All posts in “Mercedes-Benz”

Mercedes-AMG halo EV due in 2025 could make 980 hp from two motors

Mercedes-Benz plans four platforms to carry it into an all-electric future. There’s the Modular Mercedes Architecture (MMA) for entry-level vehicles like the production version of the Concept CLA. Then there are the three EA platforms: MB.EA for midsize and large Mercedes passenger vehicles, VAN.EA for the commercial haulers, and AMG.EA for hyper-potent stuff from the Mercedes-AMG division, the first of which is due in 2025. Engineers in Affalterbach showed what an AMG.EA brainchild could look like with the Mercedes Vision Concept from May of last year, a four-door exuding vibes of a beefier Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept while also clearly in the AMG One family. Autocar reports that the performance vision for the first pure-electric EV developed by AMG could bring close to 1,000 horsepower to the table, if not more.

The potential output comes courtesy of axial flux electric motors developed by UK company Yasa, a startup incorporated in 2009 to commercialize innovations made at Oxford University. In its short life, Yasa’s axial motors have appeared in the Jaguar CX-75 Concept, record-breaking electric racers at Pikes Peak, the Konigsegg Regera and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale. Mercedes bought Yasa two years ago, the company tasked with high-energy motors for AMG. Mercedes hasn’t spoken of figures yet, but Yasa founder and CEO Tim Woolmer has said one motor planned for AMG weighs 53 pounds and is capable of a peak 480 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. This is the “exceptionally powerful and advanced” unit Mercedes hinted at when speaking on the sidelines of the One-Eleven Concept debut.

If Woolmer’s figures are representative of the motor going in the electric AMG, that’s a possible 960 hp and 1,180 lb-ft. assuming AMG restrains itself to just two motors, one on each axle. These aren’t heady numbers for luxury electric carsthe hybrid AMG One makes 1,049 hp, BMW’s quad-motor electric M3 prototype is rumored to be capable of 1,341 hp — and 2025 is a long way away in terms of electric developments, so AMG adding a third or fourth motor won’t raise eyebrows.

Powering those motors will be a pack from U.S. outfit Sila Nanotechnologies that replaces graphite anodes in the typical lithium-ion battery with silicon. The result’s said to be less expensive and more powerful, Mercedes citing a 40% increase in density for the same battery size. Along with the AMG.EA platform’s design, AMG vehicle designers will use the battery’s benefits to draw a car Autocar says will be about as long as the 199-inch AMG GT 4-Door but sit “much lower than … the EVA platform” used by the AMG EQS 53. The lowest point on the AMG GT 4-Door sits 4.6 inches off the ground, the EQS 53 limbos under that by three-tenths of an inch. A car “much lower” than that is going to qualify as a reptile.

The One-Eleven Concept provided clues to tech like a full-width high-def screen in AMG’s electric car. The AR headset necessary to engage with the complete vehicle interface will, hopefully, remain a few more years in the future.

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Autoblog’s Editors’ Picks: The Complete List

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Mercedes-AMG One sets Nurburgring record, could’ve gone faster: Watch the run

In September 2018, Mercedes-AMG claimed it didn’t see the point of using the One to set a new record on the Nürburgring. It has obviously changed its mind: The Formula One-derived hypercar just set a new record for street-legal production cars on Germany’s grueling track.

DTM pilot Maro Engel lapped the Green Hell in 6.35.183 on October 28, though the record wasn’t announced until now. In comparison, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR logged a time of 6:38.835 in June 2021, and the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series took 6:43.616. It sounds like the One could have been even quicker in better weather conditions: AMG explained that the track was damp and slightly dirty.

Mercedes made no modifications to the One to set the record; if it had, it wouldn’t be eligible to claim the production car crown. The company notes it dialed in the maximum camber values before letting Engel loose on the track, however. The car’s gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain consists of a turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 engine and four electric motors. The system is closely related to the one that powers AMG’s championship-winning Formula One car, and it delivers 1,063 horsepower in this application. While setting a record with this much power might sound easy, Engel stresses it’s quite difficult. He notably had to make the most of the brake energy recuperation system.

“We tried to find the optimal deployment strategy during the pre-tests. Like Lewis Hamilton and George Russel on their race weekends, I also had to deploy the electrical energy of the hybrid drive in the best possible way. That’s not easy, especially with this length of track,” he said. He ultimately selected the “Race Plus” driving mode that provides the best possible aerodynamic profile and lowers the ride height.

Records are meant to be broken. While the One’s is seriously impressive, we can’t help but wonder who will manage to beat it.

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Driving the GMC Hummer EV and Mercedes-Benz EQS, EQE, EQS SUV | Autoblog Podcast #750

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. This week, they talk about driving Mercedes‘ fleet of EQ electric vehicles, including the EQE Sedan, the AMG EQS Sedan and the EQS SUV. They also talk about piloting the Acura NSX Type S. Next, they discuss the reveal of the 2024 Maserati GranTurismo, including the all-electric Folgore trim, as well as the Ferrari SP51 roadster. Finally, they talk about some of the best (including some unusual) car features for kids.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #750

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An assortment of emblematic supercars is headed to auction

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is giving enthusiasts the chance to bid on the supercars that they had posters of when they were kids. It’s organizing a live sale in Miami, Florida, in December 2022 that’s limited to 60 high-end models built between the 1970s and the 2010s.

The oldest car in the catalog is a V12-powered 1974 Jaguar E-Type, though keep in mind that only 20 of the 60 available slots have been filled so far. At the other end of the spectrum, the newest model is currently a 2014 BMW M5. If your automotive tastes are firmly anchored in the 1980s, there’s a wide selection of cars to choose from such as a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition and a 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo with a flat-nose conversion. If your heart belongs in the 1990s, RM’s sale includes a 1990 Lamborghini LM 002, a 1995 Ferrari 512 M, and a 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo. Bentley models and a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR are among the newer classics.

Carmakers weren’t alone in pursuing speed, style, and extravagance in the 1980s; tuners fought hard for a piece of the pie as well, and RM’s sale reflects that. Collectors will get the rare opportunity to bid on a number of pre-merger AMG models like a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 5.0 (R107), a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC 6.0 (C126) with a wide-body kit, and a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL 6.0 (W126). BMW-based Alpina models are well represented, too: RM accepted a pair of 6 Series-based 1987 B7 coupes and a 3 Series-based B6 2.8. 

There are several slots left so it’s not too late to submit your car. If you’re a buyer, plan on being in Miami on December 9 and 10, 2022. We suggest clearing up space in your garage first: every car is offered with no reserve, so the selling price will be the highest bid.

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Mercedes-AMG One flexes its active aero at Goodwood

The newly minted Mercedes-AMG One has taken to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to show off some of its tricks. Making its first public showing, the Formula 1-inspired supercar took to the event’s 1.2-mile hillclimb to wow the crowd with its active aero shape-shifting. 

The AMG One is a showcase of the brand’s technology, derived from its 7-year F1 winning streak from 2014-2020 with Lewis Hamilton at the helm. It boasts a combined system horsepower of 1,049 from its 1.6-liter V6 and four electric motors. Even one of its dual turbochargers has its own electric motor. 

On Lord March’s driveway, however, it’s clear that the One is only using a fraction of its abiliities. From the starting gate, it cruises along at a leisurely pace, emitting a UFO-like whine (Mercedes says it can go 11.2 miles on its 8.4-kWh liquid-cooled battery alone). 

Unexpectedly, it comes to a dead stop in the middle of the track. The FoS has hosted its share of embarrassing mishaps, but this isn’t one of them. Instead, the AMG One drops over an inch in ride height, an adaptive suspension stiffening track-only setting called Race Plus that comprises one of six drive modes. Suddenly its bodywork splays out like that dinosaur that killed Newman in “Jurassic Park.” Not only does it deploy a rear wing, but each fender has four individual flaps that open to vent air from the wheel wells. 

The car then continues on at a brisker rate, but still far short of its 2.9-second 0-62 time or the V6’s 11,000 rpm capability (AMG declines to call it a redline, saying instead that the engine’s been designed to spin at that speed). Nevertheless, a high-pitched F1 note can be heard as the car continues up the hill.

Whether we will ever get to see the Mercedes AMG One on U.S. soil is still up in the air. If we do, though, at least now we know what to expect from its Transformer-esque moves.

