2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG goes Unplugged in Detroit

 2014 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG goes Unplugged in Detroit518217402 c 628 443 2014 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG goes Unplugged in DetroitAs a reformed hooligan, there is still nothing more paralyzing to me than flashing red and blue lights matched with the sound of a siren, on a car headed right toward me. But it happens. And it happened while I stood in a cold Detroit parking lot taking the photos of the matte black 2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG you see here. On its own, the Merc (“Darth Benz” as my friend Eric aptly named it) looks all sorts of suspicious, with its murdered-out look only broken by chrome accents and the red brake calipers lurking behind those wheels. But I wasn’t doing anything wrong. For once.

Two cruisers with four uniformed patrolmen pulled up, inspected the car, questioned me, and after realizing that everything was copacetic, two of ‘em left. But the other pair hung out a bit longer, asking to see the engine, look inside, and finally, ask me for a ride down Fort Street. I happily obliged, and joked about it being a shame that I couldn’t really open up the AMG G-Wagen for them, having to keep to the posted speed limit, after all. But the cop riding shotgun laughed, and instructed me to “hit it,” when pulling away from a stoplight. So I did. And he laughed. Maniacally.

That’s why the G63 AMG goes down as one of the best car’s I’ve driven this year. It’s not so much a dynamic masterpiece as it is a vehicle that just oozes cool across many levels, and is hysterically, ridiculously fun to drive. Everyone likes it, and it’s easy to see why. First up, the twin-turbocharged, 5.5-liter V8 underhood, with 536 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, with a brutal aural tone to match. Next, there’s the absolutely unstoppable off-road ability (three locking differentials!). And beyond all of that, there’s the style, the shape, the luxury, and the exclusivity that’s all baked into the G63 package.

Because of this, I demanded we get Darth Benz on film. So as the final bits of our endlessly long cold season came to a close, I hit the streets of Detroit with our video crew in tow for another installment of Autoblog Unplugged. Again, the G-Wagen isn’t really built for tackling curves – instead, it’s all about the presence, and the noise. It’s one of the coolest vehicles I’ve ever driven. Check it out in the video above.
 2014 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG goes Unplugged in Detroit

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New entry-level Mercedes SL400 drops price of range by over $20k

sl400 1280 1 New entry level Mercedes SL400 drops price of range by over $20k

As one of the premier luxury droptops from Mercedes-Benz, the SL-Class has never been an inexpensive proposition. But the German brand is making it a little bit more accessible for the 2015 model year with its new SL400. The new entry-level model has quietly shown up on Mercedes’ consumer site, and pricing starts at $84,000, plus the usual $925 destination charge. While that’s still a lot of money, it’s a massive discount, ringing up at a whopping $22,900 less than the $107,825 SL550.

Think of that savings as over $11,000 per cylinder, as the SL400 foregoes V8 power in favor of a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque and seven-speed automatic rated at 20 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway. Those numbers are roughly 100 hp and 160 lb-ft less than the SL550. Still, the new model can get to 60 miles per hour in a quick 5.1 seconds, compared to 4.5 for the its big brother.

Thankfully, buyers don’t have to give up the optional luxuries that makes the SL special to get the cheaper model. The Air Scarf comes as part of the $4,900 Premium Package, Distronic adaptive cruise control is available as part of the $2,950 Driver Assistance Package and Benz’s clever dimming Magic Sky Control roof is a separate option for $2,500. If the idea of a Mercedes-branded folding hardtop convertible that gives up a little power for a lot less money sounds good to you, then you’re thinking like we are.

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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit can haul on the track

 Mercedes Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit can haul on the track

Line up any two comparable vehicles, and eople are going to want to race them. Need proof? In its latest track battle, Auto Express wants to know which commercial vehicle can lap a circuit faster – a Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Let’s face it, neither of these European vans were ever meant to be near the track unless they are delivering a racecar and a ton of parts for a fun weekend, but it’s massively fun to watch them give it a go anyway.

The one thing that Auto Express really illustrates here is the modern marvel that is stability control. The driver hops curves, and these big vans lean in the corners like your friend walking home from a long night at the bar. However, because of the amazing stability systems, the vans mostly keep all of their wheels planted and never seem close to getting sloppy, despite their behemoth size.

