Category: Mercedes

2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review

New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review

To someone who knows nothing about vehicles, the name ‘Sprinter’ would likely fit into the ‘sportscar’ category of their mental filing system, and as such, launching this particular Sprinter at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit makes complete sense. However, this parallel universe isn’t reality, so when one takes a look at the hard facts, a racing track really is an unlikely venue to host the launch of Mercedes-Benz’s latest iteration of their legendary commercial vehicle, the erm… Sprinter!

Lap times and clipping the apex were not on the agenda for the day, but rather hands-on demonstrations of the extensive safety features and driving aids that have now been developed specifically for the Sprinter, making use of certain sections of the track, as well as the skidpan where a slalom course was laid out.

The formalities kicked off with a novel and humorous enactment of a ‘nutty professor’ and his ravishing assistant envisioning the perfect vehicle for doing “things”. A nice twist to the usual death-by-PowerPoint presentations we are often subjected to, it gave a glimpse into the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s standout features. At the end of the show, two vehicles emerged – a people carrier configured Sprinter and a freight carrier configured Sprinter.

Following this, we were then instructed to head off in groups which had already been assigned where we’d rotate through three different stations, all designed to give us an accurate representation of what the Sprinter stands for, as well as why it makes up such a significant majority share in its segment in South Africa.

Offering a complete transport and mobility solution, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter benefits from increased safety levels, improved total cost of ownership and enhanced Inkanyezi Taxi Specification.

An interesting one, that Inkanyezi derivative – set to continue its dominance of the long distance taxi market, Mercedes-Benz also hopes for it to make an entry into the everyday commuter sector having introduced three different grades with options ranging from three-point seatbelts and USB ports to air-conditioning and an electric sliding door.

By far, the most impressive set of skills in the new Sprinter’s arsenal is its array of safety features. Standard features include Cross Wind Assist and Hill Start Assist, as well as an impressive array of stability systems calibrated specifically for the Sprinter’s added weight and higher centre of gravity.

Perhaps the most impressive demonstration of this was down Kyalami’s famed mineshaft, where a series of cones were laid out and after a quick demonstration, we were then challenged to slalom between the cones as quickly and aggressively as possible. I am here writing this, so as you can imagine, all went well and the systems worked just as they were supposed to.

Visually, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has also benefitted from a makeover and as far as commercial vehicles go, it’s a rather handsome and clean looking thing. The dashboard layout has also been significantly changed and depending on how the vehicle is specced, it can even be had with a full leather steering wheel and Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX 7-inch infotainment system.

An interesting introduction to the range is the Sprinter 311 CDI which has a GVM of 3 490 kg, allowing drivers with a Code B license to drive them. In the past, only drivers with a Code C1 license could drive a Sprinter.

Mercedes-Benz has partnered up with six ISO 9001 approved bodybuilders who have to conform to strict rules, regulations and quality standards laid out by Mercedes-Benz. All 4×4 versions are now factory fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic AWD system.

A huge focus has been placed on improving the servicing process through the Mercedes-Benz dealer network, and flexible servicing hours with servicing bays dedicated to Sprinter customers are to be introduced at selected dealers in order to reduce downtime for businesses.

Mercedes-Benz claim to have reduced the total cost of ownership by reducing fuel consumption (8.5% fuel cost saving) and reducing maintenance costs by 4.5%. Emergency and breakdown support is also included, and it was noted that while the Sprinter’s main competitors are the Iveco Daily and Volkswagen Crafter, the goal was to make improvements over the previous generation Sprinter rather than compete with other vehicles within its segment.

After a day of putting the Sprinter to the test, it was quite clear as to why it is such a key player in its segment – the product is brilliant and there’s no denying that, but Mercedes-Benz also offers unrivaled support which makes the whole ownership experience hassle-free and cost-effective.

For more information visit the official Mercedes-Benz Commerical website here.

Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe – Practicality meets performance.

Bring the kids along: Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe on the way.

