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Month: July 2009
2010 ML63 AMG – 10th Anniversary Package

Mercedes-Benz in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the original ML55 AMG! The all new 10th Anniversary Package was created by the AMG Performance Studio in Affalterback and uses colors and materials that have never been available before! The 10th Anniversary Package (Code P38) can be ordered on any 2010 ML63 that is currently in production. The package will cost $5,950 and includes:

2010 ML63 AMG 10th Anniversary Edition

– Unique hood with powerdomes
– Front and rear skid plates painted in Himalaya Grey
– AMG front grille painted in Himalaya Grey
– 21″ AMG 5-spoke wheels painted in Himalaya Grey
– Front foglamp surrounds painted in Himalaya Grey

 2010 ML63 AMG 10th Anniversary Edition Interior

– Sport seats in two-tone AMG premium leather
– Door panels in two-tone AMG premium leather
– AMG performance steering wheel in two-tone leather
– Anthracite poplar wood trim

Please do let me know if you are interested!

McLaren Mercedes Is Back!

It has been a pretty bad year for the Mercedes-Benz factory Formula One team. Until now the only bright spot for Mercedes-Benz fans had been the performance of the Mercedes powered Brawn GP cars. With Lewis Hamilton’s dominating win in Hungary last weekend it looks like McLaren Mercedes is back on top. It’s a little late in the season but it looks like we’ll have a lot more to cheer for in the upcoming races

MotorTrend Review: Mercedes-Benz S550 vs. BMW 750Li vs. Audi A8L

Mercedes S550 MotorTrend

MotorTrend just did a review of the 2009 large luxury sedans. I am happy to report that the Mercedes came out on top!
“Mercedes’ classic S-Class has been around since the 1955 model year, though the current, tenth-generation “W221″ first appeared on our shores in 2006. The S550 is bursting with innovative tech — including infra-red Night View Assist and Distronic Plus cruise control that in stop-and-go traffic can brake the car to a halt and then, as traffic begins moving again, accelerate automatically.”

“The new 7 Series isn’t a luxury sedan. It’s an instruction manual on four wheels. That’s not hyperbole: So complex and mechanically intimidating is this new machine, BMW has wisely incorporated the operating instructions for the myriad systems right into the on-board hard drive (you can summon pages using the iDrive controller). That’s if, of course, you can figure out how to call up the manual first. …That’s the 750Li in a nutshell. It’s the Windows Vista of luxury cars.”

“The Audi scored second-highest on lateral grip, yet its ride doesn’t give up much (though it’s no match for the creamy Benz). Straight-line speed is third by a good margin, but the Audi puts its power down so smoothly you likely won’t mind.”

“The A8L may have an edge for the sheer beauty of its cabin, but in almost every other respect the big Benz is unsurpassed. Ride quality, for instance, is brilliant — smooth, relaxed, unfazed by road imperfections. Yet, magically, the S550 also cranked out the highest skidpad grip, 0.89 g.”

“…the Benz is enormous in the rear seat, with room to stretch the legs (and a giant trunk, too). But its seats are the best for support. You also grow to appreciate the pared-down, almost minimalistic cabin. This is the anti-7 Series, the luxury of simplicity.”

“…the Benz equals the others in terms of gee-whiz features. Its advantage is that it doesn’t depend on these goodies or substitute them for luxury.”

“The Mercedes-Benz S550 does what a premium luxury sedan should: It makes you feel like a king.”

You can read the full article here.

2010 ML450 Hybrid at Atlanta Classic Cars!

2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid

A 2010 ML450 Hybrid was dropped off at the dealership yesterday! It was picked up by one of the Mercedes-Benz technical executives but I was excited to get a sneak peak. It looks a lot like the 2010 ML350 that was dropped off right afterwards but it does have a few striking differences.

2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid New Hood

Sculpted Hood – It has a very angular power dome hood that looks fantastic. It had to be that way to make room for the 180 pounds of extra electronics under the hood.

2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid engine cover

Under the hood – The engine cover is pretty extreme. The battery is in the back where the spare tire would be so this has run-flats.

2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid Fuel door release

Fuel Door Release Button – I don’t yet know why this is the only Mercedes that has one!

I was able to go for a test drive and the ride is fantastic! Much like the diesel, if you didn’t know it was hybrid you really wouldn’t notice any difference in the way it drives. It is obviously a little quieter when the gas motor is off but with the radio on you can’t tell when it turnes the engine on and off. The power was fantastic. It didn’t feel heavy or lacking in any way. The brake feel is different than our other vehicles because they are electric but it stopped just fine.

2010 Mercedes ML450 Hybrid insturment cluster display

I look forward to introducing the first Mercedes Hybrid to a new group of clients!

