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Japanese tuning firm Abflug will have quite the presence at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. We’ve already seen its plans for the Toyota GT86 , the Nissan GT-R, and the Lamborghini Murcielago.

For its fourth act, Abflug is taking a German route by building a program for the Mercedes SL-Class R230 . Calling it the "Platinum" program, Abflug’s lineup of modifications for the previous generation SL-Class comes with aesthetic, aerodynamic and handling upgrades. No surprises there, considering that it’s always been one of the best in Japan at offering this aftermarket trifecta.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any performance mods, which is a bummer, but the sports car is still good for up to 316 horsepower. That’s plenty enough for us. Plus, the body kit it flat out wicked, so it’s worth it.

Beginning with the Platinum Aero kit, Abflug was able to install a slew of new components on the SL-Class, including a new front bumper, a cooling hood, a front over fender and aggressive side skirts. The door panels are also new, as is the rear bumper, rear upper spoiler, the rear over fender and the rear diffuser. Rounding out the exterior mods is a set of 20-inch Abflug Prism III wheels wrapped in Falken tires. No mention of interior enhancements, so don’t expect anything out-of-the-ordinary when you get inside.

Just so Abflug didn’t leave anything on the table, the Japanese tuning firm also put in some time improving the car’s shocks, and springs through a tie-up with European Taste. Also added in is an upgraded braking system from DIXCEL.

Posted on by Aravind
Aston Martin Vanquish

Unless you were living under a rock, you would know that nearly half of Aston Martin’s stake now belongs to former Ducati owner Investindustrial. Good to know that Aston Martin can still live to see the future.

But, like every acquisition, it does bring along changes, and Ducati’s past could influence one of them.

Ducati once collaborated with Mercedes AMG to create and market a special-edition Mercedes SLK55 AMG. It was said that Investindustrial saw more potential and a better future using AMG engines and transmission systems. Can we blame them? They’re in fact one of the best engine makers. If you don’t believe us, feel free to have a talk with the SLS AMG GT or the Pagani Huayra .

While the news may sadden some of the Aston Martin purists, remember that the engines powering current Astons aren’t really in-house developed. The 4.7-liter V-8 engine for example is basically a 4.2-liter V-8 from Jaguar that has been heavily re-tuned in Germany and slapped the Aston badge. The all mighty 6.0-liter V-12 under the Vanquish’s hood is actually a Ford Duratec engine. So, Aston Martin is no new customer when it comes to in-house development.

The changeover would make sense to us, as current Aston Martins continue to get more beautiful, its powertrain systems and electrical architecture seem to never really improve significantly.

Tell us which you would prefer: a Jaguar and Ford engines or a lineup of AMG engines? We bet the decision is an easy one to make.

Source: Drive

Mercedes unveiled the new ML63 AMG at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and since then we have seen lots of upgrades package for it. The latest one we have for you is the "Inferno" kit announced by TopCar.

TopCar’s kit was inspired by the famous Black Series model offered by Mercedes. It includes new front and rear bumpers, fender extensions, overlays on the door trims on the front wings, sills, bonnet, a new rear spoiler and tips on the exhaust pipe. The tuner also installed new LED lights into the front bumper. The kit is made in carbon fiber and Kevlar and looks mighty sexy on the ML.

The base kit can be yours for €22,768 ($29,500), which includes painting and installation. For €27,070 ($35,000), you can have the kit with all of the carbon detailing.

TopCar isn’t offering up just aesthetic upgrades, as there are three stages of engine tuning available too. For €7,900 ($10,200) the V-8 engine will deliver a total of 640 horsepower and 722 pound-feet of torque. If you have €11,900 ($15,400), you can increase the engine’s output to an impressive 690 ponies and 811 pound-feet of torque. The biggest upgrade comes in at €21,900 ($28,300) and delivers an incredible 760 horsepower and 848 pound-feet of torque. The engine tuning s all handled by Evotech.

For the interior, the tuner is offering each customer the possibility to express own personality with a wide range of colors and materials, but exact details are not available.

We saw the new Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and we have also seen it in action. Now it’s time to learn how the SLS AMG Black Series brochure is put together. Not exactly the same as seeing the car in action on the race track, but it is still an important piece to the supercar’s puzzle.

Watch the above video to get a good look at the editing that went into taking technical drawings and turning them into brochure-worthy images. It’s a pretty sweet video, despite the fact that we don’t get to see the SLS AMG Black Series scream around at all.

In case you forgot just how bad-ass the car is, it’s powered by an improved version of the 6.3-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 622 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 468 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. The supercar uses this monstrous power to hit a top speed of 195 mph.

Enjoy the video!

Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA

Our spy photographers have caught the upcoming Mercedes GLA testing once again. This time it was caught during cold weather testing in Northern Europe. The prototype is still heavily camouflaged, but we can see a few more design details.

It is clear that the next GLA will look a lot like the A-Class upon first glance, but with a much beefier and muscular front end, plus a much shallower rake on the rear window that follows the latest coupe-look trend. The next GLA will also have a higher ride, and looks rounder, when compared to the GLK .

The GLA will be built on the same MFA platform (Mercedes Front-Wheel-Drive Architecture) as the recently revealed A-Class and B-Class , and will be available in both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions. Under the hood the GLA will borrow powerplants and transmissions from the A-Class, including the four-cylinder gasoline and diesel options.

The new Mercedes GLA will go on sale sometime in 2014.

A few months ago, the ML63 AMG received the Brabus treatment with upgraded performance and a decent body kit. Unfortunately, the 2013 body kit was missing some pizazz, and Brabus took notice.

