The News for January 11th, 2013

Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Modell, (S 212) Facelift 2013

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in some opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:

  • Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG gets more power, all-wheel-drive

  • CLS63 AMG does too

  • Lexus IS redesigned for 2014

  • Dodge adds the new GT trim level to the Dart

  • Ford Sync App Developer Program is go


Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic

Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG (W 212) Facelift 2013, E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-
Can it be? An all-wheel-drive AMG sedan and wagon? With the introduction of the 2014 E63 AMG 4Matic, which is based off the new E-Class which we’ve covered quite a bit lately, that exists now. Starting this summer, American buyers will be able to buy what Mercedes-Benz calls “the first … powerful passenger car with an AWD powertrain designed for vehicle dynamics” – but first you have to assume the 550hp, AWD Porsche Panamera Turbo S doesn’t count. 

Among the many things that are new here, the 4Matic all-wheel-drive is perhaps the most important new feature, since up until now, only SUVs like the G63 and ML63 were graced with the 4Matic system. Both the sedan and wagon will come exclusively with the AWD system which sends 33%  of the torque to the front and 67% to the rear and also features a Torque Vectoring Brake to reduce understeer when the driver switches the 3-way electronic stability program (ESP) to the “Sport Handling” mode. That’s good news, because the 5.5-liter Biturbo V8 it uses now produces 557 horsepower and 531 lb.-ft. of torque in “base” trim or 585 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. when the S-Model specification is ordered. The wagon will only be offered as an S-Model, because if you’re going to buy a 557 horsepower wagon, just go for 585.

Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Modell, (S 212) Facelift 2013

Whichever specification you go for, all models utilize a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 0-60 mph takes just 3.5 seconds on the S-Model sedan and wagon, and presumably the base E63 sedan isn’t far behind. Other performance goodies include a limited slip differential, optional 15.8″ carbon ceramic brakes, and red brake calipers which automatically make the car faster. 

The bodywork is said to reflect AMG’s new design language, with “twin blade” grilles, an “A-Wing” front fascia, and widened fenders all around. There’s also an optional carbon fiber exterior styling package, because no über German car would be complete without that. 19″ 10-spoke alloy wheels, which feature high-sheen rim flanges on the S-Model, are standard. The interior is typical for a Mercedes-Benz with loads of black Nappa leather with gray contrast stitching, Alcantara, piano black lacquer and carbon fiber trim, and loads of tech features as found on the standard E-Class.  

Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG 


The CLS63 AMG “four door coupe” and shooting brake will also be receiving the updates mentioned above, specifically the upgraded Biturbo V8 with up to 585 horsepower, the S Model specification, and the 4Matic AWD which is an option on this one. S Model CLS63 AMGs will come standard with 4Matic and many of the other features (both mechanical and aesthetic) that the S Model E63 AMG has as well. The CLS63 AMG “four door coupe” will arrive in the US shortly after the E63 AMG, and the Shooting Brake is an east-side of the Atlantic deal only.

Sources: Mercedes-Benz

2014 Lexus IS


One of the most important cars in the Lexus lineup is all-new for the 2014 model year featuring upgraded powertrain options, new features, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, new looks. We’ve been given an early look at the car’s new styling as well as a very brief rundown of some of the new features before the car’s official debut at Detroit next week. Three main variants of the IS, which include a hybrid and F-Sport, will each go on sale later this year, but the hybrid won’t come to America.

The “enhanced” exterior styling follows the Lexus design language we’ve started seeing in recent years which includes the family spindle grille and more curves all around than ever before. The grille inspired by an electric shaver (which also improves cooling) sits between two redesigned headlamps with exposed body work splitting up the bulbs and the LED running lights. Working our way backward to the rest of the car, we find swooshes. Swooshes everywhere.  


The interior is also completely redone and more spacious thanks to the increased wheel base and thinner front seats which allow for more rear leg room. The dash features electrostatic switches for the first time ever and a fancy analog clock to replace the 90’s wrist-watch they used to give you. A Lexus LFA-inspired steering wheel and electronic gauge cluster are at the center of a sportier, lower driving position. Powertrain options are mostly the same as before but with a few quick and easy upgrades.

Source: Lexus via Autoweek

2013 Dodge Dart GT


Chrysler will be at the Detroit Auto Show with the hottest version of their new compact yet, the 2013 Dart GT. The new top trim level Dart will go on sale Spring of this year for $21,790 including destination charges.

Built for the driver (or people who just like to buy the top trim level to show off), the Dart GT will utilize the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-banger with 184 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, a standard 6-speed manual transmission with an optional automatic, and a sport-tuned suspension. The exterior features an aggressive front fascia with black accents, HID headlamps, 18″ aluminum wheels, and dual chrome-tipped exhaust. The interior gets exclusive treatment in the form of flashy trim, perforated leather seats, and special badging. The Dart GT will also come with a standard 8.4″ touch-screen display, rear backup camera, and a configurable gauge cluster display.