If the upcoming CLS is not sporty enough for you, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe may just be what you’re looking for. Based on the E-Class chassis, this vehicle is aimed at the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Audi’s A7 model – a niche segment for an eccentric buyer. Despite bearing looks similar to that of the AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door shares more similarities with the Mercedes-Benz E Class (so we’re told). Having seen the blistering results of vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, one can only imagine what’s in store for the GT 4 door coupe.

Engine speculations:

At this point, all we know is the fact that the vehicle is undergoing testing “around the world”, with a few vehicles doing the rounds in specific areas. We can only imagine a unit or two running around the heat infested Upington region – an area often used for hot weather testing. In terms of engines to be offered, it’s all speculation – but judging by Merc’s push into electrification, we can expect EV technology to present itself. The recent announcement of inline 6 cylinder “53” engine variants is a telltale sign regarding where the brand is going. Publications such as Autocar have also reported on an apparent upcoming high powered 4.0 litre V8 turbocharged engine, integrated with EV systems – providing epic performance (800hp+) and electric range too. All we can do for now is wait for the official announcement at the Geneva Motor Show on the 6th of March. Tobias Moers, you have our attention…

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Goes 63

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Gets The 63 Treatment

Do you remember that one tough guy at school? Yes him. The one that had six or seven brothers and all of them were untouchable! The brothers that were tighter than industrial super glue and if one of them got into trouble, you had to deal with all of them.

Well in a modern sense, that is what has happened to the Mercedes AMG brothers. All of them are a force to be reckoned with but together, they form the vehicular equivalent of the Avengers. The latest of the Mercedes brothers to get the in-house horse power treatment is the GLC and before you say, “but hang on we know that this variant has the uber smooth V6 270K 520 NM 43 version”, you would be mistaken! Mercedes AMG has now come out with a 63 version of the GLC. Yes, the motor that sounds like Zeus coming down from Mount Olympus, has now being shoehorned into this this Midrange Mercedes SUV. Claimed figures from the 4.0 liter V8 twin turbo is quicker that your five-year-old daughter asking, “Daddy (mommy in my household) is that a Ferrari?” That’s four seconds just FYI.

The “regular” version will get the “standard” 350 KW and 650NM and the S version will get then 375KW 700NM upgrade. In this vehicle, little Hannah won’t even get to finish her sentence at 3.8 seconds. This torrent of power and torque will be send through the familiar 4Matic system, aided by a rear limited slip differential, guaranteed to make those trips to the shop VERY entertaining.


With the GLC 43 starting at R 1 070 900.00, we estimate that you won’t get much change for your R1.7M. Competition will be tough with direct opposition from the Porsche Macan Turbo, Jaguar SVR and the upcoming Zebra stripe wearing BMW X3M. With SA’s economy hitting junk status, the older brother GLE might be out of range so this will be a steal under R2M!!

 

Say Hello to the new AMG-43’S

The 43 series in Mercedes-AMG’s line up has proven to be a popular engine choice for those who want a little more performance than a non AMG variant can provide, but are not yearning for a fire-breathing AMG-63, we can call this the middle ground.

If you didn’t know, the middle ground provides some nice numbers, 270 kW and 520 N.m to be exact from a 3-litre V6. Power is delivered through a Nine-speed gearbox and Mercedes’ four wheel drive system. Jokes, aside, it is a great setup and Mercedes-Benz have now added the AMG-43 variant to a number of models.

The 43 series is now available for the C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, as well as the GLC and GLC Coupe, GLE and GLE Coupe and finally, the SLC Roadster.

All the 43 Series models can expect AMG sports suspension as standard in the shape of Air Body Control. They will all, bar the SLC,  feature a 4MATIC system with 61% percent of the power being delivered to the rear axle. Further to this, the AMG sports braking system,  AMG Dynamic Select and sports exhaust system are all fitted as standard.

The AMG-43 series is a great option for those wanting a taste of the AMG experience. As always, when we get behind the wheel of these machines, we will post a full driven review. For more latest news on cars in South Africa, visit our Latest News section.

