Special Edition

Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition pays homage to longstanding boat racing partnership

A new Mercedes model is fashioned in the same vein as a newly customized Cigarette boat.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Miami International Boat Show is upon us and among the Honda-powered pontoons and sleek cigarette boats is a one-of-a-kind Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition that is paired with a 59-foot Tirranna AMG Edition boat. AMG Performance Studio in Affalterbach gave the G63 the same design principles as the boat.

"Mercedes-AMG stands for Performance Luxury. The Tirranna AMG Edition is the perfect transfer of this principle to a boat: Its dynamic and at the same time deeply sensual proportions embody athletic beauty. In its powerful, clean look, the boldness of the Mercedes-AMG G 63 can be experienced," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition & Tirranna AMG Edition

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz


The latest in a highly exclusive line of special edition boats, the 59' Tirranna AMG Edition sets new standards in terms of performance and design, striking the perfect balance between a luxury yacht and a performance- oriented super console. Despite its 59' length and 14' beam, the Tirranna AMG Edition is extremely agile and optimized for high performance.

When designing their new performance flagship, the Cigarette Racing Team engineers focused their attention on every detail, for example by utilizing lightweight construction in key locations: Its raked hardtop is made completely of carbon fiber, reducing the vertical center of gravity for better handling, while carbon fiber also features throughout its superstructure, with carbon-capped stringers and a carbon-fiber transom. The hull and deck are vacuum infused using a highly optimized composite laminate schedule with PVC coring. The instrument panel is a nano-coated solid surface that is anti-reflective and heat-resistant, which also features titanium fasteners.

The striking design of the 59' Tirranna AMG Edition as well as the Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition is the result of close collaboration between the Cigarette Racing Team, the Mercedes-AMG design team and Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.

While the boat shines on the water, the G 63 shines on land. It has exclusive design finishes and special detailing, which can only be found on this specific model. The all-wheel drive SUV is powered by a 577 horsepower 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine and has been hand crafted specially to celebrate the debut of the new boat.

"Since 2007, we've shared our passion for performance with the Cigarette Racing Team. For the first time ever we followed a holistic design approach for both – the car and the boat," said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition is even more individualized than any other car before within our successful cooperation. The exterior and interior of this one of a kind G-Class Edition was tailor-made in our Performance Studio in Affalterbach underlining the high-performance appearance of the Mercedes-AMG G 63."

Starting with a black metallic exterior, designers added a unique golden designed AMG diamond pattern. It rides on new 22-inch Mercedes-AMG cross- spoke forged wheels are highlighted with gold accents at the wheel center caps and at the rim flange. It also has AMG Night Package elements, a dark chrome AMG specific radiator grille and bulbar, side entry boards in matte black, and glossy black vehicle logos.

The model's interior is upholstered in macchiato beige and dark blue two-tone exclusive nappa leather. Its AMG performance steering wheel is carbon fiber with dark blue nappa leather. These two sets of design choices echo those found in the boat. The SUV has unique floor mats and the iconic G-Class grab handle with distinctive Cigarette lettering.

As part of their owner and community outreach program, Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land recently held a teen driving school.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

The entire car shuddered as the Mercedes-Benz skidded over the large puddle. My head hit the roof of the car, nearly breaking my sunglasses (and yes, I was wearing my seatbelt). My phone went flying. The high-end camera of the journalist sitting next to me flew out of his hands and landed at my feet. Thankfully this didn't happen on the open road, but in a controlled environment created for teen drivers to learn, among other skills, how to regain control of a car when it hydroplanes.

After pulling the car to a stop, driver Winnie Chang, a 17-year-old senior at Clements High School, turned to Kory Enders, an Indy Pro 2000 driver, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, for his advice on how to improve the next time she drove around the skid pad. Meanwhile, the other passengers and I gathered our belongings off the floor of the backseat.

2020 Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Teen Driving Winnie Chang, 17, learns how to pilot a car through a skid.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land (MBSL) has been offering a quarterly Teen Driving Safety School at the Motor Speedway Resort (MSR) Houston for the teen children of its customers for about four years now. Prior to December 2019, MBSL had trained about 275 teen drivers. That month, for the first time, MBSL held an additional event for twenty Clements High School students.

Like the others, this event was co-sponsored by MBSL and Enders. Enders' father, Kenneth, owns MBSL, for which Enders is a brand ambassador. Influenced by his father, who wanted to be a professional racecar driver himself, Enders has been part of the racing world since childhood. Enders began club go karting at age six. While a student at Clements High School in Sugar Land, Enders began driving cars at MSR Houston.

