Hype News: LA Auto Show Expecting To Host 25 Global Debuts. Lets Guess What They Are!

Posted on 08.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


November is one of my favorite months and for good reason.  There is just so much to look forward to on the 11th month of the year: Some of the best football games all year, Thanksgiving, the start of the holiday season, and the LA Auto Show.  The last item on that list should be particularly exciting this year as the LA Auto Show has announced that they are expecting 25 world debuts at the show this year from the likes of Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Scion, Toyota, Volvo, and Volkswagen.  That is a pretty long list, no?  What will all those brands debut?  Well we don’t officially know yet but if history is an indicator I am sure we will find out about most of the debuts from embargo breakers weeks before the show starts.

However, we are still quite a ways from that as well so how about we play a nice healthy game of speculation?  I am going to list off what I think (or want) each brand on that list is going to debut in LA this year. Feel free to add your own in the comments!


Production version of the new NSX (its time Acura, its time…)


Production ready e-Tron cars, S3, that cool new R8 with the laser headlights


A concept for the Z4 successor, M4 convertible, a new edition to the electric “i” cars (i5, i7)


We will finally get a production version of the ME Four-Twelve (wishful thinking)

General Motors:

I dunno a truck or somethin’?


The official successor to the Genesis coupe


Production RC and RC-F coupes


New Mazdaspeed3, Mazdaspeed2 (because we want it), Mazdaspeed6-look they just need to “Mazdaspeed” everything and give it to us.  I want a Mazdaspeed stroller! A Mazdaspeed coffee maker!  Oh, they will also probably show off the new MX-5…and Mazdaspeed it!


The new AMG GT Coupe with out that funny looking neon zebra camouflage all over it…that stuff is ugly..


The next tC release series, production ready TRD-supercharged FR-S


The next Camry in its new “super beige” color, A somewhat less-concept FT-1 coupe


A consumer version of the semi trucks that Jean Claude Van-Damme did splits on in that crazy viral video


Baja bug!





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Hype Video: Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Visits Jay Leno’s Garage

Posted on 12.10.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


If the car culture was a monarchy then Jay Leno could easily be the king.  Seriously this guy knows just about everyone there is to know and they all know him.  That’s why Jay often gets to play with cars that most people may never even see in person.  In his latest play date, Mercedes Benz brings their stunning AMG Vision Gran Turismo car to Jay’s garage.  Jay also talks a little about how Polyphony Digital (the team behind Gran Turismo 6) virtually re-created his custom RWD twin-turbo 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado as a playable car in the game.  The coolest part comes at the very end of the video though, so scroll down and watch!


So did you watch?…Isn’t it crazy?! The AMG Vision Gran Turismo is one big RC car!!

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LA Auto Show 2013: Mercedes Benz Gives Center Stage To AMG Vision Gran Turismo Virtual Concept

Posted on 12.03.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


Major events like the LA Auto Show are prime opportunities for OEM’s to show off what is coming next from their factories and to get a jump start on marketing those products and perhaps make some early sales.  So its a big deal when one of the biggest luxury brands devotes prime booth real estate to a car that can only be driven virtually!  If you do not know what I am talking about then first let me welcome you to the internet because this is likely your first time here and then allow me to explain.

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Back when Polyphony Digital started work on Gran Turismo 6 they invited some major OEM companies to basically create virtual “dream cars” for the game.  Cars that they would love to build and sell but can’t because of regulations, cost, or the laws of physics.  Well Mercedes Benz was among the first to get their submission in but they took it one step further by building a life-sized rolling representation!  Dubbed the AMG Vision Gran Turismo it is essentially everything that Mercedes Benz wishes they could build now.  Seriously, this thing looks like it would be more at home in an F-ZERO game than Gran Turismo and I mean that in the best way possible.  I think it is absolutely beautiful and it was easily the biggest draw in the Mercedes Benz exhibit.  And as I mentioned earlier the best part about the AMG Vision Gran Turismo is that we all get to drive it as soon as Gran Turismo 6 is released for Playstation 3.