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Buick Wildcat and Electra concepts, Ford Maverick | Autoblog Podcast #732

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They lead off with a discussion of the news. This section touches on the DeLorean Alpha5, Buick Wildcat EV Concept reveal, revival of the Buick Electra name, production reveal of the Mercedes-AMG One and some scuttle about Volkswagen’s recently-bought Scout brand. After that, they move on to the cars they’ve been driving, including the Ford Maverick and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

After the pair finish with what they’ve been driving, the podcast transitions to an interview between Greg Migliore and former Car and Driver Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman. Finally, Greg and Zac wrap things up with some more spring and summer beer recommendations.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #732

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Mercedes-AMG One finally here with 1,049 hp of awesome

Dieter Zetsche and Lewis Hamilton presided over the debut of what was then called the Mercedes-AMG Project One at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Back then, “the hottest and coolest car” Mercedes-AMG had ever attempted was going to be released in 2019. Then the 11,000-rpm, 1.6-liter V6 engine and its dislike for low-speed urban driving met increasingly strict emissions regulations, and it took the carmaker’s engineering might five years to overcome that hurdle and others. Five years on, the delay provided AMG the chance to launch what is now the Mercedes-AMG One on the 55th anniversary of AMG’s first building, the foundation stone for which was laid on June 1, 1967. 

Not since the McLaren F1 have we seen a road car work so hard to adhere to Formula 1 principles, and in fact, the AMG One (and the Aston Martin Valkyrie) go further. Much has changed since the show car — Zetsche and Moers are no longer Mercedes execs, for instance — but not the vital hardpoints. The root is the E Performance powertrain, which is that 1.6-liter V6 boosted by two turbochargers. The 121-hp MGU-H turbo works off exhaust gasses but gets help spinning up to speed with an electric motor. The 161-hp MGU-K turbo is connected to the crankshaft via a spur gear. There’s 1,049 system horsepower. AMG declined to peg a torque figure, saying, “Specification not possible due to complex drive train.” AMG also declined to list an actual rev limit; the engine’s been designed to spin to 11,000 rpm, but the engineers decided “for longer durability and use of commercial super plus petrol, [the engine] deliberately stays below the F1 rev limit.” Engine output is marked as 566 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, so owners won’t be walled off far away from the physical limits. 

Output runs through a new seven-speed manual transmission with shift rods and four carbon clutches instead of the eight-speed manual in the Frankfurt show car. The fully locking differential is integrated into the gearbox.

Two more motors each contribute 161 hp to drive the front wheels, providing fully-variable all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. They also provide the car a pure-electric range of 11.2 miles thanks to an 8.4-kWh liquid-cooled lithium battery that mimics the unit from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 car, but with more cells. This being a PHEV, the charge port is on the rear left of the car, opposite the fuel filler cap for the 14.5-gallon tank. 

Getting access to the ICE power means pressing the red start button between the front seats. That activates the electric motors immediately. The driver must then wait for the exhaust aftertreatment subsystem to reach operating temperature. The subsystem consists of four metal catalytic converters, two ceramic catalytic converters, and two gasoline particulate filters, and it was the circuit that pushed engineers to their limits.

Once the engine’s given the okay to commence combustion, and given enough road, the 3,737-pound AMG One gets to 62 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds, 124 mph in seven seconds, 186 mph in 15.6 seconds. Maximum velocity is 219 mph.

There are six driving modes. Race Safe is the default on startup, using the electric motors and on-demand hybrid power once the ICE kicks in. EV mode does just what one would expect. Individual combines the driver’s personal preferences. Race keeps the 1.6-liter running constantly so as to keep the battery charged. Race Plus, only available on the track, lowers the AMG One a little more than an inch and tightens the adaptive suspension. A second track-only mode called Strat 2 is equivalent to qualifying setup, optimizing the active aero and firming up the suspension further. That active aero allows a further three settings depending on mode, either Highway, Track, or Race DRS. ABS and a three-mode ESP come standard, for drivers who favor prudence when finding the limit. 

As standard, the package sits on 10-spoke, 19-inch forged aluminum center-lock wheels in front, 20-inchers in back. They can be swapped for nine-spoke forged magnesium center-lock wheels. Both sets are hidden behind carbon covers, and themselves hide a carbon-ceramic braking system with six-piston fixed calipers in front, four-piston clamps in back. Rubber stock is a quartet of specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2Rs.    

Dimensions are 15.6 feet long, 6.6 feet wide, and a hair over four feet tall. In the middle of all that is a cockpit built for two people and not much more. The seats are built into the monocoque, their backs able to recline at either 25 or 30 degrees, and an electrically adjustable steering wheel and 11-position pedal box are used to find a comfortable position. Mod-cons like air conditioning, power windows, and mini-USB ports are the most occupants will get for luxury. Luggage capacity is limited to the “high quality stowage compartment” atop the center tunnel.

The announced production run of 275 units is sold out at $2.75 million per. The patient owners and the public get the first glimpse of the coupe driven hard at this month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. AMG’s latest will be winding its way through the horde of BMW M cars celebrating M’s 50th anniversary. Customer deliveries are expected to begin sometime after that, before the year is out.

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They Actually Did It! Mercedes EQXX Covers 1,008km on Single Charge, 140km Still Remaining

The new Mercedes Vision EQXX took on the roads of Europe to demonstrate its outstanding range and efficiency. This new model covered over 1000 km in everyday traffic on a single battery charge. On arrival, the battery charge was 15% which mounted to a remaining range of around 140 kms, the average consumption was a record-breaking low of 8.7 kWh per 100 kms.

The Vision EQXX completed the long-distance with the charging socket sealed accompanied by an independent expert from certification body TUV sud. The model is packed with innovations and the software-defined research prototype is part of the technology programme that combines the latest digital technology with Mercedes’s spirit, agility and speed of Formula 1.

The model has also been fitted with Bridgestone tyres with an extremely low rolling-resistance rating of 4.7, the tyres are specifically developed for the EQXX in partnership with Mercedes and also improves the overall efficiency of the vehicle.

Special features in the new EQXX includes comprehensive lightweight construction and design concept, examples of this are carbon-fibre-sugar composite materials also used in Formula 1, BIONEQXX rear floor manufactured using aluminum casting process, light metal structural components, aluminium brake discs and lightweight F1 subframe for the electric chassis.

The Vision EQXX also gets its energy from the fixed solar roof which increases the range by more than 2%. The 117 solar cells charge the 12-volt battery which then supplies power to auxiliary consumers like the navigational system.

In addition, the vehicle has also been fitted with the UI/UX which features a new one-piece display that spans the entire width of the interior.

Start of Trip Sindelfingen, April 5th, 2022, 7:00 a.m.
End of Trip Cassis, April 5th, 2022, 7:02 p.m.
Distance Travelled 1,008 kilometres
Time Travelled 12 hours and 2 minutes
Average speed 87.4 km/h
Max Speed 140km/h
Battery Remaining on Arrival 15% or 140km Range

Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series is basically a 778-hp race car

Whenever we think we’ve seen the most hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT, the German automaker one-ups itself. That’s the case with the GT Track Series. It’s a track-only special edition that’s lighter, more powerful and more outrageous than the Black Series that preceded it.

The seriousness is pretty obvious from the outside. It has even more aggressive splitters and wings than before, much of which is adjustable either for more downforce or less drag. Carbon fiber makes up much of the body including the hood, fenders, side skirts, trunk lid and rear bumper.

On top of that, the car has been stripped as bare as possible, all to get the weight down to 3,086 pounds. There are hardly any comfort items to speak of in the single-seat cabin save for air conditioning, and the optional ventilated helmet and seat system as well as a drink system. In place of all that is a custom racing wheel, carbon fiber seat, five-point harness, roll cage, multifunction instrument screen, safety nets, excape hatch and a fire suppression system, all meeting FIA standards.

Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series

The carbon-intensive body hides the most powerful version of the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 yet. Like the Black Series, it features a flat-plane crankshaft, but it has “motorsports” injectors and a new tune that brings output up to 778 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power goes down a carbon fiber torque tube to the six-speed sequential transaxle at the back.

The suspension and brakes are motorsport-quality, too. It features four-way adjustable suspension with adjustment for rebound, damping and ride height. The anti-roll bars are adjustable, too. The brakes use steel rotors measuring 15.4 inches up front, and 14 inches at the back. The front calipers have six pistons while the rears have four. It all rides on 18-inch forged wheels with tires that measure 325-mm wide. Additionally, brake bias, traction control and ABS are all adjustable.

Mercedes is only building 55 examples of the Track Series, as it’s a celebration of AMG’s 55th anniversary. Each car starts at 369,000 euros, or about $406,000. In addition to the car, owners will receive training on how to use the car, along with a support line, and the availability of an engineer for track events for help setting up and running the car.

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Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 512M and more immortalized as Lego sets

Lego has announced a slew of new Speed Champions sets, the ones based on actual licensed cars, for 2022. The latest batch includes a smorgasbord of supercars, from beloved classics like the Lamborghini Countach to yet-to-be-released promises like the long-awaited Mercedes-AMG One. There are seven cars in total, released in five sets. 

Our favorite is probably the 262-piece Lamborghini Countach, based on a later LP500 variant. Not only does it tick the box of a childhood dream machine, but the angular shape of the real-life Countach lends itself well to being recreated in Lego bricks. Also, it’s modeled in white rather than the typical red.

