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by Matt Brogan

Mercedes-Benz Australia has announced it will reveal a race-ready AMG C63 at next week’s Australian round of the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The car, which will be used as a ride-day event vehicle for VIPs and AMG customers, was revealed as rumours surface that both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have shown interest in competing in future V8 Supercar rounds.

Reports indicate that the German pair, and indeed others, could join the Holden/Ford duopoly as new ‘Car of the Future’ (CoF) regulations open the door to a more modern mix of engine technologies. The move could pave the way for a much wider range of cars and manufacturers to join the championship from 2012.

Although Mercedes-Benz HQ (in Germany) specifically forbids participation in motorsport from its local operations, there’s nothing stopping private teams or dealerships from entering the championship when the rules change.

Under the new regulations, Mercedes-Benz would be able to use such engines as its DTM 4.0-litre DOHC V8. The unit is said to be capable of developing 447kW, which is only 37kW shy of current V8 Supercar outputs.

So far BMW have said they are not interested in participating on a manufacturer level, but the same rules that apply to Mercedes-Benz mean we could see the Bavarian marque appear on track as privateer or dealer-backed entries.

It’s understood the new CoF regulations will allow the use of independent rear suspension and DOHC engines of differing capacities – though the eight-cylinder format must be retained. It is also believed the new rules will use a performance balancing system that allows new engines to compete against old.

Additionally, the new regulations mean other manufacturers with similarly spec’ed V8 engines would also be considered eligible for inclusion in the championship. Currently Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota all offer engines fitting of the new parameters somewhere in their respective lineups around the globe.

The Australian round of the 2010 F1 Grand Prix championship takes place in Melbourne from March 25 to 28.




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