Unfortunately, the two vans aren’t exactly fairly paired. The Ford has a dual rear axle and a few other advantages over the Mercedes, but it’s still hilarious to watch them go. Even better, the host breaks down everything happening behind the wheel like these commercial vehicles were two Porsches. Enjoy watching this very unorthodox battle between Ford and Mercedes.
 Mercedes Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit can haul on the track

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2015 Mercedes C-Class configurator tucks in

mbusa c class configurator 2015 Mercedes C Class configurator tucks in

We know it takes $39,325 just to get a C300 off the lot, now that Mercedes-Benz has posted the configurator for the 2015 C-Class we can research how much we’ll need to get the one we want. Going for tempered extravagance first, we built a C400 with options like the multispoke wheels, LED-stuffed exterior lighting, the leather-bound Interior Package, the Multimedia and Driver Assistance Packages, and the Hands-Free Access Package as a cherry. We could have motored back home for $59,575.

Then we went the other way, kitting out a C300 with fewer options and more sport. That meant adding the Sport Package for fancy wheels and the sport interior, we stuck with black MB-Tex and aluminum inside, plus heated front seats, then skipped all the premium interior packages but did Keyless Go for $550, Airmatic Suspension, the rear view camera, and splurged on the illuminated star up front and a spoiler in back. The register rang up $47,200.

There are a few curious details, starting with the color palette: eight of the ten exterior hues are from the monochrome range; the only two real colors are Dakota Brown Metallic (pictured) and Lunar Blue Metallic. In Germany, they also get a bright blue and a Hyacinth Red. The C400 gets four choices of interior material and three of interior trim, the C300 gets 15 choices of material and seven of trim. Then there are à-la-carte gotchas like the Head-Up Display, which lists for $990 but choosing it automatically adds the $2,700 Premium Package. But hey, it’s only configurator money, so have at it.

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Mercedes S-Class cabrio just about ready to drop its top

MercedesS ClassCabrio Mercedes S Class cabrio just about ready to drop its top

Mercedes hasn’t made a convertible version of the S-Class in over four decades now – and never did make a convertible out of the CL-Class – but with the expansion of the flagship family, that’s exactly what the German automaker has in store. And here we have the spy shots to prove it.

Joining the sedan, coupe and upcoming long-wheelbase Maybach and Pullman versions will be this four-seat cabriolet with a folding soft top, expected to arrive sometime next year. Though none of the S-Class’ sedan rivals (like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS) offer convertible versions, the new S cabrio will do battle with the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Bentley Continental GTC, Maserati GranTurismo Convertible and (to an arguably lesser extent) the BMW 6 Series and potentially with the next-generation Jaguar XK and upcoming Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible.

Expect the same portfolio of engines to carry over from the S-Class coupe, starting with the 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 in the S550 and potentially extending to V12 and AMG versions to follow.

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What you missed on 8.14.14

u turn banner What you missed on 8.14.14

These are the coolest cop cars on the planetariel pl1 police car opt What you missed on 8.14.14

Getting pulled over by the police is the worst. But getting pulled over by an boring old standard police cruiser is going to seem like adding insult to injury after reading this list of radical cop cars. Where outright speed and off-road prowess might put a Crown Vic out of the chase, this group of cars is just hitting its stride.


2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S Wagon2014 mercedes benz e63 amg s wagon review What you missed on 8.14.14

Seating for five, room for that MALM series bedroom set in the extensive cargo area and the ability to go from red light to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds. You know, you don’t want the ice cream to melt. The AMG-tuned version of the E-Class wagon can seemingly do it all, but can all-wheel drive and nearly 600 hp really translate to this family hauler?


Dodge Charger Hellcat vs. the world’s besthellcat What you missed on 8.14.14

We’re still wrapping our head’s around the fact that the fastest and most powerful sedan in the world now comes from Dodge. With over 700 hp and a top speed of 204 mph, the competitive set for the new sedan becomes tricky to figure, mostly because anything that comes remotely close is bound to cost about three times as much. We stack the new ‘Cat against some of the most exotic metal in the world, to see where it ranks.

