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91

Mar 21, 2022
Stuttgart/Los Angeles
Insights into key innovations that will define software-driven cars

Stuttgart/Los Angeles. Digital and sustainable innovations will be the number-one USP driving desire in the future of luxurious individual mobility. Customers are increasingly viewing luxury through the lens of values and benefits that extend beyond physical experiences. They are seeking priceless commodities such as time and want to show responsibility with their choices. As the leading luxury car brand, Mercedes-Benz is consistently driving the luxury experience to new levels. This includes giving it new meaning for the electric and digital age – achieving more with less. Driven by the innovative spirit firmly anchored in its brand DNA, and by its strategic goals of "Lead in electric" and "Lead in car software", Mercedes-Benz is pioneering the electric and digital transformation of the global auto industry. The most recent proof of this is the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX. The most efficient Mercedes ever built is a blueprint for the future of efficiency of electric vehicles and also a masterclass in a radically new approach to the UI/UX driven by software and artificial intelligence. With DRIVE PILOT, Mercedes-Benz became the first automotive manufacturer in the world to receive the world's first internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving (SAE-Level 3).

“Through its state-of-the-art EV portfolio and architecture, Mercedes-Benz already holds a commanding position in the mobility transformation. Our strategy is underpinned by nurturing key elements of the electric drivetrain and the software in-house. With our VISION EQXX, we are demonstrating that efficiency is a core component of luxury – now and in the future. Efficiency is the new currency, not just in the drivetrain but throughout the entire car. Through efficiency, we achieve more from less – and that includes sustainable luxury that is both digital and physical. With DRIVE PILOT, our Level 3 conditionally automated driving system, our customers gain the most valuable asset – time. In a first step, we are offering this world-leading technology to our customers in Germany, but will be rolling it out in the US as well by the end of this year if the legal and regulatory framework allows,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement.

“Software is changing the world. At Mercedes-Benz, we are unleashing the potential of software to create true added value for our customers. That means focusing on those innovations that offer them true digital luxury through the gift of time. The success factor is the integration of software innovations with intelligently designed electronic hardware, underpinned by our new operating system, MB.OS. Developed increasingly in-house, this high-performance, long-lasting, energy-efficient architecture will facilitate a step change in the customer experience and development processes,” says Magnus Östberg, Chief Software Officer, Mercedes‑Benz AG.

MB.OS – a framework for creating time

As part of Mercedes-Benz’s stated aim to “Lead in car software”, the company is accelerating development of its own operating system. The Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS) will offer a high-performance, long-lasting and energy-efficient architecture that brings a raft of customer benefits, including the chance to regain time that would otherwise be spent in less productive or relaxing ways – yet another form of digital luxury. The system uses artificial intelligence to learn more and more about its users, adjusting to their habits and preferences. Through individualised offerings, it not only heightens the enjoyment of the user experience but also makes it easier and more intuitive. The system reduces complexity through standardisation of electronic and electric hardware and software across all domains. For these purposes, Mercedes-Benz splits the car into four domains: infotainment; automated driving; body and comfort; driving and charging. The software consists of a user interface, applications, middleware and a basic operating system. In this context, the hardware is everything with a cable, electric/electronic hardware, chips and sensors.

Complexity reduction continues farther down with vertical hardware and software integration. By combining software and hardware in-house and defining exactly how the different levels in the domains, the cloud and the Internet Of Things (IOT) work together, Mercedes-Benz can achieve the best possible result for the customer. This includes faster feature deployment and data analysis to gain deeper insights into how the customer uses the UI, which will feed directly into the development process. In accordance with strict data protection and transparency, this is predicated upon prior approval from the customer. Furthermore, the customer experience will continuously develop through new and exciting functions, services and third-party apps delivered over the air (OTA).

Owning the user interface and reducing complexity will also benefit Mercedes-Benz as a company. By way of example, the current S-Class has more than 80 ECUs. Although this multi-level system of individual components works extremely well, it would nevertheless be more efficient to use far fewer units. The only way to achieve this effectively is to control more of this ourselves. Mercedes-Benz will roll out MB.OS across all product lines and re-use the platform through generations in order to leverage scale effects.

Mercedes-Benz – the front runner in automated driving and safety technologies

Since the invention of the automobile in 1886, Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly set standards in vehicle safety with new innovative technologies. Safety is a core element of the Mercedes-Benz brand.  The company has been offering advanced driver assistance systems (SAE Level 2) in its vehicles for years. They can make life considerably easier in many everyday situations, providing support in areas such as speed and distance control, steering and lane changes. In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz was the first automotive manufacturer worldwide to secure internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving (SAE Level 3). What’s more, when it comes to parking, Mercedes is going one step further with pre-installation of INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT, which will enable highly automated parking (Automated Valet Parking; SAE Level 4).

SAE Level 2 systems support the driver and increase safety

With "Intelligent Drive", the automaker bundles a wide range of driver assistance systems for partially automated driving (SAE-Level 2). The “DISTRONIC” Active Distance Assist can automatically maintain the preselected distance to vehicles ahead on all road types. Active Steering Assist provides lane-following support in the speed range up to 130 mph (210 km/h), while Active Lane Keeping Assist uses a camera to detect lane markings and lane edges in the speed range from 37 to 155 mph (60 to 250 km/h) and helps to avoid unintentional lane departure. Active Lane Change Assist provides cooperative support when changing to the adjacent lane. In conjunction with DIGITAL LIGHT, intuitive lighting is also provided at night. Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle in its own lane to a standstill if it detects that the driver is permanently disengaged from the road while driving. As part of the standard Active Lane Keeping Assist system, this works even if “DISTRONIC” Active Distance Assist with Steering Assist is not switched on. Active Brake Assist uses the sensors installed in the vehicle to register whether there is a risk of collision with vehicles ahead, crossing or oncoming. In the event of an impending collision, the system can warn the driver visually and acoustically. If the driver's braking is too weak, it is also possible to support him or her by increasing the braking force in line with the situation, as well as initiating autonomous emergency braking if there is no reaction from the driver. With these and many other intelligent systems, Mercedes-Benz is not only setting standards for safety technologies in automotive engineering, but is also taking an important step further on the road to autonomous driving.

