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Motorsports / The Daimler Family mourns loss of Niki Lauda
« Last post by fasteddy on Yesterday at 10:56:19 AM »
The motor racing community and the entire Daimler Family are in mourning for the devastating loss of Niki Lauda. The three-time Formula One World Champion and businessman passed away peacefully on Monday evening at the age of 70 surrounded by his closest family members.

“The motorsports world has lost its greatest fighter. The Mercedes family has lost an amazing mentor. And I have lost a true friend. Thanks Niki!” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Ola Källenius, CEO elect of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, added: “We are mourning the loss of a very special person who showed terrific fighting spirit. Niki Lauda achieved enormous success and had a huge impact on motor racing. He was an exceptionally talented racing driver and a real inspiration as a businessman. His family are in our thoughts at this sad time.”

In 2012, Niki Lauda was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. While exercising this role, Niki won both the drivers’ and constructors’ Formula One World Championships with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport five times in a row between 2014 and 2018.

“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport - he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside the cockpit,“ said Toto Wolff, Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. “Niki, you are quite simply irreplaceable, there will never be another like you. It was our honour to call you our Chairman - and my privilege to call you my friend.”
Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz delivered 181,936 cars in April (-5.5%) and a total of 742,809 in the first four months of the year (-5.6%). The ongoing sales success of the new A-Class resulted in worldwide growth for the compact cars in April (+6.0%). A contribution to this sales success came from the new A-Class Saloon, a further model complementing the compact-car entry into the world of premium saloon cars from Mercedes-Benz. Unit sales of SUVs were still dampened in April by the model changes. Mercedes-Benz Cars expects especially for the new SUV models increasing vehicle availability in the coming months and therefore additional growth opportunities in a highly competitive market environment. Since the beginning of the year, Mercedes-Benz has maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Australia and Canada.

“With the EQC sales launch on May 6, we have reached another milestone along the way to a new era at Mercedes-Benz: The EQC is the pioneer of our future Mercedes-Benz EQ vehicle portfolio,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “We are delighted not only with the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, but also with strong demand for our new premium SUVs: The new model year of the GLC and GLC Coupé, and also the new GLS, have been available for order since April, and together with the GLE and our new compact cars will provide further momentum in the course of the year.”

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market

In Europe, 71,263 cars with the three-pointed star were delivered last month (-4.8%). In Germany, the region’s core market, sales of 24,970 units in April were slightly below the high prior-year level (-1.3%). In the major markets of France and Russia, unit sales increased in both April and the first four months of the year. In France, Mercedes-Benz actually achieved a new record for January to April (+2.8%).

In the Asia-Pacific region, Mercedes-Benz sold 79,125 vehicles (-1.4%). In China, the region’s core market, sales continued to grow and reached a new high of 232,050 units in the first four months of the year (+2.2%). Unit sales were at a new record level also in April, with deliveries of 57,707 vehicles (+0.8%). In Singapore and Vietnam, unit sales increased at double-digit rates in the first four months and also reached new record levels.

A total of 111,668 units were sold in the NAFTA region from January to April (-11.7%). In the region’s core market, the USA, Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 22,949 vehicles with the star last month (-15.7%). Sales in the USA in the first four months totalled 94,120 units (-10.9%).

Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model

Following sales growth in March, worldwide unit sales of the compact cars increased also in April: More than 49,000 units sold represents an increase of 6.0% for the A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA. Worldwide unit sales of the new A-Class continued to grow by a strong double-digit rate in April (+45.3%). The B-Class achieved sales growth in the first four months of the year in the major markets UK and Spain.

With sales of more than 138,000 units in April, the C-Class Saloon and Estate reached the high prior-year level (-0.8%). Sales of the long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Saloon were higher than ever before in the past four months (+10.9%). Sales of the C-Class Estate in the period of January to April increased in markets including Germany, Japan and Belgium.

With deliveries of about 60,000 units of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class models, sales of SUVs in April were below the high prior-year level due to model changes (-12.7%). The new G-Class was popular among customers around the world, with strong double-digit growth rates to highs in both April and the past four months.


