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Chris Harris On The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Uber-SUV: Video 31
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, Automotive, Kurt, Mercedes Benz, video, Videos on 05 31st, 2012

If the G63 AMG were an animal, according to the principles of Darwinian evolution, it simply wouldn’t exist. After all, who really needs a 5,610-pound, body-on-ladder-frame SUV that can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, on its way to a governed top speed of 131 mph? Aside from third-world dictators, drug lords and Beverly Hills soccer moms, the market for such a beast is, at best, limited.

As Chris Harris points out, the G63 AMG doesn’t handle particularly well and it delivers a punishing ride over all but smooth surfaces. What, then, is the appeal, and why did Mercedes project enough sales to warrant development? As far as we can tell, it comes down to bragging rights. Porsche’s most powerful Cayenne Turbo, equipped with the Power Kit, produces 540 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. BMW’s X5 M gets 555 horsepower, but makes due with a paltry 501 pound-feet of torque.

The G63 AMG, meanwhile, gets 544 horsepower and an impressive 560 pound-feet of torque from its 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine. That’s plenty to outrun rebel forces, rival drug gangs or simply make it to your therapy session in time, on any road surface, in (almost) any weather. That is, of course, if the road you’re on doesn’t have too many curves.



Chris Harris On The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG Uber-SUV: Video 31
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, Automotive, Kurt, Mercedes Benz, video, Videos on 05 31st, 2012

If the G63 AMG were an animal, according to the principles of Darwinian evolution, it simply wouldn’t exist. After all, who really needs a 5,610-pound, body-on-ladder-frame SUV that can sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, on its way to a governed top speed of 131 mph? Aside from third-world dictators, drug lords and Beverly Hills soccer moms, the market for such a beast is, at best, limited.

As Chris Harris points out, the G63 AMG doesn’t handle particularly well and it delivers a punishing ride over all but smooth surfaces. What, then, is the appeal, and why did Mercedes project enough sales to warrant development? As far as we can tell, it comes down to bragging rights. Porsche’s most powerful Cayenne Turbo, equipped with the Power Kit, produces 540 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. BMW’s X5 M gets 555 horsepower, but makes due with a paltry 501 pound-feet of torque.

The G63 AMG, meanwhile, gets 544 horsepower and an impressive 560 pound-feet of torque from its 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine. That’s plenty to outrun rebel forces, rival drug gangs or simply make it to your therapy session in time, on any road surface, in (almost) any weather. That is, of course, if the road you’re on doesn’t have too many curves.



Aston Martin DBS Project AM 310 Is Shear Bliss on 4 Wheels 31
May
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in ASTON MARTIN, auto show, Automotive, Concorso d'Eleganza, Events, video on 05 31st, 2012

You may have already seen images from the recent Italian Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Premier highlighting the BMW Zagato Coupe and other one-off coachbuilder concepts. During the event, many of the representatives from various manufactures, Aston Martin in particular, gave spectators an earful of shear bliss by starting and revving the engine. The videos below are of the Aston Martin DBS Project AM 310, or what is speculated to be the next DBS from the British manufacturer.

There is no doubt that this ‘Project AM 310’ looks stunning, but it also has the intoxicating exhaust sounds to match. The sound comes from a 6.0-liter V12 engine with 575 horsepower. Aston Martin claims that most components, about 75%, are entirely new and specific to the AM 310. We can’t wait to see if anything comes of this remarkable creation.

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Mercedes-Benz Rolls Out 2013 GL63 AMG 7-Passenger Rocket Ship 31
May
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, GL-Class, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, News, SUV on 05 31st, 2012

Mercedes has officially revealed their newest SUV rocket-ship, the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG, which happens to have seating for 7-passengers. The latest Benz to come out of the coveted AMG skunkworks division is powered by a 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine producing 550 horsepower and 560 ft-lbs. of torque. Power is directed to all four wheels through a full-time all-wheel-drive system and an AMG Speedshift 7-speed automatic transmission.

I can’t speak for every automotive enthusiast out there, but it gives me pleasure when I can tote my friends or family in a fast SUV. It is for those times that the mother-in-law starts to nag or the kids repeatedly ask the question “are we there yet”. I can simply return to my personal sanctum by firmly depressing the gas pedal instantly turning the family hauler into a road-going rollercoaster. The Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG happens to be the only full-size crossover SUV, seating 7-passengers, to offer such excitement for more than 5 people at a time.

