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.
10. Chevrolet Corvette: 86.9%
Last month we reported the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of female owners, and now we have a less-than-surprising list of top 10 cars with the highest percentage of male buyers. The list is courtesy InsideLine with the data provided by Polk and reflects total purchases made last year in 2011.
Coming in at number 10 with 86.9 percent of its owners being male is the Chevrolet Corvette. Arguably the most iconic sports car in American history, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of them are owned and driven by men. In fact, there are few surprises on this list considering most of the vehicles are dream cars of teenage boys, or those suffering a mid-life crisis.
Time lapse videos are probably the new cool thing on the Internet, and this one showcasing AMG Performance Studio customizing a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG proves why.
AMG Performance Studio wanted to show off just what they can do our in Affalterbach and at the same time, let their potential customers know how involved their customizations can be when ordering an AMG vehicle. By starting with a stock, glossy red SLS AMG, the Performance Studio meticulously disassembles the car, transforms the exterior of the vehicle to a matte Yosemite Blue finish, outfits it with a new set of wheels and redoes the entire interior to match the new exterior color scheme.
Check out the time lapse video after the break.
Mercedes‘ flagship SLS AMG Black Series was spied, and reports say that the new car will make 650 horsepower out of its 6.2L V8, one heavily revised by Mercedes’ AMG division.
Revised bodywork and new wheels will also be included, but you’ll pay dearly – expect the Black Series to start at $338,000 according to exchange rates.
Check out the video here
[Source: GT Spirit]
Brabus has announced a Roadster variant of their custom Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and it looks to be based on the tuning package for the 700 Biturbo SLS AMG Coupe. Its official debut will be at the upcoming Essen Motor Show on November 26th, 2011.
No official specifications were announced, but based on the Biturbo 700, we can safely assume the Brabus SLS AMG Roadster sports 700-hp with 626 lb-ft of torque thanks to the B63 bi-turbo system. Plenty of carbon fiber components adorn the exterior of the vehicle, though we’re sure there’s slight differences between the Roadster and the Coupe’s styling accessories due to aerodynamics.
Along with the turbo upgrade and styling accessories, Brabus also offers interior customization for the SLS AMG Roadster, as they do with various other Mercedes models.
GALLERY: Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Chevrolet has announced pricing of their 2012 Camaro Zl1 at $54,095. Chevrolet claims that the car compares favorably to more expensive cars like the Audi R8 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS and Maserati Gran Turismo, which cost between $122,800 and $196,800 based on available performance.
Of course, that suggestion is laughable, as those cars would never be cross-shopped and their respective demographics likely have a mutual enmity. By comparison, rivals like the Ford Shelby GT500 and Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 retail for $48,645 and $42,780 respectively. The ZL1 will also hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 184 mph.
Hamann is bringing a trio of Germany’s finest to the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, unveiling the Porsche Panamera Paragon program, a new tuning program for BMW‘s 6-Series Cabriolet, and rounding off the big German three will be a new version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Hawk. While this isn’t the first time Hamann has brought the SLS AMG Hawk out to play, it is the first time we’ll be presented with this configuration, featuring a white exterior and black wheels.
While the 6 Series program is expected to be tame, Hamann has a history of some wild creations and with a short list of products already available for the Panamera, the Paragon could be something special, or especially strange.
[Source: GT Spirit]
If you fancy yourself quite the sporting gentleman, Mercedes-Benz is keen to offer you a proposition: race against David Coulthard in an SLS AMG. What say you, good sir?
It won’t be what you expect, however: rather than two cars competing head-to-head, 24 competition winners will race on Gran Turismo 5, while Coulthard sets laps on an undisclosed track in the car—the real one. A cop-out for Mercedes? Not quite: after enough qualifying rounds, the drivers will be whittled down to one who will face Coulthard directly on the track.
While it’s not likely that this winner will beat the former F1 world champion and Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador, he’ll still have shown enough chops to net him an all-expenses-paid vacation to the Brazilian Grand Prix.
