Archive for January, 2009

Mercedes Takes “Topless” to the Extreme

Posted in: General, Mercedes
11 Jan 2009

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As previously mentioned on this blog, Mercedes is winding down production of its beautiful, powerful SLR roadsters. The final models are rolling out the door in June of this year, and now we finally have a look at the finished product.

The final SLR – which stands for Sport, Light, Racing – is the SLR Stirling Moss, named after the legendary British racecar driver. Once called “the greatest driver to win the World Championship,” he earned victories both as a Formula 1 racer and at Le Mans. At 79, he’s still traveling the globe and continues to be in demand at automotive events worldwide.

As a nod to this driving legend, Mercedes has made its final SLR an exceptional find. It isn’t just the racecar-like styling that makes it stand out – but, as Mercedes-Benz Cars’ sales and marketing head, Dr. Klaus Maier, points out, “No other car is this open and this fast at the same time.”

That’s right – the $1 million-ish price tag doesn’t include a windshield, roof or windows. The supercharged V8 can leap from a dead stop to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds. And of course it doesn’t stop there – the SLR Stirling Moss has a top speed of 220.

With a ride like that, it’s pretty clear you’re probably going to want a helmet or goggles to go with it. (Either way, your hairdo is screwed the minute you leave the driveway.) Honestly, this is one of those cars that is gorgeous to look at but probably looks better in someone else’s garage – kind of like a lot of husbands.

Still, the workmanship makes it something that’s impossible not to stare at. So gaze if you will, lust if you must – and then return to your own car of choice, thanking God for heated seats and windshields.

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Does This Ferrari Make My Butt Look Big?

Posted in: Ferrari, General
05 Jan 2009

ferrari-california.jpgIf cars and their owners look alike, then the new Ferrari California should make itself at home in the garage of Kim Kardashian. Because, best as I can tell, both have one pretty significant feature in common. (And no, that feature is not “nice headlights.”)

Ferrari’s newest model, which was first unveiled late last year at the Paris auto show, has raised eyebrows for its very un-Ferrari-like styling. While we’re accustomed to Ferrari’s oh-so-sleek design – you know, the one that makes the cars look fast even when they’re sitting in a garage – the California looks a bit, well, rounder than its predecessors. One might say it’s got some junk in the trunk. Literally.

The unusual (by Enzo Ferrari’s standards, anyway) rear-heavy design was made to accommodate the convertible’s folding hard top – as well as the hydraulic equipment needed to move it up and down. The designers felt the need for a little luggage space back there, too, and while they were at it, they even threw in a back seat. As we all know, it’s impossible to keep packin’ in more goodies without having to let out the seams a bit. And that’s exactly what Ferrari has done.

That’s not to say the prancing pony has been tamed into something that will be lost in the sea of SUVs and Lexuses in the pick-up lane at your kid’s middle school. It’s still a hot little number, with a mid-front V8 and 460 horses under the hood.

So, while it may not have the profile of a racecar, there’s still something appealing about this bubble-butted beauty. If you don’t believe me, hop in, cue Sir Mix-a-Lot and be prepared to enjoy one of Ferrari’s most road-friendly rides.