It looks like it belongs in a broken society hell-bent on destruction, akin to 1987’s RoboCop. An uncomfortable, apocalyptic future, then. Look closely at those lines: remind you of ED-209, RoboCop’s arch nemesis?
No surprise then, the Ener-G-Force came from California, where the Hollywood water is rich with imagination. It was built for the upcoming LA Motor Show’s annual ‘Design Challenge’, which this year asks the question of what a 2025 cop car would look like.
Designers have to account for things like emissions, population growth, transport infrastructure and so forth, but it appears Mercedes has focused on the whole ‘scaring puny humans to death’ thing.
When the Berlin wall fell in 1989, former airline executive Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine left Germany in their Mercedes G Wagen, bound for an 18-month tour of Africa.
500,000 miles later, and 74-year-old Gunther is still going. He has no sponsorship and no factory backing - his trip’s been entirely self-funded, without so much of a sniff of Facebook or Twitter.
Gunther told BBC news: “The main cost for the traveler is restaurants and hotels”. Which is why he kitted out “Otto” the G-Wagen with cooking and sleeping facilities, choosing to spend his money on fuel and shipping the car around the world. Literally.
Included in his epic roster of destinations are Brazil, Paris, Mount Everest, Cuba, Northern Iraq (during the war, naturally), Hollywood, Kazakhstan, Alberquque, the Caribbean, lots of Africa…
And despite covering half a million miles, his trusty G has never had a serious breakdown. Ever.
Here’s another car to be unveiled at next week’s Beijing Motor Show, and another one that is going to become reality. Mercedes is calling this the CSC or ‘Concept Style Coupe’, but you should call it CLA as that’s what it will likely be badged when you see it in your local showroom next year, or early the year after.
There’s the new turbo-four 2.0-litre under the bonnet - with 211bhp – that will make it to the showroom, and there’s also seven-speed double-clutch transmission. This version has 4Matic four-wheel drive, but Mercedes in the UK has never been too keen on that option (as opposed to the snowy bits of the USA where every model seems to have it).
Mercedes tells us the hoonigans at AMG were involved in the A-Class’s design from the very start; a design that Dr Zetsche says “is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development”, he adds, “it’s not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper”.
Underneath those svelte lines sits a new four-link rear axle - which Merc reckons would allow the fitment of all-wheel-drive - together with electro-mechanical steering and a choice of suspension settings including the optional sports setup. As expected from a Merc, there’s lots of nannying, such as attention assist, hill-start assist, brake hold, blind spot assist and even a reversing camera.
The new A-Class will get two petrol engines - a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre - producing 115bhp, 156bhp and 211bhp, the latter badged as A 250. The 1.6-litre four-pot will also debut Merc’s new ‘Camtronic’ system, which adjusts the valve lift on the intake side to restrict the amount of fresh mixture used under partial load. Because you’re not James May and you might not get it, think of it in simple terms: lower fuel consumption.
This is the new 564bhp Mercedes SL63 AMG, which was probably introduced for the sole purpose of giving Top Gear something to test BMW’s new M6 against. And on paper, it seems worthy competition:
If you opt for a regular SL63, you’ll benefit from 537bhp and 590lb ft of torque, a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. Opt for the AMG Performance Pack, and that power jumps to 564bhp, 664 torques, a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds and a limited top speed of 186mph. Clearly, this latter figure is a little bit more than the new, 552bhp BMW M6, and thus the one you want.
Some are questionable and some are downright dreadful. One was made for that girl who reblogs all of the Barbie + Hello Kitty stuff to her Tumblr (neon pink G-Wagen? Really?) Click through to see them all.
So what do you think? Do any of these not belong on this list? What car would be on yours?
The new Mercedes SL has some interesting tech, uses structure as subwoofer
It’s an all-new car, packed with the now traditional raft of new acronyms, but most importantly, it’s an almost all-aluminium car, a first for Mercedes among its mainstream products. So although bigger, it is significantly lighter. ‘Sporty Lightweight’ indeed.
Benz’s lifelong determination to think of new stuff before the others means the SL is the only car in its class to feature FrontBass (which uses the aluminium structure as a bass woofer). And there’s more ‘magic’ involved in ‘MVC’, or Magic Vision Control, which is basically a very sophisticated wiper systems that delivers warm water when required directly to the wiper blade. There’s also HFA, hands free access, which allows you to open the boot by pretending to kick it and Neck-Pro head restraints active, also unique in the class.
First, there was the Mercedes-Benz CLS. And it was good. Then, the Audi A7. That was also good. Now, Internet, meet the third contender for the crown of ultimate luxo-four-door-coupe-thingy: the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.
It’s the first four-door coupe BMW has ever built, and its launch next year will kick off a Teutonic three-way tussle so explicit it’d make the Internet’s most liberal adult film purveyors blush.
That long, low and wide stance with short overhangs - and driver-focused cockpit - shows us it has BMW’s driving DNA etched into its flanks, though whether it can offer up any more joy than the capable-but-anodyne coupe and convertible versions remains to be seen.
We can’t wait for the comparison drive. We also just want to hear Jezza pronounce the word ‘koo-PAY’.
So what do you think Tumblr? CLS, A7, or Gran Coupe?
As you all know, Rick Ross went on to record two more versions of this song — titled Maybach Music 2 and Maybach Music 3 — which is one more Maybach than Maybach itself ever produced, unless you count the 62 Landaulet as a separate vehicle.
Perhaps sensing Maybach’s demise, Maybach Music 3 was never released as a single. However, Aston Martin Music was.
In any case, this should give Rick Ross adequate time to release Maybach Music 4 and Maybach Music 5 if he so desires, long before the last 62 S rolls off the assembly line.
Daimler will axe its Maybach superluxury brand after years of losses and moribund sales, replacing the car with more expensive models of its Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship saloon starting in 2013.
"We held extensive discussions internally about which way would promise the greatest success in the luxury segment, and we came to the conclusion that the sales chances for the Mercedes brand were better than that of Maybach," Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"It would not be sensible to develop a successor model for the current Maybach," he added, according to an excerpt of the interview, which will be published in the German daily in full on Saturday.
The 2013 Volkswagen CC is the other other other Benz
When the VW Passat CC debuted in 2008, it was jokingly referred to as the “poor man’s person’s CLS" due to it’s sexy but height restricting roofline.
But it was also a rather good car and perhaps what the original Passat should have been.
Well now VW wants you to drop the “poor persons” bit and consider the updated CC “luxury class”:
The front and rear of the new non-Passat CC has minor styling tweaks, and VW claims it’s now nearer the “automotive luxury class”. There’s also bi-xenon headlights, static cornering lights and a new LED rear headlight system as standard.
VW has also fitted it with stainless steel sill plates, safety head restraints and - somewhat tellingly - fatigue detection. Can’t imagine why…