Mercedes today unveiled the latest version of their flagship luxury sedan, the S-Class. This is a big one for Mercedes. Get it wrong and BMW and Audi will more than happily mop up any disaffected buyers. Get it right and they’ll retain their crown as the finest purveyor of German luxury automobiles. For Mercedes-Benz’s designers and engineers it’s a delicate balancing act to ensure the new S-Class is filled with enough high-tech gadgetry and cutting edge technology to get potential buyers oohing and ahhing. But that it’s not too radical of an overhaul that the rich old men who normally buy these things get put off by revolutionary styling or overly complicated infotainment systems.
From the outside it looks like MB’s designers have earned their pay. The 2014 S-Class is hansome, well proportioned, and should please both newcomers to the brand as well as loyal customers. To my eye it’s a far better looking than its predecessor, which from some angles looked a little clunky. The styling of the 2014 S-Class is also far more in-keeping with that of the new CLA, and Mercedes-Benz’s new design language as a whole.
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HSV, the perfomance arm of the Australian automaker GM Holden, have just unveiled their all-new GEN-F lineup. It incorporates six different vehicles, based over three different body styles. There’s a sedan; available in either Clubsport spec, Senator Signature spec, or the range-topping GTS. A wagon called the GEN-F Clubsport R8 Tourer. And also a pickup, or to give its Aussie title, a Ute, called the Maloo which is offered in both standard and R8 versions (headline picture).
All the Clubsport models are equipped with a 6.2 litre LS3 V8, which produces 425 horsepower 550Nm of torque. The R8 badged models get a smidgen more power, with their engines developing 435 horsepower. The GEN-F Senator Signature sedan is fitted with the same LS3 V8 too, but in this car it produces 455 horsepower and 570 Nm of torque. At the top of the pile is the GEN-F GTS sedan which is powered by a supercharged 6.2 litre LSA engine which churns out a massive 576 horspower and 740 Nm of torque.
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For their latest concept car, BMW have teamed up with perhaps Italy’s most celebrated design studio, Pininfarina. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is a one-off creation which will make its world debut at the 2013 Concours d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.
The car is a follow-up to the BMW Zagato Coupe concept which was shown at the same venue last year. Same German brand, different Italian designers. And whereas the Zagato Coupe was based on the Z4 Coupe, the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe looks to be built around the 6 Series Coupe.
However the fact the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is powered by a V12 engine means that many people will make the obvious connection with the gone-but-not-forgotten mighty 8 Series. A car which in my opinion is long overdue for revival.
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That headline probably isn’t all that surprising to anyone with eyes. Which I’m assuming is most of you seeing as you’re reading this. The 1980s was a pretty disastrous decade for the automobile the world over. In the US car design had almost completely stagnated, with the big three pretty much living on the fact most buyers of the time wouldn’t consider anything that wasn’t ‘Merican made. In the UK quality control had become laughable, with the workers in the automotive industry spending most of the previous decade either on strike, or in the breakroom demanding more tea breaks.
Today what that means is that 1980s cars are (thankfully) headed to the junk yard at a faster rate than any other generation of automobiles. In a study conducted by the British motoring website honestjohn.co.uk, they discovered that out of the many vehicles which had been produced in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, in that decade, there were some which were now down to their last couple hundred.
Honestjohn have put together a list of the top 20 fastest dissapearing family cars in the UK. Unsurprisingly almost every single one of them is from a British manufacturer. But just to make sure the story ends on a high note, they’ve also complied a list of the top 10 classic survivors…
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This year’s Worthersee event saw several VW, Audi and SEAT concept cars unveiled. But by far the most practical vehicle on show surely has to be the Volkswagen Amarok Power-Pickup Concept, which is, obviously, based on an Amarok single cab pickup.
The Volkswagen Amarock Power-Pickup Concept is powered by a 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged diesel engine. It produces 272 horsepower and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque. Enough to scoot the pickup to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds, and tow small mountains. Just not at the same time. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic unit mated to a permanent 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system.
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Men in dark suits, in dark sunglasses, in a darkened room, applauding their own work really isn’t a good look. Call it the pinnacle of douchery if you will. But that’s just how Lamborghini chose to reveal their surprise 50th birthday present to themselves.
The concept, called the Egoista, which means “selfish” in Italian, is a single seat hyper car with stying inspired by the deadly and stealthy Apache attack helicopter. Sounds promising.
Yet somehow the Egoista somehow manages to take Lamborghini’s stealth aircraft inspired design language and turn the dial up so far the system can’t handle it and overloads. In my book Lamborghinis should be mad, fast, and effortlessly cool – in that order. The Aventador J is a prime example. The Egoista tries way too hard. It’s a bit like those tangerine-colored guys you see wearing fake tan who are unable to accept the fact they don’t have the body to carry off a muscle shirt anymore. You know the type.
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Volkswagen today published some sketches of a super high-performance VW Golf GTI-based concept car which they will be showing off at this year’s Worthersee gathering in Austria where Audi/Volkswagen/Skoda fans get together to talk shop.
The Volkswagen Design Vision GTI concept is the most potent Golf-based vehicle since 2007, when Volkswagen introduced the GTI W12 650 concept, again at Worthersee. The Design Vision GTI is based on the recently-launched 7th generation Golf GTI, however the car has had so many modifications it’s virtually an all-new car. It’s longer, lower and wider than a standard GTI, while also having a longer wheelbase, wider track both front and rear, and shorter overhangs.
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At this year’s Worthersee Festival, May 17-19, SEAT will be showing off their all-new race car. Called the SEAT Leon Cup Racer, the brand new race car gives a pretty good indication of what a SEAT touring car racer might look like. The car is homologated to compete in numerous race series around the world, and is on sale now priced from 70,000 EUR ($91,000).
For your money you get a ready-to-run racer fitted with a 330 horsepower, 2.0 litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox which is controlled via paddles on the steering wheel. A special variant of the Leon Cup Racer setup for endurance racing can be ordered with a sequential racing transmission with a shift lever on the centre console and a mechanical differential lock.
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Classic face-off is a feature where we show you a couple of similarly priced classic cars from the same era, and you vote for the one you find most appealing.
This is truly a Titan’s endeavor, as we are today pitting against each other two very rare and remarkably beautiful cars, that are well prepared to go under the auctioneer’s hammer and grab astonishing amounts of cash – if you ask us, somewhere north of the $2 million mark. So, this is not the usual vote about which one would best suit your garage, as the cars featured today are at the pinnacle of automotive style and of course, cost.
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