The DS 7 gets a thorough makeover: now ever more refined with added panache…

Design Director Thierry Metroz sums it all up:  

“The new DS 7 has now even more character, particularly at the front and rear, while its design is directly inspired by our recent concept cars. New confections also reinforce the character of the interior in search of ever more refinement. New DS 7 is the result of co-operation between my team, our experts, in particular lighting who brought an avant-garde technology, the engineers of DS PERFORMANCE, without forgetting our manufacturing team invested for the success of New DS 7.”

But also the sheer performance has been pushed a notch higher. Developed by DS PERFORMANCE, the new DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 has a 360-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain with intelligent four-wheel drive transmission, big wheels, a lower stance and wide diameter brakes.

A design enhanced by sharp lines and lit up by DS PIXEL LED VISION 3.0 and DS LIGHT VEIL

Specific work in the design was carried out thanks to the close links between the DS DESIGN STUDIO PARIS team and the production team at the Mulhouse (France) factory achieving exceptional results in terms of quality and solidity.

The light signature is developing with an even more expressive look. The combination of new slimmer DS PIXEL LED VISION 3.0 headlamps and the DS LIGHT VEIL daytime running lights is seamless and carried out in the spirit of high fashion.

The DS WINGS and the grille are larger and the valance has been redesigned with a range of colours depending on the model.

The slimmer scale-like LED rear lights with a vortex effect have also been redesigned with a dark metallic finish. The boot lid and badge have been reworked with sharper lines, while the “DS AUTOMOBILES” name that replaces “CROSSBACK” will now sign off New DS 7’s visually stretched rear.

The wheels play a part in the character of New DS 7’s profile. Fitted with inserts, the new 19-inch EDINBURGH and SILVERSTONE rims improve aerodynamic efficiency while the treatment of their design magnifies their perceived diameter. New 21-inch BROOKLYN wheels, with a sculpted techncial design are only available on New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360.

The best French expertise for lovers of beautiful materials

Just like the largest Paris fashion houses, DS Automobiles bestows special care on the choice of materials and how they’re treated. Through upholstery in New DS 7’s interiors, an environment was created to make each journey different.

The height of refinement, New DS 7 OPERA is offered with two Nappa leather colours: Basalt Black and Pearl Grey. Over wider expanses, the highest quality part of the hide adds a natural and refined touch to the interior.

New upholstery with a draped effect on the Nappa leather trim is now on the dashboard and door panels. Without seams or joins it maintains the feel and appearance of natural leather. The hide is further elevated by embossing with lines reminiscent of the DS LIGHT VEIL signature.

The attention to detail of this interior is also shown by the pearl stitching offered in the new White and Zephyr colours, a steering wheel in full grain leather with a leather covered airbag, “Clous de Paris” embossed inserts iconic to DS Automobiles without forgetting the watchstrap upholstery offered for the first time in Pearl Grey.

Refinement also features in the RIVOLI interior which introduces a Basalt Black colour and has a stitched padded trim that we’ve combined with Claudia Leather upholstery, which has a more pronounced leather grain.

The PERFORMANCE LINE interior features a deeper black colour with the microfibre textile Alcantara® throughout and Gold and Carmine touches that emphasise the dynamic appearance.

The BASTILLE interior has been refreshed with a new DS Canvas finish and a Basalt Black grain inspired by fish skin.

All these interiors are enhanced with ambient lighting that can be personalised, and a new pattern based on “Clous de Paris” embossed inserts.

High performance petrol/electric hybrid and multi-energy power units

The multi-energy brand with the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe for the last two years and multiple Formula E champion, DS Automobiles has chosen to offer New DS 7 with several kinds of power unit, including a wide range of three plug-in hybrids with 225, 300 and 360 horsepower.

New DS 7 E-TENSE 225 has a PureTech 180 petrol engine and a 110-horsepower electric motor fitted to the eight-speed automatic gearbox with a two-wheel drive transmission.

New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 300 and New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 introduce a four-wheel drive transmission with a PureTech 200 motor as well as 110 and 112 horsepower electric motors on each of the axles. The 360 model is specially tuned by DS PERFORMANCE.

