Tag Archives: Turbo

Calling All Enthusiasts: 2013 BMW 135is Coupe and Convertible

15 May

2013 BMW 135is Coupe: Photo courtesy BMW Group.

If you’re one of the many who missed out on the one-year, limited production 1M coupe you’re might just be in luck. The 2013 BMW 135is will be making its way stateside later this year and will offer customers a beefed-up, more powerful and performance oriented version of the regular 135i. It’s not the 1M coupe, but it’s the next best thing.

On the exterior the 135is stands out with 18-inch wheels, high-gloss black kidney grill and mirror caps along with special exterior badges and the standard M Sport Package components. Interior highlights include stainless steel pedals, special interior badges and optional black leather sport seats with blue stitching.

All of that eye-catching exterior work is just fine if you’re looking to pick up a date, but that’s not what the BMW “is” line was made for. After all, this is an enthusiast car, made to be driven hard both on the road and race track, and because of this BMW has made sure to provide adequate performance upgrades and modifications.

Under the hood the 135is is powered by the latest version of BMW’s 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with BMW’s TwinPower Turbo Technology, designated the “N55” internally. Unlike the previous “N54” turbocharged unit the 135is gets a single twin-scroll turbocharger, as opposed to the two found in the 1M coupe. Despite a missing hairdryer, horsepower and torque figures have been increase over the 135i leaving the 135is a close second to its Motorsport-derived sibling. The 135is produces 320 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 20 hp and 17 lb-ft respectively and not far behind the 1M’s 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. Besides the engine improvements the 135is also features a performance exhaust system and a more robust cooling system with a larger and more powerful radiator fan and an auxiliary radiator.

2013 BMW 135is Convertible: Photo courtesy BMW Group.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed manual gearbox or the optional seven-speed double clutch transmission. Helping all 320 horses get to the ground is a new differential with new optimized final drives and an electronic rear brake management system that is used to simulate a differential lock for stronger acceleration in turns and low-traction conditions.

Finishing off the performance goodies is a sport aluminum double-pivot front suspension and a lightweight five-link fully independent rear suspension. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) that includes Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) will help the driver maintain control of the vehicle, but it does so at a higher threshold than the regular 135i and thus adding to the driving experience offered with the 135is. Of course, if you don’t want to worry about these safety systems interfering with your spirited driving you can turn them off completely.

The 135is coupe and convertible are scheduled to appear in U.S. showrooms beginning this fall with a base MSRP of $44,145 and $48,845 respectively (including $895 destination and handling).

2013 SL63 AMG Unleashed Before Geneva Auto Show

22 Feb

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America

Remember the days when it used to take a manufacturer months, if not years to develop a high-performance variant of a model? Well, in anticipation of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show the new SL63 AMG has been unveiled just five weeks after the SL550 made its initial debut.

The new SL63 AMG is lighter, more powerful and is up to 30 percent more efficient than its predecessor. Much like the Porsche 911 (991), Mercedes’ most iconic drop-top has turned to an aluminum bodyshell, reducing overall weight by 275 pounds, counteracting the added technological and safety features that contribute to a greater load. Now, the SL63 AMG is not a light car by any means. With a curb weight of 4,059 pounds it weighs just 500 pounds less than a full-size Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America

Less mass to accelerate is always a good thing when it comes to a vehicle’s performance, but its even better when less is combined with more, namely in the form of horsepower and torque. For the first time the SL63 AMG will be available with two different power outputs. A standard SL63 AMG comes equipped with the same 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 found in the CLS63, E63 and CL63 AMGs. In its tamest form the hand-built, power plant cranks out 530 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 590 lb-ft of torque from 2000-4500 rpm.

For most, this would be more than enough. But if you want to experience the engine’s full potential you can opt for the optional AMG Performance Package. This boosts the output from 530 hp and 590 lb-ft to 557 hp and 664 lb-ft. The added horsepower and torque aids in 0-60 times too, allowing the SL63 AMG to accelerate to the mark in 4.1 seconds, one tenth quicker than without the package. Other changes include AMG performance steering wheel, limited slip differential and red-painted brake calipers.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America

Putting the power to the rear wheels is the familiar seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT sport transmission found in the majority of AMG models. The four driving modes; Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) , Sport plus (S+) and Manual (M) work in conjunction with a revised and upgraded AMG sport suspension and a new electro-mechanical steering system. Additional options include a locking rear differential, AMG performance suspension and ceramic high performance compound brakes and an increased top speed from 155 to 186 mph.

