DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

2017 M-B E-Class bows

The most intelligent luxury sedan

Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future with the new E-Class. The tenth-generation of the E-Class sedan delivers stylish highlights with its distinct, emotional design and high-grade interior. The new E-Class also marks the world premiere of numerous technical innovations, enabling enhanced comfort, a new level of safe driving, a new dimension in driver assistance and a new infotainment and control system. A new, optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension ensures outstanding ride comfort and driving dynamics. The sum total of these innovations makes the E-Class the most intelligent sedan.

“The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Powerful, coupe-esque design

The new E-Class is sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty. Compared with its predecessor, its wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches (115.7 inches vs. 113.1 inches) and its overall length by 1.7 inches (193.8 inches vs. 192.1 inches). Its design features hallmark Mercedes-Benz sedan proportions. The elongated hood coupled with a coupe-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body is characterized by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut, well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line, all of which allows the E-Class to deliver the perfect take on the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of “Sensual Purity.”

A muscular front end underlines the status to which the business-class sedan aspires, boasting a different look for each design and equipment line. The Luxury version features the classic Mercedes radiator grill with the star on the hood, while the Sport models are identifiable by the sport radiator grill with a large Mercedes star as its centerpiece. Each of the radiator grill designs lends the E-Class a distinct character, offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each model stand out.

At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its unmistakably muscular character. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body clearly identify the E-Class as a new member of the Mercedes sedan family. Rear lights provide additional levels of detail with an appearance designers refer to as the “stardust effect.” Making its debut on the new E-Class, this available “stardust effect” is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights.

Next Level Interior Design

The interior of the new E-Class embodies the synthesis of emotion and intelligence, poles that are defined by the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy – distinct forms with a sensual flow to them. The U.S. version of the E300 offers a next-generation high-resolution display, with a wide navigation display screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – a first in this segment, and a traditional gauge cluster behind the steering wheel, all integrated into one casing. Beneath its integrated glass frame, the display visually conflates into a wide-screen cockpit that seems to be hovering in thin air, creating a central element that emphasizes the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

Touch-sensitive control buttons (‘Touch Controls’) on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, the Touch Controls respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road,” this new control interface minimizes driver distraction.

Further controls for the infotainment system are provided by a touchpad with a controller which can recognize handwriting in the center console and a voice control system, accessible at the push of a button. For systems such as air-conditioning or various driver assistance systems, there are direct-access buttons located on the center stack.

A new, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution animations, together with simplified logic, further enhances this all-new infotainment experience. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a spacious interior, which combines the elegance of the luxury class with sportiness.

Intelligent material design

High-quality materials define the E-Class’ interior style, including Natural Grain Ash wood, and wood with “flowing lines.” Another Mercedes hallmark clearly evidenced is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Interior materials and colors have been carefully selected, highlighted by various shades of brown, including several attractive, new color combinations which allow for an even more personalized interior design.

Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors

Interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology, even throughout the enhanced ambient lighting system. With 64 colors to choose from, the ambient lighting system offers a host of possibilities for personalization, adding touches of light to various trim parts, central display, storage on the center console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system).

Seat design: first class

A further highlight of the new E-Class is its seats. Their ergonomic and sculpted form combines Mercedes-Benz’s hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look. Another new feature in this segment is a Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated door armrests and center console, heated steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats.

The rear bench seat in the new E-Class sedan comes with a three-piece backrest with a 40% – 20% – 40% split, making it exceptionally versatile. Integral features of the center armrest include a storage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet device for the rear passengers.

New engine generation

In the US market at launch, the new E-Class will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Further model variants will be added to the range after the market launch.

Nine-speed automatic transmission

All E-Class models available at market launch will be equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. This advanced transmission enables both fast gearshifts and low engine revs while cruising, which provides improvements in both efficiency and interior noise levels.

Suspension – sporty comfort

The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as the highest level of ride comfort in the segment. The E-Class sedan comes with a steel-spring suspension as standard. Two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping are available in conjunction with this suspension:

  • DIRECT CONTROL Comfort suspension
  • DIRECT CONTROL Sport suspension

AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension

Alternatively, the new E-Class can be equipped with a multi-chamber air suspension at all corners – the only car in its segment to offer this option. Three chambers of different sizes in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control, in three stages, how firmly the suspension reacts to the road. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft base suspension, together with the secure feeling of good handling stability as speed increases.

Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features all-round self-leveling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically controls the ride height depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the freeway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads, ground clearance can be increased at the push of a button.

The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by a continuously operating, electronically controlled damping adjustment system, which automatically adapts the damping on each individual wheel to the current driving situation and road conditions. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tire vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort and outstanding driving dynamics.

A DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: “Comfort,” “ECO,” “Sport” and “Sport+.” The additional “Individual” option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.

Next-generation driver assistance systems

Mercedes-Benz’s new assistance and safety systems take safety, comfort and driver assistance to a new level.

Standard on the new E-Class is PRE-SAFE® Sound. This system is based on a protective human reflex in the inner ear, called the stapedius reflex. PRE-SAFE® Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle’s sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger the natural reflex and thus prepare the occupants’ ears for the expected sound of the accident.

Active Brake Assist, fitted as standard, is able to warn the driver of impending crash situations, provide just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing within the area ahead of the vehicle.

Additional standard equipment includes ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially mitigating the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.

Highlights of the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus that make the E-Class the most intelligent sedan in its class include:

  • DRIVE PILOT: This system represents Mercedes-Benz’s next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. Additional DRIVE PILOT innovations include, for the first time, Active Lane-change Assist. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016.
  • Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: Compared with the standard version, this system has extended speed thresholds with respect to vehicles and pedestrians. Furthermore, it can detect crossing traffic at junctions and, if the driver fails to respond, apply the brakes autonomously. For the first time, it can also detect hazardous situations at the tail end of a traffic jam where there is no room to maneuver and initiate autonomous braking well in advance. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 43 mph or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level.
  • Evasive Steering Assist: This new system ideally complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. When the driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver in a dangerous situation, this function can assist by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid, for instance, a pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely.
  • Advanced assistance systems: The intelligent assistance systems in the new Driver Assistance Package Plus also include proven systems that have been further developed in terms of their mode of operation and the sensors they use. Active Lane Keeping Assist can help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lanes, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision, e.g. with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of the risk of a lateral collision in typical urban traffic at low speeds. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can also protect against collisions with traffic following behind, reducing whiplash and other adverse effects on the occupants.

The range of new features in the new E-Class also includes:

  • Remote Parking Pilot: For the first time, this system allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016.
  • Car-to-X communication: The MY2017 E-Class will have the world’s first fully integral Car-to-X solution going into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road, for example, can effectively allow the driver to “see around corners” or “through obstacles” well in advance. This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as a broken-down vehicle at the edge of the road or also in the event of heavy rain or black ice on the road ahead. In this case, the new E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and a transmitter, since warning messages are conveyed automatically by evaluating vehicle status or manually by the driver to the backend. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016.
  • PRE-SAFE® impulse side: This system is part of the Driving Assistance package PLUS. If a lateral collision has been detected and is imminent, it preventively moves the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone to the side. To do this, the system inflates an air chamber in the side bolster of the front seat backrest nearest the side of the imminent impact in a fraction of a second, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door while, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on the occupants.

Three-dimensional listening pleasure

Fitted as standard, the Mercedes-Benz Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a unique listening experience, utilizing space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. The E-Class is optionally available with two Burmester® sound systems, including the top-of-the-line Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system. If the vehicle is equipped with the optionally available Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system with 23 speakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall, as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of roof speakers.

Robust yet lightweight bodyshell

An outstandingly stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, astonishingly low noise and vibration levels and a high level of crash safety. To achieve this, the engineers opted for a bodyshell with a far higher proportion of aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front fenders, hood, trunk lid and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminum. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption while making for perceptibly sporty and agile vehicle handling.

Against the wind

Aerodynamic performance is one of the main reasons behind the outstanding efficiency of the new E-Class. To achieve this, the aerodynamics experts had to optimize numerous details and implement new ideas. The sophisticated aerodynamics also minimizes wind noise while making sure that the new E-Class is quieter than many luxury-class models.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available at US dealers in the summer of 2016.

Auto industry drives most intimate brand relationships

The four highest ranking automotive brands are: BMW, Toyota, Harley-Davidson and GMC.

NEW YORK — Four out of the top 10 most intimate brands are in the automotive industry, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines ultimate brand relationships.

