The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe was a unique sports car — crazy fast, equipped with crowd-favorite gull-wing doors and seriously expensive; it was a limited production machine meant for an exclusive clientele. When it came time to replace it, Mercedes-Benz decided that it would be better not to and instead go after a segment in which it previously had no entry: the high-end sports car market. Players like the standard bearer Porsche 911 as well as the Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 all operate in this expensive yet still accessible niche, but Mercedes-Benz didn't have a dog in that hunt — until now.
Enter the new 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S. Note that it's not labeled a Mercedes-Benz — this is part of the company's new branding scheme that has created two sub-brands aside from Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach. While the Maybachs will be ultra-luxury cruisers aimed at Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars, AMGs will be serious sports machines, like the GT and the AMG variants of traditional sedans and SUVs in the brand's lineup.
The GT, however, needs to prove if it is a true 911 fighter or not. I tested the GT S version on public roads and at the track to find out.
"The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover is a plush, powerful SUV that offers more off-road capability than most owners will ever need. It remains the ultraluxury SUV benchmark," said Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley. Read Hanley's review for more.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
"For 2015, the Subaru Legacy has overcome the fuel economy penalty of standard all-wheel drive while delivering all-season capability in a handsome package, inside and out," said Cars.com reviewer David Thomas. Check out Thomas' review for more.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
In our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge the Volkswagen GTI bested a field of eight contenders to take the win. However, the redesigned Mini Cooper was not part of that test. Things don't always work out the way you want, but getting a new Cooper S with a manual transmission at the same time as a new GTI with a manual transmission seemed like karma telling us we needed to go driving. OK, maybe it was just a really good excuse to get out of the office.
Related: $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge
Both cars were similarly equipped to the gills with sticker prices totaling more than $33,000 including destination — not exactly "cheap." When all was said and done after a Chicago-area drive route traversing city, suburban and highway roads, the face-off was ridiculously close with the final scoring decided by one point overall.
By William Jackson
Dodge shoots for a broad market with its redesigned Charger, aiming to be a practical family sedan that, if so desired, can have 707 horsepower under the hood. In doing so, Dodge has the unenviable job of making a mass-market car for enthusiasts.
Of course, it's one thing to stuff an enormous engine in a sedan and call it a family car, or to take a track monster and claim it can handle grocery runs. It's a whole other thing to actually pull it off in the real world. Early impressions indicate that Dodge largely succeeds.
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