Tag: Mercedes Benz

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class – Setting New Standards

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class in Matt Grey, Overlooking Ocean and town

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Some car models evolve like a fine wine; slowly over time, each incarnation just a little better than the last. Not at Mercedes-Benz though, if other technologies progressed as fast as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, we’d be living around in a rather futuristic world. Twenty-one years ago, just after the first A-Class was launched, it made motoring headlines for failing the Moose Test, but that was actually a blessing in disguise rather than a setback. This problem forced the men in white coats to re-engineer the suspension as well as to add electronic driver aids never before seen in a compact car, forcing other manufacturers to follow suit. This was the start of a brilliant track record, amassing sales of three million A-Class cars (6 million compact cars in total) to date, each new model featuring improvements and upgrades that you’d only expect to find in top tier models.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is now in its fourth generation, and it’s no facelift, this technological marvel is an all-new affair from the ground up. The compact Benz is longer, higher and wider resulting in a sportier looking hatchback, especially when fitted with the optional 19-inch wheels. The front-end subscribes to the latest Mercedes-Benz design architecture and this new design also sees the car being the most aerodynamic in the segment. Much of this is attributed to the front and rear wheel spoilers that result in low airflow losses, in addition, wheel arches are insulated from the engine compartment and the radiator surrounds are sealed. The design of the A-pillars and the new wing mirrors also has an effect on drag, but most noticeably on wind noise. This all-new A-Class is easily the quietest hatch I’ve driven to date.

Cabin space is improved thanks to the new dimensions; so taller drivers have more comfort with better elbow and shoulder room. The boot receives a 29-litre increase in capacity, now totalling 370 litres and the taillights are now sectioned in two, meaning a 20cm wider load aperture giving your favourite set of Callaway clubs a perfect entry. Besides space, the interior of the all-new A-Class is a very premium place indeed. The retail price of these cars (which we’ll get to later) does seem high, but when you see the fit and finish of the materials and the amount of technology crammed in, things become a lot more palatable.

MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – is an intelligent multimedia system that adapts to your inputs and voice commands which is not only great to keep you company on long roads, it also keeps your eye focused ahead to keep you safe. All manner of things can be done via the voice control, such as turning vehicle systems on and off or finding you a better route through traffic.  To access this function, simply blurt out “Hey Mercedes” at any point and she’ll answer you back – sound familiar?  It’s also easy to use, however when you want your fingers to do the talking, the touch controls for all the systems are easy and intuitive, once you learn what does what of course.

Powering the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class are two new power plants; for the A200 there’s a turbocharged 1332cc 4-cylinder with 120kW and 250Nm on tap. The A250 Sport features 1991cc, also a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and produces 165kW and 350Nm available. Both engines are mated to a sublime, smooth and lightning-quick 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7G-DCT). A variety of drive modes are available, including Comfort, Eco and Sport, the latter being very responsive and firm. We were only able to sample the A200 on launch, and the responsiveness and available power from such a small capacity motor boggles the mind. It’s claimed to reach 100km/h in 8-seconds with a top speed at 225km/h, but it feels faster. Combined fuel consumption is claimed at 5.2l/100km which I’m sure it can manage, just not on launch. In this initial launch drive the A200 was put through its paces and it must be said that there’s not really any way to fault the car. With the technology on board, the new A-Class sets new standards, once again forcing others to follow. The automaker wants to target a younger, more tech-savvy buyer, and offerings don’t get much better than this. A diesel variant and the halo AMG version will come in time.

New Mercedes-Benz A-Class Pricing in South Africa

Pricing for the all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sees the A200 comes in at R499 000 and the A250 lists at R593 300.

New Mercedes-AMG C43

Mercedes-AMG

New Mercedes-AMG C43 First Drive

For those not in the know, the Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz range can become quite confusing. Walk into a dealership and ask for a “fast Mercedes” and you will most likely find yourself presented with a myriad of models and a vast range of numbers – such as 65, 63, 53, 45 and 43. Fortunately, it’s articles like these that’ll hopefully provide a little insight – so that if you do go looking for a “fast Mercedes”, you’ll have done the math and know which number you’re looking for. Or at least have an idea.

