We drove the Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC Saloon: your sporting star in city dress…

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There are few brands which possess the art of combining sportiness with outstanding comfort and present it in a package which is the ultimate in workmanship and quality, and on top of that design a body which evokes the panache and pedigree of the legendary star.

Mercedes has succeeded again to do all this in the latest E 43 AMG, and we spent some very memorable days with it, reaching great heights in automotive experience.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A new cool crossover from Opel: the Crossland X

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The big Opel model offensive “7 in 17” with seven new models in 2017 is in full swing. After the Opel Insignia Grand Sport and Sports Tourer, the new Ampera-e, Opel adds a newcomer to the crossover segment now with the Crossland X. It is the second member of the Opel X family, joining the bestseller Mokka X.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDi: a power sixpack for the great outdoors…

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The Amarok offers versatile transport, with go anywhere capabilities. Being well built, breathing quality and workmanship, it lacked for some the engine size to go with it. VW has now masterfully filled the gap, with a magnificent V6 Diesel, mated to an equally superb 8 speed dual clutch auto box. It makes the Amarok even more desirable. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Subaru Levorg 1.6 DIT: the magic of stellar sportiness…in a refined package

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Subaru has the stars written in its logo. With good reason. This brand has made for decades rally cars which stood head and shoulders above the rest. What’s more, these formidable machines still have legions of followers and enthusiasts today. Subaru has cared for them for years to come, by further designing and building Subaru’s which breathe this unique sportiness. One of these is the Levorg. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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European premiere of the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz in Geneva…

DB2017AU00543_largesmThe I.D. Buzz concept car from Volkswagen celebrates its European premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show, held from 9 to 19 March.

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The new electric MPV is already the second model in the I.D. range and provides a look ahead to the future – it shows in particular that the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is well suited to larger vehicles as well: batteries and drive system are housed within the floor;

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driver and passengers find lots of space for travelling in comfort above.

The Geneva International Motor Show is already the third outing for the I.D. Buzz. Following its world premiere at the start of January in Detroit, it came an encounter with the T1 for a photo-shoot in Miami, Florida.

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Even though there are seven decades between Volkswagen’s oldest and newest MPV, the I.D. Buzz undoubtedly has its predecessor’s genes: maximum utilisation of space on the footprint of a medium-size passenger car. On top of that comes multi-variable seating and interactive connectivity. Thanks to the extended MEB XL platform, this 4,942 mm long, 1,976 mm wide and 1,963 mm high concept vehicle provides what for its class are extraordinary spatial dimensions inside as well. We just let you look here at some photos…

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In the meantime, we are driving the V6 Diesel version of the Amarok pickup. Impressive! A full test report will follow soon…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Mercedes on the 87th Geneva Motor Show: the star shines more than ever…

Mercedes-Benz auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017: Weltpremiere des Mercedes-AMG GT Concept. ; Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: World Premiere of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept.;

Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: World Premiere of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept.

It is indeed star time in Geneva. Mercedes can already look back the best results in company history, marked by double-digit growth in January (+18.3% vs 2016) and February (+15% vs 2016). But the brand with the three-pointed star is also celebrating four world premieres and two European premieres.

The highlights are the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, which completes the E-Class family, and the Mercedes‑AMG GT Concept.

The brand from Affalterbach is showcasing this four-door Coupé to provide a glimpse of the performance of the future.

Mercedes-Benz auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017: Britta Seeger, Vorstandsmitglied der Daimler AG, verantwortlich für Mercedes-Benz Cars Vertrieb, und das neue AMG E 63 AMG T-Modell. ;Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 9,1 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 206 g/km Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, and the new AMG E 63 Estate + ; Fuel consumption combined: 9.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 206 g/km

Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, and the new AMG E 63 Estate +

Also celebrating their world premieres are the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate (Fuel consumption combined: 9.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 206 g/km) and the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 (Fuel consumption combined: 11.4 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 259 g/km). Appearing for the first time in Europe are also the E-Class Coupé and the new GLA.

Unique performance paired with high efficiency and emotional design: the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept.

The performance hybrid system in the GT Concept combines a V8 petrol engine with a powerful electric motor and a modular battery concept. The system offers a compelling electric range and, in its latest iteration, can generate an output of up to 600 kW (816 hp). The GT Concept dispatches the sprint from 0 100 km/h in less than three seconds, nothing less than supercar performance.

E-Class Cabriolet – the fifth member of a popular family

Mercedes-Benz auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017: Britta Seeger, Vorstandsmitglied der Daimler AG, verantwortlich für Mercedes-Benz Cars Vertrieb, präsentiert das neue E-Klasse Cabriolet. ; Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, presenting the new E-Class Cabriolet.;
Britta Seeger presenting the new E-Class Cabriolet.

Around one year after its world premiere, the new generation of the E-Class is chalking up sales records. In February 2017, sales of both the Saloon and the Estate increased by more than 70 percent compared with the same month last year. Unveiling the new Cabriolet in Geneva, Mercedes-Benz is now presenting the fifth member of the E Class family, which has been completely renewed and expanded in the space of just one year.

