Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers

August 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes has announced that its full-on competition spec SLS AMG GT3 is available for order and will be priced from €334,000 plus taxes ($606,000 NZ).

The car is on sale now and deliveries will begin in February next year to allow teams plenty of time to prepare for the 2011 season. The GT3 class for production based sports cars is really heating up these days with Mercedes now joining Audi, BMW and Porsche.

The SLS AMG GT3 car features a reworked nose, a ventilated hood, a carbon fibre front splitter, special rear diffuser, and a massive wing at the rear. Other racing extras include a carbon-fibre (CFRP) safety cell, a steel braking system, a six-speed sequential racing transmission (with steering wheel mounted paddles), and a high-tech integrated multi-disc locking differential.

Power comes from a 6.3-litre V8 engine, which interestingly is virtually identical to the motor found in the standard SLS AMG. In terms of performance, the car will accelerate from 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed above 300 km/h. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers” »

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing kicks off NZ tour

August 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing has arrived for the first time in New Zealand and will be on show from this weekend. The good news is everyone will get a chance to see this retro-inspired high-tech machine as it travels around the country on a nationwide tour.

This NZD$450,000 car is the jewel in the Mercedes-Benz crown. It’s the first of only nine SLS Gullwings that will land in New Zealand this year (seven of these have already been sold to customers).

For most of us, this is a car lotto dreams are made of, yet this weekend Aucklanders will be the first to get up close and personal with the SLS Gullwing as Coutts Newmarket holds an open day for the public. First released in 1954, the 2010 SLS Gullwing is a reinterpretation of the ‘Sports Car of the Century’, the original Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

“The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing is one of those very special vehicles, a car steeped in nostalgia and history. Quite simply it sets pulses racing. When we received our allocation of nine of these beauties we knew we had to give all Kiwis the opportunity to see an important piece of motoring history,” says Coby Duggan, Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car General Manager.

The vehicle is the reborn 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The original ‘Gullwing’ vehicle crowned Sports Car of the Century was the fastest production car of its day.

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing kicks off NZ tour” »

Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)

August 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Sales of the all new 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG begin globally next month, and Mercedes have released more images and specs on the upcoming super sedan.

Power for the S63 AMG will come from the new 5.5-litre twin-turbo AMG V-8 under the bonnet delivering up to 571 horsepower and a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque. The standard S63 is rated at 544 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which can be upgraded by 27 horsepower and 74 pound-feet with the addition of the AMG Performance package. Acceleration times are rapid for a luxury sedan at 4.5 seconds to 100 kph for the standard S63 and 4.4 seconds for the AMG machine.

Swapping the cogs is done automatically by a standard 7-speed AMG SpeedShift MCT transmission. Three different driving modes make for differing characteristics.

AMG triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/40 front and 275/40 rear tyres help get all the power to the ground, and a braking system based on Mercedes Adaptive Brake technology gives strong stopping power thanks to double floating front calipers and standard rear sliding calipers.

The S63 AMG can be bought in either long- or short-wheelbase platforms and is priced in Europe from 128,800 Euros.

See images of the S63 AMG in the gallery and check out a video below. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)” »

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon armoured concept revealed

July 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

If you ever wanted to own a military-spec armoured vehicle the demise of Hummer would have come as a major blow. But don’t cry into your milk just yet because Mercedes has just introduced a new armoured truck concept to the international defence industry.  Named the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle 6.X the concept was shown off for the first time last month in Paris.

Based on another armoured vehicle called the LAPV 5.4, the 6.X can carry larger and heavier cargo, while offering better protection and increased agility. While powertrain details are scarce it uses a diesel mill that allows the concept to hit 150 km/h even when carrying 1,300 kilograms of weight.

In terms of protection it uses as armour plate design, that lets repair teams quickly remove and replace damaged pieces.  Additional armour plates can also be installed if things get real sketchy. The armour also protects the vehicle from land mines with plates that can be added at the LAPV’s floor.

Other special features on the off-roader include variable air shock absorbers that can be adjusted on the fly to provide up to 450mm of clearance. Hydraulic brakes with ventilated discs were also added to make rough terrain easier to handle.

By working in with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, Mercedes have fitted the LAPV out with a mobile command centre that uses a data recorder, communications system, and jamming system.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Mexico

May 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Mexico

Mercedes-Benz unveils CLS Shooting Break concept (+video)

April 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes has just unveiled its hotly anticipated new four-door coupe concept. The new Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break concept has just been revealed and offers a preview to the upcoming 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS, which will compete with the Audi A7, BMW 5-Series GT, and Porsche Panamera.

With a long bonnet, flared rear wheel arches, deep character lines across the car’s flanks, and a swooping roofline, the concept is nicely proportioned.

Motivation comes from a new direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 306 horsepower (225 kW) and up to 370 Nm (273 ft-lb) of torque.

Interesting features on the concept include headlights made from 71 LED lights that can give the driver five different settings depending on conditions. The car rides on one-off five-spoke 20-inch silver wheels, which conform well with the satin-finish allanite grey paint work.

Inside, the car is finished in cream and brown leather with the use of cream colouring making the concept feel large and comfortable. This is reinforced by a large glass roof that extends over most of the cabin. Behind the rear seats are special storage units designed to fit items like a laptop or tool kit.  A flat wooden floor adorns the loading area making sliding luggage into the vehicle easy.

The Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break concept will be heading into production over the next year, so too will the engine and the trick LED headlights.  The efficient engine, fitted with stop/start, should also be set for use in other vehicles.

Check out images and a video of the Shooting Break concept by clicking on the link below.

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz unveils CLS Shooting Break concept (+video)” »

Michael Schumacher in Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Commercial

April 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The advertisment for the new Mercedes SLS AMG, featuring MercedesGP driver Michael Schumacher.

Vath tunes Mercedes-Benz G55 to 680 horses

April 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The old faithful Mercedes-Benz G Class is a relatively rare beast here in NZ, especially in the top spec G55 AMG form. While the AMG-badged G Wagen is a serious machine, the tuning team at Väth have decided to up the ante on the hardcore Benz SUV to the tune of 680 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque. This marks output increases of 180 hp and 104 lb-ft over a factory-fresh G55, perfect for those moments when you have to haul it in your offroader.

The engine tuning involves tweaks like a new intake manifold, a revised outlet system, new coolers and Väth’s bespoke fuel cooler. Combined it aids in the healthy power increase, but it also allows the G55 to reach a top cruising speed of 265 kph. To manage the extra power, Väth has lowered the G55 and fitted sport shock absorbers and hardcore 15.4-inch sport brake discs.

Visual upgrades include LED daytime running lamps, Xenon foglights, a sport exhaust system out back and 22-inch light metal rims shod in 295/35 Yokohama ADV ST tyres. In the cabin, carbon fibre inserts have been added to the standard leather trim, and a new sport steering wheel features Alcantara upholstery.