Hype: Cosworth To Start Creating “Power Packages” With FA-20 AKA GT86/BRZ/FR-S Platform Coming First

Posted on 05.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


When modding a car for performance careful consideration has to be paid to the type of parts used and how well they will work together on a particular platform.  Depending on the kind of person you are this process can be part of the fun or it can be incredibly stressful.  One way that makes things a bit easier is when tuning shops/outlets offer “packages” that combine a group of commonly related parts together.  However, sometimes these packages are designed more with a “lets get rid of old stock” mindset rather than putting something together that is best for your car.  That’s why when checking out packages its a good idea to check out the reputation of those who are putting them together.

Having said that I think its a safe bet that any package put together by Cosworth is likely a safe bet!  Cosworth have been building race cars for decades and have made a significant mark on the street car market as well and they recently announced that they will be creating “power packages” to make things a little easier for builders.  They have also announced that the first application for their new power packages will be the FA-20 AKA the engine found in the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.  This is a pretty good place to start considering the popularity of the program combined with most owners hungry for a quality performance solution to their mysterious FA20 engines.

Cosworth has not announced when these packages will be available or what they will consist of but they do promise “guaranteed levels of power and reliability.”  I would be at least a little skeptical of any other company making that kind of claim, but from Cosworth I am inclined to believe they will deliver on their promise.

[Source: Cosworth]

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Hype: Kraftwerks Releases New Supercharger Kit For NC Mazda MX-5

Posted on 03.25.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Mazda MX-5’s easily rank among the most fun cars to drive.  Their short wheelbase, suspension set up, and modest power all make up a perfect storm of driving pleasure.  Granted not everyone is won over by its cutesy looks but few can deny the mighty Miata is a formidable road car.  So, naturally people like us want to screw with that and make it faster and crazy.  This is where power adders come in.  Before it was popular to turbocharge Miatas, this was mostly because turbo kits were pretty damn cheap.  The only problem is that the kits were typically meant for the older model MX-5s.  Fortunately, Kraftwerks (a division of Skunk2) has released a new supercharger kit for the ’06-’13 MX-5 (“NC” chassis code).

The Kraftwerks supercharger kit will set you back about $5k but for good reason.  This kit provides more power than the old turbo kits did (will add 110hp to the wheels on 91 octane) and is safer for the engine than going the turbocharged route.  The engineers at Kraftwerks also took care to make sure that the kit bolts on as efficiently as possible.  Which means they made sure to take advantage of existing space so that there are no clearance issues and that the kit will not get in the way of any vital systems.  It also comes with everything you need to make it work at its best: fuel pump, bigger injectors, optional ECU tuning, and an intercooler with all the necessary piping.

There were 30 pre-orders available but it looks like those have sold out so if you want one of these kits you will probably have to wait a while but I think it would be well worth it!

[Source: Kraftwerks ]

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Hype Video: N.O.B. Taniguchi Tackles Togue In HKS Supercharged S2000 Built By Arvou

Posted on 12.11.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Its been a long time since I’ve watched a good togue video.  I remember back when I used to live off those things!  If you’re like me and enjoy a good togue flick then I invite you to scroll down and watch Nobuteru “N.O.B.” Taniguchi flog the Arvou-built Honda S2000 on the Gunsai togue course.  I also highly recommend turning up the volume while watching this video because Arvou’s S2000 is equipped with HKS’ new GT Supercharger kit and it sounds amazing!

The supercharger set up makes a significant amount of power (310hp at the wheels and 212ft-lbs of torque at 10 psi) and was designed to be reliable and safe for daily driving as well as track days.  If you have an S2000 (AP1 or AP2) and want some boost in your life, this is a great way to go.  You can get the kit now for about $4,500 not counting a few extras you may need (ECU tune, compact battery, etc.).  Out the door with all additional bits (assuming you don’t have them already) the price goes up to a little over $5,700 if you have an AP2.  AP1’s should expect to pay over $6,000.  While it does sound pricy, you do get a lot and if the video below is any indication, it seems to be well worth it!

