Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz

The above-average auto makers in customer retention

It's a lot easier to keep a customer than to get a new one, at least that's how the sales force maxim goes. So what then does the newly released J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Retention Study say about the automotive brands and their ability to sell the same customer another car. For starters, something incredibly positive is happening at Hyundai - just two years ago, Hyundai was below the industry average in customer retention - now the Korean brand has flown past Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura to become the stickiest brand in the business. Which isn't hard - one in two motorists defects to another brand with their next purchase.  Read More

Daimler will supply a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, a second generation smart fortwo elect...

Inductive charging devices are already making their way into the home as a cable-free option to keep the batteries of everything from mice and keyboards to mobile phones and toothbrushes juiced up. The increasing availability of practical electric vehicles has also seen the technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" project.  Read More

The Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID (pictured) will debut in Detroit alongside the E 40...

Mercedes-Benz has announced that two new hybrid models will be making their world premiere at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which the company calls “the world’s most economical luxury-class model,” will come in Saloon and Estate versions packing a 4-cylinder diesel engine boasting fuel economy figures of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US), while the E 400 HYBRID is powered by a V6-cylinder petrol engine and gets 8.7 l/100 km (27 mpg US) in combined city and highway driving based on the American CAFE standard.  Read More

The 2013 Mercedes SL benefits from the extensive use of aluminum

The SL is a defining vehicle for Mercedes Benz. It represents the core values of comfort, style and effortless power, and was for many years the default choice for successful lawyers and lucky lottery winners. With the outgoing model, introduced in 2003, MB somehow lost its way. Over time the “Sports Light” model had gained significant weight and lost design coherence. As a consequence of the ludicrous Daimler/Chrysler merger costs were slashed, build quality suffered and the electronics were notoriously quirky. Fortunately Mercedes has turned that ship around and after the successful launch of the flagship SLS it’s time to introduce a completely new, and it must be said, strikingly handsome version of the iconic SL.  Read More

Brabus 800 Coupe - world's fastest and most powerful luxury coupe

German speed merchant Brabus has unveiled its latest performance vehicle - the Brabus 800 Coupe. Based on the Mercedes-Benz CL600, the 800 make-over takes the already impressive 5.5 liter V12 previously developed for the SV12 R Biturbo 800 to an eye-popping 788 hp (588kW) with 1047 ft.lbs (1420Nm) of torque.  Read More

Mercedes' Aero Trailer, being pulled by an Actros tractor unit

Being in Belgium in November for a truck show may or may not be your cup of tea/mug of Java, but Mercedes is at least doing its best to make the "Trailer 2011" exhibition interesting. The truck design world moves at a glacial pace compared to the consumer automobile business, and new models have to provide serious and significant commercial improvements if they are to be accepted by the trucking fraternity. Coming off the back of the well-received launch of its new Actros heavyweight tractor unit, Mercedes brought along a trailer concept design that aims to match and extend the significant commercial and environmental advantages of that unit. It looks cool, too.  Read More

With a new aluminum bodyshell the Mercedes SL is lighter than its predecessors

Mercedez-Benz has managed to significantly reduce the weight of its upcoming SL (sporty, lightweight) Roadster, thanks in large part to a new 89 percent aluminum bodyshell that, at 254 kg (559.9 lb), is 110 kg (242.5 lb) lighter than a comparable bodyshell. The new bodyshell structure also enables a new "FrontBass" system, which will make its world premiere in the SL series, that Mercedes claims delivers "concert hall" sound with the roof up or down. Another feature making its debut is the MAGIC VISION CONTROL wiper/washer system that cleans the windscreen without the splash of road-obscuring water seen in traditional systems.  Read More

If you are planning to purchase a car in the near future, you'd be well served by checking...

It's a well known fact that simply driving a new car away from the dealership is one of the most horrifically expensive things you'll ever do. ALG measures automotive residual values in the American marketplace - that is, the value of a car when you sell it, three years after purchase. Depreciation of the value of a car is often the largest part of the cost of ownership, and hence a good performance in ALG's Annual Residual Value Awards is a strong indication of how much that brand will cost to drive, and for the average man in the street, the current retained-value king is Subaru. Fuji Heavy Industries Subaru brand has now won the award three years running, with Lexus regaining top spot amongst luxury brands. The report suggests that German and American manufacturers are a long way behind Japanese (11 of the 21 awards) manufacturers in this critical but often overlooked aspect of real car ownership costs.  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

The F 125! research vehicle is a glimpse of 2025 motoring from Mercedes-Benz

To celebrate 125 years of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz has provided a glimpse of where it sees things heading in the future with its F 125! research vehicle. Although it isn't so ambitious as to attempt to predict what cars will look like in another 125 years, the German automaker has decided to look a little further afield than usual. Previous research vehicles have generally looked ahead one vehicle generation, which is roughly seven to eight years, but with a newly developed hydrogen fuel cell system, gesture controls, and range of 1,000 km (621 miles), Mercedes says the F 125! looks forward more than two generations to the year 2025 and beyond.  Read More

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