Does the BMW M235i live up to all the hype? AutoGuide readers were curious this week, making our BMW M235i review video the most watched video of the week. Luxury shoppers were also interested in the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i while the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class continues to garner plenty of interest on our YouTube channel.
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A Battle of Five Luxury Sports Sedans
The compact luxury sedan market is an interesting place. When designing a new entry, manufacturers are constantly trying to find the perfect balance between sport and luxury. Although most cars end up skewed one way than the other, these vehicles typically offer a plethora of trims and options that allow potential customers to tailor their rides with as much sport or luxury as they want.
Given a choice, we’d select maximum sport. We’d rather evaluate a car’s ability to clip an apex than by how coddled our mothers-in-law feel in the passenger seat. What better way to do this than collect a group of the latest and greatest offerings and see which one is the best? Now, we aren’t talking about the ultimate in sport luxury sedans like a C63, M3 or IS-F as they can get quite pricey. Instead, we have grabbed a more affordable group of contenders playing around the $50,000 mark.
First we sent an invite out to Cadillac. The all-new ATS seriously impressed us since coming out last year; it was a car of the year finalist after all. Next, we brought along the BMW 3 Series. If we are going to be testing luxury sport sedans, how could we not bring the vehicle that has defined the class for decades? While on the topic of German sedans, we also had to include a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi. Finally, to complete our quintuplet of test vehicles, there’s an oddball, the Volvo S60. Now, before you cry foul that the S60 is not a sports sedan, take a look at what we grabbed; the 325 hp S60 T6 R-Design.
A FEW CONTENDERS ARE AWOL
There are a few notable vehicles missing from this comparison test. Lexus didn’t have an all new IS ready for us, nor did Infiniti the all-new Q50 or Lincoln the MKZ. Finally, the Acura TL was left out because, although a great car, it is too large for this class of vehicle (a foot longer than most of the competitors here).
With the cars collected, pencils sharpened and score sheets firmly attached to clipboards, it was time to put these cars through their paces and see which is best.
Mercedes-Benz motorsport has again turned to Racer David Coulthard this year to pilot some new AMG wheels for the DTM season.
The 40-year old Coulthard will be starting his third year in DTM with Mercedes-Benz in the new AMG C-Class Coupe, rather than his previous car the AMG C-Class Sedan. He will be right at home with the C-Coupe’s paddle shifters, which are very similar to the F1 cars he used to drive. Back in the day, Coulthard picked up 13 F1 wins.
“My first impressions of our DTM Mercedes AMG C‑Coupé are very positive – especially the paddle shift on the steering wheel which I know very well from my time in Formula One,” said David, clearly excited about the new cars features.
This new car is replacing the AMG Mercedes C-Class, which is the most successful vehicle in the 27-year history of the DTM with 84 victories from 156 races.
The 2012 C-Class Coupe will wear new graphics to support Coulthard’s charity foundation “Wings for Life” which aims to find a cure for paraplegia caused by spinal cord injuries.
The vast majority of us will never get to experience a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series up close and personal, so the German luxury automaker decided to take the liberty of creating an app for fans to enjoy some media on their Apple devices.
The app showcases what makes the C63 AMG Black Series Coupe so exciting with highlights on its styling, racing atmosphere, and performance. You can browse through specs of the Black Series Coupe, download dynamic wallpapers, and even share the iPad experience with your friends on Facebook.
Hit the source after the break on your Apple device to download the app.
Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will invest more than $2 billion into its Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant. The money will be put towards the new M-Class, the successor generations of the GL-Class, the C-Class and the expansion of production capacities.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars, said ”We’re continuing to write new chapters of the Tuscaloosa plant’s success story with significant investments into the future.” Zetsche explained that the Tuscaloosa plant continues to serve as the blueprint for the automakers’ facilities outside of Germany.
In addition to the $2 billion investment, Mercedes also took the opportunity to announce that the company would donate an additional $100,000 to Alabama tornado relief and recovery efforts adding to the $1.1 million total contribution.
New GLK and C-Class models will joint the rental car fleet
For several years now Hertz has offered a ‘Prestige Collection’ of high-end vehicles to rent including models from brands like Lincoln and Cadillac. The rental car company has now decided to take it up a notch by offering two vehicles from those German luxury experts at Mercedes-Benz.
Both the new C-Class and GLK350 will joint the Prestige Collection alongside models from Audi, Infiniti, Lincoln, Cadillac and Volvo.
The C-Class model to be offered is the C300 (sorry, no C63 here) with a 228hp V6 engine, 17-inch wheels and a 7-speed automatic transmission. The GLK350 model is one of the company’s latest products and features a 268hp 3.5-liter V6 and as an entry-level luxury crossover offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
“The Prestige Collection continues to be a popular choice among our customers,” said Joseph Nothwang, President of Vehicle Rental and Leasing. “The C-Class and GLK350 fit wonderfully into the Collection providing customers seeking an exciting driving experience with an edgy sedan or a perfect-sized SUV for family road trips.”
Hertz offers the Prestige Collection in 50 U.S. locations as well as in 25 locations in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Australia.