Mercedes SLK 55 AMG Special Race Edition

Mercedes-AMG has developed a one off special edition of the SLK 55 AMG for an Asian investor that will compete in the “AMG Ultimate Experience Asia” lifestyle event. The “beefed” up roadster includes suspension, brakes, cooling system plus numerous lightweight construction features that have been specifically tuned for racing while the design of the 265-kW/360-hp V8 roadster is based on the SLK 55 AMG F1 racing safety car. According to officials, the company plans to launch a limited-edition road-going model based on this special edition in the near future.

PRESS RELEASE: The “AMG Ultimate Experience Asia” is an exclusive series of lifestyle-oriented events, aimed specifically at sports car enthusiasts in the Far East. Everyone from individuals enamoured with motorsport to clients of large corporations will be able to compete at the wheel of the 35 uncompromising AMG sports cars at ten events that are being staged by an Asian investor in countries such as China, Indonesia and Thailand. The series of lifestyle events is due to get underway at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sepang/Malaysia (March 17 - 19, 2006). Mercedes-AMG plans to launch a limited-edition road-going model based on the SLK 55 “AMG Ultimate Experience Asia” in the near future. The custom-designed AMG vehicles are not registered for road use so far and will only be driven on private racing tracks. However, the sale of these vehicles has prompted AMG to meet the numerous demands for purist-oriented high-performance cars.

The most striking aspect of the SLK 55 “AMG Ultimate Experience Asia” is its hardtop made from carbon-fibre composite (CFRP), a high-tech material commonly used in Formula 1 and the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). The unpainted, silk matt black roof with its visible carbon-fibre structure is a highly attractive feature that appears to change colours, depending on which angle it is viewed from and how the light strikes it. This special SLK 55 AMG also provides visual clues to its motor racing genes with, for example, new 19-inch AMG forged light-alloy wheels featuring multi-spoke styling.

Lightweight construction for further-enhanced handling dynamics

Around 25 kilograms have been saved simply by using the carbon-fibre roof with its plastic rear window and dispensing with the vario-roof mechanical and hydraulic systems. These measures lower the vehicle's centre of gravity, helping to improve handling dynamics thanks to reduced body pitch and roll combined with higher cornering speeds. Additional lightweight construction measures – including forged wheels, an optimised AMG sports exhaust system, leaving out insulating materials, fitting lighter door linings as well as a fibreglass-reinforced plastic bucket seat – compensate for the extra weight of the braking system, the larger 80-litre racing tank, the roll cage and the fire extinguishing system. The kerb weight of the SLK 55 “AMG Ultimate Experience Asia” is considerably less than 1500 kg.

Transfer from motor racing: suspension, wheels and brakes from the safety car

The suspension, wheels and braking system on the uncompromising SLK-Class are based on the safety car: for instance the set-up with firmer spring/damper tuning and harder torque strut bearings at the front axle is essentially the same as that used for the 2004/2005 official Formula 1 safety car. The wheel/tyre combination with 235/35 R 19 (front) and 265/30 R 19 (rear) tyres was likewise taken from this car. The ultra-light 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels produced using sophisticated forging technology are new. Each wheel weighs around a third less than a conventional cast-aluminium wheel.

Another feature the “Ultimate Experience” shares with the safety car is the braking system: 360 x 22-millimetre composite brake discs with six-piston fixed callipers and special racing brake pads provide the deceleration at the front axle. Thanks to the innovative composite design with a grey cast iron brake disc connected to an aluminium bowl, peak temperatures can be avoided extremely effectively, giving the brakes outstanding fade resistance in harsh racing-circuit conditions. 330x26-millimetre steel brake discs with four-piston brake callipers are used at the rear axle. All the discs are internally ventilated and perforated; the front brakes, which have to deal with particularly high stresses, have specially designed cooling ducts – yet more technology adopted from motor racing.

AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine with an output of 265 kW/360 hp and a new sports exhaust system

The AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine developing 265 kW/360 hp and 510 Nm has been lifted straight from the standard-production car. Modified especially for the racing circuit, the AMG sports exhaust system with two twin chromed tailpipes at the rear provides a more dramatic sound experience at the racetrack. An auxiliary engine oil cooler has been integrated in the new-look AMG front apron; another engine oil cooler (right) and a transmission oil cooler (left) have replaced the standard-fit fog lamps. Side openings allow the warm air to be dissipated effectively. A more powerful cooling system for the power-steering oil pump and an active cooling system for the rear axle differential have also been added. These measures ensure trouble-free operating temperatures whatever the weather conditions. The transmission control system has also been specially configured for the racetrack: for example, the gears can be shifted entirely using a manual mode. There are two manual modes available – “M1”, and “M2” which allows even faster gear changes. Steering-wheel gearshift paddles, now the norm in motor racing, have also been fitted.

Optimised weight distribution for superlative handling on the racetrack

Optimised weight distribution is another decisive factor in producing handling on a par with a racing car: by moving the battery from the engine compartment to the boot and fitting an 80-litre racing tank in the boot, the weight has been distributed almost perfectly between the front and rear axle (52 to 48 percent). The racing tank with its typical foam inserts also prevents fuel from sloshing from one side to the other – the ideal set-up for minimum body movements on fast S-shaped bends. The dominant note in the interior is the practical look and feel of a racing car: the fibreglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) bucket seat with a six-point belt and fireproof fabric cover provides optimum lateral support whilst the roll cage and the fire extinguishing system ensure optimum safety.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI Commercials “Unpimp my ride”


Volkswagen breaks a North American campaign for the new Golf GTI that takes a poke at MTV's Pimp My Ride

Featuring a German vixen who seems to have walked straight out of the 70’s, and a German engineer filling Xzibit's Pimp my Ride position, Volkswagen’s Golf GTI new series of commercials take a poke at MTV's successful “Pimp My Ride” show.

The German duo shoot a car out of a catapult in one spot, crush a car with a crate containing the new GTI in another. In the third commercial, they crush a car with a wrecking ball. At the end of these ads, Stormare spouts such gems as "Representing Deutschland", and "German engineering in da haus", and the ads end with the voice-over "Pre-tuned by German engineers".

"There are people that think the culture has gone too far and there’s a bit of a backlash from the Hollywood version. In some way they ruined what was a very organic and very cool thing," said Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a unit of MDC Partners. Targeting males 18 to 49, the campaign includes Internet, outdoor and print iterations, rolling out nationally over the next couple of months.

"Our goal is to make VW famous and relevant again," said Kerri Martin, director of marketing development at VW. "If the Beetle is the heart of the brand, then the GTI is the soul of the brand. It hits on all four things that really have made Volkswagen famous over the years: affordable, German engineering that is fun to drive and a distinctly European style."

Volkswagen Golf GTI: Catapult

Volkswagen Golf GTI: Crate

Volkswagen Golf GTI: Wrecking ball

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2007 Mazda BT-50 Pickup

Global reveal of Mazda’s New One-Ton Pickup Planned for 2006 Bangkok International Motor Show

Press Release: Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the name of its new one-ton pickup range, which will make its world debut at the 2006 Bangkok International Motor Show, to be held from Wednesday 22 March through Monday 3 April 2006.

“In line with Mazda’s global alphanumeric nomenclature strategy, we have named this new truck range “BT-50”, a global name that will be used in all markets,” says Malcolm Gough, Executive Officer and General Manager of Mazda’s Overseas Sales Division.

BT-50 recognizes the new range's B-Series Truck heritage (BT) and the number ‘50’ reflects that this one-ton vehicle is optimally positioned between smaller payload trucks (e.g. half-ton) and much larger trucks.

“The Bangkok global premiere of the new Mazda BT-50 pickup range will provide existing and prospective owners with the chance to be amongst the first to see the world's Zoom-Zoom truck.

“BT-50 builds on a tradition of Mazda heritage and values,” states Gough. “Its aggressive presence, command of the road and powerful new turbo diesel engines will provide leadership in this competitive truck segment.”

With new 3.0L and 2.5L common-rail direct injection turbo diesel engines, BT-50 delivers an exciting blend of sophisticated design, refinement, responsive handling and dynamic performance. Owners of this exciting new vehicle will find its outstanding versatility, comfort and convenience whether they use it much like a passenger car or in circumstances requiring tough, reliable commercial truck performance.

With this new truck, Mazda has deepened its commitment to Thailand and Asia, which is an important centre of truck and automotive manufacturing for Asia and the world.

