Tag Archives: 2011

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon

15 May

By Matt McCarron

Spirited driving and taking the family on the annual summer vacation are not something that usually go hand-in-hand. However, Mercedes-Benz has managed to create a vehicle that’s capable of fulfilling both of these desires at the same time.

Mercedes-Benz announced it will produced the 2012 E63 AMG Wagon for the U.S. market,  joining the E63 AMG Sedan which is already on sale. The E63 AMG wagon will be in direct competition with Cadillac CTS-V Wagon.

Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America

To counter the CTS-V Wagon, and its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 which produces 556 hp and 551 lb-ft, the 2012 E63 AMG Wagon will feature the same powertrain as the sedan variant. This means a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, producing 518 hp and 516 lb-ft or 550 hp and 590 lb-ft with the optional AMG performance package.

The 2012 E63 AMG Wagon also shares a number of other characteristics with the Sedan, including the AMG seven-speed MCT transmission, ECO stop/start technology and 19-inch AMG 10-spoke wheels. In addition to the above mention features the Wagon also gets a standard panorama sunroof.

Pricing for the 2012 E63 AMG Wagon has not been released. However, judging by the 2011 sedan’s base MSRP of $87,600, you can expect the 2012 E63 AMG Wagon to have a slightly higher starting price when it goes on sale this October.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

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Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better

28 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: Courtesy Porsche North America

Car manufacturers often make special or limited production vehicles. However, very few take it to the level and extreme Porsche has. First they released the model 997.2 GT3, then the critically acclaimed and even more extreme GT3 RS. But now they’ve really done it. Porsche has taken the GT3 model line to the very limits of what seems possible with a flat six-cylinder engine, producing what could be, the very essence of a street and track car.

Enter the GT3 RS 4.0. The vehicle, which will be limited to only 600 units worldwide, has the largest displacement engine ever offered in a 911, a 4.0-liter flat six punching out 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and 337 lb/ft at 5,750 rpm. That’s 50 horsepower more than the GT3 RS with a 3.8-liter flat six. In addition to having the largest engine the GT3 RS 4.0 has the most powerful output per-liter of any 911 engine ever produced, with 125 horsepower per liter.

All of this horspower, and a power to weight ratio of just 5.99 lbs/hp allows this special 911 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, unchanged from the regular GT3 RS. However, while the 0-60 times might be the same, the difference in track times between the GT3 RS 3.8 and 4.0 on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack are drastic. The GT3 RS 3.8 recorded an official time of 7 minutes and 33 seconds, while the 4.0 lapped the famous “Green Hell” in 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Six seconds might not seem like a lot, but in the world of motorsports it’s a lifetime.

This improvement is possible because of weight reduction. With carbon fiber sport bucket seats, carbon fiber front fenders and luggage compartment lid the GT3 RS 4.0 weighs in at only 2,998 lbs (full tank of fuel). Other cosmetic changes include large rear wing and speical “4.0” badging on the engine lid and lower left-hand corner of the doors. The GT3 RS 4.0 also has a unique gray line, with red accents running from the nose of the hood all the way back to the rear.

The GT3 RS 4.0 is available in Carrera White and will go on sale in the U.S. beginning in late 2011 at a base MSRP of $185,000 (plus destination).

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

New York Auto Show 2011: E63 AMG gets new engine, forced induction

24 Apr

By Matt McCarron

The days of the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated engine are gradually coming to a close in many of the current AMG models. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the refreshed MY2012 E63 AMG at the 2011 New York International Auto Show on April 20 with a new power plant under the hood. The new engine, a 5.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 replaces the outgoing 6.2-liter naturally aspirated unit. The 5.5-liter blown beast produces 518 hp and 516 lb-ft, and can be increased to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft with the optional AMG Performance Package. Regardless of the impressive performance numbers Mercedes claims the new engine results in a 22 percent decrease in fuel consumption, in accordance the European Driving Cycle (EDC).

