Mercedes-Benz will discontinue the A-Class and B-Class in 2025

I realise this news might be a bit dated, but I didn’t get the chance to cover it on my blog. Mercedes-Benz is set to halt the production of the A-Class and B-Class models in 2025. To be honest, I’m quite pleased to hear that the B-Class will be retired; it was something rather lacklustre. When the B-Class was first unveiled in 2005, it was essentially a smaller version of the R-Class (which is also now discontinued). However, the B-Class always had an unconventional and somewhat awkward appearance.

As for the A-Class, when it made its debut in 1997, it was groundbreaking. Back then, the market lacked a subcompact luxury car. The A-Class brought many technical innovations to the market, such as offering ESP as a standard feature for its class. This was particularly important as the initial A-Class had a tendency to roll over. It also featured a clutch-pedal-free manual transmission, which was sometimes referred to as semi-automatic and had its drawbacks for servicing. However, the most notable feature was its hydrogen cell compatibility. Mercedes-Benz designed the A-Class with the assumption that hydrogen technology would mature soon (around the end of the 1990s), making the A-Class ready for it (hydrogen cells was planned to be placed under the floor panel). As a result of this design, the A-Class had an impressive interior with no exhaust tunnel running through the middle of the car. When the A-Class received a facelift, a long wheelbase version was offered, providing an astounding amount of interior space for its size. I’m not kidding; it was truly remarkable! Sadly, despite its innovative design, people were put off by the A-Class’s peculiar aesthetics, especially in the third and fourth generations, which resembled a VW Golf. Nevertheless, for many years, before the SUV craze took over, people cherished the A-Class as their first foray into the Mercedes-Benz brand. Although the build quality of the A-Class left something to be desired, it didn’t seem to deter buyers.

Unfortunately, the automotive landscape changed, with people shifting their preference to SUVs. Competing models to the A-Class began disappearing from the market, such as the iconic Ford Focus. Additionally, the sales figures for the A and B Classes were dwindling.

In the automotive world, manufacturing a small car doesn’t necessarily translate to lower production costs. These smaller cars still need to adhere to all the regulations, undergo extensive R&D, testing, and more, making them expensive to produce. Moreover, you can’t command high prices for small cars unless you’re in the league of MINI. With consumer demand for small cars declining, there’s simply no logical reason to continue manufacturing them.

As the A-Class bows out, it takes the B-Class with it, given that they share the same platform. The A-Class has already been succeeded by the GLA and EQA models.

Photos // Mercedes-Benz


TikTok and Angry Birds on the New Mercedes Benz E-Class

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is going to feature TikTok and Angry Birds built into the MBUX system. We have been waiting for this for a long time. While Angry Birds may be considered an outdated smartphone game (sorry, Angry Birds, but your time has passed), it’s still nice to have it available. Meanwhile, TikTok has become a social media sensation. It’s better to have TikTok on your smartphone while you are at home or on public transportation.

It is not ideal to have TikTok on your car’s screen! TikTok is the most addictive social media app, and Mercedes-Benz is offering this app on its most “boring” car, the E-Class. I think Mercedes-Benz is trying to add some excitement to the E-Class with a TikTok app, but let’s be honest, the E-Class has always been seen as a bit dull.

The E-Class is not exactly known for being fun or exciting; the CLS is the cool one. Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz is going to stop manufacturing the CLS.

From a logical perspective, adding TikTok to the E-Class is unlikely to attract a younger audience. And how are they supposed to use TikTok while driving a car? If they can only use TikTok when the car is not moving, what’s the point of having it in your car? Why not just use your smartphone?

The second strange feature in the new E-Class is inherited from the Porsche Panamera: touch screen controlled air vents. Did you know we have a built-in feature for moving air vents? It’s called our hands! Controlling air vents from a touch screen with a slight delay is like using a smartphone with a stylus!

The E-Class is a nice car in terms of engineering and technology, but it’s not designed for fun or excitement. It’s a car that gets the job done. I don’t really see the point of adding unnecessary features. I know Tesla adds everything to their cars, but the Tesla cars also have reliability issues. They even fail to do basic things like opening the door from the door handles.

