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

In September, 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.


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+

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
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+

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
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

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.

Mercedes-AMG Just Announced Their First Performance Hybrid

Mercedes-AMG is on a bit of a roll these days. Their cars often sound like Thor gargling some gravel, and their cars are seriously, seriously quick. On top of that, the Petronas Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team has been dominant for years in the highest tier of motorsport.

So, today, in a complete blindside, Mercedes-AMG decided that September 1, 2021, would be the perfect day to announce their first official performance hybrid car.



This isn’t the first Mercedes-Benz hybrid, far from it. There is a difference between engine-assist hybrid and performance hybrid. One is a technology that is designed to make the famously smooth Mercedes ride even quieter, more comfortable, and for longer ranges. The other is designed to enhance the petrol-swigging twin-turbo V8 performance of an already pretty mad car, and take off its straight jacket.



So say hello, everyone, to the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance. Designed with input from the F1 team, this is Mercedes’ answer, albeit a few years late, to performance hybrids that started with the hypercars of McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche. Then again, this thing comes swinging through the door with the title of “The Most Powerful Production Vehicle From Affalterbach,” and it is carrying one hell of a sledgehammer.

The petrol heart of the beast, that 4.0L bi-turbo V8, sits under the front hood and roars out 639 HP with some serious attitude. Its power goes through a 9-speed MCT 9G dual-clutch gearbox, and is then fed through a complex transfer system as the car is AWD. The rear axle is supported by a 204 HP, two-speed hybrid motor, which can also send its power up to the front if needed.

It’s an incredibly complex system, but the end result is 843 HP, and over 1,400 Nm, or 1,032 lb-ft, of torque at full noise. Take a moment and let those numbers sink in.



The batteries that power the hybrid drive are also extremely high tech, as they are based on the ones in the F1 car. Using up-to-the-minute new lithium-ion cell technology, the battery uses extremely conductive intermediary materials to allow for up to 150 kW of power to be instantly available and uses regenerative braking to charge at up to 100 kW, with a power unit capacity of 6.1 kWh. This system weighs in at only 79 kg (174 lbs) and has another innovation that is a production car first, in that it is the first production battery that is actively liquid-cooled. A millimetrically thin sheath surrounds each individual battery in the pack, with the combined system carrying 14 liters of coolant. That coolant then flows through its own dedicated radiator, allowing the battery pack to remain at optimal performance temperatures no matter how hard you push the car.



If it sounds complex, believe me, this is the simplified version of what is in the press release. In simple terms, when you’re cruising, you’re tapping both the petrol engine and a constant 94 HP from the hybrid to keep you happily rolling along. When you brake, the electric motor becomes a generator and charges the battery rapidly. If you wanted to plant your foot through the carpet when the light went green, the combined power of those 1,032 plus lb-ft of torque and all 843 German horses at your command would literally catapult you to 60 MPH faster than a McLaren Senna, a dedicated high-performance hypercar.



Then again, for once, Mercedes have been uncharacteristically non-Germanic in their marketing and tagline for the car. It even points to the fact that the Germans do, in fact, have a sense of humor. That official tagline of the car?



“Everything but quiet.”

Three exclusive Mercedes-AMG GT3

Fifty years ago a bright red Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG won its class and took second place overall in the famous Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race, driven by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz, creating the foundation of what would become the most important Mercedes tuner ever, AMG was still a very young brand in those days, the classic race at the Ardennes circuit resulted into the first major success.

As an homage to that legendary red saloon from 1971, Mercedes-AMG created a limited edition GT3 race car in a similar red body, called the “50 Years Legend of Spa”, these are not your ordinary GT3 cars that are entered into this years 24 Hours of Spa race, there are three cars in this “50 Years Legend of Spa” special edition builds, and they are based on the three GT3 generations that have been available since 2010.

Production of the “50 Years Legend of Spa” GT3 cars is limited to a single unit of each model, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT3, and the current evolution version of the Mercedes-AMG GT3, all three cars are finished in the famous red paint, but these ready-to-race unique cars show a special 50 style cartouche to fit their number and come with a range of sponsor decals to mimic the looks of the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG from 1971.

Do keep in mind these three very special Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars come without FIA homologation, the full 650 hp from their 6.3-Liter engine is unleashed through an unrestricted exhaust while the interior boasts a Graphite Metallic Matt finish with the instrument cluster on a carbon fiber panel, complete with the 50th-anniversary plaque and the signature of Hans Werner Aufrecht who founded AMG originally.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 “50 Years Legend of Spa”

Production of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ended back in 2015 already, but this commemorative edition for the Legend of Spa series is a brand new, 2021 car. So how is this possible you might ask? Simple, Mercedes-AMG still had one, and only one, bodyshell in their warehouse, they took this final car and built it into this brand-new competition gullwing, hence creating a one-of-a-kind 2021 SLS AMG GT3, truly a unique car in every sense of the word.

Mercedes-AMG GT3 “50 Years Legend of Spa”

The second GT3 in the series is based upon the now discontinued 2016 model year for the Mercedes-AMG GT3, it is still a new car, but from the first model generation in this case, complete with the famous red color and sponsor decals fitted, and there is something really special about this celebration edition too … the spaceframe used for this “50 Years Legend of Spa” is number 100.

The second Mercedes-AMG GT3 “50 Years Legend of Spa”

The third car in this series is also a Mercedes-AMG GT3, but the more recent 2020 edition, and apart from the special performance exhaust fitted to these commemorative “50 Years Legend of Spa” versions, this specific car is identical to the ones that will compete in the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Spa that is being held this weekend.

With the design of this modern GT3 race car, she represents both the past and the future in one go as a tribute to the DNA and the history of AMG as a brand, or as Jochen Hermann, technical managing director, Mercedes-AMG GmbH puts it: “The special editions recall one of the most important milestones in AMG’s corporate history. The 24-hour race at Spa in 1971 stands as an example for the spirit of our brand: daring to take on the impossible, overcoming challenges and convincing with performance!”

“I am very happy that we have been present with our Customer Racing Programme in the Belgian endurance racing classic without exception since 2011. This year, my joy is even bigger as I will be on-site for the race myself. I am curious what the public response to our special editions will be like. Technically and optically, they are highlights, there is no doubt about that. And the exclusivity of the three cars is really extraordinary!”

