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What the Mercedes Benz CLC could’ve been

A few days ago, the new Mercedes Benz CLC (which is actually the new SportCoupe) was introduced. The SportCoupe was never a big success for Mercedes, because it’s not a hatchback, it’s not a coupe, it’s something in between, which I don’t think has too much appeal. Anyways, since they’ve created the new generation, guess it’s worth it for them. I have my doubts, especially considering that the CLC is based on the old C Class platform and I don’t know if customers like that.

However, yesterday these sketches showed up on Carscoop which claims these are the designs that were not accepted by the guys from Mercedes to go into production. What do you think, comparing to the production version, these are better or worse? Check out the sketches after the jump.


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5 millionth BMW 5 Series produced

BMW announced that, on January 29, built its 5 millionth 5 Series. The model was a 530d Sedan in a Carbon Black Metallic color (yeah, it looks blue to us too). BMW began the production of the 5 Series 36 years ago, in 1972 and the current generation, the fifth, debuted in 2004. The 5 Series, which has always set high standards in the luxury sedan market, evolved over the years and the M5 is a perfect example for that. The first M5, the M535i, was powered by a 218 hp 3.5 liter engine, while today’s M5 is a beast, powered by a 5.0 liter V8 engine, developing 500 hp.

Congratulations to BMW for this milestone and we hope to see at least the same quality and performance from the Bavarian producer. You can see one more photo of the 5 millionth BMW after the jump.


Ford Focus turned into musical instruments

If you’d ask someone what can you do with a car, I bet you most answers would be “you can drive it” and no one would say “you can play it”. And they’d be wrong, because look at this Ford Focus (or at least what’s left of it). Two American musicians, composer Craig Richey and sound designer Bill Milbrodt stripped a brand new Ford Focus and used its parts to create 31 musical instruments, like a Rear Suspension Spike Fiddle, Door Harp, Clutch Guitar and Fender Bass. Sounds cool, huh?

The instruments will be used by an orchestra to play the music in a Ford Focus commercial which will be aired on ITV Europe on February 4th.

Check out more photos and read the full press release after the jump.


Corvette monster truck, for sale on eBay

Once again, eBay is the place for the weirdest most interesting cars we get to see around here. And here’s the latest one, put up for auction today. This thing you see here is a Corvette monster truck, built on a Ford platform. Cool, huh? The car was built by some dude in Hastings, Michigan, has a Chevrolet Corvette body placed on a 1976 Ford F-350 chassis and features, among others, a nitrous kit also. The current bid is $3,050 and the Buy It Now price is set to $9,500. So, if you have some spare cash, you’d better hurry, because this will certainly make you the neighborhood star.

You can check out the eBay auction here and also you can see more photos after the jump.

Trabant reborn?

Herpa, a miniature car models German manufacturer, which currently owns the rights for the Trabant brand announced some time ago, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, that it will try to take the “Initiative newTrabi”, in hope it will manage to revive the German car. Now, due to the positive feedback they received at Frankfurt, the company announced that they came to an agreement with IndiKar, Saxony-based car parts manufacturer and is seems that the Trabant is closer to production.

Klaus Schindler, one of Herpa’s managers stated: “With IndiKar and their network-partners from the auto land Saxony, we want to pursue the goal to present a modern Trabant successor as original-sized prototype at the IAA 2009. The wishes and expectations of the cult car’s many enthusiastic fans will be incorporated in the development. The newTrabi is supposed to be an eye-catcher with history and charm, innovative, handy and economical.”

It would be good to see a new Trabant roaming the streets, because I always thought of Trabant as a cute car and I know for some people it’s actually a cult.

See more photos and read the full press release after the jump.


Almost $900,000 for the “F1″ license plate

Yup, that’s how much Afzal Kahn, head of the Kahn Design and Project Kahn, paid for the “F1″ license plate. More exactly, $870,000 ($740,000 plus taxes). Mr Kahn bought the license plate to put it on his custom made McLaren Mercedes SLR, so actually his plate worths more than his car. The “F1″ plate was registered in the UK long time ago, in 1904, back when it was just a license plate and F1 didn’t mean anything. And it looks like Bernie Ecclestone and Eddie Irvine tried to buy the plate in 2005, but wouldn’t pay the requested price.

