Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic: Luxury SUV with high standards

In the fine Swabian way

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic wants to stir up the luxury SUV segment.

Stuttgart The GLS is dressing up and will start the mud fight in a tuxedo in the future. As the second model alongside the S-Class, Mercedes is now also launching its SUV flagship as the Maybach. As the German answer to Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga, it will go on sale in the spring and start at 156,078 euros.

In contrast to the S-Class and even more so in the corresponding Vision Ultimate Luxury study, there is no independent body. But the thick ship with its 5.21 meters has not lacked in presence. And for prestige, the designers have hung so much tinsel on the GLS that even on gray days you can’t help but grab your sunglasses: the rims are big and shimmering like the mirrors in a Hollywood cloakroom, the grill fanned out as finely as if it wore pinstripes , and while the Maybach logo is proudly emblazoned on the flanks, the GLS is the only Mercedes SUV to have a star on its bonnet like only the sedans usually do.

Add to that the two-tone paintwork reserved for Maybach, and all eyes are on the mogul slope. Where only the trim on the outside makes the difference, Mercedes has rebuilt a lot more inside. Of course, compared to the British, the more modern and, with its large screens, almost futuristic cabin is bursting with lacquer and leather, the woods embarrass every cabinet maker, and you could probably wrap the saddler’s thread around the world, so elaborately and decoratively the leathers are sewn.

But what really sets the Maybach apart are the two lounge chairs in the rear. Where there are usually up to five seats, two passengers can loll like a king in the heated and massaging cushions, lay their legs on electrically extending calf cushions and, for even more freedom of movement, literally fold the passenger seat into the glove compartment at the push of a button.

In addition, there are elegant folding tables and WiFi for productivity, a TV system for entertainment, a refrigerator with a champagne goblet to quench your thirst and a solid partition to the trunk instead of a simple hat shelf for maximum peace and quiet. This means that you can drive in the rear of the Maybach GLS just as comfortably as in the Maybach S-Class – only that you literally float above it all.

Imposing appearance

The rims are big and dazzling like the mirrors in a Hollywood cloakroom.

Luxury in the interior too

Of course, compared to the British, the more modern and, with its large screens, almost futuristic cabin is bursting with paint and leather.

Even under the hood, the Maybach can show a bit of stubbornness. Unlike his British opponents, he was denied the prestigious twelve-cylinder, even if the type abbreviation GLS 600 arouses this hope. But at least it gets a V8 that is more powerful than the normal models and almost comes close to the AMG version: 410 kW / 558 PS and 730 Nm are shown in the data sheet for the 4.0-liter, and the electric booster of the mild hybrid -Systems throws another 22 HP and 250 Nm into the scales, especially when starting off.

The result is a driving experience that is in no way inferior to the ease of a twelve-cylinder. Because, unmoved by the 2.8 tons and behind the thick bulkhead, rather suspecting than actually hearing it, he heaves the car forward with such serenity that you almost want to give up your belief in physics: from 0 to 100 in 4.9 Seconds and then effortlessly to 250 things – that makes the GLS the sovereign in the left lane.

And what it should lack in power, it makes up for with presence alone: ​​when this luxury steamer appears in the rear-view mirror, Cayenne & Co voluntarily clear the way. In any other car, that engine would be reason enough to compete for space behind the wheel. But no matter how loud the call of the performance may be and as confident the driver feels during kickdown, you should be heard to the rear right in a Maybach.

Powerful

From 0 to 100 in 4.9 seconds and then effortlessly to 250 things – that makes the GLS the sovereign in the left lane.

Massage included

In the rear, two passengers can lounge like a princely in the heated and massaging cushions.

The chassis engineers also know this and have therefore specially programmed a Maybach profile for the electrically activated suspension: Where the GLS otherwise carves through the bends like a skier in fresh snow on a sunny slope and puts a big smile on the driver’s face, the 48 Volt-actuators now, in anticipatory obedience, not only erase any lateral inclination, but also erase all vibrations that can be entered from the road into the armchairs in the rear – even if the driver should get a few bumps in the worst case.

More sublime than in any S-Class, wrapped in cotton wool and bedded on clouds – no wonder that you feel like you’re in seventh SUV heaven here. Mercedes makes the climb to the top of the all-terrain vehicle world surprisingly easy for Maybach customers. Not only in terms of acquisition, because the SUV in a tuxedo is a proud 50,000 euros more expensive than the GLS 580 and you can easily get over 200,000 euros with a few crosses, but it still remains far below Bentley or Rolls-Royce. But also in everyday life.

Because where the British gentry have to heave themselves into the car on their own, in the Maybach a massive timeline automatically opens up within a few seconds when the doors are opened, which sets the decisive moment in scene with LED illumination : Stairway To Heaven – it has never been easier in an SUV to get to the top.

Mercedes Maybach GLS 600 4Matic – Technical data

Five-door, four-seater luxury class SUV;

  • Length: 5.12 meters
  • Width: 2.03 meters (width with exterior mirrors: not specified)
  • Height: 1.84 meters
  • Wheelbase: 3.14 meters
  • Boot space: 520 liters
  • 4,0-Liter-Twinturbo; 410 kW/558 PS
  • Maximum torque: 730 Nm at 2,500 – 5,000 rpm plus 16 kW / 22 PS and 250 Nm EQ Boost
  • all wheel drive
  • Neungang-Automatic
  • 0-100 km / h: 4.9 s
  • Vmax: 250 km/h
  • Standard consumption: 11.7 liters / 100 kilometers
  • CO2 emissions: 266 g / km
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d
  • Efficiency class: D
  • Price: from 156,078 euros

More: Right at the top – that’s the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Easy entry

When the doors are opened, a massive bar folds out, making it easier to climb the SUV.

Luxury giant

The vehicle stretches to a length of 5.21 meters.

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VW ID.3 (2020) in the test: price. Range, horsepower, charging time

Düsseldorf Finally ID.3. Volkswagen’s first car, which was also designed as a purely electric vehicle, had to struggle with a number of problems even before the start, and delivery was delayed. After what felt like an eternity for me, it was just outside the door as a test vehicle. In bright blue, only it appears smaller than expected.