[Source: Evasive Motorsports]

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Suspension Hype: APEXi N1 ExV Dampers For Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ

Posted on 08.28.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Back in the day if someone was rocking an APEXi suspension they were officially the “cool kid”.  Today one can still earn “cool kid” status while vastly improving their car’s handling capabilities.  Right now the current hotness is the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ and APEXi has recently released their N1 ExV “dampers” for the new coupe cousins.  The N1 ExV’s are 32-way adjustable, have a “quick adjuster”, and has a pillow upper mount with camber adjustments.  Users will get all those features and functions for about $1350 which is a pretty decent price for a full set of coilovers.  Not to mention they come in the cool signature APEXi red!  If you want a set hit up your local APEXi dealer.

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Hype Video: Brembo Shows How They Stop LaFerrari With New Extrema Calipers

Posted on 03.12.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Just seven days ago the world was introduced to what could possibly be the fastest prancing horse ever built AKA “LaFerrari”.  With a car that is so powerful and so light, superhuman brakes are would be needed to stop it.  Naturally, Ferrari turned to Brembo to come up with such a solution; the result of which are the new “Extrema” calipers.

The Extrema calipers are possibly the lightest, most efficient calipers Brembo has ever produced for a production car.  They are monoblock aluminum and feature several channels and vents for the best airflow possible to control temperatures.  The Extrema are also the first Brembo calipers to have an electronic parking brake integrated into the unit.

Besides the increased performance, Brembo also wanted to make sure their new calipers looked good when they are bringing hypercars to a halt so in addition to blessing them with a very pleasing shape, they will offer Extrema calipers in 9 different colors!

If you want to see how all the tech and style come together, watch the video from Brembo below featuring a 3D wireframe of LaFerrari as well as a few pictures.


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Suspension Hype: KW Releases Clubsport Coilovers For Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ

Posted on 02.27.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The suspension wizards at KW Automotive have used their magical staff to bless the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ with a brand new “Clubsport” coilover system.  The cool thing about “clubsport” setups is that they are made especially for those who daily their car during the week and hit the track on the weekends.

The Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ Clubsport coilovers allow for a 20mm-50mm drop (or .7 in to 1.9 in) in the front and the rear as well as having adjustability for rebound and compression dampening.  KW claims that no matter how you adjust your ride height you will still have enough suspension travel to handle maximum loads and dynamic loads while driving.  In other words you won’t have to worry about bottoming out with these bad boys.

The MSRP on these coilovers is set at $3759.99 which is defnitely pricy but you pay for quality!  Hit up KWAutomotive.com or your local race shop if you want to order a set.


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Official Hype: TRD Supercharger Coming For Scion FR-S

Posted on 02.22.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

It has been rumored since before the FR-S’ release but it was recently made official that TRD is in fact working on a Supercharger for the Scion FR-S, thus continuing its tradition of boosting Scion coupes that started with the tC.  Right now the FR-S supercharger is in the test phase as the first and only prototype unit has been sent to Ken Stout Racing.  The racing outfit will bolt the supercharger on to their Scion FR-S race car which will compete in the full 2013 season of the Pirelli World Challenge series in the GTS class.

TRD will gather data from the season to make nessasary tweaks and adjustments when producing the final product which I imagine will be sold through Scion and Toyota dealerships. 

This is great news but it also begs a few questions.  The first is: “What is with the supercharging?”  Almost all the FR-S SEMA cars featured a supercharger rather than a turbocharger.  Why is this?  The FR-S does feature a Subaru developed boxer engine and we all know how much those engines love turbochargers.  So, why is the aftermarket favoring a belt driven solution for the FR-S?  I don’t know the true answer but if I had to make a guess I would say perhaps it is easier to make a supercharger street legal than a turbocharger?  SMOG compliance is a big deal these days (especially in California) and its hard to enjoy a power adder if you are constantly worrying about the cops.

The other question is that with so many companies opting for the supercharger route, will anyone develop a turbo charger system? Greddy I am looking at you for an answer to this!

Finally, will Subaru go the same way?  Many are anticipating that an STi version of the BRZ will come soon.  Will Subaru abandon their tried and true turbo system for a supercharger? Or will they stick with what they know and bolt a turbo snail onto the BRZ?