Specific characteristics and pricing of the “50 Years Legend of Spa”

Bespoke Interior Features
Special chassis paint: Graphite Metallic Matt
Seat with “50 Years Legend of Spa” logo
Red seat belts
AMG logo in door panels and entry strips painted red
Badge with original signature of Hans Werner Aufrecht
“50 Years Legend of Spa – One of One” badge
Instrument panel in visible carbon with matt finish

Bespoke Exterior Features
Special paint “50 Years Legend of Spa”
Special paint rims
Performance exhaust system without silencer
Optimized engine performance
Limited car cover with “50 Years Legend of Spa” logo
Delivery on slicks

Pricing (before VAT)
SLS AMG GT3: 650.000 Euro
GT3 (MY 2016): 500.000 Euro
GT3 (MY 2020): 575.000 Euro

Best V8 Engines Ever Produced

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-medal”, the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a loud roar – because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

While high-performance V8 engines have normally been reserved for exotics – and muscle cars, in the more distant past – its application has been seen more in the mainstream these days. With the proliferation of automotive technologies, the V8 engine has become a gateway into the world of attainable supercar performance; each new engine is better than the one before it. But if you prefer roaring V10s, or hearty V12s, check these links out. However, if V8s are more your cup of tea, read on.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, curated for your reading pleasure:

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 F355, 360 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.

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge Supercharged Hemi Engine

Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter. It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.


BMW S63 Engine

Like other automakers on this list, BMW is no stranger to producing some of the world’s best V8 engines. The latest incarnation would be its masterpiece ‘S63‘ – a 4.4L twin-turbocharged engine that produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Though it’s true that this grants the quintessential luxury-performance saloon some serious supercar credentials, a look back to days gone by reminds us that engines such as the ‘S62’ and ‘S65′ deserve just as much recognition for their contribution to the Bavarians’ V8 platform. Respectively, each engine displaced 4.9L and 4.0L and were both naturally aspirated.

Lexus 2UR-GSE

Lexus 2UR-GSE Engine

The 2UR-GSE is the latest iteration of Lexus‘ increasingly iconic naturally-aspirated V8 power plant. Currently reserved for the marque’s high-performance models – such as the IS F, RC F, GS F, LC 500, and brand-new IS 500 – the 5.0L engine blends typical Lexus reliability with a high-revving Japanese character. In its most powerful configuration, the 2UR-GSE produces 475 hp in the Lexus LC 500. Amidst an ever-changing landscape shifting towards hybridization and electrification, we hope that Lexus’ legendary naturally-aspirated V8 lives on for as long as possible

Much like our other selections, the 2UR-GSE owes much of its distinctions to predecessors such as the 1UZ-FE which debuted in 1989. This 4.0L V8 engine has proven to be bulletproof over the test of time, in addition to the universal recognition it has received for being smooth, refined, and sufficiently powerful for its intended application. It has served as the platform upon which the formidable GSE would eventually be conceived.

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.

McLaren M830T / M840T

McLaren M830T / M840T Engine

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren‘s engineers are truly the world’s V8 engine artisans, and few would dispute that. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper GT produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

GM Small Block LT1/LT2 Engine

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small block engine family. It continues to be used on the present-day Camaro, with a new version of the engine – known as the LT2 – carrying on the bloodline via the brand new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The LT2 retains the 6.2L capacity but is more powerful than the LT1, producing at least 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in its latest configuration.

This was achieved by designing more efficient air-intakes sand exhaust manifolds, while also featuring a better lubrication system and more resilient camshaft. While it’s not a monster-out-of-the-box like say, Dodge’s Hellcat engine, the lightweight naturally-aspirated powerplant remains perfectly suited for what the Corvette is the best at delivering – brilliant all-around performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable options. The still-relevant LT1 is now being offered as a crate engine via GM’s performance division, with its 460 hp on tap for under US$10,000. Project car, anyone?

Audi 4.2L FSI

Audi 4.2L FSI Engine

When Audi’s 4.2L FSI V8 engine was introduced, it was a bit of a departure from what Audi enthusiasts had grown accustomed to over the years. As one of the marques which helped to proliferate the use of turbochargers on production cars, the aforementioned engine first appeared in the 2006 Audi RS4 as a high-revving naturally-aspirated power plant.

Over time, it proved to be a fan-favorite in spite of its lack of forced induction and featured on such models as the RS5 and mid-engined R8. As a naturally aspirated unit, the FSI V8 was able to rev up to 8,250 rpm and had a distinctively exotic exhaust note, regardless of the model it was mounted in.

The engine remained naturally-aspirated up until its use in the 444 hp Audi RS5; since then, recent iterations of the engine are now turbocharged and produce up to 600 hp.

Mercedes-AMG M178

Mercedes-AMG M178 Engine

The modern-day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring.

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

Ford 'Voodoo' Flat-Plane Engine

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made especially for cars such as the 526 hp Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Suffice to say, the Voodoo was a match made in heaven for the line-up’s most balanced and track-focused Mustang models. By utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, the engine weighs less and revs faster and higher (to 8,250 rpm) than the otherwise standard engines in other models. Its configuration also gives it an almost-exotic exhaust note, border-lining on ‘un-American’ – but owners won’t mind, as their domestic car hangs just fine with the exotics and other high-end sports cars on the race-track.

Following the template of past flat-plane V8 engines, the Voodoo applies similar principles as engines that once powered hot-rods and muscle cars back in the 20th century – with impressive bang-for-buck, the engines produced big horsepower at a fraction of the cost of what was used in European sports cars and even domestic rivals. This provided owners with a rightfully potent automobile, and extra money left in the bank. It’s hard to argue with that!

The 41’ Cigarette Nighthawk AMG Edition

If you ask Mercedes, their AMG GT Black Series is still the undisputed ‘King of the Ring’, with a time of 6 minutes 43 seconds to complete the 12.8-mile track of the Nordschleife, better known as ‘the Green Hell’, or the Nurburgring in Germany, despite what Porsche claims with their 911 GT2 RS fitted with Manthey Racing components that completed the same track in 6:38 seconds, a full 5 seconds faster.

Porsche used a ‘tuned’ car for this record while the Mercedes is identical to the one you can buy straight from the factory, and I know, it’s all about semantics here, and yes, you can order the Manthey Racing components through Porsche’s Tequipment accessory lineup on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS … but it still doesn’t feel the same now does it, the AMG GT Black Series is the fastest front-engined car in the world, which is an amazing feat nonetheless.

But let’s take a look at this 41-foot Cigarette Nighthawk AMG Black Series, designed in close collaboration between the Cigarette Racing Team, the Mercedes-AMG design team, and Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz AG, to create the same feeling of power and luxury of the road car on the water.

