Saturday, April 28, 2012

The V8 Hotel

Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen. What do all of these car companies have in common? Any auto enthusiast would instantly recognize that they're all German. The Germans are no strangers to the automotive industry. Some might even say they're the best car makers in the world. But how are they at making hotels? I have no idea. What if it was a car themed hotel though? That's more up their alley. Well that's exactly the idea behind the V8 Hotel located on what used to be the site of an airport in Stuttgart Germany. This home away from home features themed rooms which are loaded with all kinds of incredible car memorabilia that reflects the rich history of the automobile industry. For example, if you've ever wanted to sleep under the stars in a Cadillac at the drive-in theater, they've got a room for that. Or maybe your more of a Lindsey Lohan and Herbie the Love Bug fan. If so they've got just the room for you, minus Lindsey Lohan, it's not that kind of hotel. They even have a Route 66 themed room for us Americans which is probably my favorite. The hotel includes 34 rooms total, 10 of which are car themed. So next time you take that dream trip to Germany where you buy a 911 straight from the factory just to open it up on the autobahn, make sure you get your snooze on at the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart. Even if you don't have enough cash to drop on a 911 staying here should provide some pretty awesome dreams instead. Hit the jump for more pics!

Caterham SP/300.R

So it turns out Caterham doesn't just make 15 versions of the same car that require you to wear goggles and a leather hat to look appropriate. Now they also make this. It's called the SP/300.R and it's an LMP (Le Mans Prototype) style track car. Dyson racing here in the U.S. will be the proud recipients of the first one and will use it as an attention getter for their new racer. Caterham believes their new creation will compete well against Radical who also builds LMP cars. I just think it's great they've decided to build a car for someone other than Indiana Jones. Hit the jump for more pics!

Via Autoblog

Friday, April 27, 2012

Living like a Sultan- The Viano Vision Diamond Van

Remember being a kid and day dreaming about how awesome it would be to have a tv in the car during those long boring drives? I sure do. I remember first learning about power converters and how genius I felt when I hauled my little ten inch tv and playstation out to our Suburban and hooked them up to keep my brothers and I company during the long yearly trip from Southern Utah to Northern Utah. We played Madden the entire time and before we knew it we were at Grandma and Grandpa's. We might not live in a world of flying cars and robot servants yet but things have definitely changed in the last 15 years. Now most people haulers, whether it be a van or an SUV, come stock with entertainment systems that include T.V.'s, DVD players, aux hookups for your xbox, etc. But some companies don't believe in just satisifying their customers, they'd rather blow their minds.

Such is the case with the new Viano Vision Diamond van that Mercedes Benz revealed at the Beijing Auto Show this week. Hop inside this Maybach styled carrier and you'll instantly feel like the Sultan of Zanzibar. Amenities inside this traveling palace include reclining, temperature-controlled massage chairs wrapped in beautiful nappa leather, a champagne cooler (flutes included), lighting, and a tv big enough to make you feel like your right there in the action with Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone.

40 inches of tv to be exact with all the explosions and gunshots being provided by a Bang and Olufsen sound system. It's even got wireless internet if you'd rather watch senseless Youtube videos. So if the 10 inch screen offered in most minivan's nowadays isn't big enough to keep your kids entertained, maybe you should get a Viano Vision van instead.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pic of the Day

I'm not necessarily a diehard Mopar fan but this is still one beautiful 69' Dodge Charger.