2010 Mercedes-Benz Pricing and Release Dates

The 2010 GLK, E sedan and E coupe are already here and the rest of the 2010 models will be arriving soon. Mercedes-Benz has just given us the official pricing and release dates.

Release Date
Base Price
C300 Sport/Luxury
C300 Sport/Luxury – 4MATIC
C350 Sport
E350 BlueTEC
March 2010
E350 4MATIC Sport/Luxury
Late August
E550 4MATIC Sport/Luxury
Late August
GL350 BlueTEC
ML350 BlueTEC
ML350 2WD
R350 BlueTEC

For those of you who have been trying to decide between a 2009 and a 2010 this should help.

USAA Joins the Mercedes-Benz Fleet Program for Member Discounts

USAA Mercedes-Benz Fleet Discount

Mercedes-Benz partners with hundreds of companies to offer fleet dicounts to executives and employees. Effective July 1, USAA members are now qualified to receive these discounts!

USAA members will be asked to download a program form from the website and provide the dealership with a current USAA membership card, USAA insurance card or USAA loan documents.

Fleet discounts can be applied to the lease or purchase of any 2009 or 2010 Mercedes-Benz vehicle. These discounts vary from model to model and range from $1000-$5000 currently. These discounts can be combined with other lease and finance special offers from Mercedes-Benz USA.

I look forward to working with many more active, former and retired military as a result of this program!

Please Donate to the Breast Cancer 3-Day!

Hello Blog Readers! I am going to visit my family in Illinois for a week and will be out of touch. I am hoping that while I am away you will suprise and delight me by donating to my Breast Cancer 3-Day Fund.

This is the second year that I am walking in the 3-Day to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This is a 3 day event, walking 20 miles per day and camping overnight – in a tent! My 16 week training program started this week and I will walk about 400 miles before I even start the 60 miles in October! It is a huge endeavor and certainly worth the effort. Last year the 10 women on my team raised over $30,000! This year I have raised my personal goal to $3000 and the team goal for the 6 of us signed up so far is $20,000. We really can make a difference in the fight against Breast Cancer!

If you have read anything of value on my blog over these last three years please support me in this effort to find the cure! Last year I had a few generous blog readers who helped me reach my goal!

You can visit my personal donation page by clicking the “Donate Now” button on the left of this page or by visiting

Thank you! I’ll be back in a week!

2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class – Options and Packages for the GL350 BlueTEC, GL450 and GL550

2010 Mercedes-Benz GL450

The Dealer Ordering Guide for the 2010 GL-Class was recently updated with some good pictures of the new bumpers and details on the packages and pricing. We expect Mercedes to release the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 in September and the GL550 in August.

2010 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC

New in the GL:
Facelifted front and rear bumpers
LED taillamps and daytime running lamps
2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-CLass LED Daytime Running LampsChrome roofline and windowsill molding
Chrome loadsill for scratch protection
Ambient lighting
2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-CLass Ambient Lighting3D instrument cluster (?)
Ventilated seats available for the GL350 BlueTEC/GL450 – standard on GL550
Parking support passenger mirror returns in Premium 1 Package
Burl Walnust wood replaces Birdseye Maple as standard
Palladium Silver and Steel Grey paint available
Light Burl Birch wood available

Premium 1 Package: GL350 BlueTEC/GL450: $3,950 – GL550: Standard
Auto Dimming Mirrors
COMAND with Hard-Drive Navigation
Voice Control
Gracenote Media Database
HD Digital Radio
iPod/MP3 Media Interface
Memory Driver Seat
Power Folding Mirrors
Power Tailgate
Power Steering Column
Rear View Camera
Sirius and Sirius Traffic
115V AC Power Outlet
4GB Hard-drive for Music Register

Premium 2 Package: GL350 BlueTEC/GL450: $5,950, GL550: Standard
All of Premium 1
harman/kardon Logic 7 Surround Sound

Full Leather Package: GL350 BlueTEC/GL450: $1,900 – GL550: Standard
Ambient Lighting
Confort Headrests
Premium Interior Lighting
Leather Upholstery

Lighting Package: GL350 BlueTEC/GL450: $970 – GL550: N/A
Bi-Xenon Headlamps with active curve illumination
Headlamp Washing System
LED daytime running lamps

GL Appearance Package: $1410 GL450, GL350 BlueTEC/GL550: N/A
Brushed aluminum running boards with rubber studs
20″ twin 5-spoke alloy wheels with all-season run flats

Stand alone options:
Parktronic – $790
Wood Steering Wheel – $580
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats – $560
Heated Steering Wheel – $220
Trailer Hitch (7500 lbs) – $540
3-Zone Climate Control – $1430
Crossbars in Chrome – $310
Running Boards – $660
Rear Seat Entertainment System – $1880
Heated Rear Seats – $610

My Review: 2010 E-Class Sedan (997) Driver Assistance Package

2010 E-Class Distronic Plus Cluster

I have been driving the 2010 E-Class every day since it was released last week and I am growing to appreciate it more and more. I am especially enamored with the new Drivers Assistance Package. I have always been a big fan of the technology and gadgets in our cars but Distronic always seemed a little too expensive and not entirely useful if you don’t spend all of your time on the highway. The upgrade to Distronic Plus and the addition of other features to this package has changed my mind!

The (997) Driver Assistance Package is priced at $2900 and consists of
– Distronic Plus with PRE-SAFE Brake
– Blind Spot Assist
– Lane Keeping Assist

Let’s take them one at a time…
Distronic Plus with PRE-SAFE Brake – Distronic is the radar adaptive cruise control system that we have had for years. It uses radar sensors mounted behind the front grille to sense the car in front of you and maintain a set following distance. So, if you set your cruise at 70 mph and a car in front of you slows to 60 mph, you also slow to 60 mph until that car speeds up or you switch to an open lane and you’ll resume 70 mph. The Plus part of Distronic Plus is that it works down to a complete stop. This is amazing and takes a little time to fully trust. For example, I drive home on a fast highway with 4 stoplights. I set the cruise at 70 and followed the car in front of me at a distance of about 100 yards. As the car in front of me slows and comes to a stop for the first traffic light the 2010 E350 also slows to a complete stop. The system’s following distance is proportional to your speed so you it will bring you to a stop at a normal distance from the car that you are following. If the system keeps you stopped for more than a couple seconds you just have to just tap the gas to resume your previously set maximum speed and following distance. For anyone who spends any time on the highways around Atlanta this feature will completely change your driving experience. Since this system will allow you to use the ‘cruise control’ in many more situations I would also expect to see an increase in fuel mileage versus a E-Class not using this system.

2010 E-Class Distronic Plus Sensor

PRE-SAFE Brake uses the same radar systems to constantly monitor the area in front of your E-Class. Using its long, medium, and short range radar systems it can detect objects as far as 200 yards in front of your vehicle. Pre-Safe braking is deployed in three stages. When the car detects that you are 2.6 seconds from an impact you will receive an audible and visual alert. At 1.6 seconds to impact there are 3 audible alerts and the system will automatically apply 40% of maximum power and activate the other reversible PRE-SAFE protection features like adjusting seat position, tensioning seat belts, and closing the windows. If the driver doesn’t press the brake pedal or swerve to avoid the collision at 0.6 seconds to impact PRE-SAFE Braking will apply the maximum braking force to greatly reduce the severity of a collision.

Another manufacturer is advertising a system like this but it only works at speeds below about 20 mph. Our system works on moving objects when you’re traveling from 19mph to 124mph and on stationary objects when you’re traveling below 44mph. Just like seatbelts, airbags, and ABS brakes this technology that is now exclusive to Mercedes-Benz will someday be standard on every vehicle, as it will certainly save lives.

2010 E-Class Blind Spot Assist
300cm = 9.8ft & 50cm = 20in

Blind Spot Assist – This system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to monitor your blind spot on both sides of the car. When you start the vehicle a little orange triangle in the side-view mirrors illuminates to let you know the system is active. While you are driving the mirror is clear unless there is a car in your blind spot. Then you will see a red triangle. If you attempt to change lanes with a red triangle illuminated, the red triangle begins to flash and the car beeps twice to alert you. This has been incredibly useful for me these last few days as the car I have been driving has all of the MSRP stickers blocking my view. I can see this feature being incredible helpful to everyone, but especially for those of shorter stature or with limited movement in their necks.

2010 E-Class Blind Spot Assist

Lane Keep Assist – Using a windshield mounted camera, Lane Keeps Assist alerts you when you are drifting out of your lane. It takes into account your speed and turning angle to only alert you when you are unintentionally changing lanes. It uses three short vibrations in the steering wheel that feel a lot like rumble strips and are only noticeable to the driver. The system can also distinguish between solid and broken white lines and vary its alert timing. This system operates above 37mph so you won’t have to worry about it annoying you in parking lots. The system will also not activate if it believes that you are intentionally crossing based on your turn signal, brake, and accelerator usage.

2010 E-Class Lane Keeping Assist Camera

All in all I think the (997) Driver Assistance Package is amazing technology that really does represent the future of the automobile. It makes perfect sense for the car to take an active role in keeping you and your family safe. For most of us these are not options that we think we HAVE to have, but I think once you have them you will never want a car without them again. If you’re in the Atlanta area I would be happy to give you a demonstration!