On the road: Mercedes-Benz dealership showcases 2014 lineup

Three-point stars shone brightly last week at Lone Star Mercedes-Benz.

The Calgary retailer showcased the entire line of 2014 model year vehicles during an evening of glitz and glamour.

Some 500 customers mingled with Mercedes-Benz Canada regional operations manager Robert Wissenz and Lone Star brass and staff, all while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and sipping fine beverages.

And although models walked the catwalk during a fashion show hosted by Chi Chi Couture, it was a different pair of models that deservedly captured the most attention – the redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the all-new CLA-Class.

“The S-Class is our flagship model luxury sedan – it’s our halo car,” said Lone Star Mercedes-Benz new car manager Simon Clarke. “And, for 2014, the car has been rebuilt and revamped from the front bumper to the back bumper.”

There are three models in the S-Class family, including the S550 4Matic SWB (short wheelbase), S550 4Matic and S63 AMG 4Matic.

According to Clarke, the body structure of the new S-Class has been lightened and strengthened.

New exterior design details include a more streamlined profile, a larger grille and distinctive character lines that give the sides of the S-Class a sculpted look.

What’s under the skin also impresses, and new technology abounds. According to Mercedes, the S-Class is the first production car to have 100% LED-based lighting, inside and outside. The automaker says their Intelligent LED headlamps illuminate the road more efficiently than Bi-Xenon units.

S-Class automobiles are packed with safety technologies including cross-traffic and pedestrian detection, night view assist, collision prevention assist and parking assist for both parallel and perpendicular situations.

“There’s even an available perfume dispenser,” Clarke said. “That’s trickled down from the Maybach, and it’s all about driving down the road in luxury.”

Seriously. The perfume dispenser is part of the Air Balance Package, featuring air filtration, ionization and fragrance diffusion. There’s a changeable perfume flask located in the glove compartment.

Under the hood in the S-Class is a 4.7-litre twin turbo V8, producing 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. In the AMG-equipped car, the V8 is capable of 577 horespower and 664 lb-ft of torque.

Brand new for Mercedes-Benz is the CLA-Class, part of what they call their “new generation compact cars”.

“Globally, Mercedes intends to increase sales 30% in the next 10 years,” Clarke explained. “To do that, there’s a group of more affordable Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the pipeline. “They’re smaller, and they will appeal to a more youthful demographic.”

The CLA-Class is the first of these new models, and it will eventually become the Mercedes-Benz entry-level four-door sedan. As of right now, the CLA is actually larger than the current-model C-Class sedan – next year, the C-Class will grow in size, putting the models into their proper order.

“Some of the technology found in the S-Class comes standard in the CLA-Class,” Clarke said.

Rather sleek-looking, the CLA-Class is one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in production.

Two models of the CLA-Class are available, the CLA 250 and the sporty CLA 45 AMG 4Matic. The CLA 250 comes equipped with a 208 hp turbocharged 2.0L inline four. The AMG-equipped model has the most powerful four-cylinder engine in a production car, making 355 hp at 6,000 rpm.

Lone Star Mercedes-Benz has been selling luxury cars in the Calgary market for more than 35 years, and both the S-Class and CLA-Class vehicles are now available for viewing and test drives.

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