Making their North American debuts on Mercedes-Benz's stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show are two respective range-topping vehicles - the new SLR Roadster and C63 AMG.

Making their North American debuts on Mercedes-Benz's stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show are two respective range-topping vehicles - the new SLR Roadster and C63 AMG. The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is a car designed for the track but built for the road, available in sedan and estate guise. Its topless range sibling is the SLR Roadster - a soft-top super-sports car with motor racing genes and innovative new technology.

SLR Roadster

The new SLR Roadster is a soft-top sports car heralding the hallowed SLR of the fifties, which was the basis for generations of high-performance touring cars. And so the open-top version returns with a car - although based very much on the SLR Coupe and its concept of optimum weight distribution - that has undergone a series of changes with over 500 new or revised components. Revisions include that of the now-frameless swing-wing doors, boot lid, rear wings, A-pillars and windscreen surround.

Performance comes from a powerful AMG-supercharged V8 engine, placed just behind the front axle to optimise the distribution of weight. Outputting 626 hp, excellent road-holding characteristics are achieved, with a top speed of 206 mph and acceleration to 62 mph from standstill in just 3.8 seconds.

Despite losing its roof to the elements, the SLR Roadster does not leave its supercar-owning occupants compromising on comfort nor practicality. The roof is triple layered to ensure excellent insulation and high levels of comfort even in poor weather. Maximum speeds are permitted even with the roof raised due to its rigid structure, its contours shifting by only a few millimetres at 200 mph. The soft- top is available in three fabric colours - anthracite-black, red-black and beige-black - allowing for high levels of combination with exterior colours and interior trims.


Developed from the C63 AMG used in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), its road-going sister delivers the same high levels of excitment seen at the event but in production form. It is the fifth-generation AMG-developed C-Class and is a model which celebrates 40 years of AMG at the top of the Mercedes-Benz range. Inspiration for the new C63 AMG is chiefly provided by the 190 E 3.2 AMG of 1987, a car that pre-dates the first AMG C-Class by some six years.

Delivering a 457 hp output from its AMG-developed 6.3-litre V8 engine, and producing maximum torque of 600 Nm from its naturally-aspirated high-revving unit, this is a luxury sedan whose figures are unrivalled in the segment. Performance follows suit with the car's power-pumped powertrain, allowing for supercar-near acceleration to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds (4.6 in estate guise) and a top speed electronically-limited to 155 mph. AMG sports suspension and 18-inch lightweight alloys ensure enhanced driving dynamics, while braking ability is aided by high-performance AMG-developed large internally ventilated and perforated disc brakes.

The C63 AMG is a vehicle that excels not only in its performance, but too in both the quality of its design and equipment. The differentiations from the standard C-Class are now greater than ever. In addition to AMG bodystyling, characteristic brand features include the distinctive AMG grille, flared front wings, the AMG rear apron with black diffusor insert, the AMG sports exhaust system with two chromed twin tailpipes and the AMG spoiler lip.

AMG sports seats, three-stroke AMG performance steering wheel and a tubular AMG instrument cluster with AMG main menu are the chief design elements to produce an elegant but more sporty interior cabin.

Offering a high-performance vehicle with stylish looks to match and packaged around the body of a vehicle featuring everyday practicality and in-built elegance, the C63 AMG Sedan or Estate is a unique proposition. Sales start early next year in Germany from 67,235 euros and 69,853 euros respectively.

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