Junkyard Find: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL
The W116 was the first Mercedes-Benz to get the S-Class designation from the factory, and it was sold in North America from the 1973 through 1980 model years. During the darkest days of the Malaise Era, the W116 was a rare bright spot of performance and build quality, and I still see quite a few of these cars during my junkyard travels (because they took this long to wear out). Here's a late-production W116 sedan, found in a self-service Colorado yard last summer.
All About the Benjamins, Baby: Cadillaq Celestiq Electriq Fastbacq
We’ve known for some time that the top rung of General Motors is all in on electrification, a decision that has elated some and caused others to flee. Set to serve as the brand’s flagship is the Celestiq, a slinky fastback with an expected price tag north of a quarter million dollars.
What’s your take on the specter of a $300,000 Cadillac?
Mercedes to Focus on Premium Luxury Vehicles Again
Mercedes-Benz has said it will cut back its entry-level offers to better prioritize premium vehicles with loftier margins. While this strategy has become relatively uncommon throughout the industry, even among some mainstream brands, Mercedes has historically been synonymous with high-end luxury cars. One wonders why it bothered chasing volume to begin with, especially since it doesn’t seem to have panned out for the company.
While executives had previously hinted at its revised strategy in interviews, Mercedes officially unveiled its plan to investors on Thursday. The German brand will focus investments on top-of-the-heap models like the S-Class at the expense of entry-level products that have failed to garner juicy profits.
Junkyard Find: 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood D'Elegance
1988 was an interesting year for The General’s Cadillac Division. The Cavalier-based Cimarron was in its final year of sales, the Hamtramck/Turin-built Allanté was in its second year (and priced about the same as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class), and the “traditional” rear-wheel-drive Brougham sedan shared showroom space with the front-wheel-drive De Villes, Eldorados, and Sevilles. The old Sixty Special name was still being used, along with such slightly newer titles as Elegante and d’Elegance. While the Allanté lived at the top of the GM prestige pyramid for ’88, the Fleetwood was the car of choice for those very wealthy Cadillac shoppers who insisted on four doors and zero Pininfarina nonsense. Here’s one of those cars, found in excellent condition in a Denver yard last spring.
2022 Acura MDX SUV Insurers' Top Safety Pick
The 2022 Acura MDX SUV’s Top Safety Pick (TSP) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety runs counter to all the racing around done in Acura’s commercials. The MDX is the automaker’s third vehicle to receive the IIHS’s highest safety rating, along with the RDX and TLX.
2022 Bentley Continental GT Speed – Loaded Like a Freight Train
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is 650 HP and 664 ft.-lb. of torque, with an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive. It’ll do 0-60 in 3.5-seconds, with a top speed of 208 MPH, the third generation of Speed models, details of which were released today.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee: L is for Large
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is full-sized luxo SUVing at its best, loaded with as many features as this class will allow, plus for the first time, three-row seating.
Ghost Sighting: Rolls-Royce's 'Entry-level' Sedan Is All-new
Scratch that. It’s not an all-new car. You see, the second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost carries over the original model’s Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and rear-seat umbrellas.
The non-umbrella hardware is changed, however, and likely that’s more of interest to those of you reading. You Rolls-loving TTAC readers, you.
What’s new with the brand’s most affordable model? Read on.
Leave the Cullinan in the Garage - Rolls-Royce's Ghost to Go AWD
The next time you don your best wool and tweed garb and grab the Holland & Holland for a day of upland game hunting on the moors, you might want to leave the largest of Rolls-Royces in your heated garage. That’s because the next-generation Ghost, the most affordable of Rolls’ cars, will send power to all four wheels.
Retailing for a mere $314,400 (2020 model), the now decade-old Ghost is a suicide-doored alternative to the gauche, look-at-me Phantom, Wraith, and Dawn, to say nothing of the Cullinan SUV. Due for a full revamp this fall, the Ghost stands to gain some of the features modern drivers can’t do without.
Daimler Sees Positive Earnings by Year's End, Reliance on Big Glitz
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler reported its second-quarter earnings Thursday, revealing a net loss of nearly 2 billion euros and a revenue drop of more than 12 billion euros. Thanks, coronavirus.
While the red ink spilling from Daimler’s balance sheet is cause for concern, the automaker put on a happy face, regarding this year’s financial blows as mere setbacks. The company expects pre-tax earnings to return to the positive side of the scale by the end of the year. To help grow future profits, the Mercedes-Benz brand plans to turn its focus to the toniest of products.
Style King Bentley Bentayga Goes In for a Facelift
If you detected a whiff of sarcasm in that headline, your nose wasn’t off. Yes, style and beauty is entirely subjective, but the range-topping Bentley Bentayga has never found itself at the top of any writer’s sexiest-dressed list.
And that’s okay! It’s big, it’s bold, and it sells, so Bentley naturally loves anything that generates profits in a market quickly shying away from traditional body styles. Still, better is always possible, so the marque took the Bentayga to the plastic surgeon.
After the Gold Rush: Rolls-Royce Ready to Embrace Minimalism
We’ve covered how mainstream automakers rose to the coronavirus challenge ad nauseum, but what about companies whose customers dream of rich mahogany and yachting off Cannes all night?
Well, just like a Silicon Valley tech mogul, Rolls-Royce spent these past few months reflecting, peering deep within its soul, all to learn how to become a better friend to its clients. Apparently, “post-opulence” is now a thing.
GV80: At Last, a Crossover From Genesis
Sure, we weren’t hankering for a high-riding Genesis model, but the brand was. And many buyers might, too, or so the fledgling marque hopes.
After teasing the upcoming midsizer since 2017, Hyundai’s premium brand pulled the wraps off the GV80 in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday. In doing so, it raised the brand’s complement to four vehicles: three sedans, and this CUV. So, how does the GV80 stand apart in an overcrowded segment?
Butch-premium Goes Mainstream: AT4 Filters Down to the Last Member of the GMC Family
When GMC brass saw the sky-high take rate for its Denali-badged models, the hunt was on for a new sub-brand to further boost sales and margins. After they finished counting their cash, that is.
Which brings us to today. AT4, a recently introduced runner-up trim that blends much of the content and coddling of a Denali with varying levels of off-road improvement, was just revealed on the Iowa-class-sized GMC Yukon and Yukon XL for 2021 — a day after unveiling the upcoming Canyon. It’s already in place on the Sierra and Sierra HD pickups (appearing for 2019), as well as the 2020 Acadia crossover.
On Wednesday, General Motors’ truck division completed the AT4 sweep.
Rumor Mill: High-zoot Kia Sounds Like a Good Idea
You read here how 2019 was a buoyant year for corporate siblings Hyundai and Kia; both brands posted full-year sales gains, and both can thank new, large crossover vehicles for the added volume. The higher prices demanded by the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride will certainly be appreciated by the automakers’ beancounters, too.
Of the two midsizers, one possesses an enhanced level of gravitas. A little more panache and youth appeal. And it’s no secret which one we’re referring to — which is why an industry rumor has us thinking that an uplevel version is something worth pursuing.