New infotainment – Mercedes A-Class 2019

Last week I visited the local Mercedes-Benz dealership in order to check out the all-new 2019 A-Class, a car I wanted to examine a bit more closely for a few months now. With every new car or new rendition of an existing car, it is always interesting to see where the carmaker placed the focus, and with the A-Class, that is very clear. All research and development went towards the new MBUX (mercedes benz user experience) system, a new generation of infotainment with the same looks as the large screens we already know from the S- and E-Class but with a few changes.

Exterior wise, the changes are rather small. New lights, bumpers, a bit more length and width, nothing too exciting. The new dimensions caused interior space for rear passengers and boot volume to grow, and the suspension was adjusted to be more comfortable. Engines are all four cylinder powertrains again, developed with or borrowed from Renault.

But again, the real news is in the cockpit. Mercedes swapped the traditional gauge cluster with the iPad-like navigation screen in the middle for a new setup of dual 7 or 10 inch screens, depending on how much money you want to leave at Mercedes. The steering wheel features a lot more buttons too, maybe becoming a bit too crowded even, but that is my own opinion.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor mb a class 2019

What Mercedes rightfully claims, is that the new A brings the funky systems of the most expensive models like the S and E right to the premium C-segment. Of course, the base versions only get a very modest part of these systems, but at least they are available. Something Audi and BMW cannot say, since their offerings in the segment are running on their last legs. When going all-out and speccing a car which probably costs around 50 grand in Euro (without even the most powerful engine) you can have kit like:

  • Heated, ventilated, and massaging seats
  • Burmester audio
  • A 10″ high resolution digital gauge cluster with different presets (although it didn’t seem as configurable as Audi’s virtual cockpit)
  • An additional 10″  high-res navigation and infotainment display right next to it (again, standard both are only 7 inch and show only one gauge, in a similar way Volvo handles it)
  • Head up display
  • Touchpad, touchscreen, and pretty decent voice controls (‘hey mercedes’ is enough to launch the whole operation)
  • adaptive cruise control, lane keeping aid, blind spot monitoring, and (!) automatic lane changing
  • A nifty feature called augmented navigation showing digital floating traffic signs on a camera feed in the right screen, making it impossible to miss a turn
  • carplay/android auto, inductive charging, and probably every other way you could possibly imagine to connect your phone to the system

Is there then nothing to left to complain about with the new car? Well, as with almost all premium cars, there is. The problem is the best features are hidden in expensive option packages staging at least 4 or 5 grand. This makes it simply impossible to pick a base model and fit it with the tech you would personally like, but leave things out you don’t car about. This is a pity, since it makes the car less attractive to the regular, non-leasing, buyer. You can pick up a new A160 for around 30 grand, but having both exterior and interior look a bit less stale would cost at least 8k more (for the Progressive pack and the AMG-line pack). This could be improved, by creating packs featuring only the best options (like the satnav, 17 inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise, the larger screens, and heated seats) but not all of them.

 

 

A Most Ridiculous Cabrio

In a world where every single Facebook user gets spammed by commercials of Supercells ‘award-winning’ mobile game, Clash Royale, there also seems to be enough quirkyness in entirely different areas of the market, like the automotive industry.

And therefore.. Meet the *leaked* Mercedes Benz G650 Cabriolet LWB. Packing extravagant looks and a gas-guzzling V12 with at least 500hp, 800Nm, and nature-defying acceleration. You say; Mercedes had convertible variants of the G-wagon before? True, but those were all based on the short wheel based version (SWB). An example is the G500 Cabriolet Final Edition from 2013, which we conveniently left below.

And in a world where Mercedes seems to have fun launching all kinds of ridiculous variants of the G-Class like the 4×4^2 and the 6×6 (also as G63 AMG), a really monstrous cabrio was dearly missed. Or so it seems.

Video: http://www.autojunk.nl/2017/02/mercedes-maybach-g-650-cabriolet

There still seems to be some discussion about the final name of the product, since Maybach badges are apparently present on the car. Therefore, it could be called something like Mercedes-Maybach G650 Cabriolet, which is in line with Stuttgart’s naming conventions. We also noted that the behemoth borrowed some parts of the 4×4^2, which causes it to have even more ground clearance than a standard G. Speaking about that particular car, which looks like a standard G500 tried to have babies with a Unimog, we found this really nic pic of it:

Unfortunately no official information from Mercedes as of yet.

 

Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard.

Soon available for every dictator; the new S600 Pullman Guard by Mercedes and Maybach. Lets dissect that name for a bit. Mercedes-Maybach is the badge on the most exquisite versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but those are not necessarily lengthened. Thats where the Lang-versions and Pullman-label comes in. Pullman is different from Lang, because it has four seats in opposite position, where Lang version only has two seats and a boatload of legroom.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard.

Since it weighs more than 5000 kilos, the 600 engine actually has work to do. the V12 boasts around 1000Nm of torque, which should help it to the limited top speed of 160 kp/h as soon as possible. Then the Guard designation. It stands for all the armoured versions Mercedes offers, so it also has E-Class Guards and G-Guards. This particular one has the VR9 rating, which means it withstands automatic rifle crossfire and TNT up to 15 kilos, if its positioned no closer than 2 metres from the vehicle. In other words, when you drive over an IED that size you’re probably still toast.

It’s no tank, but probably the closest you can get to president Obama’s Cadillac-based Beast. Price: Around 1.5 million euros.