Archive for November 2009

SPY - New photos of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Klasse + possible test mule for the future baby SLS AMG

This time, apart from capturing a test prototype of the R172, photographers managed to snap 3 photos of a weird test mule, probably designated to the rumoured baby SLS AMG.

As expected, the 2012 SLK-Klasse will embrace the design philosophy that was premierly showcased on the recently launched SLS AMG, in the same way the current SLK was SLR McLaren's little brother, with the F1-inspired nose. Sticking to a more classic look won't neccessarily mean this upcoming Stuttgart roadster would lose its sporty appearance. The new headlights, the LED projectors and, last but not least, the giant radiator grille a la SLS-all of them will add to a very dynamic stance. The rear end will be a bit toned down, in order to counterbalance the front end. It also appears that the interior and dashboard of the future SLK will be an evolution of the SLS's ones.

In the photos there also appears a very intriguing SLK prototype, that may hide the underpinnings of a new niche supercar, placed below the SLS AMG. The test mule is depicted by the differently-shaped front and rear wings(with the white-black tape on them), which probably feature improved air intakes, as well as camouflaging the measuring instruments.

We shall learn more as more test prototypes will hit the streets.

Source >> WorldCarFans

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Resounding victory in "Sports Car of the Year" readers' poll: New Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG chosen as best sports saloon


Affalterbach, Germany, Nov 27, 2009 – Over 50,000 readers of German car magazine Auto Bild Sportscars have chosen the new E 63 AMG as the best sports saloon. In the "Sports Car of the Year" poll, the AMG high-performance car won a resounding victory ahead of its nearest rival in the "Production Saloons" category. The award ceremony took place this evening at the Essen Motor Show as part of the Auto Bild "Race Night".

32.3 percent of the Auto Bild Sportscars readers voted for the E 63 AMG, putting the sports saloon some eleven percent ahead of the second-placed model in a resounding victory over the competition. The "Sports Car of the Year" award is presented annually; before being nominated for the award, the candidates had to take part in comparison tests at the Contidrom proving ground. "The nature of the victory achieved by the E 63 AMG in the readers' poll reflects the pleasing level of acceptance across all markets. The E 63 AMG marks the addition of another exciting high-performance car to the line-up, continuing AMG's long-standing tradition in this key segment," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Outstanding driving dynamics and unique design

The powerful AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 386 kW (525 hp) with a peak torque of 630 Nm, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission, and the newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping and a new front axle ensure that the E 63 AMG delivers outstanding driving dynamics. An AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system is available as an option. Mercedes-AMG has rigorously implemented a raft of efficiency-enhancing measures to reduce fuel consumption by almost twelve percent compared to the previous model. A unique combination of innovative driver assistance systems enables the E 63 AMG to extend its lead in the safety stakes. Compared to the standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class models, the flagship AMG model differs by virtue of its unique exterior and interior design.

The E 63 AMG is available in either Saloon or Estate guise. The basic price is € 105,791 or € 108,409 for the Saloon and Estate respectively (incl. 19 % VAT in each case). While the E 63 AMG Saloon has been available since August 2009, the E 63 AMG Estate is scheduled for launch in February 2010.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Großer Österreichischer Automobilpreis – Austria's "Car of the Year" award: Mercedes-Benz E-Class crowned Austria's favourite premium saloon


Stuttgart/Wien, Germany/Austria, Nov 27, 2009 – The Austrian Automobile Association (ARBÖ) has presented its "2009 Car of the Year" award to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, choosing the successful luxury saloon as Austria's favourite premium car.

For the 26th time, the Austrian Automobile Association (ARBÖ) asked a renowned jury of experts and readers of the ARBÖ club journal Freie Fahrt to choose Austria's favourite car. Candidates are assessed based on criteria such as technical perfection, design, economy, reliability, safety, eco-friendliness and value for money. In the premium category, the jury and readers chose the Mercedes-Benz E-Class as the clear winner with 177 out of a possible 195 points. The coveted Austrian Car of the Year Award 2009, presented by the Austrian Automobile Association (ARBÖ), is Austria's premier car award.

