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L.A. Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz SUV ready for zombie apocalypse

Published November 29, 2012

One thing’s for certain, if the Zombie Apocalypse does come to pass, Mercedes-Benz has got it covered. Unveiled at a sneak preview in Beverly Hills the day before the show, the Ener-G-Force concept is three-parts Geländewagen and one part Mad Max.

Presented as a hydrogen powered vehicle, the Ener-G-Force features roof-mounted water collectors – which help fuel the hydrogen cell, and are emitted as harmless vapour.

But the futuristic SUV could easily be adapted to accept an electric powertrain — the running boards double as slide-out battery trays and it does have a charge port.

Live blog: Wheels.ca at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

All external features such as roof racks, bumpers and rally lights are smoothly integrated into the body.

It’s highly unlikely the Ener-G-Force will roll off the production line any time soon. But, with its pull-out hidden tool kit, and the ability to assess the terrain and adapt its suspension accordingly – the Ener-G-Force should be well-equipped to handle whatever is thrown at a post-apocalyptic highway patrol vehicle in the year 2025.

Later that evening, the Jeremy Scott Fortwo made its world debut at the Jim Henson studios in Hollywood. The second thing we encountered after passing through the historic, Charlie Chaplin designed gates (the first being a giant Kermit gate-post) was the stuffed and mounted head of one of Maurice Sendak’s mythical jungle creatures. Fitting, as we were to discover, as this was definitely where the “wild things are” tonight.

The result of a collaboration between Smart engineers and the fashion designer best known for his wildly inventive Lady Gaga ensembles, the EV creation was dubbed “an electrifying love story”.

Introduced by top recording artist M.I.A., the Smart ForJeremy concept, like most of Scott’s fanciful footwear, boasts wings. It’s rare that a car company will allow a designer such free rein with the actual lines of a vehicle and Scott’s playful hand continues into the ethereal white cabin. Protruding chrome air vents are inspired by “the cone bra, because air vents usually don’t get no love” said Scott. The crowd, primarily Scott devotees, was a mixed bag of Babylon 5 extras and Plushy conventioneers.

On the L.A. show stage, Ola Kalenius, CEO for Mercedes-Benz AMG claimed, “The SLS Black Series is what happens when our engineers are allowed to go crazy”. Making its entrance with an intoxicating growl, the SLS Black Series takes the gullwing roadster – already a formidable performer in the AMG stable, and transforms it into raucous, race-track ready behemoth.

Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the Black Series has a carbon fibre hood and side skirts, matte black alloys, rear diffuser and flared fenders. Optional is a carbon fibre wing.

A glorious 6.3L, naturally-aspirated V8 boasts 622 hp, and a redline of 8,000 rpm. The retuned, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sits lower for better weight distribution and the track has been widened for better balance. A host of weight reduction exercises give the SLS Black Series a 70 lb. advantage over the SLS GT race car – including a titanium exhaust system.

The Black Series will sprint from 0-100 km/hr in 3.5 seconds. It will be available in very limited numbers in the summer of 2013.

It’s been called the “world’s fastest passenger car”. Making its North American debut, the GL63 AMG SUV is the newest model to join the GL lineup and its first high-performance member.

Flared fenders not only add body width, they accommodate 21-inch AMG alloys. The front fascia features gaping air intakes, while V8 BiTurbo fender badges declare this to be one fast ute. A seven-passenger SUV that will do 0-100 km/hr in under 5 seconds, the GL63′s 5.5L twin-turbo, 550 hp V8 ensures that this is the quickest trip to soccer practice the kids will ever make.

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