|Posted by Jeff Brown on April 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM|
AMSO Members and Friends,
With a very heavy heart, I need to pass along some very bad news from the San Antonio car scene. Yesterday morning, I received the following message from Luis, who organizes the monthly Coffee & Rides at the Vineyard Shopping Center. Apparently, some unscrupulous – dare I say, idiotic, moronic & pin-headed – car folk(s) sped through the parking lot, narrowly avoiding an accident. The owners of Vineyard Shopping Center called Luis and informed him that the parking lot can no longer be used to gather.
This essentially shuts down Coffee & Rides and effective immediately, Coffee & Rides gathering at the Vineyard Shopping Center is cancelled as an event. That said, there is an upwelling of support for C&R and I believe at some point a new gathering venue will be found. If Facebook comments are an indication, the event may move around the 1604/I-10 interchange area. As I get additional information, I will pass it along so that we can again be a part of this fine showing of cars within San Antonio. BTW, to our knowledge, the perpetrators were not driving Mercedes or Smarts! [Whew!]
Until a new venue can be found, we will meet for a mystery run as this seems to be a popular aspect of our last-Saturday-of-the-month gathering. I encourage all of you to give me your wishes for driving destinations and meeting points. The upside, of course, is that all get to sleep in more on the last Saturday – especially me!!!
Coffee and Rides-San Antonio
Well sadly all good things must come to an end.
I received a call from the manager at the Vineyards and she informed me that we cannot use their parking lot anymore. It seems a couple of idiots were "doing donuts, speeding through the lot and almost hit some children". Once again the few ruin it for the many.
At this point we have no other location and as of now there are no plans to find another location for Coffee and Rides.
Thank you to everyone who supported this event and a very special thank you to those who were with us since 2009.
|Posted by Jeff Brown on April 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM|
6 March 2013
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT is the latest hot-rod version of the first car designed and engineered solely by AMG. As expected, it's silly fast.
Check out Autoweek senior west coast editor Mark Vaughn as he tests the supercar at the Streets of Willow Springs racetrack, with a little input from pro race car driver Tommy Kendall.
|Posted by Jeff Brown on March 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM|
El Maestro's revolutionary, title-winning F1 car should fetch severe coin
by Davey G. Johnson
Autoweek.com, 18 March 2013
It's the father of the venerated 300 SLR. It was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Hans Hermann and Sir Stirling Moss. The open-wheel body was commissioned by El Chueco himself when the streamlined unit designed for fast tracks proved too tricky to place on twistier circuits.
It's the Mercedes-Benz W196, and one's going up for auction at Bonhams' Goodwood auction on July 12. Chassis number 00006/54 was the car Fangio used to win the 1954 German and Swiss Grands Prix.
Benz' prewar Grand Prix engines had been supercharged. For their return to the top rank of motorsport, Mercedes decided to use a naturally aspriated straight eight laid over at an angle to reduce frontal area.
The car was an immediate success. At its French Grand Prix debut in 1954, Fangio and Karl Kling came home in first and second, respectively, while Hans Hermann recorded the fastest lap in another W196. Fangio took that year's championship.
The 1955 300 SLR sports racer was based on the W196, using a larger, 3-liter version of the Formula One car's 2.5L powerplant. Moss used the famed #722 car to win the Mille Miglia, one of the most mythical victories in racing history. Pierre Levegh's horrific crash at Le Mans in '55 spelled the end of Mercedes' involvement in midcentury motorsport and the end of development of both the SLR and the W196.
In its short life, the W196 left a huge mark on the sport; it's a revolutionary car on the scale of the Can-Am-killing Porsche 917/30 and the Lotus 38, the machine that signaled the end of the front-engined era at Indianapolis.
Chassis 00006/54 was one of the two first W196s to be built as open-wheelers at Fangio's suggestion. He felt the streamlined car's bodywork would be too much of a handful at the rollicking Nürburgring, home of the German Grand Prix. He used the car to take home the trophy in the Eifel Mountains, then proceeded on to Switzerland, where he stomped the second-place Ferrari of Jose Frolian Gonzalez by 58.7 seconds, sealing his second Drivers' World Championship in the process.
Given the importance of the car to motorsport in general, to Mercedes-Benz history specifically, and its standing as an important marker in the life of one of the greatest racers who ever strapped on a pair of Ratti goggles, 00006 should fetch an astronomical sum. We'll find out just how much that history is worth come July.
|Posted by Jeff Brown on January 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM|
by Craig Cole
AutoGuide.com, 14 Jan 2013
Mercedes-Benz chose the hallowed ground of the Detroit Auto Show to unveil its redesigned 2014 E-Class, which is the brand’s second-most-popular nameplate in the U.S. The lineup includes sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible models, but that’s not all! The high-powered AMG version also got reworked, and was just revealed in Motown.
And we should really say versions because the company is now offering two flavors of this performance machine, hot and extra spicy. The regular E63 AMG 4MATIC (if there is such a thing) is hauled around by a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers 550 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque. This car is offered as a sedan only.
For extra-discerning drivers, Mercedes is making an S-Model available, which delivers even more performance. It uses the same basic poweplant as the standard AMG car, but engineers have made a few subtle tweaks resulting in even bigger numbers. Horsepower jumps to 577 and torque swells to 590 lb-ft, probably enough to stop the earth’s rotation. The extra output comes courtesy of a revised engine management system, higher peak injection pressure and increased boost. The standard car’s turbos deliver up to 13 psi; the S-Model’s blowers push out 14.5.
The E63 AMG should be able to sprint from zero to 60 miles an hour in just 3.6 seconds. It’s electronically limited to a top speed of 155 miles an hour. The S-Model sedan shaves one-tenth of a second off that time while wagon bodystyle clocks in at 3.6 seconds as well. The S-Model’s maximum velocity is a blistering 186 miles an hour.
