Monday, June 27, 2011

The History Of The Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The History of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The History of the Volkswagen Beetle - The People's Car

In 1938 the German automaker Volkswagen released their version of the economy car called the Volkswagen Type 1, or more commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Beetle. The names "Bug" and "Beetle" were adopted by the public, but it was not until late 1967 that Volkswagen began using the name "Beetle" in their marketing. It was previously known as only the "Type 1" or the 1200, 1300, or 1500, which were the names it had been marketed under in Europe prior to 1967. The numbers indicated the size of the vehicle's engine in cubic centimeters.

The 1967 model of the VW Beetle underwent a few changes, the car itself didn't get bigger, but many of the mechanical systems and components did. Some changes to the Bug included a larger engine. Output of the electrical generator had been increased from 180 watts to 360, and also had been upgraded from the old 6-volt system to the 12-volt system. The clutch disk was also made larger and changes had been made to the braking system, the flywheel, and rear axles.

Although the VW Bug has been widely despised for its styling, rough ride, weak power, along with high noise levels, it was also the longest and most produced vehicle for a single design.

The "Beetle" or "Bug" whichever you wish to call it also played a roll in the military. In 1935 prototypes of the Kdf-Wagen appeared.

Produced by Daimlet-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany the first prototypes were born. With its already peculiar round shape, and the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, The factory only produced a small number of the cars by the time war began in 1939. The first mass-produced version of the Beetle were used for military vehicles, like the Schwimmwagen and the Kubelwagen.

The military bug was created to be as simple as possible, so that little could go wrong. The 985cc air-cooled motor proved to be effective with German Afrika Korps in Africa's desert heat with The built in oil cooler and the superb performance of the flat four, or "pancake" engine configuration. The suspension was equipped with compact torsion beams in place of the more commonly used coil or leaf spring suspensions.

Once World War II was over, the shortage of jobs led to the reopening of the factory in Wolfsburg by Allied forces. The production of the Beetle from then on recommenced. The production increased massively over the next decade, with the one millionth car rolling off of the assembly line in 1955. The Bug's performance was far superior compared to other automobiles in its category with a top speed of 72 mph. The production was surpassing 16 million in 1972, and by the 23rd of June in 1992 the company had sold over 21 million of the cars.

The Volkswagen Beetle is the world's best selling design with the same name. The VW Beetle outlasted most all of the other vehicles who had copied the rear-mounted air-cooled engine layout like those by Subaru, and General Motors.

The Beetle began to phase-out in 2003. The annual production ad reduced to 30,000 from its peak of 1.3 million in 1971. As the last Beetle rolled off of the assembly line, it was shipped off to the Volkswagen company museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

In 1998 Volkswagen introduced the new Beetle which was designed to look a lot like the classic Beetle. The new Beetle was designed with a water cooled engine being placed in the front of the car.

The new VW Beetle has turned out to be a very popular car and has become a pop culture icon and been featured in many movies.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

News Update: Volkswagen To Roll Out Gas-Electric Hybrids, Electric Cars

As part of a plan to become a leader int he battery-powered electric car sector, Volkswagen (VLKAY) is reportedly planning to launch gas-electric hybrids and fully-electric cars over the next few years, the Detroit News reports. CEO Martin Winterkorn believes his company will play a key role in "electrifying" the automotive world. The automaker has already started the production of a VW Touareg SUV hybrid and is planning to launch a Jetta hybrid in 2012, and Passat and Golf hybrids in 2013.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Darwins Theory of Diesel Performance!

If Darwin himself were alive today I dare say that he would be driving a diesel. No other engine out there has more perfectly illustrated his theories of evolution than the diesel. Now as true as it might be that diesels were once known for being the "slow and smelly" vehicles on the road car makers as well as several performance companies have set out on a mission to put an end to that reputation. With the additions of a turbo or multiple turbos (i.e. '08 Powerstroke) and intercooler(s) as well as intakes, chips/modules and exhaust systems the reputation once held by diesels is now evolving, Darwin would be so proud.

So why diesel performance? In the past there never really was a question as to which "species" was more dominant when it came to performance. It has not been until recently that there has even needed to be a debate as to which is better, gas performance or diesel performance and even today you will have people try to argue that gas performance is where it is at but I am here to say that not only is there more horsepower available for the money when it comes to performance products for diesels but you will have longer engine life as well as maintain if not increased fuel mileage.

One of the strongest points in the argument for Diesel Performance is the fact that you can add engine mods to a diesel engine and it won't harm the engine or make it burn hotter to the extent of damaging the engine permanently. Don't get me wrong you can still fry your engine but diesel engines are built much stronger and much more durable. One of the main reasons that diesel engines are so durable or will last longer in general is the way that combustion occurs in the engine. Diesel engines "fire" or "combust" differently than gas engines mainly because of the type of fuel that is used. In gasoline engines a spark plug is used to combust the fuel but in a diesel combustion occurs mainly due to the temperature of the compressed air which causes the fuel to ignite. Because of this diesel engines are built more durable because they have a higher compression ratios (20:1 for a typical diesel vs. 8:1 for a typical gasoline engine) it is being built to withstand this higher compression that makes these engines more ready for performance modifications straight from the factory.