In April, 11,573 customers worldwide were delighted to receive their new two-door or four-door urban microcars from the smart brand – an increase of 14.3%. The two-door and four-door smart models were especially popular in Europe last month. Unit sales in this region increased by 25.8%, partially driven by double-digit growth rates in Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria. Unit sales by smart in Germany reached a new record in the past four months (+16.2%).
Technology / “Ambition2039”: Our path to sustainable mobility
« Last post by fasteddy on May 14, 2019, 03:02:35 PM »
Stuttgart - Daimler AG is pushing ahead with the transformation to emission-free mobility. Sustainability is one of the key elements of Daimler’s corporate strategy and at the same time a benchmark for corporate success. The future Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Ola Källenius, who is currently still responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development as a member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG, presented the targets for the car division under the heading “Ambition2039” at a press event. Below you will find the speech abstract of Ola Källenius.

“First Move the World” – that’s our purpose at Mercedes-Benz Cars. That’s the deeper meaning of our work, what drives us, our “why”. “First Move the World” means going for more than just immediate objectives. This inner unrest for what’s next is part of our company’s DNA. Therefore, it’s also a cornerstone of the new sustainable business strategy we are currently working on. Although this strategy has several dimensions, one of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint. At Mercedes-Benz we strive for the best and our customers expect us to deliver sustainable and fascinating mobility. So, one of the key questions we are addressing is this: What are we doing to make sure our customers can switch to carbon-neutral mobility in the future? The answer is our “Ambition2039”: 

We aim to have a carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet in 20 years Let’s be clear what this means for us: a fundamental transformation of our company within less than three product cycles. That’s not much time when you consider that fossil fuels have dominated our business since the invention of the car by Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler some 130 years ago. But as a company founded by engineers, we believe technology can also help to engineer a better future. Our way to sustainable mobility is innovation – in a holistic approach along the entire value chain.

We want to offer our customers a carbon-neutral driving experience Today in Oslo, at the press test drive of our Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined electric energy consumption: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km*), we are introducing the first of an entire generation of electric Mercedes models. By 2030 we aim to have electric models make up more than half of our car sales – that includes all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids. We will continue to offer our customers performance and luxury from Mercedes. At the same time we want to significantly reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle. Our R&D team is working together with established partners and startups alike to bring EV performance up and costs down. Our approach also includes the continuous development of our mobility services, to spread the use of electric models. In addition to cars, we’re also electrifying our vans, trucks and buses. And the modular development enables the rapid transfer of technology between our divisions. Our current focus is on battery-electric mobility. But there’s also room and need to continue to work on other solutions, for example, the fuel cell or eFuels. Our GLC F-CELL (combined hydrogen consumption: 0.34 kg/100 km, combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km, combined power consumption: 13.7 kWh/100 km**) is one proof point. This technology will also find use in our city buses. Today, no one knows for sure which drivetrain mix will best serve our customers’ needs 20 years from now. That’s why we encourage policy makers to pave the way for tech neutrality: Let’s fix the target, but not the means to achieve it.

We strive for carbon-neutral production Our Factory 56 is the blueprint: This new addition to our Sindelfingen plant uses renewable energy and will be CO2-neutral from the start. Next, all of our European plants will follow by 2022. Our new production site in Jawor, Poland, shows how sustainability and cost efficiency go together: Not only does wind power make production greener, it also makes it more economical at this site than possible with conventional power. Electricity from renewable sources will also be used for production of the EQC at our plant in Bremen and our battery production in Kamenz, Saxony. A holistic view on carbon cutting also includes the recycling of raw materials. Mercedes cars have a potential recycling ratio of 85 percent. So, we are moving from a value chain to a value cycle.

We will drive our supply chain to follow our ambition Driving our suppliers and partners to comply with our objective of carbon-neutrality is important to us. The starting point is in creating transparency. To this end we are working with organizations like CDP to assess the environmental impact of our supply chain. Next, we are currently conducting workshops with suppliers to identify effective CO2 reduction measures. Our goal is to establish CO2 targets as one key criteria in making supplier decisions and contracts across all major commodities.

We inspire our customers for carbon-neutral mobility and enable access to emission free driving Electricity in the life cycle of an electric car is – in some regions – a very significant source of CO2 depending on how it’s generated. We want to inspire our customers to charge their green vehicles with green energy. With Mercedes Me Charge, for example, we enable drivers to conveniently charge their cars at various public charging stations in Europe, wherever possible with energy from renewable sources. But the transformation to a sustainable mobility of the future will only succeed if the auto industry, energy suppliers and policy makers are working hand in hand. It requires massive investments and tangible action also beyond the auto sector. Carbon-neutral energy and a comprehensive infrastructure are indispensable for this system change. And we are open to a discussion on effective CO2 pricing as well as incentives for low/ no carbon technology - preferably on a global scale.

We mean it To us the Paris Agreement is more than an obligation – it’s our conviction. And we have set a clear course to help prevent further acceleration of climate change. However, this transformation is a huge challenge – technologically and financially. After all, we want to make sustainable mobility even more exciting, not more expensive. And of course this is also about sustainable business results. How do we deal with this? One way would be to shy away and just try to safeguard the status quo. But that would not serve our purpose - and certainly not our future. So, we prefer doing what our founders have done: They became system architects of a new mobility without horses. Today, our task is individual mobility without emissions.

And again, it takes technology and determination. To underline that we mean it, part of the compensation of our board of management is linked to the achievement of our sustainability goals – including our CO2 footprint. We’ll all have to get out of our comfort zones to find new ways to move forward. We’re seeking close alignment with our workforce and their representatives on this path. This transformation is the task of our generation and I’m absolutely confident: We have the right team to deliver. This strategy will help us stay in a leading position in the auto industry.

The speech abstract can also be found under the following link:

*Electric energy consumption and range have been determined on the basis of Regulation (EC) No. 692/2008. Electric energy consumption and range depend on the vehicle configuration.

** Figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method, and correlated into NEDC figures. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.
Stuttgart. In 2020 smart will become the first automotive manufacturer in the world to have uncompromisingly switched its entire portfolio over from combustion engines to electric drives. Before smart goes all-electric next year, the brand is presenting an exclusive and strictly limited special edition of the final #21 combustion-engine vehicles - designed by Konstantin Grcic and for the most ardent collectors only. smart has stood for innovative mobility for more than two decades now. With the Final Collector's Edition it is marking the beginning of a new era and 21 years of hands-on pioneering spirit.

For the final #21 of their kind, smart is collaborating with internationally renowned industrial designer Konstantin Grcic to create a contemporary work of art for the road while at the same time marking the beginning of a new era in the history of the automobile. The edition centres on the idea of 21 years of smart, 21 vehicles, 21 years always a step ahead. The vehicles of the limited collection, which have been designed by Konstantin Grcic and realised in cooperation with Brabus, will leave the factory in August 2019, offering collectors and true smart fans a unique opportunity to take 21 years of pioneering spirit home with them.

The Final Collector's Edition – the beginning of a new era

Before smart opens up the electric mobility chapter in earnest, the brand is taking a look in the rear-view mirror with an edition that pays tribute to what made the first smart vehicles with combustion engines so special, as captured in Grcic's design for the final #21. "#21 commemorates something special, celebrating 21 years of smart. For me, it also symbolises much of what being 21 is about: being free, breaking boundaries, breaking out, showing your rebellious side. The Final Collector's Edition brings this essential idea to life as we take our leave of a piece of automotive history," says Konstantin Grcic.

The declared watershed marking the beginning of a new era is embodied in the chosen colour concept and the design as a whole. The colour scheme is also a homage to the first-generation smart: From the brilliant yellow front end through the tag-style #21 marking to the matt black rear. The employed yellow is based on the original colour “hello yellow”, establishing the association with smart's origins that is so important to the edition. 'Reduce to the max' was the mission statement for the very first vehicles. The idea back then was to cooperate with various artists. Swiss artist Roman Signer, for example, had the car drive through a form of tunnel, at the end of which a bucket of paint was poured over the smart. Grcic's design for the Final Collector's Edition, featuring a frazzled transition from yellow to black, also cites part of this history.

