Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:
Mercedes-Benz AMG-ifies the S-Class
Purple returns to the Nissan GT-R with a new special edition
Hennessey already has a 700 horsepower Corvette Stingray
Volkswagen prices the Beetle GSR
Event Alert: National Collector Car Appreciation Day
2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
The freshly redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class is getting an obligatory AMG version expected to go on sale in November. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG was unveiled this week ahead of its introduction at the Frankfurt motor show in September, but by then everyone will already know what it looks like.
The star of the S63 is its 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 577 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. It gets to send power to all four wheels through a multi-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission, which features three driving modes and an automatic stop/start function (you can turn that off). 0-60 takes just four seconds flat, yet thanks to the engine’s many fuel-saving features, achieves an estimated 23 mpg combined by European test standards.
Helping to keep the AMG quick around the bend and not just in a straight line is Benz’s ADS Plus adaptive damping system, which quickly adjust to road conditions whether it’s set to comfort or sport mode, as well as some added camber, a larger anti-roll bar up front, and a stiffer rear subframe. The S63 AMG also weighs about 220 lbs. less than the outgoing model, despite it being available with a longer wheelbase and more equipment. Carbon ceramic brakes are also an option if you’re a fan of brake-checking tailgaters.
Since not every S63 AMG you see will be pacing a Ferrari on the freeway off-ramp, here’s how to identify one: it has a bespoke front bumper featuring revised air intakes down low, chrome blade grille, beefed up posture, and AMG-exclusive 19″ forged aluminum wheels or available 20-inchers. And I guess the AMG badges everywhere also give it away.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG will cost about $140,000 in North American markets.
[Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autoweek]
2014 Nissan GT-R Special Edition
Nissan has decided it’s time for another special edition of their most desired vehicle in the lineup – the GT-R. The super Datsun has been steadily improving with new features and mechanical goodness since its launch in 2007. For the 2014 model year, that mechanical goodness includes a 545 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6, super high-gripping all-wheel drive, and a super-quick six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s about to get a little sweeter with a limited-edition package available anywhere the GT-R is sold.
A new paint color, Midnight Opal is the centerpiece of this special edition package, and for good reason. Each coat of paint is applied by hand, which Nissan claims to result in a finish that used to be exclusive to the most exotic of supercars. The finished surface sparkles
like a majestic unicorn and different lighting or viewpoints can alter the paint’s appearance from a deep purple to a deep blue and everything in between.
The other things you get with the 2014 GT-R Special Edition are features that have been popular with GT-R owners thus far, including a dry carbon fiber rear spoiler and lightweight forged aluminum wheels with a hyper-titanium coating. A gold-plated plaque of authenticity rests in the engine bay, showing the car’s serial number and its estimated eBay value. Since the Special Edition is built upon a GT-R Premium Edition, you also get all the amenities from that as well, including sculpted performance bucket seats and an 11-speaker Bose sound system.
Only 100 models will be produced worldwide and half of those are headed to the United States, each costing $105,590 or about $6,000 above the GT-R Premium it’s built on.
Hennessey HPE700 C7 Corvette
The Chevrolet (C7) Corvette Stingray hasn’t even arrived in showrooms yet (at least not any near me) and it’s already the center of attention at Hennessey Performance. When the seventh-generation Corvette actually arrives in showrooms in the coming months, happy new owners will be able to send their vehicle to Hennessey Performance to make it even faster than it already is with the HPE700 package, because Hennessey can’t leave anything that’s already “well enough” alone.
That “well enough” is 460 horsepower from a 6.2-liter V8 and a new, stiffer all-aluminum structure with enhanced handling characteristics. The HPE700 Corvette, however, will make due with 700 horsepower thanks to the addition of an Eaton TVS R2300 supercharger packing 8 psi of boost through custom CNC-ported factory cylinder heads, a recalibrated ECU, and more. The package works with either the factory seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The package can also include a number of visual upgrades, like Hennessey’s CarbonAero body treatment consisting of an aggressive front splitter, notched rear spoiler, side sills, and a hood with a central vent and a power dome – both of which serve a functional purpose. Ten-spoke H10 alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, a coilover suspension with Penske double-adjustable shocks, and carbon ceramic Brembo brakes are optional.
The HPE700 Corvette is expected to debut this October along with less powerful packages – a naturally-aspirated HPE500 package and a supercharged HPE600. Pricing isn’t available yet.
