Auto News

AutoGuide News Blog


The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 05 2010, 4:09 PM

While 2009 was a tumultuous year for automakers, the worldwide economic crisis pushed the auto industry into the mainstream automotive media’s spotlight, making big automotive news stories even bigger. And while new products continued to be introduced, they garnered possibly even more attention that ever before. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the Top 10 biggest stories of 2009 for an automaker that didn’t recoil, but continued on, unveiling an all-new version of one of its most important models, delivering a new exotic car to market, promising an electric car in the future… and making some big changes in its motorsports program. That automaker is Mercedes-Benz.


#10 Mercedes Goes Green With New Hybrids

mb-s500-hybrid-large_1.jpg

Slow to adapt hybrid technology, German automakers began to take on the Japanese luxury hybrids in 2009. Mercedes launched two important hybrid models, the S400 Hybrid and the ML450 Hybrid. The S400 Hybrid was the first Mercedes hybrid to go on sale and is also the first mass production automobile to use a lithium-ion battery. Priced at $87,950 it uses an electric motor and 3.5-liter gasoline V6 to produce 295-hp, while getting mileage of 19/26 mpg – an improvement of 26 percent over the S550 in the city. Despite its high-tech battery pack, the S400 Hybrid is a mild-hybrid, which limits its fuel economy.

The second hybrid model from Mercedes is the ML450 Hybrid 4MATIC. A lease-only model, for either 36 or 60 months, at either $659 or $549 per month, the ML450 is the first two-mode hybrid (like the Toyota Prius) from Mercedes. The ML450 uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors to make 335-hp and 381 ft-lbs of torque. Unlike the S400 Hybrid, it will be able to operate exclusively on electric power for short periods of time. Its fuel economy is rated at 21/24 mpg (city/highway), which is roughly the same as the ML350 Bluetec diesel at 18/25 mpg. This is also a 46 percent improvement over the fuel economy rating of the similarly-powerful ML550.

The next step for Mercedes in the field of hybrids comes with the Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show and foreshadows a plug-in hybrid version of the next generation S-Class. Thanks to a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 60-hp/184 ft-lb electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of getting an amazing 73.5 mpg! Possibly more shocking is that the car doesn’t sacrifice performance, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Additionally, the electric motor will be able to power the car emissions-free for 18 miles.

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 17 2009, 11:28 AM

mb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_16.jpg

For the first time since the car’s world premiere at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes is getting ready to display its new supercar. This time, however, it will be on U.S. soil at the LA Auto Show.

Inspired by the 300SL Gullwing, the new SLS AMG is the first ground-up car to be built by Merc’s high-performance AMG division and uses AMG’s first “from scratch” engine. That engine, a 6.2-liter mill, makes 563-hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque in the SLS – enough to propel the company’s new flagship sports car all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph. Helping achieve that low sprint time is a sophisticated double-clutch automatic transmission, that can be operated via paddle shifters. The SLS is the first production Mercedes to get double-clutch technology.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle. That transaxle layout means that the tranny is located out back (for an ideal weight balance of 48/52) and it attached to the engine by a carbon fiber driveshaft.

The curb weight is just 3,571 lbs, due mostly to the fact that this is the first model Mercedes has ever produced with an all aluminum chassis and body. Weight is also saved by using carbon ceramic brakes and light weight wheels, that measure 19×9.5-inches up front and 20×11-inches in the rear. Tires measure 265/35/19 front and 295/30/22 rear.

We’ll be sure to bring you plenty of photos with live coverage of the LA Auto Show starting December 2nd.

See AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Here Starting December 2nd

GALLERY: 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG

mb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_01.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_13.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_03.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_05.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_06.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_11.jpg

GALLERY: 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG Frankfurt Debut

DSC_1772.JPGDSC_1776.JPGDSC_1779.JPGDSC_1796.JPGDSC_1800.JPGDSC_1801.JPG

 |  Sep 15 2009, 4:59 AM

DSC_1801.JPG

Mercedes introduced the SLS AMG supercar, the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL Gullwing, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula One World Champion, was on hand for the SLS AMG’s premiere, hopping into the supercar’s driver seat as the press mobbed him.

Powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine found in all of AMG’s 63 models, but with reworked internals, the SLS makes a total of 563hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque – enough to propel the SLS AMG all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle and a double-clutch seven speed transmission. That tansaxle layout means that the tranny is located out back (for an ideal weight balance of 48/52) and it attached to the engine by a carbon fiber driveshaft.

The projected curb weight is just 3,571 lbs, due mostly to the fact that this is the first model Mercedes has ever produced with an all aluminum chassis and body.

Weight is also saved by using carbon ceramic brakes and light weight wheels, that measure 19×9.5-inches up front and 20×11-inches in the rear. Tires measure 265/35/19 front and 295/30/22 rear

Gallery: Mercedes SLS AMG

DSC_1772.JPGDSC_1776.JPGDSC_1796.JPGDSC_1800.JPG

 |  Sep 09 2009, 4:56 PM

slsamgofficial003.jpg

It may surprise you to learn that these are the first images of the new SLS AMG supercar from Mercedes. Not only does the car look startlingly familiar to the legendary 300SL Gullwing, but thanks to spy photos (some of which were even provided by Mercedes) and a few leaked images here and there, there’s a good change you’ve already seen this new 563hp retro-styled exotic.

Powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine found in all of AMG’s 63 models, but with reworked internals, the SLS makes a total of 563hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque – enough to propel the SLS AMG all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle and a double-clutch seven speed transmission. That tansaxle layout means that the tranny is located out back (for an ideal weight balance of 48/52) and it attached to the engine by a carbon fiber driveshaft.

The projected curb weight is just 3,571 lbs, due mostly to the fact that this is the first model Mercedes has ever produced with an all aluminum chassis and body.

Weight is also saved by using carbon ceramic brakes and light weight wheels, that measure 19×9.5-inches up front and 20×11-inches in the rear. Tires measure 265/35/19 front and 295/30/22 rear.

As for the styling we have to say its growing on us. From some angles its achingly beautiful, while from others it’s just ok. We’ll report back as soon as it’s unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 15th.

GALLERY: 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG

mb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_02.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_03.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_13.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_06.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_08.jpgmb-sls-amg-gullwing-large_10.jpg