Photos // Mercedes-Benz


The world’s most expensive car sold: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

When you hear the sentence, ‘the world’s most expensive car’, you might be thinking about Bugatti Chiron’s special edition. They cost more than €3 million, and that’s very expensive.

However, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR broke that record: €135 million by Sotheby’s on the 19th of May, 2022! I know classic cars are always more expensive than modern cars. But €135 million was not something commonly seen! So how can a car cost this much?

There were only two Mercedes-Benz 300SLR cars ever produced. They are both owned by Mercedes-Benz (MB) AG Germany. MB was never willing to sell the 300SLRs. The uniqueness of the 300SLR is not in the design: it is in the technology.

It was one of the first direct petrol injection engine cars, developing 310 PS from an 8-cylinder 3-lt engine with a top speed of 283 kph (176 mph) and only 7.4 seconds to reach 100 kph (62 mph). I know these numbers are not so exciting for 2022, but for 1955 it was groundbreaking. Also, the 300SLR was based on space frame chassis and only weighed 1.1-tonnes! Another interesting fact: the front brakes were on axles, unlike inside the wheels on a regular car, so, they can save weight with the wheels, and the car’s centre of gravity is improved. Additionally, brakes on axles will not lock the wheel easily (ancient ABS).

So, who was driving this car?
It was Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The designer of the car. 300SLR was his company car, and he drove it every day. However, the 300SLR runs very loud and it caused Rudolf Uhlenhaut to have permanent hearing loss. It is good to note too that despite having the 300SLR as the company car, it only had 6045 km.

So, who bought the 300SLR?
Someone wealthy and well connected. I don’t think the owner of the 300SLR is a lottery winner because Mercedes-Benz didn’t wish to sell this car for decades. Simon Kidston urged the Mercedes-Benz board to sell for 18 months…it was one of the toughest sales! I have no idea on the insurance premium for this car.

What happened to the €135 million?
Mercedes-Benz donated it to a foundation.

Is this car worth the money?
Yes! It was before its time and designed with the highest levels of engineering. Their performance figures can still challenge today’s sports cars!

Photos // Mercedes-Benz


Salon Privé Chelsea, London 2022

I have tried to attend Salon Privé for a long time, but I’ve never managed it! I always thought Salon Privé was a small car show, and that’s all. However, I was wrong.

I realized this when I attended the event at Royal Chelsea Hospital in London this year. Since I started blogging, I think this is the first car show where I didn’t ask for a press pass.

Salon Privé London has something unique to offer! It is small, but it has everything! From Prodrive’s Paris Dacar off-roader BRX Hunter to Bugatti Chirons (multiple Chirons were present). I’m not even taking into account the number of Lamborghinis that were present.

Another great part of Salon Privé was Anna-Louise Felstead (Instagram @alfelstead). She is a fantastic artist whose paintings I love. This is especially true for the ones that convey the reality of luxury cars. They are amazing!

Also, there were two helicopters at Salon Privé. I can’t ignore them in this write-up. From this year, I will be attending a future Salone Privé event, and I highly recommend it!


How will Car Companies Make Profit from Electric Cars?

Over the last three years, we have witnessed a considerable increase in the number of electric cars in the market. Starting with Tesla, many other manufacturers introduced electric vehicles in their range of models, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.

This trend is not something new, and it was ignited by Tesla. Early in 2013, BMW introduced the i3 and i8 models. At this point, there were only a few electric cars. Now, Mercedes literally offers every ICE car in an electric version. BMW and Audi are going in that direction as well. I am sure VW Group will implement this strategy in the rest of their brands.

All of this is good news for the consumer, and it’s nice to see a shift from ICE to electric cars. The rise of electric vehicles in the market will increase competition, quality, and the range of choices.

There is one thing unique to electric cars, and many people haven’t realised it yet. They realised it as a benefit! Servicing! Electric vehicles have literally no moving parts. The Porsche Taycan is the only electric car with an automatic gearbox.

