This week I had a phone call from Mercedes-Benz Gosford giving me the opportunity to take the GLC 300E on an extended test drive to offer my opinion about the car.
This Mercedes-Benz didn’t disappoint. The plug in Hybrid technology really impressed me combining at 1991cc, 4 cylinder engine, making 155KW at 5500 rpm, and 350 NM torque at 1200-4000 rpm, with and electric motor making 90 kw and 440 nm torque.
Combined this system creates 235kw and a whopping 700NM torque.
For more details please check out video review below on our YouTube channel.
The exterior design is characterised by sporty features. A distinctive off-road look is accentuated by muscular surface contours and striking details such as the chrome trim that now continues from the front end to the rear as standard, and by the heavily contoured radiator grille.
The GLC now has LED High Performance headlamps as standard. Their contours have been significantly changed, and they are now smaller and flatter. This makes the torch-like outline of the daytime driving lights even more prominent, and the typical Mercedes-Benz light signature even more recognisable.
MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available as optional equipment. Redesigned all-LED tail lights are also included as standard.
From the very start, the GLC was designed for space-saving integration of a battery. This is assisted by the lowered rear axle and a bodyshell designed for battery integration. The result is a large, level luggage compartment whose capacity of 395-1445 litres is only just below that of other GLCs.
More energy with more density: longer electric range
The Mercedes-Benz plug-In hybrids in the current generation have a purely electric, locally emission-free range of around 50 km (NEDC). The GLE even manages a range of over 100 kilometres (NEDC). The rated capacity increased to 13.5 kWh is decisive for this increase in the electric range. The battery of the GLE even has a capacity of 31.2 kWh.
The evolution of the cell chemistry from lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo) to lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (Li-NMC) made it possible for the cell capacity to be increased from 22 to 37 Ah. The highly efficient battery system comes from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The power electronics are housed in the engine compartment.
Onboard charger with 7.4 kW output: faster charging
The new on-board charger more than doubles the charging capacity from 3.6 kW to 7.4 kW and strikes an ideal compromise between size, weight and charging capacity. A discharged battery can thus be fully recharged in 1.5 hours at a wallbox with alternating current (AC), for example in the convenience of one’s own home (GLE: 3 hours 15 minutes). The same is possible in around five hours even at a conventional domestic power socket.
For direct-current charging (DC) the battery in the compact hybrids can be charged from 10 – 80 percent SoC in around 25 minutes. The GLE has a combined charging socket for AC and DC charging. It is located in the left side wall, symmetrical with the fuel flap on the right side of the vehicle. At corresponding DC charging stations, its battery can be charged in approx. 20 minutes (10-80 percent state of charge (SoC)) or in approx. 30 minutes (10-100 percent SoC).
Electric pre-entry climatisation of the interior: pleasant temperatures even before starting off
The high-voltage on-board electrical system supplies not only the drive components and the vacuum pump of the regenerative braking system, but also the electric refrigerant compressor and the high-voltage heater booster. Both allow pre-entry climate control of the interior not only in summer but also in winter, because they can also operate without the combustion engine.
Hybrid traction head in torque-converter transmission: more powerful, more compact
The mechanical centrepiece of all the third-generation plug-in hybrids with a longitudinally installed engine is the nine-speed 9G-TRONIC hybrid transmission. This adds a hybrid traction head with an integrated torque converter, a clutch and a powerful electric motor to the familiar automatic torque converter transmission. All of the benefits of the basic transmission are retained, including the exceptional drive comfort, barely perceptible gear shifts, and a high towing capacity. The most powerful version of the basic transmission with a transferable torque of up to 700 Nm is used for hybrid drive, so that the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor can be used when required. The 9G-TRONIC nine-speed hybrid transmission excels with very high efficiency, and particularly contributes to improved efficiency while driving under electric power.
For models with a transversely installed engine and the 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission, a compact hybrid traction head was developed along the same technical lines as the corresponding component for models with a longitudinally installed engine. See the next chapter for details.
The major benefit of the new hybrid traction head is its compact design, which was achieved thanks to the innovative integration and connection of the separating clutch, torsional vibration damper and torque converter lock-up clutch within the rotor of the electric motor. All in all the transmission is only 108 mm longer than the basic 9G-TRONIC transmission.
In contrast to the second-generation traction head, in which the electric motor was connected directly with the transmission input and a wet start-off clutch was used as a starting and separating clutch, a torque converter between the electric motor and the transmission now takes care of starting off. The separating clutch has been improved with respect to drag torque, now that it no longer has to deal with starting off, in order to reduce losses during electric mode.
To optimise vibration decoupling, the hybrid transmission includes two torsional vibration dampers that damp the combustion engine excitations. The first vibration damper is installed between the engine and transmission, while the second is integrated in the torque converter.
I had the pleasure of spending the day this week on the all new 2019 W800 Cafe from Kawasaki. This modern classic motorcycle has been upgraded and now has more power and a more refined ride, without losing any of its old world character.
This Kawasaki W800 Cafe was kindly lent to me by Penrith Motorcycle Centre.