Impressive attributes of the E-Class include its dynamic design, innovative technology, exemplary comfort, outstanding safety and economy. Not least thanks to highly efficient powerplants. The E 250 CDI, for example, develops 150 kW (204 hp), boasts a peak torque of 500 Nm and delivers excellent performance whilst consuming just 5.3 litres per 100 km (combined NEDC consumption figure), equivalent to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The E-Class is equipped with a unique combination of driver assistance systems such as drowsiness detection, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and proximity control with automatic emergency braking, which is activated when an acute accident risk is detected. What's more, the E-Class offers outstanding long-distance comfort. These traits are shared by the other members of the successful premium car family – the E-Class Coupé and the E-Class Estate – the latter having just become the third body variant to arrive on the forecourts at dealerships.

Since its launch in spring 2009, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has already won numerous awards. To name but a few:

- Readers of the German car magazine Auto Zeitung voted it the best luxury saloon, awarding it the Auto Trophy 2009.
- Around 100,000 readers of the German car magazine AUTO BILD voted it the world's most beautiful car, presenting it with the AUTO BILD Design Award 2009.
- It won the renowned "EuroCarBody Award 2009".

It received the Diners Club Magazine Award for the "best power-to-economy" ratio.
In addition, the independent market research institute Bähr & Fess Forecast has determined that the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will have the highest value retention of any luxury segment model series, with the highest resale value after three years – be it in Saloon, Coupé or Estate guise. This once again confirms the high value retention of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Maximum EuroNCAP rating for the E-Class, GLK and C-Class: Safety: one star is sufficient


Stuttgart, Germany, Nov 27, 2009 – No less than three Mercedes model series at once have achieved the highest rating of five stars in the more stringent EuroNCAP test - the E-Class, GLK and C-Class.

"We are very pleased about this good result. It confirms the correctness of our real-life safety concept, even in standardised rating crash tests," says Prof. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Passive Safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars. In line with the claim that 'One star is sufficient', Mercedes-Benz has always taken a comprehensive safety approach that reflects what actually happens in real accidents. "Real Life Safety is far more than performance in standardised crash tests or the number of onboard airbags. The innovative PRE-SAFE® system for example, which improves safety shortly before an accident occurs, is not assessed at all by EuroNCAP," Schöneburg explains.

During the course of its development to date, the new E-Class has successfully come through over 150 high-speed crash tests and more than 5000 realistic crash simulations. These not only included the various impact configurations prescribed for rating tests and worldwide operating approvals, but also the in-house, Mercedes crash tests derived from accident research findings.

Safety has a long tradition at Mercedes-Benz: in August 1939 the safety pioneer Béla Barényi started working in Sindelfingen. One of his inventions was the principle of the crumple zone, which first entered series production at Mercedes-Benz as a groundbreaking innovation in 1959 and remains a basic safety feature of all modern cars to this day. With the help of its in-house accident research function, which commenced operations in 1969, Mercedes engineers have developed several milestones in passenger car safety. Among them are the airbag and PRE‑SAFE®. In the anniversary year of 2009, Mercedes-Benz used the ESF 2009 research vehicle to reveal what its safety specialists are currently working on.

The EuroNCAP organisation (European New Car Assessment Programme) has made its test conditions more stringent this year. All the individual tests are separately rated and consolidated to produce an overall result. Front occupant protection accounts for 50 percent of the result, child and pedestrian protection for 20 percent each, and the new test criterion of driver assistance systems for 10 percent. One of these is ESP®, which has been standard equipment in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars for many years. The test programme now also includes seat tests simulating a rear-end collision, allowing an assessment of the whiplash injury risk to the cervical vertebrae.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Double victory for Mercedes-Benz: E-Class and SLS AMG win the Auto Trophy 2009


Stuttgart, Germany, Nov 25, 2009 – Readers of the magazine "Auto Zeitung" have voted the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class the best saloon in the luxury class, while first place for best super sports car was also taken by the new "Gullwing" Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, resulting in both cars receiving the prestigious "Auto Trophy". The top-class awards were presented to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and to Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales and Marketing, at a ceremony held last night in Berlin.

This marked the 22nd occasion on which "Auto Zeitung" opened up annual voting for the best cars of the year. No fewer than 104,442 readers cast their votes, carrying the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class to victory as the best car of the year in the luxury class. As the global leader in this segment, Mercedes-Benz easily fended off its 19 competitors.

