AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Those that have been waiting for a roadster variant of Mercedes‘ SLS AMG supercar can start heading over to their nearest Benz dealership to drop off a deposit. The 2012 SLS AMG Roadster is now official and will make its North American debut in Fall of 2011. The AMG-powered 6.2-liter V8 powerplant puts out 563-hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque while drivers will now have the versatility to conveniently lower the fully automatic, weight-optimized soft top to further enjoy the tone the V8 emits.
The roadster will have the ability to open its soft top so long as you’re traveling under 31-mph, and does so in a mere 11 seconds. The roof control unit is nicely integrated at the front of the center armrest making it within easy reach. To complement the SLS AMG’s nine exterior and eight interior colors, the soft top will be available in three different colors: black, red and beige.
For the rest of the SLS AMG, it’s standard Mercedes-Benz operating procedure which includes a staggered set of 19- and 20-inch wheels, AMG Drive Unit (which also allows controlling of the optional adaptive AMG sport suspension), Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG sound system, and optional AMG ceramic high-performance two-piece braking system.
No pricing was announced on the SLS Roadster, but with the coupe retailing for $183,000 it’s likely to approach or even exceed the $200,000 mark.
GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
RETTmobil, Europe’s largest trade fair for rescue and mobility, will have an interesting concept car on display this year. Mercedes-Benz will be strutting out an emergency medical concept based off of their SLS AMG flagship, which is hardly the vehicle any of us would think about first when it comes to an emergency vehicle.
The image shows your standard silver SLS AMG receiving a traditional red and blue light treatment along with red graphics and the word Notarzt (emergency in German) on the side. Not many details were released with the image, but we reckon the SLS AMG’s 6.3L V8, 571-hp performance would get help quicker to those that need it.
Official press release available after the break.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK may look like just a gawky facelift. But under the skin and in its exhaust pipes lies a leaner, cleaner heart: the SLK200 with BlueEFFICIENCY, for example, reduces fuel consumption from 24 percent. Too bad it’s not available in America.
But the entire range has been upgraded (efficiencized?) from beginning to end: from production until end-of-life recycling, the entire process to build the SLK produces 20% less CO2 emissions than the outgoing model. 24 components in the new SLK are made from natural materials—an increase of 67%—and the SLK already meets the recyclable rate of 95% by weight, a new regulation that will become effective in Germany by 2015.
According to the sticklers from the TÜV, Germany’s product testing organization, the SLK received its environmental certificate in accordance with the ISO 14062 standard. Keep that in mind next time you head to Peet’s for an Uzuri Blend.
GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes SLK
The Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG has become DTM’s official safety car for the 2011 season and will debut May 1st at the opening race of the German Touring Car Masters season. The C 63 AMG will be slightly modified from its factory counterparts in order to meet the demands of being a DTM safety car and will give driver Jurgen Kastenholz a little more fun behind the wheel.
The DTM C 63 AMG is powered by a 6.3L V8 AMG-tuned powerplant that pushes out 487-hp, 30-hp more than the standard C 63 AMG thanks to AMG’s additional Performance Package that is available to the public. AMG also outfits the C 63 with a plethora of technology from the SLS AMG including short block components. Distinguishing features include a variable intake manifold in titanium grey and AMG’s high performance braking system.
Mated to the powerplant is AMG’s Speedshift MCT 7-speed sports transmission. Adjustable coilovers gives the C 63 AMG all the handling capabilities it needs while a set of lightweight AMG wheels in 19-inch sizing keeps it nice and sticky on the track.
And to make sure you’re aware of which vehicle is the DTM safety car, the C 63 AMG features DTM Safety Car logos, an LED light bar on the roof and LED flashing lights in the front and the rear. The interior of the car is equipped with a radio system and TV monitor while AMG sports bucket seats with four-point harnesses provides plenty of support for driver and passenger.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: C63 AMG DTM Safety Car
As if Mercedes-Benz’s SLR wasn’t amazing enough in factory form, Edo Competition might have built the ultimate variant of the SLR we have ever seen. Sporting 722-hp and 656 ft-lbs of torque, up from the factory 617-hp and 580 ft-lbs of torque, the Black Arrow is as fast as it is menacing. The 5.4L V8 supercharged engine has received a fine collection of engine modifications to go with the matte black exterior and 21-inch wheels.
The major horsepower increase comes thanks to modifying the supercharger and ECU – we’re assuming for slightly more boost – along with changing the majority of its air and exhaust components. An intake with new filters was installed along with new headers, high-flow cats, and exhaust system. The result is an impressive 0-62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds while it hits its top speed of 186-mph in just 24.5 seconds.
