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Auto blogFri, 12 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST
Mercedes-Benz is having a banner year with its Formula One team. Through 2014, the constructor has 454 championship points; ahead of its nearest competitor (Red Bull-Renault) by a margin of 182 tally marks. We're sure they can almost taste the champagne.
It's fitting then, and a little big cocky in a good way, that Mercedes has released a video of its newest sports car at an F1 venue. In this case, the car is the lovely Mercedes-AMG GT S, and the racetrack is Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
Having seen the official photo set and scratched the surface of the technical specifications earlier this week, we're excited to finally hear the thing run. As you might guess, the deployment of 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque from the twin-turbo V8 is a motivating experience. Crank up your volume, and hit that play button. (Oh, and Mercedes shot the thing in 4K, too, so those of you with expensive televisions/monitors should take heed to the settings.)
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.
Long-wheelbase sedans are a pretty hot commodity in China, and to keep up with the competition, Mercedes-Benz has introduced an extended version of the 2014 E-Class sedan at the Shanghai Motor Show. Audi, BMW, Volvo and even Cadillac offer extended versions of sedans specific to the Chinese market, and now the E-Class L, shown off in E400L guise, will give luxury sedan buyers in China yet another option.
Compared to the standard 2014 E-Class sedan, the new China-spec E-Class L has been stretched by 5.5 inches - all of which goes to the rear-seat passengers. According to an article on China View from earlier in the year, the market for chauffeur-driven cars is growing in the Asian nation, so automakers need long-wheelbase models like the E-Class L in order to fully compete. As for what powers this stretched E-Class, it's available in three models: the diesel E260L, the V6-powered E300L and the E400 Hybrid.
The redesigned E-Class and the all-new A-Class are just the first of 20 new Mercedes-Benz products that will be introduced into the Chinese auto market by 2015. Scroll down for the full press release on long-wheelbase E.