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IN THE GARAGE: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

July 29, 2014

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VIN WP0CB2968LS470358
Exterior [A1V9] Black
Interior [LC] Beige Partial Leather
Motor 3.6 L H6 rated at 247+ bhp
Gearbox 5-Speed Manual
Odometer 71,815 mi.
Exterior Condition Excellent (2+)
Interior Condition Excellent (2)
Drivetrain Excellent (2+)
Braking Excellent (2+)
Suspension/Ride Excellent (2)
Tires/wheels Excellent (2+)

THE PROOF IS IN THE PAMPERING. Bridging the gap between the classic “impact bumper” 911s like the SC and Carrera 3.2 and the more modern 993, the 964 is considered by many to be the best of both worlds. It closely resembles the iconic shape that dates back to the 911’s debut in 1964 while incorporating the sleek styling of the modern Porsches. It looks like a more aerodynamic Carrera 3.2 but according to Porsche, the 964 is over 90% new components; therefore it represents a milestone in the 911s history. Yet it naturally maintains the air-cooled motor (now enlarged to 3.6 liters and developing 247 bhp in stock form) with further air cooling provided by the convertible top. With meticulous records including original window sticker, this is an impeccably maintained, original, low-mileage car that exemplifies the 964 as every bit 911, but decidedly unique in character from those that came before or since.

OVERALL CONDITION

The first thing we notice about the car is its paint. It maintains an outstanding gloss and depth and has never seen any accident damage. It is perfectly straight with no dings, scratches or signs of rust whatsoever. A tremendous amount of care has been given throughout its ownership to preserve its integrity. The top is all original with clear rear window and canvas in near new condition, with only one small (1/2″) snag. Rubber is like new all around and was clearly kept out of heat and dryness. Inside, we find a partial leather interior that shows very little wear. There is just the right amount of patina, but no bolster wear and no cracks or tears. Controls and instruments all work properly including cold AC. Carpets are deep and thick. The motor, like any 3.6, is a beautiful piece of machinery, but one with under 72,000 original miles and fresh service is exceptionally beautiful. There are no valve guide issues or unusual pings, tings or other noises. With a Porsche-engineered intentional omission of head gaskets, early 964s were notorious leakers. As part of full disclosure, this one is no exception. However it is minimal, with only about a spoonful after sitting a few days. There is no smoke on startup and fires immediately, even after periods of dormancy. The transmission has also been serviced on schedule and is very solid with smooth, crisp linkages up and down through all gears. The factory D90 wheels are perhaps some of the nicest to feature on any 911 and these are in near flawless condition with no curb rash and excellent finish. They are shod with Bridgestone Potenzas that show very good life (80+% tread). This is an exceptionally nice and properly kept example of a 964.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

I’ve said it before. 911s are made to be driven. Like any 911, this one is loads of fun to drive. Put your foot in it and its seats will hug you. Show it a twisty road and it will dance with you. If you’re feeling a little racy, that’s fine too. Everything on it it silky and tight. The 3.6 liter motor fires up and pulls strong while the 5-speed transmission is crisp and sure with so play and no sync issues. Steering is very responsive and the road feel is excellent through a tight suspension and excellent Bridgestone tires. Braking is firm and solid. This is a car that feels classic but completely fresh and relevant. In other words, it’s a true 911.

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PICK OF THE DAY: Pampered Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Coupé