Mercedes-AMG C43

 

Today we’re talking about the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It’s a facelift, so it’s not entirely a new vehicle, but they call it new – so let’s roll with it. To start the launch off, we embarked into some countryside areas around the outskirts of JHB, to sample these new models in a quiet setting. The model I focused on was the C43, naturally.

The 43 range offers a 3.0l V6 Twin Scroll Turbo, which produces 290kW and 520 Nm – reaching 100km/h in approximately 4.7 seconds. Driving not only a C43, but the “43” motor in general, was a first-time affair for me. While this vehicle could be classed as a “baby” AMG when compared with the mighty C63, it certainly doesn’t sound like it. In a good way.

This V6 purrs like a Cheetah being scratched by a very large garden rake. Again, in a good way. There was never really a time when I wanted to turn the Active Exhausts off, as chasing this noise through the higher rpm range through a total of 9 gears was becoming just short of addictive. Plus, it’s also slightly quieter than its V8 older brother, so when pottering around town you can leave the active pipes on and not get a headache. Do I prefer it? I haven’t yet decided.

Mercedes-AMG C43

While I could bark on about this all day, it’s time to discuss some of the new features found on the C-Class in general. While snapping at the gears and chasing that sweet V6 sound, you’ll find yourself holding onto a new steering wheel – one which was first found on the S Class and E Class. I love the finish, styling and premium feel it gives you, as it features metal, leather and these hi-tech thumb touch-pads for scrolling through various menus on the digital display. It’s also a standard feature across the whole range, not just the AMG models.

Turn you attention to the fascia and you will also notice the new 12.3-inch instrument cluster. As common as they are becoming on new premium vehicles, each manufacturer has their own take on these digital consoles. Through this system, the driver can browse and adjust most settings and features on the vehicle. AMG variants provide a striking yellow design with a layout that simulates the classic round dials that we all know and love. The display can show you pretty much anything the heart desires regarding the vehicle and while live tyre pressure and the ambient temperature is…cool? Viewing live power, torque and boost levels were something that interested me more.

Mercedes-AMG C43

From the outside, a new redesigned front bumper and diamond grille differentiate the C43 compared to other models. The new 84 LED multi-beam headlights add subtle changes too. With the option of the Ultra Range system, these provide light for up to 650m and also feature the blanking out technology which means Hi-Beam can be selected all the time without dazzling other road users. New tail-lights are also apparent, as well as various rear bumper designs – depending on the package you select.

So, what’s it like then driving the face-lifted C43? Apparently, it’s just like the pre-facelift variant, only prettier and faster. Even though it’s an “AMG”, the vehicle is pretty comfortable when the driving modes are relaxed and set to comfort, dial in the sport modes and the C43 comes alive and provides the sharp AMG driving feel. There is more power on tap, which means the trees blur quicker on a straight line. The car still features Mercedes’s 4Matic system but this time sending 69% of the power to the rear wheels which improve the vehicle dynamically. This provides a nice balance as the power is still accessible all the time, unlike it’s older brother the C63, which likes to wiggle around corners. This is actually a good thing, because only those who know how to do the “AMG dance” should try going toe to toe with one, should they be brave enough. The C43 then is the safe bet among the fast C-Class variants, so if you want to just get on it, this may be the one you should ask for at a dealership.

The new Mercedes-AMG C43 Vehicle Pricing in South Africa:

Sedan                       Coupe                                  Cabriolet

R948,500                  R983,500                             R1,100,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s why you should buy the Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia 

I know what you are all thinking, how does the Italian stallion compare to the ever so popular BMW 3 series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or the third German moustache – the Audi A4?. All giants of the same segment.

This article isn’t going to be a long-winded and unnecessary comparison, the seats are like this, the wing mirrors are like that…if that’s what you came for you can copy and paste the above paragraph into the mighty Google search. This article is simply going to give you the reason why one should consider the Giulia- summed it up in one word: Difference.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Let me expand this over a few hundred words.

You see, a BMW 3 series is a great proven product, likewise a C-class, they sell in droves partly because of this, but also because these brands are huge in this fine country of South Africa. Consumers buy BMW/Mercedes/Audi products for the same reason they buy Apple- because of how it interprets them and how they are viewed by their friends. I have happened to fall for this clever marketing ploy, you don’t sell the product, you sell the experience, the lifestyle…

Alfa Romeo Giulia

The first Alfa Romeo Guila I drove happened to be the QV, its fast and nimble front end caught my attention, so did the faulty electronics, and then a day later it ended up in a tyre wall ( through no fault of my own) It’s safe to say I didn’t get to spend much time in that specific vehicle, but after spending a good amount of time in the “standard” model, the Giulia just happens to also be a very good motor vehicle – shock horror.

