Every G-Class has to conquer the Schöckl. Mercedes-Benz uses the 1,445 metre high local mountain near the Austrian city of Graz as a test track. The 5.6 km route includes gradients of up to 60 per cent and lateral inclinations of up to 40 per cent. During the development stage, a "G" has to endure a good 2,000 strenuous kilometres on this very demanding course. The new G-Class masters the route with noticeably more control and comfort.

The primary goal of development was to make the new G-Class even more effective off-road. The G thus remains a true G – thanks to its standard ladder-type frame, the three 100-per cent differential locks and LOW RANGE off-road ratio. Its suspension is the result of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The result is an independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle in combination with a rigid rear axle. During development work, the engineers had the task of fighting for every millimetre, because off-road capability also means maximum ground clearance. The raised axle with independent suspension decisively contributes to this, and additionally increases the stiffness of the body with a strut brace.

Agile off-road as well

The components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder-type frame without a suspension subframe. The attachment points on the frame of the lower wishbone in a Z-direction are positioned as high up as possible. This arrangement ensures good driveability beyond the asphalt. Specifically for the G-Class, the new front axle is designed in such a robust way that the off-road performance and off-road capabilities of its predecessor are maintained and partly even surpassed. The new rigid rear axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod. The off-road vehicle stays on track more robustly, and is agile and effortless in off-road applications.

The exceptional handling characteristics and driving safety on account of the driver's high level of control can only be experienced first hand. The following figures, however, clearly show that every little detail to improve the off-road characteristics has been checked and optimised where possible.

As before, high ground clearance and long suspension travel form the basis for the further improved off-road characteristics of the G-Class. The figures speak for themselves: 

  • Slope climbing ability of up to 100 per cent on suitable surfaces
  • Ground clearance between the axles, 241 millimetres, plus 6 millimetres maximum fording depth now 70 centimetres in water and mud passages, plus 10 centimetres
  • Driving stability at angles of 35°, plus 7°
  • Angle of departure: 30°, angle of approach: 31°, plus 1°
  • Breakover angle: 26°, plus 1°
  • Suspension travel: Front axle: Spring/rebound travel of 85/100 millimetres; rear axle: Spring/rebound travel of 82/142 millimetres 

The new "G-Mode" paves the way where there are none

One of the prerequisites for the improved off-road handling characteristics is the new "G-Mode". The G-Class changes to "G-Mode" independently of the chosen drive program as soon as one of the three differential locks has been activated or LOW RANGE has been engaged. This off-road mode adapts the adjustable damping of the chassis and the steering as well as the accelerator characteristic, avoids unnecessary gearshifts and ensures maximum off-road capability. A small "G" icon discreetly lights up in the instrument cluster. The G simply swallows up major bumps, and even in extreme terrain the driver does not have to frantically hold on to the steering wheel to effortlessly manoeuvre.

New automatic transmission on board

For the power transmission, the 9G‑TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter was specifically adapted to meet the needs of the off-road icon. The developers have managed to reduce the shift and response times of the 9-speed transmission by means of a dedicated software application. The wide transmission ratio not only makes driving quieter and more comfortable especially at low engine speeds, it also simultaneously contributes to reducing fuel consumption.

The new transfer case is flange-mounted directly on to the 9G-TRONIC. It is adjusted in such a way that 40 per cent of the drive torque reaches the front axle and 60 per cent reaches the rear axle. The permanent all-wheel drive ensures maximum traction.

The low-range ratio can be engaged via the LOW RANGE switch in transmission mode N at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in HIGH RANGE to 2.93. It is possible to switch from LOW RANGE to HIGH RANGE at speeds of up to 70 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is 2.93 and thus significantly shorter than in the predecessor model (2.1), which becomes noticeable particularly when pulling away on an extreme gradient.

All-round visibility from a bird's-eye view is possible thanks to the optional 360° camera, the reversing camera and three further cameras. This means that obstacles located below the window line or in front of the vehicle such as a hill crest do not remain hidden. The information is presented clearly in full HD in a choice of different views on the multimedia system's display. Dynamic guide lines show the road and the width of the G-Class. In addition, the off-road screen specially designed for the G-Class also displays data such as height, gradient, angle, compass, steering angle and activated differential locks.

Furthermore, for particularly arduous applications, 18-inch all-terrain tyres are available.

Australian pricing and specification for the highly anticipated Mercedes-Benz X-Class has now been announced.

The X-Class pushes the boundaries of the classic ute. It complements the prized strengths of a mid-size ute with the typical Mercedes-Benz characteristics of driving dynamics, comfort, design, safety and an extensive scope for individualisation. The X-Class will initially be launched in April 2018 with thirteen variants boasting two turbocharged four-cylinder engines, delivering high power outputs and high torque at low engine speeds.

A high-torque V6 diesel engine will be released from mid-2018, ensuring even greater agility on- and off-road. It will generate a class leading 190 kW and 550 Nm of torque and it has already proven its credentials in numerous Mercedes-Benz passenger car models – from the G-Class to the latest E-Class. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date. 

