Double Debut for Mercedes at LA Auto Show

German maker to reveal S65 AMG and SLS AMG Final Edition.

by on Nov.15, 2013

Wave goodbye to the Mercedes-Benz SLS supercar...and hello to the new S65 AMG.

You’ll have a chance to say both “hello,” and “goodbye” if you stop by the Mercedes-Benz at the L.A. Auto Show next week.

The German maker has confirmed it has two world premieres scheduled for the annual event, including both the new S65 AMG and the final run of its 2-seat supercar, the appropriately named SLS AMG GT Final Edition.

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“The two new AMG high-performance vehicles represent the spectacular next level for our exciting model array,” boasts Tobias Moers, the Chairman of the AMG brand-within-a-brand, adding that, “The S 65 AMG stands for maximum exclusiveness and the unparalleled dynamism of a V12. With the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION we are showing an ultimate, particularly attractive variant of our super sports car.”

(Mercedes lands mid-pack in latest Consumer Report auto reliability survey. Click Here for details.)

The SLS Final Edition - shown with the S65 AMG - will be offered in both coupe and roadster body styles.

We offered readers a sneak preview of the big performance sedan recently, the S65 bringing back the Teutonic twelve-cylinder powertrain, here making an impressive 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque.  But while we’ve until now only been hearing rumor of the new SLS spin-off we can now provide a fair bit more detail.

Hard to believe but it’s been nearly five years since the first SLS rolled off the line and we’ve since seen a variety of special editions, as well as the two body styles: coupe and roadster.  The SLS AMG GT Special Edition will, as the name suggests, bring the supercar’s relatively short run to an end with Mercedes planning to produce just 350 of them, in both gullwing and cabrio configurations.

The Final Edition will be equipped with a 591-horsepower version of the AMG 6.3-liter V-8 – about eight more than the standard edition’s 583. The maker has yet to reveal torque but we’re betting that also will come in slightly above the current 479 pound-feet.

Look for some modest exterior tweaks and an upgraded interior, if word from German sources proves accurate. Speculation centers around the use of carbon fiber body bits, and from the teaser image there appears to be some modest changes to the air intakes and vents.

(Click Hereto check out the big changes coming with the next-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class next year.)

The departure of the Mercedes-Benz SLS leaves a yawning gap in the line-up that was originally filled by the earlier Mercedes-McLaren SLR. The question is whether something else is set to fill the mid-engine supercar space.  The maker will try with the upcoming GT AMG but that moves in a decidedly different direction by adopting a downsized, turbocharged engine.

Then again, that seems to be the way many manufacturers will be moving in the years ahead, so perhaps the GT will prove the appropriate replacement halo car.  But we’ll clearly miss those gullwing doors meant to connect with the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300SL of decade’s past.

We’re hoping for more answers in L.A.

As for the S65 AMG, Mercedes has already revealed that the twin-turbo 6.0-liter package will launch the massive sedan from 0 to 60 in just 4.2 seconds, with an electronically governed 155 mph top speed. One critical difference from the current S63 model: the S65 AMG will not offer 4Matic all-wheel-drive. Power is directed to the back wheels through a 7-speed Shiftronic automatic.

The big engine features a number of performance-oriented details, including its aluminum crankcase and forged crankshaft, a multi-spark ignition system and an air-to-water intercooler. It also makes at least a casual nod towards fuel economy by incorporating a Stop/Start system that can briefly shut off the motor instead of idling, say, at a stoplight.

As one would expect, the S65 carries over pretty much all the breakthrough features from the earlier models of the S-Class, including the Magic Body Control suspension and the wide array of safety features that can, for example, stop for pedestrians and other obstacles, and even highlight deer and other animals through an infrared system that uses the car’s reconfigurable gauge cluster.

(For still more on the Mercedes S65 AMG, Click Here.)

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One Response to “Double Debut for Mercedes at LA Auto Show”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    Nice toys for the wealthy.