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Old 10th June 2011, 17:03   #1
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Default Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Hey Folks, this is my first report of any kind on team bhp so please bear with me for some screw ups. I wanted to share with you guys my experience at the Mercedes Benz road show that the company carried out in Bangalore on weekend of 28th May. The event was held at The Ezone club on outer ring road near Marathahalli junction. This club has a go karting area which was closed down and the entire area was used by Benz to carried out there show case and demos. This was a non-advertised by-invitation only event for customers/prospective customers which I am neither , but thanks to a friend of mine who happened to there for go karting a day before came to know about it. The officials were very nice and courteous and more than happy to accommodate anyone who walked in invited or uninvited. Also the fact that all of the organizers were punjabis, kinda also helped me in getting bit of fellow punju treatment . Overall thanks to not much advertising the crowd was fairly less which was in line with the way the event was organized. Larger no of people would have been a mess to handle

The event was primarily around demo of technologies underlying in Mercedes products. There were 2 demo areas, first one to show the off road capabilities of the SUV range. Before the demo there was a video presentation that showed the technologies like 4matic transmission and 4ETS (Electronic Traction System) and how it helped in off roading condition. Check out some of the pictures below showing the artificial conditions that were created to show-off the vehicles' capabilities. All the demos were done by their test drivers with visitors seated inside. Demos were done in a ML350 (black) and a GL350 (Silver). I took this demo in the GL350 and it was fun because sitting inside in a nice air-conditioned, sound proof cabin it seemed so effortless as it went over the track.

This is the 1st part of the track which was attempted both with and without ETS to show how big a difference it makes to traction. Without ETS wheels were spinning but with ETS on the SUV went over effortlessly.
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8704.jpg

In this 2nd pic, in the background notice the steep ramp, this was 3rd part of the demo (more on that later)
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8706.jpg

2nd part of the demo was to show the inclines that the SUV can handle sideways. Mercedes claims that it can handle max of 35 degrees sideways and the ramps created for demo were 30 degrees.

1st Ramp, during the demo when I sat in the front seat and with incline towards my side and it almost seemed on the verge of rolling over. Again in the background notice the ML350 going up a steep incline (more on that later).
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8708.jpg

2nd Ramp, this one was better since i was on the higher side
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Few more pics of the ML350 doing the ramp
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3rd part of the demo was to show the extremely low gearing options (lower than regular 1st gear) that allows the SUV to easily go up steep inclines. I am not sure what was the angle but the GL350 effortlessly went up the ramp shown in the earlier pics with 7 people on board. Infact the driver also stopped halfway and restarted. Again with me sitting on the front reminded me of roller coaster rides looking towards the sky.

This next pic shows the part where another feature of the SUV was demoed which allows the driver to setup a speed range from 4 to 18km/hr (not 100% sure about the range) and the SUV automatically controls the speed as the vehicles decends down a steep incline.
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8710.jpg

2nd demo area was about the different safety features on the road cars. This included and was not limited to ABS + EBD, ESP and something called as Pre-Safe. Pre-Safe is a feature in Mercedes where the car is smart enough to realize that there is a imminent collision happening and the car automatically rolls the windows up 90%, closes sun/moon roof and tightens the seat belts and few more things depending on which model you are in. This is triggered based on extreme braking, heavy over/under steer and rapid steering movement. For this demo they had couple of C200s and E250 and also an exclusive E63 AMG which was used only for "special" visitors. Check out few videos that I took of the demos. I took this demo in a C200 and really enjoyed the feel of ABS kicking in. Pictures dont really show much hence the videos for this one. Bear with the image stabilization of my digicam's video mode.

This video shows how under extreme braking ABS allows steering control which ideally wont be present with tires locked completely



This video shows both C200 and E250 doing the rounds demoing ABS, ESP including wet conditions. There was a guy throwing water on parts of the surface to reduce traction,



Couple of more videos of showoff being done on the E63. Only "special" visitors sat in the car for this one. I didnt bond with the punjabi organizers enough.





Now to the best part of the event. There was a also a small display area which had a SL63, SLS, E63, C63, R350 on display. All cars were open to access and visitors could sit and enjoy the feel. The demos were great but then how often do we get to sit in a SLS or SL63 in India, heck even outside India. Pics from the display. Again bear with the quality. Since there were always people in and around the cars I couldnt really manage shots exclusively of the car

SL63
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8726.jpg
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Only thing common between this beauty and my Ikon, Michelin
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8737.jpg

Center console, well laid out yet simplistic design in my opinion
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8763.jpg

SLS, from the number of picture you can tell I spent more time on this baby
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8727.jpg
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SLS showing of its massive heart, 6.3L V8 naturally aspirated engine
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8760.jpg

closeup of the heart, notice the black box between the 2 air filters, thats the oil sump. SLS does not have the oil sump at the bottom, this helps in reducing center of gravity while mounting the engine. 1st time I saw something like this.
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8757.jpg

heres a video to enjoy the lovely intake sound of the engine. One of the organizers was generally revving the engine to entertain visitors.



