Archive for August 2010

Carbon Fiber, Handling and Ultra Lightweight! - BRABUS Refines the Mercedes SLS AMG


Bottrop, Germany, Aug 25, 2010

Carbon fiber, handling and ultra lightweight! That’s the guiding principle of BRABUS for refining the Mercedes SLS AMG. The exclusive sport program comprises aerodynamic-enhancement components made from carbon fiber, ultra-lightweight forged wheels, an electronically adjustable smooth-ride suspension (Ride Control) suspension, a titanium exhaust system with bypass gate, and BRABUS leather.

Extremely light yet enormously strong carbon fiber identical to the one used in Formula 1 racing was chosen as the material for the BRABUS aerodynamic-enhancement components. The components were developed in the wind tunnel. They give the gullwing car an even more striking appearance while optimizing its aerodynamic properties. All components are available either made from clear-coated carbon fiber for a true racing flair or can be painted to match or contrast with the car’s exterior color.

The front fascia of the coupe receives a visual upgrade with the BRABUS front spoiler. But that’s not all: The spoiler further reduces lift on the front axle at high speeds which results in even better directional stability. The two BRABUS covers for the upper air inlets in the bumper lend the SLS an even more striking face while optimizing the cooling air supply.

BRABUS also lends the sides of the SLS a sharper profile. The new air outlets for the front fenders feature a modern design with integrated blue-illuminated BRABUS lettering. The illumination is activated via the keyless-entry remote or by pulling on a door handle.

BRABUS also adds some more visual pizzazz to the rear appearance of the SLS with the BRABUS rear spoiler and the BRABUS rear fascia element that features custom-tailored cutouts for the four exhaust tips of the BRABUS sport exhaust system.

Forged wheels that were custom-developed for the SLS are also elementary for the electrifying BRABUS look. By choosing a staggered tire/wheel combination with diameters of 20 inches in front and 21 inches on the rear axle BRABUS further emphasizes the sporty character of the two-door car. The ultra-light BRABUS Monoblock F PLATINUM EDITION cross-spoke wheels are up to twelve percent lighter than the stock wheels of the SLS and are mounted in size 9.5Jx20 in front and in size 11Jx21 on the rear axle. The extremely wide high-performance tires in sizes 275/30 ZR 20 and 295/25 ZR 21 are supplied by BRABUS technology partners Pirelli and YOKOHAMA.

Another custom development is the height-adjustable BRABUS smooth-ride suspension (Ride Control). It can lower the ride height of the sports car by up to 40 millimeters (1.6 inches). At the push of a button the driver can choose between damper settings that offer a more comfortable or sportier ride compared to the production suspension. To complement this suspension BRABUS will soon offer the BRABUS Front Lift system. It raises the front of the car by some 50 millimeters (2 inches) at the push of a button to safely navigate steep parking ramps or other obstacles.

While engine tuning for the 6.3-liter V8 is still in the final development phase there already is an extremely lightweight BRABUS titanium sport exhaust system with four slanted exhaust tips. The tips have a diameter of 84 millimeters (3.3 inches). This exhaust system weighs 12 kilograms (26 lbs.) or 40 percent less than the production exhaust and adds an extra ten horsepower to the engine’s output. A special feature of this exhaust system is a pneumatically controlled bypass gate that is activated from the cockpit. The normal mode represents a “coming home” sound level that is quieter than the production exhaust. It appeals especially to the neighbors when the SLS returns home late at night. With open bypass gate the eight-cylinder engine sounds even sportier than with the stock exhaust system.

For the cockpit of the two-seater the BRABUS interior designers have developed exclusive accessories and masterfully crafted custom interiors. The speedometer with 400-km/h scale (250 mph) already hints at the car’s future performance with BRABUS engine tuning. An ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel is also part of the BRABUS customization program as are stainless-steel scuff plates with illuminated BRABUS logo and matte-anodized pedals.

The BRABUS upholstery shop creates fully custom interiors for the SLS from top-quality materials. Customers can choose from different types of leather and Alcantara in any desired color and design to suit their individual tastes.