[Source: Hennessey Performance]
Volkswagen Beetle GSR priced
The “Yellow Black Racer” is headed back to showrooms once more as the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR, on sale now for $29,995. The GSR’s return nearly 40 years in the making was first announced back in February.
The GSR utilizes VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI engine configured to produce 210 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, as it does in the Beetle R-Line. A six-speed manual is standard an a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox is a $1,100 option. Since the car is built of an R-Line model, it features all of its equipment as well as black striping outside, yellow stitching over black leather seats and the leather-wrapped steering wheel, a GSR shift lever, and black floor mats with yellow accents.
Just 3,500 examples will be produced worldwide, and a convenient number plate is placed on the bottom of the steering wheel for authenticity.
Event Alert: National Collector Car Appreciation Day
For the past four years now, July 12th has marked National Collector Car Appreciation Day (NCCAD) (federally acknowledged), which is a day to recognized and generate awareness for the awesome hobby/way of life that is the world of collector cars and how it plays a vital role in our society – or at least the part of society we care about. Lots of organizations held events of their own last Friday, including American Collectors who held one at their headquarters in Cherry Hill, NJ in association with Rides.com.
The event American Collectors held benefited The Road Home and Carz ‘N Toyz, two local charities that were easy for a group of classic car collectors to support. They also managed to secure a very special guest of honor for their event – a 1967 Phantom Bizzarrini P538. Only seven were made, and this one was documented to be the 1967 Le Mans entry. It features Bizzarrini’
s V12 destined for Lamborghini and his own bodywork and chassis which makes for an incredible package overall. This car resides in the Simeone Foundation Car Museum in Philadelphia but it was moved out of its exhibit just for this event.
We know this doesn’t do much good if you’re just now finding out about NCCAD the week after it happened [cough Jeff cough], but I guess you’ve got plenty of time to plan for the next one. Take a look at what kind of organizations are hosting events in your area right here and you can see a video report of American Collectors’s event from PhillyBurbs.com right here.
[Source: American Collectors]
This is something new I’m trying for this week. I receive a bunch of potential news items in my inbox every week, but much of it doesn’t go up here because a new car reveal or some other big item is often a bigger priority and I run out of room. So this week I’ll throw in more smaller but still important news items in the Blips section to deliver more to you, the dear reader. If this is something you’d like to see me do more often, let me know, because I really listen to what you all are saying each time one of these goes up. Not like the NSA does, but you get the picture.
– Barrett-Jackson announced that the iconic Hot Wheels Yellow and Red Haulers and the ‘Cuda and Duster Funny Cars raced by legendary drag racers Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, will be on display together during the inaugural Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center August 8-10, 2013. This is the first time these cars have been on display together outside of their home in California in 40 years. McEwen’s car is pictured above. [Source: Barrett-Jackson]
– At this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a sixteen-year-old girl named Emily Passey will get to show a massive and beautiful 1932 Lincoln KB V-12 Dietrich Convertible Sedan. This is news because Emily is a third-generation car enthusiast and the granddaughter of Jack Passey, one of the most experienced judges at the Concours and will be honored for 40 years of service at the event on August 18th. Emily attended her first Concours at Pebble Beach when she was only ten weeks old, and judging by her enthusiasm for the classic cars in her grandfather’s collection, that was probably her idea. I guess future generations aren’t totally lost after all. [Source: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance]
– Goodyear has announced the Eagle Sport All-Season tire for those interested in buying a high performance tire without killing your wallet. Some key features include outstanding wet and dry performance with enhanced grip in ice and snow from an innovative tread compound, confident grip as the tire wears as a result of numerous full-depth tread sipes, enhanced wheel protection against accidental curb damage from its rim protector, and the ability to maintain a large tread surface area. It will be available in 47 sizes with V- and W- speed ratings by the end of the year so it can fit on anything from an Accord to an A4. [Source: Goodyear]
– The Red Bull Soapbox Race made its return to London and was won by Team Spit-Phya from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with their Phya-Bird soapbox car. Coffin Dodgers from London placed second and an affectionately-named Does My Scrum Look Big in This team from Barnet, Herts placed third. A total of 70 teams competed this year in front of over 20,000 spectators. Honorable mentions must go to Two Peas in a Cod, who got back in their soapbox and finished even after crashing halfway through the race, and The Bolt Mobile – an incredibly lifelike giant Usain Bolt who was carried over the finishing line by his team. Oh how I wish I was there to see that. [Source: Red Bull]