Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Included in the MC’s touchups is a sport exhaust system that, besides being 12 pounds lighter than the base tubing, transmits more of the 4.7-liter V-8’s warbling, wailing, feral howl to the cabin. A little more, anyway. Activate sport mode, and the exhaust bypasses lock open for even more auditory pleasure.
It’s nowhere near as shriekalicious as a Ferrari 458, say, but luxury-oriented Maserati, with its smoother and more docile four-plane-crank, wet-sump version of the shared V-8, doesn’t care to be Ferrari. Still, we’d like to hear even more. It’s like being forced to listen to Pavarotti with the volume too low.
Opt for the MC, and you get 444 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, 11 hp and 15 lb-ft more than the regular 4.7 GranTurismo. Friction reduction accounts for the increase, says Maserati, thanks to the strategic use of “diamond-like coating,” an antifriction technology derived from Formula 1, on wear parts such as the cams and followers.
In auto-sport mode, a revised “MC Auto Shift” transmission program knocks up to 50 percent off the upshift times in the ZF six-speed automatic, claims Maserati. There are five control modes: auto-normal, manual-normal, auto-sport, manual-sport, and ice. In manual-sport, the MC gives you full control with the banana-shaped paddles, so bounce it off the rev limiter if you like. On downshifts, you get pleasing little throttle blips.
Base price to base price, the MC is $17,000 more than the base GranTurismo S automatic coupe, but when you factor in all that is standard on the MC and available as an option on the base GT (mostly appearance items such as carbon-fiber interior trim for $2550 and Alcantara headliner for $1750), the price difference is about $3515. For that sum, you get the MC’s extra horsepower, the zippy exhaust, the special hand-modified fenders and hood, and the unique wheels. It would be a roaring bargain if you could add only $3515 and the power, bodywork, and so on, to the base car and call it a day.
Competitors to the MC include the $104,375, 510-hp Jaguar XKR and Porsche 911 flavor of your choice. The aforementioned 911 Turbo starts at $138,450. The MC asks for more money but offers Italian heritage, machismo, and rarity in return. And with that chrome trident on the grille, let’s face it, it’s somewhat more special than the others.
Posted by Curlee Daddee at 8:43 AM
MotoGP San Marino On Bike 2011http://idrivewaytoofast.tumblr.com/ http://idrivetoofast.blogspot.com/
R.I.P. Super Sic
Posted by Curlee Daddee at 8:31 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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Friday, December 16, 2011
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Saturday, December 10, 2011
Like its predecessor -- the much-loved CLK63 AMG Black Series -- this new guy (which we'll just call Black Coupe for brevity's sake) is a hopped-up, raced-out version of a "lesser" AMG product. One of the major differences between the normal C63 and Black Coupe is more power, always a good thing. In this case, you get 510 horsepower (up from 451 in the regular flavor C63, and 481 with the P31 Development Package option). The torque flow also increases, from 443 to 457 lb-ft. Like the P31 pack, this version of Benz's awesome (and sadly soon leaving, because of its high emissions) M156 6.2-liter V-8 uses high dollar internals from the range-topping SLS AMG. Expect the Black Coupe to hit 60 mph in a little less 4 seconds and go low 12s in the quarter.
Other performance-minded standard pieces include adjustable coil-over shocks and composite brakes. AMG widened the car quite a bit, actually swapping in the rear half shafts from the E63 AMG. Somewhat curiously, if not silently, Mercedes opted to use the same basic axles for its C-, E-, and S-Class cars. This always struck me as overkill, because the C-Class would pay a weight penalty. However, it allows Mercedes to easily swap high-dollar components, like we see here on the Black Coupe. Anyhow, more power, better suspension, and a wider stance comprise the basic differences.
How much cabbage are you going to need to cough up in order to own an example of the third AMG Black Series model? Probably less than the $134,000 price tag for the original CLK Black. At one point we heard under $100,000, but the actual number is probably closer to $125,000. Get your deposit in now: AMG is bringing only 90 examples to the U.S., meaning that this very special car will be that much more precious. And be on the lookout for dealers charging huge premiums.
Posted by Curlee Daddee at 8:36 AM