Both engines are matched to an AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed automatic transmission. As with other high-performance machines this car offers selectable drive modes. Altogether there are four settings: Controlled Efficiency, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. Interestingly, the efficiency setting incorporates start/stop technology, which kills the engine when the vehicle is not moving, resulting in a noticeable improvement in fuel economy.
When it comes to efficiency no specific numbers have been shard, but Mercedes claims the car will deliver best-in-class performance and fuel economy. We’ll have to wait to see what the U.S. EPA has to say about that.
Managing the E63 AMG’s aerospace-grade power is a performance-oriented permanent all-wheel-drive system. It’s standard on all U.S. versions of the car. Torque split is 33 percent front, 67 percent rear, a balance Mercedes says delivers maximum driving pleasure. Racing-grade carbon-ceramic brakes eradicate excess velocity, and with a diameter of 14.2 inches make a bold design statement as well.
Both the E63 AMG and the even more insane S-Model should go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Pricing has not been announced.
For pictures, click on the source link below...
|Posted by Jeff Brown on January 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM|
by Craig Cole
AutoGuide.com, 13 Jan 2013
Mercedes-Benz revealed a brand-new compact car on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The CLA-Class is the company’s latest effort to attract younger buyers to the brand.
This car is a little smaller than the C-Class, a staple of the Mercedes lineup. With a projected starting price of around $30,000 it’s also expected to cost a little less than its stablemate — about five grand less.
The CLA-Class design borrows heavily from the CLS — as it should. The company is billing them both a four-door coupes. Mercedes representatives say the car’s styling is very emotional, and it truly makes a bold statement on stage. Its side glass, also known as the “daylight opening” or DLO for short looks like it was pulled directly from the CLS, at about three-fifths scale.
Interestingly, that design isn’t just for looks. The CLA-Class positively slices through the air. Its coefficient of drag is a claimed 0.22, which Mercedes says is the best for any production car.
As for the mechanicals, the only powertrain mentioned at the unveiling was a 211 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. It should be matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for lightning-fast shifts.
All-wheel drive will be offered. The company’s latest 4MATIC system was tailor made for front-wheel-drive applications and it supposedly tips the scales at a featherweight 70 kilograms, about 155 pounds.
If you were hoping to get a glimpse of the brand-new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class in Detroit, here’s a bit of bad news. The car will not be shown in COBO hall. Its official reveal will be at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
To review the debut pictures from the Detroit Auto Show, click on the source link.
|Posted by Jeff Brown on January 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM|
Just listed the SMART car National Convention & Car Show slated for Wednesday July 10, 2013 - Sunday July 14, 2013, at the Westminster Westin Hotel in Westminster, Colorado. For registration and other info: https://smartcarnatls.com/
|Posted by Jeff Brown on December 28, 2012 at 9:25 AM|
Article by Luke Madden
25 Dec 2012
The next-generation Smart family is shaping up – and as well as the ForTwo and ForFour, the Mercedes-owned brand is planning a small SUV.
The ForTwo and ForFour were being co-developed with Renault, but now the French brand will only produce its own version of the larger car, which will be badged as the next-generation Twingo.
Smart has ploughed ahead with development of the ForTwo, though, and the car is due to arrive early in 2014. Our images show it’ll be inspired by the all-electric Smart Forvision concept, and get oversized headlights and a perforated grille. The tiny ForTwo’s contrasting Tridion Safety cell remains an iconic feature.
The fully redesigned interior comes with a removable tablet style-screen – just like in the VW up! – which can function as a sat-nav or trip computer.
Power is expected to come from a 64bhp 900cc petrol two-cylinder engine mounted at the rear, while an 87bhp all-electric version will arrive at the end of 2014. The ForTwo cabriolet will make a return, too. At around the same time, Smart will introduce the ForFour, which will be very slightly shorter than the new Twingo.
The company plans to use three-cylinder petrol turbos jointly developed with Renault in the ForFour, producing either 84bhp or 104bhp. Both brands’ cars will also be rear-engined.
Late in 2015, Smart will unveil a new off-roader using parts from the Renault-Nissan alliance – specifically the next-generation Juke. The as-yet-unnamed crossover will be inspired by the Forstars concept that debuted at this year’s Detroit Motor Show and powered by a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with up to 148bhp.
|Posted by Jeff Brown on December 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM|
by Ken Gibson
December 1, 2012
SMART cars are cool – just ask Simon Cowell. He was pictured driving the dinky two-seater out of his LA mansion this week.
The Smart Fortwo’s traffic jam of high-profile owners includes Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. Dave Grohl, the frontman of rock’s Foo Fighters, Joanna Lumley and Towie’s Joey Essex are also lovers of the micro machines.
Even tough Aussie Mel Gibson has swapped his Mad Max motors for an economical Smart. It has been a motoring trendsetter ever since owners Mercedes shocked the automotive world when they brought it out in 1998.
The revolutionary 8ft 10in-long motor made small cars cool for the first time since the original Mini.
Simon was driving his in Los Angeles but the pop mogul missed a trick, driving the ultimate Smart which debuted at the LA Motor Show.
The electric version with wings was designed by Jeremy Scott, who usually makes outfits for stars including pop’s Lady Gaga. Smart bosses say they will be bringing out a special edition Forjeremy in Britain next year.
The company have been one of the leaders in the race to get electric cars to become part of mainstream motoring. In London, they are launching a groundbreaking car-sharing scheme to rival the Boris Bike.
The story is set to continue with an all-new model due in 2013 and a four seater version in the future. So the Smart money will keep rolling in.