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Posts Tagged ‘Start/Stop’

New Mercedes AMG V-8 Delivering Near-I-4 Mileage

Green performance without the hybrid?

by on Jul.21, 2011

Mercedes's AMG division claims the new M152 engine going into the SLK55 AMG will deliver big gains in power - and a 30% bump in fuel economy.

With the upcoming launch of its latest powertrain, AMG, the Mercedes-Benz performance division, claims it will be able to deliver the muscle of a traditional AMG V-8 with the mileage of a compact 4-cylinder powertrain.

While that might be a mild exaggeration, the claims are nonetheless impressive if the new 5.5-liter V-8 – developed specifically by AMG – actually can yield a 30% improvement in fuel economy compared to the brand-within-a-brand’s current 5.5-liter V-8.

Until recently, fuel economy was way down the list of attributes Mercedes officials were likely to emphasize – especially at AMG – but studies show that even the affluent buyers who ante up for cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar now list mileage as a concern.

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The new powertrain will find its first application on the AMG-upgraded version of Mercedes’ compact roadster, the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG.  Significantly, the 30% mileage improvement comes despite a 60 horsepower bump, to 415 hp, with torque jumping from 376 to 398 lb-ft on the new model.


First Drive: Mini Convertible

Always Open

by on Jan.30, 2009

Mini Convertible - dashing through the snow

Mini Convertible - dashing through the snow

You think it’s cold back in the U.S.? Try Kärnten, one of the most beautiful parts of the south of Austria. And at this altitude, this time of year, well, you’d think we might have enough common sense to keep the top closed on the new Mini Convertible. Think again. We just couldn’t imagine being the only ones driving back, at the end of the day and have to admit we didn’t get a good whiff of fresh mountain air.

But, to be honest, there’s something about the new Mini cabriolet that would have made us pull the top down, even if no one else was around; maybe that’s why the marketing gurus have hit the right note with their new slogan, Always Open.

Since the introduction of the new Mini, in 2002, some 164,000 convertibles have been sold and the new models are likely to match that success considering some of the new features the British automaker has added. Like the ability to open the soft top in just 15 seconds – and operate it even while driving at up to 20 mph. Another plus is that with the top neatly folded behind the rear seats, there’s now 4.4 cubic feet of cargo space, 0.17 cf more than before.

(With the top up, the luggage space increases to 6 cubic feet, while with the seats folded the Mini Convertible has 23.3 cf of luggage space. To keep burglars out, the split and foldable back rests of the rear seats can be locked with the car’s key.)