2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe rides to the top

The new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe

Breathtaking and irresistible

Affalterbach. The new S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe is the latest dream car to augment the Mercedes-AMG model range. Exciting lines underpin this two- door model’s design. Power and sensual purity combine to give the vehicle irresistible presence and breathtaking performance. Equally impressive is the combination of outstanding driving dynamics, advanced lightweight construction and groundbreaking efficiency. The AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine is a paragon of poise and assurance. Boasting an output of 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, the S63 AMG Coupe delivers exceptional performance with remarkably low fuel consumption. In addition, perfor- mance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive (33/67% split) will come standard in the U.S. market for optimum traction in any driving situation.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “The new S63 AMG Coupe is another exciting AMG dream car in the luxury segment. Now the S-Class Coupe also comes with performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive – as we rigorously pursue our all-wheel-drive initiative. Mercedes-AMG is putting the pedal to the metal again in the new year. Our model initiative is set to continue at blistering pace in 2014.”

Up to 140 pounds lighter thanks to AMG Lightweight Performance

The S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe is the latest model to benefit from the systematic implementation of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy. Lightweight construction has reduced the vehicle weight by up to 140 pounds – even though the car has a higher output and more extensive standard equipment than the preceding model. This weight savings was achieved largely thanks to the use of a lightweight lithium-ion battery, optional AMG forged light-alloy wheels and a weight-optimized AMG high-performance composite braking system. Furthermore, the entire outer skin and the front end of the body are made of aluminium. The reduced weight improves driving dynamics and cuts fuel consumption, while the low power-to-weight ratio results in impressive performance: the S63 AMG Coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds and goes on to reach a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited).

In terms of maximum output, torque and fuel consumption, the AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine remains one of the most efficient series-produced V8 engines of all. With an output of 577 hp and 664 ft-lb of torque, the AMG eight- cylinder unit meets even the most demanding of requirements. Compared to the previous CL63 AMG model, engine output has been increased by 41 hp and torque by 74 lb-ft. Yet the S63 AMG Coupe still consumes less fuel.
Individuality: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission combines perfectly with the V8 biturbo engine. Maximum agility and exciting dynamics are the two key strengths of this transmission, which is used exclusively at AMG. Drivers can configure their own personal set-up, depending on their driving style. There are three modes to choose from: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual). The ECO start/stop function is fitted as standard.

AMG sport exhaust system with automatic exhaust flaps

Emotional and sporty performance or restrained and relaxing cruising: the S63 AMG Coupe even has a choice of bespoke sounds. The AMG sport exhaust sys- tem meets individual driver requirements as it has automatic logic-controlled exhaust flaps in both rear silencers. When the transmission is in “C” (Con- trolled Efficiency) mode, the flaps remain closed in most situations, in which case the eight-cylinder biturbo engine’s sound is more understated. In “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual) modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and more spontaneously, especially if the driver prefers a dynamic driving style. The result is an even fuller, hallmark AMG emotive engine sound.

“One man, one engine”: a tradition of hand-built excellence

Like all AMG V8 and V12 engines, the eight-cylinder biturbo engine for the S63 AMG Coupe is assembled by hand at the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach. Highly qualified engine fitters assemble the engines in Affalterbach according to the strictest quality standards based on the “one man, one engine” philoso- phy. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative precision and production quality, the AMG engine plate bearing the engine technician’s signature also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz high-performance brand.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive

For the first time, the S63 AMG Coupe comes standard in the U.S. market with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. With permanent all-wheel drive, 33 percent of the engine torque is sent to the front axle and 67 percent to the rear axle. The rear-biased power distribution provides the signa- ture AMG high driving dynamics and superlative driving enjoyment as well as boosting acceleration from a standing start. The all-wheel drive also enhances driving safety on wet or wintry road surfaces when equipped with winter tires**. Optimum traction is guaranteed by a multi-disc clutch with a locking effect of 37 lb-ft, which maximizes the frictional connection potential of all four wheels.

AIRMATIC air suspension

The S63 AMG Coupe 4MATIC features the full air-suspension system AIRMATIC with the adaptive damping system ADS PLUS. Specific front axle kinematics – including higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle – have been developed exclusively for the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe. These measures enhance the vehicle’s agility for performance driving.

