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Carlsson CGL45 Revealed, Based on Mercedes GL Grand Edition

Carlsson CGL45

Carlsson decided that the Grand Edition of the Mercedes GL isn’t “grand” enough so they’ve come up with this CGL45 model that will make its official debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show which will open its doors next month.

Carlsson CGL45

As you can see, the GL has been fitted with massive flared wheel arches, a chrome grille, a fresh new front spoiler; those LED daytime running lights fitted in the front spoiler lip while looking at the car’s back we notice a new apron and stainless steel exhaust system that has an oval quad-pipe configuration.

Carlsson CGL45

They also tweaked the V6 3.0-liter diesel engine and it now manages to produce 306 hp (310 PS / 228 kW) and a peak torque of 516 lb.-ft (700 Nm) of torque, up from the standard 261 hp (265 PS / 195 kW) and 442 lb.-ft (600 Nm). If you have the GL 500 model that has the more powerful V8 engine, they can lift its power to 430 hp (435 PS / 320 kW) and 442 lb.-ft (600 Nm) of torque.

Carlsson CGL45

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz GL Grand Edition can be lowered by 30 mm thanks to the intelligent suspension-lowering system and the car can get 22-inch alloys that have a 1/5 Brilliant Edition design and are covered in high-performance rubber that measure 305/35ZR22 on all four corners.

Carlsson CGL45

Inside the cabin, the CGL45 comes with Alcantara and leather upholstery, along with stainless steel and wood trims, Carlsson-badged door sills, aluminum foot pedals. On the headrests, you’ll find the logo of the tuner.

Source: Carlsson via WCF

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Mercedes SLK Tuned By Brabus

Mercedes SLK by Brabus

You all know how Brabus has a soft spot for Mercedes and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their latest project is based on the sexy SLK. Design-wise, they’ve come up with a new front lip spoiler and a whole bunch of wheels that are available in sizes from 17 to 19 inches. At the back, they can fit your SLK with a trunk-mounted spoiler, a four-tailpipe sport exhaust system and a diffuser. In addition, they’ll also throw in a suspension lowering kit that brings your car closer to the ground by 30 mm. Inside the cabin, you can order aluminum pedals, Alcantara or Mastik leather, along with stainless steel scuff plates.

Mercedes SLK by Brabus

The major update is under the hood where Brabus can equip the 4-cylinder power units with ECO PowerXtra CGI auxiliary control modules, increasing the hp figure of the 200 BlueEFFICIENCY model by 26 hp (25 hp / 19 kW) and 22 lb.-ft (30 Nm) for a grand total of 207 hp (209 PS / 154 kW) and 206 lb.-ft (280 Nm).

Mercedes SLK by Brabus

If you own the SLK 250 BlueEFFICIENCY model, they can dial up the power output from the standard 201 hp (204 PS / 150 kW) to 226 hp (230 PS / 169 kW). If this isn’t enough, you can opt for the wastegate valve and the special intercooler that raises the power to 236 hp (240 PS / 176 kW) and 273 lb.-ft (370 Nm) of torque, allowing the SLK to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 6.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h).

Source: Brabus via WCF

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Mercedes CLS By Lorinser

Mercedes CLS By Lorinser

The German tuners over at Lorinser have managed to take one of the most beautiful cars on sale today and turn it into an even more exquisite automobile.  They took the Mercedes-Benz CLS and created a new aerodynamic package that consists of a much more attractive front spoiler, wider wings, and more aggressive side skirts, along with a new rear lip, rear skirt and a roof spoiler. This entire bodykit costs 8,230 Euros.

Mercedes CLS By Lorinser

It wouldn’t be a proper tuning if it didn’t come with more muscles under the bonnet. They offer a wide variety of engine tuning, including one for the CLS 350 GDI that increases the output of the engine to 318 hp (322 PS / 237 kW) and 295 lb.-ft (400 Nm) of torque. In addition, they can raise the maximum speed of the car to 165 mph (265 km/h), up from the standard 155 mph (250 km/h).

Mercedes CLS By Lorinser

Other goodies that they can offer for the sexy CLS include a stainless steel sport exhaust system that has an imposing quad pipe configuration, various designs for the 19- or 20-inch alloys, along with new suspension springs that bring the four-door coupe closer to the ground by 25 mm at each axle.