Electric motors don’t need servicing. This is because there is no engine oil, air filter, spark plugs, clutches, or catalysers. As a result, servicing your electric car will be cheap. Probably, brake pads and brake fluid will need to be replaced from time to time. You may also need to check the condition of the electric motor, and maybe few other bits.

This is good for consumers but bad for car companies. These companies make lots of profit from servicing. Manufacturing a car is an expensive process, but servicing it is really easy! So, the profit margin for servicing a vehicle is high.

Given the limited servicing frame for electric vehicles, then, how will car companies compensate for the lost profit? One option is to increase the price, but this may backfire.

Now let’s have a look at Apple’s business model. You buy an iPad and keep it for a long time; Apple can’t sell you an additional iPad that easily. So, how does Apple make a profit from you? The answer is, again, services! These include Apple Music, Apple TV+, and all the other apps you’ve subscribed to. Your iPad is nothing without those services.

I believe the car industry may go in a similar direction. That’s to say, after you buy your electric car, you may be required to pay a subscription fee if you wish to use services.

Mercedes-Benz is already doing something similar with its EQS. You have to pay for it if you want to have extended angle rear-wheel steering, and Mercedes-Benz will enable it over-the-air. This model is similar to how Apple’s AppStore used to work. If you pay once, the model doesn’t work; everything needs to be on subscription.

Over the next ten years, we will probably see car manufacturers rolling out many subscription services to compensate for the financial loss of vehicle servicing.

Photos Daimler


New Mercedes-Maybach S680 V12 4MATIC

After a very long time, probably 6-7 years later, I started to blog in the middle of the night. There is one reason for this: the Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC V12. After years and years of waiting, Mercedes-Benz finally released a V12 4MATIC sedan. For a short period, G65 AMG V12 was available, and it was four-wheel drive. However, there was no V12 sedan with an all-wheel-drive system.

As you would expect, Mercedes-Maybach is the perfect incognito luxury sedan that has the potential to eat the market share of Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls Royce Ghost. Mercedes-Maybach is half a decade ahead of both brands in terms of technology, including its driving assistance systems. However, the cool factor or multiplier of Maybach is not as strong as the British brands.

Anyway, the Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC is powered by a proper 6-lt V12 engine producing 612 PS and 900 Nm of torque (that’s a lot!), paired with a 9-speed automatic. 9-speed automatic and V12 is another first-timer. The sheer amount of torque produced by the V12 was always a transmission breaker. As we can see, Daimler AG’s metallurgy department found a way to cope with the torque.

These are some of the party tricks of the Mercedes-Maybach series. Yes, affordable V8 models are available as well, including a V6 for the Chinese market, Mercedes-Maybach S480 4MATIC (3-lt, 333 PS, and 480nm). However, the party tricks of Maybach are amazing, and I copied them from the press release directly. Just ignore the pricing; if you can afford it, you won’t be bothered by the pricing.

  • On request, the exclusive appearance of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can be further enhanced by a two-tone paint finish (14,875 euros) with a fine dividing line. A total of ten colour combinations from the Mercedes-Maybach paint chart are available for this.
  • When the electrically powered comfort doors at the rear (1606.50 euros) are operated, they open and close with no human effort even on gradients. Integration into the infotainment and control system MBUX and Blind Spot Assist ensures a high level of operating convenience and additional safety. In combination with MBUX Interior Assist in the rear, the closing action of the automatic comfort doors can even be started or stopped with a hand gesture.
  • Thanks to rear-axle steering (1547 euros), the S-Class feels as manoeuvrable as a compact car when driving in town.
    The revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT (2249.10 euros) allows completely new functions, for example the projection of guidelines or warning symbols onto the road surface.
  • With adaptive rear illumination (345.10 euros), the brightness and colour temperature of the interior lighting is adjustable in several stages. The LED spotlights are adjustable for position and size, allowing use as reading or lounge lights.
  • MBUX Interior Assist in the rear (523.60 euros) is able to detect rear-seat passengers. In this case the head restraints extend automatically. Intuitive hand gestures can be used to control the rear roller sun blind in the panoramic sliding sunroof. This is available in conjunction with MBUX Interior Assist in the front (642.60 euros).
  • With the MBUX high-end Rear Seat Entertainment system (2558.10 euros), passengers in the rear can also enjoy the full MBUX experience with direct access to vehicle functions. It is possible to watch films and access internet content on the two fully-integrated 11.6-inch high-resolution displays, for example.
  • The silver-plated champagne goblets (3808 euros) round off the exclusive atmosphere in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach. A tailor-made insert in the stowage compartment and two matching holders in the centre console hold the goblets in place even when on the move.