Source: Chrysler

Ford App Developer Program


Ford is opening up its Sync platform to app developers with their App Developer Program in order to improve the Sync user experience and make their infotainment system as useful and attractive as possible.

With this program, anyone will be able to directly interface with a vehicle to create apps for the system while Ford provides tech support from engineers, trusted 3rd party developers, and other developers via an online forum. App testing can be done by Ford or by yourself with a development kit that features a mock dash, and when it’s complete, app verification from Ford is free of charge. Several major developers have already been beta testing the program for some time now, and available at launch will be everything from the Wall Street Journal to Amazon Cloud Player to… geographically-specific dating ideas.

Ford hasn’t said exactly when Sync users can expect to see these app, but they’re definitely coming soon. Hell, they might already be there. Either way, this is a very interesting idea for the future of infotainment systems which seems to be an answer to Sprint’s also interesting Velocity program we covered a few months back. Now we wait for a Farmville app.

Source: Ford 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

23 responses to “The News for January 11th, 2013”

  1. muthalovin Avatar

    I am so gonna play Jetpack Joyride when I get that Focus ST.

  2. danleym Avatar

    I can't get into Mercedes' current styling. I don't even know what exactly I don't like, it just doesn't do anything for me. And the Lexus grille is awful. I get the whole brand image grille thing, but Lexus needs to rethink theirs. The Dart, on the other hand, I am surprisingly ok with. I think I've gotten over the use of a classic American name on a rebadged import, and it's not a bad looking little car. And hey, more power, better suspension, what's not to like?

    1. Vavon Avatar

      About that Lexus grille, once you've seen it…
      <img src=""&gt;.

      1. danleym Avatar

        That's awesome. I will never be able to look at a Lexus the same again.

    2. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
      Dean Bigglesworth

      I really like the GS F-sport, but the one above just looks like a badly photoshopped current IS.

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Dear Hack Programmer:
    You are not welcome to play with my car's electrical system.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I wish them luck with mine. I may even post some challenges:
      See if you can get my MG's heater motor to work immediately after being parked in a heavy rainfall. Go ahead. I dare you.

      1. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
        Dean Bigglesworth

        Your MG has a heater?

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Occasionally, after the car's had a chance to warm up and dry out.

  4. Devin Avatar

    I hang out with too many artists, my first thought on seeing the new IS was "It's a deconstruction of a sport sedan."
    And given that my own thoughts about that app program were grinding around the same geographically specific dating software, I hope Ford focuses on big back seats.

    1. danleym Avatar

      I don't hang out with enough artists, apparently, because I have no idea what deconstruction means in that sense.

      1. Devin Avatar

        Basically, it takes all the expected elements, and then screws around with them (or at least, that's how I understand it). In this case, the best example is the way the headlight is taken apart into two different design elements separated by a painted panel, taking a typical modern cliche luxury headlight – the lights and the LED strip – and making a point of the two things.
        It doesn't look better most of the time, and it usually just reeks of people trying way too hard to be clever. I'd definitely argue that the new IS is trying waaaaay too hard to be clever.

        1. danleym Avatar

          So, trying to get the idea here, would the Juke's use of the parking lights atop the fenders rather than being integrated with the headlight assembly be another example?

          1. Devin Avatar

            I think so, yeah, since the Juke also calls attention to how strange its lighting setup is.
            It's not always the case, the old Fiat Multipla had weird lighting but that seemed to be less because the designers fancied themselves artists than because they thought it was totally logical in spite of how bizarre the car looked.

  5. topdeadcentre Avatar

    Shh! Nobody tell the Lexus design people that the new grille looks like they stuck a ladies' corset (made out of metal mesh, no less!) on the front bumper…

  6. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Every time I hear about the new Lexus, I'm like "…it IS what? why are you shouting at me about it?"

  7. Xedicon Avatar

    So… is the only difference between a R/T Dart and a GT Dart the 6 speed? I feel like I'm missing something.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      My money's on a last-minute name change, from R/T to GT.

  8. stigshift Avatar

    Nice to see that the Pontiac Aztek design team are still working together. At Lexus.

  9. dculberson Avatar

    I hate to discourage longroofs, but the CLS63 shooting brake (which has two too many doors for that name) looks like it would have a blind spot twice the size of Texas.
    And I'm usually a supporter of Lexus, makers of passable RWD sedans for the masses, but damn that new IS is unfortunate looking.

  10. MVEilenstein Avatar

    Happy birthday, Carroll Shelby. Born 1/11/23, Leesburg, TX.
    <img src=""&gt;

  11. POLAЯ Avatar

    Sooo, we've lost a rather nice looking Lexus and gained one wearing a used veilside kit with some minor raccoon damage.

  12. Senior Frog Avatar
    Senior Frog

    I think I was the original 2013 Lexus GS hater. But, I've seen a few and been to the dealership for a drive and despite the weird grille Lexus new look looks better all the time. What they've done a good job of is proportion and stance. it's like good bone-structure on a model, the crooked smile just adds character.