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Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Performance, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury, Racing



Any outfit with the cash can buy a Formula One team. Integrating it into an existing automaker, however, isn't an overnight proposition. Both Lotus and Caterham are currently undergoing that process, but so is Mercedes-Benz.

The German automaker bought out what was then the World Champion Brawn GP team (previously known as Honda and before that, as British American Racing) a couple of years ago as a standalone racing team, and has been bringing it into the corporate fold ever since. This year, the team previously known as Mercedes GP has been rebranded as Mercedes AMG (as was the division that produces its F1 engines). To drive the point home, the company's broadened performance arm launched two very different cars under the same banner in Barcelona this week.

The main event is W03, the new single-seater that Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will be driving in the 2012 Formula One World Championship. Bound to the same new set of regulations as the other teams, the new Mercedes AMG W03 shares some of the same traits as the rest of the field - most notably the stepped nose section that Mercedes' PR team cleverly calls "distinctive." Since engine development remains frozen pending the launch of the new turbo six, the W03 is powered by the same FO108Z engine - all 2.4 liters and eight cylinders of it - as last year's car, and for that matter the latest McLaren and Force India challengers are, too.

While Daimler was at it, though, it has taken the opportunity to show off its new Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Roadster for the first time. Based on the SL-Class that debuted just two months ago at the Detroit Auto Show, the SL63 packs AMG's fast-becoming-ubiquitous M157 twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 with 529 horsepower, but unburdened of 242 pounds of excess weight from the outgoing model (thanks primarily to the widespread use of aluminum and magnesium where the last model was made of steel), the new SL63 AMG can rocket from 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds (4.2 with the optional AMG Performance Package) while returning 30 percent better fuel economy.

Check out our high-res galleries of both open-top Three-Pointed Stars and hop through to the jump to see some videos.Continue reading Mercedes AMG launches new SL63 with W03 F1 car in Barcelona [w/videos]

Mercedes AMG launches new SL63 with W03 F1 car in Barcelona [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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