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.

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 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.


2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on

By James Riswick

“It’s the descendant of the ‘Hammer,’” noted Nick Martin, AMG product manager for the United States. “This really is how AMG got its start.”

Indeed, even though other AMG models have overshadowed the E63 in recent years, its predecessor arguably put Mercedes’ firm from Affalterbach on the map. The 500E, affectionately known as the Hammer, was produced from 1991 to 1994 and kick-started the idea of a performance-tuned, factory-built version of Mercedes’ otherwise ubiquitous midsize sedan. The E55 AMG of the 1990s cemented the idea further.

Now, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show continues in this tradition, introducing several new elements to the AMG family. It is the first model to get this particular version of AMG’s 4.0-liter V8, featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger in place of the single-scroll unit found in the AMG GT. That advancement contributes to a staggering 563 horsepower in the E63 and 603 hp in the E63S. To put that into perspective, the twin-turbo V12 in the “65″ AMG models produces 621 hp. Of course, that engine still has a substantial torque advantage, but 553 and 627 pound-feet, respectively, is nothing to sneeze at. Nor is the E63 S’ 0-60-mph estimate of 3.3 seconds

Continue reading 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63: The Hammer lives on originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Nov 2016 17:01:00 EST.


Mercedes G500 4×4 coming to America?

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

Would it be a good decision for Mercedes to bring its bonkers G500 4×4² to the United States? We think so, and our guess is that you do too. So, when we hear reports that Bart Herring, Mercedes’ US general manager of product planning says the company is “very close to a good decision” about bringing the bruising ‘ute to America, well, we’re just as pleased as punch.

In case you need a refresher, the G500 4×4² picks up where the Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 left off, albeit while also leaving off two of its wheels. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the four-wheeled version is surely a more nimble mount with which to attack some off-road obstacles. That practically makes it practical, right?

Powering the G500 4×4² is a twin-turbo V8 engine spinning out 422 horsepower to all four wheels. As you can quite clearly see, it’s also lifted way up off the ground, and it features portal axles for ultimate ground clearance. We don’t know what it would wind up costing here in the States, but in Germany, where the 4×4² is already on sale, it rings the registers to the tune of €226,100. That’s just over $255,000 at current exchange rates, though actual pricing would surely differ from that figure.

To sell or not to sell… that is the question. And hopefully, we won’t have to wait terribly long for the answer. Make “a good decision,” Mercedes. You know you want to.

Mercedes G500 4×4 coming to America? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2016 17:01:00 EST.


BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities

By Noah Joseph

BMW is the latest automaker to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. So to mark the occasion, the Bavarian automaker is rolling out a special anniversary edition of its flagship 7 Series sedan.

Somewhat awkwardly labeled as the BMW Individual 7 Series THE NEXT 100 YEARS, the celebratory edition features a number of special touches to set it apart. The bodywork is painstakingly painted in a unique shade of Centennial Blue metallic, with two-tone 20-inch wheels and handcrafted emblems. The interior meanwhile is highlighted by off-white, fine-grain leather – quilted and trimmed with hand-woven piping – with matching Alcantara headliner and piano-black trim.

Of course there are the requisite special badges inside and out, and each sedan comes with a specially made Montblanc fountain pen. Only 100 examples will be made for distribution worldwide, with three different engineoptions depending on the market. The US market will only get five examples based on the recently revealedM760i xDrive performance model, complete with 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 driving 610 horsepower to all four wheels. As a special version of Munich’s top-of-the-line luxury sedan, pricing will surely fall within “if you have to ask” territory, so we’ll just wish BMW a happy birthday and rest assured that each of the hundred individually numbered examples will find a good home.

BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:05:00 EST.



Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz

By Noah Joseph

Searching for the ne plus ultra convertible from Mercedes-Benz? You’re looking at it. The new Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet combines the best features of every model at the top of the German automaker’s range, and leaves little to be desired.

The new flagship cabrio is based on the S-Class convertible, but packs AMG’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 – all 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of it. It’s the same engine that powers the S65 sedan and S65 coupe, as well as the SL65 roadster and G65 sport-ute. The engine is still built by hand by an individual AMG technician, but now that takes place at the Daimler engine plant in Mannheim.

This is the first time that Mercedes is offering this engine in a four-seat convertible. As such, it encompasses all the creature comforts of the S-Class cabrio, including a fully automatic three-layer fabric top, airscarf system, and a bodyshell claimed to be just as rigid as the coupe’s… only now it packs more punch. In addition to that monstrous engine, AMG fitted the convertible with a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels (designed to look even bigger in motion), optional carbon-ceramic brakes, ultra-shiny brightwork, and a lightweight lithium-ion battery to offset the weight of the massive output up front.

With power transmitted to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, the S65 cabriolet will rocket to 62 in 4.1 seconds. It’s electronically limited to top out at 155 miles per hour – but will hit 186 on the Autobahn with the roof down and the optional AMG Driver’s package specified.

Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Dec 2015 10:17:00 EST.