The fastest road-going Mercedes-Benz
The Detroit Show certainly brought out the heavyweights in the auto industry,
with Mercedes-Benz unveiling its new S65 AMG, which DaimlerChrysler claim is the
world’s most powerful series-production car.
That claim is probably correct, because the new S65 AMG
delivers 450 kW and has a peak torque figure of 1000 Nm – more than any other
vehicle in its segment.
Its ultra-powerful AMG 6.0 litre V12 biturbo engine has been
further worked upon to produce the shattering performance that this S-Type
saloon can return. Try zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in just
13.3 seconds but it has an electronically controlled top speed of 250 km/h.
The 12 cylinder biturbo engine uses motor racing know-how to
give the car a power figure of 450 kW from 4750 to 5100 rpm, while the maximum
torque of 1000 Nm can be called on from 2000 rpm to 4000 rpm. Even as low as
1000 rpm, the AMG V12 biturbo engine already delivers 570 Nm of its available
torque, while 750 Nm is on tap at 1500 rpm. That’s the kind of torque figures
that would allow you to tow the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort down
The AMG V12 has a precision-balanced crankshaft made out of
high-strength alloys, forged pistons made out of special material that is
extremely resistant to temperature and pressure, a more effective oil-spray
cooling system with a separate individual nozzle for each piston plus larger
piston pins. The main and big-end bearings are also made out of improved
materials to compensate for peak temperatures and pressures more effectively.
The S65’s styling is understated, as all the AMG variants
are, but has pronounced flared wheel arches, a redesigned AMG front apron with
enlarged air intakes while two slanted struts and integrated round fog lights
set in chrome rings make the S-Class look even wider and lower.
According to the Automotive News correspondent who has seen
it in the metal, the discreet side skirts emphasize the dynamic feel of the side
view; all reinforced through the “V12 biturbo” lettering on the front
The standard specification list is also long and includes a
new AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control, unmistakable AMG body
styling, multi-piece 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels, Mercedes five-speed
“Direct Select” gearshift with AMG steering-wheel gearshift paddles as well
as a new AMG main menu with racetimer.
All this will set you back around (my guesstimate) 35 million baht, but
don’t shoot me if I’ve got it wrong. Whatever, it will be out of my price
Last week I mentioned that in 1968 two turbine driven cars
looked like winning the Indy 500, but with nine laps to go, both cars retired. I
asked what was the cause, and why did they not run in 1969? The reason was that
both their fuel pumps gave up at the same time. The reason they did not run in
1969 was because the turbines were outlawed for that year.
So to this week. Since we have mentioned the Audi owned
Lamborghini marque, think back to the Diablo, which was released in 1990. For my
money this was probably the most flawed Lambo ever built, and the thumping and
banging suspension (or lack of it) probably gave me a bad back for life. But
didn’t it look great! When the Diablo was built, the design and development
costs were reputed to be USD 84 million. Who picked up that bill?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
[email protected] Good luck!
Ride like Rossi
I had a mate in Australia who raced a motorcycle. Like all
riders involved in motorcycle racing Down-under, you got given a nickname. Mine
was “Sawbones Sam” and I’ll tell you why over a beer one day – you’re
buying. His was “Autumn leaves”. The reason? Because he was always falling
If you are interested in gaining better skills, or just have had the burning
desire to throw your leg over a race bike, there is now an opportunity available
for you. HighSide Tours, run by an affable Brit Graham Knight, can show you the
way round the Bira circuit outside Pattaya. The costs are very reasonable
starting at B. 16,000 for one day, and I suggest you check the website
www.highsidetours.com to get more details.
The dates this year are:
January 16, 17, 18
February 20, 21, 22
March 20, 21, 22
April 17, 18, 19
May 22, 23, 24
June 19, 20, 21
July 17, 18, 19
August 21, 22, 23
September 18, 19, 20
October 16, 17, 18
November 20, 21, 22
December 18, 19, 20
An oil-burner for Le Mans?
Le Mans racer
Audi has recently revealed an all-new diesel-powered Le Mans
24 hour race challenger.
The V12 TDI-engined racer will go by the name R10 and
replaces Audi’s very successful R8 Le Mans prototype, which notched up 61 wins
- including the Le Mans 24 hour five times and the American Le Mans Series
(ALMS) six times in succession.
The R10’s 5.5-litre 485 kW twin-turbo diesel, which
produces an enormous 1100 Nm of torque, makes Audi the world’s first car maker
to try for a Le Mans victory with a diesel-powered racecar.
The R10’s all-new, all-aluminium V12 turbo-diesel
represents a renewed focus on diesel technology for Audi, which is expected to
filter down to its road cars. “With the A8 4.2 TDI quattro, Audi already
builds one of the most powerful diesel cars in the world,” said Dr Martin
Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG at the R10
presentation in Paris. “The Le Mans project will help our technicians to
extract even more from TDI technology. Nowadays, every second Audi is delivered
with a TDI engine. We expect that the percentage of diesel engines will be even
larger in the future.”
The power produced by this Audi diesel is quite mind-blowing,
with the 5.5 liter eclipsing the AMG 6 liter (item above) with its 450 kW and
1000 Nm (see S65 AMG item above).
Featuring two diesel particulate filters, common-rail fuel
induction and injection pressure exceeding 1600 bar, the 90 degree, 48 valve
DOHC V12 offers peak power between just 3000 and 5000 rpm, while its 1100 Nm
torque peak required a chassis rethink for the R10, whose carbon-fibre
monococque frame employs a much lon-ger wheelbase than its R8 forebear’s.
“This engine is the specifically most powerful diesel there
is in the world and, up until now, the biggest challenge that Audi Sport has
ever faced in its long history,” said Ulrich Baretzky, head of engine
technology at Audi Sport. “There has never been anything remotely comparable.
We started development with a clean sheet of paper.” However, he is
conveniently forgetting that there are more powerful diesel engines available,
but these are used to power oil tankers and the like, and are a little too large
and slow revving for Le Mans!
R10 successfully completed its first test at the end of
November and will take on the 12 hour race at Sebring (USA) on March 18, before
heading to Le Mans for the 24 hour on June 17-18.
“The R10 project is the biggest challenge ever to have been
handed to Audi Sport,” said head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
“TDI technology has not been pushed to its limits in motorsport yet. We are
the first to confront the challenge. The demands of such a project are
accordingly high. Long-term technology partners such as Bosch, Michelin and
Shell support us in our quest. Together we have the chance to write new chapters
in the history books of motor sport and diesel technology.”
However, rest assured you will never see a massed field of Thailand’s black
smoke belching red busses coming down the main straight at Le Mans. Mind you, it
is a pity that Thailand has not embraced the European diesel engines for local
passenger cars. It would certainly help as far as oil stocks are concerned, and
the performance from the road engines is superb these days.