Mercedes-Benz

Gallery Feature | Fifty Shades of (automotive) Grey

Over 17% of new car buyers picked grey last year, and it’s now the third most popular tone in the UK. But how many different types of grey can there really be? Quite a lot, actually.

50 Shades of Grey

For reference ESM’s Editor has never actually seen Fifty Shades of Grey, or read any of the books. However, he surmises that the plot revolves around a man who treats his interior designer quite badly, whilst she struggles to pick the right grey tones for his house. Plus, the lead character insists on one room painted red, in a tribute to Changing Rooms from the 1990s. Beyond that, who knows what happens, other than inspiring us to seek out fifty shades of grey paint offered on new cars.

We’ve taken these directly from the configurator websites for the respective manufacturer. As a result, the quality of some images is not the best. In the case of Skoda, it’s truly dreadful; like 8-bit Nintendo retro. We’ve tried to accommodate as many different brands as possible, but other greys are available. We’re also not sure how some of these can even be classed as grey in the first place.

Shades 1 to 10

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New | Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet | Ultimate G

This could quite possibly be the weirdest answer to a question nobody has asked. Or, the perfect gift for the person who genuinely does already have everything. This G-Class is ideal for the crazy world of 2017.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet

Important things first – the G 650 Landaulet is not going to be offered for sale in the UK. Sorry. We’re sure there’s whole tens of people now totally disappointed, but sadly it won’t be coming here. Blame it on Brexit, perhaps. So if you’re based in the UK, and in the market for a stupidly powerful and deeply luxurious (chauffeur driven) off-roader, you’ll need to find a new option.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet

However, if you’re elsewhere in the world, you might be able to snag yourself one of the 99 units of this bizarre creation when it goes on sale in the Autumn. There’s no mention of price but, realistically, if you’re searching for something like this then cost isn’t really going to be an issue. Especially not when there’s a biturbo AMG V12 engine, making 630hp, that’ll average around 16mpg at best. Oh, and C02 emissions of 376g/km, which is probably on par with a coal-fired power station.

The G 650 Landaulet is probably similar in size to a power plant, measuring over 5.3metres in length and 2.2metres tall. Ground clearance, thanks to those portal axles first seen on the G 500 4×4², is a towering 450mm. It makes the standard fit wheels, wearing 325/55/R22 tyres, look relatively in proportion. The alloy wheels are ceramic polished, and feature ‘Landaulet’ lettering in them – just in case you ever forget what you’re driving.

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet

Traditionally used in relation to horse-drawn carriages, landaulet refers to a chauffeured vehicle with a folding soft-top over the rear seats. Typically intended for use by dignitaries and public figures, if you’re a vain tyrant – in a country with poor road surfaces – then this could be the machine for you.

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Top Seven New Cars of 2016 | With Ned Jasper

Yeah, 2016 probably won’t go down as a vintage year in terms of global politics and current affairs. However, when it comes to new cars, it’s most certainly been a classic! As the man who has covered the biggest new releases for ESM this year, our man Ned Jasper picks his top seven.

Top 7 New Cars of 2016

Well, here it is. Christmas time 2016. That means festive tunes fill the airwaves, trees go up and presents are bought. That also means that it’s nearly the end of 2016. So let’s take a look back at some of the greatest new cars to come out this year. This is ESM’s top five new cars of 2016. Actually, it’s not. There were so many good contenders this year that we stretched it to seven! Yes, yes, I know I said that last year as well, but this year we really have had some rather special cars released. Here they are:

7. Porsche 718 Boxster S2016 718 Boxster SI know what you’re thinking. Great intro, best cars of 2016, and now I’m presenting you with a Porsche Boxster. What is going on? I had my reservations about this one too. This is the baby Porsche, only with fewer cylinders and a turbocharger. Not really a recipe for success is it? However, it’s been 11 months since this little gem was released and, I must say, it’s grown on me.

First, let’s talk about the heart of this little orange and black tiger. It’s down two cylinders from the previous model, but it’s up one turbo and a whole heap of power. What’s more, the Boxster S has a variable vane turbo – not necessarily something you would expect to find from this class of car.

So what about the rest of it? Underneath we have the same mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, sports car with a manual gearbox (PDK is available, too) that’s been entertaining drivers for nearly two decades. Despite the engine alterations, the recipe remains unchanged with superb handling and excellent composure. Only this time with a little more grunt. Well worthy of the number 7 spot.

 

6. McLaren 570GT2016 McLaren 570GT

You would think that with 562bhp, and a top speed of 204mph, the 570GT would undoubtedly be the fastest hatchback in the world. The thing is, it’s not even the fastest hatchback on this list – told you it was a good year! What the 570GT is, though, is a remarkable piece of British engineering. Not only is it a comfortable, usable supercar, it’s also stunningly good to look at, and actually practical.

