By Jon Alain GuzikPosted 11.18.2011 at 12:58 pm 2 Comments
The Los Angeles Auto Show this year features more than fifty global and North American debuts plus more than a thousand cars, trucks and whatever else keeps the freeways and streets gridlocked here in Los Angeles 24x7.
Unless you live in, oh, Palm Springs, convertibles are better in concept than reality. With the top on, a pleasure machine can become a cramped, compromised ride. And even when the weather is perfect, backseat passengers can expect a case of windburn. But with the 2011 E-class Cabriolet—the fourth and final member of the redesigned E line—Mercedes is betting that gadgetry can beat the elements.
Fly cross-country and forget to lock your car back in the parking lot? Now there's an app for that scenario.
Many cars already have built-in computers with cell data chips and Bluetooth connections for linking to cellular phones. Fully integrating your app-rich smartphone and the cell-capable computer in your dashboard is the logical next step.
Mercedes-Benz and partner Hughes Telematics hope buyers will embrace a new in-car telematics system tied to smartphone apps. The system, branded "mbrace," will let drivers use their iPhones or BlackBerry devices to lock and unlock car doors, locate their vehicles on a map, and contact roadside assistance. Mercedes is the first carmaker to offer the service, which was developed by Atlanta-based Hughes.
With 302 horses at your disposal, you'd think that stopping the 2002 Mercedes SL500 convertible would be an issue. Not so.
The car features the first brake-by-wire system. Hit the brakes and a computer begins slowing you within a fraction of a second. The system also determines which wheels have the most traction and applies the brakes accordingly to prevent a skid.
And just in case it pulls a Windows 98 on you, hydraulics act as a backup. Available next spring; price not set.
Originally built for the German army but coming to America this fall, Mercedes' new G-Class may be the toughest thing to come out of Austria since Schwarzenegger. Like Arnold, the attraction is a rare combination of brute strength and relaxing charm. A 300-horsepower all-aluminum engine, plus a stable suspension, can pop the SUV over 80 percent grades, while a leather interior coddles you like a wealthy movie star married into an even wealthier family. Price: $72,500.
Whether you're struggling to afford your first set of wheels or looking for a luxury-mobile, you'll find it here.
By Dan McCoshPosted 04.03.2002 at 1:29 pm 0 Comments
Shakespeare once described the "seven ages" of a person's life. Clearly, he wasn't a car guy. For when it comes to the sheet metal in the driveway, there are actually just five stages of life and, thanks to new technology, each is poised for a dramatic makeover. From more powerful and efficient engines to voice recognition and Web access, automakers are introducing innovations designed to appeal to a variety of tastes. Here's what's coming to a driveway near you, next year and beyond.
The first time you hit the gas in one of Mercedes' newest AMG models, you might think it's powered by rocket fuel.
By Phil BergPosted 04.03.2002 at 1:12 pm 0 Comments
The first time you hit the gas in one of Mercedes' newest AMG models, you might think it's powered by rocket fuel. Well, not really. But as your cranium hits the headrest, it becomes quite clear that there's no ordinary V6 under the hood.
The C32 sedan and SLK32 roadster are the latest in a series of specialized models from AMG, a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary that modifies engines and suspensions of basic production cars for high performance. On the road, it takes a conscious effort to slow to the flow of traffic. Mercedes claims 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds. We believe it.