G 63 AMG 6×6 steps it up again

 15C144_002  Stuttgart.  Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class. This is the credo followed by the developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6, and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4×4². The basic recipe for this overcomer of everything is simple: take the superior all-wheel-drive powertrain including portal axles from the 6×6 – take away one axle – and blend it all with a newly-developed variable chassis and the series-production G-Class body. A large pinch of V8 power with 310 kW (422 hp), a set of 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, carbon-fibre body parts and then just gourmet ingredients from the seductive designo Exclusive range for the interior – and the 5-star menu for all off-road enthusiasts is ready.
A new addition to the extreme G-Class model family: the G 63 AMG 6×6 has a model brother in the form of the G 500 4×4². The near-series show car is a new highlight in the superlative-rich history of the G-Class and blends all the advantages of the model series. The series-production models of the G-Class supply the unshakeable foundations in the form of the body and ladder-type frame, which compensate for the considerably increased performance of the G 500 4×4² without any problem and also without any type of reinforcements. The G 63 AMG 6×6 donates an amended version of the ruggedly determined permanent all-wheel-drive powertrain with portal axles. The engine compartment houses a completely new V8 engine with a displacement of four litres, direct injection and biturbocharging. Also new is the chassis with dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping. Finally, in the interior, the G 500 4×4² occupants enjoy comfort and an ambience on a par with a luxury saloon.
New engine offers V8 biturbo power
The 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine in the G 500 4×4² stands out for its sublime power delivery, the targeted lightweight construction, as well as its high efficiency. The newly developed eight-cylinder features twin turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – what is known as the ‘hot inside V’. The advantages lie in the compact engine design, the optimum response and the low exhaust gas emissions. The piezo direct petrol injection used exclusively at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process has been enhanced in the third generation to meet all future statutory requirements. In series production, the highly efficient and economical 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine would meet the Euro 6 emission standard, including the maximum particulate emissions level that will not take effect until 2016.
The V8 crankcase consists of an aluminium alloy and ensures maximum strength with the lowest possible weight. The cylinder walls in NANOSLIDE® technology are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinder liners, minimise the inner friction and thus the fuel required and facilitate maximum mileages. NANOSLIDE® was developed by Daimler starting in the year 2000 and has so far been used successfully and reliably in over 200,000 engines since 2006.
Twin sidepipes on both sides in front of the rear wheels modulate the G-typical sound of the G 500 4×4² and master the entire repertoire of potent sports cars – from soft mumbling in neutral through sonorous humming in the partial-load range to emphatic booming when accelerating under full load. A welcome side effect of the sidepipes: there is improved off-road capability, because in the rear area there are none of the usual rear silencers, which could otherwise restrict the angle of departure.
G 500 4x4x2

G 500 4x4x2

Things are really looking up both on and off-road
In view of the key data for the chassis and powertrain it seems more than logical that the off-road world starts for the G 500 4×4² where other vehicles capitulate. But it is surprising that the new “G” puts in an absolutely convincing performance on the asphalt. Due to the considerably wider track of the portal axles compared with the series-production car (+299 mm), the large 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels and the adjustable damping with its Sport mode, the enhanced G-Class drives through bends so dynamically that the occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle. This also applies to tours on unsurfaced slopes or snow-bound roads, in which case the performance of a high-powered rally car kicks in.
For anyone preferring to use the G 500 4×4² off the beaten track, the optional off-road size 37 x 12.5 x 18-inch MT tyres are recommended. Permanent all-wheel drive, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and three differentials lockable whilst on the move will not be found on conventional cross-country vehicles. This results in merciless driving dynamics in all conditions. Even the highest sand dunes are stormed by the show car with ease, whilst rocky terrain is scaled like a chamois, and water is driven through without any problems.
The portal axles developed for versatile applications supplement the off-road portfolio of Mercedes-Benz and are the technical highlight of the G 500 4×4² show car. As opposed to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. Therefore, on the G 500 4×4² the ground clearance rises to 450 millimetres and the fording depth – or rather the diving depth – to 1000 millimetres. Here are the off-road data in comparison with the series-production Mercedes-Benz G 500:
G 500 4×4²
Long-wheelbase G 500
Ground clearance
450 mm
210 mm
Angle of approach/departure f/r
52° / 54°
36° /27°
Breakover angle
47°
21°
Tipping angle
30°
28°
Fording depth
1000 mm
600 mm
Slope climbing ability
100%
100%
Wheelbase
2850 mm
2850 mm
Track, front/rear
1774 mm
1475 mm
Wheel/tyre combination
9.5 J x 22
325/55 R 22
7.5 J x 18
265/60 R 18