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2007 Audi Future Models: TTC, A5 Coupe, S3 & R8

Audi’s new TT minisite (Read more at ) gave us today the first official picture of the second generation sportscar which, as I mentioned before, will be offered with three body types: Coupe- TTC, Roadster- TTR and Shooting Brake- TTS.

The first model to see the light of day will be the TTC coupe version on April 6, via the TT Lounge microsite. Till then, visitors can go to the site and download a PC screensaver, download images to their cell phones, sign up for an electronic newsletter and enter a contest to take part in a TT driving experience.

The TTC seems to withhold Freeman Thomas penned lines of today’s car. The front faced picture here unveils Audi’s new shield grille as seen on the new A4 and A6 models. According to Autocar, the rear will probably be fitted with a retractable spoiler.

The second-generation TT range will use the Volkswagen Group’s PQ35 platform (used by the latest Golf V and Audi A3). As a result, the next TT will benefit from a series of chassis upgrades that should make it sharper to drive. Its torsion beam rear suspension will be replaced by a more contemporary multi-link arrangement. Other changes include a slightly longer wheelbase and wider tracks, an electro-mechanical steering set-up and upgraded brakes.

When the car goes on sale in the 2nd half of the year, it will be offered with two engines, the 2.0 TFSI (front wheel drive) and the 3.2 V6 quattro. Latter the range will get more engines including a base 2.0 FSI (Europe) with 150 hp, an upgraded 2.0 TFSI with 225 hp, 3.6 V6 FSI with approximately 280 hp (it will replace the 3.2 V6 FSI), plus two diesel power plants, the 2.0 TDI and the 3.0 V6 TDI producing 170 and 233 hp respectively. Rumours have it that the TTC may even get the 2007 S3 engine and a new 3.6 TFSI punching out more than 360 hp.

Alongside a standard six-speed manual gearbox, Audi will offer its new six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) as an option.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Audi is going to unveil three more models till 2007: the S3 with a 2.0 TSI twin scroll turbocharged engine producing more than 260 hp, the Lamborghini Gallardo based R8 supercar and Audi’s answer to the highly accomplished BMW 3 Series Coupe, the A5 Coupe which will be heavily based on the beautiful Nuvolari concept.

Press Release: The Annual Audi Report and Press Conference 2006

Statements Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG

"I’m particularly looking forward to our super sports car – the R8. It will be launched with a 420-horsepower 4.2-litre engine; other attractive engine versions offering even more power will follow at a later date. The start of production will be in Neckarsulm at the end of 2006; the market launch will follow in 2007.

I’m afraid I’m unable to show you any pictures yet of the following models that we will be launching this year:

The S3 will be a three-door model with a sporty engine. It will be in dealers’ showrooms in the second half of 2006.

The new TT Coupé will continue the success of the TT. The new TT will be powered by sporty engines, combined throughout with DSG. It will be launched in the second half of 2006.

The A5 Coupé will mark the start of a new technical generation. Like the R8, the A5 opens up a new segment for Audi in which we will be considering various model versions. And the name has already been decided on: the Coupé will definitely be launched as the A5 – and the launch will be in the first half of 2007. And, one more thing I can also reveal to you is an important decision that has been taken regarding the production location: we will be building the A5 Coupé here in Ingolstadt."

Official Technical Data 2007 Audi TTC



2.0 TFSI

Max Power

200 hp – 147 KW

Max Torque

290 NM

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)

6,8 sec (DSG 6,5)

Top Speed

241 Km/h – 150 mph

Avg Consumption

7,8 l/100 km – 36 mpg

TTC 3.2 V6 quattro


3.2 V6 FSI

Max Power

250 hp – 184 KW

Max Torque

320 NM

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)

6.0 sec (DSG 5,8 sec)

Top Speed - limited

250 Km/h / 155 mph

Avg Consumption

10,4 l/ 100 km – 27 mpg

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ABT Audi RS4

Top Speed increase for the Audi RS4

Wondering how fast your precious Audi RS4 could go without that darned electronic speed limit that the Germans impose? Is a 250 km/h top speed not enough for you? Well, no problem with that as the German car specialist ABT just came out with a solution that’ll get rid of your problems. With the help of ABT, the potential top speed of 420 hp V8 RS4 from Ingolstadt now totals to a more appropriate, 282 km/h. More information here: ABT

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BMW HP2 Enduro

Although this is site dedicated to everything that stands on four and maybe sometimes on three wheels, I found this interesting press release at the BMW site. Don’t really know about its capabilities, but this Bavarian enduro sure has that “Bangle” look we all “adore” on BMW cars…

Press Release: The HP2 Enduro is without question the most extreme BMW off-road bike ever made and is the first in a new 'high performance' range of motorcycles from BMW Motorrad. Putting a tuned 105 hp Boxer engine in a stripped-down, purpose-built chassis has brought big-bore thrills to many dirt bike riders. However, the big advantage that the HP2 enjoys over its competitors is that it is 100 per cent road legal.

