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It's only been a week and a half since Mercedes-Benz revealed the new C-Class, and it'll likely be a while yet before the replacement for the C63 AMG comes along. But if you want to see a preview of what it'll look like, look no further than the AMG aero kit that has just surfaced.
Expected to debut on the new C-Class at the fast-approaching Detroit Auto Show, the AMG Line Exterior Pack adds a new bumpers front and rear, side skirts, dual exhaust tips, mesh grille, aluminum window frames and - most importantly - 18-inch alloys packing upgraded brakes and fitted to a lowered sport suspension. All of which will help any C-Class look the part, even if the engine remains stock.
When Toyota snags 30,000 Corolla orders over a three-month span, it's entirely possible we're in the midst of a global economic collapse and that the end is nigh. That's because the scale for Toyota is so very large. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, operates on a much smaller scale, particularly when we talk about its higher-end models, like the S-Class.
In 2012, Mercedes sold 65,000 of its flagship sedans in Germany and the EU. That's 178 units per day, for 365 days. Based on that, you can imagine the excitement at Stuttgart when it accepted 30,000 orders for the new S-Class in just three months. That's an average of 333 per day on a continent with a notoriously shaky economy. Now, admittedly, this enthusiasm could wane as the refitted S-Class becomes more common and Mercedes achieves market saturation in Europe's many chauffeur and livery services, but Mercedes isn't choosing to look at it that way.
"The new S-Class has already jumped back into the lead in terms of new vehicle registrations in Germany and its neighboring European countries," Mercedes-Benz head of sales and marketing, Ola Kaellenius, said in a statement last week.
In Episode 36 of Motor Trend's Head 2 Head, now that the Corvette ZR1 is no more, Jonny Lieberman has to look overseas to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series for a challenger with similar philosophy to the SRT Viper: long hood hiding a high-horsepower engine set way back, rear-wheel drive, tiny trunks. That puts the Viper's 8.4-liter V10 with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque against the SLS AMG's 6.2-liter V8 with 622 hp and 468 lb-ft.
However, the congruences in philosophy and magnitude of numbers doesn't translate to the driving experiences of the two, which are literally and figuratively on different continents. Lieberman gets a handle on the two of them on Northern California roads, Randy Probst then finds out how, and how quickly, they can lap Laguna Seca.
They both get kudos for being improvements on their original sources, but only one of them can take the win. You can find out by watching the video below.