Mercedes-Benz electric commercial vehicle roll-out gathers pace

Amid a global downturn in MPV sales, Mercedes’ van division is confident of its survival and the transition to electrification

Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Marcus Breitschwerd says the division is well-placed to begin the transition to full electric vehicle production.

Speaking at the launch of the new EQV premium electric MPV, the ex-Mercedes-Benz GB CEO said: “We are in the fortunate position of being able to build on a strong foundation”. 

The new EQV shares most of its bodywork and interior components with the conventionally-fuelled V-Class, while the e-Sprinter, launching later this year, will share a platform with the commercially focussed e-Vito electric van. 

“We must invest heavily in our current product portfolio”, Breitschwerd said, He added: “2019 has been the year of the V-Class, and the e-Sprinter is to follow soon”. 

“Sales of family vans are under pressure from the boom in SUV segment”, Breitschwerd said, but added that Mercedes is satisfied with the sales of its range of MPVs and commercial vehicles.

Since the launch of the Sprinter in 1995, Mercedes has sold 3.7 million units in 130 countries, with a 16% spike in demand in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year. 

Breitschwerd also affirmed a commitment to other vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz Vans line-up. “We have heard a lot of speculation about the X-Class,” he said, referring to recent rumours that slow sales could prompt the pick up’s withdrawal, “and all I can say is that it remains an integral part of our product portfolio”. 

One problem facing the commercial segment currently, according to Breitschwerd, is the “exceedingly high” proportion of diesel vehicles being used by delivery firms, taxi companies and other public services.

Alongside the launch of the new EQV and e-Sprinter, a partnership with BerlKonig, one of Berlin’s largest ride-sharing providers, will help to roll out more zero-emissions vehicles to the sector. The company hopes to have an entirely electric fleet by the end of 2020, and is expected to place an order for the EQV. 

Read more 

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile range premium electric MPV​

BMW and Daimler establish urban mobility joint venture

XXXX-Class: delivering beer to the Outback in a Mercedes pick-up​



Source: Autocar Online

Mercedes-Benz electrified commercial vehicle rollout gathers pace

Amid a global downturn in MPV sales, Mercedes’ van division is confident about its survival and the transition to electrification

Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Marcus Breitschwerd says the division is well-placed to begin the transition to full electric vehicle production.

Speaking at the launch of the new EQV premium electric MPV, the ex-Mercedes-Benz GB CEO said: “We are in the fortunate position of being able to build on a strong foundation”. 

The new EQV shares most of its bodywork and interior components with the conventionally-fuelled V-Class, while the e-Sprinter, launching later this year, will share a platform with the commercially focussed e-Vito electric van. 

“We must invest heavily in our current product portfolio”, Breitschwerd said, He added: “2019 has been the year of the V-Class, and the e-Sprinter is to follow soon”. 

“Sales of family vans are under pressure from the boom in SUV segment”, Breitschwerd said, but added that Mercedes is satisfied with the sales of its range of MPVs and commercial vehicles.

Since the launch of the Sprinter in 1995, Mercedes has sold 3.7 million units in 130 countries, with a 16% spike in demand in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year. 

Breitschwerd also affirmed a commitment to other vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz Vans line-up. “We have heard a lot of speculation about the X-Class,” he said, referring to recent rumours that slow sales could prompt the pick up’s withdrawal, “and all I can say is that it remains an integral part of our product portfolio”. 

One problem facing the commercial segment currently, according to Breitschwerd, is the “exceedingly high” proportion of diesel vehicles being used by delivery firms, taxi companies and other public services.

Alongside the launch of the new EQV and e-Sprinter, a partnership with BerlKonig, one of Berlin’s largest ride-sharing providers, will help to roll out more zero-emissions vehicles to the sector. The company hopes to have an entirely electric fleet by the end of 2020, and is expected to place an order for the EQV. 

