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Daimler breaks ground on another battery factory for EV push

By John Beltz Snyder

Daimler subsidiary Accumotive has broken ground on its second lithium-ion battery factory in Kamenz, Germany. The facility represents an investment of about €500 million (about $560 million at today’s exchange rates), and will support Mercedes-Benz’s plans to introduce its EQ e-mobility sub-brand, introduce 10 new plug-in models by 2022, and continue to hybridize more of its vehicles.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Saxony Minister President Stanislaw Tillich joined Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche and other Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, and Accumotive executives in laying a battery casing as a foundation stone. “The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation and we see ourselves as the driving force behind this change,” says Zetsche.

Continue reading Daimler breaks ground on another battery factory for EV push

Daimler breaks ground on another battery factory for EV push originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 May 2017 12:20:00 EDT.

This is why they call it a Land Rover, not a Sea Rover

By Greg Rasa

Continue reading This is why they call it a Land Rover, not a Sea Rover

This is why they call it a Land Rover, not a Sea Rover originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 May 2017 17:30:00 EDT.

BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019

By Greg Migliore

We’re getting an up-close look today at the 2019 BMW i8 Spyder, which appears ready for production. We saw the open-air hybrid supercar in February testing in the snow, and today we’re seeing it cruising during warmer conditions, though the top is still up.

The Spyder will grow the i8 lineup beyond the scissor-door coupe. It looks like the open-air model will use a targa-style roof. Otherwise, it appears identical to the hardtop, with futuristic design punctuated by flashy wheels and piercing LED headlights. There’s also a Canadian flag and the word “Bruno,” likely for BMW factory driver Bruno Spengler, on the roof pillar. Maybe he’s helping out with the testing.

Continue reading BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019

BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 May 2017 09:35:00 EDT.

BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off

By Reese Counts

After months of rumors and speculation, BMW finally announced what we’ve all been expecting: the next M5 will have all-wheel drive. This is sure to raise the ire of purists who still lament the move away from six-cylinder power, but it was always going to be difficult to send the expected 600 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 to the rear wheels. Unfortunately, the announcement doesn’t have final power or performance specs, though we do know the car will go on sale later this year.

BMW promises the M5′s all-wheel drive system, suitably named M xDrive, will make the car the “most exciting and emotionally enthralling” M5 yet. That still remains to be seen, but it’s sure to be the most advanced and the most complicated M5 ever. To make it feel like an M car, the M xDrive system is set up to be rear-biased, only sending power forward when the rear loses traction. The goal was to deliver optimum traction while providing a similar driving experience to the current M5.

Continue reading BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off

BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 May 2017 12:45:00 EDT.

Daimler drops bid to sell 2017 Mercedes diesels in US

By Reuters

WASHINGTON – German automaker Daimler AG said on Tuesday it had dropped plans to seek U.S. approval to sell 2017 Mercedes-Benz US diesel models, but had not decided whether to exit the American passenger diesel market.

“We constantly review our portfolio offerings and make adjustments to meet immediate customer need,” Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran said in an email. “Combined with the increased effort to certify diesel engines in the US, we have put the certification process for diesel passenger cars on hold.”

There has been growing scrutiny of diesel vehicles in the United States since Volkswagen AG admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software on 580,000 U.S. vehicles that allowed them to emit up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.

VW was sentenced in April after pleading guilty in the emissions scandal. In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting US vehicles.

Last month, Daimler said investigations by authorities of diesel emissions and auxiliary emission control devices could lead to significant penalties and recalls.

The Justice Department, EPA, California Air Resources Board, and a prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, are investigating emissions of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles.

In March, the Stuttgart prosecutor launched an investigation against Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising tied to vehicle emissions.

Continue reading Daimler drops bid to sell 2017 Mercedes diesels in US

Daimler drops bid to sell 2017 Mercedes diesels in US originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 May 2017 09:30:00 EDT.

Mercedes-AMG looks to be testing and even hotter E63 wagon

By Reese Counts

Few automakers do fast wagons as well as Mercedes-Benz. The company’s current king, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, is a 603 horsepower animal that seems perfect for power hungry wagon lovers. Even the standard E400 will out sprint almost anything else on the road. So what the hell is blasting around the Nürburgring in this video from Automotive Mike on YouTube?

The car in question appears to be an E63 S Wagon with a camouflage wrap covering everything below the waist. Look closely and you’ll see that the fenders have been significantly widened. The wagon is also wearing what appears to be the same wheel and tire setup from the AMG GT sedan that we saw yesterday. There’s been no indication from Mercedes that there is a hotter version of the wagon in the works, but we’re not complaining.

Continue reading Mercedes-AMG looks to be testing and even hotter E63 wagon

Mercedes-AMG looks to be testing and even hotter E63 wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 May 2017 16:05:00 EDT.