We also really dig the Ferrari 512M. It marked the last of Ferrari’s V12 endurance racers, and even though it was soundly spanked by the Porsche 917, the cars are undeniably beautiful. The 291-piece Lego set does a great job of capturing its brutal wedge silhouette in brick form.

Rounding out the single-car sets is the 247-piece Lotus Evija. The electric Lotus has a bit of a generic supercar look about it, but that’s not entirely the fault of the Lego kit. Its dramatic vents can’t really be replicated with the limited “resolution” of the Lego bricks. Its rear, with unique taillight-encircled air tunnels, is a bit more distinctive.

In addition to the single car sets, there are two larger sets of two cars each. One is a 592-piece Aston Martin-themed pack that includes the Valkyrie AMR Pro and Vantage GT3. Again, it’s a bit difficult to sculpt the cars’ curvaceous lines out of straight-edged bricks, but the effort is admirable. The Valkyrie is probably the more successful of the two, as the Vantage would resemble a Corvette or Viper if it didn’t have stickers to clarify the details.

Last but not least is a twofer comprised of 564 bricks to build the Mercedes-AMG One and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s W12 racer. In Lego’s official product description the driver is not mentioned by name, but the number 44 gives it away. The model of the One indeed looks like a sharp supercar, but the blocky pieces don’t exactly replicate the lines we’ve seen on camouflaged test mules. The F1 car model looks a bit more like the actual thing, complete with the Petronas livery that graces Hamilton’s steed.

Lego has been doing a great job of immortalizing supercars and classics in brick form in their Speed Champions lineup. Last year saw kits of the McLaren Elva, Koenigsegg Jesko, Toyota GR Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the Ford GT and Bronco. Their more detailed Technics line has seen vehicles like the Ford Raptor, Volkswagen Camper Van and BMW M1000RR motorcycle

While the kits look entertaining, we wouldn’t mind if they didn’t skew so heavily towards unobtainably expensive, limited-production vehicles. What kid wouldn’t want a kit of their parents’ Chrysler Pacifica, a Ford Transit Connect to replicate a city scene, or a Mazda Miata for some clean, honest fun? The single-car sets will retail for $19.99, the two-packs for $39.99. All five sets are scheduled for a March 2022 release.

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Project Maybach: A Tribute to Virgil Abloh by Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz will be revealing Project Maybach following the wishes of Virgil Abloh’s family. The project will present a collaborative electric show car designed to inspire the next generation of cars.

As a way of paying tribute to the late Virgil Abloh, Mercedes will be opening the doors of the Rubell Museum to showcase Project Maybach to the public. The event will be exclusive to students from local design schools and will take place between 1st and 2nd december from 11.30am to 12.30 pm.

Vilrgil Abloh collaborated with Gorden Wagener to build every element of Project Maybach from scratch. The two interpreted the luxury identity of Mercedes Maybach with a new design language and further pushed the boundaries of function, style and creativity.

Additionally, the two seater battery-electric off-road coupe model combines large Gran Turismo proportions, large off-road wheels and unique attachments inspired by the great outdoors and off-road environment.

The main focus for both Abloh and Wagener was a responsible vision of future design. Thanks to complete creative freedom and unlimited production requirements, the design team fitted solar cells under the transparent surface of the show cars front hood to further increase the imagined range of Project Maybach.

Project Maybach show car was inspired by the possibility of exploring nature within a unique luxury context with Mayach. Mercedes team thanks Virgil Abloh for the inspiration to explore the power of cross-industry dialogue to imagine a better and a more inclusive future.

Mercedes-Benz X 350D 6-Wheeler “Black Edition”

Does anyone need an off-road Mercedes-Benz pickup truck capable of tackling any object in its path? The answer to that is probably not… especially when it has three axles, six wheels, and was almost completely…

The post Mercedes-Benz X 350D 6-Wheeler “Black Edition” first appeared on Cool Material.

Mercedes-AMG One specs revealed in Forza but seem off

The story of the Mercedes-AMG One has been long and drawn-out, and the latest chapter contains the first specific horsepower and torque figures we’ve seen. The information comes from a surprising source, the new “Forza Horizon 5″ video game, which includes the hybrid performance car in its huge selection of virtual cars. Unfortunately, the figures seems oddly low.

The AMG One doesn’t just play a minor role in the game; it’s the most prominently featured car on the X-Box title’s cover. As noticed by Motor 1, however, when players delve into the specs of the car the figures are plainly there for all to see: 877 horsepower, 535 pound-feet of torque. If that’s true, it would be a shocking letdown, considering that Mercedes-AMG has, since its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, repeatedly said the One would have in excess of 1,000 horsepower. In 2018, AMG chief Tobias Moers even said that the final figure might come in closer to 1,100.

The game also reveals that the One has a 3,737-pound curb weight and a 49/51 front/rear weight balance. The car has been billed as a road-going Formula One racer. It’s powered by a quad-motor hybrid system mated to a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 that reportedly soars to 11,000 rpm. 

Game makers often work closely with manufacturers when they have cars from the real world in their titles. At the very least, the automaker needs to sign off on licensing their names, logos, and vehicle likenesses to the publisher. However, each company has various levels of scrutiny as to what they will or won’t allow (such as colors, modifications, and so on).

It seems highly unlikely that Mercedes-AMG would give its flagship car “just” 877 horsepower after promising over 1,000 for years. Perhaps the game designers simply inserted specs that allowed the car to rank highly and keep it competitive. But if the specs are true, it wouldn’t be the first time a toy company worked closely with an OEM and then mistakenly revealed something ahead of the real car’s debut.

Best Naturally Aspirated Engines Ever Made

The number of entries – and the variety of automakers involved – onto this list is proof that the naturally-aspirated engine reigns supreme when it comes to the most important characteristics of what makes a good engine, and subsequently a great car. There’s always a temptation to default to turbocharged engines as being the most capable, particular in an age where 0-60 mph times are considered gospel when it comes to determining performance credentials and bragging rights. While turbochargers are typically needed to make monstrous hp numbers and remain the bread and butter of even greater aftermarket tuning potential (if getting into the 4-figures is a big deal for you), all true enthusiasts know that some of the most desirable traits of the best cars in the world come from having an NA engine. Astronomical rev ranges, unmatched acoustics and unrivaled versatility, balance, dependability and endurance. After all, what’s good for race cars is good for road cars, I’d say.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, despite the fact that the Mezger design was shelved and further proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Honda F20C/F22C

Honda F20C/F22C Engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Honda K Series

Honda K Series

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 engine

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection) and is seen in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Lambo 5.2L V10 engine

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 engine

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) engine

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) engine

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) engine

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders as the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

Ferrari Colombo V12

Ferrari Colombo V12 engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.

That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

Mercedes-AMG Project One: The Bumpy Path to Building a Formula One Car for the Road

In September, Mercedes-fans.de reported that customer deliveries of the long-anticipated Mercedes-AMG Project One had been delayed yet again. Handovers expected to start by the end of this year have now been pushed out until the first quarter of 2022 at the earliest.

Mercedes-AMG One driving on desert roadVia Mercedes Benz.

The German carmaker has not issued an official statement confirming or denying the report. However, it would not be too far-fetched to assume that the privileged few who secured an allocation would have to wait a little longer for their new toy to arrive.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One has been delayed before, and this latest report just lends credence to the fact that the journey from concept to full production for the hybridized hypercar has been anything but straightforward.

Mercedes-AMG Project One: In the Beginning

Mercedes-AMG Project One at 2017 Frankfurt Auto ShowVia Motor Authority.

At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Dieter Zetsche, then-head of Mercedes Benz, pulled the covers off the Mercedes-Benz AMG Project One concept. In Zetsche’s own words, ‘this vehicle will make all previous performance limits at AMG and Mercedes look small.’

The stats were all there to back up his bold statement—0 to 124 mph in less than 6 seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph. One of the most impressive features of the Project One is undoubtedly its powertrain. The hypercar boasts a combination of four electric motors and a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 directly derived from a Formula One car for a total output of over 1,000-hp.

Mercedes-AMG One at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show

 Side profile of Mercedes-AMG One at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show

I still have vivid memories of when I was fortunate enough to see the concept car in person. It was at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show, just a couple of months after its initial reveal in Germany.

I remember the feeling of awe that washed over me as I took in the extreme aerodynamic profile of the car while it spun slowly on a slightly raised dais. The Project One features a carbon-fibre monocoque topped off by a functional roof scoop that sucks air into the engine—a powerplant now at the heart of the various challenges faced by the design and engineering team down at their Affelterbach headquarters.

A Formula One Car for the Road

Mercedes-AMG One and Formula One car on trackVia Top Gear.

It is a road-legal car powered by a high-revving Formula One engine. That is the unique draw of the Project One hypercar, and that is what the team at Mercedes-AMG is still committed to delivering. But as stated earlier, this was never going to be a ‘walk in the park.’