Since its market premiere in spring 2009, the new E-Class has successfully made a name for itself with its dynamic design, setting new standards in terms of safety, comfort, environmental compatibility and economy. Contributing to this success is a new generation of engines which operate at previously unattained levels of efficiency. The E 250 CDI, for example, is equipped with a 150 kW (204 hp) engine generating 500 Nm of torque, which is 25 percent greater than the previous V6 diesel engine. At the same time, it consumes around 23 percent less fuel - only 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined cycle), which corresponds to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometer. In addition to superior comfort on long journeys, the new E-Class also provides a unique combination of driver assistance systems including drowsiness detection, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, which is activated if an acute risk of an accident is detected. These same E-Class features are also available on the luxury-class saloon's other family members - the E-Class Coupé and the E‑Class Estate, which has just been launched in its third body variant.

When it came to selecting the best super sports car, the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG emerged significantly ahead of its 18 competitors to take first place. In doing so, the youngest member of the Mercedes-Benz sports car family has now already secured its second first place thanks to reader votes after receiving the Golden Steering Wheel Award. Its exciting design featuring the gullwing doors evokes memories of the legendary 300 SL sports car from the 1950's. The new super sports car also dazzles with its exquisite technology which includes such highlights as: aluminium spaceframe body shell, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front mid engine with dry sump lubrication as well as a maximum power of 420 kW (571 PS) and 650 Nm of torque, seven-speed double-clutch transmission in a transaxle arrangement and a sports suspension with aluminium double-wishbone axles. This high-tech combination helps to guarantee the highest level of driving dynamics. The Gullwing accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 317 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (all figures are provisional).

Traditionally Mercedes-Benz vehicles always figure prominently in voting for the best cars in their age-group. In 2008 the Mercedes GLK was awarded the "Auto Trophy", while the year before this both the Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the S-Class came away with top honours.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

First Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 20 as firefighting vehicle


- Up and down steps and through narrow old-town lanes to the source of the fire
- Does service in the city of Ŝibenik in Croatia
- Narrow streets call for a compact and manoeuvrable vehicle
- The Unimog U 20: compact and manoeuvrable, cross-country capability, flexible operation

Ŝibenik, Croatia, Nov 24, 2009 – Firefighting premiere for the Unimog U 20: the first Unimog of the compact model range now has been delivered to the Croatian city of Ŝibenik as TLF 10/25 tank water tender. The U 20's special talents are its tremendous manoeuvrability (wheelbase 2.7 m, overall height 2.70 m, overall width 2.15 m, turning circle 12.6 m) and its handling qualities in difficult terrain. They are called for especially when the tank water tender has to negotiate steps in the historic old part of town to reach any of the very narrow streets. The large angles of approach and departure, 27 and 30 degrees respectively, and the portal axles, a typical feature of all Unimog model ranges, allow the U 20 to do this. The new firefighting Unimog has differential locks at the front and rear and permanent all-wheel drive – characteristics that make the U 20 with its permissible gross vehicle weight of 9.3 t perfectly suited to fight forest fires too.

The body is built by Albert Ziegler GmbH. Directly behind the standard cab is the 2500 litre water tank; behind the tank is the implement box with its load of firefighting equipment. The centrifugal fire pump (rated capacity 1000 l/min at 10 bar, maximum 1800 l/min at 8 bar; powered by the vehicle's engine), rapid intervention equipment, and a foam mixing system are the principal components of this debut vehicle's firefighting equipment.

The short wheelbase of 2700 mm is the basis for outstanding manoeuvrability. The turning circle (12.6 m) is on a par with that of compact vans and medium-sized cars and is smaller than that of any all-wheel-drive truck. With an engine output of 110 kW (150 hp) delivered by the four-cylinder turbodiesel OM 904 LA, displacement 4.25 l, the Unimog U 20 offers ample power reserves.

All in all, three Unimog model ranges – all also available with firefighting bodies – are offered for sale. Apart from the U 20 – 7.5 t to 9.3 t perm. GVW – these are the model ranges U 300 - U 500 and the extremely competent off-road U 4000/U 5000.
The vehicles of the U 300 - U 500 model range – 110 kW (150 hp) to 210 kW (286 hp), 7.5 t to 16 t perm. GVW – are implement carriers suited for use in all types of terrain. They see service mainly in the public sector, with municipal contractors, in the construction and power industries as well as in internal works transport and in road/rail applications.

