BFGoodrich Tyres and the Rentsch boys extend their grip on the AORC

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Australian Off Road Championship leaders Shannon and Ian Rentsch have enhanced their dominance of the event with victory in the Coffs Coast 400 that now puts the pair ten minutes ahead of their closest rival. With heavy rain falling over night and into the morning, the teams had to contend with extremely muddy conditions on Saturday, with the #1 Hogs Breath Café/BFGoodrich Tyres Jimco finishing sixth in the morning prologue.

But courtesy of what is being claimed as superior tyres and no shortage skill, by the end of the three 50km loops of the Lower Bucca Forest stage, the Rentschs were back at the top of the time sheets, securing the pole position for Sunday’s run.

Sunday saw the return of bright sunshine bringing with it the added challenge of dust clouds. For Shannon though, it was head down and smart driving to bring his buggy home. He started the day with a 27 second lead over Jack Rhodes and was able to stretch this to over ten minutes on the five loops of the stage.

“Yesterday was really tough and extremely slippery in places, but my tyres were up to the challenge,” said Shannon. “Today the conditions were much better and it was all about consistency and not making mistakes.”

The Australian Off Road Championship has no restrictions on which tyre manufacturer a team uses which resulted five tyre makers being represented in the race, which according to BFGoodrich Tyres, makes its dominance all the more impressive. The company’s race partners lock out the top three places in the event that now heads to the final round in Lockyer Valley just an hour out of Brisbane on October 17-19.

For more information on BFGoodrich Tires, head to www.bfgoodrich.com.au or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/BFGoodrichAUNZ

Mobile app wins Design Festival award

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A mobile app that allows fitters to accurately identify brake pads on the job was mentioned in dispatches at the recent Design Festival in Sydney. Using a mobile phone, the fitter takes a photograph of the pad then either selecting the make and model of the vehicle, or entering the dimensions of the brake pad. The app then calculates the most likely part number of the item. Detailed specifications are available for each part number including the vehicle manufacturer’s part numbers.

“The Australian Mobile & App Design Awards are part of a grand slam series where apps from the UK, Asia and Australia compete,” said Bendix’s Ian Bott, “The awards cover 30 categories highlighting recognition across the app design spectrum and provide a unique opportunity to see the best start-ups.”

Ian claims that the launch of the Bendix app has been outstandingly successful due to the company’s consistent marketing across a range of media channels targeting the broadest field of mechanics and specialist brake fitters.

“This included promotion through our website, an email campaign, social media, competitions, direct mailing of printed material with QR download codes and interaction and training,” he added.

Government springs into action on modifications to motorcycle rear mudguards.

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It’s been said that the current federal government is little more a pack of wankers to frightened to move their collective hands from underneath their fat arses and make some meaningful decisions. But this is certainly not the case when it comes to the motorcycle industry following the huge announcement that the government has abolished the need for modifications to motorcycle rear mudguards to meet Australian Design Rules.

Wow!

According to the industry, abolishing the provision will achieve significant efficiencies, with nearly 70,000 new motorcycles no longer required to be retro-fitted with rear mudguard extensions. The change is said to deliver $14.4 million in industry compliance and manufacturing savings every year, which should lead to lower prices for new motorcycle owners…ha! ha!

“Consumers in Australia will finally have access to motorcycles as originally designed by the manufacturers, bringing Australia into line with other major markets including the European Union and Japan,” said Liberal MP Josh Frydenburgh.

The ruling follows a Productivity Commission report calling for the harmonising of ADRs with United Nations vehicle regulations.

“Harmonisation ensures we strike the balance between appropriate safety standards, in line with international best practice, and consumer access to vehicles at the lowest possible cost.”

 We realise that the magnificent Royal Enfield Classic pictured above has little to do with this story other than it having been extensively modified…the bike that is…and it does add a bit of glam to an otherwise whatever sort of story.

AROUND THE TRAPS; Record profit for world’s biggest brand; Forbidden profits from Middle(man) Kingdom; Engine leaks and Parisian forecasts

 

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While the general trend in the industry, even among luxury makes, appears to be to increase sales with little regard to exclusivity or whether a vehicle fits a brand, Ferrari is going against the tide and limiting the number of cars it sells each year.

After reaching ‘Peak Ferrari in 2012 with a record 7318 sales, the Italian brand decided to limit sales to 7000 units per year in order to boost exclusivity and in the process help protect margins and residual values for customers.

Ferrari has now revealed that it sold 6922 cars in 2013, which was down 5.4% on 2012’s figure. Despite the decrease in sales, revenues were up 5% on the previous year at 2.3 billion euros ($US3.16 billion) and net profit was up 5.4% at 246 million euros ($338.5 million). The company also ended 2013 with 1.36 billion euros ($1.87 billion) in the bank, its highest net cash position ever.