All of the virtual racing action (as well as Coulthard’s lap) will be broadcast live on the Mercedes web site. No word on whether Mercedes-Benz is also planning a chance to punch Muhammad Ali or play chess against Stephen Hawking in a cash-fueled version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Carlsson has hopped onto the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG modifying bandwagon, bringing a world’s first to the super car aftermarket. Now available to both convertible and coupe SLS AMG owners is an electronic lifting system that can raise the front and the rear of the SLS by almost 1.6-inch with a touch of a button. Once the vehicle hits 50-mph, Carlsson’s Tronic lift system will automatically lower the vehicle back to its original height. The lift system can also be combined with a coilover suspension kit to further lower the sports car by .6-inch to 1.4-inch.
In addition, Carlsson has produced a lightweight wheel for the SLS AMG in 20- and 21-inch sizing. The recommended widths are 9.5-inch in the front and 11-inch in the rear. The wheels from Carlsson are approximately 40-percent lighter than conventional cast wheels of the same size on the market.
Finally, Carlsson is now offering interior upgrades to SLS AMG owners, equipping the vehicle with high-quality Napa leather throughout the interior. Color choice of stitching is available to the customer at no additional charge.
GALLERY: Carlsson Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
[Source: GT Spirit]
Renntech is known to maximize performance out of every Mercedes-Benz model imaginable, and this time they’ve taken their talents to the SLS AMG supercar. Their new long tube headers adds 20-hp and 20 lb-ft of torque to the factory 563-hp and 480 lb-ft values. These long tube headers were engineered within Renntech’s state-of-the-art facility and features tri-metal, 200-cell catalytic converters and are ceramic coated to reduce heat in the engine bay.
In addition to the horsepower and torque gains, the SLS AMG gains a much throatier note from its naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 powerplant. The result is a finely tuned addition to the SLS AMG’s already remarkable performance and with Renntech’s brand name behind the product it’s guaranteed to last.
Check out a video of Renntech’s SLS AMG after the break.
GALLERY: Renntech SLS AMG
Very few celebrities have a passion for cars like Jay Leno. The star of late night doesn’t keep his love for all things on four wheels a secret, owning over 200 vehicles. Of the 200, Leno houses 40 various Mercedes-Benz models in his collection, from classics to current sports cars to Mercedes motorcycles. Surprisingly, the only AMG model that Leno has is an E55 AMG, and it looks like AMG wanted to add to that collection by letting Leno tour the AMG facility, test out the SLS AMG Roadster and E-CELL and help hand-assemble one of the SLS AMG’s V8 engines.
After being greeted by the Chairman of the Mercedes-AMG GmBH management board, Ola Källenius, at Stuttgart airport, Leno was allowed to take an SLS AMG Roadster on the motorway and the country roads but the Daimler AG test track in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim was the highlight of his trip.
“The SLS AMG Roadster delivers top performance. Whether the engine, transmission, handling or brakes – you feel that the engineers at AMG are serious! When I was 18 or 19 years old I worked for Mercedes-Benz in America. I knew about the test track in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim from films in which Mercedes sedans like the 220 SE or the 300 SEL 6.3 were driven through the banked curve. I have always wanted to see this for real. It took me over 40 years to do it, but now I’m here! It’s fantastic to drive the latest AMG models here on the test track today,” Leno said.
After a tour through the AMG Studio, Leno paid a visit to the AMG engine shop and assisted in the assembly of an AMG 6.2-liter V8 powerplant for the SLS AMG. And true to AMG tradition, each motor is hand-assembled by a single individual, except for Leno’s case. With the assistance of two experienced AMG technicians, Leno was able to install the crankshaft, cylinder heads, wiring and even carried out the subsequent quality tests. The special engine features an AMG engine plate with his signature on it and then he was able to watch his motor go through rigorous testing.
