2014 Mercedes Benz CLA Class Makes Appearance at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – Twin Cities Auto Show Just Gets ‘Empty’ Concept Car Version

2014-Mercedes-CLA-Class-production car-Amelia Island Concours
2013 CLA250 on display at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

A friend of mine emailed me this photos from the Amelia Island Concours ‘d’Elegance yesterday from beautiful Amelia Island, FL. My friend, Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service, has a 1930 30’ Hacker Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout, a beautiful vintage wood boat, in the RM Auctions sale being held in the area. While strolling the grounds of the Concours he took this photo, of a Mercedes-Benz display showing off some vintage Mercedes hardware from the Classic Center in Irvine, CA… along with a new production model CLA class car.

So, while at the Twin Cities Auto Show we get a cool looking concept… it is a non running (no engine, no interior, can’t even open up the doors) example. At the Amelia Island Concours they get a road ready street version.

2013-Minneapolis-Auto-Show-Mercedes-CLA-Concept-car
2013 Twin Cities Auto Show got this shell of a CLA Concept.

At the Twin Cities Auto Show yesterday, people were asking me about the door handles on the concept… there aren’t any really, just a different color silver inlay, flush to the body. I mentioned to one person that I was quite sure the door handles on the actual production car would be just like all the other door handles on the cars. Looking at this photo, that does seem to be the case. I’m not sure that I love the wheels chosen for this car, in black. The lower front bumper is a bit different than the concept, as one would expect… but keeps the same general shape. As expected, the CLA is basically a ‘baby CLS’.

I suppose there is no argument to be made as to where the ‘money is’ when it comes to reaching the most REAL potential buyers and where Mercedes-Benz would get the most bang for their marketing buck… Amelia Island is essentially the Pebble Beach of the East, held each March.

Hopefully they’ll make them fast enough to keep up with demand, my guess is that they will be in short supply for the first few months of production, it probably won’t be easy to get one.

1930-hacker-craft-freedom-boat-service
The 1930 Hack Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout consigned at RM Auctions by Freedom Boat Service from Mound, MN.

2013 Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally Event Dates Announced – Saturday & Sunday, June 8 – 9, 2013 – Join Us with your Classic Car!

walleye 1000 vintage rally
No time or money to go on high dollar vintage rallies like the Colorado Grand or California Mille? If so, the “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” just might be for you! It’s a two day vintage car tour on the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The 2nd annual Walleye 1000 will be upon us before we know it. This year’s route will take us South-East from the Twin Cities along the Mississippi and into Wisconsin for the evening, then back into Minnesota for our return and finisher’s banquet on Sunday evening.

Open to interesting classic, sports and grand touring cars, foreign and domestic, model year 1993 and older.

Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, 2013

From the patinated to the pristine, from works in progress to completed projects, blue chip collectibles to vintage fright pigs, all are welcome to participate in the old car hijinx and debauchery that will likely unfold during the 2nd Annual “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” on the scenic back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

View photos of the Inaugural 2012 Walleye 1000… lots of interesting cars and fun people!

Entry fee is $249 per vehicle (2 person team, driver + co-driver). Overnight accommodations, finisher’s dinner, event T-shirts for all participants and a bunch of other event swag is included, this is a laid back car event on a budget!

Contact Event Organizer: Dave Tobin | (651) 216-1265 | dave ( at ) daveknowscars.com

www.walleye1000.com
Visit the website for event info, sign up for email updates and download a Participant Application.

Arizona Collector Car Auction Report Preview… Mercedes Cars Sell from $2.5 Million down to Under $10,000 Sensory Overload, Mercedes Cars at Every Venue

1935-Mercedes-500K-Cabrio
Perhaps the most imposing Mercedes of the week, this 1935 500K Cabriolet A, sold at Gooding and Co. for $2.5 Million at the hammer.

The Collector Car Auctions in Scottsdale this past week were great… and the 70 degree weather was nice too. I must admit, as I got off the plane to ONE degree in Minneapolis I pondered a permanent change in geography and lifestyle.

