Throughout the year, we've seen some pretty amazing cars at CNET Car Tech, but two stood out for our sports car-oriented gear heads. We reviewed two versions of the BMW M3, the first a coupe with a manual transmission, the second a convertible with an automated dual-clutch transmission. Given the model history, we expected these cars to be good, and they were. Between these reviews, we had the 2009 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, which proved a more than pleasant surprise. Similar in size and price to the M3, the C63 is Mercedes-Benz's idea of a small high-end sports car, … Read more
The new Web site features information about new models, motorsports, and Mercedes-Benz history, but two really cool features grabbed our attention: Mercedes-Benz TV, a video download and streaming service, and music download service Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape. Before you fire up your iPhones and your BlackBerrys, be sure you sprechen sie Deutsch, because the Web site is in German.
Despite the language barrier, I was able to poke around the Web site … Read more
Let's say you're a powerful dictator dignitary of a nation in turmoil. You obviously want to ride in style, and you probably won't be driving yourself around; but security is paramount, being a dictator dignitary and all, and you may occasionally find yourself the target of assassination attempts. So what's an iron-fisted ruler to drive? Well Mercedes-Benz may have the answer for you with the company's newly unveiled S600 Pullman Guard limousine.
The S600 Pullman is the latest in Mercedes' 80-year tradition of armored vehicles and is essentially a stretched wheelbase version of the of … Read more
Have you ever seen the movie Viva Las Vegas? In it, Elvis Presley plays a racecar driver in a city-to-city race, in between songs. The music isn't to my tastes, but the cars, a collection of mid- to late-1950s sports-racers, many with considerable history, are. And the plot, such as it is, was familiar. Point-to-point race over the open road, good guys versus bad guys. I hadn't seen Viva Las Vegas before viewing it on TV about 20 years ago, as Elvis never made my musical radar screen, but I had seen Speed Racer cartoons. Instant flash of recognition!
Viva and the Speed Racer cartoons share the same basic action-filled "plot." There is even some similarity in cars. And Speed Racer looks more than a little like an anime version of Elvis in his prime, even though he doesn't sing. Which might be for the best.
A gearhead classic that was underground for many years is now readily available over the counter. That's C'etait un Rendezvous by Claud Lelouch, better known just as Rendezvous. It's expensive, intense, and worth every penny. There is no real plot, merely action of the "kids, don't try this at home" variety.
Texting is more dangerous than drunken driving, Mercedes rolls out a hybrid, BMW puts Google search in the dash, and we drive the Porsche Cayenne GTS.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
After years of claiming that blue is the new green (in reference to its BlueTec diesel developments), Mercedes-Benz has taken a side step and introduced a hybrid to the market, the S 400 BlueHybrid. The modified S-Class sedan benefits from the addition of Mercedes' first hybrid drivetrain and the world's first implementation of a lithium ion battery in a production vehicle.
The battery, which makes this whole deal possible, is remarkable in that it's surprisingly compact thanks to lithium ion tech. The entire assembly is only slightly larger than a standard 12-volt car battery. The small size allows … Read more
Have you seen the Volt for real--and will the EPA clobber it? The next Mini could be a crossover, Mercedes gets electric religion, and we romp in the Lancer Evo MR!
Listen now: Download today's podcastSHOW NOTES
Fresh on the heels of the reveal of the C250 BlueEfficiency, Mercedes gives us a peek at the future of the E-Class with the ConceptFascination. As the name indicates, we are only looking at a concept. However, with the still handsome, but slightly dated looking, E-Class due for a refresh, we can expect at least the broad strokes of the concept to translate to production.
Under the hood, the ConceptFascination is powered by the same new 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that will be introduced on the C250 BlueEfficiency. Mercedes has already made public its intentions to use this engine … Read more
The gamut of models spanned by the Mercedes C-class just got a little wider. On one end, you have the CNET Editors' Choice C63 AMG, a rip snorting beast with a 405 horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 that chugs gasoline at a rate of 16.2 mpg. Way down on the other end is the newly announced C250 CDI BlueEfficiency Prime Edition, a 204 horsepower four-cylinder that gingerly sips diesel at a rate of 45 mpg. It's hard to believe these two vehicles are cut from the same cloth, but they are.
The heart of the C250 is Mercedes' new … Read more
Maybe we've been driving too many very nice cars lately, but the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL550 didn't excite us much when it arrived in the garage. It's hard to follow acts like the Maserati GranTurismo and the BMW M6, and we tend to like shorter, more nimble sports cars. But the SL550 won us over with its handling on winding mountain roads and its striking looks with the sun blazing overhead and a nice ocean-scape in the background.
We were also prepared to be disappointed in the car's cabin electronics when we saw the old-style Mercedes-Benz interface, … Read more