Hoonigan Decided to Show Off an E55 AMG-Powered Track Kart and Now We Want One
Most of you link the Hoonigan name with Ken Block and leave it at that, so I won’t blame you for not knowing that Hoonigan is into a lot more than Block’s crazy Shenanigans. Case in point – this video of an E55 AMG-powered Track Kart that was posted to the company’s Youtube channel “Daily Transmission.”
For those of you that don’t know, Daily Transmission is a dedicated channel where the Hoonigans look at the wildest, upside-down car builds they can find, and the video you’re about to watch below is no exception, so let’s get to it.
Back in the mid 1980s, the performance car world was still on its back, thanks to the uppercut that the 1970’s emission standards laid on the likes of the Camaro, Mustang, and Corvette. However, the exotic car companies, like Ferrari and Lamborghini, and luxury car companies, like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, all had the upper hand, thanks to the deep pockets of their customers.
These deep pockets allowed these high-level car manufacturers to spend more time and money developing cars that both met the emission standards and performed awesomely. One of these monsters of the early-emission era was the 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300E “Hammer” by AMG. Much like the M3, the “Hammer” was a midsize car that was relatively tame from the factory, boasting a 177-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 engine. If you wanted that extra power that the “Hammer” provided, simply pony up an additional $89,120 on top of the 300E’s base price of $39,000 and Benz would build you this custom beast.
Rarely do we see one of these in the wild and even rarer is to catch a glimpse of the factory-owned model, which is claimed to produce between 381 and 396 horsepower and hit a top speed of “over 190 mph.”
Well, Chris Harris not only got to drive one, but it just so happened to be the factory-owned model. In typical Chris Harris fashion, he doesn’t just take it on a leisurely stroll either, he got this classic 80’s beast sideways on several occasions.
Check out the above video to see Chris in action.
Mercedes-Benz USA’s AMG Driving Academy Performance Series is getting more and more interesting with each passing episode. Now on its seventh installment, these three-minute instructional videos have given us plenty of tips from a wide variety of racing techniques, including ESP, line technique, and slaloms.
For this particular episode, Tommy Kendall returns and brings AMG driving instructor, Nick Kunewalder, with him to walk us through the art of drifting. Describing drifting as "the ballet of power-sliding", Kendall and Kunewalder teach us the techniques in executing a perfect drift, from the initiation to the transitions to inducing a slide - a critical element of drifting - and carrying that slide all the way through a corner.
Kendall also points out that with drifting, all convention on racing flies out the window because in trying to induce a slide and create the theatrical smoke from your tires, you’re basically going against everything you’ve learned as a race car driver in trying to keep control of your car at all times. But that’s the allure of drifting and its popularity has soared to such great heights that it’s become a unique sport by itself.
We apparently couldn’t have picked a better time to get a little drifting crazy because, as of June 19, 2011, Mauro Calo has officially entered the Guinness World Book of World Records with the longest car drift. Calo and his completely unmodified Mercedes C63 AMG sports sedan have smashed the existing World Record by 394 meters achieving a total distance of 2308 meters. This feat will get his name scrawled on the record books, adding yet another title to his established driving career.
To achieve the record breaking distance, Mauro chose part of the Handling Circuit at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge Surrey. The circuit provided a complete 360 degree circle of tarmac which saw him complete almost 8 laps.
Andrew Mallery, Commercial Operations Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars commented: “When Mauro approached us to hold his record breaking attempt on the circuit at Mercedes-Benz World we were happy to offer him the support. He has been a valuable member of the driving experience team for several years and is a respected driver in the industry, so there was no doubt he would achieve his aim”.
Job well done, Sir!
Hit the jump for the video.
One thing we ought to know about world records is that at some point in time, somebody’s going to beat them. It may not happen for a while, but sooner or later, there’s going to be someone - or something - that will eclipse it.
Currently, the record for the world’s longest drift sits on the mantle of Vaughn Gittin Jr’s study. The drift champion set the record back in December 18, 2008 with a run of 1,914.15 m (6,280.01 ft) at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. It’s said that Gittin Jr. could have done longer had the threads on his tires not gotten completely eviscerated.
Fast forward to today and word has it that Mercedes-Benz is planning on besting Gittin Jr.’s record. The man for the job is Mercedes demonstration driver, Mauro Calo, who not only wants to break the record the same way Gittin Jr. did when he broke the previous record of 4,137 feet, but wants to reach 10,000 feet, which is a little under two miles long.
While the task seems to be far easier said than done, Calo is confident that the record will be his after his attempt at Surrey, England while using either a Mercedes C63 or E63 AMG. Calo’s attempt will be made exceptionally more difficult considering that he plans to attempt it on a perimeter track that’s barely ’as wide as a car length’.
No timetable has been set on when this attempt will take place, but seeing as news of it is going around, we won’t be surprised if it takes place before the year ends.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll be sure to give updates when the day for the record-setting attempt draws near.
The sport of Drifting is catching on like wildfire the world over, and that’s not exactly surprising considering it carries the most entertainment value of any motorsport out there. Even F1 has become mundane with cars lapping continuously in a “follow the leader” fashion for two hours. There isn’t much in the form of action, except when spectacular crashes happen, sending carbon fiber shrapnel everywhere. Not exactly safe, but it’s action nonetheless. Yes, aerodynamics make it difficult to overtake blah blah blah.
Drifting brings together the most exciting aspects of our favorite forms of racing in an exciting showcase. What could be better than watching massive horsepower cars going sideways, door to door with each other at breakneck speeds with smoke bellowing out their arches? Okay, well, participating would be better, but not all of us have the type of skill and precision needed to pull off some of these stunts. Of course, some may, so learning a bit about the best vehicles to take out onto the track is important.
The recipe for a great drift car is a generic affair with the following characteristics at the fore: RWD (Duh!), good chassis balance, engine tuneabilty, a limited slip differential, and obviously accessible tuning parts to make the aforementioned a reality. In the list below, you will find a short description on what unique attributes each of the cars bring to drifting, and hopefully will give you a better understanding of the sport and what building a good drift car requires.
Hopefully this will get you swatting bugs with your side windows in no time. Proceed with caution though, as this is a highly addictive adrenalin rush waiting to happen.
Hit the jump to see the list.