The previous most expensive plate was the “M1″ sold in 2006 for $650,000, but the new record could be broken soon, when the “A1″, UK’s oldest registered license plate, will go on sale.


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Video: Fifth Gear shows some cool front wheel drive tricks

Ever felt angry that you couldn’t pull some nice tricks with your front wheel drive car and were envious on those rear wheel drive cars? No problem, because Tiff Needell, from Fifth Gear, shows us how to do some pretty cool tricks, like handbrake turn, 90 degrees handbrake turn, handbrake turn reverse flick and the Scandinavian flick. Enjoy and good luck if you decide to try the tricks!



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Bugatti Veyron gets a ticket, crowd is happy

Take a look at this photo…all those people are gathered in downtown Manchester, around a traffic warden writing a fine for an illegally parked Bugatti Veyron. Apparently this is not the first time this Veyron gets a traffic ticket, but my guess is that the £60 fine (or £30 if paid two weeks) won’t make a hole in the guy’s budget. If the car would’ve been towed, now that would’ve been something. Anyways, it was fun seeing this photo with all those people cheering, not to mention the title from “The Sun”: “0-60 quid in 2.5 seconds for Bugatti”.


2009 Hummer H3T Pickup photos break loose

Hummer H3T Pickup

Truck Trend broke the embargo date (February 1) and, in its latest issue, published the first photos of the Hummer H3T Pickup, which is scheduled to be presented at the Chicago Auto Show next week. Built on the Chevrolet Colorado/Hummer H3, the Hummer H3T is a five passengers pickup, offered with a range of engines from the 245 hp 3.7 lier Vortec engine (with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing and mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic gearbox), to the Hummer H3 Alpha’s engine, a 304 hp 5.3 liter V8, mated to a four speed automatic transmission (towing capacity is 2,676 kg).

Besides the Z85 Heavy-Duty Handling and Trailering standard suspension package, customers will be able to choose the Off-Road Adventure suspension package (front and rear locking differentials, 33-inch tires, 4.03:1 low-range gearing in the transfer case and crawl ratios of 68.9 with the manual transmission or 56.2 with the automatic). The standard suspension package, the Z85 Heavy-Duty Handling and Trailering, uses 32-inch tires.

See more photos of the HUmmer H3T Pickup after the jump.


Speed bumps are not eco-friendly

Speed bumps are probably suspensions’ worst nightmare (besides paved roads) because I’m sure it happened to you also to drive at night, miss a speed bump at 40 mph and knock your head into the car’s ceiling. But recent studies show that speed bump are not only bad for your car and your head, but they also harm the planet. Funny, huh? Well, actually the study, made by Britain’s Automobile Association, shows that the cars’ mileage drops a lot (almost 50%) when having to brake and accelerate in order to pass over speed bump. They took a 58 mpg car running a constant 30 mph, ran it over speed bumps and discovered that the mileage dropped to 31 mpg.

Another recent study, made by the Transport Research Laboratory, reported that CO emissions are increased by as much as 82% and NO levels by 37% on roads with speed bumps. So, the conclusion was speed bumps harm the planet so they ought to be removed and the Automobile Association suggested that speed cameras should be used instead of speed bumps, which I don’t if it’s such a good idea. Anyways, that sure is an interesting study and should be given more attention.


Cadillac CTS-V gets out on the streets

Two weeks ago, Cadillac introduced the CTS-V at the Detroit show and now we have the the first photos of it on the streets. The 550 hp beast was spotted driven by a GM employee at a Cadillac CTS owners meet up. The photos were taken by the guys over at CTowners.com and I must say, I love it, that powerful look is just so awesome. BMW’s M5 might really have a tough competition here. Enjoy more pics after the jump.


