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23
Jul

The cars that won’t live to see 2015 [w/video]

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Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC. Meanwhile Infiniti is finally discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the newer Q50.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac

22
Jul

2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury [UPDATE]

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2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe

2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG CoupeMercedes-Benz has officially unveiled what may be the most opulent coupe in the brand’s storied history in the form of the 2015 S65 AMG Coupe. Based off the four-door S65, the two-door model may be something of a known commodity, although that doesn’t make it any less desirable.

As is typical for an AMG product, the heart of the S65 Coupe is a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 with a modest (by billionaire standards) 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed AMG Speedshift cogswapper channels all that velvet-gloved, iron-fisted fury to the meaty rear tires.

The (exceptionally wealthy) S65 AMG Coupe driver will be able to hit 60 in an estimated (Mercedes for “it’ll probably be faster”) four seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 186 miles per hour.

Mercedes has fitted an AMG-spec version of the Magic Body Control system, which includes Active Body Control, Road Surface Scan and a function that actually allows the car to lean into bends, “like a motorcyclist or skier,” according to the manufacturer. This will be the first time the curve system will be fitted to a US-spec Mercedes, and ranks as one of the more notable features we’re hankering to test on the first S65 Coupe. Carbon-ceramic brakes are – rather surprisingly considering the S65′s assumed price point – an optional extra.

Aesthetic differences for the high-powered two-door include a set of 16-spoke, ceramically polished, 20-inch wheels. Aside from the ultra-flashy wheels, the S65 sports plenty of subtle chrome pieces, like the surrounds for the grille and lower air intakes. A front splitter and rear diffuser surround are also trimmed in chrome, allowing them to integrate cleanly into the S65′s svelte body.

The interior looks positively first rate and should have no issue fitting into the world of exclusive grand tourers.

As impressive as the exterior of the newest AMG is, the interior looks positively first rate and should have no issue fitting into the world of exclusive grand tourers. Designo Nappa leather sport seats look absolutely sumptuous, and naturally include heating and cooling functions, as standard. Aside from the seats, the dash, headliner, grab handles, and door panels are also finished in fine hides. A 12.2-inch instrument cluster, meanwhile, is as fashionable as the rest of the cabin while still providing an excellent presentation of information.

If you happen to enjoy the title of king, queen, prince, princess, sultan or something similar, you’ll be able to place an order for the S65 AMG in the next few weeks, with deliveries slated for late this year. There’s no mention of pricing, although as the four-door S65 starts at $222,000, it seems very, very likely that the two-door will ring up at something similar.

Scroll down for the full press release from Mercedes-Benz.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story indicated the S65 AMG Coupe would feature a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. This was incorrect. The story has been edited accordingly.

Continue reading 2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury [UPDATE]

2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21
Jul

Race Recap: 2014 German Grand Prix is relapse and recovery

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Graphic for the 2014 German Grand Prix.

The 2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix is the hump-day race in the season and the penultimate chance for drivers and teams to rack up points before the summer break. Trying to stay on top after his first DNF of the year at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg didn’t have to wait until the race for misfortune to find Lewis Hamilton; his British teammate crashed out of the Q2 qualifying session due to a brake failure, then had to change his gearbox due of the crash, a calamity that left him starting 20th on the grid.

Rosberg took pole ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Kevin Magnussen surprising everyone with a fourth place in his McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo put the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing in fifth, ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, the Force India pair of Nico H

21
Jul

Smart highlights safety of new Fortwo by crashing into much bigger brother

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Smart ForTwo versus S-Class crash test

Smart is just getting ready to launch its new Fortwo and Forfour minicars, riding on a completely different platform, and the diminutive brand wants to show that its latest creations can stand up to some serious abuse. For such a tiny car, the crashworthiness of the Smarts is a legitimate concern when taking on larger, heavier vehicles. To prove their survivability, the company filmed a head-on collision pitting the latest Fortwo against a Mercedes-Benz S-Class weighing more than twice as much.

When it unveiled the latest cars, Smart touted that it crash-tested them against the larger Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class. Among their updates, the Fortwo and Forfour use a substructure containing ultra-high strength, hot-formed steel and maximum-strength, multiphase steel. They also have larger crumple zones.

Of course, Smart can make all the claims that it wants about the cars’ safety, but actually showing it to people is much more convincing. At 5,088 pounds, the S-Class dominates the 2,478-pound Fortwo in terms of weight. Scroll down to see how the little hatchback fares against the more expensive, luxury sedan in a 31-mile-per-hour frontal crash.