Technical details are;

  • S580 4MATIC: 3.9-lt V8, 503 PS + 20PS (electric boost), 700nm and 4.8-sec to 100km/h.
  • S680 4MATIC: 5.9-lt V12, 612 PS, 900nm and 4.5-sec to 100km/h.

Would I buy it? Yes!

Pictures // Daimler


Latest Electric Cars of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi

Over the last few months, we experienced one of the highest numbers of electric car reveals. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi released a substantial number of electric vehicles to market, and here is a list of them.

Mercedes EQA (electric version of GLA), EQB (electric version of GLB), and EQS (electric version of S-Class). Soon to be EQE (electric version of E-Class).

BMW iX (electric version of X5), iX3 (electric version of X3, with only rear-wheel drive) and iX4 (electric version of 4-Series Gran Coupe, coming soon).

Audi RS e-tron GT (Audi version of Porsche Taycan), Q4 e-tron & Sportback (electric version of Q4 and based on VW platform with rear drum brake), and soon to be A6 e-tron (Electric version of A6).

Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the internal combustion engine, but the end is within sight. As far as I can tell from the press releases, VW Group, Daimler, and BMW will not be developing new internal combustion engines, and they will revise their existing ones. Honestly, this is a great way to improve the internal combustion engines (ICE); these engines are efficient, and improving them will help to increase efficiency levels.

Mercedes-Benz’s electric car range is a carbon copy of their existing ICE cars. Audi and BMW are following the same strategy. This means one thing: we will be moving from petrol to electricity without even noticing. The range anxiety is still here, but the ranges are getting better than better. Mercedes-Benz offers a 770-km range for a single charge, and that’s good. Also, we have many charging points.

The only issue is that electric cars are expensive, but their prices will go down eventually.

Recently, Rory Sutherland mentioned how cool electric cars are, noticing that they have motivated people to talk about their cars again. Honestly, if you own a petrol/diesel-powered car and talk about it all the time, it makes you a bit weird nowadays. The era of car-based status or showing off is gone, but if you buy an electric vehicle, you have a brand-new experience that people would love to hear about. I feel like electric cars will make cars cool again.

Will I buy an electric car? Yes. I am especially interested in the Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Photo // Audi, BMW, Daimler


A Cool Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon: Project Geländewagen

Coupe of weeks ago Gordon Wagener, the Chief Design Director of Mercedes-Benz, announced a brand-new G-Wagon. A collaboration with Virgil Abloh (founder of Off-White brand and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men wear collection). However, only one has been produced so far, with the project being named Project Gelandewagen. The car is inspired by the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG and looks fantastic.

The reason I am saying that this is a fantastic vehicle is because G63 AMG is undeniably the most pointless SUV. It has massive wheels, its engine is not fit for off-road drives, it makes too much meaningless noise and the exhaust is overexposed. I would even argue that the G63 AMG should have a different, bolder design than the traditional G-Wagon.

The Mercedes-Benz marketing team initially proposed the G-Wagon as a fashion item rather than a functional vehicle. Sure, this helped increase sales figures, but it distanced people like me from the G-Wagon. I think it’s a really good off-road vehicle which doesn’t need to offer an AMG engine. It should be something like a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – a true off-roader!

Now Mercedes-Benz has the opportunity to offer a proper G63 AMG; it has been designed by Virgil Abloh and Gordon Wagener, LV men’s fashion director and the founder of the Off-White brand. It is only a one-off project, but I think it should be mass produced.

