Mercedes will be showing off their latest prototype at the Los Angeles auto show and it is truly a bulbous racket to see. Imagine an xTerra that’s been injected with silicone and it was not done by a qualified doctor. Mercedes seems to believe that this may actually become a production SUV and not just an attention starter at the show.
Unfortunately for show goers who are interested in the guts of the Ener-G-Force SUV, there are none. There is no drive train, no engine, and no interior to gawk at, only a very eccentric shell. The idea, according to Mercedes, is that if this prototype is ever put into production, lets say around 2025, then it will be powered by an engine that does not exist yet. Ideally a hydrogen powered mill would force this SUV out of the city lights and into fly over country and to do this it would have to be energy sound. They claim that the technology envisioned for such an SUV does not exist yet, but they are willing to try.
Realistically the Ener-G-Force will never be put into production, but Mercedes wants to hear what you think about the lines or lack thereof. Will buyers be drawn to the curvy and accentuated fenders and handle less doors? Or will they simply ignore what any of the consumers think and go the way of the Chevy Volt, where the actual production model doesn’t even resemble a distant cousin of the prototype brought to show?
The Mercedes SLS AMG is one of the most high performance cars made by Mercedes, bred for the track, and tamed for the road. It’s impossible to miss the gullwing doors, long sexy design, and the sound produced by a 6.3 liter V8. Ultra light weight aluminum space frame body, coupled with 570 horses, makes for a volatile street machine.
Mercedes engineers have designed the 2010 SLS AMG to get the power to the pavement. Equipped with a double wish-bone suspension, dry sump lubrication, and a seven speed dual clutch wrapped in a transaxle, it’s guaranteed to hold on tight around the corners. Thanks to the aluminum chassis, Mercedes has achieved a near 50/50 split with weight distribution, leaning more toward the rear, it’s ideal for any super car.
Inside the SLS AMG, Mercedes went to great lengths to provide racing function and a design that can only be described as aeronautic. The dark stitched interior with carbon fiber accents provide a luxurious feel, complete with Mercedesque looking vents. Try not to get overwhelmed when peering inside the cock pit, viewers are greeted with a plethora of gauges, buttons, and gadgets. All serve a purpose, are in their place, and contribute to the Mercedes SLS AMG experience.
Photos of the exterior of the SLS AMG and interior of the SLS AMG:
The new 2011 Mercedes CL Class is a brute force combination of power and luxury. Gone are the days when luxury sedans, often large in size, were burdened by weak engines. The new 2011 CL Class destroys this mantra by providing 429 horsepower via a twin-turbo charged V8. It’s a sports car wrapped in a mild mannered skin.
Imagine rolling up to one of these black monsters, unknowingly giving the stuff shirt in the drivers seat a crooked look. Next thing you know he’s blown the doors off of your drop top sports car and your girlfriend instantly becomes no longer interested. The 2011 Mercedes CL Class achieved this greatness through a 5.5 liter V8, which is how it got it’s name, the CL 550.
If the 2011 CL 550 isn’t enough bite for your bark, consider purchasing the CL 600, which promises a similar setup with a full forced 6.0 liter V12. The CL 600 skirts from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds, thanks to twin hair dryers producing over 500 horsepower and over 600 lb ft of torque.
Inside it looks like the cock pit of a rocket ship, albeit a very elaborately decorated rocket ship. Bezels are wood grain and trimmed with polished aluminum and the seats are made of the highest quality leather. Furthermore, the CL Class provides enough digital gauges and buttons to make your head spin. And impress the new girl friend you just picked up on the way back from the Mercedes dealership.
Mercedes has broken the mythical ban on electric car efficiency and super car power. The luxury car maker has taken leaps in development of the first electric super car, capable of getting high miles per gallon and the ability to produce heart stopping power. No longer must consumers decide between expensive super car power and green efficient slowmobiles, Mercedes have combined the best of both worlds.
The E-Cell, although still in development, is already producing a steady 500+ horsepower and 650 lb ft of torque. Although all specs have yet to be released, these power ratings make the E-Cell a certified super car. Although the existence of electric motors could increase weight beyond normal super car lightness, Mercedes places the 0-60 mph range at just 4 seconds.
Like all super cars, the Mercedes E-Cell has been designed from the ground up to offer superb handling, break neck acceleration, and now offer it in a fuel efficient package. According to Mercedes, the E-Cell body panels and bumpers have been designed to offer the highest degree of stability down force. Furthermore, the drive train has been designed to offer optimal weight distribution to keep handling in peak order.
Will the E-Cell ever be released? Yes! According to Mercedes the super car E-Cell will go into production some time in 2013. Already there is a prototype available and a select few have been able to get behind the wheel. Will the price justify the means? The E-Cell will likely start selling at just $307,000. Just think of how much of your fuel budget you will save by spending the big bones on the first bonafide all electric super car.
Looking to go green in style and luxury? If yes, then you better start saving your money now for the in development S-Class hybrid, which will reportedly achieve up to 81 miles per gallon. It will be a plug-in style hybrid and utilize an SLS AMG e-drive to achieve efficiency greatness.
Amazingly, the S-Class plug-in will reportedly be capable of speeds of up to 68 miles per hour in all electric mode. However, drivers will be limited to a 20 mile radius in all electric mode. If your commute only requires you to travel less than 20 miles to and from then it’s possible to get infinite miles per gallon, provided you remember to plug the damn thing in at night.
Which brings me to my next point, the Mercedes plug-in hybrid is already being plagued by a low density battery, which translates into looonnnggg charge times. Who would want to buy a hybrid that takes 2 days to charge? One of a handful of hurdles keeping the S-Class in development and not being rolled out the manufacturers door.
Everyone is capitalizing on looking green, going green, or at the very least just trying not to dump their oil change down the drain. Manufacturers know that consumers are taking into consideration their environmental impact when purchasing a car, so they intend to exploit desire. Some just like throwing a green hue on their logo until they can come up with a nice fuel efficient car, Mercedes is going all out with an environmental awareness ad campaign. Soon enough it’ll be in your face, Mercedes is committed to the green movement, with an ad premiere during the upcoming Academy Awards.
The Green advertisement will focus on the all new S400 Hybrid. Hoping to attract familiar viewers, the ad will be voiced by Jon Hamm, a Golden Globe winner from the TV series Mad Men. It’s called the ‘Tree of Innovation’ and it’s designed to instill a sense of guilt in fat wallet consumers.
On a positive note, it does highlight the fact that Mercedes has been committed to testing and developing energy efficient vehicles. You don’t have to look far till you see the advancements they’ve made in clean diesel technology and now uber efficient hybrids. “Engineering for a greener future”, is the hook, which most consumer will bite.