“Automotive is the highest ranking industry across all three of our markets, the U.S., Mexico and the UAE. That’s pretty suggestive of the strong bonds people have with their cars and the ability of this category to connect with consumers,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner. “Car brands are more than one of our most significant purchases. They represent our sensibilities and our status in life. As important as these values are to consumers, fulfillment of the brand (how well it exceeds expectations, delivers superior service, quality and efficacy) remains a top factor. Recent experiences by brands like Volkswagen will likely have profound effects on the bonds with their consumers.”

In the auto industry, the top 10 is rounded out by:

  • Jeep
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Chrysler
  • Honda

“With all the dramatic evolution in this category enhanced by technology and from trends like car sharing and autonomous driving, intimate brands will win in the long term,” added Natarelli.

This year’s report contains one of the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations across nine industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

Mercedes-Benz vehicles star in ‘Jurassic Park’ this summer

GLECoupeJurassicStuttgart     This summer, when the long-awaited next installment of the groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World, arrives in theaters, an entire fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles will share the spotlight. Alongside the iconic G-Class, Unimog, Sprinter models and the all-new GLE Coupé will play a leading role in the epic action-adventure. Mercedes-Benz will accompany the release of the film with a comprehensive co-promotional package that includes a television commercial, print and online advertising, dedicated microsites and social-media activities. The commercial, starring the Mercedes-Benz vehicles from the film, launches today in the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, a custom key visual was developed for all communication in which the all-new GLE Coupé is seen eye-to-eye with the film’s fearsome Indominus rex.
“In 1997 the Mercedes-Benz M-Class made its first official appearance in the Hollywood Blockbuster ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’. Today, 18 years later, another Mercedes-Benz car will debut in a significant role in the latest installment of the groundbreaking Jurassic Park series named Jurassic World: the new GLE Coupé”, says Dr. Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with a multitude of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and will promote the film and our cars with many exciting global marketing activities.”
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupé makes its film debut as the official car of
Jurassic World operations manager Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. When Claire must confront a crisis well beyond what she can handle alone, she takes the new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (showcasing its off-road capabilities) and joins behavioral researcher Owen (Chris Pratt) on a mission in the lush jungle of Isla Nublar.
In addition we see Owen piloting the G-Class, the patriarch of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs.
The Mercedes-Benz Unimog on location at the set of Jurassic World.

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog on location at the set of Jurassic World.

The film also features the Unimog, cast as a dinosaur ambulance, as well as a G 63 AMG 6×6 and various Sprinter models. “The fleet of Mercedes Benz vehicles fit perfectly into Jurassic World. They are classy, sophisticated, and sexy — exactly what would exist in a modern international theme park”, says producer Frank Marshall.

Global promotion via all channels of communication
The Mercedes-Benz promotional campaign kicks off prior to the June 12th release of the film. Starting May 18th, Mercedes-Benz will launch a TV commercial (http://mb4.me/Jurassic-World_TVC) showcasing footage of all the Mercedes-Benz vehicles appearing in the film. But it is the all-new GLE 450 AMG Coupé which will captivate viewers as the “Alpha Car”. The ad is supplemented by extensive print, online and out-of-home publicity measures. In Germany, for instance, the key visual will be featured in advertisements, on posters and flyers.
Movie fans can discover more about the film and the featured Mercedes-Benz vehicles on a special Jurassic World microsite (http://www.mercedes-benz.com/jurassicworld) that will show exclusive behind-the-scenes material and a selection of additional images of the set, which explain how the film was created and the roles of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Exclusive content will be released and discussed with fans on Mercedes-Benz social media platforms (Making-Of: http://mb4.me/Jurassic-World_MO). Jurassic World model vehicles of the G-Class and G 6×6 will be available at the Mercedes-Benz Accessories online store as well as in toy retailers. Mercedes-Benz will also support the US premiere in Hollywood on June 9thand French premiere in Paris on May 29th.
Chris Pratt and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class on the set of Jurassic World.

Chris Pratt and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class on the set of Jurassic World.

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.
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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.

