Mere days after Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first electric vehicle for the US market – the sleek EQS sedan – the German carmaker took the wraps off of its next battery-powered model: the EQB.
Mercedes revealed the compact electric SUV at the Shanghai Auto Show on Sunday. The EQB will add another zero-emission option to the US’ booming crossover market when it comes stateside in 2022, but it will go on sale in Europe and China first, the company said.
Mercedes hasn’t released details for the US version of the crossover, but said European customers will get to choose from several models, including some with front-wheel drive, some with all-wheel drive, and a long-range model. There will be a seven-seat option with a small third row.
The EQB shares a lot with the gas-powered GLB crossover, but gets some touches unique to Mercedes’ EQ line of electric vehicles. It shares a smooth black-panel grille with the EQS and gets horizontal LED light strips in front and back that span the width of the vehicle.
There’s still no word on how much the EQB will cost, but it’ll likely fall in the $40,000-$50,000 range as one of Mercedes’ entry-level EQ models. It’ll compete with other compact EV crossovers like the Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4 E-Tron, and Jaguar I-Pace.
Mercedes has sat on the sidelines of the EV boom for years, but it appears committed to make up for lost time. In December, the company announced a plan to launch six new electric models by 2022. And in April, it debuted its flagship electric luxury sedan, the EQS. With 478 miles of claimed range and a gigantic 56-inch “Hyperscreen” inside, the EQS shows Mercedes is going all-in on its EV ambitions.
For some, the $100,000-and-up Mercedes-Benz S-Class just isn’t luxurious enough. For them, there’s the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
It’s a lavish land yacht that will carry an eye-watering MSRP of $184,900 when it hit dealers this summer, the carmaker announced Wednesday.
Mercedes took the wraps off of the 2021 version of the sedan during an online event in November, revealing a revamped exterior design and a host of new, ultra-luxurious features inside the cabin. It stands to reason that, since Maybach owners don’t spend much time in the driver’s seat, most of the exciting interior upgrades can be found in the back seat.
And – with a wheelbase that’s several inches longer than the standard S-Class – there’s plenty of room back there for swanky features like massaging leg rests, a multicolored ambient-lighting setup, champagne flutes, and copious amounts of wood trim.
Although most of us will never know such luxury firsthand, you can take a virtual look at the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 below:
The new-for-2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sports a new design with an exclusive, imposing radiator grille.
It comes in ten two-tone paint options, a signature Maybach feature.
You can also tell it apart from a standard Mercedes offering by the Maybach lettering up front …
And by the illuminated Maybach emblem on the C-pillar.
The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 has a wheelbase that’s seven inches longer than the standard model, and is larger all around than its predecessor.
It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 with a claimed 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and it rides on cushy air suspension.
However, you don’t spend deep six figures on a Maybach for its classy look or its performance, you do it for its palatial interior packed with optional and standard luxury features.
The leather seats have more massaging capability than before, now offering up ten preset programs, two levels of intensity, and massaging calf rests.
Naturally, the seats are climate-controlled as well, and they now include neck and shoulder heating functions.
The “executive rear seat plus” package swaps the standard bench seat for two individual rear seats separated by a center console.
Even the Maybach’s new rear airbags are fancy, deploying in a “gentle manner,” according to Mercedes.
The electronic rear doors swing open at the push of a button and can be operated from the driver’s seat.
The doors have flush-mounted handles that pop out when they’re needed.
Buyers unsatisfied with the leather-to-wood balance in the cabin can now opt for wood trim on the front seat backs.
They can also potentially outfit their vehicle with up to five screens, including a digital gauge cluster, a 12.8-inch center touchscreen, a rear tablet, and two rear-mounted displays.
The entertainment system comes with two wireless headsets.
Other options include a refrigerated cubby and a champagne flute set with spots on the armrest to hold them.
The silver-plated flutes cost $830 each on Maybach’s website.
Some other standard features include 64-color ambient lighting, a fragrance system, and powered window shades.
For extra comfort, Mercedes outfitted the Maybach S-Class with an active noise-canceling system.
Mercedes says the upgraded drive-mode selector now delivers smoother acceleration in “Chauffeur mode.”
Mercedes said the new model will arrive at US dealers in the middle of 2021.
Advanced RV has revealed a prototype of its “B Box” camper van built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cab chassis.
The B Box fits a full bathroom, kitchen, and dual living room and bedroom inside of the highly insulated box.
Advanced RV’s president Mike Neundorfer estimates that the price will be similar to the company’s other vans, which have recently ranged between $310,000 to about $490,000 with a median price of about $380,000.
Advanced RV has begun manufacturing custom B Box vans for its customers and has hired new staff members to accommodate this increase in production.
The unveiling of the B Box comes at a fortuitous time for the RV industry, with RV sales going through the roof with no sign of slowing down.
