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.
Earlier this month we reported details of an upcoming AMG hot-rod version of the iconic G-Class SUV. Now, Mercedes‘ AMG division has given us official information on the thing, essentially confirming much of what we already knew.
The G63 AMG sports a 5.5-liter twin-turbo (or as Mercedes calls it Bi-Turbo) V8 cranking out 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque, teamed with the AMG Speed-Shift Plus seven-speed automatic transmission. If that isn’t enough, there’s always the option of stepping up to the even more powerful G65, which sports a 6.0-liter Bi-Turbo V12, rated at 612 hp and a monstrous 737 lb-ft of torque.
Although it hasn’t been officially given the green light, there’s every indication that a hot rod version of the recently introduced ‘baby’ Range Rover could be on its way.
Evoque program director David Mitchell has been driving one of the little Rovers, equipped with a 300 horsepower version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine found in regular models and says that the vehicle’s chassis is more than up to the task of handling an additional 63 horsepower.
However, there remains the question of how to market such a high performance model, if and when it reaches production; one scenario is perhaps offering a ‘hot’ sub brand, a bit like Cadillac with it’s V-series.
“We’ll have to look at that when the time comes,” says Mitchell.
For more information on the Range Rover Evoque, please visit our Range Rover Evoque Forums at http://www.rrevoqueforum.com/
While some automakers appear intent on taking fun out of the equation, Chrysler group seems is doing the opposite. With a raft of performance vehicles on offer through its Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand, the company caters to those that still like a good ol’ fashioned dose of American pavement melting horsepower.
With the recent launch of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, it was perhaps a logical step for sister ship, the Dodge Durango to gain an extra shot of oats. Although there’s been no official confirmation from Chrysler, sources inside the company believe the project is very much a work in progress, slated for a possible 2013 model year release.
Like the Grand Cherokee SRT8, if and when a hot rod version of the Durango does surface, expect it follow in the same vein, being all-wheel drive only and powered by a 392 ci (6.4-liter) Hemi V8, generating around 470 horsepower, along with an adjustable suspension and monster Brembo brakes.
However, some questions remain. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 has been criticized for its relatively high sticker price ($54,470); especially considering it debuted amid one of the worst economic slumps in years. If a Durango version was to be offered it would likely be priced at a similar level if not more, which could severely limit the vehicle’s appeal, making it a stillborn proposition. Adding further fuel to the fire is that the R/T model (shown), currently the hottest in the Durango lineup, has so far accounted for just 7 percent of total sales since its introduction back in March.
Ralph Gilles, president of SRT, has gone on the record stating that the brand plans to ‘de-couple’ some of the features on the Grand Cherokee SRT8 in order to make it more price competitive, so if a ‘super’ Durango does indeed make the cut it will likely follow the Jeep’s lead. Stay tuned for further developments.
GALLERY: Dodge Durango RT
[Source: Inside Line]
Back in March, at the Geneva Auto Show, 2010 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Infiniti‘s Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura got chatting.
The topic of discussion was a faster and better performing version of the company’s premium crossover utility; the V8 powered FX50. Now, some six months later at the Frankfurt Auto Show, what began as a chat has emerged as a concept representing Infiniti’s most exclusive and best performing SUV yet, the aptly named FX50 Sebastian Vettel Version.
The reigning F1 champ currently uses an FX as regular transportation, but wanted to see how much further the envelope could be pushed in terms of performance. “I drive a lot in Germany on motorways that have no speed limits and have enjoyed my FX around the Nürburgring Nordschleife,” he said. “Driving at high speed where safe and legal is part of my life. As well as a higher top speed I wanted even better stability in my FX, and that meant working on the aerodynamics. It is a tribute to the excellence of the standard FX that achieving all my targets required so few changes.”
Whereas Vettel is used to having a team of engineers build a car around his specific requirements, for the FX SV, being able to provide his own input towards a production-based vehicle was a refreshing change of pace. Weighing considerably less than the standard FX50 and powered by a 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower, the Sebastian Vettel version boasts true supercar performance, with seating for the family.
“It’s a Infiniti I am very proud to have my name on,” he declared. “It is all I hoped for: 300km/h (186 mph) top speed, plenty of downforce – and I can still fit my mountain bike in the back. Plus it is totally exclusive – and as an Infiniti driver, myself; that’s important.”