2016 was a HUGE news year for us at Star Motors of Ottawa Mercedes-Benz. Massive product announcements, regional inventory struggles, new staff at the dealership, a new technological flagship, huge sales volumes – there’s been a lot of news this year for sure.
This post is going to recap a lot of stuff that was covered in the news media, so whether you’re new to the brand and you’re just diving in, or you’re a longtime MB fan and you’re looking to catch up on the latest, you’re in the right place.
So in no particular order, here’s some of the best Mercedes-Benz highlights from 2016 (with links)!
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class light truck
Announced late October of this year, Mercedes-Benz is entering into the light truck arena, with the world’s first true luxury truck. Build on the same base platform as the Nissan Navara pickup, the X-Class is expected to rock a turbodiesel 6-cylinder engine and a robust 4×4 drivetrain.
No North American release is planned until the truck is tested in their key target markets Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia with New Zealand, and Europe.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The new E-Class shines a spotlight on where Mercedes-Benz feels they want to go with their new round of redesigns of the product lineup. Expect to see the stardust LED taillights and multibeam LED headlights migrate onto the S-Class refresh coming soon, and I’ll actually predict right now that from the C-Class up, the dual screen layout with the fully digital layout will be part of the go-to premium package on the whole lineup. It’ll be the big deal that separates Benz from the rest.
With a new sedan already on showroom floors, the E43 on it’s way, the E63 right behind it pushing 600+ horsepower (pictured above), and with the announcements of the E-Class Estate wagon and the new 2018 E-Class coupe, these cars are now hands down the best products we sell, both in terms of build quality and technology available.
The redesigned E-Class from tip to tail is a live, drivable, buyable concept car for the next 5-6 years of Mercedes design, and I can’t wait to see where that path leads.
The AMG GT-R
The successor to the outgoing SLS AMG, the new AMG GT debuted in 2016 in Canada as a GT S model alone. Designed to take on the Porsche 911, this is the first car entirely designed and built by AMG as a track monster. Newly announced this year, the AMG GT R is the next evolution in the improvement and tuning of this design, and it’s creating a lot of buzz.
Retro front grill, huge rear spoiler and this gorgeous ‘Green Hell’ design MAGNO matte paint finish combine with some brutal power under the hood – 577 HP and 518 lb-ft of torque.
We expect a further evolution of this design into the return of the AMG Black Series GT later on, but for now, this is the king of the hill for Mercedes-AMG racing coupes.
The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 concept
If AMG is the sport-racing wing of Mercedes-Benz, Maybach swings the needle in the other direction, aiming for ultra-luxury designed to compete with the likes of Bentley and Rolls Royce. The sub-brand resurfaced in a big way with the 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600, a powerful luxury upgrade to what is already one of the best cars on the road in the Mercedes S-Class.
Announced and released to the public eye in 2016 is the Vision 6 Maybach coupe – a concept car designed to signify that Maybach is very well on their way to building their own AMG GT – but this one should be one of the most comfortable, well appointed and special road cruisers you can buy. With cameras for rear view mirrors, razor thin LED lights and outlandish proportions in every direction, the critical reception for the styling and design is unmistakeable.
Maybach is just gearing up, and if any of their next production cars look anything like the Vision 6 concept, buyers will be in for a treat.
The 43 AMG model lineup
For years now Mercedes-Benz has frittered around with it’s mid-sized, goldilocks-tuned versions of their cars. Not everyone wants the comfortable efficiency of a small, robust engine, and not everyone wants to go full AMG with twin turbo V8s jamming out 500+ HP and RWD.
For those of us that want a little of that AMG-tuned driving goodness paired with a flexible engine and powertrain that provides the option for weekend fun OR just casual daily commuting, the ’43’ lineup finally nails it.
Engine by Mercedes, steering, suspension and exhaust by AMG, and AMG tuning of the Benz transmission and 4MATIC system for performance driving gives the perfect balance and mix of sport, comfort and luxury while sacrificing nothing save for the very top echelon of power and sport poise on the track – which most of the people buying these cars would never use anyways.