And I’m really looking forward to the Stromer. As a Polo driver, I’ve been a loyal VW customer for years. The idea of ​​an affordable electric car appeals to me. And who could do that better than the largest German car manufacturer, which has already successfully occupied the mass market with the Golf and Beetle?

Quality, range, assistance systems – my expectations of the ID.3 are pretty high. After all, in terms of size, appearance and range, the ID.3 would definitely have a chance to replace my Polo on the commute to work.

My first meeting with the Stromer is therefore a bit of a disenchantment. Sure, the little car with the blue paintwork and the futuristic, shiny black rims is a real eye-catcher. But also smaller and more normal than I would have thought.

For Volkswagen, the ID.3 is something like the starting signal for a new future. A time in which combustion engines are being replaced by electric drives – and electricity should be affordable for everyone. Thanks to the environmental bonus, the basic model is available from just under 20,000 euros and therefore costs only slightly more than the best-selling car in Germany according to ADAC last year: the VW Golf. The claim is correspondingly high, despite the initial difficulties: The ID.3 is to become the first electric bestseller from VW.

But the initial euphoria after the announcement was followed by delivery delays, then software problems. The first test reports were cautious to say the least. The first Stromers from Wolfsburg have been rolling across the street since October and have been a topic of conversation for months.

With the key in hand, I inspect the car. The first thing you notice is the unusually short snout of the ID.3. The little Stromer no longer needs a long front, the electric motor and battery are in the floor of the car. No more comparison to the other electric vehicles that the group has built in its long history. Basically, all electric cars from VW were just converted combustion engines – from the Bulli T7 in the 1970s, which rolled the streets with a range of 70 kilometers, to the latest e-Golf.

VW ID.3

Volkswagen has succeeded in striking the balance between the future and suitability for everyday use in the design.

For the ID.3 and three dozen other battery models, however, unlike some of its competitors, VW has developed a special modular electric car kit, the MEB. By the end of the decade, more than 20 million electric cars are to be produced for the masses.

Completely different from the Polo

In the design, VW has incorporated a few modern dangling and angular details. Here VW has designed a car that lives up to the brand name – and is intended to meet mass tastes. On the front, the revised Wolfsburg logo, as known from the other models, is emblazoned. A little home in the new world of electromobility.

It gets more futuristic when you open the car door. With a double press on the driver’s handle, the car unlocks without a key and greets me with an elegant LED beam along the windshield. It reminds me a bit of a car star from my childhood: KITT from the Knight Rider series. Except that the ID.3 flashes blue instead of red.

Since I personally drive a Polo myself, I know Volkswagen pretty well – at least that’s what I thought. In the ID.3, however, nothing is as usual: the dashboard is completely empty except for a single large touch display. I’m also looking in vain for the usual kilometer display; instead, a slightly elevated mini-display sits enthroned behind the steering wheel, next to which the gear lever is located. You feel immediately reminiscent of a certain e-car pioneer from California, only that it looks somehow more elegant there.

VW ID.3 from the inside

VW has mainly replaced the buttons and switches with touchscreens.

The ID.3 has little in common with the bestsellers of the past, such as the Golf, Polo or Beetle. You can tell that VW wanted to create something completely new here, yes, it had to. Unfortunately, new is not always better.

Here we are back to the high expectations: The Wolfsburg-based company has built an unusually large amount of plastic in the interior, only the steering wheel is covered with leather. The excessive use of hard plastic is likely to bother some VW traditionalists, but the price had to be saved somewhere. For me this is quite manageable.

What I find worse is that I have trouble getting along with the digital systems in ID.3 – although I belong to the younger target group. I spend minute after minute trying to find the menu in the first place. Because that’s not as easy as it sounds. After ten minutes and sheer desperation, an inconspicuous purple square caught my eye. Bingo.

However, I have to look twice to make sure that I didn’t actually end up at David Hasselhoff’s in the 80s by mistake. The display design is just as straightforward as the interior and consists of simple black pictograms on purple tiles. You can guess what VW wanted to achieve with it: simple, modern, clean, tidy. Unfortunately, it seems to me like drawn with Windows Paint.

The ID.3 is stronger when it is driving. Even when pulling out of a parking space, the short nose proves to be useful – the turning circle of the small electric vehicle is unbeatable. With a weight of 1.8 tons, it lies well on the road and in the corners and, like most electric cars, accelerates impressively, especially in the first few meters – and of course almost silently. No Golf can keep up with the driving experience.

And even if the outside of the car is smaller than expected: the spacious interior is positive. From the trunk to the legroom, you feel more like in a Passat than in a Golf.

Faster than Hyundai and Renault, but slower than Tesla

After a few minutes, however, it gets quite cool, so I press the voice control button and ask to turn on the heating. The ID.3 seems to take a long time to find an answer, only to tell me that this function is unfortunately not available. That can’t be, I think and ask a friend in the passenger seat to turn on the heater. No success. The car stays cold.

In the heating menu, we finally find a small power symbol on the left edge of the screen. We look at each other, shrug our shoulders and press on it, the heating starts. I had never heard of the fact that the function had to be switched on first. It annoys me that you can hardly find standard functions without the manual.

Opening the panorama roof via the touch panel is just as difficult: I need two minutes to find the right combination of strokes. The voice control works well, but it feels like it takes forever to execute a command. When it comes to what programmers call User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), VW has a lot of catching up to do.

The ID.3 is strong in the areas in which it can draw on the extensive experience of one of the largest car companies in the world. The driving assistants are flawless. In “travel mode” the ID.3 drives me safely on the motorway. He recognizes whether he has a car, a truck or a motorcyclist in front of him and automatically slows down if the speed limit change is overlooked or the exit is reached faster than expected.

When it comes to braking, the VW is more based on the Porsche Taycan sibling than on the Tesla Model 3. It does not recuperate when you just let go of the accelerator, but only when you hit the brake. The group does not want to expect its customers to have the typical driving experience of an electric car. A unique selling point in its class is likely to be the maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour (km / h). Many e-cars such as the Hyundai Kona and Renault Zoe do not reach this speed, while the Model 3 from Tesla is significantly faster.

Small and compact

The ID.3 offers significantly more space inside than you would expect.

With the ID.3, on the other hand, you can do a short sprint on unlimited sections of the route. However, it shouldn’t take too long, otherwise the range will melt away. This differs noticeably depending on the model.

VW is currently only delivering the “First Edition” ID.3 Pro with a battery of 58 kWh and a standard range of 420 kilometers. Even fully charged, there are significantly fewer in the test. At the beginning of 2021, VW also wants to offer a basic version of the ID.3 with a 45 kWh battery, whose standard range should then be sufficient for 330 kilometers.

For those who like to drive longer distances, VW is planning a version with 77 kWh. It should be significantly more expensive – but it is also unrivaled in the class. With a range of 550 kilometers, the ID.3 would leave competitors like the Nissan Leaf or the Hyundai Ioniq well behind.

In principle, the Volksstromer is also ready for the long haul. It charges with up to 100 kW at fast charging stations. This means that the battery is at 80 percent in around 30 minutes. On a standard 11 kW column, however, it takes longer if the battery is completely empty: According to the display in the test, charging takes six hours.

Trunk of the ID.3

The trunk of the electric model is even larger than that of the Golf.

A few teething troubles remain, however. At the start of delivery in October, the ID.3 still needs retrofitting. Because the software was only ready shortly after the planned sales launch in September, it will only be installed subsequently on the first models that have already been produced.

For this, the buyers of the bearer of hope have to go to the workshop again. VW is still a bit away from the over-the-air updates known from Tesla.

Two functions are also still missing: the remote area of ​​the head-up display and the smartphone integration. The corresponding update should follow in the first quarter of 2021. Comforts such as the really well-functioning assistance systems, a range-enhancing heat pump and the fast charging capacity are only available at an additional cost, as is customary in the industry.

The Stromer may disappoint some quality fanatics and there are still several little things annoying that VW should get under control as quickly as possible. The customers still seem to be impressed by the overall concept: the compact Stromer has been pre-ordered almost 40,000 times since June. That is significantly less than the Tesla Model 3, which collected around 500,000 pre-orders within a few weeks.

VW ID.3 from behind

At the rear, the ID.3 is reminiscent of its group siblings – but of course the exhaust is missing.

Nevertheless, the ID.3 has so far been the e-car with which I have drawn the most looks by far. Everyone wanted to know how they drive, even in the parking lot in front of the hardware store people stop with their own cars to ask how they are doing.

Many are enthusiastic about the appearance – and so am I. But in the end, a range of 420 kilometers is a bit too little for a commuter like me for the price. After the big promises, one would have expected a little more from Volkswagen.

Technical specifications

Five-door, five-seat sedan in the compact class

  • Length: 4.26 meters
  • Width: 1.81 meters
  • Height: 1.55 meters
  • Wheelbase: 2.27 meters
  • Boot space: 385 liters
  • Electric motor; 150 kW / 204 PS
  • maximum torque: 310 Nm
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Automatic entrance
  • 0-60 km / h: 3.4 s
  • Vmax: 160 km/h
  • Battery size 58 kWh
  • Range 420 kilometers
  • Consumption: 13.5 – 15.4 kWh / 100km
  • CO2 emissions: 0 g / km
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d-temp
  • Efficiency class: A +
  • Price: from 39,995 euros

More: The functional jacket among cars – the Jeep Renegade in the Handelsblatt car test

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Fahrbericht Mitsubishis Outlander PHEV

MSometimes one sentence is enough to describe a car. He doesn’t understand this vehicle, says the colleague after driving it for a while. There is something to it, without a closer study of the function, enlightenment does not come about. On the other hand, it is good that understanding is not necessary, it is enough to just let the Outlander PHEV do it and drive off.

Lukas Weber

Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.

If you want to know exactly: The movement starts electrically and remains largely that way. In addition to the electric motors with a maximum output of 60 kW at the front and 70 kW at the rear, there is a four-cylinder gasoline engine with 99 kW that drives a 70 kW generator and can be connected directly to the front wheels via a clutch and without a gearbox at the earliest from 65 km / h. All three together result in a system output of 224 hp (165 kW). Because the Outlander generates its own electricity, a relatively small battery of nominally 13.8 kWh is sufficient, which saves costs and weight.

The interaction works well, the PHEV drives quietly and relaxed like all electric cars, the engine keeps mumbling and charging. With a cautious driving style on country roads, a consumption of a little more than six liters of gasoline is possible, a good value for a 1.8-ton SUV. The concept is less suitable for higher speeds on the highway, full throttle drives the thirst for a terrible 15 liters. That’s not even particularly fast, the electronics shut down at 170 (electric 135) km / h; the Outlander is likely to be the slowest car beyond 200 hp.

Big mouth: the cargo space swallows a lot





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Mitsubishis Outlander PHEV

The Outlander is not made for sales representatives, but families get a relatively narrow, but long five-seater, with which the daily commute to work can be done purely electrically. If that’s not enough, the generator just switches on. For electric driving or the two 230-volt sockets for kettles and the like, 9.8 kWh are available, which meant that we could travel a maximum of 42 kilometers. Because of the charging losses, the measuring device then shows 10.75 kWh at the household socket, and charging can also be carried out at the fast charging station.

The consumption of around 26 kWh came about in mountainous terrain, what is the use of recuperation downhill? The Outlander shows everything the driver wants to know in a large and colorful way, including the sum of the energy that has been recovered through braking and immediately recycled – in addition to the pedal, braking is possible via six levels that can be set on the “shift paddle”. For 100 kilometers through the Taunus, 5 to 10 kWh are generated, the twelve kilometers downhill from the Großer Feldberg to Oberursel brought 2.5 kWh.

The Outlander PHEV is a successful model, it has been around since 2007. After the latest revision, the inside appears polished. There is a new infotainment system with an eight-inch display that can call up videos from a USB stick in addition to the usual arts such as voice control and five years of free map updates. The operation is no longer as playful as in the predecessor, but the drive programs are still distributed over five buttons in the car – normal / snow / lock, including sport, front forced charging / energy conservation, next to it EV, front right Eco, and then there is yes nor the paddles on the steering column. In addition, the constant beeping and tinkling annoys us in the new model.

If Mitsubishi could simplify (operation) or leave it alone (beeping) in the future, a good car with a highly interesting technical concept would turn into a very good one – we would also have a larger battery on our wish list. All of this at an affordable price from around 37,000 euros, with the fully equipped Top version for around 50,000 euros. Each less electricity subsidies, of course.

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Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (2020): horsepower, price, speed

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

The top model has been upgraded again.

Stuttgart Even with the Mercedes S-Class, there is still room for improvement when it comes to luxury. This will be filled by the Maybach variant of the luxury sedan from spring. With 18 centimeters more wheelbase, electrically opening rear doors and ambient lighting with 253 LEDs.

At 5.47 meters in length, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class clearly towers above the long version of the standard model, and it is almost 30 centimeters off the sedan with a normal wheelbase. The resulting gain in space benefits completely the rear passengers, who sit on reclining seats and have full access to the MBUX on-board infotainment system.

Special ambient lighting, electric belt feeders and an active noise suppression system should also ensure well-being. The latter works according to the counter-sound technology known from headphones and uses the speakers of the Burmester audio system.

When it comes to safety and comfort technology, the Maybach uses the normal S-Class. For example, the well-known active air suspension is intended to increase driving comfort and rear-axle steering to improve maneuverability. There is also digital LED light on board, which is supposed to provide particularly good illumination of the road and projects symbols or guidelines onto the asphalt.

For the second half of the year, the “Drive Pilot” announced for the standard model is also available, which enables level 3 autonomous driving. The chauffeur can then temporarily take his hands off the steering wheel and devote himself to other tasks.

The boss is in the back

You drive a real Maybach with a chauffeur.

Luxury ship

The Maybach is longer than the long standard S-Class.

The automatic rear doors are not available in the normal S-Class. You open and close independently at the push of a button; To prevent accidents from occurring, they are linked to the vehicle’s blind spot warning system, which detects approaching road users. The system is optional, there is an electric closing aid as standard, which automatically lets the doors fall into the lock over the last few millimeters.

Mercedes has not yet given any details about the engine. All that has been announced is that the Maybach can be combined with various drives. It is unclear whether the twelve-cylinder known from its predecessor will also be available in Germany in addition to a V8. The price is also not yet mentioned. The old generation was available with a V8 petrol engine and rear-wheel drive from around 140,000 euros.

More: The right Porsche for the private jet

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Five bargains under 35,000 euros

Dacia Lodgy

The Romanian Renault sister is not only cheap, but also comparatively stable in value.

Cologne Family cars have to be big, variable, safe – and, last but not least, inexpensive. Five suggestions for suitable models below 35,000 euros.

Family bargain number 1: Dacia Lodgy

The Dacia Sandero may be the cheapest new car in Germany, but its brand brother Lodgy is the price hit among family cars. The Romanian compact van already offers up to seven seats, over 2,600 liters of luggage space and plenty of space for mom and dad in the first row 13.637 Euro.

Equipment and optics are then correspondingly poor, but for a few thousand euros extra you get a presentable car. Tip for aesthetes: the “Stepway” equipment line, which with its off-road style add-on parts is a very effective embellishment.

Fiat Tipo

The station wagon, which is built in Turkey, is particularly popular in southern Europe.

Family bargain number 2: Fiat Tipo station wagon

A hit in Southern and Eastern Europe, a gray mouse in Germany – the Tipo is Fiat’s golf competitor, but with a star price of 17.536 Euro significantly cheaper for the spacious station wagon than the competition from the north. The equipment is already decent in the basic model, but an excessive number of extras cannot be booked via the option list either – the Tipo is a classic budget model.

The petrol engines are particularly recommended, for the diesel quite high surcharges are due, which should hardly be worthwhile even for frequent drivers.

Opel Combo Life

The Opel shares the technology with its PSA siblings.

Family bargain number 3: Opel Combo Life

High-roof station wagons are generally an inexpensive alternative to the classic compact van. The Opel Combo Life, like its sister models Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Rifter and Toyota Proace City Verso, is one of the most modern representatives of this class. Compared with older models, which are often still strongly attached to their commercial vehicle genes, driving behavior, ambience and equipment options are much closer to the passenger car.

This also applies to the range of assistance and comfort systems, which even include a head-up display that is exotic in this class. Prices start at 22.080 Euro for the basic model. A better choice should be the next higher equipment “Edition”, which offers a second sliding door on the side.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Japanese are really cheap among the large SUVs.

Family bargain number 4: Mitsubishi Outlander

Admittedly, after eight years on the market, the large Mitsubishi SUV is no longer one of the freshest in its class. But its core virtues still score: the very good space, the optional third row of seats, the solid workmanship and currently also a good price. 24.165 Euro costs the basic model, which comes up with a 110 kW / 150 hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine and extensive equipment.

These include two-zone automatic air conditioning, cruise control and audio system. Even with all-wheel drive and better equipment (18-inch rims, heated seats and roof rails), you stay just under 35,000 euros. With many direct competitors in the mid-range SUV segment, the price list only starts there.

Renault Trafic

Even the big Frenchman remains just below the 35,000 euro limit.

Family bargain number 5: Renault Trafic Combi

A large family can hardly get past a minibus. A fact that is very expensive, especially if you look at the market leader from VW, which can hardly be pushed below the 35,000 euro limit even in the economically equipped basic variants. If you can do without the sophistication and prestige of North German, you will find similar MPVs from other manufacturers.

At Renault, the model is called Trafic Combi, offers a comparably simple ambience and not the very best variability, but in return it is available for inexpensive 32,400 euros, for 812 euros more in the “Grand”, which has been extended by 40 centimeters to 5.40 meters. Variant.

Admittedly: The equipment is then rather poor, but there are up to nine seats and generally generous space. Only diesel is available for the drive, the base version is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 88 kW / 120 PS.

More: Chinese electric SUV at a bargain price – that’s what the Aiways U5 costs

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Driving report Piaggio MP3 500 Sport Advanced

Dhe question is whether it makes sense to equip a scooter with reverse gear. The answer can be found in two ways. First, by looking at the data sheet. It reveals that Piaggio’s MP3 500 weighs 282 kilos with a full tank. Secondly, by clumsily parking your nose downhill and then trying to reverse out of the gap. Pushing a good quarter ton up a slope … have fun!

In contrast to scooter drivers, drivers are used to having a reverse gear available. Now the MP3 500 in the luxury Sport Advanced version is the first three-wheel scooter to have something like this. Like its conspecifics, it can be driven with a car driver’s license – the minimum age in Germany is 21 years. Piaggio is asking 10,830 euros for the top model in its tricycle family.

Reverse gear is activated using a toggle switch in the cockpit. As soon as the starter button is pressed while the engine is running, the MP3 starts to move backwards with a jerky jerk with the help of a separate electric motor. At a slow pace of 2 km / h it goes back as long as the starter button is held, but no more than about 20 seconds. After this period, the electric motor stops automatically. The MP3 also climbs steeper climbs backwards, at least a few meters.

To prevent it from tipping over when reversing, you also poot. Another, and better, option is to hydraulically lock the tilting mechanism and the suspension of the front wheel duo at the push of a button. Then you can maneuver lordly like Count Koks with both feet on the running boards backwards in front of the garage door to the edification of the neighborhood. But it is important to make sure that the ground is reasonably level, otherwise it tilts seriously. Maneuvering the colossus over a curb with locked tilting technology is not a good idea.

Maneuvering à la MP3: reverse into parking with both feet on the step.





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Piaggio MP3 500

The big 500 was the most popular of all MP3s in Germany so far. In the meantime, the MP3 300 hpe presented in 2019 has passed: more than 3000 euros cheaper, almost 60 kilos lighter, more manageable than the Maxi-Brummer, accelerates just as well. 26 HP, 26 Nm and a top speed of around 120 km / h are enough for commuting. However, the MP3 500 is responsible for prestige and pomp. Its 493 cubic single-cylinder delivers 44 hp at 7750 rpm and 48 Nm at 5500 rpm and guarantees sovereignty even in two-person operation. On request, he trots over the autobahn with a speedometer 150, not bolt-stable at such a speed, but also not wobbly.

Our consumption was 4.1 to 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers, provided that we could get from A to B without dawdling. The new engine control of the Piaggio with electronic throttle enables different driving programs. In the eco setting, which is available as an alternative to the normal mode, the MP3 seems sleepy, we hardly ever used it. In any case, it is probably only under laboratory conditions that you can find out with some degree of accuracy how much more economical you can be on the road with it. If any. According to the manufacturer, the tank holds 13.2 liters.

The Sport Advanced version of the big three is recognizable by the red springs on the shock absorbers. Stainless steel silencers, carbon imitation, LED daytime running lights, aluminum running boards, pretty seat bench covers partly made of smooth, partly made of rough material plus seat support on the passenger seat make something look great. The comfort is excellent, the weather protection is equally good, although the generously dimensioned windshield causes considerable turbulence, so that it pulls from behind into the neck. Good lighting, visibility in the rear-view mirrors, instruments, clarity and handling in general testify to the concentrated routine of the Piaggio scooter empire. The storage space under the saddle is sufficient for – depending on the design – one or two crash helmets or for shopping or a briefcase plus spare clothing. There is a fold-out bag hook on the inside of the stem and also a spacious, although not lockable, but still useful smartphone compartment with USB socket above the cockpit. You just have to pad it yourself somehow, with a cloth or a rubber mat, for example, so that the expensive cell phone doesn’t rumble around in it.

The braking system: powerful, but dull in the dosage. The suspension: satisfactory at the front, harsh at the rear, which is not surprising in view of the heavy drive train swing arm. The anti-slip control for the rear wheel, which can be switched off, is not as superfluous as one might think. Slippery ground often gets in the way, especially in winter. Smart systems regulate the propulsion of a spinning rear wheel so discreetly that the driver only notices it by the blinking of the corresponding indicator light in front of the handlebars. The Piaggio system, on the other hand, is carried out in the style of a guillotine.

Nonetheless, of all the versions we have described since the archetype of 2006, this stylishly processed MP3 is the classiest so far. And nobody had a reverse gear yet.

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RS e-tron GT (2020): horsepower, speed, price

Audi RS e-tron GT

The electric model is also intended to set sporting standards.

Rhodos You can usually recognize the models from Audi Sport, the former Quattro GmbH, by their thick fender cheeks and rumbling eight or ten-cylinder engines. A prime example here is the RS6 Avant, a top-quality power suit. But in times of CO2 reduction and sustainability, Audi’s performance subsidiary can also do something completely different – quietly and electrically. The RS e-tron GT shows impressively that driving performance that is at least as fascinating – if not better – is possible.

The five-meter-long Grand Turismo Coupé shares the technology with the Porsche Taycan and will go on sale in May 2021 at a price of around 138,000 euros. The reason why the developers only gave us a limited insight into the cockpit six months in advance and why the body of the e-tron GT is hidden under a camouflage film is that the vehicle is a pre-production model. They want to save the surprise until the world premiere at the beginning of next year.

If you don’t have the patience, you should simply take a look at the photos of the Audi e-tron GT study as it was shown at the Los Angeles trade fair in autumn 2018. The production model will only differ from it in nuances. Audi’s head of design, Marc Lichte, describes the electric GT as “the most beautiful car he has ever drawn”.

From the start of development, the decision was made to sell the Audi e-tron GT in a high-performance version through Audi Sport GmbH. With its 475 kW / 646 PS, the RS e-tron GT is not only the first electric model from the Audi subsidiary, but also its most powerful.

Like the conventionally powered RS models, the GT Stromer is aimed at well-funded and tech-savvy customers who always want the extreme. And the RS e-tron GT offers enough of that. The 100 km / h mark was rushed through in just over three seconds. If you continue counting seven seconds, you are already at 200 km / h. As if released from a huge, stretched rubber band, the 2.3-ton GT shoots forward.

But intermediate sprints are even more impressive, for example from 60 or 80 km / h. 830 Newton meters are instantly available and make overtaking in a matter of seconds. The RS e-tron GT does not behave in any way rowdy. It glides quietly and smoothly, with an unbelievable ease and sovereignty. It’s driving a car in a new dimension. Anyone who has experienced it once will probably never return to an internal combustion engine.

Ready for everyday life

For the RS developers, it was important for the e-tron GT to have a high level of suitability for everyday use and a lot of comfort in addition to performance.

For the RS developers, it was important for the e-tron GT to have a high level of suitability for everyday use and a lot of comfort in addition to performance. Even winding roads with less smooth asphalt do not disturb the coupé limousine even at brisk pace. The three-chamber air suspension, adaptive damper control and the steering rear axle play a key role in this. Everything on board as standard.

The designers must have fought for every millimeter with the package. Because the RS e-tron GT is a flat coupé and not a tall SUV. Not only did a huge battery (83.7 kWh / 650 kilograms) have to be placed in the floor, but two adults should also be able to sit comfortably in the back. In addition, the trunk should have usable everyday dimensions and be expandable.

Result: task solved. At least 350 liters fit into the rear, and the three-part rear seat backrests can be folded down. And because there is no longer a large petrol or diesel engine with almost as large a gearbox under the hood, the free space was used for an additional overhead locker (80 liters), ideally suited to accommodate the charging cables.

Fast sprinter

The 100 km / h mark was rushed through in just over three seconds.

Like the Porsche Taycan, the RS e-tron GT also has an 800 volt system (all other electric cars have 400 volts). The high-voltage technology allows significantly higher charging capacities and thus shorter charging times. After all, you want to keep them as tight as possible at a not very charming motorway service station.

Up to 270 kW of power can be transferred to direct current HPC (High Performance Charging) columns. In the best case scenario, this means that a range of 100 kilometers can be “refilled” within five minutes. The RS e-tron GT will certainly not stay with this performance level.

Anyone who knows a little about the company’s philosophy knows that Audi Sport is happy to submit a “Plus” or “Performance” variant of one or the other model series. Because the marketing experts in Neckarsulm know only too well that even in the high-performance sector there are still many customers for whom enough is simply not enough.

More: Electricity surge from Stuttgart – the Porsche Taycan 4S in the Handelsblatt car test

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VW Arteon Shooting Brake (2020) test drive: price, horsepower, range

Second chance as a station wagon

The VW Arteon Shooting Brake should inspire more customers for the model.

(Photo: vw)

Braunschweig To admit it to the purists: Yes, a Shooting Brake is actually a hybrid of a station wagon and a sports car, so if in doubt, such a car with a sloping station wagon rear is more compact and, above all, two-door. But when it comes to naming and positioning, the principle is also: What is allowed is allowed. And didn’t Mercedes also have such a huge car, the CLS Shooting Brake? That’s right, but it wasn’t a long-lasting success – all the more interesting that VW is now daring to take this step of offering a variant of the Variant.

From a purely external point of view, the Arteon Shooting Brake not only looks particularly elegant, it also signals to more pragmatic station wagon customers that space has been wasted here. However, anyone who opens the sleek, sloping tailgate will be surprised: A really large storage space opens up here (565 to 1,632 liters), even if it cannot quite keep up with that of the Passat Variant (650 to 1,780 liters).

Still, space isn’t really the Arteon’s problem, even in the back seat. The same applies here to the Shooting Brake and the Fastback sedan: if the driver is not too tall at the front, you can cross your legs at the back and not hit the front seat with your toes. Or in numbers: up to 1.02 meters of legroom, you can also say business class.

The secret behind the lush interior is sheer external size: At 4.87 meters in length and 2.84 meters in wheelbase, an Arteon is anything but compact, and if you look at the Shooting Brake from the side, the rear section is almost endless to the rear without making the car look inelegant.

Another contradiction of the Arteon, however, is much more interesting: Wolfsburg officials usually think in large numbers. Or very large. The Arteon has not yet been granted that. Of the 15 VW car models offered on the German market, 13 have overtaken the Arteon in the 2020 registration statistics, and the start-up of the new ID.3 electric model is likely to cause the Arteon to lose another place. There were only 4,217 Arteon registrations from January to September, the closely related Passat sold almost ten times more during this period.

Long built

With a length of 4.87 meters and a wheelbase of 2.84 meters, an Arteon is anything but compact.

(Photo: vw)

Demand upper class

The new strategy for the interior is: more premium.

(Photo: vw)

Nevertheless, VW is giving the Arteon, which has been available since 2017, a second chance, and not only is it upgraded with the added Shooting Brake, but has also understood that something had to be done in the interior. While the first Arteon was still very clearly based on the Passat in terms of interior design and materials used, the strategy is now: more premium.

The large SUV Touareg is henceforth the car whose quality standard one wants to orientate oneself by, and this difference to the earlier Arteon is also noticeable. Finely crafted seams adorn the dashboard, wooden inlays are really made of wood, and the ambient light (30 colors to choose from) even shimmers from tiny holes in the door trim. The level here is actually higher than in the Passat.

If you want to drive the Arteon, you first have the choice between two turbo diesel engines, each with a displacement of two liters and a choice of 150 and 200 hp. Two petrol engines of the same size with 190 and 280 hp will follow, and in spring 2021 the Arteon R will come with 320 horsepower.

As with many other models, VW also places some hope in the Arteon in the plug-in hybrid variant, which comes with a system output of 160 kW / 218 PS and a maximum torque of 400 Newton meters. Purely electric range: 59 or 57 kilometers (Shooting Brake) according to the WLTP standard.

The trip under the care of the electronic hybrid manager is interesting here: you press a button in the center console, select the hybrid mode on the touch display, and now the car can use the entered navigation destination to calculate very precisely when and to what extent the electrical energy from the 13 Batteries with a capacity of kilowatt hours are retrieved.

Motors to choose from

If you want to drive the Arteon, you first have the choice between two turbo diesel engines, each with a displacement of two liters and a choice of 150 and 200 hp.

(Photo: vw)

This may not be as spectacular at the beginning as a purely electric drive, but it is always more efficient – also because the system can foresee whether a downhill drive will soon be recuperated, or whether a tight bend or a town sign will force you to brake. This then happens automatically, once for safety reasons, but also to regain some energy.

On a country road test lap, under these circumstances, the gasoline consumption was 4.4 l / 100 km – a sympathetic value for such a large car, even if you still have to recharge electricity and take the costs into account.

TDI drivers do not have to solve such arithmetic tasks, but simply enjoy the powerful torque (also 400 Nm in the 147 kW / 200 PS model) and enjoy a 66-liter tank that – at least theoretically – lasts for 1,269 kilometers . In both the eHybrid and the TDI, the Arteon driver can put himself in the hands of Travel Assist.

This system combines assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, automatic lane keeping and emergency brake assist and works up to a speed of 210 km / h to make long journeys on the motorway more relaxed and safer. Thanks to the navigation system and traffic sign recognition, the car also knows where it is. Speed ​​limits are recognized very reliably and implemented exactly – if this is too strict for you, you can of course override the system using the accelerator pedal or a button on the multifunction steering wheel.

Even if very large wheels (up to 20 inches) are on offer: The roadholding of the revised Arteon is rather comfortable despite its directness. On narrow country roads, it is worth calling up the DCC menu and readjusting it individually: Steering to “Normal” and damping towards “Sport” would be a tip to get a little smoother through the curves.

Overall, at the end of the test drives, the impression arises that VW has moved more consistently towards premium cars with the Arteon than before. It remains to be seen whether customers will follow suit, also because Arteon prices are not made of paper. Above all, however, the attractive Shooting Brake would be more visible on the streets.

More: Three-liter car with 560 hp – the Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid in the Handelsblatt Autotest

Technical specifications

Four-door coupe sedan with five seats

  • Length: 4.87 meters
  • Width: 1.87 meters
  • Height: 1.43 meters
  • Wheelbase: 2.84 meters
  • Trunk volume: 445 to 1,427 liters
  • Petrol engine: 1.4 liter four-cylinder, 110 kW / 150 PS
  • Electric motor; 100 kW / 136 PS
  • System output: 180 kW / 218 PS
  • maximum torque: 400 Nm
  • Front wheel drive
  • Seven-speed dual clutch transmission
  • Vmax: 222 km/h
  • 0-100 km / h: 7.8 s.
  • Standard consumption according to WLTP: 1.1 l / 100 kilometers
  • Power consumption: 14.8 kWh / 100 km
  • CO2 emissions: 24 g / km
  • Efficiency class: A +
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d-ISC-FCM
  • Price: not yet fixed

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Driving report Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv

Mazda took its time with its first electric vehicle and does a lot with the MX-30 differently from the competition. It starts with the doors of the 4.40 meter long, coupé-like car that open in opposite directions and ends with a battery concept that does not focus on maximum range, but on “rightsizing”, which means the right battery size. If you look at all of the environmental impacts of a product over its entire lifecycle, from extracting the raw materials needed to manufacture it to disposing of it, then electric vehicles with smaller batteries tend to produce lower CO2 emissions over their life cycle than comparable cars with larger batteries, says Mazda. Accordingly, the Mazda developers have determined the correct size for the 310 kilogram lithium-ion battery placed under the floor in the MX-30 as an energy source for the 107 kW engine, a capacity of a relatively low 35.5 kWh. According to the WLTP standard, this is just enough for 200 kilometers; the MX-30 gets significantly less far than its competitors.

Mazda calls for 32,645 euros for the brand’s first fully electric model, minus 9,480 euros for the environmental bonus, the purchase price drops to a relatively cheap 23,165 euros. In terms of dimensions, the MX-30 is based on the CX-30, but it goes its own way in terms of design. With its three-tone metallic paintwork and plastic-clad wheelhouses, the chic crossover draws attention just as much as with its unusual door concept. There is no B-pillar, the rear doors open in opposite directions up to an angle of 80 degrees. This is an advantage when a child seat is to be attached to the back seat or a large box is to be stowed in the rear. Otherwise we consider this solution to be rather impractical.

In order to get in or out at the back, the front door must first be opened and possibly the front seat must also be pushed forward. A certain flexibility is required to get to the rear, where the head and legroom is limited and the view from the small windows is rather modest. The asymmetrically split rear seat backrest can be folded forward. Then the load volume expands from 366 to a maximum of 1171 liters, which should be enough for weekend shopping. The loading sill is relatively high at 76 centimeters above the floor.

The 8.8-inch central display is responsible for entertainment and navigation

The interior is comfortable and partly furnished with sustainably produced materials. Cork made from renewable tree bark is used in the center console, which appears to float freely. The upper part of the door panels is made of fibers obtained from reused plastic bottles, and the optional fabric synthetic leather covers, which look amazingly high-quality, also have a recycled content of twenty percent. Anyone who knows Mazda vehicles will find a familiar operating concept, with one exception: for the first time, the air conditioning is controlled via an easily accessible 7-inch touchscreen that grows out of the center console. The 8.8-inch central display is responsible for entertainment and navigation, and is operated using a large rotary control / push button, steering wheel buttons or voice control. The front seating position is pleasantly high, the poor visibility due to the coupé-like rear and narrow side windows is compensated for by the standard rear-view camera with 360-degree monitor. The compact e-mobile is well equipped: automatic air conditioning, navigation and head-up display, as well as full LED headlights and 18-inch aluminum wheels, are always on board. The safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control with a traffic jam function, lane change and traffic sign assistant, blind spot warning and emergency brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection as well as an intersection function. There is only one equipment that can be supplemented by various option packages.

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BMW 4 Series Coupé (2020) in the test: price, horsepower, speed

Mature engineering performance

What is remarkable is the professionalism with which the BMW engineers have managed to give the 4 Series Coupé an unprecedented spread along the way.