However, I can’t just leave you with that to break the mould. We can all see its beautiful, but above that, it drives very nicely from both a comfort and performance perspective, it’s darn comfortable, the interior is fairly splendid and features technology which belongs in 2018. The Giulia’s 2.0 Petrol with 147 kW 8-speed automatic transmission offers just a good if not a better driving experience than its direct competitors. So here is what you need to ask yourself, why not be different?

Alfa Romeo Giulia

You see, life isn’t always what your friends think. While on route to test drive the “you know whats”, break the stereotype and pull into your nearest Alfa dealer. You never know unless you try and let’s be honest, if I had a Rand for every 320 M-Sport I passed on the morning commute, I wouldn’t be making a morning commute…

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Driven

A mid-sized family orientated SUV with 375kW and 700Nm may sound quite preposterous, in fact, it can be likened to those superhuman toddler gymnasts you see on YouTube. At the age of four, their biceps are bigger than their little heads, causing you to ask, “why?”

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Many may ask the same question when it comes to the new Mercedes AMG GLC 63 S. Personally, I didn’t ask why when learning about this car, because I’m a fan of speed and power in any shape or size. I can imagine many motorists share the same sentiments as me as well. What may seem like just a statement from Merc, is actually more than that, it’s a shift based on consumer behaviour. The reality is that many consumers who drive sedans are now changing their buying behaviour toward SUV’s, such as the GLC. Reasons such as safety, size and presence are all factors leading to this change. Then there are those who drive the performance variants of popular sedans, such as the burbling Mercedes AMG C63 or BMW’s M3. These guys need a replacement for the performance they’re used to, if they decide to do the SUV jump. The new GLC 63 S seems to be an answer, but can it provide the same thrills? Can an SUV provide as much fun, performance and driving experience as a sedan AMG, such as the C63 S? Let’s find out…

An early flight navigated me from Durban to Lanseria, where we jumped into a van and arrived at Zwartkops Raceway, which would be the base for our testing. The first few hours including a high speed “brake and steer” test, a slalom and drag races. While all this is was fun, it also showed us what we could expect from the GLC 63 S, when we would begin our full laps. Not only that, it showed us how much confidence Mercedes-Benz has in their vehicle. For example, our slalom runs started with ESP on, as we progressed we eventually were encouraged to switch of the car’s ESP system, allowing us to feel how the limited slip differential works when the vehicle is unencumbered by the safety systems.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

It’s worth noting, the ESP system on the GLC 63 S is very sensitive, with good reason too – it’s still a family car. One with a lot of power. This vehicle also carries quite a bit of weight. In the wrong hands, it could lead to some not so desirable outcomes should an overenthusiastic overcook it. Back to the story.

So here we are, on the track and ready for some laps. We started with ESP on and gradually went through the modes until everything was off. Not half off, but “off off off” as we call it in the office. As you can imagine, with ESP in full force, throttle output is easily hampered coming out of corners, especially when power was applied sharply. From a safety perspective, it made sense but on a track, it can be annoying. Which sounds like a pointless statement because a track day in a GLC 63 S is more a treat for journalists, as opposed to a reality for an owner. Sport, Sport + and Race modes were also tested, which give you more freedom, more slip and more AMG noise on each mode – which by the way is fantastic. AMG have a whole division focused on exhaust sound – a great division if you ask me. I digress however…After a few laps toggling between various modes and even with ESP off, I became very frustrated with my track experience.  I wasn’t getting what I expected out of the vehicle and quite frankly, I was unhappy with my laps. At each apex, when I wanted to power out of the corner, the car was cutting power quite abruptly – arrghh. This is not what I expected from a car that uses the 4Matic + system, the same one that is in the highly regarded Mercedes AMG E63 S, less the drift mode.

All is not lost.

