driving in all-electric mode, this decouples the combustion engine from the drive train. It also, however, offers the possibility of moving off using the combustion engine but with the performance of a wet start-up clutch. The clutch here is a substitute for the torque converter.

Technical data
Internal combustion engine

Number of cylinders/arrangement
4 in-line
Mixture formation
High-pressure injection, 1 turbocharger
Displacement (cc)
1991
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)
155/211 at 5500
Rated torque (Nm)
350

Electric motor

Output (kW)
max. 60
Torque (Nm)
340

System output (kW/hp)
205/279
System torque (Nm)
600
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
5.9 (6.2)
Top speed (km/h)
250 (246)
Top speed electric (km/h)
130
Fuel consumption (combined) from (l/100 km)
2.1 (2.1)
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
48 (49)
Efficiency class
A+
Electric range (km)
31
Total battery capacity (kWh)
6.2
Charge time 10%-100% (230/8 A -16 A), 1.8-3.7 kW(h)
1.75 – 3.5
(Provisional figures. Figures for Estate model in brackets)

The performance of a sports car
The high overall system output and intelligent engine management give the car the dynamic performance of a nimble sports car. And it combines this with the ride comfort of a premium saloon, along with fuel consumption and environmental compatibility at a level that, until not all that long ago, would not even have been expected of many small cars. The Saloon can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, while the Estate, at 6.2 seconds, is almost as quick off the mark. The Saloon can reach a top speed of 250 km/h and the Estate up to 246 km/h, both in conjunction with certified fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 48 grams per kilometre (49 grams per kilometre for the Estate). Both variants of the C 350 e also offer the possibility of driving up to 31 kilometres in all-electric mode, and thus completely free of CO2 emissions locally – for example in the city.

A hybrid is efficient, dynamic and completely straightforward to drive
Driving with the new C 350 e is just as easy as with any other automatic vehicle from Mercedes-Benz: simply climb in, start the engine and off you go. As you do so, enjoy its exemplary efficiency and, if you so wish, kick down to experience the superb acceleration of the electric motor.
The C 350 e offers all the characteristics of a state-of-the-art hybrid vehicle. These include first and foremost:
• Silent start: the vehicle starts virtually silently and runs in electric mode. At this point the combustion engine is generally held inactive. Electric output of up to 60 kW is available for driving in all-electric mode.
• Boost: the electric motor kicks in to boost the output of the combustion engine by a further 60 kW – for example for rapid acceleration.
• Energy recuperation: during braking and coasting, energy is recovered and stored in the battery. This energy can then be used at a later stage for electric driving or the boost function.

Making by braking
The greatest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. When the brake pedal is depressed, the electric motor therefore initially takes on the task of decelerating, acting here as an alternator. If firmer braking is required, the disk brakes will then intervene mechanically to provide additional grip. This overlap between conventional mechanical braking and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator mode increases effectiveness but remains imperceptible.
Furthermore, the intelligent engine management system of the C 350 e works in the background to select the ideal combination between combustion engine and electric motor.Impulses for the driver

One new feature of the C 350 e is the so-called haptic accelerator pedal, which helps to reduce fuel consumption and thus also exhaust emissions. It provides two types of information:
• If, when driving in electric mode, the driver’s foot meets a point of resistance on the accelerator pedal, this is an indication that maximum electric performance is being delivered. If the driver continues to depress the accelerator beyond this resistance point, the combustion engine will kick in.
• A double impulse from the ECO Assist function signals that the driver should remove their foot from the accelerator pedal in order to switch off the combustion engine and decouple it from the drive train. Assuming that the driver does what the double impulse suggests, the intelligent engine management system of the C 350 e will vary the deceleration mode between unpowered (sailing) and recuperation, using data from the car’s radar systems as its basis.
Individual transmission mode

The complex technology of the C 350 e makes it no more difficult to drive than a conventional vehicle with automatic transmission. But anyone wanting to can also intervene manually and regulate the hybrid interplay themselves, with the help of five operating modes and three transmission modes. This is done via an operating mode switch and a transmission mode switch located in the centre console. A display in the middle of the instrument cluster shows the current setting.
Selecting a specific transmission mode enables the driver to define certain functions that influence the driving experience. The following transmission modes are available:
• I Individual: individual definition of the characteristics of the transmission mode, including:
? Drive system
? Chassis and suspension
? Steering
? ECO Assist
? Climate control
• S + Sport+: maximum boost performance, very sporty gear changes, the combustion engine is always active, particularly stiff suspension and damping settings.
• S Sport: enhanced boost performance, sporty gear changes, the combustion engine is always active, stiff suspension and damping settings.
• C Comfort: boost performance and recuperation optimised for comfort and consumption, electric drive/ engine shut-off possible up to 130 km/h, comfort-oriented standard settings.
• E Economy: boost performance is consumption-optimised, recuperation minimised in favour of coasting distance. All-electric mode and engine shut-off are possible. If the navigation system’s route guidance function is switched on and the Hybrid operating mode selected, the system will control the charge status of the high-voltage battery according to the route, ensuring that the electric operating mode is used as far as possible in built-up areas. The ECO Assist is also active.

