Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck? YES!

Mercedes-Benz Pickup Truck?

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Mercedes-Benz is building a pickup truck! Yes, the purveyor of some of the world’s finest luxury cars is jumping headfirst into the ultra-competitive pickup market.

The Mercedes entry into the fray will be a mid-size truck, something on the scale of General Motors’ Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon.

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” Daimler chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. “We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value.”

There are few regions of the auto market as intensely competitive and territorial as pickup trucks. Ford, General Motors, RAM, and Toyota have the US market neatly carved into devoted followings for their offerings. In fact, Ford’s full-size pickup, the F-150, has been America’s best-selling vehicle for decades.

Mercedes’ new truck will not be headed for the US anytime soon. It will spend its time in Europe, South Africa, Latin America, and Australia.

That means the Benz truck will have to contend with Volkswagen’s Amarok, as well as Toyota’s utilitarian Hilux.

MB is not without truck experience. The company’s G-Class is one of the most widely used military vehicles in the world. But it’s not a pickup. The company has created rugged, off-road, pickup-like variants, but this new effort is a bold move into a segment that Mercedes hasn’t previously competed in.

This might be exciting, but we’ll have a wait awhile. The Mercedes-Benz pickup truck isn’t expected to hit the market until the end of the decade.

 

SOURCE Business Insider, Mercedes Benz

 

Press Release

Get ready for the Mercedes-Benz among pickups: Mercedes-Benz Vans to launch midsize pickup
Stuttgart, Mar 27, 2015

Expansion of product range for sustained global growth

Market for midsize pickups primed for first model from a premium manufacturer

Mercedes-Benz to enter the high-volume midsize segment before end of decade

Main markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe

Stuttgart – Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of about one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential.

“The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. “We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and value.”

Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, adds: “As part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model.”

A promising segment with global scope

The midsize pickup segment is currently undergoing a transformation worldwide. More and more pickups are being used for private purposes, and commercial as well as private users are increasingly asking for vehicles that have car-like specificiations. Mercedes-Benz is the first premium manufacturer to respond to this market shift by developing its own pickup. A similar example was the successful introduction of the M-Class around 20 years ago. As the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) from a premium manufacturer, the M-Class completely redefined the segment.

The new Mercedes-Benz pickup will initially be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Europe, all of which are posting sustained growth in this segment.

Mercedes-Benz Vans: Center of competence for commercially and privately used vehicles

The Mercedes-Benz Vans division is responsible for the new vehicle. With its many years of experience in developing, manufacturing, and marketing vehicles that are used commercially as well as privately, Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideally suited to enter the midsize pickup segment and launch a Mercedes-Benz pickup on the market for the first time in the company’s history. Current models such as the V-Class and the Vito demonstrate that Mercedes-Benz Vans has the high level of expertise to successfully serve customers from a wide variety of private and commercial sectors.

“We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety, and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car,” says Mornhinweg. “We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.”

Saleen Shows Off Its 2015 302 Black Label Ford Mustang

Saleen Shows Off Its 2015 302 Black Label Ford Mustang

 

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If there’s any company out there that should know how to tune up a new Mustang, it’s the folks at Saleen. Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve have a true S-badged bruiser roaming the streets. Now though, it looks like the time has come to welcome an all-new super Stang from the house that Steve built. Say hello to the 2015 302 Black Label.

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In late 2014, Saleen announced it would be building White and Yellow Label examples of the new Mustang. The White Label takes the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine and massages it a bit for a modest power bump over the stock output. That carproduces 450 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. The Yellow Label adds on a supercharger and a host of other upgrades to push the power figure up to an eye-watering 715 horsepower and 595 pound-feet of torque. The Black Label takes things even further.

Under the hood of the 302 Black Label, we have the Coyote V-8 and its supercharger mate working together to produce 730 horsepower and an even 600 pound-feet of torque. That means we’ve pushed past Hellcat territory, which you can bet was certainly benchmarked by the Saleen team. Here we also have a car with massive fuel injectors, a high-volume intercooler, tuned exhaust, and a limited-slip differential that’s going to get lots of exercise.

The engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a paddle-shiftable six-speed automatic. To keep the car moving in the intended direction, Saleen have upgraded the chassis with new springs, shocks, sway bars, and bushings. Fifteen-inch rotors and multi-piston brakes are on hand to slow things down, and massive 275-series tires are wrapped around 20-inch wheels to keep the car planted.

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The 2015 Saleen 302 Black Label is being offered in a wide range of exterior colors. There’s a number of interior choices as well, and a list of options for a buyer to choose from. All Black Label cars come hand signed by Steve Saleen as well. Not bad for a starting price of a little over $73,000 considering it has more power (and should be far more rare) than the all mighty Hellcat.

Trion Nemesis – 2,000-HP Supercar to enter Production

Trion Nemesis – 2,000-HP  Supercar to enter Production

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With a twin-turbocharged V-8 and a promised 2,000 horsepower, the Trion Nemesis supercar sounds enticing, but—like so many other upstart supercars—it also sounds like vaporware. Yet its creators appear to be moving ahead with production plans.

Trion Supercars first revealed this ambitious project earlier this year, and nowAutocar is reporting that it will enter production in 2016. The Nemesis is reportedly in the early stages of development, with the first prototypes scheduled to appear in February 2015, and production is said to be being outsourced to California coachbuilder N2A Motors.
Trion claims the Nemesis can take on the best European supercars and, at least on paper, it looks like it can. With around twice the horsepower of a Bugatti Veyron, the Nemesis’ twin-turbocharged 9.0-liter V-8 will be able to rocket the car from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 270 mph, Trion says. The Nemesis will also have a “Predator Mode” that adjusts things like ride height, suspension settings, exhaust sound, and rev limit for when it’s time to go on maximum attack.

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The car will have all-wheel drive and an eight-speed sequential gearbox, all wrapped in a lightweight carbon fiber body and chassis. However, the Nemesis’ most impressive feature may be its roomy cabin, which can accommodate drivers up to 6′ 4″—not something you’d normally expect from a supercar.

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Of course, that’s if the Nemesis really does make it into production in 2016. Even if it does, you’re not likely to see one at the local cars and coffee event. Trion only plans to build 50 cars, at around $1 million per copy.

Mercedes investing $500 million on Next-Gen Sprinter Plant

Mercedes investing $500 million on Next-Gen Sprinter Plant

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Hot on the heels of last week’s confirmation of Mercedes-Benz’s V-Class-based Metris mid-size van for the U.S. market, the German automaker has now announced that the next generation of its full-size Sprinter van will be built at a new plant located in Charleston, South Carolina. The current Sprinter is built at another plant located in South Carolina.

The new plant is expected to provide greater capacity for the Sprinter, which at present holds close to nine percent of the country’s large van market (that’s roughly 26,000 sales). The German automaker is predicting that demand for large vans will grow rapidly over the next five years.

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In meeting extra demand for its Sprinter at present, Mercedes is forced to import additional vans from a plant in Germany. However, these face high import duties and a complex disassembly process to get them ready for local sale, so the new plant will solve this issue. Another benefit of increased capacity here will be quicker delivery times for all customers.

Construction on the new plant will commence in 2016. Mercedes is investing around $500 million in the project and is expected to create roughly 1,300 permanent jobs.

First introduced in 1995, the Sprinter has been a huge success for Mercedes pretty much since launch. More than 2.8 million Sprinters have been delivered to customers in around 130 countries since then, making it one of the most popular large vans in the world. In addition to the U.S. and Germany, Sprinters are also built in Argentina, Brazil, China and Iran.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² Concept with Video

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² Concept with Video

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It may be old, but the Mercedes-Benz G-Class shows no sign of fading away. Mercedes continues to update the venerable Gelandewagen with new versions, the latest of which has just been teased in the form of a thinly-veiled concept version set to star at next week’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

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The new G500 4×4² concept emphasizes the G-Class’ off-road ability with jacked-up suspension, portal axles, and massive 22-inch wheels and tires, all borrowed from the hulking G63 AMG 6×6, which incidentally is being phased out after a hundred-unit production run. Of course, the concept is badged G500, not G63, but the two appear similar. Either way, it appears Mercedes is serious about a G-Class variant for buyers who want the 6×6’s off-road capability, but can’t fit one in their garages.

