In a car industry flush with new luxury categories, the one that seems to present the most room for growth is the one at the small end of the spectrum – the “Premium A-segment”, filled with cars like the A3 seen here, the Mercedes-Benz CLA, and the BMW 1-/2-series. Audi of America’s President, Scott Keogh, told the group of journalists gathered in northern California for the press introduction of the A3 1.8 and 2.0T sedans that he saw 400% growth potential in the segment over the next few years. That’s serious headroom, and if these first new A3 models to hit our shores are any indication, a place where torrid competition will be taking place among manufacturers.
As an enormous fan of the original 2010 W212 generation E-class, I was more than a little worried when the introduction of a 2014 facelift was first announced during last year’s Detroit auto show. After all, the W212 was considered, by many in addition to me, to be perhaps the best-looking Benz sedan of the modern era. Why mess with success? As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Because while the rectangular quad headlights and the sedan’s throwback ponton-style rear fender flares are now gone, an extremely cohesive and simply handsome car remains in place.
Mercedes-Benz has announced the hot rod version of the new A-class compact with the inevitable AMG A45, which will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month. Mercedes say that the A45 AMG is the highest output turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the world in a production car with 360-horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered to the road by way of the AMG-tuned 4MATIC AWD system. This level of grip provided by the 4MATIC system results in a 0-100km/h time of just 4.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes also say that the A45 AMG has fuel consumption of just 6.9 liters per 100 kilometer, and that it already complies with the EU6 emissions standards. Pretty slick, even if we doubt that a hatchback version will ever make it to this side of the pond.
Photo gallery and Mercedes-Benz PR after the jump.
Mercedes-AMG continues to emphasize performance, dynamic purpose and efficiency: The new 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC (world debut at the 2013 NAIAS) now features a redesigned, performance-oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system as standard equipment and is also available as an especially powerful SModel with output of 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The 5.5-liter AMG V8 Biturbo continues to be the benchmark of efficiency: No other competitor in this segment offers this combination of maximum performance and low fuel consumption. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard on all U.S. models – which also feature a power increase from 518 hp to 550 hp with a peak torque of 531 lb-ft. With this step Mercedes-AMG now for the first time offers powerful passenger cars with an all-wheel-drive system designed for vehicle dynamics. The 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC goes on-sale in the U.S. this summer.
Photos: Zerin Dube & John Kucek
The idea of removing the roof from a supercar is about as heretic a concept for diehard auto enthusiasts as scalping a baby bunny would be to a card-carrying PETA member. Hence the personal crisis I’ve been having in the days since driving two of 2012’s most over-the-top topless sportsters: the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, and the Jaguar XKR-S Convertible. What I’m grappling with, as an enthusiast, is the thought that truthfully, I’d rather have either of these beasts in drop-top form than their coupe counterparts. Blasphemy? Read on to decide for yourself.
Mercedes-Benz will be pulling the wraps off the all-new 2013 SL550 at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show next month. This next-generation SL now features a structure made almost entirely of aluminum, making it considerably lighter than the outgoing model. MB says that the 2013 SL550 weighs about 275 pounds less than the car would if built of a traditional steel structure. Considering that the SL name stands for “sporty, lightweight”, this is a major improvement over the rather portly outgoing model. Combine that with more horsepower and better efficiency and the 2013 SL550 is certainly starting to live up to its original name. Read More…
Photos by Zerin Dube/Emily Price, Video by Matt Hardigree/Adrian Melendez
Here at Speed:Sport:Life, we have a nasty habit of coming up with answers to questions nobody had bothered to ask. Whether we’re autocrossing an Accord Crosstour or comparing a Ferrari to a Mustang, we inevitably find a way to alienate anyone with a lick of common sense.
This time however, we performed a comparison test that on the surface seems completely ludicrous. But a deeper look at this comparison reveals that this is the question that everyone buying these vehicles should be asking: How do $100k+ luxury hot-rod off-roaders actually perform, well, off-road?
Mercedes-Benz has released several photos of the upcoming SLS AMG ahead of the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. A full press release has not been issued yet, but the information we do know is that the SLS features 300SL-inspired styling including the signature Gullwing doors. Power will come from a 563-horsepower 6.3-liter V8, and will propel the SLS to 60 in 3.7 seconds and reach terminal velocity at 197 mph.
We’re a bit torn on the styling, but one thing is for sure…the SLS stands out amongst the flood of Lotus Evora look-alikes in the supercar world.
All images are wallpaper sized. Right-click, save-as to save full resolution images.
With the 2009 New York Auto Show just around the corner, we’re starting to get a glimpse of the vehicles that will be shown. One such vehicle that will be shown is this all-new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, which features the monster 6.2-liter V8 engine found in other recent AMG models. This new E63 gets an 11 horsepower bump from the outgoing model to 518, and torque is bumped up to a very substantial 465lb-ft.
The new E63 will also sport the new seven-speed dual clutch SpeedShift transmission that found its way into the SL63 roadster. Mercedes-Benz claims that this reduces fuel consumption by 12%, and makes driving a whole hell of a lot more fun. Suspension wise, the E63 gets AMGRIDE CONTROL which is Mercedes’ fancy word for electronically controlled damping system.
While we here at S:S:L are a bit split on the new E-Class design direction, we all agree that we can’t wait to get one of these on a road course.
Full E63 AMG Wallpaper Gallery (1440×960) after the Jump
The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster is the result of wild imaginations and the technical expertise of over 150 trainees and dual education students. Taking over a year to conceptualize and build, Mercedes-Benz says that this fuel cell powered roadster project focused on integrating alternative alternative propulsion systems with hands on experience.
The F-Cell Roadster is an allusion to the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car, and is powered by a 1.2Kw fuel cell system at the rear. Mercedes-Benz says that the roadster has a top speed of 25km/h and a range of 350km.
The media brief says that this car was built and it exists, however these images look more like highly detailed renderings than actual studio shots. I guess we’ll see if the F-Cell Roadster really exists at an upcoming motor show.
Full F-Cell Roadster gallery after the jump!