Highlights from his trip will be posted on his website, www.jaylenosgarage.com, and it would appear that AMG has given Leno enough influence to add one or two more AMG vehicles to his fleet.
GALLERY: Jay Leno Tours AMG Facility
You want it all… you just can’t afford it. But what you can afford is the Luxury Toys For Men book that is full of toys you will never own.
Offering 138 full-color photographs, this book is available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian and features the ultimate wish list of luxury toys that men want. And making it to the top of the list is the Aston Martin One-77. For a mere $1.7 million, the special edition Aston Martin One-77 is limited to only 77 cars. A few of the other luxury vehicles that made it into the book include the Audi R8 GT, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Jaguar XKR Special Edition, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition and the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible.
The book also features luxe living necessities such as electronics, accessories and gadgets. Just a few of the things you wish you had are the Ecosse Titanium Series RR motorcycle, SportRiva 56′ and Aguti 20M yachts, Challenger 850 and Citation CJ4 jets, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix watches.
[Source: Born Rich]
Some find it really hard to mess with perfection. But one thing we all know, no matter how expensive a vehicle is, or how exotic or luxurious it was built to be, it’s never perfect rolling off the lot. Compromises have to be made in order to appeal to a certain demographic, and that’s where the aftermarket always steps in.
For Mercedes-Benz‘s SLS AMG, many consider it to be a near perfect vehicle. And perhaps that’s true, given that the majority of the aftermarket has done minimal modifications to it in their offerings. Lorinser has also joined the fray, but by simply only offering a staggered set of wheels for the SLS.
The RSK8 design wheels comes in a staggered fitment with 20×9.5-inchers up front while the rear packs a 21×11-inch pair. Lorinser recommends to match the front wheels with a 275/30/20 tires while the rears should be paired with 295/25/21 tires.
Lorinser is also quick to announce that the RSK8 wheels are one of the lightest wheels on the market, reducing weight and rotational mass on the vehicle; improving handling and acceleration as a positive side effect. Plus, they look pretty sweet.
GALLERY: Lorinser RSK8 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
You will never be able to buy one off the showroom floor, but that shouldn’t stop you from drooling over the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, a race version of Mercedes’ most extreme sports car.
At a sticker price of $430,000, the GT3 version is the psychotic sibling of the standard car, and only a shadow of a similarity remains. The necessary add-ons like a rear wing, center-lock wheels, widened carbon fiber bodywork and all the safety equipment needed to go racing are in place, not to mention a new 6-speed sequential gearbox and a cool air-jack system that negates the need for a hand operated unit.
The video doesn’t show too much of the car’s capabilities, but we do get some great audio of the SLS AMG’s NASCAR-like exhaust note. Expect to see this at racetracks far and wide, but never bearing a license plate.
Hit the jump to see the video
Each spring, a jury of 66 automotive journalists from around the globe get together to pick a winner for the World Car of the Year title. The journalists are asked to vote by secret ballot, selecting the winner from 10 cars that have made the final cut.
For the 2011 awards, those finalists have now been announced. They are: Audi A1, Audi A8, BMW 5-Series, BMW X3, Jaguar XJ, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (shown above), Nissan LEAF, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo S60/V60.
And yes, the much hyped Chevrolet Volt didn’t make the cut this time around, perhaps next year when it becomes more widely available.
Now that the finalists for this year’s awards have been announced, the jurors will ‘re-evaluate’ each vehicle on merit, value, safety, emotional appeal, significance and environmental impact. Once the findings of these evaluations have been tabulated, the shortlist will be whittled down to three vehicles, which will be announced at the Geneva Auto Show next month. The actual World Car of Year winner, will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 21st; the final ballots being tabulated by international accounting firm KPMG.
The World Car Awards were first instigated in 2003 to reflect a more global automotive landscape and complement existing national and regional Car of the Year award programs.
Past WCOTY winners have generally been cars that have proved popular in many countries around the world. The first car to actually win the accolade, back in 2005, was the Audi A6, while past winners have included other top selling cars such as the BMW 3-Series; Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Golf.
