AMG auto news

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Spy Shots: Pagani Zonda test mule

05/01/2008   [Original: AutoGespot via Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Supercars, AMG

The Pagani Zonda is still one of the most eminently desirable supercars on the street today, making Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches look downright plebian. But after eight years on the market, the Zonda is due for replacement, with test mules popping up here and there. Following the spy video we brought you earlier this month, this shot of a suspicious-looking Zonda test mule was caught undergoing testing. Although it wears the same bodywork as the outgoing model's, the suit fits a little looser after the Pagani's gotten back to the gym, and there's all sorts of vents and air ducts popping out all over the place. While Pagani seems hard at work in Modena preparing the successor to the current Zonda, AMG is reportedly working in Affalterbach on flipping the SLR's supercharged V8 around for the Pagani's mid-engine application.

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AMG's future includes hybrids, twin-turbo'd V8

04/26/2008   [Original: Car via Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Green, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

As we've heard before, the next generation of AMG-massaged Mercs will have to balance high output with low emissions. That means more turbos, less displacement and (gasp) hybrids.

The big and bad 6.2-liter V8 won't be around much longer. Instead, AMG is turning its focus towards a new, twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 that will produce 570 hp and 665 lb.-ft. of torque, with output possibly reaching 700 hp and 885 lb.-ft. to replace the outgoing 612-hp V12 mill.

Forced induction is only part of the equation, as AMG is looking to a new hybrid-equipped V8, dubbed BluePower, that will either come with the X-Trac Flybrid system or a 100-hp electric motor integrated into the transmission. There's also talk that AMG will be releasing its own plug-in hybrid by 2012 and that diesels will continue to become an important part of the brand.

The other issue with which AMG has to contend is Mercedes' own turbocharged offerings. Future M-Bs will be sporting turbo'd V8s displacing 4.0-, 4.6- and 5.5-liters, with outputs ranging from 355 to 544 hp.

And what of the upcoming AMG supercar? Car says that the gullwing super coupe, codenamed C197, will debut in March of 2010 and be powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 (likely the last application of that engine) while sending all that energy through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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Exposed! Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series spied naked

04/18/2008   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

From all the details and disguised spy-shots, we knew the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series would look the business. But dang! The newest Black Series model was recently spied running "look at me" laps around the Nürburgring in a blazing white paint job.

We've already had several opportunities to give you the specs on the next supercar from Mercedes-Benz, and by now you should have them committed to memory if not tattooed on your forearm. To recap the salient points, we're talking 670 hp out of AMG's twin-turbo V12, a 570-lb weight-loss program and carbon fiber everything. A few more details to add to the picture: shift times on the five-speed automatic have been reduced down to 250 milliseconds - not quite Ferrari SuperFast territory, but not bad for a torque-converter - on one of two sport-shift settings, while the active suspension that replaces the standard model's air suspension will likewise get two programs of its own. Unfortunately, word has it that the carbon-fiber racing buckets won't make it Stateside due to a lack of side airbags. Oh, and that fixed carbon fiber roof? Apparently saving weight was only part of the reason. The other was that the folding roof mechanism reportedly wouldn't fit between the Black Series' steamroller rear tires. Yeah.

[Souce: Inside Line]

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Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series details revealed, courtesy of MotorTrend

04/15/2008   [Original: Motor Trend via Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

The online editors of Motor Trend have decided to spill the beans, which allows us to finally confirm the information circulating the interwebs regarding AMG's latest flagship supercar, the SL65 Black Series.

AMG has cranked an extra 66 hp out of the twin-turbo six-liter V12, now boosted up to 670 hp, while stump-pullin' grunt remains the same at 738 pound-feet. Unfortunately, all that torque still needs to be converted through a conventional five-speed automatic. The power boost, however, is only part of the equation that unburdens each horse of 1.6 lbs, now pulling just 6.1 lbs-per-hp instead of the "lesser" SL65 AMG's 7.7 lbs-per-hp. That reduction is thanks in no small part (but many small parts) to an ambitious weight reduction program that does away with the folding hard-top in favor of a fixed carbon-fiber roof, itself shaving 88 of the total 570 lbs cut off the curb weight. That figure is now down to a slightly more manageable 4,080 lbs, which is still in SUV territory for a two-seat sportscar. Carbon fiber is also features on the flared front fenders, hood, rear underbody diffuser and racing buckets. That reduced weight is sprung on fully adjustable coils with an electro-hydraulic Active Body Control suspension and one-piece forged alloys wearing Dunlop Maxx GT tires in 265/35ZR-19 dimensions up front and 325/30ZR-20 out back.

