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    Autonomous driving through Silicon Valley: Mercedes-Benz receives licence from the US federal state of California

    by Philipp Deppe | 23.September 2014

    On 16 September 2014 the US federal state of California introduced a legal requirement for an official license for testing vehicles in autonomous driving mode on public roads.

    Autonom durch das Silicon Valley |  Autonomous driving through S

    On “Senate Bill No. 1298″ taking effect, Mercedes-Benz received a corresponding licence permitting it to test vehicles in autonomous driving mode in daily traffic on California’s roads. For Mercedes-Benz, which has been resident in Silicon Valley for almost 20 years now, this represents a further expansion of the company’s extensive research activities in the USA.

    “With the approval from the US federal state of California we can now take autonomous driving to a new level in the USA,” emphasizes Prof Thomas Weber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Through our new research activities we aim to promote the topic specifically in the USA, as the traffic system in the USA differs from the system in Germany in numerous aspects. The knowledge that Mercedes-Benz gains will help to achieve significant strides in the further technological development of autonomous driving,” notes Thomas Weber.

    The differences are vast: While motoring in Germany commonly takes place on narrow roads, the roads in the USA are frequently wider and may have more than six or even eight lanes. Traffic lights are installed on the opposite side of the road, there are numerous scenarios for merging onto roads and at a so-called 4-way stop the first to reach the junction is allowed to go first.

    “These are all situations which do not exist in this form in Germany,” explains Axel Gern, head of Autonomous Driving at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA). “So we need to teach our research vehicles these situations here in the USA.” In future, these vehicles will be tested on the road almost every day. As in the test drives in Germany, these research vehicles from Mercedes-Benz in the USA are also current models belonging to the S- and E-Class.

    The autonomous test drives are carried out by specially trained test drivers, as safety for all road users is not only required by the strict standards of the “Department of Motor Vehicles” (DMV) in California, but is also the overriding priority at Mercedes-Benz. The test vehicles are specially equipped to this end: the driver must recognize clearly when the car is in autonomous driving mode and must be able to override this mode at any time; in addition, the car must be capable of stopping autonomously at any time. MORE »

    Topics: Development, Research cars | No comments »

    The C-Class from AMG: a success story with eight cylinders – 40,000 vehicles sold worldwide

    by Philipp Deppe | 22.September 2014

    The story of the high-performance C-Class powered by eight-cylinder engines began in 1997 with the C 43 AMG. The successors in the guise of the C 55 AMG and C 63 AMG underscored the significance of the powerful V8 engines for AMG’s brand promise of “Driving Performance”.

    Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG (204) 2014

    With sales of some 40,000 vehicles, the C 63 AMG is also the best-selling AMG model to date. One thing is clear already: its successor will further raise the bar in terms of performance and fuel consumption. The power source of the new C 63 is of course once again a V8 engine and closely related to that of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

    The first C 63 AMG celebrated its market launch in 2008. Around 8000 of these high-performance C-Class vehicles were sold in 2012, the year with the strongest sales. The successor model will shortly celebrate its world premiere as a saloon and as an estate model. Under its bonnet is a highly efficient AMG 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine based on the sports car engine of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

    “It goes without saying that the successor to the current C 63 AMG will again be powered by an eight-cylinder engine. We owe that to our loyal fans, plain and simple”, says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The AMG V8 Biturbo engine mesmerizes not only with maximum power and torque, but also with the absolute best fuel economy in the comparative segment“.

    The world’s most economical high-performance eight-cylinder engine
    Under the bonnet of the C 63 AMG’s successor is an all-new 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine. The eight-cylinder Biturbo engine will deliver exceptional performance with an unrivalled power output range of up to 375 kW (510 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. At the same time the eight-cylinder high-performance vehicle impresses with low emissions and the world’s best fuel economy in the segment. The latest member of the AMG BlueDIRECT engine family sets absolute standards with a fuel consumption of 8.2 litres/100 km (NEDC combined).

