The Mercedes-Benz SL400 is the new kid on the block!

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The Mecedes-Benz SL400 has big shoes to fill in the United States. It is the new budget friendly SL for our market. While Europe has enjoyed fuel efficient 6-cylinder SL Class roadsters for over a decade, this is the first year, since 2001, that the US market will receive a V6 option. We have had the luxury of touring around with Mecedes’ powerful V8 and V12 engines, producing up to 621 horsepower.

With a smaller engine comes decreased performance, but I will pleasantly surprised by the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400. The 3.0L bi-turbo engine produces 329 horsepower and 354 pounds of torque, which means plenty of power for everyday driving. And if the new SL400 is your everyday driver, you will be please to find out that the roadster gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mph on the highway.

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As with the rest of the SL-Class line up, the Mercedes-Benz SL400 is beautifully crafted grand tourer, designed to trill as you drive along the coast in luxury. The of the SL400 interior is sporty and refined. The seats, doors and dash are blanketed in premium leathers and trimmed with real wood and aluminum. Napa Leather is available as an option. Sporty physical gages are paired with a small display on the instrument cluster. Aluminum brake and gas pedals amplify the performance feeling you get when you are behind the wheel.

It is not a race car feeling, it is a feeling of confidence and comfort. This is the car you want to drive every day or take on a cross country road trip. With the top down you feel like a kid again, and with the top up you can enjoy a peaceful ride.

Because the Mercedes SL400 is a hardtop convertible, you get the benefits of driving a convertible without the disadvantages of owning one. Traditional soft top convertibles are noisy on the highway, the SL400 is as quite. You also don’t have to worry about a thief using a knife to cut open the top and brake into your car.

The Mercedes-Benz SL400 comes very well equipped: Real leather seats (an option on most Mercedes’ now days), wood trim interior, a high-end sound system, backup camera, dual-zone climate control, and a navigation system are all standard. Available options include massaging seats (which don’t work as well as the ones on the S-Class Coupe and Sedan), lane keep assist (which will autocorrect your steering wheel if you veer out of your lane), ventilated seats, and laser guide cruise control.

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My father owns the previous generation SL, the Mercedes-Benz SL550. It was interesting to compare the two vehicles side-by-side. The SL550 was Mecedes’ entry level SL in 2007. It came with a powerful 5.5L V8 that produced 382 horsepower. It also came standard with ABC Sport and a suspension system that allowed you to raise and lower the height of the car – both are expensive options on the new SL Class vehicles. The new one is definitely has a sportier look and much more sophisticated technology.

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While some skeptics might scoff at the Mercedes-Benz SL400 because it has a smaller engine than it’s big brothers, I like it. The smaller engine increases fuel economy, which is important for trips and daily use, plus it comes at a lower price point (starting at $85,000 versus $108,000).

Click here or visit your local Mercedes-Benz deal for more information on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400.

The Mercedes G63 AMG Stands The Test Of Time

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From the late 1970s till now, how many vehicles have maintained their original body style? Some may argue that the 2015 Porsche 911 resembles its 1979 sibling, but lets face it, they are both very different cars.

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG (aka G-Wagen or G-Class) is almost identical to its siblings from 30 years ago. It is vehicle that is sought after as both a status symbol and means of reliable transportation in the harshest climates. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

The G-Wagen was originally developed as a military vehicle in 1972, with a civilian version made available in 1979. Many variants of the G-Wagen have been created, but it’s basic shape and style has remained the same. For example, the Pope had a custom G-Wagen created with a bullet-proof glass compartment for parades and events.

Now days, you will find the G-Wagen driven on the streets of Beverly Hills, Dallas, and Palm Beach by gorgeous soccer moms and NBA basketball players; few realizing the G-Wagon’s true potential. The G-Wagon is the ultimate off-road vehicle. Its three locking differentials, independent suspension, and low transfer 4X4 gearbox is why you will just as likely find the G-Wagon in the middle of the Article Circle. Very few vehicles offer three locking differentials – this allows both the front wheels and both of the rear wheels to spin with even power… You won’t find that on a Land Rover! The Land Rover Range Rover for instance has two locking differentials. Meaning that even though it has four wheel drive, not all of the wheels will have even power.

The G-Wagen that I tested was powered by AMG, Mercedes’s high-performance division. It featured a hand built 536 horsepower biturbo V8 engine. The motor is paired with a 7-speed AMG transmission, which helps launch the G-Wagen from zero to sixty in 5.3 seconds. It also has a sport exhaust, which produces a hearty rumble. So why does an off road vehicle need so much power and a loud exhaust? Because it is awesome!