A new 14.2 kWh battery gives up to 65 kilometres with zero emissions on the WLTP mixed cycle and up to 81 kilometres on the urban cycle. Charging time is about two hours on a 7.4kW charger.

A 130 BlueHDi power unit is still available in the range. Outside Europe, PureTech petrol engines with 130, 215 and 225 horsepower will also be offered.

New DS 7 remains one of the most efficient cars in its class, specifically because of its well-controlled weight.

New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360

The spirit of Grand Touring by DS Automobiles is embodied in New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360. To go with the rush of power (200 horsepower petrol engine, front electric motor with 110 horsepower and rear electric motor with 112 horsepower), New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 enjoys special tuning by DS PERFORMANCE, specifically by optimising energy management. It has a DS ENERGY COACH application that supports the driver by supervising braking phases to improve energy recovery. The chassis is lowered by 15mm, the track is wider (+24mm at the front, +10mm at the rear) and the front brakes go to 380 millimetres in diameter with calipers by DS PERFORMANCE. New 21-inch BROOKLYN wheels are added to a new Lacquered Grey colour whose pearlescent colour highlights the special curves and charisma of this model. The 0-100km/h acceleration is rated at 5.6 seconds and the 1,000 metres start-stop is accomplished in 25.4 seconds.

New infotainment system…

The infotainment system is one of the biggest changes for New DS 7 with the inclusion of DS IRIS SYSTEM. This new solution introduces a totally reworked interface, that’s completely configurable, reactive and seamless and supported by natural voice recognition. The redesigned 12” high-resolution touch screen features a menu made up of widgets for accessing all its functions with a single movement: for controlling the connected navigation, the ventilation, the digital audio sources and journey information. This big screen that’s very comfortable to use also enables views front and rear to be displayed, provided by new high-resolution digital cameras, and access to the Mirror Screen function over wi-fi.

A new large 12-inch digital instrument panel with displays that can be changed and personalised features refreshed graphics with all the vital information such as energy flow on plug-in hybrid versions.

Unique technology for the segment

New DS 7 also introduces technology for more comfort and relaxation such as DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION and DS NIGHT VISION.

DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION is a camera-controlled damping system that’s completely unique in its class. It adjusts each wheel independently according to imperfections in the carriageway.

With DS NIGHT VISION, an infrared camera sweeps the carriageway and its edges to detect cyclists, pedestrians and animals at distances up to 100 metres. The driver receives the information in the new high resolution digital instrument display, reinforced by a special warning in the event of danger.

Safety is improved with DS DRIVER ATTENTION MONITORING and DS DRIVE ASSIST level 2 semi-autonomous driving.

DS DRIVER ATTENTION MONITORING analyses the driver’s level of attention with two cameras. The first checks the behaviour of the car in its surroundings and the second, positioned facing the driver, diagnoses where they’re looking, their face and eyelid movement which translates to the level of sleepiness and attention…

New DS 7 is equipped with DS DRIVE ASSIST, adaptive cruise control that can initiate stopping and restarting without the driver intervening and an aid that enables the driver to keep the car either where it is or where they position it in the lane.

Designed in France and on sale soon

A global car, New DS 7 is built in Mulhouse (France) for all markets outside China and in Shenzen for the Chinese market. Reservations will open from 11 July in France and the first models will be in DS STORES from September 2022.

Orders and deliveries can be made without going anywhere, through an online sales system and the availability of New DS 7 by the DS DELIVERY VALET service, at the address chosen by the customer.

Limited for the introduction: a new DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 LA PREMIÈRE

For the New DS 7’s launch a limited edition New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 LA PREMIÈRE is being offered. Based on New DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 360 OPÉRA, it introduces a new Gloss Black front bumper blade, black monograms and special badges accompanying the gloss black finish on the DS WINGS, the grille, the window strips and the roof bars. Basalt Black and Pearl Grey interiors are available. Two charging cables (mode 2 and mode 3) are standard. Six bodywork colours are being offered: Lacquered Grey, Sapphire Blue, Pearl White, Perla Nera Black, Platinum Grey and Crystal Pearl.

