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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Sep 09 2011, 4:30 PM

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.

 |  Mar 15 2011, 11:30 AM

The end of an era is over. No longer will you be able to your Duran Duran tape while cruising down the road. It’s finally happened – automakers have stopped putting cassette players in new vehicles.

The last new car to be factory-equipped with a cassette deck in the dashboard was the 2010 Lexus SC430. It’s time has finally come, and besides, if anyone still carries tapes in their cars, please raise your hand. They’ve been long replaced by CDs (whose time is coming, thanks to the MP3 player). But the tape had a good run while it lasted – they dominated your car’s speakers for about 20 years. But if you’re a retro die-hard, you can still DIY with a variety of high-quality tape decks that you can install yourself.

There are no plans for manufacturers selling 2011 models in the United States to offer a tape player either as standard equipment or as an option on a new vehicle. “Lexus was the last holdout,” said Phil Magney, vice president for automotive research for the IHS iSuppli Corporation, a firm that conducts technology industry analysis. “We actually stopped tracking cassette players in cars some time ago. Now the question the automakers are asking is, how long has the CD got to go?”

[Source: New York Times]