Right now the FR-S has a significant lead over the BRZ when it comes to sales but if there is a factory turbo’d BRZ on the horizon then I predict the tide changing very soon.

For more on Ken Stout Racing’s TRD Supercharger test check out the press release below.

Press Release:

TRD Supercharger Built for Ken Stout Racing’s Scion FR-S

Brownsburg, IN (February 21, 2013). Ken Stout Racing Inc. (KSR) today announced receipt of the highly anticipated, newly developed TRD supercharger for their Scion FR-S racecar. While most of us last week were receiving chocolates and cards for Valentine’s Day, KSR received the best gift ever in the form of the first-ever TRD supercharger built specifically for the FR-S. KSR will race the FR-S in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class in 2013 with Robert Stout, the 2010 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Champion, behind the wheel.

At the SEMA Show and the unveiling of their FR-S, KSR teased the industry with news that a supercharger was going to be developed for the car – the go ahead to develop the supercharger was given at the SEMA Show. The TRD team, in collaboration with their business partner Magnuson Products LLC, developed and built the supercharger for the car in an impressive 15 weeks. CAD data was quickly developed after SEMA and a focused group of the best engineers in the world went to work delivering the completed supercharger to KSR on February 14th.

“The concept for this unit was just a thought in somebody’s mind at the SEMA show,” said KSR Team Principal Ken Stout. “It went from a thought, to CAD data, to the real thing in about 15 weeks! They also delivered it three days before their predicted deadline, very impressive indeed. We are honored to be the flagship team for TRD in the development of their supercharger.”

“This has been a collaboration of great minds with years of experience using the most sophisticated tooling in the industry,” added Stout. “Thank you to Brent Craig of TRD for allowing this project to take place and Steve Hatanaka of Scion for his instrumental part of the equation as well.”

The development of the FR-S platform is a massive project to say the least and KSR has received significant support from over 25 companies to date.

“This has been a wonderful experience to see everybody pull together,” said Stout. “World-class companies are developing race quality parts for every aspect of this car that we will put to the test and racers from around the world will use. What an exciting time for all of us! The guys are already working on the next one, but as of now this is the only TRD supercharger built for the Scion FR-S in the world. To watch the complexity of this project take place so quickly is extraordinary. Now it’s time to put it to work!”

“New product development is always exciting,” said Ted Moncure, P.E. TRD, F-Sport and Functional Accessory Design Engineering Manager.

Toyota Motor Sales USA Ken Nunn, Technical Director for Magnuson Products along with Ted Moncure also added “Coupling the latest Eaton TVS rotor technology with a dual intercooler system significantly increases boost while keeping inlet air temperatures low, improving both power and efficiency throughout the rev range. We are all very excited to see this project develop and are eager to see the results of our efforts.”

KSR’s FR-S will feature the FA-20 boxer power plant paired with the newly developed TRD supercharger to boost horsepower to competitive levels for the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class. KSR with their TRD Supercharged Scion FR-S will compete against Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, Acura TSXs and Porsche Cayman in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class.

Organized under the leadership of Ken Stout, award -winning motorsports commentator and automotive enthusiast, KSR has competed for seven years in various levels of motorsports and will make its sports car racing pro level debut in 2013 in Pirelli World Challenge. Since 2011, Robert Stout has been competing in GT, GS and ST classes in Grand Am. During his first year in Grand Am, Stout led numerous races and qualified as high as 2nd while earning five top 10’s and one top five in 10 GS races.

In 2013, Stout will return to Pirelli World Challenge where he had a stellar 2010 season piloting a Scion tC in Touring Car. Stout took home the Drivers’ Championship, Rookie of the Year and Sunoco Hard Charger Awards in his rookie season in Pirelli World Challenge on the strength of five wins, nine podium finishes, 11 top five results in 12 starts and one pole. Stout’s performance also led Scion to their first ever Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship beating out Honda, Mazda and VW for the title. Stout became the youngest winner and Champion in World Challenge history at 18 years old, as well as winning the most prestigious street race in the US, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

About Ken Stout Racing (KSR) Inc.: Ken Stout Racing, based out of Brownsburg, IN, is a factory-supported partnership with Scion/TRD. Led by Ken Stout, award-winning motorsports commentator and automotive enthusiast, the team will debut the Scion FR-S in sports car racing in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class in 2013. Former 2010 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Drivers’ Champion Robert Stout will pilot the car.