First, the looks: unlike the other cars in the McLaren range, the 570GT is a little more mature. There’s no lurid paint and no stripped out interior on this show car. Instead we’ve got rich silver-grey paint, mixed with deep red leather. This car is, in my eyes, the best-looking McLaren of the lot. Now, I said it was a practical hatchback, and I wasn’t lying. In total, the 570GT has 370 litres of luggage space. Sure, it’s split between two different enclosures, but that’s still more space than a Ford Focus.

The 570GT is a remarkable piece of engineering and surely serves as proof that we’re living in a new age. No wonder McLaren has just churned out its 10,000th car!

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Opinion – Why contemporary F1 is boring, statistically

The Hungarian Grand Prix is often regarded as being a processional affair, with limited overtaking opportunities. This weekend’s event is therefore unlikely to liven up a Formula 1 era that is the most one-sided in a generation. ESM’s editor has donned his anorak and crunched the numbers from 1998 to present.2016 Mercedes AMG F1 HamiltonCast your mind back to the year 2000 and you might recall the Millennium Dome, fears of the ‘Millennium Bug’ or even just the Willenium. Yeah, the latter really did happen. If you’re a Formula 1 fan you might remember it as the year Ferrari and Michael Schumacher started out on a five-year long display of hegemony over the World Championship.

But, after watching Lewis Hamilton take another victory at the British Grand Prix, it got us wondering as to whether the current Mercedes AMG streak out ranks even the 2000-2004 Ferrari era for dominance. Surprisingly it does, and by a fairly significant margin!

Let’s break it down to the most basic numbers in terms of wins during those title-claiming periods. For Ferrari this is from the 2000 Australian Grand Prix, to the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix. That covers some 85 races in total, of which Ferrari won 57 of them. In percentage terms that’s 67%, so just over two-thirds were won by the Scuderia in that seemingly endless period of Ferrari success.Ferrari F1 Dominance StatsSince the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, which saw the introduction of the new engine regulations, there has been 48 races. That’s counting the 2016 British Grand Prix – won by Lewis Hamilton, of course. In that period Mercedes AMG have taken 41 victories! Yes, seriously, in two and a half years, only seven races have been won by non-Mercedes drivers. That gives Mercedes AMG a win percentage of a staggering 85%!

Even more considerable is that they’ve claimed 94% of pole positions (45/48) in that time frame. For comparison, Ferrari only managed 59% of poles during their era of dominance. Taking over two-thirds of all fastest laps since the beginning of 2014, must also make Mercedes feel pretty smug about just how far ahead of the game they are.Mercedes AMG F1 DominanceEven in comparison to Red Bull, who many claimed to have made F1 dull during the period of Vettel domination, Mercedes-AMG still stands far ahead. With four back-to-back titles, Red Bull took wins in just over half (53%) of the 77 races entered. Pole positions percentages are also lower (66%) compared to Mercedes, with fastest laps at less than half  (45%) in total. Those who bemoaned the seemingly constant chain of Red Bull wins might be a little surprised, although Vettel’s nine-race winning streak at the end of 2013 is perhaps what people remember.
Red Bull Racing F1 Dominance Stats

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Photo Gallery – 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed – Paddock Action

Despite weather that threatened to make Goodwood seem more like Glastonbury at times, the 2016 Festival of Speed proved to be as impressive as ever. ESM was there, for two days this time, getting up close and personal with as much of the machinery as possible. We could write 1,000s of words but, instead, we’ll give you the pictures first. 2016 Goodwood Festival of SpeedTrying to pick which photos to feature isn’t easy given the ridiculous selection of race and road cars on offer at the Festival of Speed. To try and keep things simple, we’ve broken it down into three galleries: the highlights from the paddock, what the manufacturers brought to the motor show, and cars in action tackling the hill climb. In this first gallery we’ve covered our favourites from the various paddocks at Goodwood, where it’s possible to be inches away from priceless racers and motorsport icons. We’ve also included what we found after the (long) trek to the rally stage at the top of the hill, and a special feature on BMW.