As such - and in response to customer demand - a 17-inch set of street wheels is now available for the HP2, giving owners maximum riding pleasure on tarmac, with the added bonus of being able to quickly and easily change the bike back to enduro specification for off-road riding.

With sticky road rubber and more than 100 horsepower available, this high-performance BMW will be great fun to ride on the kind of twisty, bumpy, undulating surfaces that tie sports bikes up in knots. In town, its long-travel suspension and 920mm seat height will provide excellent visibility in traffic, while the massive amount of torque generated by the tuned 1,170cc Boxer engine (115 Nm at just 5,500 rpm) will undoubtedly make the journey to and from work the best part of the day.

Available after BMW's New Season Launch weekend celebrations on 25-26 March, customers who purchase an HP2 Enduro can choose to have a set of street wheels included for an all-inclusive price of £12,595 on the road. The good news for existing HP2 owners is that they will be able to purchase a set of street wheels for a special price until the end of December 2006 - on submission of the appropriate vehicle documentation to their dealer. And for true off-road aficionados (who have no intention of riding their HP2 Enduro on tarmac) it is still possible to buy the HP2 Enduro without the street wheels option at £11,955.

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2007 Audi TT Coupe, Roadster & Shooting Brake

Coming Soon

Audi announced its official site for the 2007 TT models

As with the Q7, Audi is opening a new “mini” site for its second generation TT model, where the German company will start revealing bit by bit, all aspects of its new sports coupe, or actually shall I say, all three editions of it. See, the 2007 Audi TT will get three body types instead of two, as the coupe and roadster version will be accompanied by a shooting break edition, previewed in the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The TT production versions will be heavily based on this prototype with the range consisting of a variety of 4cylinder and 6cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Audi's new model will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September

Petrol Range

2.0 FSI

150 hp

2.0 TFSI

200 hp

2.0 TFSI

225 hp

2.0 TSI

260 hp (same as the 2007 Audi S3)

3.2 FSI

250 hp

3.6 TFSI

360 hp (estimated)

Diesel Range

2.0 TDI

170 hp

3.0 TDI

233 hp

Press Release: The new Audi TT Coupé - coming soon!

The opening of the "Audi TT Lounge" will take place on March 8th. We would be pleased to welcome you again here: TT site Link

The "Audi TT Lounge" offers you initial insights into the new interpretation of the Audi TT design icon. If you provide your mobile phone number, you will be reminded automatically of the world premiere - and can look forward to a small surprise. With a bit of luck, you will not only be able to experience the Audi TT Coupé on the screen, but also test it yourself: win an unforgettable driving experience in the new Audi TT Coupé!

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Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione Production Version

It’s Alive…!

Alfa Romeo’s 8c Competizione Concept heading for limited production according to the latest reports from Geneva. Plus, CEO Antonio Baravalle, confirms rumors of a rear wheel drive replacement for the 166 sedan

The stunning Italian concept Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione seems to be heading for a limited 500-unit build run, with the production-ready car scheduled to appear at the Paris Motor Show in Septembe, according to the Brit magazine 4Car which quotes comments from Alfa Romeo’s new CEO Antonio Baravalle made in Geneva last week.

Baravalle did not stop there however as he revealed that the company is thinking of replacing the unsuccessful 166 sedan (BMW 5 size) with a more upgrade 4door-coupe model based on the rear wheel drive platform of the Maserati Quattroporte. I think I speak for many that we all pray to God to see these two models come to life.


Remember the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione concept car? The V8-powered, carbonfibre-bodied, front-engined supercar everyone said Alfa should build? Now, over two years since the concept was revealed at the 2003 Frankfurt show, it really could happen.