Systematic lightweight construction: Available AMG forged wheels

The S63 AMG Coupe is available with optional AMG forged light-alloy wheels. This design reduces weight while at the same time increasing strength. The lower unsprung masses result in advantages in terms of handling and spring/damper element response.

Optional wheels include 10-spoke forged wheels painted in titanium grey with a polished finish – 8.5 x 20 at the front and 9.5 x 20 at the rear, with 255/40 R 20 and 285/35 R 20 tires respectively. The forged wheels feature a high-quality, screwable and fully integrated wheel bolt cover made of forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a center lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG logo is integrated into one of the ten spokes. These forged wheels are also available painted in matte black with a high-sheen rim flange.

AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system as an option for the first time

Short stopping distances and rapid deceleration are a given for the S63 AMG Coupe, which is equipped with a weight-optimized, fade-resistant AMG high- performance composite brake system. An AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system is available as an option. This design, which is more than 20 percent lighter, ensures lower unsprung masses and enhanced braking performance.

Design: AMG combines sensual purity with breaktaking performance

The S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe also boasts exciting looks to emphasize its sporty performance: it exudes power and hallmark Mercedes-Benz sensual purity. The design is a stage for the exciting technology at the heart of the new dream car. Numerous aerodynamic elements underline the outstanding driving dynamics: the front end is dominated by the three-dimensional AMG “twin-blade” radiator grille in silver shadow (a matte silver finish). Whether in motion or stationary, distinctive AMG lettering between the twin-blade lamellas leaves no doubt: this is a high-performance model from Affalterbach. The A-wing is located below the radiator grille. This three-dimensional air-ducting element is painted in the body color, spans the entire width of the front apron and displays the stylized “A” that is a hallmark of AMG vehicles. Large, black flics surround the outer cooling air intakes. Down below, the front splitter in silver shadow optimizes the flow of air to the cooling modules. This design feature, which is a familiar sight in motorsport, also reduces front-axle lift and enhances the vehicle’s aerodynamic balance.

All of the cooling air grilles exude high quality with their high-gloss-black paint finish. Keeping the A-wing and front splitter separate makes the car appear closer to the road. A similar effect is created by the AMG side sill panels with their high-quality, three-dimensional inserts in silver shadow. Together with the lower feature line, these inserts make the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe exude energy even when it is at a standstill. Further eye-catching features of the side design include the large AMG designed wheels. “V8 BITURBO” lettering in a new, contemporary typography on the front wings is another hallmark AMG design touch.

At the rear, the diffuser insert in high-gloss black also catches the eye right away. The lower trim element in silver shadow is reminiscent of the A-wing at the front and provides an effective contrast. The two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sport exhaust system with sport flaps are perfectly integrated into the diffuser insert. Stylized, vertical air outlets in the rear apron assume the role of a defined spoiler lip and optimize aerodynamics. The “S 63 AMG” model designation in a new, contemporary typography below the tail lamps adds the perfect finishing touch to the rear-end design.

Interior: Captivating luxury, quality and exclusivity

Opening the door reveals the luxurious interior of the S63 AMG Coupe: the instrument panel almost seamlessly transitions into the doors in a wrap- around design. High-quality materials and fine workmanship are combined with a sporty and exclusive design idiom. The newly developed AMG sport seats with power adjustment, memory function and seat heating/ventilation offer the driver and front passenger optimum lateral support. Fine AMG design Nappa leather with piping together with AMG badges on all four seat backrests and an embossed AMG emblem on the armrest of the front center console create an exquisite atmosphere.

The new three-spoke AMG sport steering wheel with its distinctively contoured rim and perforated leather in the grip area allows perfect vehicle control. There is an AMG logo in the lower metal insert, and new aluminium shift paddles shorten the reaction time when changing gears to enhance performance. Another feature displaying the hallmark AMG look is the high-resolution TFT color AMG instrument cluster with two animated round dials. In addition to the specific lettering and the needles in red/silver, further distinctive design features include the AMG start-up display, the AMG logo in the speedometer 200 mph scale (left) and the “V8 BITURBO” lettering in the rev counter (right).

The new, innovative touchpad, included as standard equipment, makes it sig- nificantly easier to operate the radio, telephone and navigation system. The safety and assistance systems are the same as those for the S550 4MATIC Coupe.