2016 Festival of Speed – Main Paddock

BMW Paddock Highlights
BMW was the featured marque at the Festival of Speed, so the brand accounted for a lot of the cars on display. Including one particular car that’s very dear to ESM’s heart.  (more…)

Ned Jasper – New Mercedes-AMG GT R

The AMG GT R stole the show at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with a combination of visual aggression and aural menace. Let Ned Jasper tell you more about this green monster.2016 Mercedes-AMG GT RLouder, lower and angrier – that, I presume, must have been the design brief when AMG decided to come up with this thing. It’s called the AMG GT R, and it has more power than the standard car, and it’s also a little lighter too – but we’ll come to that later. For now, all you need to know is that this Hulk-like incarnation of the AMG GT has enough road presence to make even a Porsche purist reconsider their chosen allegiance.2016 Mercedes-AMG GT RUnderneath the bulging muscles and flared nostrils is the same AMG GT that we know and love. Only this time, the blokes from AMG have agitated it so much it’s been turned up to 12! The same 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 remains, but now it’s packing even more punch – up 74bhp to a colossal 577bhp! What’s more, the torque receives a considerable hike too, now peaking at 516lb-ft – that’s an increase of 37lb-ft from before.2016 Mercedes-AMG GT RTo help convey this extra oomph to chimerical performance, the gearbox has been altered too, providing the optimum in expeditious gear changes. It should also mean that the availability of
 ‘snap crackle and pop’ becomes even rifer with downshifts. 
All-in-all, the drivetrain modifications mean that this lurid creation now roars to 0-62mph in a brisk 3.6 seconds, and keeps on accelerating until a top speed of 198mph! (more…)

News – Individual Paint Colours for BMW i8

Here at ESM we quite like the BMW i8, but the colour choices have been a little bit uninspiring for a car that’s meant to shout ‘FUTURE’ in huge capital letters. BMW now seems to have remedied that situation with some new options.2016 BMW i8 Individual Paint Yes, as of right now you can order your hybrid supercar in a variety of special Individual colour schemes. Ranging from the footballer-favourite Frozen (read matt) Grey or Black, through to the ESM-pleasing Solar Orange, Speed Yellow, Twilight Purple and Java Green. There’s also the option of San Marino Blue – often found upon BMW M products – and Grigio Telesto, which is more commonly used on Lamborghinis.

It’s not cheap, however, as choosing a BMW Individual colour will add £5,495 to the cost of the £104,540 i8. If only that pesky government hadn’t made the i8 ineligible for a plug-in car grant you could have effectively had your fancy paintwork for free. Also, call us cynical, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a premium German manufacturer offering outrageous colours for high-end cars. (more…)

2016 Mercedes-Benz Media Driving Day

It takes a lot to persuade ESM’s editor to jump out of bed at 5am. But the combination of Silverstone and nineteen new Mercedes models seemed to do the trick.2016 Mercedes-Benz Media Driving Day

We’ve certainly been on something of a three-pointed star theme here at ESM the past few weeks, but things went into overdrive by attending this year’s Media Driving Day. The premise is fairly simple – turn up and test out a wide range of new models from across the entire Mercedes spectrum. From the £14,000 Smart fortwo, to the £136,000 AMG S63 Cabriolet, there was something to highlight every niche occupied by the Stuttgart firm. We tried out six cars we think show the core brand segments.

Mercedes-Benz C220d Coupé AMG Line2016 Mercedes-Benz C220d CoupeHaving had a lengthy drive down from the North East, the first choice of the day was the relaxing environment of the new C-Class Coupé in 220d AMG Line specification. After 200 miles of bouncy Polo GTI suspension, the relative comfort of the C220d was quite welcome. In fact the ride was one of the standout features from the 45 minute drive along the roads in the vicinity of Silverstone which, given their appalling state of repair, create a lot of challenges for suspension systems.

Produving 168hp from the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, performance is warm rather than rapid, with a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 145mph. Out on the road, the 295lb-ft of torque – and seamlessly smooth nine-speed gearbox – mean the C220d feels faster than the basic figures suggest. For real-world use you won’t feel shortchanged. You can sharpen things up by selecting Sport or Sport+ mode from the Dynamic Select menu but – controversially for ESM – it probably makes more sense left in Comfort. That way you can happily cruise along, enjoying the (optional) Burmester surround sound system and supportive sports seats. A strong contender for the car most wanted to drive home in.

Quick Facts – Mercedes-Benz C220d Coupé AMG Line
Engine: 2.2 litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
Power: 168hp
Torque: 295lb-ft
MPG: 68.9 (official combined)
C02: 109g/km (18″ wheels, auto’ gearbox)
Price: From £34,965

Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC2016 Mercedes-AMG A45It’s always good to catch up with friends. It’s even better when that particular acquaintance happens to be a 376hp hot hatch, and there’s the Silverstone Stowe circuit to play on. Having recently reviewed the A45 on ESM we won’t rehash the details. But what we can say is that the ability it shows on the road doesn’t even come close to the limits it can achieve on a circuit. What the A45 emphasises most on track is imbuing the driver with a feeling of confidence and control. That makes it very effective, and a whole heap of fun. We’d probably have never believed a Mercedes hatchback could be a trackday hero, but the A45 proves that it really can happen.

