If you are going to spend some serious dollars on a high-performance car from Mercedes-Benz AMG, then you should probably spend a few more bucks to really learn how to get the most out of that new ride. Thankfully, AMG has you covered with its Driving Academy. The AMG Driving Academy offers classes at a variety of skill levels and at race tracks including the Nurburgring Nordschliefe, Spa-Francorchamps, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca.
Instructors for the programs include the likes of racing champions Bernd Schneider and Bernd Maylander. The class cars are fully instrumented with race car styling data logging so the instructors can review student's performance in detail. Students can bring their own cars, use the standard school cars or upgrade all the way up to the gull-wing SLS coupe.
The basic two-day training class starts at €990 and prices go up to and beyond €2,690 for the three-day advanced course. For those that want to hone their all-weather driving skills, AMG also offers a winter academy in Arjeplog, Sweden, home of Mercedes-Benz' winter test center. The four day package includes three days of training plus a fourth day for an optional snowmobile tour in the region for €3,590. The full brochure and registration forms are available at http://www.mercedes-amg.com/driving-academy/.
Gallery: AMG Driving Academy
Anyone hoping to acquire one of BMW's 5.0-liter V10-powered M6s had better snap one up quickly because production has now ceased. The M6 was the last remaining application for the 507 horsepower V10 which also powered the M5 that went out of production earlier this summer. A total of 14,152 units were built since the 2005 debut of the M6 coupe and the 2006 launch the convertible.
The 5.0-liter V10 would happily rev to 8,250 rpm producing 500 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque along the way. The sound produced by the 10 cylinders through the quad exhaust pipes was absolutely magnificent, especially when driving the convertible with the top down. Although the V10 had a lofty red-line, it was short of low-end torque, something that won't be a problem when the next-generation M6 arrives.
The new 6 Series is expected to debut sometime in 2011 with an M6 to follow. Both the M5 and M6 are expected to use a version of the 555 hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 already used in the X6 M. That engine develops a massive 500 lb-ft at just 1,500 rpm.
Gallery: BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
Cadillac's new advertising agency has apparently decided that the CTS-V will be the focus of its initial marketing efforts for General Motors' premium brand and started off by going back to the Nurburgring to kick things off. Prior to the launching the second generation CTS-V two years ago, Cadillac engineers set the fastest time ever for a production sedan, lapping the legendary, 13-mile long German track in seven minutes 59 seconds.
Race driver and photographer Jeff Zwart directed the new spot which ends with Cadillac's new/old tag-line, "The New Standard of the World." A century ago after founder Henry Leland debut a number of engineering innovations, Cadillac became known as the standard of the world, a line that eventually faded into obscurity as Cadillac was overtaken by competitors from Germany and then Japan. Expect to see more Cadillac marketing and promotional events featuring the CTS-V in sedan, coupe and wagon in the coming months until the brand is ready to debut the new smaller ATS and flagship XTS sometime next year. The ad and a behind the scenes video can be seen after the jump.
Gallery: Review: 2010 Cadillac CTS-V
Photos Copyright ©2010 Sam Abuelsamid / Max Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
Lamborghini has just pushed out the first teaser image for the new car that it will debut at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks. The new sports car which is expected to badged as the Jota will replace the Murcielago that debuted in 2001. Not much detail is known about the Jota, but the rumors floating around the net indicate that it will be powered by an all-new V12 engine with direct injection and over 700 horsepower. The V12 in the Murcielago is an evolution of the unit that first appeared in the 3500 GT in the mid-1960s and subsequently powered the Countach, Diablo and Reventon as well.
The new version adds instant access to Mercedes-Benz Concierge services. A tap of the screen gives the Mercedes driver instant access to an advisor to help find restaurants or hotels and send directions straight to the phone and car. When calling roadside assistance through the application, the location information is automatically transmitted to the help center. Subscribers to the mbrace service can download the application from the iTunes app store.
