RM Arizona 2017 Highlight – 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722S Roadster

Is the SLR over the hump for hypercars?  You know, the one where it is too new to be a classic, but too dated to be sexy next to the latest Chiron Bugatti. Perhaps not the SLR Coupe.  But this SLR 722S Roadster is looking stunning again in 2017.  The fact that this is the ragtop helps.  And that this McMerc is not just a 722, but the 722S!  This was the last of the run and featured unique, upsized dark alloys and special satin Crystal Antimony Grey paintwork.  The carbon splitter in front sets the serious tone this 3.6-second supercar …

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Mecum 2016 – 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

If you can get past the LED-free nose of this 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series, the machine is still one of the fastest Merc’s to ever make production. In the flesh, this car really brings major heat. Its widebody fenders front and rear, all-new bumpers on both ends, and active aero details all set it far above a standard SL — even an SL65. The new hood with reverse vents cutting deep are a highlight too.  The fixed hardtop is slightly disappointing — but the extra rigidity it delivers versus a folding unit is part of what makes the SL65 …

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2017 BMW i6 Is Hiding in Plain Sight: 2009 BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Teased LWB i8

Here is an interesting one, simply because it shows an upcoming machine hiding in plain sight. What car is that? The BMW i6, we predict. This exceptionally advanced concept seemed extremely unfeasible when it was revealed under the EfficientDynamics moniker in 2009. Look at those skinny tires! And Clear doors with a carbon-fiber chassis?  Silly! But they the BMW i8 concepts started appearing, with a 2+2 PHEV supercar BMW announced for production just a year after this first concept.  That car would materialize for 2014 as the i8 and i3 we know now as the real thing. Where the eventual …

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Hypercar Heroes – 2009 Mercedes-McLaren SLR Still Brings the HEAT Up Close!

The SLR might be out of the limelight these days, but the facts and curb appeal of this hypercar still stand PROUD! Came across this magnificent machine at Cars and Coffee near Charleston, SC today.  The presence of the SLR is insane: its proportions are surreal: Much wider and Much lower than you are imagining. The giant intakes form the full-width nose’s lower jawline nicely, while the pointing silver arrowhead bulges up from the badge acros the hood with intense depth. All carbon-fiber means the unit itself is featherlight. Despite opening up at the front, the closing process is just …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 RINSPEED iChange

How about an awesome Rinspeed concept to help forget the X-Trem from 1999? Flash forward ten years later, and we have the 2009 iChange — an ultra-low, sleek and sexy single-seat sports car — with a twist. At the touch of a button, the track-attack looks and functionality of the iChange into a chic three-seater with bubble glass canopy.  How?  The entire glasshouse shifts upward and forward, with its rear section base extending a few inches upward to give more headroom in back.   (It is subtle)  Very subtle.  So the name is iChange, but might be better billed as the …

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VW Diesels Face Massive EPA Fraud Allegation – TDI Stop Sale Notice Is Days Away

Very unsettling news today that casts a dark shadow on Volkswagen TDI “Clean Diesel” engines sold in the United States since 2008. The EPA’s legal “notice of violation” to Volkswagen of America is deathly serious. And, as we predict below, will lead to TDI models being pulled from US showrooms almost immediately — as soon as this coming week. Unlike recall notices to fix even serious safety issues, a willful violation of the Clean Air Act would incur significantly higher monetary damages than a typical recall. Even the Takata airbag scandal is not this alarming. Max fines per vehicle sold …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 BRABUS E V12 ‘One of Ten’ in Streamliner Rear Fenders

Brabus obviously crushes it when making ultra-powerful upgrades of Mercedes and AMG engines. But what do you do when there is just no power left to give? You take drastic aero steps! Exponential growth in drag as speed rises is what makes overall top speed runs so difficult to master, and why we aren’t in 400-mph cars yet. This 2009 BRABUS E-Class uses a time-honored way of lowering drag: put the rear wheels inside fender farings. The result is pretty cool, even wearing the old E63 design as a base point. The tires create a 217-mph top speed for the …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 Mazda MX-5 Superlight in 88 Photos!