ECO Assist activates an additional function, using the radar technology behind the standard proximity warning system in order to do so. If the radar system identifies a slower-moving vehicle ahead, it sends a double impulse through the “haptic accelerator pedal” to signal to the driver to take their foot off the accelerator. The vehicle will then adjust its deceleration automatically, using the electric motor to do so. In this way frequent braking, particularly in stop-and-go traffic, can be avoided.
Choice of four operating modes

In addition to selecting a transmission programme, the driver of the C 350 e can also use the operating mode switch to influence the regulation between electric mode and the use of the combustion engine for driving. In the Eco and Comfort transmission modes, the following operating modes are available:
Hybrid: all hybrid functions such as electric operating mode, boost and recuperation are available and are applied according to the driving situation and route in the most fuel-efficient manner.

• E-mode: used for all-electric driving – for example in inner-city areas or because the battery holds sufficient charge for the remainder of the journey.
• E-save: the charge status of the battery is maintained – for example to allow all-electric driving in an environmental zone at a later stage in the journey. Electric driving and the boost function are therefore only available to a limited extent.
• Charge: allows the battery to be recharged while driving using the combustion engine – for example in order to ensure a higher state of battery charge for later parts of the journey. The combustion engine remains switched on and fuel consumption may increase. Electric operation is not possible.
In the transmission modes S+ and S, the “hybrid” operating mode is activated. In the “Individual” mode, the choice of available operating modes depends upon the drive system setting.
Route-based operating strategy

The best strategy for efficient operation is anticipatory driving. If the exact destination is known because the relevant data has been entered into the navigation system, charge and discharge of the C 350 e’s high-voltage battery are controlled to ensure the optimal use of energy over the whole route.
Another key point is the requirement that urban areas should be reached with a fully charged battery if possible, so that the vehicle can be driven efficiently in stop-and-go traffic – and frequently in electric mode.

Air suspension and Pre-Entry Climate Control as standard
The new C 350 e offers the familiar range of equipment and appointment options that are available for the C-Class and, in addition, includes the enhanced comfort feature AIRMATIC air suspension as part of its standard specification, along with a further comprehensive range of pre-entry climate control options.

Thanks to its electronically regulated continuously variable damper adjustment at both front and rear axle, the air suspension offers outstanding ride comfort with minimal road roar and tyre vibration even when the vehicle is loaded, as well as self-levelling suspension all round.
Pre-Entry Climate Control, a further standard feature, makes it possible to set the desired temperature for the interior of the vehicle before setting off – cooling it in the summer, warming it up in the winter. This can be activated by pre-setting the departure time (can be set in the vehicle or from home via the internet at http://connect.mercedes.me) or directly by pressing a button. This is possible due to the electrically powered refrigerant compressor and electric heating elements for the warm air circulation. In vehicles with the appropriate specification, the seat ventilation or heating will also be activated.

As well as the Pre-Entry Climate Control function, the charging of the vehicle can also be controlled via http://connect.mercedes.me. It is also possible to check the charge status of the high-voltage battery or the vehicle’s potential range in electric mode.

Two different faces for the PLUG-IN HYBRID as well
The C 350 e is supplied in the AVANTGARDE exterior equipment line, which emphasises its sporty, premium-vehicle character. As an alternative and at no extra cost, both Saloon and Estate versions are also available in the EXCLUSIVE exterior equipment line. With its classic radiator grille and the three-pointed star on the bonnet, the C-Class conveys prestige status and a sense of modern luxury.
The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior at a level which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This is evident from the carefully chosen high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as from the precision of the finely crafted details. Prominently located immediately above the centre console is a centrally positioned free-standing central display unit. All the functions of the head unit can be intuitively controlled from a touchpad using simple finger movements. Also available: a head-up display that projects important information onto the windscreen directly in the driver’s field of vision.

The C 350 e is fitted as standard with H7 halogen headlamps. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with the “LED Intelligent Light System”.

Assistance systems for added safety and comfort
Both the Saloon and the Estate variants of the C 350 e offer the same extensive range of safety and assistance systems as all other C-Class models. Two of the systems fitted as standard are ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn of inattentiveness and fatigue, and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, which protects against collision at speeds of over 7 km/h and, if the danger remains and the driver fails to react, can also undertake autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h and by so doing reduce the severity of an accident involving a slower-moving vehicle. Further systems from the new S and E-Class, either new or with significantly enhanced functions, are also available as options.

