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William Maley

Geneva Motor Show: Duel Of The German Hot Hatches

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

February 17, 2013

For those who like hot hatches, you'll like the showings at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Both Audi and Mercedes-Benz will be showing off their new wares.

First up is Audi with the new S3 Sportback. Using the new MQB based A3 as a start, Audi drops in a turbocharged 2.0L TFSI engine producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes to all four wheels via quattro. You do have the choice between six-speed manual or S-Tronic automatic. 0-60 MPH takes about five seconds for the automatic, and a half second slower for the manual.

Being based on the MQB platform, the new S3 Sportback is about 154 pounds less than the outgoing model. Not bad.

Other changes for the S3 include a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, and eighteen-inch wheels.

Meanwhile at Mercedes-Benz, they have unveiled the new A45 AMG. Starting with a basic A-Class, AMG worked its magic to make into a snarling beast. Outside changes include black accents to the chin spoiler, rocker panels and mirror caps, black wheels, and a set of rectangular exhaust outlets. Inside, there are numerous red accents throughout the cabin. There is also a set of sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four producing 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That goes through a seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission down to all four wheels via Mervedes 4Matic AWD system. 0-60 MPH takes about 4.5 seconds. Other performance changes include retuned suspension and steering, and a new three-stage stability control system that is specific to this car.

We'll we see either model in the states? Possibly, but in a different form. Audi has never sold S3 in the states and chances are that if Audi does give the nod to the S3, it would likely be in a sedan. As for the A45 AMG, chances again are somewhat slim. We'll likely be seeing the A-Class' partner in crime, the new CLA class in AMG form at the New York Auto Show later in march.

Source: Audi, Mercedes-Benz

2013 Audi S3 Sportback 2
Album: Audi S3 Sportback
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Mercedes Benz A45 AMG 4
Album: Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
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William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release for the S3 is on Page 2, A45 AMG is on Page 3


Ingolstadt, 2013-02-13

The new Audi S3 Sportback

- New 2.0 TFSI with 221 kW (300 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque, but just 6.9 liters per

100 km (34.09 US mpg)

- From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds

- Five doors for even better functionality

Audi S3 Sportback

221 kW (300 hp). 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. From 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.0 seconds. The new Audi S3 Sportback offers best-in-class performance. Its efficiency is also exemplary. The 2.0 TFSI averages just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg).

The four-cylinder engine in the S3 Sportback has been overhauled. The only thing in common with its predecessor is a displacement of 1,984 cc. Its rated output of 221 kW (300 hp) is available at 5,500 rpm; maximum torque of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) is constantly available from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.

The high-performance four-cylinder engine responds immediately to the driver's wishes and boasts a sportily sonorous sound. When the Audi drive select system is in dynamic mode, the engine's power is also underscored acoustically. The 2.0 TFSI provides power and exemplary efficiency alike by relying on many new technologies, ranging from dual injection through the Audi valvelift system and an exhaust manifold integrated within the cylinder head to innovative thermal management.

When equipped with the optional six-speed S tronic, the S3 Sportback sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 5.0 seconds. The six-speed manual transmission needs just five-tenths of a second more. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Launch Control delivers the engine's power to the road with defined tire slip. The 2.0 TFSI consumes just 6.9 liters per 100 km (34.09 US mpg) on average when paired with the S tronic (7.0 liters [33.60 US mpg] with the manual transmission). This engine thus requires 1.5 liters per 100 km less compared to the previous S3 Sportback.

The lower gears of both transmissions are tightly spaced for sporty performance while the tall sixth gear reduces fuel consumption. The dual-clutch transmission can be controlled via optional shift paddles on the steering wheel and offers the automatic modes D and S in addition to manual mode.

Equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and a redesigned multi-plate clutch, this new high-end vehicle in the model line can accelerate more quickly and safely when exiting a corner. It is dynamic and stable in all conditions, even rain or snow.

The front axle is 52 millimeters (2.05 in) farther forward compared to the previous model. The 2.0 TFSI is more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than the previous engine and is tilted backward by 12 degrees.