Source: Lorinser via WCF

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Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Unleashed

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

The most powerful C-Class is here. Set to go on sale next spring, the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series will have a base price of around 100,000 pounds. Under the hood of this monster rests a massive AMG 6.3-liter V8 aspirated engine that has a new engine control unit, crankshaft and conrods, forged pistons as well as 50% bigger oil cooler.

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

This engine produces 619 hp and the power is sent via a 7-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox that uses a wet, dual-clutch instead of the regular fluid coupling. The transmission comes with four control settings and is able to change the gears in 100 miliseconds while in the Manual and Sport Plus modes. The C63 AMG Black Series benefits from a limited slip differential that improves handling and increases traction while the ESP stability control has three stages (one of these disables the system).

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

The chassis of the car has been updated and it now has wider tracks (40 mm more in the front and 75 mm in the rear), along with stiffer suspension anti-roll bars as well as “numerous setting options.” More hp requires more braking power and for this reason the German engineers have fitted the car with 390 mm disc brakes that are stopped by the 6-piston calipers for the front wheels while the ones in the back have 360 mm discs with 4-piston calipers.

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

As standard, the car comes with a two-seat cabin but customers are able to order it with a rear bench that has individual seats. Speaking of the race-style bucket seats, these have red-trimmed seatbelts with contrasting stitching.

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

The car will be available with an optional Track Package, a premiere for the Black Series, which consists of very sticky Dunlop tires along with a revised cooler installed in the rear bumper apron. In addition, it can also be equipped with the AMG Aerodynamic Package that has carbon fiber aerodynamic addons for the front bumper as well as a fixed, rear spoiler made out of carbon.

Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series

Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autocar.co.uk

Popemobile Goes Hybrid

1930 Mercedes-Benz Nurburg 460 Pullman

No wonder that Pope Bendict XVI is also known as the “green pope” for his support of eco-friendly causes. He will get the very first green popemobile in the form of a hybrid Mercedes-Benz M-Class. If we were to believe Wirtschaftswoche, a German business paper, the hybrid crossover will feature lithium-ion batteries and will have an electric driving range of up to 20 miles.

In 2010, Benedict had his thoughts on getting a pure-electric solar-powered Popemobile, but his closest advisors said that a hybrid would be more suitable, mostly because it would eliminate potentially threatening situations.

The car will be delivered towards the end of this year or even in early 2012 and will join six or seven Mercedes-Benz heavily armored vehicles, including a modified S-Class model and two customized Gelandewagens.

Mercedes-Benz has been supplying Popemobiles to the Vatican for more than 8 decades. The very first one was delivered to Pope Pius XI and was a Nurburg 460 Pullman limousine from 1930. The current fleet includes a M430 that was delivered in 2002 for John Paul II, the previous pontiff, along with a G500 cabriolet from 2007 and a G500 hardtop from 2008. These two last models are wearing a Vatican Mystic White livery.

Source: Inside Line

Mercedes Reveals SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Mercedes revealed this week the first batch of photos with its highly anticipated roadster version of the SLS AMG model. However, the car in these shots is a test-phase prototype, wearing camouflage over its head- and taillights. As you can see, it sports a cloth soft-top roof that needs only 11 seconds to be retracted or closed. This procedure can be done at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h).

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

In comparison to the standard SLS AMG, the roadster version is only 4.4 lbs (2 kg) heavier, necessary for the added structural reinforcements. Obviously, the roadster loses the coupe’s legendary gullwing doors.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The car is powered by the same engine as its coupe sibling, a V8 6.3-liter plant that produces 563 hp (571 PS / 420 kW) and a peak torque of 479 lb.-ft (650 Nm). It needs 4 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint, before hitting a top speed of 192 mph (309 km/h).

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The SLS AMG Roadster will be officially launched this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will arrive in dealerships a couple of weeks later.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Source: Mercedes-Benz via WCF

Brabus Upgrades New Mercedes Twin-Turbo V8s

Brabus B63

The German tuners over at Brabus have revealed their latest tuning program for the twin-turbo V8 power units found in the Mercedes CL/S550 and the CL/S63 AMG. As if these engines weren’t powerful enough, they’ve raised the hp bar higher.