The typical Formula One engine revs as high as 18,000 rpm and operates at such intense levels that it must be replaced after a few races. Granted, the Project One will not be driven like a Formula One car on public roads, but that does not make the challenge of adapting the F1 engine for road use any less daunting.

The idea has always been to develop a car that seamlessly combines racetrack performance and practical Formula One hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. The six-cylinder turbocharged engine works with two electric motors. The first one, rated at 101-hp, is integrated directly into the turbocharger and helps keep the engine permanently spooled up. The other one has a power output of 161-hp and is linked straight to the crankshaft.

Another two electric motors drive just the front wheels, giving the car an all-electric range of about 16 miles.

The turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine has been tempered down from Formula One levels but still has a redline set at an astounding 11,000 rpm. Other modifications to the powertrain include a completely bespoke crankshaft, pistons and a wholly redesigned electronics package that should help make the Project One hypercar more road-friendly.

Modifications notwithstanding, the engine in every AMG One car would still have to be rebuilt entirely after about 31,000 miles. It just shows the levels of complexity involved in dreaming up a project of this magnitude.

Mercedes-AMG Project One Design & Production Challenges

There will only be 275 units of the Project One hybrid hypercar—and yes, all allocations have since been scooped up by eager customers with hefty bank balances. Each unit reportedly costs as much as $2.7 million.

The lucky few who secured a build slot were initially promised a 2019 delivery date. Fast forward to 2021, and those customers, including real estate mogul Manny Khoshbin and seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, are still waiting.

Lewis Hamilton poses with the Mercedes-AMG OneVia Top Gear.

In November 2019, the carmaker announced that the car would only go into production in 2021. The lengthy delay primarily stemmed from issues around noise levels and getting the engine to pass strict emissions tests.

It’s one thing hearing a Formula One engine scream around a race track, but quite another matter having one threaten to pop your eardrums on a public road. Then the engineers would have to figure out how to have the highly complex engine setup pass emissions requirements that have only gotten more stringent with time.

At the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Michael Knoeller, head of product management and sales at AMG, summed up the issue nicely when he said, ‘When you make F1 technology street legal, you have to go through a journey with the customers.’ He also added, ‘We had some challenges, but now we’ve reached a tipping point.’

AMG graciously invited all 275 future owners to its headquarters and gave them a detailed report of the delays, in addition to explaining what the engineers were doing to overcome them. An early 2021 production date was set, and for a time, it looked like it would be a reality.

In February 2021, Mercedes-AMG posted a short clip on its YouTube channel that showed a barely-disguised AMG One being put through its paces around a race track. In September 2021, more images and video clips of the hypercar undergoing testing in various road conditions surfaced.

It was particularly heartwarming to see the Project One howling around the infamous Nurburgring race circuit as Mercedes-AMG carried out what was thought to be the final phase of testing at the time. That was before news of the latest delay began circulating.

Camouflaged Mercedes-AMG One speeding down roadVia Motor Authority.

Mercedes-AMG has been silent about this latest setback; at least nothing has been revealed to the public yet. However, it seems there’s still some work to be done before the car can be declared fully production-ready.

What Happens Now? The Future of Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-AMG Project OneVia Car Magazine.

The AMG One project is still a go. The latest shots of the car at the Nurburgring revealed an example with final production parts like the LED taillights and an updated front end. We even got to see the car doing some light off-roading, and unlike a previous test back in May where one of the prototypes suffered an engine failure, this one seemed to have successfully completed the testing round.

The reputation of Mercedes-AMG will undoubtedly take a massive hit if they have to cancel at this stage, not to mention potential lawsuits from pissed-off customers. So far, they have been quite dignified about how they have handled the lengthy delays, but there’s no telling if they will be as calm if Mercedes-AMG scraps the project.

In any case, that is unlikely to happen. Mercedes-AMG has the experience and resources to resolve any lingering issues and see this through. Yes, there have been delays, but It is quite safe to assume we will yet get to see a customer-driven Mercedes-AMG One (as it is now known) someday soon.

The New Mercedes-AMG SL

The newest edition of an icon, the Mercedes-AMG SL goes back to basic with a classic soft top and sporty character. The 2+2-seater is great for everyday use and for the first time, they created an all-wheel drive.

The SL is equipped with high-tech components like the AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active anti-roll stabilization and rear-axle steering. To really maximize the sporty profile, Mercedes-AMG added as standard the DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function. The AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system is being offered as an option.

Matched with the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, the combination gives unparalleled driving experience. Mercedes-AMG has built their reputation as a Performance Luxury manufacturer, and the company developed the SL in Affalterbach completely independently.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 und Mercedes-AMG SL 55
Mercedes-AMG SL 63 und Mercedes-AMG SL 55
Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and Mercedes-AMG SL 55

Kicking off the market launch are two models with AMG V8 engines.

It has almost been 70 years when a sports car launched in Stuttgart became an instant legend. From that first success, Mercedes-Benz envisioned expanding their potential through motor racing successes. This vision produced the first SL – a road-going racing sports car.

The 300 SL – with an internal designation of W 194 – made its debut in 1952, it recorded victory after victory in various racetracks all over the world. In its first year alone, it achieved an impressive one-two victory in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. If that is not enough, it also recorded four first place finishes at the Nürburgring Grand Jubilee Prize for sports cars. The successes of the 300 SL made it a legend.

In 1954, the highly successful racing car was followed by the production sports car 300 SL – internally dubbed as the W 198. Due to its unusual doors, it was given the nickname “Gullwing”. Its influence is so strong, that in 1999, a jury of motoring journalists picked the Gullwing as the “Sports Car of the Century”.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63

Other notable cars in its model history include the “Pagoda” called W 113 and was produced from 1963-1971, the evergreen R 107 had a really long production time from its release in 1971, with the last produced in 1989. The R 129 came next and due to its striking wedge shape, was considered to be an automotive structure.

To this day, the SL is considered to be one of the few real automotive icons in the world.

The development of the SL spans for decades with car enthusiasts following its evolution from full-blooded racing cars to open-top luxury sports car. Now, the new Mercedes-AMG SL creates another milestone. It seamlessly brought together the sportiness of the original SL with the luxury of technological advancements that embodies the modern Mercedes models.

“The SL is an icon: For almost 70 years, the distinctive sports car has delighted Mercedes customers of every generation around the world. With the rebirth of the roadster from Mercedes-AMG, the new SL more than ever remains the symbol of this timeless fascination”, shared Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.

Mercedes-AMG GmbH Chairman of the Board of Management Philipp Schiemer added, “The new SL combines the sporty genes of the original SL with the driving performance typical of AMG. At the same time, it offers luxury and comfort at the absolute top level. This combination is unique in the sports car segment and is also reflected in the interior – where the highest levels of comfort and quality meet the right helping of sportiness. The high-quality combination of analogue world and state-of-the-art digital equipment makes it clear that the new SL is the rebirth of an icon for the modern era”.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and Mercedes-AMG SL 55

Daimler Group Chief of Design Officer Gorden Wagener said, “With the new SL, we have created a repositioning of the iconic SL design. The expressively modelled exterior conveys a light and purist impression and brings sensual beauty and extravagant design into perfect harmony”.

“We at Mercedes-AMG consider it a great honour to have had the privilege to develop the new edition of this sports car icon. When we were tasked with the overall development of the new SL, we were able to start from scratch without building on an existing structure. We are proud of the result, which once again demonstrates the high level of engineering expertise in Affalterbach. The new 2+2 concept combines agile driving dynamics with a high level of comfort and unrestricted suitability for everyday use”, says Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL really raises the bar in the luxury sports car segment with its state-of-the-art technology, outstanding driving characteristics, and exquisite design.

The exterior design of the Mercedes-AMG SL perfectly brings together the sensual purity of modern Mercedes-Benz design with the typical sportiness of AMG, with characteristic details. The two power bulges on the bonnet of the new SL is one of the features that is clearly inspired by the first SL generation. The interaction of the light and shadow on the new SL gives an overall light and low appearance, making it clear at just the first glance that the new SL has gone back to basics with its sporty roots.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63

Balanced Exterior Design with Sporty Genes

The body design of the new SL has kept some of its characteristic features like the short overhands, long wheelbase, long bonnet, the passenger compartment set back with a strongly raked windscreen, as well as the powerful rear end. Those combinations resulted in a typical SL in terms of proportions. Matched with the large alloy wheels and voluminously sculpted wheel arches, it resulted into a roadster that looks both powerful and dynamic. When the seamlessly integrated soft top is closed, it emphasizes the purist, sporty appearance.

The AMG-specific radiator grille highlights the effect of width of the front and its 14 vertical slats, reminiscent of original SL model: the legendary 1952 300 SL racing sports car. The new SL also has other unique design elements like the thin, sharply outlined DIGITAL LIGHT LED headlamps as well as the really thin LED rear lamps.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 dash

Interior design: ‘Hyperanalogue” cockpit and Performance Luxury

The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL brings forward the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era. The new edition is the perfect combination of luxury with sporting virtues. To provide the highest levels of comfort, the new SL used the best materials and expert workmanship. The cockpit was designed with the driver as the focus, even to the adjustable central display in the center console.

