2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan [w/video]


2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan Review

A downward-sloping, curvaceous nose has replaced the more square-jawed look of its predecessor.

It’s easy to pick out the visual updates that Mercedes has wrought for its E-Class in 2014. That’s especially true from the front, where a downward-sloping, curvaceous nose has replaced the more square-jawed look of its predecessor.

You, dear reader, have gotten the full styling scoop on this car from the sharp eyes and flowing pens of both Chris Paukert and Matt Davis; suffice it to say that both reviewers wrote glowingly about the E-Class’ exterior redux. Allow your current writer to step out of the first-person plural for long enough to say that I find the new car, not ugly, but uglier than it was before the extensive refresh. That delicate nose looks considerably more effete than I like on my sizable German sedans, creating a similar effect as seeing a huge man with a tiny head. It’s worth noting that the car you see in our gallery wears the no-cost-optional Sport Styling package and its two-bar grille, which is ever so slightly more attractive than the three-bar chrome grille to my eyes. You’ll vote on the styling yourself, we’ve no doubt, in both our comments section and with your hard-earned dollars.

And, even those who prefer the new looks over those of the outgoing car aren’t likely to feel so strongly about them that they take the car off their consideration lists. There’s too much good in the machine for that to happen.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan

The Mercedes is extremely competitive in terms of fuel economy ratings.

A lot of what we love can be found under the hood of the E350, wherein a creamily tuned 3.5-liter V6 engine makes its happy home. Rated at 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the powerplant has held steady in output versus the car it replaces, and its specs put it in the middle of this tightly grouped pack of premium sedans. Forced-induction, 3.0-liter six-cylinder options from Audi and BMW offer considerably more torque (325 and 300 lb-ft, respectively), while Cadillac makes a goodly 318 hp from the slightly larger 3.6-liter V6 in its brand-new CTS.

Still, we feel just great behind the wheel of the E350 under most circumstances. The V6 might not make the bulk of its power until its tachometer needle is leaning to the right (max horsepower comes on at 6,500 rpm, and max torque between 3,500 and 5,250), but its satisfying, linear delivery, and the lovely exhaust note that emanates from the tailpipes, almost makes up for the lack of low-down grunt.

What’s more, despite the E350’s V6 being connected to an automatic transmission with ‘only’ seven speeds – the BMW 535i and Audi A6 offer eight, while the Cadillac CTS AWD and Lexus GS 350 make do with six – the Mercedes is extremely competitive in terms of fuel economy ratings. The E350 4Matic matches the more powerful BMW 535i xDrive with 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. (Of course, this is 2014 – these days every competitor offers a 2.0T, diesel or hybrid option if fuel economy is at the top of your shopping list.)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan

The steering experience is better than we remember from non-AMG Mercedes products.

Dynamically, we note that the seven-speed auto is incredibly smooth in operation, with neither the Mercedes’ stop/start function nor the 4Matic system impacting the fluid manner in which power is delivered to the pavement.

We didn’t have much in the way of inclement weather with which to test the robustness of the fourth-generation 4Matic all-wheel-drive setup, but we can say that it’s completely unobtrusive on dry pavement under nearly all circumstances. 4Matic only adds about 150 pounds versus the rear-drive E-Class, and initial acceleration is unimpacted from a practical point of view (Mercedes drops its official 0-60 mph time by 0.1 seconds for the AWD car). Even with a standard front/rear torque split of 45/55, the overwhelming impression from behind the wheel is that you’re in a rear-drive sedan – at least on clear roads. If we lived in a snow-free sector of the US, we might consider saving the $2,500 it costs to add the 4Matic package to the bottom line, but for everywhere else, it seems an almost painless addition.