The AMG GT Black series road car is fitted with a handbuilt V8 engine with a power output of 720 hp, which is an impressive number … but this new Cigarette puts her to shame, courtesy of no less than five racing-grade outboard engines, the famous 4.6-liter V8 Mercury Racing 450R units, which as the name suggest, come with an industry-leading 450 peak propshaft horsepower … each!

That’s a total of 2,250 hp, capable of propelling this large center console boat that can hold up to ten passengers in full luxury up to speeds of 90 Mph, this truly is a remarkable special edition boat, the 13th one that has been jointly developed in a longstanding partnership between AMG and Cigarette, the 41′ Nighthawk AMG Black Series is the latest in an impressive line of highly exclusive special edition performance vessels.

Just like the AMG GT Black Series, this Nighthawk AMG Black Series is finished in the bright Magmabeam orange and black exterior, a little detail, those AMG logos on the side of this Cigarette are painted, these aren’t decals. On the inside, a combination of grey and black is used, with orange details to unite both inside and outside.

While the AMG GT Black Series will arrive in US dealerships during the Summer of 2021 at a price of $325,000, the Nighthawk AMG Black Series might be just a little bit more expensive …

BRABUS 800 based on the E-Class

The Mercedes E-class is what we might consider a mid-class sedan, a nice four-door, four or five-seater luxury car that’s not the massive size of the bigger S-Class, but still larger and more comfortable than the C-Class, it’s a car that doesn’t shout for attention and most of the time isn’t even noticed when you drive it, in Germany we see many E-Class being used as a taxi in fact … but none of those are the powerful E 63 S 4MATIC+ version, most of the taxis are diesel-powered, some are switching to hybrid and electric in the near future.

When you opt for the most powerful version of the 2021 model year Mercedes E 63 S 4MATIC+, you will end up with a 4.0-liter eight-cylinder engine that delivers 612 hp straight from the factory, which isn’t bad to haul you and your family around on the Autobahn at speed, but we wouldn’t be talking about BRABUS if this company from Bottrop, Germany didn’t tweak it a little further … well more than a little.

With over 40 years of experience in pulling more power from standard Mercedes engines, BRABUS has shoehorned their performance upgrade into the Mercedes E 63 S 4MATIC+, which doesn’t void the warranty mind you, the BRABUS 800 is fully TÜV-tested and comes with a 3-year, 100,000 km (62,000 Mile) BRABUS Tuning Warranty … which is usually not seen for this kind of tuning anywhere else, but BRABUS offers it nonetheless.

They don’t call this the BRABUS 800 without a reason, and that’s because they add 188 hp to the base from Mercedes, at 6,600 rpm you effectively have 800 hp available, and 1,000 Nm of torque at as low as 3,600 rpm, and as you can order a Mercedes E 63 S 4MATIC+ in either sedan or station wagon, this BRABUS 800 is one of the most powerful sedans/station wagons in the world today.

To achieve this massive 188 hp power increase, BRABUS developed their own high-performance turbochargers, with a bigger compressor unit, modified core assembly, and reinforced axial bearings, boost pressure sits at a maximum pressure of 1.6 bar, naturally, there is a custom engine management system called PowerXtra from BRABUS, and with this much power going on, the large engine needs more cooling, so BRABUS created bespoke, carbon-fiber air intakes to be integrated into the grille.

Being based on the E 63 S 4MATIC+, this BRABUS 800 is an all-wheel-drive car, the nine-speed automatic gearbox will hurdle this sedan to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3 seconds from standing still while if you opt for the station wagon this figure is 3.1 seconds, top speed for both body styles has been electronically limited to 300 Km/h (186 mph), which is probably more than enough … usually.

An engine like this BRABUS 800 unit needs to breathe, hence you can install an amazing stainless-steel high-performance exhaust that comes with four stainless steel/carbon tailpipes, not only for looks but also with an amazing sound thanks to integrated flaps into the exhaust system … a ‘silent’ mode when you drive up to your house and you don’t want to wake the neighbors… or a ‘Sport’ position if you just don’t care about those neighbors anymore.

You could go for the more subtle look and just have the BRABUS 800 engine tuning installed while you keep the rest of the Mercedes E 62 S 4MATIC+ factory standard … or you go all-out and fit the entire BRABUS aerodynamic package to your car, the new front spoiler does create more downforce at speed, as does the really nice looking rear spoiler on the sedan while a clear carbon fiber insert can be fitted to the rear diffuser on both the sedan and the station wagon … just so it looks the part with that BRABUS exhaust.

With engine tuning and aerodynamic from BRABUS, you’ll just have to go the extra mile and get a set of BRABUS alloy wheels, up to 21 inches in diameter is available, pictured here are the famous BRABUS Monoblock “PLATINUM EDITION” Z forged wheels, painted to match the rest of this black BRABUS 800, 9×21 wheels with 255/30 ZR 21 tires for the front, and even wider 10.5×21 rims with 295/25 ZR 21 tires for the rear, tires are either Continental, Pirelli, or YOKOHAMA as advice by BRABUS themselves.

New wheels just scream for a lowered suspension too, and because the Mercedes E 63 S 4MATIC+ comes with air suspension, BRABUS offers their Sports Unit that allows the car to be lowered by 10 or 20 mm (0.4 or 0.8 in) depending on the selection of the available Comfort, Sport or Sport+ modes.

If a client wants something really special for his, or her bespoke BRABUS 800 E-Class, they can go for a complete interior overhaul, BRABUS offers the best selection of leather, Alcantara or cloth, in whichever combination or shade the customer can think of, add custom veneers or carbon fiber inlays, again in a multitude of colors, and you can create a truly unique car for yourself, or as a gift for someone else.

Mercedes AMG One on the track

We are all eagerly awaiting the official, public unveil of the new Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, but at the moment we’ll have to be content with watching one of their latest prototypes hurdling down the famous Nürburgrin Nordschleife in Germany, taking corners while remaining virtually flat, this will be an amazing car once available, I for one can’t wait to encounter one on the road.

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Some rumors mention a power output close to 1,200 hp from an F1 derived 1.6-Liter V6 engine, with Hybrid added naturally, I wonder if they are going to create a Roadster version of this one, as they did with the extremely rare CLK GTR, after they made the initial 20 units, the intention was to create 5 CLK GTR Roadsters, but six of the latter were built, one in Black, one in dark silver and the remaining four in the classic silver paint …

The latest information we have is that customers should be taking delivery of their Mercedes-AMG One in 2021, but there are only a few months left this year, and they are still testing prototypes on a closed track … if Mercedes-AMG still wants to have their One in a customer’s garage before the end of the year, they might want to speed things up … no pun intented.

