High-performance station wagons are becoming more and more common with each passing model year, making great canvases for various tuners to take their customization brushes to. Next up on the list is a custom is an oldie, but goodie: a W211 (2003 - 2006) E 55 AMG Estate.
From the factory, the E 55 AMG Estate was one bad wagon, boasting a 5.4-liter V-8 supercharged powerplant with 469 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. RENNtech and ADV.1 teamed up to push this wagon to the extreme and make it a true grocery-getting rocket. The 5.4-liter engine received upgraded pistons and connecting rods, which allowed for a bump in the supercharger’s psi. Additionally, the E 55 AMG received ported and polished heads, SLR camshafts, new ECU software, full exhaust system from stainless steel and an 82 mm throttle body.
All of those upgrades gave the E 55 a slight boost in power. By “slight,” we mean a 40-percent bump in horsepower and a 43-percent bump in torque to 660 horsepower and 739 pound-feet, respectively.
What good is all of that power if the car can’t handle it all? To address this, the team installed an upgraded transmission to prevent grenading the standard one. Also added in was a lowering module to drop the ride height a little and a performance brake kit with 15.2-inchs and 14.2-inch discs on the front and rear, respectively.
ADV.1 added its own touch with a set of ADV08 Track Spec wheels measuring 9-by-20 inches up front and 10.5-by-20 inches on the rear.
Not too bad for an aging wagon, right?
Click past the jump to read more about the E 55 AMG Estate Full story
We brought you a rendering of a shooting brake version of the CLA-Class last year and now we have gotten a little confirmation of the car. In a conversation with What Car?, Mercedes’ design boss, Gordon Wagener, admitted that the company is currently planning to add a shooting brake variant sometime in the future.
With the CLS Shooting Brake receiving rave reviews for its careful mixture of utility, luxury and sportiness, and the CLA looking to add a little affordability to the mixture, a shooting brake model is nearly a no-brainer. For now, the report stops here, but we can say that this one is all but in the bag, considering the rather reliable source it comes from.
We’ll keep a close eye on this developing report and let you know as soon as Mercedes releases a little more confirmation.
Click past the jump to read more on the current CLA sedan Full story
If you want to buy a German mid-sized sedan, you have three choices: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. Still, the C-Class has lost lots of ground in the past few years and it was about time for Mercedes to do something about it.
The next-generation Mercedes C-Class has been caught testing in many times, but until now we had no details on the engines to be featured in the new model. However, in a recent interview Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon revealed that the next C-Class will be offered with a series of firsts: the first diesel and hybrid powertrains, first time with an all-wheel-drive system will and the first time the next C-Class will have an engine built in the United States: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developed in cooperation with Nissan.
Also, next to the current sedan and coupe variants, the next C-Class will also add a convertible and station wagon versions. All these changes were required to make the C-Class more competitive with the BMW 3 Series.
Mercedes will unveil the next-generation C-Class at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show; the coupe and convertible will arrive in 2015. The hybrid version will also arrive in 2015. Full story
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Honda unveiled a quite interesting Civic Tourer Concept and, of course, everyone was expecting a production version to follow shortly after. Today, after just one month since the concept made its world debut, the production version has been caught testing for the first time.
As no surprise, the production version will look a lot like the concept, but Honda decided to fully camouflage it in an attempt to hide some design elements taken from the Civic hatchback. Most of the design elements borrowed from the standard version, like the taillight shape and the low roofline, will stay like on the concept.
The new Civic Tourer will likely be unveiled in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show with sales to being in early 2014. The model will be produced at the Swindon plant in the UK alongside the Civic hatch. Honda is expecting the Tourer to make a total of 20% of the Civic sales. Full story
Over in the UK market, British automaker Vauxhall has pulled the covers off of the new VRX8 Tourer, a full-sized tourer that carries quite a punch under its hood.
There weren’t a whole lot of sweeping changes done to the tourer compared to its previous iterations, but the VRX8 Tourer nevertheless carries a character that exudes quiet confidence mixed in with class-leading cargo space and impressive performance credentials.
Since it’s classified as a tourer/wagon, the initial reaction surrounding the VRX8 Tourer might be that it belongs in market that puts less importance on its looks and its power. However, this model has the looks and the power that can make it a worthy candidate to be somebody’s next full-sized wagon.