Even more exclusivity: the S63 AMG Coupe “Edition 1″

One particularly exclusive model in the range is the S63 AMG Coupe “Edition 1. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination. The irresistible look of the exterior is created from designo Magno Alanite Grey matte finish paint and Swarovski crystals in the LED high- performance headlamps. The exquisite ambience of the interior includes AMG sport seats upholstered in designo Exclusive Nappa Leather in bengal red/black with contrasting topstitching and piping. In keeping with this color scheme, the upper section of the dashboard, the front and rear center armrests, and the door linings are trimmed in nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, while the headliner is in finished in DINAMICA. The Edition 1 features a high level of equipment including the AMG Ceramic Braking System.

World premiere and market launch in 2014

The S63 AMG Coupe will celebrate its world premiere at the New York Interna- tional Auto Show in April 2014. The United States market launch of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe 4MATIC will be in Fall 2014.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe rides to the top
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Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

mercedes amg gt interior 1 Mercedes AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

Mercedes-Benz opted to tease the assembled media at its post-New York Auto Show party, showing off a pair of images of the exquisitely crafted interior of the highly anticipated successor of the SLS AMG – the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GT.

Slated for a debut in the fall at either Paris or Los Angeles (we’re betting Paris), you’ll note straight away that there’s something wrong with this car’s name. Where’s the “Benz?” Well, it’s been ditched to, as Mercedes says, “make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true.” Sorry Karl.

“The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.

As for these images, there isn’t a lot to see, aside from a very nicely designed interior. The materials look first rate, and the overall layout is one of the more modern we’ve seen from Mercedes. Further confirming that an eight-cylinder sits under the hood, the AMG Drive Unit – the bank of buttons on either side of the shifter – has been designed with four per side, which form a “V” shape, similar to an engine.

Hopefully we’ll hear more on the new Mercedes-AMG GT ahead of its official debut later this year. Take a look below for a brief press release, with additional remarks from Tobias Moers.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT
The sports sensation

Affalterbach. A new AMG high-performance automobile is all set for its world premiere in the fall of 2014. The Mercedes-AMG GT will thrill sports car fans around the world with breathtaking design and supreme agility. Fascinating, dynamic – and versatile to boot: the GT will line up in a new segment – and it will make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true.

“The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before,” notes Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The technological substance of the Mercedes-AMG GT underscores our high aspirations with regard to vehicle dynamics, agility and sportiness. Following the global success of the SLS AMG, the new GT is the second sports car developed fully independently by Mercedes-AMG. A first exclusive look at the design of the interior shows what is in store for our customers: a GT sports car in its purest form.”

The sensuous purity of a superlative driving machine

A sneak preview of the interior arouses anticipation of the new Mercedes-AMG GT: the interior design embodies emotion and sensuousness like no other sports car. The uncompromising lines of the interior components and their authentic materials display a clarity that uses contrasts to help define “modern luxury”.

A dominant aspect in the cockpit of the GT is the stylistic evolution of the central “aviation design” theme typical of Mercedes-Benz sports cars. The dashboard places extreme emphasis on width, creating the impression of a powerful wing. This effect is boosted by the four central climate-control spot vents and the single vents at the left and right ends of the dashboard. The dominant center stack presents a correspondingly dynamic character: its shape is reminiscent of a NACA scoop and its materials suggest that it has been adopted directly from motor racing. Another clever design feature comes in the form of the controls on the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which are arranged like the cylinders of a V8 engine and further augment the powerful, high-tech impression made by the center console.

Enough to set pulses racing even when stationary

The interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT also boasts a fascinatingly exclusive look and feel, with the finest materials and outstanding workmanship combining to create a setting that simply exudes class. As such, the exclusive interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT alone is enough to get one truly hooked on this vehicle. Designed to set the driver’s and front passenger’s pulses racing even while at a standstill, it provides an enticing hint of the superlative dynamic performance the new GT is capable of when its AMG V8 comes to life.

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Daimler names Bernd Pischetsrieder to supervisory board

 Daimler names Bernd Pischetsrieder to supervisory board

Some executives in the automotive industry stay with one company for their entire careers, while others bounce from one to the other, often leaving their indelible mark on each automaker at which they serve. Bob Lutz is certainly an example of the latter. So is Lee Iacocca, having presided over Ford and later charing the Chrysler board. Carlos Tavares was chief operating officer of Renault before being nominated as chief executive at PSA Peugeot Citroën. But as far as the Germans go, nobody’s jumped from the leadership of one automaker to the next quite like Bernd Pischetsrieder – especially now that he’s been named to the supervisory board of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.

