Despite being announced over a year ago, it's taken some time for automakers to include Apple CarPlay, the tech giant's connectivity software, in their respective infotainment systems. That number seems to be growing by the week now, and it looks like Mercedes-Benz is ready to get in on the action.
According to a dealership memo leaked to C450AMG.net, CarPlay will be limited to just a few models in the lineup, and only certain variants thereof built after a specific date. The cars include the B-Class, E-Class (coupe and convertible -- no sedans), CLA-Class, GLA-Class, CLS-Class and GLE-Class (coupe and standard). All cars except the GLE will need build dates after December 1 -- the GLE requires a build date after January 8.
Each model has a different requirement to procure it, as well. CLA-, GLA- and B-Class vehicles can pay $350 for a standalone upgrade, or buyers can drop additional coin on a more fleshed-out Multimedia Package. E-Class models require a roughly $4,000 Premium Package, as do lower-end GLE-Class and CLS-Class vehicles. It's free on higher GLE- and CLS-Class trims, where navigation is also standard.
Whereas most other implementations of CarPlay have taken place on touchscreen infotainment systems, Mercedes-Benz is unique in its intentional lack of touch-based offerings. Thus, buyers will navigate CarPlay's options by using the car's built-in controller.
The memo also pointed out that, in order to activate CarPlay, the user will have to plug into a CarPlay-specific USB port. If you prefer to use Mercedes-Benz's built-in Comand infotainment system, you can do so by using the other USB port.
Apple CarPlay requires the owner to possess an iPhone 5 or newer, running iOS 7.1 or newer. Once activated, users can make and receive phone calls and text messages, stream audio and navigate around town, using nothing more than Siri voice recognition. Users have a small number of apps to use behind the wheel, including MLB At Bat, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Audible, among others.
Mercedes-Benz did not yet respond to a request for confirmation of the aforementioned facts and figures.