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A few of the coolest police cars on the planet


b13aa933 A few of the coolest police cars on the planet

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Brabus B63S-700 Widestar

The German tuning house Brabus is known for giving Mercedes-Benzes even meaner streaks. We’re talking body kits, huge horsepower boosts and crazy wheel designs. Generally, those things aren’t something you’d associate with a police car-except in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates’ largest city has an extensive range of supercars used for police work: these guys even have an Aston Martin One-77 and a Bugatti Veyron on the force.

But we’re going with the Brabus Mercedes for our list, since it’s one of the most creative examples of remaking an SUV. Brabus takes the base G63 AMG utility vehicle, which already makes 536 horsepower, and juices the bi-turbo V8 to 700 hp and 708 pound feet of torque. Top speed is a relatively modest 149 miles per hour, though it can sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Then Brabus slathers on the bodywork, including 23-inch wheels, fender flares, LED-illuminated side steps and a roof spoiler. Compared to some of the other exotics, this might sound a little tame, but it has the power of a Hellcat and space for the mobile evidence unit.


lamborghini huracan police A few of the coolest police cars on the planet

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Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 Polizia

As you probably guessed by the name, the Huracán is the new halo car for the Italian State Police, replacing the Gallardos used from 2004. The Huracan provides the polizia 610 horsepower from a 5.2-liter V10 capable of 202 mph, plus typical cop accouterments like gun holsters, radio equipment and a stop sign.

While this is a bit of a publicity stunt, or as Lamborghini called it, an “effective deterrent,” the Italian police actually use their Lamborghinis on patrol. Their most recent one has racked up more than 68,000 miles since 2009, while its processor logged 87,000 miles. During that time neither required significant repairs.

The Huracán has a video system that can transfer images of license plates to local police stations to rapidly identify stolen cars, and the front luggage compartment is equipped with a refrigeration system for speedy transport of donor organs to hospitals.


ariel atom pl1 police car 03 A few of the coolest police cars on the planet

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ariel atom pl1 police car 08 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 07 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 01 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 02 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 03 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 04 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 05 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planetariel atom pl1 police car 06 1 A few of the coolest police cars on the planet

Ariel Atom PL1

This might be the most unconventional cop car on our list. That also means it might be our favorite. The PL1 is based on the Atom 3.5R and uses the same supercharged 350-hp inline four-cylinder Honda engine. It can explode to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. No, you can’t outrun this in your IROC Chevy Camaro.

The Atom is being used by the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in the United Kingdom for promotion purposes to raise awareness about Safer Rider campaign to reduce motorcycle deaths. Ariel Motor Co., which produces the Atom, is based in Somerset, an area that has seen motorcycle deaths increase 30 percent through the first five months of 2014.

So don’t worry, the Bakersfield Police Department isn’t going to start ordering these, but just the fact that there is an Ariel Atom police car somewhere in the world is reason enough to slow down.

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Next Mercedes GLK to get AMG variant after all?

001 mercedes glk spy shots 1 Next Mercedes GLK to get AMG variant after all?

The Mercedes-Benz GLK has stood out from the rest of the brand’s portfolio for a less-than-flattering reason – it’s been the sole vehicle to wear a silver arrow on the nose, but not wear an AMG-badge on its trunk (unless you count the coupe and convertible variants of the E-Class, which we don’t).

The third-generation GLK (shown above), though, could break that mold and contradict a number of reports in the process. That is, if Car and Driver is proven right, and the next GLK arrives with a range-topping, 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8. That engine, code-named M178, will make its debut in the Mercedes-AMG GT and is already widely expected to see duty in the C63 AMG’s successor.

Car and Driver, though, is arguing that the M178 will be dispatched to basically every vehicle on a Mercedes rear-drive platform, which includes the GLK. The GLK AMG would arrive ahead of a replacement for the current E63, which in turn would spearhead the engine’s arrival in high-end models, like the S-Class AMG variants (V12 fans need not worry, though, as the buff book claims the twelve-cylinder models are safe). Is the C/D crew right? We’ve no clue, although it does seem unlikely that M178 will be limited to just a couple of AMG models.

What do you think? Could a GLK AMG prove a viable alternative to a Porsche Macan? Have your say in Comments.

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