The new interior space concept with 2+2 seats provides more room and functionality. The rear seats make the SL practical for daily use and gives more space for people up to 1.5 meters tall.

The 300 SL Roadster’s minimalist interior using the highest quality materials are what inspired the designers in conceptualizing the interior of the new SL. This resulted in an exciting combination of analogue technology with the digital world, called ‘hyperanalogue”. This is seen on the fully digital instrument cluster which is integrated into a three-dimensional visor. The standard MBUX infotainment system also gives a choice between several different modes and specific display styles.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 interior

One of the many notable features in the interior of the new SL is the sculptural seat design that comes in the standard, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats. The backrest integrates the head restraints, emphasizing the sporty character of the car. The AIRSCARF comes as standard. Air outlets in the head restraints allow warm air to flow into the passenger compartment and wraps around the head and neck area of the driver as well as the front passenger like a scarf. The interior has perfect ergonomics. Available as an option are the AMG Performance seats.

The new SL comes with the latest generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) and it has the capacity to learn and is intuitive to use. It has numerous functional contents as well as the operating structure used on the second-generation MBUX system which was first seen in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The SL comes with AMG-specific content that can be seen in the five display styles. The sporty character of the car is emphasized in its exclusive menu items like the “AMG Performance” and the “AMG TRACK PACE”.

Mercedes-AMG SL

Body Shell

Mercedes-AMG developed a completely new vehicle architecture for the 2+2-seater 2021 SL. The chassis was made from a lightweight composite aluminum structure that is made up of an aluminum space frame with a self-supporting structure. The design ensures maximum rigidity that provides the highest comfort, precise driving dynamics, optimal packaging, and sporty body proportions. Like the first SL back in 1952, the new body shell was designed literally on a blank sheet of paper. No component in the new SL came from its predecessors nor from any other model like the AMG GT Roadster.

The body shell architecture aims to provide the driving performance that is expected of AMG focusing on the lateral and longitudinal dynamics while also delivering on the high standards of comfort and safety. The intelligent material mix in the new SL allows the highest possible rigidity at a low weight. Material cross-sections are optimized, and the sophisticated component shapes allows for the comprehensive comfort and safety features as well as the soft top to be added. A mix of materials are used like aluminum, fiber composites, magnesium, and steel to create different parts like the windscreen frame. It serves as a roll-over protection along with the roll bar system at the back of the rear seats which can immediately be extended when needed.

The torsional rigidity of the body shell structure is improved by 18 percent compared to the previous model series. The transverse rigidity is 50 percent better than the already impressive value of the AMG GT Roadster, while the longitudinal rigidity is 40 percent higher. The plain body shell weights around 270 kilograms. Matched with a low center of gravity, the lightweight construction guarantees outstanding driving dynamics.

Mercedes-AMG SL

Active aerodynamics gives perfect balance and high efficiency

High aerodynamic efficiency was one of the key development focuses of the new SL. They specifically worked on the balance between low drag and reduced lift. This is where the luxurious roadster is greatly benefited from the wide-ranging motorsport expertise of Mercedes-AMG.

Extensive active aerodynamic elements can be seen on the front and rear with all the streamlining elements integrated perfectly with the exterior design. Additional detailed measures lowered the drag coefficient to Cd 0.31 which is an excellent figure for an open-top sports car.

The aerodynamics of the SL had to deal with the complex requirements of drag, cooling, handling stability, and wind noise. The driving characteristics and vehicle character of the new SL are constant whether the top is down or up. The even aerobalance assists in defusing critical driving situations like a sudden evasive maneuver while driving at high speed.

Mercedes-AMG SL

AIRPANEL air control system

The AIRPANEL is an active air control system that is a technical highlight in the aero development of the new SL. The car is equipped with two AIRPANELs. The first piece is placed behind the lower air intake in the front apron, and it operates with vertical louvres. The second piece is hidden behind the upper air intake and has horizontal louvres. All louvres are normally closed. This position minimizes drag and leads the air specifically towards the underbody, further lowering front lift. When certain temperatures on predefined components are reached and there is a need for cooling air, the louvres open. The second system only opens from 180 kph, to let maximum cooling air to flow to the heat exchangers.

The retractable rear spoiler that is flawlessly integrated into the lid is another active component. Its position is changed depending on the driving status. To do this, the control software takes into account a few things: the driving speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, and the steering speed. The spoiler has five different angular positions that it can use from 80 kph to either reduce drag or to optimize handling stability.

Hidden in the underbody in front of the engine is the optional active aerodynamic element that also helps in improving handling. The carbon profile roughly weights two kilograms, and it reacts to the setting of the AMG driving modes. At the speed of 80 kph, it automatically extends downwards by roughly 40 millimeters, activating the AMG driving modes. It creates what is called the Venturi effect, which reduces the front-axle lift as it sucks the car more to the road surface. The driver feels the change in the steering, allowing for more precise and stable steering in bends and tracks.

The new SL has a variety of aerodynamically optimized alloy wheels that comes in 19, 20, or 21 inches in diameter, minimizing drag by having less turbulence. The 20-inch wheels with plastic aero rings are particularly sophisticated, and also save weight.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63

The Soft Top

With the new SL promising to be sportier than its immediate predecessors, it is not a surprise that it was given an electric soft top instead of the metal vario roof that was previously used. It took away a huge 21 kilograms in weight, while also giving the new SL a lower center of gravity, giving it an overall positive effect on handling and driving dynamics. The space- and weight-saving Z-fold, the conventional soft-top compartment cover can be removed. The front roof cap makes sure that the final position of the open soft top is flush with the surface.

The developers were also tasked to create the new SL to be suitable for everyday use and to provide great noise comfort. They created a three-layer design which had a tightly stretched outer shell, precisely crafted roof liner, and in between the two is the acoustic mat made from high-quality 450 g/m² material.

It takes only about 15 seconds to open and close the soft top, and it can even be done even at speeds of 60 kph. A switch panel in the center console operates the soft top. It can also be done through the multimedia touchscreen wherein it’ll show an animation of the car to show how the process is progressing.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 engine

Engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive

At market launch, the new SL will have two output levels with the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine. The engines are assembled at Affalterbach, purely by hand adhering to the company’s “One Man, One Engine” principle.

The SL 63 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption is 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions is 288-268 g/km) the engine produces 430 kW (585 hp) with a maximum torque of 800 Nm on a wide rev range of 2500 to 4500 rpm. It only takes 3.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph. It has a top speed of 315 kph.

The SL 55 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption is 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions is 288-268 g/km) the V8 engine can produce 350 kW (476 hp) with a maximum torque of 700 Nm. It takes 3.9 seconds for the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph. It has a top speed of 295 kph.

For the new SL, the engine was equipped with a new oil pan while they repositioned the active crankcase ventilation and the intercoolers. To have a more effective gas exchange, the intake and exhaust ducts were optimized, while they made the exhaust gas routing for the catalytic converter box and petrol particulate filter larger. The increased output of the SL 63 4MATIC+ was achieved by the developers mainly through the higher boost pressure, modified engine software, and increased air flow.

In summary, the eight-cylinder engine thrills with its excellent power delivery and powerful acceleration in all engine speed ranges along with maximum efficiency for low consumption and emission values.

Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL
Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL
Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL

Performance Hybrid in Development

Mercedes-AMG will also eventually be offering the SL as a powerful Performance hybrid drive. The AMG E PERFORMANCE drive strategy is guided by its principle of providing an electrified powertrain that improves driving dynamics and efficiency.

Transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission brings together a satisfying gearshift experience with short shift times that is specially developed for the new SL. The former torque converter is replaced by a wet start-off clutch. It not only reduces the weight, but it also optimizes the response of the accelerator pedal commands due to its lower inertia especially during spurts and load changes.

Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL
Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL
Design sketch of the Mercedes-AMG SL

Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive

In its almost 70-year history, this is the first time that the SL will be available with an all-wheel drive system. As standard, the two V8 models will have the AMG Performance MATIC+ all-wheel drive technology. The intelligent system brings together the advantages of different drive concepts: the fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles guarantees optimal traction until its physical limit. The driver can depend on high handling stability and safety in all conditions.

Suspension and Brakes

The newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension with very capable aluminum shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs will come as standard on the SL 55 4MATIC+.

As another first, the series-production Mercedes-AMG will also be equipped with a multi-link front axle with five links arranged completely within the rim, greatly improving the kinematics. A 5-link design also controls the wheels at the rear axle.

Making its debut in the SL 63 4MATIC+ is the innovative AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active, hydraulic anti-roll stabilization. Its biggest innovation is the introduction of Active hydraulic elements that replaces the typical mechanical anti-roll bars and compensate for rolling movements of the new SL in milliseconds. The system also provides optimal steering and load-change behavior with the AMG-typical driving characteristics in terms of precision, dynamics, and feedback for the driver. It also improves on ride comfort with driving in straight lines and over bumps.

