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1
Oct

Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic

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Mercedes-Benz 600 Kompressor

Here’s a fun fact: certain classical songs double as excellent driving songs. Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries is one such example. So, as soon as you here those iconic notes, be certain you’re in for some seriously cool sheet metal. Any Mercedes-Benz 600 would qualify for such a musical treatment, but Jay Leno’s example is doubly worth a look.

Fortunately, the car collector/comedian is all too willing to show off his brown beauty as part of the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Leno is just one of the, sometimes disturbing, list of owners of the big sedan, which includes a wide range of dictators and Jeremy Clarkson.

His example is truly pristine, restored by 600 expert Karl Middelhauve. The complex hydraulic system receives plenty of attention from Leno, as does the expansive and impressive craftsmanship in the cabin. Finally, Leno takes the boat of a car out for a ride.

Take a look at the full video on the legendary Mercedes 600.

Continue reading Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic

Jay Leno’s Mercedes 600 is dictator chic originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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29
Sep

Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van

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Mercedes pioneers the van

There may not be as many minivans on the road as there used to be, but make no mistake about it: the van is still an indispensable mode of transportation. Especially for things like beer, ice cream, flowers, teams of television adventurers, and… more beer. There have been many automakers that have made vans over the years, and many that still do. But Mercedes-Benz is keen to point out that it pioneered the van.

In this light-hearted, minute-and-a-half-long video clip, Mercedes takes us from the advent of the van before the turn of the century (the previous century, that is) through its gestation and evolution into the vital vehicle that it is today. But it never would have happened if not for some tired horses and many beer-swilling Germans, the former owing their thanks to the latter… and, if the narrative is to be believed, all of us owing that pioneering spirit to Mercedes.

Continue reading Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van

Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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26
Sep

11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching

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Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014

This weekend will see the world’s collector car crowds descend on Las Vegas, NV for one of the biggest shows on Barrett-Jackson’s popular auction circuit. There are hundreds of vehicles up for bidding, ranging from a brand-new Lamborghini Aventador to a spattering of Art Deco classics and a huge swath of classic muscle cars.

While it’s virtually impossible to assemble an inarguable list of the best cars coming during the three-day, 700-plus vehicle auction, we’ve sifted through the listings for this year’s show – it was a tough assignment, we promise – and assembled a list of what we think will be some of the most interesting lots. We’ll admit, it’s a bit heavy on American iron, but if you browse BJ’s listings, you’ll come to a similar conclusion. Still, scroll down for our list of what we think will be the most interesting vehicles at the upcoming auction.

Continue reading 11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching

11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24
Sep

Mercedes Future Truck 2025 envisions self-driving big rigs [w/video]

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Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025

Want to see what a long-haul truck will look like ten years from now? Well Mercedes-Benz wants to show it to you, and to that end has unveiled the concept truck you see here.

Called the Future Truck 2025, the concept big-rig is being showcased this week at the International Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. It looks as slick as a truck could be, with smooth surfaces and LED lighting that disappears when parked, illuminates white under way and changes to blue when operating in autonomous mode.

And that, boys and girls, is what the FT2025 is all about: autonomous driving. An array of radar sensors (in addition to the latest blind-spot system) scan the road and traffic around the truck to move down the highway free and easy and clear of other vehicles. That allows the driver – overworked and under-rested as they often are – to sit back and relax while the truck does the driving down the freeway.

All the while the driver gets to make the most of the interior space that looks as first-class as you could ever ask of a tractor trailer, with swiveling driver’s seat, reclining passenger seat, numerous display screens, a Samsung tablet in the center console, a swoopy dashboard, curved wood flooring and ambient lighting.

The autonomous driving tech isn’t just theoretical, either, as Daimler has actually tested the self-driving prototype at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour down the Autobahn. Scope it out in the video and press release below and the gallery of 56 high-resolution images above.