At the highest level: the portal axles’ tricks
But the portal axle design has yet more decisive advantages which render complex adjustments superfluous: through the unchanged position of the rigid axles in relation to the chassis, the anchorage points of the suspension, the steering connection and the position of the cardan shafts all remain identical. In addition, the reduction in the portal transmissions balances the huge rolling circumferences in both the off-road and the on-road tyres. The gear ratios, speedometer drive and ABS sensor system also remain unchanged. This reduction in the hub drives also has the effect that the drive torque is first set at the wheel and thus the mechanical loads in the entire powertrain, in particular for the drive shafts, are reduced.
15C144_009
Mobile declaration of independence – the chassis
The chassis is fundamentally based on the series-production G model and offers a perfect symbiosis of sporty dynamism and relaxed comfort, both on the road and off it. The new damper adjustment, derived from rally sport, has a decisive effect here. Two spring/damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel. One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics. The second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable damping, which thus varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the current driving situation. With this set-up, considerable kingpin inclination is possible between the settings SPORT and COMFORT, which the driver can select using a button in the centre console. The switching times between the two modes are record-breakingly low, at 15 milliseconds.
During dynamic cornering the sporty setting performs sterling work, because the significantly tauter connection of the chassis allows higher cornering speeds. If the driver is more in the mood for pleasurable cruising, the COMFORT setting effortlessly dampens all the unevenness in the ground. In extreme situations such as abrupt evasive manoeuvres, the system automatically switches over to the firm setting for the sake of maximum possible handling safety. The comfortable setting also helps during off-road sessions, because the wheels retain better surface contact. Even on heavily contoured off-road terrain, every surface traction possibility can be utilised effectively.
Company with unlimited liability: beadlock wheels with MT tyres
Optimised tyres are available for the G 500 4×4², especially for punishing off-road trips: mud/terrain tyres (M/T) in size 37 x 12.5 x 18 inches on special beadlock wheels. Normally the usual wheel/tyre combinations refuse a traction-promoting lowering of the air pressure for journeys on sand, for example, to 0.5 bar. Here 1.0 bar is the lowest limit, because beneath this low pressure the tyres can come off during steering manoeuvres or ingression of sand can infiltrate the sealing surface between the tyre and wheel rim and thus leads to a slow puncture. Not so with the G 500 4×4². Here special two-piece 18-inch beadlock wheels are used. With this type of design, during assembly the tyre is pinched in so tightly between the two wheel halves and an inner beadlock ring that it cannot slip off the rim and no sand can enter, even in the case of total loss of air.
Should the chassis ever still come into harsh ground contact in spite of an anticipatory driving style and the excellent ground clearance, the developers have displayed far-sightedness here, too, and integrated a robust, two-piece underguard in stainless steel. These means that the most important assemblies in the front and rear area are well protected against impact and more severe shocks.
Sporty luxury squared
In visual terms the G 500 4×4² raises no doubts as to its passion. The voluminous tyres, the huge distance to the ground, the height of nearly 2.25 metres with a width of virtually 2.10 metres and the clear, straight design command respect right from the first glance. Further highlights: the trim with the integral LED light strips above the windscreen and the elaborate partially painted wheel-arch flarings – both in fine carbon fibre – plus the front bumper on the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models.
The interior appointments make a sportily luxurious impression. The G 500 4×4² offers an exclusive ambience with the designo Exclusive package. The seat bolsters and head restraints as well as the dashboard, centre console and armrests in the doors are styled in black designo leather with white contrasting topstitching. The seat surfaces and door panels are covered in DINAMICA microfibre and impress with their attractive diamond-design quilting. In addition to this there is DINAMICA trim for the roof liner and the body pillars.
G 500 4x4²
The hub of the “G” world is in Graz
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class development department located in Graz is the centre of competence where all things “G” are concerned and is responsible for the development and series support of the legendary cross-country vehicle. Furthermore, Graz in Austria has been the production location for all civilian and commercial G-Class vehicles since 1979. Whether and when the decision on series production of the Mercedes-Benz G 500 4×4² will be made depends on the reaction which the near-series show car receives.

