Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Red
Trim: C350 Coupe
Drive Type: RWD
Canoga Park, California, United States
Mercedes-Benz is planning a more aggressive product strategy for its next-generation C-Class range. "We were fighting the 3 Series with two arms tied behind our back, and now we will change that," Steve Cannon, the automaker's US CEO, told Automotive News in a recent interview.
In addition to offering more body styles of the new C-Class, AN reports that the revamped Mercedes will also be offered here with hybrid and diesel powertrains. Currently, the C-Class comes in coupe and sedan variants, with only gasoline engines. The BMW 3 Series, however, is available as a sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon, and offers buyers the choice of gasoline, diesel (the upcoming 328d) or hybrid power.
Mercedes-Benz will show the next-generation C-Class at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, with sales of the US-built sedan following in August. Coupe, convertible and hybrid models will follow in early 2015, and while diesel and all-wheel-drive versions are planned, no specific timetable has been released regarding availability.
We've spotted the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA testing a couple times in recent months in getting closer to production form and shedding camouflage, but now it looks like we're see our first look at the AMG version of this compact crossover. The low ride height might trick some into thinking that we're just seeing the already-confirmed A45 AMG out testing, but the unique beltline, rear doors and side windows confirm this is some version of the GLA-Class.
What makes us so confident that this is the AMG model? Well, for starters, this prototype has beefier brakes with cross-drilled front and rear rotors and bigger front calipers, but it also sports dual exhaust outlets poking through the rear fascia and a suspension that has been lowered considerably. Our spy shooters said that this car's exhaust note made it almost certainly an AMG model.
Just to be clear, the GLA AMG will not be powered by a 4.5-liter engine. The closely related A45 AMG will carry the "45" in its name to celebrate the first 45 years of AMG, and our sources seem to indicate the AMG version of the GLA will do the same. We're expecting this sporty crossover to produce as much as 350 horsepower from its AMG-tuned four-cylinder engine, and like the all-new E63 AMG, it could very well come standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive.
Alex Rodriguez, in case you haven't heard, is seemingly the new Most Hated Man In Baseball, ostensibly replacing commissioner Bud Selig (for now). Rodriguez was slammed with a 211-game suspension due to his role in the MLB's latest steroid scandal in which "A-Roid," as fans have taken to calling the former superstar, was cited with steroid use and attempts to hide his involvement by "engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate" the investigation, according to the MLB's official report.
Why is this on a car site, then? Because Rodriguez' name is attached Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz in League City, TX. An Ad Age report cites Mercedes-Benz USA in saying that A-Rod owns "about half'" of the dealership. Mercedes, for what it's worth, isn't going to any to any lengths to distance itself from its dealership or its controversial namesake, saying, "We never promoted the fact that A-Rod owned a dealership, so there's really nothing to 'distance' ourselves from. And since his activity is not illegal but rather prohibited by MLB, there's nothing actionable here."
With the scandal still a fresh piece of news and A-Rod's pending appeal, it's difficult to tell what sort of effect, if any, his name will have on the dealership's sales. Ad Age contacted the GM of Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz to get the dealership's view, but no calls were returned. According to Mercedes, any name change is up to Rodriguez and his partner(s) at the dealership. Somehow, though, we think A-Rod has other things to worry about beyond his dealership's name.