Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz

By Noah Joseph

Searching for the ne plus ultra convertible from Mercedes-Benz? You’re looking at it. The new Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet combines the best features of every model at the top of the German automaker’s range, and leaves little to be desired.

The new flagship cabrio is based on the S-Class convertible, but packs AMG’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 – all 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of it. It’s the same engine that powers the S65 sedan and S65 coupe, as well as the SL65 roadster and G65 sport-ute. The engine is still built by hand by an individual AMG technician, but now that takes place at the Daimler engine plant in Mannheim.

This is the first time that Mercedes is offering this engine in a four-seat convertible. As such, it encompasses all the creature comforts of the S-Class cabrio, including a fully automatic three-layer fabric top, airscarf system, and a bodyshell claimed to be just as rigid as the coupe’s… only now it packs more punch. In addition to that monstrous engine, AMG fitted the convertible with a sport-tuned air suspension, 20-inch wheels (designed to look even bigger in motion), optional carbon-ceramic brakes, ultra-shiny brightwork, and a lightweight lithium-ion battery to offset the weight of the massive output up front.

With power transmitted to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, the S65 cabriolet will rocket to 62 in 4.1 seconds. It’s electronically limited to top out at 155 miles per hour – but will hit 186 on the Autobahn with the roof down and the optional AMG Driver’s package specified.

Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet is the ultimate drop-top Benz originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Dec 2015 10:17:00 EST.

 

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC features AMG version with turbo V6

By Alex Kierstein

As part of the huge revamping of the entire Mercedes-Benz lineup, a heavily revised 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and Mercedes-AMG SLC43 will replace the previous SLK variants. Most of the good parts are back: a folding hardtop, optional sport suspension and exhaust, and a hardish-core AMG version. The new name is intended to draw the roadster closer to the mechanically related C-Class.

The basic SLC300 will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four, turbocharged to 241 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, with 273 lb-ft of torque available as low as 1,300 rpm. Those stats might look familiar, because the engine and output figures carry over from the SLK300. The last shift-it-yourself Mercedes offered here was the SLK250; don’t expect things to change with the new nomenclature. The 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is fitted across the board for both SLC variants, including the AMG.

The biggest difference SLK-to-SLC change comes in the SLC43, which supersedes the SLK55. Gone is the naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8, and in its place is a twin-turbo V6 that seems an awful lot like the engine fitted to the revised C450 AMG and 2017 SL450 – neither of which are full-blown AMG models. As in those cars, this 3.0-liter biturbo six produces 362 hp at 5,500 rpm, and 384 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. AMG claims to have tuned the engine management software and increased boost, but the numbers don’t tell the tale. Maybe the proof is in the driving experience.

Compared to its V8-powered predecessor, the SLC43 gives up 54 hp, 14 lb-ft of torque, and 0.1 second to 60 miles per hour. The upshot, according to AMG, is less weight and greater efficiency. Many of the AMG essentials you’d expect are present: stiffer suspension, more aggressive front and rear clips, and requisite interior trim and badging. Optional are a handling package with a mechanical limited-slip differential and AMG’s Ride Control adaptive adjustable suspension.

The SLC300 also has some notable enhancements. On the safety front, radar-based Active Brake Assist – which automatically brakes to prevent rear-end collisions – is now standard. Dynamic LED headlights are now optional. Inside, a new 7-inch high-resolution COMAND infotainment screen replaces a much smaller, 5.8-inch unit, and the gauge cluster features a 4.5-inch TFT display.

The new SLC will launch in Spring of 2016.

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC features AMG version with turbo V6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Dec 2015 18:01:00 EST.

 

Mercedes gets handy with Apple Watch app

By Noah Joseph

Whether you yourself have been caught up in Apple Watch fever or not, automakers have been embracing the new wearable device one after the other. The latest is Mercedes-Benz.

