Mercedes-Benz phasing out V12-powered roadsters

August 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There’s not much new news about the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class vehicles. That may be because the current model is almost eight years old or perhaps because it’s slowly and quietly being phased out.

The SL-Class received a facelift back in 2008 but has fallen off the radar for many since then and fuel economy could be a reason. To combat this Mercedes is discontinuing its twelve-cylinder versions of the SL. The SL600 was the first to go and now the SL65 AMG is getting the chop as well. But it remains unclear if the fixed-roof SL65 AMG Black Series will continue on. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz phasing out V12-powered roadsters” »

Daimler posts record $2.5 billion USD profit

July 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Daimler, the company who owns the Mercedes-Benz brand has just posted a record net profit of $2.5 billion USD for the second quarter of 2011. This has exceeded estimates and marks a 30 percent increase over the same period last year.

The results come from a much increased demand for Mercedes-Benz product, with sales increased to 357,600 units in the quarter, an increase on last year’s already record level of 342,500 units.

The big sellers for Mercedes were the freshly facelifted C-Class range, the S-Class flagship sedan and the new SLK roadster. The Chinese market has also become a gold mine for Mercedes-Benz where demand is currently greater than supply. Continue reading “Daimler posts record $2.5 billion USD profit” »

Mercedes-Benz unleashes C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

July 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz has revealed details of the most potent C-Class ever built, the new C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.

The hardcore version of Mercedes’ C63 AMG Coupe shares the models same naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine but with plenty of mods. There’s forged pistons, conrods and crankshaft a larger oil cooler and a new ECU.  The end result is 380kw of peak power, 22kW more than the C63 AMG with Performance Package and max torque of 620Nm. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is crossed off in 4.2 seconds.

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch AMG Speedshift transmission. The gearbox has four modes and a gear change time of just 100 milliseconds.

Mercedes has equipped the C63 AMG Coupe with an adjustable AMG coil-over sports suspension and upgraded AMG brakes. Filling the guards are  titanium grey forged 19-inch light-alloy wheels. An available option is the AMG Track Package which includes sports tyres and active rear-axle transmission cooling, plus the AMG Aerodynamics package that includes a specially tuned front splitter and an adjustable carbon-fibre rear aerofoil. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz unleashes C63 AMG Coupe Black Series” »

Mercedes-Benz reveals variable-displacement V8 engine

July 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With many auto makers dropping cylinders off their larger engines Mercedes-Benz was rumoured to be developing a hardcore turbocharged V6. But those rumours have now proved false with news that Mercedes is set to continue with a naturally aspirated V8 engine in the next generation of the SLK AMG.

Details have been released before the new sportscar debuts at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The latest AMG powerplant, labeled M152, is based closely on the M157 engine that already sees use in the new CL63 AMG and its four-door brother – the S63 AMG. But the M152 is different in a few key areas, first of all, is the removal of the twin turbochargers. It also uses a new air intake, cylinder heads, valve drive, oil system, crankcase and, most importantly, a Formula One-derived cylinder deactivation system. This new system allows it to cut back to just four cylinders when required and with only four pistons firing, fuel economy is markedly improved. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz reveals variable-displacement V8 engine” »

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster officially unveiled

May 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After much teasing, prompting, rumour and speculation Mercedes-Benz has released full details and images of its new 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. The much anticipated drop-top will receive an official world premiere at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

The gullwing doors of the SLS coupe have had to go but even with conventional doors and body stiffening the convertible only weighs 40kg more than the hard top.

The three-layered fabric soft top will not eat in the roadster model’s boot area as its capacity remains the same with the roof either up or down, and is roughly the same to that of the SLS AMG Coupe. The automated top will come in a choice of three colors – black, beige and a classic red. It opens and closes in eleven seconds, and can be operated at speeds up to 50km/h.

Under the bonnet the roadster shares the coupe’s AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine produces 425kW and 650 Nm of torque. Apparently, even with the slight weight increase the quoted 0-100kph acceleration time for the roadster is 3.7 seconds, down 0.1 second from the coupe’s sprint time. Continue reading “2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster officially unveiled” »

Mercedes-Benz presents history of AMG in six minute video

May 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It was back in 1967 when AMG first formed and began boosting power on Mercedes-Benz vehicles and 44 years later the tuners products are as popular as ever. The two German companies have certainly formed a valuable partnership, and we expect even more progressive and desirable vehicles for years to come.

But before AMG looks into the future, it wants us to understand its past so Mercedes-Benz has prepared a video that provides a brief visual history lesson. It’s a clever and well worked clip that sums up AMG’s full history in just six minutes, complete with rousing music.

Check out the video below. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz presents history of AMG in six minute video” »

Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model

May 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Germany’s military-bred rugged offroader the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is in its final days and to celebrate its success a special edtion model has been revealed. Named the G500 Edition Select it’s based on the long-wheel base G-Wagon body shape.

The Edition Select is powered by Mercedes’ 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine that sends 289kW and 530 Nm of torque to all four wheels through a 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission.

The Edition Select’s exterior gets a two-tone paint treatment, with no extra charge for high-end designer colors of mystic white, palladium silver metallic, thulite red, or obsidian black metallic. Whatever color is chosen, the bumpers, mirrors, and AMG side sills are obsidian black. Unique 18-inch alloy wheels finish the look, while an AMG sport exhaust system makes it sound the business.

In the cabin, the Edition Select gets attractive two-tone leather upholstery in porcelain and black. Those that prefer a more toned-down look can opt for full black leather. A chrome package adds extra trim around the gear selector, seat controls, speakers, and luggage compartment sill. For in car entertainment a 450 watts Harmon Kardon Logic7 surround sound stereo system is included as standard. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model” »

Mercedes-Benz to go hybrid crazy on new C-Class range

March 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Hybrids powertrains are becoming common in all types of vehicles these days – race cars, supercars, luxury cruisers, the applications now seem endless. But the next-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be really pushing hybrid power to the masses according to recent reports.

Company sources have let slip that the next-generation of C-Class, due in late 2013, will feature hybrid drivetrains in almost every model. The only cars that will escape hybrid treatment won’t be the top-spec models but the smallest-displacement diesel-powered cars, which will already achieve excellent fuel economy. With fuel consumption being the major reason for this shift.

Getting emissions down and fuel economy has become vital for almost every manufacturer recently, and even luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz are no exception. Although it seems extreme to make all, or nearly all, of its highest-volume selling cars have hybrid drivetrains it would have a huge impact on the company’s overall fleet rating. It could also have a positive effect on how the brand is perceived.

Smaller engines, including four- and possibly three-cylinder motors, are tipped as the base for the hybrids, with the electric motors making up the rest of the required power. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz to go hybrid crazy on new C-Class range” »