Archive for August 2011

PREVIEW: BRABUS teases a new supercar ahead of Frankfurt Motor Show

BRABUS will appearantly debut a new supercar at the upcoming IAA Frankfurt in September or, at least, this is the conclusion that rises after seeing this leaked teaser image. Most probably, the business is very serious and very hot to deserve such attention. It's not hard to see they got their magic hands on the new CLS to create one hell of a beast. To put it straight, a new, insane BRABUS Rocket V12 version could be right around next corner. Anyway, there's not much left till the motor show commences and we'll then see what masterpiece is hiding under that shiny red cover.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Jenson Button's Show of Speed Through the Streets of Manchester

Vodafone VIP brought a taste of Formula 1 to the heart of Manchester city centre this August bank holiday, as F1 driver Jenson Button and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team staged a celebration of the sport.

From Friday to Monday, Vodafone customers and up to 3 of their friends were given the chance to access the Vodafone VIP Fan Zone in Albert Square. The installation contained bespoke Go Kart track, and a number of interactive F1 experiences, including a pit stop challenge, a sit in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car, an F1 simulator and an exhibition of race suits and helmets. Throughout the weekend there was also be a pit garage on the forecourt of the Hilton Deansgate in which customers could have garage tours.

The highlight of the weekend was on Monday, when Button drove his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 car through the streets of Manchester. Button also treated one lucky Vodafone customer to a thrilling drive through Manchester city centre in a McLaren MP4-12C, and ended the day with an on-stage, public Q&A appearance.

This three day celebration was part of Vodafone’s initiative to give more people the chance to experience F1 first-hand. Previous Vodafone events have taken place in central London and at the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, so by staging this in the North West, Vodafone are looking to take the sport to a wider audience and reward as many of their customers as possible.

The F1 event in Manchester was just one element of Vodafone VIP, which gives customers access to the best of British festival, fashion and Formula 1 events. Vodafone VIP supplies customers with the hottest tickets and money can’t buy experiences. All Vodafone customers can register for Vodafone VIP by going online.

* Official photos and details courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Touch Bionics and MERCEDES GP PETRONAS work together to help Matthew James

Touch Bionics, provider of advanced prosthetic technologies, and the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team today revealed that Matthew James, a 14-year old who was born without a left hand, has been successfully fitted with the i-LIMB™ Pulse, the world’s leading electronic prosthetic hand.

Matthew is studying at Reading School, the same school MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Team Principal, Ross Brawn, attended and still supports and visits on a regular basis. Matthew is a big fan of Formula One and lives a normal teenage life, except that he has a lower arm deficiency which means that his left arm stops at his wrist.

In a letter to Ross, an amazingly funny, honest and mature one for a boy of his age, Matthew explained how his current prosthetic hand only allows him to perform basic tasks with a simple open and close grip mechanism.

Matthew also explained that his target now was to be able to afford a more functional prosthetic arm, and he already had in mind a specific model: The i-LIMB™ Pulse. Developed by Touch Bionics, the new hand would give him more control and freedom, and a much greater range of motions. The only issue: the hand is very expensive and is not generally available through the NHS.

Ross and the team were so moved by his unique letter that they got in touch with Matthew and his dad, Robert. After a few phone calls, a factory tour was organised for Matthew, and at the same time, a technical representative from the team contacted Touch Bionics to start initial discussions on what could be done to help Matthew.

Since then the two companies have established a positive relationship and, in exchange for access to technology services that have benefited its research and development team, Touch Bionics was pleased to offer its clinical services for the fitting of Matthew’s i-LIMB™ Pulse, free of charge.

“We were moved by Matthew’s story, and once MERCEDES GP PETRONAS showed how they would be able to work positively with our development team, then we were happy to waive our clinical services fee,” said John Huntley, UK clinical manager at Touch Bionics.

A privately funded fitting of the i-LIMB™ Pulse usually costs over £25,000, and the clinical services component of the fitting is the largest proportion of this cost.

To help Matthew raise £10,000 towards the remaining cost of the hand, the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team is working closely with his family on their fundraising initiative. Matthew’s family have set up a fundraising web site to help raise the funds for his new prosthesis: .

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team, said:

“Matthew’s letter to the team was very touching, and of particular personal significance given my close relationship to Reading School, which both Matthew and I have attended. Looking closely at the i-LIMB™ Pulse, we realised how much our technologies in Formula One had in common with those used to create this cutting-edge prosthetic limb, and that we may be able to offer some synergies to Touch Bionics to assist their invaluable research. Meeting Matthew, and hearing firsthand how the new device would improve his quality of life, was a pleasure and I am delighted that our initial contact has now led to such a positive conclusion.”

Matthew explains in detail the difference between his current prosthetic hand and the i-LIMB™ Pulse:

“My current arm has two sensors located at the end which literally pick up the impulses of the muscles in my lower arm. It is a simple ‘open and close’ mechanism, like a claw. The new hand, the i-LIMB™ Pulse, has five individual motors in each finger and therefore each finger can move individually. Whilst it is a open/close mechanism as well, it has different modes and settings which you can use to change the ‘opening mode’, so for example you can go from operating all fingers to using two and it locks the other three.”

Robert, Matthew’s very proud dad, explained how much Matthew is driven on a day to day basis:

“He always wanted to be the best he can. The arm he has at the moment gives him the basic functionality and what Matthew wants is to get that stage further. The i-LIMB™ Pulse really gives you more flexibility in what you can do with a prosthetic hand. You have a limb which looks more natural but also works in a much more natural way so you can pick up an object with the individually motored fingers. It’s about having the best tool available to allow Matthew to live his life and get on with what he wants to do.”

All this week, Matthew has been at Touch Bionics’ headquarters in Livingston, Scotland, working with the company’s expert team of clinicians to receive his i-LIMB™ Pulse prosthesis, and today he leaves as a proud wearer of the groundbreaking technology.

About Touch Bionics

Touch Bionics is a developer of advanced upper limb prosthetics designed to help amputees and people with congenitally missing limbs. Touch Bionics created the i-LIMB Hand, the world’s first powered prosthetic hand with five articulating fingers, and was the first company to offer a powered prosthetic solution for patients with missing fingers, ProDigits.

In addition to its powered products, Touch Bionics also offers a range of custom-made passive prostheses through its LIVINGSKIN offerings, which are designed to match exactly to a person’s natural skin tone and limb shape.

For more information, visit .

* Official photos and details courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *

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Mercedes-Benz innovation: NANOSLIDE technology for lower consumption and minimised friction losses

After five years and use exclusively in AMG engines, twin‑wire arc spraying technology will now also be used in the series production of Mercedes-Benz diesel engines. Mercedes-Benz was the developer of what is now known as NANOSLIDE technology, in which twin-wire arc spraying is used to melt iron/carbon wires and spray them onto the cylinder surfaces of the lightweight aluminium crankcase with the help of a gasflow. Very fine finishing of the resulting nano-crystalline iron coating creates an almost mirror-like, smooth surface with fine pores, which reduces friction and wear between the piston assembly and the cylinder wall. Other advantages include lower engine weight, less fuel consumption and lower emissions. This innovation from Mercedes-Benz has been successfully used in the 6.3-litre AMG engines since 2006.

Mercedes-Benz uses the collective term BlueEFFICIENCY to describe a whole range of different measures designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions: sophisticated aerodynamics, weight-saving measures and intelligent control of ancillary units are a few examples. With NANOSLIDE technology, the world's oldest automobile manufacturer is adding another innovation to this technology package. It sets new standards in the production of cylinder linings. These help to ensure that the piston moves up and down within the cylinder with the least possible friction losses. Comparatively heavy grey cast-iron liners with a thickness of up to five millimetres are the current state of the art.

The NANOSLIDE procedure takes a new approach. Wires of iron/carbon alloy are melted in an electric arc, and the melted material is "sprayed" onto the cylinder wall by a gasflow, where it is deposited as a layered, ultra-fine to nano-crystalline coating. The NANOSLIDE coating is then given an extremely smooth finish by a special honing process, after which it has a thickness of only 0.1 to 0.15 millimetres and has a mirror-like surface. The honing process also exposes pores in the material which are able to retain oil and thereby ensure optimal lubrication of the piston assembly. The result is not only low friction, and therefore greatly reduced mechanical friction losses compared to grey cast-iron cylinder liners (up to 50 percent), but also extremely high wear resistance.

Mercedes-Benz has plenty of experience with its in-house development of NANOSLIDE technology. In July 2005 Mercedes-AMG GmbH presented a 6.3‑litre V8 which not only delivered outstanding performance figures, but was also the world's first series production engine to feature cylinder walls with a twin-wire arc sprayed coating. Since 2006 this cutting-edge cylinder coating technology has been a key component of all 6.3-litre AMG engines. The procedure has proved highly successful in more than 75,000 high-performance AMG engines to date, and meets all expectations. The specialist term "NANOSLIDE" has meanwhile become an accolade. The process involves numerous new inventions and ideas, and is protected by more than 90 patent families and over 40 patents.

In view of this positive experience, Mercedes-Benz is the world's first manufacturer to have developed this technology further for use in a V6 diesel engine.

NANOSLIDE reduces the engine weight by 4.3 kilograms compared to the preceding engine, and brings an additional fuel saving of 3 percent. The V6 diesel engine in the ML 350 BlueTEC, for example, develops an output of 190 kW (258 hp) from a displacement of 2987 cc, and generates 620 Nm of torque. Thanks to BlueTEC with AdBlue® exhaust treatment, this M-Class model already meets the emission values planned for 2014 in accordance with the Euro-6 standard, and as such is one of the world's cleanest diesel vehicles. With a combined consumption of 6.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, the ML 350 BlueTEC improves on the figures of its predecessor by 2.1 litres, or 24 percent. CO2 emissions have dropped from 235 to 179 grams per kilometre, not least thanks to the new NANOSLIDE technology.

Source: Daimler AG

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SPY: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class (C 117) out for a stroll on German roads

The Stuttgart-based carmaker is seriously looking to expand its range of future compact models with attractive niche variants intended to bring more young, active clients into acquiring a Mercedes-Benz. After the new A-Class and B-Class are released as flagships of the new market offensive, several new body versions are planned to be unveiled, including a four-dour coupe which should receive the CLC moniker. First captured in June, the heavily-camouflaged test prototypes for the baby CLS have already begun massively populating the streets of Germany, thus entering the primary phase of the long development programme, that could extend up to the spring of 2013. Moreover, after the new CLC-Class is premiered the same year, Mercedes-Benz will reportedly start working on a Shooting Brake variant for it as well, the same move as in the case of the new CLS (see HERE).

Check out more spy shots after the jump!

Photos: Carscoop

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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More than 200,000 visitors to “Mercedes-Benz & Friends” in Berlin, Tempelhof

Over 200,000 visitors celebrated the automobile’s 125th birthday at the former Tempelhof airport under the slogan “Mercedes-Benz & Friends”. Mercedes-Benz and the official fan clubs invited friends, interested people and automobile enthusiasts to the big party. “We are happy that this one-off event has been such a resounding success, generating huge interest among collectors, fan clubs and above all the residents of Berlin and our international guests who spent two days celebrating with us” said Anders-Sundt Jensen, responsible for brand communications at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Exhibitions and driving tracks

Visitors had the opportunity to admire around 2000 classic and current vehicles as they wandered around the 250,000 m3 plot, which until 2008 had been dedicated to aviation. The driving track enabled them to experience being a passenger in the smart ed, Unimog, G-Class, S-Class, CLS-Class and E-Class with a variety of assistant systems or even Mercedes-Benz trucks. A total of around 3500 kilometres were driven around the tracks and on test drives in the course of the two events. There were many smiles on the faces of those who were able to take to the track in a DTM racing taxi, an SLR or one of the AMG Performance vehicles – chauffeured by current drivers in the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) series such as Bruno Spengler, currently top in his class, or his colleagues Gary Paffett, Jamie Green, Ralf Schumacher, Maro Engel or Renger van der Zande. Other guests included Jutta Benz, the great-granddaughter of Carl Benz, and Baroness Ewy Rosqvist-von Korff, who in 1962 became the first woman to win the demanding long-distance race “Gran Premio Internacional Standard Supermovil YPF” in Argentina driving a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE.

Somewhat calmer but no less interesting were the test drives on the roads of Berlin with the current range of vehicles, as well as battery or fuel-cell powered vehicles.

One particular highlight that really drew the crowds were the driving demonstrations of the five historical Silver Arrows from the 1930s and 1950s. These were driven by racing legends Hans Hermann (W 196 Streamline), Dieter Glemser (W 196), Roland Asch (W 165) Jochen Maas (W 125) and Klaus Ludwig (W 25). Bernd Schneider, five-time DTM champion, was also there in Mika Häkkinen’s world championship winning McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 from 1998. Due to huge interest, the drivers made another appearance on the Sunday afternoon in addition to the three that had originally been scheduled.

Visitors and exhibitors came from all over the world

Passionate Mercedes-Benz owners from all over the world made the journey to Berlin in order to be at the largest Mercedes-Benz convention ever. One collector from Tehran in Iran drove for three weeks in his 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280 S in order to meet like-minded people. Owners of rare and beautiful models also came with their vehicles to Tempelhof from a number of European countries.

The festival was complemented by a varied stage programme including live bands, DJs, discussions on the subject of 125 years of innovation and competitions. The children were strangers to boredom. Apart from the many cars on show, there were also climbing walls, bouncy castles and a game aimed at educating them on road traffic safety with Moki, the Mobile Kids mascot.

The invention of the automobile

On 29 January 1886, when Carl Benz registered his “automobile fuelled by gas” under patent number 37435, nobody could guess how the modern automobile would flourish over the next 125 years. Less than 100 kilometres away, the Swabian tinkerer and entrepreneur was successfully working almost simultaneously on his motorised carriage, which he completed within the same year. Neither of them knew the defining achievement they had made, as commercial success would not come until some years later.

Source: Daimler AG

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