With the press days of the 2014 North American Auto Show kicking off on Jan. 13, The Driving Life previews some of the most anticipated models that will debut at the Cobo Center in Detroit.
Detroit will be a big stage for Mercedes-Benz, with the German automaker set to debut the next generation of its most popular model series, as well as sportier versions of two other models and a V-12 model.
The all-new C-Class will be hitting the stage at the Cobo Center, most likely with the two model set to launch in the U.S. market later this year – the C300 4MATIC and the C400 4MATIC. The C300 will boast a 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection in-line four cylinder engine, with preliminary power figures of 235 horsepower, C400 will sport a 3.0L turbocharged direct-injection V6 with 329 horsepower.
After making its debut in 2007 as the entry-level Mercedes-Benz, the C-Class has gone on to sell over 2.4 million units. Now with the under-$30,000 CLA-Class firmly in place as the entry-level model of the brand, the C-Class has some room to grow, both figurative and literally. The new C-Class features a 3-inch increase in the wheelbase; it’s also 3.7 inches longer and 1.6 inches wider. The size increases also produced more noticeable space in the interior, especially for the rear passengers, and the trunk.
Despite the increase in size, the new C-Class is actually 220 lbs. lighter than its predecessor thanks to a new lightweight design.
Also making its debut at the Cobo Center is the GLA45 AMG, the performance edition of Mercedes-Benz’s compact SUV aimed at a younger consumer, much like the CLA-Class. The new GLA45 AMG is impressive in that it produces 355 horsepower, accelerating from zero to 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, from a four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter turbo engine is the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder, according to Mercedes-Benz. The GLA45 AMG also comes standard with AMG 4MATIC four-wheel drive and AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission.
Rounding out the Mercedes-Benz showcase in Detroit are two S-Class vehicles that are nearly complete opposites – The S-Class Coupe and the S600 Pullman. The S-Class Coupe, boasting an aluminum 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 449 horsepower, sits lower to the ground than the typical S-Class and unique interior appointments and advanced features. The S-Class Coupe will showcase a dashboard and seats covered in calfskin hide, with carpet and headliner made of silk. It will also display “6D Vision,” which uses cameras to give a real-time 3D image up to 160 feet in front of the vehicle, and an infotainment system with “MoodGrid” software that generates its own playlists based on user-selected moods.
Not much is known about the S600 Pullman other than it is longer than the average S-Class and it features a V-12 engine. This could conceivably be the Maybach replacement as some rumors claim the vehicle is 6 to 12 inches longer, while the engine output is in the 520-horsepower range.
The official Mercedes-Benz Press conference is scheduled Monday, Jan. 13 at 10:35 a.m.
Check out more photos of the all-new C-Class and the GLA45 AMG in the photo gallery below.