Global Unveiling of ML63 AMG Sport Utility, North American Debut of Three AMG Cars and Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy
The next-generation Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG sport utility vehicle is making its world premiere at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, open to the public November 18-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Three more high-performance Mercedes-Benz cars are making their North American debut at the L.A. Show – a long-awaited roadster version of the formidable SLS AMG gullwing coupe, the race-track-designed C63 AMG Coupe Black Series and the 415-hp SLK55 AMG featuring AMG Cylinder Management. Also during the Show, the L.A.-based Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is gearing up for its freshman class of teenage drivers at its first training center in the U.S.
ML63 AMG Sport Utility Combines Biturbo V8 with 4MATIC
On sale in the U.S. in February, the 2012 ML63 AMG (518hp, 516 lb-ft) adds V8 performance to the new-generation M-Class line launched earlier this year, combining formidable AMG power with the all-wheel-drive traction of the renowned Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC system. In addition, an optional AMG Performance Package is being offered for the first time on the M-Class.
Standard equipment on the new ML63 AMG includes a designo leather interior with a black headliner and Parktronic as well as the feature-packed Premium 1 and 2 option packages. The new ML63 AMG is available with an optional AMG Performance Package that consists of 32 more horsepower, 44 more lb-ft of torque, a higher speed limiter of 174 mph, an AMG Performance steering wheel, carbon fiber engine cover and red brake calipers.
All ML63 AMG sport utilities are fitted with special AMG body work that includes deeper under-bumper aprons at the front and rear, more sculpted rocker panels under the doors and quad exhaust pipes. Inside, AMG sports seats are complemented by a leather-covered AMG steering wheel with sporty flattened bottom.
Joining the popular ML350 (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.) and the thrifty ML350 BlueTEC diesel (240 horsepower, 455 lb.-ft. of torque), the ML63 AMG is powered by a direct-injection, biturbo V8 that produces 518 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. Another V8-powered M-Class model, the ML550 (402 hp, 443 lb.-ft.), will also be available in early 2012.
Among the exciting new cars making their North American debut at the L.A. Show, a Black Series version of the C63 AMG Coupe features a number of impressive refinements designed to make it the most powerful C-Class of all time. Thanks in large part to forged pistons, a modified engine control unit and lighter crankshaft and connected rods, its V8 now produces 510 horsepower, up from 451. Zero-to-60 mph acceleration takes 4.2 seconds. Larger engine air ducts in the deep AMG front apron are complemented by two air outlets in the aluminum front hood.
The Black Series suspension and brakes go well beyond the AMG components in the normal 2012 C63 AMG Coupe. For example, front wheel track has been increased, and the rear fenders are nearly two inches wider on each side to accommodate wider track as well as larger, staggered-width wheels and tires.
At the rear, a body-color rear lip spoiler sits at the edge of the trunk lid, and below the bumper is a new rear apron that incorporates an eye-catching rear air diffuser with a black grille at the top and two sets of twin exhaust pipes at the bottom. A subtle “Black Series” logo on the trunk lid identifies the limited-production coupe.
Also making its North American debut in L.A. is the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. With a retractable fabric top and conventionally hinged doors, the new convertible joins the highly successful SLS AMG gullwing coupe, the first-ever car designed and developed from the ground up by Mercedes-AMG, the company’s high-performance division.
The folding soft top on the new SLS AMG can be opened in only 11 seconds, even when the car is moving at speeds up to 31 mph, and a rear window of single-layer safety glass is seamlessly bonded into the top. With the roof closed or open, the roadster’s trunk capacity is virtually the same as the gullwing coupe.
The SLS AMG can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 3.7 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. With 563 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, the 6.3-liter V8 engine is one of the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8s in production. Among its many special features, dry-sump engine lubrication (rare in the auto industry) along with a front-mid engine located well behind the front wheels, coupled with a rear-mounted transaxle, all contribute to impressive vehicle handling.
The all-new SLK55 AMG is the first AMG model in a sports car line introduced earlier this year, and it’s also the first V8-powered car in the new SLK lineup. With a wide front grille inspired by the SLS AMG, a sweeping hood, relatively long doors and a short rear section, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK line represents the third generation of a sports car that rocked the automotive world when it unveiled the first automatic retractable hardtop in modern times.
The 2012 SLK55 AMG is powered by a direct-injection 5.5-liter V8 that produces 415 horsepower and 398 lb.-ft. of torque for 0-60 mph acceleration of 4.5 seconds. The new V8 features an AMG Cylinder Management system that imperceptibly cuts off four cylinders during partial load, improving gas mileage considerably. Similar to a system used on 750-hp Formula 1 engines, all eight cylinders are activated smoothly whenever the driver needs more power.
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Opens in L.A.
During the L.A. Auto Show, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is gearing up to take on its freshman class of teenage drivers through its first training center in the U.S., located at 8231 W. 3rdSt. in Los Angeles. A leader in automotive safety, Mercedes-Benz is making a major commitment to driver education and safety to combat the alarming statistics surrounding teen car crashes in southern California. Delivering purpose-built research-based curriculum and employing coaching techniques to maximize the learning potential of all students, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is presenting a new approach to driver education while exceeding California DMV requirements.
Already proven successful at a Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in England, the L.A.-based program is a customized curriculum involving a highly interactive, participatory system of key tactical on-line and classroom components, in conjunction with real-world on-road training. More info about the new Driving Academy can be found at mbdrivingacademy.com