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2021 Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy Dates – coming this week!

The AMG Driving Academy is coming back for 2021! Obviously it was suspended for 2020 so there is going to be a lot of pent up demand. They will be honoring AMG Purchase Rewards from last year as well so I think you'll need to book quickly! Don't let your favorite track fill up while you think it over!

You can visit the site to sign up to be notified as soon as the dates and tracks are announced. I expect to see that info the week of April 12th. Normally the event runs for more of the year so this may be a compressed or limited schedule. 

For those of you not in the know, the AMG Driving Academy gives you the opportunity to drive almost the entire AMG fleet on some of the best tracks in the US! The are modules to learn about specific things like braking and cornering as well as full track driving. The instructors are top-notch professionals with awesome racing experience. The event itself is incredibly well run and could really appeal to all types of Mercedes enthusiasts. Sometimes they even bring sneak peek vehicles that aren't at the dealerships yet! 

So, if you have an AMG Purchase Reward coming your way, or you are looking for a fun event after a year of staying home, the US AMG Driving Academy is coming back! 

Scrambled Screen – Mercedes and Apple Car Play

Mercedes-Benz has introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the model line up. This system allows you to use some of your favorite apps like Waze, Pandora and Spotify right on the screen of your vehicle with seamless audio and controls. It has been a very popular addition and is very widely used.

The most common issue with the system is the scrambled screen. As soon as you plug in your phone it goes digitized and nothing works! It looks very scary but has an easy fix. Reboot your phone. That's it. I know that sound silly and like something I made up to avoid scheduling a service appointment but it fixes it every single time. 

Now, when you plug your phone back into the car it will go the the CarPlay screen you are expecting to see! Almost too easy... 

European Delivery Discontinued by Mercedes-Benz USA

After several months of suspension, Mercedes-Benz USA has announced that the European Delivery Program has been discontinued effective November 1, 2020. There is no indication that this is temporary or that it will resume in the future. 

I have been a huge fan of the program, both as a salesperson and as a consumer. I was able to pick up three vehicles in Stuttgart over the years and enjoyed every trip tremendously. I assisted many clients in planning their trips as well. 

Many other manufacturers ended their programs this year as well. I am sure it was a combination of travel restrictions and limited resources caused by the calamities of 2020. 

Now, I need to figure out how to rent the Mercedes-Benz of my dreams for my next European Roadtrip. I am thinking 2022...

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63W4S Arrives in Atlanta!

The very first 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 SUV has arrived on the lot! This is the first hand built AMG to arrive since the redesign of the GLE for 2020. Combining the incredibly popular technology upgrades that we are familiar with in the new GLE-Class, with the power that you would expect from AMG, this model is everything we've been waiting for! 

I will arrange a grouping with the other GLE models soon but for now just a quick video so you can see the changes. Take note of the new vertical-slat AMG grille, the aero on the lower bumper and the trapezoidal exhaust. These are the cues that will allow you to tell it apart from the others at a glance! 

By the way - GLE63W4S - What does that mean? The GLE tells you the class of the vehicle. The GLE is bigger than the GLC and smaller than the GLS. All GLEs are the same size. The 63 tells you about the power. The two digit numbers mean it is an AMG. The 63 tells me it is the V8. W is the "sedan" version, rather than a C, which would denote the "coupe." 4 is for 4matic. 2 would be a 2WD car if it were available in that model. The S is for S-model which is the higher performance version of the car. In some markets there is a non-S. So, with that in mind a GLE63C4? The coupe! A GLE350W2? Regular SUV with 2WD. Now we've got it! 

Using Garmin Map Pilot in a 2020 Mercedes-Benz – Video!

