Tag Archives: 918

Porsche Carrera 4 GTS unleashed

12 May

By Matt McCarron

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS coupe and cabriolet: Courtesy Porsche North America

The 997 model line of the Porsche 911 will be coming to an end this September at the Frankfurt Auto Show. However, that didn’t stop Porsche from adding one more version to their ever-expanding lineup of 22 different 911 models.

Porsche unveiled the 911 Carrera 4 GTS, adding a four-wheel-drive variant to the recently released Carrera GTS. The Carrera 4 GTS has an additional 23 hp over a standard Carrera 4S. This is made possible by internal changes to the 3.8-liter flat-six-cylinder engine including: a special resonance intake manifold with six vacuum-controlled tuning flaps and a sports exhaust system with four black tailpipes finished with polished, nano-coated inner shells.

This added horsepower enables the GTS to accelerate from 0-60 mph, 0.1 second quicker than the regular 4S. The optional PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Package Plus enables the GTS to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds. The manual coupe GTS also and has an increased top speed of 187 mph (186 with PDK).

The exterior and interior accents are primarily black. The exterior is adorned with black side skirts from the 911 GT2, a black panel between the rear tailpipes and 19-inch RS Spyder design wheels, painted in high-gloss black. The interior is covered in black Alcantara on the center sections of the standard sport seats and on the rim of the three-spoke steering wheel and on the gear and handbrake levers.

The Carrera 4 GTS will go on sale starting in the fall.  The Carrera 4 GTS coupe will have a base MSRP of $110,200, with the Carrera 4 GTS cabriolet starting at a slightly higher base price of $120,100.

Carrera 4 GTS 3.8-liter flat-six-cylinder engine: Courtesy Porsche North America

© 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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SLS AMG Roadster revealed, finally.

5 May

By Matt McCarron

After many rumors that the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster was among one of the three vehicles Mercedes-Benz was scheduled to debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, it turned out to be a no-show. So, if it wasn’t debuted at the New York show, then when would Mercedes finally lift the veil of secrecy and show the SLS AMG Roadster to the world. Well, the automotive world got their answer on Thursday when Mercedes revealed the drop-top version of their SLS AMG supercar will make its world premiere at the 2011 Frankfurt International Auto Show in September.

The final details of the SLS AMG Roadster are still being hammered out by AMG engineers, but numerous things have been set in stone. One of the most unusual and intriguing aspects to the roadster is its soft-top. Mercedes claims the soft-top can be deployed or retracted in just 11 seconds, at speeds up to 31 mph, with just the touch of a button.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster testing in Papenburg, Germany: Courtesy MB USA

The soft-top, which is comprised of three layers of fabric has been engineered with a weight-optimized magnesium,steel and aluminum construction, capable of with withstanding the vehicle’s top speed of 197 mph, regardless of whether or not the soft-top is covering the interior cabin, or neatly hidden behind the passenger seats. To ensure this structural integrity the SLS AMG Roadster has undergone high speed testing at three different high-speed tracks, in Papenburg, Germany, Nardo, Italy and Idiada, Spain.

In addition to the high-speed testing, the SLS AMG Roadster and its high-tech soft-top has endured a plethora of other testing including a high-intensity rain test and climate change tests where the vehicle was exposed to a variety of extreme climates around the world.

Mercedes says the SLS AMG Roadster still needs to undergo a number of quality test on other parts of the vehicle before it makes its world premiere on September 13 in Frankfurt. However, if the soft-top has survived such extensive and extreme testing, chances are the rest of the vehicle will also stack up to Mercedes’ and customer’s demands. But only time will tell if this version of the SLS AMG holds up to the reviews and acclaim of its hard-top sibling.

© 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

First ride E30 M3: Superb handling, engine and classic BMW styling

3 May

By Matt McCarron

What do you get when you take an E30 M3 in pristine condition, add a list of modifications as long as the Great Wall of China, some windy back roads and an experienced driver? A memorable experience, that’s what.

When GermanAutoNews was offered the chance to take a ride in an E30 M3, it didn’t take much time to come up with a decision. After all, this is the E30 M3 we’re taking about, a car synonymous with the S14, a high-revving inline four-cylinder that loves to be pushed above 3,000 rpm, and impeccable handling thanks in part to the vehicle’s 52 to 48 weight distribution. However, this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill E30 M3. In fact it’s about as far from the stock North American spec E30 M3 as it could possibly get.

1991 BMW E30 M3

This special E30 M3 was built by Turner Motorsport of Amesbury, Mass. To make this M3 stand out from the pack Turner went all-in with just about every option or upgrade available including a 2.5-liter stroker kit, stage 3 ported/polished head, Evo 3 throttle bodies, Evo 2 camshaft, B&B Triflow muffler, heavy duty clutch, lightweight flywheel, coilover suspension and a whole host of other improvements.

All of these improvements were evident as the M3 rounded the corner of Haigis Mall at UMass Amherst. The vehicle’s exhaust gave off a subtle yet undeniable drone as it made its way toward our camera, and the suspension could be seen trying to keep up with the never-ending bumps and dips that are much too prevalent around the UMass campus. The final component to be experienced before even entering the vehicle was the award-winning sound system, featuring two Focal 27VX 11″ subwoofers,  165EX 3-way and 136EX 2-way speakers and Precision Power 4400 and 2600 amplifiers.