Caterham Supersport

This is the Caterham Supersport. Richard Hammond thinks you have to be a total doofus to drive one of these. I agree it may not be quite as slick as a Lambo or Ferrari, or maybe even a Sonata, but it's a purpose built car so it doesn't need to be. The 1.6 liter in the Supersport produces 140 hp which may sound pathetic, but when it's powering something that weighs about as much as an empty soup can, it's actually quite a lot. In fact, it's enough to launch the car to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. The track built suspension provides superb handling for this little go kart too. And last but not least is the price tag which is just under 35k. So as far as numbers go, this thing has all the right ones. But what do you think? Can you maintain your swagger and drive a Caterham at the same time, or was Richard Hammond right?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AMG World

If Mercedes Benz were a person with a split personality, then AMG would be the lunatic version of that person. Basically, AMG takes what's generally already a quite powerful, well performing car and they inject it with steroids. Not just a small amount either, enough so that whatever that AMG badge is attached to remains in a contstant state of roid rage. For example the SL 65 AMG that was shown last month at the New York Auto Show has a V12 which produces 621 hp and 738 lb.-ft. of torque. So if you ever got sick of taking this car to the track you could always take it to the forest and use it to pull Redwood stumps out of the ground. The uncontrollable power and thunder like noise that these cars produce is exactly why so many people have fallen in love with them. So imagine then, what one of these crazy AMG owners would do if there were a place that sold only AMG Mercedes. They would be like a kid in a candy store. A very wealthy a candy store that sold candy wrapped in gold. Well that "candy store" now exists. Mercedes-Benz recently opened an AMG dealership in Beijing. Typically AMG's are sold in a separate section of an already existing Mercedes-Benz dealership, but this dealership will sell only the very loud, very brutal AMG cars. So if you've been searching for a dealership that carries strictly testosterone pumping, fire-breathing AMG's, then maybe you can put off your Yellowstone trip till next Summer and instead head to China.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Disappearing Door

Do you hate your car doors? Then you'll love this video. It was posted on YouTube a few years ago but I just saw it for the first time a couple days ago. Seems a little sketchy to remove the B-pillar and what happens when the motor that controls the door dies? At least when your window motor poops out you can still open the door. Other than those couple concerns this is actually pretty cool and would be awesome for most coupes. What do you guys think? 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Awesome Advertising

Where I live every single transit bus is plastered with giant advertisements for either Gold's Gym or Vivint Alarm Systems. It's honestly pretty annoying. With driving billboards as their canvas you'd think advertisers would be a little more creative. Well these few companies have taken advantage and you'd either have to be really distracted or straight up blind to miss these awesome ads. Check out more of em' after the jump!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lamborghini's Super SUV

Lamborghini is under heavy pressure from parent company Volkswagen to start bringing in more benjamins and turn their losses into gains. In order to keep their parents happy Lamborghini will be introducing an SUV to diversify their lineup. A lambo SUV? It’s a little hard to imagine what this “super” utility vehicle will look like but this isn’t the first time a supercar company has branched out into other markets. Ferrari recently introduced the FF which is geared more towards the family man. And Porsche has been producing the Cayenne SUV for 10 years now. Rumors say the new family sized bull will have the same V10 engine as the Gallardo which produces 575 hp. That’s a couple more than a Mazda CX-9 or Hyundai Santa Fe. Rumor also has it that Lamborghini has named their new beast the Urus which is based off the larger ancestor of today’s cattle. While all this gossip is exciting, look for the actual truth to be revealed at the Beijing Motor Show next week.
Lamborghini SUV to be named the Urus – going to Beijing Motor Show

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life Size Hot Wheels Jump

Remember being a kid and building hot wheels ramps so high you had to stand on a chair to reach the top, and then releasing your toughest hot wheels at the peak and watching them soar into oblivion? I sure do. I always wondered what it would be like to be inside one of those little cars as it launched. Well this hot wheels team driver doesn't have to wonder because his hot wheel is life sized and he actually has flown through the air. Check it out! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best car ever?

Best. What a powerful word. When attached to something, that thing instantly becomes special. It becomes something that people want and need. It's better than good, it's better than better, it's...well it’s best. This word can also be very dangerous though. When someone claims something to be the "best" it instantly comes under extreme scrutiny and people begin searching for reasons to discredit the superb product. Last week Top Gear’s Richard Hammond took on both the role of claiming and scrutinizing when he reviewed the all new 3 series from BMW. After having an extremely difficult time finding fault with the new Bimmer, Hammond concluded that the new 3 series could be “the best car ever”. Whoa hang on a second though. Best car ever? He didn’t just say best BMW ever, or even best sports car ever, he said best car ever. That’s a pretty broad statement. So why don’t we take a look at the new 3 series so we can come to our own conclusion as to whether or not this new “driving machine” is worthy of that statement.

