Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes’

…recently uploaded new campaign videos to YouTube. Ok, before you call me out for calling them ‘campaign videos’ – I’m aware that they are viral videos, and haven’t been created (yet) as TV-going commercials, but let’s face it: they are companies that are in it for profit, and those videos are monetized. I digress – less than one paragraph into my post I’ve meandered into territory that is insignificant to the post. The point is this: these videos are awesome, simply put.

The first features the Benz SLS AMG droptop, out to break the world record for fastest ball catch. Besides the skill and calculation that went into this production, it’s a beautiful juxtaposition of perhaps the most conservative sport in the western world with blasphemous powerful, tire-smoking Hoonism. So go ahead – watch an AMG convertible catch a golf ball at speed without as much as a single dent!

 

Next, from Karl Benz’s rival Bavarian badge comes a piece of video art featuring the new BMW M5 as a bullet fired on its own power out a giant tunnel (read: gun chamber) aimed at three art-constellation targets…all of which the V8 saloon shatters with triple-digit force.

 

In my opinion, as cool as both are, the SLS AMG wins for verisimilitude. The BMW video is under speculation for its veracity. I don’t think it matters much whether or not it’s real, it’s still very, very entertaining and creative, but it speaks less for the driver’s skill being that it is likely a composite of real footage and CGI. If it turns out that it’s real, I’ll eat my words, but that car looks too perfect after smashing through barriers at those speeds. If anyone is going to attempt it in real life though, I nominate Jezza, since he’s already fond of car/gun mash-ups. Hopefully his back will hold up better than when he put a Lorrie through a brick wall.

 

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Aside from Christina’s lyric-slip and Green Bay taking home the trophy, the 2011 Superbowl had some great eye candy for gearheads. Some of the car commercials were utterly confusing, others good, but only two of them great. I won’t post them all as they are all over the internet but here are the two standout commercials (in my humble opinion) of this past Sunday’s game.

#1: Mercedes-Benz “Welcome”

This commercial wins for its sheer beauty. Seeing legions of Benzes rolling through the night, vintage next to modern, modern next to concept, was stirring. It reminds us of the incredible pedigree with which a company like Mercedes stems from, and continues to build off of.

#2: Chevy Camaro

The first Camaro spot was annoying, if only for the fact that it featured a Transformer. This one however, took the cake home for best Superbowl ad on a psychological level. In fact, it stole the cake, and then kicked the moist fluffiness out of it before eating it off of the cleats. The reason being is not only is it awesome, but it makes so many pleas for testosterone secretion in the court of man. During what is arguably the most testosterone driven television event of the year, Chevy hit advertising gold with this one.

Ok, so in the end, I didn’t choose Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” or VW’s ultra-adorable “Baby Darth Vader,” but the Chrysler commercial, while harrowing and inspiring, showcased a car that nobody cares about and simply didn’t fit the bill of either luxury or power. VWs ad was undeniably super cute and clever, but it wasn’t much of a car commercial. The top awards go to Mercedes and that mullet-bearing lovechild of a muscle car, the Chevy Camaro.

The past decade has been a good one for gearheads. The early 2000s heralded in a new wave a Japanese sports cars such as the Honda S2000, Nissan 350Z, Infinite G35, Mazda RX-8, Mistubishi Evolution, and Subaru WRX STi. Towards the latter end we received a resurgence of great American iron, as the Big 3 muscled up with “new classics” touting such iconic names as Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang 5.0, and let’s not forget those dear Pontiacs (RIP GTO and G8 GXP). Heck, even Cadillac took out their dentures and gave us the thundering CTS-V, which last time I checked had started a bar fight with some German bloke named “M5.” Porsche released a new rendition of the 911 every fortnight or two, and the BMW M3 acquired a V8 along the way (to a mixed reaction), and just when you thought it was safe to roam outside at night, Lamborghinis became somewhat reliable.

So then what kind of surprises can we look forward to for the future? I’ll talk a bit more about that in another entry after I acquire a crystal ball off eBay. However, I can tell you now what cars I’m looking forward to seeing in 2011.

