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Auto blogFri, 10 May 2013
There is plenty to look forward to when it comes to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it could end up being a fairly anticlimactic reveal thanks to fully exposed spy shots, a leaked press photo and now images of a diecast version of the luxury sedan. Autoweek.nl has images showing a highly detailed 1:18 scale model of the redesigned S-Class that matches up with everything we've seen so far.
This isn't the first time a model car spoiled a new vehicle's reveal, as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and 2013 SRT Viper were both unceremoniously revealed in toy form first. World Car Fans is reporting that the car 2014 S-Class will be officially unveiled on May 15, but at this point, all that's left to wonder about is the official on-sale date and what will be under the hood.
Brazil is the place to be, apparently. Toyota has been investing in the South American country, as has BMW, which announced a $261 million investment in October 2012, on the heels of an Audi factory announcement in San José Chiapa. The high-end immigration is only set to continue, as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover have both announced plans to set up manufacturing operations there.
Mercedes is the big news here, as its new facility will see the German manufacturer invest 170-million euros for production of its next-generation C-Class and upcoming GLA-Class. "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition," noted Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Production is expected to begin by 2016.
Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, isn't so concrete in its plans. The news of its investment in South America comes from a job posting for a plant quality manager in Brazil that was picked up by the UK's AutoCar. "Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage" for interested candidates, according to the job listing. The want ad follows on the heels of remarks by Jaguar Land Rover's Dr. Ralph Speth, who said there are "very intensive discussions" with Brazil's government. Unlike Mercedes, there's no mention of which vehicles will be produced in South America, although AutoCar thinks the Freelander, sold in the US as the LR2, is a leading contender.
Maybe you saw our recent blog snippet on a bunch of US journos getting pulled over in the middle of nowhere in Catalunya, Spain for driving a bunch of new 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG models. By all accounts, they weren't speeding - which makes me softly guffaw. I was there in that group, yet I had taken the more direct route into the mountains from Barcelona so that I could... well, so that I could go faster. No one hassled me and I had the Autovia all to myself. And it was the goodniks - the team players - who got nabbed because Spain had decided to suddenly enforce the never enforced "must carry an international driver's license" clause of the highway code.
The departing E63 AMG with 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from its M157 5.5-liter biturbo V8 hasn't exactly been poorly received. It isn't as crisp as, nor as pleasantly evil as its C63 AMG kid brother, but we generally accept that the heavier and larger car will always feel, well, heavier and larger.
As part of the 2014 E-Class mid-cycle redesign, Affalterbach decided to give its E63 AMG more power and torque for the occasion. The base car now gives off 550 hp and 531 lb-ft, while the hotter S version I tested (formerly the AMG Performance Pack) produces 577 hp and 590 lb-ft. The other big novelty is that E63 sedans will be available with both rear- and all-wheel drive, while all US-spec E63 wagons will be 4Matic equipped.