Archive for June 2009

Daimler Heritage: TOPICS FOR JULY 2009

Preview July 2009


3-5 July 2009 – Goodwood Festival of Speed:
This years Goodwood Festival of Speed will be a celebration of 75 years of the Silver Arrows. Mercedes-Benz will presesnt six original works race cars.

Other notable events:

16–22 July 1894 – 115 years ago:
Theodor von Liebieg embarked on the first long-distance journey in the history of motoring with his Benz Victoria. He drove from Reichenberg in Bohemia via Mannheim and Gondorf an der Mosel to Reims and back.

22 July 1894 – 115 years ago: The world’s first automobile race – a reliability trial – was staged from Paris to Rouen in France.

4 July 1914 – 95 years ago: Christian Lautenschlager won the French Grand Prix in Lyons driving a 4.5-litre Grand Prix Mercedes. Louis Wagner and Otto Salzer took second and third place respectively driving the same model.

4 July 1954 – 55 years ago: Mercedes-Benz returned to Formula 1 racing with the W 196 R racing car. Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling pulled off a spectacular double victory in Reims, France.

July 1969 – 40 years ago: Daimler-Benz and MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG) established the MTU Group, combining the product fields of high-performance diesel engines and turbojet aero engines.

July 1974 – 35 years ago: The world’s first passenger car with a five-cylinder diesel engine, the Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0 (W 115), made its debut. It was also the most powerful diesel passenger car.

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Mercedes-Benz-Blog TRIVIA: Five cylinders – new vanguard in diesel engine design


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 02, 2004

- Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0: First five-cylinder diesel-engined passenger car from large-scale production
- High performance, smooth running and economic efficiency
- Preparing the ground for the diesel's present-day success

In July 1974, there was no denying the pioneering role of Mercedes-Benz: the company presented the world's first passenger car from large-scale production with a five-cylinder diesel engine (OM 617), model 240 D 3.0. The proven W 115 series, popularly known as the Stroke Eight, was now available with a three-liter engine which developed 80 hp (59 kW) at 4000/min and a torque of 17.5 mkg at 2400/min. The 240 D 3.0 was thus the most dynamic and fastest diesel-engined car in the world. Between October 1974 and November 1976, a total of 53,690 units were built, and the initial price was DM 18,815.

Back in 1974, five-cylinder diesel engines were nothing new – they were used in trucks and stationary applications. Their introduction in passenger cars, however, hit the headlines. With this engine, Mercedes-Benz reacted to the performance limit reached with four-cylinder passenger car engines: restricted space conditions in the engine compartment did not allow any more horsepower to be squeezed out of the maximum displacement. A six-cylinder (tested by Mercedes-Benz) would have been too long, too heavy and too expensive, and five cylinders appeared to be the best compromise. And so, the engineers developed the OM 617 five-cylinder in-line engine on the basis of the tried-and-tested 2.4 liter unit.

The proven features of the 2.4 liter engine were retained, but the five-cylinder was given a new Bosch injection pump which was connected to the engine's oil circuit by means of oil ducts and was therefore maintenance-free. A mechanical governor replaced the pneumatic governor customarily used in the smaller diesel models. This enhanced ride comfort: in the 240 D 3.0 with manual transmission, load changes were hardly noticeable, and with automatic transmission, gear-changes in the part-load range were much smoother.

A pneumatic instead of the 2.4 liter engine's mechanical shut-off unit was used, meaning that the new engine could be switched off by means of the ignition key. The engine of the 240 D 3.0 was also started by turning the ignition key and not, as before, by pulling a lever – another comfort-enhancing development. What was an all-out novelty at the time is a matter of course in present-day diesel-engined cars: turning the ignition key into drive position initiates the pre-glowing process, and a control light in the instrument cluster comes on. Once this goes out again, the engine can be switched on by means of the key.

