If you are a Mercedes owner and a BGR reader, you might have noticed that your car falls a bit short in the technology department regarding music and video playback (any model Mercedes). The Media Interface Plus accessory is a just-released plug and play Bluetooth box that’s now available for purchase, and since it offers a whole heap of enhancements, we decided it was worth checking out for ourselves. For starters, here is what the Media Interface Plus can do that your Mercedes currently can’t: control the Pandora app from your iPhone (including changing songs and even rating songs thumbs down or thumbs up from the steering wheel), streaming music from your Bluetooth device (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, iPod touch, etc.), allowing you to view your SMS messages from the car’s COMAND display, and even playing back iPod video from your iPhone or iPod. Hit the jump to find out what else this little accessory can do, and check out our video overview. More →
Mercedes-Benz is on an environmentally conscious tear as of late, launching two hybrid vehicles last year, and now an entirely zero emission fuel cell car this December. We were given an opportunity to test drive the new F-Cell vehicle in Manhattan and learn more about the car. For starters, when thinking about what Mercedes has done with this specific vehicle, it’s mind blowing in itself. A non-combustion engine car that is powered off of hydrogen with zero emissions. Did you ever think you’d see the day? As a car lover, just hopping into the driver’s seat of the F-Cell was an experience. Zipping around downtown New York City in the car was… just like driving a gas-powered vehicle, except, there was no noise. I’ve driven dual-mode hybrid cars before, and I have gotten used to not hearing an engine at some times, but no engine sound at all? Borderline ghostly. While the B-Class-based F-Cell has an all electric motor rated at 136 horsepower and 214 pounds of torque, it definitely didn’t feel underpowered. Plus, once we got over the sound of no sound from the engine, there wasn’t much to complain about. It’s the first fuel-cell car from Mercedes, and while it’s not exactly the most luxurious or stylish model in their lineup, neither is a Prius. Being powered 100% by hydrogen lends itself to one main issue: finding a hydrogen refueling station. Now, there are a couple around the NYC area (White Plains, NY, Wallingford, CT, Bronx, NY), but when the F-Cell touches down in December for consumer leasing, it’s going to be heading to the state of California — mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco where there are plenty of hydrogen stations. You might notice how we said leasing and not purchasing, and that’s because the car will only be offered by way of a lease, and while Mercedes wouldn’t confirm pricing information to us, we’ve heard it will run around $550-$750/month. Definitely on the higher end of the spectrum, but for a car that literally emits water instead of toxic sludge — representing the future of the automotive industry — all we can say is, sign us up.
In-car video entertainment is hardly something uncommon these days. Any run-of-the-mill mini van or SUV can be fitted with a nice DVD / console entertainment system for a fraction of what it used to cost, typically directly from the dealer. If you want to give your front passenger something to focus on during those long trips however, it’s a slightly different story. Sure you can have your local shop slap a flat panel into your passenger-side visor but unless you’re a teenager you’re or prepping for an appearance on Cribs, you might get a few funny looks. Don’t sweat it though, Mercedes-Benz and Bosch might just have the cure for what ails you – assuming you can squeeze a new S-Class into your budget next year. The duo have developed a new display technology dubbed SPLITVIEW that will allow a single screen to display two different pictures depending on the viewing angle. Using a combination of clever pixel placement and a unique filter, SPLITVIEW will allow a centrally-located monitor in the dash to display navigation or control information to the driver while displaying a DVD or even TV channels to the passenger. The passenger will also have the option of using headphones, freeing up the car’s speakers for music or turn-by-turn navigation instructions. Pretty slick, eh? Expect SPLITVIEW to make its first appearance in production 2010 S-Class cars this summer.