In addition to a sophisticated suspension and the S sport suspension, which lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in), the axle-load distribution (59% to 41%, front to rear) and new, progressive steering contribute significantly to sporty handling. The key to progressive steering is that steering movements determine the steering ratio. This results in stable and virtually neutral steering characteristics for outstanding precision during sporty driving and easier steering while parking.

The new Audi S3 Sportback features 7.5 J x 18 wheels. The low rolling resistance of the 225/40-series tires helps reduce fuel consumption. The calipers of the large brakes, which measure 340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter up front, are painted black and bear S logos. They can optionally be red. The electromechanical parking brake governs the rear axle. Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) reflects latest-generation technology.

The new S3 Sportback comes standard with Audi drive select. This system handles characteristics of the electronic gas pedal, shift points of the optional S tronic and the steering ratio for progressive steering.

At the push of a button, the driver specifies whether these systems should operate in comfort, auto, dynamic or efficiency mode. An additional mode, individual, is available in models equipped with the MMI Radio or above. The optional Audi magnetic ride system, which situationally regulates the shock absorbers, is also controlled via Audi drive select.

Lightweight construction also contributes significantly to the very dynamic performance of the Audi S3 Sportback. This five-door car has a curb weight of 1,445 kilograms (3,185.68 lb) – 70 kilograms (154.32 lb) less than the previous model. Most of this reduction in weight is on account of the body.


The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG: Driving Performance for the new generation

Affalterbach – The A 45 AMG sees Mercedes-AMG embarking on a new era. For the first time in the company's history extending back over more than 45 years, Mercedes-Benz's performance brand is offering a fascinating high-performance vehicle in the compact class. The A 45 AMG is representative of the "AMG Performance 50" strategy for the future, which is to run up to the 50th birthday of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 2017. With a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world. The sensational power density of 133 kW (181 hp) outstrips even the most powerful super sports cars. At the same time, the engine also boasts supreme efficiency and complies with the EU6 emissions standard. The A 45 AMG also leads its segment in terms of fuel consumption, running on 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. These credentials indicate that a further high-performing member of the BlueDIRECT family is now taking to the road. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive onboard the A 45 AMG sets new standards in the car's segment.

The substance of the new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front- and

all-wheel drive provides the perfect basis for the A 45 AMG and at least two other high-performance premium automobiles from Affalterbach.In designing and developing the A 45 AMG, the experts at AMG have drawn on the company's decades of experience in motorsport and the production of powerful, high-performance vehicles. As such, the A 45 AMG will inherit the corporate DNA and embody the AMG brand claim "Driving Performance" to perfection: a fascinatingly sporty driving experience combined with impressive craftsmanship and pronounced individuality.

"The A 45 AMG will enable Mercedes-AMG to appeal to new customers and tap new markets," observes Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. We are adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance data to our range of unique high-performance automobiles."

"With the new A 45 AMG we have well and truly achieved our aim of developing the most dynamic, powerful and efficient four-cylinder series production car," comments Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and Board Member of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.With its impressive high-tech package and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the A 45 AMG is a thoroughbred AMG through and through."

Dynamic and individual vehicle for new target group

Spanning the age range from 30 to mid-40, the target group is younger than the AMG clientele to date. In successful careers and with an independent frame of mind, these customers seek a dynamic and individual vehicle.They wish to lend expression to their style- and trend-oriented way of life with a car from a recognised high-performance brand. The A 45 AMG provides the predominantly urban target group with an agile high-performance vehicle. Mercedes-AMG accommodates their tech-savvy and individual outlook on life with an extremely broad selection of optional equipment and appointments, colours and materials.

Typically AMG: the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world

Two figures show that the A 45 AMG holds pole position in its displacement segment:the newly developed AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. A maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque are unmatched by any other mass-produced turbocharged four-cylinder engine worldwide. The power density of 133 kW (181 hp) is also absolutely unrivalled. In this discipline, the new AMG high-performance turbo engine even outstrips the most powerful super sports cars.

The high power and torque output and the combination with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard lead to extremely dynamic performance: the A 45 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, while its top speed stands at 250 km/h (electronically limited). The specially developed AMG engine is also a model of efficiency – the A 45 AMG also leads its segment on this front, with fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in NEDC combined mode. This is accompanied by particularly low exhaust emissions: the A 45 AMG already complies with the EU6 emissions standard which is not scheduled to enter into force until 2015, combined with the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 x 1011 which will be mandatory from 2017.