 

Pricing is as follows:

           Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic sedan – R858,400

           Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic coupé – R928,100

           Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic cabriolet – R1,050,300

           Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 roadster – R1,037,400

           Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC – R960,400

           Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé – R1,070,900

           Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 4MATIC – R1,206,700

           Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 4MATIC Coupé – R1,297,500

A New Level Of Luxury: The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman

As you may know, Mercedes and Maybach has re-joined forces to create cars of extreme luxury and customisation for a special type of customer. Over the past year they have released some exquisite vehicles. Earlier this week, Mercedes-Maybach released the G 650 Landaulet, which you can read about here, and now another model has arrived.

I would like to introduce to you the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman, a longer limousine styled S-Class. The Pullman is not a new vehicle, it has been around for 90 years but of recent times, had disappeared until now.

The Pullman is a very long vehicle. At 6.5 metres it is 125cm longer than the S-Class long wheel base, 105cm longer than a Mercedes-Maybach S600 and is 41cm longer than a Rolls Royce Phantom LWB. This is a car doused in luxury. Many features on this car would be an optional extra on a standard S-Class, but not with the Pullman. For instance, it provides features such as the PartitionWall with Electrochromatic glass, the refrigerated compartment and the centre console featuring four champagne flutes.

Power closing doors are also standard, along with power curtains, a Burmester 3D surround sound system and the panoramic roof with sky control, once again Electrochromatic. The occupants can choose to have the glass transparent or blue. Further to this and as expected, is a full rear entertainment system featuring an 18.5 inch power retracting flat screen. And if it’s not all play and you need to do business during your travels in the Pullman, stow away tables are also included.

The Pullman can also seat four occupants in the rear with two electronic controlled seats becoming available in a conference type rear facing fashion. When these are not needed, they can be electronically reclined to provide even more space.


 Customisation

With almost everything you could image in a luxury car as standard, what is optional? Well for one, you can change the wheels, for £10 000. But that is just scratching the surface, you can request your Mercedes-Maybach Pullman in any exterior colour you like.  For example, you can have the colour of your Maybach to match your spouses eyes, if you wish. Not bad for £5k. On the inside, Mercedes-Maybach do offer a range of different and more expensive leathers, but they also state that virtually any other leather or colour is available.

Your personal family crest or initials are also available to have stitched or embossed into the seats, or other areas by luxury craftsman. Mercedes state that with this vehicle, anything the customer requires they can have, such as an additional fridge, a walk through centre console or even lambskin floor mats.


The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is clearly an ultra luxury vehicle for a very select person. It reminds me of how we don’t just have super cars now, we have hyper cars. The Pullman is a hyper luxury car and Rolls Royce should be worried.

How’s it’s made?

To order a Pullman, you first need to order a Mercedes-Maybach S600. This is the donor car, many parts such as the engine and other interior components are used. Mercedes don’t state exactly how it is done, but they do say that it’s not cut in half and stretched, but built on an individual platform.

Power train and Performance

The Pullman uses the V12 Twin Turbo, producing 390kw or 530bhp. This is a lower output then other Mercedes vehicles that use the same engine and is probably for safety, due to the size of the vehicle. Torque is also down at 830Nm,but still quite plenty. The Pullman weighs in at just over 3 tonnes, but will still do 0-100km/h in around 6.5 seconds, delivered though an automatic 7G gearbox.

Price

If your wondering if you can stretch the budget this year, here is the price. £522,000. Yes that is in English pounds. So with today’s exchange rate of R16.5, that puts this car at over R8 million. Yikes.

 

If you don’t know what to do with your money, we have just the car for you.

If you don’t know what to do with your money, we have just the car for you.

Mercedes-Maybach is the brand of choice when you want something utterly lavish. If it’s not limousines they’re supplying then its drop top G-Classes. What!? Yes, you read correctly. If you have enough money you can get a drop top G Class! If the current G-Class range was not braggadocios enough with its exhausts on the side, you can now get it without a roof. What a time to be alive.  This is the first Mercedes-Maybach SUV to be created and what a way to make an entrance.