    Début for the C 63 AMG in 2007: more AMG than ever before
    The 40th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG GmbH was a special reason for AMG fans to celebrate. The C 63 AMG (model series 204) marked a new standard for high-performance sports saloons. The top-of-the-line C-Class model was powered by an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine. With a rated power output of 336 kW (457 hp) and a peak torque of 600 Nm the high-rev naturally aspirated engine was unrivalled in this segment. Powered by this engine the C 63 AMG accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (Estate: 4.6 sec.); the top speed was limited electronically to 250 km/h. In conjunction with the AMG Performance package Plus that became available as an option in 2009, power output jumped to 358 kW (487 hp). Engine components from the SLS AMG super sports car increased the V8 engine’s willingness to rev and its agility.

    The power was transmitted by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission with three transmission modes and double-declutching function. The sports suspension with 18-inch light-alloy wheels in conjunction with a completely redesigned front axle, speed-sensitive sports steering and 3-stage ESP offered maximum driving pleasure and markedly dynamic handling. MORE »

    Topics: AMG, C-Class | No comments »

    Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix 2014

    by Philipp Deppe | 21.September 2014

    Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton took an impressive victory in the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix this evening, while Nico Rosberg was forced to retire in a tense race at the spectacular Marina Bay Street Circuit.

    Lewis completed a clean sweep of pole position, fastest lap and victory for the fifth time in his Formula One career. This marks Lewis’ 29th career Formula One win – his eighth for Mercedes AMG Petronas. Nico was forced to retire on lap 13 after a steering column wiring loom failure. The malfunction was first detected on the laps to the grid and eventually left him stuck in neutral at his first pit stop. Lewis now leads the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship by three points from his team-mate. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS continue to lead the Constructors’ Championship – now by a margin of 174 points.

    Lewis Hamilton: “It was great to come here after winning in Monza and start the final leg of the season with such a competitive car. It would have been a really hardcore race if Nico had been at the front, as we clearly had the pace. It was all running pretty comfortably until the Safety Car came out, which gave me some problems. I was driving hard to build the gap but then the tyres started dropping off and I wasn’t sure what to do – keep pushing or back off to look after them. So we pitted straight away and I came out behind Seb. But I knew they were on a two-stop strategy and that his tyres were old. I went for it down the back straight – the gap was pretty small and maybe I could have chosen another point on the circuit. But I luckily squeezed through and made it stick. Of course, it’s not an ideal result with Nico retiring, so that shows we still have work to do to get on top of reliability. But it’s been a great job from the team at everyone at the factories to make this mega car. Now we need to keep pushing hard for Japan in two weeks’ time.”

    Nico Rosberg: “The problems with my steering wheel began in the garage even before the race and it was a difficult moment when I couldn’t pull away from the grid – the car didn’t get out of neutral. When I left the pit-lane, I was only able to change gear – there was no radio, no DRS and reduced Hybrid power. We were hoping that the systems might come back to life, like the radio did, and that we could change the situation. But after we changed the wheel another time, we had to retire the car. It was a tough day for me and unfortunately another reliability problem for the team. It was at least something good for the team that Lewis was able to take the win. Now we need to analyze what happened and to optimize everything further because reliability is our issue this year.” MORE »

    Topics: Motorsports | No comments »

    Lewis Hamilton on Pole Position in front of Nico Rosberg at Singapore Qualifying

    by Philipp Deppe | 20.September 2014

    MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS secured a dramatic front row lockout for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton took pole by just seven thousandths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg.

    Lewis took his 6th pole position of 2014 this evening in Singapore and the team’s 13th from 14 races this year. This means that Mercedes-Benz power has so far taken pole at all 14 rounds of the world championship. Nico finished second to make it the team’s 7th all-Mercedes front row in 2014 and the third in a row. The gap between the two of 0.007s equates to just 33.5 cm around the 5.065 km lap! Both drivers used one set of prime tyres and three sets of option tyre during the qualifying session.

    Lewis Hamilton: “That was one of the most exciting qualifying sessions I can remember. I lost a lot of time at the beginning of my last lap and at that point I thought pole was lost. But I just kept going and managed to pull some time back. As a driver, through the weekend you plan to have the last lap in qualifying as your best. By that time the track has improved and you should have the settings as close to their optimum as they’re going to get. But there was so much happening out there and I was just trying not to look at what was going on around me. I was surprised by how close everyone was – the Red Bulls and Ferraris looked quick all day – and it was really fun to be a part of that session. The team have done a fantastic job to bring the car here, to a circuit where downforce is so important, and be at the front once again, so a big thank you to them. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow. Coming into the weekend we had an opinion about how the tyres would behave, but the long runs yesterday changed all that. Trying to manage them will be a big challenge but hopefully it will be an entertaining one for the fans. I’m on the clean side of the track so I’m hoping for a clean start and a strong race.”