Needless to say that we are keen to see this new DS7 soon in the flesh, and collect driving experiences for you when we are back from our holiday!

Not that we are idle in the meantime; soon you will read our driving impressions of the test cars we drove recently for you!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We drove the VW Taigo Taigo R-Line 1,0 TSI: a compact SUV Coupé which has it all…

The Taigo R Line has pleasing proportions. Photo taken with Fujifilm X10.

Volkswagen has a lot of excellent contenders in its big passenger car range. And many of them are absolute bestsellers, with the Golf on top, but with the Tiguan and T-Roc also ranking very high in the sales lists. Now VW adds another one to its stable, a compact SUV Coupé this time.

A compact SUV Coupé… Photo taken with Fujifilm X100F

A compact car, with its 4,27 meters. But mind you, that’s 16 centimeters longer than the T-Cross, and 3 centimeters more than the T-Roc. We found it roomy, very practical in everyday use, zesty, fun to drive and frugal. With the VW build quality on top. Does it then deserve its place within the VW line up? It certainly does…

Gives you the typical VW precision quality feel…

Stepping into this Taigo one enters VW world. And we are not only talking about the digital dashboard, the excellent, firm seats, the head- and legroom for even for the tallest among us, we talk about  precision. Indeed, the steering feels light and has this feeling of exactness, like when you touch the controls of a Leica, or feel the wheel and ride of a Porsche. Immediately, from the first meters, you feel the quality of the platform and suspension. Built to go, steer precise. Fast. Indeed, the platform is meant for high Autobahn speeds. And all this handling quality is built in this car for the people. Just so wonderful. This is not to say that other makes don’t have cars which perform equally well or are just as safe. But here one notices it more.

The R Line equipment adds sportiness. Photo taken with Fujifilm X100F

You feel it in your hands, in your fingertips, in the seat of your pants. But that is not all. The stability at high speeds is accompanied with mechanical unfussy silence and low wind noise. Yes, gentlemen, it is built for it. It’s as simple as that. On top of that, the Taigo is quite comfortable, and is not afraid of winding roads either.

Zesty 3-cylinder power

VW keeps it simple on the engine front. 999 cc in three cylinders means good fuel efficiency, excellent pulling power and lower revs. We tested the 110 Hp version, developing 200 Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm. For performance aficionados there is a 1,5 litre four cylinder version available with 150 HP, but the 1 litre version is more than lively enough. In our test car, it was coupled to the 7 speed DSG. This transmission adapts wonderfully to the engine’s characteristics.

The 1 litre 3 cylinder is zesty… Photo taken with Fujifilm X10.

In the R-Line equipment version we drove, we could select the drive modes Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual, but kept it in Comfort most of the time. When you accelerate in this mode from standstill with half throttle, the gearbox will change as early as possible to third gear, and will then really let the engine pull its best from then on, using the torque rev range optimally.

Performance leaves noting to be desired. 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 10,9 seconds, top speed is 191 km/h. The acceleration in the intermediate speed ranges is impressive: 60 to 100 km/h costs barely more than 6 seconds, from 80 to 120 km/h costs some 8 seconds. The engine is silent, unobtrusive even when revved, inaudible and vibrationless up to high cruising speeds.

With economy to match…

Cockpit instrumentation is now fully digital. Photo taken with Fujifilm X100F

Consumption, certainly with a petrol engined car, depends greatly on your (urban) driving style. No trouble at all to reach anything between 5-6 liters/100 km, with a lighter foot and some anticipation. VW quotes for WLTP consumption 5,4 liters, with CO2 emissions being 123 g/km.

Cockpit with VW typical user friendliness

The interior and dashboard are well finished, the materials are certainly not cheap, nice soft materials on top of the dashboard and a leather steering wheel to enjoy too.

Well finished cockpit offers roomy seating, even for the tallest…Photo with Fujifilm X10.

