Schlagwort-Archive: Mercedes

What will the car of the future look like?

Technological breakthroughs such as autonomy are giving free rein on car design, so we’ve asked leading designers what the car of the future might look like

Autonomy, digitalisation, electrification and connected cars are no longer fashionable buzzwords looking to a brighter future.

Today, aspects of all three are already present on our roads, from cruise control functions that read the road ahead and adjust your speed, through to the self-driving Tesla Autopilot and Mercedes Driver Assist functions that are already on stream.

These are technological breakthroughs with far-reaching consequences; they are the result of the march of time and advances in understanding, and they are statesponsored because of the promise of fewer road injuries and accidents. They are an inevitability that will, in the words of Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche, prompt a profound change to cars “as radical as the industry has seen in its 120 years of existence”.

At the heart of this pivotal moment in time stands a generation of car designers with an entirely new rule book at their fingertips. But what does that rule book look like and how radically different is it?

Autocar polled leading designers from around the automotive industry to hear their views.

MICHAEL MAUER, Volkswagen Group head of design, on whether cars will end up looking the same:

“The mobility world of tomorrow gives us designers entirely new creative possibilities. Electric drives and autonomous driving remove any obstacles and change design more radically than has been the case in recent decades.

“But that does not mean we will have uniform autonomous vehicles. The streetscape of the future will become even more varied, even more colourful, even more emotional.”

SATORU TAI, executive design director for Nissan, on changing priorities and the short and longterm challenges:

“Cars may go through a phase of looking similar, but in the long run I think further advancement of technologies will then enable us to have more freedom in shaping unique designs, just as they did in the past.

“With the complete change of powertrains, the layout will become more flexible. We will no longer need an extended bonnet or bootlid. If we only pursue efficiency, I think the overall design of cars will become boxier and mono-volume orientated.

“Since many of the upcoming technologies are about man/machine interfaces, there will be a transition period and I am sure interior design will have more significance than exterior design. To a degree, the interior will influence the exterior design all the more and they will, eventually, resume the relationship they have today.”

GORDEN WAGENER, head of design at Mercedes-Benz, on bringing simplicity to complex solutions:

“Look at how much design has changed this company in the past three years. We’ve made the transition from an old luxury company to a modern luxury company, simply through design. Looking to the future with the challenges to come — digitisation, electrification — I think designers are the people to envision it.

“We’re living in the future; we’re five, 10, even 15 years into the future. Design has never been more important. There’s so much happening and, as designers, we’re really in the driver’s seat here. The new world will become very complex and it’s the designers who will try to make it simple.”

KLAUS BISCHOFF, Volkswagen design chief, on a focus on interiors:

“The biggest shift for design will be the interiors of EVs. Because we have pushed the ID concept’s climate control system into the nose, the dash can be pushed back 20cm — which gives a great deal more room in the cabin. Today’s car interiors are close to the driver, almost hemming them in; in future EVS, space in the cabin will be far greater.”

LAURENS VAN DEN ACKER, design chief for Renault, on whether to go radical or remain conventional:

“The first thing to say is that there’s never been a better time to be a designer. Technology means engineers can do things they couldn’t five years ago and that has opened up all sorts of avenues. Marketeers have realised that in a world of no really bad cars, design is what makes the difference.

“We can write our own future — and I don’t see car sharing taking that away. People will still care what their car looks like. People won’t want to be in a vehicle that looks like a trash can, and besides, most people won’t want to share a car. It’s something personal; it would be like sharing your cat.

“The biggest opportunity in the near future will be space; an electric drivetrain is 40% more compact than a combustion one, so that’s an opportunity. But how far do we go? I’m in favour of change but think customers will still want to see classic proportions. I don’t see a reason for revolution.”

SIMON HUMPHRIES, president of ED2, Toyota’s design HQ in Europe and one of the key development centres for Lexus and Toyota, on why there’s no single answer:

“Consumers’ values will become increasingly diverse, and consumers will become increasingly confident in their ability to choose without following mainstream trends. Acceptance of new, radical design and non-traditional hierarchies will result, and that may signal the end of mass trends in design as people seek new methods of self-expression.

“Size will no longer define the automotive hierarchy and branding strategies will have to change. The paradigm shift from gasoline to electric will not happen overnight; they will co-exist, resulting in each finding its own speciality. Choice will depend on lifestyle and the ‘allrounder’ car of today will be replaced by more specific designs, with the different experiences being offered becoming the brand differentiator.

