Usually unflappable German engineering has taken a hit today. BMW has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated an investigation that centers on 120,000 2002-2008 7-Series models, ranging from the 730d to the 760li. This investigation began after a 2006 7-Series experienced an incident in which, after being placed in park, did not fully engage the park gear and proceeded to roll a short distance. This gearbox is designed to automatically shift into park, for example, when the vehicle is turned off.
If this pending investigation makes you nervous, keep in mind that the NHTSA has said that a) "thus far, no cause has been identified for any of the rollaway incidents" and b) it is not a full scale recall, just a preliminary investigation.
You may ask us, would we still buy one? Well, we have nothing but praise for the 7 series. We find it to be truly staggering, leaving us to shake our head in disbelief that a car the size of the state of Kansas can be made this fun to drive. This potential gearbox glitch does not affect our view of the Roundel and we continue to look reverently upon each model. This full size luxury sedan did not disappoint us and it won’t let you down either.
New car companies come and go every day. Some have the capacity to create legendary supercars like the Saleen S7 and others simply cannot get the formula right. Carbontech is one of the small companies currently trying to make a splash in the market with their first car which was completed in 2006. The main difference between Carbontech and some other manufacturers, is that their models are sold as kit cars for the consumer to build and configure how they choose.
The Redback Spyder is the first car to be designed and built by the team at Carbontech and the results are quite good. The car looks like a race car and features a lot of racing technology, yet can be built in your garage. With all the racing technology utilized in this car it is fair to say that most will only use this on the track, but the company did abide by Australian regulations during its construction to make the car street legal.
After its introduction at the Melbourne Auto Show in 2006, the car was scheduled to make rounds throughout the world in order to find prospective customers. If things catch on then the company also plans to sell it in the United States. Kit cars target a very specific buyer who has the technical know how and the time to build their own machine. Other companies like Factory Five Racing have developed flawless kits that sell great in our market and it will be interesting to find out whether an Australian company can manage to do the same.
Hit the jump for more details on the Carbontech Redback Spyder. Full story
Hungary, located in central Europe, is not known for anything related to the automotive world. Come to think of it, we have no idea what they are known for at all, but a few car nuts are trying to change all that. You can now say that a very special sports car is made in Hungary and that it’s pretty darn good looking as well.
The Brokernet Silver Sting was thought of and built by international GT racer, Kalman Bodis. The team at Bovi Motorsports had the car fully operational for its debut in 2006 at the Luxusauto Show in Budapest, Hungary. One of the coolest parts of this car is its name, Silver Sting, but what’s the Brokernet all about? Creating a car that takes seven years to design and build is expensive and the Hungarian financial firm Brokernet is the main sponsor, thus they wanted some naming rights as well.
This car is not only stunningly designed by Zoltan Peredy, but also downright ferocious on the track. Being built by a race car driver, intentions for the Silver Sting were clear. This car was not meant to be taken to elegant car shows, it was meant to get out there and race. Bodis plans to use this car in various GT races throughout the world and plans to show everyone that Hungary is capable of producing a world class car.
More details on the Brokernet Silver Sting after the jump. Full story
Mercedes certainly offers its own lineup of heavily tuned cars, but for some people that is just not enough. The thought of having a V12 engine in your vehicle is something that most people only dream of and Ferrari owners get to enjoy. The smooth and strong power delivery coupled with a deep growl from all 12-cylinders firing in sequence is the stuff dreams are made of and for some lucky E-class owners the dream has become a reality. Speedriven is a Chicago based firm that we have covered before and their latest Mercedes project is one of the most impressive.
The Mercedes E-class has been a modified platform ever since the original E50 AMG model. It provides the right balance of size and performance capability in order to receive certain upgrades. Brabus was the first company to develop a V12 version of the car and shoehorn the 6.0-liter Mercedes V12 from the S-class inside the engine bay. This version is still being built on the E-class of today, albeit in very limited numbers. One gentleman has been attempting to put a V12 inside of his W211 E-class, but it took him a lot of time to find the engine and somewhat capable of doing the conversion. Speedriven seems to have found the right formula to make this type of swap efficient.
Speedriven considers this car to have “the right” power now that a monster V12 has been stuffed under the hood. That, quite simply, is not true, the right power for this car is the standard 5.0-liter V8. It has considerable thrust and won’t break the bank at the pump. My E55 has way too much torque and enough horsepower to embarrass lesser automobiles on the freeway. I’m not saying this as a bad thing, because I LOVE the torque and it is almost intoxicating. Nonetheless, stuffing a V12 in this car is insane, in a good way. It has become the ultimate sleeper car that could blow the doors off nearly anything that pulls up next to it at a stop light.
Hit the jump for more details on Speedriven EV12. Full story
Honda presented to the world the exciting Accord Tourer Concept and the new generation of Honda diesel engines, i-DTEC at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show.
Jeep has unveiled the first-ever four-door Wrangler at 2006 the New York International Auto Show. Featuring a one-of-a-kind, four-door open-air design, the Wrangler Unlimited expands the Jeep experience to new dimensions. Full story
Toyota Yaris Hatchback is targeted to a market segment which contains strong competition: Volkswagen
Clio III, Opel
Corsa, Fiat Grande Punto, Kia
Versa and Honda
Fit. > Full story
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is now available with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. Developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-Benz, this all-new drive system combines perfect traction, first-class comfort and impressive driving dynamics with good fuel economy. Two powerful eight-cylinder models are available in the form of the S 500 4MATIC and S 450 4MATIC while the S 320 CDI 4MATIC is the first S-Class all-wheel-drive variant to be equipped with a particularly economical V6 diesel engine. The new models with all-wheel drive are identified clearly by the 4MATIC legend which appears both on the boot lid and on the wooden trim element on the centre console.
Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) announced the addition of an all-new Nissan Versa hatchback and sedan for the 2007 model year. The new entry-level Versa is expected to have a MSRP starting at around $12,000. The hatchback model is scheduled to go on sale in early summer 2006, with the Versa sedan following in late 2006. The Versa is one of many enhancements to Nissan’s 2007 car lineup, which will include an all-new Sentra, all-new Altima and enhanced Maxima. Full story
Mitsubishi has introduced the all-new 2007 Eclipse Spyder, which arrives in Mitsubishi dealerships in Spring. Based on the fourth-generation Eclipse coupe introduced in 2005, the new Eclipse Spyder combines "Driven to Thrill" design and performance with a high-tech convertible top and outstanding value.