New Mercedes-AMG SL

Let’s go back to March 12, 1952, at that time a company named ‘Daimler-Benz AG’ sends out a letter to important magazines with the following content:

“Dear Editor!

The new MERCEDES-BENZ “300 SL” (super-light) sports car model will be undertaking road trials in public for the first time this week. We are therefore delighted to enclose the technical data for this vehicle, together with a photo.”

Photo of the press presentation on the motorway near Stuttgart on 12 March 1952

This single line of text would announce a global sensation, the iconic sports car, and a sensational race car, the 300 SL would be driven on the open road for the first time in history, setting the stage for one of the most important models from Mercedes for the next decades.

Development vehicles of the new Mercedes-AMG SL (Model 232) at the final winter test in Sweden.

Fast forward to March 2021, and the eighth generation of the Mercedes SL range is going into the final stages of development, and while we no longer see many prototypes being tested on the open road as they did in 1952, the new Mercedes-AMG SL is taken to Sweden to be tested in extremely cold conditions.

Development vehicles of the new Mercedes-AMG SL (Model 232) at the final winter test in Sweden.

We all know these days a new car is being developed ‘virtually’ on a computer before the first mock-up is built, and only after several more months of simulations, they finally build a rolling prototype, which usually hides underneath the previous generation at first, to make sure the chassis, suspension, engine, and brakes are good to go, and then we get pre-production prototypes only in very final stages of development.

Development vehicles of the new Mercedes-AMG SL (Model 232) at the final winter test in Sweden.

And while the virtual world and all those simulations might save a lot of money and time, nothing beats getting into a seat behind an actual steering wheel and taking a prototype into the real world, in real-world driving conditions like heat, rain, cold, and snow … still in those final stages of development for a new model, the testing is usually done on enclosed tracks with a lot of security, to keep the new car a secret for as long as possible.

Development vehicles of the new Mercedes-AMG SL (Model 232) at the final winter test in Sweden.

The final tuning of the fully variable 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system, for instance, now offered for the first time in the SL, is undertaken in wintry regions. The redesigned soft top, too, has to prove itself in the harsh conditions that prevail near the Arctic Circle. The handling dynamics of this iconic Roadster, set to make its debut later this year, will soon undergo final refinement on the north loop of the Nürburgring, amongst other places. On the most challenging racing circuit in the world, specialists from Mercedes-AMG will ensure that this latest iteration of the SL draws more than ever on its sporting roots.

Development vehicles of the new Mercedes-AMG SL (Model 232) at the final winter test in Sweden.

When this new Mercedes Roadster becomes available, the different models will all be named Mercedes-AMG name, but the almost 70 years of history of the ‘SL’ name will still retain the core values from so many decades ago: a unique design, exclusivity, and exceptional levels of quality and luxury. The story started in 1952 but it continues to be written into the future.

The BRABUS Invicto

When you are a high-net-worth individual, life is different compared to other people, you’ll probably live inside a large mansion with security guards and camera surveillance, and when you leave this compound, you’ll be driven around inside an armored vehicle, most likely even with one or more additional cars around you.


You can opt for one of the Mercedes-Benz Guard versions, the world’s widest ex-factory range of special protection vehicles … or you can turn to Brabus for one of their Invicto models, a series made up of three different versions to cater to the customer’s wishes, discreet, rugged, or luxuries …

All three versions come with the ‘Invicto Shelter Cell’, a self-contained, self-supporting and bolted-down protective cell. In addition, there are further protective elements that are in part produced using a special 3D printing process and, of course, all-around extremely tough bulletproof glass.

Based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the Invicto can resist 7.62×39 caliber bullets, used in the AK-47 for instance, but also being hit with hand grenades, and even 12.5-kilogram PETN explosive charges, this certifies the Invicto per the VPAM BRV 2009 and VPAM ERV 2010 standards, all while remaining discreet, and nearly invisible from the outside.

The BRABUS INVICTO bulletproof glass

Sometimes this kind of car requires making a fast getaway when faced with intrusion, therefore the BRABUS Invicto comes with a special suspension and high-performance braking system to cope with the additional weight of the armoring, but the 20-inch Invicto wheels come with special run-flat tires.

Because of the required performance, BRABUS advises using either a Mercedes G500 or the G63 as a base for their €345,600 Invicto protection package, but it can be ordered with other gasoline engines from the G-Class model range.

The armor meets the VR6 Plus ERV standard, the same standard that protects many limousines of heads of state, to meet the requirements the doors and hatch are now fitted with new protective elements, all the glass is replaced with extra tough bulletproof material, which required an innovative structure for the frames to be developed by BRABUS.


The Invicto Shelter Cell is unlike other vehicles where the armor is retrofitted, this BRABUS system is a self-contained, self-supporting, and bolted-down unit. This design makes it possible to put it into the body shell of the G-Class part by part and then assemble and fasten it. To this end, the company manufactures precise-fit, hot-rolled steel armor plates and additional protective elements made from materials such as carefully selected fabric and fiber structures as well as from ceramic and metal composite materials.

Among the many special constructive features of the “INVICTO Shelter Cell” is the fact that there is no narrowing of the door openings whatsoever. Getting in and out of the vehicle comfortably is crucial for many owners of a G-Class. In addition, the protective cell has a zero-gap design. This means that the individual components of the armor are installed without any gaps between them, which is of elementary importance for providing maximum security under small arms fire or an explosive attack. This is achieved by means of material overlaps and the so-called labyrinths.


Surprisingly enough, the entire BRABUS Invicto protective armor only adds about 1,000 kg on top of the base Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, but it still required both the front and rear suspension to be completely modified by the BRABUS engineers, even the frame of the G-Wagon needed to be reinforced at key points to support the additional weight, but still be agile enough for maximum security and durability.

A high-performance braking system with vented 402-millimeter discs and six-piston brake calipers at the front as well as 380-millimeter rotors and four-piston brake calipers on the rear axle is another major factor in the outstanding active safety of the INVICTO.

BRABUS fits Invicto 9.5×20 inch wheels specifically developed for the higher wheel load rating, large 275/50 R 20 W113 high load rating tires are fitted, BRABUS even developed a new run-flat system for their Invicto, even with completely destroyed tires, this car can continue for another 50km at a speed of 50 km/h.



This model has been created by BRABUS for those customers that need protection, but don’t want to stand out in traffic, the Invicto Pure looks exactly like a factory original Mercedes-Benz G-class … this is protection in her purest form, both the exterior and the interior of the Invicto Pure are visually unchanged.