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Sure, this poor man’s Porsche asks a higher entrance fee while offering less kit: it comes standard sans stereo, air conditioning, or even proper door handles. But while you ponder whether the steering wheel comes standard or optional at extra charge, consider the reason for such a paring down. Those floppy strips of cloth posing as door handles are saving precious weight that your floppy backside can no longer save since your mid-age crisis hit. The cloth roof is a glorified camping tarp that will force your rump to get out of the car and walk around to both sides, fiddling with clamps and buckles before you sit back in your now rain-soaked bucket seats. But hey, it made you get up and exercise, shaving more precious weight off in a simple act of inconvenient assembly (brilliant, Porsche, absolutely brilliant). If all this weight loss is making you Hungry4Horsepower, rest assured that the lightweight contender boosts an extra 10 ponies over a standard Boxster S, and has more torque too. My only question is: where do I sign up, and can I put my Boxster on my 24 Hour Fitness family plan?

photo credit: Gawker Media

Ford Mustang Boss 302

Ford’s famous ponycar has made a dramatic comeback in recent years and continues to impress with a stunning V6, fire-breathing 5 liter V8, and more iterations and Shelby brethren than can be counted on your hands and feet combined. Don’t overlook this latest Ford lovechild then, as it’s a cut above most in the Mustang family. Conceived by the late and great Larry Shinoda and raised on the Trans-Am speedways, the original 1969 Boss 302 ‘Stang and its more refined younger brother, the 429, dropped jaws and time slips with roaring bravado and became collectively triumphant. While “Boss” Shinoda is no longer around to see it, he’d be proud of the new 444-hp 302 that Ford is rolling out this spring. Sporting horseshoe mustache livery reminiscent of the original Boss, it looks the part – but  its uncompromising power and track-ready chassis are what separate this Boss from others.

photo credit: Ford

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari is a brand synonymous with elegance and cutting edge F1 technology, but it seems they have truly outdone themselves on the 458 Italia. So much so, that the cars get excited and sometimes combust into flames. When they’re not BBQ-ing themselves they instead combust into beautiful song and speed – so beautiful that you’ll forget all about that fire recall, I can assure. I dare any of you to raise your hand who have not wet themselves at first sight of this car in person.

photo credit: CarAdvice.com.au

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is hardly what we can call a new car, but it is new (at least since its last arrival in 1975) to American shores. Ferrari’s parent company Fiat, had been developing the quirky and lovable 500 since 1957. It’s since taken a hiatus but reappeared in Europe and Asia in 2007, looking really quite the same albeit larger love handles since we last saw it in the 70s. Chubbier as it may be the 500 is still as lovable and has proved popular as an economical and sporty hatchback city car that will pose a stylish alternative to more common and more expensive MINI. Is there any chance that the US market will see an Abarth version? We’re keeping our fingers crossed – cute as the 500 is, this little Italian is Hungry4Horsepower.

photo credit: unknown

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Here is a car that has earned its wings quite literally. It is the first car that Merc’s high performance tuning division AMG, has built from the ground up as a production vehicle. AMG has a reputation of taking prim and well-mannered Mercedes-Benz schoolgirls and turning them into leather-clad hellions that are downright nasty (in the good way, by all means). The SLS is no exception, save that it never started out a nice girl to begin with. It’s a tempest of a GT supercar, sporting that mighty M-B 6.2 V8 up front under the uber-long bonnet (a hood that long truly must be referred to as a bonnet), and those oh-so-impractical-but-oh-so-graceful gullwing doors around its midriff which hearken back to the 300SL Gullwing Benz. Propped open, the doors sinfully invite you to trouble, but once you’ve heard that V8 gurgling and doing whatever other sorts of gyrations it does under that bonnet, trouble never sounded so good…

photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

It is most certainly about time that we were offered a reasonable sized performance oriented coupe from BMW, and it sure is good that they answered the call before their roundel became permanently associated with country clubbers and their desperate housewives. Even the M division has been off on some mushroom-induced trip through Bavaria for some time now, as is verifiable by the monstrosity called “X6 M.” At this point, the E30 and E36 Ms of yesteryear seem a long ways off. Whereas M cars used to be little Davids slaying mighty goliaths, they have progressively grown into bulging, thirsty giants themselves. In comes the 1 Series M Coupe, a breath of fresh air. It borders on being over styled and there’s no room for any body in the rear except one that is chopped up. However, it’s comforting to know that M is still looking out for the little guy (with the big pocket).

photo credit: BMW

Lexus LFA

If you’ve seen that commercial where the LFA shatters a wine glass at high RPMs, you know why this car is anticipated. Or, if you’ve been following the development of the car you know all the dorky details of why it cost so much to develop over the past decade and why Toyota is losing money on each car sold. Or, perhaps you’ve seen the application required by Lexus to get in line for one. Regardless the reason, this is the monumental return of the Japanese supercar alongside Nissan’s GT-R, and it’s the final swan song given to us by the recently departed Hiromu Naruse, a godfather of iconic Toyota sports cars.

article: colbydc5

In parts 1 & 2 of the Motor Show coverage we saw some of the Hyundais, Lotuses, and concepts shown to the Busan public, as well as a few tuner cars. Now I’ll take you through the rest of the latter category. Tuner cars in Korea are a rare and special breed. But should you ask anyone in Korea, particularly a cab driver, they will tell you tuner cars (or tyooning cars, as they’re more often referred to) are everywhere.

It’s not uncommon to come across middle-aged salarymen, delivery bike boys, ageing housewives, and even taxi drivers with “tuner cars.” In Korea, a simple suicide knob on the steering wheel, LED-lit number plate frame, random JDM sticker on an otherwise stock car, or even a blinking Mother Mary dashboard statue (I kid you not) turns your car into a “tuner.” Cars are modified everywhere you look… but you will stop looking after say, a bird flies overhead, because whatever unfathomable insignificant function said modification performs is completely and utterly negligible to the point of ignorance.

That being said, an S15 Silvia hanging next to a WedSport widebody S2000  and R34 Z-tune replica is quite the track-stopping trio to come across in a city like Busan.

The tuners certainly had a good start then, compared to the expectation of what a tuner car in Korea is. Not to be outdone by their Asian compadres, Ze Germans were in good showing as well, as evidenced by this clean M3 and somewhat-less-clean Carrera, whose owner sported looks out of a rap video.

This blue Benz caught my eye, matching the above BMW slightly, if not for the darker blue tones and more abundant carbon fiber. Hats off if you can tell me what designer pattern the teddy bears above the seats are wearing (you’ll have to squint).

An otherwise great looking interior in this 911 is ruined by the wrong type of slushbox.

Domestic tuners were not to be overlooked as evidenced by this Genesis Coupe Turbo built by the suspiciously named “Dragon” garage (Ray Wert was curiously nowhere to be found). The Coupe sported large Volk TE37s , mildly stretched tires and fenders, as well as a larger hairdryer under the hood.

The Americans didn’t have any tuner cars to speak for, but they did have a modified girl guarding a Camaro that resembled Bumblebee from the Transformers films.

Towards the very end of the hall where the tuners were, the Road Buster crew had two of their demo cars on display, right next to a throne of beautiful wheelage.

This particular MR-S has undergone a series of transformations, even once parading as a cop car through Busan. Hopefully I can bring you some more details on this midship’s build down the road.

Road Buster is known for their trademark matte black cars and high-polish engine bays, this one above belonging to a first gen Toyota Altezza.

These days matte black is the rage and is more played out than Taylor Swift, but for all the short skirts and t-shirts in the world, Road Buster knew how to play that matte black track… and they played it well. Also demonstrating signs of the trendy times was this GT-R “Funny Car” which still managed to pull the matte job off with finesse. It just goes to show that though we see trends grow and ebb, all it takes is the right car to still pull off even the most played out look.

So what do you think will get changed out first? The paint job on the GT-R, or Jake Gylenswift? I’ll leave you on that note.

article & photography: colbydc5