Mercedes-Benz Proclaims 2015 ‘Year of the SUV’

Amid all of the action building up in Detroit for the annual motor show, Mercedes-Benz announced that 2015 shall be the ‘Year of the SUV’. What that means, according to Daimler AG’s Dieter Zetsche is that the marque will be bestowing four new luxury SUV’s onto the market.

Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz proclaimed that 2015 is to be the “year of the SUV” this past Sunday in Detroit.

Among the new SUV offerings will be the recently revealed Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe, and sibling GLE 450 coupe:

  • The Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 AMG: This nice lady is the range-topper. She is a crossover packing a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 engine producing 577 thirsty horses. The 0-60 mile per hour jump is achieved in 4.2 seconds.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG: This SUV sibling is a sports coupe that will help begin the new lineup of automobiles carrying the “GL” badging. Similar to the E-Class, she is mid-sized. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 paired with a 9-speed automated gearbox pushing her from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds.

The new GLE SUV is a bit of a SUV/coupe hybrid in terms of styling cues and performance specifications. It is intended to provide all of the expected perks of owning an SUV, such as ruggedness, but with all the sporty grace of a sleek coupe car. According to Ola Kallenius, Daimler AG Board of Management: “The timing is just right. The market for SUV’s is only getting stronger. It is a sporty coupe with SUV genes.”

Mercedes-BenzThat statement seems to ring true as more hybrid and small to mid-sized luxury SUVs roll out each year. Once frowned upon due to fuel economy and emissions, the new breed of SUV is every bit as economical as a smaller vehicle thanks to new engineering direction. As for the remaining 3 Mercedes-Benz SUV offerings, we must wait while they perform the usual slow and seductive reveals.

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Land Rover JustDrive App Shares Voice and Vision

Jaguar Land Rover selected the Connected Car Expo to introduce their new app. The Land Rover JustDrive App aims to alleviate technical frustration encounters while driving by giving voice command control over certain apps.

Land Rover JustDriveDrivers should be, you know, focused on driving when behind the wheel, but Land Rover knows that is likely never going to be the case for everyone. For that reason, the JustDrive App allows people to do just that: Just drive. The app uses voice recognition software to enable drivers to control things like Spotify and the addictive Twitter without picking up a device. Overall, the JustDrive app has the potential to lower driving distractions, provided it functions smoothly. If it does not work exactly as promised, there could be irritated drivers reaching for their smartphones and taking their eyes off the roads. There are certainly ample voice recognition fail stories out there, making it important for Land Rover to get it right.

Land Rover JustDrive

The Land Rover JustDrive app does not allow access to all apps, just the ones that make sense to use while driving. Sat Gill, app development manager at Jaguar Land Rover explained the functionality and idea behind the app as follows: “It primarily aggregates a number of services and features into one application such as navigation, telephone, texting, tweeting and aggregating a number of music streaming services. All of these features are voice-controlled, which allow the driver to have more focus on the road and basically simplify the task of searching and entering navigation destinations. All interaction with the apps is done via the touch-screen. It gives you weather, the option to play today’s news from NPR, play is play the last track that was playing in the vehicle when you left, go is to go to a destination in your calendar.” JustDrive is a section of the larger Land Rover InControl apps system, accessible to owners via USB cables and center console options.

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Aston Martin Development Center Joins MIRA Park

Aston Martin is preparing for the future with a shiny new prototype and new vehicle testing center. What better way to ensure that the future of the iconic brand will exceed expectations and deliver the very latest in technology? The Aston Martin development center is nestled in the amazing MIRA Technology Park in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, U.K. and will also provide testing for other automotive brands in the area like Land Rover, Jaguar, Pirelli, Michelin, Bosch and more for a total of around 30 transportation related companies.

aston martin development centerThe Aston Martin development center is just 100 miles northwest of London and provides everything needed to dream, design, engineer and test the future of the brand. 