There were lots of great cars, some huge sale numbers… and some not so huge sale numbers. There was virtually every kind of car imaginable, lots of Mercedes-Benz cars representing over 120 years… from an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen to a Mercedes McLaren that’s just a few years old. SLs were the star cars… 300SLs appeared at each of the sales I attended, more than one at several of them. Pagoda SLs were very well represented, as they continue their steady price rise. There were a couple of 190SLs and more R107 and R129 ‘just used cars’ than I could count. Classic Mercedes Coupes from the 50s and 60s were present as well and one very imposing 1935 500K Cabriolet A.

I am working on a number of stories related to the auctions… about specific auctions, about specific cars at specific auctions and why things happened as they did.

Each sale really has its own personality. Different crowds are drawn to each auction for different reasons. You have the elephant in the room… Barrett-Jackson, which is what most people think of when they think of the Scottsdale in January, many people don’t even realize there are other auctions going on. The best description of Barrett-Jackson that I can come up with is that it’s basically like the Minnesota State Fair except inside the buildings, there aren’t animals, there are cars. Russo and Steele seems a bit like a WWF Pro Wrestling event, but instead of two big sweaty guys going at it in the ring, there are collector cars of (widely) varying quality rolling through looking for new owners. Gooding and Company and RM Auctions clearly cater to the highest end Robin Leech champagne and caviar set. The quality of cars at these events are as good as any sale in the world. Gooding creates a lively, rather laid back atmosphere, considering the millions of dollars being spent on individual cars in a series of very comfortable tents. RM gets my vote for best venue, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Arizona Biltmore Hotel and Spa Complex. Their cars are nicely displayed outside among the palm tree lined drives and inside in a ballroom where you would expect a wedding reception instead of a car auction, but this is no normal car auction. In the auction room things are fairly quiet and very orderly.

I attended the Consignment Tour at RM Auctions put on by Sports Car Market Magazine which was interesting. The availability and openness of the RM Auction analysts and Carl Bomstead and Keith Martin from SCM was great. While higher profile in the car hobby than a guy like me, they’re still just car guys… their insights are interesting and you can tell they’re having a lot of fun walking among these wonderful discussing the pros and cons of each or speculating as to why the market is moving this way or that.

Cruising from preview to preview and sale to sale was a blast… I ran into a number of old friends, made some new ones and got to know some friends I already had just that much better. I hope to recount the highlights on the DaveKnowsCars blog over the next few weeks as well as in a number of articles on the SLMarket website. If you’re not familiar with the SL Market Website or the printed SL Market Letter, I encourage you to click the link to that website in the upper right of any page on on the DKC blog. In the meantime… here is a taste of some of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles that caught my eye… there are many more, this is just a sampling!

Clark Gable Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
Mercedes Benz 300SL Originally owned by Clark Gable (complete with Gable manequin), no sale at $1.6 million. Seemed like a more than fair number to me, consignor must think the star power is worth more. Should have sold.
Mercedes 300Sc Cabriolet
My buddy David Steingas leaving no stone unturned with his inspection of the 300Sc, ultimately sold for $750,000, soaring right past the high estimate of $450,000.
Mercedes 300S Cabriolet Gooding and Co Scottsdale 2013
One of the surprises of the sale… description noted the car just came out of long term storage and needs ‘complete recommissioning’ never the less, this car brought $300k OVER the high estimate of $450,000, hammer fell at $750,000!
Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet Gooding and co Scottsdale 2013
One of two 280SE 3.5 Cabriolets at this sale. This was the lesser of the two, paint was cracking and crazing all over this car, but still pretty.
Mercedes 240D limousine
Curios Mercedes 240D Limo, previously the property of the royal family in Monaco.
300SL Roadster at Gooding and Co Arizona 2013
300SL Roadster Sold for $700k Friday afternoon at Gooding and Co. The first of two 300SL roadsters at their sale.
Mercedes 300SL roadster Russo and Steele
300SL Roadster at Russo and Steele, sold Saturday night for $660,000. Looks about market correct to me, if not well bought. Seller reluctantly lifted the reserve and let it go when bidding stalled at about $655k, auction company pressured hard to get it done.
1980 Mercedes 450SLC
1980 Mercedes 450SLC, perhaps the ‘worst’ (least desirable?) Mercedes of the week. Who had the bright idea to bolt on those pimp chrome wheels?
1969 Mercedes 280SL Russo and Steele 2013
One of the nicest 280SLs we saw all week, and sitting in the dusty gravel of Russo and Steele. My friend I went out to AZ with was the under bidder on this car… but that’s another story.
Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster at Gooding and co
Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster at Gooding and co, the nicest of the week, brought a hammer price of 1.4 Million. A big number for a roadster, but try to find another this nice with original Rudge wheels.
Mercedes 190SL RM Auctions
RM’s auctioneer and one of their analysts checking this 190SL out very carefully.
300SL Gullwing and Roadster RM Auctions Scottsdale
300SLs at RM.
Mercedes 280SL RM Auctions
Mercedes 280SL at RM Auctions.

