Tag Archives: Mercedes

Alfa Romeo, Plans for the Future

I have news that will make the world sing! Or at least make Alfisti everywhere sing. Alfa Romeo, a brand with an impressive racing pedigree, is hard at work developing two new rear-drive cars to tackle the default German manufacturers.

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First up is the long awaited, Mazda MX-5 based Spider. This has been confirmed by insiders that it will make use of a rear-drive platform. Probably Alfa’s most iconic car, the Spider is something that many would love to own. Open top, manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, a great revving, frisky petrol engine and a chassis developed by Mazda boffins. What more could one ask for?

Next up is the car I have been looking forward to since the demise of the 166 in 2007. This car, known internally as the 6C, will make use of the Maserati Ghibli platform as a base. Insiders claim that the 6C will be a sportier alternative to the Ghibli, which presents a interesting problem. The Ghibli is a sportier saloon than the Quattroporte. Fine, but the 6C is a sportier version, of a sportier version of an already rather sporty car. Right. I will have to reserve judgement when I see the new car in the flesh.

The 6C will make use of of two six-cylinder engines (hence the name), a petrol V6 and a diesel V6, the latter being for those who looks at Sistine Chapel and think “This place definitely needs a new look. Lets paint the entire thing magnolia and add a few vending machines.”. Just no. If you buy an Alfa, you buy a petrol Alfa. One does not buy a Rembrandt painting, open up a tin of orange paint and chuck the whole tin on to the painting to make it look modern. If you want diesel, look elsewhere.

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The 6C will not use the same gearbox as the Maserati, but will make use of its own TCT gearbox. Insiders also claim that along with a four-door saloon 6C, there will also be a two-door coupe version to rival the BMW 6 Series. Oh I want that. I have no idea what that will look like but I just want it. I will sell many many organs just to own a 6C Coupe.

So there you have it. Hopefully by 2016, Alfa will have three rear-wheel drive cars in their line up. The world will surely be a better place after that. Personally, besides looking forward to seeing Alfa heading back to their sporting heritage, I look forward to seeing them back on the map, as a true alternative to BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

New Mercedes SL Revealed

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Mercedes has taken wraps off its latest generation SL, just a month before being unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show.

This version of the SL is based on an all-new platform, made exclusively of aluminium, still makes use of longitudinal six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive. The aluminium construction makes it between 125kg and 140kg lighter and 20 percent stiffer than the outgoing car, Another aspect of the car that remains the same is the metal folding roof that can be folded away in less than 20 seconds.

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The new design harks back to the 1960s “Pagoda” SL, especially wwith its unbroken shoulderline running from the front to the back of the car. The front of the car makes use of an SLS-inspired front grille and large three-pointed-star taking centre stage. Mercedes claims that the overall design is the most aerodynamic car in its class, whilst also creating new standards for wind noise-based cabin refinement.

The line up begins with a 3.5 litre V6 producing 302bhp and 370Nm of torque, returning 41mpg. The 429bhp SL500 reaches 62mph in 4.6s curtosy of a 4.7 litre V8 engine. Both engines are paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

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