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Fri, 24 Aug 2012 14:58:00 EST
Mercedes-Benz upgraded its SLS flagship Coupe and Roadster for the 2013 model year, and the changes are marked with them new "GT" nomenclature. Both SLS models arrive with a retuned naturally aspired 6.2-liter V8 delivering 583 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque (the horses are up from 563, but the torque remains the same) mated to a revised seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch gearbox. Rounding out the mechanical upgrades is a redeveloped AMG two-mode adaptive suspension. Physically, the revised models are differentiated by their new "GT" badging, darkened headlight/taillight buckets, red brake calipers, unique wheel colors and high gloss finish on the front grille, exterior mirrors and hood/fender fins. Inside the cabin are new red seatbelts, Alcantara upholstery and contrasting red stitching.
As it is nearly impossible to experience the aluminum gullwing beast on public roads, Mercedes invited out to Southern California's Willow Springs to wring out the 2013 SLS GT Coupe on a racing circuit.
It happens every year. We bid adieu to some cars and trucks that will be missed, and say good riddance to others wondering how they stayed around so long. Whether they're being killed off for slow sales or due to a new product coming along to replace them, the list of vehicles being discontinued after 2012 is surprisingly long and diverse.
CNN Money has compiled a list of departing vehicles, to which we've added a few more of our own. In the slow sales column, cars like the Lexus HS 250h, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the full Maybach lineup appear, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda CX-7 and Hyundai Veracruz are all having their gaps filled with more modern and more fuel-efficient alternatives. Obvious exceptions to the rule include models that still sell in decent numbers like the Jeep Liberty and the Chrysler Town & Country (which will eventually be replaced by a crossover-like vehicle).
Check out our gallery of discontinued cars above, then scroll down for more information.
If you think Mercedes-Benz will slap an AMG badge on anything with wheels, think again. Word has it the German manufacturer will not offer buyers a performance version of the GLK, with Tobias Moers, director of AMG vehicle development, saying that he doesn't see a market for the car. That's not to say the picture won't change in the near future, however. According to CarAdvice.com, AMG is keeping a close eye on the arrival of the Porsche Macan.
"Maybe there will be a change in the market when the Porsche [Macan] comes up," Moers said, "but right now, no."
The real hitch in the giddy-up seems to be cost. Moers says developing the machine into something worthy of an AMG would represent "a huge investment." We can't exactly argue with that. Fortunately, AMG buyers have plenty of Mercedes-Benz models to choose from.