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.
With the New York Auto Show kicking off next week, we’ve received info from pretty much every automaker about what vehicle or vehicles they intend to display – except Mercedes. Thanks to German auto rag Bild, however, we now know that the star attraction for the tri-star brand will be SLS AMG GT3 race car.
Leaked online earlier this week, many of the details of the GT3 race car aren’t clear. What we do know is that the car gets some wild new bodywork using lots of carbon fiber, with a large front splitter, vented hood, a racing diffuser and massive rear spoiler. Set to race in the 2011 FIA GT3 Series in Europe, Mercedes does not have any curb weight numbers yet and says the FIA will likely determine how big and how powerful a version of the stock car’s 563-hp 6.2-liter V8 the race car gets.
“Thanks to uncompromising lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics, the SLS AMG provides an outstanding basis for a highly competitive racing car. This exciting GT3 version is our response to strong customer demand for a car designed for these attractive motor sports series. Once again, it demonstrates AMG’s huge experience gained in more than 40 years of motor sports, and its great expertise in the development of unique high-performance cars,” says Volker Mornhinweg, the man in charge of Mercedes’ AMG division.
If what Bild claims is true, then we’ll be sure to bring you plenty of photos and (hopefully) more information on the SLS AMG GT3 from the New York Auto Show with live coverage starting March 31st.
And with a GT3 race car announced, let the rumors of a track-focused SLS AMG GT3 road car begin!
See our live 2010 New York Auto Show coverage, starting March 31st by following the link below:
GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
[Source: Bild via Car&Driver]
Official release after the jump:
Mercedes is planning to launch a Black Series version of the E-Class Coupe. News of this bad-ass-Benz comes from 4WheelsNews, citing sources inside the company. We can also report that AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg hinted at such a vehicle over a year ago at the launch of the SL65 AMG Black Series.
The new model would be powered by a version of the AMG 6.2-liter V8 engine making at least 500hp. As with previous Black Series models, like the SL65, the E63 AMG Black Series Coupe would get wider fenders with a wider track for improved cornering capabilities. Also look for a seriously stiff suspension and a significantly lighter curb weight.
There is also the strong possibility that the Black Series variant could get the new dual-clutch transmission that Mercedes is currently developing for the upcoming SLS supercar.
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.
RENNTECH to build 20 versions of 777 model to celebrate 20th anniversary
AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg recently repeated what he said a year ago by declaring that the horsepower war was indeed over. The last time he said it the Mercedes tuning experts at RENNTECH countered by announcing a 695 hp package for the 65 Series cars. This time they’re making their point even stronger by releasing a 777hp version of the iconic SLR.
That’s right…. 777hp!
There is more of a story behind the RENNTECH 777 than that, however. The supercar has actually been planned for quite a while and is the first of several special edition vehicles RENNTECH will release in 2009 to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary.
In order to get all that extra power – an addition of 160hp over the standard model – RENNTECH modified both the supercharger as well as the engine’s internals. Also key in the build was an upgraded cooling system.
With all that extra power RENNTECH engineers also reinforced the transmission and installed a new limited slip differential built by Japanese supplier OS Giken. The new diff can send up to 100 percent of the power to just one of the rear wheels – significantly improving the SLR’s cornering ability.
Most obvious, however, is the significantly redesigned exterior that looks considerably like the SLR 722 GT race car. RENNTECH designed the new aerodynamics using state-of-the-art CFD software – the same technology the company used to design the GLK Hybrid Rally Racerat the 2008 SEMA Show.
The RENNTECH 777 features a massive rear spoiler, a huge front splitter, a new hood and front bumper and even new side skirts that flow into significantly wider fenders.
In those fenders can be found a set of custom one-piece center-locking wheels.
RENNTECH founder Hartmut Feyhl had this to say about his latest creation: “It can be described as a street-legal track car, or something closer to what the enthusiasts were hoping for from the SLR, originally – which is more a successor to the McLaren F1.”
Feyhl also says that just 20 versions of the 777, (and of other 20th anniversary special editon models), will be built. “We intend to build a few different extreme vehicles like this for our 20th anniversary,” he says. “They are all very exciting projects, and we will be announcing them throughout the year, as they approach completion.”
Mark us down for a 666hp C63 Hartmut!
Official release after the jump: