Mercedes debuts 3 new cars in Geneva
Mercedes' huge Geneva display provided the backdrop for the CLA250, the C63 507 and the A45 AMG.
Mercedes-Benz has a well-deserved reputation as a maker of premium automobiles with a full lineup of luxury sedans and SUVs, but more recently the brand is designing and building vehicles that combine a high level of luxury with an impressive level of performance. Most of these wear the badge of the brand's in-house tuner, AMG.
Here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the German automaker continues down the performance road with the introduction of two new AMG models and a new sexy, sporty sedan. Two of these new models will be available in the States.
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250
What is it? The CLA250 is a new small sedan that inherits design detail from the larger CLS. Referred to as a 4-door coupe, the CLA is the first Mercedes front-wheel-drive model for the American market. With a 208-horsepower turbocharged engine and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the CLA offers a lot of car for the price. A 4Matic all-wheel-drive version will also be offered.
What's hot? The CLA looks good from every angle, with sleek lines and a bold grille. In fact, the CLA boasts the lowest coefficient of drag of any production car in the world, according to Mercedes. But more importantly for the market, the CLA will start at less than $30,000 and is expected to be available well-equipped for around $35,000. Even hotter, an AMG version sporting around 360 horsepower will also be in the lineup, but details won't be available until its debut in New York.
What's not? While the CLA will likely bring in new buyers, traditional Mercedes buyers may see a front-wheel-drive small sedan priced at less than $30K as diluting the brand.
How much and when? The CLA250 will go on sale in September with a base price of $29,900, not including destination charge. The CLA250 4Matic is expected in spring 2014. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we're estimating an approximately $2,000 premium for the 4Matic The CLA45 AMG will arrive in November of this year — no pricing information is available yet.
MSN Autos' verdict: We like the new CLA250. Not only does it look good inside and out, it feels like a Mercedes. Fun to drive with an impressive list of standard features, the CLA should do well at bringing new buyers to the brand.
Mercedes-Benz C63 507
What is it? The C63 507 is the car for those shoppers who thought the C63 AMG just didn't have enough power. The new Edition 507 gets an increase of 56 horsepower over the standard model for a total of — you guessed it — 507 horsepower. The C63 has been one of the most popular AMG performance models in the world — the Edition 507 was designed to offer the company's loyal customers even more performance.
What's hot? Besides the upgraded engine, the 507 gets many of its go-fast parts from the AMG flagship, the SLS. This includes forged pistons together with new connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft, which translates to a weight saving of 6.6 pounds. The 507 also gets a unique hood with vents to dispel the additional heat generated, as well as a high-performance brake system.
What's not? Clearly a sedan that can reach 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds is not for everyone, and it's likely the price will throw some buyers off.
How much and when? The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we'd expect it to be around $70,000.
MSN Autos' verdict: Mercedes continues to push the performance envelope, and a car like this would more than satisfy the driving enthusiast who needs a family sedan.
Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
What is it? The A45 is the AMG offering in a compact car, and also is the first time AMG has tuned a 4-cylinder engine. The result is the small Mercedes A-class hatchback boasting 360 horsepower and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive.
What's hot? With 360 horsepower in such a small vehicle, this car should be an absolute blast to drive. Zero to 62 mph is expected to take 4.6 seconds, and the 4Matic system should make the newest member of the AMG lineup a true performance car.
What's not? Mercedes has no plans to bring the A45 to America.
How much and when? The A45 AMG will go on sale in Europe this summer. Pricing has not been announced
MSN Autos' verdict: Car buyers in the U.S. are used to larger, more luxurious models from Mercedes, but at the right price point there could be a place in America for this hot German hatchback.