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10. Honda Integra Type-R
Forget the 12 days of Christmas. This is the seven days of dream garages.
Trading partridges in pear trees for horsepower in sexy sheetmetal, starting today each AutoGuide editor will reveal their list of the 10 cars we’ll be asking Santa for this year, giving a little insight into our automotive preferences.
Now 10 may seem like a lot to have in a dream garage, but narrowing down the list is harder than you think. When you’re dreaming, you want to dream big – but when it comes down to it, you start to think hard about which cars you realistically want to have.
So to kick things off, my list starts off with a Japan-spec Honda Integra Type-R. I can already hear what you’re thinking, “Wait, what? A dream car list and one of them is a Honda?”
Well, you know the saying: You never forget your first love.
Powered by a high-revving 1.8-liter B-series engine, the Type-R is one of the most balanced, best-handling front-wheel drive cars ever made. Its rarity in America has turned it into a collectible, and finding a mint condition one in today’s market is nearly impossible.
In fact, finding a low mileage Type-R will cost you nearly what the vehicle’s MSRP was when it first came out – if not more. So why not the Acura model? Well, I’ve always had a soft spot for the design on the Japan-only front end on the Integra, it’s simply a design that can hold its own even with today’s modern cars.
We just can’t get enough of the Nissan Juke-R project, and probably won’t until we get our grubby little hands behind its steering wheel. But until then, we’ll just have to continue living vicariously through those fortunate enough to experience the monster first hand.
While it was in Dubai to pace the 24 Hour race, Nissan took its Juke-R out to the Dubai International Marina where a makeshift course was created and the funky Japanese crossover was pitted against a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and a Ferrari 458 Italia. You know, just some of Germany and Italy’s finest supercars.
Now it goes without saying that we’d expect the Juke-R to look mighty impressive in the video against the exotics since it was probably staged by Nissan. But there’s no denying just how remarkable its performance looks and how undoubtedly fun it was for Lucas Ordonez, the first GT Academy winner, to pilot it. And obviously by watching the video, the drivers were putting on a show more than they were looking for a fast lap time.
We just hope a better resolution video surfaces soon.
Check out the video below.
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.
Over in the United Kingdom, Hertz has teamed up with Premiere Velocity in order to offer their customers the ability to rent some of the world’s finest exotic supercars. The list of exotics being offered is impressive including Lamborghini‘s LP560-4 Bicolore and Aventador, Porsche‘s Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Ferrari‘s 458 Italia, Range Rover‘s Evoque, Mercedes-Benz‘s Brabus S-Class and SLS AMG Roadster, Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and even McLaren’s MP4.
The full range of cars available is up on Hertz’s website and a 5-percent discount is offered when booking through http://www.hertzsupercars.com. Prices vary, but a C63 AMG for example is £201.25 a day ($314) while an Audi R8 is £362.25 ($565). Hertz wand Premiere will also offer customers with a bespoke meet, greet and delivery system at any agreed location whether it be their home, office, hotel or airport.
The requirements? Enough money, 25-years of age and no more than six points on their driver’s license.
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
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
While pairing up a model with a nice car for a photo shoot isn’t anything groundbreaking, taking a modified Mercedes SLS and combining it with a former playmate is something we thought should probably catch your attention. Kicherer decided to share its matte black “angry and aggressive” SLS with this stunning, yet classy, photoshoot.
The SLS 63 Supersport GT sports a matte black paint job along with a hand-made front grille (with huge vertical fins) accented by carbon fins on the mudguard and hood. Performance is upgraded to go along with the menacing looks, upgrading horsepower to around 621-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The extra power comes courtesy of an ECU retune and sport exhaust system.
Easily the best part of the package are the RS-1 forged wheels. Staggered with a 20×10-inch setup in the front and a 21×11.5-inch setup in the rear, the three-piece rollers definitely work for the SLS. The suspension is also adjustable allowing the vehicle to be lifted or lowered 1.2-inches at the push of a button.
Lastly, the interior can receive carbon fiber accessories from center console to door entrance border covers.
GALLERY: Kicherer Mercedes-Benz SLS 63 Supersport GT
Quite possibly the most radically built Mercedes SLS yet, FAB Design has officially named their widebody SLS tuning program: Gullstream. Originally revealed in a light blue shade, FAB Design has now shown off all the lines and curves of its custom SLS with a bright white variant. Along with unveiling this version, FAB Design has also released some more details on the package.
At the heart of it all is a widebody kit that features an all new front bumper, fenders, side skirts, rear quarter panels, rear bumper and rear diffuser. A lip spoiler made of carbon fiber is probably the most subtle of all the upgrades while the roof receives a non-functional air scoop.
For wheels, the SLS AMG runs a staggered 10-inch and 12-inch wide setup of three-piece Evolution wheels that feature a concave design. Suspension duties are handled with Koni’s coilovers that can also be found on the SLS GT3 race car, giving the car that ‘stance’ look. FAB has also designed their own quad-tipped exhaust system for the SLS AMG.
Overall power gains goes from 563-hp to 607-hp. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but chances are you either can’t afford it, or don’t want to.
GALLERY: FAB Design SLS Gullstream
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
Mercedes-Benz is planning to debut their updated 2012 C63 AMG Estate F1 Medical Car at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The refreshed C63 AMG Estate will be sporting the new C-Class facelift along with its AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed transmission. Additional aesthetic changes include an aluminum hood with modified powerdomes, radiator grille, headlights, redesigned front and rear apron featuring larger intake and side air vents.
The wagon is equipped with a 6.3L V8 powerplant that AMG has taken to 487-hp, giving it a 0-62 time of 4.5 seconds. AMG’s Performance Package for the C63 includes an intake manifold painted in titanium gray and AMG’s infamous braking system. This particular wagon will be sporting 19-inch AMG wheels on all four corners. To give it the true race-inspired theme as an F1 medical car, the interior has been revamped with four bucket seats with six-point harnesses and screens in the center console to monitor the race.
The SLS AMG F1 Safety Car has seen no changes, but we figured it’d be worth drooling over again.
GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG Estate F1 Medical Car and SLS AMG F1 Safety Car
Kicherer has overhauled Mercedes-Benz‘s flagship supercar, upping its horsepower while customizing the interior and exterior. The factory 6.2L V8′s power has been increased from 571-hp and 480 ft-lbs of torque to an impressive 610-hp with 494 ft-lbs of torque.
The horsepower upgrade comes simply by means of an ECU reflash and a new stainless steel quad-tipped exhaust. To set off the exterior, Kicherer has mated the SLS AMG with a set of RS-1 multipiece forged wheels. Kicherer also opted for KW’s coilover lift kit, which can raise the vehicle around 1.18-inches to help it get in and out of parking garages and driveways, as well as clear speed bumps. After all, you wouldn’t want to mess up the new carbon fiber front lip.
On the inside, one can find plenty of carbon fiber accents as well.
GALLERY: Kicherer Mercedes-Benz SLS 63 Supersport
Seriously, some people just has to have all the fun. We’re sure this isn’t really what Mercedes-Benz had in mind when they designed the gullwing doors on the SLS AMG, but we’re sure even they’d have to admit it’s a pretty cool sight. Some lucky driver was able to take Mercedes’ flagship supercar out for a 563-hp joyride, spreading its doors wide open and proceeding to execute smokey donuts.
The result? One minute of pure automotive entertainment.
Video available after the jump:
Some people just have all the perks on the job. Instead of working hard and playing hard, they’re playing hard while just working. Ed Redfern is Mercedes-Benz‘s senior test driver and decided to take the new flagship SLS AMG out to the circle track at Mercedes-Benz World for a little fun. Armed with a wet, slick track and the SLS AMG’s incredible performance, Redfern shows that the SLS is fully capable of swinging sideways and holding a drift.
Now this video isn’t the same high-speed crazy drifting action we’re used to seeing at say a Formula Drift event, but it’s still pretty entertaining to watch even though it’s short. There’s even a little bit of comedy at the very end that’s just ever-so-slightly embarrassing for Ed.
How long until someone with tons of money takes an SLS AMG out to Formula Drift? Could you imagine a drifting series where only luxury supercars are allowed to compete? Maybe some day…
[Source: German Car Scene]
Not to be outdone by Hamann and their SLS AMG tuning kit, famed Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus has unleashed their rendition and we’re picking our favorite: Brabus. And while there isn’t any sort of real performance tuning being done (just yet), we’re still favoring the mild aesthetic upgrades over Hamann’s version. Or maybe we just find the sleek black more fitting to the SLS AMG’s sexy lines.
And as we all know, Brabus does some serious testing on their products prior to releasing them out on the market. Their body kit for the SLS AMG is no different, getting thorough runs through the wind tunnel prior to getting the stamp of approval. And with a car as high-profile as Mercedes-Benz’s SLS AMG, we’d expect actual aerodynamic improvements from Brabus. So up front is a carbon fiber front spoiler, new front fenders, covers for the upper air inlets and a subtle rear spoiler. The fenders feature illuminated letters that is pretty sleek.
For wheels, we’re actually digging the Monoblock F Platinum Edition mesh-design wheels they put on their demo car. Brabus states that they’re available in 20- or 21-inch variety. The demo car features a staggered 20/21 front/rear setup. Brabus is also offering suspension upgrades to either lower the vehicle 40 mm or raise it by 50 mm.
And for those that are looking for some performance, Brabus did release a titanium sport exhaust system for the SLS AMG. There’s no horsepower figures, but we’re guessing it’s significantly lighter than the factory unit with Brabus’ weighing in at a scant 26 lbs.
Official press release available after the break.