The new AMG high-performance composite braking system also ensures great deceleration values and complete control. It responds excellently in short braking distances while also providing high stability- even in extreme stress. The new composite brake discs are more compact and lighter which makes it even better for brake cooling. The directional perforation is another innovation, aside from improved heat dissipation and lighter weight, it also gives faster response in wet conditions and has improved pad cleaning after braking.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63

Active rear-axle steering

Another first in the new SL is the active rear-axle steering that comes as standard. While steering, the rear wheels changes direction from the front wheels depending on the speed. They steer in the opposite direction for speeds up to 100 kph or they’ll steer in the same direction for speeds faster than 100 kph. This allows the system to provide agile and stable handling, characteristics that are contrasting without the rear-axle steering.

Other improvements include better vehicle control at the limits, while also lowering steering effort due to the more direct front-wheel steering ratio.

Mercedes-AMG SL

Six driving modes and AMG DYNAMICS

The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT provides six driving modes: Individual, Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Sport +, and RACE. The RACE driving mode comes as standard in the SL 63 4MATIC+, while the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS can be added as an option for the SL 55 4MATIC+. The six modes give a variety of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic.

Each driving mode provides a different driving experience tailored specifically for different driving conditions. The SL models also feature the AMG DYNAMICS as a feature of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes. The integrated vehicle dynamics control broadens the stabilizing functions of the ESP® with the agility-enhancing intervention in the steering characteristics, all-wheel control, and more ESP® functions. When cornering at speeds, the inner rear wheels get a brief braking intervention through a defined yawing motion around the vertical axis for responsive and precise entry into the bend. The spectrum ranges from highly dynamic to extremely stable.

SL range of equipment

The new SL offers a wide variety of equipment details and options for individualization that can accommodate a variety of customer preferences from the luxurious-elegant to the sporty-dynamic. They offer twelve paint color options including two exclusive SL paints, the Hyper Blue metallic and the MANUFAKTUR Monza Grey magno. It has three roof color variants, and a lot of new wheel designs that make the choice a whole new exciting experience.

There are three exterior design packages on offer to fit better with the customer preference from the more elegant to the more dynamic.

As a standard, the SL 55 4MATIC+ will have a 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, but it can also come in silver or matt black as an option. The SL 63 4MATIC+ has a 20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels. There are nine different variants of wheels to choose from including two aerodynamically optimized 20-inch options in 5-twin-spoke or multi-spoke design. There are also the 21-inch AMG forged wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design and a 21-inch AMG alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design, both will be offered in two color variants.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63

Driving assistance systems and MBUX

The new roadster is equipped with a driving assistance system that can observe the traffic and its surroundings using the numerous sensors, radars, and cameras. The intelligent helpers can intervene at lightning speed if necessary. As seen in the current Mercedes C-Class and S-Class generations, a lot of new or enhanced systems help support the driver in everyday situations like distance control, assistance for speed adaptation, steering and lane changes.

The assistance systems have the capability to respond to impending collisions when the situation demands. The instrument cluster has a new display concept that visualizes how the system functions.

The new assistance display in the instrument cluster is transparent and comprehensive in showing how the driving assistance systems work in a full-screen view. The instrument cluster shows the driver their own car, the lanes, lane markings, and other things on the road like other cars, trucks, and two-wheelers in an abstract 3D way. The system status and assistant operations are shown in this depiction of the surroundings. The new animated assistance display uses a 3D scene generated in real time. The dynamic, high-quality render makes the driving assistance systems operation transparent as an augmented reality experience.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55

Connectivity Services

The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system provides extensive intuitive operating options and a lot of digital services from Mercedes me connect. Its features include the intuitive operating concept through touchscreen or touch control buttons on the steering wheel, hands-free system via Bluetooth connection, smartphone integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and digital radio (DAB and DAB+).

Customers already have access to connectivity services like the Live Traffic Information, but the Mercedes me connects helps the SL become more intelligent overall. Additional functions can be used before, during, and after the drive.

All that is needed is to have the roadster linked to a Mercedes me account in the Mercedes me portal and accept the terms of use. Live Traffic Information and Car-to-X communication helps the customer navigate the roads with real-time traffic data. This helps the driver efficiently avoid traffic jams to save valuable time. Car-to-X communication allows connected vehicles to exchange information about traffic events.

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 rear

Technical data1

Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4MATIC+

Engine
Number of cylinders/arrangement 8/V
Displacement cc 3982
Rated output kW/hp 430/585
at engine speed rpm 5500-6500
Rated torque Nm 800
at engine speed rpm 2500-5000
Compression ratio 8.6
Mixture formation Microprocessor-controlled petrol injection, twin turbocharging
Power transmission
Drive system layout Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G (automatic transmission with wet multi-disc start-off clutch)
Gear ratios
1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th/8th/9th gear 5.35/3.24/2.25/1.64/1.21/1.00/0.87/0.72/0.60
Reverse 4.80
Suspension
Front axle AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with semi-active anti-roll stabilisation, aluminium double wishbones, anti-dive control, coil springs and adaptive adjustable damping
Rear axle AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with semi-active anti-roll stabilisation, aluminium double wishbones, anti-dive control, coil springs and adaptive adjustable damping
Brake system Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system; front 390 mm composite brake discs, vented and perforated, 6-piston aluminium fixed calliper; rear 360 mm composite brake discs, vented and perforated, 1-piston aluminium floating calliper; electric parking brake, ABS, Brake Assist, 3-stage ESP®
Steering Electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering with rack and pinion, variable steering ratio (12.8:1 at dead centre) and variable power assistance
Wheels front: 9.5 J x 20 H2; rear: 11 J x 20 H2
Tyres front: 265/40 ZR 20; rear: 295/35 ZR 20
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase mm 2700
Front/rear track mm 1660/1625
Length/height/width mm 4705/1353/1915
Turning circle m 12.84
Boot capacity l 213-240
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg 1970
Payload kg 320
Tank capacity/of which reserve l 70/10
Performance, consumption, emissions
Acceleration 0-100 km/h sec. 3.6
Maximum speed km/h 315
Combined fuel consumption, WLTP l/100 km 12.7-11.8
Combined CO2 emissions, WLTP g/km 288-268


Technical data1

Mercedes-AMG SL 55 4MATIC+

Engine
Number of cylinders/arrangement 8/V
Displacement cc 3982
Rated output kW/hp 350/476
at engine speed rpm 5500-6500
Rated torque Nm 700
at engine speed rpm 2250-4500
Compression ratio 8.6
Mixture formation Microprocessor-controlled petrol injection, twin turbocharging
Power transmission
Drive system layout Fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G (automatic transmission with wet multi-disc start-off clutch)
Gear ratios
1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th/8th/9th gear 5.35/3.24/2.25/1.64/1.21/1.00/0.87/0.72/0.60
Reverse 4.80
Suspension
Front axle AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with aluminium double wishbones, anti-squat and anti-dive control, lightweight coil springs, stabiliser and adaptive adjustable damping
Rear axle AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with aluminium double wishbones, anti-squat and anti-dive control, lightweight coil springs, stabiliser and adaptive adjustable damping
Brake system Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system; front 390 mm composite brake discs, vented and perforated, 6-piston aluminium fixed calliper; rear 360 mm composite brake discs, vented and perforated, 1-piston aluminium floating calliper; electric parking brake, ABS, Brake Assist, 3-stage ESP®
Steering Electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering with rack and pinion, variable steering ratio (12.8:1 at dead centre) and variable power assistance
Wheels front: 9.5 J x 19; rear: 11 J x 19
Tyres front: 255/45 ZR 19; rear: 285/40 ZR 19
Dimensions and weights
Wheelbase mm 2700
Front/rear track mm 1665/1629
Length/height/width mm 4705/1359/1915
Turning circle m 12.84
Boot capacity l 213-240
Kerb weight acc. to EC kg 1950
Payload kg 330
Tank capacity/of which reserve l 70/10
Performance, consumption, emissions
Acceleration 0-100 km/h sec. 3.9
Maximum speed km/h 295
Combined fuel consumption, WLTP l/100 km 12.7-11.8
Combined CO2 emissions, WLTP g/km 288-268


[1]
Technical data on power, torque, mileage, fuel consumption and emissions in this publication are provisional and have been determined internally in accordance with the applicable certification method. Confirmed TÜV figures, EC type approval and certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

A brand new Mercedes-AMG SL

While many convertibles these days come with a rigid roof that folds down in some way or another, for the next generation of the famous Mercedes SL Super Leight it’s a return to the canvas folding roof, heck, even Rolls Royce and Bentley stick with their fabric roofs on the convertible models, so why shouldn’t Mercedes do the same on this new car that is officially called the Mercedes-AMG SL, a legacy that goes back 70 years into the past with the legendary 300 SL from 1952, a very successful race car.

