While all vehicles—AMGs included—have their compromises and shortcomings, Mercedes-Benz’s performance arm is on a basic philosophical plane that we very much admire: If it exists, cram more motor into it. Small, medium, and large sedans? (Plus another medium with a different roofline?) Check. Coupes? Check. Roadsters? Check. SUVs? Check. Thirty-three-year-old military vehicle? Check. Crazy-ass German luxury minivan? Check. The German powerhouse hit its stride over the past five years, stuffing a 6.2-liter V-8 of its own creation into a wider variety of Mercedes-Benzes than have ever worn the badge of Aufrecht, Melcher, and Grossaspach at one time. Then, in the name of efficiency, the brand ditched that motor in favor of a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8. In doing so, AMG dropped not one horsepower and stumbled upon 185 more lb-ft of torque than its suddenly sleepy-looking 6.2 had in its strongest form. (We will for now ignore the new engine’s acoustic deficiency.)
Currently, the M157 twin-turbo is available in seven different Benzes. Its output varies among them; the ML tested here with the optional Performance package makes 550 hp and has its twist capped at 560 lb-ft. The latter, need we remind you, is still more than any other SUV on the market. That prodigious output thrust the 5285-pound ML seen here to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, to 100 in 9.8, and through the quarter-mile in 12.6 at 113 mph. Given enough space, it’ll stretch its legs all the way to a governor-limited 175. (Because you and that small herd of goats you’re hauling would otherwise want to go faster.)
Faster Than We Can Count
While the turbos muffle some of the sound of small explosions happening as many as 480 times a second, the ML was never the most vocal AMG. Its engine is, however, a very smooth device for combusting gasoline at such a furious rate. With max torque available from 2000 rpm to 5000 and horsepower peaking at 5750, the ML driver just experiences one long pull from stationary to “Well, officer, I honestly had no idea I was going that fast. The baby (goat) didn’t even wake up!” It does execute fluttering burps on upshifts and some mild spitting on downshifts and overrun, though, so that those who wish they’d instead bought an E63 AMG wagon don’t trade in their M-classes immediately.
In spite of their similar outputs, performance, and cost, these two two-box AMG “63” vehicles are quite different. Where the E63 wagon engages its driver, the ML—redesigned for this year—takes more of an “are we there yet?” approach to its limits. Unlike a haggard parent repeating, “Yes, yes, now please stop cattle-prodding your sister,” though, the ML pilot hasn’t a clue how close he is to the limit until he’s there. As it nears, communication dies down significantly. The steering never says much, there’s little roll, and the tires are quiet right up until they’re yowling in understeer. Well, maybe there’s a little more vocal warm-up, but coddled inside the serene interior, you’ll never know. The ML63 isolates the driver from the sensation of speed in a way that is unique to Mercedes-Benzes and perhaps perfected in this particular one.
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There is a lot riding on the success of the 2013 Honda Accord. The sedan has to really step up its game when it comes to offering new car shoppers technology and connectivity options in the car. If the latest spy shots are to be believed – Honda will be doing just that.
A video on YouTube shows the newly designed interior with a new ergonomic center stack, a floating speed gauge cluster, and Pandora connectivity – showing that the Japanese automaker will be offering a new infotainment system.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Honda will be debuting its new infotainment feature called HondaLink this summer.
Check out the video after the jump for a look.
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Jaguar is prepping a radical F-Type GT3 racing car powered by a high-boost, 1.6 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that its technical partner Cosworth has developed for the road-going version of the stunning C-X75 concept.
The high-tech engine, which is currently in the final stages of development, is said to have been running with up to 700 hp on the Cosworth test bench. Jaguar has already intimated the engine will be good for 500 hp when installed in the hybrid C-X75 supercar (which will come with additional front wheel electric hub motors bumping power back up to 700 hp on demand), and the British luxury and sportscar maker is expected to cap the proposed F-Type installation at a similar 480-500 hp.
If the Jaguar GT racer appears as described it will be a fascinating newcomer in an increasingly disparate sector. Front engine rivals include the differently-mighty Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 with its 6.3 liter V-8, while cars that put the driver first include the McLaren MP4-12C and of course the almost ubiquitous Porsche 911 GT3.