SAE Level 3 DRIVE PILOT – taking automated driving to the next Level with the gift of time

In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz became the first automotive company in the world to meet the demanding legal requirements of the international UN-R157 for a Level 3 system[2] enabling conditionally automated driving. Mercedes-Benz is initially offering DRIVE PILOT in Germany, where 13,191 kilometres of motorway are approved for conditionally automated driving. Mercedes-Benz is also working intensively to obtain approval from the authorities for the two U.S. states of California and Nevada by the end of the year assuming the legal and regulatory framework allows use of the system. It initiates a radical paradigm shift that permits the vehicle to take over the dynamic driving task under certain conditions. This ultimate luxury experience enables customers to win back precious time when in the car through relaxation or productivity. For instance, they can communicate with work colleagues via in-car office tools, write messages and emails via the head unit, browse the internet or just sit back, relax and watch a movie.

DRIVE PILOT builds on the surround sensors of the Driving Assistance Package and comprises additional sensors that Mercedes-Benz considers indispensable for safe conditionally automated driving. These include LiDAR, as well as a camera in the rear window and microphones, especially for detecting blue lights and other signals from emergency vehicles. There is also a wetness sensor in the wheel well. The S-Class with optional DRIVE PILOT also has redundant steering and braking systems and a redundant on-board electrical system. This ensures that it remains manoeuvrable even if one of these systems fails and enables safe handover to the driver.

The top priority for Mercedes-Benz when introducing such a system is safety, which includes high demands on operational reliability. The exact location of the S-Class is determined using a highly accurate positioning system. This is much more powerful than conventional GPS. In addition, data obtained from satellite navigation are matched with sensor data and data from an HD map. The type of data collected by LiDAR, camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors can include information on road geometry, route characteristics, landmarks or traffic signs.

As well as the sensor data, the DRIVE PILOT receives information on road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events (e.g. accidents or roadworks) from a digital HD map, which provides a three-dimensional street and environment image. The map data are stored in backend data centres and updated constantly. Each vehicle also stores an image of this map information on board, constantly comparing it with the backend data and updating the local data set if necessary. The HD map thus offers stable positioning through a representation of the surroundings independent of factors such as shadows or a dirty sensor. This high-precision map differs from maps for navigation devices through its greater accuracy down to centimetres rather than metres and its detailed intersection and track model among other things.

A powerful central control unit provides the necessary sophisticated software functions for conditionally automated driving. Within the framework of modern security architecture, important algorithms are calculated redundantly.

SAE Level 4 in car parks: INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT[3] can offer Automated Valet Parking in suitably equipped car parks

In Germany, some variants of the S-Class are the first series-production vehicles to offer pre-installation of the company’s INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT as optional equipment, with the EQS and EQE to follow later. INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT is designed to enable Automated Valet Parking in car parks equipped with the corresponding infrastructure from Bosch. The system then makes it possible to drive to and return from a reserved parking space – automatically, with nobody in the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz RDNA, in collaboration with Bosch, recently demonstrated Automated Valet Parking at an event in downtown Los Angeles using an EQS 580. It showed the effectiveness, convenience and practicality of this highly sophisticated, industry-leading new technology. Mercedes-Benz is evaluating whether pre-installation will be offered in the U.S. in the future through ongoing monitoring of the market.

The vision is that the driver parks the vehicle in a designated drop-off area at the multi-storey car park and starts the parking procedure via a smartphone app. If the app confirms that control of the vehicle has been taken over by the Automated Valet Parking infrastructure, the driver can leave the car park. The vehicle is then started automatically and drives to its reserved parking space guided by the sensors in the car park. It stops in front of any obstacles such as pedestrians or other vehicles. Upon their return, the driver can hail the vehicle via a simple smartphone command. It then drives to a designated pick-up area.

92

Mar 22, 2022
Affalterbach

Affalterbach.  AMG - for 55 years now, these three letters have stood for top automotive performance, exclusivity and high driving dynamics worldwide. The G‑Class has enjoyed a unique position in the AMG portfolio for over two decades and is thus our king of off-road performance. Its cult status makes it the ideal ambassador to ring in the 55th anniversary of the sports car and performance brand - with the special edition Mercedes‑AMG G 63 "Edition 55" (WLTP: combined fuel consumption 16.0 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 363 g/km)[1]. Particularly exquisite equipment details underline Mercedes‑AMG's claim to offer customers the highest possible individuality and exclusivity. The anniversary model can be ordered now until October 2022. More birthday surprises will follow in the coming months.

"From a two-man start-up in 1967 to a state-of-the-art development site including its own engine manufacturing facility for high-performance vehicles and more than 2000 excellently qualified employees in 2022 - the success story of Mercedes‑AMG over the past 55 years is simply impressive. The same applies to the G‑Class, which has remained true to itself for over four decades in the course of its unique career. Its long history and still genuine character makes it the perfect first well-wisher for me on our 55th birthday. And just as the G‑Class will lose nothing of its original character in its future all-electric variant, Mercedes‑AMG is also ensuring the hallmark driving performance made in Affalterbach in its electrified future. The departure into the next 55 years of the company's history will certainly be as exciting and challenging as the task our company founders Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher set themselves back then," says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes‑AMG GmbH.

