In 2012, the C250 boasted an impressive 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that pumped out 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of twist. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 3.0-liter V-6 cranked out only 228 ponies and 221 pound-feet of torque. This means that short of the 4-wheel-drive, there was little reason to snag up the C300.
Instead of eliminating the mid-range C300 and leaving just the C250 and C350, Mercedes has wisely detuned the direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 in the C350 and is dropping it into the C300 4Matic, giving its buyers an extra 20 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque to play with and giving buyers on the fence more reason to opt for the higher level C-series.
In the overall scheme, the 248 ponies and 251 pound-feet of torque that this remapped 3.5-liter pump out are still way too low for modern day luxury cars. We know that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t want the C300 4Matic to infringe on the C350’s sales territory, but offering a luxury car with that type of engine with that low power cannot help much.
This is multiplied when you consider that the 328i Sedan still pumps out more foot-pounds and only has 4 less horsepower from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Also, the 328i is significantly cheaper than the C300 4Matic. The biggest thing is that this is at least a step in the right direction for the C-Class lineup, and all signs are pointing that more changes are on the horizon for Mercedes. Maybe we will start to see more forced induction across the luxury automaker’s entire lineup in the future to help get it up to snuff before BMW pulls away from the luxury pack.
Some of you may already know this, but back in early 2007, the U.S. state of Texas banned all speed cameras and then the following year recorded the lowest ever vehicle causality rate since counting began 75 years ago. Reports are claiming that the biggest state in America is set to take another huge step to help slow the road toll even more.
Some controversial research has previously shown that driving consistently at higher speeds on highways is actually safer than slower speeds as it forces drivers to be more alert. Taking into consideration the fact that the Autobahn is extremely safe with many regions not having speed limits, it wouldn’t be out of the question to raise speed limits in Texas.
That’s exactly what the Texas Department of Transportation is planning to do. The highest speed you’re allowed to legally travel in Texas is currently 80 miles per hour on select roads, but the TDOT plans to increase that to 85 mph on State Highway 130 which travels from San Antonio all the way to Austin.
Understandably, many people are outraged by this proposal and before anything goes ahead, the TDOT will have to conduct extensive speed tests to make sure the road is actually safe to be driven on at 85 mph. However, speed management director for the TDOT, Darren McDaniel is confident the road is up for the job claiming it “was designed under extremely high design parameters.”
If the changes do go through and the results are positive, then expect other U.S. states to go down a similar route.
At this point, nearly a month after his death, we all assumed that Carroll Shelby was peacefully laid to rest in a plot of land or cremated, so his ashes may stay with his family or spread as he saw fit. According to a report by TMZ, neither of these scenarios are true, as his family is now fighting over who has control over his deceased body.
On one side we have Shelby’s children that are claiming that their father signed paperwork leaving the eldest son in control of the deceased former racecar driver’s body. It looks as if Shelby’s long estranged wife, Cleo, is fighting the children stating that being his wife, she has full rights to his remains. She is fighting this despite the fact that Carroll was in the midst of annulling their 14-year-long marriage citing her lying about numerous personal things, such as her assets and even her real name.
She is also arguing that there is no way that Mr. Shelby could have signed any papers giving his son control, as he did not have the “physical capacity or eyesight” to read, understand, and sign off on the papers.
Until this is all sorted out, Mr. Shelby’s body is stuck at the medical examiner’s office in a freezer, which is not the place for this automotive hero. He needs to be laid to rest in the place that he made clear he wanted to be prior to his death. If his estranged wife truly does care, she would allow him that right.
There is a silver lining to this whole thing and that’s that the annulment Shelby filed for in April is still pending and a judge does have the right to approve an annulment even after death. So in the end this could all be resolved with one tap of a gavel from a judge and Mr. Shelby can rest peacefully.
It’s time for TopSpeed: Celebrity Edition! Per a report from TMZ, oft-troubled actress, Lindsay Lohan, learned that an 18-wheeler always wins against a Porsche 911. While driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, Lohan managed to plant the front end of her rented – yes, RENTED – Porsche 911 into the backside of an 18-wheeler.
Don’t worry, your favorite teen star gone awry is A-okay, as she went to the hospital for tests and was released shortly afterward. According to reports, she heading to the set of the TV show she is surprisingly starring in, “Liz & Dick,” when she smashed the Porsche into small bits of $100K plastic, metal, and rubber, and she is now on the set and in good health.
According to reports, Lohan is claiming that the accident was not her fault and that the 18-wheeler cut her off. Looking at the accident scene, we really don’t see how an 18-wheeler could possibly cut someone off and not leave enough time for the driver to respond. Unless, of course, she was driving really, really, REALLY fast. But, we’re not here to judge, we are simply stating what we can see from the images. We are certain that this is not the last we will hear about this accident.
We are all glad to hear she is in good shape, so we can all continue on our normal path of ignoring any piece of work that she happens to be in…
So picture that you just snagged up a car for, let’s say $3,800, and it is a great car that you completely fall in love with. A year later, you find out that the car was illegally seized according to a court ruling and you have to hand the car over to the heirs of its original owner. You’d be pretty upset, right? Well, add three zeros to that price and you that exact situation unfolding in Germany.
A Dutch car collector purchased a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster from RM Auctions last year for a whopping $3.8 million in California. When the collector shipped the car back to Germany, the German government seized the car stating that it was illegally taken by an American military official around 1945 and shipped to the U.S., as the heirs of the pricy automobile are claiming that the American serviceman stole the vehicle and hid it in the U.S.
Typically, Germany has a 30-year statute of limitation on this sort of case, but a German court stated that since the car was not in Germany for 30 years, the limitation clock never started, which is an odd interpretation of statute of limitations laws. The strangest thing is that between 1945 and 1970, no one has any idea where the car was and what was being done with it, so there is technically no proof that the car was not in Germany, and we find the ruling a little off the wall.
