New Cars for 2016: Mercedes-BenzCHARTING THE CHANGES FOR 2016.
C-class: The old coupe carries on for one more year before being updated to the new chassis for 2017. The sedan, introduced last year, sees three new variants in 2016: a plug-in hybrid for ZEV states based on a turbocharged 2.0-liter four augmented with an 80-hp electric motor and a 6.2-kWh battery; a four-cylinder diesel C300d; and a C450 AMG that replaces the C400. This last one is the first in the new AMG ’tween range, which sits below “full” AMG cars but above regular Mercs. With standard four-wheel drive and a 362-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, consider it a C63 (469 horsepower) with training wheels.
CLS-class: Four-wheel-drive models now use the same nine-speed automatic as rear-drivers. Stop asking about the shooting brake; it’s not coming to the U.S.
G-class: The world’s only factory-restomod SUV gets an even more ridiculously over-the-top powertrain. For the first time, the Mercedes-AMG offers Americans a V-12 under the hood of this 36-year-old truck, in the guise of the 621-hp G65. See G65 AMG first drive ››
GLC-class: The old GLK’s new name, GLC, reflects a nomenclature change that aligns Merc’s SUVs with its traditional sedans, in this case the compact C-class. The GLC300 rides on a longer wheelbase than the GLK and boasts larger dimensions. The same turbo four from the C-class delivers 241 horses and 273 pound-feet, routed through a nine-speed automatic, with four-wheel drive optional. See first drive ››
GLE-class: The former M-class gets refreshed, renamed (GL . . . E-class, get it?), and coupe-ified. Engines mostly carry over from last year, though the four-cylinder diesel is now known as the 300d. The Mercedes-AMG GLE63gets a power bump from 518 to 550 horsepower while a new S version offers 577. A plug-in hybrid similar to the one in the S-class [see below] is heading to ZEV states. See first drive ››
GT: Its official name is “Mercedes-AMG GT,” reflecting the corporate campaign that has all the true AMG cars labeled with the awkward hyphenate that seems to shortchange poor Karl Benz. Nevertheless, this twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8–powered sports coupe impresses. Mercedes launched the range-topping, 503-hp GT S model first this April. The base GT, with a mere 456 horses, will arrive next year. See GT S first drive ››
S-class (shown above): The opulent Mercedes-Maybach S600 (again, sorry, Karl) went on sale in April, but despite its fancy name, deep shag carpet, and throw pillows, its V-12–powered siblings—the S65 AMG coupe and sedan—still rank as the most expensive Mercedes cars. ZEV states get a plug-in-hybrid S-class sedan for 2016, the S550e, with 436 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 is teamed with a seven-speed automatic and a 114-hp electric motor that can deliver up to 20 miles of all-electric driving. More exciting is that a droptop S-class coupe should be coming next year. See S-class cabriolet official photos and info ››
SL-class: The two-seater sees a 20-hp bump in the SL550 model, from 429 horsepower to 449. A new Mille Miglia edition is limited to 400 cosmetically enhanced units, sure to delight the 400 cosmetically enhanced people who will be driving them. See Mille Miglia first drive ››
SLK-class: The base model gets a more powerful engine and a new designation: SLK300. This turbo four, borrowed from the C-class, delivers 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque and is available only with a nine-speed automatic. That’s right, folks, Mercedes no longer offers a manual trans in its U.S. cars. Read more ››
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