Mercedes-Benz let us loose in its new CLK63 AMG Black Series this week for a drive around the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Black Series is a fantastic car to tackle winding roads with 500 horsepower, a very smart 7 speed automatic transmission, and handling that holds the road with a vise grip. AMG is the performance tuning branch of Mercedes-Benz, and it took the CLK-Class, a two-seater coupe, and dropped a big, 6.3-liter engine in it, then added AMG's SpeedShift technology to the transmission. But then someone decided to kick it up a notch and came up with … Read more
Over dinner on Tuesday night, Geoff Day, director of corporate communications for Mercedes-Benz, hinted at many major announcements for the upcoming Frankfurt auto show. His big promise: Mercedes-Benz will introduce 19 cars in 15 minutes. These won't all be new cars, with probably a mix of concepts and updates, but Mercedes-Benz intends to make a big splash this year. We expect to see some sort of hybrid in the mix, although we couldn't pin him down on the details. The most firm information we got was the previously leaked F700 concept, rumored to be a big luxury car, … Read more
I could tell you just how quick the 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL550 is by quoting a bunch of dry statistics (0 to 60mph in 5.4 seconds, top speed governed at 155mph, net power 382 hp, net torque 391 lb-ft, blah, blah, blah), but I thought it might be more instructive to provide some real-world evidence courtesy of California Highway Patrol. Yes, I was just out on one of our highly scientific test drives for a CNET Car Tech review when I saw the five-o in the auto-dimming rearview mirror; they wasted no time in presenting me with a speeding ticket, … Read more
While Audi lost the World Car of the Year award to the self-parking Lexus, there are other areas in which the German company made its mark this year.
Audi took the 2007 World Car Design of the Year Award for the Audi TT and the 2007 World Car Performance Award for the Audi RS4.
"There is a segment of the public for whom performance overrides all else, said Dan Carney, director of the award committee and an automotive journalist for Edmunds Inside Line, MSNBC and other publications.
Two digits instead of three on the back of a modern Mercedes Benz mean only one thing: enhanced performance courtesy of AMG, Mercedes' in-house tuning arm. To celebrate 40 years of souping up cars (first as a standalone company, then as a part of Mercedes-Benz), AMG is building a super-limited-edition version of the Mercedes CL dubbed the CL65 AMG 40th Edition. The car, which makes its debut here at the 2007 New York auto show and which will have a production run of just 40 units, boasts a hand-built 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that produces 604 horsepower and 738 … Read more
Mercedes-Benz is getting into the crowded portable navigation market, and we have just taken receipt of its latest device, the SL550. On first impressions, we have to admit that we're not overly impressed. The SL550 portable GPS receiver has a very plain, black-plastic design with hard buttons down either side of its 6.5-inch color LCD display. Unlike the Garmin StreetPilot c580 or the Delphi Nav200, the SL550 is not a touch screen, so destinations have to be input using a four-way cluster of buttons on the bottom right of the unit. Programming the system is intuitive, but it … Read more
At the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated how its S-class could be used to smooth the ice of a skating rink. Or the company might have been demonstrating the new all-wheel-drive S550. Either way, most of the Mercedes-Benz floor area at the show was covered with ice, along with ice skaters chasing an S550 around the rink. Mercedes-Benz has offered its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system in a variety of its models and used the Detroit show to announce its availability in the S-class. Mercedes-Benz brags in its press literature that it first developed an all-wheel-drive system in 1907.
The German … Read more
Mercedes-Benz has just released new concept photos of their S600 flagship sedan in convertible form, which could become the company's first big convertible sedan since the '50s.
The S Class has always been a technology tour de force, and this convertible concept reportedly adds one more neat trick: The "AirScarf" is a system of vents in the headrests that circulate warm air around the nape of your neck for comfortable top down jaunts during the colder months.
This S600 ragtop concept looks very much like a production car, and when automakers circulate concepts that look this real, … Read more
Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked off the second day of the LA Auto Show here today by telling carmakers that clean energy is the future of the auto industry. Surrounded by a collection of alternative-fuel vehicles, including BMW's Hydrogen7, Tesla's electric-powered roadster, and Honda's hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Concept, the California governor said that it was time for automakers to "get on the train" to alternative energy.
He also thanked car manufacturers for what they have done to date in their efforts to produce vehicles that run on alternatives to gasoline. A troupe of automotive executives joined … Read more
Following our reviews of DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes R350 and Chrysler Pacifica, we just got hold of Cadillac's offering in the SUV/station wagon/minivan segment, the SRX. We just took receipt of a gleaming, fully-loaded silver review model this afternoon, and lost no time taking it for a quick spin around the sunny streets of San Francisco. Inside, the SRX has many of the upscale appointments of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade we reviewed earlier this year: leather and burled-wood trim; touch-screen navigation; and CD/MP3/WMA/DVD in-dash multimedia head unit with auxiliary input jack. A couple of the … Read more