Monday, October 13, 2008

Mercedes Benz CLS 2009 Class Pictures

Mercedes Benz CLS 2009 Class Pictures

When it comes to shaking up the luxury car world, no amount of power, technological sophistication or supple leather in the cabin can top an alluring design. More stunning in person than even the most flattering photography might suggest, the coupelike Mercedes CLS-Class has a visual presence that few other luxury sedans can match. And that is something that's not likely to change for some time to come.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class offers a level of athleticism and sumptuousness that in the past has been difficult to find in one car. Although it makes use of a number of unique pieces throughout, a lot of the underlying structure and hardware comes from the well-regarded E-Class. The engines in the CLS550 and CLS63 AMG, for example, are shared with its brethren and are connected to Mercedes' excellent seven-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability.

While its rakish visage does wonders for the CLS' image, it also reduces interior dimensions in several key areas. Up front, the effects are minimal as the CLS feels every bit as accommodating as Mercedes' full-size luxury flagship. But in back, its dimensions are tighter in nearly every direction when compared to more mainstream sedans. Additionally, the small rear windows can make occupants feel closed in.

But these are pretty minor complaints. The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class isn't really a case of form over function; rather, it's a rare combination of the two that makes them satisfyingly complementary. For the luxury car buyer who desires distinctive styling, strong performance and a sumptuous interior, the CLS is easy to recommend.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gallery Mercedes Benz SL 63 AMG 2009

Gallery Mercedes Benz SL 63 AMG 2009
It's early Thursday morning, and we have bleak weather, a bright red example of the newly face-lifted SL roadster, and many miles ahead of us as we speed from Germany to the Cte d'Azur in search of this year's first tan. Mercedes-Benz designers ran the scalpel extra-deep on this top-of-the-line AMG version, with mixed results. The single-bar grille looks generic despite the three-pointed star; the L-shaped headlamps used to be exclusive to the CLS; the chin spoiler is cluttered; and the rear diffuser is a big, ugly piece of black plastic. First impression: thumbs down.

Second impression: thumbs up. Why? Because now the engine is fired up, and we're on our way. Kudos for the promising intake rasp, the serious punch, the awesome new transmission, and the improved ride. This is going to be fun.

Google Maps will tell you that the most direct route from Stuttgart to Monte Carlo is through Switzerland, but the nearly $40 Swiss autobahn toll is blatant highway robbery, and the Swiss cops strictly enforce the 75-mph speed limit. That isn't exactly the ideal habitat for a Benz powered by AMG's 518-hp, 6.2-liter V-8, so we divert eastward through Austria and reach Innsbruck by lunchtime. Instead of tiptoeing down the heavily traveled Brenner Pass, we take a scenic shortcut through the Dolomites, the perfect playground for the new AMG Drive Unit. Say what? The Drive Unit is a small knob next to the shifter that controls the seven-speed MCT gearbox.

MCT stands for multiclutch technology, which is AMG's lingo for a low-inertia, high-efficiency wet multiplate clutch that replaces the torque converter. The Drive Unit lets you choose from among four modes labeled C (comfort), S (sport), S+ (sport with anger), and M (manual). C is fine for stop-and-go traffic, but it's too relaxed anywhere else. S speeds up the shift times by twenty percent; S+ gains an additional twenty percent. The M setting holds the selected gear no matter what and is almost brutal in the way it juggles the ratios, flashing a big red warning light whenever the V-8 approaches its 7200-rpm redline.

Unlike the pleasantly straightforward C63 AMG, the SL63 is the exact opposite of the "one setting fits all" philosophy. Therefore, you need to choose the suspension setting next. Is it C for compliant or S for stiff? The stability control can be calibrated, too: on, off, or ESP Sport, which gives you a little more room to play. The next option is Race Start, otherwise known as launch control, closely followed by the mysterious AMG button, which will store your favorite transmission, stability control, and chassis settings. In our case, we asked it to memorize S+, ESP Sport, and ABC (active body control) in S.