Continue reading Smart highlights safety of new Fortwo by crashing into much bigger brother

Smart highlights safety of new Fortwo by crashing into much bigger brother originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20
Jul

Mercedes-AMG GT’s new V8 will sound just like an AMG should

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Mercedes-AMG GT

When it comes to sweet-sounding V8s, there are few outfits around the globe that can match the work of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division. The in-house performance group has blessed us with such masterpieces of metal as the iconic 6.2-liter V8, code-named M156, the supercharged V8 from the McLaren SLR, code-named M155, and the 6.2-liter V8 found in the SLS AMG, code-named M159.

The next great sounding AMG engine is code-named M178, and it will sit under the long hood of the Mercedes-AMG GT. The 4.0-liter V8 will turn out 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque with the help of two turbochargers. Of course, you already know this. We detailed it all right here.

Today, though, we have more on the sound that will come from this GT’s four, rectangular tailpipes, in the form of a short video. The new model will boast four different driving modes, each of which comes with its own unique acoustic signature. We like the idea of being able to choose things like suspension firmness, but when it comes to engine noise, we’ll leave it on the loudest setting, thank you very much. As has been the case with most AMG-badged Mercedes products (regardless of the number of cylinders under hood), the GT should also pack a ear-pleasing bark on startup.

Scroll down for the full video on the sounds of the new Mercedes-AMG GT.

Continue reading Mercedes-AMG GT’s new V8 will sound just like an AMG should

Mercedes-AMG GT’s new V8 will sound just like an AMG should originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17
Jul

Nico Rosberg signs new contract with Mercedes F1

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Nico Rosberg

When it comes to Formula One, you’ve got to admit that Mercedes has an eye for talent. When Honda pulled out of the sport, Mercedes swooped in and powered the Brawn GP team to the championship, then took it over and made two interesting hires to fill the race seats: an old talent in the form of Michael Schumacher, and a young one in Nico Rosberg. Schumi’s return from retirement unfortunately didn’t pan out, but it’s kept Rosberg – who had already been on the grid for five seasons after winning the GP2 championship – on board ever since. And needless to say, it’s finally paying off.

After languishing in the middle of the standings for four years but chalking up his first three checkered flags, Nico has been leading the championship this season, now just four points ahead of his teammate (and chief rival) Lewis Hamilton as the circus heads to Hockenheim for Nico and his team’s home race. It’s been a command performance for both driver and team this season – landing in either first or second at every single race – so little wonder that Rosberg and Mercedes have signed a new extended contract.

The team isn’t saying in the press release below just how long the extension is for, saying only (in typical F1 style) that it’s a “multi-year contract.” If Mercedes and Nico – the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg – can keep up the winning pace through the rest of the season and into the next, it will undoubtedly prove to be the smartest move either party has made yet.

Continue reading Nico Rosberg signs new contract with Mercedes F1

Nico Rosberg signs new contract with Mercedes F1 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15
Jul

What you missed on 7.14.14

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Daily U-Turn

Lexus NX 300hQuick Spin: 2015 Lexus NX 300h

Following our first drive of the turbocharged NX 200t, managing editor Jeremy Korzeniewski tells us about the version of Lexus’ new small crossover that might just be the one we’d buy. The hybrid NX 300h “is one of the more interesting hybrids on the market,” says Korzeniewski, thanks in part to its decent driving dynamics and innovative all-wheel-drive system.

Elio Motors Translogic Translogic 154: Elio Motors

Despite looking like the next big thing in EVs, the Elio is actually a small trike with a traditional internal combustion engine. It seats two and can achieve a remarkable 84 miles per gallon, thanks to its super-slick design and 900cc gasoline powerplant. What’s more, all of this uniqueness is expected to come in at just under $7,000. We check it out in the latest episode of Translogic.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG CoupeMercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe

What has 621 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque, two doors, and every luxury amenity you could ever dream of? The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe. As associate editor Brandon Turkus writes, this car might be “the most opulent coupe in [Mercedes-Benz's] storied history.” And while pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, we’d be shocked if this thing came in at less than $220,000. Get the full scoop, here.

Top Stories

What you missed on 7.14.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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14
Jul

Mercedes rolls out Sport Package Plus for CLA250

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Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Sport Package Plus

If you dig the style of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class but can’t quite stretch from the $29,900 MSRP of the CLA250 to the $47,450 CLA45 AMG, we’ve got a bit of good news for you: Mercedes is offering a new Sport Package Plus for the CLA250 that at least punches up the visual attitude.