July 25, 2014

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There are few cars that evoke the kind of refined establishment as the Mercedes-Benz W111 Heckflosse Coupé and Cabriolet. With its traditional grille, cathedral headlamps and subtle tail fins, combined with the individuality of its two-door body, it’s a car that even today turns heads to see who might be behind the wheel. At the top of the chain are the 280 se 3.5 Cabriolets, with values rocketing nearly 40% within the last year. While the fixed roof coupés aren’t in that sort of investment category—at least not yet—they offer most of the same panache, albeit without the St. Tropez vibe. More importantly, they do it for about 20% of what it would take to get into a 3.5 Cab. This example is a mid-generation 250 SE. The 250 SE, sandwiched between the early 220 SEb and the 280 SE, featured some driver-oriented improvements to it predecessor with a very capable 150-hp motor, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. As such it would be an ideal entry in a vintage rally, such as this weekend’s Northwest Classic Rally. It is said to have been garaged and pampered, with an extensive amount of reconditioning since 2008. It has had a color change over a rust-free body. It isn’t original, but looks very smart over its handsome Dark Red interior, which seller discloses needs some minor cosmetic flaws addressed. Excellent maintenance on its 78,000-mile drivetrain certainly add to its adeptness as a quality driver’s car. Find it here on Craigslist in Great Falls VA for $33,000.

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PICK OF THE DAY: Tidy Low-Mile Alfa Romeo 164 S

July 19, 2014

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Before they pulled out of the US along with parent company Fiat, Alfa Romeo treated us to one of the most sporting sports tourers that have ever been on these shores: the 164. With perhaps the smoothest V6 ever placed under a hood, even the base model’s 183 hp evoked an Italian, quasi-exotic feel that its chief rivals, the Mercedes-Benz E Class and BMW 5 Series, inherently did not have. It’s little wonder that Enzo Ferrari drove an Alfa Romoe 164 as his commuter. The even more sporting 164 S bumped the horsepower to 200 and added electronically adjustable suspension, bolstered leather seating and aerodynamic skirts and spoilers. While the cladding may not be to everyone’s taste, the driving experience was elevated to a level where it could easily be overlooked. Despite front wheel drive, their 50/50 weight distribution made them de facto driver’s cars. As such, Alfa Romeo made a concerted effort to ensure that they could be driven much longer than previous Alfas. Along with galvanized frames and comprehensive rust proofing, they featured a computer controlled engine management system and two-stage valve timing. With proper maintenance, it’s not unheard of that this driver’s car can be driven well past 200,000 miles. When one comes on the market with less than 80,000 miles, it’s worth noting. This example has not only clocked a mere 76,000 miles, but shines with the care its been given over 13 years or so. Interior is original with excellent patina but no wear. Paint looks to be superb with no signs of fading or oxidation. The cleanliness of the engine is a good indicator that it has been well maintained. With the low mileage, critical maintenance issues like timing chain wear, steering leaks and AC motor may or may not have been addressed, but appreciation for the 164 is rising, particularly for the later 24-valve Qs, but this S is reasonably priced for the miles and condition. Find it here on Craigslist in Fremont CA for $5,900.

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IN THE NEWS: Aston Martin Takes the Covers off V12 Vantage Roadster

July 16, 2014

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Aston Martin is opening up a new world of exhilarating driving excitement with the announcement of the hotly anticipated 2015 V12 Vantage S Roadster.

When it arrives in markets around the world later this year the new sports car will become the luxury British marque’s most potent, fastest and fastest-accelerating series production roadster to date and follows in the broad tyre tracks of the V12 Vantage S Coupe that was launched to worldwide acclaim in 2013.

Providing the most visceral yet engaging open-top experience in Aston Martin’s current range, the new V12 Vantage S Roadster delivers characteristic sporting agility underpinned by an enviable sports ‘soundtrack’ generated by its naturally aspirated V12 engine and expertly-tuned sports exhaust.

Equipped with the latest 565 bhp Aston Martin AM28 6.0-litre V12 engine, featuring state-of-the-art Bosch engine management, the car is capable of reaching 201 mph and sprinting from rest to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds.

Peak and low rev torque is delivered in abundance. With 457 lb ft available at 5,750 rpm the V12 Vantage S Roadster is not to be found wanting in this vital department. Crucially, too, low rev torque – measured at just 1,000 rpm – peaks at a colossal 376 lb ft. Together, these statistics demonstrate the Aston Martin engineers’ ability to create a ‘flatter’, yet ‘fatter’, torque curve which supports exceptional driveability and strong pick-up through the gears.

Aston Martin Director of Design, Marek Reichman, said: “The V12 Vantage S Roadster is the mechanical embodiment of this company’s exceptional spirit.