The 2012 3 series, aka the F30, has gone through a growth spurt which added 3.7 inches to the overall length of the car. It’s also a tad bit wider, but even with the added measurements BMW managed to shed some pounds from the car (88 of them to be exact). The F30 has a more stern face than its predecessor too with headlights that reach inward and touch the grill and a lower intake that’s been split in two and now spans the entire lower bumper. All right, so far so good. But what about the really important things like the powertrain? Well that’s where things get more interesting. The new 3 series is available in 3 engine options which include a 2.0 turbo four which puts out 240 horses and 260 torques, a 3.0 liter turbo six that’s good for 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, and last but absolutely not least, a hybrid. The hybrid consists of the turbo six paired with a 55 hp electric motor which when combined bust out 335 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission’s come in either a 6 speed manual or an 8 speed auto. BMW is even offering different “lines” of the 3 series which include Sport, Modern, and Luxury; each with their own color combinations and other perks. The all-electric steering system is standard on the F30 but it sounds like it’s been tweaked to provide better feel for the driver and the suspension remains the same from the previous generation.

So as far as I can tell the new BMW 3 series doesn’t fly, doesn’t have machine guns that pop out of the front grill, heck it doesn’t even go 200 mph. So what in the world was Richard Hammond talking about? Well I think that’s just it, the new 3 series isn’t anything monumental or groundbreaking, but it is and has long been a spectacular car for the driving enthusiast. I haven’t driven thousands of cars like Richard Hammond has so I don’t believe I have the right to say whether he’s right or wrong, but I do see where he’s coming from. How about you?

Friday, April 13, 2012

General Lee Drift

Ken Block is the master of throwing his rally car around an endless amount of living and inanimate objects. But his rally machine, whether it be his Ford Focus or the new Dodge Dart he'll be driving, is built for this kind of extreme driving. So when you think of crazy drifts inches away from certain destruction you probably don't expect the driver to be behind the wheel of the one and only General Lee. Jumping over a giant ravine is one thing, but drifting a 2 ton, 17 foot long barge around a jam packed city corner with the precision and skill of a brain surgeon is another. Check it out!

Preposterous Garages

Sometime within the next year or so my wife and I plan to purchase our first home. And while she has a list of requirements for the house such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a backyard, two stories, etc., my list consists of only one requirement. A two car garage. The house could be 300 sq ft and made of tin as long as I have my garage. My paradise, my safe haven, where all that matters are my tools, my truck, and my motorcycle. I'm not saying that my garage and my love for automobiles is more important than my family, but I'm still pretty stoked about it. I'm not alone in my quest for a stellar garage either. There's tons of people out there that have absurd car sanctuaries. My Uncle Gary happens to be one of those people. When building his dream home a few years back he decided that he was going to dedicate most of the space to his two story, 8 car garage. So what he ended up with is a 10000 sq. ft. home which consists of 4000 sq. ft. of living space and 6000 sq. ft. of garage. Complete with it's own full bathroom, a lift, and every tool you could ever imagine, his garage is probably my favorite place to be in the entire Salt Lake area. But other people out there have even more ridiculous garages than my Uncle Gary. Check out more of these fantastic fortresses of solitude after the jump!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Picture of the Day

I'm not a huge hot rodder but when I see a picture like this I get pretty excited. I mean come on, that's not just a flame coming out of those tailpipes, that's a good size explosion coming out of those things. Notice the polished steel look of the car too and the shag door panel. The owner looks right at home in his monster rod too with his dark shades and slick hair. Like I said i'm not a huge hot rod guy but this is one awesome picture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Porsche Cayenne GTS