Being the owner of a car like this means you’ll have something super exclusive as only 99 of these models will be made. The name of this convertible G Class is the G650 Landaulet, which means “a car with a folding hood over the rear seats.” The G650 is powered by a V12 engine so you can only imagine the kind of power this tank will have. If you really want to know you’ll have 463kW (620bhp) and 1000Nm at your disposal. Not too shabby huh?

This car only seats four, so you’ll have to pick your friends wisely. Those you choose to ride with you will want to sit in the back as the Landaulet has S-Class seats in the rear. If your occupants are thirsty, they can use the individual cup holders which can either cool or heat a drink up. How insane? But wait there’s more, the rear seats also have their own table and a business console which has controls for you to operate the glass partition that can separate the rear of the car and front. Last but not least there are two monitors in the rear and a feature called the G Cockpit which operates various features like the soft top mechanism.

This is not the first Landaulet created by Mercedes as they have been other types of this car in the past. One thing is for sure, there hasn’t been one with this kind of glamour in it. The funny thing about this car is that it can still off road like any other G-Class, you’ll simply be more stylish as you do it a G650 Landaulet. With 450mm of ground clearance you’ll be able to look down on the peasants in their cheap 4×4’s as you drinks are kept cold and your V12 sings your praises. Oh, how we wish we owned a mine or something that will give us many millions. Even if we did, as South Africans the G650 will not be available here. No worries then, we would park it in our Monaco home.

Maybach S600, a new level of luxury.

First Class at zero thousand feet.

The Mercedes S class has arguably been the crème de la crème of luxury vehicles for some time now. This car is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ. These vehicles are built to be driven long distances in the utmost of comfort.  You might also remember Maybach, a company purchased by Mercedes-Benz back in 1960. They released cars such as the Maybach 57 and 62, ultra luxury vehicles with an ultra-luxury price. To cut a long story short, they hardly sold any cars and produced their last vehicle in December 2012.

Mercedes are now reviving the brand as an ultra-luxury sub-brand of the S class, the same way the Mercedes AMG brand fits in. Mercedes have really pushed the boat out with this one; luxury is of critical importance with Nappa leathers covering almost every conceivable surface inside the vehicle. This is complimented by technology such as the “Cabin fragrance system”, an option which sends a scent into the vehicle at pre-set times. The scent is emitted in a way so as not to hang in the air or stick on clothes.

Along with this is other technologies such as the Ambient Lighting System with over 300 LED’s, silver champagne flutes, hot and cold cup holders, folding tables and of course, power executive rear seats which recline to a 45-degree angle. Rear entertainment systems are also included, you get the idea, everything is pretty top notch.

Powering this first class cabin is a bi-turbo 6-litre V12 engine, kicking out over 500 horses which will get you to 100 km/h in 5 seconds. Keeping everything smooth on your journey is the “Magic Body Control System” which uses the multi-purpose camera of Intelligent Drive to scan the road ahead for variations and bumps in the road. The system then informs the suspension components before the wheels reach them.

I could write all day about the innovations and exciting features on this car, in doing so I would probably crash the site. The S600 Maybach is an S-Class on steroids, luxury steroids that is. It’s hard to improve on what already is a fantastic car, but by giving that extra bit of refinement and quality, it makes a big difference.

Mercedes’ answer to BMW’s X6: the run down on the new GLE.

Thought Thursday: Mercedes Benz’s attempt at an SUV Coupé, the new GLE.

This car is Mercedes Benz’s attempt at blending an SUV with a coupé by taking different elements from both, the presence of a SUV but the sleekness and elegance of a coupé. Let’s be honest, Mercedes here had a look at the BMW X6 and thought “ hmm we can do something like that, maybe even better”.

mercedes-benz-gle-c292_wallpaper_02_1600x1200_03-2015

Have they done any better?

For me, this car looks a lot more attractive than the BMW X6,but that’s just my opinion. Nevertheless these two vehicles look remarkably similar in terms of body shape, have a look at the images and try tell yourself that they’re not similar, you can’t. Another point it shares with the BMW X6 is that you will either hate it or love it, this segment has no grey area. On paper I didn’t like it, but after seeing it in the flesh, I joined the latter camp.