Technology in our vehicles is rapidly evolving! When I first started with Mercedes-Benz, the most advanced navigation system had a packet of 12 CDs you had to change out as you drove through different regions! And that was just available for the S-Class and it was in the trunk! It was years before navigation was available in all models. Then nav was on one DVD for the whole country and finally it was built into the hard drive. Currently you can use three different systems to navigate in the car: the built-in system, CarPlay/AndriodAuto, or Garmin Map Pilot. Just a handful of cars still have the SD slot that makes Garmin Map Pilot a possibility but for those clients who don't want the full Multimedia system and can't rely on cell phone signal for CarPlay, Garmin Map Pilot can me a good middle ground. I must admit, I still use the built in system regularly. I know all the young folks are on board for Waze through the CarPlay but I travel outside of cell coverage fairly often and I like having a 100% reliable system just waiting for me! I recently installed a Garmin Map Pilot in a 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and I was impressed with the recent improvements. The graphics were much sharper than in previous versions.  The voice control was much more responsive and intuitive. I also felt like the whole system was much faster to respond. So, if you have a vehicle that is "pre-wired for SD navigation" this would be the add on. Note: I highly recommend you order this SD card from your dealership parts department by VIN to make sure it will work in your vehicle. As I mention in the video, the card won't work in multiple cars and there are different versions. If you buy a used card or the wrong card you will not get a navigation system!
The Mercedes-Benz Star – An Evolution

Classic Mercedes Star There is no logo more iconic than the Mercedes-Benz star! It is one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world! The three pointed star represents the drive toward universal motorization with its engines dominating the land, sea, and air. Over the years the logo has incorporated other elements like the laurel wreath for racing heritage, new colors for print and digital publishing and just recently, the Social Distance Star. This star was designed by a fan - @Marcel_lo_loca on Instagram! If you take a look back through the years there have been huge variations. I picked up the red pin above at the Delivery Center in Sindelfingen many years ago and it one of my favorites. Mercedes Star distancing While we are all keeping our distance, this might be an excellent time to learn more about the history of the star and of the brand. The Mercedes-Benz Museum has a full digital tour available that will take you through all of the floors as well as the special exhibits that you cannot currently see at the museum in Stuttgart. (They are closed to visitors during Spring 2020.) I have visited several times over the years and ranked it #1 on my Car Museums of Europe Tour! The museum is best enjoyed by taking an elevator to the top and the spiraling down from the first vehicle to the future of the automobile! The race car section is one of my favorites. Here is the link to the Mercedes-Benz Museum website so you can take your tour and decide for yourself! Mercedes-Benz Museum Digital Tour I certainly miss travelling and look forward to getting back to the museum soon! Every time I have visited there have been new exhibits to explore. Maybe with a little peace and quiet there will be a major revamp while we are all kept away.
Mercedes-Benz European Delivery on Hold – March 23, 2020

Mercedes Euro Delivery Daimler has closed their offices in Europe for at least the next two weeks and cannot currently accommodate European Delivery picks-ups. They are working closely with MBUSA and will direct ship these vehicles to your home dealership without penalty. This is the plan until at least mid-April. This is a fluid situation and will be updated as it evolves. If you have a European Delivery scheduled and are concerned about your travel plans please reach out to your dealership. They will be able to offer you alternatives and make suggestions to minimize the disruption. If you currently have cabin fever and are dreaming about your next trip, please consider European Delivery! It is a wonderful opportunity to drive your own vehicle in Europe and see things you might not see from a tour bus or at a resort. I know this is not the moment to be finalizing plans but it doesn't hurt to start dreaming early!
2020 Mercedes-AMG G63 in Rubellite Red Metallic (660)

