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Mercedes-Benz announced the opening of a new assembly plant today in¬†Kecskem√©t, Hungary and at the opening ceremonies let slip that a new small four door coupe, probably called the CLA, will be produced at the new plant.
We have already seen spy photos of this new Merc, which further stirred rumors¬†of when and where the car would be produced. Now we know that it will be produced in the Hungarian plant, along side the car that is shares its platform with, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
Sharing with the B-Class should lead to most CLA models running with front wheel drive, although a premium all wheel drive and AMG models have been¬†rumored¬†as options. For base engines, the CLA will likely feature the¬†201-hp turbocharged 1.8-liter four cylinder sourced from the C-Class.
This new plant marks a ‚ā¨1.4 billion¬†investment from Daimler into production plants, with¬†‚ā¨800 million going to the new¬†Kecskem√©t plant and¬†‚ā¨600 million going to expand the¬†Rastatt plant.
We should see a close to production concept version at an upcoming auto show, possibly the Beijing Auto Show or the L.A. Auto Show.
So many of us has been waiting anxiously for Brabus to show the world their Mercedes CLS Rocket successor, and it looks like one enthusiast took matters into their own hands.
Dan Buzdugan did his own rendering of what he thinks the new Brabus Rocket will look like, giving a Brabus style to the entire project.¬†There’s little to no details surrounding the new Rocket, but we’re positive Brabus will improve on their 2005 rendition that featured 720-hp from its 6.3L twin turbo V12 powerplant. At the time it set all sorts of records for a vehicle in its class, including the top speed of a street-legal sedan at 225.2-mph. It won’t be long until we see its successor and we hope it’s worth every minute of the wait.
Kia has officially confirmed that it will be debuting a rear-wheel drive four-door sports sedan at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The concept ¬†has sleek and muscular proportions, and will likely slide in between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus in terms of size.
“I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: We are ready to fast forward to an all-new chapter,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Officer.
Looking through the photos at the sheer size and shape of the vehicle, it becomes clear that Kia is interested in running this car against the big boys like the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS.¬†”No matter from which perspective you look at it ‚Äď this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Schreyer.¬†”I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter.”
Gallery: Kia Sports Sedan
Mercedes-Benz is celebrating after taking first place in three different categories in the Automotive Brand Contest 2011. The jury voted the Mercedes-Benz design team “Team of the year”. The automotive brand was also awarded the ultimate “Best of Best” plaudit to the Mercedes-Benz CLS in the Exterior category. The A-Class concept received “Best of Best” in the Interior area of the Concept & Study category.
The Automotive Brand Contest is the first¬†international¬†brand contest for the automotive industry. The independent institution¬†organizes¬†the competition exclusively for the automotive sector, to acknowledge outstanding design.
Mercedes-Benz design director professor h.c Gorden Wagener said,¬†‚ÄúWe are all delighted to receive this valuable award in recognition of a magnificent joint effort,‚ÄĚ.¬†‚ÄúEveryone in our team works with great dedication day-in, day-out to ensure that the Mercedes-Benz models of the future retain their distinctive, hallmark Mercedes character in keeping with the very highest aesthetic standards.‚ÄĚ
The awards will be presented at the Automotive Designers Night on September 13 at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Mercedes-Benz is planning to take on the BMW X6 with it’s own sporty SUV called the GLS. The GLS is scheduled for launch in 2014, and will be a new four-seater built around the same unibody platform that¬†makes up¬†the third-generation M-class (shown above) and the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee. The GLS will have less cargo room (compared to the M-class)thanks to a sporty¬†roof line¬†similar to the CLS sedan.¬†Audi and Range Rover are also launching new models to compete with the sporty X6 SUV.
‚ÄúAfter closely monitoring sales trends, we‚Äôve concluded there is potential for an additional off-road model with a more sporting emphasis than the new M-class,‚ÄĚ an insider explained last week.
Several engines will be available for the GLS including a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 as well a 3.0-liter V6 diesel. There may also be a diesel-electric hybrid option that will be similar to the E300 Hybrid set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. Mercedes will also combat the X6 M with its own AMG model, powered by a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8.
The GLS will be built alongside the M-class at the North American factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Mercedes-Benz just announced the pricing for the new CLS coupe starting at $71,300 for the CLS500 to $94,900 for the CLS63 AMG high performance model.
The four-door coupe will come equipped with a 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8 powerplant producing 402-hp. The AMG model gets a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V8 producing 518-hp. There will also be an AMG performance package option boosting power to 550-hp.