A long-standing commitment to electric mobility

In launching the Final Collector's Edition, smart is staying true to its pioneering role. The smart brand is without parallel in the way it provides automotive answers to the ever-growing urbanisation of our world and offers innovative solutions to make life in the city easier and more attractive. Right at the very outset, visionary Nicolas Hayek considered the possibility of an environment-friendly electric drive for the smart. 100 all-electric smarts were finally delivered in London in 2007. The "electric drive", Europe's first series-production electric car, highlighted the company's innovative prowess and its courage to explore new avenues.

"smart remains much more than a car - it represents the grand vision of a new form of urban mobility. As such, the ground-breaking decision to switch the entire range to electric drives only as of 2020 is a perfectly logical step. For us, the Final Collector's Edition marks both the end of an era and a new beginning as a significant milestone in the history of smart and towards a future horizon," notes Daniel Lescow, head of brand and product management at smart, in explanation of the idea behind the final #21.

About Konstantin Grcic

Konstantin Grcic (*1965) learned cabinet making at the John Makepeace School in Dorset, England, before going on to study design at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1991 he established his own design studio in Munich, from where he has since relocated to Berlin. He works in various areas at his studio, from projects in the area of industrial and furniture design through exhibition design to collaborations in the fields of architecture and fashion. Works by Konstantin Grcic are included in the permanent collections of the world's leading design museums (including MoMA/New York, Centre Georges Pompidou/Paris). Grcic defines function in a human context and combines an austere approach to design with considerable mental acuity and humour. A profound understanding of design and architecture and a passion for technology and materials inform each one of his works. Well known for items stripped down to their essentials, Grcic is often described as 'minimalist', though he himself prefers the term 'simplicity'.

Further information about smart is available at: and
Formula One / 2019 Spanish Grand Prix - Sunday
« Last post by fasteddy on May 13, 2019, 05:01:47 PM »
Lewis Hamilton

It’s been an incredible day for the team. We’ve brought an upgrade here and everyone worked so hard to make that possible. I’m very proud of everyone back at the factory and thankful for all their hard work. The guys here at the track are all performing at an extremely high level as well, thank you all. When the lights went out, my initial getaway was quite good and we were very close all the way down into Turn 1. I think the Ferrari was alongside us at one point too, so it was a great battle and also a decisive moment in the race. After that I just had to keep my head down and focus on trying to deliver each lap. I want to dedicate this win to Harry, a young kid who sent me a message today. He was my inspiration out there. He could’ve chosen any other driver, so for him in the most difficult of days to send a message like that is really humbling and much appreciated. I’m sending you love, Harry.

Five-year-old Harry Shaw was diagnosed with cancer in August 2018. His parents have set up the following fundraising page to inform about his case and raise money to fight children’s cancer:

Valtteri Bottas

I had an issue with my clutch at the start, it was vibrating and it seemed like it was biting and releasing at a very quick frequency, so my initial getaway was really poor. Unfortunately that meant that all the hard work of the weekend was lost at the start, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’re a strong team and will investigate the cause of the issue to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. For me personally, it wasn’t the best of days, but from a team’s perspective it was a really good weekend. Congratulations to Lewis for the win, he had a strong race pace today. The team is performing at an incredible level at the moment; hats off to every single member of the team, both at Brackley and Brixworth but also here at the race track. I’m looking forward to the race in Monaco; it’s such a unique track and a completely different challenge, so it’s difficult to say who will be the strongest team around there.

Toto Wolff

We are trying to push the benchmark every single year and seeing this all come together after the struggles we had in winter testing is fantastic for the team. We saw a strong Lewis today and he was quick from the very beginning. Valtteri lost the lead at the start; he reported something strange with his clutch at the start and we need to investigate this. After the first corner it was a relatively straightforward race. This was Dr. Zetsche’s last race as CEO of Daimler. Not many CEOs have empowered a group of people like he has done; he has trusted us to represent this fantastic brand and we do it with great pride. Dieter went through a storm in the first few years when we returned to the sport, but he stuck with F1. It was great to see him up there on the podium today, he completely deserves it as he laid the foundation for all of this. We know the next race will be a tremendous challenge for us. We need to take this season one step at a time and everybody is working flat-out ahead of Monaco.

