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Mercedes-Benz: LA Auto Show

When you’re a company the size of Mercedes-Benz, you don’t just bring one star car to an auto show — not when there’s so much breadth and depth to every vehicle you make. For the 2015 LA Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is showcasing a collection that would make an intriguing garage for a member of the 1 percent. The rest of us would be glad to have just one of these rides.

2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

It’s midcycle revamp time for the SL, the grand 2-seater with the folding hardtop and one of the company’s most iconic badges. Such operations are obligatory, but really there isn’t anything wrong with the SL that needs improving, except perhaps the styling. This revision brings the car more into the general design vocabulary.

The erstwhile SL400 is replaced by the SL450, running a 362-horsepower turbocharged V6. Both this car and the SL550 are now endowed with 9-speed automatic transmissions. The computer-controlled suspension also receives a curve function that helps to counteract the forces of lateral acceleration by slightly tilting the car through quick corners. The 2017 SL arrives next spring, but don’t expect much change from $100,000 (if any) once you’ve chosen an SL550 and some must-have options. By the way, Apple CarPlay is now available.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

The other big unveiling at the 3-pointed star’s Los Angeles show stand is the 2017 GLS-Class, which is how we now refer to the company’s 7-seater luxury SUV. It used to be the GL until this model year’s refresh prompted the name change to follow the same formula as the marque’s other SUV models. It reflects the fact that this vehicle is based on the flagship S-Class.

That sedan comes packed with comfort and safety features, so the intention is to make the GLS the SUV equivalent. The GLS550 receives a boost of 20 hp to reach 449 hp, while the GLS63 AMG model gets another 27 hp for a total of 577 hp. But naturally, fuel efficiency has not been forgotten. A new 9-speed automatic transmission is in all the non-AMG versions, and there’s a new model: the GL450 with a 362-hp turbocharged V6.

Exterior styling changes adopt the company’s current design approach, while the cabin has also seen a few revisions. The 2017 GLS is due in spring 2016 and among the variants is a diesel option. There is no official price yet, but a starting price of $65,000 is an educated guess.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

If the SL and GLS aren’t impressive enough, the open-top S-Class rolls into town, as well. Like the GLS, this is also based on the S-Class but takes it in a whole different direction. This is an elegant, 4-seater boulevard cruiser and the first time a production S-Class has lost its roof in more than four decades.

However, it still keeps most of the extensive high-tech features found in the flagship sedan, plus a few dedicated aspects of its own, including AIRSCARF, which directs warm air from vents in the front seats, roll bars that are blasted into place by a gas generator and a specialized climate-control system.

Air suspension is standard and the S550 uses the same drivetrain as the SL550: a turbo V8 that makes 449 hp and is linked to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic Cabriolet runs with 577 hp and an all-wheel-drive system.

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe

Speaking of high-performance AMG variants, the C-Class has recently entered its fourth generation, so there just had to be a coupe version — and a really fast coupe version. The C63 starts out with 469 hp from its 4.0-liter turbo V8 and sprints from standstill to 60 miles per hour in a brief 3.9 seconds. Then again, there’s always the S version that enjoys a boost up to 503 hp and shaves a tenth from the 0 to 60 time.

It all depends on whether you’d like to spend in the low $70,000s or the low $80,000s when these cars go on sale in summer 2016. Hey, what’s another 10 grand?

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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