If you’re wondering how Ferrari manages to grow profits while selling fewer cars, all while continuing to invest in new products and an extensive motorsport program, there are actually several reasons.

Most of the revenue growth has been brought about by the increased rate of personalisation done on the cars, such as through the Tailor-Made Program and Special Projects division. Every car Ferrari sold last year featured some kind of personalisation, which can often be quite costly.

Also growing this year was Ferrari’s restoration division, Ferrari Classiche, and its Corse Clienti customer-racing program, which was recently merged with the Formula One program through the new Sporting Activities Department.

Revenues from the company’s brand-related activities, such as merchandising and theme park licenses, also hit a new record, coming in at 54 million euros ($US74.3 million).

The US remains Ferrari’s single biggest market, with sales of sales of 2035 units, followed by China (700) and the UK (6770.

In related news, British research firm Brand Finance named Ferrari the world’s most powerful brand for the second year in a row, putting it ahead of much larger firms such as Apple and Google. – Source http://www.motorauthority.com

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Meanwhile foreign brands own more than 70% of the world’s largest car market China, and according to the Middle Kingdom, are taking home outsized profits. So the China’s government is putting an end to this. China’s antitrust regulator has found Audi and Chrysler guilty of monopoly practices. The still unannounced fines can be up to 10% of the automaker’s domestic annual sales revenue.

In 2008, China passed new competition laws, which up until now were mostly ignored. The antitrust regulator is first targeting imported luxury brands because the government believes that the problem is most severe in this area.

According to the new rules makers may not dictate dealers minimum sales prices. Investigators have been raiding dealers and offices of various auto and parts makers and claim to have found minimum price fixing.

Audi sells approximately one third of its worldwide volume in China and Volkswagen booked pretax profits of €2.6 billion came from China.  Both companies, along with other auto manufacturers, have since reduced prices in China, but fines for other automakers appear to be imminent, it is unclear, however, how such fines will affect the Chinese joint venture partners. – Source – Reuters

burgularGeneral Motors say that South Korean prosecutors are investigating whether a contractor leaked the US carmaker’s engine technology overseas. According to a spokesman at GM Korea, prosecutors raided a design company on Tuesday in a search for evidence. Prosecutors in South Korea learned about the possible leak through its own intelligence network, News1 reported, citing the division at Supreme Prosecutors’ Office that looks into high technology and financial crimes. Source – Bloomberg

 

just-auto.com has compiled a list of what to expect at next month’s Paris Motor Show. Information on the majority of the following models can be found by searching PLDB, just-auto’s global vehicle database. Simply click on the link at the end of this list to buy a subscription, or to try PLDB for free.

Audi A6, A6 Hybrid, S6, RS 6 & allroad quattro facelifts: and S tronic replaces CVT; Audi TT Roadster: details under embargo; BMW 2 Series Convertible: M235i, 228i, 220i & 220d will be the first versions; BMW X6: second generation model is bigger, wider, taller, uses carryover platform;

Divine DS concept: no rear window, similarly sized to today’s Citroën DS4;

Fiat 500X: to be built alongside Renegade at Melfi, other info is yet to be released; Hyundai i20: ‘Elite i20′ in India, built in Chennai and Turkey, European sales from Q1; Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept: preview of potential four-seater GT future model; Infiniti Q70 2.2d: same 2,143cc Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder diesel as Q50 2.2d; Mercedes-Benz B-Class facelift: first update since its debut at 2011 Frankfurt IAA; Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S: Outlander PHEV-based design study;

Opel-Vauxhall Adam S: 110kW (150PS) 1.4 turbo, prototype was at Geneva ’14 show; Opel-Vauxhall Corsa: S4500 series model, will use evolution of current car’s platform; Opel-Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 diesel: new engine, 125kW (170PS) replaces 120kW 2.0; Opel-Vauxhall Mokka 1.6 CDTI: debut of the ‘Whisper’ diesel in this model; Opel-Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 diesel: new 125kW 2.0 engine replaces 120kW 2.0;

Peugeot 208 HYbrid Air 2L technology demonstrator: carbon panels, weighs 860kg; Peugeot 308 GT: 205PS 1.6 petrol turbo and 180PS 2.0 diesel, hatch and SW (estate); Peugeot 508 RXH facelift: 180PS 2.0-litre diesel is also new; Peugeot Exalt concept: interior updated since its debut at April’s Beijing show; Porsche Cayenne facelift: S now has a 309kW 3.6 biturbo V6, on sale from October; Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: same 416hp PHEV powertrain as Panamera S E-Hybrid; Renault concept: lightweight design study, more details to follow;

Renault Espace successor: may be called Ondelios, built at Douai, JFC code name; SEAT León X-Perience: ‘a family-sized crossover based on the ST’, on sale from Q4; Škoda Fabia: new three- & four-cylinder engines, production started in August; SsangYong XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure concepts: final previews of X100 project; Suzuki Vitara: production version of the YAD project, challenger for Juke/EcoSport; Volkswagen Passat: smaller yet roomier, loses up to 85kg, new 240PS/500Nm diesel. – source just-auto (UK).

