August 31, 2005

2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spy Photos

Seen here testing somewhere in the Californian desert with massive cladding is the new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Expect official unveiling at Geneva 2007 with sales starting shortly after. Also expect the wagon to arrive 6 months later in the autumn or fall. Our sources state a cabriolet soft-top and coupe are also planned which we can only interpret as being the new CLK-Class which is also based on the same platform. Air suspension or active body control have been ruled out due to cost restraints. Base engine will be a direct injection 4-cylinder 1.8 liter with varying horsepower from 150 to 190. Horsepower for the 2.5 liter V6 and 3.5 liter V6 will be 210 to 270 respectively. AMG's 5.4-litre will be revised with new horsepower rating up from today's 360 to 400-410hp to compete with the Audi RS4 and future BMW M3. Also a 3.0 liter diesel is planned as well as the new iDrive-like operating concept found in the new S-Class. 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system will also remain available as well.


06:00 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

August 30, 2005

200 hp Blitzen-Benz

1909 was a special year in the history of Benz & Cie, crowned by the achievements of a record-breaking car which has sealed its place in automotive folklore as one of the most inspirational models ever made. Powered by a quite awe-inspiring 21.5-liter 200-horsepower engine, the “Blitzen-Benz” reduced the then mythical 200 km/h landmark to a footnote in history. No other road-going vehicle could compete, whilst the world’s fastest trains and even the aircraft of the time were left gasping in its wake. A land-speed record which remained intact for eight years represents a suitable legacy for this era-defining vehicle. Of the six Blitzen-Benz ever made, two survive – Mercedes-Benz owns one, the other is the muse of a US collector. However, now another American enthusiast has found a way to gain entry into this exclusive club, working closely with Mercedes-Benz Classic to create a reproduction of the Blitzen-Benz containing a number of genuine parts.


06:00 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

June 21, 2005

Best of the Best

The Ferrari F430 was chosen as the top sports car for the 2005 Robb Report 17th annual Best of the Best special edition.

Ferrari's new F430, a mid-engine sports car powered by a 490-horsepower 4.3-liter V8 engine, was top choice in the Sports Car category. Paul Dean, Robb Report editor-at-large, described the F430 as "the finest Ferrari ever built, and maybe the world's best sports car ever."

The Aston Martin DB9 was named the Robb Report's 2005 Car of the Year, and was chosen as "Best of the Best" in the GTs and Coupes category. According to Dean the DB9 is "the finest of the new Aston Martins built to whisper of past glories without displaying an obsession with them."

"Best of the Best" in the sedan category was the Merecedes-Benz CLS55 AMG, the high-performance AMG version of the new sedan with a coupe-like profile, powered by a 469-horsepower supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine. Brett Anderson, Robb Report senior vice president of editorial, summarized the CLS55 as the "perfect amalgamation of style, strength, subtlety and pure mind-numbing fun."

In the Sport-Utility Vehicles category, the new Land Rover Range Rover Sport was the top choice—the first Land Rover with an emphasis on handling and on-road performance. Range Rover Sport's off-road capability "remains an industry standard," according to Dean, "and the on-road performance is designed to match and maybe even surpass that of BMW's X5, Porsche's Cayenne Turbo and any member of Mercedes' M-Class."

06:08 AM in BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, News, Porsche | Permalink

June 20, 2005

"Bionic" Car Fueled by Fishy Ideas

Lots of cars have been named after creatures of the sea, from the Corvette Stingray to the Plymouth Barracuda. But Mercedes-Benz's new Bionic Car was actually made to look like one. At a DaimlerChrysler car exposition last week in Washington, D.C., the automaker unveiled the concept vehicle, whose sloping nose and trim silhouette were modeled directly after the small tropical boxfish (inset).

Engineers patterned the vehicle on the boxfish's unique features, mimicking the fish's streamlined profile to improve the car's aerodynamics, while adopting the animal's boxy frame to increase strength and stability. Drawing on biology to develop new technology—a concept known as bionics—enabled the designers to create a diesel-powered prototype that can achieve speeds of up to 188 miles an hour (190 kilometers an hour) and boasts fuel economy of 70 miles a gallon (30 kilometers per liter).

Boxfish, also known as trunkfish or cowfish, can be found in warm ocean waters, where they linger near the seafloor to hunt for burrowing invertebrates. The fish are easily identified by their distinctive profiles as well as by the bonelike, six-sided plates that cover much of their bodies and help protect them from predators.

Acknowledging the fish as the inspiration for the Bionic Car, Mercedes-Benz issued a statement calling the boxfish "a prime example of the ingenious inventions developed by nature over millions of years of evolution."

Get more info.

06:01 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

February 24, 2005

It’s-All-About-Me Roadsters

The jury deliberates over four new convertibles on our most-selfish list.

We haven’t officially put Ayn Rand on our must-read list, but we have been lately mulling a few of her principles, particularly the one about the virtue of selfishness. Should you suddenly be handed a fistful of dollars, for example, would you buy a new bus for the church or head straight to the nearest Porsche dealer?

No hands, please, it’s a secret ballot. Those of you in the latter category—and you know who you are—may want to divert some of your overtaxed attention to the following pages. Upon them we have lashed down and dissected four of the newest, fleetest, it’s-all-about-me convertibles in the $45,000 to $60,000 range, a group we regularly check in on for reasons that are, of course, selfish.