The only visible changes are the new Invicto wheels in 20-inch, required to fit the BRABUS run-flat system, but other than that, this version is “undercover” as much as possible.



The Invicto Mission edition is not intended to have the high-net-worth individual in the rear seats, this version is made for the security guard companies that accompany that person, possibly even armed forces, or police and emergency services. Based on the Mercedes G500 or G63, the Invicto Mission includes not only the 20-inch off-road tires with the run-flat capability and a winch at the front this edition also comes with a powerful LED headlamp assembly at the front of the roof rack, flashing beacons behind the windshield, remote-controlled rotating searchlights at the rear, and even an armored escape hatch on the roof.


The original seats have been replaced by four custom bucket seats, designed in such a manner they allow the security detachment to wear protective vests inside the vehicle, five-point seatbelts keep them in place, even during high-speed, spirited driving.


But the Invicto Mission doesn’t stop there, it comes complete with a fresh air system with NBC filter for the interior, or how about an infrared package complete with night-vision together with an elaborate monitoring and navigation system, even the doors and backrests are fitted with the MOLLE system (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) to secure equipment.

The BRABUS INVICTO MISSION fresh air system



This is the most exclusive version in the Invicto series, based on either Mercedes G 500 or the Mercedes-AMG G 63 with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine and 430kW / 585hp, this model offers 850 Nm of torque to offer impressive active safety, the 20-inch run-flat tires do require a limitation of the top speed to 210 Km/h.


The Invicto Luxury also stands out, this is not the model for the owner that wants to travel unseen, incognito … BRABUS fits the WIDESTAR body on this model, optionally even with clear carbon fiber components, remember the Invicto Shelter Cell sits on the inside, which gets refined with a BRABUS interior made from the finest leather and Alcantara to suit the owner’s personal color and design preferences.

If the owner wants to have some more power to get out of any dangerous spots, he or she can opt for the BRABUS 800 engine, with an output of 588 kW / 800 hp at 6,600 rpm and a peak torque of 1,000 Nm at a low 3,600 rpm.


It is clear BRABUS isn’t focusing on their usual customer that wants to turn a standard, factory Mercedes-AMG into a high-performance supercar with their Invicto model, this car is intended to offer the best protection possible for those that require it … but still want to travel in style.

The INVICTO special protection vehicles as per VR6 Plus ERV standard are built in small-series production at the plant of BRABUS Automotive in Bottrop, and while these three versions should already cater to the most discerning customer, BRABUS is always open for individual requests, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the initial goal: protection and driving safety.

The POSAIDON S 63 RS 830+

For more than ten years, the downward-pointing trident has stood for unparalleled performance within the Mercedes-Benz and AMG community. This is because the specialists at POSAIDON – whose trademark is this polearm widely used in mythology – pick up where others left off a long time ago when it comes to performance enhancement.

But this raw power is rarely put on full public display by the POSAIDON engineers, who generally prefer to conceal it in a somewhat inconspicuous exterior that belies the lofty heights of performance it can actually achieve. A prime example of this is the POSAIDON S 63 RS 830+ shown here, which is based on the AMG variant of the large S-Class Coupe (C217).

POSAIDON pushed its 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine (M177DE40AL) from the factory-set 612 hp and 900 Nm to a ferocious 880 hp and 1,200 Nm. This transformation, which POSAIDON is valuing at €29,990 (US $36,322), was achieved using high performance turbochargers with ball bearings, a sport air filter, and down pipes with sport catalytic converters. Naturally, the software of the engine control unit, transmission control unit and drive train control unit (CPC) was also tweaked. So now, the two-ton POSAIDON S 63 RS 830+ goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds. The top speed of this high-caliber bullet has been limited to 350 km/h to account for the tires.

But there’s more: Under the same name, POSAIDON is also offering the S 63 RS 830+ with 940 hp and 1,280 Nm, which – for the price of €52,000 (US $62,981)- goes beyond the other upgrades to include cylinder head porting, valve seat alterations and a water/methanol injection system (optionally with an individual tank). With this kind of power, it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds, but the max speed is still capped at 350 km/h, again to account for the tires.

And that’s not the end of the story! POSAIDON has already announced that another power stage is in the M177DE40AL pipeline, which will smash the 1,000 hp sound barrier!

There is also something a little tamer for those who want it, with the added bonus of TÜV approval: The POSAIDON S 63 RS 830, which – as the name suggests – delivers 830 hp and 1,100 Nm. This version comes with upgrade turbochargers and costs €24,000 (US $29,066) incl. TÜV certificate. Its top speed is also 350 km/h, and it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in three smooth seconds.

For more price-sensitive customers, POSAIDON is also offering a purely electronic performance upgrade: A software update for the engine control unit pushes the AMG’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to 700 hp and 950 Nm, which – paired with modifications to the transmission control unit and drive train control unit (CPC) – accelerates the S 63 4MATIC+ Coupe from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and to a top speed of 330 km/h. The price: €4,200 (US $5,087). A TÜV certificate can also be obtained with this.

By the way: All of these POSAIDON power levels are available not just for the S Class Coupe, but also all other AMG series with the M177 engine. These are the E 63 (213), GLE 63 (167), GT 63 (X290), G 63 (463), S 63 (222) and GLS 63 (X167).
POSAIDON is also offering similar upgrades for the C 63 (205) and GLC 63 (253) as well as for all AMG GTs with the M178.

Mercedes-Benz AMG to deliver Project ONE This Year

Unveiled as a concept at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Project One will finally ready for the streets. This anticipation comes after the car was to be released in 2019, well long story short, that didn’t happen. 

After such a long wait, the company has uploaded a video of the AMG One being pushed to the limits on the racetrack. And you’re probably wondering what the car’s engine sounds like, here’s a hint, it’s out of an F1 car: It sounds eargasmic.

This hypercar uses the same engine found in the Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 racecar. It is a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6, the same unit used to win the 2015 season championship.

MB AMG Project ONE
Mercedes-Benz AMG-W07 2016 F1 Engine

The One comes with more sophistication than just a plain ol’ turbocharged V-6. It comes with four electric motors, one powering the rear, two powering each side of the front, and one assisting the turbocharger. This gives the AMG One an all-wheel-drive system with the ability to operate on only electricity. 

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This means that Mercedes-Benz AMG has been able to claim their performance hybrid, Project One “will produce over 1,000 horsepower at a maximum speed of over 350 km/h” according to their website. 

