BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp

By Chris Bruce

BMW appears to be approaching a big change in the way that it handles performance. First, the clutch pedal may be a goner from future M models, based on recent statements from the division’s boss, Frank van Meel. We also might not be seeing any significant increases in horsepower from some of these vehicles anytime soon.

“From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ‘boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” van Meel said to Autocar. Although, he left the door open slightly to keeping them at least in the near future. “It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also suggested that the company is capping the output of M models at 600 horsepower. “We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits,” he said to Autocar.

That ceiling does leave some room to grow for future versions of the M3 and M4, which currently offer 425 hp. However, it means that the M5 and M6 with 560 hp are basically at the cap. The limited BMW M5 30th Anniversary Edition already packs 600 hp.

Rumors have suggested that the already spied, next-generation M5 might stick with around 600 hp. It seems unlikely for BMW to completely give up competing against the Autobahn-burning sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Performance could still see a boost thanks to a reportedly lighter platform and optional all-wheel drive.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:30:00 EST.


2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin

By Matthew Askari

he 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC is an all-new luxury crossover that replaces Benz’s compact GLK. We’re driving it right now, and will have a full first drive soon. But before this, we were granted some early access on a drive from Lithuania to Latvia – just enough to form some initial impressions.

As part of Mercedes‘ expansion with new models (and old models taking on new names) the GLC will no longer be the entry-level CUV for Mercedes – that title has been assumed by the GLA crossover. The GLC moves up not only in the hierarchical range, but grows 4.6 inches in the wheelbase, and is more roomy overall. Most evident, the GLC gets completely new styling, something that is immediately clear upon first glance. Mercedes says the 2016 GLC represents the future design direction for all its SUVs. Continuing the “Sensual Purity” design language of the new S-Class and C-Class, our Euro-spec GLC prototype is curvier, cleaner, and more modern than the more rugged-looking GLK. Mercedes says the US will have standard front and rear bumpers optimized for off-road use, with a 28-degree approach and departure angles for all variants.

Despite boasting four doors, the GLC has a coupe-like silhouette. Our model’s LED headlights, chrome-finished dual exhaust pipes, and large wheels (up to 20-inches) add to this sporty aesthetic. The real story however, is on the inside, where the GLC mimics the striking interior of the C-Class. Based on our model’s open-pore wood, flowing center console, and brushed metallic and piano-black finishes the GLC boasts the nicest interior in the class.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:01:00 EST.


2016 Mercedes CLA and GLA get more power, quicker

By Chris Bruce

Unlike in Europe, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have hyper hatches like the Audi RS3 to compete against in North America, at least not yet. However, the company isn’t letting its high-performance compacts get behind the times anywhere in the world with the announcement that the CLA45 AMG and GLA45 AMG in the US are getting practically the same raft of upgrades as the ones across the pond. Both models go on sale in October in US dealers.

Like its European counterpart, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the diminutive AMGs receives upgrades to produce 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (the 381 hp rating over there is in metric ponies). That’s an impressive 20-horsepower and 18 lb-ft bump over the current version of the mill. Beyond just the boost in output, quicker acceleration comes from revised, more aggressive ratios in third through seventh gears.

The latest AMGs make great use of their upgrades, too. The 2016 GLA45 now clocks the run to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds, a staggering half-second quicker than the 2015 model. The CLA45 slices 0.3 seconds off its time to make the sprint in 4.1 seconds, which gives the sedan the same acceleration as a SL63 AMG.

In addition to the powertrain tweaks, the 2016 models get a few other added luxuries. As in Europe, they receive the Dynamic Select System that uses a rotary knob select from multiple driving modes. Inside, there’s standard keyless start, dual-zone climate controls, and Mercedes‘ latest infotainment unit. A “Turbo 4Matic” badge on the fender now hints at the vehicles’ performance potential.

The new Dynamic Plus Package is the major addition to the options list. It combines a limited slip differential at the front, AMG Adaptive Suspension, Race Mode, Performance Steering Wheel, and pushes the top speed to 167 mph. At the same time, the AMG Driver’s Package is discontinued, and the AMG Performance Studio Package is dropped on the CLA45.

2016 Mercedes CLA and GLA get more power, quicker originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:00:00 EST.

Mercedes previews new S-Class convertible

By Noah Joseph

Mercedes keeps on expanding its flagship S-Class with more models, and will soon add one more to the roster. But before it does, it’s giving us this teaser of what’s to come with an advanced look at the upcoming new S-Class Cabriolet.

The convertible model will be based closely on the S-Class Coupe we already know, only with a folding roof. Expect that dropping top to be constructed of several layers of fabric (as opposed to a folding metal top) with a glass rear window (instead of plastic) to keep it luxuriously isolated and insulated from the outside world when it’s up, and let the wind and sunshine in when down. The Cabrio will bring the array of body-styles in the S-Class range up to six, with the convertible joining the existing coupe and four wheelbase lengths of sedan. Expect powertrain options to closely mirror those of the coupe, including S550, S63, and eventual S65 AMG models driving the rear wheels or all four.

Slotting in above the E-Class Cabriolet, the new convertible S-Class will be Daimler’s “first luxury four seater cabriolet since 1971.” It’ll compete in rather rare company against the likes of the Bentley Continental GTC, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, and even the upcoming new Rolls-Royce Dawn when it arrives. And judging from the timing of this preview rendering’s release, we anticipate it’ll arrive soon.

Mercedes previews new S-Class convertible originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:16:00 EST.


Mercedes updates G-Class including new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

By Noah Joseph


Mercedes has been building (or having Magna Steyr build) the G-Class for an unfathomable 36 years now. Needless to say, the legendary off-roader wouldn’t still be around if not for the occasional update here and there, and that’s just what the German automaker announced today.

The list of enhancements to the iconic Geländewagen is almost as long as its lifespan, but the most salient point here is the introduction of a new engine. The revised G550 introduces a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, based on the high-performance engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63, but retuned: in this application, it produces 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque (compared to 453 hp and 440 lb-ft in the GT or 503 and 480 in the GT S). We’d expect that engine to gradually make its way into other models as well.

Though the G500 is the only one with a completely new unit, the other engines in the lineup have also been updated. The G350d bumps from 211 hp and 398 lb-ft to 245 hp and 442 lb-ft, the AMG G63 jumps from 536 hp to 563 (torque remains constant at 560 lb-ft), and the top-of-the-line, twelve-cylinder G65 (which we’ll be getting Stateside for the first time) now produces 621 hp and a massive 738 lb-ft. Those figures result in a 0-62 time of 8.9 seconds for the diesel, 5.9 for the G500, 5.4 for the G63 and 5.3 for the G65 – which are altogether might impressive for a vehicle as big and boxy as the G-Wagen. All but the G65 now feature stop/start systems to help reduce fuel consumption too.

Benz also revised the suspension tuning (while offering optional active dampers) and reprogrammed the ESP, ASR andABS systems. Inside there’s a new instrument cluster, the non-AMG models get new bumpers and flared wheel arches, and there’s a bright new array of colors available for the AMG models, which can also be ordered in a new special Edition 463 featuring unique trim inside and out.

The revised models will be arriving at US dealers in November, however the diesel model will not be making the transatlantic journey to our shores. The data in the press release below (as well as the images in the gallery above) pertain to the European models, with the correct output figures for the US models amended in the text above.

Mercedes updates G-Class including new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 May 2015 10:45:00 EST.


New Mercedes-Benz pickup to be called GLT?

By Brandon Turkus


The Mercedes-Benz pickup will allegedly be called the GLT, and it won’t be “a fat cowboy truck.” That’s according to the head of MB’s truck project, former AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg, quoted by Car.

We already knew that Mercedes would be teaming up with Renault-Nissan for its double-cab pickup, but until Car sat down with Mornhinweg, we were unsure of how the vehicle would be targeted. Aside from being neither fat nor cowboy like, the exec shed some light on the German brand’s mindset behind the new truck.

“We are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America. After all, the big three – FordGM/GMC and Ram – already own about 90 percent of that market which typically absorbs in excess of two million units per year,” Mornhinweg told Car. “In this cutthroat environment, newcomers like us would invariably fight an arduous uphill battle. That’s why our focus is on a smaller and lighter pick-up truck which is already perceived as premium product in South America, Africa and the Middle East.”

While Mornhinweg wasn’t the one to let slip on the new Mercedes truck’s name, Car reports that it will wear the GLT badge. There’s no mention of where the publication came up with that title, though, aside from “rumors.” We’ve reached out toMercedes-Benz for comment on the truck’s name, and should they get back to us, we’ll be sure to update this post.

New Mercedes-Benz pickup to be called GLT? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:32:00 EST.


Mercedes-Benz pickup could come to US

By Chris Bruce

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Mercedes-Benz pickup could come to US originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:30:00 EST.


Mercedes-Benz C-Class named 2015 World Car of the Year

By Steven J. Ewing

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class named 2015 World Car of the Year originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Apr 2015 09:59:00 EST.


2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 coming to US this fall, priced from $217,900*

By Noah Joseph

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2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 coming to US this fall, priced from $217,900* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:45:00 EST.


BMW doubles i8 production to meet demand

By Danny King

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BMW doubles i8 production to meet demand originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 Mar 2015 08:51:00 EST.