Racers worldwide have made lightening Mazda MX-5’s more than an art or craft: there is a science to shedding grams and gaining pace. This 2009 concept from Mazda’s European R&D center is a serious and comprehensive speedster conversion and custom strip-out. Once totally bare, the full MX-5 Superlight was resprayed in a Japanese Racing white pearl. The color and the contrast details for the hood and double bubble rollbars make the MX-5 Superlight’s proportions even more intensely rear-drive. A favorite detail is the brake light LED lining those integrated roll hoops. 2009 Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept …

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Fast Wagons! 2009 Maserati Bellagio Fastback by Touring Superleggera

The fast wagon is the ultimate in car-guy and car-girl coolness. A low and sleek wagon silhouette is instantly cooler than any SUV, yet still looks the part in the mountains with skis on the roof. As part of a series of articles, we’ll highlight all the coolest estate cars at the train station. Call them what you want. Tourers, Estates, Fastbacks or Station Wagons — they are the ultimate Q-cars. This Maserati Quattroporte was reborn as a wagon via Touring Superleggera in Milan. Four total vehicles were produced, with this one including a special interior with twin adjustable seats, …

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Update1 – Tanner Foust VW Passat Formula Drift Car Pushes 900HP from 7.4-Liter V8!

Updated with High-Res Photos. Thanks Fred!   450 cubic inches. 7.37 Liters. That is the size of Tanner’s new V8 Formula Drift car from Rockstar Energy and Nitto Tire. Juiced with nitrous, this engine puts out a stunning 900-horsepower. Those dimensions feel familiar and might show some NASCAR roots for the hottest VW Passat of all time. Unburstable engines are an asset in the delicate but brutal world of drift driving, with its stump-pulling torque just a side benefit of all that displacement. Check out the teaser video below to hear it in action!  Tanner Foust VW Passat Formula Drift Car …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 Citroen REVOLTe Was PHEV Deux Chevaux Redux

  If there are two cars that will forever define Citroen over the 20th century, they are the DS and the 2CV. One an advanced luxury car with front-drive and a hydraulic suspension for eerie smoothness over cobblestone Parisian streets. The other a basic post-war mobility solution whose 2CV name translates as “Two Steam Horses.” Redesigning those icons for today is an immediate and instant testbed for future Citroen design ideas. Many, many designers have tried this “New Beetle” styling exercise on the 2CV — with largely hideous results. So for the REVOLTe to be instantly attractive and appealing is …

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Custom Flashback – 2009 MANSORY Chopster Was Carbon Widebody Cayenne Turbo S

Mansory Switzerland was the proud owner of this fantastic Porsche Cayenne upgrade, which was built just in time for the Frankfurt motor show in 2009. But first things first: yes, there was a Chopster before — from Rinspeed in 2005. As discussed in this other article, there are major issues with actually chopping the roof of a production car: the doors, glass and everything else is suddenly not OEM-safe or secure for true high-performance driving. The Mansory technique maintains the Porsche glasshouse and structural elements, but swaps its steel exterior for carbon-fiber all around. A width stretch of around four …

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2015 Hyundai Equus on Hyperdrive Evolution in Chase for S-Class Clients

Any student of Darwin, or perhaps Pavlov, will know that the secret to exceptionally rapid evolution is simple: short generation gaps. As the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has evolved since 1910, Hyundai had serious ground to make up with the Equus in 2009 or whenever it launched in the US. This type of goverment limo has always been popular domestically in Asian markets — but bringing the Equus abroad was always going to be big news for Hyundai. This Equus for 2015 is perhaps the fourth or fifth generation of updates since the basic bones launches on the previous Genesis chassis a …

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Infiniti QX70 by AHG-Sports Shows Great Style and Stance

One of the big advantages of going to a big tuner for your car upgrades is that — no matter how eye-watering;y expensive they are, a big tuner’s parts will be far less than commissioning the work piece by piece. In Germany, driving one of the big local brands really helps broaden the availability, and affordability, of tuner parts and car mods. The Infiniti here by AHG-Sports lacks both of these benefits: it is nearly a one-off upgrade and each change is deeply pricey. Secondly, Infiniti’s in Europe are so rare that limited options exist to go wild on power …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 Mercedes-Benz F800

