Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly automotive news recap featuring the biggest stories of the week without the fluff or the BS. Just all the facts and a little opinion, just because I can. This week:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT debuts with more power
Roush gives 2013 Mustang V6 a performance kit of its own
Ford F-150 gets a midlife refresh
Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets a price
McLaren MP4-12C getting free updates for 2013
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT
If you are one of the lucky few who were just able to drop $190,000 on a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, I’ve got some bad news for you… there’s a better one coming! (boohoo! -KK) Going on sale November of this year is the 2013 SLS AMG GT; a more powerful, more advanced and visually refreshed version of the “old” SLS that it will be replacing. Since it’s replacing the entire SLS AMG lineup currently on sale, the SLS AMG GT will be available as a Coupe and a Roadster at launch. Of all the cars on the road today, the SLS AMG was one of the last ones that needed a boost in power.
The update that most of us probably care about is what’s done to the engine. The same 6.2-liter V8 now makes an additional 20 horsepower, bringing the total up to 583 horsepower. The engine still cranks out 479 lb.-ft. of torque and is mounted to the same (yet improved) 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that promises quicker reaction and gearshift times. All this is good for a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and a limited top speed of 197 mph. To keep the car balanced with the added power, AMG engineers have thrown in a new AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, which features electronically controlled dampers with different levels of firmness so drivers can pick the best setup for the road surface they’re on. In the end, AMG says that the car is much more responsive, more stable, and more sophisticated than before thanks to the new suspension – of course, that doesn’t mean that tire-shredding powerslides that made this car famous are no longer possible.
The SLS AMG GT also features a few new cosmetic touches to keep it fresh. Blackened headlamp and tail lamp inserts as well as glossy black side mirror caps and grille inserts should help people distinguish this from the “old” SLS. New-ish 19-inch alloy wheels up front and 20-inchers out back painted in a unique matte black finish over red brake calipers are an SLS AMG GT-exclusive with three other wheel/brake caliper combos are available as well.
Inside, sport bucket seats with Alcantara inserts and premium leather keep you in place during
late night drift sessions lovely drives through the countryside. Glossy black trim pieces on the dash and red stitching all over the upholstery add a nice touch of style to an already gorgeous interior. Throw some more money at the dealership and they’ll replace the gloss black trim pieces with carbon fiber bits instead.
No pricing info is available. Source: Mercedes-Benz
V6 power added to Roush Mustang lineup
Lovers of all things performance who love what Roush has to offer for the Mustang but don’t love the price tags will be pleased to know that Roush has announced their most affordable Mustang kit yet, the RS. Those who don’t want to cough up the cash for a V8 Mustang will also be pleased to know that this RS kit is designed exclusively for V6 models.
The RS kit doesn’t even touch the standard 3.7-liter V6, meaning the already impressive 305 horsepower, 280 lb.-ft. of torque, and 31 mpg highway still remains. The only enhancements made here are to the chassis, which is perhaps what Roush is known best for. Roush lowering springs lower the car by about an inch, thus lowering the center of gravity to improve stability and steering response. Powerful Brembo brakes that hide behind the factory 19-inch wheels and tires from the 5.0 V8 Mustang GT top off the mechanical enhancements.
The RS kit also features a Roush aero kit with larger air openings up front and a front chin splitter to channel more air into the engine bay. A rear decklid spoiler, an optional hood scoop, rear quarter-panel louvers, and special carpeting inside are there for visual purposes only. The kit starts at $4,000* and can only be applied to the 2013 and up Ford Mustang V6. *Tons of Roush stickers and badges included.
Ford F-150 facelift
Ford has released details and images of the 2013 Ford F-150, which receives a minor facelift and some new options to hopefully keep America’s best-selling truck on top in one of Ford’s most successful markets.
We’ll start with the most obvious update which is the new grille designs. The massive chrome grilles that vary slightly on different trim levels features fresh new designs that Ford claims is “instantly recognizable” and not unlike anything else in the F-Series lineup. On both sides of the fancy new grille are new high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps to improve nighttime visibility and blind your enemies at the same time. Topping off exterior updates are the new wheel designs that range from 18 to 20 inches in size.
Inside, a nice range of new “environmental” colors and wood grains will keep someone busy with the online configurator and a 4.2-inch MyFord Touch multimedia display embedded in a more modern center stack will keep passengers busy. Furthermore, the sporty FX Appearance Package adds Alcantara seat inserts and the high-end Platinum series adds two new premium leather surfaces and colors, meaning that there’s an F-150 for everyone. The wide range of engines are unchanged for 2013, which means fuel-efficient EcoBoost V6 engines that have been very popular among buyers and powerful V8 engines for more heavy-duty stuff are still readily available.
The 2013 Ford F-150 will go on sale later this year at an undisclosed priced.
Hyundai Veloster Turbo reasonably priced
The Hyundai (like ‘Sunday’) Veloster, which is undoubtedly one of the most unique cars on the market, is now getting some forced induction to play with. New for 2013 is the Veloster Turbo and new for this week is the price, which happens to be $21,950 or $22,725 including the $775 destination charges.
That price gets buyers a new 1.6-liter turbo four good for 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission (standard) or a 6-speed paddle shift automatic (additional $1,000). Despite the performance-minded engine, the Veloster Turbo still gets a rather impressive 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with a manual transmission. Other standard equipment includes a unique body kit, heated leather sport seats up front, sport tuned exhaust, sport steering wheel, Turbo-exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, and LED headlight and taillight accents.
So for a reasonable price, Hyundai gives you a quick car with nice space and great standard equipment. Sounds like a winner to me, assuming you don’t mind the questionable looks.
McLaren MP4-12C updates for 2013
Like the SLS AMG I talked about earlier, the McLaren MP4-12C is another car that doesn’t need a boost in horsepower, but it sure is nice to have. McLaren has announced that the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C will arrive with a couple key updates,all of which will be free to existing owners, eliminating the need to drop another $200,000 on a car you already bought.
For starters, a software update squeezes an additional 25 horsepower out of the 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V8, bringing the grand total up to 616 horsepower. The 7-speed SSG automatic gearbox also receives a software update to provide crisper throttle response and quicker shifts. New for the 2013 model is an Intake Sound Generator (ISG) which allows drivers to select exactly how much engine noise makes its way into the cabin. These updates aren’t just aimed at making the thing faster, as a slew of updates are made to make the driver’s life easier. Changes to various gadgets in the cabin and even to the seat controls demonstrate how McLaren cares about positive ownership experiences.
Another way McLaren shows that they care about the owners is the fact that these updates (and more that I don’t have space to write about) can be applied to current MP4-12C models for free. Current owners have been/will be contacted by McLaren to discuss how and where this update can be applied by authorized mechanics starting this October. The 2013 McLaren MP4-12C will go on sale with these updates already included as well as new interior upholstery and exterior color options this September.
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