Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss: New Photo Gallery and Officially Official Details

The Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss is the crown glory of the soon-to-be discontinued, SLR McLaren super sports car. Named after the British motor racing legend and Mille Miglia record-holder Stirling Moss, who drove the legendary SLR racing cars during the 1950s, the speedster version of the SLR comes with neither a roof nor a windscreen. Not that anyone will leave the car exposed to the elements of nature, but the vehicle can be closed by two tonneau covers which are carried in the boot.

Power is provided by the same supercharged V8 engine as the standard SLR with an output of 650HP. Accelerating from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds and with a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), the SLR Stirling Moss is the fastest series-production car drop-top in the world.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the common denominator uniting the Stirling Moss with the other members of the SLR family is the aerodynamic concept with a closed underbody and a diffuser in the rear bumper for maximum possible downforce at the rear axle.

The German firm's engineers have also retained the SLR's airbrake which is raised during powerful braking at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph), so as to stabilize the vehicle even more in such situations.

The SLR Stirling Moss' exterior styling is reminiscent of the SLR racing cars from the 1950s featuring a pronounced arrow-shaped form and is characterized by an elongated bonnet and a compact rear-end. The sportscar is also equipped with folding swing-wing doors which open forwards. Inside, Merc's designers tried to leave only the bare essentials using materials such as carbon fibre, aluminum and leather.

Production of the exclusive SLR Stirling Moss will be limited to 75 units with pricing set at €750,000 -around $1,070,000. However, only customers who have previously bought an SLR will be able to order the Stirling Moss. Following the cease of production of the SLR models in May 2009, Mercedes will begin manufacturing the SLR Stirling Moss in June 2009.

Audi Prices Facelifted A6 and S6 - 3.0TFSI Starts from $50,100

Audi has released pricing for the facelifted 2009 model-year A6 and S6 Sedan and Avant models sedan that are scheduled to hit U.S. dealerships by the beginning of January. Prices start from $45,100 for the 255HP A6 3.2 V6 sedan Premium while the A6 3.0T quattro Premium with its new supercharged V6 engine thaty delivers 300HP in U.S.-spec starts at $50,100 for the sedan and at $53,310 for the Avant model. The A6 4.2 V8 quattro sedan will start at $60,950 while the Audi S6 that features a 435HP 5.2 FSI V10 engine mated to a Tiptronic transmission costs $75,900. All of the above prices do not include a destination charge of $825, taxes, title or dealer charges.

"The A6 model range gains a far more progressive look with this makeover," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president of Audi of America. "Of particular note is the addition of the new supercharged drivetrain that will give drivers of these cars plenty of responsive power without sacrificing fuel efficiency. These updates will show why the Audi A6 is the best-selling luxury sedan worldwide."

For more details and a high-resolution image gallery of the facelifted A6 and S6 models click here to check out our previous post.

Video: In-Car Footage from Porsche's Driving Experience Centre at Silverstone

In late November, Porsche officially opened its new Driving Experience Centre adjacent to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire, England. The Centre offers a variety of track configurations and surface conditions on which drivers can check out the potential of all Porsche road cars. In this video, one of the Porsche Driving Consultants takes a lap at the facilities of the German firm's centre, including the low friction circuit, the ice hill, the kick plate, the handling circuit and the off-road course.

Land Rover Cancels G4 Challenge Programme

Land Rover G4 Challenge As the global economic recession deepens, automakers around the world are either canceling or pulling out from all sorts of competitions. Land Rover said today that it will cancel the Land Rover G4 Challenge programme in order to focus more on product launches in 2009. The G4 Challenge that started in 2003 as the spiritual successor to the Camel Trophy, was recognized as the one of the world's top off-road driving and adventure events. It was held every two years with national selection events taking place in 18 countries around the globe.

Land Rover G4 Challenge "Given the severity of the global economic downturn and trading conditions, we need to make some tough decisions and that means prioritizing our budgets on new product launches," said Phil Popham, Managing Director Land Rover.

"We are disappointed for the competitors who have shown so much commitment and put tremendous effort into succeeding as representatives of their nation. We have and will continue to take swift and decisive actions for the benefit of the business; unfortunately that means the Land Rover G4 Challenge has to come to an early close," he added.

Land Rover G4 Challenge

For Sale: Unique Bugatti Veyron Vincero by Mansory

Bugatti Veyron Mansory VinceroWith so much money going around in Dubai, even a Bugatti Veyron seems passé these days. Having said that, it's not at all surprising that you can find cars in Dubai that you've never heard about like this Mansory-prepped Veyron called Bugatti Vincero, which is up for sale by Prestige Cars. There's no official information on the customized Veyron other than that, according to Prestige Cars, only three examples have been built.

Bugatti Veyron Mansory VinceroFrom the pictures we see that the Veyron-based Vincero features an awesome paint job complemented by a nice set of black alloy wheels and plenty of carbon fiber parts. The interior has also been overhauled - though in a less tasty way. Prestige Cars has not said how much it's asking for the Vincero but we gather that our readers Christmas presents combined wouldn't even do the job.