G-Class red The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an icon of the automotive world. First introduced in 1978, it has had very few modification over the decades. That changed in 2019 with the introduction of the new body style. For the first time we could enjoy all of the modern amenities of Mercedes-Benz, along with the classic lines of the G-Wagen. Welcome to the modern era! The most common color for a G-Class in real life is Black. At any given moment if you search for pre-owned G500's or G550's you'll find a swarm of black vehicles with a few in white or silver and the very rare specimen in a color. Mercedes must have been in the mood to change this because the G-Class currently has the most possible available exterior paints, even without choosing a custom paint through the PA1 Special Order Program. Beyond Black and White there are all of these Metallic paints: G550 paint All of these designo paints:G-Class paint AND all of the classic Manufaktur colors: G63 AMG manufaktur paint options An aside on that terminology:
  • designo - rare, custom designed paints or upholsteries available from Mercedes on many models.
  • manufaktur: colors from historical Mercedes-Benz models
  • PA1: Special Order System through Mercedes-Benz that allows you to choose any paint or upholstery possible. This can take some time and does have associated costs.
I have never seen a G-Class in a color that didn't look good...and I have seen South Seas Blue in person!  The Rubellite Red G63 above was a special order that the owner took a chance on, without seeing it in person. Paired with the Macchiato interior, it looks elegant and impressive! So, if you are already the type of person who likes to stand out in a crowd with a G-Class, you might also be the person who would like it to be a special color! Get in touch and I can do my best to describe colors, show you comparable colors or just encourage you to take a chance on a color that neither of us have ever seen!
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC43 – Full Video Tour

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class received quite a few updates for 2020. This is what we call the mid-cycle refresh coming between the new body style, introduced in 2016, and the next body style that could arrive 2022 or so. The easiest way to tell the 2020 model from the exterior of the vehicle is the new shape of headlights, grille and tail lamps. The standard headlight is now the "spider-eyes" LED that is also standard on the C-Class. The upgraded Active Headlamps will look similar to the previous generation. There are also differences in the bumpers. The interior of the vehicle has many updates as well including the center screen switching to a more horizontal layout. The operating system is now MBUX or the "Hey Mercedes" system as many people refer to it. It features intuitive voice control, a touch screen and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The changes are subtle but bring the car right up to the latest technology. The video in this post in a GLC43 SUV from my inventory in Brilliant Blue. It really highlights the great looks of the GLC and shows off some of the creative choices you can make to have your vehicle stand out from the crowd! The Saddle Brown interior is especially dramatic on this one. There are several ways to get the GLC of your dreams. You can choose a vehicle from the dealership inventory. We try to stock the most popular colors and features. If I don't have the one you want in stock we can trade with dealerships from all over the country to get you want you want quickly. Or, you can custom order a vehicle. Maybe you aren't an off-the-rack buyer. That's ok too. We can built it in our ordering system and it will arrive in the US about 90 days later. If you are looking for an even more exciting experience you can order it and then pick it up at the factory in Germany! The Bremen delivery center has an off road course called "The Rock" that allows you to drive the GLC through obstacles you never would have thought possible. So, if the GLC is the vehicle for you then this is a great time to be in the market! Get in touch!
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is Live for Build Your Own!

GLS450 Build Your Own I know you have all been anxiously awaiting the "Build Your Own" feature for the 2020 GLS-Class to arrive! It's here! Did you know you  can save your builds and e-mail them to others? Have you been making your Holiday Wish List already? Hint, hint! "In an ever-more-crowded field of luxury SUVs, treat yourself to some room. The all-new GLS is more spacious, more aerodynamic, and wraps class-leading innovations in style that's bold yet elegant. The SUV leader offers an even more comfortable lead." - Please note: everything you find on the internet is not the TRUTH! Occasionally the Build Your Own Feature will have some errors that need to be corrected when we place the final order. It's pretty good, but not 100% perfect. Don't be surprised if a certain option requires another option to be valid. Sometimes it will show a color/trim/feature that has delayed availability. It is an excellent tool but not the final word! Mercedes Pre-Paid Maintenance There are also some items listed that cannot be ordered with the car but would be selected at the time of purchase. The Pre-Paid maintenance plans are one of those items. Other items would be dealer installed accessories like all-weather floor mats - although they did just make it possible to order these with most models. It's good to add in the things you know you'll want but they won't show up on the window sticker. Also, a note about the payment estimator. It's...not my favorite. The exact calculations are a little opaque but they generally leave out important variables like rates and taxes. It also assumes a hefty down payment that most people don't notice right off the bat.  It is best not to get one of those estimates into your head before getting an actual quote from a physical dealership. Just a tip. So, enjoy the new GLS Build Your Own. May your Emerald Green/Espresso Brown vehicle check all your boxes!
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