Not real news: Rolls Royce Phantom named most luxurious luxury motor car in the world

2013 Rolls Royce Bespoke Phantom

2013 Rolls Royce Bespoke Phantom

BY GERRY MILES

My first thought was of course why not Rolls Royce. And then I wondered about the folks at Bentley, who also manufactures very fine luxury motor carriages, as well as Mercedes-Benz, heck why not the Range Rover used by the British royalty?

Regardless, WhatCar? Magazine’s annual Car of the Year issue awarded the Rolls Phantom the title of the world’s finest luxury motor car in the £100,000+ category.

In its declaration, the guide decreed, “It takes a special car to successfully fend off its rivals for eight years – and the Rolls-Royce Phantom is just that car. Yet again, it’s the best top-end luxury car money can buy.”

“Since its launch in 2003 Phantom’s marriage of exquisite craftsmanship, peerless engineering and timeless design has ensured its position as the world’s pinnacle super-luxury good, showcasing British craftsmanship and design excellence on the global stage,” said “Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Bertha Benz embarked world’s first long-distance journey by motor car 125 years ago

A great-grandmother’s long-distance drive: Jutta Benz, pictured in 2007 alongside an original Patent Motor Car of 1888. In August 1888, her great-grandmother, Bertha, set out in a similar vehicle to travel from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back – the world’s first long-distance journey by car.

A great-grandmother’s long-distance drive: Jutta Benz, pictured in 2007 alongside an original Patent Motor Car of 1888. In August 1888, her great-grandmother, Bertha, set out in a similar vehicle to travel from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back – the world’s first long-distance journey by car.