Vibrant infotainment experience
Even the basic version of the sophisticated multimedia system found in the C?Class is internet compatible, if paired with a Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phone with data option. This enables the internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is stationary. Also standard is a basic telephony feature, which connects the mobile phone with the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface.

Extensive know-how in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles
In 1982, at the same time as it was launching the Mercedes-Benz 190, the predecessor to the C-Class, Mercedes-Benz also presented the first concept vehicle with hybrid drive – a two-cylinder horizontally opposed engine served to charge the battery. A number of other experimental vehicles followed until in 2009 the world’s first standard-specification hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery made its debut at Mercedes-Benz: for a long time this S 400 HYBRID was the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered luxury saloon and the most successful hybrid in its segment.

The second-generation hybrid transmission evolved on the basis of the 7G?TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. It premiered in 2012 in the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, the first diesel hybrid in the premium segment worldwide. By combining the efficiency of a diesel engine with the advantages of the hybrid drive, Mercedes?Benz set another milestone in the development of the automobile and advanced into consumption regions of 4 litres of diesel per 100 km in the luxury saloon segment.
After the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, the C 350 e is the latest hybrid model to come from Mercedes Benz. In the years to come the main emphasis will be on plug-in hybrids. The company is also a leading player in the field of purely electric mobility.

Growing range: all current Hybrid and Electric Drive vehicles from Mercedes?Benz Cars:
2012: smart electric drive
2012: E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2013: SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
2013: S 400 HYBRID
2013: S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2014: C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
2014: B-Class Electric Drive
2014: S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
2015: C 350 e

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Brabus bringing 900-horsepower Mercedes S65 to Geneva

World premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

BRABUS ROCKET 900

The new reference for high performance in the luxury class V12 with 662 kW / 900 hp, 1,500 Nm and a top speed in excess of 350 km/h

BRABUS ROCKET 900 – that is the new reference for high performance in the luxury class, which celebrates its world premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. BRABUS (Brabus-Allee, D-46240 Bottrop, phone +49 / (0) 2041 / 777-0, fax +49 / (0) 2041 / 777 111, internet www.brabus.com) builds this super car based on the new Mercedes S 65.
At the heart of the luxury sedan is the BRABUS ROCKET 900 6.3 V12 Biturbo increased-displacement engine with a peak power output of 662 kW / 900 hp (887 bhp) and a peak torque of 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft).
The power unit in the bow shoots the four-door car from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph).
Visually the BRABUS super car impresses with a carbon-fiber aerodynamic-enhancement kit, BRABUS “PLATINUM EDITION” 21- or 22-inch wheels and an exquisite two-tone BRABUS fine leather interior.
The BRABUS “iBusiness” infotainment system for the BRABUS ROCKET 900 is based on state-of-the-art components from Apple such as the iPad mini, the Mac mini, iPod touch and Apple TV, which can be controlled with a custom-developed BRABUS Remote app.

The 12-cylinder engine of the S 65 is revised in every detail in the BRABUS engine shop, which is equipped with a state-of-the-art machine park. The installation of a custom BRABUS billet crankshaft with longer stroke in concert with a larger cylinder bore, matching pistons and precision-balanced custom billet connecting rods increases the displacement from 5.5 to 6.3 liters (336 to 384 cubic inches).

Modifications to the engine peripherals also play a large role in the enormous power output. The two production turbos are replaced with turbochargers that have a larger compressor unit and a larger turbine as well as modified exhaust manifolds. Down pipes with a diameter of 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) are also included in the conversion, as is a stainless-steel BRABUS high-performance exhaust system with free-flow metal catalysts and actively controlled butterfly valve.

Just as crucial is a perfect air supply of the engine. To this end, the BRABUS engine specialists developed the BRABUS 900 intake module, which draws its air through an air duct in the hood directly from the radiator grille. The new intake manifold includes a special air filter housing with larger cross-section and special filters as well as “Gold Heat Reflection” sheathing for lowering the temperature.

Precisely programmed mapping for injection and ignition coordinate the perfect interaction of the high-performance components. The result is not only maximum power, but also compliance with the strict limits set by the current EURO VI emissions standards. Technology partner MOTUL supplies the high-tech lubricants for the entire powertrain.

The extensive work performed on the engine results in the BRABUS ROCKET 900 6.3 V12 Biturbo engine delivering unrivalled performance figures: the peak power of 662 kW / 900 hp (887 bhp) is produced at a low 5,500 rpm. Even more massive is the peak torque of 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft) at 4,200 rpm. In the car this figure is limited electronically to 1,200 Nm (884 lb-ft).