Brabus B63

Let’s start with the CL500 and S500 models (CL550 and the S500 models in United States), which can be fitted with a 490 PowerXtra CGI kit that allows the V8 power unit to crank out 482 hp (490 PS / 360 kW) and 575 lb.-ft (780 Nm), a lot more from the standard 429 hp (435 PS / 320 kW). If this isn’t enough to satisfy your thirst for more power, they also offer the 520 PowerXtra CGI kit that increases the output of the engine to 512 hp (520 PS / 382 kW) and 604 lb.-ft (820 Nm).

Brabus B63

They also developed a 584 PowerXtra CGI package for the CL63 and the S63 AMG, which delivers an additional 39 hp (40 PS / 29 kW). A more powerful kit is the 620 PowerXtra CGI that raises the total output of the engine to 610 hp (620 PS / 455 kW) and 737 lb.-ft (1,000 Nm) of torque. With this kit, both the CL- and S-Class can do the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.3 seconds, on their way to a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h).

Brabus B63

Source: Brabus via WCF

Aston Martin & Mercedes Team Up For Future Lagondas And Maybachs

Aston Martin Lagonda Concept

According to our colleges from caranddriver.com, Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez wants to resuscitate the Lagonda marquee by rolling out a Rolls Royce Ghost-sized luxury four-door. Creating an entire new platform would be very expensive and hard to do for such a small manufacturer like Aston, but by teaming up with another manufacturer, it could happen.

The British car manufacturer contacted BMW and Mercedes, but discussions with the first one broke down at the beginning of last year. They did find a partner in Mercedes and they’ve signed a deal at the end of 2010 from which we find out that Aston Martin will build the next Maybach (I never would have expected this in a million years). This agreement also calls for the German automaker to provide Aston with an SUV, some engines, and possibly a platform to replace Aston’s aging VH architecture that has been used since 2004 with the DB9 model.

Let’s face it; the Maybach was never an attractive car and probably now more than ever it needs some significant updates. It wasn’t a hit among rich people and Mercedes even thought of killing the brand, but after the significant economic boost in China, Maybachs are starting to become more popular there so for this reason the German car manufacturer has decided to give the brand another chance.

To keep costs down to a minimum, the forthcoming Maybach will use the 2013 S-Class’s hardware and platform, and it will be made in England at Aston’s factory in Gaydon. Sources inside Mercedes say that by making the new Maybach at Aston’s plant (instead of Stuttgart) will cut down the production costs by approximately 50%. We will probably see a concept of Aston’s Maybach at the Frankfurt auto show this year.

Aston Martin will use for its Lagonda sedan the platform of the Maybach/S-Class, along with the chassis, transmission and the safety equipment. The Aston Martin Lagonda will have a base price of about $350,000 and it will have to face up some serious competition coming from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and of course, Maybach.

The British car manufacturer will also roll out an SUV based on the Merc’s ML/GL-Class unibody SUV platform. It will most likely be fitted with a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine, good for 429 hp, an engine that was recently introduced in the Mercedes CL550. Aston’s SUV will also be available with a hybrid powertrain and some diesels borrowed from its German partner.

Source: caranddriver.com

U.S. Fuel, Not Suitable For Next-Gen Mercedes Engines

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK

The newest engines developed by the German automaker Mercedes come with a lot of technologies implemented in order to greatly reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency (up to 10%). These new power units require a much leaner fuel-to-air ratio, and for this reason, the United States is not a current market.

The reason behind this situation is that according to Bernhard Heil, Daimler’s powertrain development vice president, the gas in the United States contains sulfur at the rate of 95 parts-per-million, which is just about twice as much as these new engines can tolerate. The problem is that the excess sulfur clogs the nitrogen oxide-capturing traps.

United States is not the only country that sells gasoline with a high amount of sulfur in it, as there are many areas in Africa and Asia that have such kind of gas that is not suitable for the newest engines developed by Mercedes-Benz. The first power unit of this generation is the V6 direct-injected 3.5-liter in the C350 sport sedan and the SLK roadster. This 302 hp engine will not benefit from the lean-burn technology for the cars sold in the United States.

Source: Ward’s Automotive via Autoblog

Mercedes – Transparent Walls

Mercedes-Benz have created a digital installation in order to showcase the new “pre-safe” feature. This is an automatic system that detects road danger and, in case it identifies a possible incoming incident, it has the power to control the car and avoid the accident, resulting in emergency stops, for example.

Consequently, an agency in Germany has created for Mercedes Transparent Walls to make the drivers understand the principales of this feature. They placed them in busy suburban streets, presenting how the “pre-safe” system works: live video projection of one side of a wall appears onto the other side of the wall, creating the impression of transparency. By those means, the drivers could see what was coming from behind the wall, giving them the possibility to immediately react to any possible danger.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqCMv3Nz4ZQ&feature=player_embedded#at=27[/youtube]

This innovative feature definitely makes driving a little bit safer. What is your opinion about this feature?

[Source: Digitalbuzzblog]

Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 3

Welcome back to the third and final part of our extensive article about the most important cars that will delight us at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Let’s start with Land Rover and their Range Rover Evoque.

2012 Land Rover Evoque

The car will be available in 2-door and 4-door variants, both of them featuring the same engine, which will be a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged that outputs 240 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Evoque will come with an all-wheel drive system as well as the company’s new Terrain Response System.

2011 Lexus CT 200h

One of my personal favorites, Lexus, will bring the CT 200h which is a 4-door / 5-passenger hybrid hatchback, featuring a conventional 4-cylinder 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a battery-powered electric motor, both of them offering a combined power of 134 hp. The new C200h will use a CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission and can run on one or both of the power sources (without having to charge it).

2012 Mercedes SLK

Mercedes will be heading out to Chicago where they will have three new production models: the beautiful 2012 SLK, the 2012 CLS and the 2012 C-Class. We’ve talked about the SLK on rpmGO.com before; it will be available in two variants: the SLK250 and the SLK350. The entry-level model will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that outputs 201 hp, linked to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The SLK350 is going to have a more powerful V6 3.5-liter engine, good for 302 hp. This model will be available with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

The CLS will be available in two models: CLS550 and the AMG CLS63. The first one has a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 402 hp while the other comes with a V8 5.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 518 hp. The CLS550 has a 7-speed automatic gearbox while the CLS630 AMG will get a 7-speed automated manual gearbox.

The 2012 C250 will be offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Sport, both of them featuring a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter unit that churns 201 hp. The C300 will have the same trim levels, but it will be equipped with a V6 3.0-liter engine, good for 228 hp. The C350 will have the same engine, but this time it will output 302 hp. The high-end model will be the AMG version C63 which will most likely come with a V8 6.2-liter that outputs 451 hp.

2011 Mini Countryman

Mini will be bringing their 2011 Countryman, which will be the first four full-sized doors Mini model sold in the United States. The car will be available in two trim levels: Base and S. The entry-level will get a 4-cylinder 1.6-engine that churns 120 hp while the high-end variant will feature a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter that produces 180 hp. Both of the models will get front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi will show us their Outlander Sport model which will be available in two trim levels: ES and SE. Both of the versions will pack a front-wheel drive system and a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that outputs 148 hp. The ES will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the SE will get a CVT transmission and steering-wheel paddles for manual changing.

2011 Nissan Juke

Another Japanese automaker that will be heading out to Chicago this year will be Nissan with three models: the award-winning Leaf, the funky Juke and the sporty 2012 GT-R. We talked about the Leaf thousands of times, but here is a small presentation. The car will be available with two trims levels – SV and SL. Both of them will have the same lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that outputs 107 hp. It can be charged at either a 110-volt or a 220-volt outlet. For the first type it will need 20 hours while for the second type it will need only 8 hours.

Porsche Cayman R

The guys over at Porsche will be bringing their 2012 Cayman R. This two-seater sports coupe will come with the third and newest trim, dubbed “R”. Unlike the entry-level trim or the S mode, the R has a 6-cylinder 3.4-liter power unit that outputs 330 hp, linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. It is also available with an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

2011 Scion iQ

If you can’t afford the Aston Martin Cygnet, the next best thing is the Scion iQ. Featuring a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that outputs 90 hp, this certainly won’t be the most powerful car at the Chicago Auto Show.

Scion will also be bringing the 2011 tC 2-door hatchback coupe which will be fitted with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder power unit that cranks up 180 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Toyota Prius v

Scion will not be going to Chicago without its parent company Toyota. Despite the fact that the Japanese automaker is the largest manufacturer in the world, they will be bringing only one model here (one that they already took to Detroit) – 2012 Prius v. The heart of the car will be a conventional 1.8-liter gasoline engine which will be paired with a battery-powered electric motor. The combined power will be 134 hp.

2012 Volkswagen Passat

The German automaker Volkswagen will be heading out to Chicago with the recently-launched 2012 Passat and the 2012 Eos. Presented first at Detroit, the Passat will be available in three different trim levels: S, SE and SEL. Engine options include the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter unit with 140 hp, 5-cylinder 2.5-liter with 170 hp and the high-end V6 3.6-liter with 280 ponies. The diesels will be available with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox. The 5-cylinder 2.5-liter will get either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The V6 engine will be fitted with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

The EOS will come with a power-retractable hardtop with an integrated sunroof. Under the hood it will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that produces 200 hp, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.

2011 Volvo S60

Sweden will be represented at Chicago by Volvo with their sexy 2011 S60 model. This premium-midsize car will benefit from a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that will produce 300 hp and will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. At first, the car will be available in one single trim level, the T6. Later on this year, the Swedish automaker will be introducing the T6 R-Design which should be a real looker.

These are the most important cars that will be presented at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Some of them you might have already seen while others are a premiere (not many unfortunately).  From February 9th to February 20th, the automotive capital of the world will be Chicago. Next month we will have another important auto show to review at Geneva. Stay tuned for a comprehensive coverage.

PS: Part 1 and 2 of the article are here and here. Enjoy the reading.

Brabus Reveals The First Euro 6 Compliant Performance Kit For Diesels

Brabus S350 ECO PowerXtra D6S

We all know Brabus for creating pretty impressive performance kits for Mercedes-Benz models. A couple of days ago they announced the new ECO PowerXtra D6S performance kit, developed for the S350 BlueTec mode. By doing so, the tuning specialist claims to have launched the world’s very first tuned diesel-powered car that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard which will go into effect three years from now. The kit will be available for both RWD and 4Matic 4WD configurations and will add 55 hp / 52 lb-ft of torque, rounding up the power output to 313 hp / 509 lb-ft.

Brabus designed this kit to work as a plug-and-play device and it will increase the V6 3.0-liter diesel’s output depending upon the selected shift mode of the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox. While in “eco” mode, the peak torque increases and the engine output remains the same, standing at 258 hp. For “sport” and “manual”, the maximum power is also increased.

With this performance kit, the Mercedes-Benz S350 will do the 0-620 mph sprint in 6.5 seconds, onto a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). The kit can also be installed for the CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency as well as the E350 CDI BlueEfficiency, offering the same output.

All of these models are offered with a 3-year / 62,000 miles warranty and can come along with a Brabus stainless steel exhaust that has 4 tailpipes.

Preliminary Info – Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

This week, Mercedes launched a couple of images of their upcoming C63 AMG facelift in both sedan and estate configurations. Slated to go on sale this summer, the car will have the same engine as the outgoing model, which is a V8 6.2-liter that churns 457 hp and 600 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. This engine is linked to the MCT 7-speed sports gearbox developed by AMG. Not only this transmission is more fuel efficient, but at the same time it has the capability of changing the gears in the blink of an eye and reducing the CO2 emissions. The C63 AMG facelift will consume 12 liter / 100 km for both of the versions which is pretty good for a car that packs so many hp under its hood.

Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

This V8 engine allows the car to do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 4.5 seconds, onto a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). If you want more from the car, you can get it with the Performance Package which will increase the power output to 481 hp, allowing the C63 AMG to do the sprint in 4.4 seconds. With this optional package, you also get a new lighter crankshaft, boot lid carbon fiber wing, revised connection rods and pistons as well as a sports steering wheel.

Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

Regarding the exterior appearance of this facelifted C63 AMG, the new revised bumper has been fitted with LED daytime running lights, restyled headlights plus a new grille. To lower the weight of the car, the German engineers installed an aluminum hood.

Mercedes C63 AMG Facelift

The price list for the Mercedes C63 AMG has not been revealed yet, nor the release date. Once this info will become available we’ll let you know.

A Blast From The Past – Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe

In my opinion, the Mercedes SL 300 is one of the most beautiful cars ever produced along with the Peugeot 607 and the Citroen DS. Built from 1954 to 1957, the Gullwing was a very stylish car that was very fast for the mid 50s and featured some very important technological developments. Add to this the fact that it was very well-crafted and you got one of the most important cars in all automotive history.

