Mercedes Benz went all out at the Frankfurt Auto Show, so you would think they’d tone it down for the LA Auto Show. But then again, why would they? If you’ve got the best cars in the world, why not tout them? Apparently following this line of thought, MB has given us a sneak preview of tomorrow’s goods (all of which we’ll be covering thoroughly). Read on for a savory taste of what’s to come.
The big news at this year’s show, which is open to the
public from November 18-27, includes the global unveiling of ML63 AMG Sport Utility. The show will also be highlighted by the
North American debut of three AMG cars, the a long-awaited roadster version of the
formidable SLS AMG gullwing coupe, the race-track-designed C63 AMG Coupe
Black Series and the 415-hp SLK55 AMG featuring AMG Cylinder
Management. Also during the Show, the L.A.-based Mercedes-Benz Driving
Academy is gearing up for its freshman class of teenage drivers at its
first training center in the U.S.
ML63 AMG Sport Utility Combines Biturbo V8 with 4MATIC
On sale in the U.S. in February, the 2012 ML63 AMG (518hp, 516 lb-ft)
adds V8 performance to the new-generation M-Class line launched earlier
this year, combining formidable AMG power with the all-wheel-drive
traction of the renowned Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC system. In addition, an
optional AMG Performance Package is being offered for the first time on
Standard equipment on the new ML63 AMG includes a designo leather
interior with a black headliner and Parktronic as well as the
feature-packed Premium 1 and 2 option packages. The new ML63 AMG is
available with an optional AMG Performance Package that consists of 32
more horsepower, 44 more lb-ft of torque, a higher speed limiter of 174
mph, an AMG Performance steering wheel, carbon fiber engine cover and
red brake calipers.
All ML63 AMG sport utilities are fitted with special AMG body work that
includes deeper under-bumper aprons at the front and rear, more sculpted
rocker panels under the doors and quad exhaust pipes. Inside, AMG
sports seats are complemented by a leather-covered AMG steering wheel
with sporty flattened bottom.
Joining the popular ML350 (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.) and the thrifty ML350
BlueTEC diesel (240 horsepower, 455 lb.-ft. of torque), the ML63 AMG is
powered by a direct-injection, biturbo V8 that produces 518 horsepower
and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. Another V8-powered M-Class model, the ML550
(402 hp, 443 lb.-ft.), will also be available in early 2012.
C63 AMG Coupe Black Series
Among the exciting new cars making their North American debut at the
L.A. Show, a Black Series version of the C63 AMG Coupe features a number
of impressive refinements designed to make it the most powerful C-Class
of all time. Thanks in large part to forged pistons, a modified engine
control unit and lighter crankshaft and connected rods, its V8 now
produces 510 horsepower, up from 451. Zero-to-60 mph acceleration takes
4.2 seconds. Larger engine air ducts in the deep AMG front apron are
complemented by two air outlets in the aluminum front hood.
The Black Series suspension and brakes go well beyond the AMG components
in the normal 2012 C63 AMG Coupe. For example, front wheel track has
been increased, and the rear fenders are nearly two inches wider on each
side to accommodate wider track as well as larger, staggered-width
wheels and tires.
At the rear, a body-color rear lip spoiler sits at the edge of the trunk
lid, and below the bumper is a new rear apron that incorporates an
eye-catching rear air diffuser with a black grille at the top and two
sets of twin exhaust pipes at the bottom. A subtle “Black Series” logo
on the trunk lid identifies the limited-production coupe.
SLS AMG Roadster
Also making its North American debut in L.A. is the 2012 SLS AMG
Roadster. With a retractable fabric top and conventionally hinged doors,
the new convertible joins the highly successful SLS AMG gullwing coupe,
the first-ever car designed and developed from the ground up by
Mercedes-AMG, the company’s high-performance division.
The folding soft top on the new SLS AMG can be opened in only 11
seconds, even when the car is moving at speeds up to 31 mph, and a rear
window of single-layer safety glass is seamlessly bonded into the top.
With the roof closed or open, the roadster’s trunk capacity is virtually
the same as the gullwing coupe.
The SLS AMG can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 3.7
seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. With 563
hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, the 6.3-liter V8 engine is one of the
world’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8s in production. Among its
many special features, dry-sump engine lubrication (rare in the auto
industry) along with a front-mid engine located well behind the front
wheels, coupled with a rear-mounted transaxle, all contribute to
impressive vehicle handling.
All-New SLK55 AMG
The all-new SLK55 AMG is the first AMG model in a sports car line
introduced earlier this year, and it’s also the first V8-powered car in
the new SLK lineup. With a wide front grille inspired by the SLS AMG, a
sweeping hood, relatively long doors and a short rear section, the 2012
Mercedes-Benz SLK line represents the third generation of a sports car
that rocked the automotive world when it unveiled the first automatic
retractable hardtop in modern times.
The 2012 SLK55 AMG is powered by a direct-injection 5.5-liter V8 that
produces 415 horsepower and 398 lb.-ft. of torque for 0-60 mph
acceleration of 4.5 seconds. The new V8 features an AMG Cylinder
Management system that imperceptibly cuts off four cylinders during
partial load, improving gas mileage considerably. Similar to a system
used on 750-hp Formula 1 engines, all eight cylinders are activated
smoothly whenever the driver needs more power.
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Opens in L.A.
During the L.A. Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is gearing
up to take on its freshman class of teenage drivers through its first
training center in the U.S., located at 8231 W. 3rdSt. in Los Angeles. A
leader in automotive safety, Mercedes-Benz is making a major commitment
to driver education and safety to combat the alarming statistics
surrounding teen car crashes in southern California. Delivering
purpose-built research-based curriculum and employing coaching
techniques to maximize the learning potential of all students, the
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is presenting a new approach to driver
education while exceeding California DMV requirements.
Already proven successful at a Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in England,
the L.A.-based program is a customized curriculum involving a highly
interactive, participatory system of key tactical on-line and classroom
components, in conjunction with real-world on-road training. More info
about the new Driving Academy can be found at mbdrivingacademy.com.