What does the Mercedes Benz GLE offer to the market?

This beautiful German machine comes with a few power units to choose from. Firstly we have the fairly moderate V6 Diesel pushing out 190kW, the 350D is also the only diesel engine available. Mercedes offers more options in the petrol power plant department, well one more option to be precise. We have the 450 AMG 4MATIC COUPE, which is a 3 litre V6 petrol producing 270kW and 520Nm. This engine is Mercedes’ new introduction to the AMG Sports line, it is positioned in between the AMG line and the AMG Performance line. Mercedes says this engine allows clients to enter the world of AMG Driving Performance. Which is fair enough because this is a very nice engine which offers some good poke too. If you want more than 520Nm though, perhaps 900Nm is the number that tickles your fancy and 430kW is more appealing. Then your best bet is to opt for the classic “63” engine, which is now a 5.5-litre V8 twin turbo.

All that power, is it even manageable?

To keep all this power on the road, four wheel drive is standard and you can have things like Active Curve System with Active Roll stabilization or Agility Control Suspension with Amplitude Selective Damping System, (I know right). Basically what this all means is that the GLE has shiny new suspension parts that will enable you to go really fast around some bends, if you so please to do so. So now we know what engines are producing all that power, we also know what’s going keeps the tires on the road too. What about the bit in-between the engine and the wheels, yes the gearbox. Well as always with Mercedes Benz, there are options. We have the 7 speed AMG Speedshift which will be featured as standard in the GLE 63 AMG, or if you fancy more gears you can opt for the 9 speed automatic transmission otherwise known as the 9G-TRONIC (sounds like something from transformers). Nine gears really? I suppose in a world aiming at being green, more gears are the way to go. After all you don’t have to change them yourself, well you can but it’s not the same.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.54.16 PM

So what is the verdict?

In all honesty this vehicle looks absolutely stunning. I love the bulky and aggressive front and the low rear end. It’s different and different is sometimes good. Mercedes Benz are really pushing the limits with their new cars I must say, I’m a fan. I’ve heard many people say they’re old mans cars but I have to disagree, with the new range of Mercs and with this vehicle in particular, they’ve fused classic Mercedes Benz luxury but with a young and sporty attitude. I’m sure this car will be popular with young sports stars around the world for sure, as they like big shiny things. The starting price for the V6 Diesel and Petrol version is a mean R1, 000,000. Add another R800, 000 to that for the stupidly fast V8. Let us know what you think of the new Mercedes GLE Coupe on our social media page. Until next time.

Mercedes’ C63 Coupé revealed, can it get any more powerful?

Thought Thursday: Mercedes’ C63 Coupé will produce more power than all it’s competitors

What do car makers and dictators have in common? They all want absolute power, but in the words of Spiderman’s grandfather, “with great power comes great responsibility”. This is especially true for our German friends trying to one-up each other in the power game. As most car lovers will know, the new Mercedes C-Class Coupé was launched a few days ago. Now we have more information to reveal regarding the flagship power house of the lot, the C63 Coupé. We want to talk about the “S” version of this car specifically. The “normal” version of the C63 Coupé will feature ONLY 345kW and 650Nm whilst the “S” version will produce 370kW and 700Nm of torque.

Let’s talk about these figures for a moment. The power this car produces is less than what the last version of the brutal normally aspirated C63 507 Edition produced. The difference though is that despite it producing a kilowatt or two less, the delivery of that power is very different, due to turbocharging. Now that the new C63’s are running 4.0l turbocharged engines, the car goes from being very fast, to down right ludicrous. As any car lover will say, bring on the power, more is better and better is more. That being said, a part of me is a tad concerned about all of this. I recently read a statement made by a very experienced journalist regarding how these super saloons and coupé’s should do away with being rear wheeled drive as standard.