We certainly hope that the buyer can recoup at least a majority of the $3.8 million he used to purchase the car from the seller. Also, there has to be some U.S. law on the books that puts RM Auctions on the hook for selling a car with a shady and undocumented past that just may cost the collector millions of dollars.
One thing’s for sure, if this car wasn’t worth $3.7 million, we are willing to bet that the heirs couldn’t have cared less about getting back the property… We’ll keep you updated as this story progresses.
A few months back, GrabCAD, a company specializing in the development of computer-aided design (CAD) software, launched a pretty interesting contest on the internet: "Design a supercar body." The contest soon turned out to be a huge success with 194 entries in just forty days. The winner was selected by Facebook users who had to "like" the car they loved the most. The winner is: Darren McKeage’s Tosa Street Car! Apart from winning the contest, Darren McKeage’s supercar design concept will be put into production in 2013.
All of the cars had to be designed on a pre-determined chassis design, powered by a GM-sourced LS V8 engine. This translates to a McKeage design that is amazing and sleek, as well as fit to pack impressive performance.
According to the official details, Darren’s supercar won the contest because it "has the complete package, a dynamic mature shape that’s not too extreme, great physical balance, deep signature side vents and a great adherence to working with the supplied chassis, including the front and rear boxes."
Congratulations, Darren McKeage and we wish you the best of luck!
Well, you can just color us shocked, as Lotus chose to fire suspended CEO, Dany Bahar (it’s sarcasm, folks). We already anticipated new Lotus owner, DRB-Hicom to part ways with the unsuccessful and oft-newsworthy CEO from the beginning, but his “temporary suspension” pending an investigation sealed the deal. The word “suspension” in the corporate world is simply shorthand for “we are getting you out of the office so we can dig up some dirt to fire you before you get a chance to cover your tracks.”
To boot, the investigation that Bahar is under is pretty serious business, as he allegedly used Lotus’s money to fund renovations on his rental properties. After Lotus caught on and stopped the flow of money, the builders were stuck with a pretty hefty unpaid building bill. So that’s a double whammy for Mr. Bahar that just might land him in a court room.
We are sure this is far from the last thing we hear from Bahar, though we are certain he won’t find his way into the CEO role of another company. We’ll keep you updated on his potential legal issues as more information comes around. Until then, it looks as if he is just going to be joining former Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ernst Lieb, in the unemployment line.
Where’s Donald Trump with his famous “You’re Fired” line when you need him?
In all seriousness, we wish the best for the British automaker, but it needed Bahar out of the CEO role to get back to what it once was. Here’s to a fresh start for Lotus and we are hoping DRB-Hicom selects the perfect candidate for the job.
Recently, we held a court session where we determined that the accusations that Arrinera used a kit car to produce its Venocar prototype were false. At the same time, we did find Arrinera 100 percent guilty of completely ripping off Ferrari’s design scheme, but Arrinera was allowed to walk free based on the copycat precedent set by every major automobile manufacturer in the world.
Now we have a new case to present. The Plaintiff is Icon, a small business that specializes in taking SUVs and making them bad-ass off road buggies. The Defendant is Mattel, a multi-billion dollar toy company and manufacturer of Hot Wheels die cast cars.
There are two details to be hammered out in this edition of Vehicular Court.
Case No. 1: Did Mattel directly rip off Icon’s FJ40 image and just very lightly Photoshop it to create its press release photo for the Die Cast Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40?
Case No 2: Is the final production Hot Wheels FJ40 a direct replica of the Icon FJ40?
Click past the jump to see the complete hearing and verdict.
In the world of luxury automobile brands, few can come close to the history of Rolls Royce, and after the recent dinner party the British brand put on, we’d argue that few restaurants could ever come close to the service which Rolls Royce recently provided. The company invited over 100 of its most valued customers for a dinner party at the company’s assembly line.
It’s unclear just how Rolls Royce chose the 100-odd guests which appeared at the event, but we suspect customers either bought very expensive tickets to the gala evening, or Rolls Royce only invited customers who owned two or more of its incredibly-expensive sedans.
Rather than forcing guests to make their own way to the event, the company actually chauffeured them in Rolls Royce Phantom limousines or they either arrived by an even classier mode of transport: helicopter.
In order to transform part of the assembly line into a large dining hall, it’s likely that production was halted for the few hours which the event lasted.
In a statement released about the event, Rolls Royce stated: "The occasion provided the opportunity to introduce customers to the new Phantom Series II family, which were displayed in the dining area alongside beautiful heritage cars from the 1930’s."
Underground Racing has one of the most illustrious track records when it comes to twin-turbocharging Lamborghini’s and it’s little wonder why. In top tune, they can extract upwards of 2,000 horsepower from the Gallardo’s 5.0/5.2-liter V10 engine. As a result, their cars are some of the fastest in the world as demonstrated by the videos above and after the jump.
However, that’s not the route a 1,500AWHP TTG went in a run at the recent Unlim 500+ event where top speed was the aim of the day. Running up the perfectly straight road which stretches for in excess of one mile, this incredible Gallardo Nera managed to top out at 251mph just past the 1 mile mark. It also hit 240.84 mph just a few seconds earlier and completed the one mile run in just 23.861 seconds.
Thankfully, the whole run was captured in an array of impressive camera shots and we have both of these videos which really show just how impressive this car is. In the second video at the 55 second mark, you’ll see the driver kicking the car into 6th gear before the 251mph run was reached just 5 seconds later, suggesting that this car could go even further if its aerodynamics were improved further, there was more road to continue, and if the driver was brave enough to keep pushing it.
Nevertheless, this is a truly incredible achievement so check out the videos!