Nissan. Editor-In-Chief's Note: The Japanese automaker has introduced a new marketing campaign called "Take On" that dispenses with humor and sentimentality to portray driving as a stressful adventure filled with distractions that can be overcome by technology-fueled driver assistance systems, according to a report in AdAge, the industry publication. The campaign keeps Nissan's "Innovation that Excites" global tagline (yet another example of a positioning line masquerading as a tagline, which seems to be standard operating procedure for auto companies these days). The goal is to position Nissan vehicles as taking on overly-exaggerated driving obstacles through on-board technology, complete with dramatic music for emphasis (watch it here). "Nissan is not a funny brand," said Jeremy Tucker, Nissan North America's VP for marketing, communications and media to AdAge. "We needed to show the quality, dependability, the reliability, the performance and the handling and just the power of the brand," he added. "I was very clear in the brief: No humor." Instead, he called for a tone that was "epic, dramatic, captivating and simple. Simple, simple stories," he said. Congratulations, Tucker, because you succeeded in unleashing simpleton advertising for simpletons and it's definitely not funny. And Not Good either. This is as dismal as it gets in the auto ad biz. Pathetic. -PMD
(Mercedes-Benz images, Euro-spec version shown)
Yes, you can still buy a station wagon here in the U.S. The all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon will remain the only German luxury wagon available in its segment. Mercedes says that "its cargo volume and, in spite of a much sportier roof line, headroom and elbowroom in the rear are best in class... it's the most intelligent wagon that Mercedes-Benz has ever built." For the market launch in the USA in early 2017, the new E400 4MATIC Wagon will be available with a V6 Biturbo delivering 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The E400 4MATIC Wagon is equipped as standard with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. The E400 Wagon will once again offer a third row folding bench seat as standard equipment in the USA.
The VW BUDD-e all-electric concept van is touring China as an ambassador for e-mobility. Will the BUDD-e make it to production? And be sold here? Count on it.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4x4² will join the Mercedes-Benz family of SUVs in the United States. The 4x4² is the most capable G-Class ever, boasting innovative portal axles, three locking differentials, a ground clearance of more than 17" and a 4.0-Liter Biturbo V8. Since development of the G-Class began in 1972, the military-turned-passenger-vehicle has been hand-built in Graz, Austria. The name Gelaendewagen translates literally to "off road vehicle." Since 1979, more than 250,000 vehicles have been delivered to customers around the globe. The G550 4x4² joins the G-Class lineup here in the U.S., which features the 416HP G550, the 563HP AMG G63, and the 621HP AMG G65, notably featuring a monster 6.0-liter V12 Biturbo engine producing a massive 738 lb-ft of torque. Taking cues from the wild AMG G63 6x6 (not available in the U.S. market), the G550 4x4² utilizes the series-model G-Class platform as the starting point for an advanced, ultra-aggressive off-road machine. The G550 4x4² will be available in U.S. dealerships beginning in early 2017.
The Lamborghini Museum, opened in 2001, has been completely renovated to create an authentic experience, which takes visitors on a journey from the past to the future of Lamborghini. The new concept - featuring white floors and gray tones on the walls to bring out the colors of the vehicles and other displays - was inspired by the brightest colors in Lamborghini's history.
Editor's Note: Ford has just released "Let's Race" - the third of five chapters in “The Return,” which is a long-form documentary that follows the development of both the street car and race car versions of the Ford GT from the decision to build the cars to the return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Watch chapter one, "The Decision," here and chapter two, "The Cutting Edge," here. (FYI: The Autoextremist makes a cameo appearance in chapter one.) -WG