2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March

By Steven J. Ewing

Mercedes-AMG C63

Say hello to the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63. That’s right, it’s no longer the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – its a formal Mercedes-AMG product, just like the GT that just launched earlier this month. Coincidence? Hardly. The new C63 packs the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and features some of the same new-age tuning that AMG used in creating its new Porsche 911-fighting coupe. And boy, are we excited to drive this one.

Much like the AMG GT, the C63 will be offered in two states of tune. The standard C63 will pack 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, able to propel the 3,615-pound sedan to 62 miles per hour in four seconds flat. And if that isn’t enough, Mercedes will also offer the C63 S, with 503 hp and 516 lb-ft, which shaves a tenth of a second off that 0-62 time. (The C63 S weighs in at 3,648 pounds, according to European specifications.) Both versions route that power to the rear wheels via Merc’s seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission, which has been retuned for the C63 application and is said to be “even faster in its reaction times.”

Like the AMG GT, the C63 uses dynamic engine mounts, and along with its three-stage adjustable damping system, features four AMG Dynamic Select driver-selectable modes – Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport+ and Race. The car rides on either 18- (C63) or 19-inch (C63 S) wheels, and ceramic-composite brakes are available as an option. There’s even an optional performance exhaust, which should no doubt create a sound capable of waking not just your neighbors, but everyone else on the block.

Both Mercedes-AMG C63 models arrive in the US in March, with a special “Edition 1″ series being offered at launch, set apart by unique exterior and interior treatments. Pricing has yet to be announced as of this writing. Have a look below for the full scoop in Mercedes‘ press blast, and check out the gallery above for more views. You’ll also notice a slick wagon in our stash of images, but note, Mercedes hasn’t said anything about the longroof making its way to the US, and honestly, we wouldn’t get our hopes up.

Continue reading 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 packs up to 503 hp, arrives in March originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:00:00 EST.

Mercedes boosts CLA supplies, says it could sell twice as many

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

It’s been a few months since we talked about the Mercedes-Benz CLA’s status as an unmitigated hit, but a new story from Automotive News will allow us to revisit the sleek, fast-selling, four-door home run. Production has been increased again, with some of the extra capacity destined for US showrooms.

We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning,” Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche told AN.

Dealers are sitting on perilously small supplies of the CLA, with Mercedes execs confirming to AN that a few dealers have slipped below a ten-day supply. For reference, a 60-day supply is generally considered healthy.

Mercedes’ Kecskemét, Hungary factory added a third shift back in May to address high demand for the four-door. Zetsche was unwilling to divulge how many more cars the facility will be able to churn out with this latest production increase, though.

“We do not want our customers to have to wait too much,” Zetsche told AN. “Wherever we could, we pulled out all the stops.”

Mercedes boosts CLA supplies, says it could sell twice as many originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:15:00 EST.

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850

By Chris Bruce

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible

For the most part, they look almost identical to their coupe versions, except that they now boast an electrically folding soft top.

BMW is dropping the top of the 2 Series in early 2015 in the US with convertible versions of the 228i and M235i. They’ll make their world debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year and will show their faces on this side of the pond at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Aesthetically, you’re getting exactly what you’d expect from the 2 Series Convertible both inside and out. They look almost identical to their coupe counterparts, except that they now boast an electrically folding soft top. When tucked away, it hides underneath a panel behind the rear seats for a very clean look, but it can pop out or close in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Additionally, the soundproofed and insulated roof is available in Black, Anthracite and Brown.

Powerplants are also shared with the coupes. That gives the 228i ‘vert a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. BMW claims that it can run to 60 in 5.7 seconds. In addition, there’s a model with xDrive all-wheel drive that’s even quicker at 5.6 seconds to 60. However, the company isn’t revealing fuel economy specs for either version yet.

Continue reading 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST.

Mercedes G65 AMG coming to US for 2016

By Noah Joseph

Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG

If you’re in the market for a high-performance SUV, you’ve got plenty of choices at your disposal, and soon you’ll have even more. And a healthy portion of those come with a Silver Star on the nose. Mercedes-Benz already offers the ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG and G63 AMG – all powered by the same 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 – in American showrooms. Soon the smaller GLA45 AMG will join them as well. But if it’s more power you’re after, we’ve got good news, because the latest word is that Benz is finally bringing over its flagship G65 AMG.

Similar to the G63 AMG, the G65 is based on the German automaker’s iconic Geländewagen, but packs a monstrous 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 – the same unit that has powered everything from the S65 AMG and SL65 AMG to the previous Maybach and even the Pagani Huayra. In the G65, that gargantuan engine churns out 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, channeled to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The G65 has been on the market overseas since 2012, but was kept away from these shores. According to Automotive News, however, Mercedes will finally bring its most powerful sport-ute to American showrooms. And not a moment too soon, either, as Land Rover just came out with its Range Rover Sport SVR; rivals like Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati are all working on performance SUVs of their own; and competitors like Porsche and BMW aren’t likely to give up fighting, either.

Expect the G65 to launch in the US as a 2016 model with a price tag tipped to top $250,000.

Mercedes G65 AMG coming to US for 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:00:00 EST.

New entry-level Mercedes SL400 drops price of range by over $20k

By Chris Bruce

2015 Mercedes SL400

As one of the premier luxury droptops from Mercedes-Benz, the SL-Class has never been an inexpensive proposition. But the German brand is making it a little bit more accessible for the 2015 model year with its new SL400. The new entry-level model has quietly shown up on Mercedes’ consumer site, and pricing starts at $84,000, plus the usual $925 destination charge. While that’s still a lot of money, it’s a massive discount, ringing up at a whopping $22,900 less than the $107,825 SL550.

Think of that savings as over $11,000 per cylinder, as the SL400 foregoes V8 power in favor of a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque and seven-speed automatic rated at 20 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway. Those numbers are roughly 100 hp and 160 lb-ft less than the SL550. Still, the new model can get to 60 miles per hour in a quick 5.1 seconds, compared to 4.5 for the its big brother.

Thankfully, buyers don’t have to give up the optional luxuries that makes the SL special to get the cheaper model. The Air Scarf comes as part of the $4,900 Premium Package, Distronic adaptive cruise control is available as part of the $2,950 Driver Assistance Package and Benz’s clever dimming Magic Sky Control roof is a separate option for $2,500. If the idea of a Mercedes-branded folding hardtop convertible that gives up a little power for a lot less money sounds good to you, then you’re thinking like we are.

New entry-level Mercedes SL400 drops price of range by over $20k originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:31:00 EST.

Mercedes M-Class to become GLE-Class next year

By Chris Bruce

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Automotive naming schemes can get a little bit weird as they age. Just look at the impending BMW lineup with a rear-wheel drive 2 Series and front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer on sale together – of course, to say nothing of the fact that the 2 Series is actually the successor to the 1 Series coupe/convertible in the States. Crazy. However, Mercedes-Benz might be taking steps in the opposite direction to actually make its SUV and crossover lineup easier for customers to understand.

The first potential shift is dropping the M-Class name from the range because it just no longer fits within a naming structure that has SUVs and CUVs all starting with G. According to Car and Driver speaking with unnamed Mercedes insiders, when the crossover gets refreshed with updated styling in 2015, it’s also getting a new name: GLE-Class. Then, when the Concept Coupe SUV goes into production, it would be called the GLE Coupe.

The rumored changes to the M-Class might be only the beginning, though. Once the GLE falls in place, the future version of the GLK-Class would possibly become the GLC-Class. Just those two revisions would give the Mercedes’ mainstream SUV and CUV range a similar hierarchy as its sedans with the GLA-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class and GL-Class all having roughly corresponding models, plus the G-Class out on its own as its incomparable self. If it all actually happens, the re-naming should make the lineup easier to understand. Autoblog reached out to Mercedes spokesperson Christian Bokich to confirm all of this, but all he would say is, “I’m afraid that it’s too early to tell at this point.”

Mercedes M-Class to become GLE-Class next year originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:32:00 EST.


Mercedes to follow Maybach S-Class with super-luxe GL?

By Noah Joseph

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

The failed experiment that was Maybach has sent the strategists at Daimler back to the drawing board, and we’ll soon see what they come back with: an ultra-luxe version of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class to slot in between the “standard” model and the upcoming Pullman limousine. But that won’t be the end of the story, if a new report from Australia’s Motoring is any indication.

Rumor has it that Mercedes-Benz is developing Maybach into a kind of luxury sub-brand in the same way it has with AMG. So while Maybach won’t have any exclusive models anymore (or showrooms), it will be applied to existing models to differentiate them from the common Benz.

Following the debut of the S-Class Maybach, word on the street is that Maybach will work up its own version of the GL-Class sport utility to a more luxurious specification, giving Mercedes a quick response to the upcoming Bentley SUV as well as the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography. After that, a Maybach-ified S-Class Coupe could be in the works, and maybe even a version of the upcoming MLC, Benz’s forthcoming BMW X6 rival.