Although he now travels the world racing, Enders has not forgotten his roots. Enders graduated from Clements in 2016 and has been working for several years to coordinate this event with the high school, which has about 2,500 students from 9th-12th grade. Clements High School students were invited to apply for the opportunity to participate in the Teen Driving Safety School. Fifty students applied and about 20 were randomly selected to attend at no cost.

Seeing some teens' incorrect and even illegal driving habits compelled Enders to give back to the community by helping teens learn to drive correctly. Enders wants "to give kids a toolbox." His two pieces of advice to teen drivers? "Don't text and drive," and "Understanding the core fundamentals of how a car functions and drives could save your life one day."

After a morning of classroom instruction, the students headed outside to test their skills. The high schoolers beelined to the group of waiting cars hopping into either the driver or passenger seat. To get the full experience, I knew I needed to be a passenger, yet was a bit hesitant to ride in a car with a teen driver who may have only recently gotten their license.

At the signal of a Teen Driving Safety School instructors, the teen driver of the car I was riding in gunned the engine and drove as fast as she could towards an orange cone directly in front of her. The objective was for her to drive as close to the cone as possible, but brake before hitting it. This seemed counterintuitive to me – why practice a dangerous driving maneuver like this? According to the instructor, it's good for the teens to practice in a safe environment how to react when faced with a risky road situation.

For about an hour, the teens continued doing drills, then slowly trickled back inside to the classroom to use a Comcast Distracted Driving Simulator. Comcast originally created this simulator to train its technicians and kindly gifted one to the MBSL Teen Driving Safety School to enhance its programming.

I got to try the simulator too. I sat down in the plastic seat and took the wheel. The simulator looks very much like one of those car video games you see at arcades. My goal was to drive through the course in a safe and timely manner. The game deducted points for traffic violations. I struggled to navigate the course – I accidentally rammed my pretend car into walls and ran red lights. I began doing even worse when Derek Brown, MBSL Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, began calling out prompts. "Take a selfie of the group." "Now text it to your boss."

2020 Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Teen Driving Teenns used a driving simulator to learn how distracted driving can impact their time behind the wheel.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land

By the time I finally finished the course, the group of us was in stitches over how poorly I had done, but we knew that safe driving, or lack thereof, was no laughing matter. Even now when I'm tempted to look down at my phone when I hear a text come in while I'm driving, I think back to this exercise and refrain.

I asked Clements student Haris Jhaveri why he applied to be part of the MBSL Teen Driving Safety School. "I follow Kory on Instagram. I've seen [the school] on his social media all over the place. People have talked about how it's a really nice experience and you learn from it. You get to drive a Mercedes… I also did this because my friend told me to. I like Mercedes, ok?". After participating in the training, Jhaveri noted "my driving is better".

That was the goal of all the adults in involved – improving teen driving. As Phil Morgante, Assistant Principal of Clements High School, noted "safety's number one with us – getting the kids to and from school".

There's overlanding and then there's overlanding in style in the Metris Weekender.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first pop-up camper for the U.S. market at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. Drawing inspiration on models of the past, the Metris Weekender camper van features a wide range of convenience features with an updated, modern design.

This Weekender is intended to be adaptable to a variety of needs. Whether you're traveling cross country, heading out for a weekend getaway, or simply taking a day trip to the mountains, the Weekender adds to the experience.

Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender Owners can pop out and pop up tents of the Metris Weekender.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Standard features include an elevating roof with sleeping room for two, an integrated spring system, two-inch memory foam mattress, three windows, and extra USB ports for lights and charging. There's additional sleeping room from the multipurpose rear bench seat, which opens into a bed for two.

If it's not sleeping accommodations but cargo room, that same bench seat helps adapt the Weekender for cargo. It moves along a rail into four locations to accommodate a variety of needs. Available roof racks are perfect for surfboards, skis, and larger items and the Weekender can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The front seats swivel 180 degrees to turn the interior into a living space where everyone can easily interact. The Weekender will get you where you need to go, and then make it quick and easy to set up camp and relax.

Optional features make the Weekender even more versatile with off-grid power and integrated solar panels. There's upgraded audio and navigation to make the trip more fun and a range of personalization options with 200 available 3M wraps from which to choose.

Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender The model has room for sleeping, dining, and riding.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

An available eight-foot awning is ideal for lounging in the shade and offering rain protection while bug screens for the rear hatch and sliding doors keep insects away. There's also a tent that attaches to the rear lift gate offering extra space and privacy and even an available pullout rear kitchen.

The Metris Weekender offers comprehensive safety that includes crosswind assist, load adaptive electronic stability, and attention assist along with good fuel economy so longer trips are easier on the family budget. Its 15,000-mile service interval lets you drive further before you need to schedule maintenance.

Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender The Weekender makes sleeping over easy with an available fold-out bed.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Customers can order the Weekender from any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer starting this spring. Pricing has yet to be announced.