Andrew Shovlin

To walk away with another 1-2 from Barcelona is amazing, especially when we consider how bleak our chances looked when we were here in winter testing. The team has done a great job developing and improving the car although I think the track suited us today, so we expect it will be more difficult in some of the races to come. The start was obviously a key point in the race, with Lewis jumping ahead of Valtteri. We’ll look into understanding what happened with Valtteri but they both did a good job of defending against Vettel and avoiding contact into Turn 1. Our plan going into the race was to try and make the one-stop work so during the first stint both drivers were having to do a fair amount of management. The cars behind looked like they had moved towards two stops so we asked the drivers to pick up the pace to keep the stop gap open, but that started to increase our own degradation which eventually forced us in. By that point, it was just a case of getting the medium to the end so they were both taking it reasonably easy. When Verstappen came in on lap 44, a window appeared for us to move both to a two stop to reduce the risk that we would run out of tyres at the end. We’d stopped Valtteri already and were in the process of bringing Lewis in when the safety car came out. From there is was quite straight forward. Both drivers had a go at fastest lap with Lewis getting it in the end and after that, we just managed the cars to the finish.
Formula One / 2019 Spanish Grand Prix - Saturday
« Last post by fasteddy on May 11, 2019, 11:23:26 AM »
Valtteri Bottas

This feels really good. In every run in Qualifying I found room for improvement, little bits here and there, and I managed to get everything together in Q3 and had a very strong first lap. I think the package we have brought to Barcelona is working very well and the car was very strong, especially in Sector 3. All the credit for that goes to the team, thank you to everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth. Our long run pace looked good on Friday, but a lot can happen on a Sunday. The start and Turn 1 will be particularly important. Tomorrow, Lewis and I both want to win, so I’m looking forward to a hard and fair fight.

Lewis Hamilton

I wasn’t quick enough today and wasn’t able to extract the full potential from the car. I have been struggling with the car all weekend, so I will have to look into the details, figure out how I can improve my pace and keep working. Valtteri had a good qualifying session and did a great job, so he deserved pole. Our long-run pace looked good, so hopefully we should be strong tomorrow as well. My starts have been decent so far this year, so hopefully that will continue on Sunday as it’s not that easy to overtake on this track.

Toto Wolff

We’ve brought a number of upgrades to the car this weekend, so it’s good to see that we’ve made a step in the right direction. Valtteri was in good form today and put in a very strong first lap in Q3 and deserves to be on pole. It was a bit of an unfortunate qualifying for Lewis; he couldn’t charge the battery properly because he pitted in Q2 and therefore his first run in Q3 was compromised. None of the drivers improved in their second run, because the track temperature had dropped and there was some dirt on the track as well. It’s good to start the race from the front row as it is difficult to overtake on this track. Our drivers both want to win, so I’m sure we’ll see a fight at the start, but I’m convinced it will be a fair. 

Andrew Shovlin

It’s a great result to have taken the front row and encouraging to see such potential in the car. Everyone has been working very hard since the car first turned a wheel to solve some of the issues that we’ve had and it feels like we’re making good progress. The car had good pace this morning but needed a bit of work to adjust to the much cooler track conditions. We were lucky to be able to get back out with Valtteri after his spin but fortunately there was no damage and he was able to complete the qualifying practice run at the end of the session. Both drivers were quite happy with the balance and we didn’t need to change much going into qualifying. Qualifying wasn’t quite plain sailing. Valtteri had a fairly clean session and put together a stunning lap for pole. Lewis was catching a bit more traffic which made it hard to get a proper feel for the car and to understand how to manage the out lap. He abandoned his final run in the second session due to a yellow flag at Turn 12, which meant the battery pack was not charged ready for the final session. We therefore put him out on track first so he could manage his own out lap, but it meant we caught a number of the cars who left late. By the final run, it seemed that the track had lost a bit of pace and there was some gravel down so few cars were able to improve. We expect it will be hotter tomorrow for the race so managing the tyres won’t be easy but our long runs on Friday seemed strong so hopefully that will carry into the race tomorrow.
Formula One / 2019 Spanish Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on May 11, 2019, 11:10:59 AM »
Valtteri Bottas