 

 

Holden unwraps Special Edition Craig Lowndes Commodore

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In September 1994, a 20-year-old rookie made his first appearance for Holden in a V8 Supercar at Sandown, and just one month later became a household name when he and team mate Brad Jones finished second in Australia’s great race, the Bathurst 1000. That rookie was the one and only Craig Lowndes.

On the eve of Lowndes’ 20th anniversary in V8 Supercars, Holden is commemorating with a Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore. On sale next month, at a price to be determined…in other words whatever the fans will pay…the CL SS V S E C is really an SS V Redline Commodore with a few ‘unique specifications’ that should keep the punters happy.

Each car will be hand-finished and individually numbered and come with a framed certificate of authenticity with build plate. Owners will get an invite to a Red Bull Racing private function and tour hosted by Craig and a couple of general admission tickets to customers’ local 2015 V8 Supercar race and a Red Bull Racing pit tour.

Audi Richmond moves up, up the road

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Audi Richmond has moved a hundred yards up Swan Street into a new 3000 square metre facility that can show off up to 35 new, demonstrator and Audi approved plus vehicles at any one time and still have plenty of room for customer parking.

The Melbourne dealership is equipped with all the usual things that are expected of a modern-day retail outlet including a swish service department with 11 vehicle hoists, reception areas where owners, with nothing better to do, can watch their vehicle being serviced and of course, an Audi Café.

According to Audi boss Andrew Doyle, Audi is a very strong brand in Melbourne, and he sees potential for significant growth over the next few years supported by premium new facilities such as Audi Richmond.

Going over the top with a Commando

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Over here, in our cramped little shed with no windows, we dream of the open road, which for some reason or other immediately brings together thoughts of vintage motorbikes and lost youth. A bit of cobblers really, but not a bad intro into a piece about the Norton Commando.

In many ways, it’s remarkable the Commando was successful at all. Introduced in 1968 and powered by the parallel twin developed 20 years earlier by Bert Hopwood (he’d helped design the game-changing Triumph Speed Twin in 1937) the Commando was in many ways the sad proof that the British motorcycle industry had been sitting on its hands while the Japanese and European competition blazed new trails.

Where Hondas had overhead cams, four cylinders and disc brakes, Nortons had overhead valves, only two cylinders and, until 1972, drum brakes. The wave of the future they weren’t.

But that doesn’t mean they weren’t good bikes. When Norton decided, out of necessity, to continue with its old twin, it had the good sense to house it in a new frame, suspended by an entirely new isolating mounting system.

Designed by former Rolls-Royce engineer Dr. Stefan Bauer, the Norton Isolastic system fixed the swing arm to an engine/transmission subframe, isolating the powertrain from the main frame and the rider. It was brilliantly simple, and it transformed the rough and vibratory Norton 745cc twin into a smooth operator whose performance belied its aged origins. And while conventional wisdom said Norton had stretched the old twin beyond its limits, it was bumped up yet one more time, to 828cc in 1973, and proved up to the task.

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How an engine works!

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Yes, we know this blog claims to be for the more sophisticated auto repairer and car freak – same thing really – so a bit of basic information and we mean basic, about how an engine works may not be the right sort of content. But we just couldn’t go past the fantastic graphics. That’s our excuse anyway. A bit like the old days of reading Playboy for the articles. Expert or not, we reckon you’ve got to enjoy it, or admire it, or both.

It comes courtesy of stumbleupon so just CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW!

Merc see ‘racing heritage’ in AMG GT

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Mercedes says that it is sticking true to its racing car heritage with the new Mercedes-AMG GT that combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with everyday practicality and efficiency and is helping move the brand into a new, top-class, sports car segment.

The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG and features a front mid-engine concept with transaxle, and an aluminium lightweight and surprise, surprise, the newly developed AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine.

The power unit is said to be the first sports car engine with internally mounted turbochargers (‘hot inside V’) and dry sump lubrication, is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 340kW (462hp) and as a GT S with 375kW (510hp).