BRABUS can also fulfill individual requests for the trim on dashboard, center console and door panels. BRABUS manufactures carbon-fiber and wood trim sets in any color and with any desired surface finish.

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SPY - 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupe

Mercedes-Benz engineers continue the testing phase for the upcoming C-Klasse Coupe. Photographers have snapped shots of a white-coloured prototype, while running around the carmaker's factory in Stuttgart. The new mid-range coupe will receive the revised front fascia of the Limousine and T-Modell versions, as well as LED-based tail lights. New to the car will be the addition of a subtle side window kink, as well as a remastered dashboard and a new lineup of powerful and efficient engines. The high-end model, the C 350, will make use of the new 3.5 litres V6 unit, capable of delivering 306 BHP. Rumours also suggest a possible AMG variant for the C-Coupe, powered by the 5.5 litres biturbo V8 engine, engineered to produce a maximum output around 470-480 BHP or even more.

Check out more spy photos after the jump!

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The most successful urban bus of all time: 30,000 Citaros in twelve years


Stuttgart/Mannheim, Germany, Aug 25, 2010

- 30,000th bus is a Citaro G powered by an environmentally friendly natural gas engine
- Vehicle handed over to Linz Linien AG
- Award-winning star: Citaro crowned "Bus of the Decade"
- Michael Göpfarth, head of sales at the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Unit of EvoBus GmbH: "The Citaro has always been a trend-setter in the area of regular-service buses."

After just twelve years in production, the 30,000th Mercedes-Benz Citaro has now been delivered. This unprecedented sales tally for an urban bus is testament to the overall success of a flexible modular system. On 25 August 2010 Michael Göpfarth, head of sales at the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Unit of EvoBus GmbH, handed over the record-breaking vehicle to Walter Rathberger and Erich Haider, managing and executive directors of Linz Linien GmbH, at the Mannheim bus factory. In particular, Mr Göpfarth praised the Citaro's ability to move with the times throughout its lifespan to date. "The Citaro has always been a trend-setter in the area of regular-service buses. Technical and design developments are continually incorporated into the production process. These lead to outstanding economy and reliability at the transport undertakings and offer passengers an attractive means of transport. The Citaro is able to accommodate virtually any conceivable wish among our customers."

The majority of the 30,000 Citaros produced to date originate from the Mercedes-Benz bus factory in Mannheim, where the Citaro has been built since 1998. At the end of 2009, a workforce of 3530 was producing Mercedes-Benz urban and rural buses and touring coaches at the production facilities here covering a total of 141,000 square metres of floorspace.

Great variety a key success factor

Virtually no two Citaros are alike. This is attributable to the diverse range of variants and to the broad scope for individualisation. At the launch of production in 1988, the Citaro offered a range of urban and rural buses in different lengths and equipment variants, the diversity of which was unprecedented for low-floor regular-service buses. Today, the model range covers 28 different design variants. The spectrum extends from the compact Citaro K measuring 10.5 m in length to the four-axle, 19.54 m long CapaCity articulated large-capacity bus which is also based on the Citaro modular system. With this unique product range, the Citaro covers the entire transportation requirements of bus companies providing regular urban and rural public transport services.

The Citaro’s cutting-edge character and future viability are demonstrated by ongoing development of the diesel engine and highlighted in particular by spectacular vehicles featuring alternative drives. The Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid articulated bus will be produced in a small series in 2010. In parallel with the launch of this bus, the first urban buses with fuel-cell hybrid drives will also go into service. This Citaro FuelCELL hybrid points the way to the zero-emission drive of tomorrow.

Citaro: Bus of the Decade

The Citaro remains a shining example of cutting-edge design and innovation to this day. Its success is essentially accountable to its ability to reflect customers' needs. The second generation of the Citaro was launched at the end of 2005/2006. A new axle design and a fully revamped "face" assured it of a warm reception from the outset. The Citaro has maintained its innovative drive right up to the present day – a virtue which is acknowledged not only by customers. Journalists, independent experts and above all drivers also appreciate its special attributes. It has won the ETM publishing company's "Commercial vehicle of the year" readers' award ten times, for example. Readers of the magazine "Busfahrer" voted it "Best bus of the year 2009", it has scooped the Dekra environmental award and the F-Cell Award from the Baden-Württemberg environmental office. An international jury voted it "Bus of the Year 2007".