Engine line-up

                  2.3l Diesel 3.0l Diesel
Cylinders In-line 4 cylinder V6
Designation X 220 d X 250 d X 350 d
Turbochargers Single-Variable 2-Stage Single-Variable
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
7-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
Drive type Rear wheel drive or engageable AWD Engageable AWD Permanent AWD
Power (kW) 120 140 190
Torque (Nm) 403 450 550

Standout features

  • Driving enjoyment on a par with passenger cars: The wide track, long wheelbase and comfortable spring and damping tuning typical of a Mercedes open up a new world of driving enjoyment and driving dynamics on the road – without resulting in compromises when off-road. A special feature in this segment: coil springs are used both at the front and the rear, which contributes to a harmonious suspension comfort. The suspension is designed in such a way that it achieves a high level of driving dynamics and ride comfort on the road, while also delivering maximum off-road capability in conjunction with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The suspension consists of a double wishbone front axle and a rear multi-link solid axle that is ideal for transporting heavy loads and has ideal articulation capability. This combination ensures that the suspension is comfortable and the handling is safe given any permitted load condition.
  • Star safety: Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the X-Class stands out for its exemplary level of safety. The X-Class comes with a comprehensive array of comfort and safety equipment that is exceptional in this vehicle segment. The X-Class’s high level of occupant protection results from its especially solid body with a high-strength passenger cabin cell and a front and rear structure that can absorb energy resulting from a collision through well-managed deformation. Furthermore, passive safety is provided thanks to standard equipment such as seven airbags and the i-Size attachment system for two child seats. The airbags in the front for driver and front passenger come with a two-stage, deferred triggering mechanism. For active safety, driver assistance systems are at the ready, simultaneously increasing safety and comfort: standard across the range is Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Also as standard, the X-Class POWER comes with a 360-degree camera and the PURE and PROGRESSIVE are equipped with a reversing camera. As an optional upgrade the 360-degree camera is also available on the PROGRESSIVE line. 
  • All-wheel drive for any surface: The engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and standard differential lock on the rear axle masters any terrain. With a ground clearance of 222 millimetres and high approach and departure angles, the X-Class has the necessary foundation to easily adapt to off-road environments. From the middle of next year a permanent all-wheel drive will be available with the V6. All the all-wheel drive models come with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) on board as standard.
  • Brand characteristic SUV design: With the centrally positioned star, twin-louvre radiator grille, powerfully honed bonnet and headlamps extending far into the wings, the X-Class seamlessly fits in to the Mercedes-Benz portfolio.
  • Premium effect on a new level: Three trim parts for the cockpit, six seat covers including two leather variants with contrasting topstitching, and two colours for the roof lining provide the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment.
  • Robust character with a dynamic look: The X-Class's design draws attention to the basic virtues of a ute – robustness, strength and off-road capability – in an emotionally appealing way. Even the dimensions themselves exude effortless superiority with a length of 5340 millimetres, a width of 1920 millimetres (excluding the outside mirrors) and a height of 1819 millimetres. The width between the wheel arches allows the stacking of an Australian size pallet. Both physically imposing and hardworking, the X-Class can haul a payload of up to 1.1 tonnes. Able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes, it can pull a trailer containing three horses or an eight-metre yacht.
  • Individualisation on account of a diverse range of Mercedes-Benz accessories: As from its market launch, customers can add a styling bar, side bar, canopy, various covers as well as numerous cargo and off-road solutions – all developed and designed by Mercedes.

Pricing

Grade Body Engine Drive Transmission MRLP
PURE Cab Chas X 220 d RWD 6-spd manual $45,450
PURE Load Bed X 220 d RWD 6-spd manual $46,400
PURE Load Bed X 220 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $50,400
PURE Cab Chas X 250 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $51,450
PURE Cab Chas X 250 d 4MATIC 7-spd auto $54,350
PURE Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $52,400
PURE Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 7-spd auto $55,300
PROGRESSIVE Cab Chas X 250 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $53,950
PROGRESSIVE Cab Chas X 250 d 4MATIC 7-spd auto $56,850
PROGRESSIVE Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $54,900
PROGRESSIVE Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 7-spd auto $57,800
POWER Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 6-spd manual $61,600
POWER Load Bed X 250 d 4MATIC 7-spd auto $64,500

New engines, the latest safety features and new comfort and wellness features are some of the highlights of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Maybach models set to arrive in Australia.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class range will utilise two new engines – a six-cylinder diesel in the S 350 d and S 400d L models, and a petrol V8 for the S 560, S 560 L and AMG S 63 L models. The V12 engine has been reserved exclusively for the range-topping model, the Mercedes-Maybach S 650.

Comprehensively equipped

The equipment offered on S-Class models is comprehensive. Standard features on all models include COMAND Online with Widescreen Cockpit, multifunction steering wheel with Touch Control buttons, touchpad with controller, intelligent THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, AIRMATIC air suspension system with continuously variable damping system, DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode selection, as well as the Smartphone Integration package with Apple Car Play® and Android Auto™, and a wireless charging system for mobile devices.

Other standard features include MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, which quickly and precisely adjust to the current traffic conditions via 84 individually controllable LEDs, plus an ambient interior lighting scheme featuring 64 colours and 10 colour schemes.

Selected models are fitted with ENERGIZING comfort control, setting new standards when it comes to comfort and well-being. Making its world debut, the system has six programs which combine different comfort functions for a harmonious set-up. This enhances physical comfort and performance while driving and during a break.

Also available on some models are electronically adjustable rear seats, powered rear side window blinds, an AIR-BALANCE package which improves air filtering and fragrancing, and a rear seat entertainment system.

Safe, secure and well assisted

The range of standard driving assistance and safety systems includes Active Braking Assist, Crosswind Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness protection and the occupant protection system PRE‑SAFE®. New, and also part of the standard specification, is PRE‑SAFE® Sound, which prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision.

DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. This is complemented by Evasive Steering Assist and also the Driving Assistance package PRE‑SAFE PLUS®, which includes pedestrian recognition and additionally takes into account dangerous situations caused by traffic following behind, such as a rear impact.

The last word in luxury

Sitting atop the S-Class family is the prestigious Mercedes-Maybach S 650, an imposing long-wheelbase saloon with a lengthy list of standard luxury features that are focused on the comfort of the rear seat passenger.

Highlights include a four-seater layout with electrically adjusting rear seats including heating and cooling settings, plus a full-length console, folding tables and an additional 77mm of legroom (including electrically adjustable footrest) behind the front passenger seat to provide the ultimate in comfort for the chauffeured passenger. A rear-seat entertainment system and THERMOTRONIC rear climate control are also standard features.

Additionally, a powerful V12 engine along with MAGIC BODY CONTROL active suspension ensure a smooth and effortless driving experience for all occupants.

Australian specifications and pricing

Mercedes-Benz S 350 d

The S 350 d utilises a new 2925cc in-line 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine making 210kW and 600Nm via a 9G-TRONIC transmission, with official combined fuel use of 5.4 litres per 100km.

In addition to the standard features already mentioned, the S 350 d includes KEYLESS GO driver authorisation system, a panoramic sliding sunroof, a digital TV tuner, power closing for doors and bootlid, a Burmester 13-speaker surround sound system, front seats including heating and cooling, a head-up display, a 360° camera and 19-inch twin five-spoke alloy wheels.

The S 350 d is priced at $195,900 (MRLP).

Mercedes-Benz S 400 d L and S 450 L

The S 400 d L is powered by a 2925cc In-line 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine making 250kw and 700Nm, while the S 450 L features a 2996cc V6 bi-turbo petrol engine pumping out 270kW and 520Nm, both via the 9G-TRONIC transmission.

Both long-wheelbase models share the same equipment specification, which adds electrically adjustable outer rear seats, pre-installation for rear entertainment features, electric blinds on rear side windows and rear window, THERMOTRONIC rear climate control and 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.

The S 400 d L is priced at $222,500 (MRLP) while the S 450 L is priced at $227,500 (MRLP).

Mercedes-Benz S 560 and S 560 L

The S 560 and long wheelbase S 560 L are both powered by a 3982cc V8 bi-turbo petrol engine making 345kW and 700Nm via the 9G-TRONIC auto.

The S 560 adds the ENERGIZING comfort control feature plus the AIR-BALANCE package, as well as brown burr walnut high gloss wood trim, nappa leather upholstery, an anti-theft protection package and heat- and noise-insulating laminated glass. The S 560 L further adds EASY ADJUST luxury head restraints for front-seat passengers, plus a rear-seat entertainment system complete with two wireless headsets.

The S 560 is priced at $270,000 (MRLP) and the S 560 L at $295,000 (MRLP).

Mercedes-AMG S 63 L

The performance-focused S 63 L is powered by a 3982cc V8 bi-turbo petrol engine making 450kW and 900Nm via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed auto.

Bespoke AMG performance features include a sports exhaust system, DYNAMIC SELECT with AMG-specific driving programs, high-performance composite brakes (390 x 36mm front, 360 x 26mm rear), speed-sensitive sports steering, sports suspension and red brake calipers.

Also included on the long wheelbase S 63 L is Seat Heating PLUS and multi-contour seats for front seat passengers, heated and ventilated rear seats, increased fuel tank capacity (80 litres), a tyre pressure monitoring system, and AMG-specific trim including door sill panels in brushed stainless steel, floor mats, Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather/DINAMICA® microfibre, IWC-design analogue clock, AMG sports pedal cluster in brushed stainless steel, and designo open-pore black ash wood trim.

The Mercedes-AMG S 63 L is priced at $375,000 (MRLP).

Mercedes-Maybach S 650

The long wheelbase S 650 is powered by a 5980cc bi-turbo V12 petrol engine making 463kW and 1000Nm via a 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed auto.

In addition to rear-seat features listed above and features carrying over from the S 560 L model, bespoke standard equipment includes a Burmester® High End 3D Surround Sound System with 24 speakers and 24 amplifier channels, designo roof liner in DINAMICA® microfibre, door sill panels with illuminated "MAYBACH" lettering, exclusive nappa leather upholstery with the Maybach emblem in centre armrests, and 20-inch 10-hole forged wheels in high-gloss polished ceramic.

The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is priced at $425,000 (MRLP).

Sydney commuters will now be able to choose a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer Minibus to get them around, thanks to the launch of the first ever series of on-demand public transport trials recently announced by the New South Wales Government.

Transdev Link, the new on-demand ride service operated by international transport company Transdev in partnership with Transport for New South Wales will launch later this year.

The service will offer commuters a flexible door-to-door transport solution to get to and from major activity hubs such as bus and train stations, medical and business precincts, and shopping centres. Trips will be easily bookable via a smartphone app, online or over the phone.

“With Transdev Link customers can put their bus timetables away, and enjoy a personalised shuttle service when and where they need it in their local area,” said Transdev CEO René Lalande.

“The combination of on-demand transport, with traditional bus, rail and ferry services can deliver better customer service outcomes, reduce congestion and offer value for money for Government,” Lalande said.

Ten Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer Minibuses will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the trial, featuring free WiFi, USB points for charging mobile devices, electric sliding doors and privacy glass. Some will also be fitted with wheel chair lifts to accommodate people travelling with disabilities.

Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans, Diane Tarr said, “One of the key pillars of our strategic future initiate adVANce is new mobility concepts for the on-demand transportation of goods and people. The trial fits perfectly with this direction and at the same time will showcase the functionality and reliability of our Sprinter Transfer Minibus.

“Driving change and innovating to improve the convenience and comfort of public transport has the potential to positively impact so many people’s lives. It’s a fantastic initiative by both Transdev and the New South Wales Government and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

The service will be available Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm and select weekend times. Trips will cost a flat fee of $2.60 for adults, and $1.30 for concession card holders, payable by credit card online or cash to the driver.

The following areas are included in the trial: 

  • Sutherland Shire: A service to pick customers up from home or a nearby location in Jannali West, Sylvania, Caringbah and Gymea and take them to transport hubs or local shops. Standard fare of $2.60. 
  • Manly and Eastern Suburbs: A service to pick customers up at home or nearby location and take them to Edgecliff and Bondi Junction stations, ferries at Manly or Rose Bay wharves. Standard fare of $3.10.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is entering the ride-sharing sector. To this end, the van division of Daimler AG is setting up a joint venture with the US startup company Via. Daimler Mobility Services additionally joins in as a strategic investor in Via. The corresponding declarations were signed in Stuttgart. Unlike other ride-hailing companies, Via has focused on developing, from the ground up, a scalable and on-demand shared ride solution.

The intelligent Via algorithm supports smart public transport, enabling a dynamic mass transit system that reduces traffic volume in urban areas. The fusion of Via’s technology with the engineering of Mercedes-Benz Vans creates the perfect match for efficient, affordable and sustainable ride-sharing. As part of the cooperation, Mercedes-Benz Vans is investing 50 million US dollars in the new joint venture. For Daimler Mobility Services, Volker Mornhinweg will be joining Via’s board of directors.

Headquartered in New York, Via’s successful shared ride service in New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. provides over 1 million rides per month, and its revolutionary technology is licensed by partners around the world.

On-demand shared rides with vans for more efficient urban transport

Together, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via aim to introduce on-demand shared rides in Europe. Via’s revolutionary technology is changing the way people get around cities. With Via’s intelligent shared rides, passengers headed in the same direction are matched with a single van, increasing vehicle utilization while relieving the strain on inner-city roads. London will be the first city to launch the new joint service this year. Other European metropolises will soon follow.

Deeper cooperation an important step towards implementation of future strategy adVANce

"On-demand ride-sharing offers many new ways of making city traffic efficient, needs-based and sustainable – especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable vans," says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles that are being continuously optimised for this job. By deepening our cooperation with Via, we are thus taking the next logical step in the context of our strategy for the future and are expanding our range of new mobility services." The cooperation is another milestone of the adVANce strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans focussing on the transformation from a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of holistic van system solutions.

The investment is part of the Daimler strategy focussing on pioneering innovations and digitization, especially in the four future fields of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use and services (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric).

"With our mobility services like car2go, mytaxi and moovel we are already today reaching more than 15 million customers worldwide. As one of the leading providers of digital mobility services our investment in Via is a logical step to expand our portfolio according to our customers’ needs", says Klaus Entenmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Financial Services AG. "We are thus further expanding our digital mobility services. We have the financial resources that are required for this growth path."

"We are delighted to have the Daimler Group on board as an investor and strategic partner. Combining Via’s technology with the exceptional design and engineering of Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideal for our vision of offering efficient, affordable, sustainable, and comfortable shared rides everywhere," says Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.

"Having completed over 20 million rides, we at Via know that having the right vehicle is crucial for providing the best customer experience. We are excited to expand our successful partnership with Daimler, which began in 2015, and collaborate on developing the optimal vehicle for the future of mobility," says Oren Shoval, CTO and co-founder of Via.

The Via vision: Dynamic routes, virtual bus stops

Via is re-engineering public transit – from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network that provides an innovative supplement to existing transportation networks. Passengers request rides through a mobile app, and Via’s sophisticated algorithm instantly finds a vehicle that best matches the passenger’s route, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without detours that take riders out of their way.

New joint venture set to establish on-demand shared rides in Europe

Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via have been successfully cooperating since 2015. The joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via will operate as a new entity with headquarters in Amsterdam. The joint goal is to bring on-demand shared rides to Europe. The joint venture will not only launch its own service in European cities, but will also license Via’s proprietary technology - the On-Demand Shuttle Operating System - to third parties, such as transport service providers and local public transit operators. By enabling vans to be dynamically routed between thousands of virtual bus stops distributed across the city, this innovative approach to public transit helps reduce traffic volume in cities without requiring the construction of costly new infrastructure.

Long term strategic partnership to further develop the mobility concept

Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via will in the future cooperate on the further development of intelligent mobility, including optimizing the design of Mercedes-Benz Vans vehicles for shared ride use. The models mainly used will be the Vito Tourer (up to nine seats) and the V-Class (up to eight seats) being continuously adapted for this intended use. Beyond developing advanced software and sensors, another focus of the long term strategic partnership lies on the use of the locally emission-free electric-drive Mercedes-Benz Vito and autonomous driving.

The tough Mercedes-Benz G-Class Professional range is set to go on sale in Australia, having already joined forces with around-the-world explorer Mike Horn to complete one of this country’s most inhospitable terrains, from Birdsville, through the Simpson Desert and to finish in sight of Uluru.

