New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Rapid limousines from AMG

2009-06-24 07:23
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model S63/65 AMG
Engine 6.2l V8, 6l biturbo V12
Power 396kW, 455kW
Torque 630Nm, 1 000Nm
Transmission 7G-Tronic
Zero To Hundred 4.6 sec, 4.4 sec
Mercedes-Benz’s hooligan limousines have been enhanced with better steering and a touch more power.

Both the S63 and S65 AMG models benefit from subtle exterior detailing upgrades and engineering tweaks, ushering in increased power and efficiency.
The styling changes factor in a new double louvered grille and LED lights, which will surely come as a shock to the aristocrats comprising the S-Class ownership profile.

Under the long S-Class bonnet are two high performance engines well know to power fiends and AMG fans alike – the venerable 6.2l naturally aspirated V8 and biturbo V12 displacing 6l.

S63 now has multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. LED detailing a very acquired taste...

Both engines benefit from slight ECU tweaks to liberate more power than before, with the V8 up from 390- to 396kW and the blown V12 now peaking at 455kW, up 5kW from before. 

Rotational force numbers remain as before with the V8 twisting a peak of 630Nm and the biturbo limited to 1 000Nm in the interest of gearbox longevity.

More direct steering

Beyond the slight increase in power, the handling dynamics of these superfast luxury barges have been shored up too.

Mercedes-Benz engineers reconfigured a direct-steer system to reduce lock-to-lock rotation by 25%, whilst Merc claims the variable-ratio rack now operates by purely mechanical means, providing a surfeit of old-school steering feel.

With the wheel in a straight-ahead position the power assistance utilises and indirect ratio to provide reassuring high-speed tracking and stability.

This indirect ratio is operational within a five degree radius from the centre position too, ensuring high-speed sweeps can be negotiated with optimal feedback.

S65 rolls on five-spoke 20-inch wheels. If you see this in your rear view mirror, just move over.

Banishing understeer

Another newfangled dynamic driving aid is Merc’s torque vectoring brake system, which works in partnership with the ESP set-up.

Considering the size and substantial wheelbase of the S-Class AMG performance models, understeer is an undesirable handling characteristic amplified in certain conditions by the significant levels of performance these engines provide.

To counter this, when the ESP system detects wheel scrub or understeer, a sudden brake intervention on the S-Class AMG’s inside rear wheel enacts a sufficient yawing moment around the car’s vertical axis to tuck the nose in little tighter for the reminder of the corner.

Pretty clever stuff, and it shows AMG has its heart in the right place, as this feature is standard on both S63 and S65 AMG models.

What AMG's racetimer function (within the main menu driver interface, enabling one to calculate lap times) is doing onboard is harder to fathom though. Or is it precisely the feature you've always craved on your standard S-Class, yet were too embarrassed to ask for?


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