The key data at a glance:

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

Displacement

1991 cc

Bore x stroke

83.0 x 92.0 mm

Compression ratio

8.6 : 1

Output

265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm

Max. torque

450 Nm at 2250 - 5000 rpm

Engine weight (dry)

148 kg

Maximum engine speed

6700 rpm

Power density

133 kW (181 hp)

Peak pressure

up to 140 bar

Maximum charge pressure

1.8 bar

Fuel consumption NEDC combined

6.9 – 7.1 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

161-165 g/km

Emissions standard

EU6

Acceleration 0-100 km/h

4.6 s

Top speed

250 km/h*

*electronically limited

The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.

Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap

Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. At a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine also leads the field in this respect.

The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The two striking tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating, full engine sound which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.

An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap and featuring a dedicated tailpipe trim design is optionally available for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the reserve of engines with more than 4 cylinders.

High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG

The high driving dynamics of the A 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components belonging to the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The large cooler section at the front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.

Cooling of the transmission oil is integrated in the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.

Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence

Similarly to all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine". An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda – where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the "one man, one engine" production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission

Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive – the drive package onboard the new A 45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess.The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the A45 features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.

"Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment

Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is so-called "Momentary M mode". In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode ("M") without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up- and down-shifting into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.

The shift times in manual mode "M" and in Sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car.Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts with a more emotional sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. The ECO start/stop function is also active in "C" mode.

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The new A 45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus firmly was on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission . This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.

A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multi-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multi-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, such as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the A 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50 : 50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.

3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist

An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the A 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented "ESP ON" mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.

Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates "ESP SPORT Handling" mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle's dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates "ESP OFF". In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. When the driver steps on the brake pedal in the course of braking in "SPORT Handling" mode or "ESP OFF" mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system are restored.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the A 45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In "ESP SPORT Handling" mode and "ESP OFF" mode it supports the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.

AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle

Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new A 45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface. The more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.

The four-link rear axle of the A 45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The A 45 AMG comes as standard with twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.

AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system

The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.

Exterior design with sporty and muscular highlights

Mercedes-AMG adds emphatically sporty and muscular highlights to the emotional exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sporting the new dynamic style, sculptural character and feature lines on the sides. These refinements ensure that the A 45 AMG looks the part as a distinctive high-performance automobile – a genuine AMG through and through.

The front view of the A 45 AMG is characterised by the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. Striking black flics surround the large cooling air intakes at the sides. An interesting side view is guaranteed by the AMG light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke design and the side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. The "TURBO AMG" lettering on the wing is exclusive to the top model of the A-Class. The AMG rear apron with its highlighted air outlet openings at the sides features a diffusor insert and trim in matt titanium grey. Two square, chrome-plated tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap add an appropriately bold finishing touch.

Dynamic and exclusive interior design and appointments

Inside, too, the new A 45 AMG boasts a heady mix of hallmark Mercedes-AMG dynamism and exclusivity. The sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and the AMG DRIVE UNIT set new standards in terms of both appearance and quality. The dashboard trim comes in carbon-fibre look – a perfect match for the five air vents in black/red, the red seat belts and the AMG door sill panels. The AMG instrument cluster presents information by means of a central colour display with the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.

Numerous individualisation options are available for the A 45 AMG (selection):

-AMG Aerodynamics package: AMG rear aerofoil, additional flics in front apron, larger front splitter

-AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing

-AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre

-AMG rear aerofoil

-AMG Exclusive package

-AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt black with high-sheen rim flange

-AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised waistline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim

-AMG Performance exhaust system incl. tailpipe trims in specific design

-AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning

-AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic key with AMG emblem

-AMG Performance seats

-AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)

-Red painted callipers

Expressive and exclusive: the A 45 AMG "Edition 1"

