Tag Archives: 2012 CLS Class

One very expensive hybrid: Porsche 918 Spyder to cost $845,000

22 Mar

Matt McCarron

 

Porsche 918 Spyder: Courtesy Porsche GmbH

Hybrids are becoming more and more common on today’s roads and highways. However, there’s one hybrid you will not be seeing often, maybe ever. Porsche announced today they will begin production of the plug-in 918 Spyder hybrid on Sept. 18, 2013 (9/18), with each vehicle expected to cost a hefty $845,000.

Now before you go off the deep end over the vehicle’s exorbitant sticker price, consider this. The Porsche 918 Spyder is a hybrid, but it is as far from a Toyota Prius as you could possibly imagine. The Prius’ 1.8-liter I-4 develops a minute 98 horsepower, while the 918 Spyder is powered by a high-revving V8, producing in excess of 500 horsepower. The 918’s two electric engines also produce at least 218 horsepower, for a total output of 718 bhp. Porsche estimates all of this power will enable the 918 Spyder to accelerate from 0-60 mph in a blistering 3.1 seconds, achieve a top speed in excess of 199 mph and complete a projected sub-7 min, 30 sec Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time.

Yes, the 918 Spyder has lots of horsepower with supercar performance and stunning looks, and will be one of, if not the fastest street legal hybrid vehicle in existence when it arrives in the U.S. in late 2013. But here is the figure that is truly stunning. Porsche estimates the 918 Spyder will achieve a mind-blowing 94 mpg.

The 918 Spyder is scheduled to make its first appearance in U.S. showrooms in late 2013. However, those lucky individuals who put in orders for the supercar have the opportunity to purchase a very exclusive special edition 911 Turbo S with the same acid-green interior and exterior accents as the 918 Spyder. It will also feature a matching production number as their 918 Spyder. The special 911 Turbo S will cost them though. Depending on whether the individual decides on a coupe or convertible the special 911 Turbo S will cost between $160,700 and $172,100.

 

911 Turbo S 918 Spyder Edition: Courtesy Porsche GmbH

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

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2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe unveiled

20 Mar

By Matt McCarron

Just months after the world premiere of the 2012 C-Class coupe at the Geneva Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the car which they hope will lay waste to competitors such as the Audi RS5, and current benchmark of two-door sports cars, the BMW M3.

The C63 AMG coupe will be powered by the same 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine in the C63 AMG sedan. The hand assembled power plant produces 451 hp and 443 lb-ft. This allows the C63 AMG coupe to accelerate from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. Although the C63 AMG coupe produces more horsepower than either the M3 or RS5, the real difference is with the amount of torque. The 443 lb-ft in the C63 AMG coupe is significantly more than the M3 or Rs5, with 295 and 317 lb-ft respectively.

The C63 AMG coupe can become even more potent with the addition of the optional Mercedes-Benz Performance Package. The package utilizes technology from the SLS AMG including forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft. This reduces the weight by 6.6 pounds. The addition of this high-tech equipment results in a total horsepower output of 481 hp and reduces the 0-60 time to 4.3 seconds. Other benefits include an increase in top speed from 155 to 174 mph (electronically limited). In addition to the performance modifications, the Performance Package features a number of cosmetic changes to the exterior of the vehicle. This includes the variable intake manifold finished in titanium gray, the AMG high-performance braking system with two-piece front rotors and red painted brake calipers, a carbon fiber spoiler and the AMG performance steering wheel.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe: Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA.

Ironically, for a car having so much power and torque the C63 AMG coupe also has a greener side. The high-revving V8 is mated with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The transmission allows the driver to select from a variety of driving modes, including the Controlled Efficiency or “C” mode. This limits the amount of acceleration and makes the transmission shift early, resulting in improved fuel economy.

However, most customers who are in the market for a world-class high-performance coupe are not concerned about the amount of gasoline being consumed, and do not want to be driving around with slow, conservative transmission settings. Luckily the transmission in the C63 AMG coupe has faster and more aggressive settings. The “S”, “S+” and “M” modes are available at the touch of a button, with the gear changes in the “S+” and “M” modes taking only 100 milliseconds. The C63 AMG coupe also has a Race Start function to provide the best possible launch.