The new 2013 Benz GL63 AMG will launch to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and top out at an electronically limited 155 mph. The GL63 AMG receives Ride Control suspension, the same Airmatic air suspension found on the other Benz vehicles, along with a more aggressive front fascia than that of the normal GL-Class, 21-inch wheels and V8 BITURBO badges on the side fenders.

Pricing for the GL63 AMG has not been released by Mercedes-Benz yet. As a comparison, the new ML63 AMG stickers for $95,865, meaning we should expect to see a solid 6-figure entry fee for the 2013 Benz GL63 AMG when it goes on sale in early 2013.

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Scion Whets Your Appetite For The FR-S: Video 31
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Scion FR-S, Automotive, Kurt, Scion, video on 05 31st, 2012

If you’ve been counting down the days to the release of the 2013 Scion FR-S, you can switch over to counting down the hours now. The most eagerly-anticipated sports coupe in years will be hitting the streets in less than 24 hours.

We’ve heard of dealers with cars already in the showroom, sadly with “additional dealer markups” approaching the $7,000 mark. That puts the Scion FR-S in an entirely different class of car, and for nearly $35,000 there are a lot of other cars we’d choose over the FR-S.

Bad publicity from dealer price gouging aside, Scion wants you to remember that the automotive press, at least those lucky enough to drive it, have heaped praise on the car. We haven’t had our turn behind the wheel just yet, but reliable sources tell us the car is the real deal.

To promote the car one last time before launch, Scion has released the above video, chock full of lurid power slides on damp mountain roads, obviously at the hands of trained professionals. Do we even need to remind you that trying this at home, in your own Scion FR-S, is not a good idea?



First ever £1.6 million porcelain Bugatti Veyron spotted in Paris 31
May
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Autostyle, Super car news on 05 31st, 2012

A very brave owner of a unique £1.6 million Bugatti Veyron made from porcelain parked it openly in a street in Paris, France. After being spotted outside the Plaza Athenee Hotel during its first sighting in Europe, unsurprisingly the supercar began to draw a crowd.

The super-wealthy owner of this astonishing Veyron L’Or Blanc or rather White Gold in English must have been very relieved when it arrived at the hotel unscathed as the streets of Paris are notoriously narrow and congested. The Bugatti, made last year, is the very first of its kind to have the porcelain body that was created in conjunction with a German ceramics company that usually makes tea pots. Interesting.

Tim Burton, 24, an enthusiast, drove down from London after hearing the rumours of the car making an appearance in Paris. He said that “I heard the one-off Veyron had been seen in Paris and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to head to France and see it with my own eyes. Fortunately it was parked out on the road and what an amazing car it truly is.”

Here are some of the stats for the White Gold Bugatti Veyron:

  • Cost: £1.6 million
  • Number built: One
  • Engine: 8-litre W16
  • Power: 1,001bhp
  • Accleration: 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.3 secs and 0-186mph in 16.7 secs
  • Top speed: 253mph (with roof down: 217mph)
  • Braking: 62mph – 0mph in 31.4 metres (DVLA figure = 73 metres)
  • Carbon dioxide emissions: 596g/km (Toyota Prius: 92g/km)
  • Average fuel economy: 10mpg
  • Fuel economy in town: 6.9mph

Bugatti’s design experts came with the blue and white paintjob as a tribute to the ‘Stelvio Pass’, a legendary stretch of road in Italy.

Dr. Stefan Brungs, Director of Sales and Marketing at Bugatti Automobiles said at the time of the car’s launch “At first, it seems to be an unusual idea to use porcelain in a car, especially in the world’s fastest convertible. But this is what Bugatti stands for: the realization of exceptional ideas whilst striving for the utmost in quality and aesthetics. This allows us to continue Ettore Bugatti’s heritage, who himself loved to experiment with new materials.”



MotorTrend Compares The Mercedes C250 And BMW 328i: Video 30
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, BMW, BMW 328i, Kurt, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Benz C250, video, Videos on 05 30th, 2012

If you’re shopping for a German luxury sport sedan on a relatively tight budget, and you prefer new cars to used, chances are very good that you’ll be cross-shopping the BMW 328i against the Mercedes-Benz C250. Both are comparable in size and price, and both now derive power from turbocharged four cylinder engines.

The BMW gets a 2.0-liter four, rated at 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. This helps the car sprint from 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, yet it still manages to return 36 mpg on the highway. The Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, makes due with a 1.8-liter four, good for 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. That’s still enough to propel it from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while returning up to 31 mpg on the highway.