“Beautiful, powerful and spirited it is as spectacular to listen to as it is to look at. The new roadster is truly a treat for the senses with, underlying all this, the capacity to deliver one of the most dynamic, exciting and stirring driving experiences in our current range.

“I’m sure the V12 Vantage S Roadster will appeal to luxury sports car enthusiasts worldwide who want to add a truly exceptional new model to their garage.”

Race car technology 

As with its coupe sibling, race car technology runs right through the DNA of the V12 Vantage S Roadster with, for instance, CNC machined combustion chambers and hollow cam shafts just two examples of track technology feeding through to the road.

Another clear example is the new car’s gearbox, the Sportshift™III ASM (auto-shift manual) transmission. Engineered to exploit the full sporting potential of the V12 engine, the latest generation Sportshift™III hydraulically actuated automated manual transmission provides motorsport-style paddle shift changes for optimum performance delivery. The unit, which replaces the six-speed manual gearbox found in the previous V12 Vantage Roadster, is also appreciably lighter – saving 44 lb versus its forebear.

This race-derived and motorsport-proven technology – used routinely in Aston Martin Racing’s race-winning Vantage GT4, GT3 and GTE competition cars – provides for great driver control with only milliseconds of torque interruption and delivers precise and swift gear changes.

The Sportshift™III transaxle, from transmission experts Oerlikon Graziano, joins an extensive array of new sport and track-focused developments that ensure the V12 Vantage S Roadster is fully equipped to exploit the huge performance potential of its 6.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

The use of three-stage adaptive damping, allied to three-stage DSC and two-stage ABS, allows the driver to more precisely tailor the car’s dynamic character. ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ modes provide a broad swathe of dynamic performance that can be tuned to better suit the driver’s requirements. The system also governs the level of power steering assistance offered.

Working alongside the extended chassis capabilities is a ‘Sport’ mode, controlled via a button on the centre console that alters throttle response, gearshift speed and timing, and exhaust note to, once again, tune the character of the car to the driver’s requirements.

Optimum braking performance is delivered via the specially-created carbon ceramic discs all round, with near-identical brakes appearing on the brands ultimate GT, the Vanquish. Meanwhile a whole new exhaust system – derived from that of Aston Martin’s most expensive and exclusive production model, the One-77 hypercar – is light, small and wonderfully sonorous.

The ZF Servotronic power assisted steering offers a quick, slick, 15:1 ratio and,  linked to the adaptive damping button, it offers two-mode steering assistance designed to best match the ‘Sport’ or ‘Normal’ settings generated by the Adaptive Damping System.

 

Pure power, beautifully presented

As Aston Martin’s most overtly sporting convertible car, with a more dynamic character even than the luxurious Vanquish Volante ultimate GT or refined DB9 Volante, the V12 Vantage S Roadster has been styled to reflect is position as the flagship convertible in the Vantage family.

In keeping with the V12 Vantage S Coupe, the Roadster does away with the famous aluminium vanes in the Aston Martin grille – replacing them with a carbon fibre arrangement that also includes sporty black or titanium silver mesh. Created to maximise airflow to the V12 engine, the new grille is inspired by both the remarkable CC100 Speedster Concept and the Vantage race cars.

Other distinguishing features of the V12 Vantage S Roadster include the option of lightweight forged alloy ten-spoke wheels.

The new Roadster retains the same compact proportions of its predecessor while features such as the pronounced bonnet louvres, optional bold graphics (painted carbon front grille, front grille lipstick and tailgate panel) as well as the exterior carbon pack and flared wheel arches underscore its sporting abilities.

Inside, as out, the new car has been styled to reflect its powerful nature. New-style seat trim and door trims, with Sport and carbon fibre Lightweight seat options – present V12 Vantage S Roadster buyers with an exciting array of choices.

The optional Interior Carbon Pack, which adds carbon fibre to the car’s facia and door pulls, plus the availability for the first time in a V12 Vantage S Roadster of black pedals, further enhances personalisation options for those in search of a truly bespoke sports car.

