New Model News

Invicto Mission is the badass Brabus answer to the common G-Wagon

This new take on the G-Wagon retains much of the sophistication of the SUV and adds ballistic protection, among other things.

Photo courtesy of Brabus Automotive

It's the definition of luxury; just a different looking definition than is usually talked about. The Barbus Automotive Invicto Mission is a unique, well-equipped, and priced higher than many houses in the U.S.

The model is based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Glass. Its shelter cell exterior meets original equipment manufacturer (OEM) factoring armoring standards. Its hot formed steel plates combine with 3D-printed protection parts to give the SUV a VR6 ballistic protection level. It has additionally fortified side blast protection, which Brabus says is, "at the level of a luxury state limousine."

2020 Mercedes-Benz G Wagonn Brabus Invicto Mission The SUV is designed for use by special forces.Photo courtesy of Brabus Automotive

Brabus has used new technology to advance the worthiness of the model. In their own words:

"One of the structural features of the shelter cell is the zero-joints design which means that there is absolutely no entry narrowing – similar to a vehicle armour plated in an OEM factory. The armour components are mounted to the shelter cell without any gaps. Unavoidable weld seams, on the doors for example, are achieved with material overlapping and so-called labyrinths. The design of the upper windscreen frame is also innovative."

"For the first time anywhere in the world, we're using protective elements here, which are produced in an additive manufacturing process in a 3D printer. We're definitely the first to do it," said Christian Draser, CEO, Brabus Automotive.

The Invicto Mission is built for, you guessed it, missions. It has been designed to take on the challenge of travel in challenging situations. Despite its rugged exterior, the car has a sophisticated interior that has been upgraded to accommodate the personnel that ride in the SUV and outfits they typically wear. For instance, the seats are compatible with protection vests thanks to variable foam geometry.

Brabus has equipped the SUV with a "MOLLE"-system door panels and seat backs, a roof rail system, a digital rear display mirror, the Acetech system with two touch control panels, an intercom system, and 20-inch rough profile off-road tires.

2020 Mercedes-Benz G Wagonn Brabus Invicto Mission Brabus is offering add-ons for more traditional customers that want to uplift their model.Photo courtesy of Brabus Automotive

While made for special forces, the average consumer (with a large sum in their bank account) can opt for one of three different lines of options and accessories for when they use the Invicto as a daily driver. Options include lightning and signal systems, auxiliary roof lights, a fire extinguishing system, an IR package including a night vision device, a fresh air system with ABC filter, and an escape hatch

The armoring adds about 1,000 kg to the weight of the vehicle. Brabus modified the SUV's chassis to meet the driving dynamics and life span the up fitter expects from its vehicles. Additional underpinnings have been upgraded to increase strength.

Click here to see the full specs list.

2020 Mercedes-Benz G Wagonn Brabus Invicto Mission The SUV retains much of its original capability.Photo courtesy of Brabus Automotive

Pricing? If you have to ask, you're probably not their target market. A regular G-Wagon starts at $130,900 and the 2020 AMG G 63 starts at $156,450. It's likely that the uplifting will nearly double that price tag.

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EQS buyers will have access to two years of free charging.

Electrify America

The Mercedes-Benz EQSis set to start hitting dealers' lots in just a few months, and the automaker is working drum up excitement for the all-new EV. Today, Electrify America announced that it will partner with Mercedes to offer charging services to buyers of the upcoming vehicle.

The agreement means that EQS owners will have two years of free charging, which includes 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America locations. The services go a step further, however, and will include the ability to plug and charge. This means that EQS owners who have activated their Mercedes me Charge accounts can start a free charging session just by plugging the vehicle into the charger. Electrify America says that no authentication or initiation steps will be required.


2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS is due to hit the market in late 2021.Mercedes-Benz


The agreement between Mercedes-Benz and Electrify America will also extend some services to future EQ battery-electric vehicles, as well as future Mercedes plug-in hybrid vehicles. The company notes that there may be costs to charge for those vehicles, but drivers will still be able to use the Mercedes me app to initiate sessions.

As more automakers jump in the EV game, free charging partnerships are becoming a bigger deal. Just last month, Hyundai announced that buyers of its Ioniq 5 EV will receive two years of free charging from Electrify America, and Ford offered free charging to its Mustang Mach-E customers, also through Electrify America, though The Blue Oval's offer only extended to 250 kilowatt-hours.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS The partnership with Electrify America will provide access to chargers across the country.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS itself is Mercedes' first vehicle in what will become an electric sub-brand for the automaker. It will hit the market as a 2022 model late in 2021, and will be offered in two models. The entry level machine features 329 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while the up-level EQS 580 4Matic will see 516 horsepower and 611 pound-feet of torque. Beyond its electric powertrain, the EQS will offer several advanced tech features, including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 17.7-inch touchscreen. Even the passenger gets a display in the new car, as a second 12.3-inch screen will be positioned on the right portion of the dash.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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