Top figures such as 3.8 seconds from zero to 100km/h and a top speed of 310km/h, will undoubtedly translate into extremely fast laps on the racetrack. At the same time, the two-seater is a straightforward, comfortable and reliable companion for everyday motoring thanks to its practical tailgate, easily accessible luggage compartment, high level of comfort on long journeys and the extensive Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems.

The whole thing is a combination of aluminium space frame, V8 biturbo engine with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle, locking differential, sports suspension with aluminium double-wishbone suspension and the low kerb weight of 1540 kilograms delivers racetrack performance.

The concept with front mid-engine and transmission in transaxle configuration makes for a beneficial weight distribution of 47-53% between the front and rear axle. Fuel consumption is claimed to 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) constitutes a considerable increase in efficiency.

That’s about as far as we want to go with the editing. The rest is just the usual auto manufacturer bumph, such as the line below and beaches at sunset stuff. It’s littered with capital letters and brackets…all signs of substandard composition…but if you’re into it…go for it…

Exterior design: sporty emotion and sensual purity

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“The new Mercedes-AMG GT is a sports car in its purist form”, says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. “Breathtaking proportions, powerfully sculpted surfaces and flowing lines turn the new AMG into a contemporary sports car which embodies the spirit of the glorious Mercedes sports cars. The GT is a consummate combination of beauty and intelligence.”

The new Mercedes-AMG GT embodies the sensual purity of sportiness and emotion. The two-seater is characterised by hallmark rear-wheel-drive proportions. The V8 biturbo front mid-engine ensures optimum weight distribution, which forms the basis for superb driving dynamics. The long bonnet with its pronounced powerdomes, the greenhouse which has been moved far back, the large wheels and broad tail end make up the distinctive looks. The large tailgate conceals a practical luggage compartment.

Muscular and dramatic dynamism

Positively arched surfaces give the Mercedes-AMG GT its sensuous character and the appearance of a sculpture. Viewed from the side, the dome-shaped, arched roof line and the frameless doors are eye-catching features. A muscular element sculpted out of the side wall creates a sense of lightness and dynamism, even when the vehicle is at a standstill.

The surfaces and lines of the side wall flow into the rear-end with a dramatic tapered effect. The GT deliberately avoids lines in the shoulder region. The only line is one lower down, picked up again in the rear bumper, which stretches the body and makes it appear lighter. The side air outlets, each with two fins, represent a typical, styling feature of Mercedes-Benz sports cars. The GT has no visible aerials which could disrupt the overall appearance.

The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the coupé a superior, self-confident front: the three-dimensional diamond radiator grille with central Mercedes star, a broad louvre and AMG lettering stands in the centre of the front end. LED High Performance headlamps with stylised “eyebrows” as daytime running lamps, side lights and indicators, as well as three separate high-beam reflectors lend the GT its characteristic look.

Large air intakes optimise the flow of air to the cooling modules. The A-wing with front splitter in the lower third of the front apron, a characteristic feature of AMG vehicles, makes the sports car appear low-slung and wide. While the front splitter is painted in the body colour on the GT, it comes with a high-gloss black finish on the GT S. Overall, customers can accentuate the exterior design according to their personal preferences: options available include the Exterior Silver Chrome package, the Night package and the Exterior Carbon-Fibre package.

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Broad shoulders for an emotional overall appearance

With its base areas, broad shoulders and narrow tail light graphics, the rear area creates an emotional overall appearance. The licence plate bracket is located in the lower part of the bumper, allowing the Mercedes star to be placed prominently on the smooth-surfaced boot lid. Added to which is an extendable rear aerofoil, which is concealed from view while the car is at a standstill. The black diffuser insert with tailpipes integrated into the bumper and the trim strip in matt iridium silver inspired by the A-wing in the front create a visual sense of lightness across the entire tail end.

Flat, wide tail lights with new sequential turn signals reflect state-of-the-art technology. 18 individual LEDs on each side indicate where the driver intends to turn by sequentially illuminating them from the inside to the outside.

The tail lights underline both the sporty styling of the rear, as well as the attention to detail and sophistication – form and function combine in a unique way to create a perfect unit.

Interior: sensuality, emotion and perfection

The interior design too embodies maximum emotion and sensual purity. Radically low, sporty proportions create a unique sense of spaciousness. Clearly drawn components and their authentic materials underscore the dynamic character and create instant excitement: Anyone opening the door discovers an exciting interplay between the deep, sloping dashboard and a dominant, arched high centre console, a design which evokes emotions and impresses with its perfection.

The central “aviation design” theme, which is the hallmark of Mercedes-Benz sports cars, has been restyled. The extreme emphasis on the width of the dashboard, which creates an impression of a powerful wing, dominates the cockpit of the GT. Four central spotlight-style vents and the individual vents at the right and left ends of the dashboard reinforce this impression. In conjunction with the high beltlines, the concave-shaped door panelling and the dynamic centre console, the GT comes across as a genuine driving machine and consummately integrates the driver into the cockpit thanks to the low seat position.