Unlike most camper vans – including ones that Advanced RV has built in the past – the B Box doesn’t take the classic look of a tiny home on wheels. Instead, the camper cabin sits inside of an insulated fiberglass composite and foam box that’s both off-grid and four-seasons capable.
“Advanced RV’s mission is to listen to and understand our clients’ travel objectives so that we can collaborate with them to bring their vision to life,” Advanced RV’s president Mike Neundorfer said in an email interview with Business Insider. “When we discovered a box that would allow us to meet our clients’ objectives on a cab chassis, we pursued building a prototype because we knew of the spatial, insulation, and off-grid advancements a box would provide.”
Despite this upwards trend, Class A and C RV shipments dipped year-over-year last month by 12.7% and 5.2%, respectively. month. However, Class B RVs remained resilient: last month, Class B shipments increased by 57.9% compared to September 2019, according to the same survey.
According to Advanced RV’s YouTube tour of the B Box, the van was designed to not appear like a motorhome.
The prototype of the B Box camper took around 10 to 11 months to complete and has similar dimensions to a traditional 170-inch Sprinter van, although the B Box has a higher ground clearance with at least 9.5 inches.
B Box’s interior is about 6.67 feet tall and has an extra nine inches of width despite having a similar exterior width as a traditional Sprinter.
The cabin box is about three inches wider than the widest part of the van.
According to a statement from Neundorfer, the name of the van is derived from its Class B RV classification, which the company specializes in.
Like many camper van and RV makers, Advanced RV has seen an increase in Class B RV interest from the public since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even if interested parties aren’t looking to build a van, we are receiving more calls, inquiries, and interest in our YouTube channel,” Advanced RV president Mike Neundorfer said in an email interview with Business Insider.
Advanced RV created the B Box out of partial necessity, not because of the coronavirus pandemic, but because of chassis manufacturing changes.
In 2018 and 2019, Advanced RV began struggling to meet client demands due to delays in Sprinter chassis deliveries in 2018 when Mercedes-Benz opened a new Sprinter manufacturing plant in South Carolina, according to Neundorfer.
In order to prevent employee layoffs, Advanced RV started building its own box on wheels.
“The creation of the B Box turned a difficult Sprinter supply problem into an opportunity to meet client objectives with a design using cab chassis which are readily available,” Neundorfer wrote.
The company has now begun hiring new staff members to accommodate the ramped up production of custom B Box vans for its clients.
This includes a B Box with a washer, dryer, and pop-up roof camper for a family with children.
Neundorfer estimates the price will be similar to its other vans, which have recently ranged between $310,000 to about $490,000 with a median price of about $380,000.
The van’s air suspension system is electronically controlled and comes with custom shock absorbers. And for improved efficiency, the exterior of the van is lined with airtabs.
The exterior also has sidelights and a 360-degree camera system.
For extra security, Advanced RV included a keypad by the entry door to password lock and protect the van.
Stepping stairs automatically drop down when the entry door is opened for increased accessibility.
The cabin can be easily accessed from the van’s cab, and the passenger seat can swivel to face the interior, therefore serving as an extra seating spot.
Behind the cab is a microwave, refrigerator and freezer, and the kitchen unit, which includes cabinets, a sink, and a large counter space.
The camper has shoe storage shelves integrated into the side of the kitchen unit and cabinets that line most of the van’s ceiling.
The color of the lights that brighten up the interior can be changed.
To clean off after a day in the outdoors, the B Box’s bathroom has a shower that can filter and sterilize used shower water, allowing the water to be recycled and reused. This repurposed shower water can also be used for the toilet.
The bathroom is also equipped with a toilet, mirrors, a shower curtain extension, a medicine cabinet, and a sink.
The bathroom and kitchen’s water is sourced from the van’s 50-gallon freshwater tank. Used water is then deposited into the two 27.5-gallon grey and black water tanks.
Advanced RV’s latest van also has openable dual pane windows with screens and shades by the sofa bed. The back hatch can also open, bringing in more fresh air and rear access.
There’s also room to store outdoor toys like bicycles in front of the rear hatch and behind the sofa bed.
The sofa bed can seat three people with seatbelts and sits on a steel frame for extra support and security.
The interior also has a Sonos sound system and a TV for extra entertainment inside the tiny home on wheels.
B Box’s strong insulation allows the interior to be warmed and cooled with only approximately 20% of the energy that it takes to maintain the temperature of a normal camper van, according to Advanced RV.
The van is so tightly sealed, the interior’s carbon dioxide levels will increase if people stay and breathe inside the van for too long, according to Advanced RV’s YouTube video. To combat this, its makers included an air heat exchanger and a carbon dioxide monitor.
To make the tiny home on wheels more four seasons capable, Advanced RV included on-demand heated water and floors, and air conditioning and auxiliary heating systems.
All of these amenities are powered by the van’s 48-volt, 15.2-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack that can be charged with the alternator. These power systems can then be monitored with the van’s touchscreen control center.