Publications

New book showcases the specs of a Hollywood favorite, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

A new book in the "Essential Buyer's Guide" series takes a look at the boxy Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Photo courtesy of Veloce

The Mercedes-BenzG-Wagen has been driven by everybody from Queen Rania of Jordan to Kylie Jenner and Ranbir Kapoor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. A new book from celebrated automotive author Nicholas Greene guides readers through the history of the vehicle, including several less star studded parts from engine specs to model changes.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" by Nicholas Greene is an Essential Buyer's Guide celebrates the boxy model, which set out to be Stuttgart's answer to the Range Rover. The model was codenamed W460 during development after the Shah of Iran proposed such a vehicle for non-military use- he was a large Mercedes shareholder at the time.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" by Nicholas Greene

The Essential Buyer's Guide Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

Photo courtesy of Veloce


That was 1972. By 1973, the first G-Class wooden prototype was presented to Daimler-Benz management and the following year the first drivable prototype began testing in German coalfields, the Sahara Desert, and the Arctic Circle. From the start, the 4x4 was meant to be a terrain conquerer - something its engineers still prides themselves on it being today.

The W460 was introduced to the press in 1979. These models never made it to U.S. shores via a dealership. It wasn't until an importer in New Mexico, Europa International, Inc., began buying, certifying, and modifying the G-Class for the US market in the early 90s that the first models graced America's roads.

Virtually ignoring the U.S. market didn't bother the Germans. They were too busy making a long list of varieties of the G-Wagen. They had models with engines from four to twelve cylinders. They were supercharged, turbocharged, twin-turbocharged, and naturally aspirated. There were as many as 22 paint color options from the manufacturer. Special editions ran rampant through the lineup.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" helps owners and buyers sort through it all, including issues that you may come across when looking to buy a G-Class, the market value of the vehicles, and the cost of spare parts.

Greene would know. He's a frequent contributor to classic car and club magazines in the U.K. and France, and a restorer of many Mercedes vehicles including a W126 S-Class 560SE and G-Wagen.

The 96-page book features 107 photographs and is available now, priced at £13.99(UK), $25.00(US),and 32.99(CAN). It's also available here on Amazon.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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