Tag Archives: mercedes

Silver Arrows reunion at Goodwood this year.

This is just epic.  Here’s the list of Silver Arrows race cars that will be at Goodwood this year——driving on the track!  This is the first time in over 70 years that these cars will be racing on the same track.  I can’t wait to see/hear the footage when this happens.

The list of cars planning to be there:

Mercedes-Benz W25, W125, W154 and W165

&

Auto Union Type C and Type D

full story here: Fourtitude 

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Lost plans: Auto Union Type 52 supercar.

I found these fascinating pictures and words in regards to Ferdinand Porsche proposing plans for a central cockpit rear-engined supercar based off of the winning Grand Prix cars of the time—-sound familiar Gordon Murray of McLaren F1 fame?  So in 1933, Porsche decided he wanted Auto Union to build the fastest, most insane, 4.4 Liter V16 200hp road car able to carry 3 people (including driver), have a centrally seated driver, and with the Auto Union race car engine pounding away in the rear-end of the car.  That idea and drawings were labeled P52 or “Type 52” in 1934.  The 200hp engine would have been a ‘detuned’ version of the 295hp engine in the GP car.  I’m a little bit confused about the total number of seats in the sketches, as some of the pics show 2 passenger seats, while the Komenda sketches above look like there may be a backseat there as well.

Surely this car was a sign of things to come from Porsche—-and as they say, the best ideas are often attempted many times before they actually take off, as i’ve seen in regards to Ferdinand Porsche’s story time and time again.

Here are some original drawings made by Dr. Erwin Komenda (designer of the Auto Union GP cars!)

some more information:

“By early 1934, the road car project had been given its own identity and was designated typ 52. Komenda’s chassis drawings show he had added a longitudinal framework to which the body and large twin exhausts could be fixed. Hubs have also been drawn either side of the V16 to carry spare wheels, presumably in order to afford some luggage space in the rear of the body. The tyres on the road car were to be 5.50×20 all round, rather than the differently sized rubber of the racer.

Although the engine capacity of the Typ 52 was to remain at 4.4 litres (supercharged) the power was to he reduced from the racer’s 295bhp at 450Orpm to a more manageable 200bhp at 3650 rpm. This, the Porsche design team believed, would give the sports car a maximum speed of 125mph in fifth gear and a 0 60mph time of around 8.5 secs, a quite sensational performance for 1934

The limousine would not have been much slower; to put things in perspective it’s worth looking at the performance of what would have been the Typ 52 five seater’s main rival in the mid ’30s*the Mercedes Benz 540K. This behemoth weighed in at a colossal 57121bs, whereas the planned weight of the sports Auto Union was only 38581bs. Even the limousine would still have been a lightweight compared with the Mercedes. To propel its massive 54OK’s 5.4 1itre, straight eight engine managed a paltry 115bhp and an unremarkable 180bhp when the supercharger was engaged.

In 1938 The Autocar tested a 540K, and managed a maximum speed of 104 with an 0-60mph time of 16.4 secs. The Auto Union would have blown the Mercedes away. ( not only, due to its vastly superior power to weight ratio, but also because, aerodynamically, the former would have been as sleek as a speedboat, whereas the Mercedes, was like a galleon set to royals.

Sadly, the Typ 52 project fizzled, and today no one quite knows why. Once Auto Union’s racing programme was under way Porsche’s design team had to concentrate their efforts upon that, but there’s no doubt* the typ 52 could have been built by any one of the four Auto Union member companies, had the will been there.

On the race tracks it soon became clear that Professor Porsche’s mid engine required a special talent to get the best out of it, and it was not until 1935 that an old maestro named Achille Varzi and a young wunderkind named Bernd Rosemeyer managed to do that. It is quite possible, therefore, that Professor Porsche decided his road car would be too much for ordinary mortals to handle, even in detuned condition.

Whatever the reason, the Typ 52 project was allowed quietly to die and the motoring world has had to wait for years for its like* *the McLaren F1, designed by Gordon Murray* to appear. However, had the roadgoing Auto Union been built, we can be sure that our friend Bernd Rosemeyer would have demanded the first off the line. He was like a son to Professor Porsche, who would surely have denied him virtually nothing, recognising the value of having his star driver and his wife seen driving around Europe in his sensational new creation.

We can be equally sure that Bernd wouldn’t have been content with the 200bhp engine that the Professor had in mind for the Typ 52 By 1936 the size of the Auto Union V16 had been increased to 6 litres and the power had gone up to an impressive 520bhp. No doubt Bernd would have insisted upon having at least 450bhp under his right foot, and that would have been Rosemeyer’s Baby!”

(from SMcars.net and the story here)

The following artwork was commissioned by Classic and Sportscar (1984) and is by technical artist Brian Nation to attempt to recreate what a full plan of the Type 52 would have looked like if they had continued with the plan:

I can’t help but wonder if this car would have been produced—-how big of a shift in standards it may have led to—or maybe it would have just been resigned into the world of ‘unattainable low production failures’ as so many great machines have done so in the past.  Regardless, the story is fascinating….as are most stories about the development of old-school petrol pumping iron.

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IEDEI @ the NY Auto Show: press day megapost!

Well yes, this was the debut of IEDEI at a major auto show—I must thank JoshD from Quattroworld for setting me up with my media pass.  Much appreciated indeed!  at IEDEI you will not get photos of ‘every car’—-instead you will just get the ones i thought were interesting!

Some observations about the cars I saw at the Auto Show today:

A) I looked at and sat in A LOT of cars today and came up with a conclusion—–I like very few of them.  I tried to only really take photos of the ones I either found interesting or appealing in some way.

B) The interior quality of most cars is quite frankly woeful.  When I sat inside of a Boss 302 Mustang, I was quite frankly amazed at how badly made the interiors really are of these cars.  I KNOW that this is not the point of them—and yes I know that none of this matters when one is aiming for lap times and stop light drag racing.  However, IEDEI looks at the whole picture for inspiration—-and if a car has such a huge glaring gap in its merit, I simply cannot be bothered to care.  After the show, i got into my Audi TT, and felt relieved to be in such a nice place!  Not to say there were not nice interiors at the show, there were (Mercedes, Audi, GT-R, etc…) but most were lacking.

C) Surprises of the day?  I sat in a Nissan GT-R for the first time in my life—–and you know what? I absolutely LOVED it.  The interior felt like a true sports car, with amazingly high quality construction, fantastic seats, and the most amazing tactile paddle shifters I have ever felt on a car—–with raw brushed metal stalks.  The car felt great to sit in—and to be honest I am compelled to take one for a test drive…soon hopefully!

D) the Kia Optima felt like an Audi—honestly the quality of their interior blew me away, and I think that Peter Schreyer (ex-Audi designer) has really upped Kia’s game when it comes to quality of product.  I don’t care for Hyundai much—–but when i took a seat in the Kia Optima, it felt like an interior that was twice the price of the car. Nice one, Kia.

E) the Scion FR-S—-stunning.

F) VW Beetle: dissappointing.  Terribly cheap and tacky interior.  Not worth the hype.

some photos:

Fiat steering wheels:

Bentley random goods!

BMW 1-series M:  just looked like a ‘modded’ 135i in person; a bit dissappointing to be honest.  The interior, like the 135i, felt cheap and nasty.  I really do like the 1-series as a car, however I think it never quite lives up to how much I want to like it.   I’m sure it will still kick ass on a track though…

BMW M3 DTM: all types of wonderful.

Audi TT-RS – naturally better looking than the 1-series M, with a much MUCH nicer interior.  Spoke with Johan De Nysschen (head of Audi Of America) about options and pricing.  I was told the car will be about $60k in the US when it is launched this Autumn.  340hp version coming to the US, not the 360hp “plus” version as rumoured.  This is the US-spec car.

the orgasm inducing Audi R8 GT: i couldn’t really get myself to leave sitting in this.  So f*cking cool it pained me to leave it—-

the stunning Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Gulf livery?  Not sure I understand Mercedes & Gulf colours on the same car—–however I wasn’t arguing, as it looked splendid, although a little bit puzzling for sure!

Mercedes A-Class Concept: beautiful design, flows very well.  striking concept features like the ‘inverted mesh grille’ are very cool.  Slated for the US market in 2013—-if it looks anything like this, it will be so cool to see these on the street!

Nissan GT-R: dare i say i have been developing a great appreciation for the GT-R as a technological masterpiece; today my opinion of it greatly increased after I fell in love with the interior—–it felt like i belonged there.   Yes I know it’s been around for a while, but I’ve only come to understand it. Respect.

Red Bull F1 Car it still annoys me that somehow Infiniti have blagged their way onto this car (probably by begging parent company Renault, who supply the Red Bull engines)—–however man these F1 cars are something else to see in person.  So much detail.

Scion FR-S:  This car is UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous—-so beautiful that I found myself shocked that Toyota has designed it.  It takes many cues from the Audi quattro Sport concept, as well as one of the E-tron concepts—–but holy shit if Toyota/Scion can build this and price it at $25k as a small, RWD car which is under 3000 pounds—-this car is going to be massive!  (note: this car was a mock up, with no working interior—-so i’m not holding my breath about this being the production design)

Saab Phoenix Concept – This was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show a few months back——I thought it looked like utter shit in those photos i saw of it then, BUT i will say the car looks MUCH better in person—-much lower and sleeker.  In fact, while I was taking these photos, another person and I were having a conversation about how this car looks like crap in the camera, but much better in person—-very strange!  Even still, it is NOT a pretty design, but I will say it is interesting.  Yes, the rear lights look like a 90s Firebird, as my friend from Automobiliac.com mentioned…and next to the car in this photo is the designer Jason Castriota.

Volkswagen Golf R/”R20″– really liked the interior touches for this special edition AWD continuation of the Golf R series.  Looked nice and aggressive in its classic R shade of blue as well!

Porsche GT3-R Hybrid – self explanatory cool, even as a hybrid!

I found myself accidentally in front of a Shelby GTS unveiling—–but the car bored me (looks like every other bloody Shelby tuned Mustang!), and the annoying automotive journalists irritated me even more.  I have to say that auto journalists kinda suck—–pushy, a little impatient, and they take way too many photos of anything with wheels….as if they will never see it again if they don’t…

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Carrera Panamericana

La Carrera Panamericana 2010 was held October 22-28 over 3,200 kilometers and seven stages through 10 states in Mexico, with former World Rally Championship driver Harri Rovanpera taking overall honors in a Studebaker.

100s of more pics and writing about the event here:

http://www.sportscardigest.com/la-carrera-panamericana-2010-results-and-photo-gallery/

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Ron Dennis is a moron.

Ron Dennis has always been a whining dork, from the days of the McLaren F1 team and his constant denial and complaining about rules, races, and results. Alright, so i don’t care if Ron Dennis doesn’t like the Bugatti Veyron, knowing he has such close ties to McLaren and the McLaren F1, however to call one of the greatest pieces of automotive engineering a “piece of junk” is a bit of a jealous rant, innit?  I don’t think anyone can deny the abillity of the Veyron, no matter how much one doesn’t like it or doesn’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.  However, the sort of comment Dennis gave is one that shows me he is simply frustrated and isn’t really thinking clearly when it comes to making a comment about the Bugatti.  Nice one Ron, you sound like a 15 year-old kid at the parking lot with a rusty civic, who calls an M3 or an S4 “junk” because it’s not theirs….

IEDEI VERDICT? I think the Veyron would handily out-accelerate the McLaren F1 after speeds of 120 MPH…..whether the Top Gear test was ‘staged’ or not doesn’t affect my opinion….but the Veyron clearly has MUCH more power, great aerodynamics, and a proven top speed greater than the F1.  NOBODY is going to deny that the Macca F1 was a great car, but it is not invincible.  He also mentions the Veyron would get ‘bogged’ for launch after the clutch was dropped—-BUT THE VEYRON HAS NO CLUTCH!  Fail.  End of story.

STORY: http://www.wheels24.co.za/News/General_News/Veyron-Top-Gear-race-faked-20100412

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Mercedes-Benz and AMG launch SLS Configurator…

MB_SLS_Configurator

It’s not exactly a sophisticated configurator, it seems more likely to be for something playful like a Mini or something—however, it does show which colours will be offered on the SLS AMG Gullwing.

Check it out!

www.mercedes-amg.com/#/sls

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IEDEI vs. Toyota Prius (Round 1)

toyota_prius

I’m really hoping some of you reach this blog, while researching information about the Toyota Prius.  If you were googling for reliability, pricing, consumer reviews, problems, troubleshooting, whatever.

Let’s start by stating the obvious; the Toyota Prius is a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE car.  It is SLOW, it is severely UGLY, it handles like feces, and it quite simply lacks any character.  The car is all hype, and for the several thousands upon thousands of minions who were too dim to actually bother trying to find a proper car and instead ended up with a Prius; think about what this car says about you.

Why bother dressing in a suit to go to work in a Prius?  You’ve already told the world you don’t give a crap what you look like; which is exactly why you’ve rolled into the work parking lot driving a misproportioned wedge.

tdi_logo

You wanted economy……OHHHHHHH.  So why have you not picked up a hugely efficient new Diesel which runs clean without spilling Nickel into the environment like the cancerous Prius seems to do.  Audi, VW, and BMW are all making solid diesel cars at the moment.  You can’t afford an Audi or BMW? Fine…..then drive over to the VW dealership and get a Rabbit (Golf in 2010) or Jetta TDI.  You’ll pull a solid 40-50mpg everywhere you go—and it won’t take you 15 years to get to 60mph.  More than that though, your friends will like you a little bit more, and the grass on your lawn will STILL be growing greener than ever.

Saving a few $$$ is not worth making an ass out of yourself.  The truth of the matter is; people hate seeing a Toyota Prius in front of them on the freeway, or getting stuck behind one in the city is generally worse than getting stuck behind a bus. Occasionally, you’ll see a minion of a human driving a Prius really really really fast (which is generally 40-50mph….fast for a Prion…err..Prius) and doing all sorts of weird maneuvers trying to draw attention to their strange little car.  Sometimes I wonder if these people think they are driving a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) tuned sports car?  Do they KNOW how slow and underperforming of a car they are actually driving?

You are NOT making the world a better place by buying a Prius.   You’re just making yourself look like a twit.

If I had extra money lying around, I would buy a Prius—-to have it junked and crushed for kicks!

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foto of the day.

Sir Stirling Moss and co.

Mercedes-Benz 300SLR, 1955 Mille Miglia

(click 2 times through to get the hi-res version)

300SLR_StirlingMoss

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