Inspiration

Mercedes-Benz, here to ignite your curiosity.

For Mercedes-Benz, it’s always the best or nothing. That’s why we share our motivation, passion, and goals and work towards making visionary ideas become a reality. We ourselves are inspired by outstanding individuals who are internationally renowned as experts, initiators, and people who take action. Whether extreme athletes, musicians, racing drivers, or models, they are inspiring pioneers, explorers and high achievers. With their passion and motivation, they overcome barriers and set new standards in their inspiring quest to make visionary ideas become a reality.

These stories are written to inspire us to continuously take on new paths and perspectives.

Stories


With EQC, the future has arrived

March 2019

Stories


With EQC, the future has arrived

March 2019

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC

The crowd at Mercedes me Store Melbourne admiring the new Mercedes-Benz EQC. Images: Liz Sunshine.

The future is electric, and it’s finally here. The very first all-electric Mercedes-Benz to go into mass production has been revealed to soon-to-be-owners, after breaking cover at a special Mercedes me Store Melbourne event.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is a family-sized SUV that has been designed to provide an ownership experience without the compromises historically associated with electric vehicles. It’s spacious, comfortable and luxuriously appointed; it has a range of up to 450 kilometres, and offers cost-efficient and environmentally friendly charging options; and it has the power, torque and driving dynamics that make it a true Mercedes-Benz, in every sense of the word.

The covers were removed before an audience who heard from the team behind the EQC – not only about the experience that could be expected in owning such a vehicle, but also the exhaustive testing and safety regimen that has ensured the EQC meets the stringent standards expected of every Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQC

A special guest directly from the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart was Karl Scheible, the head of testing for the groundbreaking EQC program.

“We have driven a lot of test kilometres in the past few years, we have done a lot of 60-80 hour working weeks, and everything has been double checked, and it has been a very exciting time,” he said.

Karl has spent more time driving the EQC than almost anyone else – from testing in temperatures of -35°C in Sweden two weeks ago, to heat testing in California’s Death Valley, and tests for speed, reliability and comfort in South Africa, Spain and Germany – and is well placed to understand how the EQC differs from a conventional SUV.

“The main differences are that we have no transmission in an electric car, and maximum torque at zero kilometres per hour, so it was a big challenge to find the perfect combination between driveability and acceleration, and a compromise between sportiness and comfort, and driveability,” he said. 

Guests also learned more about EQ, the wider program that guides Mercedes-Benz through a phased introduction to electrification via low-voltage hybrids, plug-in hybrids and finally, full EV applications such as the EQC. Mercedes-Benz has pledged to have an EV model in every car and SUV range by 2022.

Andre Dutkowski, the Senior Manager for Mercedes-Benz for Product Marketing, Strategy and CASE

Andre Dutkowski, the Senior Manager for Mercedes-Benz for Product Marketing, Strategy and CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) said while the EQC would be the centrepiece of the EQ program in Australia, the team was also working on many more initiatives to make customers’ lives easier. “We envisage the EQC 400, plus all other EQ vehicles that come here, to be part of a seamless ecosystem of mobility services,” he said.

Claire Painter, the EQ Infrastructure Readiness Manager for Mercedes-Benz, said EQC ownership would bring a welcome change to regular routines. “I’m the type of person who hates filling up at a petrol station, it’s one of those things I always put off,” she said.

“So the aim of EVs and one of the benefits is that you can utilise the time your car is idle, which for the average car is 22 hours a day. You can plug the vehicle in while you’re not using it and it refuels, so you don’t need to go out of your way to find a petrol station.”

The EQC is powered by an 80kWh lithium-ion battery with an expected range of up to 450km. “If you think of how far the average Australian drives, it’s around 38 kilometres per day so this gives you more than enough range for average daily driving needs,” she said.

“So when you come home from work, you may have a Mercedes-Benz wallbox and you can plug in and select when you want the charger to turn on, which may be at off-peak rates, and when you get up in the morning you’re ready to go.”

The Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, Horst von Sanden, told the exclusive gathering he was confident that customers would be impressed with their purchase.

“I was fortunate enough to drive around in an EQC today and I was absolutely blown away,” he said. “I currently drive a high-performance Mercedes-AMG car and I enjoy it, but having been in the EQC, the torque, the acceleration and the smoothness of the ride was just mind-blowing.

“Mercedes-Benz has committed to launching an electric car in every model until 2022, so you can imagine this is just the beginning of a massive onslaught of electric vehicles by Mercedes-Benz.”

