Just on the heels of the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz has given their B-class mini minivan (or large hatchback depending on where you stand) a small facelift. It’s been a few years now for the current second-generation B-class and it is falling behind with stiffening competition including some home grown competition in some markets with the A-class.
This facelift consists of the usual updates including a revised front end that modernizes the front end to look more similar to the CLA-Class. The bumper has been reshaped, and includes a grille that looks to also be borrowed from the CLA parts bin. The headlights and taillights have also been updated and now feature the new LED DRL look. For the first time on the B-Class, LED headlights are an available option. Optional 4MATIC AWD ensures the B-Class excels in all conditions, and KEYLESS-GO extends convenience by offering a push start and touch unlocking of the doors.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the replacement to the outgoing SLS, the AMG GT this morning, ahead of it’s public debut at the Paris motor show next month. Targetting the Porsche 911, the new AMG GT sits in a new segment in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.
Powered by an all new 4.0L V8 Biturbo, the powerplant pumps out 510hp in S guise, allowing the AMG GT S to hit 60mph in a scant 3.6 seconds, along with a 194mph top speed. The base AMG GT model is rated at 462hp, hits 60mph in 3.8 seconds, and tops out at 190mph. The engine features a hot V configuration, where the turbochargers are nestled within the V, resulting in a more compact design. A wet sump version of the engine will power the all new C63, due out in January of next year.
The new C Class from Mercedes-Benz has been making waves since its introduction at the Detroit show earlier this year. Redesigned from the ground up, the new C moves upscale as the CLA Class takes over the entry level Mercedes-Benz moniker. Packed with features from the E and S Class, the new C redefines the luxury sports segment shared by the BMW 335, and the Audi S4. The question is, will the C400 4Matic be good enough to unseat BMW as the market leader?
Before we start, I need to apologize for being late. Partly due to real life getting in the way, but mostly due to the fact that I struggled to write this. My theme for this article was going to be “Growing up and growing old”. I was going to walk you through Benyl’s completely normal car history, where he threw whatever cheap mods he could to make his car stand out, regardless of whether or not they made the car any better. We were going to bring back memories of him crashing at the track (or on the streets) by driving like an idiot. We’d transition into his actual adulthood, where he owns a sensible home and drives a sensible wagon.
Problem is, none of those things are true. Benyl was born a 50 year old man and his cars have gotten consistently more powerful from the factory as time goes on. He didn’t really mod his cars until a money shift destroyed his STI’s engine and he was going to have to pay for a new one anyway. Even then, he built it right the first time.
Being asked to drive a fun car should never cause you stress, but that’s exactly what I felt when my boss asked me to review his car. In a no-win situation comparable to “Does this make me look fat?”, I was being asked to give my opinion about rage2′s current pride and joy, the Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series.
Ah well, this gig doesn’t pay anyway.
For those that aren’t familiar with rage2′s C63 BS, here’s what you need to know. 510 hp, 457 lb-ft of torque, 3800 lbs, fender flares, matte wrap, 0-60 in 3.7s, 1/4 mile in 12 seconds flat, and a baby seat ISOFIX’d to the back seat. All for the mildly affordable starting price of $109,000. Which forces a question you’ll hear all too often on car forums and bar conversations. Why would you spend six figures on a C-class that doesn’t perform at the top of its price range? You could pick up a new GTR for the same money and literally drive circles around the C63. Ignorance and brand loyalty are the most common justifications you’ll hear but, while the latter certainly applies here (whether he’ll admit it or not), rage2 has his own reason. It’s fun.
Contrast is a wonderful thing, and that’s the design theme of the new 2LOOK Edition SL63 and SL65 AMG seen here. Mercedes-Benz has given the SL their unique 2Look treatment, offering heavily contrasted colors that will grab anyone’s attention. The roof, cross-strut in the AMG front lip, mirror housings, fins on the wings and hood, surrounds of headlamp cluster, spoiler lip and diffuser insert are all coated in high-gloss black, polar opposites to the white paintjob. The interior is wrapped in exclusive Nappa leather, while trim pieces feature designo platinum white pearl Nappa leather. The biggest change is the steering wheel, wrapped in a mixture of Nappa leather and Alcantara, with the bezel in high-gloss black.
