Mercedes-Benz is a German luxury brand that builds cars, utility vehicles and commercial trucks. One of the oldest automotive brands in existence today, Mercedes-Benz built its status-symbol reputation on quality craftsmanship, reliability and safety.
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The brand was officially established in 1926, after a merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s efforts. Their first models were the 10/35, the 16/50, the 400 and the 600, followed soon after by the SSK, a roadster sports car designed by Ferdinand Porsche.
In the thirties, Mercedes-Benz produced other noteworthy models such as the 8-cylinder 500 K as well as the 260 D, the world’s first production diesel-engined car as well as the 4-cylinder 170, which was produced up until 1955. The company was also involved in Grand Prix racing, and the race car-derived 1938 W125 Rekordwagen, powered by a 725-hp, twin-supercharged V12 engine, broke a land speed record in Germany at the time, with a velocity of 432.7 km/h.
After the war, Mercedes-Benz developed the large and luxurious Type 300 in a variety of body styles from 1951. Another generation of vehicles followed, nicknamed the Ponton cars, which replaced the 170. In 1954, the legendary 300 SL Gullwing coupe was presented at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, and one year later, Mercedes-Benz of Canada Ltd was established, opening their first dealers in Toronto and Montreal.
The Fintail series of cars replaced the Ponton series in the ‘60s, while in 1963, Mercedes launched the 600, a large luxury model offered in two wheelbase lengths and powered by a 6.3-litre V8. Other models included the 230SL roadster, while S-Class models began to appear from 1965 on. In 1967, AMG was founded to develop racing engines, and became the brand’s performance division over the years. A new generation of small cars was launched in 1968 to replace the Fintail models.
The year 1971 brought a new SL-Class roadster, which remained in production up until 1989, and a coupe version called the SLC was also available throughout the ‘70s. The G-Class four-wheel drive SUV, or Geländewagen, debuted in 1979 and is still produced today, while a new S-Class arrived in coupe and sedan body styles.
The 190-Class, which was launched in 1982, was a new generation of small sedans. As Mercedes-Benz entered the DTM racing series, a mandatory roadgoing version of their race car became the 190E 2.3-16, featuring Cosworth-developed 16-valve cylinder heads. Meanwhile, the first E-Class sedan appeared in 1986.
The S-Class was redesigned in 1991, offering a V12 engine for the first time. In 1993, the C-Class appeared in replacement of the 190, and Mercedes-Benz was completing the shift to lettered-series model lines. Other new model lines appeared in the ‘90s, such as the SLK-Class roadster with its novel power-folding hard top, the built-in-the-USA M-Class SUV, the CLK-Class and CL-Class coupes as well as AMG-badged cars such as the C36 and the C43. In 1995, Mercedes-Benz returned to F1 racing after a 40-year absence.
In the decade following the year 2000, more models were introduced, including the C-Class hatchback, the R-Class crossover, the GLK-Class compact and GL-Class full-size SUVs, the B-Class subcompact hatchback for Canada as well as the CLS-Class four-door coupe. The mighty and ultra-expensive McLaren SLR served as Mercedes’ performance flagship, while high-horsepower AMG versions were offered in most model lines. The smart brand was also launched in Canada in 2004.
Today, the Mercedes-Benz product line-up consists of the B-Class, the C-Class sedan, the E-Class coupe, sedan, wagon and cabriolet, the S-Class sedan, the CLS-Class, the CL-Class coupe, the SLK-Class and SL-Class roadsters, the GLK-Class, M-Class, GL-Class and G-Class SUVs, the R-Class crossover, the Sprinter commercial van as well as the SLS AMG supercar.
There used to be an old saying regarding Mercedes-Benz: It was said that the company only updated its models every 10 years or so (whether they needed to or not), and it's something which has helped MB products maintain some of the best resale values in the industry.
For many years, one of the most successful commercial vehicles in Europe (the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter) was a bit of an oddity when it arrived in North America a little over a decade ago. Sold as a Dodge during the Daimler-Chrysler years, it's worn the Mercedes badge since 2010.
The 2014 Mercedes Benz CLA is a small car with the detail and styling energy of a flagship. The brand's latest classy and youthful style cues are applied, as are stout proportions which give the CLA a beefy, muscular demeanor inspired by its big buck bro, the CLS.
How's that for a model launch: Mercedes-Benz yesterday had the all-new S-Class flown in directly from its birthplace in Stuttgart for its world premiere at Airbus in Finkenwerder on board an Airbus A300-600 DHL cargo plane. Around 750 international guests from the worlds of politics, industry and media attended the event.
The Mercedes-Benz R350, which falls somewhere between an SUV and a minivan, has yet to find its way into the hearts and minds of consumers, with just 515 units being delivered in 2012. In spite of its gargantuan size, it's supposedly easy to manoeuver and quite agile, and has been described as such by numerous automotive journalists.
With pure, simple contours, this conservative sedan presents a refined style. Modern and sporty, the C-Class also features a double-lamella radiator grille branded with a star, the Merc logo as well as headlights underscored by LED lighting, integrated indicators on the side mirrors and a sophisticated stern.