An engineer by training, Pischetsrieder started his career at BMW in 1973, eventually rising to the office of CEO after twenty years. There he remained until 1999, only to be dismissed after orchestrating BMW’s takeover of the Rover Group (of which only the Mini brand remains in the company’s portfolio, the other brands having been sold off after his dismissal).

The next year he was named chairman of Volkswagen’s Seat brand, and rose to the chairmanship of the entire Volkswagen Group two years later. Despite a largely successful four-year tenure (that gave birth, incidentally, to the Bugatti Veyron), disagreements with supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piëch saw him leave the helm at VW AG, focusing his attention on the Scania truck division. He’s since been touted as a potential chief executive for Opel and for Continental, but neither potential was apparently realized.

Pischetsrieder’s appointment to the Daimler board was approved just days ago at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Berlin. Alongside him, former Bosch chief Bernd Bohr and current Siemens CEO Joseph Kaeser were also elected, all of them serving for a period of five years.

Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Daimler AG approves dividend of €2.25
Berlin, Apr 09, 2014

At the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Daimler AG held in Berlin on Wednesday, the shareholders approved the distribution of a dividend for the year 2013 of €2.25 per share (prior year: €2.20). The total dividend payout amounts to €2,407 million.

Furthermore, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting elected Dr Bernd Bohr, Mr. Joe Kaeser and Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder as members of the Supervisory Board representing the shareholders for a period of five years. Their period of office as members of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG began at the end of the 2014 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.

The actions of the members of the Board of Management were ratified by 98.56% of the votes cast and the actions of the members of the Supervisory Board were ratified by 98.53% of the votes cast.
Effective as of January 1, 2014, the remuneration system for the members of the company’s Board of Management was adjusted with consideration of the amended German Corporate Governance Code. The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting approved the remuneration system with 96.82% of the votes cast. The adjustment in the remuneration of the Supervisory Board was approved by 97.86% of the votes cast.
The Annual Shareholders’ Meeting was held at the Berlin Trade Fair Center (Berliner Messe) and was attended by approximately 5,500 shareholders and shareholder representatives (prior year: 5,000). 39.25% of the share capital was represented.

The dividend will be paid out on April 10, 2014 to all shareholders who held Daimler shares on April 9, 2014.

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Daimler names Bernd Pischetsrieder to supervisory board
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How Mercedes’ sterling reputation hurts Sprinter sales

2014 mercedes benz sprinter How Mercedes sterling reputation hurts Sprinter sales

If you’ve ever visited Germany, you know that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t exactly carry the high-end cache in its homeland that it does in the US. While the Three-Pointed Star is still certainly known for its luxury sedans and sports cars, the brand also represents most of the taxis on the road, and its Sprinter vans make many of the deliveries. The upscale image in North America might be beneficial when trying to lure new buyers to a CLA-Class, but Merc is seeing pushback from some commercial buyers who think its vans are too ostentatious for them.

Mercedes USA has created a dedicated van unit, and one of the group’s first tasks is to fight this belief. It has already begun targeted, web-based ads advertising the truck’s monthly payments to show potential customers they can afford it. “We want to align perceptions with realities,” said Christian Bokich, Mercedes USA Product and Technology Manager. A standard Sprinter in the US starts at $35,920 with a 144-inch wheelbase and standard roof, and the largest models provide the most cargo space among competitors.

The company also has another way to sell the Sprinter – Freightliner ; these models are identical other than the grille. According to Automotive News, that brand sees most of the van’s large fleet orders.

Despite some customers being turned off by a commercial Mercedes, Sprinter sales are growing. According to AN, the van’s sales were up 25 percent in March to 1,915 units, and February was up 18 percent. For 2014, the US model receives a new standard powertrain that pairs a 2.1-liter four-cylinder BlueTEC diesel, making 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, with a seven-speed automatic, and an all-wheel drive version is on the way. Mercedes is out to prove to the US that it is as good at vans as it is with plush sedans.

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Ward’s releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014

2014 mercedes s class 26 Wards releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014

While we’re still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year and Car and Driver‘s Ten Best are named, that doesn’t mean there aren’t trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward’s 10 Best Interiors being one of them.

As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward’s considers them – the only requirement is that a vehicle has a “new or significantly redesigned interior.”

Ward’s offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:

We’ll admit to being surprised by a pair of these – the Kia Soul and Jeep Cherokee – while the rest make a fair amount of sense. What’s most remarkable is the huge range of prices, from the $24,010 Kia to the $372,800 Rolls-Royce.