“There will also be new influences from developing regions, leading to new concepts and ideas based on criteria other than the traditional European view of the car.”

MORAY CALLUM, vice-president of design at Ford, on how the designer’s job is changing:

“There’s more design to do because it’s more complicated. So much more goes into everything. When I started we chose between a 5.0in round headlight or a 7.0in headlight. Now we’ve got around 35 people on headlights, because there are around 50 different parts.

“We’re not just going to the car design schools to recruit now, because our role is getting wider as our relationship with the car is changing. As designers, we have an expanding role around how these systems we add work. For instance, the designer’s job is to make the [infotainment] logic logical to customers; we’ve got more interior designers than exterior designers now. You fall in love with the exterior but live with the interior — and most of the pain points are inside.”

ALFONSO ALBAISA, corporate vice-president and executive design director for Infiniti, on changing limits and how to persuade customers to embrace that change:

“I don’t feel there is a limit to designing cars for the future. The only issue is how we walk with our customer into the future, because the customer’s appetite for change is what we must relate to. Sometimes, depending on culture, the customer can be slightly conservative. This also depends on their social situation, but sometimes they are ambitious and expect significant design changes.

“I think premium customers are open to change if we provide a clear benefit to them. It’s important; if you change something significant, there must be very clear customer benefit. If there is not, the customer will reject it because they have so many good choices in the marketplace.

“In reality, the modern user experience and how it relates to and works with the owner has a much higher value than piping or wood on an interior, and I feel there is a great potential in the coming digital technologies.”

ROB MELVILLE, McLaren chief designer, on whether driver-focused supercars are less likely to change than conventional cars:

“They’ll change too — and soon. Our philosophy is to create breathtaking designs that tell the visual story of their function, and we have an amazing bandwidth of functionality and focus coming in our products. We plan to do this by using our advanced technologies, aerodynamic software and manufacturing processes to create our beautiful yet functional designs. We will continue to be brave and innovate.

“Clever design will be the dominant force and will always predominate over new legislation, which is an opportunity to find new solutions and make cars even more individual. It’s an exciting challenge for the team. The freeing up of crash structures will mean improved aerodynamics, which is fantastic, and the interior space/ volume of the car will be designed to suit our vehicle’s requirements.

“Customers will accept the changes as long as it is authentic, radical design. Radical design just to be trendy lacks integrity and this turns customers off. Our customers are very sophisticated and appreciate radical design that delivers improved experience, usability and fun. It has to put a smile on your face.”

STEFAN SIELAFF, Bentley director of design, on ultra-luxury design — and a history lesson:

“Maybe ‘transport boxes’ will be part of the future, but it will go one step at a time and I can say our customers want our cars because they make a statement, not just because they do a job.

“Bentley will always follow a fusion of performance and luxury; dynamics must be part of the mixture. But even if sometimes you will want to turn the seats around and leave the control to the systems, sometimes, at the right times, our customers will want to drive. It’s a compromise we know at Bentley; for 100 years our owners have done the same, albeit with chauffeurs driving.

“The question is not just about design but also technology. How will that change what we want from the interior space? And even if we give people more space, it won’t be about just opening the car up. Our customers want architecture, not just space.

“I am old enough to remember East and West Germany. In the East there was basically one car, a Trabant, available in five colours. The day the Berlin Wall came down, people were clamouring to change. That history lesson suggests there is no desire to own cars that look identical.”

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/what-will-car-future-look

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Dieter Zetsche beschwört den Wandel der Autobranche

Betont lässig: Daimler-Chef Dieter Zetsche brach in Paris mit den Traditionen der Autobranche. Er führte Freizeitmode vor und verkündete das neue Leitbild einer agilen Organisation.

(Foto: Daimler)

Dabei bremste Daimler bislang bei den alternativen Antrieben. Auch die jüngste Elektroauto-Studie geriet mutlos. Gelingt dennoch die Transformation zum Tech-Konzern?

Analyse von Joachim Becker

Die Schuhe sind Teil der Inszenierung: Wenn der 63-jährige Chef eines Weltunternehmens mit Jeans und Turnschuhen rumläuft, dann befindet er sich für gewöhnlich im Urlaub oder in der Midlife-Crisis. Dieter Zetsche will augenscheinlich nicht zum alten Eisen gehören. Doch sein Problem ist weniger privater als unternehmerischer Natur: Der Daimler-Boss will das Flaggschiff der deutschen Autoindustrie zur Tech-Company umbauen.

Vor einer Gründerzeit im Neckar-Valley muss er einige Altlasten bewältigen. Zum Beispiel den Erfolg des bewährten Geschäftsmodells: Trotz Rekordabsatzzahlen fordert Zetsche ein radikales Umdenken seiner Mitarbeiter. Statt sprudelnde Erlöse zu feiern, sollen sie sich an einer Revolution beteiligen. Ausgang offen.

Bisher stand Mercedes auf der Bremse

Was Zetsche auf dem Pariser Autosalon verkündet, ist eine Revolution von oben: „Wir wollen nicht nur die Verwandlung unserer Produkte vorantreiben, sondern auch die Verwandlung unserer Organisation signifikant beschleunigen.“ Bisher standen die Stuttgarter nicht nur bei alternativen Antrieben auf der Bremse. Kurz nach einer Welttournee mit Wasserstofffahrzeugen wurde 2013 die angekündigte Serienproduktion abgesagt. Im selben Jahr überließ man BMW i die Vorfahrt bei komplett neuen Elektroautos. Die ersten E-Smarts mit Hochtemperaturzellen hatten 2007 bloß Forschungscharakter. Später half Tesla auch bei der Mercedes-B-Klasse-e-cell mit Batterien nach. Trotzdem oder gerade deshalb zögerte der Elektroingenieur Zetsche, Milliarden auf eine ungewisse Elektro-Zukunft zu wetten.

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Zetsche ist kein junger Wilder wie Elon Musk, der als New-Age-Guru einer emissionsfreien Zukunft auftritt. Der Erfolg von Tesla und vor allem die Geschwindigkeit, mit der sich das Start-up weiterentwickelt, sorgen im Daimler-Vorstand allerdings für Stirnrunzeln. Der Elektro-Pionier punktet mit Software-Updates, die neue Funktionen ins Auto bringen. Trotz gravierender Rückschläge wie beim Autopiloten will Tesla das erste autonome Auto auf den Markt bringen.

Die Serienversion des Generation EQ kommt 2018

Bei dem halsbrecherischen Technologietempo gibt es eine Reihe von Unwägbarkeiten: „Unser Zielkorridor für den Elektroabsatz im Jahr 2025 liegt zwischen 15 und 25 Prozent. Genauer können wir es einfach nicht prognostizieren“, gesteht Mercedes-Vertriebsvorstand Ola Källenius. Trotzdem legt Daimler jetzt den Schalter für die neue Elektro-Submarke EQ um. Die Serienversion des Pariser Showcars „Generation EQ“ wird ab 2018 zum Preis eines „vernünftig ausgestatteten Mercedes GLC“ (also für rund 60 000 Euro) angeboten. Mindestens neun weitere reine E-Mobile vom Kompaktauto bis zum Supersportler sollen bis 2025 folgen.

Mercedes will bis 2025 Tesla als Marktführer bei Premium-Elektrofahrzeugen ablösen. Die leistungsstarken Stromer werden aber schon Ende dieses Jahrzehnts Standard sein – als Unterscheidungsmerkmal einer Marke taugen sie dann nicht mehr. Deshalb stürzen sich die Blechbieger in weitere Abenteuer: „Viele Autohersteller wollen heute Mobilitätsanbieter werden. Das ist schön und gut. Aber die Transformation der Branche ist noch viel grundlegender“, warnt der Daimler-Boss.

Daimlers Erfolgsgeschichte geschieht zu langsam

130 Jahre lang definierte sich die Autoindustrie über Hardware. Daimler ist das beste Beispiel, wie schwierig nun das Umdenken ist: Die Stuttgarter haben zwar 2007 das flexible Einweg-Carsharing mit vollvernetzten Smarts erfunden. Doch es dauerte zehn Jahre, um Car2go auf zwei Millionen Nutzer zu bringen. Was Daimler als Erfolgsgeschichte verkauft, geschieht letztlich zu langsam, um mit neuen Wettbewerbern zu konkurrieren. Maßgeschneiderte, automatisierte Mobilitäts-Services könnten dem Verkauf von Privat-Pkw in Zukunft mehr und mehr Konkurrenz machen. Niemand weiß aber, wie und wann sich der Wandel genau vollziehen wird.

