Our first 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLAs have arrived with a facelift! The changes from the 2017 model are not dramatic but they are obvious when you park them side-by-side.
The photo above features, from left to right, the 2018 GLA250 Ice edition, 2018 GLA250 non-sport, and a 2017 GLA250 from my loaner car fleet for comparison.
8" display screen standard, no Multimedia required
New Instrument Cluster design
Front and Rear Bumpers redesigned
New Wheel designs
Standard Rear View Camera
Sail Pattern trim replaces aluminum
Parking Assist Package Available
LED replaces bi-Xenon in headlamp upgrade
Handsfree access added to Premium 1
Android Auto available, in addition to Apply CarPlay
harmon/kardon moved to stand-alone option from Premium 1
New Paint: Canyon Beige (Goldish orange-y in pictures)
Ice Edition - 400 units - See video for details
From the rear of the vehicle you can see that the nearest vehicle, 2018 GLA250 Ice Edition, has the AMG sportline exterior with additional bumper elements. It also has the night package with black accents on the wheels, roof rails, window trim and mirrors.
The tail lamps on the Ice Edition are different from the other 2018 models as well but I cannot find any mention of that in the ordering guide. They are more rounded, darker and have the stardust effect like the 2017 E-Class. When a few more GLAs come in I should be able to tell if it is unique to the Ice Edition, the AMG sportline cars or some other item. If anyone knows, send me an e-mail!
I also made a video for comparison purposes. I think the white cars do a good job of showing differences. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you like it!
This is the first facelift for the GLA, which was introduced in the US for 2015. It should stay like this for another three years and then will likely get a full redesign. I hope to see the first 2018 GLA45 soon!
The AMG Driving Academy was at Road Atlanta this week. I was able to attend the BASIC training and I am now a certified Race Car driver! Ok, that might be a stretch but I did improve my skills and get to see a lot of amazing AMG vehicles!
The day consists of training modules designed to improve your skills as well as lots seat time doing hot laps in a variety of AMG vehicles. There was a wet skid pad to improve oversteer and understeer reactions. The not-yet-released Mercedes-AMG E63 was used in an ABS stopping exercise that will really make you appreciate how well the cars stop. A small autocross course used the CLA45 for a timed lap.
There was also a huge stable of AMG vehicles on display! The GT-R, GT C roadster and the GLC63 were all at the track, despite being weeks from a US release date. That was very exciting for me! It's a track day and a car show!
I was able to do hot laps around Road Atlanta in the GTS coupe, E63 sedan, C43 sedan, C63 coupe and the SL63. Top speed on the back stretch was just north of 120 mph, which felt fast until I rode with the professionals. I did a few taxi rides in the GTS and a very fast lap in the SLS black series and I know we were a little over 140 mph!
The AMG Driving Academy Instructors are awesome! They are both very skilled and very patient with my lack of skill. They can coach you to be being a better driver while still keeping the race line and gong 120 mph!
The AMG Driving Academy still has 2017 dates remaining at Leguna Seca, Lime Rock Park and Circuit of the Americas. If you purchased an AMG vehicle in the last 12 months you are entitled to a free BASIC training session. I highly recommend you take advantage of this perk! If you are thinking about an AMG or are a motorsports enthusiast, this event is for you! It is an incredible amount of driving time in a lot of very expensive AMG vehicles.
What car do I drive?
All of them! In 8 hours I drove 10 different cars ranging from the 4-cylinder CLA45 up to the new 603 horsepower E63. You will rotate out of all of the vehicles for the skills sections and for track laps.
Can I drive my car?
No! And you don't want to! Track conditions are hard on your brakes and tires. Use the ones that AMG provides and feel good that your car stays safe on the sidelines!
Is it worth it?
Uh, yeah. Even as a dealership employee I never get a chance to drive these cars the way they are meant to be driven. Experiencing the acceleration, braking, cornering and poise of the AMG vehicles can only be done on the track. The combined value of the vehicles and the instruction is a value at twice the price!
