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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!

Rally North America – My C43 AMG is Ready!

Rally North AmericaI spent the weekend getting my new Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet Rally Ready! I am Participating in the Rally North America – Rally Appalachia 2 July 10th-14th. It is a scavenger hunt style rally with 70 teams. It starts at the Virginia International Raceway and ends at Talladega in Alabama. Along the way we have checkpoints to hit, bonus points to find and scenery to see! It should be amazing!

C43 cabriolet

My race wrap was inspired by the C63 coupe Launch Edition that I affectionately called Bumblebee because of the yellow stripe, and a Lego GT that has been all over my Instagram recently. I ordered the Lego car and it should be here today! I can’t wait to assemble it! I wanted something that looked like a factory AMG but a little over the top for the rally.

Benzblogger

I chose the number 43 to reflect the C43, obviously. I also had my eye on 722 for Sir Sterling Moss if the 43 was taken. The matte black is subtle but photographs well. The other decals are metallic silver and a gloss yellow.

Hope for the Warriors

There is a fundraising component to the rally that benefits Hope For the Warriors, an organization which provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.

If you are interested in contributing there is a link on the left side of the page that will take you to my team fundraising page. Every little bit helps! Also, the higher up I am in the fundraising totals, the closer to the front I start in the rally!

Atlanta Classic Cars

Atlanta Classic Cars is sponsoring my team and I think the logo looks fantastic!

Look for updates on all of my Social Media Channels – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – Benzblogger on all. Also, if you live between VIR and Talladega let me know! I will need hints to find all of the check points and bonus points!

Countdown – 1 month until the rally!

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 Facelift!

GLA250 new bumpers

Our first 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLAs have arrived with a facelift! The changes from the 2017 model are not dramatic but they are obvious when you park them side-by-side.

The photo above features, from left to right, the 2018 GLA250 Ice edition, 2018 GLA250 non-sport, and a 2017 GLA250 from my loaner car fleet for comparison.

What’s New:

  • 8″ display screen standard, no Multimedia required
  • New Instrument Cluster design
  • Front and Rear Bumpers redesigned
  • New Wheel designs
  • Standard Rear View Camera
  • Sail Pattern trim replaces aluminum
  • Parking Assist Package Available
  • LED replaces bi-Xenon in headlamp upgrade
  • Handsfree access added to Premium 1
  • Android Auto available, in addition to Apply CarPlay
  • harmon/kardon moved to stand-alone option from Premium 1
  • New Paint: Canyon Beige (Goldish orange-y in pictures)
  • Ice Edition – 400 units – See video for details

GLA250 facelift

From the rear of the vehicle you can see that the nearest vehicle, 2018 GLA250 Ice Edition, has the AMG sportline exterior with additional bumper elements. It also has the night package with black accents on the wheels, roof rails, window trim and mirrors.

GLA led tail lights

The tail lamps on the Ice Edition are different from the other 2018 models as well but I cannot find any mention of that in the ordering guide. They are more rounded, darker and have the stardust effect like the 2017 E-Class. When a few more GLAs come in I should be able to tell if it is unique to the Ice Edition, the AMG sportline cars or some other item. If anyone knows, send me an e-mail!

I also made a video for comparison purposes. I think the white cars do a good job of showing differences. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you like it!

This is the first facelift for the GLA, which was introduced in the US for 2015. It should stay like this for another three years and then will likely get a full redesign. I hope to see the first 2018 GLA45 soon!

US AMG Driving Academy at Road Atlanta!

Road Atlanta AMG GTS

The AMG Driving Academy was at Road Atlanta this week. I was able to attend the BASIC training and I am now a certified Race Car driver! Ok, that might be a stretch but I did improve my skills and get to see a lot of amazing AMG vehicles!

Mercedes AMG at the track

The day consists of training modules designed to improve your skills as well as lots seat time doing hot laps in a variety of AMG vehicles. There was a wet skid pad to improve oversteer and understeer reactions. The not-yet-released Mercedes-AMG E63 was used in an ABS stopping exercise that will really make you appreciate how well the cars stop. A small autocross course used the CLA45 for a timed lap.

C63 AMG

There was also a huge stable of AMG vehicles on display! The GT-R, GT C roadster and the GLC63 were all at the track, despite being weeks from a US release date. That was very exciting for me! It’s a track day and a car show!

GTR Hell Green

I was able to do hot laps around Road Atlanta in the GTS coupe, E63 sedan, C43 sedan, C63 coupe and the SL63. Top speed on the back stretch was just north of 120 mph, which felt fast until I rode with the professionals. I did a few taxi rides in the GTS and a very fast lap in the SLS black series and I know we were a little over 140 mph!

Driving Academy

The AMG Driving Academy Instructors are awesome! They are both very skilled and very patient with my lack of skill. They can coach you to be being a better driver while still keeping the race line and gong 120 mph!

The AMG Driving Academy still has 2017 dates remaining at Leguna Seca, Lime Rock Park and Circuit of the Americas. If you purchased an AMG vehicle in the last 12 months you are entitled to a free BASIC training session. I highly recommend you take advantage of this perk! If you are thinking about an AMG or are a motorsports enthusiast, this event is for you! It is an incredible amount of driving time in a lot of very expensive AMG vehicles.

 

FAQs:

  • What car do I drive?

All of them! In 8 hours I drove 10 different cars ranging from the 4-cylinder CLA45 up to the new 603 horsepower E63. You will rotate out of all of the vehicles for the skills sections and for track laps.

  • Can I drive my car?

No! And you don’t want to! Track conditions are hard on your brakes and tires. Use the ones that AMG provides and feel good that your car stays safe on the sidelines!

  • Is it worth it?

Uh, yeah. Even as a dealership employee I never get a chance to drive these cars the way they are meant to be driven. Experiencing the acceleration, braking, cornering and poise of the AMG vehicles can only be done on the track. The combined value of the vehicles and the instruction is a value at twice the price!

  • How do I sign up?

Website. New AMG owners provide their VIN to use the credit.

Next year, I’m thinking Advanced Class at COTA!

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