As mentioned earlier, the One was to be released in 2019 however that changed after the AMG realized how difficult it was to transform a track-focused powerplant into an appropriate engine for road use. But as they have taken the time to properly convert the engine for the street, it has turned into a thing of beauty. 

Mercedes-Benz AMG has limited the Project One to just 275 units and deliveries to take place in 2021. 

Gronos 2021 – a Mansory modified Mercedes G-Class G63

Kourosh Mansory, located in Brand, Germany, is a well-known manufacturer of exclusive cars, most of which might be designed with Far-East, or Asian customers in mind, but their workmanship is at such a level you can’t resist admiring their creations, even if they aren’t always to your exact taste.

In 2013 MANSORY revealed the Gronos, a complete vehicle conversion taking Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG and completely transforming it into a beast, called the Gronos after the god Cronos who led the twelve Titans. The interior of the original Gronos didn’t have seats anymore, MANSORY calls them thrones now, upholstered in the finest leather possible, with amazing, bespoke stitching patterns. Together with perfect carbon fiber, made in-house in MANSORY’s own autoclave.

Back in 2013 MANSORY mounted 23-inch wheels with 305/35ZR23 tires, the original V8 engine is taken apart by MANSORY and gets rebuilt, together with a custom, stainless steel exhaust system, power output was 840 hp with an electronically limited torque figure of 1,000 Nm.

But MANSORY wasn’t finished with the Gronos, they also made a ‘Black Edition’ that had a full carbon fiber body, later a Gronos Facelift was released, with a carbon fiber redesigned body, wider fenders, new front hood, new front spoiler … and still with 840 hp.

Last year MANSORY came up with two new models based on the Mercedes G-Class, the ‘Star Trooper Pickup’, which was created in collaboration with Philipp Plein, and a ‘special protection’ version that is in line with the ‘invisible armoring’ idea from MANSORY, people that can afford this kind of exclusivity need to feel safe inside their car after all.

Now it’s time to take the Gronos into 2021 with a new evolution that takes the original design and modernizes it for the current market requirements. The entire aerodynamic program from the previous Gronos has been redesigned, a new front bumper and lower spoiler, even more exclusive, wide fenders, and a new rear diffuser. Note that all MANSORY aero parts are made from carbon fiber, and they even show special ‘Forged Carbon’ details finished in high-gloss.

While the car’s exterior is finished in a stunning, dark green shade referred to as ‘British Racing Green’, the front engine cover stays unpainted to display the perfect finish of the carbon fiber it’s made of, additional cooling vents just finish the amazing look. Additional DRL, daytime running lights, complete the aggressive look of the front and let’s not forget the extra, very bright, LED added to the roof above the windshield.

The Mercedes G-Class is one of those SUV that keeps the spare tire on the outside, on a large door, on this MANSORY Gronos 2021 the cover for this spare is made from Forged Carbon naturally, what else would you expect, and it matches numerous other parts on the exterior of the 2021 edition of the Gronos.

The factory standard Mercedes G63 AMG can’t be called underpowered with a healthy 585 hp available from the turbocharged V8 engine, still, MANSORY takes it apart and modifies the ECU, adds larges turbochargers, new downpipes, and a bespoke exhaust system. After MANSORY dials in the engine, the power output is raised to an impressive 850 hp, torque goes from 850 Nm to 1,000 Nm … acceleration is now only 3.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill, and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

With all that power and torque, those massive 295/30R24 tires might need changing quicker than you think, but those forged YN.5 MANSORY wheels, finished in glossy black, are just a feast to admire, so who cares about four new tires on a car like this. Just be careful when exiting the rear of this Gronos 2021, the two massive, round exhaust pipes exit just ahead of the rear wheels, and they might be burning hot!

And that brings us to the interior, if you think the exterior of this Gronos 2021 looks impressive, just admire that brown leather interior, MANSORY calls it ‘Fawn Brown’. And when you think about some of the other MANSORY creations, like a yellow Lamborghini Urus with a bright yellow leather interior, or a blue Rolls Royce with … you guessed it, a blue leather interior … this Gronos 2021 actually looks rather timid.

And this shade of brown leather complements the British Racing Green exterior perfectly, and if you look closely, you’ll notice MANSORY didn’t leave anything untouched inside this Gronos 2021, a new steering wheel, naturally with visible carbon fiber, dark carbon fiber inlays all over the interior. And that bespoke stitching pattern is executed to perfection, complete with embroidered MANSORY logo on the seats and floor mats.

The carpet in the MANSORY Gronos 2021 is finished in black for a nice contrast, but they added finely made floor mats that match the leather on the seats, even the inner door panel of that large, rear door gets the MANSORY treatment, and a custom floor mat just had to be added to the luggage space … even the entire headliner is replaced with the finest ‘Fawn Brown’ leather, how’s that for attention to detail?

But now comes the bad news … and no, it isn’t the price, because customers for this kind of total conversion don’t even have to ask ‘how much’, they just sign a blank cheque. No, the really bad news is that MANSORY will only make 10 units of this Gronos 2021, and while the CO2 emissions are 312 g/km and fuel consumption is a combined 13,6 l/100km … I don’t think this will deter people from buying the MANSORY Gronos 2021 … heck, most of MANSORY’s customers have their own oil fields anyway.

The B45 – 450 performance upgrade from Brabus

When I first saw this Brabus B45 for the first time, the term ‘Pocket Rocket’ came to mind, this car is based on the Mercedes A-class compact hatchback model, but it packs 450 hp now thanks to a performance upgrade from Brabus. Straight from the Mercedes factory the AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ comes with 310 kW of power, but Brabus takes this up to 331 kW (450 hp) and a massive 550 Nm of torque, which is a 10% increase over the original figures.

The Brabus B45 – 450 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds (0.2 seconds faster), but what’s even more impressive is the fact Brabus does this with full TÜV approval and the exemplary three-year or 100,000-kilometer/62,000-mile BRABUS Tuning Warranty®, which is very rare in the engine tuning business altogether.

Just think about this for a second, we are looking at a 450 hp output from a turbocharged four-cylinder inside a hatchback Mercedes … only a few years ago this kind of power came from true supercars like a Ferrari F430 (2004 – 2009 with 480 hp from a V8), or the Lamborghini Gallardo that came with 500 hp (built from 2003 – 2006). But today a relatively comfortable hatchback model is getting very close to these harsh two-seater supercars with double the number of cylinders or more.

The press release stipulates: “The engine tuning comprises more than just special mapping for the A 45 S’s electronic engine management system. The conversion also includes a BRABUS PowerXtra CPC auxiliary control unit, the BRABUS BoostXtra adapter, which lets the engine produce a sporty blow-off noise like a racecar, and a special duct for the air box.”

