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.

 

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.

 

Mercedes moving some Sprinter production to North America

By Noah Joseph

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

If you look at the Sprinter and wonder how Mercedes-Benz can possibly compete against locally produced commercial vehicles with a model built in Germany and shipped over the Atlantic, you’re not alone. In fact, in order to mitigate the tariffs (but at the cost of added logistical expense), Mercedes builds the vans in Germany, takes them half apart again, ships them as kits and reassembles them in Ladson, South Carolina.

Apparently the method is worth it, because the United States has become the largest market for the Sprinter outside of Germany. But Mercedes is understandably keen to cut down the costly process, and so it is reportedly looking to build the Sprinter somewhere in North America – although it has yet to confirm the move, let alone determine (or at least announce) where that location may be: in the US, Canada or Mexico.

According to Automotive News, regardless of where a new facility might be located, production would still continue in Germany, where Mercedes builds the Sprinter in two factories: one in Düsseldorf (150,000 units per year) and another in Ludwigsfelde (50,000/year). The Sprinter is sold as a Mercedes or as a Freightliner, was formerly offered as a Dodge and is still rebodied as the Volkswagen Crafter in a deal that is soon set to end.

Mercedes moving some Sprinter production to North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST.

 

Mercedes G65 AMG coming to US for 2016

By Noah Joseph

Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG

If you’re in the market for a high-performance SUV, you’ve got plenty of choices at your disposal, and soon you’ll have even more. And a healthy portion of those come with a Silver Star on the nose. Mercedes-Benz already offers the ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG and G63 AMG – all powered by the same 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 – in American showrooms. Soon the smaller GLA45 AMG will join them as well. But if it’s more power you’re after, we’ve got good news, because the latest word is that Benz is finally bringing over its flagship G65 AMG.

Similar to the G63 AMG, the G65 is based on the German automaker’s iconic Geländewagen, but packs a monstrous 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 – the same unit that has powered everything from the S65 AMG and SL65 AMG to the previous Maybach and even the Pagani Huayra. In the G65, that gargantuan engine churns out 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, channeled to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The G65 has been on the market overseas since 2012, but was kept away from these shores. According to Automotive News, however, Mercedes will finally bring its most powerful sport-ute to American showrooms. And not a moment too soon, either, as Land Rover just came out with its Range Rover Sport SVR; rivals like Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati are all working on performance SUVs of their own; and competitors like Porsche and BMW aren’t likely to give up fighting, either.

Expect the G65 to launch in the US as a 2016 model with a price tag tipped to top $250,000.

Mercedes G65 AMG coming to US for 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:00:00 EST.

Mercedes to follow Maybach S-Class with super-luxe GL?

By Noah Joseph

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

The failed experiment that was Maybach has sent the strategists at Daimler back to the drawing board, and we’ll soon see what they come back with: an ultra-luxe version of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class to slot in between the “standard” model and the upcoming Pullman limousine. But that won’t be the end of the story, if a new report from Australia’s Motoring is any indication.

Rumor has it that Mercedes-Benz is developing Maybach into a kind of luxury sub-brand in the same way it has with AMG. So while Maybach won’t have any exclusive models anymore (or showrooms), it will be applied to existing models to differentiate them from the common Benz.

Following the debut of the S-Class Maybach, word on the street is that Maybach will work up its own version of the GL-Class sport utility to a more luxurious specification, giving Mercedes a quick response to the upcoming Bentley SUV as well as the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography. After that, a Maybach-ified S-Class Coupe could be in the works, and maybe even a version of the upcoming MLC, Benz’s forthcoming BMW X6 rival.

Looking at how AMG has transformed virtually every model in the Mercedes range, it seems that the proverbial sky is the limit when it comes to potential future Maybach models, but we still wouldn’t expect the Double-M badge to be applied to lower-end models in the Mercedes lineup.

Mercedes to follow Maybach S-Class with super-luxe GL? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:31:00 EST.

Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

By Noah Joseph

2015 Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz may be known for its luxury cars on this side of the Atlantic, but it’s equally known around the world for making robust workhorses as well: trucks, buses and vans. It has started to turn Americans on to that idea with the successful transplant of the Sprinter van to North America, but it still has a whole range of commercial vehicles it doesn’t offer here. It recently rolled out the Renault-built Citan to replace its Vaneo, replaced its Viano with the new V-Class, and it has now introduced a new Vito van as well.

More utilitarian than the V-Class, the Vito is a smaller alternative to the Sprinter and hits showrooms in other global markets in a wide array of configurations. For starters, it will be available in numerous lengths as a panel van, a passenger van or as a crew cab, a configuration that combines a four-door passenger compartment with a cargo bay in the back. It’s also intriguingly available in front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, motivated by a pair of four-cylinder turbodiesels displacing 1.6 liters or 2.1 liters with power ranging from 136 horsepower up to 190. Regardless of engine selection, buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

In addition to a wider range of powertrain and bodystyle choices, Mercedes has also redesigned the new Vito to be safer and more comfortable than the model it replaces. It has a more aerodynamic shape for a lower coefficient of drag that pairs with the new engines to help reduce fuel consumption. That’s particularly important to the vehicle’s competitiveness among fleet buyers, because improved fuel economy leads to reduced running costs. Further, the new Vito can be kept on the road for 25,000 miles over two years in between service intervals.

Despite the suspension that’s been redesigned for a more compliant ride, the new Vito doesn’t skimp on the utility. In fact, Mercedes claims it’s got the highest payload capacity in its class at over 3,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over three tons, depending on spec. Read all about it in the press release below and scope out the range in the high-res image gallery above.

Continue reading Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:00 EST.

Mercedes V-Class vans might be coming to America

By Noah Joseph

Mercedes V-Class interior

A few weeks ago, Mercedes revealed interior images of its upcoming V-Class, a new van set to take the place of several models. Now the latest news suggests that the V-Class could make its way Stateside.

Based on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, the new V-Class would slot in below the Sprinter that has made so much headway in the North American market. A luxury version would be marketed to customers who might otherwise be looking at a Chrysler Town & Country or Toyota Sienna, while the Vito version would be more utilitarian to target the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit (but larger than the Transit Connect, which is closer in size to the European-market Citan).

With a rear-drive platform and four- and six-cylinder engine options, the V-Class would offer a compelling alternative to the front-wheel-drive competition. And with premium accoutrements like a panoramic glass sunroof and wood trim, the V-Class could make a reasonable replacement for the departing R-Class.

Mercedes V-Class vans might be coming to America originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:28:00 EST.

Mercedes reveals new seven-seat Citan Crewbus

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Mercedes-Benz Citan Crewbus

Even though the commercial vehicle segment here in the US is still dominated by American automakers, Mercedes-Benz continues to be a top automaker for global work vehicles, including its recently introduced Citan. Built as a part of the Daimler-Renault alliance and sharing its design with the Renault Kangoo, the Mercedes-Benz Citan gets some notable upgrades including an optional diesel engine, available custom body conversions and a new stretched, seven-passenger model.

Going on sale next spring, the Citan Crewbus (shown above) adds a third row of seating with two seats in the back that can slide fore or aft to maximize passenger comfort, or they can be removed altogether for more cargo space. Currently, the Citan is only sold in Europe, but that will soon expand to include Asia, Chile and the Middle East. We asked a Mercedes spokesperson if there’s a chance we’ll ever see the Citan in the US to compete against small commercial vans like the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Chevrolet City Express, and the response was that there are “no plans” to do so.

Scroll down to check out the press release as well as galleries for both the new Crewbus and other variants of the 2014 Citan.

Continue reading Mercedes reveals new seven-seat Citan Crewbus

Mercedes reveals new seven-seat Citan Crewbus originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Oct 2013 09:00:00 EST.