2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS blurring the countrysideIf the turbo Dodge Caravan in my last post wasn’t a fast enough “family hauler” for you then maybe this will be. This is the 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS and it’ll get your family, your dog, and all your gear from here to the campground quicker than a fat kid making the rounds at Golden Corral. Porsche has bumped the power from 400 to 420 hp in the 2013 version which is good for a 5.4 second 0-60 and a top speed of 162 mph. That’s a little faster than a Hyundai Santa Fe. They’ve also lowered it 20 mm to help with aerodynamics and added a lower final drive for increased gas mileage. The only downer to this mental SUV is that it only comes with Porsche’s 8-speed Tiptronic S flappy paddle gearbox whereas the last one had an available 6 speed manual. For this to even be a problem though you first need to make about $85k magically appear in your wallet to cover the purchase price. To be honest I’ve never quite understood these kinds of SUV’s.
If I were to buy an SUV I’d want it to have 4wd and be able to haul a boat or a camper. But all bias aside this thing is still pretty freaking cool. The thought of beating an STI in a light to light race in an SUV just makes me smile. If I had money to spare like some people do I can’t say I wouldn’t buy one just for kicks. As of now though I don’t have 85k to spare so I think I’ll just enjoy the pics and this autoblog video instead. Feel free to do the same.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Crazy Turbo Minivan Burnout

Need to get Jimmy to soccer practice, Sarah to dance, and pick up little Joe from Preschool all within 15 minutes? Then this turbo Dodge Caravan is the perfect ride. Seriously though this turbo minivan pulls off a burnout that Tony Stewart would be proud of. Check it out! 

Mini Cooper Vs. Fiat 500

By: Skylar Bennett and Gregan Pace

Mini cooper has long been the reigning king of the “small and fun to drive” car market in the U.S. Having the DNA of a BMW without the gut busting price tag has made the Mini the perfect car for the driving enthusiast who enjoys small cars but lacks the “mula” for something more extreme. But wait….what’s this? A competitor? That’s right, the Mini Cooper may finally have something to be afraid of. The Fiat 500. Fiat recently dropped a dealership in our little home town of Salt Lake City so we decided it was time to see what the fuss is all about. We decided we’d go test drive a Mini Cooper and a Fiat 500 to see if the car that took over Europe really has what it takes to knock the Mini off of its very high, and thus far very stable, pedestal. Check out the jump for the results.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fixer Upper

So there's a company here in Utah that posts wrecked cars for sale on Some of them really aren't all that bad and with some body work they could definitely be driveable again. But this CLS55 they have for sale has me somewhat confused. It looks like it was crashed into a redwood tree, hit with Thor's hammer in the rear, lit on fire, and then dropped in a river. The best part is the description of the car. In the ad they say that "it may be in need of repair". Hmmm, really? I really don't see how this car will ever drive under it's own power ever again. And I definitely don't think there's $4500 worth of parts in it. Nope, not even in those ridiculous rims. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic and I need to see the car's true potential. Or maybe they really meant to put $4.50 for the price. What do you guys think? Check out the jump for more pics!

Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

New York Spotlights

Well now that the Viper's finally come out of hiding all the excitement is pretty much over, right? Actually, that was just the party opener. This years New York Auto Show has had plenty of other cars that are worth much more than a slight glance. Take a look at some of my fav's from this year.

The Rally Dart
Dodge Dart RallyCross
Yep, I'm impressed. The new Dart looks pretty awesome in rally mode. Even more awesome is the fact that Travis Pastrana is going to be behind the wheel of this 600 hp dirt monster at the Global Rallycross Championship. Oh yes, that will be fun to watch.

2013 SL65 AMG
2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG live reveal at 2012 NY Auto Show
This is probably the most impractical, obscene, ludicrous car that has been presented at this year's show. And that is exactly why i love it so much. Mercedes has jam packed the new SL65 AMG with a fire-breathing twin turbo, 12 cylinder engine which is good for 621 hp and an outrageous 738 lb.-ft. of torque. They obviously had to reinforce some things to prevent the car from twisting in half. Well done Mercedes.