Also built in Wörth on the Rhine river, with its outstanding off-road skills the Unimog model range U 4000/U 5000 – 130 - 160 KW/ 8,5 - 14,1 t perm GVW – is predestined for difficult applications in trackless terrain. Its principal fields of use are firefighting – forest firefighting in particular – disaster intervention, expeditions as well as servicing and maintenance jobs in difficult-to-reach places.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Nico Rosberg to drive for Mercedes in Formula 1


Stuttgart, Germany, Nov 23, 2009

From the 2010 season, German driver Nico Rosberg (24) will drive for the new Mercedes team in the Formula 1 World Championship, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport announced today.

Three years after his father Keke had won the Formula 1 World Championship, Nico Rosberg was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on 27 June 1985, inheriting his racing DNA from his father.

At the age of eight, Nico Rosberg began racing karts. From 1997 until 2000, he raced for the MBM team (the talent support programme of Mercedes-Benz McLaren); with this team, the two Formula 1 partners encouraged young talents. Nico’s team-mate at that time was Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes driver since 2007 and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion. In 2000, Nico was runner-up in the Formula A European Championship. Two years later, he entered his first car races in Formula BMW ADAC and clinched the title in his debut year with nine victories out of 18 races. A Williams Formula 1 test drive was the reward for the championship win - at the age of 17, Nico was the youngest driver ever to get such an opportunity.

In 2003 and 2004, Nico Rosberg participated in the then new Formula 3 Euro Series; in his first year he came home second in the rookie rankings and in 2004 he finished fourth overall. One year later in 2005, he moved up to the GP2 series which is staged alongside Formula 1 events and won the title.

The 2006 season opener at Bahrain on 12 March was Nico’s first Formula 1 race; he finished seventh and posted the fastest lap. To date, he has taken part in 70 Grands Prix, all for the Williams team; scoring a total of 75.5 points and achieving second place at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix as his best Formula 1 result. The 2009 season was Nico’s best in Formula 1 so far; finishing seventh overall with 34.5 points.
Nico Rosberg grew up in Germany, Monaco and at Ibiza; in addition to his mother tongue he is fluent in English, Italian and French.

Nico Rosberg: “I am really happy to be a part of the Silver Arrows re-launch in 2010 as a driver for Mercedes. No other brand in Formula 1 can look back on such a long and successful tradition in motor racing. I am very proud that I will now drive for the new Mercedes team and work with Ross Brawn. I am more motivated than ever and can hardly wait to start testing with the new Silver Arrow and for the first race of the new season at Bahrain on 14 March 2010.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal:
“We are delighted to welcome Nico Rosberg to our Mercedes team and are very much looking forward to working with him. Nico is a great talent, and with four years of experience in Formula 1, is a driver who will be able to make a valuable contribution to our team right from the outset. I had the pleasure of working with his father Keke during his Formula One career and it is great to see Nico following in his footsteps. 2009 was Nico’s best season in Formula 1 to date and we look forward to seeing his development continue with us at Mercedes next year.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “I saw Nico racing karts alongside Lewis Hamilton and later in the support programme of the DTM events - I have known him since he was a young boy. Early on it was obvious that he would make his way as a race driver and we are glad that after four years with Williams he will now be one of our drivers at Mercedes. It makes our re-start even nicer, that we have as talented and sympathetic a driver as Nico in our line-up.Nico has positive ambitions, we have positive ambitions and together we want to achieve a great deal. I am really looking forward to working with him.”

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

SPY - 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse FL spotted

A first testing prototype for the 2011 C-Klasse FL has been recently captured on tape. The official launch is due to take place in the second semester of 2010.

Mercedes-Benz will apply a mid-lifecycle refreshment to its medium-range model, consisting of a minor retouch of the headlights, a new front bumper with optically modified air intakes, LED daylight projectors, as well as slightly revised tail lights, that shall feature LEDs, and rear bumper. The interior will also receive a new make-up:a redesigned dashboard, with the COMAND APS display to be inserted in it, like in the case of the GLK- or E-Klasse. Rearrangement and regrouping of certain buttons for a more intuitive use and a new steering wheel are expected.

The Stuttgart-based constructor has also prepared some modifications for the engine range-we are talking about 'improved fuel & emission efficiency' powerplants, both petrol and diesel, as well as the clever BlueTEC units.