 

Barrett Jackson Arizona Auction Bound, And RM, Gooding, Bonhams, Russo and Steele! DaveKnowsCars to Report from the Center of the Collector car World: 5 Days – 5 Collector Car Auctions

DaveKnowsCars-Arizona-Auctions

I’m headed to the airport in a few minutes… bound for Phoenix, AZ and what has become the center of the collector car world each January.

I will be attending 5 auctions… I’m on assignment for the SL Market Letter, so watch for a forthcoming article in that publication regarding the Mercedes-Benz scene in Arizona this January. I hope to pay particularly close attention to a handful of early 70s Mercedes 280SE 3.5 cabriolets that will be crossing the various blocks… in addition to the 300SLs and pagoda SLs.

I’m signed up for the Sports Car Market Insider Auction Tour at RM tomorrow, watch for a full report on that event as well.

My ride is outside honking… must run… I have  a feeling there will be a lot of that over the next few days!

More from the road. – DT

Apple iPhone 5 Unable to Pair with Mercedes Benz Bluetooth After IOS Version 6.0.2 Upgrade

Mercedes-iPhone5 IOS 6.0.2 Upgrade

12/31/2012 – Breaking News – It’s come to my attention that there is an issue with the new iPhone 5 when trying to pair to Mercedes-Benz Blue tooth equipped vehicles (which means any new Mercedes Benz).

Quite simply, if you perform the automatic ‘upgrade’ from IOS 6.0.1 to the newer IOS 6.0.2, the iPhone 5 that you had previously paired for use in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle will no longer be paired… and worse, CANNOT be paired to your Mercedes-Benz vehicle for easy Bluetooth hands free usage. Bluetooth phone capabilities, GONE, Bluetooth streaming music capabilities… SORRY, that won’t work either.

Once the IOS 6.0.2 upgrade is made to your iPhone 5, the phone cannot be paired to your Mercedes Benz vehicle.

I’ve got to believe that a fix will be made for the situation… whether it will come from Mercedes-Benz or from Apple, I don’t know. I would guess it will be an Apple upgrade or ‘fix’, as the way I understand it the same problem is cropping up in other vehicles from other manufacturers.

So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you want to talk hands free or stream music in your Mercedes-Benz, at least for now… you’ll have to hold off on the 6.0.2 upgrade or downgrade back to IOS 6.0.1 if you’ve already made the change. There is a third option… make the upgrade an go back to holding your phone up to your ear.

I’m sorry for the bad news… You’ve gotta love the accelerated speed of technology and how one compatible device jumps ahead of another.

I will try to provide an update to the situation once I learn more from either Mercedes-Benz or from Apple.

A Very Merry Christmas! Local Father / Son Duo Pick Up Their New Mercedes Benz C and E Classes in Time For Christmas!

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

It was a good day for these guys on Thursday! This is a local father and son that I met very early this year on the show room floor here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz. Alan (the father) purchased this Palladium Silver E350 while his son, Austin, went with this black C300 4matic Sport (Mercedes-Benz demographic engineers are right again… dad gets an E, son gets a C!).

Austin had been looking at brand new cars recently to replace the car that got him through college… and he almost pulled the trigger on a new Volkswagen Passat with front wheel drive when he figured he could get an almost new, Certified Pre Owned C300 4matic all wheel drive car for about the same money.

