Posts in En Route
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class

"Hamburg, May 15, 2013. This evening, the new flagship for luxurious motoring landed in Hamburg on board an Airbus A300-600 DHL cargo plane. Mercedes-Benz had the new S-Class flown in exclusively from its birthplace in Stuttgart for its world premiere at Airbus in Finkenwerder.

At the delivery centre for the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft and a benchmark in travel comfort, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new luxury saloon in front of around 750 international guests from the worlds of politics, industry and media. Flanked by the 20 current Mercedes-Benz models and musically accompanied by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the new top-of-the-line model from Stuttgart rolled across the tarmac as part of a spectacular show.

In a dazzling display, it took up its position at the head of the Mercedes-Benz family and drove onto the stage with its first passenger, the global superstar Alicia Keys."

BAM!

Even after a couple of days, it's hard to find the right words. Although I am personally not a fan of high tech stuffed cars, the new S-Class with it's three engineering priorities "Intelligent Drive", "Efficient Technology" and "Essence of Luxury", extends the boundaries of technology on many levels.

Not to mention the fact Mercedes-Benz threw a mind-blowing party. Five German star-rated chefs specialising in different culinary styles each cooked their own dish, Alicia Keys had come specially to Hamburg just a few days ahead of the start of her European tour. And with 19 musicians under conductor Prof. Johannes Schild, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra played various pieces that had been specially composed for the world premiere of the S-Class by the internationally successful film composer Marius Ruhland.

Chapeau, Mercedes-Benz.

Two Car Shows On Two Continents In Five Days
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Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force

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Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force

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Wolfgang Würth, smart electric bike

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smart electric bikes, Niketown, Beverly Hills

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The Jim Henson Company, smart forjeremy

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Jet-lagged and tipsy: Mathias "MC Winkel" Winks and some muppet

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James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Coupé, LA Auto Show 2012

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Decadent lunch with Marcel Winatschek (Amy & Pink), David Fischer (Highsnobiety) and Mathias Winks (Whudat)

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"A brand is your friend" — Word.

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Slammed W108 with mascara (caption borrowed from Clemens Gleich)

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Now, with a Chromjuwelen branding, this Opel Kadett is worth over a million. No — wait: Five millions.

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Bon appétit!

Yes, you can. You can visit two car shows (LA Auto Show, Essen Motor Show), three world premieres (Mercedes-AMG SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force, smart forjeremy) and several parties in five days. Here's a quick journal:

  • Tuesday, November 27th (early): HAM-FRA-LAX
  • Tuesday, November 27th: Arrival Los Angeles
  • Tuesday, November 27th: Beverly Hills on smart electric bikes
  • Tuesday, November 27th: Presentation Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force
  • Tuesday, November 27th: Presentation smart forjeremy at the Jim Henson Company
  • Wednesday, November 28th: LA Motor Show
  • Wednesday, November 28th: Santa Monica
  • Wednesday, November 28th: Departure (LAX-MUC-DUS)
  • Tuesday, November 29th: Arrival in DUS
  • Tuesday, November 29th: Dinner with Chem-Tools
  • Friday, November 30th: Essen Motor Show 2012, meetings
  • Friday, November 30th: AUTO BILD Race Night
  • Saturday, December 1st: Essen Motor Show 2012, meetings
  • Saturday, December 1st (late): Back in Hamburg
  • Sunday, December 2nd: BRAINDEAD
  • Monday, December 3rd: BRAINDEAD

What I learned: You need a really good condition (err ... really?). And some good friends, who help you.

I would like to thank Mercedes-Benz/smart for the hospitality, Klaus Rasch for saving me from the police in Santa Monica, Thomas Backe and Dieter Hofem for picking me up in DUS, Manfred Prescher and Stefan Müller for the wonderful Race Night — and DOTZ/AEZ for gallons of coffee.

And not to forget — thank you David Fischer (Highsnobiety), Mathias "MC Winkel" Winks (Whudat), Marcel Winatschek (Amy & Pink), Michael Kaune (QVEST) and Matthias Arens (Quality) for teaching me lessons in "Lifestyle, Ego-Blogging and Fashion"!

smart forjeremy: Haters Gonna Hate
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The smart forjeremy rises

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Jeremy Scott: "Few can afford"

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Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam aka M.I.A. aka "Missing in Action" aka "Missing in Acton"

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Dr. Annette Winkler (smart), Jeremy Scott

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Landed: smart forjeremy

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Winged smart fortwo electric drive

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White

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smart electric drive forjeremy

I have to admit I didn't know who Jeremy Scott was when Mercedes-Benz/smart invited me to join their exclusive "smart forjeremy" event in front of the LA Auto Show 2012. A quick search later I learned that he is a fashion designer who has built a reputation for outrageous designs favored by pop stars and celebrities: Madonna, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears — just to name a few.

Shame on me, but I am no fashionista. I may know some things about Winged Warriors, but neither I had heared about "The Wing(ed) High Tops", nor about the "Teddy Bear Shoes". As well I am really awful at things like pop music. After some of my diehard old school petrol heads heared that I would fly over to Los Angeles to watch the presentation, I saw a lot of scrunched up noses. "A guy who is into gaudy fashion is doing a car? And he is doing what — a winged plastic car? Are you kidding me?"

Well, I think the smart forjeremy is cool. And let me explain, why. The fact, that a car manufacturer — in this case: smart — cooperates with an artist — in this case: Jeremy Scott —, impresses me. It is sovereign and courageous, because it creates something new. And for smart it is long overdue to get such a remix, if you ask me.

And regarding those who dislike this project: You know how it is — haters gonna hate. It is always the same. But if you've got haters, you'll probably have done some things right …

Chromjuwelen Électrique: Full Version & Bonus Videos

Not all that long ago we made a self-attempt: we eBay-ed a 1964 Imperial Crown and drove it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas – and back to Los Angeles. As you can imagine, we had a blast. You will find the video here. This time we switched to the other extreme: We travelled in a smart fortwo electric drive from Paris to Le Mans (Classic). Yup. Battery-driven. Of course – we know this electrified fellow isn't made for long distances. Even worse – we knew it will not be easy to find enough charging stations. But hey, that exactly was the challenge. If anybody of us speaks fluent French? Er ... no.

My favorite scene? Arthur's tribute to Stephen Brooks and all the dubstep video jockeys at 09:38.

Chromjuwelen Électrique features:

Music:

  • Edvard Grieg
  • "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 - I. Morning" (performed by Musopen Symphony Orchestra)
  • musopen.org

All filming & editing: Faust & Heisler. For a full (German) Travelogue visit chromjuwelen.com.