Move over, Nissan. Watch out, Ford and Holden. There's a new challenger in the V8 Supercars series this year, and it's come all the way from Germany to kick some Aussie ass.
Aussies love their V8 Supercars, but the days when it was only Holden and FPV are over for the popular touring car series. Sure, both GM and Ford will be back in it this season, and with new cars at that, but so will two new contenders. Nissan revealed its Altima racer a while back already, but that's not the only new addition. Today Erebus Motorsport took the wraps off the fourth new car entering the V8 Supercars championship: the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
Now before we get ahead of ourselves, bear in mind that the resemblance between this racing car and the one you can buy is only skin deep. The chassis is supplied by the series organizers as part of its new Car of the Future formula, and is then draped by the main "constructors" in their own body shells that are made to look like the cars they sell - in this case the new E63 AMG. But there is one more vital difference between the different competitors that ties them to their supporting automakers: the engine. GM, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes each supply the engines used in their respective Supercars, all complying to the same regulations.
They displace no more than 5.0 liters, rev no higher than 7,500 rpm and produce no more than 650 horsepower. The Holden Commodore's is based on the Chevy small block, the FPV Falcon's on a Ford crate engine and the Nissan Altima's on the Infiniti M56. Erebus hasn't disclosed exactly what engine is in its Aussie racer, but we'd assume it is based on the M278 block you'd find in 500-series Mercedes road cars (which also forms the base for AMG's M157 and M152 engines). Along with the new Commodore, Falcon and Altima, the E63 racer will make its first public run in two days at the official test session in Sydney, following its race debut in Adelaide on March 3.