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Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

Imagine the best kart track ever – inside the amazing Road America racetrack itself.  Then swap the karts for real cars.  And race them against the stopwatch in rapid-fire rotations of drivers! It was an squeely good time with the class of 2017’s new and special pocket rockets.   A big variety in power, drivetrain layout and body style: everything from the Abarth 500C to MX-5 RF and 370Z Heritage Edition.  Hyundai’s new Elantra Sport joined the fun, as did a ragtop Miata, 124 Abarth, Toyota 86 and VW Golf R.     They were all a laugh riot around …

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2016 Toyota RAV4 SE Launches Silver-Accented Style, New RALLY RACECAR!

Famed race driver Ryan Millen has adopted a hell of a challenge for 2016!  Race to win in a front-wheel-drive RAV4 SE using a bone-stock 2.5-liter four-cylinder making just 176 horsepower. Millen and his co-pilot (fiancé Christine!) seem like the perfect ambassadors for a Rav4 racing adventure.  He will man the controls as she co-drives with extremely detailed trail notes all along the way.  Such limited power and traction in the 2WD-Open Class take much of the mechanical innovations out of the normal WRC race calculus.  The races then become much more about driver skill, unbreakable reliability and extreme co-driver directions. …

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1956 Maserati 300S Wins Amelia Island 2015 Stirling Moss Award

We find this Maserati 300S to be instantly lovable, perhaps even more-so than the Ferrari 290MM of the previous article. The nose feels lower, more shapely and more humble in the nose design. The simple drilled vent circles are delightful, as is the Maserati trident emblem sunken within the oval primary intake. Just subtle, but clearly focused on winning races versus style contests. Ironic that this very look would make it so special more than 60 years later. 1956 Maserati 300S Best in Class – Cars of Stirling Moss 1956 Maserati 300S Lawrence Auriana – Greenwich, CT

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Amelia Island 2015 Concours – Photo Tour of the Motorcycles Class

Okay!  There is great news here and not-so-great-news. The great news? Able to snap high-res photos of many of the Amelia Island Concours Motorcycle class entries — before the crowds swarmed them. The not-great news…. is that we do not know the details of the bikes. So just a visual tour… admittedly very light on informational tags, unfortunately. Amelia Island 2015 Concours Motorcycles Class 1972 BMW F750 Butler & Smith Harley Davidson

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2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600 Inside and Out from Amelia Island

Updated 3.16.15 We are starting to see the logic behind Mercedes-Maybach. The second rebirth of this brand is now a much more subtle affair. That goes for the sales experience as well as the curb appeal of the car. The biggest change for the new Maybach versus the previous generation or the Rolls-Royce Phantom/Bentley Mulsanne competition is all about subtly. Like it or not, from afar this is just a blend-in S-Class limo. It takes time up close to see its unique grille detailing, polished-alloy window surrounds, or gigantic saucer wheel designs. These are all nice touches, but pale in …

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LARTE Design Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Black Crystal in 80 New Photos!

Better than even the awesome Larte QX80 and QX60 makeovers? Better than the LX570 Alligator that Larte Design just launched in Moscow? Taste is always subjective — but in terms of the high-fashion and high-exclusivity goals of a luxury SUV upgrade, we’d vote for this Larte GL as their best work yet. The angularity and strongly matte finishes to the Larte trucks grilles and body kit certainly applies here, giving the brand a relatively unique statement of design across all its models. They best part of this body kit and accessory package for the GL550, GL450, GL350 and GL63 is …

Read more LARTE Design Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Black Crystal in 80 New Photos!

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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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Dakar 2015 – IVECO Making Big Gains With One-Two Finish on Day 11 in T4 Trucks Class

These Dakar press releases are always a bit confusing due to how long and how many stages there are in this grueling race. We are wrapping day 12 today, with two more to go. The T4 trucks class is always a fun one to watch because the vehicles are simply so gigantic. To see a 10-ton truck do flying leaps and landings is an unfortgettable spectacle, to be sure. Italian Iveco has been moving up the charts late in the Dakar 2015 race, but still languishes about 7th in overall truck rankings — behind the huge volume of Kamaz, Renault …

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3.1s, 1000HP Mercedes-AMG S63 Is Latest MANSORY Monster

The Mansory Monster! That has kindof a nice ring to it =] In reality, Mansory makes cars that are overhauled so well, and so thoroughly, that you would only call it a monster with a smile on your face. The latest S63 AMG goes under the microscope at Mansory and comes out wider, lower, meaner and leaner. There are numerous body upgrades to enjoy outside, ultra-soft leather inside with unique patterns and an unlimited palatte, but leather-wrapping of virtually every cabin element. Everything. Do upgrade an S-Class so thoroughly is really, really difficult. They basically have to disassemble entire sections …

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Concept Flashback – 2008 Mercedes-Benz F700 Was Aggressively Ugly Eco-Limo

After scathing critiques of Audi’s Prologue concept for LA 2014 and a few other recent machines, we want to balance things out. An equal-opportunity offender here! But the Prologue is just a major disappointment. It is not something that makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a red-hot iron spike. When thinking of other truly fug-nasty concept cars, the F700 leaps to mind instantly. What were they thinking? The low-nose and cab-forward style as a future S-Class-plus limo is hard enough to swallow, but then we have gobsmacking bug-eye lamps, a deeply plunging windowline into the front doors, …

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2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Wins Its Baja 1000 Full Stock Class + SEMA Pro Truck Showcase