The Mercedes‑AMG G 63 "Edition 55" is available in obsidian black metallic or G manufaktur opalite white bright paint. The colours on both sides of the vehicle are coordinated with the AMG emblem and the suggested AMG rhombus. Exciting contrasts are provided by the 22‑inch AMG forged wheels in a cross-spoke design with a matt tantalum grey paint finish and a high-sheen rim flange, as well as the AMG Night Package and the AMG Night package II. The fuel filler cap in silver chrome with AMG lettering also bears witness to great attention to detail.

The interior is characterised by the contrast of black and red. Stainless steel door sill trims with red illuminated AMG lettering welcome the driver. To match, the black AMG floor mats made of high-quality velour feature red contrasting stitching and "Edition 55" lettering woven in red. The AMG Performance steering wheel in DINAMICA microfibre also commemorates the anniversary with the "AMG" and "55" badges, making the special model an exclusive collector's item. The AMG seats in specific design are upholstered in two-tone nappa leather in classic red/black. The exclusive ambience of the interior is rounded off by the AMG trim elements in matt carbon.

The scope of delivery includes a customised AMG Indoor Car Cover. With its breathable outer skin made of tear-resistant synthetic fibre fabric and antistatic inner fabric made of flannel, it protects the vehicle in the garage from dust and scratches.

The exclusive special model can now be ordered with the "AMG Edition 55" equipment package at a surcharge of 17,850 Euro[2].

55 years of the Mercedes-AMG success story

Founded in 1967 by engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, the company has continued to build on its position as a highly successful performance and sports car brand through numerous successes in motorsport and the development of unique road cars. Today the Affalterbach-based company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes‑Benz Group AG and is the Group's sporting spearhead. For each of the now more than 2000 employees the focus is on the brand promise "Driving Performance", which unites the core strengths of AMG: cutting-edge technology and a passion for dynamic, emotively appealing products.

The current Mercedes‑AMG portfolio comprises more than 50 vehicles with a power range from 225 kW (306 hp) to 620 kW (843 hp) of system power in the first performance hybrid from Affalterbach, the Mercedes‑AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE (WLTP: Fuel consumption weighted, combined 7.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions weighted, combined 180 g/km; Power consumption weighted, combined 12.0 kWh/100 km)[3]. The selection ranges from performance vehicles in various body styles to completely independently developed sports cars such as the Mercedes‑AMG GT 4‑Door model and the new Mercedes‑AMG SL. The range of powertrains has also been continuously developed in line with market requirements and customer wishes and currently offers efficiency-optimised combustion engines with four, six or eight cylinders. In addition, Mercerdes‑AMG is consistently pursuing the path of the Future of Driving Performance: under the label E PERFORMANCE, performance hybrids are offered with an independent drive layout and technology from Formula 1. The portfolio also includes all-electric AMG derivatives based on the Group's own EVA2 platform. In the near future, completely independent battery-electric AMG models will also follow, which will be based on the new electrical architecture (AMG.EA) which has been developed completely in-house.

With 145,979 vehicles delivered in 2021 and growth of 16.7 percent, Mercedes‑AMG has started the anniversary year with a record figure.

Over two decades of the high-performance G‑Class

The first production model of an AMG variant of the G‑Class was launched in 1999 to mark the 20th anniversary of the off-road legend. The G 55 AMG marked the beginning of a new, highly successful chapter in G‑Class history. The 5.5‑litre naturally aspirated eight‑cylinder engine with three‑valve technology and dual ignition produced 260 kW (354 hp) and had a maximum torque of 525 Nm at 3000 rpm. In 2002, the G 63 AMG set new standards. It was the first time a twelve-cylinder engine had been used in the G‑Class. The 6.3‑litre naturally aspirated V12 engine produced 326 kW (444 hp) of power and a sumptuous 620 Nm of maximum torque. The most powerful G‑Class at the time was custom-built at the AMG Manufaktur in Affalterbach at the exclusive request of the customer. This was followed in 2004 by the G 55 AMG with a V8 supercharged engine, an even more powerful high-performance model with 350 kW (476 hp). Another highlight in 2012 was the premiere of the G 65 AMG. Its 450 kW (612 hp) V12 engine achieved 1000 Nm of torque.

The current Mercedes‑AMG G 63 consistently continues the success story. Its unique position among performance SUVs is underpinned by the powerful drive, the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, the AMG-specific driving programs and the luxurious interior. The AMG 4.0‑litre V8 biturbo engine with 430 kW (585 hp) and 850 Nm maximum torque, a 40:60 ratio all-wheel drive with three differential locks, the extremely fast-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission, the double-wishbone independent front suspension and the adaptive adjustable damping form the basis for the driving performance characteristic of AMG on and off surfaced roads.

[1] The figures shown are the WLTP CO2 figures measured according to Article 2 No. 3 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated on the basis of these figures.
[2] All prices in this press release: Recommended retail price for Germany incl. 19 % VAT.
[3] The figures shown are the WLTP CO2 figures measured according to Article 2 No. 3 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated on the basis of these figures. Electricity consumption was determined on the basis of Regulation 2017/1151/EU.
93
Daimler Business / Mercedes-Benz becomes shareholder in ACC
« Last post by fasteddy on March 23, 2022, 10:02:18 AM »

Mar 23, 2022
Stuttgart (Germany)

Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and TotalEnergies/Saft signed a deal to become equal partners in Automotive Cells Company (ACC), completing a transaction announced in September 2021 (Link). The partners have committed to increase ACC’s industrial capacity to at least 120 Gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2030 and to scale up development and production of next-generation high-performance battery cells and modules.