The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" stands apart both on a technical level and in terms of appearance.As is familiar from the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, the fully appointed "Edition 1" model variant boasts an expressive composition of exclusive exterior and interior details. The A 45 AMG "Edition 1" focuses on the car's affinity to motorsport: the exterior paint finish in cirrus white corresponds with the AMG sports stripes in matt graphite grey on the bonnet, roof and sides. The red highlights on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors and rear aerofoil leave a lasting impression. These highlights combine to perfection with the red painted brake callipers and the AMG multispoke light-alloy wheels painted in matt black with special AMG hub caps in central-locking look. The 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels are fitted all-round with tyres in size 235/35 R 19. Both the AMG Night package and the Aerodynamics package feature as standard for the "Edition 1", providing the perfect finishing touch to the model's motorsport-inspired character.

Black and red dominate the interior of the A 45 AMG "Edition 1", too.Red contrasting stitching embellishes the AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the top section of the dashboard in ARTICO man-made leather and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the "Edition 1" badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.

The world premiere of the A 45 AMG will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, whose doors open on 5 March 2013. The sales release date will be 8 April 2013; the market launch in Germany will begin this June.

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      The Ferrari 488 Pista makes full use of Ferrari’s motor-sports experience for maximum aerodynamic performance even on the road. Among the racing solutions adopted is the front F1-inspired S-Duct and the design of the front diffusers which feature a ramp angle that was optimised for the 488 GTE to create strong suction for increased downforce. Additionally, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised. The final result of all these interventions is an impressive 20% increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.
      EXHILARATING DRIVING PLEASURE
      The vehicle dynamics were designed to enhance driving pleasure and make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. The objective was to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.

      This was achieved by synergies between the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls integrated into version 6 of the Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates all the following systems: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. The FDE features a world-first: it uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers.
      A POWERFUL, EFFICIENT DESIGN
      The design of the Ferrari 488 Pista is focussed on functional aerodynamic concepts while the cockpit is pared back in keeping with its very sporty vocation. Ferrari Design used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect.
      The racing livery colour scheme is an integral part of the design of the car and the way it dives into the S-Duct underscores the berlinetta’s compact yet imposing forms. Contrasting edging on the aerodynamic elements on the bumpers and flanks add structure to the design.
      The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear volumes add a sense of power to the tail.
      Ferrari 488 Pista
      Short technical specifications
      ENGINE
      Type V8 – 90° twin turbo
      Overall displacement 3902 cm3
      Max. power output * 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
      Max. torque * 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in 7th gear
      DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
      Length 4605 mm
      Width 1975 mm
      Height 1206 mm
      Dry weight ** 1280 kg
      PERFORMANCE
      0-100 km/h 2.85 s
      0 -200 km/h 7.6 s
      Max. Speed > 340 km/h
      FUEL CONSUMPTION AND C02 EMISSIONS
      Under homologation
      * With 98 octane petrol
      **With optional lightweight features