Mini Clubman featured in Gran Turismo 6

Mini Clubman featured in Gran Turismo

Mini Clubman featured in Gran Turismo

MUNICH . Inspired by the brand’s legendary motor racing success, the MINI Design Team has created the essence of a MINI to enable maximum racing performance in the game Gran Turismo®6 for PlayStation®3. “MINI has many highly emotional achievements to its name in motor racing. The MINI Clubman Vision Grand Turismo literally puts these onto the virtual race track in Gran Turismo 6. The image of a go-kart on the road has recurring appeal,” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.

Pure motor racing flair in the front section.
The uncompromising orientation of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo from 0 to 100km/h to motor racing is apparent at first sight: enormous air inlets and precise air ducting surfaces dominate the low front perspective. The large central air inlet reaches down to just above the ground, almost merging the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo visually with the virtual road surface. The front splitters regulate airflow to cool the high-performance engine and brakes. The wide track with broadly flared wheel arches promises agile handling when taking bends at speed. At the same time, the horizontal alignment of the air ducting elements makes the front section appear very low, with precise lines highlighting the wide track. As a technical highlight, the front apron and flat underbody are made entirely of carbon. This not only reduces air resistance, it also slims down overall weight in the chase for the best lap time.

All the familiar MINI design icons in the front section also reveal a highly dynamic design. The elliptical headlamps feature a black “X” familiar from the long-distance races of bygone days. Back then the headlamps used to be masked so as to prevent the headlamp glass from splintering as a result of stone impact or collisions, thereby avoiding broken glass on the track. The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo echoes this element, giving it a modern interpretation as four separate LED light elements separated by a black X inside the ellipse. The continuous, hexagonal radiator grille has a flat, sporty design to emphasise the car’s wide track and encased by a high-end black chrome surround. Further references back to the brand’s glorious rally achievements of yesteryear are the upright windscreen wipers, the small additional headlamps and the accentuation stripes on the bonnet, roof and rear.

Maximum sporty flair in the side view.
The side reveals a MINI styling that has been injected with a whole new dynamic power. The car “crouches” on the road with a flat and broad silhouette. The characteristic curves dominate the upper section, making the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo instantly recognisable as a MINI. The elongated roof and the low, continuous windows appear to stretch the virtual MINI. In conjunction with the rising shoulder line they trace a slight wedge shape. The voluminous shaping below the narrow window graphic is an instantly striking feature. Almost reaching down to the ground, the powerful bodywork conveys optimised aerodynamics and perfect road-holding in visual terms. The elongated doors are embedded in muscular, tightly modelled surfaces. Precise lines emphasise the broadly flared wheel arches at front and rear – a reference to the permanent all-wheel drive. The dynamism and clarity of the lines increase in the direction of the road. This gives the surfaces a more athletic effect as well as highlighting the three-dimensional quality of the side sections. The conspicuous side sill catches a lot of light, visually reduces the height of the car and traces a line which emphasises the completely flat underbody. The wheels are placed well to the outside of the body, thereby facilitating the proverbial go-kart-style handling. 22″ bicolour rims add an elegant touch of sporty flair, while racing details such as snap fasteners on the bonnet, a small sliding window and quick-release filler caps perfectly round off the car’s side appearance.

Broad shoulders and powerful rear wheel arches.
The perspective most likely to be admired by gamers and opponents is probably the rear. Expansive wheel arches and a marked shoulder section make for a self-assured posture. In between, a three-dimensional surface design enlivens the rear view. The striking split doors of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo are given clear graphic emphasis, while the double rear spoiler ensures downforce at high speeds. As is typical of MINI, the rear lights in LED technology are designed as self-contained elements. They feature an intricate filigree design in the form of a surrounding band with rib graphic, including integrated brake lights and driving lights. The horizontal alignment of the lights underscores the car’s broad posture as well as the dynamism of the rear section.