While these numbers serve as reference points, the real value of a sport sedan comes from feel. How it communicates to the driver in a corner is, to some degree, even more important than how fast it accelerates off a stop light. Factor in the luxury aspect, and driver comfort becomes equally important.

There’s a clear winner in this comparison, and there’s really no surprise which car comes out on top. It’s worth pointing out that the BMW 328i is all new, while the Mercedes-Benz was last updated in 2007. A new C-Class model is under development, so a comparison between the new 3 Series and the new C-Class may be a closer dogfight.



BMW To Offer Manual Transmission On New M6 30
May
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 BMW M6 Coupe, Automotive, BMW, BMW M6, Manual Transmission, News on 05 30th, 2012

Some automotive purists cannot be convinced of the idea that dual-clutch transmissions or other variations of automated manual gearboxes are better than the traditional three-pedal manual stick-shift. BMW happens to be one of the rare performance and luxury vehicle manufacturers (aham… “driving machine makers”) in American that still understands this. BMW understands it so well that they offer a manual gearbox for most of their car lineup, and will reportedly do the same with the new 2013 and 2014 BMW M6.

The new 2013 BMW M5 already offers a 6-speed manual gearbox and the new M6 will follow suit possibly for the 2013 and 2014 model years. Enthusiasts in American will rejoice as BMW keeps hope alive with the effort to save the manuals. Contrary to the matter, BMW is allegedly attempting to convince its executives to lobby for a broader acceptance for automatics. Until that lobbing becomes successful, give me the manual option please!



Second Earthquake Shutters Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini 30
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Ferrari, Italy, Kurt, Lamborghini, Maserati, News, supercars on 05 30th, 2012

Ferrari's 458 Italia Spider. Image: Ferrari

A second earthquake hit Italy’s Modena province on Tuesday morning, killing at least 15 people, destroying buildings and damaging infrastructure. The quake, which measured 5.8 in magnitude, struck at 9:00 a.m. local time and was followed by aftershocks as strong as 5.6.

While automakers Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini escaped factory damage in the quake, all three halted operations so that employees could join their families. As Autoweek reports, all three automakers are expected to resume production today.

Motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, also based in the region, was closed following Tuesday’s quake as well. It’s expected that the Volkswagen Group’s latest acquisition will resume production today, too.

The second quake was centered near the towns of Cavezzo, Medolla and Mirandola, but was felt as far away as Tuscany and Umbria. While Italy suffers some 2,000 earthquakes annually, temblors of this magnitude in northern Italy are a rare occurrence.



Videos: A Closer Look at the new 2013 Shelby GT500 30
May
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 Ford Mustang, 2013 Shelby GT500, Automotive, Ford, Ford Shelby GT500 on 05 30th, 2012

A few recent reviews of the new 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 have somewhat downplayed the vehicles over-all demeanor in terms of lacking inspiration. Whatever conclusion you may get from the new Shelby GT500, you cannot deny the massive 662 horsepower 5.8-liter V8 engine’s enthusiasm. With that much power on tap, and a decent 24 mpg estimated highway fuel consumption to boot, this makes for one of the best V8 engines to come off of a mass-production assembly line.

Another particular aspect about the new 2013 Shelby GT500 is its ability to reach a speed of 200 mph. The engineers at SVT, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, show their faces in the exclusive videos below giving us a taste of what the new Shelby GT500 is all about. Not to mention, they show us the GT500 hitting a few mph shy of the 200mph mark in the middle of a hot Desert.



Land Rover Freelander 2 Spy Shots 30
May
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in 4X4, Autostyle on 05 30th, 2012

Land Rover is preparing a face-lift for the Freelander, originally launched in 2006 and spy shots taken in the Midlands reveal what to expect.

The new facelift, due imminently, is designed to give the vehicle some of the glamour of the Evoque and extend its life cycle while the company focuses on bigger and more pricier upcoming models.

As for the exterior changes, the front end of the Freelander is noticeably different: the now-chrome-ringed grille is smaller and positioned higher up, in line with the revised headlamps. The interior on the other hand has gone through a more drastic redesign with a once plastic looking cabin now featuring more of the Evoque style.

The new Freelander will also feature new gadgets including the latest in MP3 and Bluetooth compatibility.