Continue reading Mercedes Future Truck 2025 envisions self-driving big rigs [w/video]

Mercedes Future Truck 2025 envisions self-driving big rigs [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24
Sep

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March

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Mercedes-AMG C63

Say hello to the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63. That’s right, it’s no longer the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – its a formal Mercedes-AMG product, just like the GT that just launched earlier this month. Coincidence? Hardly. The new C63 packs the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and features some of the same new-age tuning that AMG used in creating its new Porsche 911-fighting coupe. And boy, are we excited to drive this one.

Much like the AMG GT, the C63 will be offered in two states of tune. The standard C63 will pack 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, able to propel the 3,615-pound sedan to 62 miles per hour in four seconds flat. And if that isn’t enough, Mercedes will also offer the C63 S, with 503 hp and 516 lb-ft, which shaves a tenth of a second off that 0-62 time. (The C63 S weighs in at 3,648 pounds, according to European specifications.) Both versions route that power to the rear wheels via Merc’s seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission, which has been retuned for the C63 application and is said to be “even faster in its reaction times.”

Like the AMG GT, the C63 uses dynamic engine mounts, and along with its three-stage adjustable damping system, features four AMG Dynamic Select driver-selectable modes – Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport+ and Race. The car rides on either 18- (C63) or 19-inch (C63 S) wheels, and ceramic-composite brakes are available as an option. There’s even an optional performance exhaust, which should no doubt create a sound capable of waking not just your neighbors, but everyone else on the block.

Both Mercedes-AMG C63 models arrive in the US in March, with a special “Edition 1″ series being offered at launch, set apart by unique exterior and interior treatments. Pricing has yet to be announced as of this writing. Have a look below for the full scoop in Mercedes‘ press blast, and check out the gallery above for more views. You’ll also notice a slick wagon in our stash of images, but note, Mercedes hasn’t said anything about the longroof making its way to the US, and honestly, we wouldn’t get our hopes up.

Continue reading 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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22
Sep

Race Recap: 2014 Singapore Grand Prix is back-to-front

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Graphic for the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix.

To paraphrase Guy Fawkes, ‘Remember, remember the twenty-first of September.’ That’s the day the 2014 Formula One Championship took another big turn – and at one of the year’s least interesting races, traditionally – putting Lewis Hamilton back at the top of the standings. Not only that, it did so by borrowing the template from the British Grand Prix this year: put Hamilton in front, retire Nico Rosberg.

It was close until then, though, Hamilton lining up on pole for Mercedes AMG Petronas just seven thousandths of a second ahead of Rosberg. Daniel Ricciardo, the year’s greatest opportunist, took third ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing, followed by Fernando Alonso in fifth for Ferrari. The Williams’ looked like they’d be in trouble on Friday, but as usual they dredged up some pace on Saturday, Felipe Massa taking sixth ahead of Kimi R

20
Sep

Weekly Recap: NHTSA searches for answers after Congressional grilling

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GM to Pay Record $35 Million Fine on Ignition-Switch Recall

By the end of the lengthy session, senators had painted the unflattering portrait of a toothless agency in disarray.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a brutal one-two punch from Congress this week for its response to the General Motors ignition-switch scandal.

NHTSA was hammered in a 45-page House report, and then grilled by senators during a hearing on Capitol Hill. Both on paper and in person, legislators picked apart the agency’s plodding, seemingly inept responses to GM, and questioned NHTSA’s ability to serve as a watchdog for the auto industry, which has faced extensive recalls, fines and controversy in recent years.

Deputy administrator David Friedman, who’s only been with NHTSA since 2013, had few answers when questioned on the hill, and by the end of the lengthy session, senators had painted the unflattering portrait of a toothless agency in disarray.