“The new SL combines the sporty genes of the original SL with the driving performance typical of AMG. At the same time, it offers luxury and comfort at the absolute top level. This combination is unique in the sports car segment and is also reflected in the interior – where the highest levels of comfort and quality meet the right helping of sportiness. The high-quality combination of the analog world and state-of-the-art digital equipment makes it clear that the new SL is the rebirth of an icon for the modern era”, says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL is a combination of the sensual Mercedes design with the aggressiveness of AMG, just one detail is the two ‘bulges’ on the engine cover that are a direct hint to the very first generation of Mercedes SL cars, but another typical giveaway for an SL is the long wheelbase with short overhangs front and rear, the low windshield and wide rear, reminiscent of traditional SL proportions with a modern interpretation, the new car looks great, with or without the roof closed.

If you take a look at the AMG-bespoke front grille you’ll notice a total of 14 vertical slats, once again a direct inspiration from the 1952 Mercedes 300 SL, the Gullwing, but now with very thin LED headlights and taillights to create the impression this already low and wide car is even lower and wider visually.

While on the interior the combination of sports and luxury is another testament to the homage they want to give to the 300 SL, the finest materials fitted by the best artisans possible result in extreme levels of comfort, while still retaining the sportscar feeling, a 2+2 car that is, as the new Mercedes-AMG SL can fit two people in the rear … given they aren’t taller than 150cm that is, while the driver and passenger are seated in electrically adjustable AMG sports seats, complete with the AIRSCARF for more comfort, if you really insist, you can even order optional AMG Performance seats.

The Mercedes-AMG SL is based on a new development vehicle architecture, the 2+2 seater comes with a lightweight aluminum spaceframe chassis, created from the ground up, nothing was taken from either the previous SL or the AMG GT Roadster, the Mercedes-AMG SL is a completely new car altogether, combining materials like aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, and steel for the windshield for added safety, still the entire bodyshell weighs only 270 kgs.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL comes with active aero, called AIRPANEL on this car, it’s a two-piece active air control system, the first operates with vertical louvers inside the lower air intake at the front, while the second piece sits behind the upper air intake with horizontal louvers, all louvers are closed normally to drag and allow air to be directed specifically towards the underbody. In this configuration, they also reduce front lift, but when a certain temperature on predefined components is reached, and the demand for cooling air is particularly high do these louvers open, the second piece from 180 km/h and more, to direct a maximum of cool air to flow onto the heat exchangers.

While the rear naturally has an active wing, that sits flush with the boot lid normally, is raised when speeds go over 80 km/h in five different angles, but there is an optional active aero listed, hiding underneath the car just in front of the engine, a carbon fiber lip that can be extended 40 mm down to create a venturi effect that ‘sucks’ the car down to the street to reduce axle-lift.

The choice for a soft-top convertible on the new Mercedes-AMG SL was quickly made when it came out this would shave 21 kgs in weight from the top of the car, hence reducing the center of gravity considerably, it takes just 15 seconds to open, or close, and this action can be performed at speeds up to 60 km/h, the three-layer design of the soft-top consists of a tightly stretched outer shell, precisely crafted roof liner and the acoustic mat made of high-quality 450 g/m² material inserted in between.

For the launch of the Mercedes-AMG SL there is an option of two different power outputs from the famous AMG 4-Liter Biturbo V8 engine, the top of the line model will come with the 585 hp unit and is called the SL 63 4MATIC+, with 800 Nm of torque, acceleration takes just 3.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h while the top speed is a staggering 315 km/h. There will also be an SL 55 4MATIC+ with ‘only’ 476 hp and 700 Nm of torque, acceleration figures for this ‘entry-level’ model will be 3.9 seconds while she will run out of breath at 295 km/h, at this time an AMG E PERFORMANCE hybrid is already being developed.

All Mercedes-AMG SL will be 4MATIC models, hence feature four-wheel drive for the first time in 70 years, power from the V8 engine goes through a 9-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission, fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles ensures optimal traction right up to the physical limit, another first in the SL legacy is active rear-wheel steering, and we all know how this alters both low speed and high-speed maneuvers.

I have to admit I’ve been a fan of the topless Mercedes SL for many years, personally, I would prefer a 300 SL convertible of the much more valuable Gullwing model, but that’s just me, I also liked the E107, the classic that was built between 1971 and 1989, specifically the later SL500 model with a removable hardtop for instance, while the R129 is a sculpture of automotive art … and somehow this new Mercedes-AMG SL looks totally different, a lot more contemporary, but she’s still a beauty, and I sure wouldn’t mind parking the SL 63 on my driveway.

The 10 Biggest Wings Found on Stock Sports Cars

There is an important reason why performance carmakers will often stick a wing, also known as a spoiler, to the rear of their automobiles. That reason is simply called downforce. As the name implies, it pushes down on the vehicle and keeps it planted on the road as it’s being driven at the very edge of performance limits.

The function in principle is very similar to an airplane wing—only this time, it’s in reverse. The air coming over the car flows beneath the wing, creating lower pressure underneath to force the car down (downforce).

For some automobile manufacturers, the wing adds to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Others care less about beauty and instead opt for the largest available wing that offers maximum benefits without too much compromise in overall performance.

Here, you will see some of the biggest wings ever fitted to sports cars, straight from the factory. You can decide whether each one serves the dual purpose of aesthetics and performance or if it’s purely a case of function over form.

#10: Bugatti Chiron Sport

Blue Bugatti Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition outside garageVia Bugatti.

The imperious Chiron Sport followed in the path of the Veyron Super Sport when it debuted in 2018 at the Geneva Auto Show. Here was another car capable of mind-numbing acceleration as it powered on to an electronically-restricted 261 mph top speed.

An impressive feat, no doubt, but another striking feature was how quickly it could scrub off all that forward momentum. The Chiron Sport needs less than 10 seconds and just 491 metres to come to a complete stop from 249 mph!

To achieve this, the 2.2-ton hypercar relies on powerful carbon-ceramic brakes and what has to be one of the largest stock rear spoilers out there today. That massive wing can generate almost 2,000 lbs of downforce when fully deployed. In addition to this crucial function, there’s no doubt the wing, especially in a raised position,  gives the Chiron a cool stance, adding to its overall appeal.

#9: 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Green 2019 Porsche GT3 RS being driven on trackVia Traction Life.

The ‘RS’ badge on any Porsche sports car automatically implies that its natural habitat remains the race track while still remaining road-legal. This seventh-generation 911 GT3 RS is no different and was designed with a singular purpose: maximum performance.

Porsche approached this task with brutal efficiency, and at the time of the car’s debut, it was the most powerful naturally-aspirated Porsche ever made, with a 520-hp power output. That is enough to supply all the oomph this car needs—just like that huge rear wing, designed to help the car with downforce as it whips around corners or hurtles down straights.

The wing, made from carbon fibre, can also be manually adjusted to a ‘performance position,’ creating 40% more downforce than the previous generation 911 GT3 RS. When it’s not called upon to do its thing on the track, that wing is actually large enough to double as a very effective snack table between runs.

#8: Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series

Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series being driven around curve on highwayVia Motor1.

As far as performance is concerned, this is AMG’s ‘top dog,’ at least until the arrival of the hotly anticipated AMG One. Everything about the AMG GT Black Series is designed to convey this impression, from its eye-watering $325,000 sticker price to the formidable 720-hp twin-turbo V8 tucked under the hood and the unique twin rear-wing setup.

The setup is not only manually adjustable, but the upper blade has an active aero element that tilts by as much as 20 degrees depending on the driving mode. Altogether, that wing produces as much as 880 lbs of downforce at 155 mph, helping the car stay planted on the road as the driver flirts with its redline.

#7: McLaren Senna

Rear view of black McLaren Senna being driven down track at high speedVia McLaren Automotive.

Let’s face it. The McLaren Senna is a pretty ugly supercar, but then again, McLaren did not design the car so we could all fawn over sleek lines and nice angles. No. The focus was on raw performance, and McLaren prioritized this over all else (except maybe if you consider their curious decision to add see-through doors).

The McLaren Senna pushes the boundaries of what a track-focused performance machine should be and manages to do so while remaining road-legal at the same time. A key reason the car handles so well is that humongous wing that almost looks like an afterthought, hanging over the rear end.

That wing changes pitch and helps the car increase downforce, trim drag, or act as an air brake when needed. The dynamics of the wing impressed Top Gear journalists so much they declared it the ‘Wing of the Year’ for 2018.

#6: 2017 Dodge Viper ACR

Driver in blanket lying on spoiler of 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and sleeping under starsVia Motortrend.

‘ACR’ stands for American Club Racing and is indicative of the purpose behind the design of this all-American race car. The 2017 Dodge Viper ACR was the last hoorah for the legendary sports car, and what a send forth it was!