The touch controls of heating and ventilation take some getting used to, but as we said lately in our test of the Lexus UX 300e, we refrain from criticizing this, as owners have months if not years to get the hang of this.

Touch and slide controls for heating and ventilation seem initially unusual… Photo taken with Fujifilm X10

The instrumentation is digital, the display is clear and can show a wide range of information alongside your speedo, including power output, fuel efficiency and even full width map on the larger screen. It also sports Apple Car play and Android Auto, in tune with the times… The Taigo has a decent-sized glove box, door bins that can swallow a large bottle of water, a deep cubby in the central armrest and a space for your phone in front of the gearstick, which doubles as a wireless charger.

Your urban friend…and roomy too.

The Taigo also offers good visibility, offering large rear windows. Just the high waistline in the back limits rearward visibility, but every Taigo has front and rear parking sensors as standard and a rear-view camera is available on higher trim versions, as in our R-Line equipment level.

The Taigo offers plenty of headroom and seats that slide a good way back for lots of legroom, even the width is impressive, and you and your front-seat passenger are quite comfortable..

The R Line also offers distinctive seat upholstery… Photo with Fujifilm X10

Rear head and legroom is generous too, with also an impressive standard luggage space of 455 liters.

The Taigo does not come very cheap however, and we should suggest that you also take a long look at the equipment levesl, as the standard level already offers quite a lot…

Conclusion

The Taigo astonished us with its practicality, its all-round character, being masterfully at home in town, on winding roads and long motorways.

The Taigo offers generous boot space… photo taken with Fujifilm X10

A city car which offers room and performance as well as comfort to steal your hearts as an excellent Gran Turismo. Being responsibly frugal too, of high quality and built to last… certainly, watch this Taigo, it will make its mark…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Photographers’ note: In photographing the Taigo, we used two camera’s from our mirrorless camera collection: the handy and very capable Fujifilm X10 and the latest addition to our stable, the flagship Fujifilm X100F.

The long time darling: the Fujifilm X10

The X10 has a Fujinon F: 2 28-112 zoom lens (35 mm equivalent) and the X100F has a superb F: 2 23 mm fixed lens, which is about 35 mm considering the cropped sensor. It has an equally superb processor, coping with the most difficult lighting situations.

The new flagship: the Fujifilm X100F

I used both cameras in aperture priority mode. (AV). The harsh late spring sunlight made lighting circumstances difficult, as it created sharp contrasts… Fortunately, the photos taken with the Fujifilm X10 were taken under a slightly overcast sky.

“SUCCESSFUL WOMEN” : A unique talk show format created by Citroën for the launch of the new c5 x in Belgium.

Indeed, Citroën created a new project , named “SUCCESSFUL WOMEN”, a new digital format to highlight inspiring and captivating women in the context of the launch of the new Citroën C5 X.

The project will consist of four two-minute videos that will be broadcast on the brand’s social networks in Belgium.

In the different episodes Citroën lest us discover the careers of successful and inspiring women, who talk about their professional activities, their successes or their challenges.

Link to the first video with Ms. Giorgia Brooks, CEO and founder of “The Nine” in Brussels, here on the photo above: https://e1.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZ8OezZQEksLbYaKr4mXeVD4AK3f8a2ump7

That this project is linked to the launch of its latest flagship has many good reasons: C5 X is the new top model from Citroën. It combines all Citroën’s know-how in comfort, travel and, more broadly, well-being in the car: a true invitation to serenity. This is also what women want to find in a car.

The Nine is a club for women, but men are also welcome!

That Citroën comes with this unique and original idea is written in the stars: Citroën has always been a brand known for its innovative and avant-garde approach. From this perspective, Citroën Belux also wanted to develop an original communication approach that highlights the philosophy of its latest creation through meetings with inspiring businesswomen who share their professional experiences.

Four episodes have been made and will be broadcast on the brand’s social networks in Belgium. The concept is 100% Belgian and the women involved tell about their professional activities, their successes and their challenges.