Similar to the Euro-spec CLA250 Sport introduced in Frankfurt (if not identical save for the mirror caps), the US-spec CLA 250 Sport Package Plus includes a special set of 18-inch alloys, upgraded exhaust and retuned suspension. It also gets red accents on the bumpers and an interior with more robustly bolstered buckets and red stitching. All of this comes on top of the aero kit, chrome grille and upgraded brakes on the existing Sport Package.

Those are the only mechanical changes, so don’t go looking for any more juice out of the 2.0-liter turbo four than the 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that come standard, channeled as they are either to the front wheels or all four through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Pricing for the Sport Package Plus hasn’t been announced, but the existing Sport Package was already going for $2,200, so expect to shell out even more than that for the new kit.

Mercedes rolls out Sport Package Plus for CLA250 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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14
Jul

2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury

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2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe

2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG CoupeMercedes-Benz has officially unveiled what may be the most opulent coupe in the brand’s storied history in the form of the 2015 S65 AMG Coupe. Based off the four-door S65, the two-door model may be something of a known commodity, although that doesn’t make it any less desirable.

As is typical for an AMG product, the heart of the S65 Coupe is a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 with a modest (by billionaire standards) 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed AMG Speedshift cogswapper channels all that velvet-gloved, iron-fisted fury to a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

The (exceptionally wealthy) S65 AMG Coupe driver will be able to hit 60 in an estimated (Mercedes for “it’ll probably be faster”) four seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 186 miles per hour.

The S65 AMG Coupe leans into bends, like a motorcyclist or skier.

Mercedes has fitted an AMG-spec version of the Magic Body Control system, which includes Active Body Control, Road Surface Scan and a function that actually allows the car to lean into bends, “like a motorcyclist or skier,” according to the manufacturer. This will be the first time the curve system will be fitted to a US-spec Mercedes, and ranks as one of the more notable features we’re hankering to test on the first S65 Coupe. Carbon-ceramic brakes are – rather surprisingly considering the S65′s assumed price point – an optional extra.

Aesthetic differences for the high-powered two-door include a set of 16-spoke, ceramically polished, 20-inch wheels. Aside from the ultra-flashy wheels, the S65 sports plenty of subtle chrome pieces, like the surrounds for the grille and lower air intakes. A front splitter and rear diffuser surround are also trimmed in chrome, allowing them to integrate cleanly into the S65′s svelte body.

The interior looks positively first rate and should have no issue fitting into the world of exclusive grand tourers.

As impressive as the exterior of the newest AMG is, the interior looks positively first rate and should have no issue fitting into the world of exclusive grand tourers. Designo Nappa leather sport seats look absolutely sumptuous, and naturally include heating and cooling functions, as standard. Aside from the seats, the dash, headliner, grab handles, and door panels are also finished in fine hides. A 12.2-inch instrument cluster, meanwhile, is as fashionable as the rest of the cabin while still providing an excellent presentation of information.

If you happen to enjoy the title of king, queen, prince, princess, sultan or something similar, you’ll be able to place an order for the S65 AMG in the next few weeks, with deliveries slated for late this year. There’s no mention of pricing, although as the four-door S65 starts at $222,000, it seems very, very likely that the two-door will ring up at something similar.

Scroll down for the full press release from Mercedes-Benz.

Continue reading 2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury

2015 S65 AMG Coupe is 186 miles per hour of pure luxury originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12
Jul

2014 Mercedes SL and SLK add small expansion to Takata airbag recall

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Mercedes-Benz SL500

Mercedes-Benz SLK350Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to be affected by Takata’s massive airbag recall. The company has announced a voluntary recall campaign on a small number of model-year 2014 SLK- and SL-Class roadsters.

In Mercedes’ case, 300 vehicles are affected, 200 of which are in the hands of customers. According to spokesperson Donna Boland, the affected roadsters were built between March and April of this year.

The issue, which is apparently the fault of one of Takata’s subcontractors, rests with some improperly installed fasteners, which could keep the airbag from performing the way it’s supposed to. According to Boland, Mercedes isn’t sure what, if any, injuries the recalled airbags could cause, but simply claims there’s an increased risk in these particular vehicles. There’s been no reported instances of the faulty airbags deploying on a customer and the original issue was found in a production test.

Mercedes has informed both owners of the affected cars and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although at this point, it’s unclear if this will expand beyond a simple voluntary recall.

2014 Mercedes SL and SLK add small expansion to Takata airbag recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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