Bisher sind die Entwicklungsabteilungen der Autohersteller entlang von neuen Produkten aufgestellt. Genauso wichtig werden allerdings innovative Geschäftsmodelle sein. Daimler will den Technologiewandel vom Kundenerlebnis her neu denken: „Wir erwarten, dass sich das Auto von einem Produkt in eine ultimative Plattform verwandelt. Das ist ein fundamentaler Perspektivenwechsel“, sagt Dieter Zetsche. Diese Plattform ruhe auf vier Säulen: Vernetzung (Connected), Autonomes Fahren, Sharing und Elektromobilität. Zusammen ergeben die Anfangsbuchstaben das Wort Case. „Wir haben gerade einen neuen Unternehmensbereich mit diesem Namen gegründet, um diese Themenfelder zusammenbringen“, so Zetsche.

Noch ist unklar, was die Kunden wollen

Den Kunden in den Mittelpunkt zu stellen, ist eine prima Idee. Das Problem ist nur: Kaum ein Mercedes-Käufer hat bisher nach Elektromobilen gefragt. Geschweige denn Interesse an einer Internet-Plattform gezeigt, über die er seine Luxuskarosse mit anderen teilen kann. Genau das will Mercedes mit einer Sharing-Plattform ab November dieses Jahres in Deutschland erproben.

Zetsche stellt in Paris jedoch klar, das keine einzelne Technologie oder Dienstleistung den Unterschied machen werde, sondern ein neuartiges Gesamterlebnis von Mobilität: „Jede der Case-Säulen hat das Potenzial, die gesamte Automobilindustrie auf den Kopf zu stellen. Aber die wahre Revolution ist die Verbindung dieser Aspekte in einem umfassenden, nahtlosen Paket.“

Zetsches ständiger Balanceakt

Alt und neu, analog und digital, Sakko zur verwaschenen Jeans: Als Vordenker balanciert Zetsche ständig zwischen den Gegensätzen. Seine Grundsatzrede auf dem Pariser Autosalon klingt über weite Strekken wie ein Appell an die eigene Belegschaft: Das Schweizer Uhrwerk als Zeichen für Verlässlichkeit und Präzision im mechanischen Zeitalter – „das bleibt auch in Zukunft wichtig!“, beruhigt er seine Mitarbeiter. Schon im nächsten Moment predigt er jedoch das Credo des digitalen Zeitalters: Ihm gefalle die Idee einer „agilen Schwarmorganisation“, verkündet der Manager mit dem grauen Walrossbart: „Case wird als rechtlich getrennte Organisation ein perfekter Startpunkt für diese Vorstellung sein.“

Mehr Silicon Valley wagen, ohne die Stärken der Vergangenheit aufzugeben, lautet die Botschaft. Noch weiß allerdings niemand, wie dieses Autofahren 2.0 wirklich aussieht, geschweige denn, wie man damit Geld verdient. Elektro-Studien wie der Mercedes Generation EQ und der VW I. D. zeigen in Paris jedenfalls das genaue Gegenteil einer Design-Revolution. Mit ihren mutlos-monolithischen Grundformen pendeln sie irgendwo zwischen Van und Crossover. Bloß nicht auffallen!

Der Fluch der großen Reichweite

Damit sich die Hoffnungsträger wenigstens ein bisschen vom Mainstream unterscheiden, wurde ihnen das Dach tief ins Gesicht gedrückt. Doch der Trick funktioniert nur auf geschickt fotografierten Bildern. Wer versucht hat, auf den Rücksitzen des VW I. D. zu sitzen oder sich unter dem Dachholm des Mercedes EQ durchzuschlängeln, erkennt den Schwindel: In der Serie werden aus halbwegs schnittigen Showcars bleischwere Hochdachautos. Das ist der Fluch der großen Reichweite.

Die Physik lässt sich auch im digitalen Zeitalter nicht überlisten: Stromer mit 500 Kilometer Radius benötigen riesige Unterflur-Batteriepakete, auf denen die Passagiere thronen. Tesla kann dieses hochgebockte Kutschendesign mit einem flachen Batterieformat recht gut kaschieren. Weil kein anderer Hersteller die schmalen Rundzellen von Panasonic verwendet, werden sich die Designer mit ihren Tesla-Fightern mächtig anstrengen müssen.

Auch Matthias Müller beschwört ein „neues Zeitalter“

Dass die meisten Kunden 500 Kilometer Batteriereichweite gar nicht brauchen, ist die Ironie dieses Technologiewandels. Bisher hat kaum jemand die Stromer als Erstauto für die ganze Familie verwendet, geschweige denn Urlaubsfahrten damit geplant. Das Wettrennen um den größten Batterieradius wendet sich also nicht an die umweltbewussten Pioniere, sondern an den komfortorientierten Otto-Normalverbraucher: Einmal pro Woche Tanken ist gelernt. Bloß nicht umgewöhnen!

Auch Matthias Müller beschwört in Paris ein „neues Zeitalter“: „Die Elektromobilität und digitale Vernetzung werden zu Game Changern“. Welche Spielregeln für eine neue Generation von Kunden gelten werden, weiß aber auch das Oberhaupt des Volkswagen-Konzerns nicht sicher zu sagen. Vielleicht sind es digital animierte Innenwelten, die ein neues Markenerlebnis schaffen. Auf dem Mercedes-Stand ließ sich Müller lange die Bedienphilosophie der EQ-Studie erklären. Die hochauflösenden 3-D-Landschaften auf dem Riesenbildschirm sollten ihn wohl von der Tristesse im VW I. D. ablenken.

Quelle: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/auto/die-zukunft-von-daimler-dieter-zetsche-beschwoert-den-wandel-der-autobranche-1.3193256

Mercedes‘ Tesla killer is coming in 2019

mercedes eqScreenshot

Mercedes-Benz just made a huge move to take on Tesla.

The German automaker unveiled its all-electric SUV concept at the Paris Motor Show Thursday, and with a competitive price tag and solid range potential, it’s poised to become a big competitor in the EV space.

Called Generation EQ, the SUV concept is expected to have a range up to 310 miles.

Called Generation EQ, the SUV concept is expected to have a range up to 310 miles.

Mercedes-Benz

The production version of the SUV is expected to hit the roads in 2019, Dieter Zetsche, the head of the Mercedes-Benz car division, said at the Paris Motor Show press event. Mercedes is calling the SUV unveiled today a „close-to-production concept vehicle.“

The production version of the SUV is expected to hit the roads in 2019, Dieter Zetsche, the head of the Mercedes-Benz car division, said at the Paris Motor Show press event. Mercedes is calling the SUV unveiled today a "close-to-production concept vehicle."

Mercedes-Benz

The car will fall in the same price range as the GLC Crossover, which currently starts at $39,150. That’s a very competitive price for an electric SUV, considering Chevy Bolt’s all-electric SUV crossover will start at $37,500 when it hits showrooms at the end of 2016.

The car will fall in the same price range as the GLC Crossover, which currently starts at $39,150. That's a very competitive price for an electric SUV, considering Chevy Bolt's all-electric SUV crossover will start at $37,500 when it hits showrooms at the end of 2016.

Mercedes-Benz

The interior comes with a massive, 24-inch display that shows speed, range, driving data, and navigation information. The display will alert the driver if the car is running low on battery and of nearby charging stations. The steering wheel also comes with touch controls.

The interior comes with a massive, 24-inch display that shows speed, range, driving data, and navigation information. The display will alert the driver if the car is running low on battery and of nearby charging stations. The steering wheel also comes with touch controls.

Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes with some autonomous features, but not many. Mercedes says the car can automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics when approaching curves.

The SUV comes with some autonomous features, but not many. Mercedes says the car can automatically adjust the speed and driving dynamics when approaching curves.

Mercedes-Benz

The car is part of Mercedes‘ efforts to ramp up its electric-car offerings. Daimler’s chief development officer, Thomas Weber, said in May that Mercedes-Benz was aiming to add four new electric cars to its model range by 2020.

The car is part of Mercedes' efforts to ramp up its electric-car offerings. Daimler's chief development officer, Thomas Weber, said in May that Mercedes-Benz was aiming to add four new electric cars to its model range by 2020.

Mercedes-Benz

 

http://www.businessinsider.de/mercedes-electric-suv-production-in-2019-photos-2016-9?op=1

Paris motor show 2016 review: A-Z of all the new cars

The Paris motor show is heralded as the world’s biggest motor show, claiming more visitor footfall than any other auto show. No wonder car makers are scrambling to prepare their new car launches in time.

Here we round up all the cars, world debuts and major launches at the Paris motor show. Think of it as a handy one-stop shop for everything about the Mondial de l’Automobile, including a continuously updated list of all the key cars unveiled on the day.