The new engine accelerated the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 19.9 seconds and gave it a top speed of 148 km/h (with automatic transmission: 20.8 seconds / 143 km/h). At the time of its launch, the 240 D 3.0 was thus the diesel passenger car with the world's most dynamic acceleration and highest speed. A press release prophesied that "its refinement, smooth-running characteristics and economic efficiency (10.8 liters of diesel on 100 kilometers) will attract a new, large group of customers to the latest Mercedes diesel." As a consequence, the car prepared the ground for the success the diesel engine enjoys today. And here's another prophetic comment from the press release: "Driving diesel-engined cars has become even more attractive with the 240 D 3.0."

Mercedes-Benz used the five-cylinder diesel in other vehicles as well, for instance in light vans and, from 1978, in the 300 SD S-Class (W 116 series) for export to America; in that car, the engine with exhaust gas turbocharger developed 111 hp (82 kW) at 4200/min.

The C 111-IID experimental car caused a sensation. For testing the high-performance diesel engine, it was equipped with turbocharger and intercooler and developed 190 hp in this sports car. On the test track in Nardo/Italy, the C 111-IID put in a convincing performance by reaching spectacular speeds in June 1976. Four drivers established a total of 16 world records in 60 hours – 13 of these applied to diesel-engined vehicles and three to motor vehicles in general, irrespective of the type of engine. The average speed in this dynamic test was 252 km/h – and Mercedes-Benz proved that the diesel also has sprinter qualities.

The 240 D 3.0 as assessed by the media

After testing the car, "Auto Zeitung" wrote: "In everyday operation, the additional output makes itself felt highly agreeably ... In a nutshell: the 240 D 3.0 is the first diesel-engined car which is capable of holding its own in high-speed traffic without obstructing others."

"Auto Motor und Sport": "The most obvious improvement of the new engine lies in its performance, of course. Despite the longer ratio, the extra 15 hp compared to the 240 D give the 3.0 a dynamism which will also appeal to drivers who are not exactly diesel fans."

"Süddeutsche Zeitung": "We have come to the conclusion that the five-cylinder solution leaves virtually nothing to be desired. Its smooth running characteristics are quite comparable to those of six-cylinder machines. … The long period of testing – the engines have been tested by Daimler-Benz since 1972 – ensures that this is a fully matured design so that the buyer does not need to fear to be faced with any teething troubles."

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Mercedes-Benz-Blog TRIVIA: 939 kilometers with four “horses”


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 16, 2004

- 110 years ago: first long-distance trip by automobile
- From Bohemia to the River Moselle
- Visit to Carl Benz in Mannheim

939 kilometers with 4 hp. On July 16, 1894, Theodor Baron von Liebieg set out from his home town, Reichenberg in Bohemia (today's Liberec in the Czech Republic) in his Benz Victoria and drove to Gondorf near Koblenz (Germany). What sounds rather simple was quite an adventure at the time – at an average speed of just 13.6 km/h. On his journey, which is being regarded as the first long-distance trip by automobile, von Liebieg also paid a visit to Carl Benz in Mannheim.

You shouldn't imagine this tour as a pleasure trip. The car was open, offering less protection than many a carriage and exposing driver and passengers to the elements. The roads were at best cobbled, and even that did not make the ride all that comfortable. From a contemporary perspective, the vehicle engineering was extremely reliable but nevertheless confronted the driver with challenges time and again – with problems which were the order of the day at the time, for instance a clogged carburetor, loosened nuts and ignition contacts requiring readjustment. And gasoline was not to be had conveniently at filling stations but only at pharmacists' and drugstores; fuel consumption was around 21 liters on 100 kilometers. Equally remarkable was the water consumption of the open cooling system: some 150 liters on 100 kilometers. The top speed of the Benz Victoria was 20 km/h.

