Mercedes-Benz's current iPod integration kit is pretty weak sauce, especially since the new COMAND nav / multimedia system is so well done, but it looks like the automaker's newest iPhone cradle will take steps to address some of the more glaring issues and also add some interesting new features. The cradle appears to finally integrate iPod controls with the main nav screen and COMAND controller instead of relying solely on the instrument display and steering wheel controls, and it will charge your phone while allowing you to make calls and listen to music. On top of that, plugging the phone in will apparently increase reception by using the vehicle's antennas as well as the iPhone's, and from what we can tell, you'll be able to access the contacts list as well -- something MB's current Bluetooth system doesn't allow. If you've already got the iPod kit or Media Interface kit, the adapters needed will run you €39 ($60), and the cradle itself is available now in Germany for €249 ($385). Lots more pics at the read link.

[Thanks, Ashley]

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