As the ride began we hoped the owner and driver of the M3 would drive the car like it was supposed to be driven. And it didn’t take long to figured out the owner wasn’t intent on leisurely driving around town, all the while being careful to stay under 3,000 rpms and stay at the recommended speed limit.

Actually, from the moment we left the first stoplight it was apparent this was going to be a fun ride. So we fastened our seat belt and away we went. The 2.5-liter S14 screamed with ever-growing intensity as it roared towards redline, while the heavy duty clutch gave the ride a sudden and attention-grabbing snap as it ripped into the next gear. Both upshifts and downshifts came quickly, maybe even somewhat harshly, courtesy of the five-speed Dogleg transmission and upgraded drivetrain.

2.5-liter S14 with Evo II valve and intake cover paint design

The stiff and tight suspension, featuring coilovers along with upgraded camber plates, control arms, strut braces and sway bars made taking corners at high speeds a thing of beauty. There was practically no bending and no nose-diving whatsoever when carving through a corner. The 52 to 48 front to rear weight distribution really showed its worth on the back roads, allowing little to no understeer or oversteer.

As we made our way back toward the campus we really showed the under-appreciated power of the 2.5-liter S14. In today’s high-end, high-performance car industry, where more and more vehicles are approaching or eclipsing 500 horsepower, the 270 provided in this M3 might seem like a pathetic amount. I mean really, the Hyundai Sonata Turbo puts out 274 hp, but that doesn’t matter. The Sonata might have more horsepower, but the S14 delivers all 270 horses to the driver in an unforgettable crescendo of noise and emotion. The S14 screams and howls in ways modern engines just can’t match. In a world where naturally aspirated engines are increasingly being discontinued in favor of forced induction units, the S14 stands alone as one of the truly great naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines of all time.

Our ride in the E30 M3 showed us something. It isn’t the most powerful, quickest or most eye-catching vehicle we have been in. However, when push comes to shove it just might be the best. It combines a raw, un-computerized experience, something that is becoming harder and harder to find in today modern vehicles, and something we will not soon forget.

© 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

Version of F10 M5 to have four-wheel-drive

3 May

By Matt McCarron

British automotive magazine Autocar has reported BMW officials have verified reports that a four-wheel-drive version of the new F10 M5 will be produced. It is unclear at this time if the four-wheel-drive version of BMW’s top-of-the-line performance sedan will make its way to the U.S.

The final production version of the F10 M5 is scheduled to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

For more information on the F10 M5 visit Autocar’s Web site.

© 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

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

Audi Q3 unveiled one week before the Shanghai auto show

13 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Audi has unveiled its Q3 compact SUV in anticipation of next week’s Shanghai auto show. This is Audi’s first time venturing into the premium compact SUV market, with the Q3 being in direct competition with the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350.

The Q3 is offered with four different engine choices. All four engine are turbocharged four-cylinders and feature direct injection, energy recovery system and start-stop system. The basic power plant for the Q3 is a front-wheel drive 2.0-liter TDI, producing 140 hp. This particular engine also gets remarkable fuel economy, 45.2 mpg. The second engine option is also a 2.0-liter TFSI quattro that produces 170 hp. The first and second engine options are mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while the other two power plants, producing 177 hp and 211 hp respectively, feature quattro all-wheel drive and are mated to Audi’s seven-speed S Tronic transmission, allowing the driver to choose from four different driving modes.

Audi Q3 Compact SUV: Courtesy Audi USA

Another aspect to the Q3 that contributes to its overall efficiency is its lightweight design. The engine hood and wraparound tailgate are made of aluminum, resulting in the basic version of the Q3 weighing in at only 3,307 lbs. The passenger compartment is composed of ultra high-strength steel and the vehicle’s low drag ratio of 0.32 adds to the Q3’s excellent fuel economy.

With interior and technological options that are available on the Q3, the sky’s the limit. Audi is offering the Q3 is a choice of 12 exterior paint colors with five customized combinations with add-on parts. These add-on options include the standard black add-on parts, or if the customer chooses, add-on parts with full paint finish or color-contrasting anthracite gray.

Standard technological features include but are not limited to, an on-board computer, ambient lighting package, panoramic glass roof, storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable and heated seats, two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, tinted rear windows, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel.

The Audi Q3 will make its world debut at the Shanghai International Auto Show on April 19. The Q3 will go on sale in Germany starting in June at a base MSRP of 29,900 Euros ($43,151.90 USD)

© 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

One-off BMW M3 pickup unveiled

1 Apr

By Matt McCarron

BMW Motorsport has secretly developed a number of one-off vehicles deep inside the bowels of Munich over the years. Some of these vehicles, from the ill-fated E34 convertible, E39 M5 touring and M8 have been exposed over time.

One-off BMW M3 Pickup: Courtesy BMW

Today BMW M unveiled their most recent and public one-off vehicle. The BMW M3 pickup truck was finally revealed after months of candid spy photos have been distributed over the Internet. The one-off M3 has the same high-revving V8 as in the other three versions of the current M3, producing 420 hp. However, unlike the other three variants, the M3 pickup has a rear axle load capacity of 990 lbs. The roof of the M3 pickup is also unique in that it has a removable targa covering.

It’s probably a good thing the M3 pickup will be the one and only M3 to feature a tow hitch and, according to BMW, be able “to carry up to 20 standard 46-inch golf bags.”

Unfortunately, like all of the other secret one-off creations that have emerged from BMW’s motorsport division, the M3 pickup truck will once again recede into the secret storage rooms within BMW headquarters.

© 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