The MB Companion App for the Apple Watch initially focuses on seamless navigation. Punch in your destination on your watch or iPhone and it’ll port over to the onboard navigation system in your Merc. Park the car, get out and the directions will switch back over to the Apple Watch to guide you from your parking spot to your destination on foot. It’s similar to the app Mercedes had designed for Google Glass, only in this application it actually stands a chance of catching on.

Designed by Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D center, the Apple Watch app is being rolled out this fall in the new C-Class and S-Class equipped with the COMAND Online navigation system. It’s earmarked to to spread to other models as well, with further updates to the app planned to allow it to display the vehicle’s fuel level, range, odometer and maintenance code.

Of course, Mercedes isn’t the first automaker to release an app for the Apple Watch. It’s not even the first German automaker to do so: BMW previewed its app for the device back in September, and Volkswagen got on board earlier this month.

 

Mercedes gets handy with Apple Watch app originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 May 2015 09:14:00 EST.

 

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 squares up for production

By Noah Joseph

After showcasing the G500 4×4² in concept form at the Geneva Motor Show this past March, Mercedeshas confirmed that it’s putting the monster truck into production.

The Mercedes G500 4×4² is a more extreme take on the legendary Geländewagen. It ditches the extra set of wheels from the earlier G63 AMG 6×6, but keeps its wider track and jacked-up suspension, complete with portal axles, 22-inch wheels, 325/55-section tires, and a good foot and a half of ground clearance. It also loses the AMG-spec engine in favor of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 422 horsepower, based on the unit in the C63 and AMG GT.

The smaller engine (and smaller axle-count) makes its list price a little easier to swallow than the half-million Benz commanded for the 6×6, but it’ll still be a rather large pill. Pricing in Germany is listed at €226,100 – equivalent to over $250k at current exchange rates. That makes it the second most expensive version of the G-Class currently available, behind the G65 that retails for €271,915 (~$309k) in Germany and $217,900 in the US.

MBUSA tells Autoblog that there are currently no plans for bringing the G500 4×4² to North America. But if it were to ford the Atlantic, it would likely carry a price tag in the neighborhood of $200k for the privilege of riding higher than just about any other commercially available passenger vehicle on the road.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 squares up for production originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jun 2015 19:05:00 EST.

 

2015 Mercedes-AMG G65 Review

By Jonathon Ramsey

A German friend who lives in Munich told me she might have to retrieve her car from Innsbruck, Austria while I was in Germany to visit her. I said I’d be happy to chauffeur her to the Tyrol in a Mercedes-AMG G65. She responded to the offer with this question: “You mean – in the G65 Rap Train?”

I had no idea what it meant, but the name stuck. Her reasoning was that I would be taken for an American rapper, because what other black American would be cruising south, East, and west Germany for ten days in a 272,000-euro, 5,676-pound chunk of… well, let’s just say it: bling.

Mercedes created the G65 by installing its 604 horsepower, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12 in the G-Class engine bay, and laying oodles of quilted leather inside the cabin. Introduced to markets outside the US in 2012, it sat above the twin-turbo, V8-powered G63 that remained the top-of-the-line here. After years of denial, US buyers will finally get their chance to buy the G65 in November for $217,900.

2015 Mercedes-AMG G65 Review originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:58:00 EST.

 

A German friend who lives in Munich told me she might have to retrieve her car from Innsbruck, Austria while I was in Germany to visit her. I said I’d be happy to chauffeur her to the Tyrol in a Mercedes-AMG G65. She responded to the offer with this question: “You mean – in the G65 Rap Train?”

I had no idea what it meant, but the name stuck. Her reasoning was that I would be taken for an American rapper, because what other black American would be cruising south, East, and west Germany for ten days in a 272,000-euro, 5,676-pound chunk of… well, let’s just say it: bling.