    Nico Rosberg: “In general that was the most difficult qualifying session of my career so far. It was really tough to find my rhythm. I had to change my brakes for qualifying and then had to find the right balance in the early runs which was a struggle. I just thought, “that’s it, you will be 6th or 7th”. Then, at the end, I was really happy with the balance and feeling good. When I heard that Lewis was that tiny margin quicker I thought “damn”! I directly reviewed my lap and thought there were so many places to gain seven thousandths of a second – especially in the last corner. But in the end he did seven thousandths of a better job today, so fair play to him. P2 is still good for tomorrow’s race and I’m focused on having a good start. Last year I overtook Sebastian at Turn One, so it’s definitely possible to win from here. It’s going to be all about managing the tyres and I learned some good lessons in my long runs yesterday, so I hope it will be an exciting race for the fans.” MORE »

    Topics: Motorsports | No comments »

    Unimog proves its superiority under the toughest operating conditions in the Highlands of Iceland

    by Philipp Deppe | 19.September 2014

    The proven vehicle concept of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog has been a firm favourite with the electricity industry in many European countries for decades.

    Unimog hochgeländegängig Island Stromwerk

    And now, Reykjavik-based Askja, the Daimler sales intermediary in Iceland, has delivered a Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4000 to Landsnet. Landsnet is responsible for supplying electricity to the approximately 325,000 inhabitants of Europe’s second largest island state on behalf of the National Energy Authority of Iceland.

    Unimog hochgeländegängig Island Stromwerk

    With its well-proven OM 924 LA four-cylinder engine developing 160 kW (218 hp), the extreme all-terrain Unimog U 4000 is able to master even the most challenging terrain on this Norwegian Sea island characterised by a high level of volcanic activity. Its particular strength lies in its portal axles and its extremely high degree of articulation thanks to its coil springs and a fording depth of up to 1.20 m. A key role in ensuring optimal handling and comfort during off-road operation is played by the three-point mounting of the engine, transmission and cab as well as by the double three-point mounting of the body.

    The long-wheelbase version (3850 mm) with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 8.5 t has a crew cab and a box body for tools and parts. MORE »

    Topics: Unimog | No comments »

    autonis Readers’ Poll 2014: Mercedes builds the most attractive cars

    by Philipp Deppe | 18.September 2014

    Mercedes-Benz has won a double victory in the poll for the most beautiful car of the year 2014. Both the S-Class Coupé and the GLA were unequivocally rated the most beautiful cars in their segments by the readers of German “auto motor und sport” magazine.

    Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Coupe/S63AMG Coupe, Toskana 2014

    Beauty is the only thing that counts in the poll for the autonis Design Award, which “auto motor und sport” magazine conducts each year to crown the most beautiful cars. In the luxury segment the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé won the coveted honour by a wide margin. Among the compact cross-country vehicles the Mercedes-Benz GLA was the most popular with readers.

    The S-Class Coupé won over the readers with its aesthetic design, exclusive appointments and sophisticated sportiness. The GLA thoroughly reinterprets the compact SUV segment with its progressive design. MORE »

    Topics: Marketing | No comments »

    MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS And IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Renew Partnership

    by Philipp Deppe | 17.September 2014

    The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is pleased to confirm the extension of its team partnership with IWC Schaffhausen for a further three years. The Swiss watch manufacturer became the Official Engineering Partner of the team in 2013 and has now confirmed its commitment until the end of the 2018 season.

    With the link between IWC Schaffhausen and AMG, the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz, dating back to 2004, and with the team’s drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, being ‘Friends of the Brand’, this new agreement further reinforces the strong ties and passion for precision engineering that exist between the two partners.