The power is channeled to the rear wheels by a seven-speed automatic transmission adapted to the tremendous power output and a BRABUS high-performance limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent. The transmission can also be shifted manually with the BRABUS RACE aluminum paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

The performance of the BRABUS 900 ROCKET on the road is on the level of a full-blooded top-class sports car. From rest the luxury sedan sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds. The sprint to 200 km/h (124 mph) takes a measly 9.1 seconds. Top speed is in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph).

This unique driving experience is accompanied by a subtle or thrilling exhaust note as desired. The BRABUS sports exhaust system with actively controlled butterfly valve enables the owner to actively manage the sound at the push of a button. The button on the steering wheel lets the driver choose between driving the luxury sedan in a subtle and quiet “Coming Home” mode and enjoying a markedly powerful twelve-cylinder sound.

It goes without saying that favorable aerodynamics are crucial at the extremely high speeds so effortlessly attained by the BRABUS ROCKET 900. To minimize aerodynamic lift on the front and rear axle and bring them into perfect balance, the BRABUS designers developed a sporty-elegantly styled bodywork conversion kit. Like in Formula 1 racing, the components are manufactured from carbon fiber and give the luxury sedan a dynamic visual upgrade while optimizing aerodynamic efficiency.

The front bumper of the S 65 is upgraded not only visually with the BRABUS front spoiler lip and the front bumper attachments with a markedly sporty clear-coated carbon-fiber finish. The shape optimized in the wind tunnel also reduces lift on the front axle. This measure contributes to further improved handling stability at high speeds.

The front fenders are upgraded visually with a clear-coated carbon-fiber BRABUS design element. The integrated BRABUS logo is optionally available with lighting, which is activated with the keyless-entry remote or by pulling on a door handle. The BRABUS clear-coated carbon-fiber mirror covers represent a further sporty upgrade of the sides.

The BRABUS aerodynamic-enhancement concept is rounded out with the BRABUS rear spoiler lip and the rear bumper with integrated clear-coated carbon-fiber diffusor and tailor-made cutouts for the BRABUS sports exhausts system with two dual designer tailpipes.

Tailor-made BRABUS Monoblock alloys with diameters of 21 and even 22 inches also play an essential role in the thrilling looks and the even more dynamic and safer handling.

Forged BRABUS “PLATINUM EDITION” wheels of sizes 9Jx21 on the front axle and 10.5Jx21 at the rear are available as a 21-inch tire/wheel combination. Customers can choose from three different designs: mirror-polished Monoblock VI wheels with six double spokes, the Monoblock F cross-spoke styling and the new Monoblock R wheel with dimensionally offset pairs of spokes. High-performance tires from Continental, Pirelli and YOKOHAMA of sizes 255/35 ZR 21 at the front and 295/30 ZR 21 on the rear axle were selected as the perfect rubber.

There is also a 22-inch BRABUS tire/wheel combination. In concert with size 255/30 ZR 22 tires on the front axle and 295/25 ZR 22 tires at the rear, the BRABUS Monoblock G “Platinum Edition” forged wheels of sizes 9Jx22 and 10Jx22 make full use of the available space in the wheel wells.

To be able to enhance the high level of driving dynamics of the high-performance luxury sedan further still, the BRABUS AIRMATIC SPORT unit was developed, a special control module for the air suspension of the luxury sedan. It lowers the ride height of the BRABUS ROCKET 900 by about 15 millimeters (.6 inches) without compromising the outstanding ride quality.

BRABUS is one of the pioneers in the development of innovative, functional and stylishly integrated multimedia systems for cars. The classy ambiance of a BRABUS fine leather interior with perfect finish down to the last detail also allows the stylish integration of a state-of-the-art multimedia system.

The BRABUS ROCKET 900 is also available with the innovative BRABUS “iBusiness” multimedia system. It uses the latest generation of Apple computer technology for entertainment and global communication via phone and internet.

The BRABUS “iBusiness” multimedia system integrates an iPad mini tablet computer perfectly into the rear compartment. To this end, a special center console was developed, which is positioned between the two individual seats in the rear. It features a docking station and holds the tablet securely in place when not in use. It also recharges the battery of the computer.

The iPad mini is not only used for communicating with the outside world. The tablet computer can also be used to control all functions of the BRABUS “iBusiness” system and the COMAND on-board information system. In addition, the mobile computer is connected via InCar hotspot to the Mac Mini, which serves as the host computer.