On our slow down lap, I discussed with Francisco and the AMG Driving instructor. I explained that perhaps my driving style is wrong for this extremely powerful SUV. The instructor agreed and like a good coach during half time in a bag game, he gave me a few pointers to get the most out of a car of this size. So, after pumping myself up, we headed back onto the track. The aim? Turning in later, getting more steering into the corner before the apex, allowing me to unwind the lock before accelerating out of the corner.  This would allow the GLC to not panic, causing the “fail safe” safety systems to activate even when they’re meant to be off off off. Again, a necessary measure for a family SUV.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

The result? Pretty brilliant. The limited-slip diff worked well, sending power to the front when needed and pulling the GLC out of corners. After the little teething issues we began with, due to my driving style, the vehicle became the dynamic, fast and precise track weapon I wanted it to be. Not the words you expect to hear about an SUV – Merc is onto something with this setup.

So can an AMG SUV provide as much fun, performance and driving experience as a sedan variant, such as C63 S? Well, regarding performance,  the head of the AMG driving academy told us that he could probably set similar laps times in the AMG GLC 63 S as he would in an AMG GT S, which is quite the statement to make. The question of fun and driving experience still needs to be answered however. I may be a young journalist, but over the past few years I’ve done my fair share of driving on and off the track. Honestly, driving the AMG GLC 63 S fast around a racetrack was one the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had to date. You may not be able to do tyre smoking drift sessions in the car, but the reality is even most who own C63 S’s can’t either – even though their vehicles can. So there’s not much to miss in that department. That being said, the GLC does allow for a fair bit of a movement, since it sends its power mostly to the rear tyres.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

I probably enjoyed this track experience as much as I did, because I wasn’t really expecting the car to be as good as they say it is, it is an SUV after all. Or perhaps it was due to the fact that I had to work harder for cleaner laps. Either way, it was exhilarating and a good glimpse of the future of smaller performance SUV’s.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S SUV: R1 572 602

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe: R1 689 067

 

 

 

Mercedes-Benz X-Class: Does it have the X Factor?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

We drive the Mercedes-Benz X-Class

First things first, I feel we need to discuss the elephant in the article – this elephant isn’t Nellie, but rather Nissan.

You probably know by now and if you don’t, you will by the end of this sentence – that the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara. This is a bakkie which graced South Africa last year with features like 5-link rear suspension for improved comfort and performance. While some may say that under the body panels of the X-Class is a Navara, Mercedes say that everything we see or use has been retouched by a Mercedes engineer. Even so, Mercedes concede that without the involvement of Nissan, the X-class would of never made it from the boardroom table to South African tarmac in the space of four years. I am happy to take their word for it. Enough with the politics now, let’s judge this new bakkie like any other in it’s class and determine how the X-Class fares as the latest bakkie to enter the South African market.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

A night drive through the roads of George finally led us to the launch location where we were greeted by a huge X which lit up the night sky via bright lights, along with an extravagant launch setup. After the meeting, greeting, general formalities and a video introduction to the vehicle, two Mercedes-Benz X-Class models burst through wooden doors – which were big enough to hold back an army. If looks are anything to go by, the X-Class is a Mercedes-Benz product. It shouts premium through design and from a visual perspective, lives up to it’s bold name. However, looks aren’t everything.

We were then introduced to the two model lines, Progressive and Power. While the latter is the more premium of the two, featuring chrome trim, bigger wheels and LED headlights, the Progressive is the model more suited for weekend picnics at the top of precipices. In all honesty though, I was initially disappointed with the interior of the Progressive model, I found the amount of interior plastic to be just too much for a Mercedes product. I could understand if this was a “workhorse” bakkie, but with a starting price of R670k, it makes you think. I did think deeper about it. Looking back after driving this car a few days ago, this model is more suited for the adventurers of the world, taking the vehicle to places where a more durable, rugged setup is needed. Perhaps in that setting, the interior plastics would definitely serve their purpose, but still not at that price. Like the words of Vannesa Carlton, “I’m torn”. There is an argument for both sides to be made I guess.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class South Africa

The interior featured on the Power model was much improved compared to the Progressive variant, with leather on the upper doors and dash. Better it may be, it wasn’t mind-blowing inside the cabin. This is the model for those who may take their X-Class across the border once in a blue moon, but generally, use it for the daily grind of a work commute and the school run. It’s the “Sandtonized” version. You can spice the interior up with optional accessories such as the wood trim.  Both Progressive and Power models feature the Mercedes Command interface like many of their other vehicles, which is a big plus for the X class – as it does add a touch of class and modernity to the interior.