This vehicle boasted custom tires, race-tuned suspension and a massive 8.4-litre V10 that generated 645-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Then there was an Extreme Aero Package that delivered almost 1 ton of peak downforce at top speed.

The most prominent part of that package is the massive adjustable dual-element carbon fibre rear wing. As you can see from the image above, the wing can also double up as a camp bed should you, for some reason, opt to spend the night in the open with your Dodge Viper ACR.

#5: Apollo Intensa Emozione

Apollo Intensa Emozione on white backgroundVia Top Gear.

It’s hard to argue against the fact that the Apollo Intensa Emozione (Apollo IE) is one of the most extreme modern cars ever built. Intensa Emozione is Italian for ‘Intense Emotion.’ As the name implies, it is designed to invoke powerful feelings in you as the driver, passenger or just some passer-by gawking at that uber-aggressive profile.

You will immediately notice that gigantic top-mounted wing. Who wouldn’t? It’s not just there for ‘shock and awe,’ though. According to Apollo, it can generate a scarcely believable 2,976 lbs of downforce at 186 mph. That means the 2,755-lb hypercar can theoretically drive upside down, and if that ever happens in the real world, you can be sure that wing will have a primary role to play.

#4: Koenigsegg One:1

Rear view of Koenigsegg One:1 sitting on country roadVia 95octane.

The Koenigsegg One:1 is a special car indeed, one that offers up approximately one horsepower for every kilogram of the car’s weight (hence the name One:1). What’s more? The Koenigsegg One:1 debuted with what was the world’s first top-mounted, active rear wing.

There is an entire video clip where Christian Von Koenigsegg explains just how unique the wing structure is. The wing moves through various settings as determined by the selected handling mode and throttle/brake use.

It is not your average-sized carbon fibre strip either. This wing is massive and extends well over the rear end of the car. Impressively, the entire structure weighs only 22 lbs, allowing for maximum performance with minimal compromise on the hypercar’s overall weight.

#3: McLaren P1

Rear view of yellow McLaren P1 outside garageVia Top Gear.

Have you ever seen a McLaren in race mode? The suspension lowers by 50mm, the rear spoiler rises to 11.8 inches and extends at a 29-degree angle. It reminds one of an attack dog, just straining at its leash and waiting for the ‘go!’ command.

That sweeping wing is one of the most distinguishable elements of the McLaren P1, and it makes a strong case for the fact that downforce does not have to be ugly. The wing has various automatic settings that help the hypercar produce up to 1,320 lbs of downforce. One has to see it in action to truly appreciate how impressive the setup is.

#2: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Red and white 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona sitting outside near treeVia Mecum.

The ‘69 Charger Daytona was one half of the famous Chrysler ‘Wing Cars’; the other half was the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. This car had the most prominent stock wing fitted on any vehicle during that period. Even today, the Charger Daytona has only a few rivals when it comes to that towering structure over the trunk.

The wing was the idea of a certain John Pointer, a rocket scientist who Chrysler later recruited. He was tasked with making the Charger go faster on the racing circuit, and the wing was one of his innovative ideas. It worked too. In 1970, the Dodge Charger Daytona became the first NASCAR racecar to break the 200 mph barrier.

#1: Porsche 911 (930 Turbo) ‘Whale Tail’

Porsche 911 Turbo 'Whale Tail' on white backgroundVia Old New Club.

This ‘70s sports car is widely regarded as the first Porsche 911 Turbo and was one of the fastest production cars at the time, with a top speed of about 162 mph. The bemusing ‘Whale Tail’ nomenclature directly references the car’s flared rear stance and a huge spoiler that gave the car its distinctive look.

Like all modern performance cars, that wing directed airflow over the car. In addition, its position, directly above the engine bay, also meant that it vented air into the engine, ultimately improving its performance. The ‘Whale Tail’ spoiler was also known as ‘Tea Tray’ at some point in the life of the turbocharged sports car.

Best of the Current Mercedes-Benz Model Lineup

For all intents and purposes, our selections for this list come exclusively from Mercedes-Benz’ AMG roster – and that’s not a bad thing. There are big perks which come along with the AMG badge, far exceeding the mere addition of a fancy body kit and superficial engravings.

The “one man, one engine” philosophy is donned on every AMG car at the facility in Affalterbach, Germany, where one of only fifty AMG engine craftsmen will have the privilege of stamping their signature on the engine they personally built for the car. With respect to production, Mercedes-Benz has all their bases covered, quite literally, with ensuring that anyone can have a taste of the AMG experience; by having it available in just about every body type imaginable.

With an expansive lineup of cars which come in coupe, convertible, sedan, wagon, SUV and even “4-door coupe” configurations, there is an AMG for any occasion – grocery store runs, road trips to the mountains, your kids’ soccer practice, the race track, or even fighting a zombie apocalypse. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t think that experiencing the best performance that the company has on tap should be limited to cramped 2-seaters with barely any usable cargo space, or enjoyed only on a strict diet of high performance driving events – and they’ve got the lineup to prove it.

Here are the best brand new Mercedes-Benz automobiles you can buy today.

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Sedan / Wagon

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

Base MSRP: $111,750 USD

For 2021, Mercedes refreshed the E63 S’s appearance and has also given the sedan some new features. It’s the recipient of a new grille design with updated headlights and taillights, as well as new 20-inch wheels with a more aerodynamic silhouette. Inside, the E63 S has a redesigned steering wheel with larger paddle shifters as well as an updated infotainment system. Most importantly though, the engine and powertrain are still best in class; it’s a monster when you want it to be, yet it can still poodle around town in luxury when things need to be a little more on the tame side.

The wagon is probably my favorite body-style of any Mercedes-AMG car in the entire roster. It shares the same 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 as the E63 S sedan – producing 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm – so its slick, utilitarian estate design doesn’t come with any meaningful performance penalties whatsoever. In fact, the E63 S wagon outperforms any of its competitors on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: Open it up.

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro

Base MSRP: $162,900 USD, $199,650 USD (GT R Pro)

The 577 hp AMG GT R is Mercedes-Benz’ flagship supercar, which is the amalgamation of half a century of motorsports success, into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis and soul. For those looking for that extra bit of the apex-clipping good stuff, the limited edition ‘GT R Pro’ is an even more track-focused variant of the GT R.

The new GT R Pro is more than just a fancy (yet functional) body kit and is also the beneficiary of upgrades that aren’t as easily seen; such as redesigned mechanically adjustable coil overs, carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber torsion bar, and dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro looks to be calling out the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S, and has definitely brought the right arsenal to this battle of giants.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 “G-Wagon”

Mercedes-AMG G63

Base MSRP: $167,000 USD

There’s just no avoiding the Mercedes-AMG G 63, when there’s a conversation about iconic SUVs and which one you would buy if money was no object. The G 63 would probably be the pick of the lot in that context; it’s popularity and familiarity as the ultimate luxury off-roader is often proliferated in today’s pop culture and social media platforms.

Thanks to its insane acceleration, industry leading off-road capabilities and timeless styling cues with harken back to the days of peak safari-ism, the Mercedes-Benz G63 has become the quintessential expression of wealth and utilitarianism in one package, making it the fan-favorite in this segment.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 / C 63 S

Mercedes-AMG C63

Base MSRP: $68,600 USD, $76,200 USD (C 63 S)

The C 63-series cars are the first step into “true” AMG territory, being the lowest point of entry in order to get one of those highly coveted handcrafted AMG engines. The C 63 is the beneficiary of a 4.0L biturbo V8 mated to paddle-shifted multiclutch 9-speed, outputting 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Standard Adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL and a limited-slip differential make it quick on its feet. An exquisitely detailed cabin completes that “total package” feeling, which the C 63 provides in spades.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is the top model in this range, equipped with the same handcrafted biturbo V8 as the C 63, but now unleashing 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in this guise. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies, and from the cabin, drivers are immersed in innovation and superb build quality. Both the C 63 and C 63 S are available in coupe, sedan and convertible configurations, meaning that buyers don’t need to fuss over how much (or how little) they can fit in their new AMG car.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe

Base MSRP: $113,950 USD

Aside from the G-Wagon, the AMG GLE 63 S is the most powerful and impressive SUV in the lineup. It’s a little more sleek and refined than the former, and will certainly blend in a lot more with daily traffic, making it (arguably) the better choice for city dwellers or more unassuming owners.  The AMG GLE 63 S has been improved over last year’s model with the addition of Mercedes-Benz’ EQ Boost hybrid technology, which has increased peak power to 603 hp compared to 577 hp in the 2020 models.

The drivetrain continues to be hooked up to the impressive AMG Performance 4MATIC+, while the chassis benefits from AMG Active Ride Control. In tandem, these advanced systems help deliver sports-car-like agility and precision via the AMG GLE 63 S. Its lavish, Nappa leather-appointed cabin lets you enjoy wielding its exotic-levels of performance while being cradled in the arms of top-tier luxury. Available in SUV and “Coupe” body styles.