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When I was done drooling over the AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept I strolled around the booth to see what else Mercedes had to offer this year and there was plenty.  Mercedes was celebrating the release of a brand new S class and brought several trims of their new luxury sedan to Los Angeles to show off but my favorite was easily the AMG S63.  While other cars in this segment (including other S class trims) continue to experiment with hybrid drivetrains the S63 remains a snorting beast with a massive twin-turbo V8 engine that makes 577hp and a whopping 664 lb-ft of torque!  They also shaved 220lbs off the weight of the previous model by doing things like making the spare tire cavity in the trunk out of carbon fiber!  Wrap all of that with a super luxurious interior and you have a sedan that I will totally covet.  My only gripe is that I wish it got more of an exterior re-design rather than more of a “re-fresh”.  Not that it doesn’t look good but I would like to see a whole new take on the S-class’ sheet metal.

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Another headliner in the Mercedes exhibit is also something of a sad affair.  Mercedes is officially saying goodbye to the SLS AMG with the “Final Edition” which marks the end of the SLS’ four year run as one of the most desired supercars in existence.  However, Mercedes is sending the SLS AMG out on a very high note with a collection of details that will really make the Final Edition stand out as a collectors item.  First it starts off as a “GT” model (think sportier suspension and better brakes), then they go paint-less on the carbon fiber hood and aero package, the parts that are painted get coated with “design magno graphite matte” paint which was previously only found on the SLS AMG GT3 collector’s model race car, finally the Final Edition gets a full “designo” leather and alcantara interior.  It is definitely a fitting way to say goodbye.  The good news is that Mercedes is already working on the successor to the SLS which will be a totally new supercar.  If the SLS is any indication, the next supercar from AMG will be one heck of a machine!

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The fourth and final headliner at the Mercedes booth was the Concept GLA45 AMG.  As you may guess it is an exercise in “what if” for AMG and possible future plans for the new “crossover-esque” GLA.  As you might have guessed, the GLA45 AMG has the same 355hp 2.0 liter turbocharged engine as the CLA45 AMG but bolted on to a “4MATIC all-wheel-drive system rather than the front wheel drive set up found in the CLA.  The AMG engineers also added Mercedes Benz’ “SPEEDSHIFT DCT” 7-speed transmission.  From there the Concept GLA45 gets a host of exterior styling mods like custom forged wheels and a one-off motorsport inspired livery.  Looking at it makes me wonder what could be if a car such as this became a part of the Global Rally Cross series.  How cool would that be?!

As usual the Mercedes booth did not disappoint.  Its sad to see the SLS AMG go but it was really cool of them to release a Final Edition, as well as build a 1:1 scale model of their AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept, and give potential GLA buyers something to chew on.  For more pictures from the booth just click on any of the thumbnails!


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Tablet Hype: Mercedes Benz Releases 2012 CLS App For iPad

Posted on 05.23.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The cool book-like brochures that you used to pick up at the dealerships when you were car shopping are starting to go the way of the dinosaur as more and more of the populous invest in tablet devices like the iPad and XOOM.  Car companies like Audi and now Mercedes Benz are saving money and trees by producing brochure apps instead of books for their new models.  The latest app from Mercedes Benz is for the new 2012 CLS.  Within this app you can take virtual tours of the inside and outside of the car to get a closer look.  You can also customize a 2012 CLS within the app using all the available options to spec one out just the way you’d want it.  If you want to start playing around with your own virtual CLS just search the Apple App store for “Mercedes-Benz 2012 CLS”

Press Release:

MONTVALE, N.J. – Taking its digital reach to the next level, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has introduced the Mercedes-Benz MY ’12 CLS-Class iPad App. This application is the first of a series of MY ’12 product apps and is available now through the Apple App Store for free.  Users can find the app by searching “Mercedes-Benz 2012 CLS.”

The new CLS-Class iPad App puts a spin on traditional communications by providing a media-rich, eco-friendly channel for prospects to learn more about the CLS-Class. Although this app has been created as a tool for dealership sales associates, it can easily be obtained through the Apple App Store by consumers as well.

Through logical placement and smart navigation, the app provides a smart, user-friendly experience that includes virtual tours of the interior and exterior of the vehicle, as well as an “Explore” section that allows users to customize the CLS. The app also offers a wide selection of videos that demonstrate the groundbreaking technical innovations of Mercedes-Benz.