The lightly race-prepped TRD Pro Tundra is back from Baja — with a win! The TRD Pro Tundra jumped and roared its giant V8 the 1200 miles to the finish line in first place, then cruised home the 1000 miles back to the start line for good measure. Was it showroom-fresh upon arrival back to Toyota headquarters in Torrance? Not exactly!  A huge gash in the sheetmetal and rear fender shows the fury of racing. But the fact that the TRD Pro Tundra continued on its mission is impressive. A solid achievement and vote of confidence in the new TRD …

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Update1 – 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600 Brings Royal Upgrades to New Super-LWB S-Class

 Updated 11.21.14 The “Mystery of the C-pillar” has now been solved! When the long-rumored Mercedes-Benz S-Class ‘Pullman’ was running around this year, it wore only the slightest camouflage disguise, and on one of the places you would least expect it: behind the rear doorframe. What could be so special in that region as to require a disguise, yet let the rest of the car run camo-free? We now know that it is a subtle change in the arc of the S-Class roofline that marks out the new Mercedes-Maybach S500 and S600 limousines. This brings a much softer and curved chrome …

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400HP, 4.1s 2015 BRABUS Mercedes-Benz GLA Hunkers Low on 21s + Aero Kit

  The strangest part of the GLA-Class and other small crossovers lately is how low they actually are. Is it an SUV? The OEM plastic shields on the fenders say yes, but the mind is not so sure. It has taken 20 years then for the world to catch up to the classic Subaru Legacy —> Outback conversion. Taller springs, chunkier rubber and an Eddie Bauer package outside is all you need to sell thousands of cars a year! Just kidding. (JK BFR = just kidding, but for real.) How to stay ahead of trends and planted in corners with …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Sport is Smooth, Sexy and Classy

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is moving up in both desirability and style for 2015. The 2015 C300 and C400 models both pack turbocharged engines and 4Matic AWD as standard for the US market, and the pricing moves up the scale noticeably as well. But as a quick spin in the C300 4Matic Sport with the LED Lighting and Airmatic suspension packages shows, this is a Benz that is the best of all worlds. In many ways, the new C-Class goes back to the roots of Mercedes brand strengths. It is fast but ultra-luxurious. It ride like a dream but can hold …

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VOLKER SCHMIDT 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Is Low and Lean With New Springs and Wheels

It has been more than a few years since a C-Class Mercedes was a real pin-up beauty. And for a C220 to look as good as the original C36 AMG!? That is some achievement without changing one body panel or aero piece. These Volker Shmidt Revolution wheels come with a ride height drop courtesey of coil-over springs all around. This might not be our choice — the newly-available AirMatic ride in the forthcoming US-market C400 and C300 is hard to beat! But it would look a hell of a lot better with these hot wheels. VOLKER SCHMIDT 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class …

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Larte GL-Class

LARTE Design for Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Might Be Their Best Work Yet

Better than even the awesome Larte QX80 and QX60 makeovers? Better than the LX570 Alligator that Larte Design just launched in Moscow? Taste is always subjective — but in terms of the high-fashion and high-exclusivity goals of a luxury SUV upgrade, we’d vote for this Larte GL as their best work yet. The angularity and strongly matte finishes to the Larte trucks grilles and body kit certainly applies here, giving the brand a relatively unique statement of design across all its models. They best part of this body kit and accessory package for the GL550, GL450, GL350 and GL63 is …

Read more LARTE Design for Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Might Be Their Best Work Yet

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2014 Pebble Beach Concours – Class Award Winners Showcase

Okay now. Start your classic car appreciation engines! About a hundred fantastic cars here, and triple that many amazing, high-resolution photos from 2014’s Pebble Beach Concours. The clear favorite for this non-expert and non-judge? The fabulous 1939 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Pourtout Coupé all the way from Hong Kong.   Forgive me if some of these are out of order. But included are generally the top-3 in every category. Enjoy! Special Thanks to Photographer Collin Graves.   2014 Pebble Beach Concours – Class Award Winners Showcase   Class A: Antique 1st: 1910 American Underslung Traveler Toy Tonneau, William Johnston & Ronald Elenbaas …

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712HP MAYBACH 57S by Knight Luxury is Conspicuously Awesome Carbon LImousine

Sure, the Maybach brand might be as likeable as Kim and Kayne West. Sure, Kimye even pronounce the name wrong. [It is said “My-bach” not “May-bach”] With all this trashy celeb baggage and S-Class-alike profiles, do Maybach limos have the stop/stare factor of the MANSORY Rolls shown in the previous article? EVEN considering all that: the Knight Luxury 57S custom upgrade shown here is certainly still a breathtaking custom upgrade. Based on the sportiest 57S model, not a panel or corner is left untouched in this super-lux upgrade program from Knight Luxury. IT is certainly effective at giving the Maybach …

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2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Will Race in Stock Class in the 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

One thing to consider about racing: it is hot and intense and physical. The constant strain raises drivers’ core temps amid hot cockpits and little rest over the race. On the Baja 1000 — those sensations of any track race are thrown into a rock crusher. The ride is ROUGH at the huge speeds these Baja 1000 competitors hit on the way to the tip of California. Imagine 85-mph with periodic huge jumps, crash landings, and hard impacts over uneven sandy clay rock. So after that huge race, you’d be thirsty? You will be famished and grabbing any fluids nearby. …

Read more 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Will Race in Stock Class in the 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000