As part of the Mercedes-Benz strategy to go all-electric, ACC will supply the world’s most valuable luxury automotive brand with high-performance battery technologies from mid of the decade.

“Our stake in ACC marks another important step on the way towards an all-electric product portfolio by the end of the decade. To reach this target, we need a total battery production capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours by 2030. This is why we are continuously expanding our own R&D and production activities, and teaming up with partners to speed up progress”,  said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.

“We believe in a local for local sourcing approach and will develop and produce battery cells and modules with ACC in Europe. With each partner contributing their particular strengths, we can create a strong European manufacturer of competitive, state-of-the-art battery cells and modules. With a convincing ecological footprint.”

As an equal shareholder, Mercedes-Benz will contribute its expertise and support the expansion of ACC’s production network based on the brand’s benchmark quality standards. With Saft, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, Mercedes-Benz has a partner with over 100 years of experience in the field of long-life batteries and battery systems for applications critical to safety, back-up power and electric and hybrid drives. Stellantis brings industrialisation expertise to the joint venture through its brand diversity, size and global footprint. Together with its partners, Mercedes-Benz customers can benefit from the joint venture’s unique combination of technological know-how, production experience and scale.e

With the investment, Mercedes-Benz is industrialising advanced and sustainable cell technologies in Europe. Mercedes-Benz is expanding its portfolio of partnerships to safeguard the degree of localisation in the procurement of battery cells and modules as a key technology for the age of electric mobility.

The new Shareholder Agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
94
Affalterbach. It is the most powerful customer sports car ever to have been developed by Mercedes‑AMG: the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series, conceptualised for use during track days and club sport events. With the exclusive limited edition, the Mercedes‑AMG motorsport department is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Affalterbach-based company in a very special way. Limited to 55 units, the Mercedes AMG GT Track Series is the spiritual bridge to AMG founders Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher and their philosophy: making the best even better yet. The result is an uncompromised and exclusive performance car that is reflecting the automotive constructors’ art of Mercedes-AMG in a unique way.

    New Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series limited to 55 units
    Most powerful customer sports car ever to be developed by Mercedes‑AMG
    Extension of der AMG portfolio by an exclusive member for track days and club sport events

The Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series is extending the GT legacy by a new iconic model. The legendary top performer Mercedes AMG GT Black Series (combined fuel consumption 12.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emission 292 g/km)[1] served as the basis for the development. Like the latter model, the GT Track Series stands out for its vehicle concept aimed at top-level performance, combining it with the racetrack-proven qualities of the GT3 and GT4 models. Ineligible for road use approval, the GT Track Series additionally underlines its high exclusivity by means of numerous unique technical and visual features.

Fascinating performance offer

The heart of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series is the 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine from the Mercedes‑AMG GT Black Series, the engineers from Affalterbach having enhanced its impressive performance figures even further. For instance, thanks to custom motorsport injectors and a specific engine application, the power unit equipped with a flat crankshaft now delivers 540 kW (734 hp) and a maximum torque of 850 Nm.

The sequential Hewland HLS 6-speed racing gearbox with adjustable differential transfers the power to the rear axle. Like in all the models from the GT family, it has been installed on the rear axle in transaxle configuration and has a torsion and torque resistant connection to the engine by means of a carbon fibre torque tube. The suspension of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series features comprehensively adjustable four-way Bilstein dampers. As is common in motorsport, they each have a high-speed and low-speed setting in the rebound and compression levels and additionally allow for adjustments of the ride height. In addition, the anti-roll bars are individually adjustable to ensure an individual setup.

In their combination with the underlying car concept, these high-performance components result into a highly precise handling with unmistakable feedback. This allows drivers of all skill levels, be it racing professionals or gentlemen drivers, to quickly build up confidence in the vehicle.

Optimised aerodynamics combined with a powerful design

The design and the aerodynamics of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series strictly follow the performance philosophy as well. The bonnet, wings, sills, back door and the rear apron are made of carbon fibre and largely contribute to the high driving dynamics. Another important effect of the material mix is the reduction of the kerb weight of the vehicle to 1,400 kg.

The integrated louvres of the carbon wing on the front axle provide a higher downforce. The sills with elements of black visible carbon, transitioning into vertical blades both at the front and the rear, significantly contribute to an optimal airflow around the vehicle. To ensure an effective cooling of the rear brakes, the sills also incorporate cooling air ducts. The rear apron with double diffuser and lateral wheel arch air outlets also refers to the racing DNA of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series.

The front of the exclusive model is characterised by the AMG specific sporty radiator grille, which ensures optimum air flow to the radiator. The high-downforce front splitter was developed exclusively for the GT Track Series. It is complemented by a modified, mechanically adjustable racing rear wing that is based on the aero element of the GT Black Series. It was further developed to improve the downforce on the rear axle.

Another direct motorsport derivative is the exclusive characteristic bonnet with large air outlet. It guides the hot air from the engine bay, increases the overall downforce while contributing to the cooling of the engine at the same time.

Another special development for the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series are the exclusive high-sheen milled and forged 18 inch wheels, the usual wheel rim size for GT race cars. All the usual competition tyre types can be used.

A special optical highlight is the exclusive semi-gloss special finish in MANUFAKTUR hightech silver magno with design elements in red and anthracite. Another highlight that emphasises the exclusivity of this GT model is the integration of the AMG emblem in the upper area of the front apron.