Three G 300 CDI Professional Wagons and two Cab Chassis models completed an eight-day trek from Birdsville to the shadows of Uluru, tackling steep sand dunes and bone-rattling corrugations in their stride. Accompanying the G Professional fleet were a pair of G 500 wagons (Left Hand Drive) that have accompanied Horn for much of his current trip, a two-year bid to circumnavigate the globe via its two poles.

Horn has driven a succession of G-Class vehicles throughout a career in exploration that spans two decades. The 51-year-old South African-born Swiss insists he would not drive anything else. 

“(The G-Class) became a tool. Like my boat that can break ice and take me to Antarctica, it too has become a significant part of my exploration,” he says.

Australia is the only market in the world to receive the G 300 CDI Professional Wagon and Cab Chassis models for civilian purchase, which have been designed to provide the toughness and utilitarianism needed for commercial or private off-road endeavours. Since being launched in 1979, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has carved a stellar reputation for its outstanding off-road prowess, toughness, and durability. It remains the vehicle of choice for numerous military forces around the world and won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1983 in the hands of Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur.

The G 300 CDI Professional Wagon and Cab Chassis variants are powered by a 2987cc six-cylinder turbocharged diesel making 135kW and 400Nm, coupled to a five-speed automatic and permanent all-wheel-drive with a 50:50 split.

Both vehicles are equipped as standard with three 100 per cent differential locks that are selectable on the move, as well as a bull bar, snorkel and 16-inch alloy wheels in black. Other key features include a water drain plug in the floor, a 96-litre fuel tank, two 12-volt batteries, tyre pressure loss warning system, dirty air filter warning, brake pad wear indicator for the front axle brake, headlight and indicator stone guards, and radiator and oil sump shields. 

Safety systems fitted include drive and passenger front airbags, anti-lock braking, Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Program (selectable on/off).

The Wagon variant is fitted with four seats with walk-through access to the luggage compartment, plus fog lights. The Cab Chassis has two seats, is fitted with eight mounting points on the rear chassis, and has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) rating of 4490kg. Tow capacity for the Wagon is 3,140kg (braked) and 3,200kg (braked) for the Cab Chassis.

A number of packages and options can be added to the Professional Wagon including the Edition PUR package, which adds equipment including a walk-on bonnet, electric door mirrors, a roof rack, heat-insulated tinted glass behind the B-pillar, side running boards, a towbar, a headlamp cleaning system, heated leather seats and a radio/CD player for $9,900 (MRLP). 

Both models can specify the Winch Preparation Package ($1700 Wagon/$1500 Cab Chassis MRLP) while the Cab Chassis can specify the Body Building Enhancement Package ($2500 MRLP) or Electrical Enhancement Package ($4900 MRLP).  Options such as a walk-on bonnet ($1900 MRLP) and heated seats ($900 MRLP) can be separately selected for either model, as can tinted rear windows ($700 MRLP) and a wire mesh partition behind the rear seats ($1200 MRLP) for the Wagon. 

The Mercedes-Benz G 300 CDI Professional Wagon and Cab Chassis are now available to order:

  • G 300 CDI Professional Wagon: $109,900 (MRLP)
  • G 300 CDI Professional Cab Chassis: $119,900 (MRLP).

Mercedes-Benz Australia completes its E‑Class family with the new E‑Class Cabriolet, a full-sized four-seater with a classic fabric soft top.

The E-Class Cabriolet’s design represents elegance and intelligence that, when combined with the latest technology, achieves long-distance comfort for four occupants all year around. Powerful engines and comfortable suspension systems ensure a sporty and luxurious driving experience. For the first time, the Cabriolet is also available with 4MATIC all-wheel drive on selected models.

All models are equipped with the AIRCAP electric draught-stop system and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system – to enhance comfort when driving with the roof down.

The new Cabriolet is the fourth and youngest member of the E‑Class family, which has been renewed entirely within the space of one year. At the same time, the brand with the star is continuing its tradition of high-calibre cabriolets with a classic fabric soft top.

"The passion for extraordinary vehicles, which we share with our customers, is reflected in our new E‑Class Cabriolet in a unique way. It is a car that lets people enjoy comfort and luxury in the open air," says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG with responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.

When the soft top is up, the E‑Class Cabriolet has a silhouette similar to that of the E‑Class Coupé and displays the same expressive proportions. The close ties between the two models are likewise apparent in the puristic design with the emphasis on surfaces with clean lines and sensuous forms.

A striking front section with a low-positioned diamond radiator grille and centrally located star, a drawn-out bonnet with powerdomes and fully retractable side windows underline the dynamism of the Cabriolet. 

Premium-class fabric soft top

A fully automatic acoustic soft top comes as standard. Its multi-layered structure with sophisticated insulation reduces wind and driving noise, which makes it easy for occupants to hear each other talk, even when driving at speed. The soft-top structure has an equally positive effect when it comes to climate comfort and makes the Cabriolet suitable for use all year round.

It can be fully opened and closed in 20 seconds when travelling at a speed of up to 50 km/h. The boot capacity of 385 litres (310 litres when the roof is open) offers all the right ingredients for a high level of everyday practicality. The all-new 50:50 folding rear seat backrests create a through-loading feature in the interior.

Interior – sophisticated style and sporty luxury 

The interior of the new E-Class Cabriolet has a clear and clean form. The upper section of the dashboard appears to be hovering and rests against generously proportioned trim elements which flow sensuously into the front doors. The exceptionally high-quality materials and finish emphasise the car's sporty, stylish character and exude outstandingly high-class appeal. 