Thanks to Google Translate, we were able to whip up a wacky title for this article, but the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell is all business, aside from the Banana Popsicle Yellow paint.
Making 525 horsepower and 649 lb-ft of torque through all 4 wheels, the SLS E-Cell will hit 60 mpg in 3.9 seconds, a couple tenths slower than a gasoline SLS. The conversion to electric power necessitated minimal changes, as the battery and motor take up the same space as the gas engine and gearbox, although weight is up by 800 lbs due to the added mass of the electric drivetrain. The front suspension has been redesigned to accomodate the car’s conversion to electric power, with a multi-link setup and pushrods replacing the double-wishbone setup on the standard car.
Mercedes is committed to producing the SLS E-Cell for the 2012 model year, and expect it to cost more than the GNP of an African country when it comes to market. It will probably be worth it.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell
Mercedes-Benz‘s SLS AMG now has a full-blown race version available to order for those who have almost half a million dollars burning a hole in their pocket.
The SLS GT3 will be prepared for GT3 class racing where it will go up against some tough competition like Aston Martin, Porsche and Audi. The car, which was developed by AMG and HWA, Mercedes’ go-to tuning shops, will be delivered in February of 2011, giving teams ample time to do pre-season testing. Unfortunately, engine output hasn’t been announced as the FIA is still deciding on the maximum output for the AMG V8 engine.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Hit the jump to see the official press release
As part of their series of SLS AMG ‘Rare Experience’ contests, this time Mercedes-Benz is giving you a chance to win an exclusive guided tour of the AMG factory in Affalterbach, Germany along with the opportunity to drive the SLS AMG supercar after watching it come together on the assembly line. And if that’s not sweet enough for you, the boys at AMG are also throwing in a a two-night hotel stay for you and the companion of your choice along with a visit to the famous Mercedes-Benz museum and a complimentary dinner for two.
This rare experience is scheduled to take place on August 3rd to 5th, 2010, with the contest ending on July 19th. To enter, all you need to visit your nearest Mercedes-Benz retailer and take a close look at the SLS AMG ‘Astonishing Power’ poster inside to find the hyperlink required to enter the competition online. Or if the internet has made you as lazy as we are, you can find the poster here as well.
If you turn out to be the lucky winner, don’t forget to pack your driving shoes and send us a post card!
For many months now Mercedes has been teasing us with photos and details of its upcoming SLS supercar and now the German automaker has added a surprise twist. A while back it was made known that the SLS would come with a 6.2-liter V8 with 571 hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque. Now Volker Mornhinweg, the head of Mercedes’ high-performance AMG division, says another powerplant will also be available – an electric one.
Called the SLS eDrive, this green version of the SLS will make use of lithium-ion battery packs, powering an electric motor that will make 392 kW (or 526hp) and 649 ft-lbs of torque. The SLS eDrive will offer serious performance with a 0-60 mph time of under four seconds and a top speed of 120 mph – all with zero emissions. Range is expected to be between 93 and 112 miles.
The lithium-ion battery packs will be situated low in the car, where the gasoline-powered model’s torque-tube is located. The space where the gas tank would be will also be used.
While Mercedes recently began a partnership with U.S. electric sportscar maker Tesla, Mornhinweg says this project is independent of that and they are working with German battery-experts Evonik.
Outside the SLS eDrive will look identical to the gasoline powered model, but inside there will be some slight differences with special controls and gauges.
Suspension changes up front will have to be made, however, as the current front double-wishbone suspension doesn’t leave room for the electric motors that will power the front wheels. Don’t worry though, this isn’t a front-drive car, but rather an all-wheel drive model, as electric motors will also be located in the rear.
The SLS eDrive is still a long way off from production, especially as the standard gasoline-powered SLS won’t make it to market until late 2010 as a 2011 model. It is tentatively scheduled as a 2015 model.