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Auto blogThu, 27 Feb 2014 18:30:00 EST
Russian medalists at the recently concluded Sochi Winter Olympics are being rewarded quite handsomely for their service to the Motherland. In addition to the $120,000 being handed out for each gold medal, the $76,000 being awarded for slivers and $52,000 given to bronze winners, now word has come out that each of Russia's medalists will be gifted a new Mercedes-Benz.
As with the prize amounts, the type of Mercedes offered was based on what sort of medal was won. Gold medalists got a new GL-Class, silver medalists were given an ML and bronze medalists were treated to a GLK. As prices for Mercedes are higher in Russia, the cheapest model, the GLK, was the equivalent of $59,500, according to The Moscow Times. The cars were handed out by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured above with figure skating medalist Julia Lipnitskaia.
"I was a bit shocked at the car I was given," Anton Shipulin, a member of the gold-medal biathlon relay team, told RIA-Novosti. "Of course I knew what kind of model it would be, but I didn't totally believe it." For athletes not old enough to drive, like 15-year-old Lipnitskaia, their Mercedes will come complete with a driver.
The biggest misconception about the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series is that it's simply a higher-performing version of the SLS GT - a closer look, or better yet, a few hot laps on a high-speed racing circuit, reveals that is anything but the case.
Launched in the States in mid-2011, the standard SLS GT is a 583-horsepower, all-aluminum, gull-wing coupe with performance that positions it near the top of the exotic segment. While the AMG team at Mercedes-Benz could have left it alone, their experience with the SLS AMG GT3 race car said there was room for improvement, so they devised the SLS Black Series. The transformation from SLS GT to SLS Black Series is extensive, with no fewer than 17 different significant enhancements.
The engine mapping, crankshaft, connecting rods, valve-train, intake, exhaust and cooling are all modified and the engine's redline bumps up from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm, which pushes output of the hand-built 6.3-liter V8 to 622 horsepower. The power steering receives a new ratio, a coil-over AMG Adaptive Performance suspension is installed along with underbody braces, the track is widened, two-piece carbon-ceramic brakes replace iron rotors at each corner and a lightweight titanium exhaust is fitted beneath. The AMG Speedshift seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is modified and an electronically controlled AMG rear differential lock ensures the power goes to the pavement. Last on the mechanical upgrades are new lightweight forged wheels (10x19 inches front and 12x20 inches rear) wrapped in special R-compound Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.
Another month, another car pack for Forza Horizon. This time it's the Recaro Car Pack featuring a motley gang of cars and trucks: the 1983 GMC Vandura G-1500, 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R, 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR, 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition and 2012 Lotus Exige S.
It'll be up for download on Xbox Live on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 for 400 MS Points. As usual, if you have the Forza Horizon Season Pass you can get them all free, and Season Pass holders will also get a bonus car that's not pictured: the 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster.
The Pagani is everything opposite to that Vandura, but while you might not ever win anything with the van, you can always use the back of it as a place to give out free hugs. Check out the video and press release below for more details.