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I am normally a big fan of Mercedes-Benz’s interiors. The manufactures does an impressive job of combining old-world luxury with modern design and technology. I wasn’t very impressed with the G-Wagen. Don’t get me wrong, the interior is well crafted and uses high quality materials, such as premium leather and real wood trim, but it is too boxy for my tastes. Also, I hate the infotainment screen in the center, it looks like an after thought.

While it may not be a traditional “US” Mercedes-Benz in terms of style, it upholds Mercedes’ standards in terms of comfort. The seats were incredible; they offered a multitude of adjustments and were very comfortable for my 2 hour day trip from Ft Lauderdale to Naples, Florida. The vehicle also offered a massive amounts of headroom. I am 5’8″ and I had nearly a foot of room above my head – if you are a tall guy, this could seal the deal by itself.

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The Mercedes G63 AMG is the second longest production vehicle to carry the Mercedes-Benz name plate, and I hope it stays that way. It has truly stood the test of time with great engineering, great build quality, and loyal fanbase.

The Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe is enchanting!

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Picture the best car you have ever driven and times that by two. Now describe the car… Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe represents what every car should be. It is the pinnacle of German engineering: It is one of the most luxurious cars on the road, it is one of the most well crafted cars on the road, and it is fun to drive! 

Few vehicles can be compared to the Rolls Royce or Bentley lineup. The two english brands are known for building super luxurious cars, but outside of the Bentley Continental, their vehicles are chauffeur’s cars. Who wants to drive Rolls Royce Ghost or Bentley Mulsanne when you can be driven in one?

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The Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe surrounds the driver in luxury. The vehicle I tested was wrapped from top to bottom in Napa leather, piano black wood (part of the designo package), aluminum and Swarovski crystal. The seats were heated, air-conditioned and had built-in massaging chairs. The S550 Coupe’s “magic fingers” are able to apply various levels of pressure and work their way up and down your back. For the first time ever, I enjoyed sitting in rush hour traffic during my commute. The sound system in the Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe is designed by Burnmester and rivals the very best from Bang & Olufsen. The Burnmester surround sound system brought out nuances that I didn’t know existed in some of my favorite songs – I felt as if I was listening to artists live. The craftsmanship and level of detail placed into this vehicle is second to none.

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Swarovski crystal is also found on the outside of the Mercedes-Benz S550 Coup. The high intensity LED headlights feature a key signature and the crystal increases the quality of light projected… And they look really cool at night!

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The integrated technologies in the S550 Coupe are very impressive, but they not overwhelming. Every aspect is designed for easy of use and to enhance the driving experience. Two gigantic and customizable screens display all of the essential information, as well as, navigation, entertainment and a 360-degree camera system. The vehicle I tested was also equipped with a night-vision camera. With the press of a button, the main display featured an infrared mode that highlighted living objects (such as people and animals) in a glowing red box. The camera allowed me to see pedestrians farther at night than I could with the naked eye. I have talked about laser guided cruise control and lane keep assist on other cars, but the Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe takes the cake! It is super intelligent, more responsive and delivers a much more fluid experience. The vehicle dynamically adjusts the safe distance between cars based on how quickly your vehicle can come to a complete stop. The faster you go, the longer the distance needed to stop. The system makes you a safer driver.

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Underneath every great driver’s car is a powerful engine. The Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe is no exception. “The 449-hp biturbo V-8 of the S550 4MATIC combines quicker response with the added efficiency of ECO Start/Stop. It can precisely self-tune its direct injection and multispark ignition in a millisecond. A new active exhaust matches its intoxicating power with an enticing soundtrack, unleashing a subtle growl at startup and under acceleration.” – According to the Mercedes-Benz. But no words can describe the feeling when you are casually cruising along and then you stomp on the accelerator. This car moves and it moves quickly! It goes 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds, which is faster than Porsche 911 and the Audi R8. To increase handling on the track (and on the road), the S550 Coupe comes equipped with Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and self-leveling ARIMATIC suspension system. You can go from a comfort tuned suspension to a sports tuned suspension in about a second.

I couldn’t stop driving the Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe, the car kept begging me to take it out of the garage. There is something about its style, luxury and performance that says you finally made it… Even if I only “made it” for a week. I got more stares driving it than a bright orange McLaren 12C. Here is a fun story – Half way through my week with the S550 Coupe, I met a friend for lunch. One of my clients randomly walked into the restaurant. He saw me sitting by the window and came over to say hello. Client: “Hey how’s it going? Did you see that Mercedes parked in front?” Me: “Yeah, I am driving it for the week.” Client: “No way! Its stunning. I have to get one!” Everyone I met fell in love with the car and so did I.

Two weeks later, as I am writing this article, I am still obsessing over the car. The Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe is one of the world’s best cars.