Without a back-to-back driving comparison, it’s hard to say where the E-Class nets out against its competition in terms of ride and handling. From what we’ve reported to date, it seems very likely that the new CTS might be the star of the lux-midsizers in terms of athleticism. We can say that the E350 feels pretty darn unflappable under normal conditions, however, with truly excellent ride quality over the busted Michigan highway system and slightly sporting inclinations on windier, twistier fare. The steering experience is better than we remember from non-AMG Mercedes products, too, with a nice, heavy weight when rowing from side to side, and overall control is bolstered with actual information from the front wheels.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan

We were less impressed with the design and finish of the E’s interior.

The confines of the E-Class cabin are also remarkably quiet at speed. Unless we dug into the throttle deeply enough to elicit some bark from the tailpipe, the car proved pretty sanguine in all conditions – another place where the E is, if not at the very top of the class, at least among the leaders.

Sadly, we were less impressed with the design and finish of the E’s interior – especially its suite of infotainment technology – than we were with the hushed, calm ride. Mercedes’ software and interface has simplicity going for it, and the central COMAND control knob feels good and solid in hand. However, the processing guts of the system feel well behind the pacesetters of the segment, with laggy responses to inputs more or less found system-wide.

Despite disappointing infotainment electronics, the Mercedes’ interior wins a lot of points for its resplendent front seats, which proved to be soft, easily adjustable and remarkably comfortable on hours-long drives. We also quite enjoyed the listening experience of the Harman/Kardon sound system (part of the $3,870 Premium 1 Package), which was doubtlessly impacted by the quiet cabin making for an excellent soundstage. The forward-view of the cabin is still dominated by a large amount of somber black plastic, however, and we’re not crazy about the fingerprint-heavy sections of gloss black, nor the smallish navigation screen considering this car’s starting price of over 50 grand. Again, no one predisposed to buying a new (or another) E-Class will sit down in the driver’s seat and demand their money back, but comparison shoppers will likely find more of a wow factor in competitors’ cars.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan

Of course, it might take slightly less to wow you into a new E350 4Matic these days, as Mercedes has – shock, wonder – priced the thing to be massively competitive within the segment. The E350 4Matic starts at $54,400 before you tally destination fees or any options. Audi, Cadillac and BMW all charge more for the all-wheel-drive versions of their sedans with comparable powertrains; Audi is closest with a roughly $1,500 gap, and BMW the farthest away with a $3,000 premium to start. The Lexus GS 350 AWD, another heavy hitter here, is by far the most affordable, starting at $49,950.

A trip through the world of online configurators shows that Lexus remains the price leader, though it’s not inexpensive to get fully loaded versions of any of these vehicles, as evidenced by the $66,270 as-tested price you see for our E350. Oh, and don’t forget that price doesn’t include the $1,620 you’d have to spend to get actual leather seats instead of the M-Tex-clad chairs (honestly, the synthetic stuff is so convincing we’re not sure we would bother). Any vehicle mentioned above can hit the $60k mark in its sleep.

So we come back to what you value, how you perceive the company that is marked out by that badge on the hood. In the case of the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, worn proudly on the E-Class’ new nose, chances are good that your associations are top-notch. Priced right, good in every area, terrible in none, this is another Mercedes-Benz all-arounder that’ll find a happy home in quite a few garages.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG is German for ‘More Power’ [w/video]

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG
Compact SUV with Driving Performance

Mercedes-AMG rigorously continues its product initiative: with the new GLA45 AMG the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz makes a dynamic statement in the strongly growing segment of compact SUVs. The combination of powerful-distinctive design, exclusive appointments as well as superior engine power and driving performance is unique: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world puts 355 hp of power and 332 lb-ft of torque on the road.

The GLA45 AMG also holds pole position with regard to driving dynamics: it accelerates from zero to 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). Thanks to the combination of standard performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive and AMG SPEEDSHIFT
DCT 7-speed sports transmission, the GLA45 AMG impresses with its equally sporty and efficient drive system concept.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board at Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “The response to the Concept GLA45 AMG during the world premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show has reaffirmed our decision to launch this new AMG model. Currently no segment is growing faster than that of compact SUVs. For Mercedes-AMG it is therefore logical to make a dynamic statement in this segment with the GLA45 AMG. Our new high-performance-SUV not only offers the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine, but also impressively low fuel consumption and emissions figures. Not least on account of the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive, the GLA45 AMG is a true AMG when it comes to driving dynamics.”