How do I sign up?
Website. New AMG owners provide their VIN to use the credit.
Next year, I'm thinking Advanced Class at COTA!
I was incredibly lucky to get a sneak peek at the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT R today! It is a monster for the streets and looks perfect in Magno Green Hell. This is the second vehicle that Mercedes-AMG has developed from the ground up. You can feel the track intentions!
The matte paint really shows off the long lines! The GT R has a wider body than the other GT siblings and it really shows.
The impact of the Magno matte Green Hell paint cannot be overstated. You think you have seen green cars before but you have not. This car is GREEN!
Every part of the GT R has been aerodynamically perfected. The rear wing is fixed but is manually adjustable for your preferred track settings. The front of the vehicle has active AirPanels and AirCurtains to move air for both cooling and aerodynamics.
The Panamericana grille is my new favorite, displacing the silver diamond grille. The 15 vertical slats are incredibly dramatic, emphasizing the size of the air intakes.
The GT R designers were careful to be efficient without tacking on a bunch of flips, wings and other ugly aero elements. The scoops and louvers that are included are both attractive and functional. Estimated 0-60 is 3.5 seconds and the top speed is 198 mph.
The GT is supposed to be the daily driver. The GT S is a little bit faster. The GT C wears 50% of this body kit and the GT R is a full on track ready street car. With a base price of $157,000 I think the GT R is going to become the attainable dream car. I can't wait to see a Green Hell GT R in the wild!
Here is a quick walk-around of the vehicle. It still can't show you the incredible color! You must see one in person as soon as possible!
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S came to visit this week! This was my first look at the vehicle and it is impressive. I think it was made even more impressive by the gorgeous Cardinal Red Paint!
The 4.0L V8 birturbo engine is impressive in both specs and looks! It has 603 horsepower and 627 lb/ft of torque and is rated for 0-60 in 3.3 seconds! It has the new AMG Speedshift MCT 9-speed sports transmission and the AMG performance 4matic+. The "+" in 4matic is for the new Drift Mode that makes it rear-wheel drive for more fun!
This particular vehicle was equipped with the Carbon Ceramic brakes, Premium 3 Package and matte black wheels. Sharp! I was able to go for a short ride in the car and it everything you would expect. It was very quiet and controlled in comfort mode yet wild and loud in Sport+.
This E63 is equipped with the standard seats, not the sport seats. It was very deeply bolstered and supportive without being too tight. I think this is the right choice if you plan to put a lot of miles on the E63.
The nose on the E63 is my favorite part! I love the new vertical slats around the star and the functional intakes at the bottom are impressive.
The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 is currently in production and we are hoping for a US release date late this summer. Pricing is not yet available.
AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine
Two twin-scroll turbochargers
603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque
0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds; governed top speed of 186 mph
AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) nine-speed sport transmission
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
AMG sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL
AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
Rear differential lock for optimal traction
Extended wheel arches for greater track width
New grill with chrome louvers, vertical black struts, and AMG lettering
Here is a little video I made of the E63 while waiting for my training class to start! Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel for more!
The Atlanta International Auto Show is this weekend at the Georgia World Congress Center. I stopped by to see what was on display.
Mercedes-Benz brought the big guns this year! The not-yet-released GT C Roadster is absolutely perfect! It's like they knew I would be there and brought my favorite color combo! The lines on this car are so elegant and sporty. It could not be better!
The G550 4×4² is the star of any show it attends. I think this one is designo Manufaktur Paprika and it brought the crowds!
The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is expected to be limited to 30 units for the United States! This looks very much like the S550 or S63 cabriolet but turned up to 100. The extra diamonds in the interior and the exterior trim make it extremely special.
The soon-to-be-released 2018 E400 coupe Launch Edition in Magno Matte Cashmere White was one of my favorites. It looks tremendously different from the current body style and distinct from the C-Class coupe.
The 2018 GLA45 AMG was showing off some yellow trim and a major roof spoiler. This is a refresh for the GLA-Class.
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet launch edition was present! This is the car I call S'more because of the marshmallow exterior and the chocolate and graham cracker interior. It really is a knockout!
The GLS63 AMG looked aggressive in white with black trim. I don't get to see nearly enough of these at the dealership.
The SMART car display was getting a lot of attention. We have been selling quite a few of the plug-in electric version on our pre-owned lot. It really is fun to drive!
The E400 Wagon has arrived! I was hoping for the AMG variant but it is always good to see the wagon on display.
Electric cars are starting to become more common for Mercedes-Benz and this S550 electric showcases the classic looks with new technology hiding inside.
There were definitely some other vehicles at the auto show but only one will stick with you. For me it was the GT C Roadster! Look at that face!
Special thanks to my colleague Michelle for additional photography! It is always hard to get a good image when there are crowds!
The iconic G-Class now has a monstrous brother! The 4×4² stopped by today for a moment and I took all of the pictures! This beast is essentialy the famous G63 6x6 minus one axel. It is tall, looming, beefy, wide, and very cool.
This particular vehicle is destined for another dealership but it was briefly unloaded and it is amazing! I saw it pull in and my first though was "Why is there no wheel on the back?" My second though was "it's gigantic!" and then I realized that it was the first 4×4² that I had seen in real life!
This vehicle uses the series production G-Class body, variable chassis and all-wheel drive powertrain including portal axels from the G63 6x6 to create a unique off roader with so much presence! There are almost no choices to be made when ordering the 4×4². Paint color is the only variable. All of the interiors will be the Black Dinamica with white contrast stitching. Can you see the diamond quilting on the doors and seat inserts? The trim is carbon fiber both on the inside and outside of the vehicle. Most of the advertising has featured the Electric Beam yellow paint. This one opted for the more subdued designo Mystic White.
The extra-wide stance is intimidating! Look at the extra carbon fiber width added to the fender flares to accommodate the giant wheels and tires! The front roof spoiler with lights is almost exactly the same as that of the G63 6x6. The sticker quoted fuel economy at 11 mpg for both city and highway.
I can't find the details for this vehicle on MBUSA.com but here is a link to the European specs. This vehicle is now available for sale in the US with a base price of $225,000. I am expecting my first unit in April/May.
Here is a video of the formerly big G550 being unloaded from under the enormous G550 4×4². Enjoy!
The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe is now available for sale in the US! My AMG trainer brought one by the dealership today so that we could see it before the first one arrives!
362 horsepower from the biturbo V6
Base Price $59,650 plus Destination & Delivery
Standard 20" Wheels
5 mode Dynamic Select
The GLE coupe has been out for about 2 years now and has been a huge success. My clients have loved having the functionality of an SUV in a less traditional wrapper. The GLC grows this segment with a smaller footprint. This would be a great vehicle for small parking situations! It has all of the presence of the larger vehicle without the size!
I was only able to drive it across the parking lot but it was excellent! It has better visibility than you normally see in coupes and the seating position is high without being tippy. This particular vehicle had the standard dinamica interior and it felt very sporty. With the Dynamic Select set to Sport+ it has all of the growl of the bigger AMG vehicles!
Since this is an SUV we should talk about the storage. It has a large cargo area with a very large opening. It isn't as tall as a traditional SUV in the back but it makes up for it with a very flat floor. The GLC43 is also standard with Air Suspension which allows the car to squat in the back for easier loading. This is an option in the GLC300. If you watch the video you'll be able to see the cargo tray, scratch protector and cargo box in use. This makes for incredibly organized cargo! Nothing slid around at all!
This is the only Mercedes-Benz SUV that is currently built in Germany! The GLC is built in Bremen and is available for European Delivery. This would be an excellent time of year to plan your vacation!
We should be getting our first 2017 GLC43 coupe for inventory very soon. Please get in touch if you would like to schedule a test drive!