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2012 Grand Prix of Monaco is in the books

2012 Grand Prix of Monaco is in the books

As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.

Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.

This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.

From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.

Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.

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Renault Mulling Over Launching a Luxury Brand

Renault Mulling Over Launching a Luxury Brand

Back in 2007, a well-planned three-way deal between Renault, Nissan and Daimler brought these three automotive powerhouses together. This deal wasn’t necessarily massive, as it only resulted in Daimler getting a 3.1 percent share of Nissan and Renault, and Nissan and Renault getting 1.55 percent of Daimler each. Basically this deal was just to allow the three automakers to freely share their technologies and testing.

It looks as if Renault is pretty close to calling on Daimler to make good on its deal, as Renault is working on a new flagship sedan that will use some Mercedes-Benz parts. This new flagship model is not all Renault is looking ahead to, as the French automaker is also debating releasing an entire lineup of luxury car with Daimler’s help.

The details are still rather sketchy, as they are still in preliminary talks and a lot of the information is from unconfirmed sources. One of the names for the new make that is being tossed around is Initiale Paris, which was once used on a 1995 Renault concept car.

Image Note: The images used are of the 1995 Initiale Paris concept car

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Grand Prix of Monaco Preview

Grand Prix of Monaco Preview

Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.

Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.

Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.

Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco

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2011 Mercedes ML 350 by Vilner

2011 Mercedes ML 350 by Vilner

Bulgaria’s very own tuning firm, Vilner, has graced our pages recently with some pretty interesting tuning set-ups for the Mitsubishi Evolution X, the Mercedes SL 63 AMG, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT600. Well don’t look now but, apparently, these guys are far from finished with their projects.

This time around, the Bulgarian aftermarket tuning company decided to play a little dress-up with the Mercedes ML350, giving the German SUV a number of fancy exterior and interior upgrades. As if Merc SUVs need further styling, Vilner gave it a whirl nonetheless.

Among the features included in their exterior program include a new set of custom LED headlights, new black-chromed elements where it used to only be chrome, giving the car a little darker treatment, and, subsequently, an edgier look to it. In addition to that, the same black-chromed finish was used on the rims, further complementing the SUV’s body paint and giving it a nice black-and-white contrast.

Inside the SUV, Vilner rolled up a nice heaping of Alcantara on the upper part of the dashboard, as well as on specific areas of the door, and the seats. The steering wheel was given an expensive standard and perforated leather trim, while the rest of the cabin was given a leather finish with silver trims to provide a nice and balanced accent on the interior to go with the ambient lighting.

Overall, the modifications did their job in giving this SUV a more luxurious feel. The changes done on the exterior may not be that noticeable from a distance, but once you get inside the cabin, the smell of expensive leather and Alcantara will give you all the assurances you need about Vilner’s program for the ML350.

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European GT5 gamers can now compete for the chance to win a Mercedes SLS AMG

European GT5 gamers can now compete for the chance to win a Mercedes SLS AMG

For better or for worse, Gran Turismo 5 has dominated the headlines for 2010. From all the delays that haunted the game at the start of the year all the way to the hotly anticipated game finally being released, Gran Turismo 5 has been in the news for pretty much the whole year.

And seeing as we’re on the last days of 2010, it only seems appropriate that GT5 would once again capture the headlines, although this time, it’s about a much more different reason. One that, unfortunately for all of us, will only concern gamers over in Europe.

On December 27th, GT5’s ‘Signature Edition Challenge’ officially went live, signaling the start of the competition among European gamers for the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Not a die-cast model of any kind. It’s the real deal.

The grand-prize of the SLS AMG is a testament to the strong partnership forged by the GT5 creator Kazunori Yamauchi with the German automaker. “We have enjoyed a brilliant working relationship with Mercedes-Benz throughout the production of Gran Turismo 5 and the stunning prize that they have offered for this competition is a testament to that.”

Details after the jump.

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BMW Makes DTM Return in 2012

BMW Makes DTM Return in 2012

After giving us an inkling of a DTM comeback in April of this year, BMW have finally made it official in Munich today.

It’s been a lengthy 16 years since BMW have entered a challenger for the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) crown and no doubt fans all over the world have been eagerly awaiting their return. Currently the championship is only contested by Mercedes with their C Class AMG DTM and Audi with the A4 DTM. Both employ an aspirated 4l V8 and use the same sequential 6 speed gearbox as stipulated by the rules. The cars’ are fitted with restrictors to peg the torque they produce at 500Nm to even the playing field. It gets interesting as there is no restriction on horsepower (only torque) and engine design plays a huge roll at gaining a competitive edge.

Traditionally, BMW have entered the M3 and we should see more of the same come 2012. The series has been dominated by Audi as of late, with them winning the Championship for the last three years running. We’re sure the boys from Munich will have something to say about that in the 2012 season.

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Mercedes E-Class station wagon to be lauched this fall

Mercedes E-Class station wagon to be lauched this fall

Even if the German automaker has just launched the new Mercedes Benz E-Class, and it is a big hit in the new car market. Since appearing in showrooms this past spring, the luxury automaker has moved 40,000 of the redesigned four door full size sedan. Starting this fall, Mercedes will be adding another variant of the popular new E-Class into the marketplace, and this time it will be an avant, meaning that we should see something at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Like the sedan, the new wagon will be offered with a range of four, six and eight cylinder power plants producing anywhere from an economical 136 HP to a very menacing 525 HP. When the leaves change colors the Mercedes lineup will include a few diesel powered versions like the E 250 CDI making 204 HP and 368 lb-ft of torque, the E 220 CDI pumping out 170 HP and the E 200 CDI that makes up the lower end of the power range. The most powerful of the alternatively fueled versions will be the E 350 CDI with a maximum output of 231 HP. The gas burning lineup consists of the E 200 CGI with 184 HP, the E 250 CGI cranking out 292 HP; both equipped with the newly developed 1.8 Liter four cylinder engine while the range topping E500 will send 388 to the ground.

