Another year, another barrage of new models from Australia’s biggest-selling luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe – February
Kicking off affairs in February is the sublime S-Class Coupe, which will be available in S500 and S63 AMG guises and serve as a replacement or the flagship CL-Class.
Mercedes-Benz CLS update – February
Around the same time as the S-Class Coupe comes an updated version of the slick CLS sedan and shooting brake-style wagon.
The facelifted CLS is the first model to sport the company’s new Multibeam LED headlights with 24 LED clusters, each of which can be switched on and off or dimmed individually by the car’s on-board computers. The system can scan the road ahead using the car’s camera too.
A new nine-speed automatic gearbox, dubbed 9G-Tronic, is available on the CLS220 BlueTEC, CLS250 BlueTEC, CLS350 BlueTEC and CLS500.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class update – March
There are some very subtle styling tweaks to the air intakes and tail-lights, while inside is a larger 8.0-inch screen, as well as the addition of autonomous emergency braking. The mechanicals remain much the same.
Mercedes-Benz V-Class – June
Around the middle of the year will come a trio of new models. Potentially the first of these will be the V-Class van-based people-mover, which will replace the Valente and Viano.
The new, more passenger-focused model is described by the German company as “the Mercedes among MPVs”, claiming the new model sets benchmarks for the segment in design, comfort, versatility, efficiency and safety.
The car features standard equipment such as a cross-wind assistance system, an interior microphone which transmits the conversation from the front seats to those in the rear – a similar system to that seen in the new-generation Toyota Kluger — new touchscreen infotainment system with an upgraded COMAND media interface.
Mercedes-AMG GT – June/July
A pair of hardcore performance models will also arrive around the middle of the year. The Mercedes-AMG GT coupe will give the company a rival to the Porsche 911 at the upper echelons of the sports car market.
Expect the 4.0-litre V8-powered GT to be priced from around $240,000 when it arrives locally. You can read all about the car’s specifications here.
Mercedes-AMG C63 – June/July
Launching mid-year also is the new Mercedes-AMG C63, the latest iteration of the wildly successful C-Class-based performance model that has sold in staggering numbers in Australia.
Under the bonnet is a new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that is up to 32 per cent more efficient than its 6.2-litre V8-powered predecessor, and produces (in regular form) 350kW between 5500-6200rpm and 650Nm between 1750-4500rpm. Most Australians will opt for the 375kW/700Nm C63 S version though, and the former may not even come here.
Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE Coupe – Q3
Heading up the GLE Coupe launch range is the GLE450 AMG Coupe, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 270kW/520Nm 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.
It’s joined by the slightly less powerful GLE400 Coupe, which gets a 245kW/480Nm tune of the same engine, and the GLE350d Coupe, which produces 190kW and 620Nm from its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine. Mercedes-Benz Australia says it’s interested in all three variants.
GLC – Q4
Rounding out the year for Mercedes will be the new GLC, a medium SUV replacement for the GLK that was only ever made in left-hand drive. This crucial model will at last give Benz a proper rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
It will also, alongside the new GLE family and the existing GLA, GLS and G-Wagen, give it decent ammunition in the increasingly popular luxury SUV market, and address the one area where it probably trails its main rivals.