Archive for December, 2010

The 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe & Our Search For A Road To Rival Mulholland Drive

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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In our week long test of the 2011 Cadillac CTS coupe, we found no one likes the look of the car – they either love it or hate it. The majority of people loved it. We all know Cadillac nailed the looks with the 2nd generation CTS that was introduced in 2008, so they did the logical thing and decided to milk the looks even more by creating this coupe and a wagon version.

Knowing that the coupe has the same 304 horsepower direct injection V6 found in the sedan and still weighs about 4,000 pounds (almost the same as the sedan), we knew this would be no tire shredding rocket car, but we also knew (from our time with the sedan) that Cadillac built the CTS to be a handling dream and gave it enough power to still be fun.

Besides a road course, when you think about testing the limits of a car’s handling, you probably think Mulholland Drive? Well, we do too, but, we also did not feel like driving 1,600 miles (one way), on I-10, through the nothingness that is west Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona just to carve a canyon road and fight to share space with cyclists. So, rather than heading west, we ventured northeast, out of Houston, in search of a southern alternative to Mulholland Drive.
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The 2012 CLS63 AMG

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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We recently had the good fortune of chatting with the Mercedes-Benz CLS Product Manager. If the car, engine, performance and technology is even half as good as he described it, we are all in for a treat when this car hits the showroom sometime in mid to late 2011.

The version of the CLS that debuted at the LA Auto Show a couple of months ago, was the Euro spec body featuring custom paint, but is still pretty similar to the US spec 2012 CLS that will debut at the North American International Auto Show in January 2011.

The 2012 CLS63 AMG will have the new Mercedes-Benz M157 direct injection 5.5 liter V8 twin turbo engine. The 2012 will make 518 horsepower and 515 ft/tq, which is 11 more ponies than the previous model’s naturally aspirated 6.3 liter. However, if your neighbor has a CTS-V, 518 hp may not be enough for you, and in that case, you will want to get your CLS63 with what AMG calls P30. P30 is the code for the performance package that bumps the boost from the turbos to about 18.5 pounds, resulting in 550 horsepower and 590 ft/tq. Amazingly, the 516 ft/tq (from the non P30) will be available beginning slightly above idle, at 1,000 RPM, and the P30’s 590 ft/tq will be available beginning at 2,000 RPM, making either version a tire eating monster off the line. Once off the line, and if you have taken the car out of boring comfort mode, the 7 speed automatic transmission will snap off mind blowing fast up-shift and RPM matching downshifts. Stay in it, and the CLS63 will hit an electronically limited 155 mph or an electronically limited 185 mph with the P30.

Remarkably, the Germans have increased the miles per gallon by an estimated 30 percent over the previous model. Most of the increase is a result of the new direct injection twin turbo motor and the MCT wet clutch package 7 speed transmission. As long as you drive sensibly, the estimated city MPG is around 18 and highway driving should achieve around 22 MPG.

One of the many unique features of the 2012 CLS will be the headlights that use 71 LED’s per headlamp cluster. The entire headlamps will be LED and will feature intelligent lighting that will automatically adjust on the X and Y axis, as needed, to do things like illuminate curves and tilt up under heaving braking.

Mercedes-Benz is proud, and rightfully so, of practically creating a new class of car that is somewhere between a sedan and a coupe with the introduction of the CLS in 2004. And now, with the 2012 CLS63 AMG on the horizon, they have taken the four door coupe segment to the next level, and we cannot wait to smoke the tires on the 2012.

Thanks for your time Dan and Bret.

Picture Of The Day: Porsche 997 GT2

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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Porsche 997 GT2

Audi breaks U.S. sales record; on pace to exceed 100,000 vehicles sold in America for the first time

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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HERNDON, Va., Dec 14, 2010 – Audi broke its annual vehicle sales record in the U.S. Monday evening when it recorded its 93,507th transaction of 2010. The sale eclipsed the old U.S. record of 93,506 vehicles sold in 2007.

“This is truly an historic moment for Audi as the brand continues on its established course to become the most successful premium brand in the U.S. and globally,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “Setting a new sales record reflects on the exceptional work done by the Audi team and our dealer partners. But credit for this achievement also belongs to the American premium car consumer who is choosing the advantages of Audi engineering innovations.”

STARTECH Land Rover Defender 90 Yachting Edition

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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STARTECH Land Rover Defender 90 Yachting Edition

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG

Posted in cars with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by AutoSpotters

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The CLS63 AMG will get the all new 5.5-liter biturbo engine, making 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque (the current CLS63 has 507 hp and 465 lb-ft out of the 6.2-liter na V8). An optional AMG Performance package ups the boost from 14.5 to 18.8 psi, to output 550 hp and torque to 590 lb-ft.
Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (as with most MB cars), however, with the optional AMG Performance package top speed will be upped to 186 mph.
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