A deployable rear spoiler, flat-bottomed steering wheel and Alcantara-clad interior also factor into the package, which Mercedes says would be capable of hitting 220 mph if it didn't electronically limit it to 186 (300 km/h), but 60 will come in the three-second range. The extra kit is complimented by a lower hood line enabled by the Black's exemption from pedestrian safety regs due to its small production numbers: Only 350 examples will be made in either silver, white, black or red.

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Ralf Schumacher tanks on DTM debut

04/15/2008   [Original: F1-Live via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Sedans/Saloons, Euro, Mercedes Benz, AMG

People hold all sorts of unsubstantiated opinions. That's how we know there must be some people out there somewhere who still think that Ralf Schumacher is as talented as his brother. Those people were shown otherwise this past Sunday when the junior Schumi made his race debut in DTM, the German touring car series.

In the DTM season opener at Hockenheim, Ralf came in fourteenth place, well behind returning champion Mattias Ekstrom's new Audi A4 racer and that of team-mate Timo Scheider, completing a one-two finish for Ingolstadt. Ralf-boosters can blame the unfamiliarity of the C-Class race car which he was driving, but the track itself should have been familiar territory for the flunked-out former F1 driver. Compare that with his brother Michael who's been burning rubber and taking names on motorcycles altogether and it becomes all that much clearer who wears the racing overalls in the Schumacher family.

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Rumormill: Daimler looking to buy big stake in Aston Martin

04/05/2008   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Plants/Manufacturing, Supercars, Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz, AMG

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Aston Martin N400 V8 Vantage.

What began as a rumor that Mercedes-Benz would begin supplying Aston Martin with engines has evolved into a full-blown partnership that may include both automakers co-developing platforms and technology. The newest report comes courtesy of Autocar, suggesting that M-B is considering purchasing a stake in Aston Martin and the Kuwaiti Investment Authority would in turn receive a seven-percent slice of the Daimler AG pie.

The partnership would make sense on several levels. Aston Martin, which is a small fish in a very large pool, will need to purchase major components from mainstream suppliers once its ties with Ford are officially severed. Imagine AMG-levels of power nestled inside Aston's sensuous sheet metal. Yum. But the partnership wouldn't be one sided. Recent reports coming out of Germany say that M-B is looking to employ a lightweight aluminum platform for the next generation SL. Aston Martin has the technology to help develop such an architecture, and with Mercedes stepping away from McLaren next year after production of the SLR ends, M-B needs a new supercar manufacturer to join the party.

Thanks for the tip, Mike!

Gallery: Aston Martin N400 V8 Vantage

Gallery: Aston Martin V12 Vantage RS Concept

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Spy Video: SLR McLaren's supercharged V8 in the next Pagani supercar?

04/03/2008   [Original: Argentina Auto Blog via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Videos, Supercars, AMG

Click above to jump to the video of the Pagani test mule

AMG put too much work into developing the engine for the Mercedes SLR McLaren for the mighty motor to be tossed aside when the ill-fated supercar is replaced by the SL65 Black Series. So what will become of the SLR's supercharged V8? An amateur spy video posted on YouTube might have the answer.

A couple of weeks ago we brought you news that Pagani had renewed its engine partnership with Mercedes AMG, but what we didn't know then was what powerplant the wizards in Affalterbach were planning for Pagani's next exotic supercar. In the spy video after the jump, you can see a developmental test mule running around near the Pagani workshop wearing the Zonda's body panels like a kid in his father's suit. It's conspicuously missing the Zonda's trademark high-mounted garbage-pail exhaust tunnel. Speculation based on the engine note suggests that the test mule could be running the SLR's kompressor eight, which could hold promise for a more compact and nimble successor to the ferocious Pagani Zonda.

