In the world of classic and iconic cars few can outrun the historic nature of the 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing . Not only was it able to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but its style and design have influenced Mercedes ever since. The car is able to exude luxury, class, precision, and power all at the same time and the company from which it was born has been very careful to mess with the formula.
Mercedes and McLaren have long been involved in racing and they’re first soirée into production automobiles came with the SLR McLaren . The car was “unique” to describe it in one word. It had a visceral and raw presence to its overall delivery of style and performance, but tended to be overshadowed by the supercars of its day. Around the same time Ferrari introduced its almighty Enzo and Porsche had developed the V10 Carrera GT. Furthermore, the SLR McLaren lacked identity with no Gullwing style doors and thus could not be categorized as a true successor to the original.
For 2011 Mercedes thought they had come up with their next supercar and named it theSLS AMG . The development of this car was handed to Mercedes’ in house tuning arm AMG. After recently developing their first engine from the ground up, this was their chance to prove themselves to the world as a competent car developer. With the overwhelming interest from consumers and praise given by automotive journalists it seems as though it has been a great success. The SLS embodies the ideals put forth by the 300 SL Gullwing’s of the past, but has also been able to make everything decidedly modern.
UPDATE 09/09/2011: Mercedes has announced a new series of options for the SLS AMG for that extra bit of customization. The list of upgrades includes: AMG 10-spoke forged wheels painted in matte black, red-painted brake calipers, or AMG high-gloss black trim, a new E-Select lever with an embossed AMG emblem, a new shock absorber symbol in the AMG drive unit, and a new AMG ride control sport suspension with variable, electronically controlled damping. Hit the jump for the full pricing list.
Hit the jump for more details on the Mercedes SLS AMG
When most people just see a Nissan GT-R , they are in awe of this seminal feat of engineering. This car offers super car performance and practicality that perhaps makes it the best daily driver on the road today. Yet the Chicago based tuning company, AMS Performance, looked at the GT-R and set themselves a monumental engineering challenge. Cue dramatic music; they set out to build the fastest GT-R . To make this daunting challenge even harder the engineers from AMS kept the GT-R’s stock interior and amenities like air conditioning.
So did these engineers from Chicago accomplish their lofty goal? The answer is a resounding yes. This car posted the fastest GT-R quarter mile in history, posting a time of 8.97 second a astonishing 169 miles an hour.
Check out the video of this record breaking quarter mile run!
As expected, Aston Martin brought its latest iteration of the Vantage to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Aston has been designing rolling works of art for a very long time and has recently retaken a stance as a racing power as well. The company’s GT4 racecar won its class in two of the most important races of the year, Nurburgring 24 and Spa 24 hours, and have begun fusing racecar technology into the road cars with more fervor than ever before. The top-of-the-line V12 Vantage has the motor from the larger DB9 shoehorned into its engine compartment, making it a true hot rod. That formula may work for some, but others were seeing a lapse between the V12 model and the base V8.
At the beginning of Summer 2011, Aston Martin will introduce the V8 Vantage S, hoping to squeeze some more profit out of its best selling model line and please enthusiasts at the same time. Increases in engine performance, transmission, chassis, and aerodynamics will all further the appeal of an iconic sports car.
According to Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, “The Vantage S epitomizes every attribute of the V-8 Vantage and pushes the driver experience beyond what we have offered before.”
UPDATE 03/11/2011: Aston Martin has revealed an amazing video of the V8 Vantage S showing the car in action. Just listen to the music of that engine! Video after the jump.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Aston Martin Vantage S.
Speedriven has been building some of the highest performing engines on the market for some time no and has released details on their newest project. Starting with a base CL600 , this tuning team takes it from a tame luxury coupe and changes it into the most powerful CL on the market.
This firm is not about making your Mercedes the most ridiculous or unique looking car on the road, but rather focuses their attention exclusively under the hood. These are already some of the best looking luxury coupes on the market and there is no need for oversized chrome rims or carbon fiber aero-pieces to make it look fast – Speedriven would much rather make it perform to its highest potential.
The package is available for all models 2003+ that feature the Mercedes V12. This includes the ultra-exclusiveMaybach models. If you want Speedriven to turn your car into the ultimate Mercedes without adding the usual array of aftermarket exterior pieces then it’s going to cost $16,250. This price is not actually that ridiculous considering that companies like Brabus and Renntech charge much higher rates and don’t usually equal the same performance figures.
More details on the Mercedes CL600 by Speedriven after the jump.
The title of being the World’s Fastest Supercar is a name that has been restricted for the Bugatti Veyron of today and the McLaren F1 of the past. Many different vehicles can be considered for this prestigious title, but the main component that makes it relevant is the fact that the car that holds the title is a production vehicle. This means it goes from a manufacturer’s factory to a dealership and into the hands of a customer who drives it off the lot. What happens when aftermarket companies and kit cars are put into the mix?
Basically, you end up with some of the fastest “production” vehicles ever made. The Hennessey Twin-turbo Vipers are some of the fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet, but don’t exactly come from the factory. The Ultima GTR has broken nearly every speed record in the book and the company that created it has claimed it to be the Fastest Supercar in the World. The biggest difference with the Ultima is that you could build it in your garage.
Being a kit car has its advantages and every owner has the opportunity to build it to their exact specifications. The factory in England will ship out all the necessary parts so you can get the engine here, and not have to deal with meeting safety regulations. Let’s delve into this so-called record breaking connector set called the Ultima GTR.
When most companies go about creating their flagship sedan conservative feelings can prevail. Most of these companies (i.e. Mercedes , BMW , and Audi ) have been building a large four-door sedan for decades. They tend to go with a don’t fix what’s not broken mantra when updating the look, design, and feel of the car lending to a sense of evolution rather than revolution when a new model appears.
Maserati had the luxury of not really having to please anyone when they decided to build their 4-door sedan, the Quattroporte. Designers and engineers wanted the sedan to evoke more emotion than others in its class and have accomplished just that. Looking at today’s 2011 Quattroporte, it’s hard to believe that essentially the same model has been in production for six years now. It is still stunning to look at and cannot really be compared to anything in terms of design except perhaps the new Aston Martin Rapide .
After winning a slough of awards throughout its production, the Quattroporte will enter 2011 with some updates, a baby brother , and the same Ferrari sourced V8 that we all enjoy so much.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Maserati Quattroporte.