View the spy shots in the gallery below:

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Source: Car Magazine



Sweet Emotion: Steven Tyler Takes Delivery of first 1244hp Hennessey Venom GT Spyder 30
May
Posted by Darryl in Aerosmith, Automotive, Hennessey, Hennessey Venom GT, Hennessey Venom GT Spyder on 05 30th, 2012

It is interesting to find out how many popular entertainers are car nuts that choose to drive some of the most outrageous vehicles known to man. One particular vehicle and entertainment figure that makes the word ‘outrageous’ sound like an understatement is the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder and Steven Tyler. Together these two seem like a match made in Heaven considering their ‘Crazy’ aptitude. After all, 1,244 horsepower and Aerosmith go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.

It seems last year Steven Tyler and John Hennessey crossed paths and out came Steven’s request for his very own Venom GT Spyder. With such an order from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Hennessey and his team were sure to deliver on this request.

This particular build would involve making some structural changes to fit the removable top for the very first Venom GT Spyder. With a removable top, the structural changes would add on about 30 pounds. John and his team decided to add a bit more power to the equation to compensate, upping the power to a total of 1,244 horsepower.

The time has come that Steven Tyler takes delivery of the very first Venom GT Spyder, which will be 1 of a total of 5 fine examples of this $1.1 million Bugatti Veyron killer. You can say, this is truly a ‘Sweet Emotion’ or a ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ moment, depending on the position of the throttle of this beast-of-a-car.

Sources: TopGear via GTSpirit



Rimac Concept_One shows up in Monaco 29
May
Posted by admin in Automotive News, concept on 05 29th, 2012
Rimac Concept_One shows up in Monaco

Rimac Concept_One shows up in Monaco

At Frankfurt Motor Show and impress the hordes of automotive journalists there assembled, but we were suitably impressed when we laid eyes upon the Rimac Concept_One at the Messe this past September. The Croatian upstart put together a supercar of (figurative, if not literal) Bugatti proportions, but instead of building it around a fossil-guzzling conventional powerplant, Rimac designed its hypercar with the equivalent of 1,088-horsepower worth of electric motors.

With a 92kW battery powering the electric motors at each wheel, the Rimac is said to be capable of rocketing to 62 from a standstill in just 2.8 seconds while traveling as far as 372 miles on a single charge. The team of former Pininfarina designers penned an attractive shape to go with it, the Bulgarian leathercrafters extraordinaires at Vilner were brought in to craft the interior, HRE developed a unique set of monoblock alloys and Vredestein debuted its new Ultrac Vorti tires designed by Giugiaro all for the Concept_One.

Impressive specs, all, but what’s most impressive is that the Concept_One is no mere concept – you can actually buy it, assuming you’ve got the scratch. Upon showcasing the electric supercar at Top Marques in Monaco



Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda Drives A NASCAR Camry: Video 29
May
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, Nascar, TOYOTA, Toyota Camry, video on 05 29th, 2012

When it comes to CEOs of major automakers, few are as passionate about driving and racing as Toyota head Akio Toyoda. We have him to thank for the Scion FR-S, and we’re pretty sure that Toyota will build other sports cars in the not-too-distant future under Toyoda’s urging.

Toyoda is an accomplished racer, too, so it was hardly out of character for him to bring along a Nomex suit on a recent trip to Daytona. Kyle Busch got the honor of riding shotgun as Akio Toyoda himself ran a few hot laps around Daytona before posing with fans and guests in the paddock.

As Autoblog points out, Toyoda was driving a prototype of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Camry, expected to debut next season if approval is granted. We give Toyoda a bow of respect for his efforts: it’s one thing for a CEO to drive new road-going models, but it’s something else entirely when the head of a company can competently shake down a race car at speed.



Porsche announces 911 Club Coupe 29
May
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Popular on 05 29th, 2012

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first two Porsche clubs, the company has announced that it has created the very exclusive 911 Club Coupe. The two Porsche clubs, one of which was established in 1952 and the other a few months afterwards, have now grown into a huge 181,000 members among 640 Porsche clubs in 75 countries around the globe.

Auto Blog reports that the car, based on the Carrera S will get its Powerkit providing an extra 30 horsepower. This increase in horsepower will give the vehicle the ability to jump from  0-100 kph in just 4.0 seconds. “The PASM option drops the car by 20 millimeters over its 20-inch Sport Techno rims, and the Sport Design package adds a new front fascia and a ducktail spoiler out back.”

On the exterior, The Club Coupe will show off glossy script on the doors and green paint. The interior sports an Espresso look.

As one would expect from such an exciting and exclusive offering, Porsche will only be making 13 Club Coupes (in honour of the 13 founding members) and naturally, keeping one for themselves.

This is how it works: club members will be able to register on the Porsche microsite to stand a chance to win one of the 12 Porsches decided by a lottery draw.







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