Posh pick-up: the Mercedes X-Class

Mercedes X-Class

This is the new Mercedes X-Class, the German brand’s first ever pick-up, designed to bridge the gap between its range of SUVs and its commercial vehicle cohort.

Launching across Europe later this year, the X-Class will be quite the workhouse judging by the stats, capable of carting around a payload of 1.1 tonnes, which Mercedes has handily converted into seventeen 50L barrels of beer, making you the undisputed life and soul of the party. Towing strength stands at 3.5 tonnes, once again measured a little differently in the form of a trailer with exactly three horses or an eight-metre yacht. I think a picture is forming of Mercedes’ intended audience.

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Experience the Silver Arrows

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Rewind roughly 60 years and you’ll find yourself in a time when the Mercedes Silver Arrows dominated the world’s racetracks, from Formula One to the World Sports Car Championship. Though these Grand Prix racing cars are still delighting spectators today, their history stretches back to June 1934 and the début of the Mercedes-Benz W 25 at the Eifelrennen motor race held at the Nurburgring. Silver Arrow was the nickname given to the series of sleek silver machines produced by Mercedes, due to the colour of the cars, and undoubtedly the speed at which they travelled – by 1937 the W 125, for example, produced 646hp, a level that wouldn’t be reached again until the 1980s, and speeds often exceeded over 300km/h.

The 300 SLR Silver Arrow was the car in which the legendary Sir Stirling Moss won the 1,000 mile Mille Miglia. Moss, whose parents had foreseen a life of dentistry for their son, first took part in motor racing in 1948 when he entered Formula 3 with a Cooper 500. Moss took to racing like a duck to water – winning 12 out of 15 races. A year later he was racing in Formula 2 and became the British Formula 2 champion in both 1949 and 1950. A move to Formula 1 was the obvious next step, and Moss did so in 1954 in his own Maserati 250F. In a season that saw him finish in 13th place, the highlight was a head to head duel with Mercedes’ top driver, Manuel Fangio. For the final 12 laps Moss led the Spaniard until an oil line broke. Though Fangio went on to win, he paid tribute to the young Englishman as the real winner of the race. That same year, Moss signed for Mercedes-Benz for the 1955 season, driving the W 196 R Formula 1 racing car, and later the 300 SLR sports racer, taking fourth place in the first race in Argentina, as well as the chequered flag at the British GP at Aintree.

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Mercedes’ new pickup truck: no Americans need apply


Farmers, landscapers, builders and wannabe Americans with a passion for pickup trucks, listen up – by the end of the decade you’ll be able to drive around in style. Mercedes-style.

That’s right – the German automaker has announced it’ll be adding a mid-size pickup to its range by the end of the decade (with some help from Nissan). Its main markets, initially at least, will be Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. Surprisingly, given our loveable stereotypes concerning Americans with Stetsons and bulging gun racks, the US won’t be in line for the new model whenever it arrives. Volker Mornhinweg, the moustachioed head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said quite pointedly that “we are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America.”

Them’s fightin’ words.

G-Wagen on steroids

INKAS_Mercedes G63_limo_exterior (4)

These days a lot of the focus is on sustainable driving, high mpg figures, electric power and sustainability. Fear not, however, the strain of madness certainly hasn’t gone away by any means. Meet the armoured Mercedes G63 AMG bulletproof limousine, what can only be described as a beast powered by a 5.5L twin turbo V8 which produces a tasty 537bhp, although it looks like it needs every last drop.

INKAS_upgraded armored limo_G63 (2)Made by Inkas, a Canadian armoured car company, the modified G-Wagen comes with a pistol-holder, massive chairs, satellite TV, and a fridge – basically a relatively well-furnished bungalow.

It’s also got a colour-coded LED system that displays “different animations ranging from business mode to various romantic themes,” because, as we all know, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a spin in an armoured limo.

As for the price, we presume it operates on the basis that if you need to ask, you can’t afford it. It’s stupid, there’s no doubt about it, but stupid in the best possible way.

Mansory Madness

MANSORY MB S-Klasse-front

There are two types of car people, we think. Those who look at a beautiful, powerful machine and think, ‘I’d like that.’ And those who look at the same car and think ‘I can make this even better.’

Tuning company Mansory definitely belong to the latter group. We’ve got something of a soft spot for them – they’re a bit like Brabus, specialising in taking nice, high-powered cars and applying their madness until a monster emerges. They’re not really known for holding back.

Their take on the Mercedes S63 AMG is no different. On the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is only a sportier version of the original model. The exterior hasn’t been changed too much – Mansory have only added roof and rear lips, adapted daytime running lights and a new bonnet cover, widened front wings and new side skirts.

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Business as usual at Brabus


There have been quite a few interesting vehicles launched at the Geneva Motor Show this week, however one which has really caught our eye is the Branus 800 ‘iBusiness’, based on the Mercedes G 65. The mere mention of the name ‘Brabus’ should immediately tell you that the iBusiness is a mixture of insanity and an imagination allowed to run wild. That’s a given. And, once again, Brabus don’t disappoint. Because what they’ve come up with here is a little daft.

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Google maps Top Gear’s legendary track

Undoubtedly a very large amount of petrolheads would give their gear-changing hand for a spin around the famous Top Gear test track, though not necessarily in a reasonably-priced car.

And, for those of you who always wanted to do so, good news! Well, sort of.

You see, one of Google’s street view cars has recently taken a spin around the hallowed tarmac. A modified Opel Astra teamed up with the Stig in a Mercedes SLS AMG Black, to allow the tame racing driver to keep up with the powerful Astra, albeit for much of the time in a position that could only really be described as sideways.

Yes, we know, it doesn’t exactly get you in a car on the tarmacadam. But, let’s face it. Scrolling around the track on Google Maps is probably as close as most of us are going to get.

Brabus’ Biturbo monster

Brabus LogoApparently there’s a madness in the water when it comes to the world of powerful estates. Early this year we saw the launch of Audi’s RS6 Avant, while Swedish car maker Volvo have also got in on the act with their Polestar V60 estate.

While Mercedes themselves have the AMG E63, Brabus – the German high performance aftermarket company specialising in MB, Smart and Mayback – have upped the ante with the 850 Biturbo – a 6.0L 838 bhp version of the E63 AMG.

The original wasn’t exactly underpowered but this version is bonkers – a bored 5.9L engine with forged pistons and custom crankshaft, new turbos with larger compressors, special exhaust intake manifolds and an ECU upgrade gives the beast the ability to churn out a breathtaking 838 bhp and 1,069lb ft of torque (limited to 848lb ft, to ensure ‘longevity’). 0-100 takes just 3.1 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph.

Just imagine your kids’ faces when you decide to put your foot down on the school run.