Source of the photos >> WorldCarFans

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

75 years of racing car carriers for Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows


Stuttgart, Germany, Nov 19, 2009

- A family reunion featuring three generations of vehicles from a period of 75 years
- “The Blue Wonder” of 1955: The fastest truck in the world
- 1934: The new Silver Arrows are now transported on trucks
- Current Actros generation serves as the racing car carrier for Formula 1 and DTM
- To be used in 2010 for the Mercedes Grand Prix works team

The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, having first blazed to victory on the world’s racetracks back in 1934. Their drivers have become legends, with names like Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch still ringing in the ears of motor sports enthusiasts. However, neither the Silver Arrows of yesteryear nor those of today rolled to the racetrack under their own power. The sensitive high-performance vehicles, whether for Formula 1 or touring races, need a perfect infrastructure. Races could not be run without racing car carriers, and consequently there could be no racing victories. Some of the Mercedes racing car carriers are no less spectacular than the racing vehicles they transport. Next year the racing car carriers will once again be used in the Formula 1 races by a works team sporting the Mercedes star - the Mercedes Grand Prix.

Comfortable driver lounge in the racing car carriers for the 2009 season

A whole new world opens up to people visiting a racing car carrier when they pass through a glass door in the neck of the semi-trailer. The area serves as a recreation room and a refuge for the drivers of the racing cars. The tidy locker has room for the helmet at the top, while the shoes can be stored at the bottom, and the driver’s outfit in between. A cosy round suite is great for relaxing, and cooled drinks are kept in the refrigerator.

Today’s racing car carriers are not only a means of transport but also serve as sophisticated lounges. In the past, drivers of the Silver Arrows of the 1930s and 1950s did not have it quite so nice. For them, the 2009 racing car carrier would look like something from another planet.

The rich sound of 18 cylinders

Even though the “orchestra” consists of only three “musicians”, the sound gets deep under one’s skin. It’s generated by a total of 18 cylinders that are distributed among three trucks. The “top note” is the bright and nervous tone of a three-litre engine from the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL sports car of 1955. It is supplemented by the grunting sound of a gnarly four-cylinder petrol engine from the 1930s. In the background can be heard the powerful rumble of the V8 turbodiesel of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy-duty truck. The engine’s bass sound is generated by 15.9 litres of displacement. Although the three trucks look very different and were produced at vastly different times, they all share the task of carrying Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow racing cars.

The three generations meeting for the family reunion confirm the observation that children grow bigger than their ancestors. Together with its semi-trailer, the current Actros model is four metres tall and 16.5 metres long. Compared to this giant, the predecessor vehicles appear almost petite and look like little more than toy trucks.

Among them is the Mercedes-Benz Lo 2750 from the 1930s. The vehicle has arched wings, an angular cab, and a flashing chrome radiator grille with a big star proudly placed on top. The vehicle’s number “2750” refers to its payload capacity. Back when it was built, the vehicle was designated a 2.75-ton vehicle, in keeping with its payload. Today, the Lo 2750 would be declared a 6.5-ton truck in accordance with its gross vehicle weight.

The third truck at the reunion lacks an official designation but it doesn’t need one, as it is known by its nickname of “The Blue Wonder”. The reason why this famous racing car carrier of 1955 bears this designation is immediately evident, as the vehicle’s crouched blue body, forward-positioned cab and sleek lines show that it’s in fact a sports car that has been disguised as a racing car carrier.

The Blue Wonder: A spectacular racing car carrier from 1955

At the request of the unforgettable racing manager Alfred Neubauer, the Mercedes-Benz prototype department developed the fast racing car carrier specifically for transporting especially urgent loads. The only stipulations were that the vehicle should be fast and able to transport a Grand Prix racing car or a racing sports car. The result is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that is as fascinating today as when it was built. The platform consists of the lengthened tubular frame of the Mercedes-Benz 300 S luxury coupe. The powerful engine - which was already equipped with direct petrol injection - was taken from the 300 SL sports car, while the body components such as the doors, wings and some of the interior appointments are from the Mercedes-Benz 180 standard saloon.

It must have been an imposing sight when the racing car carrier drove along the motorway with its valuable cargo. The 6.75-metre-long vehicle is two metres wide and as tall as a man. In addition, it is extravagantly shaped and was incredibly fast for its time.

After Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor sports at the end of 1955, the racing car carrier initially served as an exhibition vehicle in the USA, followed by ten years of service for Mercedes-Benz test drives. Rudolf Uhlenhaut, who managed the motor sports department during the racing car carriers’ “active” period and later served on the Board of Management, had the one-of-a-kind vehicle scrapped in 1967.