    In Singapore today, on the eve of the city’s Grand Prix weekend, Lewis and Nico presented their own IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Editions. These two special edition watches, limited to 250 pieces each, were personally designed by the drivers, working closely with IWC’s skilled watchmakers in Schaffhausen. Both editions feature a titanium casing and a medallion of carbon fibre, from one of the Silver Arrows cars raced by the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team, set into the back of the watch, along with the personal logo of the respective drivers.

    Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, commented: “We are delighted to have extended our partnership with IWC Schaffhausen for a further three years and to have the opportunity to continue to work closely with such a prestigious brand. Our shared passion for pushing the boundaries of engineering through technical innovation and design are the perfect match for IWC, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and our sport of Formula One. We look forward to working in close collaboration with IWC in the years to come and to further contributing to the development of their innovative and beautiful timepieces.” MORE »

    Topics: Motorsports | No comments »

    DTM Race Winner Pascal Wehrlein Name MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Reserve Driver

    by Philipp Deppe | 15.September 2014

    The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is delighted to announce the appointment of Pascal Wehrlein to the position of reserve driver.

    After a successful early career in go-karts, Pascal won the 2011 ADAC Formel Masters before graduating to Formula 3 in 2012. In his maiden season, he secured second place in the F3 Euroseries championship and claimed the title of best rookie. For 2013, DTM with Mercedes-Benz beckoned and 18-year-old Pascal became the youngest driver in series history, continuing the long-standing Mercedes-Benz tradition of developing young driver talent.

    Yesterday at the Lausitzring, he took a commanding debut victory from pole position, leading every lap but one in wet-dry conditions on his way to becoming the youngest race winner in DTM history at just 19 years of age. In addition to his DTM duties, Pascal has played an integral role in the Formula One team’s race support operations during the 2014 season. In total, he has completed more than 30 days in the simulator this season, covering over 12,000 km in the virtual F1 W05 Hybrid. Pascal reached another important milestone in his career development last Thursday 11 September, when he drove a Formula One car for the first time at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portimao.

    As part of a Young Driver Evaluation test conducted by the team, Pascal took the wheel of the team’s 2012 challenger, the F1 W03. Running a program me designed to familiarise him with the car, Pascal achieved a total of 500 km on the day, completing 109 laps and impressing the team with his progress and feedback. Pascal will travel with the team from the Singapore Grand Prix onwards as part of his reserve driver duties.

    Pascal Wehrlein: “I was delighted when I learned that I would be completing a Formula One test for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS in Portimao. It took me a few laps to get used to the incredible speed, the very hard brakes and the high cornering speeds – it’s in another league compared to the DTM. But I adapted quickly and was able to improve in each of my short and long runs. In total, I drove 500 km and didn’t want to head back into the pits! The test was simply the greatest experience I have had so far in motorsport. There weren’t any nerves, which surprised me – I just felt ready for it. The feedback from the team and from Toto was very encouraging and I think that I did a good job. It certainly helped that I have been working hard in the simulator since February. For me, it is a nice recognition of my efforts that I have been nominated as reserve driver for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. For me, it’s a dream come true to have completed this test and now to take on my new role. All my life, I have worked hard to get the opportunity to drive an F1 car. And it was always my goal to do it with Mercedes-Benz.” MORE »

    Topics: Motorsports | No comments »

    Pascal Wehrlein took his first victory in the DTM – Christian Vietoris second at the Lausitzring

    by Philipp Deppe | 14.September 2014

    In tricky weather conditions, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took his maiden victory in the DTM, making him the youngest winner ever in the series. The 19-year-old already made DTM history on Saturday by becoming the youngest pole-setter in the DTM.

    Motorsports / DTM 8. race Lausitzring

    Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) in second place gave Mercedes-Benz their 101st one-two victory in the internationally popular touring car series. Vietoris improved his position on the first laps after the start to move up from P11 to P2. Vietoris on 59 points is placed second in the overall standings with two races to go until the end of the season. BMW driver Marco Wittmann clinched the championship title before season’s end at the Lausitzring.

    Motorsports / DTM 8. race Lausitzring

    In all, four DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés finished in the top five. Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) in fourth place repeated his best result so far in the DTM. Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished fifth.

    Motorsports / DTM 8. race Lausitzring

    Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) booked P12 and Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took P13. Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) retired before the end of the race.