Seating was unlike many other bakkies on the road with good back and lumbar support, this was appreciated when attempting Devils Peak Pass  –  a route which has seldom been used by mainstream commuters since 1805 and featured rough, rocky passes and climbs. The reward to this route is the spectacular views you see at the top of the pass. Of course, the X-Class handled this with ease and we found ourselves more worried about getting the perfect shot as opposed to actually making it to the peak.

The range of genuine accessories available on the X-Class was pleasant to see, which items such as canopies, roll covers, style bars and bed liners all available. With the accessories available set to grow.

Throughout the day I sampled the X-Class 250d, which produces  140kW  and is a product of Nissan. Yes, the power supplied was enough. Enough to go off-road, enough to overtake and enough to cruise comfortably. To nitpick, a little bit more power to go with this extremely comfortable bakkie would be great. Whilst travelling on dirt roads at speeds of over 100km/h was really nice, road driving reminded me of a well-built SUV – which is a great thing. In terms of overall comfort, the X-Class is as good as a Volkswagen Amarok, is it better? That’s negligible.

So let’s answer the question I asked in the title, does the Mercedes-Benz X-Class have the X Factor?

Maybe I set the bar to high in my head, maybe there has been too much “hype” around the vehicle and just maybe the concept models gave us too much of an expectation. It’s like being told you’re going to meet Beyonce’s sister. In your mind you’ll expect a replica of her to appear, but you may only end up with Solange.

If I look at the Mercedes-Benz X-Class as just another bakkie, it’s a great all-round product. However, I look at the X-class a Mercedes-Benz product, a brand which I grew up with and have always been fond of. Right now, the current X-Class line up is a premium product, and for a first attempt as a bakkie, its impressive. For me, it doesn’t quite have that “ X-Factor” I was looking for. It can sing, but it doesn’t hit the tones I expected it to, again this is mainly due to the badge that it wears – naturally we want to be blown away.

There is a potential saving grace however and it comes in the form of a V6. Expected during the first quarter of 2019, the V6 X-Class will feature a Mercedes 350d engine and going by the overseas models, the added luxury too.  This could really be the model that sets the X-Class apart. Hopefully. If I was in the market for a premium bakkie, I would hold out until the V6 variant arrives next year for a true Mercedes-Benz experience. Go big or go home right?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-Benz X-Class comes with standard maintenance plan that covers your vehicle for 100 000 km / 6 Years, with the option of extending the maintenance plan up to a maximum of 180 000km/8 years

X-Class Progressive X 220 d 4X2 Manual : R 642,103.00

X-Class Progressive X 220 d 4X2 Auto : R 694,025.00

X-Class Progressive X 250 d 4X4 Manual : R 668,726.00

X-Class Progressive X 250 d 4X4 Auto : R 696,785.00

 

X-Class Power X 250 d 4X4 Manual : R 763,256.00

X-Class Power X 250 d 4X4 Auto : R 791,315.00

 

 

 

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift

The mac daddy of the large, luxury sedan segment has always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with its pioneering ways and exceptional comfort. Seatbelt pretensioners, airbags, ABS, EBD, voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, night vision cameras etc, were all seen on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class before almost any other vehicle and so it came as no surprise to us, then, when the current W222 generation S-Class blew its competition out of the water with innovations such as Active Body Control, which scans the undulations of the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly, a 50% aluminium construction and seatbelt airbags for the rear seats.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

As with any vehicle, however, there is always room for improvement and as the world advances, so does vehicle technology. While changes to the W222 generations S-Class might not seem too drastic, there are certainly enough changes for us to stand up and take notice, so here are a few of the highlights!

An all-new engine range
Consisting of six and eight-cylinder motors, the new engines have been developed to allow for electrification of the powertrain. Six-cylinder diesel and petrol motors benefit from an in-line arrangement, much like you’ll find in a BMW, with impressive outputs across the board. The S450 produces 270 kW/500 N.m from electrified and turbocharged straight six petrol motor and the S400d will have an impressive 250 kW/700 N.m from its straight-six diesel motor – the most powerful diesel car motor in Mercedes-Benz’s history. The S560 has outputs of 345 kW/700 N.m from its all-new BiTurbo V8 petrol motor, and also makes use of cylinder deactivation to reduce consumption and emissions. A plug-in hybrid with a range of 50 km is on the cards, along with technology which we first saw from Audi in the form of a 48 volt electrical system.