What do you think of Ward’s findings? Do you agree? Are there any vehicles that should be included in this list? Post your thoughts down in Comments.

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Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video]

Kelley Blue Book Announces 2014 Brand Image Award Winners
Honda Holds Reign for Best Overall Brand, Most Trusted Brand; Kia, GMC, Jaguar Win First Brand Image Awards

IRVINE, Calif., April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The 2014 Brand Image Award winners, based on annual new-car buyer perception data, are announced today by Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used car information. The Kelley Blue Book® Brand Image Awards recognize automakers’ outstanding achievements in creating and maintaining brand attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm of the new-vehicle buying public. Award categories are calculated among luxury, non-luxury and truck shoppers.

“The classic saying ‘perception is reality’ falls true with the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards, as more than 12,000 in-market new-car shoppers have voiced their opinions about today’s automakers,” said Hwei-Lin Oetken, vice president of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book. “With strong marketing communications coming from auto manufacturers and dealers, and the increased importance of peer reviews and ratings, consumers today are more influenced than ever to take interest in a brand, ultimately affecting their vehicle purchase decisions.”

2014 Brand Image Award Winners: Non-Luxury Brands

Best Overall Brand
Most Trusted Brand
Best Value Brand
Most Refined Brand
Best Performance Brand
Best Car Styling Brand
2014 Brand Image Award Winner: Truck Brand

Best Overall Truck Brand
2014 Brand Image Award Winners: Luxury Brands

Best Overall Luxury Brand
Most Trusted Luxury Brand
Best Value Luxury Brand
Most Refined Luxury Brand
Best Performance Luxury Brand
Best Car Styling Luxury Brand
For two years running, Honda has been named the Best Overall Brand, securing the highest average scores among all 12 Brand Watch factors, including affordability, “cool” factor, driving comfort, driving performance, durability/reliability, exterior styling, fuel efficiency, interior layout, prestige/sophistication, reputation, ruggedness and safety (listed in alphabetical order). Strong consumer perception of the Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey helped drive Honda’s success in earning the top honor among all automakers.

This year, Mercedes-Benz captured the Best Overall Luxury Brand title from 2013 winner BMW by obtaining the top average Brand Watch factor scores among all luxury makes and being highly regarded with its strong lineup and performance AMG variants.

Reclaiming the top spot among truck shoppers, Ford ousts last year’s winner, Toyota, from the Best Overall Truck Brand category. Ford has won five out of six times Kelley Blue Book has announced this award. The F-150 and Super Duty F-250 and F-350 helped the manufacturer earn back the award for 2014, as truck shoppers ranked the brand highest among all other truck brands.

For three years in a row, Honda has earned the award for Most Trusted Brand, and for 2014, the Accord, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey supported the boost in Honda’s scores. Meanwhile, Lexus holds its ground as the Most Trusted Luxury Brand for the second consecutive year with help from the ES, IS, LX and RX models.

Kia earns its first-ever Brand Image Award in 2014 for Best Value Brand, taking the crown from last year’s winner Honda. Kia received high marks on affordability and fuel efficiency, primarily driven by the Optima, Rio, Soul and Forte models. Buick is a repeat winner for the Best Value Luxury Brand, and the manufacturer’s entire lineup, including the LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, Enclave and Encore, has positively influenced car shoppers’ perceptions.

“Kia has come a long way in the eyes of the consumer,” said Arthur Henry, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Once known only as an economy car with good gas mileage, the brand has evolved through product growth and maturity into a high-value brand. This is a similar path fellow import brands Honda and Toyota took in the 1970s. In fact, Kia edges out Honda this year for the Best Value Brand title.”

Benefitting from its upscale Denali trim models, GMC also wins its first Brand Image Award as 2014′s Most Refined Brand, with high ratings for comfort, interior layout and prestige/sophistication. Mercedes-Benz has a second consecutive win for this category among luxury brands, and historically has scored very high in prestige/sophistication since the inception of the Brand Image Awards in 2008.

MINI wins Best Performance Brand for the second year in a row, with help from the MINI Cooper for its high ratings for “cool” factor and driving performance. Like MINI, Porsche holds steady as a repeat winner as Best Performance Luxury Brand since 2010, due to strong ratings for a number of models in its lineup, including the 911, Cayman, Panamera and Cayenne.