Young target group: styling, dynamics and independence
In addition to the CLA45 AMG, the GLA45 AMG is the second vehicle with a four-cylinder turbo engine to appeal to a young target group. Customers take a great interest in styling, dynamics and independence – traits that are perfectly embodied in the new high-performance SUV from Affalterbach. Meeting a wide variety of customer desires has always been one of the strengths of Mercedes-AMG. The GLA45 AMG now expands the extensive high-performance SUV lineup to four models in the U.S. (GLA45 AMG, ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG, and G63 AMG). Mercedes-AMG thus offers the widest range of SUVs among all high-performance premium brands.

Hallmark AMG features: the world’s most powerful series-produced four-cylinder engine
Best in class: the GLA45 AMG engine fully lives up to this claim, as a look at the figures shows. The AMG 2.0-liter turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. It produces 355 hp of power and develops a peak torque of 332 lb-ft. A power output of 178 hp puts the AMG high-performance turbo engine on a par with the world’s most powerful super sports cars.

Development of the high-performance turbo engine placed emphasis on a sustainable reduction in particulate emissions. The AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers and an injection pressure of 200 bar. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel economy and significantly increases the thermodynamic efficiency, leading to low exhaust emissions. The injection system’s outstanding flexibility also ensures a high degree of freedom in terms of application. There are up to five injections per combustion cycle in the coldstart and warm-up phase, which is so crucial for emissions. One of the key factors for in-engine particulate reduction is a reduction of the individual injection quantities.

Further highlights of the AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine:
– Gravity-die sand-cast all-aluminum crankcase
– Weight-optimized crank mechanism with forged steel crankshaft
– Forged pistons with friction-optimized piston rings
– NANOSLIDE cylinder liner technology
– Air-to-water intercooling system
– Alternator management
– ECO start/stop function

Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with variable vane
Mercedes-AMG addresses the basic challenge with regard to the throttle response of a small-capacity turbo engine by using a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum de-throttling of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. Twin-scroll technology provides a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure: utilization of the exhaust back-pressure, exhaust-gas temperature and exhaust-gas pulse has a positive impact. This results in a faster build-up of torque even at low engine speeds. A positive side-effect: fuel consumption and exhaust emissions also benefit from twin-scroll technology. With a maximum charge pressure of 26psi, the AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field on this front, too.

The AMG sports exhaust system in the GLA45 AMG features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled viarable vane: this technology reconciles the two conflicting goals of a dynamic driving experience and hallmark Mercedes suitability for long-distance driving. The vane in the rear muffler is continuously adjusted under map control according to the driver’s performance needs, load condition and engine speed. The two rectangular chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating exhaust note, which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration. An AMG Performance exhaust system, also equipped with an exhaust vane, is available as an optional extra. Customers opting for this system will experience an even more appealing and distinctive engine sound.

Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence
The AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is assembled purely by hand in accordance with the traditional AMG philosophy of “one man, one engine”.

Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine badge bearing the engine fitter’s signature also attests the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission in the GLA45 AMG features three distinct transmission modes, a double-declutching function dependent on the transmission mode and a RACE START function for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the dual-clutch transmission include spontaneous gear shifts without loss of tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy based on the AMG SPEEDSHIFT functions, extremely smooth gear shifts, and a high level of efficiency.

The shift times in manual mode “M” and in sport mode “S” are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Quick and precise retardation of the ignition and suppressing injection under full load lead to even faster gear shifts in “M” and “S” modes, with a more exciting sound. The transmission control fully utilizes the benefits of direct injection technology right up to the physical limits: the quicker engine response ensures that injection is suppressed with even more precision. The effect: the shift speed and an emotional sound experience make for a fascinating ride. Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving pleasure is the so-called “Momentary M mode” – as seen in the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series super sports car.

