This blog will expand on themes and topics first mentioned in my book, "The Automobile and American Life." I hope to comment on recent developments in the automobile industry, reviews of my readings on the history of the automobile, drafts of my new work, contributions from friends, descriptions of the museums and car shows I attend and anything else relevant to those interested in automobiles and auto history. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 , 2016 by the author.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Mercedes-Benz at the 2016 Silvretta E-Car Rally, July 7 and 8, 2016
The Silvretta High Alpine Road in Austria's Montafon region is considered to be one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in the Alps. On 7 and 8 July 2016 it will provide the setting for the legendary Silvretta Rally, featuring 26 locally emission-free electric cars and around 190 classic cars, which spectators will be able to see on Saturday, 9 July too.
The drivers of the Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid vehicles will discover to their delight how effective the intelligent operating strategy is on the challenging 224-kilometre Silvretta E-Car Rally course, featuring uphill gradients of up to 14.5% and an overall difference in altitude of 11,208 metres. The 5291 metres of uphill gradients will be particularly demanding on the electric drive system, while the downhill sections (5917 metres in all) can be used for regenerative braking.
The 2016 Silvretta E-Car Rally will be Mercedes-Benz's seventh in a row and the nine models below represent the biggest participating fleet:
The Mercedes-Benz B 250 e (three vehicles) features a 132 kW electric engine which is particularly quiet and locally emission-free. The maximum torque of 340 Nm is available from the start, which means that this model takes just 7.9 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h. With a range of around 200 km, the B 250 e is not only ideal for urban travel and short distances but for longer journeys too.
The winner of last year's E-Rally - the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive - is already a classic among electric cars. It has taken part since 2010 and has every chance of winning again this year. With peak performance of 552 kW, maximum torque of 1000 Nm and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, the super sports car is the world's fastest electrically powered series-produced car.
The Mercedes-Benz S 500 e blends an ultramodern hybrid drive configuration with the unique innovations and the luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. With a system output of 325 kW and 650 Nm of torque, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds and has an all-electric range of up to 33 km. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which is equivalent to emissions of 65 g CO2/km.
In the new Mercedes-Benz E 350 e (two vehicles) the combination of the 9G-TRONIC plug-in hybrid transmission and the latest generation of electric motors ensures top rankings for fuel consumption, ride comfort and dynamism. The new power electronics have allowed further increases in output and torque to 65 kW and 440 Nm respectively. Further improvements to the intelligent operating strategy, including ingenious thermal management, have also increased the efficiency of the hybrid. Depending on the driving profile, the business saloon is able to cover 18 to 33 km with no emissions, consuming just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC).
The GLC 350 e 4MATIC combines agile all-wheel-drive driving pleasure with minimal consumption and emissions figures: the mid-size SUV emits only 59 g of CO2 per km and attains a top speed of 235 km/h with a best-in-class system output of 235 kW (320 hp). This part-time electric model has an all-electric and therefore emission-free range of up to 34 km, and can accelerate as required to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds thanks to the boost function.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL is almost an old hand on the route through the Alps. The fuel-cell vehicle impresses with a range of about 400 km, a power output of 100 kW and 290 Nm of torque. The technology boasts long ranges and an impressive refuelling time of around three minutes.
Daimler deliberately opts not for a solitary type of powertrain for tomorrow's mobility, but for a coexistence of different technologies. These are optimally tailored to the particular customer needs and vehicle models. "Petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid, battery or hydrogen - all forms of drive system will continue to have their justification and prospects," emphasises Jürgen Schenk, Head of E-Drive System Integration at Daimler AG.
In the next two years Daimler will be investing 14.5 billion euros in research and development – more than half of it in 'green' technologies. We are talking about 5.4 billion euros for passenger cars alone. No other manufacturer can offer a comparable portfolio of electric vehicles and e-mobility solutions. The spectrum ranges from the smart city runabout and attractive Mercedes-Benz passenger cars to buses, coaches, and trucks of the Fuso brand. We will be electrifying all Mercedes-Benz passenger car model series step by step. In 2017 we will be launching a new petrol engine family, which will set new standards in efficiency and feature a particulate filter for the first time. At the same time we will be introducing the 48 volt on-board electrical system and starter alternators will become standard. smart is set to become the world's only car manufacturer to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and with battery electric drive. Mercedes-Benz will put the first fuel-cell-powered vehicle with plug-in technology into series production, the GLC F-CELL. The company is also developing its own platform for battery electric cars, set be launched on the market during the current decade.
At the same time the Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid initiative is in full swing: following the S 500 e, the C 350 e (Saloon, Estate and long-wheelbase version for China), the GLE 500 e 4MATIC and the GLC 350 e 4MATIC, models number seven and eight - the GLC Coupé 350 e 4MATIC and the E 350 e - are set to arrive in our dealerships in 2016.