Munich It wasn’t long ago that the designers at BMW had to put up with the accusation of only designing “Russian dolls”. The driver can hardly distinguish a 3 from a 5 or an X1 from an X3. With the new 4 Series Coupé at the latest, this should be a thing of the past. Because there is no clearer way a vehicle can set itself apart from its brothers within a series than this model. The 4 Series Coupé goes on sale these days. Prices start at 44,650 euros.

With this model, BMW mainly wants to address “extroverted customers” who place “high demands on design, dynamism and emotion”, as project manager Claus-Dieter groll puts it. Whether you suffer or not the oversized “kidneys” – they are supposed to be a homage to the legendary Coupés 328 and 3.0 CS – they definitely give the 4 Series Coupé its own character.

And you can be pretty sure that the BMW strategists have previously tested the reactions to this design in detail in so-called car clinics. The rest of the body is also unique, deviating in all parts from the normal 3 Series. Technically, however, the 4 Series Coupé is largely identical to the four-door sedan. The reason lies in the cluster architecture on which the entire series is based.

Nevertheless, according to the motto “A coupé must always feel sportier than a sedan”, the developers have made various changes to the 4 Series. Parts of the body structure were stiffened and all chassis components were re-tuned. The rear axle got a track widened by 2.3 centimeters and is equipped with a fully variable differential lock as standard.

In addition, the entire vehicle is 2.1 centimeters lower. You notice this quite clearly when getting in and even more when getting out. So you should not only feel young, but also be sporty on the road so that the 4 Series Coupé does not spoil your driving pleasure.

Technically closely related

Technically, the 4 Series Coupé is largely identical to the four-door sedan.

Bavarian homeland

You immediately feel at home behind the newly styled sports steering wheel.

Because the elegant two-door offers plenty of that. Especially with the “right” engine, the three-liter in-line six-cylinder petrol engine in conjunction with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. This unit, 275 kW / 374 PS and 500 Newton meters strong, is in the M440i xDrive. For the first time, in addition to the M4 (coming in 2021), another 4 Series bears the famous letter of the performance subsidiary.

It doesn’t really need to be mentioned that this enables terrific driving performance. What is remarkable, however, is the professionalism with which the BMW engineers have managed to give the 4 Series Coupé an unprecedented spread along the way. It ranges from the race track to the Sunday afternoon coffee trip. Incredibly sporty and precise in the steering behavior, perfect handling, not a bit too tight in terms of comfort and an engine that displays power and flexibility that should be unique in this class.

If you don’t want to be the top model straight away, there is the 4 Series Coupé with three further drive alternatives. The entry-level model is the 420i with the well-known two-liter four-cylinder petrol engine and 135 kW / 184 hp. The same engine, but with 190 kW / 258 hp, sits in the 430i. According to BMW, it is the best-selling variant. Diesel fans will get their money’s worth with the two-liter 420d (140 kW / 190 PS) and can look forward to March 2021 when the 4 Series Coupé will also roll out to dealers with the three-liter in-line six-cylinder diesel, the 430d with 286 PS and the M440d with 340 PS.

Interior with ambition

The interior is luxuriously furnished, material quality and workmanship are exemplary.

Revised rear

The rear axle got a track widened by 2.3 centimeters and is equipped with a fully variable differential lock as standard.

You immediately feel at home behind the newly styled sports steering wheel. The interior is luxuriously furnished, material quality and workmanship are exemplary. In the back, however – at least adults – shouldn’t expect any space miracles. A coupé is not a four-door sedan. The trunk has only average dimensions with 440 liters. After all, the backrests of the rear seats can be folded down and expand the loading volume considerably.

But BMW is at the forefront when it comes to connectivity. The latest generation of the head-up display (70 percent larger projection surface), a cloud-based navigation system with super-fast real-time traffic jam reports, is installed. You can of course integrate your own smartphone via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Many online services, but also software updates, can be transferred “over the air” to the car. The first update is due for November. The 4 Series Coupé will then be able to recognize red traffic lights for the first time and will automatically apply the brakes after confirmation by the driver.

More: Nordic noble – the Volvo V90 T8 Recharge in the Handelsblatt car test

Technical specifications

Two-door, four-seater coupe

  • Length: 4.77 meters
  • Width: 1.85 meters
  • Height: 1.38 meters
  • Wheelbase: 2.85 meters
  • Trunk: 440 l

420i Coupe:

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol, 135 kW / 184 PS
  • maximum torque: 300 Nm at 1,350 to 4,000 rpm
  • Achtgang-Automatik
  • Rear wheel drive
  • 0-100 km / h: 7.5 s
  • Vmax: 240 km/h
  • Average consumption: 5.3 l
  • CO2 emissions: 122 g / km
  • Efficiency class: A
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d
  • Price: from 44,645 euros

430i Coupe:

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol, 190 kW / 258 hp
  • maximum torque: 400 Nm at 1,550 to 4,400 rpm
  • Achtgang-Automatik
  • Rear wheel drive
  • 0-100 km / h: 5.8 s
  • Vmax: 250 km/h
  • Average consumption: 5.7 l
  • CO2 emissions: 131 g / km
  • Efficiency class: A
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d
  • Price: from 49,519 euros
Lowered.

In addition, the entire vehicle is 2.1 centimeters lower.

Dynamics in series

Incredibly sporty and precise in steering, perfect handling, not a bit too tight in comfort and an engine that displays power and flexibility that should be unique in this class.

M440i XDrive Coupé:

  • 3.0-liter six-cylinder petrol, 275 kW / 374 hp
  • maximum torque: 500 Nm at 1,900 to 5,000 rpm
  • Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
  • 0-100 km / h: 4.5 s
  • Vmax: 250 km/h
  • Average consumption: 6.8 l
  • CO2 emissions: 155 g / km
  • Efficiency class: B
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d
  • Price: from 65,213 euros

420d Coupe:

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel, 140 kW / 190 PS
  • maximum torque: 400 Nm at 1,750 to 2,500 rpm
  • Achtgang-Automatik
  • Rear wheel drive
  • 0-100 km / h: 7.1 s
  • Vmax: 240 km/h
  • Average consumption: 3.9 l
  • CO2 emissions: 103 g / km
  • Efficiency class: A +
  • Emission standard: Euro 6d
  • Price: from 47,082 euros

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