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Next SL to replace Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Roadster

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2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

Mercedes-Benz AMG has been tasked with developing the next generation of the iconic SL, which the Affalterbach tuner will sell alongside a future generation of its GT sports car.

Both cars will share a platform and powertrains, and possibly some styling cues. However, to differentiate them the next GT will be offered exclusively as a coupe while the SL will remain a convertible.

The information was confirmed to Car and Driver by AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer in an interview published over the weekend.

He said the current GT Roadster, which made its debut at the 2016 Paris International Motor Show, will be phased out with the arrival of the next SL, currently expected for later this year.

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

The two body styles won’t be the only differentiating factor for the next SL and GT. The SL will feature 2+2 seating, since the car will also fill in for the former S-Class Coupe, while the GT will likely continue to be a strict two-seater.

We also know the SL will feature all-wheel drive, either as standard or available. It isn’t clear whether this option will also be offered on the GT.

As for powertrains, Schiemer confirmed that for the SL at least, there will be both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. The latter will be AMG’s new V-8-based plug-in hybrid setup capable of delivering over 800 hp. This is made possible thanks to AMG’s familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 working in conjunction with a rear-mounted electric motor that adds 94 hp on a constant basis and up to 201 hp when called upon.

In his interview with Car and Driver, Schiemer said the battery of the plug-in hybrid system, which uses technology from the Mercedes-Benz AMG Formula One team, will always be on charge and can be stressed for extended periods without fear of a performance drop. 

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Autos

Porsche dealers compete in restoration challenge

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Porsche also has a company-owned restoration shop at its US headquarters in Atlanta

You don’t have to go all the way to Stuttgart, or even to company-owned facilities in Atlanta for restoration of your classic Porsche. To underscore that fact, the 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge involves 40 dealership service departments across the United States, each restoring a car for the company-sponsored contest.

“The entries run the gamut from the 1950s to the 2000s, from 75 to 612 horsepower, and from rear- to mid- and front-engine layout,” Porsche notes in its announcement of the challenge.

“The years and the miles have written individual histories for each car, but now a common chapter is about to tie their journeys together: the 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge.”

Previously, the challenge has been based in Europe. However, “The U.S. is home to more classic Porsche sports cars than any other market. After decades on the road, some will inevitably be in need of a little extra care. Enter the Restoration Challenge, where Porsche Classic has encouraged U.S. dealerships to acquire a car that is due for some expert technical attention to ensure many more years of driving pleasure.”

Porsche reports that multiple 356 models, some dating from 1956, as well as five generations of 911, transaxle cars including the 944 and 928, as well as “modern classics” including the first-generation Boxster, are undergoing restoration work.

“Each vehicle will undergo restoration in the best possible hands: Porsche-trained technicians who will have a portfolio of more than 60,000 unique Porsche Classic Genuine Parts at their disposal,” Porsche notes.

Nine of the participating dealerships already have been designated Porsche Classic Partners “who every day go above and beyond in their commitment to keeping vintage cars on the road and driving just as well as the moment they left the factory,” Porsche adds.

Porsche also has a company-owned restoration shop at its US headquarters in Atlanta

]The challenge runs until mid-August when winners will be chosen from three regions — East, South-Central, and West. Those cars will advance to the challenge finals in September, when the winner will be selected based not only on the restoration itself but on documentation.

For more information, visit the Porsche Classic website.

This article, written by Larry Edsall, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.

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Maybach to celebrate 100th anniversary of first car, announce EV

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1921 Maybach 22/70 HP W3

Maybach was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl, originally as a company supplying engines for Zeppelin airships and later trains.

The company would soon expand into the car business, with the first prototype, the W1 Testwagen, unveiled in 1919. It proved so popular that a production version was launched just two years later.

That production version was the 22/70 HP W3, unveiled by Maybach in September 1921 at the Berlin International Motor Show. It featured an inline-6 engine generating 70 hp, an impressive figure for the time, as well as many other engineering and luxury marvels, such as brakes at each wheel, a planetary gearbox, and an interior lined in leather and wood.

1921 Maybach 22/70 HP W3

A little over 300 examples of the 22/70 HP W3 were built, after which Maybach launched a variety of additional cars. Maybach ceased building cars at the onset of the Second World War and never returned to it after the war ended, and by 1960 the company was absorbed into Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

Today Maybach is a sub-brand of Mercedes and the German automaker plans to celebrate this year’s 100th anniversary of the launch of the 22/70 HP W3. However, the automaker hasn’t said what exactly it has planned so we’ll have to wait and see.

There will likely be special editions of the current Maybach S-Class and Maybach GLS-Class, and judging by the photo above there will also be a reveal of a new V-12-powered Maybach S-Class (only a V-8 is available at present). We can also confirm that an electric Maybach will be revealed in the coming months. It will likely be an ultra-lux version of the new EQS sedan. Stay tuned.

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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop arrives with new look, old power

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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

Mini is giving its Hardtop (and Convertible) a subtle facelift for the 2022 model year, and that includes the high-performance John Cooper Works variant.

The 2022 John Cooper Works Hardtop was revealed on Wednesday. Timing for the United States hasn’t been announced but we should see the vehicle in dealerships before the year is out.

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

The changes include revised fascias front and rear that help give the hot hatch an even sportier look, thanks mostly to the larger grille which now extends all the way down to the front splitter. The fender accents and rear diffuser are also new designs, and there are two new paint options: Island Blue metallic and Rooftop Gray metallic.

The interior has also been updated to match the changes made to the rest of the 2022 Hardtop lineup. This includes a new 8.8-inch screen in the center of the dash. A fun touch is the changing color of the screen; it goes red when the vehicle is in sport mode. This function also applies to the available screen that mounts to the steering column.

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

No changes were made to the powertrain. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 228 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheels only and can be paired with either an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. The automatic is the quicker option, as it delivers 0-62 mph acceleration in 6.1 seconds versus the 6.3 seconds of the manual.

Other performance features of the John Cooper Works Hardtop include adaptive suspension, a stainless-steel sport exhaust system, and Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers up front. A set of 17-inch (18-inch available) light alloy wheels also come with the car.

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

Pricing and detailed specifications for the U.S. market will be announced closer to the sales launch.

The 2022 update to the Hardtop range is actually the second update for the current generation. A redesigned Hardtop is expected to bow in 2023 and will likely be the last fitted with an internal-combustion engine. Mini in March said its entire lineup will be electric by the early 2030s.

Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW

Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW

Speaking of electric Minis, a battery-powered version of the current John Cooper Works Hardtop is expected to be launched next year. It was previewed by the recently revealed Pacesetter Formula E safety car.

For more on the Mini Hardtop, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.

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