Additional apps for MY ’12 vehicles will launch throughout 2011 to coincide with the retail release dates.

About Mercedes-Benz USA 

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and the SLS AMG supercar.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans in the US.  More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.mbsprinterusa.com.

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Hype Concept: Mercedes Benz Concept A-Class

Posted on 04.07.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

With the exception of the Smart Car, Mercedes Benz never really released any of their B-segment or A-segment cars here in the states. Which is a shame because they usually look pretty fresh but they have to worry about things like brand dilution and other jargon that you learn about if you’re a marketing major.  Normally it’s a necessary evil but in the case of their new Concept A-Class it is a major bane to us all because this car is shaping up to be a lil’ badass!  Besides the FRESH design the Concept A-Class sports a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a dual clutch transmission, and a radar based collision warning system!  How’s that for a grocery list of awesome?!  While I am impressed with what the Concept A-Class would be if produced I’ll admit I also met it with a bit of cynicism since its a slim chance that this car will be produced and if it was we would probably never see it in America.  Although it will be making an appearance at the 2011 New York Auto Show so maybe not all hope is lost.  Why show a concept in America that would never be sold here if produced?  Here’s crossing my fingers that some version of this will make its way to our shores in the not-too-distant-future!



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Hype: GruppeM Carbon Fiber Ram Air Intake For Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Posted on 03.09.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

GruppeM stuff is hard to come by but if you have the will and the cash its well worth it.  They usually make decent power and they just look tough!  I am loving the carbon fiber ram air intake for the new C63AMG.  It reminds me of inlets from a freakin fighter jet! FRESH indeed.

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Hype Art: “Supercars” Exhibit At The Petersen Automotive Museum

Posted on 03.07.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

If you’re tired of reading about supercars and want to see a few up close, I suggest you head over to the Petersen Automotive Museum in downtown Los Angeles.  Last Saturday was the opening day of their new “Supercars: When Too Much Is Almost Enough” installation.  This exhibit lets you get up close and personal with everything from a vintage Lamborghini Muira to the extremely rare Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR!  I visited the exhibit myself over the weekend and I was dumbfounded with the examples on display.  It was my first time ever seeing a Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR up close and I can honestly say I was speechless.  This exhibit should be a must on every car guys bucket list!  If you’re worried about missing out because you don’t live near by you will be happy to know that the exhibit will be open until October of this year.  So even if you don’t live in California you have more than enough time to book a plane ticket or better yet, plan a road trip to the City Of Angels to see all the supercar goodness up close.  There are a few shots below and more in our facebook gallery to pique your interest but trust me when I say that pictures don’t do any of these cars justice.  You need to get out here and see it all  for yourself !



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Hype: HAMANN Hawk Tuning Program For Mercedes Benz AMG SLS (Hit or Miss?)

Posted on 02.28.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

At the Geneva Auto Show HAMANN has just debuted their new tuning program for the Mercedes Benz AMG SLS dubbed the “HAMANN Hawk“.  I think the name is apt since this program kind of makes the SLS look like a Klingon “Bird Of Prey” star ship!  Before you ask, no they wont throw in the matte gold wrap when you pick up the program.  However, they do include the aero package, forged wheels, titanium exhaust, and ECU tune (the last two bump the power output to 636HP).  As usual HAMANN treatments can be hit or miss.  So what do you think about the HAMANN Hawk? Hit? Miss?



Press Release:

World premiere at the 81st International Motor Show in Geneva


Precious bird of prey with 636 hp

An engine bursting with power wrapped into an exciting car body design coloured in Everose Gold. The Southern German specialist for exclusive automobile refinement, HAMANNMotorsport, turns the wing door Mercedes SLS AMG into the HAMANN HAWK with new plumage and significantly sharper talons.  

Already in its basis version, the SLS provides a significant engine output. But the HAMANNengine department puts some additional power reserves into the V8 engine. The core part of the power enhancement is the high-performance exhaust system made out of titanium. In combination with new manifolds, sports catalysts and a sports air filter, this system also renders the earthy and powerful sound of the 6.2 litre aggregate. The components are precisely adjusted with the help of a new engine characteristic map for motor electronics. With a top performance of 636 hp / 468 kW and a maximum torque of 680 Nm at 4,850 r.p.m, the HAMANNengine exactly meets the wishes of its sports ambitious clientele. The performance enhanced wing door automobile provides first class measures. In race start mode, the two-seater accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.6 seconds and with a top speed of 320 km/h, the HAMANN HAWK also surpasses the basis model.  