Words Steve Colquhoun

Stories


World’s foremost big wave surfer drops in at Mercedes me Melbourne

October 2018

Stories


World’s foremost big wave surfer drops in at Mercedes me Melbourne

October 2018

World’s foremost big wave surfer Garrett McNamara

It’s one of the world’s most iconic images – a massive wall of water with a tiny speck sliding down its face. The speck is actually a surfer, and with a building in the foreground of the shot providing some perspective, it’s clear that this is one monster ride.

The surfer is Garrett McNamara, and the eight-year world record holder was the special guest at the Mercedes me Melbourne event, Mercedes me X Sport, in September 2018 where he recounted his famous and occasionally life-threatening career as the world’s foremost big wave surfer.

The 51-year-old American held the official Guinness World Record from 2011 until early 2018 for a 78-foot (23.7 metres) monster he tamed at Nazare in Portugal.

Yet the photograph on the big screen, as McNamara chats animatedly to event MC Mark Beretta, is something much bigger. Although never ratified as an official world record, the wave in the photo – surfed at Nazare in 2013 – was estimated at 100 feet tall (30.5 metres), or around the height of a seven-storey building.

McNamara described surfing the 100-footer not as frightening, but “super frustrating” because he wasn’t aiming for a record that day, but hunting a “barrel”, where the wave curls over and the surfer rides inside the tube.

“I’m going faster than I’ve ever gone, I’m straining on the (foot) straps, my foot came out so I put it back in, I’m looking for the barrel and there’s no barrel, so I wanted to kick out,” he said.

World’s foremost big wave surfer Garrett McNamara

McNamara exudes confidence in both his ability and his equipment, which includes a cutting-edge big wave surfboard custom-made for him by Mercedes-Benz – dubbed ‘the Silver Arrow of the sea’ – as well as a super-tough buoyancy wetsuit and an inflatable vest. But it wasn’t always the case.

As a 15-year-old, he “ate it” on a wave at Hawaii’s renowned big wave mecca, Sunset, and swore he would never again surf waves over 10 feet tall.

“Then when I was 16, this big Peruvian guy who was like my dad at the time, he was my mentor, he looked after us, he literally grabbed me by the neck and said ‘we’re going out at Sunset’,” McNamara told the capacity crowd at Mercedes me Melbourne.

“He gave me the perfect board and all this advice, where to paddle and take off, and I ‘popped’ every single wave that came in. From that day forward, I was hooked and big waves were my life, and I wanted bigger and bigger and bigger.”

He turned professional and began surfing the world tour circuit to earn an income; but at 22, the lip of a wave landed on his back and snapped his spine. He remembers the grisly sensation of his foot kicking the back of his head and knew he was in trouble. Another surfer carried him from the water and he ended up in hospital in a life-threatening condition. When he came to, he was told that he would never surf big waves again.

Fortunately, his body still had some growing to do, and over the next few years his spine mended perfectly and he was “ready to go again”.

NcNamara heard a whisper from a friend about a massive wave in Portugal that was similar to one of his favourite Hawaiian breaks, known as Jaws, but without the crowds of tow-in surfers.

“The great thing was that I had zero expectations (about Nazare), I get there the first day and walk up to the cliff and I see the biggest waves I’ve ever seen, right there, and this is the holy grail,” he said.

“It’s like a lightbulb (moment), I’d been searching for the 100-foot wave for about 10 years and there it was, right in front of me.”

Over the succeeding years, McNamara’s feats have made Nazare world-famous. Although there have been times when he has felt his life was in danger, he says he doesn’t feel fear.

“Fear is a choice. Fear is something that is manufactured in the mind when you’re thinking about the past or the future,” he said.

“When I’m surfing I’m so comfortable and having so much fun and really choosing to enjoy whatever’s going on, so fear doesn’t enter my mind.

“I have more fear when I’m driving on the road and a kangaroo’s about to jump out at me!”

Words Steve Colquhoun

Mercedes me Melbourne

Mercedes me Melbourne

By day, Mercedes me operates as a café, with outstanding food and beverage from partner, ST ALi, digital touchpoints, one-of-a-kind vehicle displays, brand specialists, and an innovative ‘Meet the Maker’ concept. By night, the space hosts special events in areas like design, innovation, sport, art and community leadership.

Keep up-to-date with future events and all that is happening at Mercedes me at mercedes.me/melbourne, or follow on social media @mercedesmestore.melbourne