Ken Stout Racing acknowledges its tremendous partners:
About Scion: Scion, from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was developed with a new generation of youthful buyers in mind. Scion’s mission is to provide distinctive products, the opportunity to personalize, and an innovative, consumer-driven process at the retail level. The brand features five groundbreaking models with a wide array of standard features: the xD urban subcompact five-door, the iconic xB urban utility vehicle, the tC sports coupe, the premium micro-subcompact iQ and the FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car. The Scion brand often applies new practices in all aspects of its business and pushes the creativity envelope with non-traditional advertising and marketing to engage young consumers. Scion also supports originality through its programs in the artistic community. For more information, visit RobertStoutRacing.com and Scion.com

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German Hype: 2014 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Black Series Is Actually Very, Very Yellow. Official Debut At LA Auto Show

Posted on 11.09.12 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Following a tease yesterday on their Facebook page, today Mercedes Benz has literally pulled the car cover off of the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series and it is surprisingly yellow!  While I am not totally sold on the color, I am in love with just about everything else the AMG team did with the SLS Black Series.  They (AMG) started by pulling some more power out of the V8 engine bringing the grand total to 622 hp which hits full tilt at 7,400 rpm.  Once the power was bumped up the next step was to add downforce, hence the added carbon fiber aero pieces fitted to the exterior.  Handling was improved by widening the track of the car by an inch, adding an adjustable coilover system, and a electronically controlled differential.  Stopping power is increased by an upgraded braking system that includes two-piece carbon-ceramic rotors.

To lighten the car up many of its body panels (like the fenders) and chassis braces are made from CFRP AKA carbon re-inforced plastic. Weight is also saved in the use of one piece forged aluminum wheels and a titanium exhaust system. In total the diet results in a 154lbs weight loss over the SLS AMG GT.  To finish it all off the car is sprayed in an exclusive shade of “Solar Beam” yellow paint.  Again, I am not quite sold on that color.  If you are like me, you will be happy to know that the SLS AMG Black Series will also be available in a few other colors, including a designo grey with a matte finish.

Even though the SLS AMG Black Series is inspired by the GT3 race car, the guys at Mercedes Benz know that most of the people driving this car will be rich doctors, actors, and athletes; so in spite of is very race inspired design, the interior comes wrapped in a combination of leather and alcantara.  The AMG guys also managed to squeeze an 11 speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system complete with a 1000 watt amplifier and 250 watt subwoofer.

Mercedes Benz announced that this car will be available next summer but held out on production numbers and price.  Hopefully the latter two numbers will be made public when the SLS AMG Black Series makes its official debut in a few weeks at the LA Auto Show.  You can bet that I will be front and center for that press conference!  For now, you can fawn over the car yoruself with a gallery of 10 high res photos below and read up on the car in the official press release.



Press Release:

November 09, 2012 – MONTVALE, NJ

Mercedes-AMG presents the most extreme version of the celebrated SLS, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series. Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG boasts a fascinating mix of breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and uncompromising lightweight construction in line with the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. With a curb weight of 3,417 pounds, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series achieves a power/weight ratio of 5.49 lb/hp. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine generates a power output of 622 hp at 7,400 rpm and accelerates the most dynamic SLS of all time to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The SLS AMG Black Series achieves a whole new level of performance with the coil-over AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system and weightoptimized, forged AMG light-alloy wheels with new sport tires. Additional highlights include electronically-controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission featuring spectacular shift and response times. The available AMG Aerodynamics package delivers a further boost to the vehicle’s handling and dynamics. 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series goes on-sale in the U.S. in summer 2013.

Black Series is a name that resonates with automobile experts and enthusiasts worldwide. Following the SLK55 AMG Black Series from 2006 (European model), the 2008 CLK63 AMG Black Series, the 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series and the 2013 C63 AMG Black Series, the fifth in the lineup sees the Black Series enter a whole new dimension with the iconic SLS AMG.

