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by Brett Davis

Mercedes-Benz has a big year ahead this year, with the launch of the new SLS AMG Roadster just around the corner ready to kick things off. Mercedes-Benz will also introduce the new B-Class in April. The baby high performance convertible, the SLK55 AMG V8, will also hit local shores very soon, and the new ML-Class SUV.



Vehicle type: Supercar. Timing: January

The SLS AMG Roadster is the gorgeous drop-top version of the epic ‘Gullwing’ coupe. It will come with the same naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 420kW of power and 650Nm of torque. It loses the dramatic up-swinging doors from the coupe, but gets a fabric soft-top folding roof for the ultimate open-air driving experience.



Vehicle type: Premium roadster. Timing: March

The flagship of the third-generation SLK delivers 310kW of power and 540Nm of torque delivered through a 5.5-litre V8 and is capable of cracking 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, while boasting an average fuel consumption rating of 8.5L/100km.



Vehicle type: Small car. Timing: April

The next-generation B-Class is the first of a new wave of baby Benzes to sit on a new modular small-car platform. Mercedes says it will offer practicality matched with fuel efficiency, and funky designs inside and out. The B-Class will come in two flavours initially, including a petrol and diesel version of each.

There’s a petrol B180 variant coming with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 90kW and 200Nm, and a petrol B200 variant coming with a higher output 1.6-litre turbo four, producing 115kW and 250Nm.

For the diesel variants a B180 CDI is powered by a 1.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine producing 80kW and 250Nm, and a B200 CDI powered by a revised version of the 1.8, producing 100kW and 300Nm.

Some of the standard features and technologies for the B-Class will include Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, speed limit sign recognition, Active Parking Assist, Brake Assist, Pre-Safe, and a reversing camera.

The related new A-Class will be unveiled in production form in 2012 but is not expected on sale in Australia until early 2013.



Vehicle type: Premium SUV. Timing: April

The new ML-Class features a newly designed body with more in-car tech and revised engines/trim level variants. There’s an entry-level ML250 CDI powered by a 2.1-litre twin-turbo diesel producing 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque. It comes with an average fuel consumption rating of just 6.0L/100km.

There will also be a ML350 BlueEfficiency, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 using direct injection. It produces 228kW of power and 370Nm.

Sitting at the top of the lineup will be the ML63 AMG. This will come with a high performance 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 producing up to 410kW when optioned with the Performance pack, or 386kW without. Maximum torque is 700Nm, helping it accelerate from 0-100km/h 4.7 seconds.

A ML300 Hybrid will launch internationally, and may join the local lineup later in 2012 or in 2013.



Vehicle type: Sports coupe. Timing: May

Even though all 32 have been sold out, the epic C63 AMG Black Series will hit Australian shores in May. It comes with a 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 380kW of power and 620Nm of torque. It is able to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. This will be the successor to the awesome CLK 63 AMG Black Series.



Vehicle type: Premium convertible. Timing: Q3

The new SL-Class showcases Mercedes-Benz’s latest design language, similarly seen on the new SLK roadster. It features a muscular and somewhat handsome front end with neat horizontal lines. It will come in two variants initially, the SL350 – powered by a 3.5-litre V6 with 225kW and 370Nm – and the SL500 – powered by a 4.7-litre twin-turbo V8 with 320kW and 700Nm.