Read more 

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile range premium electric MPV​

BMW and Daimler establish urban mobility joint venture

XXXX-Class: delivering beer to the Outback in a Mercedes pick-up​



Source: Autocar Online

Limited-run Hyundai i30 N Project C heading to Frankfurt

Hyundai I30 N Project C front side

Set to make its debut next month, the Project C is lighter and harder than the standard i30 N – but not for UK sale

Hyundai has released details of a limited-run special i30 N ahead of a public unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show

The i30 N Project C will be limited to a production run of 600 units, but none of those are currently expected to be offered in right-hand drive for UK customers.

It gets a number of revisions – apparently inspired by Hyundai’s high-performance testing facility at its base in Namyang, Korea – aimed at “further enhancing the driving thrills” of the standard hot hatch. 

The manufacturer makes use of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic materials for the first time on one of its production models, although it’s not made clear on which parts of the car. Alongside this, race-spec alloy wheels aim to make the car “notably lighter” than standard (no weight figure is quoted) and “more responsive than ever”. 

The suspension has also been lowered, again by an unspecified amount. “Dedicated aerodynamic touches” are described without any detail, too.

The i30 N Project C will be on display at the Frankfurt show alongside a new generation of Hyundai’s i10 city car and a yet-to-be-revealed electric concept.

Read more: 

Hyundai i30 N ‘N Options’ showcases customisation range

Hyundai i30 Fastback N 2019 review

Hyundai N division ‘halo’ car could be AWD and hybrid



Source: Autocar Online

Opinion: Why the Mercedes-Benz EQV is an electric game-changer

Mercedes-Benz EQV launch - front

Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Marcus Breitschwerd is confident about the future of the commercial vehicle segment

Stuttgart’s new zero-emission people carrier could take more conventionally fuelled cars off the road than any EV yet

We’re just weeks away from the unveiling of Porsche’s Taycan electric super-saloon, Aston Martin’s new Rapide E packs over 600bhp, and even Tesla’s cheapest car can accelerate faster than your average Ferrari.

The electrification era is upon us, and it’s the duty of whisper-quiet luxury cruisers and mind-bendingly quick performance saloons to convince us to abandon conventional fuels. 

So you might think that Mercedessecond electric production passenger vehicle, the EQV, is neither as scene-stealing, nor as important, as some of the cars mentioned above. It is, after all, a van-based MPV, and most likely to be seen ferrying people to or from an airport.

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile range premium electric MPV

But where electric sports cars will build interest from the masses for zero-emissions transport, it will fall to everyday stalwarts like the new EQV to actually enact a change at ground level. You have only to gaze upon the endless rows of conventionally fuelled V-Class, Sprinter and Vito models parked outside airport departure halls worldwide, to gain a sense of the potential of the EQV. 

With a range of 252 miles, flexible seating and quick-charging capabilities, the EQV is a taxi driver’s dream. It’s feasible that the new EV could capably emulate the daily routine of its V-Class forebear; 500 miles in a day sounds reasonable, and lunch breaks would allow enough time to prepare the battery pack for an afternoon’s tour of the M25 (where regenerative braking, as anyone who uses the route will testify, will be used to full effect). 

Benjamin Kaehler, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans eDrive initiative, says the EQV is ready to take over immediately from its conventionally fuelled counterparts. He said: “The taxi drivers we’ve spoken to do roughly between 250-300km (155-186 miles) per day and some of them do more, but then they have to take a lunch break anyway. 

“The ones that are driving electric cars are already saying ‘perfect, I’ll just plan my lunch break, recharge the battery and do another shift’.”

Well-documented shortcomings in EV infrastructure mean that the current V-Class is likely to stick around for a while, but as large fleet operators begin to facilitate mass charging at their out-of-town headquarters, the future of the private hire industry will begin to take shape. 

The commercial sector is also becoming increasingly electrified: LEVC’s new range extender LCV van offers 80 miles of electric range for last-mile deliveries, and Mercedes itself delivered 10 new e-Vito electric vans to courier service DPD in May. While such vehicles command a premium over their conventionally fuelled counterparts, the savings from cheaper fill-ups and less emissions-related urban taxes can quickly justify the increased initial outlay for larger firms. 

Mercedes van boss Marcus Breitschwerd says the sub-brand is “doing everything to master the challenges of our industry”, and he doesn’t just mean automotive in general. In Germany alone, the delivery sector is now worth £18.2 billion, and growing by the day.

The new EQV will go some way to mitigating the environmental impact of the commercial sector, but new avenues of product development are being pursued elsewhere in order to counteract the negative environmental impact.

The new delivery-focused e-Sprinter, for example, will launch later this year with an 85kW battery and components shared with the e-Vito. Together, the pair will represent a more affordable entry point into the commercial EV segment. 

The vast majority of us will never experience the astonishing acceleration of a Lotus Evija or Pininfarina Battista. But we will likely sit in the back of an EQV at some point in the near future – and that’s why it could be one of the most important electric vehicles to launch this year. 

Read more

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile range premium electric MPV​

Mercedes-Benz V-Class review

New 2019 Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV gains more power​



Source: Autocar Online

Ssangyong Korando Ultimate 1.6 2019 UK review

Ssangyong Korando Ultimate 2019 UK first drive review - hero front

Fourth-generation mid-sized SUV touches down with a sharp new look, competitive towing capabilities and generous kit

The arrival of the fourth-generation Ssangyong Korando finally confirms that the South Korean manufacturer is fully capable of producing a good-looking car. Writing such a sentence would have been unimaginable not so long ago. Laughable, even. But following the introduction of the Tivoli small SUV in 2015, the brand’s designers have been going from strength to strength with every new model that’s brought to market. And while updated versions of the Musso pick-up truck and Rexton 4×4 both provided further evidence of this shift towards building gradually better-looking cars, to our eyes it’s this new Korando that proves they’ve now most definitely found their mojo. I think it’s fair to say the dark days of the Rodius are now very much behind us. We can only hope it stays that way.Anyway, sharper looks are only one aspect of what’s new about this revitalised version of Ssangyong’s middle-weight SUV. There are also two new engines, a redesigned interior architecture, an updated infotainment suite and digital cockpit (in top-spec models), improved noise, vibration and harshness suppression measures and a sweep of new safety technologies that should, so the company says, guarantee a full five-star Euro NCAP rating.All of this is obviously a good way of bringing what is a relatively fringe brand in the UK that much closer to the mainstream. But as Ssangyong will quite happily tell you, its vehicles have historically appealed to quite a niche audience: the esteemed members of the “caravanning and towing fraternities”, to use its own words. It hopes they’ll like this one even more.Four-wheel drive is on the menu, then. And in the case of our range-topping, £31,995 Ultimate-specification test car, so too is a four-cylinder 1.6-litre diesel engine. It produces 134bhp and 239lb ft, which might not sound like much, but paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, it’s enough grunt to allow the Korando to tow up to two tonnes.A 161bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine is set to join the range later this year, too. But as it develops less torque and is only available with front-wheel drive, it’s fair to assume that it won’t quite be as capable in the towing department as its oil-burning rangemate.

Source: Autocar Online

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile range premium electric MPV

Mercedes-Benz EQV official reveal - front

All-electric people carrier offers rapid charging, spacious interior and choice of seating configurations

Mercedes-Benz has launched its new EQV electric people carrier, its second production electric vehicle, as a pioneering zero-emission premium MPV.

Previously shown in concept form, the EQV has been designed to appeal to fleet and private buyers with a dual focus on practicality and comfort, and will make its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show

Mercedes claims a range of 252 miles from a full charge, with power stored in a 90kWh lithium ion battery pack mounted under the floor for enhanced dynamics and maximum interior space. It can be charged from 10% capacity to 80% in less than 45 minutes. 

Power is sent through a fixed-gear transmission to a front-mounted electric motor producing 201bhp and 267lb ft – enough to propel the 3500kg EV to a 99mph top speed. 

Regenerative braking maximises range and can be adjusted using paddles behind the steering wheel. With the brake energy regeneration on its highest setting, Mercedes says the EQV can be driven with just the accelerator pedal. 

