2008 Ml350 4matic Edition 10 3.5l V6 24v Automatic Four Wheel Drive Suv on 2040cars
Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
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Auto blogWed, 06 Mar 2013 08:29:00 EST
If we're being completely honest, we haven't exactly been in love with the aesthetics of the sixth-generation Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. It's mostly a front-end issue, with its glowering eagle-eye headlamps and upright, dinner-plate-sized Three-Pointed Star coming across to us as overwrought. That's particularly troublesome for a roadster whose history has of the most elegant designs of all time in its back catalog. Somehow, the new R231 generation's brash visuals seem more at home on this Brabus 800 Roadster to us.
That's probably because the high-dollar German tuner has turned up the wick on the SL's visuals even further, with carbon fiber bodywork, a more aggressive aero kit, matte hood scoop and complex two-finish wheels. It's all-the-way committed to its brashness, in other words - and justifiably so. Anything with 800 horsepower and 1,047 pound-feet of torque has earned the right to look however it wants, right?
Brabus started with the SL65 and its not-exactly-underpowered 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, and went to town, fitting their own turbocharger and intercooler system, along with a less-restrictive exhaust system with driver-selectable sound levels and new engine electronics. The result is a 3.7-second 0-62 mph time, an electronically limited top whack of 217 mph... and one seriously compromised toupée.
Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz revealed the new V-Class. Slotting in below the popular Sprinter, the new V-Class replaced both the Viano and Vito upon its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. But Mercedes isn't quite done with it just yet. At the upcoming Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mercedes will reveal the Marco Polo - a versatile, stylish and decidedly contemporary take on the classic camper van.
Named after the famous Italian explorer, the Marco Polo was converted by Westfalia, an outfit which you might more closely associate with classic VW camper vans but which Daimler absorbed over a decade ago. Offering, according to the press release below, "a maximum of opportunities to be independent, free and spontaneous," the Marco Polo sleeps four thanks to the rear bench that electrically folds flat into a bed and the second berth under the pop-top. The flexible interior is decked out like you'd expect a modern Mercedes to be, with ambient LED lighting as well as wood, metal and piano black trim.
It's got an onboard kitchenette with two gas burners, a sink and fridge with a 10 gallons of fresh water and an even bigger waste tank. All that gear is shlepped around by a choice of four-cylinder turbodiesel engines ranging in output from 136 to 190 horsepower. The relatively compact form boasts a turning circle similar to a full-size sedan and a height designed to fit into most garages and car washes. All of which just might make us reconsider the appeal of traveling by camper van.
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.