Mercedes’ Future: New E-Class and CLK next year, GLK comes in 2009

Mercedes-Benz has been doing very well recently in the United States. With the beautifully redesigned 2008 C-Class focused on performance driving, Mercedes-Benz finally feels confident that it has a great rival to take on the BMW 3-Series. Not only that, Mercedes is getting ready to launch its compact SUV, the Mercedes GLK, in the U.S. by 2009.

So who is responsible for this great change? Well it’s most likely the result of a new U.S. management team that has been asking customers exactly what they want at the same time making quality its number one priority.

Click through to see what’s in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup for 2008 through 2010.

B-Class: Due to fuel-economy concerns the new U.S. management team will be pushing to get the next-generation B-Class onto American highways. Although the decision won’t be final for another two or three years.

C-Class: The new 2008 C-Class is already in showrooms and is being called the baby S-Class. We’ve test driven it, and while we feel it wasn’t the best rival to the 3-Series, it definitely is the best C-Class Mercedes has ever made. Sales began August 7th. The 2008 C-Class Estate will also make its debut in Frankfurt.

C63 AMG: The high performance C-Class goes on sale next spring as a rival to the BMW M3. It is powered by a 6.3 liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower.

CLK coupe, convertible: The redesigned coupe and convertible based on the new C-Class go on sale next year.

CLK63 AMG: A limited-edition CLK63 AMG Black Series coupe went on sale this summer. It is powered by a 6.3 liter V8 engine that produces 500 horsepower.

E-Class: The E-Class will be totally redesigned and re-engineered and will make its debut in late 2008 or 2009. Styling is expected to be like that of the C-Class. An AMG version will debut in the middle of 2009.

CLS: The four-door with coupe styling will get a refresh in 2009.

S-Class: Mercedes-Benz’s flagship was redesigned just last year. Mercedes also launched the S63 AMG which is powered by a 6.3 liter V8 engine that produces 518 horsepower and the S600 which is powered by a 5.5 liter biturbo V12 and produces 510 horsepower. The Mercedes-Benz Ocean drive concept as received the green light for production so expect the S-Class convertible coming to showrooms in late 2009 or early 2010.

S65 AMG: The AMG S-Class variant went on sale this summer with a 6.0 liter V12 engine that produces 600 horsepower.

SLK: The Mercedes SLK will get a total redesign in late 2008.

SL-Class: The hardtop roadster will get a refresh in late 2008 which will extend its lifecycle to 2013, where a total redesign is expected.

P8: There is no word of this cheaper two-passenger super car entering production. The car is expected to be made by McLaren and to cost considerably less than the SLR trio.

SLR, SLR722, SLR roadster: The SLR roadster hits dealerships October 1st.

R-Class: Mercedes has killed the R500 and the R63 AMG models and has added AMG lower-body styling to make the struggling R-Class more appealing. Mercedes has even dropped the price by $5,000 last year, but sales are still slow. This year, Mercedes is offering a three-seat second row, for a total of seven seats.

GLK-Class: The Mercedes GLK compact SUV will debut at the Detroit auto show in January. U.S. sales will start in early 2009. The GLK will be positioned below the M class, most likely starting at less than $40,000 as an X3 rival.

ML-Class: Mercedes added new the ML class this summer. The ML550 replaced the ML500 and adds a 5.5 liter V8 unit produces 382 horsepower. A special 10-year anniversary edition will debut in October. No major changes are expected for the ML in the coming years.

GL-Class: The full-sized SUV has just been refreshed and adds the new GL550 high-performance model that is powered by a 5.5 liter V8 engine that produces 383 horsepower. Also available now is the 3.2 liter V6 CDI diesel that produces 215 horsepower. A Bluetec clean diesel variant is coming in 2008.

G-Class: The rugged SUV will stay in showrooms as long as demand continues. No major changes are planned as of yet.

SLC: Mercedes is said to be working on a supercar without McLaren that will make its debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. It is expected to be powered by a 6.2 liter AMG V8 that produces 600 horsepower.


Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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