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Movie buffs traveling to this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be in for a pleasant surprise: among all the classic rides on display will be Natalie Wood’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The car will be one of several 300SLs on hand to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s first Le Mans win in 1952.
Unfortunately, the car doesn’t look quite the way it did when Wood owned it. “She had it painted pink,” said Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “Pink with a lipstick-red leather interior, as if driving a 300SL around Hollywood didn’t attract enough attention.”
Powered in SL550 form by a twin-turbo 4.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, it’s a significant upgrade over the previous SL550, with 47 more horsepower and 125 pound-feet more torque. Weighing in at up to 308 pounds less than the former SL, it is also lighter, helping it live up to its SL–Super Light–moniker.
That weight savings and extra power enables the new SL550 to claim a manufacturer-stated 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
Alabama’s complex and controversial new immigration laws don’t leave police with a lot of room for interpretation. If you’re stopped and can’t produce documentation, you go to jail until you can prove your identity (and nationality), or until you sit before a judge.
The law is applied to all, even visiting managers from Mercedes-Benz Germany. Last Friday, police in Tuscaloosa, Ala., stopped a rental vehicle for a license plate violation. Inside, police found two men, but the German driver could not produce a driver’s license or another identity document, so he was taken into custody and placed in the Tuscaloosa city jail.
The insults are common and predictably gender-biased: the hairdresser’s car, the chick car, etc. But the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK, especially the SLK 55 AMG, throws off those epithets with abandon, rising instead to deliver a combination of sport, speed, style, and comfort anyone could love–even macho, macho men.
How does it do it? With a familiar AMG recipe, adding more power, better handling, a dash of race-inspired design, and, of course, AMG exclusivity. Yet the SLK 55 remains the most “lifestyle” oriented vehicle in the range by AMG chief Ola Kallenius’ own statement. How do these two personalities co-exist in one smallish roadster? Quite well, actually.
After driving the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG and C 63 AMG Black Series this week, we saw the 2012 ML 63 AMG unveiled at Bernardus Lodge in Monterey. While we were able to get up close and personal with it even before the L.A. Auto Show, and again today, most of you won’t be so lucky–so here’s your next best alternative.
Just ahead of the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has given us a sneak peek at the upcoming 2013 SL-Class. While we can’t share actual photos of the car with you just yet, we can give you some details of its construction and technology.
Drawing on the origins of its name–Super Leggera, or Super Light– the new SL features extensive use of aluminum in several forms. It weighs in 245 pounds (220 kilograms) lighter than its predecessor as a body-in-white. According to our discussions with Mercedes-Benz representatives, the 2013 SL will weigh up to 310 pounds (140 kilograms) less depending on the level of options and features chosen.
Mercedes-Benz is great a putting its name on highly visible, aspirational products. The international series of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks is maybe the best example of that process in action, but now the automaker has another high-profile feather in its cap: naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome.
The New Orleans Saints and Mercedes-Benz told the press about the deal on Monday afternoon, with the official announcement expected today. Though none of the financial details of the arrangement between Mercedes and the stadium’s owner, the state of Louisiana, have yet been made public, the deal is good for ten years. The Superdome’s new name officially launches on October 23, in conjunction with the highly anticipated match-up between the Saints and the Indianapolis Colts.
It’s been nearly two years since we took you along for a first drive of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG gullwing, live from Laguna Seca. We were the first to call it Mercedes’ Viper, summing it up thusly: “It’s partly American in its tendency to speak out, part Italian in its cool-first aesthetic, and uncharacteristically Mercedes-Benz in its blend of the two.”
Ready for round two? While track time suits a coupe, roadsters are built for sin–built to explore the heights of decadence, gluttony and luxury. So we traded the rather prosaic, by comparison, Ritz-Carlton at Half-Moon Bay for the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, and choppered in from Nice (that’s in France) to the heliport in Monaco (that’s next to France), soaking up some of the heady hydrocarbons put off by a line of $20 million yachts sitting in the next bay over, before strapping on a luscious SLS Roadster and firing it like an arrow into the heart of Provence.
Citing sources at BenzBoost, Autoblog says that Mercedes-Benz may soon be facing a class action lawsuit over defects in its M156 V-8 engine. The 6.2-liter engine, which cranks out anywhere from 450 to over 570 horsepower, depending upon application, is used in seven different Mercedes-Benz models ranging from the C63 AMG coupe and sedan through the ML63 AMG crossover and the SLS AMG supercar.
The lawsuit alleges that material choices made by Mercedes-Benz and AMG have led to premature component wear and failure. Specifically mentioned in the suit are the engine’s nodular iron camshafts, which may be too soft or may use the wrong offset to function properly with the engine’s 9310-grade steel valve lifters. The suit further alleges that Mercedes-Benz and AMG have both been aware of the issue since 2007, when a service bulletin on the issue was released by Daimler.
While no damages have been specified in the suit, the sole (so far, at least) plaintiff alleges financial losses exceeding $25,000, both for vehicle repairs and for the loss of value in his leased (but pre-owned) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Next, a judge needs to approve the suit as a class-action lawsuit, opening it up for others experiencing similar issues with the M156 V-8 engine to join in.
This story originally appeared at Motor Authority
Is America ready, really ready this time, for a small Mercedes-Benz?
Or, many of them?
From the old 190E to today’s C-Class, Mercedes’ luck with its smallest cars has been mixed. The C-Class is a core product in the lineup, and has been a mainstay for more than a decade, but the C-Class hatchback offered briefly in the 2002-2004 model years was a flop. At the end, sales were so slow, the company decided its then-new B-Class hatchback would meet the same fate, and would be ignored by U.S. drivers. It never made the American lineup, though the B-Class did go on sale in neighboring Canada.
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