Indian Autos blog

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Technology'.....thats the one word answer you can expect from an engineer in Mercedes Benz if he is asked about the cars they make. And the same answer is what keeps them ahead of the rest. They make these epic cars and when nobody is complaining, they make better ones. They were the first ones to develop, test and implement stability control, traction control, brake assist, seat belt tensioners, airbags, ABS, etc. Every time a new car is unveiled in one of those autoshows, it sports a handful of fascinating, never before seen technology. Jeremy Clarkson commented after driving the Mercedes-Benz S Class's that "It's more than just a car, its a glimpse into the future, its a showcase of everything that can be done and everything that everyone else will be doing very soon". A brief examination of the popular models reveal how different they are from the others.

Peeping under the hood of any Merc, you would find the powerplant with the three pointed star embossed on its top. It somehow makes you feel like the Sultan of Brunei everytime its working for you on the road. The engine on any of the these cars is powerful enough to keep that smile running wide and the adrenaline secreted without much thought or trouble. Engineers at Mercedes believe in keeping all the people happy all the time. They have got Brabus, Kleemann, AMG etc to do the 'beef up' job for the "more-power-i-want" category of customers. These tuning companies might have names that may give an impression that they are really hi-fi and perform labyrinthine natured jobs. But they are so real to the way they sound as that they bring out World record breaking cars once every fortnight?. For example, Brabus currently holds the world record for producing the world's fastest street legal sedan (BRABUS rocket) and the world's fastest street legal roadster(BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo Roadster). If you already have this aging E class and gotten bored of its engine and other dynamics, these tuners can perform the sort of magic that'll put new wine in the old bottle. They can also add visual effects to the power packed action thriller like a new set of alloys or a new strikingly styled front fascia.

The Mercedes Benz A Class is a class apart from the other cars in its league. Often referred to as the 'baby Benz' this front wheel driven hatchback is the smallest in the Benz line up. More than a million units have been sold since its production commenced in 1997. In case of a violent frontal collision, the engine and the transmission would slide under the floor rather than entering the cabin. Thats not it. Awesome handling is achieved by precision tracking and by a Parabolic Rear Axle. A "Selective Damping System", in which the shock absorber forces respond differently according to conditions, is standard. For example, under normal conditions it operates at soft absorption; while cornering at speed it changes to full damping force. The most powerful A Class can go from a standstill to 100 km/h in 8.0 seconds, and has a top speed of 227 km/h. Cool uh?

Masked in unapproachable elegance, the Mercedes Benz C Class sporting the ever eminent Stuttgart Star would undoubtedly make infinite heads turn towards it. The new C Class looks like it came right out of Giorgio Armani's fashion boutique. This luxury compact car produced by Mercedes was introduced in 1993 as a replacement for an earlier model. Be it the multivalve turbocharged diesel(CDI) or the supercharged petrol engine(KOMPRESSOR), the C Class has staggering amounts of power and mind boggling technological lineaments like traction control and antiskid system to keep it under control. The new C Class which was unveiled earlier this year was tested in all terrains including the Arctic Circle and the Sahara desert and thereby clocking twenty four thousand test miles before production began. Versions of the car are available with a choice of rear and all-wheel drive. By far its the most safest car to travel in as it achieved success by scoring the maximum five stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests. The most powerful C Class is the 5.5 L naturally-aspirated V8 which churns out 362 hp and an intense 510 Nm torque.

'Einspritzung' in German means fuel injection. The 'E' in the 'Mercedes Benz E Class' means exactly that and comfort along with refinement couldn't blend in a better form. While the E-Class' ancestry stretches back to the 19th century and the beginning of Mercedes, the lineage becomes more distinct after World War II when the prewar 170 sedan reentered production. From there they haven't turned back. With some 200,000 vehicles sold annually, the current Mercedes-Benz E-Class series is the most successful sedan in the upper mid-range segment. The latest E class is different in 2000 ways when compared to the previous one. Atleast thats what Mercedes claim. The midsize luxury sport sedan ranges from fuel-efficient diesels to ultra-high-performance AMG models offering a choice between a saloon and an estate. The Bluetec technology from Mercedes which completely reduces harmful emissions was first successfully implemented in the E Class. The car has won more than 70 awards in all categories over the past six years. Ahead of the rest and truly ahead of time, the E Class is yet another feather to the Mercedes hat.


Supercar territory..and the gerent is here. The Mclaren Mercedes SLR takes the laws of physics and wipes its shoes with it. Developed with help from their Formula 1 partner Mclaren Automotive, the SLR is the fastest automatic transmission car in the world. The SLR McLaren sports a 232-kilogram, hand-built 5.4-litre, supercharged, all-aluminum, V8 front-mid mounted engine that can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and has a top whack of 334 km/h. Talking about stopping power, the SLR has a spoiler mounted on the rear which pops up when braking from high speeds, thus helps the car to stop quicker. The SLR is one of the safest and most luxurious supercars ever built, deviating from the common supercar practice of eliminating luxuries for the sake of weight reduction. Inspite of all the extra weight, the car handles like its on rails and the captivating style and design would surely blow one off balance.

It can see in the night, prevent accidents, and can leave most sports cars in the dust. All this when it measures almost the size of a big-sized cinema hall. The largest and most spacious luxury vehicle in the company's lineup, say hello to the Mercedes S class. The 'Special' class is a product of advanced technology and sophisticated engineering. The car can literally accelerate, cruise at a preset speed and brake by itself. It can even close its doors automatically!. Mercedes have used exotic materials for the structure and insulation of its car. The S also sports a computer-controlled active suspension system and an advanced V12 engine, which runs only 6 of its 12 cylinders when cruising at light throttle.
Recent generations of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class have been the recipient of various automotive awards, reflecting the vehicle's status as one of the world's most prestigious luxury flagships. Unsurprisingly it has captured the top end of this market segment in every region of the world. The 2008 S class will be replacing the older version which has sold 485,000 units world wide since its production began ten years back. One diesel and three petrol units are offered as engine options which make this car the king of ultra luxury sedans.

Summing it all up, Mercedes Benz makes cars that could go on for decades pounding over dirt roads or ruptured pavements, or forming a line drawn by rival militias lobbing grenades at each other. They have added to the "Made in Germany" pride and glory and without doubt, the cars they make are truly world class.