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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.
As the official F1 safety car, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT has been seeing quite a bit of track time in this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship. With a good chance that it’ll make an appearance at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, the German automaker has outfitted it with several changes.
No surprises here, as FAB Design has released photos of its custom Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster and it’s pretty much everything we expected: hideous.
The Swiss-based tuner has never been known for subtle enhancements. Its McLaren MP4-12C at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show was overkill, and the Gullstream tuning package for the standard SLS AMG Coupe foreshadowed the atrocity that would result from the roadster variant.
The gaudy widebody is further ruined by the accompanying body kit. The rear end isn’t necessarily bad, but we just can’t forgive the front-end styling. About the only thing we can give credit to FAB Design for doing is the candy red paint that sports a matte finish. We would take a factory SLS AMG Roadster in that shade.
For performance, FAB Design tweaked the Roadster to 615-hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, a change of 52-hp and 111 lb-ft of torque from factory figures.
Thankfully the interior is done more tastefully, with an abundant use of carbon fiber. We would prefer to pass on the custom steering wheel with the FAB Design logo, or the FAB logo grille.
GALLERY: FAB Design SLS AMG Roadster
AMG, the high-performance subsidiary for German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, is poised to establish itself as a real player in the sports car industry by unveiling 17 new models and variants over the next four years.
Most noticeable of the upcoming models by AMG will be their SLC model which is slated to hit showrooms by 2014 with a roadster variant to come 18 months later. It is believed the SLC is a “baby SLS” but will still be powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine with 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque with an estimated price of $150,000 to $200,000.
In addition to the new models, AMG and Mercedes are working together for lightweight aluminum chassis and a new generation of powerplants for their models. The German automaker hopes to reduce the total number of platforms by sharing them across all segments. Their end goal is to have one platform for rear-wheel drive vehicles, one for compact front-wheel drive cars, and one for SUVs.
As for engines, AMG is currently working on a 2.0L, four-cylinder for the A-, CLC-, and GLC-Class models. They are hoping to squeeze out an impressive 340-hp out of the small powerplant. It is also rumored that AMG is working on a more powerful 4.0L V8, and a possible inline-six engine.
There are also rumors of an SLS successor floating around. A car that will pack plenty more carbon fiber than the current SLS AMG and will be powered by a 6.2L V8 with 650-hp. With the aid of plenty more carbon throughout the car and a new lightweight aluminum chassis, this successor could weight almost 600 lbs lighter than the current generation model. Now that would be a supercar.
And we are already well aware that AMG is working on a lightweight and Black Series variant of the SLS AMG. And upcoming is the new SL 63 AMG with a 571-hp V8, while the SL 65 AMG will see a 625-hp V12. Upcoming in the near future are AMG variants of the new S-Class and a V12-powered G-Class.
[Source: GT Spirit]
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.
Last year rumors spread that AMG was working on a new compact sports car, and now reports are coming in that it may debut at an auto show later this year. And similar to the SLS AMG, this new two-seater coupe will be branded as an AMG vehicle rather than a Mercedes-Benz, similar to what Dodge is doing with their SRT Viper.
There aren’t many details on the new AMG model, which at one time used the codename of SLV – where V stood for variable body styles. It’s now believed that the smaller two-seater coupe will be positioned against the recently-announced Porsche Boxster and even the Cayman. Compared to the SLS AMG, a smaller vehicle will conceivably handle better and when paired up with a smaller engine, will offer better gas mileage than what the SLS AMG offers at 14-mpg city, 20-mpg highway.
Clearly one of the main reasons AMG is exploring new models is to help absorb the research and development costs they just poured into the SLS AMG’s aluminum spaceframe architecture. It’ll also be interesting to see if AMG has more in the works – perhaps a performance-themed sedan that could slide in under the CLS?
[Source: Motor Trend]
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.
We’ve already known that former Formula 1 double world champion Mika Häkkinen will be piloting an SLS AMG GT3, and now we have our first preview of him preparing to get back behind the wheel in a competitive fashion.
