Mercedes-Benz And Luminar Extend Their Formula 1 Partnership

Mercedes-Benz and Luminar just announced the extension of their partnership for the 2024 season of Formula One. The new collaboration between the two companies was recently displayed on the automotive technology company’s booth at the 2024 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Mercedes-Benz And Luminar
Mercedes-Benz And Luminar


According to Mercedes, the beneficiary of the renewed partnership is the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Safety Car of the FIA. Starting this year, the auto’s roof will be equipped with Luminar’s Light and Detection Ranging (LiDAR) tech to allow a more precise 3D mapping of its vicinity using lasers.

The system also utilizes Luminar’s artificial intelligence (AI) software to augment the detection of moving and still obstacles at high speeds under different driving conditions. The combination of these will help enhance the driver’s reaction time as it can sense debris up to 250 meters and larger objects up to 500 meters within its path.

The new technology is currently under review by the FIA and Formula 1. However, seeing no issues with the merging of the tech with the GT Black Series Safety Car, Mercedes F1 and Luminar is optimistic about what it could bring to the table.

“The partnership with our Formula 1 team is a natural extension of Mercedes-Benz’s existing partnership with Luminar to help realize our vision for accident-free driving in Mercedes production cars,” said Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Non-Executive Chairman Markus Schäfer.

It was followed by Luminar CEO Austin Russell stating, “Luminar’s technology has always been about pushing the limits of performance while improving automotive safety – and with F1, Mercedes-AMG is taking it to the extreme on a world stage of automotive enthusiasts.”

“Our collaboration will utilize the initial development work between Luminar and Mercedes-Benz as a bedrock, and I am excited to see how we can build on that,” added Mercedes F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff. “Luminar’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship also fits incredibly well with our own ethos and values so this is a natural collaboration.”

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

Based on the technology of the EQS SUV, the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV becomes the first all-electric series model from the Stuttgart-based ultra-luxury automaker. The stately grand tourer combines technical specifications with Maybach exclusivity, which aligns with company founder Wilhelm Maybach’s principle: “What is good must also be beautiful.”

During the international press launch in the town of Tofino, Vancouver Island, I experienced the glorious drive characteristics of the e-SUV’s electric powertrain as well as the opulent amenities within the stately cabin, which is akin to purifying treatments at the Ancient Cedars Spa found at the enchanting Wickaninnish Inn where I stayed during my evaluation. The multi-sensory test drive was incredibly joyful when chauffeured while meditating in the sedative backseat environment.

The Mercedes and Maybach Marriage

Elegant in every respect, the new Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV continues to elevate the brand from both technology perspectives with Mercedes-Benz’s technical applications and the extravagance of Maybach’s touch. The partnership between the two brands — formed in 2014 — has resulted in sophisticated luxury with doctrines focusing on electrification, sustainability, and artistic visions. Stylistically, everything, including the extensive waterfall grille, omnipresent Maybach insignia, Lightband and Helix Signature LED taillights, two-tone paintwork, and continuously illuminated, aerodynamic running boards pays homage to the father and son design team of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach whose formula consisted of perfection, complexity, and innovation.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

“Mercedes-Maybach customers expect the extraordinary and we aim to exceed their high expectations,” stated Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric with our focus on the luxury segment.”

EQS Electric Performance

I must say, this is the most supreme-riding EV I have ever tested. My EQS felt like it was sailing on clouds thanks to 4MATIC AWD, an AIRMATIC air suspension with an Adaptive Damping System, dual Electric motors, 21″ rims, and DYNAMIC SELECT with ECO, SPORT, OFFROAD, and INDIVIDUAL modes. Also, the unique MAYBACH drive program substitutes for COMFORT to offer rear passengers soothing cruising experiences while breezing by idyllic environments. Total system output equals 649 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque and can hit a pace of 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The EQS 680 SUV travels up to 372 miles on a single charge and features adjustable regenerative braking through left and right steering wheel paddles. The vehicle’s 107.8 kWh high voltage battery accepts 200 kW DC fast charging that will re-energize your Mercedes-Maybach from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

Interior Opulence

Open up the automatic self-closing doors to discover the interior strengths of the e-SUV. Let’s begin with the MBUX Hyperscreen with a 17.7″ OLED center screen and 12.3″ displays on both sides, with one set aside for the passenger to operate music, temperature, video, and vehicle settings. An array of detailed comfort features include Active Ambient Lighting, illuminated door sills, exclusive Maybach leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, a power tilt/sliding panorama roof, a fingerprint scanner for MBUX profiles, and pillow headrests. Of course there is much more such as the incredible Burmester 4D sound system with Dolby Atmos, EQ Sound Experience, and elegant metal speaker grilles. More attention to detail stems from MBUX augmented reality for navigation, massaging seats, and Hey Mercedes, the most intelligent voice assistant in the business. It found me reggae music, closed the sunroof shade, and changed the ambient lighting upon request.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

Maybach Fragrances

To help stimulate the interior with an aroma of your choice, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV features a standard Air Balance Package to purify the atmosphere with diverse scents. With at least 20 options, the No. 12 MOOD Ebony is the default smell for this vehicle. Some of the other samples were either too strong or too exotic for my taste. Mercedes-Maybach worked with 21 artists to visualize and curate the stimulating perfumes.