In this case, Brabus didn’t add any aero parts or other appendages to the already potent looking Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+, but you can fit a set of adjustable lowering springs, which can bring this car down from 0mm to 30mm (1.2 inch). And you have to admit this lowered stance makes those bespoke 20 inch, monoblock Z wheels look even better. 8.5×20 inch on both axles boasting ten spokes, these black wheels with a polished lip get a set of Continental tires, 245/30ZR20 preferably.

If you really want to have your Brabus B45 – 450 look different where it matters, the interior, the Brabus upholstery shop can transform the entire cockpit of the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ to your liking. Different, high-end leather with just about any stitching pattern you like, bespoke Brabus floor mats, aluminum pedals … or how about a set of Brabus stainless steel scuff plates, complete with illuminated logo to match the 64 shades of the ambient lighting?

The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4MATIC+ based Brabus B45 – 450 might come in a small package, but she packs a serious punch.

2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S Review

The Mercedes-AMG 45S is the “Super-sportscar” of the compact class and ranging topping offering from Mercedes-Benz.
With the previous third generation Mercedes-Benz A class getting it’s first taste of the AMG treatment over six-years ago, it was time for the team in Affalterbach to give the now fourth generation A Class a new incarnation. For this we headed to Circuito del Jarama on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain.

Now at Circuito del Jarama we get our first look round the new A45S which is now fitted with the worlds most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the M139. Producing an impressive 384hp as a “standrard” A45, the A45S manages to output an outstanding 421hp! This is an improvement of 40hp over the previous M133 DE20 LA engine found in the facelift third generation Mercedes A45 AMG, and gives the M139 a output of 211hp per litre which places it on-par with engines you’d expect to find in high class ranges. As with all AMG produced engines, the powerplants found in the A45 are from Affalterbach and adhere to the “One Man, One Engine” principle. The A45S will reach 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and will continue on to a top speed of 270 km/h, whilst the standard A45 is 0.1 seconds slower to 100 km/h (4.0) and is electronically limited to 250 km/h, though this can be raised to 270 km/h with the optional AMG Drivers package.
The new engine has been rotated around its vertical axis 180°, meaning the turbocharger and exhaust manifold are now positioned to the rear of the engine bay, allowing for a more aerodynamically and the flattest possible front section of the car. Inside the engine, Mercedes has coated the cylinders with their patented NANOSLIDE technology that is also found in their Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 engines.
Both variants of the M139 are coupled to the eight speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT-8G dual clutch transmission, which provides shifts in mere milliseconds, and comes equipped with the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. Also new for this generation of A45, is Drift mode, which comes as standard with the S and is included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC Plus package on the standard A45. Drift mode is called up when in “RACE” mode when the ESP is turned off and the transmission is in manual mode, allowing for powerslides on any road condition.

Twisting the wheel-mounted driving mode dial round to “Race” and you feel the car tighten up, the exhaust valves open and in general become more aggressive. Opening up the throttle and the power is almost instantaneous, the gearshifts are smooth and lightening quick with a little crackle and pop on every one, or when you lift of the throttle. The steering is light and responsive in conjunction with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, giving you feedback as you go through the corners and making you feel comfortable pushing harder into each upcoming corner.
The AMG Torque Control differential helps to bring the car back around on occasions when you find you’ve pushed a little too hard into a corner, with the font tighten up and the rear being pull round in a “powersliding” style.

Now back in the paddock area we have a better chance to look at the exterior changes on the new A45S. The most striking feature across both variants is the addition of the AMG specific grille on the A Class for the first time. The flared wheel arches and front winglets add to the aggressive look that the contoured headlamps and aerodynamic styled hood give the A45S. This continues round to the side of the car, where the AMG side skirts give the A45S a more road hugging stance, whist the wing mirrors are mounted in a similar fashion to those found on the larger coupes and sportscars. At the rear of the A45S, the thinner rear light clusters help to emphasise a wider rear, with the twin 90mm round exhaust pipes sticking out on both sides of the rear diffuser.
One optional extra that helps that were a big fan of is the AMG Aerodynamic package, which with its modified font splitter, winglets, additional diffuser blade and rear wing help to not only improve that handling abilities of the A45S through improved downforce, but also finish of the aggressive styling of the car. Other options include a range of 19-Inch alloy wheels, the AMG night package or a Silver Chrome package.

Inside the A45S the driver and passenger are seated in sports seats that have a firm lateral support and are covered in black ARTICO man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibre is timeless, and creates typical AMG highlights with double topstitching in yellow. The steering wheel comes in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, with either red, yellow or black stitching, galvanised gearshift paddles nestled just behind it and an adjustable button that allows the driver to set the AMG driving mode without the need to remove their hands from the wheel. As always, the centre console is present in a gloss black finish with a touchpad that is surrounded by additional switches that control the ESP, transmission mode and exhaust mode to name a few.

The MBUX infotainment system has three AMG styles, “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport”. When Supersport is selected you get a striking central, round rev countrer and with the other information being moved to the side in a bar form. Mercedes have also added the AMG Track Pace as standard to the A45S, meaning the virtual race engine is fully available through the MBUX infotainment system. By measuring more than 80 different vehicle-specific data channels, the drivers are then able to analyse and improve their driving skills. Another feature of the AMG Track Pace is the ability to record your own circuits into the memory, be it major race tracks famous across the world, or you nearest club circuit, and have the ideal racing line stored and displayed.

Out on the road the ride quality is very good for a “super-sports” compact car, and it’s only when you move into Sport+ and Race that you start to feel more of the road below, it handles the highways with ease and comfort. On the more winding mountainous roads that lead up the Sierra de Guadarrama, the A45S hugs the round, staying planted in the corners with the power coming back smoothly and quickly when you punch the accelerator on the exit.

With their completely re-designed A45 models, Mercedes-AMG has showcased their competence in developing an already class-leading compact into a ground breaking “Super-sportscar” both equally comfortable at highway cruising as it is at windy country roads and race tracks.
Overall the new Mercedes-AMG 45S is a cooling looking, extremely well equipped and punchy compact class car, that has definitely raised the bar in the “Super-sportscar”, compact class market!


