Mercedes-benz 560sl 1987, In Outstanding Original Condition With Only 45,513 Ori on 2040-cars
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Auto blogWed, 27 Nov 2013 08:57:00 EST
The argument is made in a Reuters article: Audi is falling behind other luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, due to a lack of research-and-development spending and "brain drain," or the migration of top executives and R&D chiefs to other parts of the Volkswagen Group. Reuters notes that Audi's current R&D chief is the third in 16 months.
Audi, which contributed to 40 percent of VW Group's $11.6 billion in profit the first nine months of the year, is delivering cars at a record pace: 1.31 million were delivered from January to October 2013 versus BMW's 1.35 million. Yet Audi, Reuters reports, doesn't have a halo car akin to BMW's new electrified i3 and i8 or an answer to Mercedes' plug-in-hybrid S-Class, and the R&D spending at Audi is less than BMW and Mercedes by a fair margin. It's noted in the article, however, that Audi benefits from other R&D spending within VW Group.
Reuters mentions that BMW "trumpets its new 'i' series" and the new Mercedes CLA and GLA ranges are winning "rave reviews" as part of its argument that Audi's recent lack of technological innovation could hurt future sales. Those cars do pack tons of new technology, some of which are firsts for mainstream production cars. But last time we checked, the i3 could be causing BMW's stock to slide, the CLA isn't receiving the rave reviews that Reuters would have you believe and the GLA hasn't been reviewed yet.
The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is upon us, launching initially in North America with turbocharged four-cylinder C300 4Matic and six-cylinder C400 4Matic flavors. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the vast array of powertrain configurations that will be offered in the new C-Class in markets around the world. Orders will soon be rolling in for gasoline, hybrid and diesel engines with four, six or eight cylinders, driving the rear wheels or all four, with the seven-speed automatic transmission soon to be replaced by a new nine-speed unit. But what enthusiasts are really looking forward to is the next C63 AMG.
As BMW has done with the M3 (and new M4), Mercedes has gradually ratcheted up the cylinder count in its AMG C-Class, graduating from the 3.6-liter V6 in the original C36 AMG to the 4.3-liter V8 in the C43 AMG, then the 5.5-liter V8 in the C55 AMG before going the distance with the sublime 6.2-liter V8 in the C63 AMG. Like its rivals, Mercedes is expected to use turbochargers as a replacement for displacement in the next model, but unlike its Bavarian rival, it won't be losing any cylinders in the process.
Skipping the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that has gone on to power other AMG models, the next C63 AMG is still expected to introduce a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing between 450 and 500 horsepower. It'll also reportedly keep the same seven-speed automatic transmission (instead of switching to the new nine-speed), but the jury's still out on whether it'll come with rear- or all-wheel drive (or offer buyers the choice). The downsized V8 - codenamed M177 - is then expected to find its way into other models, but the C-Class will be the first to get it when it arrives before the end of the new year ahead.
Ford, Holden and Nissan introduced their V8 Supercar challengers a while back. Erebus Motorport, whose racing program got the green light not even 120 days ago, has finally shown off the Mercedes-Benz E-Class racer that will complete this year's field of entries. The first AMG race car ever to be built outside of Germany, it's an Australian-built tube-frame chassis specced to the series' Car of Tomorrow rules, fitted with body panels that channel the E63 AMG.
Supported by AMG Customer Motorsport, the 5.0-liter engine is provided by HWA in Germany, the racing arm of AMG. Regulations dictate that it have roughly 650 horsepower, a redline between 7,000 and 7,500 rpm and a torque curve that matches the parity baseline set for all cars.
Lee Holdsworth, Tim Slade and Maro Engel will drive the three team cars, each with different sponsors. Their first showing will be at the Clipsal 500 on March 3 in Adelaide, here in the US we'll get to see them in May at the Circuit of the Americas. Check out the videos below of the Erebus car starting up at its launch, and footage of all of this year's cars doing pre-season testing on track together.