The new Aston Martin multi-facility is geared for engineering, research, development and many levels of meticulous testing procedures. The location at MIRA was a strategic selection, as it invites opportunity to interact with other brands to glean, share and craft the future of the automobile.

The Aston Martin prototype development center at a glance:

  • This is a very special location brimming with perks, including a nifty ground track.
  • There is 24/7 security, so don’t get any bright ideas about a midnight trip around the testing track.
  • The 15,800 square-foot facilities are completely guarded from scrutiny and spies thanks to the added security of MIRA Technology Park. The park offers its inhabitants “Complete safety and security.” It is even safe from telephoto lenses and the like.
  • Not only is there a testing track, it offers various surfaces to use. This style mimics natural driving conditions that would be encountered in real world driving locations around the globe.

aston martin development center

Aston Martin Product Development Director Ian Minards sums up the endeavors of the facility as follows: “The cutting edge facilities at MIRA, together with its reputation for quality and excellent security, make it an ideal place for us to carry out some of our prototype development work. This excellent facility gives our engineering teams exactly what they need to ensure the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars continue to be truly class-leading.”

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Bentley SUV Pricing Likely to Reflect the Abundant Interest

Bentley has enjoyed record sales and customers are already lining up for the upcoming SUV. Over 4,000 people have expressed interest in purchasing a Bentley SUV prior to even viewing it. Based on that surge and other factors, the company expects to sell around 3,000 of the units when they reach showrooms in 2016 and can likely price them in the painful level.

Bentley SUVIf pre-sale interest is any indication of success, the Bentley SUV is poised for a grand start.

The Bentley SUV is being billed as an ultra-luxurious method of transport even in off-road conditions. It is difficult to imagine, but it could be a more luxury focused Land Rover type vehicle. According to Bentley’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer: “The Bentley SUV will be the most exclusive, most luxurious and most expensive SUV in the world. The level of luxury will be extraordinary.” He shared that statement with London reporters while showing a video of the talented SUV scaling some sand dunes.

Bentley SUVBentley is part of the enormous Volkswagen family. That gives the brand much power and resources to pull from when adding to the lineup for the future. The SUV will no doubt have the full VW benefit behind it. 

Bentley SUV

Volkswagen has a lofty goal to unload 15,000 vehicles by 2018. The Bentley SUV is positioned to help achieve that feat. The overall issue boils down to the pricing for the SUV, which could start as high as $214,000. The end result will strengthen the brand via more offerings, positioning the pack with an SUV, sedans, coupes and grand touring vehicles. Bentley and Volkswagen will be able to go head-to-head with Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Land Rover if everything remains on schedule in current form.

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Trending: Shining Some Light on the Diamond Massage

There are endless ways to make money disappear, but is the diamond massage a thing? Seriously? It seems that there are individuals out there willing to part with anywhere from $300-$100k to be surrounded by diamonds and at times rubbed with them. To these innovative people I ask: Have you ever considered just milling about Cartier or perhaps a hot stone massage?

Diamond massage

For a price, you can shower yourself with diamonds. The precious stones can only become a permanent memory, as they are kept by the spas. 

Below is a small list of items that you could have for $25,000+ that are more exciting than being pampered by diamonds:

  • An exotic car in your garage all day everyday.
  • Any number of amazing pieces of art.
  • A few years of exotic car rentals, providing the shot to experience all the latest machines as they emerge. This is definitely more exciting than looking at shiny rocks, and we can prove that claim with ease.
  • Sanity.
  • A desperate housewife (yes, from the television series). But then, she may want something like a diamond or diamond massage.
  • A personal assistant willing to provide a cubic zirconia massage.

diamond massage

Gem spa treatments are increasing in popularity at luxury locations around the globe.

diamond massage

Businesses from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi are billing the diamond massage as a way to ‘relieve stress’. It is unclear how throwing thousands of dollars at someone for what seems to be a short-lived thrill is a stress-relieving tool. It would seem, to even the most indulgent of souls, that would create stress. Overall, there is a market for the diamond massage and other luxury material meltdowns, or they would cease to exist.