The superior driving performance is matched with a striking appearance and aerodynamics tested in the wind tunnel. The HAMANN HAWKfront apron replaces the serial bumper and due to its shape it reduces the uplifting forces at the front axle. Larger air inlets in connection with a new LED lights unit give the two-seater an even more dynamic look. In addition, the enlarged air inlets provide better access for the engine’s increased need for fresh air. Subsequently, the air is drawn out of new bonnet made of checkered flag carbon. Striking wing, 60mm on each front side and 70mm on each rear side, already render an impressive appearance even while the car has not started moving yet.  Side skirts make the two-seater look additionally lower and more stretched and underline the rims. In order to perfectly balance out the downforce of the front- and rear axle, HAMANN gives the SLS a rear wing also made of checkered flag carbon. The new rear apron with the diffuser enhances the air flow under the bottom of the car and provides room for four enormous end pipes each measuring 90 mm in diameter.

In order to perfectly combine comfort and control, HAMANN uses the single-part, especially light forged wheels “Unique Forged Anodized“ in 21 inches. These are fitted in 9Jx21 with tyres measuring 245/30 ZR 21 at the front and 12.5Jx21 with tyres measuring 345/25 ZR 21 at the rear axle.

The coilover kit has been especially refined for the HAMANN HAWK. Equipped with four height-adjustable dampers and four progressively wound springs, the centre of gravity can be lowered by up to 30 millimetres.

HAMANNentirely redesigns the interior of the SLS and turns it into a VIP lounge with motorsports characteristics. Most delicate leather and ultra-suede, applications and embroideries replace the serial interior. HAMANN additionally adorns the air inlets, door sill protectors and centre console with checkered flag carbon. Black anodized aluminium pedals render a comfortable grip. The technical highlight of the new interior is the new steering wheel which has been ergonomically redesigned.

For more information about the extensive HAMANN tuning programme, please visit the web site www.HAMANN-MOTORSPORT.com

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Carlsson Builds 600HP Twin-Turbo 2012 Mercedes Benz CLS

Posted on 02.25.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The guys over at Carlsson decided that they didn’t want to wait for the AMG CLS63 to come out so instead they built their own version set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.   What you see here is Carlsson’s full tuning program for the 2012 CLS that includes a twin-turbo treatment that boosts output to 600hp!  They don’t go into too much detail when it comes to how they pulled that off but they do say they start with the same engine block that is found in the AMG CLS63 so that’s a big clue.

The exterior of the car received an aero treatment that I think looks pretty sharp, albeit subtle.   Carlsson also dropped the car on their patented “C-Tronic” suspension system which analyzes the road surface every 150 milliseconds and will adjust the dampening accordingly.  No word on if it will automatically raise itself every time you go over a speed bump but hey, I guess you can’t have everything right?

Carlsson says sales of this tuning program will start in April of this year but there was no word if it will be available stateside.  Although I would be willing to guess that if you can find the proper channels you can get this program here if you really want it but don’t anticipate it to be cheap!


Press Release:

February 2011

Geneva Motor Show, hall 5, stand 5130

World premiere in Geneva:
Carlsson refines the new CLS


  • V8 Biturbo with up to 600 hp
  • Complete aerodynamics package
  • Handcrafted leather interior
  • Innovative 20 inch alloy wheel 1/10

 Stylish use of shape is the trademark of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz CLS models (type C 218). This has provided the automobile manufacturer Carlsson with the ideal platform from which to perfect the new model with even more style and athleticism. Carlsson premieres its refinement at the Geneva Motor Show to the world public.

Carlsson chief designer Rolf Schlepp incorporates coupé-style contours and lends the vehicle’s exterior a touch of sophistication with the comprehensive aerodynamics package. The new front spoiler and the RS front spoiler lip (available in real carbon) ensure an athletic look for the luxurious saloon car, a look which is underscored further by the stainless steel grille inserts.