The 2LOOK Editions are available this June in German dealers, with the SL63 AMG 2LOOK Edition starting at €169,991.50, while the SL65 version starts at a piggy bank busting €244,188.00. There is no word on these editions heading our way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is another European exclusive.
The CLS class, now 4 years into the second generation, gets its facelift for the 2015 model year this fall. A rework of the front end features a lower wing design much like the refreshed E-Class. New multibeam LED headlamps with the adaptive highbeam feature allows drivers to concentrate on the road, while the car adjusts lighting for changing road conditions. The rear bumper also gets the makeover treatment, with a more aggressive rear end featuring cooling exit vents.
The changes in the cabin are fairly minor, with the biggest change being the move to the now standard iPad style screen already featured in the G, C, CLA, GLA and A Class. The COMAND navigation is upgraded with new online features that includes Google Maps integration, 3D satellite views, as well as internet based traffic information. Mechanically, the North American engine choices stay the same (the AMG non S model is no longer offered), while the non AMG CLS gets a new 9G-TRONIC 9 speed transmission which boosts fuel efficiency. DISTRONIC PLUS finally gets Steering Assist, which allows the car to drive itself in stop and go traffic up to 60km/h.
Expect to see the updated CLS in showrooms this September. Sadly, the beautiful shooting brake shown in our gallery won’t make its way to North America.
From the “WTF is this?” dept. comes this hilarious ad out of Japan for the all new Mercedes-Benz GLA class, where Mercedes-Benz and Nintendo team up to have Mario run through Level 1 of the original 8-bit Super Mario Bros. in a Mercedes-Benz GLA. The partnership goes further in that the upcoming Mario Kart 8 will feature a playable GLA to race against the other karts. No word if that will be a Japan only download, or if we’ll get to see some of this craziness in North America.
It seems that Apple jumped the gun in announcing the availability of Carplay on 2015 Mercedes Benz vehicles.
It’s rather disappointing as many members were looking forward to the technology. Sources inside Mercedes Benz have confirmed that even though the 2015 C Class has NTG 5 (the 5th generation of the Comand Infotainment system), Carplay will not be available at launch in the Fall of 2014. It is likely that the technology is at least a year away from being a mainstream option. This is further bolstered by the lack of any reference to Carplay in the Dealer Order Guide and the 2015 Model Preview published by Mercedes Benz Canada.
The 2015 W205 C-Class on display at the New York Autoshow had a fully functioning Carplay interface that did not look like Beta software at all. There is also a webpage dedicated to Carplay on the corporate MB website.
We’ve fallen in love with the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class, introduced at Detroit this year. The baby Benz has grown up, leapfrogged the E and CLS Class in luxury and comfort, and feels more like an S-Class in amenities. Today, Mercedes-Benz introduced the next version of the new C, the C-Class Estate, which sadly won’t make it over to our shores.
Typically speaking, wagon’s aren’t exactly cool, but somehow, much like the E63 AMG Wagon that we’ve reviewed, Mercedes-Benz looks to have yet another design winner in its hands. The chassis and power options remain identical to the Sedan version, with the C400 Estate 4Matic leading the pack at 333hp. Compared with the outgoing C-Class Estate, the new version is roomier for both passengers, and load capacity. The rear seats feature an all new 40:20:40 split (vs. 60:40 split in the predecessor), allowing 5, 4, 3 or 2 seat configuration depending on how much cargo space is needed. A new HANDS-FREE-ACCESS system allows opening and closing of the liftgate by moving your foot under the rear bumper, much like the Ford Focus hatchbacks.
Hopefully, Mercedes-Benz changes its mind and sends the Estate over to North America. Unfortunately, with our tastes for SUVs and Crossovers, the new C-Class Estate is bound to be another forbidden fruit here.