It’s been four long years since Mika has raced competitively, so it’s interesting to see how Mercedes-Benz is hyping it up. Really for us, the video is all about staring at the amazingly beautiful SLS AMG GT3 taking laps around a real race track in its full glory. There is seriously very few race cars that rivals the SLS AMG GT3 in the aesthetics department.
Check out the video after the break.
Two years after debuting the SLS AMG at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has followed up with a convertible version.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster swaps its predecessor’s splashy gullwing doors for conventional doors and a soft top roof that closes in 11 seconds and can be operated while moving at speeds up to 31 mph (50 kph).
The Roadster is powered by an AMG 6.3-liter V8 pumping out 571 hp and 479 ft-lb. The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Optional electronically controlled sports suspension offers three modes: comfort, sport and sport plus.
Other options include a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system with a 250-watt subwoofer and AMG Performance Media. AMG Performance Media offers an unprecedented level of telemetric data for a production model. The system can display engine oil, coolant and transmission fluid temperatures, individual tire pressure, acceleration time from 0-100 kph, and both lateral and linear acceleration combined with braking performance and accelerator position all in real-time.
AMG Performance Media also provides high-speed internet access – but only when the car is stationary. The Android-powered system allows driver and passenger to surf the internet, send and receive email and even install apps. Mercedes-Benz says the AMG Performance Media system will be offered in other future AMG high-performance models.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
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]
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG coupe and roadster are among the most desirable cars on the market these days, not only because of their looks, but also because of their performance and luxury features. Now, you can order your SLS AMG with even more options to make it more individual while also adding some new technology.
The cosmetic bits include new 10-spoke forged AMG rims with a matte black paint finish ($4,505), red brake calipers ($985), a special AMG Sepang Brown metallic paint finish ($3,360), and AMG high-gloss black trim ($3195).
If you want some safety related technology, you can do that by adding the blind-spot assist system, which is yours for $1,065.
The big news however is the new AMG Ride Control sport suspension with adaptive damping. Rather than having to live with just one suspension setting, this new system from Mercedes-Benz offers its owner with three different ride settings. Upon starting the car, the system defaults to the normal “Comfort” setting. This is best for when you are driving around in the city or on a road trip.
Press the button with a picture of a suspension just once, and it will engage “Sport” mode. In sport, the suspension has a tauter feel. It also minimizes body roll and pitching when cornering, giving you a much more connected feel with the road.
If you happen to be at a track, then you would perhaps prefer to be in the “Sport plus” setting. This is like the sport mode, only more so. The cars computer reads the road surface even faster and reacts according to the tarmac and speed. So if you are an avid track day enthusiast and are looking to buy an SLS, this $3190 option will certainly be a wise investment.
These new options are available to be ordered starting now.
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]
A little jealous of what Jay Leno was allowed to do recently with AMG? It’s OK, we were too. But now AMG is offering what are being called ‘Emotion Tours’ to satisfy those who want to visit AMG’s factory and enjoy a few lifestyle events surrounded by some of the Mercedes performance brand’s best vehicles. If you’re a hardcore Mercedes-Benz fanatic, or looking to cross another item off your bucket list – you know, the one where you want to drive a SLS AMG GT3 on the track – then AMG’s Emotion Tours are for you.
The tours can range from a day through AMG’s factory and Performance Studio in Affalterbach while enjoying a standard AMG automobile for around $530, or for a little over $810 you’ll be able to enjoy guided test drives behind the wheel of the infamous SLS AMG.
Then there are the lifestyle tours which include guided test drives in various AMG vehicles while enjoying wine and fine dining, or touring through Montreux and enjoying the famous Garden Party and Jazz Festival on Lake Geneva. Or there’s the golf tour where you’ll enjoy nine holes in Munich. Race junkies can take part in the Tour DTM, where they’ll be able to witness DTM racing up-close and personal.
Those with big wallets can take part in other tours including the Masters SLS AMG experience, which will eventually graduate you into campaigning a full blown SLS AMG GT3 race car on the track against others. Definitely a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe.