Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SPY: 2015 Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class (C 292) test mules snagged at Nurburgring

After some months with no news on the future MLC, spy photographers were able to capture new images of the test mules used to develop the C 292 SUV coupe at Nurburgring. These vehicles display a shorter clearance, a slightly enlarged wheelbase and modified wheel arches to house the new underpinnings until the finished ("frozen") design body comes into force.

In January, we were getting the first look at the forthcoming MLC-Class as the first test vehicles got out. Like then, the M-Class W 166 mules are still used to hide the new chassis of the car. The C 292 model series will be using a slightly different M-Class platform, modified with sharper settings for ensuring better driving dynamics, given the fact the MLC is intended to be a dynamic SUV coupe.

Arriving in early 2015, the new MLC-Class will sport a radical styling, so do not expect an evolution of the bland design seen on the M-Class. Inspiration might also come from the latest Mercedes-Benz concepts, in addition to obeying the latest philosophy. The cabin will have four seats and will boast refined materials, improved functionality and connectivity and a slightly different dashboard than on the W 166 and X 166.

Technology will be at the highest level whether we talk about drive management, assistance, safety or telematics. The latest generation of PRE-SAFE, Crosswind Assist, DIRECT STEER, AIRMATIC suspension, Head Up Display, the DISTRONIC PLUS with Traffic Assist, the COMAND Online with internet access and Car-to-X communication will certainly equip the new MLC. The engine range will be shared with the GL-Class and M-Class, so there will be a choice to suit every taste and driver from the frugal MLC 250 BlueTEC up to the grumpy MLC 63 AMG. The new 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox will be standard equipment for most MLC versions. Insiders suggest a hardcore MLC 65 AMG will also be launched, sporting a thoroughly revised M279 V12 engine rated at 630 hp.

Image Credits: Worldcarfans

Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

SPY: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Viano shows some bold styling for a van

An all new generation Viano is set to arrive next year. The large-sized family van will showcase a striking design, in line with the new Mercedes-Benz philosophy, and more exclusive appointments and technology from the brand's latest passenger vehicles.

The new front end will be dominated by an aggressive attitude. The bigger headlights, with optional LED daytime running lights, are vetically placed, while the radiator grille features a two-slat design and, of course, the large Mercedes star placed in the center.

Inside, you will witness a total revamp with all new dashboard and more quality materials. On the high-end variants, it will be possible to opt for an enhanced infotainment system derived from the latest COMAND Online and some range-topping audio systems.

Powerplants for the new Viano are yet to be announced, but the portfolio will comprise 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder diesel units. Along with the new Viano comes the new Vito as well, but it looks that the current E-CELL variant will be discontinued for the new model series due to lack of demand.

Image Credits: Worldcarfans

Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

PREVIEW: Early illustrations reveal what could have been the W 213 E-Class

The 213 series E-Class is expected to touch ground by the end of 2015. Recently, a set of images showing some initial sketches (dated 29th July 2011) of the future E-Class have reached the internet, signaled by the W 213 lettering found on one of the drawings.

Signed by former Mercedes-Benz designer Hussein Alattar (currently working for BMW), the drawings reveal a fascinating, quite retro-style design for the executive class limousine. The current design philosophy is evolved into the next step, becoming even more progressive. The headlights resemble an arch and the radiator grille, although rounded, is pointing ahead. When seen from profile, the front section looks like the fascia of a shark.

The roofline looks dramatically arched, with the side windows being completely modified compared to the traditional design of the current days. The C-pillar is triangular and continues fairly close to the bottom end of the car. The third volume, the trunk, is shorter than expected and looks like it has been integrated into the whole architecture - fairly similar to a fastback sedan.

The profile is extremely neat and clean and it features larger and more pronounced wheel arches. While the front overhang is short, the rear overhang is long - a perfect antithesis with the long engine bonnet and the almost seamlessly integrated trunk. All in all, if ever approved by executives, the opera of Hussein Alattar would probably have looked sensational in flesh and would have brought a revolutionary view to the classic Mercedes-Benz design philosophy.