Gallery: Pagani Zonda F at Geneva 07

Continue reading Spy Video: SLR McLaren's supercharged V8 in the next Pagani supercar?

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Mercedes SL65 Black will offer SLR performance for less

03/26/2008   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

One of the biggest criticisms of the Mercedes SLR McLaren was that, impressive though it was, the performance just didn't justify the enormous price tag. Mercedes isn't about the make that mistake again, however, and is preparing the new Black Series version of the SL65 AMG towards that end.

As we've reported previously, the Black Series will get its performance edge through the application of the time-honored "more power, less weight" formula -- the same kind of thinking that made the Ferrari 430 Scuderia the all-eclipsing supercar it is over the "ordinary" F430. Most of the body panels will be replaced, including the heavy folding roof mechanism, while the track up front and in the rear are being widened significantly. All the extra go-fast is anticipated to propel the Black Series to performance levels that will rival that of the SLR McLaren, but at a couple hundred thousand less. And that won't even be the SLR's replacement, with the even faster SLC down the pipeline. We're promised a first look at the SL65 AMG Black Series this July at the German Grand Prix in advance of its official launch closer to the end of the year. (We'll always have Paris.)

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PWNED: Kid tries to pass off CLS 55 AMG as his own, gets caught

03/26/2008   [Original: MDStreetScene via Autoblog]
Category: Tuner Tuesdays, Etc., Mercedes Benz, AMG

Some people are just pathological. At first, it was amusing that Fresh C280, a member of the MDStreetScene forums, would claim to own a Mercedes CLS55 AMG. How a 19-year-old affords a car that normally retails for around $100,000 is the first thing that made everyone on the forum suspicious. A story about a digital camera becoming a sewage buoy was also an immediate head scratcher, since the pic he posted supposedly came from said camera. Further cementing the obvious dementia was the claim that the picture was taken during a dyno run in New York. It could be New York, except right now it's chilly early spring in the Empire State, and the dyno run picture clearly shows garage bays with the doors flung open and leaves on trees. It gets better as it becomes clear how many balls this kid's trying to juggle to hold up his story. There's a nice little synopsis that debunks the girlfriend angle - even though it's supposedly her car.

It didn't take long for total pwnage to occur when Fresh C280s fellow Maryland car enthusiasts did a little detective work. The car is actually owned by a CarDomain member named Xavier, who hails from Florida and showed up with proof of ownership around 30 pages in. All of the pictures posted to the MDStreetScene bulletin board were stolen from the actual owner's CarDomain page. This is weirder than the guy who thought up direct exhaust injection. The makings of a character study are all there - apparent delusional schizophrenia, a longing to be somebody, a sad little existence, and completely self-inflicted massive public humiliation. There's even a cameo by a famous lolcat. It doesn't get better than this, folks, the thread is only a day old so far. Check it out for yourself, it gets good around page 6. Oh, and Fresh C280's quote at the bottom of his posts is oddly prescient. Thanks for the tip, Terry!

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Pagani and Mercedes AMG ink new engine deal

03/21/2008   [Original: Pagani via Autoblog]
Category: Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

The world's major sportscar-makers all have major parent companies behind them: Ferrari and Maserati have the Fiat Group while Lamborghini (and Bugatti) are under the VW/Audi umbrella. Pagani Automobili SpA, however, remains independent, but hooked up with Mercedes to provide the motivation in the heart-racing Zonda supercar. Not to worry, though, because by all accounts the V12 engine that AMG builds by hand for Pagani is an awesome powerplant. Its displacement and output have increased from six liters and 408 horsepower in the original C12 to 7.3 liters and 602 hp in the latest Zonda F. With dedicated development like that, it would be foolish for Pagani to look elsewhere or consider designing its own engine. So it's probably a good sign that Pagani and AMG have renewed their partnership, the fruits of which we're looking forward to seeing in the highly anticipated successor to the Zonda, whenever it debuts.

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