Two high-resolution 12.3-inch displays – a unique selling point in this segment – merge beneath a shared glass cover to create a widescreen that appears to be floating in thin air but nevertheless blends in smoothly between the upper and lower sections of the cockpit. The driver can choose from three different styles for the virtual instruments: "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive".

Distinctly sporty highlights include air outlets in Silvershadow with a shape inspired by turbine engines.

The driver has multiple options for operating the instrument cluster, multimedia system and other functions: touch controls in the steering wheel for finger-swipe control, a touchpad that recognises handwriting and the Controller in the centre console, LINGUATRONIC voice control and direct-access buttons, e.g. for controlling the air conditioning and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.

The avant-garde and luxurious seats for all four occupants have a sportily sculpted individual-seat character. The integral-look sports seats feature sturdy side bolsters, organically integrated head restraints and AIRSCARF neck-level heating. Automatic belt extenders for the front seats help the occupants to fasten their seat belts. The rear seats provide a through-loading feature.

Larger and more luxurious

Compared with its predecessor, the new E-Class Cabriolet has grown in length, width and wheelbase: with a vehicle length of 4826 mm (+123 mm), a vehicle width of 1860 mm (+74 mm) and a height of 1428 mm (+30 mm), the new E-Class Cabriolet is by far the larger model. The principal beneficiary of the wider track, with 1605 mm at the front (+67 mm) and 1609 mm at the rear (+68 mm), is the driving dynamics. Its larger "footprint" particularly benefits passengers in the rear. 

AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension

The Cabriolet is also fitted with AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension, as already seen on the E-Class Saloon. Thanks to three chambers of different size in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle, the driver can control the firmness of the suspension in three stages. In this way, the occupants enjoy soft basic suspension, along with the secure feeling of good handling stability at higher speeds.

The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by an electronically controlled adaptive damping system. It adjusts the damping at each individual wheel automatically to suit the current driving situation and condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive manoeuvres or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics.

DYNAMIC SELECT – choose your own driving characteristics

The DYNAMIC SELECT system enables the driver to influence suspension settings along with throttle response, ECO start/stop function, shift points of the automatic transmission and more.

Light and safe bodyshell

In a cabriolet, the lack of a roof often results in reduced body rigidity. The Mercedes engineers employed specific measures to counteract this during development. For instance, they made the bodyshell structures at the front end and on the floor exceptionally stiff, allowing a high level of driving dynamics. 

The Cabriolet not only meets all current national and international crash requirements, but also the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards, which are based on what actually happens in real-life accidents.

Safe protection

In the event of an accident, the high structural safety of the body and the extensive array of restraint systems offer optimum protection. These include:

  • Pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters on all front and rear seats
  • PRE-SAFE® reversible belt tensioner on the front seats
  • Front airbags for driver and passenger
  • A kneebag on the driver's side
  • Thorax/pelvis bags for driver and front passenger
  • Airbags integrated into the top edge of the front door panels to protect the head in the event of severe side impacts (headbags)
  • Sidebags for rear occupants

The roll-over protection system has been developed specifically for the Cabriolet. It consists of two cartridges that are fully retracted behind the rear seats and therefore invisible. If a roll-over is imminent, these cartridges are pyrotechnically fired, whereupon they shoot out to provide a survival space together with the 

A-pillar

Cabriolet suitable for use all year round

The E-Class Cabriolet boasts an exceptionally high level of everyday practicality. It is suitable for all seasons and all weather conditions thanks to the standard AIRCAP automatic draught-stop system and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating as well as a number of other features:

Acoustic soft top insulated to protect against heat and cold

Heat-reflecting leather

Individually folding rear seat backrests with through-loading feature

Sensitive climate control for open-air driving

Specially developed for cabriolets, the climate control system responds to whether the vehicle is being driven with the top up or down. In contrast to conventional systems, the climate is controlled fully automatically. This means that the driver does not need to select a mode for closed or open top, nor is it necessary to save a temperature setting for these driving conditions. An overlapping function performs the considerable feat of achieving an unnoticeable transition between closed and open top (and vice-versa) for maximum climate comfort.

Australian specifications and pricing

Arriving in October 2017, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet range will be represented by the E 300 and E 400 4MATIC models.

E 300

The rear-wheel-drive E 300 is powered by a 1991cc, 4 -cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 180kW and 370Nm in conjunction with a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and ECO start/stop technology. Features include leather-appointed sports seats (front seats heated), MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, COMAND ONLINE infotainment system, widescreen cockpit, AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension, AIRCAP draught-stop system and AIRSCARF neck-level heating, automatic belt feeder for driver and front passenger, a Driving Assistance Package, sports exhaust system (E 300 only), AMG Line body styling, and 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels.

The E 300 is priced at $123,500 (MRLP).

E 400 4MATIC

The E 400 4MATIC variably sends power to all four wheels from a 2996cc, 6-cylinder biturbo petrol engine making 245kW and 480Nm fitted with the 9G-TRONIC transmission. Additional standard equipment over the E 300 specification includes a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system, a head-up display with virtual image windscreen projection, and metallic paintwork. 

The E 400 4MATIC is priced at $157,500 (MRLP).

Mercedes-Benz will build on the success of its compact SUV, the GLA, by introducing a powerful new design idiom and a range of interior and exterior upgrades and enhancements.

First launched in 2013, the GLA has been a model of success in a segment it has shaped and redefined. As the first compact SUV from Mercedes-Benz, it brought a breath of fresh air to its market segment and established itself as a major player. The new-generation vehicle will strengthen its leadership in the premium compact SUV class.

The facelift lends the GLA a more powerful appearance and even greater character, led by an aggressively modified radiator grille and revised front and rear bumpers. Generous use of silver chrome for numerous controls and attractive new trim elements add a sense of high-class appeal.

New standard equipment includes high-performance LED headlamps available across the range, while HANDS-FREE ACCESS – which for the first time includes keyless access to the boot via a swipe of the foot under the rear bumper – is standard on all models except the GLA 180.

An option available on all GLA models (as part of the Vision or Parking Package, depending on model) for the first time is a 360° Camera, which allows occupants to view a bird’s-eye image of the vehicle on the media display during parking and manoeuvring.

An upgraded instrument cluster plus new interior trims for different models – including the addition for the first time of AMG DINAMICA microfibre trim for the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC model – complements additional silver chrome finishes around the cockpit.

New wheels for most models complete the external upgrades, ranging from 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels in vanadium silver for the GLA 220 d, to the 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheel in Himalayas grey with a high-sheen rim flange that features on the GLA 45 4MATIC model.

The new GLA is on sale now and pricing for the new-generation range is as follows:

  • GLA 180 - $43,900 (MRLP)
  • GLA 220 d - $51,200 (MRLP)
  • GLA 250 4MATIC - $60,700 (MRLP)
  • Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC - $89,500 (MRLP)

White Art Edition

A special WhiteArt Edition will be available to order on the new-generation GLA on all non-AMG models. This includes sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather plus DINAMICA microfibre with contrasting topstitching and highlight stripes; a sports steering wheel with DINAMICA microfibre grip areas; DINAMICA microfibre trim; a black interior with contrasting topstitching; air vent surrounds in white; 19-inch multi-spoke black bi-colour alloy wheels, Exclusive matt foliation (a discreet stripe design over the car); and a choice of five paintwork options each with a contrasting or complementary exterior foil.

The cost for GLA 180 and 220 d models is $3780 (MRLP) which includes AMG Line and $3280 (MRLP) for the GLA 250 4MATIC model.

Yellow Night Edition

For the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC model, a Yellow Night Edition adds an AMG Aerodynamics Package, AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather plus DINAMICA microfibre with yellow topstitching, an AMG Performance steering wheel in full DINAMICA microfibre with yellow topstitching, plus yellow highlights throughout the cabin including air ventilation rings and door sill panels.

Externally, there are yellow highlights to the front apron, side sill panel inserts, external mirror housing, rear diffuser, wing endplates and the matt black 20-inch, 10-spoke AMG alloy wheels. The twin radiator louvre is rendered in black and foliation stripes in matt dark anthracite metallic are added.

The Yellow Night Package can be added to the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC for $3990 (MRLP).

The Mercedes-Benz V-Class is redefining the multi-purpose vehicle and will now be available in Australia with a choice of two 2.1-litre four cylinder diesel engines. In addition to the existing V 250 AVANTGARDE with an output of 140 kW and powerful peak torque of 440 Nm, customers will be able to select the V 220 as an alternative, providing 120 kW of power and peak torque of 380 Nm.

Senior Manager Product Management and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand, Sabine Wagner, said the range expansion broadens the appeal of V-Class.

“V 220 provides a solution for customers who don’t need the same level of power and features provided by the V 250 AVANTGARDE, but still require the combination of seating for up to eight with the exemplary functionality and typical strengths of Mercedes-Benz vehicles – from quality to comfort, efficient driving pleasure and safety,” she said.

Mercedes-Benz Vans will also continue to offer the entry-level eight seater Valente for both private consumers and commercial fleet customers. The V 220 shares many of the exceptional standard features available in the existing V 250 AVANTGARDE, however in addition to more power, opting for the V 250 will also add the following standard features:

  • Latest generation COMAND Online system
  • The Burmester® surround sound system with 15 high-performance loudspeakers, including a bass reflex loudspeaker
  • Mercedes-Benz Illuminated door sills panels in brushed stainless steel
  • 18 inch 5 twin spoke alloy wheels
  • Anodised roof rails
  • Brake calipers with Mercedes-Benz lettering
  • AVANTGARDE Exterior Sports pack
  • Waistline chrome strip and chrome trim on tail end
  • Chrome strip on lower bumper areas
  • AVANTGARDE line badge
  • 360 degree Surround View camera
  • DISTRONIC PLUS (replaces COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST in the V 220 Driving Assistance package)
  • LED Intelligent Light System (ILS) with Adaptive High Beam Assist, LED indicator, cornering lights, LED Daytime Running lights and LED taillights
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

Alternatively, the standard V 220 will provide:

  • Garmin MAP Pilot navigation system with 3D map display
  • Audio 20 sound system with touchpad, innovative controller and large CENTRAL MEDIA DISPLAY with a screen diagonal of 17.8 cm and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
  • 17 inch 5-spoke alloy wheels
  • Reversing camera with dynamic guide lines
  • Driving Assistance Package (COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist)

The following features are shared across the V-Class range:

New standard of agility and driving pleasure 

To enhance personal driving pleasure, the V-Class is the only vehicle in its segment to offer the AGILITY SELECT function in conjunction with the automatic transmission. At the push of a button the driver can select from four driving modes: economical, comfortable, sport and manual. Engine, accelerator and transmission response are then adapted accordingly. Ground-breaking features in this category of vehicles also include the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective adjustment of the damping system to the road conditions and the latest generation of ADAPTIVE ESP®, featuring many assistance functions for optimum driving safety. The light and precise electromechanical power steering likewise contributes greatly to the well-balanced driving comfort in the V-Class.

Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive – exemplary safety 

A host of innovative driver assistance systems ensures a high level of driving comfort and an exemplary standard of safety. They are based on state-of-the-art radar, camera and ultrasound sensors, which were introduced under the name "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive". Standard equipment includes Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Parking Assist, Driver Assistance Package, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, and the PRE-SAFE® accident anticipatory system.

Modern style and high-class appeal 

The interior of the V-Class offers a completely new experience in the segment. High-quality materials and intricate details, as well as a progressive and sensuous design idiom, convey outstanding high-class appeal. Lugano leather upholstery is standard across the range, and the inviting atmosphere is completed with ambient lighting in three colours. Other highlights include the freestanding central display, the multifunction steering wheel with 12 buttons and DIRECT SELECT lever with steering wheel shift paddles, as well as the innovative touchpad.

A new dimension in comfort 

The V-Class also sets new standards in comfort and variability with a host of innovations. The Mercedes-Benz V-Class is the only vehicle in the segment to offer 4-way lumbar support and active seat ventilation with reversing fans to ensure a consistent relative humidity at the contact area with the leather seat for driver and front passenger. Also unique in this class of vehicles is the enhanced THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system, which offers various ventilation modes to and individualised climate control.

The FOCUS, MEDIUM and DIFFUSE climate modes have distinct settings for air flow and distribution. In addition, the THERMOTRONIC system features automatic pre-entry climate control at the touch of a button on the vehicle key, an integral demisting sensor and distribution of cooled air to the driver and front passenger sides, the intensity of which is automatically controlled by the position of the sun. Equally unique is the tunnel detection feature with self-activating air recirculation. The climate control system uses the map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data to close the air recirculation flap automatically when the vehicle enters a tunnel, subsequently re-opening it when the vehicle emerges from the tunnel.

Separately opening rear window and second loading level 

For easy loading and unloading, the V-Class features another first in this segment in the shape of the separately opening rear windscreen attached to the upper tailgate frame. It can be opened and closed independently of the tailgate. This makes loading and unloading easier in two respects: on the one hand, it allows a second loading level; on the other – particularly in tight parking spaces – there is no need to open the large tailgate. In addition, the EASY-PACK tailgate, with convenient power opening and closing comes as standard. 

The V 220 is now available to order. The manufacturers recommended list prices for the Mercedes-Benz Vans multi-purpose vehicle portfolio are as follows:

  • Valente BlueTec - $58,100 (MRLP)
  • V-Class V 220 BlueTec - $74,990 (MRLP)
  • V-Class V 250 BlueTec AVANTGARDE - $87,200 (MRLP)

In November last year, Mercedes-Benz announced that Australian adventurers would be able to add an extra level of comfort to their journeys when the Marco Polo ACTIVITY was introduced in 2017.

Now in the lead up to the first vehicles arriving at dealerships in late May, ANCAP have recognised the Marco Polo ACTIVITY with a 5 Star ANCAP rating. The safety rating is applicable to all existing and future orders placed for the Australian market and validates that Mercedes-Benz Vans customers will continue to enjoy the same level of safety offered in other Mercedes-Benz Vans variants.

Diane Tarr, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans said “The Marco Polo ACTIVITY opens up a completely new way of enjoying freedom and spontaneity with a vehicle. It combines leisure and daily use to perfection. When you have a vehicle encouraging adventure and exploration, it also needs to be safe.”

“We are proud of this achievement as a company and I want to praise the co-operative engagement by ANCAP which has been instrumental in us achieving this result. We have already had strong interest in the Marco Polo ACTIVITY and dealers have been placing orders since Novemeber last year. We believe this vehicle will have broad appeal - covering discerning individuals to young families and sports or outdoor activity enthusiasts. It complements Australians’ love of the outdoors really well.”

Combining the best of functionality, flexibility and recreational capabilities in one vehicle, the Marco Polo ACTIVITY represents a brand new addition to the highly successful van range in Australia. It boasts a powerful 4-cylinder fuel-efficient turbo diesel engine, 2.5t towing capacity, reversing camera and satellite navigation.

The Marco Polo ACTIVITY measures up at 5.14m x 1.93m x 1.98m with high-comfort driver and front passenger seats that can be swivelled to face the rear passenger compartment when the vehicle is parked. The rear three-bench seat can be removed to provide a large loading area for carrying bulky items or folded down to form a bed. The lie-down area is approximately 1.93m x 1.35m. The roof pops up to reveal another bed, which can take weight of up to 200kg. It also features an auxiliary heater that can be programmed to preheat the vehicle and keep it warm when the vehicle is stationary.

This makes the Marco Polo ACTIVITY a versatile vehicle for those with an active lifestyle – useful during the week and playful on the weekend. The manual pop-up roof is made from a breathable and water-resistant fabric. There are also zippered window flaps on both sides of the roof material that can be easily opened for ventilation purposes. The maximum standing height with the roof open is approximately 2350mm.

Other key standard product features include luxury interior trim, folding table package, 7G-TRONIC 7 speed automatic transmission, 25000/1-year service interval, driver and front passenger front airbags, thorax-pelvis and curtain airbags, Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, ADAPTIVE Electronic Stability Program ESP®, reversing camera, Adaptive Brake lights, light and rain sensors and Active Parking Assist with front and rear park sensors. There are two batteries with cut-off relay for the second battery. This allows users to tap into the second battery without draining the starter battery.

The Marco Polo ACTIVITY is already available to order.