Jaguar earned its first Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Award as 2014 Best Car Styling Luxury Brand for its attractive F-TYPE, XK, XF and XJ series, while Chevrolet reclaimed the Best Car Styling Brand title from last year’s winner Ford.

“Chevrolet had a slew of redesigns during the past year, which have captured the consideration of car shoppers,” said Henry. “Chevrolet decided to take a daring approach with its styling and it paid off. The models primarily driving the success of Chevrolet’s expressive design efforts are the Corvette Stingray and Camaro.”

The 2014 Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence’s Brand Watch study. Brand Watch is an online brand and model perception tracking study tapping into 12,000+ in-market new-vehicle shoppers annually on Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. The highly comprehensive study offers insight into how shoppers perceive important factors driving their purchase decisions, and captures brand/model familiarity and loyalty among new-car shoppers.

For more information about the 2014 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards, please visit http://www.kbb.com/new-cars/brand-image-awards/.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+kbb/.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values, and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a subsidiary of AutoTrader Group, which includes AutoTrader.com, vAuto, VinSolutions and HomeNet Automotive. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.

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Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

bgp03 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg pipped teammate Hamilton for pole near the very end of Q3, when Hamilton erred at Turn 1 on his last possible attempt. That was a surprise but well earned pole for the German, because Hamilton had owned every free practice session all weekend. They lined up next to one another on the grid, with both on the medium tire and both pointed at the center of the track, aiming to chop the other off.

When the lights went out it looked like both got perfect starts, but Hamilton’s was a touch more perfect, pulling alongside and then past Rosberg as he got up into the gears. Come Turn 1 he had his nose in front and got the inside line, Rosberg still shadowing him on the outside. Through the next complex of corners, though, Hamilton made better way and finally got his rear diffuser placed firmly in front of his teammate by the time they got out of Turn 4.

bgp02 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

Rosberg never let him get away and always looked to make a move down the main straight as the two fought for the first few laps. When Rosberg’s race engineer radioed to tell him to care for his tires and think about a possible alternate strategy, Rosberg lay off a little but stayed in Hamilton’s mirrors until the first round of pitstops, when the German attacked again. He ducked inside of Hamilton and passed at the end of the front straight, but Hamilton took the inside line on the exit and pushed Rosberg well onto the kerbing, the two going at it again for a few corners until Hamilton, again, got himself solidly in front of Rosberg and was then able to pit first, being the first Mercedes on track.

Hamilton took on a set of soft tires, good for about half a second per lap over the medium tires, when Rosberg pitted a lap later he took on a set of mediums. During the second stint Hamilton built up a lead of about ten seconds on Rosberg, which he’d have to defend in the third stint when the tire strategies were reversed.

bgp04 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

Enter Pastor Maldonado. As Sauber driver Esteban Gutiérrez rocketed toward Turn 1 around Lap 40, Maldonado exited the pits. For some reason, the Lotus driver shot out of the pit lane and straight for the apex at Turn 1, where Gutiérrez was turning in on the racing line, and Maldonado’s Lotus speared into the rear right corner of the Sauber, the tire-on-tire contact flipping Gutiérrez’ car across the track and into the tarmac runoff area. The Lotus was, incredibly, unhurt and continued.

bgp05 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

The Safety Car emerged while the Sauber was removed, erasing Hamilton’s advantage over Rosberg. Just as the Safety Car was about to return to the pits on Lap 47 with ten laps remaining, Mercedes AMG Petronas technical director Paddy Lowe came on the radio to urge both boys to “Bring the cars home.” Probably everyone watching (including us) wondered if those were veiled team orders, but it didn’t take one corner to find out they weren’t: Mercedes said it would let its drivers race, Rosberg immediately jumped all over the back of Hamilton and for the next ten laps they stayed within a second of one another. Neither one of them made a mistake or put a wheel wrong, but as has been said many a time, it’s one thing to catch, it’s another thing to pass; even with the faster tire, Rosberg couldn’t past Hamilton and his perfect driving and defending. The Brit crossed the finished line first, his teammate a second behind. Hamilton later said it was the hardest race he’s ever won, Rosberg said it was the best battle of his career. For us, it was outstanding watching. We also learned just how good Mercedes is; finally forced to race with everything they had, The Silver Arrows showed themselves to be two seconds per lap ahead of the field.