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The dominant centre console appears to be a feature lifted straight from motor racing by virtue of its styling that is reminiscent of a NACA air intake, as well as the surfaces and authentic materials that have been used – there is a choice of silver chrome, matt carbon fibre, high-gloss carbon fibre, black diamond and matt silver fibreglass. Positioned centrally, the free-standing central display is an eye-catching feature. Attention to detail is also echoed in the AMG DRIVE UNIT controls: they are arranged like eight cylinders in a V layout, emphasising the powerful and high-tech impression made by the centre console.

Outstanding precision and a superior quality feel thanks to the finest materials with superb workmanship are also apparent on the sports seats, the performance steering wheel and the instrument cluster. The most important control for sports car fans is located in the AMG DRIVE UNIT on the left-hand side: the button for starting the engine, which is labelled “Engine Start Stop” and illuminated in red.

The newly developed AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine

The new high-performance engine springs to life at the push of a button: even the sound as the engine starts up brings you out in goose pimples. The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine was developed specifically for the GT. The innovative eight-cylinder engine as the newest member of the BlueDIRECT engine family boasts outstanding power delivery, performance figures on a par with motor racing, lightweight construction as well as high efficiency and environmental compatibility. It boasts the brand’s hallmark emotive V8 engine sound, along with an immediate response and high pulling power.

The new V8 also stands out with its precise power output, which is easily a match for a naturally aspirated engine. One development objective that the AMG engine specialists put their heart and soul into and which underline their considerable expertise. The driver truly appreciates the AMG engine, with its internal designation M178, particularly in M, or Race mode in the selectable drive modes, thanks to its linear power delivery, which makes it much easier to handle the vehicle at the limits. As part of this process, the sophisticated ECU even factors in the current driving condition and adjusts the accelerator response depending on the lateral forces generated.

With a displacement of 3982 cc, the V8 uses a range of technologies which are already being used in the 2.0-litre turbo engine in the A 45 AMG, CLA 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG – presently the most powerful, series-production four-cylinder engine in the world. Both engines have the same bore/stroke ratio, providing the basis for high revving ability. The piezo direct petrol injection used at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process was further developed in the third generation to meet all future legal requirements. The highly efficient and economical AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine meets the Euro 6 emissions standard, including the maximum particulate emissions level that takes effect in 2016.

First sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication

The new AMG V8 engine has two turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – experts call it a “hot inside V”. The benefits are a compact engine design, an optimum response from the turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions thanks to optimum air flow for the close-coupled catalytic converters. The dry sump lubrication also ensures the oil supply even with high lateral forces and allows the engine to be installed lower, thus moving the centre of gravity closer to the road and forming the basis for high lateral acceleration. The new Mercedes-AMG V8 biturbo engine is the world’s first sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication.

Performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust flaps

The Mercedes-AMG GT S is equipped as standard with an AMG performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust flaps. This allows the driver to vary the engine sound: depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT mode the driver may experience the V8 with a focus on comfort and relaxed, long-distance journeys or with a more powerful, emotive, motorsport-inspired touch. The AMG DRIVE UNIT includes a separate button to control the exhaust flaps directly. The new Mercedes-AMG sports car has its own tonal characteristics which denote the car’s membership of the AMG family but that also distinguish it clearly from other high-performance cars. The selectable exhaust system is also available as an option for the Mercedes-AMG GT.

A tradition of hand-built excellence: “one man, one engine”

The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine is being made in Affalterbach according to the “one man, one engine” principle. In the AMG engine shop, highly qualified fitters assemble the engines by hand according to the strictest quality standards – visible on the AMG engine plate with the engine technician’s signature. “One man, one engine” ties in with Mercedes-AMG’s unique motorsport genes, which exude innovative strength by virtue of the technology transfer from the racing series – from Formula 1, the DTM to the involvement in customer racing with the SLS AMG GT3.

Seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration

When it comes to the power transmission of the new GT the Mercedes-AMG engineers rely on a combination of front mid-engine and seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle – this layout has already successfully established itself in the SLS AMG. The weight distribution with its ratio of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear) benefits from this configuration. The efficiency, shift speed and precision of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission were further optimised for usage in the new sports car. Thanks to the larger gear ratio spread, the pronounced torque plateau of the V8 turbo engine can be used optimally.

The drivetrain’s overall design is ideal for an uncompromising sports car. At the same time, the exacting requirements in terms of everyday practicality, noise level, ride comfort and fuel consumption have been met.