On the outside, the matte black finish of the SLR is contrasted by red graphics (that we could truly do without) and 21-inch Edo mesh-style wheels. On the inside, the interior has received a full Alcantara treatment, from seats to steering wheel while carbon fiber can be seen on the dash, center console and door panels. The in car electronics has also been upgraded to feature navigation, phone, TV and iPod integration and a back-up camera.
We dig that they rocked some Dragon Ball Z during the photoshoot.
GALLERY: Edo Competition Mercedes-Benz SLR Black Arrow
Mercedes-Benz‘s Sprinter was designed to be a luxurious commuter van, fit to transport multiple personnel in a more comfortable fashion than your typical box van. But clearly there’s a demand for a much more luxurious experience, and Brilliant Transportation has done just that with their Brilliant Van. They’ve taken your run-of-the-mill Sprinter and transformed it with an interior to rival limos and even the most high-end luxury sedans.
Out went the typical bench seats and in went individual leather seats. Entertainment comes through a pair of 32-inch flat screen TVs equipped with DirecTV, while music emanates from an eight-speaker stereo system or wireless headphones for each passenger. For those working on the go, the Brilliant Van is WiFi equipped and also has a hands-free phone and color printer on board.
Brilliant Transportation currently offers services in New York and Los Angeles, so if you’re in those areas and can afford it, hitch a ride in one of these Brilliant Vans and live to tell us about it.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Brilliant Transportation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Brabus has already claimed the title of world’s fastest sedan with their Brabus Rocket; now they’re looking to claim the title of World’s Fastest Off-Roader, or perhaps simply, just the world’s most powerful SUV. Their 800 Widestar is based off of Mercedes-Benz‘s G55 AMG but this version sports a modified 6.3L bi-turbo V12 powerplant that pushes out 800-hp and 1,047 ft-lbs of torque. Though it is noted that the peak torque is electronically limited to 811 ft-lbs.
The complete package not only boasts the ridiculously powerful engine, but also outfits the G-Class with a full body kit, widebody wheel arches (4.7-inch wider) and Brabus’ signature wheels sized anywhere from 20- to 23-inch depending on your personal preference.
In addition, Brabus swapped out the stock brakes for much larger, vented rotors and equipped the G-Class with their adjustable sport suspension, offering a lower stance and enhancing handling capabilities. On the inside, the luxury is accented with a sport steering wheel, redesigned instrument cluster, stainless steel scuff plates and owners are able to personalize their leather upholstery and trim.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Brabus 800 Widestar
Mercedes-Benz is following in BMW’s footsteps and launching an online short film, dubbed an “interactive movie” to coincide with the debut of their new C-Class Coupe.
While BMW’s short films featured A-List Hollywood directors and megastar Clive Owen (before he was widely known), Mercedes is taking a different approach, with the artistic side of the equation being minimized in favor of girls in bodysuits, copious gunfire and not-so-subtle usage of the new car.
The movie hasn’t been released yet but you can check out the trailers below the jump, if you need your action flick fix this early in the morning.
Hit the jump to see all three trailers
This isn’t really news, but Misha Designs has made it officially official: they are releasing a widebody kit for the Mercedes-Benz SL. In case you missed the news earlier, we revealed that iForged built an SL55 for SEMA that would sport Misha Designs’ widebody kit. Now Misha Designs has released the full specs on the styling package.
Along with the widebody kit, the aggressive front bumper sports a lower carbon fiber lip spoiler. The larger-opening on the front bumper helps keep the SL nice and cool. The fenders imitate the lovely design from the SL’s Black Series, while the hood is an original with carbon fiber vents. The side skirts were designed to match the wider rear fenders while the rear bumper sports a carbon fiber diffuser and gills. A subtle and clean rear spoiler also comes with the kit rounding it off on all edges.
The kit is available for all SL models 2003 and up, while it’s a direct bolt on for the 2009 models. For those with a previous model, you’ll need new headlights and a center grill to get it to become a full conversion. No pricing was mentioned.
Now this is how you build a luxury sports coupe. You take what Mercedes-Benz has already done oh-so-well with their AMG Black Series vehicles – this one being a CLK63 – play on the black theme some more by making the entire car matte black, outfit it with a perfectly measured set of ADV1 wheels and have those wide fenders sit properly on the rubber.
There’s no official list of modifications on the project, but it does sport a set of 19-inch brushed gunmetal ADV7 wheels, staggered of course. The CLK63 AMG Black Series also snugly fits a pair of 275 wide rubber from Michelin in the front while the rear sports a very nice pair of 305 Pilot Sport PS2 tires.
It looks like Tunerworks is based out of Canada and specialize in tuning high-end European sports coupes, sedans and exotics with a little bit of import and domestic flavor sprinkled in. Kudos to them for doing this CLK63 AMG Black Series right.
GALLERY: Tunerworks / ADV1 Wheels Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series
Alright RENNtech, you got us good. When we first saw C74 Konzept in our inbox, our jaws dropped assuming that RENNtech went above and beyond, taking a Mercedes C63 AMG and overhauling the power plant to a 7.4L monster. But then we took a stab in the heart when we read the actual release to reveal that the “74″ refers to the 74-inch width of the rear wheel track. Not as exciting as 7.4L in a C63 AMG, but the project is still wicked, looks great and performs even better.
On the exterior, the body benefits from a full carbon fiber widebody kit along with a carbon fiber rear decklid spoiler, front splitter and rear diffuser. To give the C63 the look it needs now that it’s been widened, a set of RENNtech wheels are staggered with 19×9.5-inch size in the front and 20×10.5-inch size in the rear. And even more impressive is the fact that they outfit the wheels with 275/30/19 and 305/25/20 tires.
As for performance, RENNtech specializes in Mercedes-Benz and AMG tuning, so it’s no surprise that the 6.2L now pumps out 605-hp and 555 ft-lbs of torque. Performance upgrades include larger throttle bodies, upgraded camshafts, RENNtech’s ECU upgrade, stainless steel headers and ported and polished cylinder heads.
The brakes are also upgraded with RENNtech’s performance brake package and handling is enhanced with fully adjustable sports suspension and carbon fiber front and rear stabilizer bars.
Delicious… but hey RENNtech, why not build out a nice 7.4L AMG V8? Or another V12?
We gotta admit, this world needs more bright pearl orange cars. In going bold and beautiful, Mercedes-Benz Australia teamed up with AMG to present the Concept 358 to the Australian market, debuting the car at the Australian International Motor Show.
It gets its name from its power output: 358 kW, which is essentially 480-hp. It’s based off Mercedes-Benz’s C63 AMG platform, sporting an AMG Performance Package Plus that gives it the extra 23-hp. The outside’s pearl orange paint (exclusive to the Concept 358) is contrasted with a set of black 19-inch wheels, matte black grille and mirrors.
Included in the Performance Package Plus are also some interior upgrades, though we didn’t get a chance to see exactly what – but we’re guessing some upgraded leather with matching orange stitching. Anyone out there bold enough to paint their luxury sport sedan a nice bright pearl orange? We dig it.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Concept 358
The Mercedes-Benz CLS is one of the decade’s most influential vehicles, responsible for setting in motion the “four door coupe” trend that’s gripping luxury car makers everywhere. The CLS itself ended up selling 170,000 units, cementing its status as a success for the three pointed star.
As Mercedes prepares to roll out the second generation CLS, the company has celebrated the last first gen CLS to roll off production lines.
The last CLS will be sent to the United States, and is outfitted with xenon headlights, premium leather upholstery and an AMG bodykit. Our guess is that the car will be seen on New Jersey’s roads shortly.
[Source: World Car Fans]
What’s the one car Michael Schumacher cannot pass? The official Formula One Safety Car, of course! That’s the riddle Mercedes-Benz’ Dr. Dieter Zetsche asked before introducing the SLS AMG F1 Safety Car at the Geneva Auto Show.
The SLS AMG Safety Car then drove to the stage and its gullwing doors opened up to reveal the driver, Michael Schumacher and his passenger, Grand Prix teammate Nico Rosberg.
The SLS AMG at every round of the 2010 F1 season, ready to deploy whenever accidents or bad weather make it too dangerous to race.
The official safety car needs to be fast enough to lead the F1 grid at a high enough speed to prevent the race cars’ tires and brakes from cooling down or their engines from overheating. With a 6.3L v8 engine claiming 571 hp and 479.4 ft-lb. of torque, the SLS AMG should be up to the task.
As impressive as the standard-production SLS AMG is, the Safety Car receives a number of updates to fit its role. Apart from the F1 logos and integrated television camera, the Safety Car is distinguishable by its carbon-fiber mirrors and a new carbon-fiber hood. The rear aerofoil pops up when the car reaches 93 mph, and together with the rear diffuser, provides added downforce.
Inside, the Safety Car is equipped with monitors and a radio system to help driver Bernd Maylander and co-driver Pete Tibbetts see and hear what’s going on in the race. A second interior mirror is installed so Tibbetts can keep an eye on the F1 cars following the Safety Car. The central display on the instrument cluster and on the glove compartment provide the same marshalling signals the F1 drivers see in their cockpits.
The SLS AMG Safety Car will be joined by another Mercedes-Benz at F1 races. The C63 AMG Estate returns in 2010 as the official F1 Medical Car, ready to respond to race emergencies.