If the lighter and more nimble C63 AMG coupe is anything like it’s four-door sibling then BMW and Audi will be forced to take notice. Mercedes AMG seems to have its eyes on taking the top spot in the two-door sports car category and continues to develop and produce vehicles which are getting closer to doing just that. The C63 AMG coupe is scheduled to make its first appearance in U.S. showrooms starting 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

Limited Edition Audi R8 GT: Lighter, faster and more expensive

16 Mar

By Matt McCarron

When a car company decides to make a limited edition of one of their highest priced and most expensive models many people question whether or not the special edition vehicle is worth the extra money. This is especially prevalent when the particular model to be improved upon is a high performance one.

On Wednesday Audi unveiled plans to produced a limited edition of their signature model, the Audi R8. The limited edition Audi R8 GT will be restricted to only 333 units worldwide, with just 90 of those cars destined for the U.S. market. The R8 GT benefits from extensive use of carbon fiber throughout the vehicle, with particular attention focused on the rear hatch, spoiler and diffuser. This additional carbon fiber results in the R8 GT weighing 180 lbs less than a regular Audi R8 5.2 coupe.

2012 Audi R8 GT: Courtesy Audi USA

The heart of the R8 GT is a modified 5.2-liter V10 engine producing 560 hp, 35 more than the Audi R8 and R8 Spyder. This added horsepower allows the R8 GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, one tenth quicker than the R8 coupe, and reach a top speed of 199 mph. All of this horsepower is transferred to all four wheels via the Audi R tronic sequential manual transmission and Audi quattro all-wheel drive.

The R8 GT also features unique changes to both the exterior and interior of the vehicle. The exterior of the R8 GT features matte finishes on the sideblade and grill, and is also offered in a special paint color, Samoa Orange. The calipers on the optional carbon-fiber reinforced ceramic brakes feature a red anodized finish. The interior of the R8 GT boasts a numbered gear shift knob, and the instrument cluster painted white with the R8 GT logo. Other unique interior pieces include the seats, handbrake lever headliner and steering wheel finished in black Alcantara with contrast stitching.

Of course, all of these special features come at a price, and a high one at that. The Audi R8 GT has a starting MSRP of $198,050. That’s $49,050 more than the R8 5.2 coupe. If you want to get your hands on this limited edition R8 you better act quickly, very quickly. Just 333 units of the R8 GT will be produced worldwide, 90 of which will be imported to the U.S.

© 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

F10 M5: First M5 to have fully automatic transmission

15 Feb

By Matt McCarron

Motor Trend announced yesterday the upcoming F10 M5 will be the first M5 in the history of the motorsport division to have a fully automatic transmission, with manumatic controls. This might come as quite a shock to many BMW M enthusiasts, many of which thought the F10 M5 would be equipped with either BMW’s Duel Clutch Transmission (DCT) or an updated version of the Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG), the latter being featured on the E60 M5.

F10 M5 Winter Testing: Courtesy motorauthority.com

The announcement of the automatic-only transmission is only the latest in a series of changes and developments that will make the new M5 very different from its predecessors. All previous generations of the BMW M5 have featured manual transmissions. The E28, E34 and E39 M5’s were only offered with a traditional manual transmission. The most recent generation, the E60 was developed for use with the SMG. However, after BMW received numerous letters from the U.S., insisting the car have a manual option, BMW chose to acknowledge their customers and offered the car with the option. All European-spec E60 M5’s were SMG only vehicles. In addition to the automatic-only transmission, the F10 M5 will also be the first M5 to utilize forced-induction technology. The F10 M5 will be powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8.

These two changes, the automatic transmission and forced-induction engine have forced BMW M to take a considerable, calculated risk with the F10 M5. Since BMW M began to produce production vehicles in the early 1980’s, their cars have been associated with having certain characteristics that distinguished M cars from the competition. Namely being naturally aspirated high-revolution engines, and features, such as a manual transmission, allowing the driver to be as connected to the vehicle as possible.

In choosing to move away from naturally aspirated engines and manual transmissions BMW risks losing some of their clientele, but might be able to attract new customers in the process.  Is it possible for a company to change many aspects of their philosophy, and keep true to their overall mission? BMW enthusiasts, M owners and the automotive industry will just have to wait and see.

© 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