Looking at how AMG has transformed virtually every model in the Mercedes range, it seems that the proverbial sky is the limit when it comes to potential future Maybach models, but we still wouldn’t expect the Double-M badge to be applied to lower-end models in the Mercedes lineup.

Mercedes to follow Maybach S-Class with super-luxe GL? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:31:00 EST.

BMW confirms new Mexican plant

By Chris Bruce

BMW M3 Sedan

After over a year of speculation, BMW is finally officially announcing that it’s building a factory in Mexico. The new plant will cost the German automaker roughly $1 billion US and will have a capacity of about 150,000 vehicles a year when complete. However, production won’t begin there until 2019.

The new factory is being built near the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with plans to employ about 1,500 people. Unfortunately, BMW is still mum about which models it’s producing south of the border. Earlier rumors indicated the possibility of the 3 Series, 1 Series and maybe even Mini models there.

BMW says Mexico’s multiple free trade agreements are a major factor in the choice of location of the plant. They make it possible for the automaker to ship models more cheaply to North America, parts of South America and the European Union. “The Americas are among the most important growth markets for the BMW Group. We are continuing our strategy of ‘production follows the market,’” said Harald Krueger, the board’s head of production, in the company’s official announcement.

The Mexican factory comes on the heels of two other major North American investments for BMW. In March, it declared its plan to invest $1 billion by 2016 into the Spartanburg, SC, factory to increase its annual capacity by 150,000 units and to build the X7 SUV. Its Moses Lake, WA, carbon fiber factory is also getting a further $200 million investment. Plus, there’s its roughly $260 million facility coming to Brazil, as well. Scroll down to read the full release about the Bavarian automaker’s latest American factory.

Continue reading BMW confirms new Mexican plant

BMW confirms new Mexican plant originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST.

BMW recalling all 2000-06 3 Series models over airbags in US, 1.6M globally

By Chris Bruce

Germany Japan Automotive Supplier

We just can’t seem to get away from recalls involving the faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata. There are already millions of vehicles in need of repair as a result of these ever-expanding campaigns, and BMW is adding another 1.6 million worldwide. The Bavarian automaker is issuing a recall for certain 3 Series models, including 574,000 of them in the US, to replace the passenger-side, front airbag inflator.

Specifically, the campaign covers 3 Series models from the 2000 through 2006 model years built between May 1999 and August 2006. “It’s only the E46″ generation of cars that are affected, which are now two model revisions old, according to BMW of North America spokesperson Matt Russell, speaking to Autoblog.

These models suffer the same problem as the rest of the vehicles with the faulty inflators. It’s possible for the part to rupture during airbag deployment and possibly spray shrapnel at the occupant. However, according to BMW, the automaker isn’t aware of any actual cases of this happening in any of its vehicles.

This is at least the third inflator recall for these 3 Series models. The first was issued in 2013 to cover 42,000 units of the 2002 and 2003 model years. Barely a month ago, the company also issued a campaign for certain 2001 through 2005 vehicles in hot weather states to inspect both the driver- and passenger-side inflators. With the passenger units being replaced, the analysis “will now focus on the driver-side airbag,” said Russell.

BMW will notify owners if they have one of the potentially affected models and repairs will begin “as soon as we have the parts available,” said Russell. Scroll down to read both BMW’s US and global announcements for the recall.

Continue reading BMW recalling all 2000-06 3 Series models over airbags in US, 1.6M globally

BMW recalling all 2000-06 3 Series models over airbags in US, 1.6M globally originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:45:00 EST.

BMW planning six-cylinder i9 hybrid to celebrate centenary?

By Noah Joseph

2015 BMW i8

On the prospect of a new BMW M1 based on the company’s new i8 hybrid, the jury has been in and out so much that we can’t even tell which way it’s likely to go. However, the latest reports coming in from Germany suggest that BMW may have something else up its sleeves. Rather than make a conventional gas-powered version of the i8, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport says BMW will make a more powerful one.

Tentatively dubbed i9, the hybrid sports car is rumored to pack a six-cylinder internal-combustion engine instead of the i8′s turbo three. Coupled to more potent electric motors, it would figure to produce even more than the 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque already on tap in the i8, with further weight reductions to offset the bulkier engine.

Auto Motor und Sport says the mooted model will be produced to celebrate the Bavarian automaker’s 100th anniversary and eclipse the i8′s performance, with a projected 0-60 run in under four seconds en-route to taking the gloves off to crunch the Autobahn in electric bliss. The new i flagship would be another member of the company’s growing electrified family, joining the existing i3 hatchback, upcoming i5 minivan and possible i8 Spyder down the line.

BMW planning six-cylinder i9 hybrid to celebrate centenary? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST.