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AMG And Ducati Streetfighters: Three Seats, Six Wheels And 554 Horsepower Set To Make Their Matching-Hue Debut

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On: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 5:10PM | By: Andrew W Davis

AMG And Ducati Streetfighters: Three Seats, Six Wheels And 554 Horsepower Set To Make Their Matching-Hue Debut

I know there’s been more than a few of you who’ve questioned the logic behind Mercedes-Benz’s forays into non-car-related businesses like custom helicopters, branded credit cards, men’s perfume, Superdome naming rights and the ridiculous smart transport module.

Well, at least this latest “branding” opportunity won’t bring shame to the Benz name: to “underscore the importance of the cooperation entered into by Mercedes-AMG and Ducati one year ago” both companies have created unique—and matching—special-edition vehicles to put on display at the Bologna Motor Show, Dec. 3 -11.

The vehicles in question are a 2012 model year Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG convertible and a 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 superbike. Both are painted in “Streetfighter Yellow” with matching black thin-spoke alloys and—in the case of the SLK, mostly—black upholstery.

But unlike most one-of-one auto show creations, you might actually have a chance of buying not just one—but both—of these….

If this seems familiar to you, that’s probably because it’s happened before. And by before, I mean less than three months ago.

THAT time—at the Sept. 15-25 Frankfurt auto show—Ducati and AMG unveiled a matching Mercedes and motorcycle, too, but they chose to go for “flagship” instead of “fighter.”

Benz brought their new CLS 63 AMG Biturbo sedan-styled-like-a-coupe while Ducati came with their Diavel AMG Special Edition flagship bike “inspired by the German maker's unmistakeable [sic] styling.”

[I don’t see it, but you check it out here and judge for yourself.]

What anyone can see, of course, is that the Ducati was painted in somber AMG-style black and silver, and had “AMG” right in its model name. Well, apparently that AMG-Ducati pact contained a tit-for-tat clause which granted AMG the right to be the most visible of the partners in the first round while Ducati could do its thing on this one, the second.

And when Ducati hears they can be the “most visible” partner on something, they don’t mess around.

In addition to the “traditional” color schemes of red-with-red-frame and black-on-black, Ducati will now sell you their Streetfighter 848 in “Streetfighter Yellow” over a black frame. As far as get-noticed colors go, this one’s right up there. It’s certainly the flashiest color Ducati has in its crayon box.

[You can check out Ducati’s “configurator” here.]

I would’ve liked to have been in the meeting when the Ducati people sought to sell Streetfighter Yellow to the Mercedes folks. Yellow just isn’t among the hues Benz is offering—on any model—right now, though they did have it in the SLK’s early days.

Well, whatever Ducati said worked. In fact, it worked so well that if enough people want one like it for their very own, AMG seems set to oblige them:

“Inspired by the Ducati Streetfighter 848, the ‘Streetfighter Yellow’ colour of the SLK 55 AMG ensures an exciting appearance from all angles: the exceptional paint finish is guaranteed to provide a high level of appeal. If there is sufficient demand, the special colour variant could also be made available as an individual optional extra from the AMG Performance Studio.”

[Which translates to: This will be VERY expensive, but if you have the cash….]

I have included the run-downs each manufacturer provided on these most special of special-editions below, should you want to read all about their individual specifications and giggle at the term “naked bike.”

[You can also check out Ducati’s sweet “2012 Streetfighter 848 official video” here to get thrills of an entirely different sort.]

But the ultimate take-away from this is that Mercedes-Benz and its captive AMG division CAN create partnerships that make sense outside the four-wheeled world. Problem is, it’s hard to convince them of that, what with the apparel, food service and nature conservancy markets lying as-yet untouched….


SLK 55 AMG: the most powerful SLK of all time

The Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG and the Ducati Streetfighter 848 complement each other not only visually but also technically. Both models are the perfect embodiment of distinctive driving dynamics, expressive design and intense driving pleasure.

The SLK 55 AMG is the most powerful SLK of all time. Its newly developed AMG 5.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine with cylinder shut-off system combines ultimate performance with the lowest possible consumption levels. With a maximum output of 310 kW (422 hp) and maximum toque of 540 Nm, the SLK 55 AMG outperforms all of its direct competitors. Its fuel consumption of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) and CO2 emissions of 195 grams per kilometre are some 30 percent lower than those of its predecessor. The SLK 55 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). High levels of driving dynamics are ensured thanks to the AMG sports suspension with Direct-Steer system, Torque Vectoring Brakes and 3-stage ESP®, as well as the AMG high-performance braking system.

Forming part of the third-generation of the SLK, the new top-of-the range AMG model already demonstrates its individuality even at first glance: distinctive AMG light-alloy wheels, specific AMG bodystyling with AMG spoiler lip and two chrome-plated twin tailpipes at the rear complement the classic roadster proportions, while adding a markedly athletic touch. The expressive design of the SLK 55 AMG is both eye-catching and unmistakable.

Ducati Streetfighter 848: superior competitor – ultimate fighter

The new Ducati Streetfighter 848 provides unbridled biking pleasure in itspurest form, while combining innovative technology with an outstanding appearance: a revised 848 Testastretta 11° engine with 97 kW (132 hp) and an exciting 93.5 Nm of torque as well as a modified frame geometry help to guarantee safe, agile handling. This is supported by the smooth, easy-to-manage power delivery of the engine, revised ergonomics and a specially tuned traction control (DTC) system. The features of the new Streetfighter are rounded off in visual terms by the unique Ducati styling. The Streetfighter 848 is guaranteed to cause a sensation, whether on the road or on the race track.

It was no surprise therefore when, true to its name, the Ducati Streetfighter scored an immediate knock-out on entering the ring for the first time at the EICMA show in 2008 in Milan. The impression which it left among the international press and public on its first appearance meant it was not only able to win the show's "Most Beautiful Bike" award, but it also raised the bar for powerful naked bikes even higher by becoming the new benchmark on the market.

In addition to the colour variant in traditional red with red frame, the new Streetfighter 848 is also available in yellow with frame in Racing Black. The Dark Stealth colour variant, meanwhile, with frame in Racing Black underscores the fierce attitude of the Streetfighter. With the exciting new Streetfighter 848, Ducati has succeeded in combining state-of-the-art technology and skeletal styling in a contemporary design.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



Stephy21 | 9:25AM (Tue, Dec 6, 2011)

Wow i think its a great idea for them to have a matching car and street bike, but yellow is a little bold they could have went with something a little more moderate. If they can pull off the sales and make them appealing to people than some one will buy one.

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