He wanted a 2012, he wanted a lot of options… the stars aligned and this black car happened to come in to Sears Imports as a one owner lease return. It’s a P1 Package car with Keyless Go and the Multi media package. Austin is one guy who will actually use all the features and options in that Multi Media Package. Congratulations Austin, you weighed your options and made an informed decision. I would imagine this young man has a very bright future indeed!

Alan, Austin’s father, had been watching lightly pre owned E350 4matic inventories for months. A car came in a few months ago that checked every box on his wish list… but he couldn’t live with the interior color. Another potential contender showed up not too much later, but he was set on a silver car (Iridium, Palladium, maybe Steel Grey) so the search continued. He was looking for a highly optioned Certified Pre Owned E class with low miles with a clean history, plenty of warranty left at a fair price. What just about everybody wants, right? If I could have called the ‘Used Car Factory” I would have.

In the end Alan had the patience and diligence to find the right car. He knew it was what he wanted, and he was able to take advantage of aggressive 1.99% APR interest rates for up to 66 months on the purchase. His car is equipped with the P2 Package (Premium 2 Package), the wheel Package which give him those great looking AMG wheels, PARKTRONIC, and a Panorama sunroof among other options.

Alan’s wife Sherri and daughter Ariel (Austin’s mother and sister of course) came down with them to pick up the cars, it was a real family adventure, just in time for the holidays. Thank you gentlemen, it’s been great getting to know you, I hope the whole family enjoys the cars… and I hope we can do it again some time.
dave-tobin-mercedes-customers

2012 Motor Trend SUV of the Year Honors Go to the new 2013 Mercedes Benz GL450 – But What Does It Really Mean?

Mercedes-Motor-Trend-SUV-of-The-Year

It was just announced that the all new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 SUV won Motor Trend’s prestigious ‘SUV of the Year’ Award. 11 SUVS, both foreign and domestic, were tested and judged side by side and the new GL came out on top. Judging was based on a number of criteria including: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Performance of Intended Function, Efficiency, Safety and Value.

The competitors were: Acura RDX, Audi Allroad, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Infiniti JX, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz GL450, Mercedes-Benz GLK350, Nissan Pathfinder and the Subaru XV Crosstrek.

While it’s nice for Mercedes-Benz to get some recognition for the pure genius of the new GL, it really is an amazing vehicle, and I write that as objectively as I can. I regularly drive Cadillac Escalades, Range Rovers, Yukon Denalis and other big SUVS, but nothing even compares to a GL…really. BUT, I must look at the other vehicles in the competition and think… how can you really compare a Mazda CX-5 to a $70,000 GL450? What’s a CX-5 Cost? $35,000? The GLK350 is in the same comparison test, as great a little SUV as it is… how is it going to beat its big brother the GL?
Mercedes GL450-Motor-Trend-SUV-of-The-Year

Sure, we can look at the criteria and talk about Design Advancement across all these competitors, Engineering Excellence, etc. But I’d be more proud to say that the GL came out on top if cars like the Range Rover and Escalade (and any number of other behemoth – in size and price – luxury SUVs) were included in the test, not all these mid sized cross overs that cost at least $20k – $30k less than the winner. I mean, is the Audi Allroad even an SUV? Where’s the Q7 in this competition?

So, while this is nice press and we can all slap each other on the back about winning the award, I caution everyone to take these sorts of ‘awards’ with a grain of salt, no matter who wins. There is no doubt the GL450 is a  great vehicle and I’d put it up against any SUV on the market. Nothing drives like it, it’s easy to live with and has made huge strides in fuel efficiency… I’m just saying, I don’t know why you’d comapre it to a Hyundai Santa Fe and be surprised at the outcome of the competition.

If money were no object… wouldn’t we all be driving GLs ?

Vintage 1958 Racing Film at Road America from Long Time Nord Stern Region Porsche Club Member Tom Countryman

1958 Tom Countryman Road America Film

After joining the local Nord Stern Region of the Porsche Club of America here in Minneapolis recently I received the most recent regional club newsletter. While flipping through this very high quality publication I came across an article, an ‘in memory of’ article really… about one of the founding members of the Nord Stern Region Porsche Club who passed away recently. Click the screen shot of the video above to see the full 28 minute long film “Road America”.

