Its rounded tail has eliminated the awkward stubbiness that plagued the old car. Dash and doorsills are at nearly shoulder level, and the top of the windshield looms like the bill of a baseball cap--it's like being in a bunker. Mercedes has finally purged itself of the numb recirculating-ball steering that was too fast off-center and incommunicado after that. We were convinced it simply could not be shut off. To drop the top, press the unlock button twice and hold it down the third time. But the shroud muddies visibility as effectively as it blocks the wind.
This extra forcefulness is underpinned by a 30-millimetre longer wheelbase, clear tapering of the front and rear ends and a wedge-shape silhouette. But the automotive world has moved on, too, and for about the same money, my eyes have wandered over to Chevy's 400-hp Corvette. The revised mill is rotary-smooth and blessed with a constant stream of 258 pound-feet of torque from 2400 to 5000 rpm that provides excellent 30-to-50- and 50-to-70-mph top-gear passing times. Stops from 70 mph are drama-free and use up 167 feet. Here, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to respond to the desires of drivers with more sporting ambitions by adding an eight-cylinder powerplant to the mix. With the top down, even a small amount of sunlight makes the display unreadable; brighter lighting would fix that. If you do this right, a screen will appear showing a voltmeter.
Plus, customers can choose from a range of six shades for the leather trim, or any one of twelve designo appointment colours. This provides the key to powerful acceleration and impressive mid-range sprints. The entirely redesigned second generation will surely revive the excitement, not because of its price, but because it is now a driver's car. Although the firm, supportive leather seats are adjustable for height, the seating position is quite low. The engine responsible for this dulcet opus is a 268-hp, 3. Lower the top, and the feeling of encapsulation disappears. A further new feature now makes it possible to operate the varioroof by a remote control function in the car key optional.
A surround-sound system with eleven speakers and 380-watt output is also available as an option in order to further optimise the in-car audio experience. To start, turn the ignition key to the first accessory position, making sure the dash display shows the odometer. Sports suspension with a lowered body is available as an option. Pedal placement is good, although the smaller-shoed will wish the brake pedal were just a bit closer to the accelerator to facilitate heel-and-toe downshifts. The design concept is distinguished by switches, buttons and trim elements with silver-coloured surfaces, which form a striking contrast to the dark tones of the dashboard. If you did it right, you've put the car in a mode intended for diagnostic testing on a rolling dynamometer--all electronic supervision is unplugged.
The cup holders are just the beginning. The standard-fitted belt force limiters also work through two stages and adapt to the severity of the accident. At low speeds, power oversteer is readily available, and at higher speeds, you'll find some reassuring understeer, but it's never of the terminal variety. The global number one in its market segment, it serves as a symbol for the new, dynamic brand image of Mercedes-Benz. Turn It Off--All the Way Off! To avoid buffeting from the rear, Mercedes throws in a see-through fabric shroud that attaches to the two roll hoops. ÃÂ Inside, the interior is biased toward comfort. The new rack-and-pinion setup talks to the hand as readily as a guest on Jerry Springer.
The redesigned interior and exterior look terrific, and the handling and performance are refined and sporty. Shift as fast as you like, because the gearbox synchros feel unbeatable. Well, Benz lovers, we found a way. We just thought you'd want to know. A special sensor also triggers the side airbags and both belt tensioners if the car rolls over.
Toss it through a few corners, and it immediately feels smaller than its predecessor, despite its larger dimensions. This boosts output and torque, whilst also helping to save fuel. A dashboard switch suggests the program can be turned off, but it can't--it just kicks in at what it sees as a more intemperate level of driving on your part. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz is using variable intake and exhaust camshaft adjustment in the V6 engine. .
Robust steel tubes in the A-pillars and solid roll-over bars behind the seats offer additional protection in this type of accident. Styling was perhaps the old car's strongest suit. Restoring the top is just as easy: Press the lock button twice and hold it down the third time. The roof now opens and closes even more quickly and takes up even less space in the boot — thanks to the pivoting rear window. There's now a crispness to the chassis and steering that the old car sorely needed. The conventional wisdom has always been that Mercedes reluctantly developed light and sloppy manual gearboxes for taxi drivers instead of enthusiasts.