bgp06 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

An elated and relieved Sergio Perez grabbed third place by the neck, after dicing with his teammate Nico Hülkenberg in the first stint and pulling off a pass that had Hulkenberg complaining to his engineer. During the last ten-lap sprint, Daniel Ricciardo in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing in fourth closed in on Perez at half a second a lap from about six seconds back, Perez’s race engineer telling him “He won’t catch us at this pace.” If the race had gone one more corner, that would have been a lie – the Red Bull was sniffing all over the back of Perez come the last few corners, and it was only the checkered flag that saved Perez from having to settle for fourth. In just his third race with the team and after having been soundly beat by his teammate in the first two races, and after the last miserable year with McLaren, Perez was thrilled to get on the podium. It’s Force India’s first visit to the rostrum since Giancarlo Fisichella did it at the Italian Grand Prix in 2009. Hülkenberg came in fifth, proving that Force India has built a strong car around that really strong Mercedes power unit.

Fourth went to Ricciardo, who proves race-by-race that he isn’t the second driver at Red Bull. The Aussie qualified in third, but after his ten-place grid penalty started in 13th. He said he didn’t have any thoughts of a podium, and the first two stints seemed to back up his prediction. Come the third stint, the Red Bull jumped to life and Ricciardo charged on through the top ten, passing his four-time World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel seven laps from the end, then hunting down Perez and coming up just short for third place. Sixth went to Vettel, who said he couldn’t get what Ricciardo could get out of the car and, “obviously we were not good enough today.”

bgp07 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas took seventh and eighth, punished for doing three-stop races instead of two. The Williams’ showed plenty of speed in the opening stint, doing healthy battle with the Force Indias early in the race; if not for that extra stop there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t have owned third and fourth position.

bgp08 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

In ninth and tenth came Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen. Alonso made no excuses for the finishing positions, saying “we were just ninth and tenth and that was what we could do today.” Räikkönen said the car is lacking just about everywhere, but not so much to explain why he felt like he was racing in a different class to the Mercedes-powered cars. Both drivers said the Ferrari T14 is improved over the first races and they expect things to get better, especially when the European rounds begin. It is, for us, a head-shaker to see Ferrari seemingly in the same position this year as the last five years, putting in a good pre-season and then fighting for mid-top-ten finishes for the first half of the season.

As for that Maldonado incident, he got a ten-second stop-go penalty, a five-place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix and three points added to his license. It’s a little surprising that Ricciardo got a ten-place penalty for unsafe release when his team recognized the error while still in the pits, but Maldonado gets five places for sending another car somersaulting across a hot track because of an incomprehensible move. But ah well – better news for Lotus is that it got both cars to the finish for the first time, in Romain Grosjean in 12th, Maldonado in 14th. That’s the opposite fate of McLaren, which retired both its cars late in the race with what looked like engine trouble.

bgp09 Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about

Hamilton’s victory still leaves him second in the Driver’s Championship with 50 points behind his teammate who has 61, and Hülkenberg’s 28 points leapfrogs him over Alonso with 26. Mercedes AMG Petronas is already in the triple digits in the Constructor’s Championship, their 111 towering over Force India in second (!) at 44 and McLaren in third with 43.

The Chinese Grand Prix comes in just two weeks, but we’re certain that we’ll still be thinking about this one. See you then.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/06/race-recap-2014-bahrain-grand-prix-f1-recap/
Race Recap: 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix is racing like you dream about
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Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 to star in new Jurassic World flick

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We aren’t sure about you, but when someone mentions the Jurassic Park films, John Williams’ soaring anthem immediately works its way into our ears. That’s why we’re humming it as we write about this latest bit of automotive news – the next JP film will feature the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6.

According to an announcement on the film’s Facebook page, which showed a picture of the automotive Tyrannosaur on a shipping pallet, the six-wheeled G63 is just one of the vehicles for the next film, titled Jurassic World.

Movie fans/auto buffs will know that the cars in the JP movies have played a rather significant role throughout the series, generally taking on the big, bad Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Jeep Wrangler, Ford Explorer and Mercedes M-Class have each had varying degrees of success when taking on the park’s biggest dinosaurs, although we think the genetically engineered reptiles will find this Mercedes a slightly loftier challenge.

Jurassic World, the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, comes out in June of 2015. Of course, if we hear any more on the cars that will star in what is likely to be one of next summer’s tent-pole blockbusters, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/06/mercedes-g63-amg-6×6-jurassic-world/
Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 to star in new Jurassic World flick
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