The new 2017 Audi A5 Sportback: a Paris motor show debut

AUDI
A5 Sportback (above): The slinkier new five-door A5 hatchback is unveiled
Q5: Ingolstadt is readying the replacement Q5 Mk2 for a Paris debut

BMW
Concept car: 
Not the new 5-series, but a new crossover concept is coming

CITROEN
C3 (below): The French will launch chic new supermini at the Paris motor show
C3 WRC concept:

CXperience: Plug-in hybrid concept previews Citroen’s upcoming design language

Citroen C3: Paris motor show 2016 world debut

DACIA
2016 range updates: 
Fresh styling, trim and features for Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV

FERRARI
GTC4 Lusso T:  New V8-engined version of the car formerly known as the FF
LaFerrari convertible:
 
Maranello’s taken a tin-opener to its fastest supercar

HONDA
Civic (below):  
Next Civic is another French debutant; everything you need to know about Civic Mk10
Civic Type R prototype:  New prototype offers a look at the next-gen hot hatch from Honda

2016 Honda Civic

HYUNDAI
i10: Revamped city car gets new tech and fresh styling
i20 WRC:  Get your first look at the 2017 WRC entry from Hyundai
i30:  Third-gen hatchback family confirmed for the Paris motor show
RN30 concept:  New 375bhp hot-hatch concept targets the Focus RS

INFINITI
Q60:
 UK pricing revealed for sleek new coupe
QX Sport:
 
We’re expecting a refreshed version of the new mid-sized crossover concept from Beijing
VC-T variable compression ratio engines:  CO2-crushing new engine tech at Paris

KIA
Carens:
 Practical MPV gets new styling and tech for 2016
Rio:
 
New Rio supermini to make its public debut at the French car show
Soul: Revamped Kia Soul gets new 201bhp turbo engine

The new Land Rover Discovery: covers come off at the Paris motor show

LAND ROVER
Discovery (above):  The all-new Discovery, now revealed in full, is set to be one of the big draws at Paris

LEXUS
UX crossover concept:
 Latest concept aims to showcase new tech and connectivity features
Kinetic Seat Concept:  The humble car seat, as you’ve never seen it before

MERCEDES-BENZ
AMG GT Roadster:  French guillotine beheads Merc’s glorious sports car in Paris
AMG R50 hypercar (below):  Big Paris shock, as Merc confirms F1-engined hypercar
E-class All-Terrain:  Merc chases the Allroad dollar with E-class in wellies
Electric SUV concept:  We’re expecting a mid-sized e-crossover
GLC 43 4Matic Coupe: Sleeker version of the twin-turbo GLC SUV steps out
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6:  A closer look at the new super-luxury concept

The new Mercedes-AMG R50 hypercar - F1-engined!

MINI
Clubman JCW:  It’s the most powerful version of Mini’s compact estate to date

MITSUBISHI
GT-PHEV Concept:  
A conceptual look ahead to the next Outlander SUV

NISSAN
Micra:  
Slicker, more Europeanised supermini takes a bow at Paris motor show

PEUGEOT
3008:  
Lumpy crossover enters the mainstream in prettier, more conventional Mk2
5008:  Double-oh Peugeot reborn as a family crossover; seen first in Paris
3008 DKR race car:  New rally-raid special shown ahead of 2017 Dakar

PORSCHE
Panamera (below):  
It’s the brand spanking new, prettier Panam sports saloon Mk2

The new 2016 Porsche Panamera: a Paris motor show launch

RENAULT
Alaskan:  
La Regie unleashes its first pick-up at its home show in Paris
Koleos:  New ‘Initiale Paris’ version of luxury SUV unveiled
Trezor:  Sleek EV coupe packs a 345bhp punch
Zoe:  Renault’s upped the Zoe’s maximum range to 250 miles

SEAT
Ateca X-Perience:  
Rugged new concept showcases potential production car

SKODA
Kodiaq:  
A major launch for Skoda as it unveils its first full-size family crossover

SMART
Fortwo and Forfour Electric Drive:  World premiere of the e-Smart is scheduled for Paris

SSANGYONG
LIV-2 SUV concept:  
This one points to the next-generation Rexton SUV, we reckon

SUZUKI
Ignis:
 European debut for the new baby crossover inspired baby
SX4 S-Cross:  Mild facelift for 2017 model year SUV

TOYOTA
C-HR crossover:  
Final production sight of the new compact SUV, after Geneva design reveal
Gazoo Racing:  New umbrella body for all Toyota’s motorsports will launch in Paris
Prius Plug-in Hybrid:  European debut for Toyota’s plug-n-play Prius
FCV Plus:  Another Euro first for this fuel-cell show car

VAUXHALL
Ampera-e: 
New EV features plenty of punch and long range, but we won’t get it – yet

VOLKSWAGEN
I.D. electric car concept (below):  Volkswagen promises dramatic change with new long-range EV
Volkswagen announces 13th brand:  Mystery Berlin-based brand being worked on

VW I.D. concept

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows-events/paris/2016/paris-motor-show-2016-review-news-photos-a-z-new-cars/

Mercedes-Benz unveils a van that launch delivery drones

Mercedes-Benz Vans and drone tech startup Matternet have created a concept car, or as they’re calling it a Vision Van, that could change the way small packages are delivered across short distances.