Mercedes also boasts a newly-developed chassis with dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping for the concept, all of which is wrapped by the familiar G-Class body. And its radioactive green paint, side exhaust tips, and pumped fenders should also help this concept stand out on an auto show floor.

 

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Also new for the G-Class is what’s lying under the hood. Power in the G500 4×4² concept comes from the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 developed by Mercedes-AMG for its performance lineup. For the concept, the engine has been tuned to deliver 422 horsepower, but more importantly it meets planned Euro 6 emission standards coming into effect next year, meaning the G-Class won’t be going anywhere soon. The same can’t be said for its Land Rover rival, the Defender, which is being discontinued this year because of emissions and fuel economy requirements.

 

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With all of its modifications, the G-Class concept has a height of nearly 7.4 feet and a width of almost 7 feet. The ground clearance, meanwhile, is almost 18 inches, which compares to just 8.3 inches for the standard G. This is made possible because of the portal axles. As opposed to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the height of the center of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission.

Inside the cabin of the G500 4×4² concept, the designers have combined sportiness with luxury. The seat bolsters and head restraints as well as the dashboard, center console and armrests are lined in black designo leather with white contrasting stitching. The seat surfaces and door panels, meanwhile, are covered in microfiber and get a diamond-quilt pattern for the stitching.

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According to Mercedes, the decision on a production version of the G500 4×4² willdepend on the reaction the concept receives at its upcoming Geneva debut. However, it should be noted that we spotted just such a vehicle testing a few months back, suggesting that much of the development work for the production version is already complete.

 

 

Source: Motor Authority

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will have a 450 HP Twin-Turbo V-6

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will have a 450 HP Twin-Turbo V-6
 
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The upcoming 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is just one of the many exciting products that the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] revealed to the world at the recent 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Some truck fans may have been initially worried when the rowdy pickup took to the stage, however, because it was announced that the 6.2-liter V-8 engine of the previous Raptor would be replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost.

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Fear not off-road riders, as it’s just been revealed that the new mill will make 450 horsepower. That’s nearly 40 more than the outgoing, heavier, V-8 unit. Of course, we know the engine will pump out more than 600 hp, as that’s what’s promised for the new GT supercar which will feature its own version of the potent EcoBoost six.

The Raptor news comes by way of Ford product development chief Raj Nair who unexpectedly shared the info during an interview on Fox Sports (via Automobile). Pair the upgraded power figure with the truck’s lighter aluminum body and the 2017 F-150 Raptor should handily dispatch its earlier version down a dusty trail.

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The new vehicle should be a big hit with tough truck fans as Ford has also increased the amount of travel on the suspension, thrown a few upgrades into the cabin space, and refined the exterior shape. We’re mixed on the giant “FORD” lettering in the grille, but it certainly falls in line with the overall in-your-face attitude that a Raptor gives off. That goes for the current generation truck as well, as its a vehicle with serious presence on the street.

Mercedes-Benz to launch E Class Maybach and More to come

 

Mercedes-Benz to launch E Class Maybach and More to come

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Mercedes-Benz has just launched its new Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand which is tasked with building ultra-luxurious versions of the German automaker’s already plush autos. The first model from Mercedes-Maybach is a stretched version of the S-Class but there will be more, including an extra-long S-Class Pullman and a pimped-out version of the upcoming GLS SUV (GL-Class facelift).

Now, in an interview with Automotive News (subscription required), Mercedes’ U.S. chief Steve Cannon has revealed that the next-generation E-Class may also receive the Mercedes-Maybach treatment. He didn’t give any further details about the car, though should it be given the green light we can imagine it featuring a longer wheelbase than the standard E-Class and a unique, lounge-like seating arrangement in the rear. The model will most likely be aimed at the Chinese market where a long-wheelbase E-Class is already sold.

During the interview, Canon also revealed that the next-generation A-Class is being considered for sale in the U.S. market. Mercedes will build its next-generation compacts at a plant in Mexico (which will also be used to build new Infiniti compacts) and given the common underpinnings of the cars we could easily see production of the next A-Class take place on the same line as the next versions of the CLA and GLA.

Canon said the next A-Class will “change” from what we’re used to, and that additional compact cars will help Mercedes meet the 2025 corporate average fuel economy mandate of 54.5 mpg. The first of Mercedes’ next-generation compacts is due to enter production in 2018. The cars will be based on a new version of the MFA compact car platform found in Mercedes’ current compact range.