“The new SLS AMG Black Series is a perfect study in the one hundred percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to road. We have drawn inspiration from the worldwide success of the SLS AMG GT3 customer sport racing car on both a conceptual and a technological level. Boasting numerous lightweight components and fascinating dynamics, our fifth Black Series model guarantees pure, unadulterated ‘Driving Performance.’ The SLS AMG Black Series is the ultimate choice for fast laps and a highly emotional experience,” says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

“Fans of high-performance super sports cars will be fascinated by its high-tech package. The basis for passionate performance and supreme driving dynamics is provided by numerous new developments in the engine, transmission, suspension and aerodynamics – also giving top priority to our “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Outstanding efforts in the field of lightweight design have resulted in a curb weight of 3,417 pounds,” notes Tobias Moers, Head of Total Vehicle Development and Member of the Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine – synonymous with thrilling driving dynamics The uprated AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine generating a power output of 622 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque is a synonym for thrilling driving dynamics, making the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG high-performance automobile with a combustion engine. Only the SLS AMG Electric Drive with a maximum output of 740 hp has more power. The 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, and onward to a top speed of 196 mph. The additional 39 hp of power compared to the 583 hp delivered by the SLS AMG GT is courtesy of the following enhancements:

  • Increase in maximum engine speed from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm
  • Fully revised high-speed valve train with modified camshafts, adapted cam geometry and optimized bucket tappets featuring a special coating that is typically used on race vehicles
  • Modification of the intake air ducting: de-throttling and adaptation to match the new maximum engine speed
  • Adaptation of the engine mapping and increase in peak pressure

The engineers at Mercedes-AMG have further optimized the crank assembly in the interests of optimum stability under tough race track conditions. The measures include modified oil bores in the crankshaft, new crankshaft bearings, a new oil pump and high-strength screw fasteners for the connecting rods. The entire water and oil cooling system for the engine and transmission has been optimized further. The AMG V8 engine in the SLS AMG Black Series also has an additional specialized mounting system. A gas-filled strut braces the eight-cylinder engine against the body, effectively eliminating undesired load shifts during highly-dynamic race-track driving. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine is hand-built in the AMG factory in Affalterbach, in line with the philosophy “one man, one engine.” This hand-made quality is confirmed by the black AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the engine builder, which is a hallmark of the Black Series models.

The key data at a glance:

SLS AMG Black Series
Displacement 6,208 cc
Bore x stroke 4.02 x 3.72 inches
Compression ratio 11.3 : 1
Output 622 hp at 7,400 rpm
Max. torque 468 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm
Maximum engine speed 8,000 rpm
Engine weight (dry) 452 lbs
Acceleration 0-60 mph 3.5 s
Top speed 196 mph

The eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine installed with a front mid-engine layout behind the front axle, and boasts racing car responses and an exceptional level of high-revving performance. The racetrack credentials of the powerful AMG V8 engine are also apparent from its sound: the newly designed AMG sport exhaust system, produced for the first time in titanium, features distinctive center and rear mufflers, delivering a more powerful and even more striking engine sound. The switch from steel to titanium has spawned substantial weight savings: at just under 37.5 pounds, the new AMG sports exhaust system is around 28.7 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The new system features performance-enhancing, fan-type exhaust manifolds.

Systematic application of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy

With a curb weight of 3,417 pounds, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series is not only 154 pounds lighter than the SLS AMG, but also attains the best power/weight ratio by far of all AMG Black Series vehicles to date. Even among super sports cars, the figure of 5.49 lb/hp is extremely competitive and made possible by consistent application of the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Numerous body elements, such as the hood, the rear panel behind the AMG sports bucket seats, the diagonal braces on the underbody and the torque tube between engine and transmission are made entirely from CFRP (carbonfiber reinforced plastic). In contrast to its 58.6-pound counterpart with a sandcast aluminum housing, the carbon-fiber torque tube weighs just 29.3 pounds. As before, a CFRP drive shaft weighing just 10.4 pounds handles power transmission between the engine and dual-clutch transmission (transaxle principle), which is flange-mounted on the rear axle. CFRP components also replace a number of parts of the aluminum spaceframe, while a lithium-ion battery takes on the role of the conventional starter battery, saving a further 17.6 pounds.