    The next race: The ninth round of the DTM takes place on the weekend of September 27th-28th at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

    Pascal Wehrlein: “First pole, then the win. It hardly gets any better. I’m mega happy. My team worked terrifically well. The pit stops and our strategy were all super. We waited until the track was dry enough for options, then we switched. That was definitely the right choice. My pace was really impressive and I was able to control the race from the front. I’ve had an incredible day and a fantastic week. It’s all been simply fabulous. It’s a pity that Daniel didn’t finish on the podium today. He thoroughly deserved to and it would have been great to savor my maiden win with him by my side on the podium.”

    Christian Vietoris: “Our car was quick this weekend from the very start. Unfortunately, my qualifying result did not do justice to the car’s potential, but these weather conditions really suit me, so I knew that I was in with a good chance, even though I was only in P11 on the grid. This is a brilliant result for us – a one-two win and four Mercedes-Benz drivers in the top five. It goes to show that the hard work put in by the guys is paying off. I’m now second in the championship. You wouldn’t have thought so at the start of the season. There’s definitely an upward trend and I hope that it continues.” MORE »

    Topics: General | No comments »

    DTM Lausitzring Qualifying: Pascal Wehrlein on Pole Position

    by Philipp Deppe | 13.September 2014

    During the eighth race weekend of the DTM season at the Lausitzring, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured his maiden pole position in the internationally popular touring car series. The 19-year-old driver posted a 1:17.547 in Q3, finishing with a lead of 0.057 seconds on the rest of the field. Wehrlein is now the youngest driver ever to secure a pole position in the DTM.

    Motorsports / DTM 8. race Lausitzring

    Fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:17.779 minutes) and Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.291 minutes) will line up in P5 and P8 respectively in the eighth DTM race of the year.

    Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.202 minutes) booked P11 and Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.250 minutes) took P12. Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.314 minutes) achieved his best result so far in his eighth DTM qualifying – P14 on the grid. Fellow Mercedes driver Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.699 minutes) will be in grid position 22 in the eighth race of the season.

    Extreme conditions made Saturday’s preparations for the qualifying session particularly difficult. Thick fog blanketed the racetrack at the Lausitzring, and for a long time, the rescue helicopter was unable to take off. As a result, the two free practice sessions had to be postponed again and again. In the end, there was one 15-minute session that got under way 30 minutes before the start of the qualifying. However, Q1 was abandoned after a few minutes, and all drivers progressed through into an extended Q2.

    Looking ahead to the race: The eighth race of the 2014 season begins on Sunday at 13:30 (live on ARD, from 13:15 onwards). The race is staged over 52 laps, which equates to a total distance of 180.856 km.

    Comments after Qualifying
    Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Pole Position, (1:17.547)
    “My first pole position in the DTM, and in such difficult conditions here at the Lausitzring too. I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve been putting in some solid performances recently but I haven’t been reaping the rewards. Today, everything fell into place. I set my lap time in Q3 relatively early, because I felt sure that the tyres would be at their best on the first lap. The track and general conditions today helped us a lot. We saw that already during the test sessions here. Now we need to wait and see how everything pans out tomorrow in the race itself.”

    Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 5th, (1:17.779)
    “That was an excellent qualifying from my perspective. I’m very pleased. It was my best qualifying of the season so far, which shows that things are getting better with every race weekend. On the other hand, I made a small mistake on my final lap, which is a pity, as otherwise, I would be a bit further up the grid. Hopefully tomorrow, I can make more progress towards finishing on the podium. I’m really pleased for Pascal and would wish to congratulate him on his maiden pole position.” MORE »

    Topics: Motorsports | No comments »

    The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class: The pioneer in better shape than ever

    by Philipp Deppe | 12.September 2014

    In terms of both design and technology, the second generation of the B-Class car has heralded a new compact class era at Mercedes-Benz. More than 350,000 of the sports tourer have been sold since the market launch in late 2011. Now the best-seller from Mercedes-Benz has undergone a major facelift including exterior and interior enhancements along with attractive, redefined design and equipment lines.