The EQV’s interior dimensions are the same as those of the standard V-Class on which it is based, and it can be used as a six, seven or eight-seater. The EQV will be built in two sizes, but only the long-wheelbase variant will be sold in the UK. 

Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system comes as standard, with a 10in high-definition display offering live energy flow and consumption data. The system also supports voice control, plus pre-journey temperature and navigation configuration via an app. 

European EQV buyers will be able to use the Ionity charging network, which will comprise 400 rapid-charging stations across Europe by next year. 

The EQV retains the silhouette, dimensions and overall styling of the V-Class but features an EQC-aping black front panel in place of a grille and bespoke 18in alloy wheels, as well as gold and blue interior trim accents. 

It will be built alongside the conventionally fuelled Vito and V-Class at Mercedes’ Vitoria commercial vehicle factory in Spain, enabling production of the new model to be adjusted easily to suit changing customer demand. 

The EQV is set to go on sale by 2021 at an expected starting price of around £61,000, roughly £11,000 more than the entry-level V-Class. 

Read more

Mercedes-Benz V-Class review​

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Mercedes reveals UK prices for new GLB compact SUV​



Source: Autocar Online

Mercedes-Benz EQV is 252-mile premium electric MPV

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQV revealed - front

The EQV shares its dimensions with the regular V-Class

All-electric people carrier offers rapid charging, spacious interior and choice of seating configurations

Mercedes-Benz has launched its new EQV electric people carrier, its second production electric vehicle, as a pioneering zero-emission premium MPV.

Previously shown in concept form, the EQV has been designed to appeal to fleet and private buyers with a dual focus on practicality and comfort, and will make its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show

Mercedes claims a range of 252 miles from a full charge, with power stored in a 90kWh lithium ion battery pack mounted under the floor for enhanced dynamics and maximum interior space. It can be charged from 10% capacity to 80% in less than 45 minutes. 

Power is sent through a fixed-gear transmission to a front-mounted electric motor producing 201bhp and 267lb ft – enough to propel the 3500kg EV to a 99mph top speed. 

Regenerative braking maximises range and can be adjusted using paddles behind the steering wheel. With the brake energy regeneration on its highest setting, Mercedes says the EQV can be driven with just the accelerator pedal. 

The EQV’s interior dimensions are the same as those of the standard V-Class on which it is based, and it can be used as a six, seven or eight-seater. The EQV will be built in two sizes, but only the long-wheelbase variant will be sold in the UK. 

Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system comes as standard, with a 10in high-definition display offering live energy flow and consumption data. The system also supports voice control, plus pre-journey temperature and navigation configuration via an app. 

European EQV buyers will be able to use the Ionity charging network, which will comprise 400 rapid-charging stations across Europe by next year. 

The EQV retains the silhouette, dimensions and overall styling of the V-Class but features an EQC-aping black front panel in place of a grille and bespoke 18in alloy wheels, as well as gold and blue interior trim accents. 

It will be built alongside the conventionally fuelled Vito and V-Class at Mercedes’ Vitoria commercial vehicle factory in Spain, enabling production of the new model to be adjusted easily to suit changing customer demand. 

The EQV is set to go on sale by 2021 at an expected starting price of around £61,000, roughly £11,000 more than the entry-level V-Class. 

Read more

Mercedes-Benz V-Class review​

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Mercedes reveals UK prices for new GLB compact SUV​



Source: Autocar Online

Likely McLaren 750LT prototype tests at Nurburgring

‘Long Tail’ version of 720S is expected to come next year, as indicated previously by McLaren boss

McLaren is understood to be readying a faster, lighter ‘Long Tail’ version of the 720S for launch next year – and a new prototype caught testing appears to confirm that.

Although this test mule looks at first to be a standard 720S with some modifications, tell-tale cues including ‘gurney’ flaps and a substantially larger front splitter. Although the traditional Long Tail extended rear end – found on models such as the current 600LT – doesn’t feature in this early mule, the extended spoiler plastered in tape suggests engineers are testing for such bodywork modifications prior to completing them.

McLaren is yet to confirm whether or not it’ll use the 750LT name for the Long Tail model, but earlier this year CEO Mike Flewitt told Autocar that the power gain from S to LT will be “at least” as much as that which turned the 570S into the 600LT. As such, a 740bhp (750PS) figure is expected.

However, he also stated that engineers have been struggling to shed the 100kg now expected of LT models “because we made the 720S as light as we could in the first place”. It’s expected McLaren will still be capable of removing a meaningful amount of weight, however. 

The Woking firm is also battling to find an aesthetically pleasing way to incorporate the top-exit exhausts seen on the 600LT into the 720S’s body – something this prototype doesn’t have. That suggests a decision is yet to be made. 

A production limit has yet to be decided for the model, which could arrive in the middle of next year. “Part of me wants to keep it open as Porsche does with its GT models,” said Flewitt, “but we maight limit it to something like 750 of each [coupé and Spider].”

Read more: 

McLaren looks to expand lineup beyond new GT model

McLaren confirms new Ultimate Series speedster

McLaren 720S 2019 review



Source: Autocar Online

James Ruppert: What's the best sub-£6000 second-hand estate?

Mercedes-Benz 2010 C180 estate

Merc C180 wagon is a posh way to carry things for £6000

All the comfort of an executive saloon with the practicality of a van, and yours for the price of a middle-aged Polo

I like questions and I’m always super-happy to take a run at them, even if the details are a bit patchy. But hey, that gives loads more space to feature four-wheel solutions to straightforward enquiries such as this one: “I’m looking for an estate car for about £6000 pounds.” Let’s get stuck in. 

On the face of it that is a pretty straightforward scenario, and the estate car format is very underrated as a load lugger. You really don’t need a van with windows when a compact rear seat-folding estate answers all the practical issues you could ever want to pose. Our £6k budget is a reasonable amount, and there’s a ton of options with an automatic gearbox. 

The Mercedes-Benz C180 Blue Efficiency in Sport spec is interesting because it will do around 39mpg and a 90,000-miles 2010 example is within budget, plus I think it still looks very contemporary. It’s a posh way to shift stuff, too. 

When it comes to a compact hard worker then a Ford Focus makes all sorts of sense, and they can be great value, like the high-specification 1.6 Titanium Navigator I stumbled across at a car supermarket. It was a 2014, so relatively recent, and had just over 60,000 miles. So yes, all the toys you would need, including climate, sat-nav, Bluetooth and cruise, and only £5500. There are bits and bobs to add because it is a supermarket, but what a great buy. 

The classy alternative to a Focus would be a Volkswagen Golf, and for the same money you would have to dial back to 2012 and find a 1.6 TDI with 73,000 miles. Same money as the Focus, but it has a DSG dual-clutch auto ’box which isn’t everyone’s favourite. 

Something bigger? It has to be a Volvo V70, and a 2.4 D R-Design SE with a full service history from 2010 and just over 100,000 miles is the perfect combination of practicality, style and value. It will do 40mpg, if not a lot more, and has a decent turn of acceleration as long as it’s unladen. 

Back to Ford for a huge estate option, and that’s the Ford Mondeo. They are absolutely massive. Great value, too. A 2013 2.0 TDCi Zetec with 73k miles, not to mention a full MOT, a 12-month warranty and even a rescue service membership all included. That’s all in for £5700, unless you can negotiate lower. 

We’ve barely scratched the surface of suitable automatic estates. I have a lot of time for the Audi A6 Avant, Skoda Octavias and anything that’s a Touring with a BMW badge on it. There are so many other options and I would urge you to hurry while the models still last. SUVs are essentially great, but there are sensible and better-value alternatives. That’s the beauty of buying used – and trying to answer your brilliant questions.