As at the front and side, the lower section of the car features a very precise and dynamic design. Aerodynamic openings break through the smoothly modelled surfaces, giving them character and vigour. Form follows function: air outlets and ducting surfaces in carbon are located precisely where they can take optimum effect. Lower down, the completely closed and flat underbody further enhances the car’s refined aerodynamics.

Power and character from the top view.
The top view is also frequently seen in game. An athletic silhouette reveals the power and racing heritage of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo. The front section faces up to the wind with a wide track and the filigree, finely detailed body almost merging in behind. The muscular expansion at the rear means it also gains width running back to the rear axle. This is set through with precise lines and bonnet stripes that create a cohesive overall image and a general impression of self-contained unity. The continuous base line of the body remains recognisable at all times within the surrounds.

Five paint finishes provide variety.
The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo would not be a real MINI if it did not offer customisation options. With a total of five colour variants, players can adapt the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo visually to their own personal preferences during the game. The MINI Design Team plays with contrasts here, boldly combining apparently incompatible colours which nonetheless interact to fascinating effect. The basis is always provided by Cyber Silver, a technically cool tone with a hint of mint green that offers a modern interpretation of the classic British racing tradition. This paint finish varies in appearance depending on the light angle, showing up the full depth of the car’s powerfully expressive surfaces. Contrasting with the body colour there are stripes running across the bonnet and roof, the roof itself and the accentuation stripes alongside the bonnet stripes, known as pin stripes. In the standard version, the roof makes a self-assured statement in Reflector Blue with accentuation stripes in Radiant Orange and Curry. In the other variants, the roof is available in Mirage Black or Space Green. Depending on the roof colour, the bonnet stripes and pin stripes then provide fascinating modern contrasts in Radiant Yellow, Radiant Green or Radiant Orange.

Winter storms didn’t freeze car sales: edmunds.com

Car Sales Rose in February Despite Higher Gas Prices and Winter Storms, says Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. Edmunds.com forecasts that 1,285,019 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in February for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 16.6 million. The projected sales will be an 11.8 percent increase from January 2015, and a 7.9 percent increase from February 2014.

 “Gas prices inched back up this month, but it didn’t appear to have much impact on shoppers’ choices. We’re still seeing a strong market for trucks and SUVs — especially compact crossover SUVs, which continue to ride an impressive wave of popularity.,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “It is likely that the hard-hitting winter weather motivated some buyers to upgrade from their two-wheel drive vehicles.”
SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume February 2015 Forecast February 2014 January 2015 Change from February 2014 Change from January 2015
GM 230,019 222,104 202,786 3.6% 13.4%
Ford 192,866 183,349 177,441 5.2% 8.7%
Toyota 184,841 159,284 169,194 16.0% 9.2%
Chrysler Group 167,613 154,866 145,007 8.2% 15.6%
Nissan 123,664 115,360 104,107 7.2% 18.8%
Honda 111,780 100,405 102,134 11.3% 9.4%
Hyundai/Kia 97,507 90,221 82,804 8.1% 17.8%
VW/Audi 37,155 37,993 34,864 -2.2% 6.6%
Industry 1,285,019 1,191,083 1,149,037 7.9% 11.8%

*NOTE: February 2015 had 24 selling days, February 2014 had 24 and January 2015 had 26.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.4 million vehicles in February, with fleet transactions accounting for 19.3 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.2 million used cars will be sold in February, for a SAAR of 35.7 million (compared to 2.95 million – or a SAAR of 36.3 million – used car sales in January).


MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share February 2015 Forecast February 2014 January 2015 Change from February 2014 Change from January 2015
GM 17.9% 18.6% 17.6% -0.7% 0.3%
Ford 15.0% 15.4% 15.4% -0.4% -0.4%
Toyota 14.4% 13.4% 14.7% 1.0% -0.3%
Chrysler Group 13.0% 13.0% 12.6% 0.0% 0.4%
Nissan 9.6% 9.7% 9.1% -0.1% 0.6%
Honda 8.7% 8.4% 8.9% 0.3% -0.2%
Hyundai/Kia 7.6% 7.6% 7.2% 0.0% 0.4%
VW/Audi 2.9% 3.2% 3.0% -0.3% -0.1%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in Edmunds.com’s Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

 

Mercedes-Benz and BMW See Biggest Increases in on Edmunds.com after Super Bowl 49

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

SANTA MONICA, Calif.  — Mercedes-Benz and BMW saw the most significant spikes in traffic on Edmunds.com after their ads ran during Super Bowl XLIX, according to a real-time analysis by the car shopping website.

By the end of the game, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT had the biggest cumulative spike in traffic, with a 2189% jump over previous Sunday averages on Edmunds.com. The BMW i3 captured the second most buzz on Edmunds.com; its cumulative traffic climbed 583%.

“Even though these two advertised vehicles are likely to be sold in small volume to niche audiences, the BMW and Mercedes brands will enjoy the overall buzz they have generated, especially as both continue their efforts to grow their overall reach into new car shopper segments,” said Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Both brands will be quite happy that the millions of dollars they invested had the desired effect.”

Vehicles With Lgst Cum. Traffic Increases on Edmunds.com During Super Bowl

 

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 2189%
BMW i3 583%
Lexus RC 350 568%
Fiat 500x 503%
Jeep Renegade 405%

 

Cumulative Lifts in Site Traffic to Super Bowl Advertisers’ Pages*

 

Lexus 37%
Mercedes-Benz 36%
Fiat 35%
MINI 18%
BMW 16%
Chevrolet 13%
Jeep 3%
Kia 2%

*Lifts determined by comparing unique mobile and desktop traffic on Edmunds.com’s make and model pages against average Sunday traffic levels.

The all-electric BMW i3 will be featured in a 60-second TV commercial during this year's Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

The all-electric BMW i3 was featured in a TV commercial during this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

Edmunds.com also tracked the immediate traffic lifts enjoyed by Super Bowl advertisers as and after their commercials ran:

  • Chevrolet sponsored the pre-game show and showed four Colorado ads; site traffic to Colorado pages increased 25% during the pregame and 1104% during the first quarter of the game
  • During the third quarter of the game, Dodge Challenger ads lifted its traffic on Edmunds 232%
  • Fiat 500x increased 3981% in the moments following its second quarter ads; interest remained high in the third quarter, delivering a 986% lift for the vehicle
  • Jeep Renegade was advertised in the third quarter of the game and traffic to its pages immediately increased 1031%; during fourth quarter the increase was 5720%
  • Kia Sorento traffic increased 213% immediately following its third quarter ad
  • Lexus NX’s second quarter ad generated an increase of 341%. The brand did even better immediately after its RC 350 ad ran in the third quarter, increasing vehicle’s page traffic on Edmunds 5702%. The RC continued to enjoy success in the fourth quarter with a 690% lift in traffic to its pages on Edmunds.com
  • MINI sponsored an early part of the pre-game show and showed five ads; site traffic to MINI Cooper increased 48% during that period
  • Nissan brand consideration increased 90% immediately following its second quarter ad
  • In the moments following its halftime ad, Toyota Camry site traffic increased 364%

Edmunds.com analysts noted especially strong activity at halftime for vehicles that advertised earlierduring the Super Bowl:

  • Fiat 500x increased 14,627%
  • BMW i3 increased 1,807%
  • BMW i8 increased 501%
  • Chevrolet Colorado increased 421%
  • MINI Cooper increased 258%

“All the automakers who advertised during the Super Bowl succeeded in getting the attention of car shoppers during this big game, and that’s something to celebrate,” added Caldwell. ”But it’s a lot easier to create a big bang than it is to sustain the momentum, and that will be the big challenge for all Super Bowl advertisers moving forward.”

Edmunds.com’s Super Bowl traffic analysis is based on unique mobile and desktop traffic to make and model pages on Edmunds.com. Lifts are determined by comparing against average Sunday traffic levels on the site. For more metrics on car shopper consideration and purchase intent on Edmunds.com, please visit the Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.