AUTOS

L.A. Auto Show: Mercedes unveils AMG and Maybach models

Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan: Massaging seats (with legrests), V-12 engine and Champagne flutes

While most automakers are content to bring one model to the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is unleashing several garages full of high-end hardware.

The German luxury brand on Wednesday unveiled the all-new Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan, the S550 plug-in hybrid, a facelifted and expanded CLS lineup, and two new models from its performance arm, Mercedes-AMG -- the AMG GT and C63 performance sedan.

"We have big plans for the next generation of what we call dream cars ... the hugest expression of the Mercedes Benz brand," said Mercedes President and CEO Stephen Cannon as he unveiled the machines on Wednesday.

The Mercedes-Maybach line is the most exclusive the automaker offers. The Maybach name may be familiar; Mercedes used it a decade ago for a failed stab at the ultra-premium market ($400,000 - $500,000). In that effort, Mercedes tried in vain to market Maybach as a wholly separate brand.

This new division is a sub-brand with slightly more modest goals. It gives Mercedes an answer to the “entry level” models from Bentley (owned by Volkswagen) and Rolls Royce (owned by BMW). The first model is the $200,000 Mercedes-Maybach S600 that made its world debut in L.A. 

The car is a long-wheelbase version of the Mercedes S600, using nearly all of the new car’s extra 8.1 inches for heaps of additional rear-seat legroom.

Mercedes claims the new Maybach S600 is the quietest sedan in the world. The cabin is lined with heated, cooled massaging seats that recline and include legrests; leather, wood and chrome everywhere; individual climate control; and hand-crafted, silver-plated Champagne flutes.

The car is powered by the same twin-turbocharged V-12 engine as the base S600, cranking out 523 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Despite its girth, the car can still do a 0-to-60 mph run in 5 seconds, Mercedes said. The car will hit the market in April.

Meanwhile, things have been similarly busy Mercedes’ other new subbrand, AMG. These uber-gearheads are out with an all-new sports car, the AMG GT. The two-door coupe targets the Porsche 911, Jaguar’s F-Type R, Aston Martin’s V-8 Vantage GT, Audi’s R8 and Nissan’s GT-R.

The rear-wheel-drive GT S goes on sale next spring while the more basic GT model lands in 2016. Both models use a new twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. In the GT S, it makes 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Zero-to-60 mph rushes by in 3.7 seconds, according to Mercedes.

The base price is expected to be between $130,000 and $140,000.

The GT will have 456 horsepower, 443 pound-feet of torque, a 3.9 second zero-to-60 mph time, and a base price of between $110,000 and $120,000. Both models have a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The AMG GT will share its motor with the all-new C63, also breaking cover at the L.A. show. The compact performance sedan competes with BMW’s M3, and the Cadillac ATS-V that’s also debuting in L.A..

Like the AMG GT, the C63 will come in regular and extra-strength (S) versions. They’ll use the same twin-turbo V-8 but with different power outputs. The base model will have 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque and can hit 60 mph in 4 seconds.

The S will have 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and will do zero-to-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. A seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters will be standard on both.

"As an engineer and sports car fan I can promise you this car is really, really fast and suitable for everyday use," Tobias Moers, chairman of the management board at Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes’ sleek CLS four-door coupe also gets some attention in L.A, where it makes its U.S. debut. The lineup gets a refresh midway through its lifespan that adds the new CLS400 as a base model, and drops a new transmission in the CLS550.

The new entry point to the CLS family comes with a 3.0-liter V-6 with 329 horsepower, a seven-speed automatic transmission and a $65,990 starting price. An all-wheel-drive 4Matic version starts at $68,490.

The CLS550 retains its 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 402 horsepower. But it adds a new nine-speed automatic transmission in the name of efficiency. This upgrade moves fuel economy to 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway, up from 17 mpg and 25 mpg, respectively. The CLS550 starts at $73,200.

The $106,550 CLS63 AMG continues its barnstorming mission with a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 577 horsepower.

Twitter: @latimes_driven

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