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Mercedes: 2016 ‘Year of the Dream Car’

Kevin A. Wilson
Special to The Detroit News

Detroit weather notwithstanding, summer cruising was a theme at Mercedes-Benz. Declaring 2016 its “Year of the Dream Car” as well as the company’s 130th anniversary, Mercedes-Benz car chief Dieter Zetsche revealed three new open-top models with romantic appeal.

The E-Class sedan shown a day earlier was far more significant and bound to sell in higher numbers, but Zetsche opened the press conference with the Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic Cabriolet “Edition 130.”

Issued in a limited run of 130 copies for sale worldwide with exclusive trimmings and collectible gee-gaws (key fob with an aluminum storage box, monogrammed car cover), the all-wheel-drive V-8 twin-turbo model shares its underpinnings with the previously offered Coupe version. Its 585-horsepower output exceeds that of the company’s first 1896 car by more than 584.

Sharing similar bodywork is a rear-drive, V-12-propelled S65 AMG Cabriolet, the flagship model featuring 621-horsepower and capable of blowing a 186 mph breeze through the driver’s hair.

Also unveiled was Mercedes’ smaller SLC300 and Mercedes-Benz S43 two-seat sports cars introduced with live musical performance by singer Ryn Weaver.

These replace the former SLK models, the name-change reflecting shared architecture with other compact C-Class Mercedes cars. Prices will be revealed when the cars are introduced this spring, but certain to be far more affordable than the S-Class ragtops on the stand. The SLC300 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder while the AMG version gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6.