Mercedes created the G65 by installing its 604 horsepower, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12 in the G-Class engine bay, and laying oodles of quilted leather inside the cabin. Introduced to markets outside the US in 2012, it sat above the twin-turbo, V8-powered G63 that remained the top-of-the-line here. After years of denial, US buyers will finally get their chance to buy the G65 in November for $217,900.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp

By Chris Bruce

BMW appears to be approaching a big change in the way that it handles performance. First, the clutch pedal may be a goner from future M models, based on recent statements from the division’s boss, Frank van Meel. We also might not be seeing any significant increases in horsepower from some of these vehicles anytime soon.

“From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ‘boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” van Meel said to Autocar. Although, he left the door open slightly to keeping them at least in the near future. “It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also suggested that the company is capping the output of M models at 600 horsepower. “We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits,” he said to Autocar.

That ceiling does leave some room to grow for future versions of the M3 and M4, which currently offer 425 hp. However, it means that the M5 and M6 with 560 hp are basically at the cap. The limited BMW M5 30th Anniversary Edition already packs 600 hp.

Rumors have suggested that the already spied, next-generation M5 might stick with around 600 hp. It seems unlikely for BMW to completely give up competing against the Autobahn-burning sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Performance could still see a boost thanks to a reportedly lighter platform and optional all-wheel drive.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:30:00 EST.

 

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin

By Matthew Askari

he 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC is an all-new luxury crossover that replaces Benz’s compact GLK. We’re driving it right now, and will have a full first drive soon. But before this, we were granted some early access on a drive from Lithuania to Latvia – just enough to form some initial impressions.

As part of Mercedes‘ expansion with new models (and old models taking on new names) the GLC will no longer be the entry-level CUV for Mercedes – that title has been assumed by the GLA crossover. The GLC moves up not only in the hierarchical range, but grows 4.6 inches in the wheelbase, and is more roomy overall. Most evident, the GLC gets completely new styling, something that is immediately clear upon first glance. Mercedes says the 2016 GLC represents the future design direction for all its SUVs. Continuing the “Sensual Purity” design language of the new S-Class and C-Class, our Euro-spec GLC prototype is curvier, cleaner, and more modern than the more rugged-looking GLK. Mercedes says the US will have standard front and rear bumpers optimized for off-road use, with a 28-degree approach and departure angles for all variants.

Despite boasting four doors, the GLC has a coupe-like silhouette. Our model’s LED headlights, chrome-finished dual exhaust pipes, and large wheels (up to 20-inches) add to this sporty aesthetic. The real story however, is on the inside, where the GLC mimics the striking interior of the C-Class. Based on our model’s open-pore wood, flowing center console, and brushed metallic and piano-black finishes the GLC boasts the nicest interior in the class.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC250 Quick Spin originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:01:00 EST.

 

2016 Mercedes CLA and GLA get more power, quicker

By Chris Bruce

Unlike in Europe, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have hyper hatches like the Audi RS3 to compete against in North America, at least not yet. However, the company isn’t letting its high-performance compacts get behind the times anywhere in the world with the announcement that the CLA45 AMG and GLA45 AMG in the US are getting practically the same raft of upgrades as the ones across the pond. Both models go on sale in October in US dealers.

Like its European counterpart, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the diminutive AMGs receives upgrades to produce 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (the 381 hp rating over there is in metric ponies). That’s an impressive 20-horsepower and 18 lb-ft bump over the current version of the mill. Beyond just the boost in output, quicker acceleration comes from revised, more aggressive ratios in third through seventh gears.

The latest AMGs make great use of their upgrades, too. The 2016 GLA45 now clocks the run to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds, a staggering half-second quicker than the 2015 model. The CLA45 slices 0.3 seconds off its time to make the sprint in 4.1 seconds, which gives the sedan the same acceleration as a SL63 AMG.

In addition to the powertrain tweaks, the 2016 models get a few other added luxuries. As in Europe, they receive the Dynamic Select System that uses a rotary knob select from multiple driving modes. Inside, there’s standard keyless start, dual-zone climate controls, and Mercedes‘ latest infotainment unit. A “Turbo 4Matic” badge on the fender now hints at the vehicles’ performance potential.