Although the SL63 AMG is a compelling mix of sprinter and long-distance runner, in some ways it's overshadowed by the SL55 AMG it replaces. After all, the high-revving, normally aspirated V-8 can't quite match its predecessor in terms of torque (465 lb-ft at 5200 rpm versus 531 lb-ft at 2600 rpm) or claimed acceleration (0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds versus 4.5 seconds). Then again, the SL63 performs over a wider rev band and responds more eagerly to throttle orders.

Credit is due to the magical transmission, which automatically blips the throttle during downshifts and can drop directly from seventh gear to fourth gear, or from fifth to second. Praise also goes to the neatly balanced ABC suspension, the reassuringly powerful and yet easy to modulate fourteen-inch brakes, and the meaty steering that's stoic enough to hold course at 155 mph and quick enough to catch the car's wayward tail.

On the should-do-better list, we note the hefty curb weight (about 4350 pounds), the high-speed fuel consumption, the ever-more-complex ergonomics (the SL still doesn't have the S-class's single Comand controller), the noisy but not particularly tuneful engine, and the garish AMG livery.

Friday's lunch is al fresco in Monte Carlo, and we're keeping a watchful eye on our SL63, which hums an end-of-journey curbside tune - exhaust crackling lightly, engine sizzling, leather and plastic audibly expanding and contracting at random. The sixteen-second folding hard top is still a great roof, because it anoints the SL with instant Grand Touring status. But as soon as the panels disappear into the trunk, the AMG version in particular morphs into a hard-core roadster that's ready to snap at the heels of any supercar whose path it might cross. Quite frankly, we could have done without this face-lift for both the SL63 and the lesser SL models, and we can't quite forget the SL55 and its 5.4-liter supercharged V-8, which was a breakthrough car for AMG, finding some 21,000 buyers. But on aggregate points, on all-around talent, and on universal appeal, the SL63 AMG once more marks a step forward in the colorful history of the iconic two-seat Mercedes-Benz sports car.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren 2008 Pictures

Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren 2008 Pictures

Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren 2008 Pictures
With it’s unique butterfly doors and carbon-fiber body, the rear-wheel drive, 2008 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster is the result of a partnership between Mercedes Benz and McLaren cars. Modeled after its sister the SLR coupe, the two-seater Roadster comes in with a MSRP at almost a half a million dollars ($495,00 for base model), and can go from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 206 miles per hour.The 2008 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster’s body is made exclusively of carbon-fiber over reinforced plastic. A powerful 5.5 liter supercharged, 24 valve, V-8 engine delivers 617 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. Its transmission features an AMG Speed shift-R, which is a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency is rated at 12 mpg in city driving conditions and 16 mpg in highway driving conditions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mercedes Benz C63 AMG 2008

Mercedes Benz C63 AMG 2008

We have our first C63 dyno report to come in. With just 100 miles on the odometer, a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG put down a solid 380.67 horsepower and 364.30 pounds of torque to the rear wheels on a DynoJet dynamometer. Using an 18% driveline loss, this puts the C63 at around 464 HP and 443 pounds of torque, just a bit higher than the 451 HP and 443 lb-ft torque rating from Mercedes.

The C63 AMG has the same hand-built 6.3L 32-valve V-8 AMG engine that appears throughout the AMG lineup where it outputs as much as 518 HP. We have an E63 dyno run that put shows 408 RWHP and 363.05 RWTQ. Not too far off from the C63’s horsepower numbers while the torque is just about the same.

By looking at the C63’s dyno graph, it’s pretty clear where the de-tuning from AMG occurs to keep the lowest priced AMG from leaving it’s more expensive cousins in the dust. It’s only a matter of time before the tuners start unleashing the true potential of this motor to 500+ HP, allowing the C63 AMG to really tear up the roads.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vector Supercars Gallery

Vector Supercars Gallery
Who doesn't remember Vector Supercars and the original aerospace-inspired Vector domestic supercar? What about the W2, the W8, WX-3 and the swan song of the M12? Besides the Corvette, the Vector at most times during the '80s and early '90s was the only exotic car on the world market that was born and bred in the good old U.S. of A. Hardly any were ever sold and they remain rare pieces of our domestic auto history, but rumor that original Vector founder Gerald Wiegert is working on a new supercar have been hanging around the past few years. Whether or not that's true, we found these concept renderings of a Vector V8 Biturbo concept on a Romanian auto site and just had to share. They show off the angularity of the original Vectors in a thoroughly modern form, complete with scissor doors that feature the Vector's trademark below-the-beltline ancillary side windows. Who knows how much power this twin-turbo V8 makes or any other details about the rendered concept, but the fact these frames were even produced should tell Wiegert that there's definitely pent up interest for a Vector revival. If any one knows the artist who produced these renderings, drop us a line in the comments as we'd love to give credit where credit's due.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Locus Plethora 2007

Engine GM Racing V8
Displacement 8200 cc / 500.4 cu in
Power 559.3 kw / 750 bhp
HP per litre 91.46 BHP per litre
bhp/weight 600.0 bhp per weight
Torque 766.04 nm / 565 ft lbs
RWD w/Getrag Differential
Body / frame Carbon Fibre Body over Carbon Fibre & Aluminum Honeycomb Sandwitch
Front tire size 255/40ZR-18 Michelin Pilot Sport
Rear tire size 415/30ZR-18 Michelin Pilot Sport
Weight 1250 kg / 2756 lbs
Wheelbase 2940 mm / 115.7 in
Length 4520 mm / 178.0 in
Width 2220 mm / 87.4 in
Height 1120 mm / 44.1 in
Transmission 6-Speed Tremec

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Supercar Picture Gallery

Supercar Picture Gallery
The most unusual "supercar" proposed may have been the Ford Nucleon concept car of the late 50s. It had a small nuclear reactor in the trunk (in proposal - they never built one) and the target was 5000 miles between refuelings. An exercise to those of you with engineering or physics backgrounds is to figure out a few "practical" schemes to do this that might have been used. Take 20 minutes and talk about performance and safety tradeoffs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gallery Honda Accord Coupe 2008

Gallery Honda Accord Coupe 2008
The 2008 Honda Accord Coupe will be available in two versions i.e the 2.4 liter inline-4 i-VTEC DOHC engine which could produce 190 hp and a 3.5 liter V6 i-VTEC SOHC engine that could produce 268 hp.

Even though both the sedan and the coupe come with V6 engine, there’s a significant difference between the two of them in term of the valve train. The coupe V6 engine doesn’t have the Variable Cylinder Management system like the one in the sedan. This will lightened the weight and directly improve the torque curve at low to medium speed compared to the sedan. Another obvious difference is that the coupe comes with only a 6-speed manual transmission whereas the sedan is equipped with only automatic transmission.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Honda Accord Coupe Concept 2009

Honda Accord Coupe Concept 2009
Eighth generation of Honda Accord is very near to its release. So how would 2009 Honda Accord Coupe that is going to be launched around the spring or summer of 2008 look like. We have very little information on that but what we could claim is that it would very much resemble 2009 Honda Accord Coupe Concept, revealed in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

We could very much expect a choice between 4-cylinder engine and a V6. The next generation V6 (with Honda’s i-VTEC variable valve timing) is going to be more fuel efficient as claimed by company. V6 with its Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology will surely make it possible as the technology de-activates every other cylinder when the car is cruising under light load to reduce fuel consumption. Once higher power is required engine runs with its all the cylinder activated.

There is no doubt for the safety features of the future Honda Accord Coupe due to Honda’s Safety for everyone initiative. Honda has set up a baseline of safety features for all its future models. 2009 Honda Accord Coupe will be for sure have front and side-impact airbags for people sitting at front seats, the curtain style head protection airbags for both front and rear would fall in the basic safety features. The electronic stability control and advanced anti-lock brakes presence could not be denied. ACE i.e. Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure would be present which incorporates a front-end frame structure primarily designed to wholly soak up and dissolve crash energy over a big area in case of a frontal collision.

We wish that 2009 Accord concept Honda will make it to production without too many changes.

Sunday, January 13, 2008