Kawasaki W800 Specs Model W800 CAFE EJ8000CKF Engine Type Air-cooled, 4-stroke Vertical Twin Displacement 773 cm³ Bore x Stroke 77.0 x 83.0 mm Compression Ratio 8.4:1 Valve System SOHC 8 valve, Bevel Drive Fuel System DFI 2 X 34 mm with Sub Throttles Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance Starting Electric Transmission 5-speed with Positive Neutral Finder, A&S Clutch Suspension – front 41 mm telescopic fork Suspension – rear Twin rear shock with 5-way adjustable spring preload Wheel travel – f/r 130/107 mm Ground Clearance 130 mm Brakes – front 320 mm diameter single disc with twin piston caliper, ABS Brakes – rear 270 mm diameter single disc with twin-piston caliper, ABS Wheel Size Front / Rear 2.50 – 18.0 / 3.00 – 18.0 Tyre Size Front / Rear 100/90-18M/C 57H / 130/80-18M/C 66H L x W x H 2,135 mm x 825 mm x 1,135 mm Wheelbase 1,465 mm Seat height 790 mm Fuel capacity 15 litres Curb Mass 223 kg Max Power 35kW @ 6,000 rpm Max Torque 62.9 N.m @ 4,800 rpm Colour/s Metallic Magnesium Gray with Galaxy Silver Warranty 24 Months Unlimited Kilometres
This is a great little Learner Legal bike, but with enough punch to please even the seasoned riders around.
The Ninja 400 all-new 399 cm³ engine delivers a balance of performance and controllability. The new engine offers increased performance at all rpm compared to its predecessor, with good power feeling. Smooth, predictable response contributes to an easy-to-control engine character. Thanks to its efficient design, the compact, lightweight engine has a size on par with 250cc engines.
Relaxed rider triangle accommodates a wide range of rider sizes and riding situations. Compared to some other models (whose somewhat extreme riding position compromises comfort), the elevated handle position and slightly foot forward footpeg position put the rider in a position to control the bike while also offering rider comfort.
In addition to contributing to the Ninja 400’s sharper looks, slim dual LED headlamps (each featuring low and high beams, as well as a LED position lamp) are highly visible and offer significantly increased brightness. Chin spoilers at the bottom of the front cowl were inspired by the Ninja H2 and Ninja ZX-10R.
More compact Assist & Slipper Clutch (ø139 mm >> ø125 mm) with less rigid operating plates offers a 20% lighter lever pull. Complementing the extremely light feel at the lever, the new clutch has a wider engagement range, facilitating control.
A more rigid 41 mm telescopic fork (previously ø37 mm) delivers better suspension action. The front wheel feels really planted, direction changes are made easily (even when the bike is fairly upright – handy when navigating traffic jams), and overall the suspension offers the plushness of a larger model.
The Ninja 400 is equipped with the same instrument cluster as the Ninja 650, contributing to the high-grade feel of the tidy cockpit. The sophisticated instrument design features a large analogue tachometer flanked by warning lamps on one side, and a gear position indicator and multi-function LCD screen on the other.
The front seat can be easily removed by pulling a cable located under the rear seat, greatly facilitating access to the battery. Under-seat storage space has two levels for a more efficient use of the space. A handy Tool Kit is located in the lower level of storage.
NINJA 400 (EX400GJF)
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, Parallel Twin
Bore x Stroke
70.0 x 51.8 mm
DOHC 8 valves
Fuel Injection 32 mm x 2
6-speed with Positive Neutral finder
Suspension – front
41 mm telescopic fork
Suspension – rear
Bottom-Link Uni-Trak, gas-charged shock with adjustable preload
Wheel travel – f/r
Brakes – front
Single semi-floating 310 mm petal disc, Single Balanced Actuation Dual Piston Caliper with ABS
Brakes – rear
Single 220 mm petal disc with twin piston caliper with ABS
Wheel Size Front Rear
Tyre Size- Front Rear
110/70R17 54H 150/60R17 66H
L x W x H
1,990 x 710 x 1,125 mm
33.4 kW @ 10,000 rpm
38.0 N-m @ 8,000 rpm
Metallic Spark Black
24 Months Unlimited Kilometres
1,000 and 6,000 then every additional 6,000 kilometres major service every 12,000 kilometres
This week I was invited to review the ALL NEW 2019 Triumph Speed Twin from Triumph Sydney (Peter Stevens Motorcycles).
I Picked up the Speed Twin from Triumph Sydney in Tempe, and I was able to spend some time on urban and suburban streets in the Inner West of Sydney, before taking the Triumph Speed Twin on some higher speed limited roads to get a better feel.
All in all I found the Speed Twin to be exceptional in almost every way. It handled the slow speed, tight maneuvering streets easily, and at higher speeds it truly shone as a capable longer distance bike too.
The 1200cc engine in the Speed Twin really performed seamlessly, and with the added Vance & Hines pipes it purred beautifully.
If you’d like to test ride these amazing 2019 Triumph Speed Twins, head on down to your local dealer, but if you’re in Sydney be sure to call Triumph Sydney and book in a test ride now.
The Black Dog Ride is held simultaneously around the country in March each year. It’s primary goal is to raise awareness to Depression and Suicide Prevention.
I attended the Black Dog Ride 2019 here in Penrith in Sydney’s West, to offer my support to a very worthy cause.
Arriving in Penrith at 0630 on a Sunday morning, the rain was absolutely torrential, however that didn’t stop over 300 riders participating in the day, for Black Dog. After a good social catch up the start over a hot coffee, then a riders briefing, then off they rode, into the rain.
Approximately 2 hours of riding led them back to the Wallacia Hotel for Lunch, an Auction to raise Funds, and then some partying to a local band.