Yes, there was some grandstanding. But legislators, and Friedman’s responses to their often-testy questions, illustrated a valuable point – NHTSA needs help. It needs more power, more people and more money to effectively regulate on of the most complex industries in the nation.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: NHTSA searches for answers after Congressional grilling

Weekly Recap: NHTSA searches for answers after Congressional grilling originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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16
Sep

Mercedes boosts CLA supplies, says it could sell twice as many

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

It’s been a few months since we talked about the Mercedes-Benz CLA’s status as an unmitigated hit, but a new story from Automotive News will allow us to revisit the sleek, fast-selling, four-door home run. Production has been increased again, with some of the extra capacity destined for US showrooms.

We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning,” Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche told AN.

Dealers are sitting on perilously small supplies of the CLA, with Mercedes execs confirming to AN that a few dealers have slipped below a ten-day supply. For reference, a 60-day supply is generally considered healthy.

Mercedes’ Kecskem

16
Sep

Online Find of the Day: Lexus-engined Mercedes pickup is a vintage hybrid

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D Pickup with a Lexus V8

You have to love someone who gets incredibly committed to a very weird idea. What you see for sale here is a right-hand drive 1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D in South Africa, but this old Mercedes is now converted into a pickup, complete with bed cover, and there’s big secret under the hood, too.

The pickup conversion appears well done based on seller Sedgefield Classic Cars’ photos. Even the tonneau cover fits well. You could almost believe that this Mercedes lived its life as a Chevrolet El Camino-like pickup from the very beginning.

However, the rear-quarters conversion might not be the weirdest thing about this Mercedes. The original diesel is gone from the engine bay in favor of a Lexus V8. It seems really odd to pop the hood and find a Japanese mill in this German car, but the photos make it look like a fairly well performed swap. So, bravo to the crazy thinking. According to the seller speaking to Autoblog by email, “as far as we can establish, this was done a few years ago, with all Lexus components.”

Given the quality of the pickup conversion and engine swap, the interior could use a refresh. Though still useable, the seats are pretty beat up. We’d like to see the existing ones recovered, possibly in a modern but appropriate Lexus leather to subtly carry on the theme indoors.

After all of the work, this Mercedes is now a hybrid of German styling and Japanese power wrapped up in a pickup. However, the pricing for all of this weirdness is incredibly reasonable. The seller is asking a pretty reasonable-sounding 75,000 South African rand (about $6,810 at current exchange rates). We just wish it were located in the US.

Online Find of the Day: Lexus-engined Mercedes pickup is a vintage hybrid originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15
Sep

Mercedes gives B-Class a facelift in time for Paris

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2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Front-drive hatchbacks are the name of the game these days in the German automotive industry. In recent years BMW has gotten into the game with the 2 Series Active Tourer, while Audi has stepped up its game with the A1 and Mercedes has been keen to play, too. The Silver Arrow has rolled out the new A-Class and its sedan sister, the CLA, as well as the GLA crossover, and you can bet there’ll be more to come. But Benz doesn’t want you to forget about the B-Class, so it’s introducing an updated version.

Mercedes first introduced the B-Class back in 2005, replacing it with the second-generation model in 2011. But with its newer stablemates garnering the lion’s share of attention at the bottom of the Benz range, and increased competition from rival automakers, the B-Class has undergone some minor updates. Up front you’ll find a reshaped bumper, grille and headlights, along with new taillights and bumper around back. There’s also a revised interior designed to convey a more upscale environment, with color-changing ambient lighting and an eight-inch touchscreen display atop the dashboard. Of course, this being a Mercedes update, the new B-Class benefits from added safety systems as well.

Buyers in markets where the B-Class is sold will be able to choose between three new trim levels and a staggering array of four-cylinder engine options, with gasoline engines ranging in output from 122 to 211 horsepower, and diesels from 90 to 177 hp – some available with 4Matic all-wheel drive. There’s also a natural gas version, and the B-Class Electric Drive – the only version offered Stateside – continues with the same output. Look for the new B-Class to make its live debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

Continue reading Mercedes gives B-Class a facelift in time for Paris

Mercedes gives B-Class a facelift in time for Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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