Q by Aston Martin

Meanwhile,For V12 Vantage S Roadster, the company is introducing a Q by Aston Martin Collection which consists of bespoke features that are entirely in keeping with the character of the car.

For V12 Vantage S Roadster this includes a palette of bold exterior and interior colours; body coloured carbon bonnet louvres; a red tint or satin finish to the carbon fibre elements on the exterior and interior of the car; a full carbon fibre centre console, black anodised and machined rotary controls and a steering wheel with a leather on-centre stripe in the chosen interior accent colour.

Marek Reichman added: “The new V12 Vantage S Roadster not only looks the part, but has been engineered and built to showcase the ethos of Aston Martin: power, beauty and soul.

“We believe that it is a truly exceptional sports car, with the capacity to set pulses racing just by its sound alone. The authentic appeal of its style, performance, quality and craftsmanship ensure its stands head and shoulders above others in its sector and delivers that most precious of experiences – fun – in abundance!”

PICK OF THE DAY: Low-milage Saab Sonett “Survivor”

July 16, 2014

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When a company is “born from jets,” it’s only a matter of time that it should divert slightly from its people’s car roots into something more sporting. Almost immediately following the first passenger Saab, the 92’s, introduction, it made its way into rallying and some years later a car that was aimed at road racing circuits was launched, to compete with the likes of Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and Porsche. This was the Saab Sonett I. While only six copies of the Sonett I were introduced, the idea that Saab was aptly capable of doing so was kept in the back of the minds of both engineers. A decade or so after the Sonett I was introduced, bolstered by further success in rallying, the Sonett II was launched and made its way into regular production. Though somewhat less ambitious than its predecessor, the Sonett II proved successful in its class, against Triumphs and MGs, among others. In short it was a bona fide sports car. By the third and final iteration, the Sonett III could’ve been mistaken for something out of Italy, owing to its design rooted in Sergio Coggiola’s pen. Its sleek (0.31 Cx), lightweight (under 900 kg), fiberglass body mated to a Ford V4 motor pulled the little car by its front wheels with respectable performance whist not compromising on the cornerstone Saab traits of safety and economy. This example comes from one if its last years of production, 1972, which is also the last year before being burdened with cumbersome bumpers per US safety standards. It is said to be a survivor though it has had a repaint, been reupholstered, refinished soccer balls, and the stock Autolite carburetor was replaced with a Weber. Ok, so it’s not a textbook ”survivor.” Neverthelss, it is an original 42,000-mileage example that’s been documented since purchase. It presents extraordinarily well and likely is a blast to drive.  Find it here on Craigslist in Springfield VA from a motivated seller for $13,900 or best offer.

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IN THE NEWS: Mercedes-Benz Unleashes 621-hp S65 AMG Coupé

July 14, 2014

2015 S65 AMG Coupe (11)

July 14, 2014. Affalterbach. The S65 AMG Coupe is the new twelve-cylinder top-of-the- range model in the S-Class Coupe series. Unique drive comfort, benchmark performance and exquisite appointments are all hallmarks of this stuning new two-door. The irresistible contours of the V12 Coupe are accentuated by a host of expressive design elements in high-sheen chrome. The AMG 6.0- litre V12 biturbo engine, with an output of 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, is unique in its segment, as is the AMG sports suspension, based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL with curve tilting function and ROAD SURFACE SCAN.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “There are AMG fans for whom our V12 biturbo engine is the measure of all things. For this clientele we have developed a unique car in the form of the new S65 AMG Coupe. From driving dynamics to comfort and equipment – our new twelve-cylinder coupe surpasses even the highest of expectations.”

Mercedes-AMG’s unique range and long V12 tradition

Coupe, Sedan and Roadster: following the S65 AMG and the SL 65 AMG, the new S65 AMG Coupe is the third AMG high-performance car with a V12 engine to come to the United States market. Globally, no other car manufacturer in the world offers such a wide portfolio of twelve-cylinder vehicles as Mercedes-AMG. In 2003, the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz presented a coupe with a powerful V12 biturbo engine in the form of the CL65 AMG (C215 model series). Its successor, the CL65 AMG (C216 model series) was available between 2007 and 2014 and was the direct predecessor to the new S65 AMG Coupe.