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2019 Mercedes-AMG GT sedan looks formidable

By Greg Migliore

Does the world need another Mercedes-AMG sedan? That’s what Benz is betting on, and today we’re getting another look at the sporty four-door during shakedowns in Germany. Previewed by the GT concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, the production version will extend the AMG GT lineup, which is currently a coupe and convertible.

The new GT four-door will take aim at swoopy tweener sedans like the Audi RS7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, and Porsche Panamera. The GT will have a fastback profile with a hatch-style trunk.

The concept had a simple, clean design broken up by a few creases and a bold grille and wheels. We expect that notion to carry through in production though in a subtler manner. These spy shots, like the ones captured shortly after Geneva, offer us a peak at the headlights and the outline of the grille and fascia.

The concept used a twin-turbo V8 paired with an electric motor to crank out 805 horsepower. It also wore the EQ Power+ badge, a moniker for future Mercedes hybrids. It could wear the GT4 name in production (GT and four doors), though Mercedes already uses that name on a racecar.

Continue reading 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT sedan looks formidable

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT sedan looks formidable originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 08 May 2017 09:59:00 EDT.

 

Mercedes unveils four new engines, two have inline-six layouts

By Joel Patel

Mercedes-Benz unveiled four new engines, including a gasoline-powered 3.0-liter inline-six, a diesel variant of the 3.0-liter inline-six, a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, and a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The gas-powered inline-six and the new V8 will power the 2017 S-Class when it gets its facelift, while the automaker is still figuring out where to place the other motors. Mercedes confirmed to Autoblog that the new V8 will be sold in the upcoming S-Class in the US, but the automaker doesn’t plan to sell a four-cylinder S-Class here.

The inline-six engines are a return to form for Mercedes as the automaker offered the engine layout in its vehicles until the late ’90s. Dubbed M256, the 3.0-liter engine was built with the intention of electrification in mind and, therefore, comes with an Integrated Starter-Alternator (ISG), an electric auxiliary compressor, and intelligent turbocharging. These components allow the engine to make more power than the old V6 engine while also being more fuel-efficient. The M256 makes 408 horsepower and over 368 pound-feet of torque, while the older M276 V6 engine was good for 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. A worthwhile improvement.

Continue reading Mercedes unveils four new engines, two have inline-six layouts

Mercedes unveils four new engines, two have inline-six layouts originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 31 Oct 2016 17:45:00 EDT.

 

The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000

By Joel Stocksdale

BMW has released pricing for its first ever M-badged 7 Series, the M760i xDrive. For the privilege of piloting the Bavarian automaker’s twin-turbocharged V12 flagship, you’ll have to fork over at least $154,795. Included in the price is a car that produces 601 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s more power than the Audi S8 and Mercedes S63 AMG, and it’s only bested by the S65 AMG, which starts at over $225,000.

Of course, the M760i comes equipped with sporty suspension, brakes, and steering that are all tuned to the M division’s specifications. It also features an 8-speed automatic and all wheel drive, which combined with launch control, can propel the M760i to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. All things considered, it seems like a great choice for a fast German luxury sedan. And it is, until you see the other fast 7 Series in BMW’s line-up.

The alternate car in question is called the Alpina B7. It’s a 7 Series with 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. It gets to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, features an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, and comes with sportier suspension and steering. Sound familiar? There are some differences, though. It has fewer cylinders, opting for a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rather than the M760i’s 6.6-liter V12. It also costs less. The B7 is $16,800 cheaper than its M-badged brother. It also gets an exclusive Alpina body kit and wheels. Now, of course it will all be up to each buyers’ tastes as to which car is better; after all, some people have to have a V12. But there’s also something to be said for offering the same performance and a bit more flash for less money.

Continue reading The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000

The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Nov 2016 15:20:00 EST.

 

The most or nothing: Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet pushes the luxury limits

By Brett Berk

After the introduction of the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster at the Paris Motor Show this fall, we informed you that Mercedes-Benz has a convertible conundrum, a surplus of drop-tops that seemingly threatens to self-cannibalize within the brand’s ever-proliferating lineup. Benz’s head of design, Gorden Wagener, who spends much of his time in Southern California, argues it’s not a problem: Each convertible, in its ideal construction, would intrinsically vanquish any issues. “The bad is the enemy of the good,” he said, not exactly quoting Nietzsche.

Now, the three-pointed star brand has upped the top-down ante, with the unveiling this week at the Los Angeles auto show of the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet, a vehicle so opulent, it sits in price and position atop the uber-luxury brand’s current top-of-the-line offering, the $247,900 Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet.

Continue reading The most or nothing: Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet pushes the luxury limits

The most or nothing: Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet pushes the luxury limits originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:30:00 EST.