    B-Klasse 2014 B-Class 2014

    The breadth of choice is unique in this segment: five economical diesel models with consumption statistics ranging from 3.6 to 5.0 l/100 km, four efficient petrol engines at between 5.4 and 6.6 l/100 km, alternative drive systems (B 200 Natural Gas Drive and B-Class Electric Drive), as well as optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive. What is more, with a Cd value of less than 0.25 the sports tourer continues to be the role model for its class. Sales of the new B-Class commence on 12 September, with the world première taking place during the Paris Motor Show (4 to 19 October). The revamped models will be making their way to dealerships from 29 November 2014. Prices start from 27,102.25 euros for the B 180.

    B-Klasse 2014 B-Class 2014

    “As the first member of a completely new generation of compact class, for us the B-Class paved the way for great success in this vehicle segment. The pioneer is now in better shape than ever,” says Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Marketing & Sales. “The B-Class is the perfect (family) car for anyone who attaches importance to practicality, comfort and safety, but at the same time doesn’t want to miss out on sportiness or driving dynamics.”

    More light: LED High Performance headlamps now available
    The easiest way to recognise a facelifted B-Class with a petrol or diesel engine is from the front: a new bumper, wide radiator trim with two louvres and now integral daytime running lamps in the headlamps give the vehicle a more organic and dynamic appearance. The rear bumper has also been modified and now features a contoured covering and an additional chrome trim strip. LED High Performance headlamps create a more striking look, both day and night (optional extra, not available for the B-Class Electric Drive or Natural Gas Drive). These increase safety at night due to their wide beam pattern and light of a colour similar to daylight. Bicolour tail lamps featuring LED technology provide emphasis and make the vehicle more visible. MORE »

    Topics: B-Class | No comments »

    Mercedes-Benz Realigns its Production Organization for Passenger Cars and nvests more than three billion euros in Germany

    by Philipp Deppe | 11.September 2014

    Mercedes-Benz is realigning its global passenger cars manufacturing activities and is strengthening its German passenger cars locations with investments worth billions of euros.

    Roundtable mit Markus Schäfer, Mitglied des Breichsvorstandes Mercedes-Benz Cars, Produktion und Supply Chain Management.

    “We want to continue to grow and will significantly increase our production capacities in the coming years. At the same time we want to permanently and sustainably strengthen our competitiveness with a high-performance organization,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management, during a media event at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant. This year alone, Mercedes-Benz is managing 18 vehicle ramp-ups at eight locations worldwide, among them the start of production of the new C-Class sedan on four continents. Until 2020, Mercedes-Benz will additionally introduce 12 models which do not have a predecessor.

    As well as stepping up its international activities, Mercedes-Benz is strengthening it German plants with investments of more than three billion euros this year. At the Sindelfingen plant, more than one billion euros are invested primarily for future products. Another billion euros go to the Untertürkheim core plant, amongst others for the expansion of engine production. The Bremen plant’s capacities will be increased with around 750 million euros. Further investment also goes to the Rastatt compact car plant, where the fully-electric B-Class electric drive has been seamlessly integrated into series production.

    The new manufacturing organization Mercedes-Benz Operations (MO) is based on global production networks and centralized responsibility for logistics and quality. “Under our previous production structure, the individual plants operated largely autonomously. Now, manufacturing will be organized according to product architectures, independent of individual locations,” explained Schäfer.

    These product architectures comprise the rear-wheel drive architecture (MRA), the front-wheel-drive architecture (MFA), the architectures for SUVs (MHA) and sports cars (MSA) as well as the power train architecture (MPA).

    The MRA production network (S-, E-, C-Class) is led by Andreas Kellermann, who was previously head of the Bremen plant. Michael Göbel is now in charge of global compact car production (A-, B-Class, CLA, GLA and in the future CLA Shooting brake), having previously overseen roadster production in Bremen. Production of SUVs (M-, R-, GL-, and G-Class) and sports cars (SL, SLK) is the responsibility of Jason Hoff, who also retains his existing role as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama (MBUSI). Peter Schabert, who has been responsible for global power train production since 2010, will continue in this position unchanged.

    Each vehicle and powertrain architecture will draw on a system of modules and components. The new C-Class is the first model series to be built entirely in accordance with this principle. The C-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s highest-volume model series and went into production on four continents within just six months earlier this year: Bremen came first in February, followed by the East London plant (South Africa) in May, the Tuscaloosa plant (USA) in June, and the BBAC plant in Beijing (China) in July. MORE »

    Topics: Production | No comments »

    Dynamic world début of the new Mercedes-AMG GT in Affalterbach

    by Philipp Deppe | 10.September 2014

    As exciting as crossing the finish line in a car race – that was how Mercedes-AMG presented its new GT V8 sports car this evening, the second vehicle to be entirely developed under its own direction.