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2015 McLaren and Ferrari F1 Cars to Make Debut in Days

Ferrari will be touting the new Formula One car online on January 30th, 2015. What will the next-gen Ferrari F1 look and feel like? It will come out on the heels of the McLaren F1 beast, set to roll out on the 29th powered by Honda.

Ferrari F1The next Ferrari F1 car is coming out in days, along with McLaren’s offering. It is gearing up to be a powerful racing season for all competing teams. 

mclaren racing

This Ferrari F1 racer will take the place of the outgoing Ferrari F14T car and have 4-time Formula One champion driver Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel. Vettel signed over from Red Bull racing to Ferrari in a move that captured audiences worldwide.

The Ferrari racer will be revealed on the brand’s official website and social media platforms to reach ever audience. It will then appear in the flesh (or carbon) at the pre-season opening at the Jerez circuit in Spain. That circuit will begin testing and take place February 1-4th. McLaren will also be there, with two-time world champion driver Fernando Alonso behind the wheel. Yes, Alonso formerly of Ferrari! Alonso has the added advantage of a deep understanding of how the Prancing Horse likes to operate and run, and will be driving the McLaren Honda MP4-30. Does anyone else get the feeling that Ferrari may have just a tinge of nausea at the prospect of facing one of its best drivers of all time this year as a competitor?

Ferrari F1The McLaren Honda will be the first one since the early 1990s. The team has not claimed a racing victory since 2012 and ended their relationship with Mercedes-Benz just last year. Will things change with Fernando Alonso taking the reins? It seems the driver would love nothing more than to stampede the Horse.

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Porsche Identity Crisis? Base Models May Bring 718 Back

Rumors are circulating that Porsche could be planning a move to rename the Boxster and Cayman models. In the future, they could be labeled the Porsche Boxster 718 and the Porsche Cayman 718. Is the Porsche 718 moniker poised for a comeback?

Porsche 718Will the new Porsche entry-level automobiles be bringing the 718 digits back into play? Some sources say yes.

The Porsche 718 badging rolled in to replace the 550A convertible racer. It was an open-cockpit racing Porsche produced between 1957 and 1962. The 718 Porsche revised the suspension and other key components and featured a mid-engine layout. It made its grand debut at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans race but did not finish due to an accident.

Porsche 718

The 1959 Porsche 718 RSK sold for over $3 million USD at Gooding & Co. auction house.

Because the history of the Porsche 718 is racing, it is interesting that there could be road models carrying the numerics. The potential change is garnering mixed reviews, similar to when celebrities attempt to revamp their identities by changing their names (Think: Prince the symbol and Puff Daddy, P.Diddy, or just Diddy). The change sometimes means diddly squat to the overall product, but exceptions do occur.

Porsche 718Will a new identity add a greater sense of power and urgency to the Porsche entry-level models? Many find the lower level Porsche offerings weak and refer to them as the “Poor man’s Porsche”.  Overall, the next-generation could be labeled with 718, 718 S, 718 GTS, 718 GT4, and others. Will a new name be the only changes, or will Stuttgart be ponying up some additional horses to alter old opinions? We shall wait to see what the brand has in store for 2016.

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Video: What a Lamborghini Motorcycle Project Looks Like

Sometimes it just takes a bit of engine-uity to transform a bad situation into something a bit more interesting. That is precisely what took place when Georgian Chuck Beck began his Lamborghini motorcycle project. Rather than ending up in a junkyard or being transformed into a neat-o coffee table, Beck used the V12 to build out an inspiring motorcycle. A friend presented Beck with all that remained of his Lamborghini following a fire, and was likely just as surprised as the rest of the world is to see what became of it!


Some people are just too creative: A Lamborghini motorcycle created from a Lamborghini engine. 

