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Mercedes-Benz EQG name gets European trademark in preparation for electric G-Class

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2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

A recent European trademark registration hints that an electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class is getting closer.

This week, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) registered a trademark for the Mercedes-Benz EQG name. Mercedes first filed the trademark application in 2016, and the name is now protected until 2026, according to the document.

EQG fits the naming convention for Mercedes’ new electric models, all of which get the “EQ” prefix, followed by a letter corresponding to one of Mercedes’ current gasoline models. The EQC crossover is already in production (but not sold in the U.S.), and Mercedes has EQS, EQE, EQA, and EQB models on the way.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes parent Daimler, first confirmed an electric G-Class during a speech at a Berlin conference in 2019, but little has been heard about the electric SUV since then. Launch timing hasn’t been discussed either, but Mercedes already has several other electric models in the queue.

The EQS sedan is scheduled to start production later this year as Mercedes’ electric flagship, followed by the mid-size EQE sedan, which is expected to debut later this year and start production in 2022. Mercedes will also build SUV versions of both the EQS and EQE in Alabama starting in late 2022. The EQS and EQE will be sold in the U.S. in both sedan and SUV body styles, but it’s unclear if the smaller EQA and EQB will be available here.

Mercedes hasn’t confirmed the electric G-Class for the U.S. either, but it would make a good rival for the upcoming GMC Hummer EV SUV and Rivian R1S, both of which emphasize off-road capability and aim to play in the same premium space as current Mercedes SUVs.

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Will renewable fuel power Bentley to a Pikes Peak hat trick?

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Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak

Bentley has set records at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with its Bentayga SUV and Continental GT coupe, but now it’s going for a hat trick, this time using renewable fuel.

A Bentley Continental GT3 race car modified to run on renewable fuel will race at the 2021 Pikes Peak hill climb, scheduled for June 27, Bentley announced Monday in a press release. Driver Rhys Millen will aim for the Time Attack 1 record, to go with the production SUV record achieved with the Bentayga in 2018, and the production car record scored with the Continental GT in 2019.

Bentley didn’t provide much detail on the fuel it planned to use, but claimed blends currently being tested could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% compared to conventional gasoline or diesel.

The Continental GT3 that will be used at Pikes Peak is a modified version of a car raced in the popular GT3 category before Bentley’s exit at the end of 2020. Bentley plans to work with two race teams—United Kingdom-based Fastr and United States-based K-Pax Racing—to run Pikes Peak, with technical assistance from U.K. firm M-Sport.

Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak

Itself a modified version of the Continental GT road car, the GT3 will get additional modifications for Pikes Peak, including the largest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley and an equally massive rear diffuser and two-plane front splitter. Power comes from the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 used in the road car, but it’s modified to run on renewable fuel and produce adequate power at Pikes Peak’s high altitude (the starting line is at 9,300 feet above sea level and the finish line is at 14,100 feet).

Bentley plans to begin testing the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak race car in the U.K. before shipping it to the U.S. for high-altitude testing. A progress report will be released in May, ahead of the running of the hill climb in June.

Bentley isn’t the only automaker investigating alternatives to conventional fossil fuels. Porsche is testing synthetic fuel made using methanol in its own race cars, and is working with multiple partners on a pilot plant in Chile to produce the fuel.

If all goes according to plan, though, renewable fuel will have a fairly short useful life in new Bentley road cars. Bentley plans to launch its first electric car in 2025, and go all-electric by 2030.

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Ford dealers reportedly opt to build 100 standalone Bronco stores

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2021 Ford Bronco

About 100 Ford dealers are planning to open standalone showrooms for the Bronco, according to a Sunday Automotive News report.

Automakers sometimes ask dealers to carve out additional space for new brands or sub-brands, as was the case with Hyundai and Genesis. However, in this case the idea for standalone “Bronco Stores” alongside existing Ford and Lincoln showrooms originated with dealers, according to the report.

Ford has signed on to the idea. Bronco-only showrooms are optional, Ford United States sales boss Andrew Frick told Automotive News, although dealers that opt in will get “slightly increased allocations” of the SUVs.

2021 Ford Bronco

Ford has no corporate template for the Bronco stores, just three general configurations, which is unusual for a showroom remodel. Dealers can opt for a completely separate showroom, an expansion of an existing space, or a smaller display within a showroom.

Renderings shown at an October 2020 Ford national dealer meeting showed an outdoorsy theme appropriate for the Bronco. The showrooms will also have Bronco branding, rather than the ubiquitous Blue Oval, according to the report. That aligns nicely with Ford’s plan to market Bronco as a sub-brand, which is also why the automaker has both the standard Bronco and the Bronco Sport in its lineup.

While dealers are eager to start selling the Bronco, they may have to wait. The SUV’s launch has already been delayed to due to coronavirus-related supplier issues. The 2021 Ford Bronco will now launch this summer, and the manual-transmission Sasquatch package has been pushed back from the 2021 model year to the 2022 model year.

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Maxlider Brothers ready to build your dream Bronco 6×6

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2021 Ford Bronco 6x6 conversion - Photo credit: Innov8 Design Lab/Maxlider Brothers Customs

It was only a matter of time.

Vehicle customizer Maxlider Brothers Customs has announced plans to build a 6×6 version of the modern Ford Bronco due to start deliveries this summer.

Ever since Mercedes-Benz AMG launched the G63 6×6 back in 2013, multiple tuning firms have attempted to mimic the success (and notoriety) of that vehicle by offering 6×6 conversions of other rugged SUVs and pickup trucks. The list includes the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 Raptor, Jeep Gladiator/Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, Ram 1500 TRX, and more.

2021 Ford Bronco 6×6 conversion – Photo credit: Innov8 Design Lab/Maxlider Brothers Customs

Now we can add the Bronco. First spotted by Motor1, Maxlider over the weekend posted to its Facebook page computer-generated renderings of its planned Bronco 6×6. Together with the renderings, the company said it is now accepting orders with a view to delivering the first vehicles in 2022. The price tag? An insane $399,000.

Maxlider offers a full range of upgrades for the Bronco, though the Bloomington, Illinois-based company hasn’t mentioned what exactly it plans to include on its Bronco 6×6. The obvious upgrades include the BFGoodrich all-terrain tires (including a full-size spare), raised suspension, fender flares, brush guard, and roof rack with off-road lights. Naturally, there’s also an extended frame supporting the additional axle and differential.

Considering the next Ford Ranger will share the same updated T6 body-on-frame platform found in the Bronco, there’s a good chance Maxlider will be able to handle a 6×6 conversion of the new pickup truck. The new Ranger is due for a reveal later this year as a 2022 model.

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