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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.
Technology is helping vehicles achieve better ratings on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s front crash prevention test.
What's the best selling luxury car in America?
In the market for a luxury vehicle and interested to see what’s popular? AutoGuide has compiled a list of the top 10 best selling luxury vehicles in America year-to-date for 2013.
With data provided by GoodCarBadCar.net the list includes some of the usual suspects and even a few surprises!
In fact, how’s this for a stat: less than half of the cars on the list are from Germany.
If you’re a luxury automaker trying to be successful in China, you better have a long wheelbase model or two in your lineup.
Today, Mercedes-Benz produced its 500,000th W212 E-Class at its assembly plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.
It took the automaker three years to hit this production milestone on the latest generation of E-Class, first introduced in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 500,000th car is a white E350 4Matic and is destined for the U.S. market.
The E-Class has found success in the business world, but you may be surprised to know it’s also a popular taxi. The E-Class is one of the most popular taxi’s used worldwide.
With over 10 million units sold since its start, the E-Class has been a successful executive-class vehicle for the Mercedes-Benz brand. It marries comfort, performance and technology.
When it was introduced in 2009, the revised E-Class was actually available for $4,600 less than the previous model. Despite that, it was totally refreshed with a an exterior characterize by its new, sharp lines and in interior that took countless hours of engineering. The result, one of Merc’s best cars to date.
Among the new features, Mercedes customers could now enjoy Night View Assist Plus, which allowed drivers to see farther into the dark through the navigation screen among other safety features.
As the brand ushers its half-millionth E-Class it’s hard not to look ahead at the promised 2014 revision and anticipate much better it might be. While we already know there isn’t a drastic redesign like the 2009 model got, there’s still plenty to look forward to.
Recently news broke that German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz was going to give its E-Class model a refresh for the 2014 model year. Now it appears that the facelift can come as soon as January 2013, and could possibly be a 2013 model year vehicle.
Previously it was rumored that Mercedes would do away with the quad-headlight setup that has become synonymous with the E-Class model, opting to give the new car a dual headlight design. But in addition to those changes, it appears that Mercedes will also be revising the rear side panels, a heavily modified rear end, and an all-new front end to go with the dual headlights. It seems that Mercedes wants to go towards a more elegant design with its E-Class, perhaps trying to separate it from its sportier C-Class brethren.
The facelifted sedan is estimated to go on sale in spring 2013 with the wagon hitting its respective markets in the summer. The AMG and 4Matic variants are expected in the fall, and Mercedes will have three different hybrid versions for the E-Class model.
There is also a long list of technology upgrades coming our way for the revamped E-Class, including Improved Night Assistant, Dynamic Light Assistant, Intelligent Lane Assistant, Intelligent Brake Assistant, Congestion Assistant, Magic Ride Control, Head-up Display, and Car-to-X Communications. We reckon it’ll be rather difficult to get yourself into an accident with all these new assisting technologies.
The current generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class has done extremely well for itself, arguably finding a perfect compromise between sporty and luxury. But it appears that the German automaker has found ways to improve upon it and a new, heavily refreshed E-Class is expected to make a debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Autobild out in Germany is reporting that Mercedes is planning a mid-cycle update for its E-Class and that nearly all of its sheet metal will be new except for the roof, windows, and front doors. It appears that the next-generation E-Class will adopt styling from the A-Class, and the traditional dual headlights of the E-Class will give way to a single unit – something that hasn’t been seen for at least three generations of E-Classes.
In addition, Mercedes will give the new E-Class tons of new technology features including a front camera-based system to help detect road changes and adjust the car’s suspension accordingly. The same front camera should be making its way to the 2013 S-Class.
It’s probably too early to tell what powerplants will make their way to the new E-Class, but we have to admit – we’re a little surprised that Mercedes is opting to change so much on a vehicle that looks so good.
12. Toyota Camry
While automakers and outside research firms publish sales figures and earnings reports on a regular basis, one metric we rarely get a glimpse of is how profitable each vehicle is. In an era of re-badging and platform sharing, one would think that the most profitable vehicles are those with a large number of derivatives to spread the cost around. But a new report from Bernstein Research suggests that two factors – price point and volume – are the keys to making big bucks off vehicles. And judging by the list, longevity seems to help as well.
Number 12 on the list is the Toyota Camry, and for good reason. The Camry has a number of factors in its favor – massive volumes, an accessible price point and its made in America (currency fluctuations, particularly a rise in the euro or yen, can make exports unprofitable). Bernstein’s report notes that high volume cars at a medium price point are one of the keys to profitability, and the Camry might be the textbook definition of this formula. The Camry’s twin, the Lexus ES350, was absent from the list, but no doubt earns its keep, as a gilded version of the Camry.
Mercedes is currently developing a super light version of its popular E-Class reports Auto Bild magazine. Through an extensive use of carbon fiber, Mercedes is hoping to shave off an impressive 770-lbs from the current models, targeting a curb weight of under 2,900 lbs. By using a carbon fiber structure, Mercedes will be able to eliminate the B-pillar, possibly creating more radical designs on the popular E-Class chassis.
Naturally with a lighter body, these superlight E-Classes will sport even better performance with a more favorable power-to-weight ratio. This would also benefit in the mpg department if Mercedes opts to use smaller and more fuel efficient engines in order to power the svelte E-Class. Rumor has it that Mercedes has these E-Classes scheduled to release sometime in 2015 and will hopefully produce around 20,000 annually.
The development of the Jaguar XF wagon is still a work in progress for the British automaker. Ford’s product planners did not include a wagon body style when the sedan was first designed and Jaguar engineers have had to develop the XF estate from square one, with the project has becoming considerably more expensive and complex.
Some insiders have suggested the XF wagon will be the same length as the sedan. The Jag will also share styling cues with the XJ, as the wraparound rear pillars will be present, giving the estate a cleaner looking back end compared to the X-type wagon. The British automaker is aiming for the vehicle to be as practical as the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-series, with space comparable to the large Mercedes-Benz E-class estate.
The XF will most likely debut at the Geneva or Paris auto show in 2012. Unfortunately, the vehicle probably won’t arrive stateside since there is minimal demand for wagons.
Brabus is claiming to have built the world’s most powerful and fastest four-seater cabriolet, outfitting Mercedes-Benz‘s E-Class Cabriolet with an 800-hp V12 Biturbo powerplant. The result is a made-to-order E-Class Cabriolet with a price tag of $681,000 (based on today’s conversion rates).
The 800-hp V12 engine uses the three-valve S600 motor but stroked to 6.3-liters with plenty of headwork. Along with the reworked motor, Brabus bolts on two special exhaust manifolds with larger turbochargers. Four water-to-air intercoolers provide more than adequate cooling while all the gasses are expelled from a quad-tipped exhaust system. Under the custom hood is an integrated carbon fiber ram-air intake manifold. The peak torque of the 6.3L is an astonishing 1,047 lb-ft, but the E-Class Cabriolet is electronically limited to 811 lb-ft.
To enhance the exterior appearance of this 800-hp convertible beast, Brabus outfits it with an aerodynamic kit featuring a front apron with LED daytime lights and front and rear widebody fenders – with the rear in carbon fiber and going 2.4-inches wider. This allows for a front pair of 19×9.5-inch wheels with 265/30/19 tires while the rear gets 19×10-inch wheels with 295/30/19 Yokohama tires.
Of course with all this work being done to provide plenty of power to the vehicle and enhancing its look, suspension modifications were done with Brabus’ coilover suspension with 10-way adjustable Bilstein shocks. Height adjustments can be made up to 1.4-inches. Alongside the coilovers is a set of 12-piston front calipers and 6-piston rear calipers with larger rotors.
And as always interior upgrades can be had catered to the buyer’s preferences, with this first model featuring a red and black leather scheme. Carbon fiber can be seen on the dashboard, center console and side trim.
For such an insane price, we understand why the vehicle is made to order. We’re curious to see how many vehicles Brabus ends up selling with that price tag.
GALLERY: Brabus E-Class 800 V12 Cabriolet
The Mercedes-Benz GLK will get a diesel option in 2012, making it the lone compact luxury SUV to be offered with an oil-burning powertrain. Mercedes-Benz will also offer a diesel C-Class at launch in 2013.
Mercedes will also re-introduce the E-Class diesel for 2011, after a one year hiatus. Ernst Lieb, Mercedes USA’s President, said that the take rate for their Bluetec diesel engines ranges from 12-20%, with the E-Class on the low side, and the GL enjoying more diesel-oriented customers.
Lieb said that he would like to see the take rate grow to between 15-20% in the United States, but higher vehicle and fuel prices have kept consumers wary of buying diesel. By contrast, the take rate for diesels in Canada, with even pricier vehicles and fuel, approaches 80% consistently.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
Consumers in China and the United States are fueling the fortunes of German luxury car makers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. Buyers in both countries are going wild for the re-designed Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A8.
“The Chinese appetite for German nameplates is absolutely bottomless,” Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank AG, told Automotive News. “There are more than 900,000 millionaires in China and many of them are bursting to show off their wealth.”
BMW’s all-new 5-Series is sold out across the world, while Mercedes-Benz is developing a long-wheelbase E-Class just for the Chinese market and hiring 1,800 temporary workers to help meet demand for its vehicles. Audi has also reported strong demand for their new A8 flagship.
“German luxury cars are a synonym for status, comfort and safety,” Gommel said. “Those are the traits you want to embody when you’re courting future partners for business. In China, buying a German luxury car is seen like buying a ticket to future wealth.”
[Source: Automotive News]
The Chinese auto market has a strange fascination with stretched versions of compact and mid-size sedans, the the stretched BMW 5-Series (pictured), the Audi A4L and the stretched Mercedes-Benz E-Class to name a few.
BMW wants a bigger piece of the action and is teaming of with Chinese automaker Brilliance (yes, that Brilliance) to build the long-wheelbase 3-Series as well as a new factory in the Chinese region of Shenyeng. The factory should have an ultimate capacity of 300,000 units, with 60 percent of the parts sourced within China. Capacity should be enough that BMW will be able to export cars from the plant, although it’s not likely that we’ll ever see a stretched 3-Series on our shores. Expect identical powertrain options in the stretched car, and a slightly higher price tag.