2018 Mercedes AMG GT R

PHOENIX — AMG, the high-performance speed shop for Mercedes, has been hammering out a steady stream of unrestrained, tire-shredding, asphalt-ripping street machines for more than 30 years. The GT R is its latest sports car. If you’re familiar with Germany’s Nurburgring (nickname Green Hell), it’s worth knowing that the GT R got around the track in a record 7 minutes and 10 seconds, which Mercedes claims is a record for rear-wheel-drive cars.

2018 Mercedes AMG C63

PHOENIX — 503 horsepower, 516 lb-ft of torque, AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed transmission. The car is flanked by 19-inch front/20-inch rear AMG forged cross-spoke wheels. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and is brought to a smooth but certain stop with large 15.8-inch cross-drilled and vented ceramic brakes with specially painted brake calipers. All this goodness came wrapped in a gorgeous brilliant blue drop top Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S. This car is the bomb.

2018 Mercedes E400 Coupe

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s nothing wrong with owning a Mercedes E-Class sedan.  They’re very respectable, undeniably responsible luxury cars for the respectable and undeniably responsible.   But, chop off two doors, lower the roofline and suddenly you’re wearing a red dress.  Going back to the 1970s, E-Class coupes have been some of the most desirable and timeless cars to dance out of Germany.  The 2018 E400 is especially ravishing.

2018 Mercedes GLA 250

PHOENIX — The small, compact luxury crossover segment is growing rapidly, with numerous manufacturers flooding the market with a vast choice of vehicles and trim levels. Audi Q3, BMW X1, Infiniti QX30 are just a few, with Jaguar’s new E Pace going on sale in 2018. We last drove the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, the German automaker’s first compact crossover utility vehicle, shortly after it was introduced back in 2015. It’s actually more of a hatchback than an SUV and is smaller than the company’s GLC compact crossover.

Mercedes C43 convertible — Fresh-air thrills

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

In our current automotive world dominated by crossover SUVs and pickup trucks, true four-place convertibles are becoming obsolete. A majority of open air rides are small sports cars that are primarily designed for two. But not at Mercedes-Benz, which builds virtually every possible configuration of  every vehicle in every segment under its vast portfolio. For instance, if you are enamored of the new compact C Class, there can be a convertible in your future that will seat four adults without sacrificing style, performance or interior comfort.

2018 Mercedes E-Class Coupe

VANCOUVER, B.C. — As American drivers persist in their unquenchable thirst for luxury SUVs and crossovers, the popularity of coupes, in particular, continues to decline; they make up less than 2.5 percent of all new vehicles sold. Yet, auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz see an opportunity in a market segment being abandoned by others.

2017 Mercedes AMG GLS63

PHOENIX — In case you haven’t been paying attention, the definition of upper social class, prestige, luxury motoring is now the SUV, having supplanted large luxury sedans from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche as the choice vehicle for the global one percent. That certainly includes the seven-passenger Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 tested here.

2017 Mercedes CLA250

INDIANAPOLIS — Every generation of entry-level compact Mercedes endured criticisms.  My grandmother loved her 1987 190E and drove it 170,000 miles, but that car received constant carping from journalists for its cramped interior, underpowered engine, and supposedly low-rent interior materials.  Having driven many 190E miles, the first two were correct, but the last is nonsense.  I’ve heard similar carping about today’s compact Mercedes, the CLA250.

2017 Mercedes SL65 AMG

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — If you are going to cruise Key Biscayne, Fla., you might as well do it in a 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL65 Roadster, right? Right. Normally I wouldn’t evaluate a car with which I had only spent 30 minutes; but because it was and will probably be my only opportunity to pilot this $217,000-plus roadster, I’ll go with it. I am an opportunist at heart.

2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG G65

MOAB, Utah — It’s a military vehicle in most of the world including the U.S. Marine Corps and in the civilian market it’s hugely popular with the likes of the Russian mafia, professional superballers who can consistently hit 3-point falling away jump shots, cardiothoracic surgeons (for some odd reason) and heavily armed gun toting bad guys in action movies.