It’s the best and most complete early footage I’ve ever seen of Road America, and in color no less! There are shots of the tech areas, grid, pits, paddock, even some footage from downtown Elkhart Lake. It’s pretty amazing how it doesn’t llook all that much different today than it did back then. There are a lot more bridges over the track now, but every turn is easily recognizable. He made another early racing film, an ice racing film from the St. Paul Winter Carnival that you can also see on the same Vimeo channel (or by clicking this link).

The article chronicles the amazing and interesting life as it related to sports cars, specifically Porsches, for more than 60 years… the life of a gentleman by the name of Tom Countryman. I have reprinted the article below from the October 2012 Nord Stern Porsche Club newsletter. Visit the Nord Stern Region PCA website by clicking this link.

Tom Countryman, a Greatest Generation

by Roger Johnson and Mark Bouljon.

Few among us live to be 90 while living well, while making new friends and memories all along the way. But Tom Countryman, who was a Nord Stern Region founding member, was just such a man. He was a survivor, designer, photographer, racer, engineer, filmmaker and pheasant hunter – as well as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. But Tom’s story is also a decades long Porsche story.

Tom was a quintessential member of America’s greatest generation. In WWII he fought his way across Northern Africa and into Italy. He returned home only to be called back into service for the Korean conflict. Fortunately for all of us, the Army recognized his photography skills, and assigned him to Publications, which included Stars & Stripes, and sent him to Europe.

There a curious little car got his attention and he arranged for a tour of the Porsche factory. Baron Huschke von Hanstein was his tour guide and a friendship was formed.

Von Hanstein arranged for Tom to cover the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1952 and a life-long for sports car racing passion was formed.

At the end of his tour in 1952, Tom purchased this 1951 1300 Normal Coupe in Germany and bought it to Minnesota. It is believed that this was the first Porsche registered in the state. He went out and purchased an Army-surplus tank commander’s helmet and entered the St. Paul Winter Carnival ice races on Lake Phelan, the “final, and most exciting event in the week-long celebration.” As a filmmaker, he mounted a camera in his car and made his first racing film, Ice Races, narrated by John Cameron Swayze.

Tom began racing in earnest and the Normal coupe gave way to a Speedster. This car was raced extensively with both regular and 4-cam 356 engines. Later he drove Spyders, Bert Horton’s 904, the Troutman-Barnes 910 and much more. He dabbled a couple times in open-wheel cars but always came back to Porsche.

When a Spyder without an engine presented itself to Tom, he bought the car and put in the 4-cam motor he had been running in the Speedster and had a running Spyder. He often said this was one car he should never have sold. As a filmmaker, he often mixed his passions. At the June Sprints at Road America, he mounted what is now a huge camera to the rollbar of his Speedster and took some very innovative in-car footage. The result was the film Road America.

A fun part of the making of Road America was that Tom only got two laps of practice in before being black-flagged for having this contraption on the back of his car. That footage was enough to make the film. Only Tom knows if it was intentional or not, but he had neglected to tell SCCA what he was up to. After seeing the finished film, SCCA wished they hadn’t stopped him.

Mercedes Benz Club Turns Out for Oktoberfest German Car Show at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen

Despite cold temperatures and heavy fog and cloud cover a couple of hundred German cars showed up for the Oktoberfest German Car Show at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were the marques with the most cars on display. Many members of the Mercedes Benz Club of America Twin Cities Section were in attendance. There were a couple of nice BMWs, including two 1980s vintage 6 series cars. Volkswagen fans turned out with a handful of beetles an early ’70s Westfalia camper and a handful of other models including a couple of square backs, I even saw a late 70s / early 80s Scirocco! Many Porsche 911s from all years were in attendance, along with a 944, 928 and 914 sprinkled around. Mercedes-Benz cars were very well represented. Click this LINK for 100 photos of the Oktoberfest show on my Dave Knows Cars Flickr page.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Quite a few members of “The Pagoda Pack” were in attendance with the W113 ‘Pagoda’ SLs, including “Pagoda Pack’ ring leader Ken Garelick. Club members were in attendance with a 190SL, a W111 chassis 280SE sedan, several R107 SLs a an R129 SL, a couple of R230s, David Steingas was there with his always pretty 1951 220S Cabriolet. Two of the rarest Mercedes in attendance were the 600 Limousine and the 1955 300SL Gullwing. It was a real treat to see both of those cars as they don’t make appearances very often.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz was one of the event sponsors and sponsored the 35 piece German Band, ‘The Bavarian Muzikmeisters’ to give the event just the right true German flavor. The Chanhassen American Legion made brats and kraut available along with some real German beer.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
The Mercedes-Benz Club board is talking about bringing back their annual show, held in June for the past 17 years in a row, except this year… hopefully the club can pull together a German Car Fest during the warmer Summer months as in years past to get German car fans out in greater numbers.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

A big thanks needs to go to Bruno Silikowski at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen for hosting the event, to Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz and BMW of Minnetonka for sponsoring the event and all the volunteers from the different German car clubs that helped out with the organization and parking cars.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
600 Limo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Very rare, over the top, DP motorsport 911 slant nose turbo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

David Tobin
The first show appearance for my newly acquired Porsche 911 and the first time I’ve taken anything but a Mercedes-Benz to a German car show!

 

Mercedes Benz to Release Apple iPhone 5 Connector Adapter for 8 Pin Lightning Connector to Replace 30 Pin Connector

Mercedes-iPhone-30-pin-connector

Currently, Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with iPod Integration Kits (option code 057) and the media interface in newer Mercedes-BEnz vehicles (option code 518) use the iPod / iPhone 30-Pin connector that Apple has been using for years now.

With the release of the new iPhone 5 it’s clear that a new charger / adapter plug will have to be installed in existing Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The Press Release below from Mercedes-Benz spells out the current plans for a solution to Apple’s change in plug size from the 30 pin connector to the new 8 pin ‘Lighting’ connector.

It seems like folks with newer cars, 2010 and newer for most models, with the media interface cables that plug in inside the glove box will have the easiest solution. Once Mercedes-Benz releases the new cables, they will be able to buy these new cables, unplug the old ones and plug in new 8 pin Lighting connectors.

Mercedes-ipod-kit-30-pin adapter
30 Pin Media Interface plug in a 2012 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet.

Those customers who have the older, 2008 and 2009 models in most cases, or older cars that were retrofitted with iPod Kits that are hard wired right into what had been the standard auxiliary jack may have a bigger challenge. I would guess there are already small adapters on the market to take a 30 pin connector to the new 8 pin… but I have yet to see one myself.

See the full memo from Mercedes-Benz below, including their timeline for release of the new 8 Pin Apple charger / connector cable for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

FROM MERCEDES BENZ:
With the recent launch of the iPhone5®, Apple made some significant changes to the connector. Whereas the previous generations of iPhone® and iPod® models were equipped with a 30-PIN connector, the all new iPhone® and iPod® variants require an 8-PIN “Lightning” connector.

These changes will have a significant impact for customers with the Apple products, as all vehicles equipped with Media Interface (option code 518), iPod Integration Kits (option code 057), and vehicles with Nav + 4 / UMI (option code 001 or 079) only have the standard 30-PIN connector.

As soon as the 8-PIN “Lightning” connector is released by Apple, a careful investigation will commence. All features of Media Interface, iPod Integration Kits, and Nav + 4 / UMI will be tested in accordance with stringent Mercedes-Benz standards to provide our customers a detailed answer as to whether the adapter can be used and what features are compatible. Once testing has been concluded MBUSA will issue an official statement at the end of October / early November.

In the meantime we are working on developing new 8-PIN “Lightning” Media Interface cables, which will replace the existing 30-PIN connectors if the customer has ownership of the new Apple product. These cables are expected to be introduced in the first quarter of 2013 as a customer-pay option.

Mercedes Benz and Collector Car Specialist for the Buyer, Seller and Vintage Car Enthusiast