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2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Refresh at Atlanta Classic Cars!

Our MBUSA trainer stopped by to show us the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63! The 2018 S-Class is what we call a mid-cycle refresh. The sheet metal is the same but there have been tweaks to the bumpers, lights, wheels, technology and engines. This refresh should last for three more years. The S-Class is generally on a seven year body style cycle.

On the exterior of the vehicle the headlights and taillights are the most noticeable changes. The new Multibeam headlights feature a three eyebrow look that is very striking. They are also ultra-wide for better road coverage. The taillights feature the same crystal effect as the E-Class and GLC-Class.

Inside the S-Class, the steering wheel is an obvious change. It is now a 3-spoke wheel with touchpads and new style buttons. On the left side of the wheel there are cruise control buttons and on the right there are voice and radio controls. There are also some new ambient lighting colors and leather choices. The COMAND system has been upgraded to version NTG 5.5. This is the same as the 2018 E-Class with a few functional differences. I will admit that it has taken some time to get used to the new system but the more cars it is in, the more practice I get and the more I like it.

Under the hood every S-Class has something new. The S450, now available, is the first V6 we have had in years! With 362 horsepower and 369 lb/ft of torque it should be perfect for those who want all of the luxury but do not need all of the power. The S560 features the V8 biturbo with 463 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque. 0-60 is estimated at 4.5 seconds which is amazing for a vehicle of this size. The new S63 is now 603 horsepower and 664 lb/ft of torque. It is silky smooth and blindingly fast!

The first of these refreshed models should be arriving shortly!

Hurricane Irma and the Mercedes-Benz VPC in Brunswick

With Hurricane Irma likely to hit the east coast and an Evacuation Order issued for coastal Georgia, it is likely that the vehicles currently at the port in Brunswick, Georgia will remain there for longer than expected.

Under normal circumstances a ship will dock in Brunswick, unload over a day or two, process through the Vehicle Prep Center over a week to 10 days and then ship to the dealership.

A hurricane will slow down all parts of this process. No ships in, employees under evacuation orders and bad conditions will all contribute to longer than average processing times.

Just a little insight into all of the moving parts in getting a Mercedes-Benz…

New European Delivery Travel Packages from Mercedes-Benz!

European Deilvery Sindelfingen

Picking up your new Mercedes-Benz at the factory in Germany is an amazing experience! Touring the factory, meeting the experts that assemble the cars and seeing your new car for the first time where it was built are experiences you should not miss! Once you have your new car you now have two weeks of complimentary insurance to enjoy. What should you do with it?

Mercedes-Benz offers several travel packages that guide you along! For $2000 you can add a 4-6 night adventure, curated by Mercedes-Benz! I have done this twice and thought the value was extraordinary! The Travel Department has just introduced several new options that look amazing! You can use this as a starting point for a longer trip, add extra days along the way or modify it to suit your plans. Every hotel I have ever stayed at with Mercedes-Benz has been top notch!

You can see all of the details on the new Euro Delivery Travel Site here. You can visit the European Delivery Website here (watch the video – you might know someone!). You can see information from my trips to Germany here.

I can help you book your European Delivery experience no matter where you live in the US! Get in touch!

Mercedes-Benz European Delivery Center

Standard Package One (1) night in Stuttgart or Bremen, Germany (for one or two persons, including breakfast); Additional nights will be charged to your credit card.  (Pick up and drop off points)
Alps Rally & Alsace Region
(in addition to standard package)
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Strasbourg
Two (2) nights in Interlaken
One (1) night Geneva  (drop off point)
Black Forest Package
(in addition to standard package)
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Baiersbronn
Two (2) nights Hinterzarten
One (1) night Munich  (drop off point)
Bremen, Prague & Berlin
(in addition to standard package)
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Bremen
Two (2) nights in Prague
Two (2) nights in Berlin (drop off point)
French Riviera Package
(in addition to standard package)
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Davos
One (1) night in Lake Como
Two (2) nights in Nice (drop off point)
Kings, Castles & Mozart Package
(in addition to standard package)
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Hohenschwangau
Two (2) nights Salzburg
One (1) night Munich  (drop off point)
Provence Package
(in addition to standard package) 
Five (5) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Montreux
One (1) night in Grenoble
One (1) night in Cannes
One (1) night in Nice (drop off point)
Slopes and Seaside in Slovenia
(in addition to standard package)
Six (6) nights in total (two persons, including breakfast)
One (1) night in Stuttgart
One (1) night in Munich
One (1) night in Salzburg
One (1) night in Maribor or Bled Lake
One (1) night in Ljubljana
One (1) night in Portoroz
Drop off location in Koper
Day trip ferry to Venice (optional)
Mercedes-Benz E300 Parking Pilot Demonstration Video

My friend Ben Wayne came by the other day to film Parking Pilot in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300.