And what’s best is this flexible powertrain is rolled out right across the board: C43 AMG sedan and coupe, E43 AMG sedan and coupe, GLC43 AMG SUV and coupe, GLE43 SUV and coupe – all the core vehicles now have this excellent powertrain available for them and the reviews are stellar.
If these vehicles fit your budget comfortably, the new 43 lineup is the place to be with Mercedes-AMG. 🙂
The completely redesigned Smart fortwo
Launched in 2016 is the 3rd generation of the Smart fortwo, a car that’s generally been panned in the past as a strangely driving vehicle. An anemic CVT transmission that shifts like a sledgehammer contributed largely to a driving characteristic that most would call strained. Well, not any more.
Released in 2016, this fully redesigned Smart fortwo is starting to turn into a real car, using a smart dual clutch automatic transmission and reworking the interior and exterior styling to make the car more fun, usable and functional, while retaining the core strength of the vehicle – it’s compact, easy to drive and easy to park.
If you’d considered a Smart car in the past and decided to go another direction, you owe the new 2016 Smart another look. This is a purpose built car for a very specific sort of clientele, and it’s the best version of the Smart fortwo ever built.
Record breaking Mercedes-Benz sales results
2016 was our best year ever and we achieved record-breaking results in all of the following categories…
- Mercedes-Benz combined sales of 48,320 units (up 8.5%)
- Mercedes-Benz passenger car and light truck sales of 40,526 units (up 4.0%)
- Mercedes-Benz passenger car sales of 21,243 units
- Mercedes-Benz luxury light truck sales of 19,283 units (up 8.5%)
- Mercedes-Benz Pre-Owned sales reach 12,700 units
- Mercedes-Benz Vans sales reach 5,919 units (up 22.4%)
- Mercedes-AMG sales up 84% (!!)
An excerpt from our press release below.
Mercedes-Benz Canada is delighted to announce that the company and its dealer network once again exceeded previously-established all-time records, with 48,320 Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, vans and smart units delivered in 2016, representing a growth of 8.5% or 3,794 additional vehicles delivered over 2015.
This outstanding result marked the third consecutive year in which the company has been the top luxury manufacturer in Canada. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz passenger car and luxury light truck sales totaled 40,526 units. This exceeded last year’s sales figures by 4.0% or 1,550 units.
Mercedes-Benz Canada retailed a total of 21,243 passenger cars, which is more or less on par with last year’s sales figures. Luxury light truck sales amounted to 19,283 units, for a notable increase of 8.5% or 1,509 units.
Mercedes F1 championship and Nico Rosberg retires
Mercedes has been dominant for the past few years now, just destroying all challengers in the battle for F1 supremacy. Lewis Hamilton has been a stellar pilot for them, but his wingman Nico Rosberg was the one to really shock the F1 racing world this year.
Battling Hamilton all year for the Driver’s Championship, Rosberg snuck out a big win in Abu Dhabi and then prompty retired from the racing world, leaving Mercedes PETRONAS F1 without a second driver – a spot they have still yet to fill.
Mercedes-Benz diesel droughts due to VW’s mistakes
In the wake of Volkswagen’s snafu regarding their diesel emissions, many automotive manufacturers were inspired to re-certify and audit their own diesels to avoid the same financial burdens and destruction of public trust that VW is currently enduring.
Mercedes-Benz is no different. The popular turbo diesel engine mated to the old ML / new GLE class and the old GL / new GLS class vehicles are now in high demand as new GLE/GLS vehicles are unavailable with the diesel as of the last half of 2016 and the first half of 2017 to come.
Due to the time and resource intensive process of the re-certification process, the C class and GLC class diesels have been scrapped for 2017, as well as all 4-cylinder diesels models scheduled for production. Instead, the focus will be on re-certifying the 6-cylinder diesels for the GLE/GLS as soon as possible – at this time we expect to see the new diesels land for Q3 next year.
Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have any questions about any of this stuff or you’d simply like to know more!
~ James 🙂