A bit about the vehicle itself: literally everything inside the vehicle is removed. The steering wheel is from the AMG F1, the seats are from the AMG GT, the chunky door handles are done. There’s brand new paint inside and outside. All dials are replaced with the GT racing dials. Their massive slick tyres reduce suspension height and project for the headlamps with duct tape.

This is a proper G63 AMG – I loved it, and I believe this is how it should be offered.

Images // Daimler AG


Mercedes-Benz CLA vs. A-Class Sedan

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity of seeing the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon, in person, on the King’s Road, Chelsea. I thought it was a CLA, and that someone had decided to remove the CL from the vehicle’s badge. Apparently, I was wrong! I should have read the Daimler AG’s press release more carefully, as the A-Class Saloon is an entirely different car than the CLA model.

I personally consider the CLA to be the most obsolete car on this planet, in fact, in our solar system! It looks like someone put the CLS into a dryer which resulted in the obscure looking CLA. The CLA is, however, a cash maker in emerging markets, where the taxation is burdensome on cars. Even taking this into account, it does not justify the awkward aesthetic of the CLA.

I have always considered the CLA to be the ‘Saloon’ version of the A-Class, with a similar frontage, the same interior but with a larger boot. Daimler AG headquarters had a different idea, launching the A-Class Saloon, based on expensive consultants, Excel spreadsheets, and very long reports to justify the advantages and differences over the CLA.

I have been interested in cars since I was a child, and I can even spot the model of a car at night. I could not, however, decipher the difference in design between the CLA and the A-Class Saloon. True, the A-Class Saloon has a higher roofline at the C-column, along with a few other variances, including the suspension which is probably a bit softer in the A-Class Saloon. Yet no glaringly obvious difference would entice someone to choose anything other than the cheapest.

The CLA is positioned as a sportier version, but the differences are so slight I doubt that someone would visit a dealer and measure the rooflines to then decide.

The CLA and A-Class Saloon will inevitably saturate each-others’ market share.

A similar situation occurred with the BMW brand. Take the BMW 3-Series Gran Tour and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe; they look the same. I raised this issue on my blog and received an abundance of emails in response as so many people were bewildered about the difference or lack of difference between the two models. The only notable criterion was pricing, and this soon wore thin with the consumers, and consequently, the 3-Series Gran Tour was abandoned!

Inevitably this may also be the fate of the A-Class Saloon and the CLA. Someone accidently pitched the idea to Daimler AG, and it went into production.


Does The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W223) Interior Design Has Serious Problems?

Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the interior design of the next-generation S-Class W223. Typically, the features you would see inside one S-Class model would be very similar ten years later on subsequent models, including safety technologies such as ESP and the pre-crash system. This time, Mercedes have broken the mould.

The brand is pushing the boundaries with its functionality, with touch-sensitive buttons or tiny touch screens included in its new model for the seat climate controls. The centre console of this S-Class is akin to the likes of the Audi A8, the Tesla Model S, and the Range Rover. There is a complete absence of physical buttons; now you control everything via a state-of-the-art touch screen. It is very much reminiscent of an iPad experience; however, it can be difficult to alter the aircon temperature, for example, whilst you are driving. The lack of real feedback of a physical button when using the touch screen is a concern, and this is a well-known issue.

The S-Class has taken the touch screen control to an entirely new dimension, with even the controls for seat temperature being controlled in this way! Heating and cooling controls for seats used to be psychical buttons. Notably, the Audi A8 still has these, which I consider to be the optimal experience. Now, if you wish to heat your seat, you have to look at the button area to see whether you are touching the correct one; otherwise, you can quickly cool down your seat on a cold winter drive!

Physical buttons allow us to gauge the pressure we apply to the button, and also how many times we have pressed it. These would be much more practical for users when in the motion of driving – something Mercedes have overlooked.

Regrettably, addiction to touch screens will increase the opportunity for a new type of accident. Until now, we haven’t experienced accidents due to driver distraction from touch screen controls, but this could be on the horizon with drivers of cars like this model having to overt their eyes from the road to manage the screen controls. Pre-crash technology systems may prevent such accidents, but there is no need to invent a new type of accident when the existing solutions work perfectly.

Images // Daimler AG