Like most of the cars that made history, the SL 300’s roots lie in auto racing. In the following years after WW II, Mercedes wasn’t very present in the automobile world and they were known only for their very luxurious and solid cars. To put the company back on the map and relive the pre-WW II glory, the company brought a new chief development engineer by the name of Rudolf Ulhenhaut. He took a straight-6 3.0-liter engine and stuffed into a very elegant space frame that was made out of hundreds of steel tubs. He rounded up this configuration with a four-wheel independent suspension and a drop-dead gorgeous low-drag aluminum skin. The consequence of his actions? The W194-chassis 300 SL where the “300” stands for 3 liters and “SL” for Sport Leicht (sport light).

They made several W194s in both coupe and roadster configurations. The latter were pretty nice, but the coupes had those imposing vertically swinging doors which made the car a real delight. Mercedes decided to take the car to some serious racing and in ’52 they managed to grab the first and second place of the 24 Hours Le Mans race. They also won the first, second and third place at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring and the number one spot at the Carrera Panamericana.

W194 Coupe

Due to the fact that it still was a race car it had a rather short life. Why? Because the vast majority of the machines are short-lived and ethereal, designed to be competitive and relevant for a very short period of time and then put to sleep. This is what happened to the W194 as the technology evolved and soon appeared in other race cars.

The production model was launched in 1954 and it wasn’t a W194 as you might have thought. It was a W198 with a tubular chassis and a 3.0-liter engine that produced 220 hp which was inspired from the W194, but some of its key features were completely different.

It had a curb weight of 2,855 pounds and the body of the car was largely made out of steel, with aluminum doors, trunk lid and hood. As an optional feature, the car could have been fitted with an aluminum body but it was very expensive as only 29 customers bought it over the three years of production. With the aluminum body, the car’s weight was lowered by 176 pounds. The engine was linked to a 4-speed manual gearbox and it used Bosch direct-mechanical fuel injection and a dry sump.

The production model got those exciting gullwing doors with fixed windows. What most people don’t know is that the Mercedes 300 SL was the first production car in the world to get direct fuel injection and it injected the gasoline directly into the cylinders, not the throttle bodies or the intake ports. This provided greater power across the rev range and a more efficient burn. With this engine, the 300 SL was able to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 10 seconds, onto a top speed of 160 mph which was pretty amazing in the 50s.

Naked Mercedes-Benz W196 Racer

However, the car was far from perfect. First, due to the reason that the fuel pump was driven by the power unit and didn’t have an ignition cutout, it kept injecting gasoline until the engine was shut down and stopped rotating. The fuel wasn’t burned and had the tendency to flow into the power unit’s sump, thus diluting the oil. In other words, the owner of a 300 SL had to change the oil frequently (at 1,000 miles or so). If the oil wasn’t changed, it would have resulted in a premature engine wear.

Second, the oiling system which featured a whopping 2.6-gallon capacity and the industrial-strength oil cooler were designed for high speeds and racing purposes which means that the vast majority of the drivers weren’t able to get the temperature of the oil up to an optimum level. As a consequence, the oil (again) had to be changed on a very regular basis.

Looking at the owner’s manual you would think that the 300 SL was a four-wheel hazard as it had plenty of precautions. One of them was the following: “turn the ignition key to the left while idling. Do not on any account try to stop the engine at a higher speed.” Why? Because of what we just said before, regarding the excess fuel.

Due to the reason that the gullwing doors were curvy and shallow, the windows of the 300 SL did not retract. However, they were removable but you needed to put some serious effort into it. The car didn’t have any air conditioning and the ventilation was almost unnoticeable. For this reason, the owners of the car tended to sweat a lot and drove the car with the doors up.

Mercedes SL 300

How much is such a car worth these days? A lot. A run-of-the mill 300 SL in a good shape with no history of competition or celebrity ownership will set you back around $500,000. The roadsters are a little bit more affordable, but not by much. After you get the car of your dreams, you need to save some money for parts, here is an example – the aluminum brake drums will cost you $2,000 each. To rebuild the gearbox you must pay $35,000 and a full brake job will empty your bank account with another $14,000.

Despite its flaws, the Mercedes 300 SL “Gullwing” made history with its gorgeous design and the direct fuel injection system.

Source: Wired.com


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