Source: Prestige Cars

Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero
Bugatti Veyron Mansory Vincero

Mercedes-Benz Sells its 1.5 Millionth E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the delivery of 1.5 million units of the current E-Class to customers since the executive model's market launch six years ago in 2002. Overall, Merc has produced 1,270,000 sedans and 230,000 station-wagons from the current E-Class series. The most important markets for the E-Class are Germany and the U.S., each of which accounts for around 25 percent of the model's total sales. In terms of engine popularity, the E 220 CDI diesel and E350 are the best selling models as each attracts ten percent of all E-Class customers. Not surprisingly, around 40 percent of all customers select a diesel-powered version of the mid-size German luxury car.

"The current E-Class and its predecessor models have been the 'heart' of Mercedes-Benz for more than 60 years now," says Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars. "With its typical brand attributes that include safety, comfort, innovation, economy, and quality, the E-Class has delighted around 12 million customers worldwide across eight model generations."

In 2009 Mercedes-Benz will introduce the next generation E-Class model - see first photos here.

Bush Administration Grants $17.4 Billion Loans to GM and Chrysler

Detroit's Big-Three automakers may have failed to convince the Congress last week to provide $14 billion in loans, but when there's a will, there's a way. In an unprecedented move, the Bush Administration granted GM and Chrysler LLC $13.4 billion in initial government loans to keep the companies from closing. The money that will be made available in December and January comes from the controversial $700 billion fund that was originally made to rescue struggling financial institutions. Furthermore, the two American automakers will receive an additional $4 billion from the fund in February according to a statement from the Bush Administration.

"Under ordinary economic circumstances, I would say this is the price that failed companies must pay," said President Bush. "And I would not favor intervening to prevent the automakers from going out of business. But these are not ordinary circumstances. In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action."

General Motors

"We appreciate the President extending a financial bridge at this most critical time for the U.S. auto industry and our nation's economy. This action helps to preserve many jobs, and supports the continued operation of GM and the many suppliers, dealers and small businesses across the country that depend on us," said GM in a statement.

Chrysler LLC

Chrysler LLC Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli said on behalf of the men and women of the company and its extended enterprise, that he would like to thank the Administration and Treasury for their confidence in the Company.

"A letter of intent was signed which outlines the specific requirements (1) that must be achieved," said Nardelli. "These requirements (2...) will require (3...) consideration from all constituents, requiring (4 - and we're not over yet) commitment first in principal, leading to implementation this coming year. Chrysler is committed to meeting these requirements (5 - Boy, Nardelli does loves to require...)."

Ford Motor Company

Though Ford did not need a loan itself, the company welcomed the action by the Administration to provide emergency funding for GM and Chrysler LLC. "As we told Congress, Ford is in a different position. We do not face a near-term liquidity issue, and we are not seeking short-term financial assistance from the government," Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said.

"But all of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the Administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler. The U.S. auto industry is highly interdependent, and a failure of one of our competitors would have a ripple effect that could jeopardize millions of jobs and further damage the already weakened U.S. economy," he added

2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were announced today. All in all, 14 passenger cars and 11 trucks and SUVs have been nominated for the respective awards. Among the finalists for the Car of the Year award is the Hyundai Genesis -the first ever Korean model to make it to the finals, the Nissan GT-R, the Audi A4, the Dodge Challenger, the Jaguar XF and the Pontiac G8. Finalists for the 2009 North American Truck of the Year award include the Dodge Ram, the BMW X6 and the Subaru Forester.

In order to be eligible for the awards, the vehicles must be "all-new" or "substantially changed" from the previous year model. From now and the opening of Detroit Show, 50 journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites, will vote ranking the finalists with the winners set to be announced at the show's first press conference on Sunday, Jan. 11.

2009 North American Car of the Year nominees

  • Audi A4
  • BMW 1 Series
  • Cadillac CTS-V
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Ford Flex
  • Honda Fit
  • Hyundai Genesis
  • Jaguar XF
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Mazda 6
  • Nissan GT-R
  • Pontiac G8
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2009 North American Truck of the Year nominees

  • BMW X6
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Dodge Ram
  • Ford F-150
  • Honda Pilot
  • Infiniti FX35/50
  • Kia Borrego
  • Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC
  • Nissan Murano
  • Subaru Forester
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

Acura 2+1 Coupe Concept Study: Design Proposal for an Affordable NSX

The new V10-powered NSX may have bitten the dust due to the enduring global economic crisis (click here for details) but that doesn't mean that Honda fans can't continue to dream on. The Acura 2+1 Coupe Concept you see pictured above is a design proposal for a more affordable and down to earth NSX created by Colombian designer Leon Paz during his internship at Honda R&D Americas.

 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study The concept features an aggressive look that adopts what Paz calls, a multi-faceted design language. "The idea was to show very aggressive styling on the body and keep it very simple on the top section with a dynamic roof line flow," Paz explains. One of the most interesting styling elements of the Acura coupe with its 2+1 seating arrangement is the prolonged transparent rooftop that allows a see-through view of the engine compartment.

 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study
 Acura 2+1 Coupe NSX Concept Study  Photos: Leon Paz , Via: Carbodydesign