The new engine achieves increased fuel economy with the help of new technological gadgets. The MY2012 E63 AMG features an Eco stop/start system, which when placed in the Controlled Efficiency “C” mode shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. When in “C” mode, the vehicle as starts in second gear and shifts earlier, reducing the amount of fuel needed to power the vehicle. Another new feature adding to the increase fuel efficiency is an all-new electromechanical AMG steering system. The system doesn’t use any fuel when traveling in a straight line, rather only when the vehicle is being steered.

However, if you’re getting concerned the new E63 AMG might have lost some of its potency, fear not. In addition to the fuel sipping “C” mode, the seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission also has the familiar “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual) modes which consume plenty of fuel.

The MY2012 E63 AMG also comes with an upgraded interior, complete with all of the leather-trimmed luxuries AMG customers have come to expect. Characteristic AMG exterior styling rounds out the package with new lightweight alloy wheels, wider front fenders and AMG rocker panels and a sports exhaust with chrome plated tips.

The new MY2012 E63 AMG will go on sale in the U.S. starting in the fall.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Audi’s first hybrid SUV: the Q5 Hybrid Quattro

3 Mar

By Matt McCarron

Audi has unveiled the Q5 hybrid quattro, making Audi the latest competitor in the hybrid SUV market. The Q5 will compete with Porsche’s Cayenne S Hybrid and BMW’s ActiveHybrid X6.

Audi’s Q5 hybrid quattro will have significantly less horsepower and torque than either the Porsche or BMW variants. The Q5 hybrid quattro is powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engine and an electric motor. The two power plants together creates 245 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. This allows the Q5 hybrid quattro to get an estimated 33 mpg.

In comparison, the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing a whopping 400 HP between 5,500-6,400 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The added electric engine brings the total horsepower to 480. In terms of performance, the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid falls in between the BMW and Audi. The Cayenne S Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine, producing 333 HP. The electric motor produces 47 HP, bringing the total to 380.

Audi Q5 hybrid quattro: Photo Courtesy of http://www.insideline.com

The Q5 hybrid quattro is the first hybrid SUV to be very dependent on electric power, in order to achieve a sporty vehicle that can have excellent fuel efficiency. The electric motor can drive up to speeds of 62 mph on electric-only power. The electric motor’s capabilities is made possible by a lithium-ion battery weighing only 83 lbs.

The Q5 hybrid quattro is equipped with an 8-speed tiptronic transmission, which has been extensively modified to handle the power of both systems without the aid of a torque converter. In addition to the tiptronic transmission, the Q5 hybrid quattro features five different driving modes. These modes are operated depending on the manner in which the driver is operating the vehicle. When the Q5 hybrid quattro is stopped at traffic light both the internal combustion and electric systems are deactivated. When the driver releases the brake pedal the vehicle beings to operate on electric power, which is available up to 62 mph. The driver can also select the driving mode they would like via a button on the center console or gear selector. The “EV” mode gives priority to the electrical system when in city conditions. The other two options includes “D” mode, which gives the vehicle it best fuel efficiency, and “S’ mode if the driver chooses to enjoy a sportier drive.

Although the Q5 hybrid quattro is just that, a hybrid vehicle. It also retains it’s purpose and versatility as a SUV. The Q5 hybrid quattro is capable of towing loads up to 4,409 lbs. The Q5’s body and chassis structure is also the lightest available on the world hybrid SUV market. It utilizes aluminum and hot-shaped steel on many areas of the body, providing the Q5 hybrid quattro with a body that’s both lightweight and very strong.

The Q5 hybrid quattro is scheduled to make its first appearance in foreign showrooms in the late part of this year. Pricing hasn’t been released. However, based on the MSRP’s of the two 2.0-liter gasoline versions, the Q5 hybrid quattro should fall in low to mid $40,000 range.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Audi A3 Concept Debuts in Geneva

1 Mar

By Matt McCarron

The Audi A3 sedan concept debuted at the 81st Geneva International Auto Show earlier this morning. The A3 sedan concept takes many of its characteristics from the European-only Audi RS3 Sportback.