Active Parking Assist helps you size up parallel-parking spaces as you drive by, using sensors in the bumper to determine if a spot can fit your car.  It then expertly steers the car into the space while you control the brakes and gear selection.  In any low-speed maneuver, PARKTRONIC’s ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers help detect nearby objects within the system’s field of view.  Audible signals and illuminated displays in the cabin help you navigate tight spaces with confidence.

The system is able to scan for adequate parking spaces at speeds below 22 mph.

Certain vehicles also have the ability to steer the vehicle out of the parking space.

2018 Mercedes-Benz S450, S560, S650, S63 and S65 MSRP Announced

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is getting a refresh! Our flagship sedan was new for 2014 and 2018 brings us the mid-cycle refresh. It is not an entirely new vehicle but will have updated technology and a fresh look. I have not yet seen it in person but I expect to see it in a few weeks. The most obvious changes are the headlamps and the steering wheel controls.

New Standard Features:

  • V12 grille standard across all models (double lamella in grille)
  • New design front and rear bumper
  • Intelligent Light System with ULTRA RANGE highbeam headlamps
  • Smartphone Integration
  • Ambient Lighting in 64 Colors
  • Lane tracking package (Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist)
  • LED taillights with crystal look
  • COMAND NTG 5.5 new generation
  • New generation steering wheels with touch buttons (no more clown!)
  • Wireless Charging front
  • ENERGIZING COMFORT control –It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the console heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the driver.
  • Omission of DVD changer

In addition to new styling it is also picking up a few new variants. We have not had a V6 S-Class for a few years and I am very interested to see what percentage of people will opt for the more efficient S450. Back when we had the S430 and S500 I think it was nearly 80% S430s.

The S450 and S560 will both be available in Two-Wheel drive and 4matic variants. The Mercedes-AMG S63 and the S65 will both be available from Affalterbach.  The Mercedes-Maybach expands from just the S600 variant to both the S560 and S650 so that you can have the extra size without the extra engine.

The S-Class is scheduled to roll out over the next couple of months. It would be a good idea to order early if you know exactly what you want! This is also a great time to order for European Delivery over the holidays!

Launch dates and pricing are always subject to change and change without notice.

S450 S560 pricing

Rally North America in my C43 Cabriolet!

Road Rally America

For my driving vacation this year I participated in Rally North America – Rally Appalachia 2. This event is a essentially a three day scavenger hunt with 70 other teams. We started in Virginia and ended in Alabama. Each morning we lined up, received a list of checkpoints and bonus point opportunities and then hit the road! It was totally up to the teams which checkpoints and activities they saw each day. The rally raised money for Hope For the Warriors which is a charity that supports veterans and their families as they transition back into civilian life. The whole rally raised nearly $150,000 this year!

Rally North AmericaThere was a huge variety of vehicles participating in the rally. Team Grey market brought their gorgeous G320 and ran it on all the tracks! The GLS on the right was actually a rental car and they said it was excellent for this event! There were a lot of American Muscle cars, a few exotics and some classics like a Corvair and vintage Suburban! It was so fun to meet other vehicle enthusiasts and trade stories.

Deals GapAlong our route there were classic automotive must-dos like the Tail of the Dragon and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This rally is not a race. It is for points, not time, so speeding is discouraged but fun is not! My new C43 was a delight on the 318 turns of the Tail of the Dragon and the shady roads of the Blue Ridge parkway were great with the top down.

C43 sedan and cabrioletCoincidentally another team had also just picked up their new C43! Team Euro Trash arrived in this Brilliant Blue C43 sedan and we spent two days rallying together. They look good as a pair (and sound even better)!

road rally americaWe saw parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Extra points for Welcome to the State signs! Fun fact, if you turn around immediately you get the Welcome to the Other State sign too!