The ultra-small and yet especially powerful computer is housed securely in a power-retractable drawer tailored to the design of the Mac mini in the trunk of the luxury liner. The BRABUS programmers developed an innovative BRABUS Remote app for the secure communication between the various components of the multimedia equipment.

A 15.6-inch TFT display with an aspect ratio of 16:9 serves as the central monitor for the iPad mini and the other devices of the multimedia system. The power-retractable screen is integrated elegantly into the chic Alcantara headliner. The standard screens in the back of the front head restraints can also be used for watching TV via DVBT or other programming sources in addition. The BRABUS ROCKET 900 is connected to the internet via 4G mobile telecommunications technology.

The music of course comes from an Apple iPod touch of the latest generation, whose 64GB memory can store more than 14,000 songs. The sound is reproduced via the sound system of the S-Class.

The entire system is stylishly integrated into the BRABUS fine leather interior. It is finished to perfection down to the last detail and sports a tasteful combination of light-colored vellum and black. The passengers are welcomed to the interior by stainless-steel scuff plates with backlit BRABUS logo, whose color alternates between red and white.

The BRABUS instrument cluster with 400-km/h (250-mph) scale is also part of the conversion, as are markedly sporty highlights such as aluminum door-lock pins and pedals.

The BRABUS ROCKET 900 can be ordered as a complete car starting at EUR 347,719. Of course the conversion can also be retrofitted to any existing Mercedes S 65.

Fuel economy, CO2 emissions and efficiency class:
BRABUS ROCKET 900 based on the Mercedes S 65: city 17.1 l/100 km, highway 8.6 l/100 km, combined: 11.9 l/100 km. CO2 emissions, combined: 279 g/km, efficiency class F.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/02/brabus-rocket-900-mercedes-s65-amg-geneva-official/
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Mercedes introduces the details of the C450 AMG 4Matic

The new C-Class models from Mercedes-AMG: Mercedes-AMG C 63 and Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG 4MATIC: Second AMG sports model with V6 power

Driving Performance – the AMG brand claim and typical character traits can now be experienced by an even broader target group. The new C 450 AMG 4MATIC expands the product range of the sports car and performance brand within Mercedes-Benz with another new AMG sports model. As an attractive entry into the world of AMG, the C 450 AMG 4MATIC combines a 270 kW (367 hp) 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with a permanent Performance all-wheel-drive system and sophisticated suspension technology adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C 63. This all results in fascinating driving performance and the hallmark emotional expressiveness of the brand. The new AMG sports model is available as a Saloon and an Estate model, and makes the extensive product line-up within the C-Class range even more attractive.

Stuttgart, Feb 24, 2015 — The new AMG sports models boast impressive product features. Even at first glance, the characteristic AMG body styling leaves no doubt that this model is part of the Mercedes-AMG model family. Another indication of the new model strategy is found in the form of a special AMG badge on the front wings. From an engineering standpoint, the AMG sports models deliver perfectly on the visual promise of a sporty character, with a powerful engine, the standard-fit AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system with rear-biased torque split, and sophisticated suspension solutions.

In addition to the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupé, the C 450 AMG 4MATIC represents the second stage of the new model initiative. Further emotionally inspiring AMG sports models will follow.

Authentic driving dynamics thanks to hallmark AMG DNA
The new C 450 AMG 4MATIC is based on the most powerful production model of the C-Class, the C 400 4MATIC. The engineers have revised many technical features of the new AMG sports model. Their objective: a high level of authentic driving dynamics that uses the Mercedes-AMG C 63 for reference. To this end, a host of suspension components were adopted from the top-of-the-line V8 model. The driver also feels the DNA of the C 63 in the application of the engine and transmission management. Agility and sportiness dominate the intense driving experience in the C 450 AMG 4MATIC every mile of the way.

Key data at a glance: Mercedes-Benz C 450 AMG 4MATIC
Displacement 2996 cc
Bore x stroke 88.0 x 82.1 mm
Output 270 kW (367 hp) at 5500 – 6000 rpm
Peak torque 520 Nm at 2000 – 4200 rpm
Power-to-swept-volume ratio 90.1 kW (122.5 hp)
Fuel consumptionNEDC combined 7.6 l/100 km (7.7 l/100 km)
CO2 emissions 178 g/km (180 g/km)
Efficiency class D
Emissions standard EU6
Kerb weight (according to EC) 1615 kg* / 1690 kg** (1660 kg* / 1735 kg**)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.9 s (5.0 s)
Top speed 250 km/h***

Figures in brackets for Estate
* Ready-to-drive condition (fuel tank 90% full, without driver and luggage)
** Ready-to-drive condition (fuel tank 90% full, with driver (68 kg) and luggage (7 kg)
*** Electronically limited

The new 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine is part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz. Technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed the AMG engineers to increase the engine’s power output and torque. With 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Newton metres the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment – as demonstrated by its impressive performance: acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds (Estate: 5.0 seconds) underscores the sporty temperament of the C 450 AMG 4MATIC. With combined fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 178 grams per kilometre (Estate: 7.7 litres and 180 g CO2 per km) the new top-of-the-line V6 model defines an absolute top position in the competitive environment.

High-tech for dynamism and efficiency
The cutting-edge six-cylinder has a bore/stroke ratio of 88.0 x 82.1 millimetres, and develops its peak torque between 2000 and 4000 rpm. High output and a powerful torque curve combined with high efficiency and the lowest emissions in this class – sheer high-tech provides the basis for the exhilarating characteristics of the V6 biturbo engine: The V6 member of the BlueDIRECT engine family shares many technologies with the new V8 biturbo. The high volumetric efficiency is ensured by the turbocharger package configured to the engine and the piezo injection technology.

Serene or dynamic: the choice is yours
Thanks to hefty torque, the new AMG sports model is agile, direct and dynamic. With the help of various AMG-specific drive programmes the driver is able to tailor the character of the C 450 AMG 4MATIC to his or her personal preferences: The modes “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport +”, plus “Individual” are available. The drive modes adjust the suspension, steering and powertrain as desired, and are selected conveniently with the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch to the left of the touchpad. Below it are the buttons for the 3-stage Ride Control sports suspension and ESP®. The button for the ECO start/stop function is located on the right.

Especially the “Sport+” mode delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics and enhances the emotional appeal: partial cylinder suppression during gear changes by means of a momentary and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection under full throttle speeds up the gear changes, and is also audible to the driver. The emotional double-declutching functions during downshifts and the “exhaust rumbling” in overrun mode provide the fitting accompaniment. The throaty engine sound – a hallmark AMG experience – also plays a crucial role in the most powerful V6 model: to this end, the engineers have developed a new sports exhaust system with lower back-pressure and reduced weight.

The driving sensation is also characterised by the set-up of the accelerator pedal: The more the driver changes the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT settings from “ECO” towards “Sport+”, the more spontaneous and dynamic is the throttle response of the V6 biturbo engine. The driver can also experience authentic and emotional dynamics during engine start if desired: when the twin-turbo V6 engine is started in the “Sport+” drive programme, the engine speed quickly jumps to 2000 rpm for a moment before immediately settling back down to idle speed. Whether the driver wants to experience the engine start accompanied by a sporty or a more subdued sound depends on the most recently activated drive programme – this remains stored for four hours.

The “Eco” programme integrates an ECO start/stop function and a sailing function to reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in the speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch of the transmission is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.

7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission with short response times
The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission responds with superior composure or maximum spontaneity depending on the driver’s preference and selected transmission mode. “Sport+” mode delivers thrillingly short response times: the driver’s shift commands are implemented at lightning speed – the powertrain responds spontaneously and precisely. The development engineers have also taken advantage of numerous hardware and software solutions of the C 63 in this regard. The ‘M’ button on the centre console allows savouring the high pulling power across the entire rev range. In manual transmission mode the 7G-TRONIC PLUS no longer shifts to the next-highest gear on its own, even when prompted by kick-down or upon reaching the redline speed. The driver alone makes the decisions about shifting via the steering-wheel paddle shifters.

The momentary ‘M’ mode offers another feature: it combines the performance of manual gear changes with automatic upshifts and downshifts. The driver has the option to shift up or down at any time with the paddle shifters. If no gear change is requested, the transmission independently reverts to the automatic shift mode after a defined period of time has passed.

The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission features a dual-turbine torsional damper with a speed-sensitive centrifugal pendulum, which minimises vibrations and enhances the occupants’ perceived comfort.

AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with special axles and adjustable dampers
Agility and sportiness: in the new C 450 AMG 4MATIC the driver can experience every mile of the way why AMG has been successful in motor racing as the sports car and performance brand of Mercedes-Benz for more than four decades. The basis for this intense experience is the combination of permanent Performance all-wheel-drive system and the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension. The 3-stage damper adjustment borrows features from the top-of-the-line V8 model Mercedes-AMG C 63, and combines high agility with superior everyday practicality.

The highlight of the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension is the combination of independently developed axle components with high aluminium content and electronically controlled shock absorbers with 3-stage adjustment range. The driver of the C 450 AMG 4MATIC can select a tailor-made suspension set-up using the transmission modes or at the push of a button. The spectrum ranges from balanced long-distance comfort to maximum sportiness.

