Coupe, Crossover, News, Motorshow

Mercedes unveils GLC Coupe

Mercedes has revealed its new GLC Coupe SUV.

A year after making its debut in concept form in Shanghai, the production version appears largely unchanged, fusing the stylistic elements of a sporting coupe with Mercedes’ modern SUV design language.

“The GLC Coupé reflects our iconic Mercedes-Benz coupé design while symbolising the bipolarity of our brand – it is ‘hot and cool’,” said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its design idiom of sensual purity, it perfectly embodies our styling philosophy while at the same time representing contemporary luxury.”

Standard sports suspension is combined with sports steering, permanent all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission for a blend of ‘superior’ ride comfort and ‘decidedly sporty’ agility, says Mercedes. 

Two suspension variants with continuously adjustable damping are optionally available: the new DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL with steel springing as well as the already familiar AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension – both promising further enhanced driving dynamics and comfort.

Measuring 4.73 metres in length, 1.60 metres in height and with a wheelbase of 2.87 metres, the GLC Coupe is almost eight centimetres longer and some four centimetres lower than the ‘regular’ GLC, with which it shares its basic architecture.

The GLC Coupe is distinguished by a single-louvred diamond radiator grille and a restyled, sloping roofline. The A-pillar is less steeply raked, while the continuation of the roof outline is lower, flowing to a muscular rear end. The rear window dispenses with a wiper, as the airflow does not break away until after the spoiler lip, which, according to Mercedes, means that water is unable to strike the rear window.

The new GLC Coupe is available in a total of eight model variants, with four diesel and four petrol engines, including a plug-in hybrid as well as a powerful Mercedes-AMG model.

The entry-level models are the four-cylinder diesel-engined 220 d and 250 d 4MATIC Coupe with outputs ranging from 170hp to 204hp as well as the four-cylinder petrol-engined 250 4MATIC Coupe rated at 211hp.

Mercedes also offers a plug-in hybrid (350 e 4MATIC Coupe) that combines agile all-wheel drive with low fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With a total system output of 320hp, it delivers a top speed of 146mph with acceleration from rest to 62mph in 5.9 seconds, courtesy of a boost function.

CO2 emissions are between 59‑64g/km in normal use but it can cover as much as 18.6 miles in zero-emission all-electric mode.

The range-topping Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe, powered by a 367hp V6 biturbo engine, can cover the 0 to 62mph sprint in less than 5 seconds.

Market launch will be in the autumn with these engine line-ups. Further models will follow at the end of 2016.

Coupe, Diesel, Sports Car, News

Mercedes confirms C-Class Coupe pricing and spec

Mercedes has confirmed the new C-Class Coupe will be priced from £30,955 OTR.

Available to order now ahead of first UK deliveries in December, the new C-Class Coupe comes with four engine options and two model lines. The new Coupe builds on the specification of the Saloon and Estate variants, and starts with the C 200 petrol engine, which produces 184 hp and is available with a six-speed manual (123 g/km of CO2) or 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox (125 g/km). The new C 300 engine produces 245 hp and comes only with the 7G-Tronic gearbox, with CO2 from 146 g/km.

Two diesel engines are available: the 170 hp C 220 d, with a six-speed manual (106 g/km) or 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox (106 g/km), and the C 250 d, which produces 204 hp and comes with a 9G-Tronic gearbox (109 g/km).

The two model lines are the Sport and AMG Line. Standard equipment includes LED headlights and tail-lights; Active Park Assist; PARKTRONIC parking sensors; a reversing camera; sports seats with ARTICO upholstery including heated front seats; 7-inch colour screen; Garmin navigation; electrically folding mirrors and Collision Prevention Assist Plus automatic braking system. The C 300 model also features, as standard, a sports exhaust system with switchable sound.

The Sport model comes with a gloss black interior trim with aluminium inlays in the doors, 17-inch alloy wheels and a 'diamond grille with black-painted pins'.

The AMG Line includes black ash wood trim, an AMG sports steering wheel with flat bottom, brushed steel sports pedals and a black roof lining. The exterior features an AMG bodystyling kit, 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the diamond grille and 15mm lowered sports suspension.

Two options packages are available: Premium and Premium Plus. The £1,695 Premium Package includes a panoramic glass roof, keyless go, seat memory package and ambient lighting. To this the £2,995 Premium Plus Package also adds a Burmester surround sound system and COMAND online with 8-inch screen. A £1,695 Driver's Assistance Package includes DISTRONIC Plus with stop and go (adaptive cruise control); Active blind spot and lane-keeping assist, Pre-safe with pedestrian detection (anticipatory safety system).

Topping the range is the £61,160 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe. With a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine and AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed automatic gearbox, the C 63 produces 476 hp and 650 Nm, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds. The £66,910 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S produces 510 hp and 700 Nm, with 0-62 mph taking 3.9 seconds.

From launch, a limited-edition C63 S Edition 1 is also available. It features unique details including diamond-stitched nappa leather upholstery with contrast yellow stitching; carbon fibre interior trim; graphite AMG decals on the bonnet, roof and sides; an AMG aerodynamic package and bespoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, and is available for £76,900. The Edition 1 motorsport package adds to this yellow AMG decals, designo selenite grey magno paint, AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system and exclusive 19inch front and 20-inch rear wheels with yellow detailing for an extra £3,000.