C43 VIRTrack time on two iconic American tracks was included with the rally. We did quite a few laps on Virginia International Raceway (behind the G-Class – check out my Instagram video) which is a curvy, twisty course. The last day we were able to do laps on the oval at Talladega Superspeedway! That banking is serious business. 130 was my top speed in the C43. I had the top town! Other participants reported hitting 150!

Overall it was wan excellent way to see the US, with other enthusiasts,  while raising money for charity. A win-win-win! Thanks Rally North America!

Mercedes talladega

The GT R Experience at MB World UK – Video

There are so many places around the world to enjoy a Mercedes-Benz with professional supervision!

I have personally attended the AMG Driving Academy at Road Atlanta and The Rock experience in Bremen, Germany.

Here is a great video of the GT R experience at MB World UK by my Instagram friend @rokenr. He even references me in the video!

New Models and Updates from Mercedes-Benz!

2018 is going to be a busy year for Mercedes-Benz! We have new models, new colors, new styling, and new engines! Just this week I have seen some new things arrive!

GLC300 coupe

Parking the GLC300 coupe next to the GLE43 coupe has really shown me the family resemblance! Just walking by them on the lot it is not immediately obvious which one is which. The GLC coupe has not been out for long and we are getting a lot of calls about it. This one happens to be Diamond White with the Espresso Brown interior and looks just great!

2018 GLA250

This transporter full of cars from Brunswick arrived with our first 2018 GLA45 AMG and the first Canyon Beige GLA250. Both are certainly striking in their own way! The GLA45 features the aero kit which looks awesome and a new Panamericana inspired lower fascia. Love those wheels!

Cardinal Red C43

This Mercedes-AMG C43 looks awesome in Cardinal Red Metallic and sounds as good as it looks! I can immediately tell it is a C43 rather than a C63 because of the grey brake calipers. As the models expand it is important that I can identify them from a quick glance! I hate to have to walk behind the car to figure it out!

Panamericana GTS

This 2018 Mercedes-AMG GTS arrived today! It is the first of the GTs to arrive with the new Panamericana grille. This vertically slatted grill was inspired by an historic race car and looks incredibly modern. It will be on all of the GT models this year – GT, GTS, GTC and GTR. Most people are currently associating it with the ‘Beast of the Green Hell” GTR and are surprised to see it on the other models.

Those are just the new things from this week! Stay tuned! I have a couple of special designo Edition SLs here, a GT roadster on the way and a redesigned S-Class just a few months away! So exciting!

Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet – Ready For Rally North America!

In a couple of weeks I will be taking my new 2017 C43 cabriolet on a road trip! I am participating in Rally North America which is a multi-state, scavenger hunt style rally that starts in Virginia and ends in Alabama.

My friend Ben Wayne makes excellent car videos and I thought this was a great opportunity to showcase both the C43 and Rally North America.

I am raising money for Hope for the Warriors as a part of Rally North America. This organization helps veterans reintegrate into the community. 100% of the funds raised goes to the charity. Chick here if you would like to donate!

I will be posting about the Rally on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can find me as BenzBlogger on all three platforms.

Enjoy the video!

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be Redesigned! (Probably)

G-Class redesign

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is going to be all-new! After years of rumors and speculation, MBUSA showed an early example to dealers at a meeting recently. It is still over a year away and I have no details but it is already time to react! The photo above is a classic G55. It is a testament to the design that you can’t tell if it is a 1985, 1995 or 2015!

The redesign info important for two reasons:

1 – If you love the classic Gelandewagen you need to snap one up now! Usually in the last year before a redesign there is a short production cycle. They need to retool the factory and get ready! There will be limited vehicles and production will stop early. It looks to me like it may already be locked in through October. Don’t wait 6 months and struggle to find a color you like. I have light Ivory, designo Mystic Brown and Polar White in stock and ready to go!

2 – You should order the new one now! You don’t want to be 10th on the list if you know you are going to want a new G-Class! In my experience, G-Class owners are a loyal bunch who tend to get another G-Class every few years. Once they hear about the redesign they will get on a list! I do not know what engines we will get or how many will be sent to the US. Better safe than sorry!

Mercedes G-Class

The best info I have on the redesign right now is that it is longer, wider and less tall. It also has a significantly more luxurious interior and more space in the backseat. It will still look like G-Class but could be a little more S-Class on the inside. If that sounds like your kind of SUV then the 2019 G-Class might be calling your name! We won’t see any real pictures or specification for a few more months.

Now you know!

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