In the context of the Bus Euro Test, the trade journal Omnibusrevue recently wrote: "The Mercedes-Benz Citaro provides the benchmark for the rest of the industry". No other vehicle concept has such a defining influence on the bus market as the Citaro. It is without doubt the "Bus of the Decade".

The 30,000th bus

The 30,000th Citaro is an embodiment of the essential attributes to which the model range owes its success: flexible, cutting-edge, environmentally friendly and passenger-oriented. The Citaro G CNG sporting silver metallic paintwork offset with traffic orange is fitted with an environmentally friendly natural gas engine. The M 447 (h)LAG engine rated at 240 kW complies with the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) emissions standard without a particulate filter. The voluntary EEV emissions standard defines the most stringent European emission levels at present, with limits set below those of the Euro 5 standard. Customers have been able to order the alternative CNG drive from the modular system for their Citaro ever since 1998.

The light and pleasant interior of the 4-door Citaro is equipped with an interior and door surveillance system. Two door cameras, at door 3 and door 4, relay the images to a TFT monitor at the driver's workplace. This monitor also displays the image from the backup camera during reversing. The driver's entire workplace is separated from the passenger compartment by a driver's cab. The overhead air conditioning system enables separate climate control for the driver's workplace and the passenger compartment.

Bus-stop names are displayed on two 48.26 cm TFT monitors in the front and rear sections of the bus. The monitors are linked up to the IBIS on-board computer to display information on the route and the next bus stop. In addition to controlling the passenger information systems, IBIS is also responsible for influencing the light signalling systems. The operational control centre is able to transmit acoustic or visual messages directly to one or all vehicles on the line. The exact position of the vehicle is determined via GPS, evaluated and relayed to the passenger information panels at the bus stops. In this way, passengers are informed of exact arrival and departure times in real time at the bus stops.

Linz Linien GmbH

Linz Linien GmbH is a company belonging to the Austrian Linz AG group. The transport undertaking handles an annual volume of almost 26 million passengers, operating 90 buses on 26 lines. In 2007 the company decided to replace its entire diesel-powered bus fleet with environmentally friendly and barrier-free Citaro natural gas buses. A total of 88 Citaro low-floor articulated and rigid buses are to be delivered by 2011. This decision by Linz Linien GmbH sent out signals beyond Austria's borders. The 30,000th Citaro forms part of this order.

Linz Linien GmbH is currently the first transport company in Austria to test the series-production Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid. As an innovative, quiet and environmentally friendly vehicle concept, this hybrid vehicle fits the bill perfectly for Linz AG, which is incorporating new drives in all guises into its comprehensive mobility concept. Experts from Linz AG monitor the latest market trends with the aim of finding and deploying sustainable, lasting alternatives to fossil fuels for both public and private transport. The switch from diesel to gas buses was an initial step here in the area of public transport. Initial results with the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, based primarily on stretches covered on electric power only, have been positive.

Copyright © 2010, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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New at the IAA: Actros Edition Black Liner/White Liner - Mercedes-Benz Actros at its best


Stuttgart, Germany, Aug 24, 2010

- Actros Edition exterior: a superlative truck
- Actros Edition interior: a driver’s dream
- Safety and cost-effectiveness as standard
- Limited edition of 500

The Actros Edition Black Liner and White Liner is the most exclusive and attractive form of star-branded long-distance truck. On the outside perfectly attired, from the metallic paintwork to the decorative stripe, and inside perfectly equipped, from special leather seats to Active Brake Assist, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros Edition showcases the brand.

