Mercedes-Benz: Manufacture of the Year?
Have Mercedes done enough to take the throne in the crazy year that has been 2020?
As we come to the end of the year, the obligatory ‘Car of the Year’ and such awards start appearing, and we petrol heads all love to argue about which of them got it most wrong. However, there are some categories which we can all truly have an opinion on. Best looker, best sound and possibly most importantly, manufacturer of the year. I know we don’t really think about it but taking a step back and seeing what a company has done over the course of a whole year can really show their strengths and weaknesses. All companies have ups and downs, but I do believe that Mercedes-Benz are the only company who could take the title this year. Here is a list of what I believe are the most important feats that they have achieved this year.
Seventh Consecutive Double World Championships.
Seventh Consecutive Double World Championship. Now many will be bored with the total dominance of Mercedes in Formula 1, but it cannot be denied that they have simply been the best team. They have the best engineers, race strategists, team principal, reliability, pure outright pace in any condition, and of course drivers. It is something that has taken years to put together with some of the sports greats helping. Niki, we miss you. Lets also not forget that they are the only team in history to have had TWO seven-time world championship drivers, something that I do not think is talked about enough. There are wins and then there are the margins that have this team have been able to achieve, every year being in total dominance with barely a competition, other than a year of Ferrari (allegedly) cheating. Boring maybe, but undoubtedly impressive.
They Designed and Built a New Breathing Aid for the COVID-19 Fight
The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device was built to aid coronavirus patients with lung infections breathe more easily. It was a joint effort between the Mercedes Formula 1 team engineers, University College London and members of the University College London Hospital. The joint effort was to develop a device that could be made in large numbers quickly. Incredibly it took less than 100 hours from the first meeting to the creation of the first device. In the end the device received regulatory approval and an order was made by the British Government for 10,000 with up to 1000 being made a day in the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains technology centre in Brixworth. Pretty damn impressive.
AMG's GT Black Series is the Fastest Production Car Around the 'Ring.
Yeah yeah, another pointless and boring record I hear you cry!! However, let’s just stop and think. 6m 43.616s. That is how long it took. This AMG, a company known for sound, power slides and more tyre smoke than what a car should really make, has just beaten the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ by over a second and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS by four seconds. Let that sink in, pointless or boring it may be, but oh so very very impressive. The aero, flat plane crank V8, the crazy traction control system. The car is a total beast. There are some down sides, it is way too expensive, £335,000, which is £146,655 more than the AMG GT R Pro. Ouch. Also, it isn’t exactly a pretty car, but you can forgive it when the aero obviously works so well. But yet again Mercedes are just showing us that there isn’t anything they can’t do.
The Launch of the New Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
Widely regarded as the most important car in the world. Most of the safety features you find on the everyday hatchback has come from this car. And Mercedes have decided that the newest, quietest, safest, most tech driven S class need more quietness, safety, and tech. I can only imagine the meeting and the things the engineers said after it. Active road noise compensation (AFGK) uses the 4D Burmester surround sound system to generate sound waves to eliminate low frequency sounds. They are using next-gen light technology whose module houses three powerful LEDs and uses 1.3 million micro mirrors to refract and direct the light. There is a new calf-rest massage function, and the back of the front seats are covered in wood. They lengthened the car to a mighty 5.5 M long, 18cm longer the LWB S Class. The doors are so heavy in sound deadening that they have copied Rolls-Royce and you can now close the doors with the simple press of a button. Oh yes, you can also get a mild hybrid 4.4L V8 , and hopefully the twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12. This is a very serious bit of kit. Yes, its for the uberwealthy, but watch as the tech trickles down to your humble hatch.
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Takes its own 'Ring Record.
Another car, another record. This one is slightly less impressive than the GT Black Series, but none the less, a record is a record. A time of 7min 27.80sec is the new ‘executive car’ record beating the 7:29.81 set by Stuttgart rival Porsche with a Panamera Turbo S earlier in the year. In this crazy world, that doesn't sound that fast, but it is only .21 seconds slower than an Enzo and .26 seconds faster than the SLS Black. This isn’t even the fastest four-door saloon, being 4sec behind that of the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, but for a car that weights in at 370kg more, has backseats and all the luxury you could ever want, is still a pretty amazing time.
Coming Third in the Formula E Championship.
This one may sound like a little bit of a stretch, but you must remember that they came second in the drivers’ championship and that this is only there first official year in the series. Points wise they were a little off both titles, but an impressive year of racing and an amazing 1-2 finish at the final race in Berlin really should be a real warning to the other teams. The technology in the sport is ever changing and bringing all new challenges to the teams. Not only will it improve the racing, but it is already bringing the tech to masses. This is a huge step for the company, and I am sure they will thrive as they have done in all other motorsports.
Mercedes Launch of there Formula E racecar.