Press release after the jump.

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50,000 orders for new E-Class in a week

50,000 orders for new E-Class in a week

Mercedes must really know the European market. The new E-Class sedan went on sale less than a month ago in Europe and they’ve already taken 50,000 orders. Not bad for a car that starts at €41,590 (about $55K at direct rates) in slowing economy.

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Hungary emerges as new location for Mercedes plant

Hungary emerges as new location for Mercedes plant

There was Romania and then there was Poland as a location for hosting a new manufacturing plant for the next-generation A and B-Class Mercedes-Benz cars. But Hungary rose to the occasion and convinced the committee at Stuttgart to gain preference over the other two countries.

Once up and running, this will be Mercedes’ 18th manufacturing unit on planet Earth. It was speculated right from the beginning that Merc will manufacture small cars alone as the cars are meant solely for the East European market. Mass production of luxury sedans or high-end SUVs won’t make business sense as one should bear in mind that these are developing regions.

Mercedes will also build a compact SUV based on the B-Class alongside the A and B-Class cars, which will go head-to-head against rival BMW’s X1.

80km from the capital Budapest, the city of Kecskemet will see Diamler investing 800 million euros for the construction of the plant which will provide employement for 2,500 people. The site has be chosen by them, as it apparently offers more than just cheap labor and land cost.

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2009 Mercedes CLC European pricing announced

2009 Mercedes CLC European pricing announced

The sporty CLC will go on sale in Europe later this month at a price of €28,000 (around $43,360). The company launched a new campaign for the CLC in Europe called: "What car do you drive when you’re dreaming?" (Well, I am dreaming, so maybe a Maybach Exelero, but not the CLC for sure!).

"The CLC is a vehicle that appeals to the emotions, particularly to young people’s desire to own a car that has a great performance and is a lot of fun to drive. Alongside a classic marketing campaign, we’re therefore also using new types of advertising, which place more emphasis on the personal experience of the vehicle," says Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The CLC is offered in six different versions: four four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 122 hp to 272 hp. The top of the class, the CLC 350 is powered by a 3498 cc V6 engine that delivers 272 hp and a peak torque of 350 Nm at 2400-5000 rpm. You will be able to make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 6.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

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2009 Mercedes Benz E/C Class Spy Shots

2009 Mercedes Benz E/C Class Spy Shots

Our Friend ’DerTuner’ just sent us some pictures of what is likely to be an E-Class mule testing on the autobahn in Germany. The Mercedes is highly disguised under a C-Class body. But the larger proportion leave us to think there is an E-Class heart under it. Have fun trying to decode the camouflage and find out clues of what the future E-Class will look like, or is it just a bigger C-class facelift coming up already...

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Mercedes SLR Roadster - best roadster in Europe

Mercedes SLR Roadster - best roadster in Europe

The Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster has won the cabriolet and roadster category of the prestigious "Auto 1 von Europa" ["Europe’s No. 1 Car"] awards organised by leading car magazine AUTO BILD. Readers of the 26 European editions of AUTO BILD as well as an international jury of experts selected the super sports car from Stuttgart for its exceptional qualities. The award honouring the SLR Roadster as the most sought-after open-top car was presented at the Geneva International Motor Show yesterday.
 
Some 40 million readers of the 26 European editions published by the AUTO BILD family were invited to vote for the best new cars of 2007 in six categories. The three top vehicles in each category in this Europe-wide poll then had to undergo two days of professional testing in Rome. It was on the basis of this thorough programme of comparative testing that the members of the expert jury – made up of experienced engineers, top motoring journalists and leading international racing drivers – decided on the category winners.

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Mercedes C-Class 4MATIC pricing announced

Mercedes C-Class 4MATIC pricing announced

Mercedes has announced the prices for the 2008 C-Class 4MATIC, a model that delivers even greater efficiency and a lower fuel consumption thanks to further technical enhancements. Depending on the engine variant, the C-Class 4MATIC saloons cost between 40,281.50 and 46,707.50 Euro ex factory. A seven-speed automatic transmission is included as standard.

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German model Eva Padberg - brand ambassador for Mercedes

German model Eva Padberg - brand ambassador for Mercedes

German model Eva Padberg will represent the Stuttgart-based premium car brand at future international fashion and lifestyle events as the brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. She will make her debut appearance in this role at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin which is being staged for the first time in July.
"Berlin and Eva Padberg both epitomise a modern and young lifestyle,” Dr Olaf Göttgens, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars pointed out. “The Mercedes-Benz (...)

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TopSpeed Headline News

TopSpeed Headline News

Chevrolet Ultra WTCC has hit the road. AutoExpress
Former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler sets car selling record - $36million. AutoWeek
Honda’s high-efficiency diesel engines vs US tough pollution regulations. DetNews
Mercedes GL450 2007 SUV of the year. EMercedesBenz.com
NASCAR Teleconference Transcript. FastMachines
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. seems to consolidate financial results for the fiscal second quarter. PR
US Automakers (...)

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