If you want a solid starting point for the latest sexy Mercedes designs, you might start at the first-gen CLS in 2005. But those proportions needed work, and the surfacing left much to be desired. Between the CLS and this 2009 F800 Style lived the ghastly F700 and the notorious bionic fish van concept. F700 This 2009 F800 Style Research Concept really set the tone for a new Mercedes aesthetic. This slinky design was followed by the Style Coupe concept in 2012 — wearing lines that are even closer to what is now the CLA-Class. 2012 Style Coupe Concept There …

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2012 AC 378GT by ZAGATO – Animated Visualizer of 25 Custom, Race-Inspired Liveries

The Zagato design of the AC 378GT is actually remarkably sexy and fresh, even five years since it was first previewed in 2009. To add buzz and sales momentum to the AC Cars branding, the Italian design boutique created 25 stunning liveries to inspire supercar buyers. There are some really sexy ideas for paint and trims in here. Sure, it might not have been make-or-break in the car’s (very) limited production run, but they are cool to see in one of our animated visualizers. These two animations below are extra cool because they are synced up – with each of …

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Bespoke Supercars – 2012 AC 378GT by ZAGATO

  ZAGATO has been in a front-engine-GT mood recently, and the AC 378GT was the only one in a series of sexy designs that was produced for sale. This AC Cars 378GT was initially conceived as a new sports-car brand called Perana. With a tubular steel chassis and full engineering by Zagato, the car was thisclose to production form when Perana suddenly ran out of cash in the midst of the 2008-present economic meltdown. Step in, AC Cars, a German and English consortium importing and selling South African-made Cobra MkVI models of various sizes and specifications. The resemblance of the …

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Digital Renderings Fix the 2009 Aston Martin LAGONDA SUV Concept

 This is a light update to the previous LAGONDA article, but one that is best as a distinct piece to avoid confusion. As identified below, the nose and tail of the Lagonda SUV concept were its biggest problems. The make it hard to love. FIXED NOSE RENDERINGS The grille is far too large and far too bright. During a few hours in Photoshop, we have identified the eggcrate grille design as the true fault up front. It makes this Lagonda look like a Chrysler Sebring — which is not a flattering comparison for a superlux SUV. We have made the …

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Concept Debrief – 2009 Aston Martin LAGONDA SUV Concept

  The Aston Martin  Lagonda SUV was easily the most-hated SUV concept of 2009 when it debuted. People absolutely hated it. They hated the design mostly, but fell back on SUV hate for extra emphasis. The only other concept whose design has been so roundly hated was the Bentley EXP-9F — which required a full redesign, led to the re-assignment of the CEO who approved it, and ultimately pushed the production Bentley SUV debut back at least three years. What do these two hated SUVs have in common? — Long-history sports-car brands’ first attempts to move into the crossover market …

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Concept Flashback – 2009 Audi R8 TDI V12 Shows Great Engineering Potential, But Limited Market

Audi seems to have no trouble winning LeMans with its ultra-sophisticated R18 models in the last decade — but has struggled mightily trying to translate racing tech to the road. Even today, there is no clear link between Audi racing glory and the cars sold by Audi dealerships. Sure, there is anecdotal evidence hat motorsport success has fueled Audi’s continued sales rise — but it is a tenuous link. Upon the arrival of Audis’ first supercar, the R8, this finally looked set to change. At last — a way to show how LeMans racing improves the breed in general! The …

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Hypercar Heroes – 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Stirling Moss

How time flies! The calendar seems to be moving faster than ever in 2014 — only five years since the 75 hand-made SLR McLaren models left Woking in 722 Stirling Moss trim. A speedster without a windshield or any attempt at a convertible top, the stunning machine could reach a true 219-mph. Only the brave need apply — which is the perfect homage to Sir Stirling Moss’s racing achivements during his career. These include winning the Mille Miglia for Mercedes-Benz — but Moss also raced for Maserati and Porsche during his reign. The inspiration and celebration of Stirling Moss is, …

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