Interiors, somehow I wasnt super impressed by the interiors or didnt get that wow or oomph factor in the SLS, probably not right to compare but it wouldnt give a ferrari or a lamborghini a run for its money, my personal opinion.
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8769.jpg
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8765.jpg

E63, the car for demo to special customers
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8732.jpg
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8734.jpg

V8 turbocharged engine on the E63
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8731.jpg

C63, this one was locked
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Last and probably the least since no one payed attention to her standing next to the SL63 the R350
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8718.jpg

another shot of the demo area
Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report-dscn8754.jpg

Overall the event was well organized. I would again commend all the organizers for being very courteous and patient with the crowd in explaining the various features and not being fussy about people fiddling around with the cars on display. Hope I manage to run into more events like this in future.

Last edited by supertinu : 11th June 2011 at 15:33.
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Old 11th June 2011, 23:25   #2
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

that's a super report supertinu.
that SLS looks amazing and man does the R350 look boring in the company of its crazy amg maniac cousins.
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Old 12th June 2011, 00:20   #3
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Thanks a lot for the pics. It does feel a nice report. And the videos are nice too. What an acceleration does the E63 give. Brilliant. No videos of the SUVs going on the ramps ?
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Old 12th June 2011, 12:52   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Yes put the R350 next to that beauty.
Overall a nice report, Especially loved the SUV tests there.
Thanks.
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Old 12th June 2011, 16:09   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by superboy44 View Post
that's a super report supertinu.
that SLS looks amazing and man does the R350 look boring in the company of its crazy amg maniac cousins.
thanks superboy , ohh yea R350 was really ignored, probably my wife was the only one who actually sat inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Thanks a lot for the pics. It does feel a nice report. And the videos are nice too. What an acceleration does the E63 give. Brilliant. No videos of the SUVs going on the ramps ?
thanks swiftnfurious, yea the E63 was virtually taking off. Unfortunately I didnt take any videos of the SUV runs, in all the excitement of the demos and the display, i kinda missed SUV videos completely

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Yes put the R350 next to that beauty.
Overall a nice report, Especially loved the SUV tests there.
Thanks.
thanks Puneet
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Old 12th June 2011, 17:17   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

oh forgot to ask my Question. The people who were allowed to drive the E63 AMG, Were they pre-chosen ? anyone famous ?
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Old 12th June 2011, 17:38   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Nice pictures, videos and description of the event, supertinu. I was there at the event too. It was super fun!

Btw a thread already exists for this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ive-event.html (Demonstration of 4x4 Tech at the "Mercedes StarDrive Event")
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Old 12th June 2011, 18:22   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

@supertinu: No pics of G55 AMG?? Can see her standing behind that C63 (the one locked) Seems to be dwarfing everything in its vicinity.

Raab Rakha.
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:27   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by puneet_b View Post
oh forgot to ask my Question. The people who were allowed to drive the E63 AMG, Were they pre-chosen ? anyone famous ?
Visitors were not allowed to drive, only there test drivers were driving the cars. E63 specifically was being driven by the main guy among the organizers. I saw only 1 or 2 families being given a ride in the E63 and they seemed prospective enough .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibzi View Post
Nice pictures, videos and description of the event, supertinu. I was there at the event too. It was super fun!

Btw a thread already exists for this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ive-event.html (Demonstration of 4x4 Tech at the "Mercedes StarDrive Event")
Thanks for pointing out Vaibzi, didnt realize there was an existing thread

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Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
@supertinu: No pics of G55 AMG?? Can see her standing behind that C63 (the one locked) Seems to be dwarfing everything in its vicinity.

Raab Rakha.
G55 was the last car on display in the lot and I was running late for some evening appointment, had to skip it :(
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Old 20th May 2012, 11:14   #10
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Vid6639 and I were invited to the StarDrive. Having gone through this thread, it was exactly the same event in the same location excet there were no AMG's being used.

We arrived there pretty early while they were setting up. Hari Singh was directing his team from JK racing. The off roading simulation was set up but they were having problems setting up the Presafe demo. It was quite fun though watching the C class's and E class's get pushed. The C class was actually quite manoeuverable with its size.