Image Credits: Mercedes-Benz Passion Blog

Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

What if: A team of young designers creates the Mercedes-Benz SL Shooting Brake

Under the watchful guidance of Steffen Köhl, the head of the Mercedes-Benz Global Advanced Design Studio, a team of six young and daring artists working for the Italian design house Studiotorino have mastered a wonderful proposal for an SL-Class Shooting Brake. This is not the first time the SL gets transformed into a fastback coupe - the first project of this kind was released in 2008 and based on the facelifted R 230 series.

Entitled "Coupetorino 2013", the concept is basically an SL roadster which gained a dynamic coupe form and lost its retractable roof. Instead, the roofline resembles the true Mercedes style and beautifully flows towards the back end. Because the car features an integrated tail gate and two volumes, besides having two access doors, it certainly can be described as a traditional shooting brake.

This outstanding Mercedes-Benz showcar was officially presented as a 1:4 scale clay model two months ago at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy. What is even more interesting is the heads behind this project have fully evaluated the costs of production and impact of a potential series production of the Coupetorino 2013.

The SL Shooting Brake deserves a big appraisal and has already received an important number of positive reactions. While the evaluation numbers remain classified, we could not help but ask if a future SL Shooting Brake would be worth the money not only producing it, but also buying it? In most cases, the answer would be plain simple: YES!

Below you can read the press statement from Studiotorino and see more pictures of the Coupetorino 2013 study! Enjoy! :)


COUPETORINO 2013 is a non-profit academic project conceived by Studiotorino and promoted by Alfredo and Maria Paola Stola. Its goal is to train six young students who attend Istituto di Arte Applicata e Design in Torino. The project began in September 2012 with six students: Bruno Arena, Michele Bavaro, Riccardo Luigi Cascone, Stefano Manini, Dario Pellegrino and Cristiano Zanot.

The objective of the "style research study" between STUDIOTORINO and Steffen Koehl of Global Advance Design MERCEDES BENZ was to transform the new iconic Mercedes SL spider into an exclusive Coupe. The COUPETORINO was envisioned by fantasy as a one-off special edition or limited series model and was for the students a realistic work-study project. In addition to the basic style aspects of transforming a spider into a true coupe, careful consideration was taken into account in terms of engineering feasibility and cost of production.

Steffen Koehl's didactic participation was generous and highly instructive. Over the months Mr. Koehl gave three in-person lectures and maintained a continuous dialogue with the students via email.

The students presented Step 2 of their work on November 5, 2012 in Sindelfingen at the MERCEDES-BENZ Design Center. The students presented and illustrated their 3 final style versions: Classic, Muscular and Shooting-Brake. The students were cordially welcomed and had the exclusive opportunity to present their work on a triple 1/1 screen, one of the most avant-guard in the world. Steffen Koehl graciously guided the group through the Design Center and commented on every one of the students' designs, making corrections when necessary.

Step 4 of the project was presented was the second meeting and took place in Torino on January 22, 2013 at IAAD. Italo Moriggi and colleagues of Skorpion, sponsor of the project's 1/4 scale stereolitography resin model attended the event. Mr. Koehl examined all of the designs, listened to and suggested modifications and alterations to the students' work.

Step 4 Plus of the project transpired via email. The students had modified their design according to suggestions and the Shooting-Brake design was selected for the scale model. The datas were performed at Skorpion in Milan. The students had the opportunity to interact with Matteo Gelpi and add another dimension to their experience. The 1/4 scale model was created using a large and monolithic stereolitography technique with an internal surface thickness that would allow manual modifications.

The final presentation of the 9-month academic project took place on May 27 at the MERCEDES-BENZ Design Center in Como. Steffen Koehl and Michele Paganetti cordially welcomed the students, Studiotorino, IAAD and Skorpion. The students: Arena, Bavaro, Cascone, Manini, Pellegrino and Zanot presented their design project as if presenting a thesis. They explained in detail every step that led their study from an idea to a model. Teamwork was an integral and deliberate part of the learning experience and the students did all of their work as one.

On this their last and most important day the students also expressed their individuality with a surprise. The students presented the Mercedes Design Center with six illustrations of the COUPETORINO finely printed on paper as a memento of their unforgettable experience.

Credits: Studiotorino

Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.