Dual-clutch transmission for even smoother performance

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is installed 0.4 inches lower in order to give the vehicle a lower center of gravity and is braced against the body by gas-filled struts to avoid stress cycling. The dual-clutch transmission features four drive modes (C, S, S+ and M). “Sport plus” and “Manual” deliver even more aggressive performance than in the SLS AMG and SLS AMG GT models. In addition to an increase in shift speed, the transmission also has reduced response time to shift commands from the driver.

An even more thrilling feature is the automatic rev-matching function during downshifting: the throttle blips when shifting gears are more pronounced and more striking than ever due to the AMG titanium sports exhaust system. There is also a new temporary M mode. In C, S or S+ mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode without taking a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the “up” or “down” shift paddle once. In temporary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programs, with automatic up and down-shifting as well. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle’s impressive performance.

New electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock

A new electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock with a shorter rear axle ratio replaces the mechanical variant. Integrated into the compact transmission housing, this system operates with a variable locking effect under acceleration and deceleration. In addition, the electronics are now more responsive, enabling excellent traction for the rear wheels under all road conditions. The electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock also benefits safety. By reducing the vehicle’s yaw around its vertical axis, the system provides a stabilizing effect in slaloms or when changing lane at high speeds. The standard 3-stage ESP® system featuring the functions “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” is precision-tuned to the electronic AMG rearaxle differential lock. The same applies to the RACE START function, which works with the electronic differential lock to provide perfect traction when accelerating from a standing start.

AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension and sports tires

The chassis and suspension of the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series are also new. The basic layout with aluminum double wishbones at all four corners remains unchanged, but virtually every single component has been refined for significantly enhanced track performance.

The new developments in detail:

  • AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension with tauter base setup and electronically controlled two-stage damping (Sport, Sport +) for individual adjustment to suit personal driving style
  • Coil-over spring suspension allows for adjusting wheel loads to individual race track setups
  • Elastokinematics 50 / 42% more rigid (front/rear axle) for greater stability in turns
  • Track width increased by 0.8 / 0.9 inches (front/rear axle) for added grip
  • New wheel mounts on front axle and new front stabilizer tuning for added grip, reduced body roll in fast cornering
  • AMG 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, in very lightweight forged design for optimum strength, painted matte black with high-gloss finish, dimensions: 10×19 front; 12×20 rear. Weight saving: 8.8 pounds
  • Newly developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports tires. Dimensions 275/35 R 19 front and 325/30 R 20 rear, for added grip and cornering at the limit
  • AMG speed-sensitive steering with revised power steering characteristics for optimum steering precision and outstanding control

Standard AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system

The brake system on the SLS AMG Black Series boasts excellent deceleration performance and outstanding stability. The standard AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system measures 15.8 x 1.5 inches at the front and 14.2 x 1.3 inches at the rear, and feature increased hardness for enhanced thermal stability, combined with a weight reduction of around 40 percent over their steel/aluminum counterparts. As a result of the reduced unsprung weight, they optimize both comfort and grip, while the reduced rotating masses on the front axle deliver a more direct steering response. The weight savings is approximately 35.3 pounds compared to a conventional steel/aluminum brake system.

Design inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car

The design of the SLS AMG Black Series takes its cues from the SLS AMG GT3 race car. The SLS race car developed in accordance with FIA GT3 rules has quickly become established as a serious contender among the super sports car elite. In the 2012 motorsport season the SLS AMG GT3 is competing in more than 15 series on four continents. The triple victory in the 24-hour Dubai race in January 2012, three driver and team titles in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the FIA GT3 World Championship, along with numerous podium places at various short-distance, 4 and 6-hour races provide impressive documentation of the SLS AMG GT3’s sporty performance. To date, the car has notched up 37 victories in the 2012 season (as of October 28, 2012).

Flared fenders with an added width of 0.5 inches (front) and 1.0 inch (rear) on each side create the necessary space for the 10.8-inch and 12.8-inch sports tires. Tinted headlamps and black surrounds for the rear lights give the SLS AMG Black Series a muscular and aggressive look. The vehicle’s aerodynamic balance is optimized by front, rear and side skirts and a rear diffuser, all in a signature Black Series design. The package features extensive use of CFRP on the front splitter, side sills and rear skirt. The enlarged air intakes with carbonfiber flics also ensure optimum airflow into the cooling modules at the front. As on the SLS AMG GT3, the carbon-fiber hood features a central air outlet. Aside from effectively dissipating engine heat, this outlet also increases downforce at the front axle and improves the cd value. The wing-like cross-fin and the star recessed into the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black to match the exterior mirrors and the fins on the hood. The carbon-fiber insert on
the sides with air outlet and a black fin is also reminiscent of the GT3; this feature helps reduce the temperature in the engine compartment. The result is maximum stability, even in tough race track use.

Matte black AMG forged wheels in signature Black Series design

A striking feature along the sides is the attractive integration of the side skirts, which combine with the character line for a striking look. The carbon elements fitted along the bottom edges carry the line of the carbon-fiber front splitter through to the rear of the vehicle. AMG forged wheels in a signature Black

Series 10-spoke design, painted in matte black with a high-gloss finish provide glimpses of the AMG ceramic high-performance two-piece brake system. Also available are AMG forged wheels in matte black with a polished flange.

The muscular look of the SLS AMG Black Series carries through to the rear. The wide fenders and the striking rear diffuser are the dominant features here. The diffuser extends beyond the profile of the rear skirt to produce additional downforce at the rear axle. This results in greater driving stability at high speeds. Visible air openings behind black grilles control the discharge of hot air around the AMG titanium sports exhaust system. The two sets of twin chrome tailpipes with a square cross-section are a visual indication of the super sports car’s power – an impression reinforced by the exhaust note. The exclusive AMG logo with contrasting Black Series lettering in black adds a discreet yet striking touch at the top right of the trunk lid.

AMG Aerodynamics package with carbon-fiber components

The SLS AMG Black Series can be upgraded with the optional AMG Aerodynamics package. This package features an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing in place of the standard wind deflector. The rear wing is braced by aluminum elements on a special insert on the trunk lid that provide even greater downforce on the rear axle – especially with the Gurney flap, named for its inventor Dan Gurney, a former racing driver, designer and team owner. This 0.3-inch spoiler lip fitted to the rear wing at an angle of 90 degrees delivers a further increase in downforce without significantly increasing drag. The rear wing is complemented by additional carbon-fiber flics on the front skirt, which further increase downforce at the front axle, as opposed to the more inwardlying standard carbon-fiber flics, which optimize airflow into the cooling modules.

The eye-catching AMG Solar Beam exterior paint is available exclusively on the SLS AMG Black Series. Six further exterior paint finishes from the SLS AMG are available, including the matte finish designo magno alanite grey.

Functional, performance interior that exudes quality

The interior of the SLS AMG Black Series features high-quality materials with precision workmanship and exquisitely designed details. There is a choice of two color variants: black designo leather with black Alcantara® or black designo leather with black/red Alcantara®. With the two-tone variant, the door center panels and the applications on the center console and above the glove box are finished in red. The AMG Performance steering wheel with flattened rim at the bottom is wrapped entirely in Alcantara® for excellent grip. The top section of the steering wheel features a red 12 o’clock marking. The metal bezel has a high-gloss black paint finish to match the high-gloss black surrounds of the air vents. An exclusive Black Series detail is the “3D seam” that runs horizontally along the dashboard – a fine Alcantara® strip in anthracite running across the
entire width of the leather covering. Red contrasting stitching provides a striking finish to the 3D seam, underscoring the hand-crafted character.

The combination of designo leather and Alcantara® features throughout the interior – on the bottom section of the dashboard, on the door center panels and on the AMG sports seats with center sections upholstered in Alcantara®. Embossed AMG logos on the head restraints are further exclusive eye-catchers.

For additional weight savings, the customer may delete the COMAND multimedia system. This reduces the vehicle’s weight by an additional 13 pounds and further enhances the uncompromising character of the SLS AMG Black Series. In place of the screen between the air vents, a carbon-fiber trim element enhances the authentic racing atmosphere. Vehicle occupants will als find carbon fiber covering the entire center console, which is home to the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Bold highlights come from the red seat belts and red contrasting stitching on the AMG sports bucket seats, the center console, the upper and lower section of the dashboard and the door paneling. The floor mats also feature red piping.

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system

A highlight among the optional equipment is the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system, developed by Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG together with renowned Danish audio specialist Bang & Olufsen. The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 delivers an exclusive music experience of the very highest order. This is made possible by a 1000-watt amplifier and 11 speakers in conjunction with precise distribution of the music signals by the sound processor according to the selected seat positions – driver, co-driver or central. The DSP digital sound processor also enables the user to switch between high-end studio sound (“Reference”) and a surround sound option. All functions are controlled via COMAND in a special Bang & Olufsen menu. The illuminated 50-watt lens tweeters on the dashboard are a particular highlight, while the 250-watt subwoofer is integrated into the rear shelf. High-quality speaker covers sporting the Bang & Olufsen logo indicate the high-end system’s exclusive character.

Further stand-alone options are also available:

  • AMG carbon fiber exterior mirror
  • AMG carbon fiber engine cover
  • AMG Interior Carbon Fiber Package

The U.S. market launch of the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series is scheduled for summer 2013.


  • On-Sale: Summer 2013
  • 2014 SLS AMG Black Series: 622hp, 468 lb-ft (SLS AMG GT: 583hp, 479 lb-ft)
  • Top Speed: 196 mph
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds

New Standard Feature Highlights:

  • Modified engine components for more power, increased rev limit of 8,000 rpm
  • Track increased 0.8″ (front) / 0.9″ (rear)
  • AMG 10-spoke forged alloy wheels in matte black, 10 x 19 (front)/12 x 20 (rear)
  • CFRP hood, torque tube, diagonal underbody braces
  • Revised AMG speed-sensitive power steering
  • AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension
  • AMG high-performance two-piece ceramic brakes
  • Matte black forged wheels
  • Electronically-controlled AMG rear axle differential lock
  • Modified AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
  • New engine brace with gas-filled strut
  • Titanium exhaust system

New Optional Equipment Highlights:

  • AMG carbon-fiber exterior mirror
  • AMG carbon-fiber engine cover
  • AMG Interior Carbon Fiber Package
  • AMG Aerodynamics Package
  • AMG forged matte black wheels with polished rims
  • Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
  • COMAND multimedia system delete


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SEMA 2012 Preview: Evasive Motorsports Is Supercharging Their Scion FR-S With Help From HKS

Posted on 10.18.12 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Yesterday I showed you a preview of Jon Sibal and RJ De Vera’s Scion FR-S “NuR” concept which will have a Vortech supercharger under the hood.  Today, it can be confirmed that Vortech is not the only team out there looking to develop a supercharger for the FR-S.  The guys at Evasive Motorsports have just received a supercharger unit from HKS for their FR-S project and they are in the process of installing it right now as you can see in the pictures.  It looks like they are also getting some major help from Project Mu and Voltex on their build as well.

Knowing how the Evasive guys opperate I am pretty sure that their finished project will be all about lap times as these guys are serious track day fanatics!


[Source: EvasiveMotorsport.com Blog]

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Hype: Crawford Performance Produces First Turbo Kit For Subaru BRZ (Video)

Posted on 10.08.12 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

With SEMA just a few weeks away the guys at Crawford Performance have just revealed what might possibly the first ever turbo kit for the Subaru BRZ.  Although so far all we really know is that it exists.  I cannot seem to find the new kit anywhere on their website.  However, they did release a video of the kit making a pass on their dyno!  The kit definitely adds a great sound to Subaru’s RWD coupe, but we have to wait for a while to get the official performance numbers from the kit.  I imagine that as it gets closer to SEMA or possibly at SEMA Crawford will reveal the performance numbers, availability, and MSRP.  In the meantime you can watch the dyno pass for yourself below.  I recommend turning up the speakers!

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxvKZPBFTIg’]

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