To most enthusiasts that statement may sound like a slap in the face, but in reality, it makes perfect sense. The reason being that because the new engines are turbocharged, the maximum torque delivery of these cars is almost instant. This is good and bad. Good for producing insane acceleration, but bad for those who cannot handle it. The reality is that most C63 Coupé owners will not be die hard enthusiasts, a great deal of them will be wealthy individuals who want the latest and greatest. For that clientèle, having 700Nm of torque available to you and traction control being a simple press of a button to switch off, can mean potential injury. The fact is that all that power can mean too much car for most and even the slightest bit of “fast” driving can create a dangerous situation.

If these cars were to be all-wheel drive as standard, as they have them in the US, the danger lessens. For those who regard themselves as enthusiasts, they should have the choice to deselect the all-wheel drive setup and opt for the rear wheel drive setup when specifying their car with their dealership. If this was the case, it would mean for a safer, more manageable car for those who aren’t interested in going sideways and simply want a very fast car. At the same time the deselect option will still keep the enthusiasts happy too. This may be a reality soon, as the rumblings of the new BMW M5 have started and talk is that the car will have the exact setup we’re discussing now. I think it’s a good thing, because even now with the current BMW M5, many will agree that a very specific skill-set is needed to drive that car on it’s limit with the traction control off.

We look forward to the new C63 Coupé hitting our shores in South Africa. For those looking to purchase one, if you have not gone for advanced driving yet, we strongly recommend you do so. This will ensure your safety behind the wheel and increase your joy in owning such a car, because what’s the point in having all that power if you can’t handle it? Happy Thought Thursday Motorists.

Mercedes Benz’s facelifted A45 is fashionably powerful

The world of luxury runs across many spectrums. Be it cars, fashion, real estate or jewellery. Often times people who enjoy a certain type of luxury also enjoy another. For instance, someone who is a fan of sports cars could possibly be a fan of luxury watches or bespoke tailoring. Some brands have known this for some time now and as a result they have managed to merge the various interests of their consumers. By so doing they have been able take their brand from being perceived as a brand specialising in one thing, to a brand known for its lifestyle attributes.

At the end of the month, the Mercedes Benz fashion week will commence. This week will consist of some of South Africa’s most talented designers. Names such as Craig Native, Adriaan Kuiters and David Tlale will all showcase their work at the MBFW. Being a fashion designer is not an easy job, as glamorous as it seems, making sure your products are viewed as some of the best means a tremendous amount of hard work behind the scenes. Sourcing the right quality materials and using the best manufacturing methods, whilst incorporating creative designs is part of the process of being a great fashion designer. Marketing your products and measuring up to international standards is another aspect of the business. Those international standards are not child’s play, that is why the competition is so tough and you need to be always adapting to stay in the game.

Similarly, developing an engine that creates 280kW of power and 475Nm of torque from a 2.0litre turbo is not simply a case of turning up the boost. The thing is that when Mercedes Benz offers so much power from a small engine to its clients, that engine needs to last. Reliability is of key importance, so when the A45 had its recent power update in the facelift, Mercedes needed to make sure that it is also reliable enough too. That is why Mercedes had to fit a new valve assembly, shorten the gear ratios and change how the turbo boosts. In the performance hatch world, the standards keep getting raised very often. They hyper hatch segment is at its most competitive, with the likes of Audi releasing their RS3 soon. BMW is also developing their M2 and even though it is not a hatch, it will be thrown into the ring with the Mercedes and the Audi for a fight till the death. Who will be victorious? Only time will tell, for now if your’e looking into purchasing a Mercedes Benz A45, you’ll have a fitter machine to choose. According to Mercedes, the car will average 6.9l per 100km too, which most Mercedes A45 clients won’t see because when you buy an A45 you don’t buy it for its fuel consumption. That figure is simply a nice thing to know.

So as different as fashion and motoring are, there are many synergies between the two. Both are high pressure industries driven by trends and the power of the consumer. Little wonder why Mercedes has chosen to be part of one of the most well known fashion shows in the country. Mercedes is showing us that they’re not only interested in selling you a car, they’re interested in selling you a lifestyle. In the new Mercedes A45 you’ll definitely be fashionably powerful and there’s no harm in looking good and going fast.