The rear spoiler, the rear apron and its built-in diffuser (which functions as a tailplane) ensure extra downforce and more stable road holding at high speed. Under the long bonnet an engine optimized by Carlsson performs up to 600 hp (441 kW) in the flagship model based on the CLS 63 AMG. Carlsson also offers technically sophisticated performance kits with the general Carlsson guarantee for smaller engines.

The CLS 350 CDI for example achieves a power output that is a full 20 percent greater than the standard engine thanks to the Carlsson C-Tronic® DIESEL POWER additional control unit. Instead of 265 hp (195kW), the self-igniting engine now manages 320 hp (235 kW) while maximum torque has increased from 650 to 780 Newton metres. This allows the vehicle to go from 0 to 100 kph in 5.9 seconds instead of the standard 6.2 seconds. The performance-boosting kit continues to meet the EURO5 exhaust emission standards, of course.

In addition, the stainless steel rear silencer and the two oval tailpipes so typical of Carlsson make a great sound. The stainless steel tailpipes can also be ordered separately.

The vehicle’s alloy wheels in 1/10 design and up to 20 inch also emphasise the sporty yet stylish contours of its new aerodynamics package which has been developed in the wind tunnel. With the combination of five simple and five double spokes, the automobile manufacturer from Merzig in Germany is setting a design trend. The five top spokes are designed in such a way that they terminate flushly on the edge of the wheel rim while the five double spokes begin deeper inside the wheel receptacle and are arranged outside on the upper edge of the wheel rim. The fact that there is no wheel well and that the spokes are drawn out over the edge give the 1/10 wheels a particularly sporty character. The forged wheel generates a weight advantage of 40 percent compared the ordinary serial wheels because of its production process while achieving more strength and distinctly improved rolling quality at the same time.

Carlsson’s patented C-Tronic SUSPENSION is responsible for delivering excellent road holding for vehicles with the standard AIRMATIC suspension. This intelligent suspension lowering system drops the vehicle by up to 30 millimetres and continuously monitors the situation of the road. Depending on the road conditions, the controlling device adapts the residual spring travel every 150 milliseconds, thereby ensuring optimum comfort and excellent driving dynamics with an appealing look. The C-Tronic SUSPENSION switches to serial conditions when the speed drops under 20 kph, as a lowering of the vehicle at that speed is part of the serial adjustment.

The vehicle’s refinement reaches its peak in the interior. The automobile manufacturer cultivates traditional craftsmanship by using finest materials such as leather, exclusive alcantara, carbon, best root wood, and several other exclusive nature materials. The selections of the materials and the excellent workmanship attest the uncompromising quality requirements of Carlsson’s own upholstery. The seats and the doors panels have been covered in Carlsson Nappa with contrasting Carlsson stitching. This leather is exclusively produced for Carlsson as barrel pigmented aniline leather which is available in all conceivable colour variations. For Carlsson Nappa only middle European raw materials and German production is used. Carlsson also takes responsibility for the environment: the water needed in production leaves the tannery in drinking-water quality.

The same high quality is reflected by all wooden inlays which have been refined with black piano varnish. The Carlsson Signature Line in the contrasting colour underscores the demands for design and aesthetics. The alcantara sports steering wheel, pedals and foot rest made of brushed aluminium, velours foot mats featuring the Carlsson logo and the matching boot mat support the stylish appearance of the CLS’ interior.

With its comprehensive finishing package for the CLS model, Carlsson has once more proven its refined sense of taste when it comes to Mercedes design. Thanks to its efforts, the already stylish standard CLS has really turned into a unique individualist. The CLS by Carlsson premieres at the Geneva Motor Show, sales start in April 2011.

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Hype Video: Mercedes Benz Super Bowl XLV Commercial Leaked

Posted on 02.04.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Earlier today Mercedes Benz released a few teasers of their first ever Super Bowl add that will air this weekend during Super Bowl XLV.  Then, some guy decided to leak the entire commercial so I’m just going to show you that instead.  The commercial is pretty cool for their first shot and it teases a few upcoming cars like the SLS Roadster and the C63 coupe.  There is also a cameo in the 60 second film but I’ll let you watch it to figure out who it is.

[Source: Autoblog]

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