'It is my dream to do it,' said Alfa's recently-arrived CEO, Antonio Baravalle. 'We have cut the budget for our advertising campaign and will do the 8C instead, because it is a perfect way to promote the Alfa brand. Sergio Marchionne says if the figures add up, do it.' The plan is to have a production-standard 8C ready for the Paris show at the end of September, and to take orders for a 500-car production run then.It will be a coupé, like the concept car, but another of Baravalle's 'dreams' is to make a Spider version later.

Final details of the construction are still to be worked out, but it will most likely be a carbonfibre body over a spaceframe chassis, like the concept. The engine will be based on the block used by the current Ferrari and Maserati V8s, and the end result will be 'more like Ferrari than Maserati' according to Baravalle. That means a flat-plane crankshaft and engine which screams instead of throbs. Target power is 440bhp, target price is as yet undisclosed.

Antonio Baravalle also revealed that Alfa Romeo will decide within the next month on the underpinnings for the forthcoming Alfa 149. The style has already been through customer clinics, but the engineering choice is between a modified version of the next Fiat Stilo/Lancia Delta platform or a shortened Alfa 159 base. Baravalle prefers the second option, because it would make for a 'purer' Alfa, but it depends on costs.

A replacement for the Alfa 166, to be called 169, is also under consideration. It will be a joint venture with Alfa affiliate Maserati because, says Baravalle, the Modena company 'needs a car this size'. It will have a V6 engine, mounted longitudinally to give rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. If it goes ahead, the 166 will be the first rear-wheel drive Alfa for well over a decade.

Technical specifications of the Concept



front, longitudinal


V8, 32V, 4.244 cc, supercharged

max. power output

over 400 bhp at 7000 rpm

peak torque

over 45 kgm at 4500 rpm



mechanical 6-speed, position rear axle


front / rear suspension

dual wishbone


front 380x34, rear 330x28mm


front 245/40 R 20, rear 275/35 R20


Length X width X height X wheelbase

4278 X 1900 X 1250 X 2595 mm

Track Front X Rear

1610 X 1580 mm

weight empty

approx. 1500 kg

fuel tank capacity

90 litres


top speed

over 300 km/h

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)

4.5 sec

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BMW Z4M Coupe Racing Kit

No, don’t be afraid, Bangle did not attempt to design the Batmobile 2007, as this is BMW’s new racing car for customer motor racing. The Racing Version of the BMW Z4 M Coupe, is the first two-seater BMW Motorsport offers for customer teams. The new motorsport coupe can be used by private BMW customer teams in the German Endurance Championship and in the Nürburgring 24Hour Race. The power unit of the coupe is a BMW Motorsport designed 3.2-litre in-line 6-cylinder engine delivering about 400bhp, with the suspension area in particular benefiting from the knowledge gained from the successful BMW M3 GTR project.

With its varied component ranges, BMW Motorsport and BMW Racing Parts Distribution offer customer teams a new technology platform for use in many miscellaneous international racing and club sport series, with the Nordschleife enthusiasts not being the only interested party, as the brawny coupe also represents the perfect car for use in the Belgian Belcar series and other, non-European, endurance series.

The kit can be ordered from May 2006 at BMW Motorsport and will be available for an estimated € 250,000 (plus VAT).

Technical Data BMW Z4 M Coupé Motorsport Version

Length x Width x Wheelbase

4415 mm x 1880 mm x2493 mm


Front 865 mm/ Rear 774mm

Rear Wing Width:

1504 mm

Ground Clearance:

Front 80 mm/ Rear 90 mm


Michelin 27/65-18, 28/71-18

Front Brake:

Grey cast iron disc dia. 380 mm / 6 pot

Rear Brake:

Grey cast iron disc dia. 320 mm / 4 pot

Drive Line:

sequential 6-speed gearbox,


3246 cc, six cylinder in line

Comp/on Ratio:


Max. Power:

approx. 400 PS at 8200 rpm

Max. Torque:

approx. 400 Nm at approx. 5750 rpm

Max. RPM:

8400 rpm

Intake System:

Six single throttle valves, Carbon fibre Air box with resonance induction optimised inlet pipes

Exhaust System:

Multiple pipe manifold with silencer and catalytic converter

Fuel System:

Inlet-Pipe Injection, one Injector per Cylinder, 5 bar injection pressure

Fuel Tank :

120 litres


1200 kg in Nürburgring Specification


multiple function Steering-wheel with Quick-Release mechanism and display control

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