 

Source: Motor Authority 

Pay Chevy $5,000 And They’ll Let You Build A Corvette Engine

Pay Chevy $5,000 And They’ll Let You Build A Corvette Engine

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The do-it-yourself movement centers around two linked principles: learning a skill and saving money. Chevy’s Engine Build Experience, which lets Corvette Z06 buyers spend a day hand-assembling the supercharged, 650-horsepower engine that will go in their brand-new American supercar, definitely has the first part down. But at a cost of $5000, you won’t save any money opting for the build-your-own package.

The Engine Build Experience invites customers who’ve special-ordered a brand-new Z06 to come to the Performance Build Center, the facility within the Bowling Green Assembly Plant where every Z06 engine is assembled. The package lets buyers spend a full day at the center at the behest of an engine-assembly technician, who will instruct and oversee as the customer puts together the powerplant of his or her Z06. Each customer-built mill gets a personalized engine plaque indicating the owner/builder’s name and the date of assembly, along with professional photos documenting the whole experience.

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Of course, you won’t walk in the door in the morning and drive out in the brand-new Z06 you (sort of) built yourself. “It’s important for customers to understand their engine won’t be installed the day after they build it,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager. “It will flow into the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.” And of course, travel to Bowling Green and lodging is up to the customer.

Source: Car & Driver

New Ford GT Supercar Revealed At 2015 Detroit Auto Show

New Ford GT Supercar Revealed At 2015 Detroit Auto Show

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The Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] has shocked the automotive world with the unveiling of an all-new GT supercar today at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. As stunning as it looks, the GT on show in Detroit isn’t a concept to be watered down by the time production rolls around but a preview of the car that will be hitting showrooms sometime in 2016.

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It’s got all the typical supercar cues such as a mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration, and a sleek, aerodynamic coupe body. But instead of the typical V-8 engine found in most performance Fords, including the previous GT, the new generation will come packing an EcoBoost V-6 engine whose twin-turbochargers will help liberate more than 600 horsepower.

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Range Rover now has a Diesel Option In U.S. For 2016

Range Rover now has a Diesel Option In U.S. For 2016

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Land Rover is finally about to offer a diesel option for its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models here in the U.S. At an event on the eve of this week’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the British automaker confirmed that its 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will be available with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine, helping to boost fuel economy by around 32 percent compared to the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine already on offer.

The diesel engine will be offered in a new HSE Td6 variant, which will join the rest of the 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models in showrooms this fall. EPA-rated figures are yet to be released but Land Rover predicts both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will return around 22/28 mpg city/highway and 25 mpg combined. And on a full tank of diesel, total range should increase to about 658 miles, a gain of 3.3 percent for the Range Rover and 8 percent for the Range Rover Sport. An eight-speed automatic will remain standard.

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HSE Td6 badge fitted to Land Rover’s diesel-powered Range Rover

Peak output is a stout 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, with the latter available from just 1,750 rpm. This high torque output at relatively low revs makes the diesel engine well suited to towing heavy loads and off-roading where reaching maximum torque at a lower gear is extremely beneficial.

HSE Td6 badge fitted to Land Rover’s diesel-powered Range RoverHSE Td6 badge fitted to Land Rover’s diesel-powered Range RoverAnd despite having 100 hp less than the gasoline V-6, the diesel’s low-end torque helps deliver comparable acceleration figures. The diesel-equipped Range Rover Sport will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds and the Range Rover will do it in 7.4 seconds. That compares with 6.9 and 7.1 seconds respectively for the gasoline-equipped models. Top speed is 130 mph for both. Of course, if outright performance is your preference, may we suggest taking a look at the 550-hp Range Rover Sport SVR.
Land Rover engineers are currently testing the diesel-equipped Range Rover and Range Rover Sport on U.S. soil to ensure they will be able to handle all of our local climate and terrain conditions, including conditions at sea level right up to altitudes of 14,000 feet. By the time sales have begun, the test fleet will have completed one million test miles.

We also have some good news for fans of Land Rover’s other models: the automaker has confirmed that diesel technology will be available in the U.S. across its lineup of vehicles in the coming years.