There is some real good news for the American premium car enthusiasts as Mercedes-Benz US detailed their plans to expand the B-Class and the C-Class lineage beyond the existing range.
The move is seen as a step to compete with other premium brands in the US which offer a wide variety of commuters for each of their lineage unlike Mercedes Benz. The CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, Ernst Lieb mentioned that the C-Class will get a coupe version as early as next year to compete with the BMW 3 Series. Sometime later in the future, the C-Class will also get a sedan, a convertible and even an estate wagon. As far as the B-Class is concerned, the expansion will begin in 2012 which will again include a coupe, a convertible and a sedan. The B-Class expansion will be a move to target the likes of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3.
Last week, I was invited by Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart to take part in the company’s brand workshop. We’ve been taken to the Mercedes-Benz Museum, then to their design centre and at last, to the test grounds in Malmsheim. That’s where the real fun was. And why do I say that? Among driving a lot of new models in Mercedes’ new lineup, I got behind the wheel with the New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe 2010. It was a diesel Mercedes E350 and boy was the drive fun — sorry guys for taking it to the limit, didn’t know we’re not allowed
So here’s an official video with the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. It’s a really neat monster, don’t you think?
The Next Generation Mercedes Benz S-Class lineage will also have a plug-in hybrid version is no secret and now Mercedes is touting the S Class plug-in hybrid to fetch a whopping 81mpg. Daimler has already achieved 78 mpg (3.0 L/100km) with its Mercedes Vision S 500 plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt event last year so therefore 81mpg for the S-Class plug-in is a step ahead.
The S-Class plug-in will fetch 81mpg courtesy of a combination of 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine-direct injection and piezo injectors-integrated with a 44 kW electric motor. Singly, on the batteries, the semi-electric commuter will have a range of 20 miles with speeds up to 68mph. The only drawback as far as the next-generation S-Class plug-in hybrid is concerned will be its pricing.
The compact executive car segment is all about cut-throat competition and all big brands are looking to go one up on the other by releasing their facelifted models later in the year. Mercedes contender, 2011 C-Class is also gearing up for the year ahead and the facelifted variant was recently spied testing in cold weather conditions.
The current generation model has been around since 2007 and Mercedes plans to upgrade it this year to compete with BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 facelifted versions. The latest spy shots of the 2011 C-Class revealed a completely new set of head and tail lights alongwith a new front bumper and a modified one at the rear. Although, these images do not clearly reveal a new bonnet, the 2011 model is expected to arrive with one. The 2011 C-Class will hit the market later this year probably before BMW releases it 2011 3-Series variant. [via WCF]
Mercedes is keen to expand its green bandwagon and the battery electric vehicle Evo is one of its important members. Mercedes has confirmed the production of the first 100 Evo units later this year and if the EV is a success, the German behemoth will manufacture 2,000 units more in the future. The first 100 customers to receive the car are primarily fleet operators and institutions, which are a part of a limited test run. 20 customers will be lucky enough to even get the delivery of the Vito in 2010. The EV Vito uses a 32 kWh lithium-ion battery which gives the commuter an overall range of 130km and it is powered through a 90kW electric motor. The Evo has an electronically limited top seed of 80km/h which is restricted to site urban environments.
If earlier reports indicated that Michael Schumacher will be with riding under the Mercedes F1 team flag for only one year, we just caught wind that the German racer actually intends to be with the team until 2012. After 91 grand prix wins and a 16 year long career, Schumacher returns to the circuit being persuaded by his former Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn.
It will take time to get over the Ferrari hang as Michael Schumacher won 5 titles with the red devils over a period of 14 years, prior to becoming an advisor for the Italians. Schumacher could end up as a brand ambassador for Mercedes once he is finished racing for the team in 2012. He also clarified that his number one driver status talks were a hoax as it was always up to the team management to decide his status and it will be no different while being on the new team. [via WCF]
Mercedes four wheeles that house the naturally aspirated 6.3L V8 unit will have a different variant under the hood, come 2010. The 6.3-liter AMG V8 will make way for a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 engine and the new engine models will start selling in the last quarter of 2010. The official unraveling of the engine will happen at next year’s Paris Motor Show following which the engine will hit the production facility. Mercedes wants to focus on better fuel economy whilst also reducing the emissions however performance is something the brand will not like to sacrifice as that could hurt the sales figures. The naturally aspirated V8 variant renders between 450 and 520hp with 440 lb-ft of torque. As far as the economy goes, the city numbers reflect 12mpg which are bettered on the highway by 7mpg.
As is the case with the S Class and the GL, the C from Mercedes will also receive the LED driving lamps treatment.
According to some scans from an upcoming brochure, the changes will be minimal. Just a few changes to the fog lamps and I assume the LED’s will only be offered with vehicles with the Bi-Xenon option.