Autonomous Driving
Somewhat of a buzz-word at the moment, autonomous driving is the bowl of pudding that every brand would like a spoonful of. Some are doing it better than others, but we can all rest assured that Mercedes-Benz are undoubtedly one of the brands, along with Volvo, who are at the forefront of this. Top-of-the-range S-Classes will benefit from ‘Intelligent Drive’ which works hand-in-hand with Distronic and Steering Assist to provide further assistance to the driver in maintaining a safe following distance and remaining within their lane. The system also adjusts vehicle speed ahead of intersections, traffic circles and bends.

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Multibeam LED
An update of Mercedes-Benz’s already brilliant adaptive headlight system, this allows for over 1 Lux of light to be transmitted over the road when conditions permit, providing a clear line of sight in low-light conditions for up to 650 metres. Surface Scan also works in conjunction with headlights, recognising road bumps and curve inclination.

Energizing Comfort Control
Perhaps a gimmick, this allows for the smell, climate control, seat massage and ambient lighting functions to be adjusted to suit your mood. I’d be intrigued to find out what angry smells like but alas, it isn’t one of the modes offered…

Mercedes-Benz S Class

Three torches of light
In top-spec models, in conjunction with the Multibeam LED headlight system, three torches of light make up an interesting design element within the headlight cluster. These are what we usually refer to as Daytime Running Lights or “DRL’s”.

Amongst all of these features, one can also expect visual changes such as enhanced bumpers and headlight clusters, a new steering wheel, different trim, wheel and paint options and different pricing. The updated S-Class goes on sale in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Mercedes-Benz debuts their double-cab X-Class bakkie

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Mercedes-Benz X-Class released

After much anticipation, the cover has finally dropped off the Mercedes Benz X-Class double-cab bakkie. The focus of the X–Class is heavily on the combination of luxury and utility, all in a leisure focused package. The global launch held over the past two days revealed styling that was more conservative to that of the rather handsome concept model and covered the crucial details regarding the bakkie. The X-Class shares its base with the Nissan Navara – the underpinnings are the same and feature a car-like multi-link coil suspension setup, which proves for an improvement in ride quality over the traditional rear leaf spring setups found in the rest of the segment.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will feature a high level of customization to create a level of individuality, suited to the needs of its owners.  Three trim variants will be offered, the top spec Power Line, the Progressive line and the Pure line, which offers a greater focus on specific elements such as utility or luxury, and thus are more catered to the uses of the individual consumers.

Powertrain

The X220d will be the entry level model, powered by a turbo diesel 2.3-litre engine that delivers 120 kW and 403 N.m, driving the rear wheels only. The X250d and X250d  4Matic both share a 140 kW/ 450 N.m bi-turbo version on the same 2.3-litre engine, driving either the rear wheels or all four. Later, a turbo diesel V6 will join the line up as the X350d 4Matic, the top spec model offering a healthy 190 kW and 550 N.m driving all four wheels exclusively. The transmission choices will be either a 6-speed manual or an optional 7-speed automatic.  A choice between one of five driving modes via a Dynamic Select toggle allows for Comfort, Eco, Sport, Manual and Off-road configurations to be selected.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Interior

The level of equipment will be comprehensive with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class being a dubbed “the Mercedes amongst pickups”, the cabin is well appointed and includes an integrated command Online multimedia infotainment system, with voice control, smartphone based internet access and Satellite navigation. The lesser Audio 20 USB and CD systems are also available. The infotainment units are controlled by the same floating display found in the passenger cars.  Live traffic updates are communicated through the integrated SIM card and the Mercedes Me Portal account. The seats can be optioned with leather, electronic control and heating and offer ISOFIX attachments in the rear.

Mercedes-benz X-Class

Safety

The list of safety equipment is equally impressive as the X-Class offers 7 airbags, Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, Traffic Sign Assist and Tyre pressure monitoring systems. The use of high strength steels also ensures the strong passenger cell and deformable front and rear sub structure are able to help reduce the effects of forces on passengers during accidents.