It’s always an interesting day when you’re bringing new parts to the car to get a feel for it and see if they bring the performance they should. The car felt really good today, completely different to how it was in winter testing, and it seems like our cornering performance has improved. The balance around the lap is also better, so it looks like we’ve taken the right direction since the winter. Today was good, but it’s only Friday and Ferrari are very close. It feels like we’ve made a good step forward, but we need to wait and see what tomorrow holds.

Lewis Hamilton

It was quite windy on track today and it was a bit tricky with the grip levels on the three different tyres, but we got through our programme and now have lots of data to analyse tonight and then fine tune the car for tomorrow. Everyone worked really hard to bring the new package here and a huge amount of effort has gone into it. It seems like it’s working, but it’s hard to feel it because this track is so different to the streets of Baku. We’ve got work to do with the balance, but it’s been positive for us to be out there.

Andrew Shovlin

It’s no secret that we weren’t very strong at the tests here in winter so we’re happy to have shown reasonable pace on short and long runs today. Valtteri has found the car a bit easier to work with today than Lewis but on both, there’s a few corners where it isn’t as together as we’d like and it’s making it a bit of a handful at time. We had an oil leak on Valtteri’s car in the first session which stopped us before he could do the long run at the end of the session. Fortunately, it doesn’t look to have caused any damage and we were able to get back out at the start of the second session. We also had quite a few new bits on the car here, so we’ll also be checking the data from those this evening to confirm it’s all functioning as expected.
General / The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Children's Collection: Cool kids on the go!
« Last post by fasteddy on May 10, 2019, 03:16:20 PM »
Stuttgart. Being fashionably up-to-date at all times is a must for children today. After all, they want to reflect grown-ups at school, in their free time and during travelling. For the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Collection, the designers have pulled out all the stops to create cool yet practical clothing, items of luggage, as well as accessories and toys for the next generation. One of the highlights of the collection is the Mercedes-Benz “ robots print”, which appears on various items and even glows in the dark on rucksacks and trolley suitcases.

Girls are guaranteed to make a spectacular entrance in the red and white striped, cotton t-shirt. The round pattern on the front made of red and silver reversible sequins, transforms from a sweet red heart into a stylish Mercedes star with just a simple brush across with the hand. Boys, on the other hand, will get a kick out of the light blue cotton t-shirt from the robot print collection. As well as featuring the cool robots in print on the front of the t-shirt, it has a ribbed hem around the neck in a contrasting colour and silver-grey Mercedes-Benz embroidery on the left sleeve. The blue board shorts for boys in quick-drying polyester fit perfectly. With pockets and an elastic waistband with part drawstring and cord, these are suitable for all activities from a city tour to a jump in the pool.

For those who would like, this outfit can be combine with the bright green golf cap for kids by PUMA for Mercedes-Benz. It has a snapback closure and a performance sweatband and looks so sporty for boy or girl with the silver P-logo embroidery on the front and the embroidered Mercedes star on the side.

Stylish, spacious and secure – the bag collection bearing the robot print design. All items are available for both boys and girls in the colour combinations black/pink and black/blue. The neck pouch ensures that important items such as ID card or money are always at hand. It has a key ring, a transparent plastic window on the back and a cord with a child safety lock. The flap is printed with bright Mercedes-Benz robots and the Mercedes star is embroidered on the front.

The small rucksack is ideal for excursions of all kinds. There is room in the main compartment for everything you need when out and about. To keep food fresh, it has a separate compartment above the base for an ice pack. Keeping everything organised, it also has a small outer compartment, a net pocket on the side for a drinks bottle and a transparent plastic window for a name badge. For optimum carrying comfort there are padded, adjustable shoulder straps, as well as a chest strap. The glow-in-the-dark robots are an attractive feature and also boost safety during the late evening hours. The large rucksack is particularly suitable for travelling or for school and has a useful insulated front pouch and two smaller zipped compartments. Here too there is a side compartment for a drinks bottle and a transparent plastic window for a name badge. It likewise has padded shoulder straps and the glow-in-the-dark robot prints.

The trolley suitcase for children from the robots collection is a big help when it comes to spaciousness. It has lots of functional extras such as interior trim with packing straps, various outside pockets and a practical shoe bag. Thanks to the adjustable handle and the easy-glide wheels it is comfortable to transport even over longer distances. Like the rucksacks, the trolley suitcase is made from hardwearing polyester and is water repellent.

The children's products in the “Beast of the Green Hell”< /em> collection are simply hellishly chic! All items bear the impressive silhouette of the Mercedes AMG GT R in its characteristic glowing green and the rocky “Beast of the Green Hell"” lettering. On the front of the black cotton t-shirt, the print is actually fluorescent, which makes the motive even more impressive. The t-shirt also has a green neck band with the black AMG logo and a reflective black AMG logo print on the back.

To match the t-shirt, there is the Mercedes-AMG GT R cap in selenite grey with the “Beast of the Green Hell” motive print on the front and the AMG logo embossed on the metal clasp for adjusting the size. There is also the sporty and casual gym bag with zipped compartments on the inside and out, AMG lettering on the drawstring and naturally the large "Beast" motif on the front.

Another highlight is the AMG child's watch with a green silicon strap featuring the “Beast of the Green Hell”& amp; amp; amp; amp; lt; /em> lettering. The motive itself appears on the black dial beneath white numbering, yellow hour and minute hands and a green second hand. The watch has a Japanese quartz movement, a diameter of approx. 3 cm and is water-resistant to 5 ATM.

The children's collection celebrating the iconic G-Class come in fiery red. When wearing the cuddly plush slippers with embroidered headlamp and radiator grille details no child will get cold feet, and the anti-slip soles guard against falls. The reversible bear/G-Class is suitable both for play and snuggling. Thanks to a zip on the back of the bear/vehicle floor, the teddy can be transformed into a plush G-Class car and back again in next to no time. The ideal way to transport the reversible bear/G-Class when travelling is the stylish G-Class suitcase in polypropylene. It features elasticated packing straps in the lower compartment and a divider in the upper compartment. Wheels, an extendible pulling strap and pulling bar make it straightforward to use.
Formula One / 2019 Spanish Grand Prix - Preview
« Last post by fasteddy on May 07, 2019, 08:33:28 AM »
Toto Talks Spain

Nobody would have predicted four consecutive Mercedes 1-2s after winter testing. But here we are having scored 173 points in the first four races – a remarkable result which is first and foremost testament of the amazing work of every single member of the team. Our devotion to the task, our hunger for victory and our love of racing are stronger than ever.

The results seem to paint a relatively clear picture, but the truth is that they’re too flattering. The performance has fluctuated in the first four races. We had the fastest car in Australia and China, but we won in Bahrain thanks to our reliability when we were on the back foot in terms of speed. And while our race pace looked good in Azerbaijan, we were never able to build a truly comfortable gap to our rivals. So there is no complacency about our situation because we know that it’s not truly representative of the balance of power this season so far.

Our next stop takes us to Barcelona, where our opponents were blisteringly quick in winter testing, so the Spanish Grand Prix will be anything but easy. Despite the good start to the season we remain quite sceptical of our own performance and know that there are a number of areas where we can and must improve. We anticipate a tough and competitive weekend, first against our rivals and also between our drivers. Everything is still very much up for grabs this season and we will be keeping our foot firmly to the floor.
Daimler Heritage / The world’s first mass production automobile
« Last post by fasteddy on May 03, 2019, 10:03:40 AM »
Stuttgart. The Benz Motor Velocipede makes its debut 125 years ago in April 1894: a small, lightweight (280 kilograms) car with a recumbent, single-cylinder engine rated to 1.1 kW (1.5 hp) that is also the very first small car. One of the most important innovations of the four-wheeled vehicle, which is synonymous with the Benz Velo abbreviation, is the double-pivot steering system further developed by Carl Benz. Benz files a patent application for this engineering solution on 28 February 1893, which is subsequently issued as patent DRP 73 515. The first double-pivot steering system becomes a physical reality in the same year when fitted to the Victoria and Vis-à-Vis models, which are significantly larger than the Velo that follows in 1894.