Key data at a glance:

S65 AMG Coupe
Displacement 5980 cc
Output 621 hp (463kw) at 4800-5400 rpm
Max. torque 738 lb-ft
at 2300-4300 rpm
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.0 s (est.)
Top speed 186*

* Electronically limited

Twelve-cylinder engines are still considered the pinnacle of engine design. Among connoisseurs the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine in particular is seen as an outstanding example of its type. Open the hood of the S65 AMG Coupe, and it is immediately obvious why. The exclusive carbon fibre/aluminium engine cover is synonymous with the exceptional strengths of the V12 engine that is built in Affalterbach according to the “one man, one engine” principle. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative precision and production quality, the AMG engine plate bearing the master engine builder’s signature is also a clear testament to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.

A sensational drive and effortlessly superior performance

The AMG V12 delivers a peak output of 621 hp and a maximum torque of 738 lb-ft – resulting in effortlessly superior performance. The S65 AMG Coupe accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited). In other respects, the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine assures a sensational drive. Stylish drive comfort, tremendous pulling power and effortless power delivery in all speed ranges are coupled with refined engine running characteristics and the distinctive typical sound of the AMG V12.

Technical highlights of the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine:

  • Biturbocharging
  • Aluminium crankcase
  • Forged crankshaft in high-grade alloy steel
  • Multi-spark ignition with 12 twin-spark ignition units
  • Air-to-water intercooler with low-temperature circuit
  • Alternator management
  • ECO start/stop function

Power transmission with three individual driving modes

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC is responsible for transmitting power to the rear axle. The transmission offers three individual modes: the driver can choose between Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M) by pushing a button on the center console. Sport and Manual emphasize the vehicle’s dynamic pedigree. The ultimate emotional appeal and tangible sportiness are ensured by the brief, precisely defined cutback of ignition and injection when shifting up a gear under full load. This shortens shift times and lends an audibly more emotive tone to gearshifts. The ECO start/stop function is activated in transmission mode “C”.

Lithium-ion battery reduces weight by over 44 lbs

The S65 AMG Coupe features a lithium-Ion battery as standard equipment. This innovative technology offers numerous advantages over a conventional battery concept. With a capacity of 78 Ah, the lithium-ion battery replaces both the starter battery and the backup battery – resulting in a weight saving of over 44 lbs.

AMG sports suspension with curve tilting function

The AMG sports suspension based on MAGIC BODY CONTROL delivers an incomparable driving sensation. The standard combination of Active Body Control (ABC), ROAD SURFACE SCAN and curve tilting function is unique. This function allows the S65 AMG Coupe to lean into bends in a manner similar to a motorcyclist or skier. The lateral acceleration acting on the occupants is similar to driving on a banked curve. On country roads in particular, the curve tilting function heightens motoring enjoyment and comfort. The object is not to reach higher cornering speeds, but to produce an even more pleasant motoring experience. The curve tilting function can be selected as one of three drive modes using the ABC switch, and it is active in the speed range from 10 to 111 mph.

On bends the vehicle leans into the turn automatically and continuously in fractions of a second – depending on the curve radius and vehicle speed. The innovative suspension system detects curves using both a stereo camera behind the windscreen, registering the curvature of the road up to approximately 50 feet ahead, and an additional lateral acceleration sensor. The curve tilting function is making its United States debut in the S65 AMG Coupe.

ROAD SURFACE SCAN is a technology that can detect surface undulations in advance with the help of a stereo camera. MAGIC BODY CONTROL then adjusts the suspension in advance to suit the situation, effectively compensating for irritating chassis movement. Both suspension modes – “Comfort” and “Sport” – are also available here. In addition the AMG sports suspension, the S65 AMG Coupe features specific elastokinematics – the driver therefore benefits from more directness with a dynamic driving style.