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Ferrari was hoping to keep their Geneva debut under wraps, but a leak yesterday spoiled those plans. Today, Ferrari has revealed 488 Pista, their latest track day special.
      The Pista (Italian for track) is described by the prancing horse as a model that benefits from the knowledge that was learned in the FIA's World Endurance Championship (this includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans). Most of this knowledge is applied in the aerodynamics of the 488 Pista. This includes reshaped front diffusers, an F1-inspired S-Duct, and a larger rear spoiler. This allows the 488 Pista to produce 20 percent more downforce than the 488 GTB.
      Ferrari has also updated their Side-Slip Angle Control system that enhances driving pleasure. The system is comprised of an electronic differential, F1-Trac stability control, magnetorheological suspension, and Ferrari's Dynamic Enhancer system the varies the pressure of brake calipers. 
      In its lightest guise, Ferrari claims the 488 Pista is about 200 pounds lighter than the standard 488. This includes a number of "optional lightweight features" (which the company is keeping quiet as to what those features are), along with stripping out the interior and increasing the amount of carbon fiber.
      Power for the Pista is a reworked version of the 3.9L twin-turbo V8 engine. Output is rated at 720 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque, making this the most powerful V8 engine Ferrari has used in a street-legal car. Performance figures are impressive,
      0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds 0-124 mph in 7.6 seconds Top speed of 211 mph No word on a release timeframe or price.
      Source: Ferrari
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Introducing the new Ferrari 488 Pista
      Geneva unveiling for exhilarating, high-performance new Special Series Maranello, 21 February 2018 – The Ferrari 488 Pista, which will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, is the successor to Ferrari’s V8-engined special series – the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale – which have received critical acclaim for their performance and undiluted handling.
      The Ferrari 488 Pista marks a significant step forward from the previous special series in terms of both sporty dynamics and for the level of technological carry-over from racing. The name is, in fact, a direct homage to Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports.
      The car’s development evolved directly from the company’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship – in which it has won five Manufacturers’ titles in the GTE class in the six years since the series’ inception – and its 25 years’ experience in running the Ferrari Challenge one-make series.
      The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extensive weight saving solutions, along with engine, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic developments, all derive from Ferrari’s racing cars: the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. The result is a car with an uncompromising mission: to offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers.
      LIGHTER AND MORE POWERFUL
      The new model weighs an impressive 90 kg less (1280 kg dry) than the 488 GTB. This fact, combined with the largest ever increase in engine power for a special series car (+50 cv), sets a new benchmark for Ferrari’s V8 sports cars. Its engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history and is an extreme evolution of the turbo unit that won the overall International Engine of the Year award titles in both 2016 and 2017.
      It punches out 720 cv with the highest specific output of in its class (185 cv/l) and is now lighter too, thanks to solutions adopted from the 488 Challenge. As a result it has a top speed of 340 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 2.85” and 0 -200 km/h in 7.6”.
      The engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants. Both the sound quality and the intensity are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all engine speeds in proportion with the progressive increase in power.
      BOOSTED DOWNFORCE
      The Ferrari 488 Pista makes full use of Ferrari’s motor-sports experience for maximum aerodynamic performance even on the road. Among the racing solutions adopted is the front F1-inspired S-Duct and the design of the front diffusers which feature a ramp angle that was optimised for the 488 GTE to create strong suction for increased downforce. Additionally, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised. The final result of all these interventions is an impressive 20% increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.
      EXHILARATING DRIVING PLEASURE
      The vehicle dynamics were designed to enhance driving pleasure and make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. The objective was to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.

