By on January 18, 2016

2016_VW_Passat_Exterior_Grille

Investors say Volkswagen should have told the world they were cheating earlier because then they could have bought more Apple stock.

That, Mercedes-Benz prices new E-Class in Europe, BMW’s bigger i3 battery and Jeep soars in Europe … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

C 250 diamantsilber cranberryrot/schwarz AMG

* But not the U.S. — at least, not yet.

Add the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon to the list of vehicles available in Canada and not the United States. Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Thursday it would begin selling the long-roof version of the C-Class this year. To add insult to injury, it will be a diesel with all-wheel drive — and that’s it.

Mercedes did not disclose what shades of brown will be available.

The previous-generation C-Class wagon was not available in Canada or the United States.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

Trading Places

Investors aren’t necessarily drinking automakers’ Kool-Aid that 2016 will be full of beer and Skittles.

That, the China-made Cadillac CT6 that’ll eventually get here, El Chapo’s cheapo getaway car and General Motors’ questions get down and dirty … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 10, 2016

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Cl

When you consider the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will spawn nearly a baker’s dozen variants in its time — coupes, performance models, wagons (please?) — the donor sedan can end up less thrilling than white bread. The remedy for this, like anything else in life, is to put a screen on it.

Fussy child? Screen. Long flight? Screen. Mid-size luxury sedan? You guessed it.

In addition to sporting the much hyped configurable screen setup from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will sport two fewer cylinders (to start) and a longer list of semi-autonomous driving features that won’t be available in the U.S. to start.

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

2015 Porsche Macan

As the American auto industry soared past 2014’s output on the way to a record-setting year of new vehicle sales volume, the rising tide did not lift all boats.

Smart, Bentley, Dodge, Maserati, Jaguar, Fiat, Volkswagen, Scion, and Buick all sold fewer vehicles in 2015 than in 2014. The year-over-year rate of growth produced by Cadillac, Mini, Mazda, Chevrolet, Toyota, Chrysler, and Ford was, in each case, slower than the industry’s overall rate of expansion.

Thirteen automobile brands did, however, sell more new vehicles than at any time in their respective histories.

Arranged in reversing order of total sales, these are they. (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2016

Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

While none of them will look anything like this, Car reports that Mercedes-Benz has a pretty firm plan in place to compete against EV makers and German rivals before the end of the decade.

The magazine reports that Mercedes plans to have a sedan on sale by 2018, followed shortly by a crossover to compete directly against Tesla before the end of the decade. Car also reported that Mercedes will add another crossover and an electric S-Class shortly thereafter.

The first car will reportedly be sized between its C- and E-Class, but it’s price tag sure won’t be. (Read More…)

By on December 23, 2015

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

I’m not entirely sure why, but most products from Mercedes-Benz have never appealed to me. Perhaps the buttoned-down, staid appearance of the cars and their owners didn’t match my own self-image? Anyhow, I recall walking through various car shows as a kid, completely ignoring gorgeous vintage Pagodas and Fintails to admire leaking British roadsters.

The lack of manual transmissions is likely a factor. Even the spectacular SLS, SLR and AMG GT are missing a third pedal, a turn-off for me. And the one Mercedes that really appeals to me, the 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth, is not a realistic family ride.

And it’s with this attitude toward the Tri-Star that I turned on Netflix for some inspiration from three English buffoons who loved the AMG sedans for the massive, tire shredding power.

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2015
Persian Conversian

A Photoshop vision of the future.

The practice of removing a car’s emblems, or upgrading the emblems to a higher-line model, probably dates back to all the 1960s Mustangs sporting “289 High Performance” fender tags despite having lesser powerplants under their hoods.

Los Angeles-area high-line dealers were the first to nickname the current generation of rebadged and debadged vehicles as “Persian Conversions,” although the trend is not limited to any one specific demographic. We covered this phenomenon in these pages a couple of years ago.

Amazingly, it look likes we now have the first factory-backed badge-removal option.
(Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015

2016 smart fortwo exterior-005

America loves big cars, big trucks and fat crossovers. If you doubt me, all you need to do is look at 2015’s top sellers. The top five vehicles account for 13 percent of all vehicles sold in the USA this year, and the smallest of the five is the Toyota Camry. Not so small. Check the top 20 list, and the smallest entry is the Corolla which has grown so large we would have called it “midsized” in the ’80s.

Today, we’re looking at a very different kind of car: the 2016 smart fortwo (yes, that’s all lower case for some reason), a car that is six feet shorter than the Corolla.

2008 was Smart’s best year in the USA with some 24,000 cheeky micro cars sold. Since then, sales haven’t been swift. Yearly sales numbers in the USA bounce between 5,000 and 14,000. Canadians, however, seem to love them. Sales volumes in the Great White North hover around half the US volume. Not impressed? The entire Canadian market’s sales numbers are “smart-sized” compared to the United States. Heck, Smart outsells Maserati in Canada. Could it be that, like nationalized healthcare, the Canadians are up to something good? Or, just like healthcare, is this a good idea somewhere else, just not in the USA?
(Read More…)

By on October 12, 2015

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

Mercedes-Benz will open performance centers at specific dealerships across the U.S. to expand the AMG brand from enthusiast sub-brand to mainstream performance line, Automotive News is reporting.

Dealers may have to pay up to $200,000 for extra showroom space and training, the report said. The automaker expanded its AMG brand this year with the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG and GLE450 AMG, which are performance variants of those cars but stop short of the full-performance models.

The move is similar to how other luxury automakers watering down expanding their performance lines, such as Audi’s S-line and BMW’s M-division.

(Read More…)

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