DETROIT — Mercedes Benz says 2016 is going to be the year of dream cars, and when one looks in the merchandise offerings shown in the North American International Auto Show, it’s tough to differ. The versions starting this year undoubtedly have an aspirational quality to them.
The year just passed was an excellent one for the Mercedesbenz brand, with global revenues up 13.4 percent internationally and 5.2 percent in North America in 2015. It was a great year for Canada particularly, where the company posted another record breaking year with the overall revenue increase of 9.8 percent and only under 40,000 total units sold. With four new versions in route, the company aims to maintain the impetus going in 2016. Leading the way is the all-new 2017 Eclass midsize sedan, which is due to start arriving in North America this summer. The car will start using a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine rated at 241 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Other powertrains will likely be announced nearer to launch. Dimensionally, the brand new E will grow a bit on the car it replaces, having a wheelbase 66 millimeters more. A glossy and fit outside layout gives way to some high tech inside which is included with a 12.3-inch hi-rez display and touch-sensitive control buttons on the steering wheel that react to swiping movements, just like a smartphone or tablet. Additionally on the way really are a trio of drop tops, two from Mercedes and one from Smart. Making its world premiere, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 4MATIC Cabriolet is about serious operation thanks to a 6.0-litre turbocharged V12 that creates 621 horsepower and 738 pound-ft. of torque and will go from 0-100 km/h in four seconds. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard. Availability is anticipated to commence in late summer. On other fronts, the long-running SLK roadster will become the SLC, 20 years after it first debuted. The 2017 SLC300 features a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder (241 hp / 273 pound-ft.), while the AMG SLC43 packs a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 (362 hp / 384 pounds-ft.). Both come standard using a 9-speed automatic and can start arriving in late spring. Eventually, the 2017 Smart fortwo cabriolet will arrive this summer powered by a 0.9-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine (89 hp / 100 pounds-ft.) and a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.