Decades later, Mercedes-Benz rebuilt the spectacular racing car carrier on the basis of old photographs. The vehicle brings back to life the era of motor sports legends such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Karl Kling and Hans Herrmann and famous vehicles which the racing car carrier transported, such as the Mercedes-Benz W 196 Grand Prix racing car and the 300 SLR racing sports car. These are winning vehicles: In 1955, Mercedes-Benz won the Formula 1 World Championship, the World Sportscar Championship, and the European Touring Car Championship.

1934: The new Silver Arrows are now transported on trucks

As early as the 1920s, Mercedes-Benz discovered the advantages of a low frame, which makes it easy for passengers and cargo to get in and out. The company therefore used such frames later on as a platform for its racing car carriers. Trucks began transporting the racing cars in 1934, the year in which the Silver Arrows were introduced. Large white letters on the wooden sides of the Lo 2750, as the racing car carrier was simply known, spell out the words “Mercedes-Benz Rennabteilung” (“Mercedes-Benz Racing Department”).

The brochure published at the time optimistically states that the vehicle posseses a “wealth of appointments”. Among other things, this meant that the instrument panel had switches for the lamps and the electric turn signal, as well as a speedometer and kilometre counter, an oil indicator display, a fuel regulator, a glow plug and start switch, and a socket for a hand-held lamp. Comfort as we would define it today cannot be found in the Lo 2750.

Despite this drawback, this type of racing car carrier transported a number of winning vehicles. In June 1934 the new W 25 Silver Arrow with a supercharged engine won the International Eifel Race on the Nürburgring, marking the beginning of a series of victories that would continue until 1939. The racing car carriers were always on hand. After each victory they proudly paraded the Silver Arrows on their loading platforms through the streets.

The model shown here is based on a truck of 1936. In time-consuming restoration work, the former water-spraying truck of the Munich municipal sanitation department was converted into a racing car carrier that exactly matches the historical models. The star on the radiator grille now shines as proudly in the sun as though the truck had actually accompanied the historic victories of Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch, Hermann Lang and Luigi Fagioli.

Current Actros trucks serve as racing car carriers for Formula 1 and DTM

The current racing car carriers of the Mercedes-Benz Actros series have also transported winning cars. For Formula 1 races, for example, they have carried the racing cars of Lewis Hamilton, who became the world champion for Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes in 2008. Despite his young age of 24, Hamilton is one of the most successful Formula 1 drivers of all time, having won eleven Grand Prix races to date. In the upcoming racing season, they will be performing their crucial services for the new works team, Mercedes Grand Prix. The Actros racing car carriers also transport the AMG Mercedes C-Class cars of German Touring Car Championship (DTM) drivers like Paul Di Resta, Ralf Schumacher, Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett to racetracks throughout Europe.

Today, the driver of the racing car carrier climbs up five steps to reach the spacious Megaspace cab, where he sits high above the traffic in his own heavenly world. The driver area sports an impressive array of switches and displays. The Actros rolls along quietly and comfortably - a far cry from its predecessors. The onboard refrigerator is there for the driver’s use, who also benefits from an air conditioner and a parking heater. What’s more, a high-quality bed with a point-elastic slatted frame provides the driver with the kind of sleeping comfort he is accustomed to at home. For his morning ablutions, he has a mirror and a towel rack.

Today’s safety systems’ performance would have been considered science fiction in the past

Like today’s racing cars, the Actros is extremely safe. In addition to the vast array of safety equipment found in the Actros as standard, the Mercedes-Benz racing car carriers also feature an extensive safety package that includes stability control, roll control and a lane assistant, as well as a proximity control system that comes with Active Brake Assist.

This emergency braking assistant automatically initiates an emergency braking manoeuvre if a rear-end collision is imminent. No racing car currently has such safety technology. When viewed from the perspective of 1934 or 1955, the electronic assistants are pure science fiction: What today is taken for granted was not even conceivable back then.

The upper level of the Actros trailer has room for two racing cars in a row, which are lifted into and out of the truck on a lifting platform. The lower level has lots of room for toolboxes, some of which are in roll containers so that they can be taken out at the racetracks for work at the pit stops. The side wall can be folded down, and additional material is stowed in externally reachable storage compartments. The racing car carriers of 2009 are wonders as well, except they no longer happen to be blue.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by