Rear-Seat Sanctuary

Ah, yes! If you feel inclined to unwind and your driver is available, please take advantage of the rear amenities. Sanctuary and technology are provided from executive rear seats that recline and extend for full-body enrichment, folding rear tables, a console refrigerator, champagne flute holder, and dual 11.6″ MBUX rear seat entertainment displays. Truly, it feels like a sea of tranquility when you are driven while lounging back there.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

ChargePoint Infrastructure

Understanding charging options is paramount if you purchase an EV. Since data shows that EV owners will conduct 80% of charging at home, the first step is to buy and install a Level 2 unit like the ChargePoint Home Flex. Publicly, Mercedes-Benz has accelerated infrastructure development to make life easier through a partnership with ChargePoint and its Level 3 DC fast charging stations. With completion expected by 2027, the high-speed network consists of 400 hubs with more than 2,500 high-power chargers, including a large number of 350 kW chargers. Customers will find the premium hubs near highways, central intersections, and metropolitan areas. Some locations will open next month such as the Atlanta station. Cameras for safety will be installed and the most convenient sites will feature restaurants and restroom facilities close by. Expect 4 to 12 chargers at standard locations and up to 30 at busy junctions. M-B owners will also receive priority with the ability to reserve a spot before arrival.

Pricing and Delivery

Pricing for the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV will be announced shortly. And if it is above your pay grade, then look at an EQS 450 4MATIC SUV with an MSRP of $107,400. Made in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, deliveries will take place before the year is out. To distinguish your e-SUV further, think about the Maybach Night Series Design Package which adds black and dark shadow gloss contrast. Highlights include Dark Chrome exterior trim, Night Series door sill lettering, unique wheels, a pearl influence on the leather, Rose Gold Pins within the headlights, and exclusive Garnet Glow Active ambient lighting.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

Mercedes-Maybach x Space Perspective

Welcome to Beyond with Space Perspective, the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceflight experience company. That’s right, for $125,000, you can take an interstellar journey in the company’s innovative Spaceship Neptune, similar to a fancy air balloon. Mercedes-Maybach EVs will be your exclusive ground transport to and from your spaceflight. The two sustainability brands are also exploring more defined hospitality benefits for voyagers ready to take the leap of faith. Spaceship Neptune — a bespoke pressurized capsule — can hold eight people and a captain and will provide meals and cocktails of choice.

2024 Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV: Electrified German Opulence : Automotive Addicts

“Pairing our all-electric Spaceship Neptune with the all-electric Mercedes-Maybach represents a sustainable and inspiration-filled future, not to mention a heightened overall experience for Space Perspective Explorers,” said Jane Poynter, founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective.

A Brighter Carbon-Free Future

The future of transportation through Mercedes-Maybach advancements in digital technologies, EV development, and forward-thinking is looking bright. Sustainable innovations are nobly playing their part in ensuring that the electrification of mobility is progressive, efficient, convenient, and widespread.

Crunching Down the Mercedes-Benz Sales Figures

According to the three-pointed star marque’s 2023 Q4 report, it delivered a total of 2,491,600 cars and vans within that period, which displayed a 1.5% increase compared to the previous year. However, the Mercedes-Benz Cars division was only able to sell 2,043,800 units.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Sales

A significant increase in demand was witnessed in the Maybach branding of the company, signifying a 19% increase in sales. This was followed by the G-Class range at 11% and Mercedes-AMG high-performance variants at 4%.

China remained the biggest market for Mercedes-Benz as it was responsible for the 737,200 sales figures out of the 963,800 units delivered to buyers in Asia. It should be noted though that demand in the giant Asian nation slumped by 8% in contrast to the numbers in 2022.

Germany accounted for 234,300 out of 659,400 sales in Europe while the US contributed 298,000 to the 339,500 overall deliveries in the North American market.

Official Statement from Mercedes-Benz CEO

“Sales in 2023 show that Top-End Vehicles including Mercedes-Maybach, G-Class, and Mercedes-AMG delivered their best-ever performance,” said Mercedes-Benz boss Ola Källenius. “Electric vehicle sales continue to rise and particularly the new E-Class is being well received.”

“Mercedes-Benz Vans also had their most successful sales so far,” the German automaker’s head honcho added. “This year we will maintain our product momentum, especially thanks to the electric G-Class, the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, and our new eSprinter.”

What’s the Best-Selling Luxury Car Brand in the World?

Mercedes-Benz was, however, once again beaten by its rival BMW in terms of sales in the luxury vehicle segment of the market. Its Bavarian competitor experienced a record year for 2023 with 2,253,835 luxury vehicles sold, which was 210,035 more than its Stuttgart-headquartered contender.

BMW’s strong performance last year could be attributed to its rapid encroachment of the electric vehicle (EV) market. Mercedes, on the other hand, was held back by supply shortages for the parts needed in its electric cars and SUVs, particularly the ones that were essential in the construction of its 48-volt mild-hybrid system.