Nevertheless, 22-year-old von Liebieg (born on June 15, 1872, died on May 24, 1939), the son of a renowned family of industrialists in the textile business and himself an industrialist, and his companion and friend, physician Franz Stransky, mastered the challenges on the journey and were even extremely pleased because everything had been running smoothly. They stayed in Gondorf, where von Liebieg's mother lived, for a whole month and started out from there on several excursions in the Victoria, one of them to Reims in France. On August 22, they set out on the return journey from Gondorf via Mannheim to Reichenberg where the gentlemen arrived on August 31, nine days later. Overall, they clocked up 2,500 kilometers in that summer.

Theodor von Liebieg's Victoria was one of the early units built, with production number 76; it was extensively restored by the specialists of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center and is today displayed in the National Engineering Museum in Prague. At the age of 21, Theodor von Liebieg personally bought this car from Karl Benz and had specifically traveled to Mannheim in October 1893 to collect it. It is said that on that occasion he had told Carl Benz that he would return to visit him with his car the following year. Carl Benz is said to have been highly astonished about von Liebieg's plan – his previous customers had listened to his predictions of the automobile's forthcoming triumphal march but nobody had believed that the car would be capable of completing such a long journey at the time. The Victoria had been taken by rail to Reichenberg where it was the first automobile. After receiving instructions from a Benz mechanic, Baron von Liebieg set out on trial drive – and received the first driver's license in the region.

Baron von Liebieg and his companion enjoyed the long-distance trip so much that they repeated it one year later. This time they reached Gondorf on a more direct route after only four days. Again they spent a month there and made an excursion to Reims in the Victoria. And again they visited Carl Benz on the return journey, staying in Mannheim for three days during which the car was completely overhauled.

Carl Benz had gained confidence in Theodor von Liebieg because of the latter's journeys and therefore asked him to drive a touring car in the first German race from Berlin to Leipzig on September 20, 1899. And the winner was: von Liebieg.
The Benz Victoria wrote automotive history. It was the first four-wheeled car with axle pivot steering, one of the most important inventions of Carl Benz, which has retained its significance to this day. The single-cylinder engine with upright flywheel was installed in a horizontal position; the first Victoria of 1893 developed 3 hp; von Liebieg's car had an output of 4 hp, and in later years, output was boosted to 6 hp. The Victoria, Carl Benz's favorite car throughout is life, remained in production until 1900.

To mark the 110th anniversary of the long-distance journey, German and Czech classic car fans intend to complete the journey with historical vehicles in the summer of 2004. The "Baron von Liebieg Memorial Rally" is planned from July 18 until 25, 2004. Only cars built before 1914 will be permitted.

The route

According to his own records, Theodor Baron von Liebieg took the following route with his Benz Victoria:

July 16:
Reichenberg – Zittau – Bautzen – Dresden – Wilsdorf – Waldheim (196 kilometers in 14 hours)

July 17:
Waldheim – Altenburg – Zeitz – Eisenberg (112 kilometers in 8 hours)

July 18:
Eisenberg – Jena – Weimar – Erfurt – Gotha – Eisenach (136 kilometers in 9 hours)

July 19 - 20:
Two days' drive without overnight break: Eisenach – Hünfeld – Fulda – Hanau – Offenbach – Frankfurt – Darmstadt – Lampertheim – Mannheim (282 kilometers in
26 hours)

July 21:
Mannheim – Kreuznach – Bingen – Boppard (173 kilometers in 10 hours)

July 22:
Boppard – Koblenz – Gondorf (40 kilometers in 2 hours)

Total driving time:
69 hours for 939 kilometers

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Production milestones at Rastatt plant: Mercedes-Benz delivers 500,000th B-Class and 750,000th A-Class


- Milestone vehicles for customers in Hanover and Great Britain
- A- and B-Class are market leaders in the premium compact class
- B-Class gets off to an excellent start in China
- Extra shifts to be worked at Rastatt plant in July

Stuttgart/Rastatt, Germany, Jun 26, 2009 – Mercedes-Benz is celebrating two production milestones at its Rastatt plant: the 750,000th new-generation A-Class and the 500,000th B-Class will be delivered in June. The respective vehicles, a lotus blue A 180 CDI with a parking assistance system and a horizon blue B 180 NGT with natural-gas drive are destined for customers in Germany and Great Britain.