It may not have the brand recognition of a Mercedes or a BMW, but Vauxhall is serious about bringing the fight to the German brands. And it has the VRX8 Tourer as a worthy soldier to do the battling for it.
Find out more about the Vauxhall VRX8 Tourer after the jump Full story
Volvo’s trio of R-Design models that we saw at the New York Auto Show are all interesting in their own right. No, you won’t see any radical changes nor will you see an interior cabin glittering in gold.
What you will see are subtle modifications and upgrades that makes the V60 look cleaner and more sophisticated while also improving the car’s handling capabilities and, for a little premium, performance credentials.
All that can be had with the V60 R-Design and the best part is, we don’t expect any significant financial repercussions that you’ll have to be responsible for should you decide to put money down on a Volvo.
Overall, the V60 R-Design fits right into what Volvo has become within the industry. It’s a reflection of a company that shuns the bombastic razzle dazzle in favor of something a little more functional with sprinkles of edginess mixed in between.
Find out more about the Volvo V60 R-Design after the jump Full story
Last week we heard the first rumors suggesting that Scion could develop more body styles for its FR-S sports coupe. A rumor was all we needed to start imagining what these models would look like. Yesterday we brought you a rendering of a FR-S sedan and today it’s time for something even crazier: the FR-S Shooting Brake.
According to Scion FR-S chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, such a variant will be specially developed for those big families that want to enjoy a great sports car. He added that every time he goes out, he wants to take all his five dogs with him, so you see why such a crazy model is needed, right?
If built, the FR-S Shooting Brake will most likely feature the same technology as the coupe. This nets it a 2.0-liter boxer-four engine that delivers a total of 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.
However, we suggest not to start saving for such a model because we strongly doubt it will be even put into production. One thing is certain, the shooting brake is more likely than a sedan.
In an interview with AutoGuide, Scion FR-S chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, explained that the Open Top Concept was the next logical step for the GT 86, but he also confirmed that the company is not done with exploring possibilities with the FR-S lineup. Tada explained that the he wants to do with the sports coupe the same BMW did with the Mini family.
It looks like Tada is set on pushing the car’s body to its limits and wants to add at least one sedan and shooting brake version - the latter one being specially developed for his five dogs. His words, not ours.
In the same interview, Tada talked about the new collaboration between Toyota and BMW that will bring a new sports car to the two companies’ lineups. The company is hoping to obtain "a product that none of us could have imagined; something more than anyone expects." We are wondering if this new sports car will also end getting more body versions like Tada would like to see from the FR-S.
Last month, the German tuner, ABT Sportsline, unveiled the Audi AS6 - a tuning kit that develops a total of 420 horsepower. Still, the tuner thought the car could do better and today it announced a second kit called AS6-R that upgrades the output to a total of 600 horsepower.
In order to get this 180-horsepower increase, the new AS6-R received an ABT Power S kit that includes an optimized engine management and an ABT turbocharger. Peak torque has been increased to 553 pound-feet and the sprint from 0 to 60 mph is now made in 3.9 seconds. The speed limiter has also been removed, which allows the AS6-R to now hit a top speed of 192 mph. ABT also installed a new sport-type exhaust system that significantly improved the engine’s sound.
The car’s exterior has also been modified with the addition of a new front skirt add on, a side skirt add on and a new rear spoiler. All new items were made from carbon fiber.
The AS6-R will be offered with new 21-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires.
During the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Honda has announced a few details on its future plans, and we sure like what we have heard so far. The company has announced that the new generation Civic will also receive a station wagon version and a more powerful Type R derivation. As proof of this statement, they have also unveiled a teaser image of the wagon model.
A first concept version of the next Civic Wagon has been unveiled in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, with the production version to arrive in dealerships in early 2014.
The upcoming Wagon will look pretty much identical to the sedan version, except, of course, for a swooping roofline, bulging wheel arches, a roof-rack, and its capability to accommodate more luggage.
The car will be built on the same platform and will be offered with the same engine line-up as the sedan, but we will also see a new 1.6 i-DTEC engine. A hybrid version could also be a possibility.
UPDATE 03/07/13: Honda has unveiled new images and video for the new Civic Tourer Concept unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.