Following the official unveiling at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Mercedes released a new official video starring the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive, the electric driven variant of its famous gullwing supercar. The electric SLS AMG is characterized by a special blue chrome paint job that immediately sets it apart from the other electric cars and comes with four synchronous electric motors, one for each wheel. These permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors, each weighing 45 kg, can achieve a maximum individual speed of 13,000 rpm: this allow the electric SLS to produce a maximum output of 750 horsepower, with no less than 1000 Nm of basically instantaneous torque.
Performance figures are equally impressive - it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (just like all Mercs) - but the range ensured by the 60 kWh high-voltage battery, consisting of 12 lithium-ion modules, is not bad at all: 250 km (according to NEDC combined).
Being this an all-electric car, it would have been somewhat inapproriate to give it an AMG tag if it couldn’t produce the characteristic AMG roar, but the engineers from Affalterbach did not look over the matter. In fact they have even developed a tailor-made ’sound’ which reflects the driving situation and the vehicle’s operating state with a suitable driving noise. The Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive will hit the German showrooms in July with a € 416,500 price tag.
On the road you might not be able to get the 2013 Alfa Romeo MiTo SBK Edition onto two wheels, but you’ll have fun wherever you take it. This uprated Alfa Romeo was developed to celebrate the Italian manufacturer’s continued support of the FIM World Superbike Championship. To mark the launch, British Superbike rider Chris Walker and stunt driver Paul Swift got together at Silverstone. Whilst Walker got his Kawasaki onto one wheel, Swift pulled the harder trick of getting the Mito onto two.
Power comes from a 1.4 litre turbo which is good for 170 hp. The body kit with side skirts and rear spoiler has SBK decals and 18 inch alloys with red Brembo brakes complete the look. Inside each car gets an SBK Limited Edition badge that’s individually numbered. It’s just below the dash that contains dual-zone air-conditioning, cruise control and Bluetooth hand-free capability. Alfa active suspension and parking sensors at the rear are also part of the package.
According to Land Rover, the Range Rover is the vehicle of choice for European Airstream trailer owners. But our images aren’t proof of Range Rover’s claim, they were taken during a 4,000 mile road trip that Ben Samuelson and his PR team carried out to demonstrate the new off-roader.
The trip took them from the UK to Morocco and back again, and showed off the towing ability of the fourth generation SUV that was first exhibited at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Although the publicity stunt isn’t necessary to prove what the Range Rover is capable of, the combination of the new Airstream 684 Series 2 trailer and the latest Range Rover driving 3,676 miles in 11 days has provided us with some breath-taking photos of an adventure that covered English country lanes, the open roads of Spain and eventually, the hairpins surrounding the High Atlas in central Morocco.
With 700Nm of torque and systems like Range Rover’s Trailer Stability Assist and the electrically-deployed tow bar in place, the latest generation is well equipped for this type of job, but we’re more impressed with the fourth generation’s use of a full aluminium monocoque chassis to lower the base weight. A total of 420kg has been trimmed from the 2580kg that the current model carries around, so performance and economy are increased.
Here is a new official video released by Porsche focusing on the styling of the Porsche Panamera Sport Tourism Concept, a study for a shooting-brake/wagon variant of the Panamera that was firstly introduced at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It is interesting to notice that while the Panamera has divided opinions since its inception - especially as far as its aesthetics are concerned - the Sport Turismo Concept seems to have already convinced almost everyone.
Although there’s no official confirmation about it, the final production version of this car is quite likely to share chassis and mechanics with its sedan counterpart. An advanced hybrid version probably dubbed “e-hybrid” - also introduced in Paris - should also become available fairly soon, with a powertrain composed of a 3.0-litre TFSI engine producing 333 hp and an electric motor with an output of 95 hp. The electric power pack of the Sport Turismo e-hybrid will consist of a 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery whose performance is several times that of the nickel-hydride battery currently used in production, although it has practically the same dimensions.
The combined peak power of this model will reach 416 horsepower, with a range of 30 km in EV driving mode. On electric power alone, the car would hit a top speed of 130 km/h (80 miles), whereas with both engines on this Panamera shooting-brake accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6 seconds, with average fuel consumption of 3.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 82 grams per kilometer.
Among the numerous Italian premières brought by Mercedes to the 2012 Bologna Motor Show, there also was the new Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive. The electric version of Mercedes B-Class, presented at the last Paris Motor Show, comes with an unusual livery, which characterises not only the compact Mercedes MPV, but also another electric vehicle introduced in Paris, Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive.
Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive is a particular prototype, is an all-electric car powered by a single 100 kW motor producing 310 Nm combined to a lithium-ion battery pack. The overall range of the car is estimated at more than 200 km and the batteries can be recharged either by a standard 230 volts plug, or to a more powerful 400 volt socket to reduce charging time.