The F-Type GT3 scheme is said to be part of a £20m customer racing program that – if all goes to plan – would see the Jaguar brand return to the heartland of endurance and GT racing in 2014. As such it would be reasonable to expect the racing F-Type to be compatible with various categories – GT3, VLN (Nurburgring 24hrs) and GTE (Le Mans 24hrs).
Specifications of the Thai-built Ford Focus MkII range have been released on the Aussie car maker’s website ahead of the small car’s local showroom launch on August 1.
While Ford Australia is yet to confirm the full details, the new Focus will see the inclusion of Ford’s Sync voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity system, as well as the advanced Active City Stop safety program.
Ford’s Active City Stop is a system borrowed from Swedish safety gurus Volvo – formerly owned by Ford – that will autonomously apply the brakes and reduce engine torque to avoid low-speed collisions or lessen their impact. The system operates at speeds up to 30km/h and relies on a lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor to scan the area ahead of the vehicle for possible obstacles.
A rear-view camera and body-couloured side skirts come standard on Sport and Titanium models with full leather trim also now included in the top-of-the-range Titanium. The Sport (pictured top) also scores a new wheel design, but is now only available as a hatch, with the sedan variant discontinued from the line-up.
Ford is currently running out Focus MkI stock with offers on Ambiente and Trend models, with prices starting from $ 19,990 drive away.
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The Prince of Monaco, Albert II, will be auctioning off a portion of the collection of cars assembled by his late father Rainer III in an attempt to ‘re-organise’ the fleet.
Rainer III spend 30 years putting together the private collection comprising of over 100 vehicles, on display at a museum in Monaco, of which 38 will be auctioned off. The collection is a mix of models including classics, American muscle cars, city cars and even a Mercedes built especially for the Prince.
Prince Albert II commented that, “The Princes of Monaco have always been passionate about motor cars. Prince Pierre initiated the Grand Prix in 1929, and competed in it, in a Torpedo. My father, Prince Rainier, took over the development of the race, which has today become one of the most prestigious events in the world.”He also supported the Historic Grand Prix, which was established in 1997 and has enjoyed enormous success.”Together, we established a private collection of classic cars which is particularly close to my heart. I now wish to add some new models to the collection.”
Below is a list of some of the cars that will be placed on auctioned:
- 1971 Fiat 500
- 1964 Dodge Dart
- 1980 Citroen CX
- 1983 Mercedes 500 SEC AMG
- 1969 Siata Spring Roadster
- 1939 Simca 5
- 1968 NSU Sport Prinz coupé
BMW, Road Tests — By MR on July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm — No Comments
With the release of the BMW M Performance Automobiles earlier this year, the German car maker from Munich added a new chapter to its growing lineup of cars. The premiere of the BMW M Performance Automobiles heralds the creation of a new category of car fitting in between the normal series and the M Power series.
Out of the four models available in the lineup currently available we were given the option to drive the BMW M550d xDrive Touring, in essence the best possible daily travelling package available on the market offering an extremely powerful engine and agile handling. It was time for a road test!
The most noticeable part of the four cars – BMW X5 M50d, BMW X6 M50d, BMW M550d xDrive and BMW M550d xDrive Touring – is the 3.0 liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with three turbochargers. Instead of using the detuned 4.4 liter V8 M5 engine, the Germans fitted a special diesel engine and combined the oil burner with an all-wheel-drive providing a lofty new standard in performance and capabilities.
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There was plenty to see and do for Ferrari fans at this past weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
For starters, the Italian sports car maker showed two UK debuts at this year’s event, the new 458 Spider and the lighter and more powerful California 30, both of which tackled the famous 1.16-mile hill climb route.
Joining the two cars on the track were the flagship V12-powered, four-wheel drive FF and the 2009 F60 F1 single-seater driven by Scuderia Ferrari driver Marc Gené, who had this to say about the race:
“The track is extremely narrow, so it feels quite fast even though we are only doing 250 km/h (155 mph). We have brought the car here because it won in 2009 and we like to bring F1 to the fans here in England. The Festival of Speed is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – events in the world.”
For fans of older Ferrari models, the Maranello-based automaker had several classic cars on display including Nick Mason’s rare 250 MM from 1953, the ex-Carrera Panamerica car, a 250 GTO, 250 SWB, 275 GTB4, 365 GTB4 and 288 GTO, just to mention a few.