      This was achieved by synergies between the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls integrated into version 6 of the Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates all the following systems: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. The FDE features a world-first: it uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers.
      A POWERFUL, EFFICIENT DESIGN
      The design of the Ferrari 488 Pista is focussed on functional aerodynamic concepts while the cockpit is pared back in keeping with its very sporty vocation. Ferrari Design used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect.
      The racing livery colour scheme is an integral part of the design of the car and the way it dives into the S-Duct underscores the berlinetta’s compact yet imposing forms. Contrasting edging on the aerodynamic elements on the bumpers and flanks add structure to the design.
      The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear volumes add a sense of power to the tail.
      Ferrari 488 Pista
      Short technical specifications
      ENGINE
      Type V8 – 90° twin turbo
      Overall displacement 3902 cm3
      Max. power output * 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
      Max. torque * 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in 7th gear
      DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
      Length 4605 mm
      Width 1975 mm
      Height 1206 mm
      Dry weight ** 1280 kg
      PERFORMANCE
      0-100 km/h 2.85 s
      0 -200 km/h 7.6 s
      Max. Speed > 340 km/h
      FUEL CONSUMPTION AND C02 EMISSIONS
      Under homologation
      * With 98 octane petrol
      **With optional lightweight features
    • By William Maley
      It seems Volkswagen wasn't the only German automaker that was using a defeat device in their diesel vehicles. Over the weekend, German paper Bild am Sonntag obtained documents that revealed Diamler may have been using illegal software modifications to pass emission tests. U.S. investigators looking into Daimler found two engine management functions,
      Slipguard: Recognized whether or not the vehicle was being tested in a lab Bit 15: Turned off the emissions cleaning after 26 kilometers (16 miles) of driving Bild also cited emails from Daimler engineers questioning whether or not the functions were legal or not.
      “The authorities know the documents and no complaint has been filed, The documents available to Bild have obviously selectively been released in order to harm Daimler and its 290,000 employees," a Diamler spokesman told Reuters.
      The spokesman declined to comment on the content of the documents, saying that it " had agreed upon strict confidentiality with the Department of Justice."
      Diamler has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Stuttgart prosecutors over allegations of possible cheating.
      Source: Bild via Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It seems Volkswagen wasn't the only German automaker that was using a defeat device in their diesel vehicles. Over the weekend, German paper Bild am Sonntag obtained documents that revealed Diamler may have been using illegal software modifications to pass emission tests. U.S. investigators looking into Daimler found two engine management functions,
      Slipguard: Recognized whether or not the vehicle was being tested in a lab Bit 15: Turned off the emissions cleaning after 26 kilometers (16 miles) of driving Bild also cited emails from Daimler engineers questioning whether or not the functions were legal or not.
      “The authorities know the documents and no complaint has been filed, The documents available to Bild have obviously selectively been released in order to harm Daimler and its 290,000 employees," a Diamler spokesman told Reuters.
      The spokesman declined to comment on the content of the documents, saying that it " had agreed upon strict confidentiality with the Department of Justice."
      Diamler has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Stuttgart prosecutors over allegations of possible cheating.
      Source: Bild via Reuters
    • By William Maley
      Mercedes-Benz is hoping the updates that it is making for the 2019 C-Class will keep it towards the top of the midsize class. 
      Exterior changes are subtitle with updated bumpers, LED lighting, new 17-inch wheels for the base model, and adding two new paint colors. The interior doesn't seen any major changes in terms of design, but features. Push-button start, 7.0-inch infotainment system, sunroof, and automatic emergency braking become standard on all C-Classes.
      The C300's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder gets a 14 horsepower boost to 255. Torque remains 273 pound-feet. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the rear or all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 
      The biggest news for the 2019 C-Class is that it will get the semi-autonomous features from the E-Class. The Intelligent Drive suite includes Active Driving Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Steering Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Lane Changing Assist that allows the vehicle to travel semi-autonomously in certain situations.
      Mercedes will debut the 2019 C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with sales beginning late this year in the U.S.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
      Mercedes-Benz C-Class Offers Improved Performance & Safety Innovations Feb 13, 2018 – Stuttgart/Geneva: The Mercedes-Benz C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model in its fourth year on sale with worldwide sales topping 415,000 in 2017. The newly updated C-Class Sedan celebrates its world premiere with increased power and extended driver assistance systems. Among the highlights are a new, more powerful, and efficient engine that increases output by 14 horsepower and the extended suite of Intelligent Drive features shared with the Mercedes- Benz E-Class. The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.
      The newly refreshed C-Class combines emotion with intelligence. The vehicle's appearance is defined in particular by its redesigned front and the new design of the LED headlamps and taillamps, now standard.
      The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and the vehicle equipped with AMG-Line features a diamond radiator grille as standard. These new designs render the vehicle's exterior even more expressive and lend an even more dynamic character. The front bumper features a chrome-plated trim as part of the standard vehicle. In conjunction with the AMG Line Exterior the vehicle sports an AMG front bumper with a new geometry and at the rear the insert in in the diffuser comes in a new design. The rear bumper on the Sedan has a new lower section; geometry, trim and tailpipe trim vary according to the selected equipment.
      The design of the headlamps and taillamps is defined by clear-lined contours. Exquisitely crafted details add highlights and underscore the modern character. The C-Class is now equipped with LED headlamps and taillamps as standard. An LED Intelligent Light System with High Performance headlamps and ULTRA WIDE high beam is optionally available.