In the first video, we meet Mrs. Giorgia Brooks, CEO and founder of “The Nine”, the first business club dedicated to women, based in Brussels. With “The Nine”, Georgia Brooks wanted to create a space for women to network in an original way. Such clubs already existed in England and Spain, but not yet in Belgium. Hence the idea of ​​Georgia Brooks to create their equivalent in Brussels, to put so many inspiring, committed and passionate women in the spotlight. It is not a club that pursues status or elitism, but rather a place that creates a soothing atmosphere of well-being, where women can meet for discussions or interesting projects.

In addition to this first episode of “SUCCESSFUL WOMEN”, starring Giorgia Brooks, three more episodes are planned and the names of these individuals will be revealed just before the airing of each video. The videos are produced by the Belgian company Velvet Studio.

The first video will be broadcast on the social networks of the Citroën Belux brand from April 29, 2022.

Link to the first video : https://e1.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZ8OezZQEksLbYaKr4mXeVD4AK3f8a2ump7

We drove the 360 HP DS9 E-Tense 4×4 in Nice… and witnessed the launch of the DS Supercar!

Arriving late last night from Nice, we report you here immediately about the wonderful driving experience with the most powerful DS9, enjoying its pure GT talents over the winding roads around Grasse and the iconic Côte d’Azur. We will soon tell you more about it.

But the gentlemen of DS Automobiles did even more than just letting us have a drive in their flagship DS9, they also unveiled in the flesh at their press conference a wonderful Supercar, with absolutely stunning looks and performance.

DS Automobiles puts their E-Formula racing experience into practice on our roads… What to think of 815 HP or 600 kW, developed by two electric motors of 250 kW in the front, and 350 kW driving the rear wheels.

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is done in a fantastic 2 seconds…and the car is a beauty too!

Much more about this superfast E-“bolide” and the impressive top-level DS9 soon on these pages!

Hans Knol ten Bensel    

The new Škoda Enyaq iV Coupé virtually unveiled…

The new Enyaq Coupé in RS version will be first in the showrooms….

Also Škoda is convinced that the future is electric. On January 31st they presented for us the all electric Škoda Enyaq iV Coupé. It will be initially only available in the RS version, which promises to be rather formidable if one reads the figures: an acceleration form 0 to 100 km/h in 6,5 seconds, charging time from 10 to 80 % in under 30 minutes, a range of 545 km.

Oliver Stefani, Head of Design shows the sleek roofline of the new Skoda…

At the same time, this new version remains typically Škoda: spacious and practical. The luggage compartment is a massive 570 liters… and of course it has lots of “Simply Clever” features.

At the virtual presentation, we saw Jens Katemann, Head of Communications of Škoda Auto leading us into the Kino Lucerna,

the oldest still operating cinema theatre in the Czech Republic, and introducing us to the actress driving the Enyaq iV Coupé in the film, Ana Geislerova, and Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Škoda Auto. (Photo below, from left to right).

Jens Katemann, Head of Communications of Škoda Auto, Ana Geislerova, and Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Škoda Auto.

The film starts with the CEO Thomas Schäfer running in the woods towards a vantage point, embodying the will to go (ever) forward, and looking into the (electrical) future.

CEO Thomas Schäfer running

and looking out into the future…

Then we are introduced to Johannes Neft, board member Technical development, and further to Oliver Stefani, Head of Design.

Inspiration through perspective…Olivier Stefani, Head of Design.

Actress Ana Geislerova then lovingly caresses the roofline of the sleek coupé,

and takes the wheel… for an exhilarating drive;

The second part of the film presents the RS version, which will be offered first to the eager customers, and it tells the story of a Czech teenage girl who drives the first RS Coupé, based on the rear engined MB 1000.

The person is now is some decades older, but remains in love wih life and freedom,

and of course drives now the new coupé…

I couldn’t resist showing you here some clips of this film…

The bold green colour is exclusive to the RS version…

The cars themselves are then presented in more detail by CEO Thomas Schäfer and his team. We show you here also some clips, revealing the car more in detail…

More soon!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The Porsche Taycan will be the new Formula E safety car…

A Porsche with leadership qualities: When the distinctively designed Taycan pulls out of the pit lane and onto the racetrack in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, it will quickly take the lead. Porsche’s first all-electric sports car is the new safety car in the innovative electric racing series this season. The vehicle will celebrate its racetrack debut at the opening round of the Formula E season on 28/29 January in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Designed to be more than just the Formula E safety car, the Porsche Tycan Turbo S` striking paintwork flies the colours of all eleven teams competing in the Championship, as well as the colours of the FIA and Formula E. It symbolizes the commitment of everyone involved in Formula E and the common path towards the future of all-electric motor racing.