The S.H.I.E.D. Acura MDX
S.H.I.E.L.D. Acura MDX live at New York Auto Show reveal
It's too bad this Avengers protecting MDX isn't real because it's "been fitted" with some pretty cool stuff. For example, it's powered by a Palladium engine made of titanium, a 9 speed transmission, and diamond quartz brakes. It's also got a bulletproof body, a cloaking device, and a repulsor cannon. Yep it's got plenty of gadgets to satisfy the geek in all of us. Be sure to look for it when the new Avengers movie comes out this May.

The Shelby 1000
2012 Shelby 1000 - front three-quarter view - New York Auto Show reveal
Of course Ford had to bring one of their Shelby 1000's for everyone to gawk at. This new mad mustang will be available in 2 models; The street legal 950 hp model and the track-only 1100 hp model. Although it's still hard to comprehend driving a near 1000 hp mustang on the road. Anyways, if you're a mustang worshiper and you think you might want one of these bad boys you may already be out of luck. Shelby's only producing 100 of them and there's already a wait list of 30. The sticker price of $200k also narrows down the market quite a bit. I think i'll just enjoy this one on youtube.

The SRT Viper GTS-R
2013 SRT Viper GTS-R live at New York Auto Show reveal
And why not finish where we began. This is the race version of the new Viper and it's ready to bite the head off of the competition at the Le Mans this year. SRT is hoping to pick up right where they left off with their 3 successive victories at Le Mans and their incredible victory at the Rolex 24.

So there ya have it. This might not be the most practical list of cars shown at this year's New York International Auto Show, but their definitely the most fun to look at and read about. Let me know some of your guys' favorites below!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Viper has struck!

2013 SRT Viper
Yes that’s right, the long awaited, incredibly anticipated 2013 SRT Viper has finally been unveiled. And it does not disappoint! The newly redesigned Viper is even more aggressive than the original with its big and bold “I want to bite your head off” front end to its sleek and sinister rear end. And power? Yep, it’s got plenty of it. With an 8.4 liter naturally aspirated V10 that produces 640 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, this new venomous machine has a better power-to-weight ratio than a Corvette ZR1 and a Lamborghini Aventador. This new beast is also somewhat more civilized than the last with stability and traction control (both can be turned off). The seats are made by the same company that makes Ferrari seats, it has a 7 inch LCD directly in front of the driver with about a million different options and configurations, and there’s an 8.4 inch Uconnect Media Center in the middle. It even comes standard with cruise control. Available in two models; the high performance SRT, and the GTS which has more techno gadgets such as two mode active suspension, the new Viper is sure to satisfy all those who partake of it.  Check out more pics below the jump!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It’s Viper Time:)

For the past few months SRT has been torturing us with teaser pics of the new Viper. Well the wait is finally over! Tomorrow the new SRT Viper will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Check out the jump to see all the teasers we’ve had to endure leading up to this incredibly anticipated unveiling. Hopefully it’s worth it!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Mercedes Hunter X6- Zombie Killer

I'm not sure why but it seems like a Zombie Apocalypse has been a pretty hot topic lately. Last month MSN posted an article in their auto section about which vehicles would best prepare you for such an event. One of the vehicles mentioned in that article was the Paramount Marauder which I'm pretty sure everyone would agree is a great zombie obliterating vehicle. But if you want to hunt down zombies with a little more class, then the Mercedes Hunter X6 is a much better choice. Check out more details and pics after the jump!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

CTS-V Sport Wagon vs. Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon and how absurd it is. You'd probably think that Cadillac is the only company crazy enough to build a 550 HP station wagon, but they're not. Mercedes also makes a bonkers family wagon and it's called the Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon. You know anything built by Mercedes that has AMG attached to it has gotta be pretty crazy. Motor Trend recently did a "Head 2 Head" with these two monsters. Check out the video to see which one came out on top.