Featured in This Comparo
Chevrolet Corvette
Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6
Mercedes-Benz SLK350
Porsche Boxster S


06:07 AM in Chevrolet, Convertibles, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche | Permalink

February 11, 2005

The Mercedes Hot Seat

Ford Focus 2000-2002Have you ever turned on the heated seat and started to sweat? How about getting the seat so hot you received second degree burns? Sounds like a painful way to get burned, trapped in a speeding car, ass on fire, literally. The mental image is pretty bad but that’s what happened to one Mercedes Benz ML320 owner as their SUV’s driver’s side seat overheated. Two other owners reported the same problem without the burns. The problem is with the 2003 model year vehicle according to the NHTSA. Ouch in related news DCX has another investigation going into its 2001, 2002 minivans for faulty headlights. And to top the day off, Dodge had to recall 26,000 Durango SUVs for fuel tank valves not fully closing, causing potential gas leaks.

But none of that seems as bad as Ford’s day. The company has to recall 360,000 Ford Foci for rear doors that may not latch properly. There are 33 complaints about the problem in 2000-2002 four- and five-door vehicles.


06:18 AM in Ford, Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

January 26, 2005

200 MPH Club: 2005 Ford GT, Lamborghini Murcielago, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and Porsche Carrera GT

We bring the Ford GT, the Lamborghini Murciélago, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and the Porsche Carrera GT together in one place. You're about to learn exactly what it's like to live with the four fastest cars on sale in America.

You've devoured every word the automotive press has written about them. You've memorized their almost unbelievable technical specifications, marveled over their futuristic constructions, pored over cutaways and power curves, and tried to get your pointy little heads around performance numbers that seem nearly incomprehensible for roadgoing production cars.

Some of you actually have plunked down the suitcase full of stacked and banded C-notes for your place on the short list for your favorite, and we suspect that more than one of you have ordered all four.


06:25 AM in Ford, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche | Permalink

December 15, 2004

Benz Released First M-Class Pics

Mercedes-Benz has released these first pictures of the new 2006 M-Class sport-ute, due to be shown at theDetroit auto show in January.

According to a release, the new M-Class sits 5.9 inches longer, 2.8 inches wider and 0.4 inches lower on the road than the first-generation vehicle, with a 114-inch wheelbase that's 3.7 inches longer than before. The new M-Class switches from a body-on-frame design to a unibody platform - more like the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Benz's new seven-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is full-time four-wheel drive. A height-adjustable AIRMATIC air suspension is option. A revised four-wheel traction control system now incorporates functions such as a downhill driving aid and Hill-Start Assist.

As expected, the new M-Class offers up two engines at launch. The ML350 is powered by an all-new 3.5-liter, four-valve-per-cylinder V-6 engine delivering 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The ML 500 sports the Benz 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque.

Major improvements to the M-Class' interior have been made, according to Mercedes, with richer materials, a more sporting instrument panel, and more interior room for all five passengers. The new M adds more than two inches of additional front leg room, and rear-passenger knee and leg room have also been increased by 1.4 inches and 1.3-inches. Front, side and side curtain airbags are standard.

The M-Class will be built at the Mercedes-Benz factory near Tuscaloosa, Ala. A seven-passenger version of the same architecture, possibly badged as the new G-Class, is expected in a year. The crossover R-Class, based on the same architecture, is also expected within the year.

06:12 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

November 24, 2004

Mercedes-Benz Pontons (1953-1962)

Mercedes-Benz Ponton 4 cylinder sedan
4 cylinder sedan

Mercedes-Benz Ponton 4 cylinder roadster
4 cylinder roadster

Mercedes-Benz Ponton 6 cylinder sedan
6 cylinder sedan 

Mercedes-Benz Ponton 6 cylinder cabriolet
6 cylinder cabriolet

Willkommen! This site explores, chronicles and celebrates the unitary-construction sedans, coupés, cabriolets, roadsters and variants built by Daimler-Benz from 1953 to 1962. It also serves as a central meeting place where Mercedes-Benz Ponton owners, friends and associates from around the world can share their knowledge and experiences. Features include: production and technical data, resources for new and used parts & services, discussion fora, technical literature, instructive guides, photographs and more.

06:02 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink

October 27, 2004

The World's Baddest Coupe

The World's Baddest Coupe: First drive of AMG's limited-edition CLK-DTM street car

The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (or German Touring Car Masters) racing series is central Europe’s NASCAR, routinely drawing crowds in excess of 100,000. Mercedes-Benz screamed its way to the 2003 DTM championship with a CLK built for racing by the company’s in-house tuner, AMG.

No, we didn’t drive that car, but we did snag some seat time in a limited-production CLK-DTM AMG that draws inspiration from—and claims a lineage to—that same champion race car.

Based on a slightly modified CLK chassis, body parts remain formed in steel except for the stout skirting all around, front and rear bulging fenders, and the rear spoiler, which are created in carbon fiber. The only available colors are silver or black. The CLK’s interior gets gutted and is then draped in fresh carbon fiber, pieces that include high-back race seats and a cross-member behind the headrests. Grippy suede covers a steering wheel from HWA, the motorsports arm of Mercedes AMG that campaigns the DTM team and that will build all 100 CLK-DTM AMGs slated for public consumption over the next 18 months.


07:23 AM in Mercedes-Benz | Permalink