At the same time, it gives a visual expression of social values such as diversity and community. The number 22 acknowledges the performance of the 22 drivers who contest the series this season.

Thanks to its driveability and safety as well as its output of up to 560 kW (761 PS), the high performance Taycan Turbo S is a very good choice in the critical role of a safety car in the only all-electric motorsport World Championship, racing in the heart of iconic world cities including London, Mexico City, New York City, Berlin, Monaco and Seoul. With Launch Control, the flagship model of the Taycan range accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 260 km/h.

More Porsche news soon, last but not least about its Museum… Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

BMW launches new BMW iX M60 at Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas…

BMW Group reveals for the first time a world premiere of a production vehicle on the CES. It is the new BMW iX M60. It is the first performance automobile from BMW M GmbH developed from the outset for all-electric mobility. And it breathes performance, as a BMW should.

Indeed, the third and even more powerful model of the new technological flagship is at once the most powerful and the fastest electric vehicle the BMW Group has ever produced. With output of 455 kW/619 PS, a maximum torque of 1,015 Nm in Sport mode or even 1,100 Nm when Launch Control is active and with M specific chassis tuning, the BMW iX M60 is bringing a phenomenal performance experience to zero local emissions mobility.

The BMW iX M60 takes just 3.8 seconds* to sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, making it 50 km/h faster than the BMW iX xDrive50.

The necessary energy for this is supplied by a high-voltage battery with a gross energy content of 111.5 kWh. State-of-the-art battery cell technology permits a range of up to 566 kilometres* according to WLTP and helps to give the BMW iX M60 impressive long distance capability.

There is a lot more BMW news unveiled on the CES, so there is more to come in these columns…

Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

VISION EQXX – taking electric range and efficiency to another level…

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, exterior

Range and efficiency are set to define the electric era. Outstanding range will make electric cars suitable for every journey and will also speed up the adoption by the public. Exceptional efficiency will create a virtuous circle of battery size and weight reduction, allowing Mercedes to go further with less. Indeed, the men (and women) at Mercedes-Benz are determined to lead the way.

The brand with the star is already leading the charts of real-world range with the EQS with 245 kW (electrical consumption WLTP combined: 19.8-15.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)[1], as evidenced by the recent Edmunds test where an EQS 450+ travelled 422 miles on one charge, 77 miles further than any other car previously tested.

But Mercedes-Benz is not resting. Driven by the idea of zero impact on our planet and a highly responsible use of green energy, the engineers are working intensively to take range and efficiency to a whole new level. The VISION EQXX is the result of a mission to break through technological barriers across the board and to lift energy efficiency to new heights. It demonstrates the gains that are possible through rethinking the fundamentals from the ground up. This includes advances across all elements of its cutting-edge electric drivetrain as well as the use of lightweight engineering and sustainable materials. Complete with a barrage of innovative and intelligent efficiency measures, including advanced software, VISION EQXX allows to explore new frontiers of efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, exterior

Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG commented:  “The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is how we imagine the future of electric cars. Just one-and-a-half years ago, we started this project leading to the most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built – with an outstanding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometres. It has a range of more than 1,000 kilometres on a single charge using a battery that would fit even into a compact vehicle. The VISION EQXX is an advanced car in so many dimensions – and it even looks stunning and futuristic. With that, it underlines where our entire company is headed: We will build the world’s most desirable electric cars.”

VISION EQXX – The EV road trip reimagined by Mercedes with a new technology blueprint for series production

There’s a reason why road trips have been a cultural touchstone for at least 70 years, telling stories from the highway in books, movies and music.