What we almost bought this week

Honda Civic 2.0 i-VTEC Type S

Someone beat us to our chosen Civic Type S so here’s another, a 2003 with 103,000 miles. It’s like a semi-skimmed Type R with 158bhp and capable of 0-62mph in 8.5sec. You get some Type R trimmings – part-leather, climate control, mesh grille, rear spoiler – minus the extreme handling and the insurance costs.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Innocenti Mini, mileage – 88,273: I have been using the real Italian Job on a regular basis, and it’s huge fun. Out in the real world I get people telling me how cool it is, which is nice, especially as they have no idea what it actually is. During the hot spell I used it because the fuel tank was pretty full, although after a run it behaved like a boiled kettle with a coolant leak. The temperature gauge was normal, so I would like to believe that there is nothing to worry about. However, after one blown gasket this year, I don’t need another.

A to Z Bangerpedia

V is for V70: Estates have always been Volvo’s specialist subject, and the V70 was a state-of-the-art load carrier with plenty of clever details. There’s masses of room and it has lots of nets and hooks to keep everything in place, while the centre rear seat has a useful pop-up worktop. Standard equipment is good and the choice of engines is extensive, from the frugal to the outrageously powerful T5. Everyone seems to agree that the D5 turbodiesel is smooth and powerful, plus it returns just over 40mpg, which is almost the best of all worlds. 

Readers’ questions

Question: How much lower are the new WLTP economy figures than NEDC figures, and how do they compare with real-world results? Stefan Cave, Rochester

Answer: Take the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 115 SEL as an example. According to the NEDC test it returned 60.1mpg; today, the VW brochure says that under the new WLTP regime it returns 49.6mpg – a 17.5% fall. The WLTP figure is more accurate so it’s a welcome reduction, but according to one independent vehicle testing company, it could be greater still. On real-world economy, the Polo returns 42.2mpg, or 15% less than the WLTP figure. It’s worth nothing that the WLTP test is almost exclusively lab-based, while this test is claimed to be entirely road-based. Your driving style is a significant factor, too. John Evans

Question: Are any current SUVs regarded as possible future classics and likely to be a shrewd investment? There’s no other reason to buy one. Sam Hollister, Exeter

Answer: To have classic potential a car must appeal to diehard enthusiasts who will cherish it in years to come. They may value performance, pedigree or simply what it represents. An obvious example is a Land Rover Defender; less prized but with plenty of promise are Mercedes’ G-Wagen and some early Range Rovers. Ones to watch include the Suzuki Jimny, some Fiat Panda 4x4s and curios such as the VW Touareg V10 TDI and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S of 2006. John Evans

Read more

Top 10 Best Estate Cars 2019​

The Autocar guide to WLTP emissions testing​

Future classics: nine used SUVs set to rise in value



Source: Autocar Online

The Porsche Taycan electric car gets Apple Music, 3 years free data

The Porsche Taycan will have the first-ever full integration of Apple Music in any vehicle (Image Courtesy of !K7 Music)

Enlarge / The new Porsche Taycan electric car is the first to feature Apple Music integration into the infotainment system. (credit: Porsche)

Porsche’s new battery-electric Taycan sedan is probably the most hotly anticipated car of the year. The car’s official launch—and our deep dive into its technology—happens early in September. Later that month, we’ll be able to tell you how it drives, ahead of the first customer deliveries in December. But we do have some news we can share about the car now. On Monday evening, Porsche revealed that it has worked together with Apple to integrate the Apple Music streaming service into the Taycan’s infotainment system. All Taycan customers will receive a six-month free trial to the service, and Porsche says that Taycans will also come with three years free data service.

The addition of Apple Music is in addition to (and separate from) CarPlay, which is still a standard feature of the Taycan’s infotainment system. But as CarPlay users will know, it’s a highly sandboxed way of interacting with content from your phone. That’s not the case with the new Apple Music feature. It has been added as a separate input in the Taycan’s media player app, alongside broadcast radio, bluetooth devices, and so on.

Playlists can be shown on the main instrument panel in front of the driver and controlled using the multifunction steering wheel as well as though the infotainment screen in the center stack. The tight integration into the infotainment system means that if you hear a song you like on the radio—and it has been correctly tagged—you can easily add it to your Apple Music library or even create a new Apple Music playlist based on that track. In addition to the stuff you expect to find in Apple Music, Porsche is also proving some curated playlists for Taycan owners.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments



Source: Ars Technica

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