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2016 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster Gets Upgraded With More Power, 9-Speed Auto

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Mercedes-AMG SL, R 231, 2015

Premium German automaker Mercedes-Benz has given the Mercedes SL roadster a mid-cycle refresh and used the 2015 LA Auto Show to show off the improved sports car.

Cosmetically, the 2017 SL Roadster is now more in line with the rest of Mercedes-Benz’s sports car lineup, particularly the AMG GT, featuring a large diamond grille, AMG-GT-inspired LED headlight design, and a restyled front bumper incorporating large air intakes.

The taillights have also been redesigned and now have all-red graphics, as have been the large diffuser and chrome exhaust pipes.

Inside, the upgraded SL Roadster features a bigger display on the center console for Mercedes-Benz’s latest COMAND infotainment system, a new watch on the dashboard, carbon fiber trim elements (AMG models), and a new controller that lets the driver choose between five different driving modes: Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race.

The revisions inside and out of the SL Roadster are complimented by “more powerful engines” linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission, with the entry-level SL450 (SL400 in Europe) boasting a V6 that has been uprated to produce 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. (500 Nm) of torque.

The mid-level SL550 continues on with the previous 4.7-liter V8 rated at 449 horsepower, while the AMG-tuned SL63 cranks out 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft. (900 Nm) of twist from a 5.5-liter V8.

Finally, the range-topping SL65 AMG is still powered by a beastly 6.0-liter V12 engine that puts to the ground 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft. (1,000 Nm) of torque.

The active suspension system has been upgraded with a new ‘Curve’ mode that lets the SL lean into corners, reducing the effects of lateral acceleration on occupants. The system automatically lowers the sports car by more than a half inch at high speeds and lifts it by almost two inches when driving on poor surfaces.

Are you pleased with the updates the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster brings to market? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Buick

Buick Cascada Convertible Is Dead After 2019, And It Likely Won’t Return

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2019 Buick Cascada Convertible, red

It was virtually invisible, so no one is going to miss it.

Buick has confirmed that the Cascada convertible will be discontinued after the 2019 model year, so act fast if you still want one.

Rumors of the Cascada’s demise began popping up in late 2018 when Opel — which was formerly owned by General Motors — announced plans to stop building its version of the car in Poland. The model had reached the end of its product life cycle, so many questioned its fate.

“The Cascada has played its role in the portfolio perfectly, outselling many other premium convertibles while bringing in [six of every 10] buyers from outside GM,” a Buick spokesperson told . Buick sold about 17,000 examples of the Cascada since adding the model to its portfolio for the 2016 model year, a measly figure that isn’t surprising considering the little advertising its received.

Production ends in the summer of 2019, and with Opel now owned by Peugeot and the convertible segment experiencing a perceptible decline all over the world, the odds of the Cascada being replaced in North America are slim to none.

The Cascada won’t be the only Buick to get the ax in 2019 — the LaCrosse full-size sedan will join it.

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Convertibles

New Porsche 911 Cabriolet Is Ready For Your Summer Enjoyment

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New, 2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet Convertible

This version of the latest 911 offers unlimited headroom for your open-air driving enjoyment.

Not long after unveiling the all-new, , Porsche has taken its roof off to give us the 911 Cabriolet.

With the exception of the soft top, Porsche’s new convertible is nearly identical to the coupe. The soft top can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h), with new roof hydraulics reducing the opening time to around 12 seconds and an electrically-extendable wind deflector helping keep driver and passenger warm.

Only the Carrera S Cabriolet and Carrera 4S Cabriolet will be available at launch, both powered by a turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder rated at 443 horsepower (450 PS) and 391 lb-ft. of torque, paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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The Carrera S Cabriolet can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds or 3.7 seconds when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package, hitting a top speed of up to 190 mph (306 km/h). The Carrera 4S Cabriolet, on the other hand, completes the sprint in 3.8 seconds (3.6 seconds with the Sport Chrono package) before capping out at 189 mph (304 km/h).

The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet starts at $126,100 in the United States, while the Carrera 4S Cabriolet kicks off at $133,400.

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Concept Car

Lexus LC Convertible Concept Previews Stylish Drop-Top Roadster

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Lexus LC Convertible Concept

The rumors about the LC 500 getting a droptop version were true after all.

Lexus has revealed the LC Convertible Concept, which likely previews an upcoming open-top roadster and hints at a shift in the LC’s design language.

Presented as a roadster, the LC Convertible Concept is designed to express “ultimate beauty” and serve as an aspirational halo vehicle for the entire Lexus lineup. Its proportions are nearly identical to the LC Coupe but stands out with a steeply-raked windshield and a contoured trunk lid.

“This concept takes the unmistakable design of the LC coupe and reimagines it as a future convertible,” said Tadao Mori, chief designer of the LC Convertible concept. “It blends all the best aspects of the original coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible.”

The interior features white leather trim, contrasted by yellow accent stitching to break up an otherwise monochrome look.

The Lexus LC Convertible Concept appears to be close to production-ready. Do you want one?

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