The Vision Van’s rooftop serves as a launch and landing pad for Matternet’s new, Matternet M2 drones.

The Matternet M2 drones, which are autonomous, can pick up and carry a package of 4.4 pounds across 12 miles of sky on a single battery charge in real world conditions.

They are designed to reload their payload and swap out batteries without human intervention. They work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz Vans’ on-board and cloud-based systems so that items within a van are loaded up into the drone, automatically, at the cue of software and with the help of robotic shelving systems within the van.

A self-flying, Matternet 2 drone hoists a package near a shipping container.

A self-flying, Matternet M2 drone hoists a package near a shipping container.

 

Matternet designed a hard-shelled case to protect and carry any given cargo. The drone’s payload can transmit data about the contents and destination of a given delivery.

For a logistics company using the Matternet M2 drones or Vision Vans, that data could serve as a kind of proof of delivery, and alert users the instant a package has arrived.

Andreas Raptopoulos, co-founder and CEO of Matternet explained that while all of this sounds and looks like the stuff of sci-fi, the vans with integrated drone technology could be put to immediate good use where regulations allow.

The Vision Van can, for example, launch a Matternet M2 drone with a payload to a final destination that’s not accessible to a van or driver, whether that’s due to traffic in a populated urban area or a lack of safe roads in a more rural or disaster-stricken area.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van with a rooftop-integrated Matternet 2 drone.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van with a rooftop-integrated Matternet M2 drone.

 

Or, the drones could fly a package from a distribution center or warehouse to a van so a driver can ultimately take the package down and walk it up to a customer’s doorstep nearby.

A division of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz may be better known for its luxury and sports cars. However, the Mercedes-Benz Vans unit sold 321,000 vehicles in 2015, according to a company financial statement, with popular models in travel and logistics including the Sprinter, Marco Polo, Vito (known as the Metris in the U.S.) and Citan.

According to a company press statement Mercedes-Benz has invested an undisclosed amount in Matternet. According to SEC filings, Matternet has so far raised $9.5 million of a targeted $11.5 million venture funding round.

Mercedes-Benz and Matternet unveil vans that launch delivery drones

LAND YACHT – Mercedes’ next vehicle is a 20-foot luxury electric Maybach that you’ll “want to drive yourself”

The future of luxury cars isn’t all about flashy vehicles that drive themselves, at least that’s what Mercedes and Maybach want the super-rich to believe.

The Daimler-owned company unveiled a new electric car concept, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, on Aug. 19. The “6” actually represents how many meters long this car is, just shy of 20 feet—which is a pretty standard size for speedboats, if not sports cars. Mercedes showed off the concept in a bright shade of red, but if it repainted the Vision in black, it probably would not look out of place in a mid-1990s Batman feature.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
It has gull-wing doors like a Tesla, but a very different ethos on the future of luxury vehicles. (Mercedes-Benz)

The Vision 6 has a massive 750-horsepower engine which has a range of about 200 miles on a single charge, and can hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds, according to Bloomberg. It can also charge up to a range of about 60 miles in five minutes—much more efficient than the average quick-charging cellphone—so you’ll never have to worry about range anxiety as you drive from Davos to Monaco, or wherever the one percent need to get to these days.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 interior
The interior kind of looks like a futuristic boat, too. (Mercedes-Benz)

While this concept car won’t be available for recent Maybach customers like Jay-Z to buy, it’s supposed to reflect what a high-end Mercedes will look like in the next decade or so, Bloomberg said. (Past Maybach models, which Mercedes relaunched as a brand in 2012, have cost between $100,000 and $1 million.) Mercedes executives likened the concept to a prized family heirloom, suggesting that it’s more than just a piece of technology that you’ll passively enjoy for a few years, and then move on to the next shiny new thing.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
(Mercedes-Benz)

“This is a car you want to drive yourself,” Gorden Wagener, Daimler’s head of design, told Bloomberg. “This is something you pass to your children, like a Leica camera or a chronograph watch. Driving has been a pleasure since 130 years and will stay that way another 130 years.”

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
(Mercedes-Benz)

Although Mercedes itself is working on some (equally luxurious) self-driving cars, it seems that the company, sees the long-term future of cars at least in some part controlled by humans. Then again, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields previously told Quartz that he doesn’t see producing a self-driving Mustang anytime soon. Perhaps some slice of humanity will always just want to go really, really fast, in really, really expensive cars.

Mercedes’ next vehicle is a 20-foot luxury electric Maybach that you’ll “want to drive yourself”

Mercedes-Benz uses influencers to reach millennials

One big challenge for most luxury brands today is how to appeal to a younger demographic without losing the extravagant feel of the brand. For Mercedes-Benz, that means creating compelling content on social — especially collaborating with influencers — to amplify what the brand is and why millennials need a Mercedes-Benz.

This year, Mercedes-Benz initiated a program called “MB Photo Pass” where it’s working with videographers, photographers and around 25 social media influencers like @loki_the_wolfdog across Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube.

In April, Mercedes-Benz and its agency Razorfish teamed up with YouTube influencer and extreme-sport videographer Devin Super Tramp (whose YouTube page has around 4.2 million subscribers) to create a video called “The Ultimate Race!” featuring its 2017 C-Class Coupe racing against a parkour athlete and a radio-controlled car at a parkour obstacle course. The video has generated more than 2.3 million views to date.

“The more people who want the car, the more exclusive it becomes. And social helps draw more young consumers to Mercedes-Benz,” said Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. “We want to create content that people feel ‘wowed’ by, making their online experience emotional and powerful as if they walk into an actual showroom.”

Of course, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t always follow the luxury vehicle and extreme-sport aficionado storyline — sometimes emotions play a big role in the automaker’s video content. In March of this year, Mercedes Benz — in collaboration with production company MSP — created its first 360-degree video experience for its 2017 GLS sport utility vehicle. In the video, the Instagram-famous wolf dog Loki runs next to his owner Kelly Lund when he drives a Mercedes through mountains laden with snows and evergreen trees, presenting the landscape in Crested Butte, Colorado through a wolf dog’s eye-level view.

“Influencers can help us tell stories that we cannot do by ourselves,” said Aikman. “In the campaign with Loki, for example, we like the connection between him and Kelly and we don’t need to tell the specifications of the new model because the film shows how great it is.”

But that’s not enough – at least, not on Instagram. Tony King, CEO of agency King & Partners and a car-racing lover, thinks that the Mercedes-Benz Instagram account is “a little boring and conservative.”

“More video,” said King. “I want to see the cars moving and hear the engines. I want to see less of a car parked at 45-degrees with the front wheel turned.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIaCnWrgajI/embed/captioned/?v=7

King also thinks that Mercedes-Benz should show how it can improve followers’ life first or take them to places that they would never go to, and then show them the actual cars. For example, it would be cool to have a video series around a road trip to somewhere cool with interesting people’s quotes and videos, then show the cars they are in and the details on those cars that make those trips more memorable, he said.

Still, from January to date, Mercedes-Benz was 72 percent more associated with Instagram in digital content engagement — it means how often people are reading articles or other types of content mentioning both Mercedes-Benz and Instagram. For example, the content could be a picture from an Instagram influencer featuring Mercedes-Benz — than Audi, and 97 percent more associated with Instagram in digital content engagement than BMW, according to digital marketing company Amobee.

Mercedes-Benz is ranked as the second-highest luxury brand with 13 percent share of luxury shopper interest, up 24 percent compared to the first half of 2015, according to automotive marketing company Jumpstart’s June 2016 research. It’s only second to BMW that holds 15 percent share of shopper interest as of June, but it’s down 7 percent compared to the first half of 2015.

“Right now, Mercedes-Benz is doing pretty well across segments, especially in sport utility vehicles and crossover utility vehicles. We found that 41 percent of Mercedes-Benz buyers are very interested in these two categories,” said Libby Murad-Patel, vp of strategic insights and analytics for Jumpstart.

While some marketers think that they threw too much money at influencers, Mercedes-Benz will continue “positioning its products with influencers’ audiences,” said Aikman.

“We have always tried to find influencers who want to work with us and want to share their adventures in our products,” he added. “Mercedes-Benz is always focused on authentic stories told with the products and, in most cases, told from the influencer’s point of view.”