To transfer the driver’s shift commands even more directly, communication between the engine and transmission has been fundamentally revised. This means that the previous limits of shift performance and the response time have been substantially increased. The driver can individually tailor the GT to their wishes with the aid of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. Various modes are available: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport Plus) and – entirely new – “I” (Individual). The manual “RACE” drive program reserved exclusively for the GT S optimally adjusts the shift strategy of the dual clutch transmission to the needs of racetrack usage – including fastest shift speeds and highly emotive engine. By pressing the “M” button, the driver can activate the manual transmission mode in any drive mode.

Electronic rear-axle locking differential as standard in the GT S

The GT comes as standard with a mechanical rear-axle locking differential which ensures outstanding traction and superb driving safety in all driving conditions. The GT S is fitted as standard with an electronically controlled rear-axle locking differential, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing. The electronic function provides even more sensitive, faster control than the mechanical solution, thus pushing the limits of handling dynamics even further. Not only does it further improve the traction of the driven wheels, but also increases the cornering speeds at the limits. The system operates with a variable locking effect in acceleration and overrun mode, and is perfectly tuned to the various driving conditions and road surface friction coefficients.

Double-wishbone suspension from motorsport

Driving dynamics and comfort on long journeys; racetrack performance and everyday practicality: the new Mercedes-AMG GT delivers on all counts. A great deal of attention was paid to the seamless integration of all mechanical and electronic systems during the design, development and testing. Whether it is the suspension, 3-stage ESP®, locking differential, steering, aerodynamics, tyres or brakes – only the successful precision engineering and concerted networking of individual specialist disciplines manage to produce the required results and thus the exhilarating sports car driving experience, characterised by superb precision and clear feedback.

The AMG GT offers the perfect conditions: it uses the technological DNA of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, one of the most successful sports cars in recent years. Thanks to the optimum weight distribution of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear), the vehicle’s low centre of gravity and the selected suspension layout, the driver benefits from precise steering response, formidable agility, low inertia when changing direction, and outstanding traction. Double-wishbone suspension is used at the front and rear – 
a technology adopted straight from motorsport.

Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers on the front and rear axle are manufactured entirely out of forged aluminium in order to reduce the unsprung masses. The double-wishbone concept locates the wheel clearly with minimal elastic movements. The high camber and track rigidity not only results in high cornering speeds, but also provides the driver with an optimum road feel when cornering at the limit. An extremely direct connection of the shock absorber on the rear hub carrier reduces vibrations and undesirable wheel load fluctuations. Highly neutral behaviour and defined, predictable responses at the tyre grip limit were important development objectives for the dynamic handling experts at Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes-AMG GT S with electronically controlled damping

The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping comes as standard on the Mercedes-AMG GT S, or as an option for the GT. The driver can adjust the damping characteristics at the push of a button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT or by using the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes. Three stages are available: “Comfort”, DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes. Three stages are available: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”.

The speed-sensitive sports steering features a variable steering ratio: it enhances vehicle handling and agility at low speeds while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. The power assistance is a particular highlight: it not only responds depending on road speed, but also on the current lateral acceleration and the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive mode. As a result, the driver has a perfect feel for the vehicle thanks to the direct feedback from the road. The standard-fit 3-stage ESP® with the “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” functions works in perfect unison with the locking differential and is tuned optimally to the outstanding driving dynamics and safety.

AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package available as an option for the GT S

The Mercedes-AMG GT comes as standard with drivetrain damping. A specially tuned damper reduces undesirable rolling motion of the entire drivetrain including the transaxle transmission, thus substantially improving comfort and agility.

The AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package augments dynamism and agility even more. It is available exclusively for the GT S and includes dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The engine and transmission mounts assume an important function in the case of a transaxle design: soft mounts improve comfort since they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. Handling and agility benefit, however, from an overall stiffer mount set-up.

Mercedes-AMG resolves these conflicting objectives using dynamic mounts, which adjust their stiffness continuously and instantly to the respective driving conditions and handling. The special control electronics in the AMG CHASSIS CONTROLLER, ACC, provide this function. The ACC detects driving situations on the basis of CAN data, is connected to the electronic rear-axle locking differential and thus ensures optimum, balanced driving dynamics. AMG has gone a step further when implementing this technology: the engine and transmission mounts are even actuated independently of each other. The advantage: this innovative solution provides an additional substantial improvement in driving precision and lateral dynamics.

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Jochen Hermann, Head of Overall Vehicle Engineering AMG: “The combination of selectively variable mounts and a transaxle drivetrain is unique. Mercedes-AMG is once again promoting leading-edge technology, thus affirming our aspirations in terms of driving performance.”