    Weltpremiere: Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014World Premiere: The new Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014

    Weltpremiere: Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014World Premiere: The new Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014

    None other than current Formula 1 points leader Nico Rosberg piloted the breath-taking newcomer from the sports car brand of Mercedes-Benz onto the stage. The emotions ran high for around 400 international guests from the worlds of politics, business and the media, including AMG’s founders Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, as the Mercedes-AMG GT made its début in its birthplace. Previously, Bernd Schneider, five-time DTM champion and with 43 victories the most successful DTM driver of all time, presented a parade of the most famous vehicles from AMG’s history.

    Weltpremiere: Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014World Premiere: The new Mercedes-AMG GT, Affalterbach 2014

    Mercedes-AMG created an authentic motor sports atmosphere at its head office in Affalterbach for the first appearance of the new GT under the eyes of the world. A temporary pit lane with stands for spectators and a victory fireworks show set the perfect scene for the début of an ambitious new challenger.

    With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand enters a new segment for the company that is teeming with top-class competitors. Its front mid-engine concept with transaxle and the intelligent aluminium lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. The basis for AMG’s hallmark driving performance is provided by the AMG 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine, which is also a new development and is built in two output specifications: as a GT with 340 kW (462 hp) and as a GT S with 375 kW (510 hp).

    “The Mercedes-AMG GT shows sports car enthusiasts around the world what AMG is capable of”, said Prof Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, and stressed Mercedes-AMG’s importance within Daimler’s engineering network. MORE »

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    DENZA rolls off production lines in China marking another key milestone for Daimler

    by Philipp Deppe | 9.September 2014

    DENZA, Daimler’s ‘made in China, for China’ electric vehicle, has started rolling off production line at Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT), in Shenzhen.

    Ab Ende September kommt der rein elektrische DENZA in China zu den Händlern. / End of September the pure electric DENZA will be available in China.

    This milestone is the culmination of cooperative efforts at Daimler’s technology joint venture with its Chinese partner BYD. The company is the first Sino-German joint venture dedicated to an all-electric vehicle in and for China, and targets raising the bar in the domestic electric vehicle market by combining Daimler’s renowned engineering expertise as global forerunner in safety and quality with BYD’s leading battery technology.

    Ab Ende September kommt der rein elektrische DENZA in China zu den Händlern. / End of September the pure electric DENZA will be available in China.

    “DENZA is the first car that Daimler has engineered from the bottom up outside of Germany, and it clearly lives up to its promise to be the safest, most reliable and convenient electric vehicle from and for China,” says Hubertus Troska, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for China. “Our joint investment of more than 300 million Euros proves that DENZA is both by far the most serious local electric vehicle effort in China, unmatched by any other European competitor, and a key pillar of our electric vehicle strategy in the country.”

    DENZA wird in einem deutsch-chinesischen Gemeinschaftsunternehmen von Daimler und BYD in Shenzhen gefertigt. / DENZA is manufactured by a Sino-German joint venture of Daimler and BYD in Shenzhen.

    Umrahmt von einem Leichtbau-Aluminiumgehäuse befindet sich die Lithium-Eisen-Phosphat des DENZA unterhalb des Fahrzeugaufbaus. / Framed by a lightweight aluminum case the lithium iron phosphate battery of the DENZA is located underneath the body.

    The quality of DENZA’s production is secured at a modern production line that follows Daimler’s proven production management system. Attention to quality is thereby extended to the complete supply chain and supported by significant investments into the latest technologies. For instance, through a Coordinate Measuring Machine whose precision is accurate up to 0.1 mm, the physical and geometrical characteristics of single parts and complete vehicles are assured to be compliant with defined requirements. Additionally, special on and off-the job training for staff, for example by Daimler’s local production joint ventures or specific HV processes and specialists, complete DENZA’s ‘quality first’ production philosophy. MORE »

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    Mercedes-AMG GT launches exclusively in DRIVECLUB TM on PlayStation 4

    by Philipp Deppe | 8.September 2014

    Just four weeks after its world premiere on 9 September 2014, the sensational new Mercedes-AMG GT sports car will feature exclusively in DRIVECLUBTM, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s next generation racing game only on PlayStation 4.

    DRIVECLUB will be available in Europe from 8 October 2014 and fans will be able to download the new AMG GT for free in the first week of launch. DRIVECLUB also features five other models from Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand: the A 45 AMG, the CLA 45 AMG, the C 63 AMG Coupe Black Series, the SL 65 AMG and the SLS AMG Coupe Black Series. Mercedes-Benz is supporting the launch of the game with a range of activities. The highlight of these is the “Journey of Stars”, a global online competition available in a variety of social networks. From 9 September to 9 October 2014, gamers can take part at www.journeyofstars.com and test themselves against their friends around the world. Each winner will receive a PlayStation 4 with the brand-new DRIVECLUB game.

    In a world first for Mercedes-Benz, the AMG GT will be launched short after its world premiere in DRIVECLUB. Working side-by-side with AMG engineers armed with technical specifications and data, Evolution Studios was able to recreate the AMG GT in DRIVECLUB with breathtaking accuracy. With access to the Mercedes-AMG GT on the test track, Evolution Studios was also able to directly record the sound, allowing the team to recreate the every aspect of the car with total authenticity. With six AMG models, from the sporty compact class to the super sports car, Mercedes-Benz is the premium manufacturer with the widest range of models in the game.

    “The Mercedes-AMG GT is an outstanding sports car and we’re pleased to be able to offer it to gamers in DRIVECLUB before it rolls off the production line. It will be available as a free download within the first week of launch,” says Paul Rustchynsky, Game Director at Evolution Studios. “We’re delighted that Mercedes-Benz is so strongly represented in DRIVECLUB. MORE »

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    Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Grand Prix in Monza

    by Philipp Deppe | 7.September 2014

    Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Italian Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg second, achieving the team’s seventh 1-2 finish.

    Lewis took his sixth win of the season, driving a great race to recover from a slow start that saw him drop to P4. Nico took the lead on lap one and held it before a mistake into turn one allowed Lewis to regain the lead on lap 29. Both drivers ran the same strategy, starting on the medium tyres and pitting one lap apart on lap 24 (Nico) and lap 25 (Lewis) to change to the hard tyres and race to the end. The 1-2 finish represents the seventh this season; only three seasons in Formula One history have seen seven or more 1-2 finishes from a team. The team now have a lead of 182 points in the Constructors’ Championship (454 points in total) with both drivers 50 points or more ahead of third place in the Drivers’ Championship. All of the top four and seven of the top ten today are powered by Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power.

    Lewis Hamilton
    Firstly it was amazing to see the straight completely filled with fans from the podium today. You make this race and thank you so much for your support! Big congratulations to the team for our performance this weekend. We said we wanted a one-two and we got it today‎; this result is important for everyone.‎ It was a difficult race for me though. The launch sequence didn’t engage properly for the formation lap and then again for the start‎. I tried to pull away as fast as possible, basically I just floored it and hoped for the best! Fortunately I didn’t lose too many places‎ and was able to get past Kevin, then have a good battle with Felipe. When I closed up to Nico, I didn’t want to hold back as the car felt good and I knew from experience that the only chance would be at the start of the stint when the tyres were fresh so I went for it. ‎I’m really pleased with the win, it’s feels like I have some momentum back as we go into the final races‎.

    Nico Rosberg
    Lewis was quicker this weekend, so he deserved the win. That for sure is very disappointing for me. I had a lock up in Turn One and I decided to go straight to avoid a flat spotted tyre. That cost me the lead. But he was very quick behind me, so I had to push all the time. But I need to see the positive things from today. Second place is still good and I lost only seven points to Lewis, so this could have been much worse. It’s also a great result for the team, the first 1-2 since Austria. So I’m happy for everybody in our team and I have to thank everyone again for this great Silver Arrow. We were the strongest team at this unique circuit. The Tifosi created a great atmosphere for us on the podium; it was all red all the way down the straight. That was great to see. Now I look forward to Singapore, I like the track and I have great memories from last year. MORE »

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