"The A- and B-Class continue to be very popular with our customers – you only have to look at their top ranking in the premium compact vehicle segment, not to mention last month's significantly higher sales figures", said Dr Klaus Maier, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "At the beginning of the year, Mercedes-Benz also introduced the B-Class in China. It is proving outstandingly popular with Chinese customers and has already far exceeded our expectations."

Mercedes-Benz has sold a total of more than 2.35 million units of the two model series. On the market since 1997, the A-Class is now in its second generation which was launched in 2004. The B-Class has been in production since 2005. Both models are particularly popular in Germany, their largest market. In May alone, 5300 customers in Germany chose an A-Class (corresponding figure for last year: 3400); this represents an increase of 54 percent. B-Class sales were up by 27 percent with 3900 units delivered (last year: 3000). At 18,900 vehicles (last year: 19,000), worldwide sales in the A- and B-Class segment in May were at the same level as last year. After Germany, the biggest markets for the A- and B-Class are Italy, France and Great Britain. The largest market outside Europe is Japan.

Extra shifts to be worked at the Rastatt plant

Thanks to the significant increase in orders from Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain over the last few weeks, the Rastatt plant will be operating at full capacity until September. Plant Manager Peter Wesp: "The success of the Rastatt-built A- and B-Class is testimony to the outstanding performance of the Rastatt production team who produce up to 1000 vehicles of the highest quality every day. Obviously, the current order situation makes extra demands on us, but it's also very motivating in the context of the difficult market conditions at the moment." The third quarter will see two and three-shift working at the Rastatt plant with extra shifts planned for Saturdays in July.

Most popular engines, colours and optional extras

Worldwide, diesel models account for some 40 percent of A-Class sales, the most popular engines being the A 160, the A 180 CDI and the A 180. Among B-Class customers, the top engine choices are the B 180 CDI, the B 180 and the B 200 CDI. One out of two B-Class customers chooses a diesel powerplant. The most popular colours for the A- and B-Class are the metallic paint finishes cosmos black and polar silver which together account for about one quarter of total sales. As far as optional extras are concerned, Active Parking Assist is a favourite. This system, which has been available for all model variants of the premium compact cars since last year's model update, automatically manoeuvres the vehicle into a parking space which only needs to be 1.3 metres longer than the A-Class or B-Class. The system uses ultrasonic sensors to identify a suitable space and informs the driver by means of a display in the instrument cluster. After accepting the proposed parking space, the driver only has to operate the accelerator while the vehicle takes control of the steering and manoeuvres itself into the space automatically.

The natural-gas alternative

Since the 2008 model update, the B-Class has been available with a bivalent drive: the B 180 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY with 85 kW/116 hp brings both economic and ecological benefits. NGT stands for "Natural Gas Technology" and means that the B 180 NGT can run on natural gas or premium grade petrol without any impact on the engine output. With NEDC combined fuel consumption of 7.3 litres of premium grade petrol or 4.9 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometres, the B 180 NGT has an overall range of more than 1000 kilometres. As the drive is bivalent, it is possible to change over to petrol operation simply by pressing a button.

The compact vehicles from Mercedes-Benz are also leading the way in the field of alternative drive systems: small-scale series production of the B-Class featuring a fuel-cell drive with 700-bar technology will be starting up before the end of this year. Equipped with the latest-generation fuel-cell drive, the B-Class F-CELL is not only considerably more compact than earlier fuel-cell systems, but also offers superior performance. The redesigned "stack" is some 40 percent smaller yet develops 30 percent more power and is also highly efficient as its fuel consumption is down by 16 percent. The electric motor develops a peak output of 100 kW/136 hp and maximum torque of 320 Newtonmetres. This means that the B-Class F-CELL is able to deliver highly dynamic performance superior to that of a vehicle with a two-litre petrol engine and has an operating range of up to 400 kilometres.

