Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: AMG updates C63 with world’s most powerful four-cylinder, Dodge pays tribute to the Black Ghost with a Last Call Challenger, BMW unveils works livery for LMDh race car, Lamborghini starts talking details on their LMDh program, plus your news for the week.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
The age of the big V8 C63 AMG is over and a new version with fewer cylinders and more electricity is on the way. It has an appropriately long name too given the car’s complexity. The C63 S E Performance takes inspiration from their years of being #blessed in F1 by using technology to produce the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder engine. With the added electrification comes more efficiency as well. When all is working together at once, it’s a wickedly fast little (relatively) sedan for those that want numbers above everything else.
Its propulsion is what is grabbing headlines, and for good reason. Up front is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine capable of 476 horsepower and 402 lb-.ft. of torque on its own. Its party tricks include a world-first series production electric exhaust gas turbocharger, which is a technology taken straight from F1. Power gets transmitted through a nine-speed multi-clutch transmission.
Adding additional power to the equation is a permanently excited (that means it’s happy) synchronous electric motor mounted on the rear axle. This is backed up by a 6.1 kWh battery with a continuous output of 70 kW or a peak of 150 kW for up to ten seconds. It’s a small but energy dense battery that can also provide an all-electric driving range of up to 8 miles. The battery pack features enhanced cooling so that it’s always at an optimal temperature, which allowed them to be more aggressive with battery regeneration. Four recuperation modes can be selected by the driver through a steering wheel control which range from low regeneration for a more natural driving experience or maximum regen through one-pedal driving.
That all means the electric power on board provides up to 204 horsepower and 222 lb.-ft. of torque. Assisting with power delivery from this motor is a two-speed transmission which offers high wheel torque in first gear and “safe continuous output” at higher speeds. The gear change happens at around 87 mph. Merc’s official numbers for combined system power are up to 680 horsepower and 752 lb.-ft. of torque. Considering we’re talking about a four-cylinder “compact executive” sedan here, that’s insane.
There’s more tech to talk about beside the powertrain. There’s an updated AMG RIDE CONTROL (it’s all caps in the press release so you have to scream it) with Adaptive Damping System, three-stage adjustable steering, and standard rear-axle steering. There’s also the usual amount of tech overload inside too. All this comes at the cost of added weight though – curb weight is rated at 4,653lbs. for the sedan and 4,729lbs. for the estate. A C63 sedan from the previous generation weighed just a hair under 4,000lbs. There are some full-size pickups that weigh less than the new C63.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. You too can be #blessed sometime next year.
Dodge Challenger Black Ghost
Of all the Last Call MOPARs unveiled thus far, this one is probably the coolest. Not necessarily because of what’s been done to it, but rather the story behind it. If you haven’t heard of the legend that is the Black Ghost, this Hagerty video below will tell you all you need to know. It recently earned its place in the National Historic Vehicle Register, which is managed by the U.S. Dept of the Interior and the Hagerty Drivers Foundation. Cars like the BTTF Delorean, the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, and nearly 40 others are in this register. The Black Ghost had to be pretty special to be included in that list – and it was.
The legendary Detroit-area street racer gets honored by a limited-edition Last Call Challenger. Just 300 will be made and each to the same specification – Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, Pitch Black paint, gator skin pattern decals on the roof, blacked out badges, black hood pins, black brake calipers, and 20″ Satin Carbon wheels. The interior, which is a mix of leather, suede, and Alcantara, are also blacked out.
All in all, it’s a nice tribute to a truly fascinating and wonderful automotive story. The street racing scene from the 60s and early 70s was much different than it is today. I can’t imagine there will ever be another special edition vehicle paying tribute to one in the future.
[Source: Stellantis, Hagerty]
BMW unveils works livery for M Hybrid V8 LMDh
As next year’s IMSA GTP class contenders ran their first shakedown laps at Daytona this week, BMW unveiled the works livery that their LMDh cars will run next season. They also announced their driver lineup.
Designed in house, this livery features “modern, bold, fractal blocks of the iconic M colors and the M logo”. When viewed from the right angle, the M logo dominates the side view of the car. Elsewhere, it’s an abstract triangular pattern that looks pretty sick. The press release went on in great and boring detail about the design, but you can just see for yourself.
The core driver lineup however is not boring. Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus, and Nick Yelloly are the works drivers who will be sharing car numbers 24 and 25 for the IMSA GTP season next year. For longer endurance races such as Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta, they’ll be getting help from a third driver in each car. So far the only endurance support driver that’s been confirmed is IndyCar start and man who should have a fucking FIA Super License Colton Herta.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 will join Acura, Cadillac, and Porsche in the class debut at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona next January.
Lamborghini teases LMDh project with initial details
Lamborghini is one of a handful of brands who will be joining the top tier of sports car racing with an LMDh beginning in 2024. After they confirmed the existence of their program earlier this year, we’re now getting some initial details about what we can expect from Squadra Corse, Lamborghini’s motorsport unit.
Their chosen chassis supplier, as mandated by the LMDh regulations, is Ligier. Lamborghini praised Ligier’s chassis as being a “competent and flexible structure”. The carbon bodywork will be designed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse and built by HP Composites, who have been producing structures for Lamborghini’s GT3 and Super Trofeo race programs already. Power will be provided by a single-source hybrid power unit (same as all other LMDh cars) and Lamborghini’s own V8 twin-turbo internal combustion engine developed by Squadra Corse. Coincidentally, rumors have been swirling this week that the Huracan successor will also use a hybrid-assisted twin-turbo V8. Between the gas engine and the electric motor, total system output will be capped at 681 horsepower as per the regulations.
Given that motorsport has always been and will continue to be a marketing exercise, the timing couldn’t be better for Lamborghini. The brand is moving towards hybrid technology in series production for the first time. What better way to gain technical know-how and build some legitimacy for the new powertrains than to go race at Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans with it. Expect the brand-specific bodywork to bear some resemblance to their upcoming supercars.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.