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Mercedes-Benz M-Class for Sale
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Auto blogThu, 31 Jan 2013 17:15:00 EST
Here's a chance to acquire a celebrity-owned vehicles, and this time at a discount instead of a premium. So the celebrity in this case is Consumer Reports, that magazine that could be equally adored and abhored by car enthusiasts. CR buys all of its test vehicles and usually finds willing second owners within its own ranks, but its opening its small used-car lot to the public. On the forecourt are four roadsters: an automatic 2012 Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Quattro S-Tronic with 6,600 miles for $36,500, a manual 2012 BMW Z4 sDrive28i with 8,400 miles for $45,000, a manual 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 for $39,500 and a manual 2013 Porsche Boxster with 7,000 miles for $48,000.
Those numbers mean a savings of $9,000 to $10,000 before haggling - each car is listed with an "Asking price" so there could be some wiggle room if you show up with pockets full of dough and eyes full of serious intent. Since the money CR earns from the sales go back into the magazine's budget to buy more test cars, however, it probably won't take any oddball trades, so you can forget about getting any purchasing help from that track-day AMC Javelin project on blocks in the back yard.
The vehicles have been taken care of and spiffed up for sale; buyers will take delivery at the CR test track in East Haddam, Connecticut and get a tour of the facilities. While you're there they'll even take you on a lap around the track so you can feel how your car handles when driven by one of its testers. They will probably not help you with advice on which toaster and dehumidifier to buy - you'll still need to get a subscription for that. Have a look at the video below to see a day in the life of a CR test car.
Last we heard, the Mercedes-Benz SLC had been put on indefinite hold, but now Car Magazine is reporting that the Porsche 911-fighting "Baby SLS" coupe could be on sale by 2015. Riding on a modified SLS AMG chassis, the smaller and lighter SLC could be priced in the sub-$100,000 price bracket.
We'd already heard that the new car would feature conventional doors (instead of SLS-like gullwing doors), but this report focuses on some of the possible powertrains Mercedes-Benz is likely to use. At launch, the SLC could offer a pair of V8-powered models - a 485-horsepower SLC and a 585-hp SLC S - both being powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. About a year after launch, a new V6 model could emerge giving the SLC an estimated 333 horsepower and its lowest price point.
It also sounds like the car's name hasn't been completely finalized as some people within Mercedes are favoring a return of the SLR name.
The argument is made in a Reuters article: Audi is falling behind other luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, due to a lack of research-and-development spending and "brain drain," or the migration of top executives and R&D chiefs to other parts of the Volkswagen Group. Reuters notes that Audi's current R&D chief is the third in 16 months.
Audi, which contributed to 40 percent of VW Group's $11.6 billion in profit the first nine months of the year, is delivering cars at a record pace: 1.31 million were delivered from January to October 2013 versus BMW's 1.35 million. Yet Audi, Reuters reports, doesn't have a halo car akin to BMW's new electrified i3 and i8 or an answer to Mercedes' plug-in-hybrid S-Class, and the R&D spending at Audi is less than BMW and Mercedes by a fair margin. It's noted in the article, however, that Audi benefits from other R&D spending within VW Group.
Reuters mentions that BMW "trumpets its new 'i' series" and the new Mercedes CLA and GLA ranges are winning "rave reviews" as part of its argument that Audi's recent lack of technological innovation could hurt future sales. Those cars do pack tons of new technology, some of which are firsts for mainstream production cars. But last time we checked, the i3 could be causing BMW's stock to slide, the CLA isn't receiving the rave reviews that Reuters would have you believe and the GLA hasn't been reviewed yet.