The technical features of the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension are characterised by components with sophisticated design: the four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimised in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. Stiffening of the body shell improves steering behaviour, feedback during cornering, and tyre noise. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve the precision and agility, and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction, and strong neutral handling at the limit. In short: the C 450 AMG 4MATIC is a very agile sports model on the one hand, while optimised pull rods and front-axle carrier mounts ensure the hallmark Mercedes long-distance comfort on the other.

Optimum traction thanks to AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive
The all-wheel drive system familiar from a number of AMG high-performance cars is also used on the C 450 AMG 4MATIC. The perfect grip during acceleration effectively prevents losses caused by slip. For thrilling driving dynamics 33 percent of the engine power is allocated to the front axle and 67 percent to the rear axle. The rear-biased torque split results in higher agility around the vehicle’s vertical axis. Another major factor here is the sportier set-up of the ESP® with Curve Dynamic Assist. The tangible effects for sporty drivers are lateral dynamics and cornering performance increased to an above-average level.

Steering and braking system support a dynamic driving style
The electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering assists in finding the ideal line and enjoying a dynamic driving style. The agile handling benefits from the direct and constant AMG-specific steering ratio including optimised tuning and response. The steering forces are adapted electronically to the given vehicle speed in optimal fashion. In addition, the optimal steering characteristics are selected depending on the activated drive programme – in the “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes to deliver a sporty steering feel for a dynamic driving style on twisty roads or to deliver a comfortable steering feel in the “Eco” or “Comfort” modes. The “Individual” programme offers an additional choice. For example, it allows combining sporty firm steering characteristics with a comfortable suspension set-up – or vice-versa.

The sports braking system of the C 450 AMG 4MATIC impresses with fade-free and effective stopping power. Standard equipment includes vented brake discs all-round measuring 360 millimetres in diameter at the front and 320 millimetres at the rear, as well as grey brake callipers with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering at the front.

Design features bear the unmistakable imprint of AMG
The fascination of motor racing in everyday life – the C 450 AMG 4MATIC incorporates this combination visually as well: The second AMG sports model is based on the AMG Line equipment package, and immediately signifies that it is part of the unique AMG family. Defining design elements are the AMG body styling, the light-alloy wheels and the special AMG badge on the front wings. They underscore the progressive nature and performance of the brand. The engine cover with red aluminium insert likewise visualises the strengths of the new twin-turbo six-cylinder engine.

The AMG body styling includes the front apron with sporty, distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes and silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matt iridium silver diffuser insert. The simulated air vents on the sides are not only reminiscent of the top C 63 V8 model, they also form defined spoiler lips to improve the Cd figure. Two twin exhaust tailpipes in a special design accentuate the sporty look.

The Saloon features a new, expressive spoiler lip on the boot lid, the Estate a roof spoiler. Both additionally improve road adhesion at the rear axle. The model badges “C 450″ (left) and “4MATIC” (right) are affixed to the boot lid or tailgate.

Silver chrome and high-gloss black exterior elements lend the C 450 AMG 4MATIC a sporty and expressive character. The radiator grille sports a high-gloss black louvre and chrome inserts. The diamond grille adorned with chrome pins adds special flair. Other highlights include the exterior mirror housings, waistline trim strips and window surrounds in high-gloss black.

Customers are also able to order the optional Night package: this includes dark-tinted thermal insulation glass from the B-pillars to the rear, a trim element in the front apron, the diffuser-look insert at the rear in high-gloss black and two twin exhaust tailpipes in black chrome.

5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen finish round off the design perfectly. Size 225/45 R 18 tyres on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tyres on 8.5 x 18 wheels. Attractive 48.3-cm (19″) light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualisation.

Interior with exclusive, sporty flair
The C 450 AMG 4MATIC fascinates with exclusivity and sportiness in the interior as well. The pleasant touch and feel of the materials and the quality of workmanship ensure an impressively classy setting and an emotional passenger experience. A high-quality start-up display welcomes the driver: the central screen in the dashboard displays AMG lettering in the style of the AMG badges on the front wings, which are specific to the sports models.

The ARTICO/DINAMICA upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with black ARTICO man-made leather convey the sporty ambience in superior fashion. ARTICO is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door centre panels and the centre console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The light aluminium trim with a longitudinal grain inset into the dashboard and doors effectively contrasts with the black piano lacquer look of the centre console.

Sports seats with AMG-specific seat upholstery layout and pronounced lateral support offer long-distance comfort and brace the passengers during dynamic cornering. A fitting complement to the sporty handling is the 3-spoke black nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with a flattened lower rim section. A loving attention to details such as red contrasting topstitching, the moulded grip area and steering-wheel shift paddles and the steering-wheel trim in silver chrome contribute to the appealing look and feel.

The instrument cluster also features the typical AMG style: this source of information comprises dials in the sporty “chequered flag” design, a 280 km/h speedometer scale, red speedometer needles and a specific typography.

Other standard equipment features of the C 450 AMG 4MATIC (selection):
- ADAPTIVE BRAKE
- ATTENTION ASSIST
- Audio 20 USB multimedia system
- COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS
- ECO start/stop function
- ISOFIX child seat attachment system
- Sports pedals
- Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC

Additional AMG optional extras (selection):
- 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, tyres in size 225/40 R 19 on 7.5 x 19 rims (front) and 255/35 R 19 on 8.5 x 19 (rear)
- 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, tyres in size 225/40 R 19 on 7.5 x 19 rims (front) and 255/35 R 19 on 8.5 x 19 (rear)
- Multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, tyres in size 225/40 R 19 on 7.5 x 19 rims (front) and 255/35 R 19 on 8.5 x 19 (rear)
- Multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish, tyres in size 225/40 R 19 on 7.5 x 19 rims (front) and 255/35 R 19 on 8.5 x 19 (rear)
- Performance seats for driver and passenger, with more heavily contoured seat for enhanced lateral support, integral head restraints and AMG badge in the backrests
- designo leather seat upholstery
- Lugano leather seat upholstery
- Carbon-fibre/light aluminium trim with longitudinal grain

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VW could look outside its own ranks for next CEO

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Mercedes spotted testing new S-Class cabrio in the snow

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Promo video shows what the Mercedes G500 4×4 can do

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Workers at Mississippi auto supplier protesting low wages

Workers at an automotive seat factory in Mississippi are protesting what they say are low wages and poor working conditions as they attempt to unionize in what could become a new front for the United Auto Workers in the state.

A group of workers and supporters at the Faurecia SA seating plant in Cleveland plans a Tuesday march.

“We work an auto job and we’re getting paid like Wal-Mart wages,” said Jamarqus Reed, a 32-year-old Pace resident who has worked at the plant for almost 10 years. “We’re trying to better ourselves.”

Nationally, the UAW has staked its future on unionizing Southern auto factories, with limited success so far.

The union has been trying to organize Nissan Motor Co.’s Canton, MS, plant for years, and lost a 2008 worker vote at a Johnson Controls plant in nearby Madison that French-based Faurecia bought in 2011.

The UAW narrowly lost a unionization vote at the Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, TN, last year, but the union has since qualified for a new labor policy at the plant that grants access to meeting space and to regular discussions with management. The policy stops short of collective bargaining rights.

The union is also trying to organize Nissan’s assembly plant in Smyrna, TN, and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Protesters say Faurecia employees make a top wage of $11.64 per hour, while contract workers make $7.73 an hour.

Company spokesman Tony Sapienza said that with overtime, the typical Faurecia employee makes more than the $27,000 a year that is the median wage around Cleveland. Wages are often low in the heavily impoverished Delta.

“We are very confident that we are offering a very competitive wage,” Sapienza said.

Organizers criticize use of lower-paid contract workers

Shannon Greenidge, a 44-year-old Cleveland resident, said she worked for a labor agency for more than two years before being hired directly by Faurecia. Greenidge said she makes $9.29 an hour, and can’t save for retirement or to send her 11-year-old daughter to college.

“That’s not going to help me down the line in life,” she said.

Union supporters say as many as half the workers at the plant work for a contract-labor agency. Sapienza said that while the number varies, the company expects 15 percent of its workforce will be temporary employees this year.

The UAW has organized some Southern auto parts plants in recent years, including Faurecia plants in Cottondale, Alabama, in 2012 and Louisville, Kentucky in 2013. The union lost a vote at a Faurecia plant in Tuscaloosa in 2013.

The National Labor Relations Board said Monday that no petition has been filed seeking a union vote at Faurecia. At least 30 percent of non-managers must sign a petition for the board to set a vote. Faurecia recognized the UAW without an election in Louisville after a majority of workers there signed union-support cards.

The latest Faurecia effort is similar to the Nissan push, including a community coalition supporting workers. That helps offset the many business and political leaders who are openly hostile to organized labor in Mississippi, where just 4.5 percent of workers were represented by unions in 2014 – the third-lowest rate of any state.

The Rev. Edward Duvall, pastor of Homestretch Baptist Church in Cleveland, said he’s backing the effort. He said he has relatives and friends who quit because of low wages or can’t come to church because they work seven days a week. He likened the conditions to exploitation he faced as a farm worker in the Delta as a boy.

“It’s the same thing 40 years later,” Duvall said.

 Workers at Mississippi auto supplier protesting low wages

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