Moreso than any other automaker, the Ferrari legend has been built on its success in motorsports, particularly in Formula One. No team has won more F1 races and more championships than Ferrari and what Ferrari fan hasn't dreamed of someday driving one of the scarlet race cars? Given that the number of new F1 cars the team builds every year is in the single digits, even if you have the financial resources to buy one of the used cars after the season, the opportunities to do so will be extremely limited.
To make things easier for the rest of us, next week the Italian sports car maker will release the Ferrari Virtual Academy. The Virtual Academy driving simulator will be available for download beginning September 9 with the current F10 racer along with the Fiorano, Mugello and Nurburgring circuits included in the package for €15. Ferrari hasn't listed any system requirements so this might be a Flash application that runs on every platform (except of course iPhones and iPads). Check out the video trailer after the jump.
Ferrari has reportedly responded to a recent spate of fires in its new 458 Italia with a recall in Europe. At least five fires have been reported since deliveries began earlier this year which Ferrari has been investigating. Apparently when the 458 is driven hard (the way a Ferrari is supposed to be driven) in high ambient temperatures an adhesive that holds the rear wheel arch in place, can overheat and essentially melt. This allows the wheel arch and heat shields to come loose. Either the glue or the heat shields can then smoke and potentially ignite. So far 1,248 Italias have been delivered in Europe and those cars will be retrofitted with a more secure fastening system that keeps the arches and shields in place. New cars still in process at the factory will be retrofitted before delivery and the manufacturing process will be updated with the new fasteners.
Gallery: Ferrari 458 Italia
The 2003 Introduction of the Continental GT coupe marked the beginning of the rebirth of Bentley as a stand-alone luxury brand after its separation from Rolls-Royce. Since then Bentley has introduced a range of new models including the GTC convertible, Flying Spur and Mulsanne that have given the brand a distinct character despite sharing some underpinnings with less Audis.
Next week, Bentley will unveil the new next generation Continental GT in a special online event before it shows up at the Paris Motor Show. Judging from the teaser video Bentley has posted at www.ContinentalGT.com the coupe won't be breaking any significant new ground stylistically. Instead it will be an evolution of current design. The most noticeable exterior change is the adoption of LED headlamps at the front for better lighting that uses less energy. The new Continental GT will be revealed at 10am EDT on September 7.
The highlight of the Infiniti stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November will be the brand's first gas-electric model, the new M35 hybrid. The M35 uses an all-new hybrid powertrain developed in-house by Nissan, unlike the Toyota-sourced system currently used in the Altima hybrid.
Since Nissan doesn't use the Infiniti brand in Japan, the M35 is sold as the Nissan Fuga hybrid in its home market where it debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall. The hybrid uses the popular 3.5-liter V6 found in several Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in combination with a 50 kilowatt motor that can drive the M35 electrically at speeds up to 62 mph. The M35 also uses a smaller capacity version of the same lithium ion battery used in the new Leaf battery electric vehicle. The M35 hybrid will go on sale in 2011 as a 2012 model.
Gallery: Infiniti M35 hybrid
On September 30 at 4:45 pm CET, Lotus will hold its biggest auto show press conference in many years at the Paris Motor Show. In addition to the new Evora S and automatic transmission versions, Lotus is expected to finally unveil the oft-delayed successor to the Esprit. For several years in the mid-2000s, there were rumors that Lotus would use a V8 from either Audi or BMW to power the new Esprit.
However, in recent years, Lotus has used Toyota engines exclusively in the Elise, Exige and now the Evora. It just so happens that Toyota has a new engine in its arsenal that would be ideally suited to a new supercar, the 552 horsepower 4.8-liter V10 from the recently launched Lexus LFA.
According to Inside Line, the V10 would power the premium version of the Esprit while base versions would use a variant of the 416 hp 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS-F. Regardless of the engine choice the new Esprit and the Lotus brand as a whole are expected to move upmarket to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini.
[Source: Inside Line]