A specific engine application in the DYNAMIC SELECT “RACE” drive mode and in the manual “M” transmission mode makes the GT S even more dynamic. The package also includes tauter suspension tuning thanks to raised spring and damping characteristics, more negative camber at the front axle as well as an adapted sports speed-sensitive steering. Thus the driver benefits from better performance with optimised handling. The performance steering wheel as well as yellow highlights in the instrument cluster round off the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package.

Optional ceramic high-performance composite brake system

Excellent deceleration characteristics and high fade resistance come courtesy of the high-performance composite brake system – on the GT with internally ventilated, perforated 360-millimetre brake discs all-round; on the GT S with discs measuring 390 millimetres in diameter at the front, to cope with the higher performance, as well as red brake callipers. A ceramic high-performance composite brake system is available for both models as an option. Its advantages: lower weight, longer service life and even better fade resistance thanks to the ceramic brake discs with a diameter of 402 millimetres at the front and 360 millimetres at the rear.

Forged wheels and sports tyres as an option

As standard, the GT is shod in 10-spoke light-alloy wheels, 9 x 19 inch (front) and 11 x 19 inch (rear), with 255/35 R 19 and 295/35 R 19 tyres. On the GT S the dimensions are 9 x 19 inch (front) with 265/35 R 19 tyres and 11 x 20 inch (rear) with 295/30 R 20 tyres. A host of different design and colour variants are available as options for both models, such as the ultralight forged wheels in cross-spoke design, painted black matt, with high-sheen rim flange and fully integrated wheel bolt covers.

In combination with the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, specially developed sports tyres (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) are available for the GT S as an option – ideal for aspiring racing drivers on closed-off circuits.

Aluminium spaceframe with intelligent material mix

Mercedes-AMG has gone for an intelligent material mix on the body of the GT. Chassis including greenhouse and body are made out of light alloy, the boot lid out of steel and the front deck out of magnesium. This extremely light element at the front reduces the inertia ahead of the front axle, thus improving the vehicle’s agility. Over 90 percent of the weight-optimised spaceframe is made out of aluminium components.

The bodyshell weighs 231 kilograms – a benchmark figure in the sports car segment. There were three key objectives during the design and development of the bodyshell structure: optimum strength, low centre of gravity and low weight. The high bending and torsional strength of the entire design enables extreme linear and transverse forces from the drivetrain and suspension to be absorbed and transferred. Unwanted flexibility is thus reduced, with the vehicle responding rigidly and directly. As a result, the driver experiences a sports car with maximum dynamism that responds with excellent precision. The aluminium spaceframe also provides the basis for outstanding passive safety.

The Mercedes-AMG GT is produced at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. The 4.0‑litre V8 biturbo engine is manufactured at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.

Aerodynamics for high balance and effective cooling

Vehicle proportions, weight distribution and drive configuration, handling stability, drag, cooling and wind noise: the aerodynamics of the GT fulfil complex requirements. The high-performance vehicle has been developed aerodynamically with one clear objective in mind: high forces must be transferred onto the road without limiting driving dynamics and performance. Thanks to the aerodynamic configuration, critical driving situations can be avoided – such as with a sudden evasive manoeuvre at high speed.

The design of the front apron with A-wing and front splitter not only reduces lift to the desired level, but also helps route air directly to and from the cooling modules. The flow of cooling air from the aerodynamically shaped brake cooling ducts also specifically improves brake performance.

The design of the extensively clad underfloor guarantees optimum exhaust airflow from the oil cooler in the underfloor area and effective airflow for the rear diffuser. As an active component of the aerodynamics, the Mercedes-AMG GT comes with an extendable rear aerofoil that is integrated into the design silhouette. Depending on the drive mode, the aerofoil extends and retracts at various speeds. In combination with the rear diffuser with no leading edges, the lift at the rear axle is reduced to a minimum in the aerodynamically relevant speed range.

Active and passive safety of the very highest calibre

The brand with the star boasts the hallmark active and passive safety of the very highest calibre. The Mercedes-AMG GT adopts numerous assistance systems that are familiar from the new S-Class. Standard equipment includes:

COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, ADAPTIVE BRAKE, ATTENTION ASSIST and the tyre pressure monitoring system. Other features include:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • PRE-SAFE® system
  • PARKTRONIC
  • Reversing camera
  • Lane Tracking package including Lane Keeping Assist 
and Blind Spot Assist

The standard-fit restraint systems not only include three-point seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, but also front airbags, combined thorax/pelvis sidebags, windowbags and kneebags, for the driver and front passenger respectively.