4×4 Toys

The higher spec 4Matic models come standard with a selectable or permanent Four-wheel drive system, offering low range and optional diff-lock on the rear axle. DSR or Downhill speed regulation is also standard on the 4Matic models. A 28.8-degree approach and 23.8-degree departure angles help to provide for sufficient clearance when off the beaten track with a ground clearance of 202 mm at the front and 221 mm with the optional raised suspension.

The X-Class hits European markets in November of 2017, with us South Africans and our ‘mates’ the Aussies only getting the X-Class in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pricing

South African pricing is still unknown at this point, but as an indication the European prices starts 37,294 Euros, which for the sake of context is less than the 40 995 Euros needed for a base VW Amarok with a V6, let’s hope the South African pricing is just as competitive.

 

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Released in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S

About a year after the release of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German automaker has brought the fire back into the range through the introduction of the big power, big engine performance variants of the new model – The Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S models.

Mercedes-AMG E43

Taking the position as the entry level performance E-Class is the E43, with headline figures of 295 kW delivered at 6100 rpm and peak torque at 520 N.m, heralded from just 2000 rpm through to 5000 rpm. All this power is produced from the 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 we first saw in the C43 AMG.

Mercedes-AMG E43

In line with the new AMG mantra of rear bias AMG 4Matic, the drive is to all four wheels and will provide for a 31:69 split of power. The new attitude towards drivetrain dynamics is good for a 4.6-second 0-100 sprint and the obligatory 250km/h German car speed limiter. Drive will be through a new 9-speed G-Tronic Automatic gearbox.

The preeminent act being the E63S AMG model and dubbed ‘The most powerful E-Class ever’, it delivers a colossal 450 kW between 5750-6500 rpm from a twinturbo 4.0 Litre V8 and 850 N.m of torque, from 2500-4500 rpm. The employment of the 4Matic system aids in the 3.4 second 0-100 km/h scurry, smashing the likes of the RS6 Avant and F10 M5 for a best in class time. Top speed is again pegged at 250km/h with the option of a higher 300 km/h limit with the AMG Driver’s package. A beefier 9-speed MCT dual-clutch box helps to translate all the power into movement, along with rather evocative noises.

Both models employ the Sporty Air Body control in the pursuit of agility and neutrality in the twisties. This system works in tandem with the Adaptive Dampening systems that allow for the selection of three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, as a means of adaptation the vehicle to the conditions and requirements of the driver.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Based on the E-Class, the list of technical wizardry tricks and electronics is long and vast. Features such as Connected Me and Remote online are available, which allow for phone integration through an app that allows vehicle data to be viewed remotely along with a Vehicle Tracking and a Parked Vehicle Locator system with remote unlock and locking.

With the E63S taking the fight directly to the new M5, much debate and kafuffle will surround these rivals, all while still offering a milder option for the less brave, or endowed given the almost R2 million rand price.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC: R1 165 800

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+: R1 868 400

All vehicles come with a 6-year/100 00km PremiumDrive maintenance plan. Visit Mercedes-Benz for more details.

 

 

Khanye Ngwenya

Junior Writer

Semi-Autonomous Driving Features in the New Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Semi-autonomous Driving In The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Autonomous driving is a technology which is rapidly growing in the automotive industry. On the road today, we have semi-autonomous driving vehicles which are able to accelerate, brake and steer, for short periods of time, without any human input. One doesn’t even need to turn to the upper echelon of motoring to find this sort of technology as vehicles such as the Volvo S90 and BMW 5 Series are able to tootle along all by themselves.

Even Though fully autonomous driving is still a way off for mainstream car makers, more and more vehicle manufacturers are spending increasing amounts of money and time developing technologies this field, making their cars more intelligent and less dependent on the driver. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always stood at the forefront of automotive technological advancements, so the updated S-Class promises to be a bit of a spaceship, due in South Africa later this year.

Mercedes-Benz claim that the updated S-Class will be able to support its driver considerably better than all systems which have been available to date, but whether this means all systems currently on the market, such as Volvo’s Pilot Assist or just Mercedes-Benz’s systems remains a mystery. Anyway, let’s take a look at the details of Mercedes Semi-Autonomous driving systems. 

 

Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC

This system uses the route ahead to increase or decrease speed. For example, if the vehicle detects a bend, junction, roundabout or toll both in its path, it will slow the vehicle down accordingly.

The S-Class will also use information from the driver’s navigation input. If the route informs the driver to leave a highway and the car is in the slow lane, the vehicle will automatically reduce speed for the off-ramp. This also applies to junctions.

Semi-autonomous driving

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Lane Change Assist

Hitting the Indicator stalk when driving at speeds between 80 – 180 km/h actives this system. The vehicle’s sensors use the next 10 seconds to check all the vehicle safety zones and whether or not the relevant lane is clear. It also monitors the speed of other vehicles to see that all is ok, and if so, the S-Class will change lanes.

Semi-autonomous driving

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Speed Limit Assist

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class will pick up on road signs and temporary speed limit signs such as one would find when approaching road works. It also knows recorded limits from the navigation system.

Following vehicles in a tailback

This feature is perfect for the road users in Johannesburg. The new S-Class is able to stop and then restart and follow vehicles in traffic if the stops are shorter than 30 seconds. No more on and off the brake and accelerator in stop/start traffic, then!

Active Emergency Stop Assist

One to put your mind at ease if you are an easy sleeper! If the S-Class detects no response from the driver while using Active Steering Assist, the vehicle prompts the driver to take action. If no action is taken ( because you are dreaming peacefully or in a medical emergency) the vehicle will then slowly bring itself to a stop in its current lane. Once stopped, the parking brake is engaged, Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call System is activated and the doors are unlocked.

Active Brake Assist & Evasive Steering Assist

This features aids the driver in avoiding collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. It first starts with warning the driver if there is adequate distance to do so. If not, the vehicle will apply the brakes.

Further to this, Evasive Steering Assist will support the driver and apply extra steering torque when taking evasive action because a pedestrian is in the vehicle danger zone. The vehicle will then stabilize itself after the maneuver has taken place.

Semi-autonomous driving

Active Keep Lane Assist

Between speeds of 60 and 200 km/h, the S-Class will warn the driver via vibrations if the vehicle drifts out of its lane and can apply vehicle brakes on one side to bring the driver back into its lane. If this happens on a road with broken white lines, the vehicle will only take action if there is a chance of collision with another vehicle (for all you lazy non indicator types).

Active Blind Spot Assist

A system found on many new vehicles today and similar to that above – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will apply brakes on one side of the vehicle to avoid an impending side collision.

Traffic Sign Assist

This system, which works along with Active Speed Limit Assist using image recognition and information from the road map in the navigation system, displays road signs on the instrument cluster.

It will bring up any overtaking restrictions for the route, such as zebra crossings, and will provide a warning if pedestrians are found in said crossing. “No entry” signs are also recognized and the vehicle will prompt you to check your direction of travel.

Semi-autonomous driving

Car-to-X Communication

This is basically talking cars! A technology first seen in the form of Volvo’s Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, if a vehicle ahead has detected a hazardous condition, this information is then relayed back to other vehicles to provide an early warning. A voice warning may also be given to the driver depending on the situation.

Developers are currently trying to get this system in use with as many vehicle manufacturers as possible, thus creating a very effective system. A car plus kit will also be available for drivers whose vehicles do not support Car-to-X so they can also benefit from this system.

Active Parking Assist

Cars that park themselves are no longer a big surprise, and this system is very similar to others. The S-Class can also apply braking automatically when parking if it has noticed a hazard or possible collision.

Remote Parking Assist

A system we first witnessed on the new BMW 5 Series, the S-Class can now be parked into spaces or even driven out of spaces when the driver is outside the vehicle. The BMW 5 Series uses the vehicle key for this, whereas the Mercedes system will be controlled using an app on a smartphone.

The major benefit of this is being able to park the vehicle in tight spaces without having the issue of the driver trying to exit the vehicle afterwards. This system also works well if the driver has been parked in. The system will allow manoeuvrability of the vehicle by up to 15 metres and will also avoid obstacles, for those who were never good at R/C cars as a child or adult.
So there you have it, another step in the right direction for autonomous driving for Mercedes-Benz. No news yet on whether these features will be standard or optional extras, but if you can afford an S-Class, chances are it won’t matter much either way.

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!!