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, interior

The journey to electric mobility is a road trip; as exhilarating as it is challenging, as unknown as it is certain. The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is a vehicle designed for that road trip. It answers the progressive demands of a modern generation of customers for and emotionality through innovation. Part of a far-reaching technology programme, this software-defined research prototype was engineered by women and men with the creativity, ingenuity and determination to deliver one of the planet’s most efficient cars – in every respect. They did so using the latest digital technology, the agility of a start-up and the speed of Formula 1.

The result is an efficiency masterpiece that, based on internal digital simulations in real-life traffic conditions, will be capable of exceeding 1,000 kilometres on a single charge with an outstanding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometres (efficiency of more than 6 miles per kWh).

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, interior

By ripping up the automotive engineering rule book, Mercedes-Benz has built a software-driven electric car that re-imagines the road trip for the electric era. At the same time, it presents a highly progressive interpretation of the fundamental Mercedes-Benz principles of modern luxury and Sensual Purity. Rather than simply increasing the size of the battery, the cross-functional, international team focused on maximising long-distance efficiency. They pulled out all the stops in drivetrain efficiency, energy density, aerodynamics and lightweight design.

“The technology programme behind the VISION EQXX will define and enable future Mercedes-Benz models and features,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes‑Benz AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement. “As a halo car, the VISION EQXX firmly establishes Mercedes-Benz as the brand that pairs luxury with technology in the automotive world and beyond. And the way we developed it is as revolutionary as the vehicle itself. VISION EQXX has seen the best minds from our R&D centres work together with engineers from our Formula 1 and Formula E programmes. They are proving that innovations from motorsport – where powertrains are already highly electrified – have immediate relevance for road car development. We are challenging current development processes with innovative spirit and outside-the-box thinking. This truly is the way forward.”

The VISION EQXX is how Mercedes-Benz imagines the future of electric cars.

The VISION EQXX offers meaningful answers to pressing issues. For instance, sustainable materials throughout cut the carbon footprint considerably. Its UI/UX features a radical new one-piece display that comes to life with responsive real-time graphics and spans the entire width of the vehicle. Other elements of the UI/UX help the car and driver work together as one, and even use technology that mimics the workings of the human brain. And the software-led development process that delivered it revolutionises the way electric cars are designed.

This car is one outcome of an ongoing programme that is delivering a blueprint for the future of automotive engineering. Many of its features and developments are already being integrated into production, including the next generation of the MMA – the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture for compact and medium-sized cars.

We will come back soon more in detail about this outstanding EQXX…just show you some photos…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

D’Ieteren innovates and launches for the first time a national multi-brand campaign…

On a special website, D’Ieteren presents Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, ŠKODA and Porsche, to make buyers choose more easily…

In the first days of this new year, interesting auto news is reaching our desk. Last but not least big Belgian importers are doubling their efforts to reach the car buying public, as there is no Automobile Salon this year due to Covid reasons.

Indeed, the salon period in January is traditionally the time for the Belgian public to think about a new car, even when the Show is not taking place. Today, where the range of models is ever increasing, making the right choice has become more complex. This is how the idea was born at D’Ieteren to offer a comfortable solution in a few clicks by bringing together all the models of the importer and making a ‘short list’ with the ideal model in the first place.

The site suggests these models, but of course the buyer can freely click away and make his personal choice…

D’Ieteren therefore launches for the first time a national multi-brand campaign from January 3 to 31 to coincide with the show period. Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, ŠKODA and Porsche are joining forces on the new platform Dezewordthet.be/voicimavoiture.be, on which visitors can discover their ideal Top 5 cars based on personal criteria.

Once the visitor has selected their ideal model, they can use the platform to find the contact details of the nearest dealer, request a quote or even book a test drive.

José Fernandez, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer D’Ieteren comments: “This innovative approach takes advantage of the entire model range of the Volkswagen Group and has been designed as simply as possible to guide customers in their choice. It takes into account their criteria of use and the technological developments, especially in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles.”

The launch of the internet platform will be supported by a major communications campaign, including a digital campaign and a major TV and radio campaign.

The platform’s address is www.dezewordthet.be or voicimavoiture.be

Just click away!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The Mercedes S-Class plug in hybrid gets ever more sustainable… 

Mercedes-Benz S 580 e

Manufacturers are working hard to make their cars more sustainable, and certainly the premium cars with an expected long service life have a lot to prove here. So it is only logical that Mercedes for instance is making very big efforts, as they recently communicated. We found it very interesting, as it will become ever more important in the future.

The Mercedes communiqué starts with telling us first how much the new S Class has improved: 

It has twice the electric range with a good 100 kilometres, boasts 110 rather than 90 kW of electric power and a level luggage compartment with through-loading facility: the new plug-in hybrid from Mercedes-Benz, the S 580 e has combined fuel consumption, weighted of 1.0-0.6 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions are, weighted: 22-15 g/km; combined power consumption, weighted: 24.8-20.7 kWh/100 km.

Also very important, over its entire lifecycle, it is more environmentally friendly and therefore more sustainable: if the production, its use over 300,000 kilometres and recycling are taken into account, this model produces around 14.1 % (charging with European power mix) or 36.2 percent (hydroelectric power) lower CO₂ emissions than its predecessor, the S 560 e. This is a result of the Mercedes-Benz 360° environmental check.

“We have accelerated our Ambition 2039 programme to make our vehicles and our company CO2-neutral. We are systematically following this objective, with a comprehensive approach. That is why we look at the entire value chain: from development to the supplier network, our own production, the electrification of our products and the use of renewable energies to recycling at the end of the use phase,” says Markus Schäfer, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement. “Mercedes-Benz documents these effects precisely, and has the resulting balance sheet checked and confirmed by independent experts The S 580 e has successfully completed this validation audit.”

The S 580 e is produced in the highly flexible Factory 56 in Sindelfingen. Installed on its roof is a photovoltaic system with around 12,000 PV modules and an output of around 5000 kWp (kilowatt peak). This feeds self-generated green electricity to the production shop. The upstream production of materials and components creates more carbon dioxide than for the previous model. This is mainly due to the increased light-alloy content in the bodyshell and the larger high-voltage battery with a capacity of 28.6 kWh. This disadvantage in production can be more than compensated during the service life of the car: doubling the electric operating range leads to a significantly higher proportion of all-electric journeys. Over the entire operating life, there are clear advantages for the S 580 e, especially where CO2 is concerned. This is especially true when renewable electricity is used for charging.

Thanks to the higher proportion of all-electric driving, the consumption of fossil resources (ADP fossil) can be reduced by 16 percent (European power mix) or 59 percent (hydroelectric power) respectively.

More facts are coming out of this 360° environmental check:

A total of 202 components of the new S-Class are made from resource-saving materials. The total weight of these components is 98.9 kilograms.

For example, the floor coverings are made from a regenerated nylon yarn with the trade name Econyl®. This is manufactured by recovering nylon waste destined for landfill, for example old fishing nets and fabric remnants from mills and carpets.

The new S-Class was developed to meet the seal of quality requirements of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF), and has been awarded this seal. ECARF awards this seal in recognition of products whose allergy-friendliness it has scientifically tested. The requirements are extensive: numerous components from each equipment variant of a vehicle are tested for inhalable allergens, for example. In addition, the pollen filter is tested for correct functioning in both new and used condition. In addition, tests are performed using human subjects.

Dismantling information for ELV recyclers plays an important role in the recycling concept. For the S‑Class too, all necessary information is provided electronically by means of the International Dismantling Information System (IDIS).

Steel/ferrous materials account for about 35.5 percent of the vehicle weight in the new S 580 e. This is followed by light alloys with 27.1 percent and the polymer materials with 18.3 percent.

One sees again that attention to detail and painstakingly thorough development bears its fruits when designing and producing a car, and the oldest car manufacturer in the world certainly has a tradition to uphold…with success!  

Just look at the photo and the two graphs, and here we want to point out that on a modern car like the S Class, only 35 % of the whole automobile is still made of steel… 

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