Mercedes-AMG One won’t challenge Nurburgring record lap time

In March, Autocar reported that Mercedes-AMG had investigated challenging the outright Nürburgring lap record. Mercedes was said to have studied the fastest two laps, both set by racing driver Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956, with the intent of setting a new benchmark using the AMG Project One, which will now be called merely the AMG One. Apparently AMG believed it could be done, the hardest part being “finding the right driver.” AMG boss Tobia Moers still believes the One could win the day even after the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo obliterated the old mark by nearly a minute. But Moers quashed the attempt, telling Australian site Motoring, “Could we beat the Porsche’s ‘Ring time? We could, probably,” then adding, “I just don’t know what we’d do it for.”

Moers admits the Porsche run “was impressive,” and a One victory “would be close.” To give the One a chance at the title, engineers could rework the aero, yank out the air conditioning, and put on different tires. But Moers can’t see the point of a fully homologated production car challenging a race car that’s been upgraded beyond any legal race spec. “Theirs is a racing car that isn’t actually fit to race anywhere, in any class, anywhere. It doesn’t have any rules,” he said. At one point there had been rumor of a track-only version of the One, which might have made more sense to field, but such plans, if there really were any, were axed.

For a quick rundown of the figures, Bellof’s 35-year-old record stood at 6:11.13, set during qualifying for the Nürburgring 1000 KM race. The 956 produced 630 hp in its most powerful guise from a 2.5-liter, twin-turbo V6. The upgraded 919 Hybrid Evo put out not less than 1,160 hp from the combined efforts of its 2.0-liter V4 ICE and electric motor. Having had its aero tweaked and been stripped of its A/C, windshield wipers, and jack system, it averaged 147 miles per hour around the ‘Ring, hitting a top speed of 229 mph, to set a lap time of 5:19.55. We’re still waiting on final specs for the AMG One, but it’s expected to make more than 1,021 horsepower from its 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 and four electric motors, and post a top speed beyond 218 mph.

We can see Moers’ point. Now that the One’s been placed in the ring with the 919 Hybrid Evo, Mercedes takes the biggest risk. If the One doesn’t set a new best lap, it looks like the Mercedes-AMG hypercar lost, and explanations of the lopsided competition won’t get trumpeted as much as the mark in the L column. Every One is already sold, and has given new dimension to the brand a year before the first customer delivery.

And yet, we think the challenge is all the more worthwhile if Moers really believes the AMG One can do it. To have a fully homologated road car from the sporty division of a luxury car brand beat a dedicated, unrestricted effort from the legendary racing division of a legendary sports brand at the world’s most iconic lap-record track? We’d buy tickets to that show.

Related Video:

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster spied at the Nurburgring

So far, the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster has been the hottest drop-top version of Mercedes‘ range-topping sports car, which with 550 horsepower, wasn’t far off the top dog GT R Coupe. Yet, there’s far more to the R than just its higher power figure, with a multitude of weight-saving and aerodynamics-enhancing elements improving its all-around performance. And now, it seems that Mercedes-AMG will be applying them to a GT with a folding roof.

The proof is in the spy photos above. Around the side, it has the GT R’s fender vent with a single bar across it and strakes that extend into the doors. The wheels and brakes are identical to the GT R, too. And guess what? The rear is also straight off the GT R with the big rear diffuser, center-exit exhaust, and unmissable manually adjusted rear wing.

Up front, this roadster has the wider, more aggressive GT R front bumper. However, after zooming in on the lower grille and fiddling with shadows in Photoshop, it’s hard to tell with the active aero shutters have been replaced with fixed slats or if they’re just open.

We expect that this car will simply be a GT R with a soft top, meaning it will have the same twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It will also have the GT R’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, rear-wheel steering, electronically controlled limited-slip differential, adjustable traction control, adjustable coilover suspension and carbon fiber parts. We’re not sure if the same aerodynamic trickery used through the coupe will work the same when the roof has been removed, so perhaps some of those elements may be different (such as those slats).

Being a convertible, though, it will probably be heavier because of chassis reinforcements and soft top equipment. As a result, it will likely be a tad slower, but you’ll also be able to hear its wicked exhaust better. The car will also probably appear soon, possibly by the end of the year, or early next year. This is based on how little camouflage is on the car, as well as the fact that much of the powertrain and chassis has already been developed for the coupe.

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Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

The brutish Mercedes C63’s have been getting a makeover with a tweak here and a tweak there, to improve the driving dynamics while giving a slicker look in general. Don’t worry if you are concerned that they may be distinguishing the fire these bad boys are capable of – they are not.

The 4.0-liter V8 twin-double charged engine will be ever-present and correct but will be paired to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission box that allows for quicker shift times.

AMG Dynamics have also been added to these beasts to provide them with more advanced agility in different driving modes. You can choose from Basic, Advanced, Pro and Master to adjust the dynamics of the car taking corners based on where you are burning rubber!

It’s not just the heart and exterior of the beast that has been updated, as internally it has a new radiator designed specifically for AMG with a high gloss chrome finish and vertical louvers. Aerodynamics have been given close attention with updates on the rear diffuser and an enhanced twin-tailpipe trim with a slick high-gloss chrome coating.

Rather than taming the beast, Mercedes in their wisdom toughened it up, and gave it more control!

Purchase Today

1998 Mercedes AMG CLK GTR on Auction

Gearheads with will undoubtedly drool at the once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of racing history as RM Sotheby’s will auction off a legendary supercar. With only 25 units ever built, the 1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR is definitely a rare item that will draw the attention of car collectors from all over the globe. Interested buyers are encouraged to register as soon as possible before the item goes to auction on August 25 at the Monterey 2018 event.

What makes the supercar memorable is the development period it took to complete the project from the concept sketch stage to a track-ready prototype (which was accomplished in just 128 days). The mechanics and engineers from AMG reportedly worked non-stop to deliver this beauty in time for the FIA GT Championship.  Its mid-mounted 6.9-liter 630 horsepower M120 V12 engine gives it an impressive exhaust note, according to experts.

It was specifically designed to take on the 911 GT1 from Porsche and the McLaren F1 powered by BMW’s racing technology.  Ultimately, this rivalry turned the race into an intense competition among Germany’s top automotive brands.

Interestingly enough, one of the requirements set by the FIA in order for carmakers to participate in the exclusive event was to produce 25 homologated road-ready vehicles. You can see by now what made models such as the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR one of the most highly sought-after supercars.

The one on offer is still in breathtaking condition with less than 1000 miles on the odometer and comes in a stunning silver paint scheme, a color that appears to be favored by fans of Mercedes-Benz.  Additionally, the paint, drivetrain, tool chest, and booklets are all original. A quick look at the official auction page reveals that RM Sotheby’s expects this exceptional supercar to fetch around $4,250,000 to $5,250,000 after the bidding ends.

1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s