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The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe and roadster are among the most desirable cars on the market these days, not only because of their looks, but also because of their performance and luxury features. Now, you can order your SLS AMG with even more options to make it more individual while also adding some new technology.
The cosmetic bits include new 10-spoke forged AMG rims with a matte black paint finish ($4,505), red brake calipers ($985), a special AMG Sepang Brown metallic paint finish ($3,360), and AMG high-gloss black trim ($3195).
If you want some safety related technology, you can do that by adding the blind-spot assist system, which is yours for $1,065.
The big news however is the new AMG Ride Control sport suspension with adaptive damping. Rather than having to live with just one suspension setting, this new system from Mercedes-Benz offers its owner with three different ride settings. Upon starting the car, the system defaults to the normal “Comfort” setting. This is best for when you are driving around in the city or on a road trip.
Press the button with a picture of a suspension just once, and it will engage “Sport” mode. In sport, the suspension has a tauter feel. It also minimizes body roll and pitching when cornering, giving you a much more connected feel with the road.
If you happen to be at a track, then you would perhaps prefer to be in the “Sport plus” setting. This is like the sport mode, only more so. The cars computer reads the road surface even faster and reacts according to the tarmac and speed. So if you are an avid track day enthusiast and are looking to buy an SLS, this $3190 option will certainly be a wise investment.
These new options are available to be ordered starting now.
A full gallery of photos of the 2010 E-Class Wagon (known as the Estate in Europe) have emerged online a month ahead of the car’s official launch at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Details on the car are still scarce but we expect Mercedes to bring the 3.5-liter V6 powered E350 Estate over in 4MATIC trim, with a high-performance 6.2-liter V8-powered AMG model to follow a year afterward. The new model is expected to be longer and wider, offering improved passenger space. And we can also be sure it will include Mercedes’ long list of E-Class safety features including Attention Assist, Adaptive Main Beam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Brake Assist Plus.
Sales are expected to begin in Europe in November and the rest of the world in early 2010.
GALLERY: 2010 Mercedes E-Class Estate
Possibly the safest car on the road
Presented to the media were three different E-Class models – none of which will be available in the U.S. For the record, however, they were the E250 CDI, the E350 CGI and the E350 blueTEC.
Mercedes claims that its four and six-cylinder engines will consume 23 percent less fuel than before – due mostly to the use of direct injection across the model range. Fuel consumption is also aided by an incredibly low drag coefficient of just 0.25.
The 250 CDI, which uses a twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine makes 204hp and 369 ft-lbs of torque – an increase of 25 percent over the previous V-6 diesel engine. It also uses 23 percent less fuel for an incredible rating of 44 mpg.
As for the rest of the new E-Class, the chassis is 30 percent more rigid than the previous model. Also new for 2010 will be dynamic shock absorbers that can adjust to road conditions. These shocks will also work with the Mercedes air-ride suspension.
The big point that Mercedes wanted to get across, however, is how safe the new E-Class is thanks to a host of safety features including Adaptive Main Beam Assist. This new system uses a camera to view the road ahead and adjust the headlights accordingly, ensuring the lights reach as far as possible, but not as far as the car in front of you. It also monitors oncoming traffic and if the road is clear transitions to hi-beams.
Blind Spot Assist is also available as is Lane Keeping Assist, which will notify the driver through vibrations in the steering wheel if the vehicle detects it is drifting off the road.
Mercedes’ Brake Assist Plus system, uses the car’s radar to view the road ahead. If the car sees that a driver is about to hit something then he will be given a visual and acoustic warning to act. If no action is taken then partial braking is first applied by the car’s computer, followed by emergency braking if the driver continues not to respond. This is similar to a system Volvo recently developed.
Another, although not the final, safety device in the new E-Class is the Attention Assist system that detects when a driver isn’t paying attention and will notify him with an acoustic and visual warning. This warning on the dash is symbolized by a coffee cup. “It’s the next best thing to handing the driver a cup of espresso,” said Mercedes-Benz Chairman Dr. Dieter Zeich.
More on the new E-Class and all its many safety features after the jump