Actros Edition exterior: a superlative truck

Take a look at the exterior of the Actros Edition, and it is immediately clear that this is a superlative truck: available with diamond white (Actros White Liner) or obsidian black (Actros Black Liner) paintwork, each cab features a broad, vertical double stripe in elegant grey. The distinctive look is underlined by exterior mirror trim with chrome details (Actros Black Liner) or painted in white (Actros White Liner), steps in stainless steel (Actros Black Liner) or with a black paint finish (Actros White Liner), headlamp trim in black (Actros White Liner) or chrome (Actros Black Liner), LED daytime driving lights and LED position lights. The Edition lettering and the door emblem emphasise the special character of the Actros Edition. (The Actros White Liner also has steel wheels with a black paint finish.)

Actros Edition interior: a driver’s dream

The interior proves to be a genuine driver’s dream. The brown climate-controlled leather seats and leather door panels with special topstitching, the leather steering wheel and leather armrests create an exclusive atmosphere. Other leather features include the centre floor mat and the mat in the open stowage tray on top of the instrument panel. The trim on the instrument support and the ventilation outlets is in matt black fine wood. Brown velour floor mats round off the overall impression of comfort and exclusivity.

Further standard equipment with air horns, illuminated star logo, sun visor, electric tilting/sliding sunroof, electrically operated sunblinds for the windscreen, automatic climate control, ambient lighting and coolbox combine comfort, function and looks to optimum effect. The Actros Edition can be fitted with silver-coloured or black painted aluminium wheels.

Safety and cost-effectiveness as standard

Safety and cost-effectiveness are other factors which are not in short supply when it comes to the Actros Edition. The already extensive standard equipment for the Actros is enhanced in the Actros Edition Black Liner and White Liner with features such as Active Brake Assist 2 (also known as emergency braking assist) which also recognises stationary obstacles, Lane Assistant, stability control, and the driver’s airbag. Retarder and proximity control are available as an option. Air deflectors with cab-side extenders and aerodynamic side trim panels further lower the already favourable fuel consumption. A pre-installation for the FleetBoard telematics is also already on board.

Mercedes-Benz delivers the Actros Edition Black Liner and White Liner in conjunction with L-cab and Megaspace cab and all engine variants. The number of trucks being produced is as exclusive as the equipment: the Edition is limited to 500 vehicles.

The Mercedes-Benz Actros Edition will make its debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover at the end of September. Select IAA-related themes can be found online from 3 September at .

Copyright © 2010, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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The new CLS: Further inside photos emerge

More specific details and photos of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS-Klasse should be issued today. Till everything becomes officially available, check out the latest leaked shots depicting the beautiful dashboard of the new 4-door coupe from Stuttgart!

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VIDEO: The new CLS - the new design icon from Mercedes-Benz

The new CLS - the new design icon from Mercedes-Benz

Copyright © 2010, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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World premiere at the 2010 Paris Motor Show: The new CLS - the new design icon from Mercedes-Benz


Stuttgart, Germany, Aug 22, 2010

- The CLS brings refined sportiness to life
- Visualisation of the Mercedes-Benz brand values
- Athletic proportions, perceptible design idiom
- Expressive front design features central star in the grille
- Dynamic, feature line flowing back towards the rear
- Elegance with handcrafted details in the interior

A generation ahead: with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz created a new vehicle category in 2003 which for the first time combined the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon. The public were delighted, the competition astounded and a style icon was born: for years the CLS has endured as the only four-door coupé in its class, and since October 2004 it has been the car of choice for around 170,000 buyers worldwide. "Customers all over the world benefited from our bold move to launch a completely new vehicle concept onto the market", explains a delighted Dr. Joachim Schmidt, member of the board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales & Marketing. "And with its exciting design, the new edition of the CLS also benefits from the fact that we are a whole generation ahead of the competition with our four-door Coupé."

Celebrating its world premiere at the Paris motor show (2 - 17 October 2010), the new CLS builds on the pioneering role of its predecessor yet at the same time is an entirely new edition. "The new CLS points the way forward for the future perceptible design idiom of Mercedes-Benz", explains Professor Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz. "At the same time it takes its inspiration from the great tradition of stylish, refined sportiness which has always been a feature of Mercedes coupés."