      The paint color spectrum has been enhanced with the addition of Mojave Silver Metallic and Emerald Green Metallic. Additionally, the standard 17" twin 5-spoke wheel is new as well.
      Interior design: exquisite fine-tuning
      The sporty interior exudes class, featuring flowing forms in a new interpretation of modern luxury.
      The center console is characterized by an elegant flowing trim, now available in Natural Grain Walnut Wood or Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood. The 3D real wood veneer in the center console combines a hand-crafted character with a modern feel. Magma Grey/Black upholstery is newly available for the interior, as is Saddle Brown and Silk Beige/Black for the AMG-Line Interior.
      The KEYLESS START function is standard and the start/stop button comes in a new turbine-look design. The vehicle key also features a new design.
      The display concept: fully digital instrument display available as an option
      The C-Class adopts the display concept of the current S-Class, with an optional fully digital instrument display offering the three different display styles "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive."
      The screen options at a glance:
      Instrument cluster: The basic model features a classic two-tube instrument cluster. Between the tubes there is a 5.5-inch color display (resolution: 383 x 600 pixels). The display style here is "Classic."
      The fully digital instrument display is optionally available. The screen has a 12.3- inch diagonal and offers high resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. The cutting-edge screen design offers the three very different display styles: "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive." The styles can be switched quickly according to personal tastes or to suit the selected interior. Alongside certain menu items such as trip data or consumption figures, the driver can now additionally view the navigation display data or the ECO display in the instrument cluster. The latter supports the driver in adopting a fuel-efficient driving style.
      Central display: The multimedia screen above the center console is also available in two sizes. The C 300 and C 300 4MATIC Sedans are standard-equipped with a 7- inch display screen. Newly available is the optional 10.25-inch COMAND® display screen.
      As with the instrument cluster, a choice of three display styles is also available here. The state-of-the-art mode of presentation enables the displayed information to be grasped intuitively. For example, clear and informative graphics accompany the text information under the "Vehicle" menu item.
      The C-Class Sedan is also enhanced with a new multifunction leather steering wheel with Touch Control Buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. They enable the driver to control the functions of the instrument cluster and of the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The driver can also now operate DISTRONIC and cruise control directly from the steering wheel.
      The infotainment system can additionally be operated via the touchpad with controller (new: haptic feedback) in the center console or by means of voice control. Vehicle functions such as the seating heating can now also be operated by voice control. The optional head-up display is now adjustable throughout an even larger range.
      Intelligent Drive: state-of-the-art active safety
      The updated C-Class features the latest driver assistance systems available in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, offering the driver cooperative support and providing for a higher standard of active safety than its predecessor. The C-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do this, it keeps a close eye on the traffic situation; improved camera and radar systems allow it to see up to 1,640 feet ahead. The vehicle's surroundings are scanned by radar across a distance of up to 820 feet to the front, 130 feet to the sides, and 260 feet to the rear, while with the camera a range of up to 1,640 feet is possible to the front, including 295 feet in 3D. The C-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (as part of the Driver Assistance package) is able to support the driver in numerous situations on the basis of map information and predictively adjust the speed, for example when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts. Other new developments include the intuitive Active Lane Change Assist and Active Emergency Stop Assist as functions of Active Steering Assist.
      The redesigned C-Class comes with extended Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, this can help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slow-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead. This function operates even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists or prevents collisions altogether.
      The multimedia systems: customized information and music offerings
      The C-Class comes as standard with a multimedia system featuring two USB ports, an SD card reader, Bluetooth connection and media interface.
      The latest-generation COMAND® Online system (optional) boasts fast 3D hard-disc navigation with topographic map display, photo-realistic 3D buildings, and 3D map rotations. Comprehensive information is displayed on the navigation map. For example, in addition to real-time traffic density information, it can include Car-to-X Communication warning messages, the weather, filling stations including current fuel prices, and free parking spaces.
      With the Concierge service (available as a subscription service), MercedesMe Connect customers have a host of individual services at their disposal: from making restaurant reservations and obtaining tips about tourist routes, to gathering information on cultural or sporting events and sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
      Mobile devices corresponding to the Qi standard can be charged conveniently while on the move with the optional NFC wireless charging system. The charging surface in the quick storage tray at the front of the center console is also suitable for large smartphones.
      The C-Class Sedan is equipped with a FrontBass® 5-speaker Audio System as standard and with the Burmester® Premium Sound System available as an option.
      More powerful, more efficient engine
      The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will also benefit from a new 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine that produces 255 hp (vs. 241 previously) and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase in 14 hp. The Sedan is also equipped with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission that affords a dynamic driving experience.
      The C-Class Sedan is produced at four plants on four continents, including the lead plant in Bremen (Germany), East London (South Africa), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Beijing (China). The facelifted 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.

      View full article
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