Benz & Cie. puts the new model on the front page of the catalogue published in April 1894 to accompany the launch of the Velo sales campaign. This prominent presentation leads to a successful start for the new vehicle and the Velo Comfortable model (from 1898) derived from it in the years to come. From 1894 to 1902, the Velo and Comfortable models see approximately 1,200 production units with engines of rated capacities ranging from 1.1 kW (1.5 hp) to 2.6 kW (3.5 hp). This, in turn, makes this type family the world’s first mass-produced automobile. The small cars are sold in Germany as well as abroad.

In an interview with the “Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung” (AAZ) in 1909, Carl Benz, the inventor of the car from Mannheim, summarises: “This vehicle was quite literally grabbed out of our hands. What we made was sold immediately.”

Two, three and four wheels

The Benz Motor “Velocipede” is launched in 1894 with four wheels and a modern double-pivot steering system. The top speed is 20 km/h, and its two-stage flat belt transmission allows the machine to overcome gradients of up to ten per cent. Equipped with lighting in the form of “lanterns”, the sales price is 2,000 marks.

As the compact car is being developed, vehicles with two and three wheels also make an impact. The two-wheeled bicycle (also called the velocipede, or Latin for “quick foot” in characterising the “drivetrain” that utilises the muscle power generated by the legs) lends its name to the world’s first mass-produced automobile. This also reflects Carl Benz’s enthusiasm for the bicycle and the technology it employs. As early as 1867, the automotive pioneer-to-be purchases a bicycle with iron-tyred wooden wheels and embarks on extensive cross-country expeditions.

The three-wheeled vehicle along the evolution timeline of the Benz Velo is a prototype that is built in the early 1890s. The Velo is reminiscent of the design of the Benz Patent Motorcar in 1886. This first automobile in history also has two wheels at the back and a steered front wheel.

Continuous further development

During the eight years of production, the Benz Velo type family and the later Benz Comfortable model are continually developed and advanced further. The January 1898 catalogue, for example, showcases a Benz Velo with a more powerful 2 kW (2.75 hp) engine that is available for an additional 200 marks. A sun guard (parasol) available as a special equipment option costs 100 marks. The weight of the Velo increases to 320 kilograms.

The same catalogue from early 1898 also debuts the Velo Comfortable as a luxury version of the Velo. The more powerful engine is part of the standard equipment package, and the retail price for the “very well appointed” model is 2,500 marks. Features of the model include an elaborately upholstered bench seat for the driver and front passenger and a child seat installed opposite the direction of travel. Pneumatic tyres (“pneumatics”, for 350 marks) are now also available as optional extras. From 1899 onwards, both models feature a third gear ratio as a standard feature.

As of October 1899, Benz & Cie. simplifies the designation of the two models, which are now referred to as the Velocipede and the Comfortable, both of which now come with a 2.2 kW (3 hp) single-cylinder engine as a standard feature. The Velocipede costs 2,500 marks, whereas the Comfortable is priced at 2,800 marks. In the Benz catalogue from January 1901, the Velocipede is no longer listed and instead only the Comfortable is included. In its last year of production – 1902 – this car is fitted with a 3.3 kW (4.5 hp) engine that, according to the catalogue, is capable of a top speed of 35 km/h.

This effectively concludes the success story of the Benz Velo and the Benz Comfortable. The around 1,200 units of the world’s first mass-produced automobile are sold most prevalently in Germany, England and France. In so doing, these compact vehicles assume a key position in the development of mass production technologies leveraged in a globally networked automotive industry.
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