Exterior: classic Coupé styling with distinctive front

The proportions remain as spectacular as ever: long bonnet, narrow-look windows with frameless side windows, dynamic roof sweeping back at an angle towards the rear. The four-door coupé from Mercedes-Benz immediately made its mark in 2003 as a new style icon. Now the proportions are the same - and yet everything is different: the second generation of this design trendsetter has adopted a completely new look.

What immediately strikes the eye is the innovative front design, which is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Visually, the radiator grille is not integrated into the bonnet but is formed separately. This highlights the long, sporty bonnet even further. The grille is dominated by the large central star, which underlines the car's relationship to the other coupés of the brand and also enhances brand identity. The large, elongated dark air inlets with black grilles also add to the vehicle's athletic appearance.

Design brings high-tech features to life

Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the full LED headlamps, which are the world's first to offer all of the regular dynamic light functions using LED technology. This innovation boasts an impressive design - inside they are divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom: the upper layer contains an LED indicator, beneath which is a striking LED side light offering low beam functions. The side light can also be seen when the dipped beam function is switched on, thereby creating a novel and separate night-time design and distinctive look. The lowest level of the headlamp houses the main beam and nightview functions. A total of 71 LEDs not only provide an unmistakable appearance, but also a significantly enhanced view of the road compared with previous systems.

The typical CLS outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, athletic form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure, above the mudguards, which slopes off towards the rear - known as the dropping line by designers - is not only a novel design feature but also represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich wealth of forms present in historic Mercedes sports cars.

A distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

The side view is rounded off with wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology which are arranged in the form of a linking element to the rear of the vehicle. The shape is emphasized by the broad shoulder line, which is clearly visible from behind and supports the flat hardtop. A wide metal insert adds a further visual highlight at the rear.

The interior: design brings quality to life

The interior of the CLS is also distinguished by a timeless design which combines straightforward elegance with innovative details and handcrafted perfection. An eye-catching feature is the wrap-around effect of the cockpit: a high line sweeps from the driver's door over the instrument panel support and across to the front passenger door. The central display has also been integrated harmoniously into the upper part of the instrument panel. At the same time, the downward sweeping side line on the doors continues the dynamic dropping line of the exterior.

As a design trendsetter, the CLS sets new standards in interiors with its wide variety of individualisation options. Five interior colours, five trim designs and also three qualities of leather are available to choose from. As a result, each CLS is a one-off piece and can be configured individually between warm naturalness and cool modernity.

The CLS also lives up to its role as a design icon thanks to the innovative nature of the materials used. These comprise an exciting mixture of satin and high-gloss finishes used on the metal surfaces. Highlights here also include matt galvanised air vents, for example, which form the ideal framework for a high-gloss-trimmed analogue clock.

Handcrafted perfection is reflected in details such as the stitched seat covers or the so-called sewn covering for the dashboard. For the latter, the individual parts of the leather cover are sewn together by hand in a process which takes several hours, after which they are fitted and upholstered with high-quality foam. Prior to this process, the leather is also heated up to preshrink it, so that it will retain its shape even after extreme exposure to direct sunlight.

The particularly fine, 1.6 millimetre thick semi-aniline PASSION leather which is used meets the highest standards in terms of both look and feel. Protected by only a light pigmentation, the natural pore structure remains intact and the leather has an especially warm and soft feel to it. Since the natural characteristics also remain visible for the most part, the semi-aniline leather requires a very precise manual selection process.

The refined sportiness of the interior of the CLS is further reflected in the generous use of high-quality trim elements. They are located on the instrument panel support of the centre console and on parts of the door linings. Customers can choose between three exclusive types of wood: high-gloss brown burr walnut, high-gloss black ash and satin-finish light-brown poplar. The wood has even been perfectly fitted around difficult contours for a masterful handcrafted finish, and the wood trim has been matched according to grain, as part of an elaborate selection process, to create a harmonised overall impression.

The interior can be given an even more progressive look with the addition of piano lacquer or carbon fibre trim elements. Handcrafted perfection once again plays a prominent role in the production process. Up to seven layers are applied and polished for the piano lacquer trim, for example, until the desired high-gloss finish is achieved.

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