Mercedes-AMG SLAs we come to the end of another week  we look at some of the motoring news which you may have missed starting with the new new Mercedes-AMG SL,

The new Mercedes-AMG SL, the new edition of an icon, returns to its roots with a classic soft top and sporty character. At the same time, the luxurious roadster as a 2+2 seater is particularly suitable for everyday use and puts its power down on the road with all-wheel drive for the first time. High-tech components such as the AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active anti-roll stabilisation, rear-axle steering, the optionally available AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system and the standard-fit DIGITAL LIGHT with projection function sharpen the sporty profile. In combination with the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, this results in a driving experience of the highest order. As a consistent Performance Luxury model, Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach has developed the SL completely independently. Two models with AMG V8 engines will kick off the market launch.

Almost 70 years ago, a sports car launched in Stuttgart immediately became a legend. The vision of expanding the potential of the Mercedes-Benz brand through motor racing successes produced the first SL as a result - a road-going racing sports car. Shortly after its début in 1952, the 300 SL (internal designation W 194) reaped success after success on the race tracks of the world. In its first year, it achieved, among other things, a spectacular one-two victory in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and even took the first four places in the Nürburgring Grand Jubilee Prize for sports cars. Its successes quickly make the SL a legend.

Mercedes-AMG SLMercedes-AMG SL

 

 

The successful racing car was followed in 1954 by the 300 SL production sports car (W 198), which is called the "Gullwing" because of its unusual doors. In 1999, a jury of motoring journalists voted it the "Sports Car of the Century". Other highlights of the model history include the "Pagoda" (W 113, 1963-1971), the evergreen R 107 (1971-1989), which was built for 18 years, and its successor, the R 129, which is considered an automotive sculpture because of its striking wedge shape. The abbreviation "SL" to this day thus stands for one of the few genuine automotive icons in the world.

In the decades-long development history from full-blooded racing car to open-top luxury sports car, the new Mercedes-AMG SL now sets another milestone. It combines the sportiness of the original SL with the unique luxury and technological excellence that characterise modern Mercedes models.

Characteristic features of the body design are the long wheelbase, the short overhangs, the long bonnet, the passenger compartment set back with a strongly raked windscreen and the powerful rear end. This results in the typical SL proportions. Together with the voluminously sculpted wheel arches and the large alloy wheels flush with the outer skin, they give the roadster its powerful, dynamic appearance. When closed, the seamlessly integrated soft top underscores the purist, sporty impression.

The AMG-specific radiator grille emphasises the effect of width of the front and, with its 14 vertical slats, cites the ancestor of all SL models, the legendary 300 SL racing sports car of 1952. Other distinctive design elements include the slim, sharply outlined DIGITAL LIGHT LED headlamps and the equally extremely slim LED rear lamps.

The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL transforms the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era. The new edition perfectly combines sporting virtues and luxury. Fine materials and meticulous workmanship underline the standard of the highest level of comfort. The cockpit design, right down to the adjustable central display in the centre console, is focused on the driver. At the same time, the completely new interior space concept with 2+2 seats offers more room and functionality than before. The rear seats increase the daily practicality and offer space for people up to 1.50 metres tall.

The minimalist interior of the 300 SL Roadster, equipped with high-quality materials, inspired the designers in the interior design of the new model: The result is an exciting combination of analogue geometry and digital world - called "hyperanalogue". This is exemplified by the fully digital instrument cluster, which is integrated into a three-dimensional visor. The standard MBUX infotainment system offers a choice of several specific display styles and different modes.

One of many highlights in the interior of the new SL is the sculptural seat design of the standard, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats. The head restraints are integrated into the backrest and emphasise the sporty character. The AIRSCARF is on board as standard: Warm air flows into the passenger compartment from air outlets in the head restraints and wraps around the head and neck area of the driver and front passenger like a scarf. Perfect ergonomics and various progressive seam and quilting patterns complete the symbiosis of high-tech, performance and luxury. AMG Performance seats are available as an option.

The latest generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is intuitive to operate and capable of learning. It offers numerous functional contents and the operating structure of the second-generation MBUX system, which debuted in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In the SL, AMG-specific content is added extensively in five display styles. Exclusive menu items such as "AMG Performance" or "AMG TRACK PACE" also emphasise the sporty character.

At market launch, the new SL starts with two output levels of the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine. The engines are assembled purely by hand at the company's site in Affalterbach according to the "One Man, One Engine" principle. In the top model SL 63 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 288-268 g/km)[1] the engine develops 430 kW (585 hp) and provides a maximum torque of 800 Nm over a wide rev range from 2500 to 4500 rpm. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h takes only 3.6 seconds, the top speed is 315 km/h. In the SL 55 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 288-268 g/km), the V8 unit develops an output of 350 kW (476 hp) and a peak torque of 700 Nm. The sprint from standstill to 100 km/h takes 3.9 seconds, the top speed is 295 km/h.

For use in the SL, the engine received a new oil pan, repositioned intercoolers and active crankcase ventilation. The intake and exhaust ducts have been optimised for even more effective gas exchange, and the exhaust gas routing for the catalytic converter box and petrol particulate filter has been enlarged. The developers achieved the increased output of the SL 63 4MATIC+ primarily through higher boost pressure and greater air flow, as well as modified engine software. To sum up, the eight-cylinder engine thrills with its exceptional power delivery and powerful acceleration in all engine speed ranges combined with maximum efficiency for low consumption and emission values. 

 

SEAT creates the world’s smallest Ibiza nightclub 

SEAT, with the help of Woody Cook, has brought a slice of the iconic Ibiza nightlife to the UK with the world’s smallest Ibiza nightclub.

The one-off version of SEAT’s all-time best seller, the Ibiza supermini, incorporates a host of bespoke features over the standard car, including DJ decks and strobe lighting installations.

For its opening night, SEAT took the Ibiza Nightclub to Brighton Beach. Behind the decks was DJ and TV reality star, Woody Cook, with several of Woody’s friends experiencing the Ibiza Nightclub’s party atmosphere for themselves.

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To maximise the Ibiza vibes, the mobile nightclub features a full DJ setup, including mixing decks powered by one of the USB-C ports and connected to the new Ibiza’s latest infotainment system via a smartphone device. Sound is played through the 300-watt, seven speaker Beats Audio system, while the track being played is displayed via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the 9.2” infotainment screen.

The Ibiza Nightclub has a host of lighting upgrades, including strobe lights and LED lighting which complement the Ibiza’s existing interior ambient lighting. Notably on the new Ibiza, LED lighting surrounds the air vents and illuminates in a colour bespoke to each trim level.

The Ibiza’s spacious 355-litre boot has been converted into a mocktail bar and features an array of bar equipment and drinks, enabling guests to enjoy a refreshing mocktail of their choice.

On the outside, revellers are greeted by stylish lighting which lines a red carpet walkway leading to the entrance of the Ibiza Nightclub, and specially created decals fitted to the exterior of the car. As with other nightclubs, guests must queue and be ready to present their tickets to gain entry to the trendy venue.

The Ibiza Nightclub is perhaps not only the smallest, but also the most mobile Ibiza nightclub to ever be created. All bespoke additions to the car use ‘plug-and-play’ fixtures, meaning it’s easy to relocate it to the user’s desired location.

Commenting on his experience of the Ibiza Nightclub, Woody Cook said: “It may not be the largest crowd I’ve ever seen, but the ability to DJ in any location at any time means the possibilities are endless! From Brighton Beach to the Scottish Highlands, the only limiting factor is your imagination.

“Having a car is one of the most liberating experiences to begin with and having it kitted with such an awesome setup brings the musical experience to that same level of freedom and expression. Ibiza has never been so portable!” 

 

Renault & Mathieu Lehanneur reinvent the 4L

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Renault 4, the brand has teamed up with designer Mathieu Lehanneur to create the concept car SUITE N°4. The result is SUITE N°4, an original concept car inspired by a nomad hotel suite.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic Renault 4L, a car that has become a real success story. Manufactured in 28 countries, more than 8 million units have been sold in over 100 countries over 30 years.

Renault & Mathieu Lehanneur reinvent the 4LRenault & Mathieu Lehanneur reinvent the 4L

 

 

Renault has turned the car’s anniversary into a year-long celebration with different initiatives. For instance, the brand launched a global social media campaign, posting a variety of content each month and international media were given the opportunity to take a ride in different historic Renault 4L models, some of which have been retrofitted with a 100% electric engine. Furthermore, a collection of 30 different editions of the Renault 4 has been on display since 8 October 2021 at the Atelier Renault on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s vision was influenced by the parallel worlds of automobile and architecture. Renault SUITE N°4 is a tribute to the 4L, channelling the same pure, understated and simple spirit while prioritising efficiency and spontaneity.

“SUITE N°4 opens the door to a new kind of mobility that strives to make people live experiences. I wanted to merge the worlds of cars and architecture to create an open-air hotel room. Even better than the finest palatial suite, the car is exactly where you want it to be, whether that’s by the sea, in the middle of a field or driving around the city you’ve always dreamed of.” says designer Mathieu Lehanneur.

SUITE N°4 retains the same exterior dimensions and lines as the iconic model but comes with a twist. The rear section and the hatch have been replaced with polycarbonate windows that provide lighting on a par with that of an artist’s studio. The transparent solar panels that sit on the roof let light through while helping to charge the battery of the car, which has been retrofitted and now fully electric.

The front of the car sports the same iconic lights, lines and silhouette as the original. The grill has been treated with polished aluminium to give the car a fluid, dynamic appearance. The body of the car is coated with three layers of paint to make it look like cement, a material synonymous with modern architecture.

According to François Farion, Design Director of Colour and Trim, “the creative dialogue process between our teams responsible for colours and materials and concept cars and Mathieu Lehanneur proved very fruitful. We place ourselves at the designer’s service to create his interpretation of the vehicle in the best way possible. We made suggestions and put no limit to the design.”

Inside the car Mathieu Lehanneur decided to use upholstery fabric to give a warm, energetic feel. The seats and the dashboard are covered with yellow velvet, whereas the backs of the seats are finished with a thick, ribbed chenille fabric for a robust look. The boot has undergone a complete transformation, featuring a natural fibre floor covering and a wooden drawer that can be removed to provide sheltered seating when the hatch is open. Like for the 4L back in the day, all of the materials are “made in France” and supplied by high-end Parisian furniture producers. 

 

Retrac Group to unveil sustainable bio-composite materials range

Retrac Group, one of the UK’s leading composites and metallics manufacturing specialists in the Formula One™, automotive and aerospace sectors, will be launching its sustainable bio-composite range at this year’s Advanced Engineering Show at NEC Birmingham on November 3-4.

The new Retrac Future range features five sustainable or recycled composite material options and has been developed to offer customers access to enhanced sustainability with high performance. The product of an extensive R&D programme by the Group’s Retrac Composites division, the Retrac Future range showcases an array of recycled carbon fibre and natural-fibre products suitable for multiple applications across lightweight structures.

Retrac Group to unveil sustainable bio-composite materials rangeThe environmental credentials of these composite materials are enhanced further by Retrac Future also utilising bio-content resin systems alongside an energy-efficient production process featuring bespoke compression moulding techniques. This three-layered approach puts Retrac Future at the cutting-edge of reducing the carbon footprint of high-end composite solutions.

“The world is on the cusp of a light-weighting revolution, and Retrac Group is positioning itself at the forefront of knowledge and techniques to maximise successful applications of natural fibres and recycled composites,” says Retrac Group CEO, Dan Walmsley.

“The menu of material options in the Retrac Future range serves to demonstrate to customers the breadth of what is possible with our various processes using sustainable and recycled materials,” he adds. “We always offer our customers bespoke solutions to specific requirements, but we have invested in R&D to develop manufacturing capability using numerous interesting materials that give our customers a great platform to specify their requirements in sustainable composites.”

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