This time around, Brabus turned it up a notch or two. An interior customization program allows customers to pretty much design how their cabin is going to look. We doubt Brabus will let anybody opt to go for a Hello Kitty or a Wreck-It Ralph theme, but what they do offer is pretty impressive in its own right. The offerings include wood and genuine carbon-fiber trim sets in any desired color to go with a variety of surface finishes.

Brabus took the body kit from the previous rendition and added in some serious upgrades. For starters, Brabus slightly shrunk the front-apron air vents and painted the raised outline pewter. The LED running lights were moved closer to the center of the air vents as well, giving the front apron a smoother look, in our opinion. The coat of pewter extends across the lower grille splitter. Speaking of the splitter, Brabus also moved it closer to the center of the lower grille and made it more pronounced than the previous kit.

On the backside, you get a much more timid kit that includes rounded quad exhaust exits in place of the molded units from the standard ML63 AMG , which Brabus reused in the old kit. Also, instead of the odd-looking trapezoids on each end of the rear apron, you now get a smoother look with chicken-wire-style mesh across the entire length. If there was one thing we wanted to retain from the previous kit, it was the rear-apron diffusor. Obviously Brabus was reading our minds, as the diffusor is there in all of its glory.

Under the hood, the ML63 AMG Widestar carries over Brabus’ very B63-620 PowerXtra module, enough to bump up the output from the SUV’s 5.5-liter bi-turbo V-8 engine to 620 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers translate to a 0-62 mph time of just 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.

Rounding out the modifications include the addition of a control module for the AIRMATIC air suspension and a set of 22" Brabus Widestar wheels wrapped in 295/39 ZR22 tires supplied by your choice of Continental, Pirelli, or Yokohama.

Carrera Panamericana is a border-to-border sports car racing event that run between 1950 and 1954. During the third edition — in 1952 — the Mercedes-Benz 300SL of Kling and Hans Klenk scored an impressive victory, taking first and second place of the podium. Now, 60 years later, Gullwing America (GWA) pays tribute to this legendary win by unveiling of a specially designed 300SL/R.

The standard Mercedes 300SL model was powered by a 3.0 liter straight-six engine with 115 horsepower. In the R version, the engine was fitted only with carburetors and it delivered a total of 175 horsepower. GWA decided to scrap the base engine and and replace it with a 6.3-liter V-8 engine mated to a new transmission. GWA said nothing about the engine’s final output, but in its standard version, this V-8 engine delivers a total of 525 horsepower.

GWA’s 300SL/R also received a modified brake system with bigger calipers, a set of retro-inspired 19-inch Monoblock wheels, racing seats and a roll bar.

The model will be carried by a branded Mercedes-Benz transporter in a tour around the world.

Lapping the famous Nürburgring race track is a dream for any car enthusiast out there. Unfortunately, it is not a reality for most of us. For those that can’t make it, Mercedes AMG has unveiled an onboard video showing the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in action on the "Grüne Hölle" (Green Hell). This is about as close as you get to whipping the SLS AMD GT3 through the Green Hell without actually hanging onto the steering wheel. Speaking of the steering wheel, behind the wheel in this video is AMG Customer Sports coordinator, Thomas Jäger. What a job that must be…

For those of you who do not know, the SLS AMG GT3 is powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 engine — same from the standard SLS AMG – that pumps out 600 horsepower. When compared to the standard model, the GT3 version has a ton of exterior upgrades, including: front apron with a splitter, bonnet with central cooling air vent, wider front and rear wings, side skirts with cooling ducts for the rear brakes, a rear diffuser, and an adjustable rear airfoil.

Anytime a Mercedes carries the letters “A,” “M” and “G” in its name, you know it’s one that’s just waiting to show off its muscles. Even if a car like the CL63 AMG already packs serious meat, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need a little more.

German tuning specialist Unicate certainly believes that the car’s 536-horsepower output is already pretty stacked, but nobody said you can’t turn that number north of 600. That’s exactly what Unicate did and it remapped the CL63 AMG’s ECU and added a new Apocalypse sound exhaust system. The end result is 607 horsepower on tap, ready and waiting to be unleashed on some hapless asphalt.

Showing that this car is not all go and now show, Unicate also added a subtle aerodynamic upgrade, which included a clear-coated carbon-fiber diffuser, a three-piece trunk spoiler, and MEC Design’s Electronic Lowering System module.

These performance upgrades drop the CL63 AMG’s 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) mph time down to 4.5 seconds. It is odd that Unicate left the top speed is still limited to 155 mph. Really, when was the last time you went over 155 mph?

All told, Unicate’s program for Mercedes CL63 AMG is the kind of performance and aero upgrade that settles in just right for the sports coupe. And might we add, it perfectly suits us too.


Tune it! Safe! , the campaign for safe and legal automobile tuning, has revealed its 8th specialty model at the 2012 Essen Motor Show. This year, it decided to use a Brabus-tuned Mercedes A250 BlueEFFICIENCY for the occasion.

In collaboration with Hankook, the campaign’s main sponsor, the special police-livery A-Class was given a Brabus body kit comprising of a new front spoiler, and a roof spoiler. Foliatec then dressed the A250 BlueEFFICIENCY in full police livery and Hella supplied a special signal system — "RTK 7" — with the latest LED technology, blue lights and sirens. Finally, a quad-tailpipe exhaust system and a set of 19" Brabus "Liquid Titanium" alloy wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 tires round out the exterior modifications on the car.

Inside, the Tune It! Safe! A-Class’ interior modifications were highlighted by alloy pedals, special floor mats, and controls for the aforementioned roof-mounted light bar.

As far as performance goes, the car’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was treated to a sharp power improvement and it now pumps out a stout 245 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All told, that allows the Tune It! Safe! A-Class to hit a top speed of 155 mph while also averaging 38.6 mpg with CO2 emissions of just 143 g/km.


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