In “C” mode (Controlled Efficiency), smooth transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style.

In addition, the ECO start/stop function is active in “C” mode.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive as standard
The GLA45 AMG comes with variable AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive as standard. In developing this four wheel-drive system, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamic spirit. The all-wheel-drive system transfers the engine power to the road optimally and provides perfect traction – regardless of the weather conditions. It also elevates driving dynamics to the highest level.

The entire drive system boasts a weight-saving and compact design: the power take-off unit (PTU) is fully integrated into the 7-speed sports transmission and handles the power transfer to the rear drivetrain. A two-part propeller shaft sends the power of the engine to the rear axle as well. In the interests of favorable weight distribution, an electro-hydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integral with the rear-axle differential. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this goes unnoticed by the driver. Power distribution is fully variable: during normal driving the GLA45 AMG uses frontwheel drive for optimal efficiency. Where needed, the variable four-wheel-drive system splits the torque between the front and rear axles at a ratio of up to 50:50 percent.

Typically for AMG, the Electronic Stability Program is configured as a three-stage ESP®. The GLA45 AMG comes with three transmission modes: “ESP ON”, “SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” – enabling the driver to vary dynamic performance according to individual requirements at the push of a button.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is likewise included as standard. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking interventions on the rear inside wheel create a defined yaw moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the GLA45 AMG turns in precisely and controllably at all times while unwelcome understeer is prevented.

AMG sports suspension and AMG high-performance braking system
One of the keys to agile handling is axle technology: for enhanced driving dynamics, the McPherson front axle on the GLA45 AMG is fitted with stiffer steering knuckles and new elastokinematics. The four-link rear axle has also been newly developed. Stability and precision of handling are enhanced by the optimized elastokinematics and the rigid connection between the subframe and the body. The AMG sports suspension with specially tuned spring/damper units and bigger anti-roll bars ensures high lateral acceleration and reduced body roll when driving fast on winding roads. An AMG performance suspension with firmer spring and damper tuning is available as an optional extra.

The AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with specific, speed-dependent power assist ensures high steering precision and agility. The AMG high-performance braking system with vented, perforated brake discs all-round and gray-painted brake calipers delivers spontaneous and reliable deceleration. Red brake calipers are available as an optional extra.

Three attractive AMG alloy wheels to choose from
In standard specification the GLA45 AMG runs on 5-twin-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted titanium gray with high-sheen finish, mounted with tires of size 235/45 R 19. As an optional extra from the AMG Performance Studio, customers can opt for larger 10-spoke AMG alloy wheels with tires of size 235/40 R 20 – these are available painted titanium gray with high-sheen finish or painted matte black with high-sheen rim flange.

Powerful and distinctive: sensual clarity with AMG character
The design of the GLA45 AMG exudes fascination on account of its powerful and distinctive character. As the powerful AMG top-of-the-line model of the GLA class, the high-performance SUV combines the hallmark sensual clarity of Mercedes-Benz as an expression of modern luxury with muscular elements exclusive to AMG. The AMG front fascia with front splitter and the AMG “twin blade” radiator grille provide athletic highlights – both are painted matte titanium gray. Completely new: the distinctive AMG lettering at the side between the louvers of the radiator grille. This will make all new AMG models easy to recognize in the future. Black flics (air deflector elements) above the large cooling air intakes at the sides pay homage to motor sport. Bi-xenon headlights come as standard.

When viewed from the side, the distinctive AMG alloy wheels in three design options certainly catch the eye. The side sill panels with matte titanium gray inserts, the “TURBO AMG” lettering on the front fenders and the aluminum roof rails lend the GLA45 AMG a special touch. The rear end is dominated by the diffuser insert with titanium gray trim and the rectangular, chrome-plated trim of the twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap.

The following AMG equipment features can optionally upgrade the exterior design:
– Aerodynamics package: larger front splitter, additional flics on the front fascia, rear spoiler, Night package
– Carbon-fiber exterior mirror housings
– Exterior Carbon-Fiber package: carbon-fiber front splitter, side sill panel insert and rear fascia trim, with twin blade of the radiator grille in silver chrome
– Rear spoiler
– Night package: black anodized waistline trim strip, silver chrome radiator grille louvers; high-gloss black front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel insert and rear fascia trim, two tailpipes with black rectangular trim
– Red painted brake calipers with black AMG lettering Interior design: high-quality, sporty, exclusive

As in all AMG high-performance automobiles, the interior of the GLA45 AMG delights with its high-quality appeal combined with sporty flair and exclusive equipment features. These include sports seats upholstered with MB-Tex manmade leather/DINAMICA microfiber with red contrasting topstitching and red designo safety belts as well as the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The 3-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with red contrasting topstitching, perforated leather in the grip area and steering-wheel shift paddles ensures perfect vehicle control. The AMG instrument cluster with 2-tube design and central color display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER is on hand to keep the driver up to date. On opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG startup screen. The trim of the instrument panel is made from brushed aluminum and, in tandem with the brushed stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasizes the high-grade, exclusive ambiance inside the GLA45 AMG.

The interior can be upgraded with the following AMG optional extras:
– Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/Alcantara®
– Performance seats upholstered in leather or MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber for driver and front passenger, with more strongly contoured seat shape for enhanced lateral support and with integral head restraints, red designo safety belts
– Carbon-fiber trim
– Leather upholstry in black, crystal gray, nut brown or black ‘Red Cut’ design

Expressive and exclusive: the GLA45 AMG “Edition 1”
The GLA45 AMG “Edition 1” is a special option. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination. The high-gloss black Aerodynamics package with larger front splitter, additional flics in the front fascia, and rear airfoil creates an uncompromising racetrack feel. The silver gray/red AMG racing stripes on the vehicle sides below the “dropping line” leave a lasting impression. These are complemented by red highlights on radiator grille, exterior mirrors, diffuser insert and rear airfoil. A perfect match to these are the red painted brake calipers and multi-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted matte black with red rim flanges. The alloy wheels feature special

AMG wheel hub covers with central-lock look, and are mounted with tires of size 235/40 R 20 all-round. The AMG Night package is also part of the standard equipment, as is the “Edition 1” badge on the front fender. The metallic paints cosmos black, polar silver and mountain gray are available as an alternative to the cirrus white exterior paintwork.

The interior of the GLA45 AMG “Edition 1” is dominated by the colors black and red. Red contrasting topstitching adorns the AMG Performance seats upholstered in MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber, the door center panels, the upper section of the MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber instrument panel and the nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber AMG Performance steering wheel. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the “Edition 1” badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The exclusive trim on the instrument panel perfectly matches the
AMG racing stripes on the sides of the vehicle. The high-quality surface has a convincing look and feel: shiny and matte elements create an exciting interplay.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG will celebrate its world premiere on January 13, 2014 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, USA. The vehicle will roll into dealerships in the fall of 2014.

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Mercedes fights off late BMW surge to claim 2013 luxury sales crown

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The king is dead – long live the king. Mercedes-Benz is now your new US sales champion in the fiercely competitive luxury market, deposing the champ BMW, which has enjoyed annual supremacy for the past two years.

Thanks in no small part to the dynamite launch of the new, affordable CLA-Class, not to mention a redesigned E-Class and hot-selling S-Class, Mercedes moved 33,007 units in December alone, while sales in 2013 were up 14 percent, to 312,534. BMW, meanwhile, managed to sell 309,280 units in 2013. It was far from a sure thing for the Stuttgart-based brand, though, as BMW managed to nearly halve its rival’s sales lead heading into the last month of 2013.