Exterior design has maintained largely the same as the previous generation. The front has a lower and streamlined appearance. The grill is still emblazoned with the oversized three-point silver star, but fog lights integrated into the lower grill have been replaced with sleek LEDs below the headlights. The rear of the 2013 SL63 AMG has changed more than the front, with taillights that are almost entirely red in color. The rear diffuser has been significantly reduced in size, and the AMG sport exhaust tips have changed from round to a trapezoidal shape.

The SL63 AMG will go on sale later this year. If you’re looking for a premium luxury roadster with plenty of creature comforts, and performance that will keep pace with all but the fastest Porsches, this might be the vehicle for you. However, you better have deep pockets. Although no pricing has been announced you can expect a base MSRP in-excess on $140,000.

Interior of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America

© 2012 GermanAutoNews

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Next generation M3 to feature six cylinder engine

15 Aug

By Matt McCarron

British auto magazine Autocarhas reported that the upcoming fifth generation of the BMW M3 will be powered by a 3.0-liter, twin turbocharged engine. What do you think about BMW’s decision to abandon the traditional naturally-aspirated engine in favor of one with forced injection? For more information on the next M3 check out the entire Autocar article.

© 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

Pricing Announced for Audi TT RS

8 Jul

By Matt McCarron

Audi has revealed pricing for its top-of-the-line two-door coupe. The 2012 Audi TT RS will begin to arrive in U.S. showrooms later this summer and will be accompanied by a base MSRP of $56,850 (excluding destination and other fees).

The TT RS is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, producing 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. The five-cylinder power plant is mated to the rest of the vehicle by a six-speed manual transmission. This combination, which is aided by Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system allows the TT RS to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds.

For most information on the TT RS please check out our other story on the TT RS.

© 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 BMW 1-Series Revealed

6 Jun

By Matt McCarron

With the first generation of the 1-series in the rear view mirror BMW has unveiled the second generation of their smallest and most fuel efficient vehicles. The second generation (F20) promises to deliver a strong combination of efficiency, luxury, performance and aggressive styling.

BMW has chosen to stay consistent with the push to bring turbo technology to a growing number of their vehicles.  For the first time all models of the 1-series, including both gasoline and diesel engines feature BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology package, with twin-scroll turbocharger, high precision injection, Valvetronic and Double-Vanos variable valve control.. Five new 1-series models, two gas-powered and three diesels have been unveiled so far.

BMW 1-series 116i and 120d: Courtesy BMW North America

The 116i and 118i are the two gasoline-powered versions, with the diesel 116d, 118d and 120d rounding out the lineup. The 116i and 118i both feature a 1.6-liter four-cylinder in-line engine, producing 136 hp and 170 hp respectively.

The remaining three diesel variants all share the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder in-line engine. These also have the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology package and variable-geometry turbocharger with common-rail, magnetic-valve direct injection. Horsepower output varies from 116 hp in the entry level 116d to 184 hp in the 120d.

Not only do these engines feature the very latest in technology, but they’re also extremely fuel efficient. The 116d gets a  estimated 65.6 mph combined, significantly better than a Toyota Prius which gets 50 mph under the same conditions.

BMW 116i: Courtesy BMW North America

Although the new 1-series is loaded with Star Trek-like technology under the hood it’s not limited to just that area of the vehicle. The fuel-efficient engine can be mated to an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. It also has an Automatic Start/Stop function in both manual and automatic transmissions and ECO PRO mode which is activated using the driving experience switch.

To round out the new 1-series BMW has changed the dimensions to allow for more comfort and sportier styling.  The body has been expanded by 85 millimetres, wheelbase is 30 mm longer,  front track is 51 mm wider and rear track 72 mm wider. The interior height is unchanged, but the width has been expanded by 17 mm to give it a more spacious appearance. The result of all of these changes is 21 mm more rear legroom and a luggage compartment expanded from 11 to 23 cubic feet.

BMW did not opt to bring diesel or entry-level versions of the first generation 1-series to the U.S. It is still unclear whether or not BMW will change its marketing strategy and bring these new fun and fuel efficient BMW’s to the U.S. market. Hopefully they do, because 65 mpg, a manual transmission and turbocharged engine sound like the essence of getting the most bang for your buck.

© 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 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

The Panamera Turbo S: Porsche’s latest and greatest four-door super sedan

30 Mar

By Matt McCarron

If you think a Panamera Turbo is just not fast enough, then your in luck. Porsche has announced the new Panamera Turbo S will make its first official North American debut next month at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S: Courtesy Porsche North America

The Panamera Turbo S separates itself from the regular Panamera Turbo courtesy of various performances enhancements that have been made throughout the vehicle. The turbochargers have been enhanced with lighter titanium-aluminum turbines, resulting in quicker engine response. With these changes the Panamera Turbo S has a peak  output of 550 horspower, as opposed to the 500 from the Panamera Turbo. The torque has also increased from 516 lb-ft to 553 lb-ft. Torque can be increased even further for short periods of time when “Sport” or “Sport Plus” modes are engaged. The Panamera Turbo S can accelerate from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds, four tenths quicker than the Panamera Turbo.

The exterior of the Panamera Turbo S features new 20-inch Turbo II wheels with increased rear axle track width, while the interior offers new leather color combinations, including a standard bi-color leather finish. Optional black and cream leather interior is unique to the Panamera Turbo S. Gray and cream optional interior will appear later in the year. The same gray color is available as an exterior color via Porsche exclusive. The Panamera Turbo S goes on sale in the U.S. later this spring at a base MSRP of $174,175.

© 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 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

C63 AMG gets engine, suspension improvements for 2012MY

1 Feb

By Matt McCarron

Mercedes-Benz has announced the C63 AMG will be enhanced cosmetically and feature new technologies for the 2012 model year. The C63 AMG will now feature the 7-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission, with a “controlled efficiency” mode that Mercedes says will improve fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. The AMG MCT transmission is currently featured on the SL63 AMG.

2012 C63 AMG with AMG Performance and Development Packages.

2012 C63 AMG with AMG Performance and Development Packages: Courtesy of M-B USA

Another new feature for the 2012MY is the addition of the AMG Development package, currently available on the SLS AMG.  Purchased in conjunction with the AMG Performance package, the development package will offer improved performance and handling.

The stock engine output will be increased from 451 horsepower to 481 due to forged pistons, connection rods and lightweight crankshaft, borrowed from the engine in the SLS AMG. The development will offer special cosmetics as well, including a titanium gray intake manifold, AMG performance braking system with red-painted brake calipers, a carbon fiber spoiler on the trunk lid and the AMG performance steering wheel.

The suspension will be yet another part of the C63 AMG to be revised for the 2012MY. Mercedes AMG has changed the front axle, rear axle and has widened the rear track, resulting in increased responsiveness and agility. The front damper and springs have been improved too.

The 2012 C63 AMG is scheduled to make its U.S. market debut in the fall of 2011.

© 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

Four cylinders, with a twist: BMW four-cylinder engine returns to U.S.

28 Jan

By Matt McCarron

For the first time since 1999 BMW will offer the U.S. a four-cylinder engine as part of its power plant lineup, and while the four-cylinder isn’t as famous as BMW’s inline-six, it still brings back some great memories.

The inline-four cylinder S14 is perhaps BMW’s most iconic engine of all-time. The 2.3 liter version powered the legendary E30 M3 in the U.S., and Evolution I and Evolution II homologations in Europe. The final and subsequently larger 2.5 liter powered the 600 examples of the Sport Evolution in 1990. This is the S14 we’re talking about, an engine that powered the E30 M3 to numerous titles, including two Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) championships, two European Touring Car Championships and the World Touring Car Championship in 1987.

Courtesy of BMW USA

The new four-cylinder engines debuting for the U.S market in 2011 will still have four cylinders, of course, but will have a twist, quite literally in fact. The new generation will feature a twin-scroll turbocharger system with high-pressure direct-injection along with BMW’s Valvetronic intake control system. The result of all this added technology is a maximum power output of 240 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,250 rpm.

BMW claims the new four-cylinder engine will offer the same power output as a traditional naturally aspirated inline-six engine. This is partly due to the all-aluminum crankcase and a whole host of other high-tech engineering, resulting in a more efficient and cleaner running and burning engine.

With 240 horsepower the new four-cylinder will definitely have more than enough power and acceleration to make quick runs to the grocery store, or a spirited jaunt on a back country road for that matter. Another aspect to a small displacement engine’s appeal is getting more bang for your buck. Whether it’s the turbocharger or the fear of gasoline prices being projected to rise significantly throughout the year, people want to know they’re getting a good deal and something made to last. And the new BMW four-cylinder engines seem to be a smart choice, both for those searching for more economical and fuel-efficient, while not having to give up the trill and excitement of passionate driving.

© 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