  • The Benz Patent-Motorwagen successfully completes the 106-kilometre journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim
  • August 2-4: “Bertha Benz Days” at the Mercedes-Benz Museum to mark the anniversary
It’s hardly the likes of the midnight ride by Paul Revere, but it was pioneering nonetheless when on an August morning in 1888, Bertha Benz, the wife of motor car inventor Carl Benz, embarked on the first ever long-distance journey in automotive history in a Benz Patent-Motorwagen Typ III (patent motor car type 3) with her two sons.
Bertha motored from Mannheim to Pforzheim, her birthplace, a journey of 65.8653 miles or 106-kilometers if you prefer. The Patent-Motorwagen, Bertha and her boys survived, but there’s no mention how they occupied themselves without the ability to play the license plate game.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the journey during Bertha Benz Days, August 2-4 with costume guided tours for both children and adults. Admission is free on Sun. Aug. 4. The special program on this day also includes taxi rides with a replica of the Benz patent motor car and a story hour with Jutta Benz, the great-granddaughter of Bertha Benz.
Naturally, a commemorative drive will take place from Aug. 9-11 to mark the first ever long-distance journey in the world’s first motor car. The return journey to Mannheim also tracks the route taken in 1888.
There’s a raft of information on this historic family vacation, included below in the press release from Germany that makes for interesting reading, facts and figures. Enjoy.
Secret test run
The drive to Pforzheim provided impressive proof of the Patent-Motorwagen’s capabilities. Yet Bertha Benz also hoped to encourage husband Carl to publicise his ingenious invention more confidently. Carl Benz, a brilliant engineer, had filed a patent application in January 1886 for the Motorwagen he’d invented in 1885 and that had since evolved into the Type III. However, he had yet to demonstrate that his motor car worked reliably and could also cover long distances. Bertha Benz quickly resolved to provide the necessary evidence with her long-distance journey.
610564U17934The mother of four told her husband nothing of her intentions to drive to her birthplace of Pforzheim to visit relatives with her sons Eugen and Richard. A concrete plan started to take shape when the school holidays started, and very early one morning the mother and her sons sneaked the latest version of the Patent-Motorwagen out of the workshop without Carl Benz suspecting a thing.
They pushed the three-wheeled motor car for the first few metres as they didn’t want to start the 2.5 hp (1.8 kW) single-cylinder four-stroke engine until they were out of earshot of the house in order not to wake the inventor from his slumber. When Carl Benz later entered the kitchen, he would find a message telling him about the journey they had set out on to Pforzheim.
Test drive for the motor car and its infrastructure
As intended, the journey was to become a highly successful test drive for the motor car: Bertha Benz provided conclusive proof of the Patent-Motorwagen’s fundamental suitability as a means of transport and was furthermore able to pass on some important findings and pointers to her husband for future development work. For instance, she suggested including an additional short gear for driving up hills instead of just the two-speed transmission used previously, as well as demanding better brakes.
At the same time, Bertha Benz also did some pioneering work when it came to defining the necessary constituent elements of an infrastructure system for motor vehicles. In future, for example, road vehicles would need filling stations – the stain remover “ligroin”, a benzine provided by chemist’s, for the first long-distance journey i.e. in Wiesloch, Germany. Therefore the Wiesloch municipal chemist’s became first filling station of the world. Highways would also have to be signposted – Bertha Benz had to carefully make her way from one place she knew to the next.
The automotive pioneer and her sons skilfully remedied minor glitches, using her hat pin for example to clean a clogged fuel line. No major repair work was necessary, although the enterprising trio did decide to make the wooden block brakes more durable by having a cobbler nail leather patches to them to act as brake pads.
Carl Benz’s family kept him informed of the journey’s progress by sending a series of telegrams en route. The drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back wasn’t just a watershed moment for his Patent-Motorwagen, but for the future of the motor car full stop. Around 25 models of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen with various engines were built between 1886 and 1894, making it the first motor car of the world to be manufactured and sold in series.
The memory of the world’s first long-distance journey by car is perpetuated by various outstanding events. In 1963, for example, exactly 75 years after that intrepid journey, the inaugural “Bertha Benz Drive” was staged along the Mannheim to Pforzheim route as a regularity drive for classic cars.
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The Patent-Motorwagen
Carl Benz unveiled his Patent-Motorwagen, the world’s first motor car, in 1886. By 1894, a total of 25 had been built, with engine outputs varying between 1.5 and 3 horsepower (1.1-2.2 kW). The original Patent-Motorwagen was the Type I. It had steel-spoked wheels as well as further design details that took their cue from state-of-the-art bicycle manufacture at that time. The modified Type II was also built initially as a three-wheeler, but was later converted to four wheels as an experiment. This vehicle, including the double-pivot steering that was tested out in it, represented a further major step towards the modern-day motor car. Presumably, only one was ever built. Finally, the Type III was the first motor car to be sold in small numbers, making it the world’s first ever production car. At the start, Carl Benz did not find it easy to market his Patent-Motorwagen, until the Frenchman Emile Roger from Paris took over as the sole agent for Benz vehicles and engines in France.
The only Patent-Motorwagen Type III that still survives today found its way to England via Emile Roger, as certified by a badge on the vehicle itself. Some details assume that this could be the car that Bertha Benz used for her long-distance journey to Pforzheim. It is the oldest Benz Patent-Motorwagen preserved in its original condition, and is therefore the oldest original Benz motor car in existence. Today, the vehicle belongs to London’s Science Museum. At present the car is an exhibit in the Dr. Carl Benz Museum, Ladenburg.
Benz Patent Motorwagen Typ III
Technical data: Benz Patent-Motorwagen Type III
Body: open three-wheeled vehicle
Engine: single-cylinder four-stroke unit Displacement: 1,660 cc
Output: 2.5 hp (1.8 kW) at 500 rpm Carburettor: Benz surface carburettor
Valves: automatic intake valve, controlled exhaust valve Cooling: water/thermosyphon evaporation cooling
Lubrication: drip-feed lubricator and grease cup Ignition: electrical high-voltage-buzzer ignition
Fuel tank: 4.5 litres in the carburettor Starter: cranking the flywheel
Power transmission: leather belt from engine to cone pulley, differential, 1 chain to each rear wheel Clutch: none
Transmission: two-speed fixed pulley, 2 forward gears Gearshift: hand lever under steering crank for moving the belt between the pulleys
Frame: steel frame Front suspension: front wheel in control fork with no springs
Rear suspension: rigid axle, full-elliptic springs Steering: rack-and-pinion steering, steering crank in centre of vehicle
Handbrake: wooden block brake/rear tyres Footbrake: none
Lubrication: grease cups Dimensions: 2,700 x 1,400 x 1,450 millimetres
Wheelbase: 1,575 millimetres Track width: rear 1,250 millimetres
Wheels: wooden spokes, diameter front 800 millimetres, rear 1,125 millimetres Tyres: front all-rubber or iron, rear iron
Weight: 360 kilograms Top speed: 16 km/h
Fuel consumption: approx. 10 litres of ligroin per 100 kilometres
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