The Lamborghini motorcycle does look rough around the edges, as can be expected from a DIY project, but it does present an excitement factor that attracted onlookers. Beck incorporated a 3-speed VW transmission to what is possibly an older Countach engine to create the ride. It is a bulky beast that could be packing over 300 horses, which are likely a challenge to harness thanks to its unique shape and mass. Beck said that the Lambo motorbike is fairly smooth and manageable once she is up to speed, but it seems unlikely that narrow turns are a piece of cake!

Lamborghini deskSometimes old exotic car parts and engines become awesome furniture. Often the grilles are used to create desks and wall ornaments, and engines are turned into coffee tables and other household items. It is a rare day indeed that an old engine is turned into a completely different animal. 

Is it street legal? We have no idea. Is it ingenious? Absolutely! Beck seemed to enjoy showing off the bike at a Caffeine and Octane event in Alpharetta, Georgia where the video was taken.

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Exotic Car Crashes:15-Year-Old Russian Goalie Buys & Wrecks Aston Martin

How much does a 15-year-old Russian goalie make? They make enough to pay cash for a shiny new Aston Martin, apparently. Young Konstantin P, a goalkeeper for the Zenith-94 team, purchased the exotic sports car and then crashed it just three days later in an accident involving a Volkswagen Tiguan. Exotic car crashes sometimes have fascinating back stories.

exotic car crashesThe aftermath of the Aston Martin crash: That most definitely will not buff out.

The clincher of this exotic car crash saga is that Konstantin did not have a…you know…driver’s license. While all parties involved are ok, the story is simply outlandish because of the capacity for such a young athlete to afford such extravagances and the fact that it was permitted to proceed unobstructed when he is not even legally allowed to drive. I know what you are thinking: Well, it is Russia.

aston martin crash

Reports communicate that the young sports star was scared following the accident about the repercussions surely coming his way. Blocking the law is not as simple as blocking a shot at the goal, after all. The director of the soccer club stated the following on the touchy matter in Konstantin’s defense: “The car he crashed was bought with his earnings. He did not steal it. We’re sure he was not drunk, but at this age people do not think.” Konstantin claims the crash was not caused by his actions, stating he looked around before entering the intersection. He went on to clarify: “There was no one. Suddenly, out of nowhere, on the right side of my side flew a Volkswagen Tiguan. My speed was low – about 40-50 km/h [25-30mph], but he was going around 80 km/h [50mph].” Ahh it is tough to be a kid these days!

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True or False: Angry Woman Selling Cheating Husband’s Porsche 911 for 20k?

There is a listing for a Porsche 911 that has made headlines. Apparently, a woman is selling her cheating husband’s $150k Porsche 911 for 20K to obtain revenge and heal her broken heart via an extravagant trip to Europe. The ad is receiving mixed reviews, with some labeling it as a typical Internet hoax because who in their right mind would come off of such a valuable car for that price? If it is true, the woman is clearly out of the mind.

Porsche 911 for 20kIs it for real? Is there a woman mad enough to sell her husband’s Porsche 911 for a measly $20k? (Photos from Stirlings Co. in the UK). 

The details:

  • The disgruntled woman shares plenty of information in the ad, airing the dirty laundry behind the offering. She details the following on her marriage of 25 years: “I had hunches that my husband was cheating so I followed him out on what he said was a ‘guys poker night’ to find him at a 5 star restaurant cuddling up to this young blonde woman (cliché).”
  • The ride is a 2010 Porsche Carrera 997 worth an estimated $150k.
  • The extremely low price tag of $20k is for revenge purposes, though it seems she would simply be screwing herself out of over $100k.
  • The woman is from Templestowe, in Melbourne’s northeast sector and the ad was placed on the Revenge Sales website.

Porsche 911 for 20kShe also eloquently shares: “I have been married to this unfaithful poor excuse for a human being for over 25 years and yes we are wealthy. So to pay him back, as I have rightful ownership of his precious Porsche, I have decided to sell it for a specific price of $20,000. I figured $20,000 is just enough for a return flight/accommodation to Europe so I can fondle with all the wealthy European men!” Total classy.

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