The new electric Mercedes B-Class will be sold to the public in 2014 and could provide even a greater autonomy, as a result of the technical evolution of the electric systems and batteries, in addition to the latest aerodynamic studies that will also update the look of the car.
The final version of the Ford Fiesta ST will be on display at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show (November 30 - December 9) and will debut a few months after the appearance of its prototype, which was granted a first catwalk last March.
The new Ford Fiesta ST - which will be exactly the same for Europe and the United States - will be powered by a 1.6-liter EcoBoost unit delivering 200 hp and 290 Nm of peak torque, most of which (240 Nm) will be already available at 1,600 rpm. Compared to the concept car there are 20 hp and 50 Nm more, meaning its performance figures will be slightly better than the 7 seconds 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time a 220 km/h (136 mph) top speed claimed for the protoytpe. Fuel consumption should not exceed the 7 liters per 100 kilometers mark. With these specifications, the Fiesta ST will become the most powerful B-segment car currently available on the market today.
The styling of the model remains basically unchanged and is characterized by its 17-inch alloy wheels, the aerodynamic package, the twin tailpipe and the rear diffuser, while in the passenger compartment there will be sports seats and contrasting colors. From a technical point of view, ride heigth has been lowered by 15 mm and the steering has been refined, while we got anti-roll bars at the rear and Torque Vectoring at front. The Ford Fiesta ST will be offered in both three- or five-door body types.
Mazda releases two new official videos featuring the new Mazda-6 saloon and Mazda-6 station wagon, in order to complete their ‘virtual’ launch, after being displayed live in Moscow and Paris during the Motor Shows and expected on the market at the beginning of 2013. After carefully analysing the images and characteristics of each car, we noticed a peculiar detail that distinguish the saloon from the estate variant, more than any other stylistic element: the saloon has a 2.83 metres long wheelbase (overall length 4.87 metres), 5.5 cm longer compared to the length of the station wagon, which measures 4.81 metres.
The difference in length affects the interior spaciousness of the passenger compartment: the Mazda-6 saloon offers 984 mm of leg room for the rear passengers, while in the estate is just 955 mm. On the other hand the family car boasts superior headroom and also a larger luggage compartment that measures up to 1644 litres. Both vehicles will be offered with a range of petrol engines, 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G (145 and 165 hp), 2.5-litre SKYACTIV-G (192 hp) and diesel units, 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D, with 150 and 175 hp.
Lamborghini showed up at the 2012 Paris Motor Show to introduce the Gallardo LP 560-4 MY 2013, and today we are able to offer the first official photos of the Spyder version of that model. Just like the coupe version we saw in Paris, the Spyder also comes with a front characterized by triangular and trapezoidal shapes, larger air intakes and a set 19-inch alloy wheels adopting the new design called “Apollo polished”, painted in matt black and polished silver finishing.
The rear section of the Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder uses a completely new design and features a new exhaust with a larger surface to improve thermodynamic efficiency, though triangle and trapezoid still are the dominant forms there. This new Lambo convertible can also be provided with the new Style Package, which includes a special black paint finish for the spoiler, front and lower grilles as well as the bar of the rear bumper. The engine has been left untouched, meaning it still is a 5.2-liter-V10 5.2 producing 560 hp at 8,000 rpm and reaching a peak torque of 540 Nm at 6,500 rpm. The new Gallardo Spyder weighs in at 1,550 kg (dry weight), and this engine will be able to push it from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4 seconds, with a maximum speed of 324 km/h (201 mph).
Average consumption is rated at 13.8 liters per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of 330 g/km. Being this basically a convertible racer, the ideal weight distribution between front and rear is a must, and has been set to 43% and 57% respectively. As for the transmission, the Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder MY 2013 will count on a sequential 6-speed “E-gear” gearbox with paddles behind the steering wheel, which will convey the power of the engine to the four wheels.
Here is a new video featuring the Bentley Continental GT3, presented during the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The British sports car, based on Bentley Continental Coupe, has been specially modified to conform to the specifications imposed by the FIA for the GT3 Championship. To comply with such regulations Bentley had to opt for rear-wheel drive, imposed by the FIA, in place of the all-wheel drive of the road version.
In the last few days there has been speculation about a possible Continental GT3 road variant, which could hit the market between 2014 and 2015. The production model of the car should use Bentley’s standard all-wheel drive system combined to a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine with output rated at about 700 horses. There are also rumours about a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine, updated and revised to produce a power output of around 700 horsepower.
Mercedes Aesthetics S has certainly not received the attention they hoped for. Which is a shame, because the sculpture - displayed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show - anticipates the future stylistic cues of the new S-Class, highlighting the volumes and heart-lines of the vehicle’s side, giving the audience a rather faithful idea of the final product.
To explain the reasons of this choice the brand with the three-pointed star has passed the microphone to Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, who describes the Aesthetics S as “the combination of a three-dimensional sculpture and an audio video art projection”. The new Aesthetics S is the third evolution of a line-up introduced in 2010, when it anticipated the second-generation CLS.