Comprehensive safety package and motorsport specific interior

Like in the GT3 and the GT4, user and service friendly racing electronics have been installed in the GT Track Series as well. They include a racing specific traction control and a motorsport ABS, each adjustable across 12 levels (level 1: maximum TC/ABS activity, level 11: minimum TC/ABS activity, level 12: off-mode).

The brake components are motorsport-proven as well. The GT Track Series comes with steel brakes (front axle: 390 mm/rear axle 355 mm). A brake beam has been installed for adjusting the brake balance. The carbon brake air ducts and the dimensionally stable brake air lines guarantee optimal cooling of the performance brake system in the process.

Proven within the GT family, the safety concept has been applied in the interior: the roll cage of high-tensile steel is bolted to the aluminium space frame and an extrication hatch has been placed in the roof. The carbon driver safety cell has large dimensions and is even offering tall drivers sufficient room to move. Moreover, it as a five-point safety harness and a customisable ergonomic seat foaming. As a result, the driver safety cell meets the latest FIA standards and is offering a considerably higher protection level than usual race seats. A powerful motorsport fire extinguisher system and driver safety nets complement the comprehensive safety concept of the GT Track Series.

During the design process of the interior, the Mercedes‑AMG engineers have paid particular attention to the purpose of the vehicle: the GT Track Series has been assembled as a thoroughbred motorsport vehicle and therefore does without any comfort elements. To achieve the 1,400 kg kerb weight, the search for any components like padding materials, interior fairing or electric windows is in vain.

The steering wheel, exclusively developed for the GT Track Series in cooperation with the sim racing experts at Cube Controls, has a wide adjustment range and numerous control opportunities. The pedals can also be adjusted and can be individually adapted to the driver’s physique. The dashboard with visible carbon and a matt finish includes a fully programmable BOSCH DDU 11 Driver Display Unit, designed for intuitive operation and user-friendliness. Moreover, it incorporates a comprehensive data logging system for motorsport purposes, for instance a lap trigger to keep track of lap times. The GT Track Series is one of the first cars around to feature the newly developed system.

55 years of Mercedes-AMG – 55 Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series

The Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series stands for maximum exclusivity. The special series is limited to 55 units, each of them built by hand in Affalterbach. Thus, Mercedes‑AMG reminisces about the founding of the company by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in the year 1967, exactly 55 years ago. A high-quality embossed “1 of 55” plaque in the interior identifies every Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series as a unique piece from the special edition. The “Track Series” embroidered writings on the driver’s seat and on the limited car cover also refer to the exclusivity of the GT Track Series.

Comprehensive service and support included

Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series owners benefit from a comprehensive service and support range that is continually being developed and expanded. It also includes such privileges that normally are exclusive to the Mercedes‑AMG Motorsport customer teams: a technical training prior to delivery of the vehicle, individual engineer support during track days and club sport activities upon request, a service hot line during race weekends as well as logistical services such as a optimal spare parts supply.

Technical support is guaranteed by the motorsport experts at HWA AG, carrying out services and rebuilds as Mercedes‑AMG’s development and production partner. The exclusive online-based ordering and information system “Customer Service Portal” is in place for ordering accessories and spare parts as well as providing all technical documentation.

Direct sales from Affalterbach

Worldwide sales of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series is being handled from Affalterbach where Mercedes‑AMG has its headquarters. Customer delivery of the special edition starts in the second quarter of 2022. The list price of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series including air conditioning is € 369,000 plus VAT. A spare parts starter set, a seat and helmet ventilation system, a drinking system and a passenger safety cell are available as options. Further equipment options are available upon request.

Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “Everything on the GT Track Series is subordinated to the performance philosophy that has been the dominating leitmotif in the conception of our cars since the founding of Mercedes‑AMG 55 years ago. Our customers require the suitable vehicle for every kind of activity. Therefore, expanding our portfolio with an exclusive club sport car was logical. But we have even gone one step further, offering our customers not just an outstanding product with excellent performance and quality, but also a strictly limited special edition model.”

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “For the development of the Mercedes‑AMG GT Track Series, we set ourselves the aspiring goal of being able to provide ambitious motorsport customers with a matured and highly exclusive track tool. Our engineers and motorsport experts have accomplished this in an impressive way. I am looking forward to our customers setting new personal records with the GT Track Series at racetracks around the world.”
95
Formula One / 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Preview
« Last post by fasteddy on March 23, 2022, 09:45:58 AM »
Toto Talks Saudi Arabia

The new F1 season started in dramatic fashion. There were some great, feel-good stories up and down the field at the first race and Ferrari did a strong job to claim a 1-2 finish.

For us, we made a step forward in terms of performance compared to the pre-season tests but were clearly third quickest behind Ferrari and Red Bull. We know the W13 has potential, and we need to continue learning, find out how to unlock it, and maximise our opportunities for points in the meantime.

Lewis did a fantastic job to claim P3 and George drove a strong and mature race, making up places to finish P4. We scored the maximum points we could and more than we were expecting to. That’s partly down to others’ misfortune but reliability has always been a crucial factor in Formula One.

Now we head to Jeddah and a very different track; fast, twisty and much of the lap taken at full throttle. We were there just a few months ago for the first Formula One race in Saudi Arabia, and with a new car and new tyres that we’re still learning how to get the most from, it will be a steep learning curve. That’s a challenge we’re looking forward to!