The chassis of the A3 concept was designed and engineered to the same specifications of the RS3. The result is a chassis featuring a McPherson front suspension with seperate axle support. Many of pieces that make up the A3 concept’s suspension are made of lighter aluminum instead of steel.

The power plant under the hood of the A3 concept is a 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine, capable of producing 408 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque between 1,600-5,300 rpm. All of this horsepower and torque enables the A3 concept to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and is able to reach a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). Accompanying the performance figures, the fuel economy of the A3 sedan concept is equally acceptable. The A3 concept is estimated to get 25 mpg.

The A3 sedan concept will be mated with the 7-speed S tronic transmission which allows the driver to choose between automatic and manual modes, depending on the manner in which they wish to drive. The transmission also features a launch control system, allowing the driver to accelerate from a dead stop with minimal tire slip. Of course this limited tire slip can also be attributed to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.

The A3 sedan concept, as well as a wagon version will be focused to the U.S. market and could appear in dealer showrooms sometime next year.

Video Courtesy of www.insideline.com

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

2012 Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe to debut in Geneva

13 Feb

By Matt McCarron

Following its television debut during Super Bowl XLV, Mercedes-Benz said information on the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe would become available during mid-February, and it didn’t take long at all. Keeping with their word, Mercedes released details for the new two-door C-Class on Feb. 13.

The 2012 C-Class coupe is poised to make its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show on March 1. True to form, the C-Class coupe will be offered in two variations. The entry level C250, will be powered by a turbocharged, 1.8-liter, inline four-cylinder engine, producing 201 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 229 lb-ft of torque between 2,200-4,300 rpm. The upper level model C350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 302 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque from 3,500-5,250 rpm. Both power plants will be paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe: Courtesy M-B USA

The 2012 C-Class coupe will offer a number of improved communication and design features, allowing the driver to keep in contact without sacrificing safety or driver appeal. Some of the improved communication aspects include larger displays, phone book transfer, wireless streaming Bluetooth audio and a USB interface now located in the center armrest. The Sirius weather information and “Comand” navigation systems allow the driver to access maps and directions via Google maps, or transfer previously uploaded files from a PC directly to the vehicle.

Even though the C-Class coupe offers optional features, giving the driver access to the latest in-car technology, many Mercedes-Benz owners expect a certain level of quality and finish when purchasing a vehicle from the German manufacturer, whether it be in an entry-level C-250 or a top-of-the-line C63 AMG. The 2012 C-Class coupe is no exception. The interior of the C-Class coupe is tastefully adorned with metallic trim pieces, adding a feeling of class and elegance to the two-door coupe. The instrument panel’s three cylindrical rings are finished in a metallic hue, along with many of the controls and central and side air vents.

The 2012 C-Class coupe is an all-in-one package, combining sporty handling, a classy interior and aggressive styling. The MSRP should be expected to range between low-30 and 40K range. The 2012 C-Class coupe is expected to arrive in U.S. dealerships and showrooms in September.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Audi wins three awards in as many days

12 Feb

By Matt McCarron

Audi has won many awards since the “four rings” was established in 1932. However this week Audi took home three more awards to add to its trophy case. On Feb. 10, Audi’s supercar, the R8 Spyder won the MotorWeek 2011 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Dream Machine. The R8, which is powered by a 5.2-liter FSI V-10 engine, producing 525 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 391-lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm.

Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI V10: Courtesy of Audi USA

In addition to the R8’s Motorweek award for best dream machine, the Audi A7 Sportback won the “Auto Bild” Design Summit. The recent “four-rings” creation won in a unanimous decision, with all three judges deciding in favor of the five-door coupe. The A7 is unique in that it combines the agility of a sports coupe, versatility of a sedan and versatility of a station wagon. The A7 is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, producing 310 horsepower from 5500-6500 rpm and 235 lb-ft of torque from 2900-4500 rpm.

The third and final award went to the Audi A6 allroad quattro. The current European-only variant of the Audi A6 Wagon won the OFF ROAD magazine best model in the “crossover” category. The allroad has added design features allowing it to adapt well to both on and off road conditions.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com