“We saw record sales, flexed our muscles across the entire product line from top to bottom and brought the customer experience to an all-time high,” said Steve Cannon, Mercedes USA’s CEO. While we don’t have individual figures, it seems at first blush that the CLA was really the car that pushed Mercedes over the top.

Since the new model went on sale in late September, Mercedes has enjoyed big sales increases, moving 2,300 units in its first week on sale. Cannon, meanwhile, said just a few weeks back that the CLA was “our best launch in 20 years.” Now the only question is whether Mercedes will be able to maintain its momentum into 2014. If the arrival of the new GLA is anywhere near as successful as the CLA, we don’t think that will be a problem.

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Mercedes fights off late BMW surge to claim 2013 luxury sales crown
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Daimler plans sound strategy for EVs [w/video]

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, front three-quarter view

As regulations encourage wider adoption of electric cars and more OEMs get into their electric-car stride, we’re getting a better idea of what the synthetic tones we’ll be hearing on our electrified streets. Not only will it be unlike anything we’ve ever heard, it could get pretty raucous according to a Bloomberg article that surveys the sound engineers creating the notes sung by electric cars.

Daimler has 250 people in its powertrain acoustics department who are most used to finessing the din of an internal combustion engine. Lately they’ve been on the other side, creating tones like the “sonorous purring” for the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the “huskier” whine of the SLS AMG Electric Drive and the sci-fi movie whirring of the B-Class Electric Drive. The Nissan Leaf makes its own sound, the Tesla Model S makes no manufactured sound, and the Renault Zoë offers three sounds. Neither Volkswagen nor BMW, however, will install sounds on their electric offerings unless required.

Authorities around the world are preparing regulations that will force electric cars to produce some kind of warning note to pedestrians and cyclists – an expert with a German organization for the visually impaired actually spoke for all pedestrians and street users not in cars when he said, putting it midly, “What is important for us is that we don’t get killed in traffic.” Automakers are therefore looking for ways to create notes that resonate with the driver and that can make their offering as distinct as the water-cooled six cylinder in a Porsche 911, and owners are already thinking about what kinds of tunes they want their car to emit. For a sample, you can check out the three notes offered by the Zoë in the video below.

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Mercedes to roll out C63 AMG late in 2014 with 4.0L V8

Mercedes-Benz C-Class with AMG Pack

The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is upon us, launching initially in North America with turbocharged four-cylinder C300 4Matic and six-cylinder C400 4Matic flavors. But that’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the vast array of powertrain configurations that will be offered in the new C-Class in markets around the world. Orders will soon be rolling in for gasoline, hybrid and diesel engines with four, six or eight cylinders, driving the rear wheels or all four, with the seven-speed automatic transmission soon to be replaced by a new nine-speed unit. But what enthusiasts are really looking forward to is the next C63 AMG.

As BMW has done with the M3 (and new M4), Mercedes has gradually ratcheted up the cylinder count in its AMG C-Class, graduating from the 3.6-liter V6 in the original C36 AMG to the 4.3-liter V8 in the C43 AMG, then the 5.5-liter V8 in the C55 AMG before going the distance with the sublime 6.2-liter V8 in the C63 AMG. Like its rivals, Mercedes is expected to use turbochargers as a replacement for displacement in the next model, but unlike its Bavarian rival, it won’t be losing any cylinders in the process.

Skipping the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that has gone on to power other AMG models, the next C63 AMG is still expected to introduce a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing between 450 and 500 horsepower. It’ll also reportedly keep the same seven-speed automatic transmission (instead of switching to the new nine-speed), but the jury’s still out on whether it’ll come with rear- or all-wheel drive (or offer buyers the choice). The downsized V8 – codenamed M177 – is then expected to find its way into other models, but the C-Class will be the first to get it when it arrives before the end of the new year ahead.

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