Coupe, Hatchback, Convertible, News

smart reveals new fortwo cabrio

smart has unveiled a new open-top two-seater - the fortwo cabrio.

Set for a world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the fortwo cabrio will be available with three different colours for the 'tritop' fabric soft top: blue denim, red or black. The removable roof bars, that can be stowed in a compartment in the tailgate, come in the tridion colour.

At the push of a button, the cabrio is transformed from a closed two-seater into a car with a large sliding canvas sunroof, or a fully fledged cabriolet with the soft top completely open. The B-pillar is narrower than on the closed variant and the styling of the tridion safety cell is more progressive, giving the smart fortwo cabrio an 'even sportier and more forward-focused look'.

The fabric soft top can be opened fully automatically in twelve seconds - even when driving at top speed. With the 3-button key the soft top can also be opened from outside the car by remote control. Removing the side roof bars enables a full-blown cabrio experience. 

Torsional strength has been improved by around 15 percent compared with the predecessor with the material mix featuring a high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steels. In addition, the cabrio has been specifically reinforced in decisive places in comparison to the coupe. The modifications include a large steel cross under the vehicle, two torsional bulkheads under the vehicle at the front and rear and an inner tube in the A-pillars made of high strength hot-formed steel.

As well as meeting the requirements of mandatory crash tests, the new smart fortwo cabrio features advanced assistance systems such as the latest-generation ESP with Crosswind Assist and hill start assist (standard), forward collision warning (option) and Lane Keeping Assist (option).

Initially available with two three-cylinder engines rated at 71 hp and 90 hp, both units can be combined with the five-speed manual transmission or the fully automatic twinamic dual clutch transmission. In addition to the three trim lines passion, prime and proxy, customers can choose from a large range of safety and comfort features - including the new features added in the latest facelift such as smartphone integration with MirrorLink (standard in combination with the smart Media-System) or the Urban Style package (including black wheel arch linings and lowering kit).

The testing programme for open-top vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars is extensive - and identical for all models. The new smart fortwo cabrio was therefore subjected to the same rigorous tests as, for example, the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet. In an endurance test, the opening and closing of the soft top was simulated over the whole vehicle life cycle. As well as this component test, which comprises 20,000 cycles, the soft top and the soft top mechanism must also prove themselves in the climatic chamber with temperatures between -15 and +80 degrees centigrade.

A car wash test ensures that smart cabrio passengers always stay dry, with 500 cycles - the requirements correspond to those for the coupe. In addition to this testing in the development phase, every single smart cabrio is also tested for 'leak-proofness' - at the end of the production at the Hambach plant every vehicle is sprinkled with a standardised amount of water for seven minutes.

The new smart cabrio will be available to order in mid-November with first models reaching dealers in February 2016.


German car giants jointly buy Nokia mapping service

Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent company Damiler AG have acquired Nokia's mapping and location services business 'HERE'.

The acquisition aims to secure the long term availability of HERE's products and services as an 'open, independent and value creating platform' for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors.

The three partners will each hold an equal stake in HERE with none seeking to acquire a majority interest. Subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. HERE currently provides mapping and location intelligence for nearly 200 countries in more than 50 languages and is one of the main providers of mapping and location services. 

With autonomous cars becoming more of a reality, the HERE system is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services. For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving. Extremely precise digital maps are increasingly important and will be used in combination with real-time vehicle data in order to increase road safety and to facilitate innovative new products and services. On the basis of the shared raw data, all automobile manufacturers can offer their customers differentiated and brand-specific services.

"Our environment is constantly changing. That's why the information in digital maps has to be continually updated so that maximum utility can be offered," stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The high-precision cameras and sensors installed in modern cars are the digital eyes for updating mobility data and maps; in this way, information such as speed limits or critical driving situations are already recognised today. All data gained will be processed in compliance with strict data-protection rules.

"HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone," explained Harald Kruger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

This knowledge will be to the benefit of all carmakers and their customers. "High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries," stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.

The social benefits of 'swarm intelligence' are enormous: They facilitate warnings of hazards in real time, of icy roads for example, based on calculations of individual data such as ABS activations and outside temperature. Upcoming traffic jams will be identified more precisely in the future, significantly reducing the risk of accidents. In this way, the vision of accident-free driving is gradually becoming reality. In a further stage, the data could be used to learn about critical bends on the road, in order to warn drivers in good time or to activate assistance systems. Anticipation of green phases of stoplights could navigate vehicles through an urban area on a "green wave" with the appropriate engine performance and minimised fuel consumption.

High-precision maps are important for autonomous driving and many other forms of assistance systems, as these technologies require an up-to-date plan of a vehicle's surroundings exact to the nearest centimetre, in order to react in real time. While HERE already produces extremely precise static maps, they can be verified more exactly and continually updated with a constant flow of data from vehicles' surroundings.

The company will continue to develop its position as a strong and independent provider of maps and location-based services, will expand its product offering and continue to make it available to all customers across industries. The management of HERE will continue to be independent - with the goal of moving the business case forward as a platform, open to all customers.