Interior with outstanding perceived quality and superb everyday practicality

On opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG start-up screen: an animated GT appears on the TFT display in the instrument cluster. The sportily designed cockpit in carbon fibre look provides information with two classic circular instruments in a 2-tube look and a 320 km/h speedometer scale. The performance steering wheel with its three-spoke design sits perfectly in the hand: it comes with aluminium shift paddles, 12 o’clock marking and a steering wheel rim in black nappa leather with flattened bottom section. The sports seats with integral head restraints and AMG lettering provide optimised lateral support when driving dynamically.

The DYNAMIC SELECT Controller, the buttons for the engine start, the 3-stage ESP® and, depending on the equipment, the electronic damper control are located on the left in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The volume control as well as the buttons for the manual transmission drive mode, the ECO start/stop function and, likewise depending on the equipment, the selectable exhaust system are fitted on the right-hand side. The innovative touchpad in the handrest above the COMAND Controller is integrated in front of the E-SELECT selector lever to operate the dual clutch transmission. A free-standing central display is located centrally above the four ventilation outlets. The display boasts a screen diagonal of 21.33 centimetres (8.4 inches) for COMAND Online. The driver operates the seat heating, PARKTRONIC, the hazard warning lights and, depending on the equipment, the extendable rear aerofoil using the buttons in the top control panel in the roof frame.

The GT S comes with even more sophisticated equipment and appointments, including:

  • Instrument cluster with 360 km/h speedometer scale and red colour highlights
  • Performance steering wheel, black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre
  • AMG emblem embossed in the centre armrest

Trim in matt silver fibreglass or in black diamond

As an alternative to the standard-fit Interior Silver Chrome package, the customer can choose from various other packages. Carbon-fibre trim elements are available in a choice of matt and high-gloss finish. Highlights include the trim in matt silver fibreglass and the Interior Black Diamond package, all offered for the first time: here the ventilation outlets, the frame of the centre console and the trim strips in the door armrests come in a sophisticated high-gloss black finish, with its surprising 3D look. The “black diamond” method uses the chemical CVD (chemical vapour deposition) gas phase process to deposit a precious metal on a high-sheen chrome surface at temperatures of 1000°C. The metal reacts with the surface to form a layer that is highly scratch-resistant and has a high adhesive strength.

The superb everyday practicality of the Mercedes-AMG GT is also expressed in the airy feeling of spaciousness. In addition, the good all-round visibility and the high headroom demonstrate that sporty dynamism and comfort on long journeys are not mutually exclusive – not necessarily a given in this segment. A large stowage compartment in the centre armrest, a centrally positioned twin cup holder and a large, easily accessible glove compartment are further evidence of the outstanding everyday suitability of the GT. The luggage compartment capacity of 350 litres will hold two golf bags either lengthways or crossways. The large boot lid makes loading easy; an integral retractable luggage cover comes as standard. The cross strut made out of aluminium behind the seats prevents luggage from sliding forward as the vehicle brakes.

 

From torque calibration to the Super Chevy Show

Here’s a couple of extracts from some great articles currently posting on Street LegalTV.  The first is a technical item by Rob Kinnan who, like many before him, stresses to need for absolute accuracy when it comes to calibrating a torque wrench.

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When it comes to an engine, all fasteners are not created equal—some bolts are justifiably more important than others. Connecting rod and main bearing bolts have a more critical job than, say, valve cover bolts. Hence, they need more consideration during engine assembly, and that focused attention is charged to the torque wrench.

Engine designers and hardware engineers determine how much of a clamping load each fastener should have, based on its responsibility to hold components together. The only way to make sure you’re putting the correct load into each one is to use a properly calibrated torque wrench when installing the fastener. Note the operative words: properly calibrated.

A torque wrench is arguably the most essential tool in an engine builder’s toolbox, but it can also betray its master. The torque wrench indicates to the engine builder the amount of twisting force or torque being applied to the fastener. Knowing this force is necessary. Not enough and the bolt won’t have the proper tension to keep it tight, and too much force can overly stretch and break the fastener. This function is universally understood about torque wrenches, but many mechanics don’t realize that age, use, abuse and many other factors can render even the best torque wrench out of calibration. When it does, the problems just mentioned can arise. For this reason, every torque wrench should be sent out for routine calibration.

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Whether you’re a diehard hot rod guy or dabble in the more modern performance sector, the annual Super Chevy Show series is sure to have something right up your alley. Check out all the happenings, including some awesome drag races among famed contenders and some of our favorite rides from the show below.

Among some of the notables were a genuine Yenko Stinger, one of the original 69 1969 ZL1 Camaros, a ’69 Indy Pace Car Camaro convertible, and even a modern Hot Wheels Edition fifth-gen.

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