On display was the SLS - Vid got a 5 min ride in it, from one parking area to the other!! THe SLS is a bit worse for wear. Seen a lot of action on the Buddh track and also in the hands of many jouraniists. The rear panel has had a repaint. I will not begin to talk about the swirl marks.

Some SLS pics

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Viddy -the poser

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Old 20th May 2012, 11:18   #11
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As mentioned, the drivers were from the JK team. A lot of them were called Sunny! We then decided to ride in the 4wd section It is exactly lke last year
We got into the GL. It was like meeting an old friend having spent quality time with the cars in Leh (more here).

The Grand edition is a lot more impressive. One thing about the GL is how soothing to ride it. With so much trickery, there was little to do and let the car do its thing.

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View from the Peak

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Sidewalls bearing a lot of the load!

Note the wheel travel in next few pictures
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Hill hold in action

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The G55 was being piloted by Hari Singh, we had planned to take a ride with him but an hour later, it had to be retired due to some technical fault. One down!

Last edited by ajmat : 20th May 2012 at 11:22.
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Old 20th May 2012, 11:36   #12
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We then took the opportunity to spend time with a senior sales manager of Mercedes Benz and gave him some feedback on thr "B" class perception, why BMW BSI packages are deal makers and about the ML ownerships issues. He has asked for links to these which were provided.

We then waited around for the Pre-safe demo. I do not have pics but Viddy might have some. They first do a high speed brake slalom to demonstrate ABS and then a high speed braking to demonstrate the presafe.

A lot of time was spent setting up the track so the drivers are having a bit of fun drifting the Mercs around the place. They had barely started when the white C250 Avantgarde suffered a transmission overheat and was retired. A C250 Elegance was drafted in. Sitting in the car was less dramatic that from the outside.

The braking distances were impressive. The presafe was bit underwhelming in that the wondows started rolling up after we stopped. Maybe they needed more track and higher speeds.

After that, there was a slalom competition. We had to submit copies of our licences and register. It comprised of various sharp bends and a slalom. We first drive on the path and then it is a go for it time check. after 4 years of no track, I scored 20.8 in an E class. As I was late for a lunch , I had to leave early.

I later get a call saying that I won and to collect my prize. I said that I had left. They said that they would get back to me.

Despite my follow ups, there has been no response - Mercedes Service?

Over to Viddy for his pics and video
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Old 20th May 2012, 15:43   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz Stardrive Event - Bangalore Report

I just attended the stardrive experience in chennai today. It was just the same as expained above. Was pretty interesting but I wish mercedes would let us do driving. It's way more fun that way. I think BMW and Audi have had similar events where they let everyone drive the cars.
The slalom contest was fun though. In chennai they said that if you can finish the contest in under 30 seconds you get a price. I finished it in 26.8 which they said was the fastest of the day.
Ajmat, The prize is a 3 lakh discount voucher if you buy any mercedes car within the next month. It cant be used for any accessories. So if your planning to buy a merc in the next one month it may be worth following up for the prize otherwise just forget about it.
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Old 21st May 2012, 11:26   #14
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We then took the opportunity to spend time with a senior sales manager of Mercedes Benz and gave him some feedback on thr "B" class perception, why BMW BSI packages are deal makers and about the ML ownerships issues. He has asked for links to these which were provided.

We then waited around for the Pre-safe demo. I do not have pics but Viddy might have some. They first do a high speed brake slalom to demonstrate ABS and then a high speed braking to demonstrate the presafe.

The braking distances were impressive. The presafe was bit underwhelming in that the wondows started rolling up after we stopped. Maybe they needed more track and higher speeds.
Not to generalize but G55 tech fault during the demo is probably a good pointer for the Merc team about the reliability of there cars.

Even I had found the pre-safe demo rather under whelming. Its a rather simplistic feature though marketed as a big deal. Not denying that in a real situation it would be of value assuming the windows do roll up in time. Considering the split second situations of accidents, windows don't really roll up that fast.
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Old 21st May 2012, 11:32   #15
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Not to generalize but G55 tech fault during the demo is probably a good pointer for the Merc team about the reliability of there cars.

.
The G55 has been exposed to a lot of gruelling activity in Ladakh and elsewhere so I would not be too harsh on it.

The white C250CDI (Sundram demo car) was retired
The green/grey C250 CDI elegance had blue smoke popping out for a while
An E250CDI had a slight issue in engaging gear which disappeared.

Saying that the latter two cars were okay after that. Wonder what the casualty rate was after the weekend?
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