Quick Facts – Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC
See review

Mercedes-Benz GLS350D 4MATIC AMG Line2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS350dSometimes you make decisions without really thinking about them. Like picking up the keys to a 5.1m long SUV that weighs in at 2,455kg. Oh, and that happens to be sitting in a relatively small car park with other expensive cars around it. Nothing emphasises the sheer size of a car by having to manoeuvre it around and, to its credit, the GLS isn’t quite as intimidating as you’d imagine. A standard 360° camera helps, as do a myriad of other assistance systems. But it’s still big. Very big. Frankly, if you want to feel like you’re starring in your very own rap music video, this is the Benz to be in.

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2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC | Review

According to William H. Land, the most important thing about power is making sure you don’t have to use it. But when there is so much of it on offer, can you really resist? We spent a week with the Mercedes-AMG A45 to test our resolve.

Mercedes-AMG A45Question. What’s bright red, has 376hp and does 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds? If your answer was a Ferrari F355, you’d be wrong, as the Maranello machine actually takes 4.7 seconds to hit 62mph. Yes, welcome to 2016, where you can buy a family hatchback with greater performance than a 1990s mid-engined supercar. But one with the benefits of better fuel economy, lower emissions, and far greater practicality – such is the pace of development in the past two decades. The A45 is the apex predator in the evolutionary process, as the most well-endowed mega hatch on sale at present.2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 ReviewThat adds a big chunk of gravitas, and expectation, that the A45 needs to live up to. For Mercedes this needs to be the gateway drug to AMG ownership – it’s selling a lifestyle choice just as much as it’s selling a car here. The first part of that sales pitch is making it look distinctive and, despite the number of AMG-kitted lesser A-Class models on the road, the A45 manages to look genuinely tough.

In Jupiter Red, adorned with the optional AMG Aerodynamic Package, our test car was anything but subtle. It also had the aural bark to match the visual bite, courtesy of the performance exhaust system. It’s loud – properly loud – and perhaps not an option to pick if you’re slightly more self-conscious. Clearly you don’t have to spec your A45 this way. Choose a subtle colour, ignore the exhaust and aero kit, and it could make for a relatively stealthy way to travel fast. But, being ESM, we’re all for dramatic entrances and the specification of this test car is very close to what we would pick ourselves.2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 ReviewOn the road, and especially on the motorway, you do have to be prepared for the fact seemingly everyone will want to race you. Be it a diesel Audi A4 estate, or Honda Civic Type-R, there’ll be no shortage of drivers trying to bait the AMG hatch. But we didn’t bite, as there’s something wonderfully cathartic from the knowledge that you could leave 90% of other road users in your wake. The A45 has nothing to prove, and that translates into the way in which you drive it. Such power is on offer when you want it on your terms and nobody else’s.

You may find yourself dictating those terms to yourself quite frequently, however. This car is absurdly fast, and you’ll find that you need several acceleration runs to try to process just what happens when you give it full throttle. Such is the tractability of the 2.0-litre turbo engine that most times only 25-50% of throttle pedal travel is needed to make good progress. But give it the complete 100% and, after a slight pause for turbo lag, the A45 pulls like all the best motoring clichés going.2016 Mercedes-AMG A45 ReviewLike any good AMG car, the motor is very much the star of the show. Also, just like a V8 or V12 engine from Affalterbach, each one is hand-built by an individual master engineer. Stefan, who built the one in our test car, is clearly a talented guy for wrestling all 376 horses into that 2.0-litre block. The resulting output is an unrelenting, ferociously rabid, stream of acceleration that allows the A45 to cover distance cross-country with ease.

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Friday Video – Mercedes-AMG GT S through the Alps

If you follow us on social media, you’ll know we recently spent some time with a rather raucous Mercedes-AMG hatchback. Our comprehensive review of the A 45 is coming very soon but, for now, we just wanted to share this rather cool video of another AMG product.

Mercedes-AMG GT

We’ll admit there’s also an element of excitement about the possibility of ESM driving the AMG GT S next week, too. Plus, you can never have too much AMG V8 noise, especially when filmed in underground car parks or tunnels. Without further waffling, here’s the video:

We think it’s pretty cool, and there’s some amazing accompanying photography to the video if you follow the links on YouTube to the creators. For now, however, we’re back to dreaming about forced-induction V8s, and uploading AMg A45 images…