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New J. D. Power study: Mercedes-Benz has the most satisfied customers


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 26, 2009 – There is no automobile that satisfies its owners more than the Mercedes-Benz CLK. This is shown by a major survey on customer satisfaction among car buyers conducted by the world-famous J. D. Power Index. In this very informative study, first place in the luxury class was taken by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. At the same time the business saloon was given a silver award for outstanding test results by the motoring magazine AUTO TEST. Germany’s most satisfied car drivers therefore sit at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz.

Customers are the people who know a product best – this is the working principle of the globally active market research organisation J. D. Power, founded in 1968 and based in Los Angeles, which regularly examines the satisfaction levels of automobile owners. For the 2009 J. D. Power Report it conducted a first-time online survey of 16,425 car drivers in Germany to record their experiences with their car. The respondents had to have owned their car for around two years and have covered around 30,000 kilometres with it. This meant that the experience gained over a total of almost 500 million kilometres could be assessed. The assessment criteria were quality/reliability, attractiveness, service and operating costs, enabling the strengths and weaknesses of the individual car models to be reliably recorded.

113 models divided into eight categories were considered in the 2009 J. D. Power Report, which is seen as the definitive buyer’s guide. First place in the overall ranking for all categories was taken by the Mercedes-Benz CLK, which also emerged the winner in the sports car ranking. In the luxury category, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (211 series) prevailed against the opposition and took first place in this ranking.

The results of the J. D. Power study were also taken into account when the motoring publication AUTO TEST decided the winners of its 2009 awards. The decisions were also based on more than 500 tests and buyer reports by the magazine, as well as reliability studies by TÜV Rhineland and Eurotax Schwacke. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class received the silver AUTO TEST 2009 award.

The new E-Class presented in March 2009 has everything it takes to defend this top position in the customer satisfaction index. The engineers in Stuttgart covered around 34 million test kilometres with the new E-Class well before the market launch, for example. Like its predecessor, it also offers a high level of long-distance comfort, high-grade materials in the interior, a standard of finish that shows great attention to detail, perfect ergonomics and a unique combination of driver assistance systems. Independent analysts have already confirmed that the new E-Class is the car with the best value retention in its class.

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SPY - 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Coupe - New pics emerge

Source of the photos:AUTO BILD

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SPY - 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG - More interior photos surface

The new supercar from Stuttgart & Affalterbach will most likely be revealed for the public at the IAA Frankfurt 2009, but up to then, more photos depicting the dashboard of the SLS AMG continue to appear on the internet.

Source of the photos:Auto Motor und Sport

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SPY - 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Klasse W166 - New photos galore

Source of the photos:LeftLaneNews

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SPY - 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Coupe

The refreshed luxury coupe continues its road-testing programme hidden under thin layers of camouflage.

It may pass unnoticed, but it won't. Not for a car afficionado. We are talking about the facelift of Merc's flagship coupe, which, along with the aesthetical modifications, will also receive a new name, as part of the new badging strategy of the Stuttgart-based carmaker:the S-Klasse Coupe.

The 'somehow' new model will receive a new front air intake, slightly altered headlights with LED technology, LED daytime running lights integrated in the front bumper, and, last but not least, a new, sportier radiator grille with 2 chromed louvres.

The rear end will not be a complete surprise:in terms of appearance, the lights will mainly remain the same as those of the current CL, but they will most certainly feature LEDs. The old, round-shaped exhaust pipes will be replaced with fresh, rectangular ones.

Under the bonnet, the engines offered will remain the same as in the present. Note that the S-Klasse Coupe will also be offered in S 400 HYBRID version. It's practically needless to say that the forthcoming luxury coupe will borrow all the technologycal gimmicks from the S-Klasse Limousine.

Expect the new S-Klasse Coupe to be premierly displayed at the IAA Frankfurt 2009, with sales beginning towards the end of this year.

Source of the photos:Automedia,WorldCarFans

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