5 dead in BMW M5 crash in Florida

What happens when you put together an 18 year old driver (possibly drunk) and a high performance car like the BMW M5? Well, unfortunately, you have a tragedy. Saturday morning, at about 3 AM, 18 year old Joshua D. Ammirato and four of his friends were returning from a party and decided to have some fun by doing some high speed on a runway at the Greystone Airport in Florida. However, what the young man missed was an 85-foot embankment at the end of the runway and he flew 200 feet before hitting a large tree and breaking the M5 in two. Skid marks at the end of the runway show that the boy tried to stop, but was unable to do that due to the high speed.

The police are trying to determine whether the young man was driving under influence and if there was another car racing the M5, but so far we have nothing official. Interesting is that the same day the accident took place, Ammirato was confessing on an M5 forum that he had some problems handling the 500 hp M5 and was asking for some advice in shifting gears at high speeds.

Though this young man was reckless and we hope this will be a warning for all those rich people handling these powerful suicidal cars like the M5 to their kids, we pray for the kids killed in the accident and for their families. Rest in peace!

See a video report on the accident, after the jump.


Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype-S scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show

After last week these drawings showed up on the web, we have a confirmation that this is the Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype-S, which will debut at the Geneva Motor Show, in March. The Prototype-S will be Mitsubishi’s hot hatch, powered by the 240hp 2.0 liter turbo engine from the Lancer Ralliart and it will also feature twin-clutch SST gearbox and full-time 4WD drivetrain with an active center differential. Rumors say that the car will join Mitsubishi’s lineup in the second half of this year.

That’s all the info we have so far, but stay tuned because we’ll be there at the Geneva Motor Show and we’ll let you know once we have more details.


Tesla Roadster passes FMVSS crash tests

Looks like the Tesla Roadster is one step closer to production, because the car managed to pass all the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) crash tests. These standards are slightly different for electric vehicles, comparing to the regular gasoline powered cars, because it requires attention paid to the spillage of electrolyte and avoidance of electric shock, while the regular cars need only to avoid fuel spillage. That meant the Tesla had to take extra care of the ESS (battery box), by protecting it better and also having safety systems within the ESS itself.

During the FMVSS testing, the Tesla Roadster had to pass about 40 tests, among which were the “Windshield Defrosting and Defogging” (which means that, after the vehicle is started, specific areas of the windshield have to be cleared in a specified time and which the car passed without problems, due to the electrically powered PTC heating system, which start heating the windshield as soon as the car is started), “Rear View Mirrors” (important rearward areas must be visible via the mirrors), “Flammability of Interior Materials”, “Lights” (the front lights need to meet the FMVSS prescribed intensity and lighting pattern to provide sufficient illumination and avoid dazzling oncoming traffic).

Also, on January 16, 2008, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued a “Certificate of Conformity with the Clean Air Act of 1990” to Tesla Motors Inc. So we have some big steps made by the Tesal Roadster on it’s way to production.

Check out more photos from the crash tests after the jump.


The new Mercedes Benz CLC unveiled

Yesterday Mercedes made an official press release announcing the new Mercedes Benz CLC (SportCoupe). Just like the previous SportCoupe, the new CLC has the front part of the current C-Class with the radiator grille featuring a large Mercedes star in the centre and new projection-beam headlamps while the rear features new tail lights, third brake LED light unit and new rear bumper.

Under the hood, we’re gonna have four 4-cylinder and two 6-cylinder engines with power outputs between 122 hp (90 kW) and 272 hp (200 kW). From these, the 184 hp unit on the CLC 200 KOMPRESSOR now develops 20 hp more while fuel consumption was lowered to 7.8 litres/100 km (30 mpg), while the diesel unit on the CLC 200 CDI returns a consumption of 5.8 liters/ 100 km (40 mpg). “The CLC comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and Mercedes offers a five-speed automatic transmission for the 4-cylinder units and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission for the V6 models. In combination with the sports package, the driver can use gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.”

Of course, we don’t have to say it, but, being a Mercedes, the best materials were used for the interior, while the equipment is also top-notch, featuring three infotainment units with color display, twin tuner, speed-sensitive volume control and Bluetooth mobile phone interface, new universal media interface, new Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS units which come with a Europe-wide DVD or hard-disc navigation system and the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system which enables the driver to operate the telephone, audio and navigation system.

View the full photo gallery of the new Mercedes Benz CLC after the jump.


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