As the diesel engine has evolved over the years turbo chargers have been added to increase power as well as efficiency, this has made way for huge increases in horsepower both stock as well as with the addition of after market products. One of the main reasons that diesel performance is so much more viable is the fact that because the engine is built for a higher compression ratio anyway so it is going to be able to withstand the boost that is created by a turbo much better than a gasoline engine, also allowing the addition of performance modifications without shortening the life of the engine as usually happens with gasoline engines when performance mods are added.

Like it or not diesel performance is here to stay, and whether or not you believe in evolution it's happening and will continue to happen in the diesel performance market. Don't be surprised when you see good old Darwin himself roll past you on the street in his tweaked out diesel.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Gullwing: Mercedes SLS AMG Worlds Premiere

The Mercedes Benz SLS AMG is going to celebrate its world premiere at this year's IAA in Frankfort. The super sportscar thrills with puristic design, consequent lightweight construction and superb driving dynamics. Under the bonnet of the gullwinged car there is an AMG 6.3 litre-V8-front-middle engine working with 571 PS max. performance. Inspite of its sportiness the car meets all the high demands towards safety and every-day-usability.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL - Greatest Ever Sports Cars NÂș6

" Inspired form and revolutionary function come together in the Mercedes Gullwing SL at number 6."

" It's such a work of art. It really is, you know, it's stunning. It's better than any Picasso."

" The lines of the Gullwing are pretty much perfect. The frame of the car has its wonderful torch shape and yet has really voluptuous curves, but they're not the voluptuous curves that, like the Chevy Corvette, which are a bit over the top and brazen and showy. These curves are kept in check and you know that the car has been designed to be super aerodynamic and yet it's hugely glamorous at the same time."

" Driving a car and then the doors got up a little gas struts was really Christ, but if you wanna make a steer in those days you arrive in a Gullwing, you've made it."

" Certainly, the Gullwing is a milestone car, aesthetically, technologically. I mean it stunned the world when it came out. Everybody just went, "Holy Mack! Look at the technology that is put in that thing.""

" Its tubular space frame made the Gullwing extra rigid, crucial for control at high speeds, and at only 82 kilograms, the frame was as light as a feather, but those same tubes took up a room where the bottom of the doors would go, so instead, they would hinge on the roof and lift up as opposed to out."

" It was a practical piece of design, but warmed up becoming the car's exotic signature."

" I mean those doors were just unbelievable. They really look like a bird with the window---- with the doors open, and when you pull them down, you're in this cocoon."

" You know what [unk]."

" Getting out is more difficult because you actually gotta get your bottom on the ledge back up from the seat and swing out, but you see Mercedes gentlemen are so clever. [time-0:02:00] They have to think of all these things because what happens if a woman is driving wearing a skirt."

" There's a bar under the steering wheel. When you pull it out, the steering wheel goes out like that, so now you can raise yourself, flip your legs over. See, the gentlemen think of everything, damn them! Yet another innovation. This was the first production car in the world to use fuel injection. It was one of the most important high-tech advancements in the history [time-0:02:30] of sports cars and yet the concept of fuel injection is deceptively simple."

" With a carburetor, you got pressure from the fuel tank barrel pumped, but it's low pressure and when you put your foot on the accelerator, the fuel falls into the manifold like that, mixes with the air, explosive mix, and the car accelerates."

" With fuel injection, it's different because the fuel is actually propelled at high pressure into its cylinder, [time-0:03:00] mixed with the air, and it's the exact amount of fuel, so it's efficient. It is the most combustible fuel-air mix so that you get the biggest explosion, and therefore, the greatest amount of acceleration and no wastage."

" Well-renowned the world over for its glamorous looks and technical achievements, it wasn't always the easiest car to drive."

" Driving it, it's a truck. You know, it's a big heavy thing. The brakes, you've gotta [time-0:03:30] push your, you know, the pedal through the floor to get it to stop."

" And the exhaust ran right underneath the car, so the floorboard gets really, really hot. It will melt your tennis shoes, and it has big swing axle in the back, so when you really got a hole in the butt, you could get it squarely very easily, so it was sort of like riding the bull."

" It was unpredictable on the corner and the suspension wasn't actually very good. We should push it 'cause the rest of it is brilliant. [time-0:04:00]"

" It's not the nicest engine, no. It's not the nicest looking. It's not the nicest interior, but as an overall package, it is one of the greatest."

Monday, June 6, 2011

BMW 328 Hommage

The BMW 328 was one of the dream sports cars of the 1930s. On it's 75th birthday, BMW is paying tribute with a special model -- the BMW 328 Hommage.

Friday, June 3, 2011

European vs. American Cars

A look at some different European and American cars. Enjoy and discuss.

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