The new CLS model will feature 26 percent better fuel economy over the previous model (18 city/26 highway and 15 city/ 23 highway). The Eco start/stop system helps increase fuel efficiency and will be featured in both the CLS500 and CLS63. Mercedes “4MATIC” system will also be offered, and safety features include active blind-spot assist and lane-keeping assist.
The CLS coupe will be available this June.
Teaser photos that surfaced earlier this week of Brabus’ new Mercedes-Benz CLS have turned out to be the official tuning package, and not quite yet the Rocket we were hoping for. Set to debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Brabus has unwrapped its tuned CLS, with a perfect blend of sportiness and luxury.
Like any respectable tuning package, Brabus’ CLS offering begins with a wind tunnel tested body kit, featuring a front spoiler with optional front apron caps, accented with air inlets and LED daytime running lights with either a dark or chrome surround. The stock fenders are then swapped out for sportier renditions, fully equipped with illuminated Brabus monikers. The kit is then joined from bumper to bumper with a set of side skirts featuring integrated entrance lights that can be activated through a keyless fob or door handles.
Going to the rear of the CLS, Brabus’ rear apron also features LED lights to safely access the trunk while custom-tailored cutouts give the perfect room for Brabus’ quad-tipped exhaust system. Finishing off the aesthetic body modifications is a clean and subtle trunk spoiler.
While Brabus offers several different wheel packages for various Mercedes-Benz vehicles, from 17-inch to 20-inch sizes, they chose to outfit this demo CLS with a set of 20×8.5 and 20×9.5 Brabus Monoblock F in a Liquid Titanium shade.
Suspension components were developed in cooperation with Bilstein, lowering the vehicle 1.2-inch for sport springs, while any AIRMATIC-equipped CLS can be lowered 1.4-inch with Brabus’ suspension module.
Various performance upgrades are available depending on the CLS model you are personalizing. Every CLS model however can be outfitted with their quad sport exhaust system.
Interior upgrades can be met per customer’s request through Brabus from their Mastik leather to Alcantara upholstery.
GALLERY: Brabus Mercedes-Benz CLS
With Mercedes-Benz‘s new CLS-Class impressing many, we knew it would just be a matter of time before Brabus stepped into the picture with its rendition. And just as we assumed that a new Brabus Rocket wouldn’t be too far off, the famed Benz tuner has released these teaser photos hinting that the Geneva Auto Show will be the venue where all is revealed.
Over the years, the Brabus Rocket has become the staple of high performance engineering for a luxury sedan, at one time holding the title of the world’s fastest sedan at over 225-mph. And with Mercedes’ CLS-Class getting a revamp, it was safe to assume that Brabus would introduce a new Rocket to dominate its own predecessor. We’ll anxiously await March to come around to see what all Brabus will be showing off to the world.
GALLERY: Brabus Rocket Teaser
One solid given in life is that with every Mercedes-Benz model, there will be a Brabus variant featuring sportier styling and outfitted with a nice set of wheels. And with all the hype surrounding Mercedes’ new CLS model, it’s no surprise that Brabus isn’t be far behind with photos of their own version of the sporty luxury sedan.
No technical specs have been announced, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they are able to push the limits of the AMG’s 5.5-liter bi-turbo engine. From the factory, the CLS AMG will makes 525-hp and our guess is that Brabus will easily touch the 700-hp mark, matching its predecessor.
Given that Brabus’ Rocket (their previous generation CLS rendition) was at one time the world’s fastest sedan, we wouldn’t be one bit surprised if Brabus would try to one-up the Rocket with an even faster and better looking one.
GALLERY: 2011 Brabus Mercedes-Benz CLS
Mercedes-Benz‘s latest and greatest isn’t even out on the market yet and famed Benz-tuner Carlsson has already released renderings of what its tuning package for the styling sedan will look like. Promising to debut the CLS at the Geneva Auto Show in March, Carlsson looks to enhance the exterior and performance of the four-door coupe.
On the outside, the CLS will receive a standard treatment with an all new front bumper, a carbon fiber lip, stainless steel grille inserts, LED fog lamps, new side skirts with built-in air inlets and a new rear diffuser.
For performance, Carlsson has released specs for the CLS350 CGI, taking horsepower to 333-hp and torque to 302 ft-lbs from the factory 306-hp and 273 ft-lbs. For the CLS350 CDI, horsepower will reach 320-hp from the factory 265-hp while torque jumps from 479 ft-lbs to 575!
And as with all available Carlsson tuning packages, you’ll be able to outfit it with a variety of 19- or 20-inch wheels depending on your taste. No pricing has been announced.
GALLERY: Carlsson Mercedes-Benz CLS
If you’re a big fan of the CLS, check out AutoGuide’s video from the reveal of the CLS63 AMG model at the LA Auto Show after the jump: