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Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is powered by the most powerful AMG V8 ever

The car is designed for the track but is road-legal.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is a lot. It has the most powerful AMG V8 series engine of all time. It also has the most elaborate aerodynamics, most intelligent materials mix, and the most distinctive driving dynamics according to its maker.

The Black Series has been known as the pinnacle of performance since 2006 when Mercedes-AMG introduced the branding. The models aren't designed to gather dust in garages or sit on display appreciating in value. They're meant to be driven. Fast. Though primarily built for track use, the models are road-approved.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series A large wing delivers impressive downforce.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The super sports car is track-ready out of the gate. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine that's been handcrafted by AMG and delivers 720 horsepower. It has a flat-plane crankshaft and has active aerodynamics that have been honed using design from the AMG GT3 racing car.

V8s usually come in two different varieties. There are cross plane models that have the crankpins of the four pairs of cylinders sitting at 90-degree angles to each other. This is the way all previous AMG V8s have been designed. In a flat-plane crankshaft engine, all the crankpins are on the same plane with a 180-degree offset. This, and host of other modifications have caused Mercedes to give the engine a new internal code: M178 LS2.

The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The connection between the engine and transmission is made of carbon fiber and weighs just 30.6 pounds, making it 40 percent lighter than the same component in the traditional AMG GT. The driveshaft is also made of carbon fiber.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series The car is based on the more traditional AMG GT.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

In addition to the 720 horsepower, the engine generates 590 pound-feet of torque. The car redlines at 7200 rpm.

The new engine gets off the line and to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. It can get to 124 mph in less than nine seconds. Its top speed is 202 mph - something Mercedes says is, "only sensible on closed-off racetracks."

The car's Race Start function has increased starting revs. its transmission cooling functionality has been adapted to tougher requirements and transmission ratios have been modified.

To support engine functionality, the car features a large radiator air inlet, dark chrome vertical slats in the grille, and wheel arches that feed air into the central inlet.

The automaker adds, " Semicircular flics optimize the flow of air, which not only increases downforce at the front axle, but also improves brake cooling. The 'air curtains' control and direct the flow towards the wheels. Together with the flics in front of the wheels, these enhancements reduce the drag coefficient and increase downforce. The new design language therefore combines maximum cool-air efficiency with lower air resistance and an increased level of downforce at the front."

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Vents in the front and sides of the car help bring cool air in and push out hot air.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The car's carbon-fiber front splitter has two manually adjustable settings - Street and Race. Race is designed specifically for race track use. When in Race mode, the splitter moves to accelerate air flow to the underbody of the car creating a Venturi effect, increasing downforce.

A large wing, completes with carbon fiber supports, works in tandem to increase downforce even more. The wing has an adjustable top flap that can be retracted or extended using a button on the center console.

To increase aerodynamic flow, Mercedes has covered the underbody of the car with panels. With all these measures combined, the auto has a downforce level of over 882 pounds at 155 mph.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series The car has details in black on the exterior.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Additional body modifications from a typical AMG GT include extensive use of carbon fiber on the body (hood, hatch), use of lightweight aluminum in place of steel, and a lightweight laminated front windshield. Its standard ceramic high-performance compound brake system with black painted brake calipers and white lettering is also lightweight.

The double wishbone suspension allows for high cornering speeds. Mercedes has given the car motorsport spherical bearings on the upper and lower wishbones of the rear axle which do not allow toe-in and camber to change under high loads. Additionally, AMG Ride Control delivers technology-enhanced damping.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series The GT's long hood hides the impressive new power plant.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Available drive modes include: Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. Mercedes is quick to point out that, The system automatically recognizes the quality of the track surface, i.e. whether the car is being driven on a flat Grand Prix course like Hockenheim or a bumpy track like the Nürburgring North Loop. It then automatically adapts the level of electronic damping in 'Sport Plus'. To develop this logic, the Black Series was tailored to a wide range of different track types and the adaptation perfected."

The car rides on 19-inch wheels up front and 20s in the back. It's shoed with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires, which were customized for the Black Series car.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Orage contrast stitching is a hallmark of the interior. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has customized the interior of the car as well. It is upholstered in nappa leather that's combined with Dinnamica microfiber in black with orange contrast stitching. The doors have loop pulls instead of handles. Trim is in, what else, carbon fiber.

The car's fully digital instrument display measures 12.3 inches and is adjacent a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. Drivers can choose their view of the instrument display: Classic, Sporty, or Supersport.

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Microfiber has been employed on the car's interior.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

An AMG Performance steering wheel is standard and outfitted in Dinnamica microfiber.

The AMG Interior Night Package is also included as standard equipment. In this package, the shift paddles, steering wheel spokes and seat insert in the AMG Performance seats are finished in high-gloss black, while the door sill panels are finished in black brushed stainless steel, further emphasizing the car's sportiness.

