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” »

First sketch of next-gen Mercedes A-Class leaked out

March 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The first sketch shot of the future generation 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class has just been leaked out over the web. This sketch represents the first chance to see the major design changes in Merc’s next-gen A Class, before its official debut at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show. The new A-Class is expected to be revealed next month and will likely go on sale before the end of 2011.

The 2012 Mercedes A-Class seems to borrow quite a few styling elements from the F800 concept, revealed in February 2010 (read news). The new A Class will be given a more dynamic and fluid exterior design, that will place it much closer to a hatchback body style. Initial expectations are that the upcoming A-Class will go on sale with a choice of both petrol and diesel engines. An AMG version is not expected at first, but never rule one out of showing up later especially with this type of sports styling. Continue reading “First sketch of next-gen Mercedes A-Class leaked out” »

Brabus unleashes 700hp SLS AMG on Geneva crowds

March 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from big horsepower mongers Brabus, but it’s now clear that the aftermarket tuner was saving something special for the Geneva Motor Show.

The latest outrageous creation from the German tuner is a new twin-turbocharged version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar that promises a mad output of 700 horsepower (520kW) and 847Nm of torque.

In addition to the frightening powerplant, the modified Merc also looks tougher with Brabus’ Widestar bodykit and a fully customised interior including some trick ambient lighting.

To achieve the massive dose of power, Brabus engineers developed a new twin-turbocharger system for the AMG’s 6.2-litre V-8, which includes high-performance exhaust manifolds, an oversized intercooling system and a dual-flow intake manifold with high-flow air filters. There’s also forged pistons and a remapped ECU with an electronic boost controller.

The end result is staggering performance and combined with the car’s seven-speed automatic transmission, the o-100kph sprint can be achieved in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed 340kph. Continue reading “Brabus unleashes 700hp SLS AMG on Geneva crowds” »

Brabus builds world’s first tuned car to meet new emissions standard

February 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Brabus has become infamous for taking Mercedes-Benz vehicles and upping the power output to make them monsters. But Brabus’ latest achievement is something slightly different as the tuning-house has just announced the world’s first performance tuned vehicle that meets the new Euro VI exhaust emission standard which goes into effect 2014.

The upgrade to the standard Mercedes vehicles is a plug-and-play control unit, named the Brabus Eco PowerXtra D6S module. The high-tech piece of kit achieves an increase in power output of 40.5 kW to 230 kW while peak torque goes from 620 Nm to 690 Nm when installed in a Mercedes-Benz S 350 BlueTEC.  That’s a fair chunk of power for a unit that simply plugs in while staying under the all-important Euro VI limits by 30 percent.

The Brabus ECO PowerXtra D6S kit also comes with a clever feature allowing it to be turned on and off. Through the Mercedes 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission the performance output can remain unchanged at 190 kW when the ‘Eco’ mode is engaged.  However, when the ‘Manual’ or ‘Sport’ mode is selected maximum power output increases to 230 kW at 3,600 rpm. With the power turned up the tuned S 350 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 6.5 seconds, that’s half a second faster than the standard production car. Top speed remains electronically limited to 250 km/h. Continue reading “Brabus builds world’s first tuned car to meet new emissions standard” »