Fact File: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

    The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix track is located on the Corniche, a waterfront area in Jeddah next to the Red Sea. The waterfront location presents similar challenges to Abu Dhabi with sand blowing onto the track and changes in wind direction from day to night.
    The Jeddah Corniche Circuit has the most corners of any track on the F1 calendar with 27: 16 left-handers and 11 right-handers. This does make it more challenging for the team and drivers to get up to speed during the practice sessions.
    The Saudi Arabian GP venue is the second-longest track in F1 at 6.174 km. Spa-Francorchamps is the only track that is longer (7.004 km). This means energy management is tricky and puts more focus on the MGU-H and hybrid system performance.
    As we saw in 2021, Jeddah has a higher risk of Safety Cars compared to other tracks because of its street track nature, with incidents taking longer to clear and fast corners causing bigger incidents, while a longer track means there is more potential for mistakes. There have been some changes made for 2022, to increase run-off areas and improve safety.
    Ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah was billed as the ‘fastest street circuit in the world’ and that proved to be the case, with average speeds of around 250 km/h – higher than Baku, which isn’t far off, but Jeddah is helped by having some corners that are taken flat-out or within DRS zones.
    Drivers reach over 310 km/h three times on the long straights during Qualifying in Jeddah. With three DRS zones, too, it has one of the highest percentages of lap distance spent at full throttle, with 80%.
    Turn 13 has a 12% gradient, with banked corners opening up more lines and helping to build momentum onto the next sweeping, fast section.
    Turn 2 is the circuit’s slowest corner, taken at around 85 km/h, while the quickest are the 315 km/h Turns 21 and 26 – both located on straights that include DRS zones.
    By the time F1 cars hit the track in Saudi Arabia on Friday, it’ll have been just 111 days (three months and 21 days) since they were last racing in Jeddah.
    The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is a night race, so alongside lighting the buildings and bridges, there are expected to be over 600 light posts illuminating the track.
    Last year’s race in Saudi started at half past the hour, but this has now fallen back in line with other races, starting on the hour this year.
    With 2021 being the first race at the Jeddah track, the surface of the circuit was very sandy and ‘green’ – meaning the track evolution was high and grip levels were increasing with every session. We expect this to be very similar this year.
96
Formula One / 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix - Sunday
« Last post by fasteddy on March 23, 2022, 09:43:52 AM »
Lewis Hamilton

A big, big congratulations to Ferrari, I’m so happy to see them doing well again, they are such a historic and epic team. It was a difficult race for us today, we’ve struggled throughout practice and this is really the best result we could have got. Of course it was unfortunate for the other two drivers but we did the best we could and we are grateful for these points. I know the guys are working really hard back at the factory and it is not going to be a quick turnaround but we’ve been the best unified team for so long, we all know to just keep your head down, keep working, there’s a long way to go. We’ve got to maximise our weekends and at some point, we’ll be back in the fight.
George Russell

It was a positive race, I made a good start and then Lewis and I were on a race of our own, albeit on different strategies. We came home with a P3 and P4 for the team which we would have definitely taken prior to the weekend so in a long championship, we can be pleased with how today went. Considering we’re half a second behind in qualifying and probably the same, if not more, on race pace, it was a good damage limitation weekend. There’s a lot of potential in the car and we really need to dig down into the data and understand how to extract the performance. We recognise our rivals are a long way ahead of us, we know what the overall limitations of the car are, and we won’t settle until we have the chance of the win.
Toto Wolff

Today we were punching above our weight class, with the Red Bulls DNF-ing, but third and fourth is a fantastic result. I think with the Soft tyre, on pure pace before the tyre degrades, we are almost there - not where Leclerc is but with the others. Then degradation is too big and today we tried to do something different by putting the Hard on but it was a second slower every single lap so lesson learned. I think we were over winged today, we had too much drag and that is just because we are lacking parts at the moment but hopefully we can remedy that, and make progress on the top two’s advantage. We really need to leave no stone unturned on the PU side and look for all performance gains but the wing was the issue for us today on straight line speed. At the moment we are fifth and sixth on the track, and we are trying to recover ground but it is not going to come from one day to the other - we’ll keep pushing.
Andrew Shovlin

We knew we weren't quick enough coming into the weekend so our goal for this weekend was one of damage limitation in the championship. In terms of pace we're more or less on our own; we couldn't realistically put any pressure on Red Bull and Ferrari, and we weren't really under any pressure from behind. This allowed us to play a bit with the strategy, moving quite early to a three stop with Lewis.  Our priority has to be to get on top of our current performance issues; we don’t have a car to fight for pole or race wins and that isn't something that we can tolerate for long if we ambitions to win the championships. The balance was quite tricky but the main issue is just a lack of grip, caused by the fact that we have to run the car so high to avoid the bottoming. However, the weekend hasn't been without it's positives. The gaps are pretty big but we can see so much performance that we can bring relatively quickly, the team has also worked well and the car has been reliable. We have a lot of ideas to explore to improve our pace and we'll be working hard over the next few days and weeks to bring those to the track.
97
Formula One / 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix - Saturday
« Last post by fasteddy on March 23, 2022, 09:42:07 AM »
Lewis Hamilton

The session was tough but I’m really proud of what we’ve managed to do, given the issues we’ve had the past week. Those guys ahead of us are on another level at the moment but there’s a lot to play for tomorrow at the start and with strategy so I hope I can at least stay with them and stay in the fight. We’re not quick enough to win but I told you that before the weekend. It was looking like we were further behind last week, we’ve made some improvements and we’re closer, so I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and where we’ve got to. I hope we’ll make another step next week and bit by bit, we’ll hunt those guys down. The improvements come from our collective efforts, we’re working as hard as we can and I know it’s a long, long way to go but I love a challenge.
George Russell

Today wasn’t ideal for me, I went one second slower in Q3 than I did in Q2; with only one set of fresh tyres for Q3, I tried something different on my out-lap and it didn’t work. I’m glad I tried something because we want to be fighting Ferrari and Red Bull. We had one shot, maybe it was too risky but we’re here to fight for podiums and victories, not to settle for P5 and P6. The pace of our car is definitely behind Ferrari and Red Bull, and ahead of the rest of the midfield, so my target for tomorrow is to get ahead of that group. We’re trying absolutely everything at the moment to solve our global issues with the car. We all knew with the regulation change that anything could happen, the only promising thing is we have major issues and we’re still the third-fastest team. If we were in this position and everything felt great, then we’d be a little bit puzzled. It race day tomorrow and I’ll be giving it my all.
Toto Wolff

We have to be realistic about our performance level at the moment and that is the third quickest team on the grid. Lewis put the car there and for George, it was probably us misguiding him in his last outing because we advised him to push the outlap stronger and he had no edge anymore with the new tyre. It’s very difficult to make a judgement on PU performance at this stage – our data shows we are running more drag than anybody else, and you can see we are losing on the main straight but not so much on all the other areas of the track. So we need to make an assessment after the first couple of races to see if we are lacking power. Realistically, we are missing about half a second on a single lap. Let’s see tomorrow - whatever happens, we’re gathering valuable learning. We have been in difficult situations in the past against a very strong Ferrari Power Unit and last year we were four tenths off Max at the first race, so we just have to keep our heads down and find the performance.
Andrew Shovlin

We were realistic with our expectations going into qualifying and anticipated a pretty difficult session, but considering the issues that we’re having to manage on the car at the moment we weren’t as far off as we might have feared. We only had a single Soft in the final session as we’ve biased our tyre selection towards the race, for Lewis it might have meant he found another tenth or two but probably wouldn’t have changed the order. For George, only having the one set in the final session was much more costly; the tyres weren’t ready and he lost seven or eight tenths, a second down on his Q2 time. We know we have to improve before thinking about fighting for the win so our focus is very much on damage limitation in the championships. We’ll see where our race pace is tomorrow, there may be some opportunity for Lewis if either of the Red Bulls or Ferraris are struggling but he should be well placed to race all the cars lining up behind him. With George we have a bit of ground to make up but it’s a track where that is possible.
98

Mar 19, 2022
Brackley

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is pleased to announce Eight Sleep, the world's first sleep fitness company, as Official Team Supplier to support the team’s preparations for an expansive 2022 Formula 1 schedule. The team’s drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as well as Team Principal and CEO, Toto Wolff, will have access to Eight Sleep’s suite of products to optimise their sleep and ensure peak performance this season and next.

The team rigorously looks for ways to improve the performance of the car and the team. Eight Sleep’s next-generation sleep technology is engineered to support the technical and human demands of the intense 2022 F1 schedule, enabling the eight-time World Champions to maintain peak performance levels. More than 200 professional athletes rely on Eight Sleep to power their recovery through the Pod Pro’s advanced thermoregulation and sleep technology.

Eight Sleep branding will feature on the team’s challenger for the 2022 season, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance, for the duration of the season including the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May. Eight Sleep will support our team members throughout the season with their innovative sleep technology to ensure effective recovery and maintain energy levels.

“Our team is made up of over 2,000 people across Brackley and Brixworth, all of whom perform at their peak every day in a sport where every single detail matters,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “To achieve the level of sustained performance that is required to compete in Formula 1, we are relentless in exploring all possible optimisations, including sleep. By partnering with Eight Sleep we are looking to utilise their technology during the upcoming season while also spreading a key message about the importance of recovery when you aim for peak performance.”

“Eight Sleep, and myself personally, are thrilled to partner with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One and power their team’s sleep so they can continue to perform at the highest level,” said Matteo Franceschetti, Co-Founder and CEO of Eight Sleep. “Growing up in Italy, Formula One was a huge part of my life – from racing cars with my father to starting my first business taking pictures of racing cars at local tracks. Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1’s commitment to constant innovation and improvement is what we strive for at Eight Sleep. We will work together to improve the team’s sleep and recovery for a successful win at this year’s Grand Prix races.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Eight Sleep to the team and to start working with them to develop and innovate around our sleep and recovery programmes,” said Richard Sanders, Commercial Director of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “Eight Sleep’s approach to reimagining sleep is very similar to how we operate. They’re obsessed with performance, the fine details and ensuring our team gets the rest they need to perform at their very best.”

About Eight Sleep

Eight Sleep is the world's first sleep fitness company with a mission to fuel human potential through optimal sleep. Eight Sleep leverages thermoregulation, data, and technology to restore individuals to their peak energy levels every morning. Eight Sleep was named one of Fast Company's “Most Innovative Companies of 2022” and "Most Innovative Companies of 2018," and recognized two years in a row by TIME's “Best Inventions of the Year.” To learn more, visit eightsleep.com.
99
Formula One / 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on March 23, 2022, 09:38:50 AM »
George Russell

It’s all about lap time and we’re certainly not where we want to be. We made progress on solving some of our issues but the pace isn’t there at the moment. We need to go over the data tonight to understand where we’re struggling with the car. We’ve got lots of work ahead of us to get the car where we want it but if any team can, we can. It was windier today than last week, you’re running at different times of the day, plus we’re trying lots of things on the car to improve performance, so there’s so many factors for us to weigh up. We are truly throwing everything at it to unlock the performance which we think is there but we’re struggling to tap into at the moment. We need to go away, do our analysis and make the best of this situation.
Lewis Hamilton

In the second session, my front two discs were at different temperatures, the left one running cooler and the right one coming up in temperature, so when hitting the brakes the right one was pulling the steering. It meant you didn’t get the laps in so that wasn’t great but it’s not a massive issue and we can fix it.

The bouncing we’re experiencing is losing us downforce compared to the others which is making it much harder out there. We’re not bluffing like people assume we are but we’ll work as hard as we can to get through it and do what we can. At the moment, we’re not going to be in the race for the win here, Red Bull are 0.8/0.9secs ahead and Ferrari are half a second ahead so we’re scrapping with whoever is behind them. I’m still calm, just trying to be the best I can be and get the best out of the car. It’s not ideal but we’ll pull together as a team to try and fix it.
Andrew Shovlin

Our first session made use of the fact that we had two cars for the first time this year and chose to run them in different specifications. That was a useful test and we got a clear read on which setup and floor specification was best for the bouncing. However, we’re still struggling to get the rear of the car much lower and trying to do that gave the drivers a fairly bumpy time of it in the second session. In terms of pace, we have a significant gap to Ferrari and Red Bull, especially Max on the long run. There are some relatively easy gains we might be able to make overnight with the balance but we’re not going to find more than a few tenths. More important is that we keep learning as we don’t seem to have understood the bouncing as well as some of the others, it may also be that we’re lacking a bit of car pace. So, we’re expecting a tough couple of days where we need to focus on damage limitation but also continuing to experiment to see if we can find a better place to run the car.
100
Formula One / 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix - Preview
« Last post by fasteddy on March 18, 2022, 02:45:11 PM »
Toto Talks Bahrain

The start of a new Formula One season is always exciting, and this year more than most. With new technical and sporting regulations, there is so much to learn and discover as this new season begins.

Barcelona was a productive first test of the W13, then we brought a big update to Bahrain for the pre-season test which resulted from a huge effort by the whole team. We completed good mileage, had solid reliability, and learned a lot about our new car, but it was not a straightforward three days for us.

We tried plenty of set-up options and made good progress in understanding our limitations, and there’s still plenty of room for us to improve further. There is a lot of potential to unlock in the W13, and we know how much we relish the challenge of understanding the car and extracting the maximum from it, and this will be our focus for the coming days, weeks and months.

It’s hard to say exactly where we’ll fit in the competitive order this weekend in Bahrain, but that’s what makes this new season and new era so exciting. It’s a clean slate for everyone and all to play for. Like we always say, what we love about F1 is that the stopwatch never lies – and we will get our first understanding of the competitive truth on Saturday in qualifying. I’m excited to see what the weekend has in store…

Fact File: Bahrain Grand Prix

    The Bahrain International Circuit is located in the middle of the desert, on what was formerly a camel farm. It features 1,120 palm trees!
    It may be located in a desert, but sand doesn’t present much of an issue for the teams and cars in Bahrain, and the track surface cleans up quickly.
    The Bahrain Grand Prix is a twilight race, starting at sunset and finishing in night-time. FP2 and qualifying also take place in the evening, so 495 lighting posts are used to illuminate the track.
    Despite the new F1 weekend format, FP1 and FP3 still take place in daylight in Bahrain, and therefore hold little value in terms of car balance and set-up work for qualifying and the race, which take place at night. However, they can still prove useful for work on test items or understanding the tyres. FP2 is therefore a crucial session for all the teams, as it is the one chance we have to run the car in similar conditions to those experienced in qualifying and the race.
    The focus for the set-up of the car is on tuning it for low and medium-speed corners. This is because the high-speed sections of track are easily taken flat-out. But mechanical grip is crucial out of the slow corners. This is the opposite to the focus areas we have for tracks such as Silverstone, where high-speed corner performance is key.
    We often see higher tyre degradation in Bahrain because it has one of the roughest surfaces of the season and we expect to have more degradation compared to last year, due to the technical changes to the car and the new tyres for the F1 2022 season.
    The trickiest corner on the track is Turn 10. It has a long, combined corner entry that tightens and drops away at the apex and is blind over a crest. Drivers have to apply the brakes while also completing the wide corner arc of Turn 9. All these factors mean the front-left tyre goes light and this increases the risk of a lock-up.
    Bahrain is always a punishing track for the brakes, with seven braking events and three classified as ‘heavy’ by our engineers (which means the driver is braking for 0.4 seconds or longer, with 4G or more). As we found during pre-season testing, the Bahrain track has also got bumpier and the cars are not as smooth to drive, so that also makes braking trickier.
    Because of the various changes to the weekend format, this now means there is less time for mechanics to work on the cars and less engineering time, due to the earlier curfew. So, more emphasis is put on hitting the ground running with good preparation and simulation work.
    With more emphasis being on the pre-weekend preparations, this means correlation between the simulation tools and the track is crucial – making sure the simulation appropriately represents the real car. But the gap between the test and the race is much smaller compared to usual, making it tougher to understand the learnings from the test and bring those into the pre-race preparations.
    The new technical regulations with their drastically different floor and diffuser mean we’ll see more sparks flying from the underside of the car – which’ll look spectacular under the lights in Bahrain!
    Because of the new regulations and vastly different cars for 2022, the performance of the cars through the corners will change, too. For example, we expect the cars to take Turn 4 in Bahrain at 115 km/h in 2022, compared to 135 km/h last year. Similarly, a high-speed corner like Turn 12 will now be taken at 240 km/h, compared to 265 km/h.
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