Mercedes-Benz auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017: Rebecca Ferguson und Band präsentieren ihren Hit „We’ll be fine“ im Rahmen der Pressekonferenz. ; Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show: Rebecca Ferguson and band presenting their hit “We’ll be fine” at the press conference.;

Mercedes-Benz at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show presented the whole E-Class family, with Rebecca Ferguson and band presenting their hit “We’ll be fine” at the press conference…

Celebrating the anniversary year – the AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50

The sports car and performance brand from Affalterbach is presenting two more world premieres in the shape of the new GT C Roadster Edition 50 and, as previously mentioned, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Estate.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster auf dem Internationalen Automobil-Salon Genf 2017. ;Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 11,4 l/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 259 g/km Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show.; Fuel consumption combined: 11.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 259 g/km

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show.; Fuel consumption combined: 11.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 259 g/km

The new AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine. The maximum output is 410 kW (557 hp), while the open-top two-seater needs less than four seconds for the sprint from 0-100 km/h. The exceptionally well-equipped special edition is available worldwide as a limited run of 500 vehicles.

Superlative performance paired with usability – the new AMG E 63 Estate

In the new estate versions of the E 63 4MATIC+ (Fuel consumption combined: 9.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 206 g/km) and the E 63 S 4MATIC+, Mercedes-AMG combines Driving Performance with the high usability and intelligence of the E-Class. The technology keeps the promise made by the appealing sporty design. Superlative performance is supplied by the 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with up to 450 kW (612 hp) and the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. The new Estate’s 0-100 km/h acceleration of 3.5 seconds is best-in-class.

smart – two special models celebrate their world premiere

The world premiere of two smart special editions rounds off the Group’s appearance in Geneva. On show for the first time are the smart fortwo cabrio BRABUS edition #2 (Fuel consumption combined: 4.2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 97 g/km) and the smart forfour crosstown edition (Fuel consumption combined: 4.3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 99 g/km). The open-top BRABUS two-seater is launched as a limited run of 100 units and powered by a 66 kW (90 hp) three-cylinder turbocharged engine combined with the twinamic 6 speed dual-clutch gearbox. On the smart forfour crosstown edition, which has the 66 kW (90 hp) engine and a five-speed manual gearbox, special trim elements give an underbody-protection look that pairs with distinctive sills for a sporty crossover feel.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We drove the Kia cee’d Sportswagon : your smooth companion…

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The moment comes when one has to turn its attention to a (very) successful Korean car manufacturer, which is going from strength to strength in world markets, and last but not least also in Europe: Kia.

You might know already, Kia Motors is actually now a subsidiary owned by more than 30 pct by Hyundai since 1998, so their models have a lot of (drivetrain) technology in common.

It was for us the very first time we sat behind the wheel of a Kia four wheeled product, and we chose fittingly a car out of the cee’d range, a model that has provided the foundation for Kia’s continuing success in Europe over recent years.

The cee’d has enjoyed a comprehensive upgrade last year, and we drove her for you the stylish and practical Sportswagon version, equipped with the 81 kW 1,6 liter CRDi diesel engine and the slick six speed manual gearbox. It proved sophisticated and very pleasant to drive, offering surprising mechanical refinement, amply proving the know-how of this manufacturer and, rightly so, Hyundai. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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New Range Rover Velar: the original avant garde bloodline continues…

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March 1st is an important day for Range Rover: they introduce the Velar, aimed to fill the gap between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.

The car breathes elegant simplicity, as the Range Rover communication people put it, and Land Rover Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern, added: “We call the Velar the avant garde Range Rover.  It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”

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Indeed, the Velar breathes with its clean, uncluttered dashboard the elegant simplicity of the original “Range” . 

Refined for every occasion, for every terrain, Velar uses unique sustainable materials and advanced engineering to continue Land Rover’s drive to go Above and Beyond.

The Velar chooses resolutely for “technology enabled design”. It sports amongst other things a hyper-advanced “Touch Pro Duo” infotainment system and very detailed laser-matrix LED headlamps. Flush door handles and detailing in Burnished Copper embody the trends of tomorrow…

The origin of the Velar name (pronounced vel-ar) dates back to the first Range Rover prototypes of the Sixties: the pioneers of the luxury SUV landscape.

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The pure, timeless proportions of the Velar will seduce many… 

When development engineers needed to hide the true identity of the 26 pre-production Range Rovers, they chose the name Velar, derived from the Latin velare meaning to veil or cover.

We will tell you soon more about this new Range Rover…just look here at the first photos, it certainly looks indeed a throughbred and very “pure” Range Rover…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

We drove the Renault Talisman Grandtour Energy dCi 160 EDC: bon voyage!

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The Renault Talisman has impressed us already with its Grand Touring qualities, and needless to say that the Grandtour version is upping the ante even more. Indeed, with its roominess and elegance, it is raising the stakes in the medium size station wagon field. We appreciated again its superb mechanical refinement, its marvelous engine and transmission, its clever and comfortable suspension and excellent handling. Need we say more? Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Toyota Prius: the absolute icon of hybrid intelligence…

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The icon of “green”, responsible hybrid propulsion is undoubtedly the Prius. Already the first generation stunned us completely, and I personally found it THE most clever car I had ever driven. The latest generation of the Prius fully confirms this tradition, and it is indeed better than ever. Besides its superb technical qualities, the styling people have added extra zest to the Prius, and it now has a dramatic, rather futuristic look, both inside and out. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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