The new Dynamic Plus Package is the major addition to the options list. It combines a limited slip differential at the front, AMG Adaptive Suspension, Race Mode, Performance Steering Wheel, and pushes the top speed to 167 mph. At the same time, the AMG Driver’s Package is discontinued, and the AMG Performance Studio Package is dropped on the CLA45.

2016 Mercedes CLA and GLA get more power, quicker originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:00:00 EST.

Mercedes previews new S-Class convertible

By Noah Joseph

Mercedes keeps on expanding its flagship S-Class with more models, and will soon add one more to the roster. But before it does, it’s giving us this teaser of what’s to come with an advanced look at the upcoming new S-Class Cabriolet.

The convertible model will be based closely on the S-Class Coupe we already know, only with a folding roof. Expect that dropping top to be constructed of several layers of fabric (as opposed to a folding metal top) with a glass rear window (instead of plastic) to keep it luxuriously isolated and insulated from the outside world when it’s up, and let the wind and sunshine in when down. The Cabrio will bring the array of body-styles in the S-Class range up to six, with the convertible joining the existing coupe and four wheelbase lengths of sedan. Expect powertrain options to closely mirror those of the coupe, including S550, S63, and eventual S65 AMG models driving the rear wheels or all four.

Slotting in above the E-Class Cabriolet, the new convertible S-Class will be Daimler’s “first luxury four seater cabriolet since 1971.” It’ll compete in rather rare company against the likes of the Bentley Continental GTC, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, and even the upcoming new Rolls-Royce Dawn when it arrives. And judging from the timing of this preview rendering’s release, we anticipate it’ll arrive soon.

Mercedes previews new S-Class convertible originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:16:00 EST.

 

Mercedes updates G-Class including new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

By Noah Joseph

 

Mercedes has been building (or having Magna Steyr build) the G-Class for an unfathomable 36 years now. Needless to say, the legendary off-roader wouldn’t still be around if not for the occasional update here and there, and that’s just what the German automaker announced today.

The list of enhancements to the iconic Geländewagen is almost as long as its lifespan, but the most salient point here is the introduction of a new engine. The revised G550 introduces a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, based on the high-performance engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63, but retuned: in this application, it produces 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque (compared to 453 hp and 440 lb-ft in the GT or 503 and 480 in the GT S). We’d expect that engine to gradually make its way into other models as well.

Though the G500 is the only one with a completely new unit, the other engines in the lineup have also been updated. The G350d bumps from 211 hp and 398 lb-ft to 245 hp and 442 lb-ft, the AMG G63 jumps from 536 hp to 563 (torque remains constant at 560 lb-ft), and the top-of-the-line, twelve-cylinder G65 (which we’ll be getting Stateside for the first time) now produces 621 hp and a massive 738 lb-ft. Those figures result in a 0-62 time of 8.9 seconds for the diesel, 5.9 for the G500, 5.4 for the G63 and 5.3 for the G65 – which are altogether might impressive for a vehicle as big and boxy as the G-Wagen. All but the G65 now feature stop/start systems to help reduce fuel consumption too.

Benz also revised the suspension tuning (while offering optional active dampers) and reprogrammed the ESP, ASR andABS systems. Inside there’s a new instrument cluster, the non-AMG models get new bumpers and flared wheel arches, and there’s a bright new array of colors available for the AMG models, which can also be ordered in a new special Edition 463 featuring unique trim inside and out.

The revised models will be arriving at US dealers in November, however the diesel model will not be making the transatlantic journey to our shores. The data in the press release below (as well as the images in the gallery above) pertain to the European models, with the correct output figures for the US models amended in the text above.

Mercedes updates G-Class including new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 May 2015 10:45:00 EST.