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The 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron mark the fourth and fifth EVs Audi is bringing to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi isn't just adding two new E-Tron models to its U.S. portfolio. It's expanding its SUV lineup. The 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron at the latest electric vehicles from the automaker.

The two new Q4s have all the muscle proportions and signature styling that has been made a hallmark of the Audi SUV stable in the past few years. The Q4 Sportback features a coupe-like roof style, which traditionally allows for less second-row headroom and cargo space, but an increase in fuel economy. The Q4 e-tron achieves a drag coefficient of 0.28, and the Q4 Sportback e-tron gets to an even lower figure, with a drag coefficient of 0.26, which is good when considered against the competition.

There's matrix design headlights with customizable daytime running light signatures. The driver can switch between their choice of four lighting options to put their favorite face forward. At the rear, animated functionality illuminates the taillamp when a driver approaches or leaves the vehicle.

2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

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Audi is offering the Q4 models in four exterior color options with S line and black optic exterior elements as available add-ons.

The Q4 has similar dimensions to the Q5 inside and out, according to the automaker, but has the advantage of having a flatter floor due to the lack of transmission tunnel. Audi brags that this allows for generous legroom for rear-seat passengers.

The interior of the SUVs features recycled materials and a number of small item storage solutions including water bottle holders and a customizable cargo area load floor.

Audi has designed the new vehicles to have driver-oriented cockpits with the 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen facing the driver. There's a freshly designed flat-top and bottom steering wheel with capacitive hands-on detection. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

Surround view cameras, a head up display that features augmented reality, and a Sonos premium sound system are available. Sonos is a new partnership for the automaker.

2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

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Audi estimates that the car has an output of 201 horsepower in its base model. The line-topping Q5 50 E-Tron Quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 E-Tron Quattro will offer two electric motors and all-wheel drive, delivering a maximum 295 horsepower.

As with on-demand four- or all-wheel drive, the two-motor system only uses the front motor when high power or a strong grip is needed. The rear motor is permanently excited.

Three-stage braking regeneration is selectable via the car's steering wheel paddles. Separately, drivers can choose between four different drive modes: Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual.

Each Q4 comes with a 77-kilowatt-hour battery (net; 82 kilowatt-hour gross). The battery can charge at up to 125 kilowatts on a fast-charger. Preliminary manufacturer's estimated range based on approximation of EPA test cycles for a full charge is approximately 250 miles on the Q4 40 E-Tron.

Adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, side and lane assist, automatic high beams, and traffic jam assist are offered on the vehicle.

Audi plans to have more fully electric models on sale in the U.S. than any other luxury brand by the end of 2021. The Q4 E-Tron is set to start at under $45,000. More pricing details are expected to be announced ahead of the car's on-sale date later this year.

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Mitsubishi Motors North America is adding 10 new dealerships in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North America

Mitsubishi Motors North America has added 10 new dealer partners to its nationwide sales network. The company is also investing in dealership upgrades and launching a number of new models in the coming year.

The list of new dealerships includes:

  • Auto World Mitsubishi in Bedford, Ohio
  • Crossroads Mitsubishi-Lumberton in Lumberton, North Carolina
  • Foundation 45 Mitsubishi in Houston, Texas
  • KDK Mitsubishi in Brunswick, Ohio
  • Nielsen Mitsubishi in Rockaway, New Jersey
  • Redondo Mitsubishi in Redondo Beach, California
  • Route 17 Mitsubishi in Ramsey, New Jersey
  • South Shore Mitsubishi in Freeport, New York
  • Team Mitsubishi – Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi-Youngstown in Youngstown, Ohio
Foundation 45 Mitsubishi is located just off I-45 on the east side of the interstate about halfway between Houston and Spring, Texas. It is next to CarMax.
Arrotta's Mitsubishi in Spokane, Washington also just completed construction, undergoing an extensive renovation as part of the brand's new Visual Identity Program. Dealerships that undergo renovations evolve to feature a retail space colored in muted black and gray tones with red accents. There is clean branding throughout the showroom and "Drive Your Ambition" brand messaging is present.

"We continue to invest in and improve every aspect of the vehicle shopping experience with our dealer partners, and we are thrilled to have 10 new partners join the Mitsubishi Motors brand," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer, MMNA. "2021 is a pivotal year for Mitsubishi Motors, with one all-new and three substantially revised vehicles that are now arriving in dealer showrooms. New or long-standing, it's an exciting time to be a Mitsubishi dealer, and we're looking forward to working together with all of our dealer partners to make the most of this opportunity for mutual success."

New versions of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander will be making their way to dealer lots in the U.S. The revised Eclipse Cross and completely redesigned Outlander are just two of the new models that Mitsubishi is planning to sell in North America this year.

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