Speed-sensitive sports steering with variable steering ratio

The electromechanical speed-sensitive sports steering with variable steering ratio perfectly complements the sophisticated suspension technology by optimizing vehicle handling and agility while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. In “Comfort” suspension mode, the speed-sensitive sports steering enhances comfort by providing more steering assistance. If the “Sport” suspension setting is selected, the driver feels a stiffer and more commanding level of steering assistance. The pre-programmed curves for power assistance enhance feedback from the road surface and steering precision.

Polished forged wheels with fully integrated wheel bolt cover

The S65 AMG Coupe features forged wheels in a multi-spoke design, size 8.5 x 20 at the front and 9.5 x 20 at the rear, with 255/40 R 20 and 285/35 R 20 tires. The exclusive forged wheels of the V12 Coupe fascinate with their exceptional design that represents a contemporary interpretation of the classic sports car rims. Each of the 16 spokes twists so that the light-catching contours radiate to the center of the wheel hub. The ultimate effect is that the wheel gives the impression of being even bigger.

The matchless visual superiority of the ceramically polished, high-sheen AMG forged wheels is the result of an elaborate finishing process. Initial polishing is followed by manual grinding of the light-alloy wheels. Two polishing stages using different polishing compounds ensure the desired deep sheen. Having been cleaned, the wheels then undergo final treatment, including final clear coat sealing.

The forged wheels feature a high-quality, screw-on, fully integrated wheel bolt cover in forged aluminium. Its shape is reminiscent of a center lock as seen in motorsport. The AMG lettering is incorporated into the rim as a design element. Additional forged wheels are available as optional alternatives – one design variant features a matte black finish and high-sheen rim flange.

Optional ceramic high-performance compound brake system

The AMG high-performance compound brake system features brake callipers with a grey finish. Red callipers are also available, and a ceramic high- performance compound brake system is optional. This design, which is more than 20 percent lighter than its conventional counterpart, ensures lower unsprung masses as well as enhanced driving dynamics, agility, ride comfort, and brake performance.

Design: irresistible contours, lavishly accentuated with chrome

Supreme sportiness combined with the sensual clarity typical of Mercedes-Benz – the irresistible contours of the S65 AMG Coupe are a captivating sight. V12- specific features include the countless design elements in high-sheen chrome at the front, sides and rear which are particularly effective in conjunction with dark paintwork. The large central Mercedes star on the front apron, the “twin blade” radiator grille, all of the air intake grilles, the trim strip on the “A-wing”, the side flics (air deflector elements) and the front splitter are chromed-trimmed. The three-dimensional front splitter increases downforce at the front axle, while the gap above the front splitter ensures an effective flow of air to the separate engine oil cooler behind it.

At the side, the eye is drawn to the “V12 BITURBO” lettering on the wings and the high-sheen chrome inserts in the side skirts which harmonize perfectly with the high-sheen polished forged wheels. The rear view is also unmistakable. The AMG sports exhaust system’s two chromed twin tailpipes in V12 design are integrated into the rear apron. Above the distinctive diffuser insert, painted in high-gloss black, the trim element forms an effective contrast. It echoes the design of the “A-wings” on the front apron and is finished in high-sheen chrome.

Interior: equipment, quality and ambience of the highest standard

The extraordinary character is also evident on the inside. The S65 AMG Coupe welcomes its occupants with an incomparably exquisite ambience. This two- door features the finest materials, the highest manufacturing quality and an extensive range of standard equipment. In visual terms, the interior is dominated by the sports seats. The upholstery in designo AMG Exclusive Nappa leather with seat upholstery layout in a diamond-pattern design boasts delineated perforations which ensure beautiful harmony between perforations and stylistic stiching. The result is exceptionally neat seams and an unrivalled impression of quality.

Exclusively developed AMG sports seats ensure optimal long-distance comfort. Electric adjustment, memory function, seat heating and climate control are standard features. More contoured seat cushions and backrests improve lateral support when cornering at speed. High-quality AMG badges are prominently displayed on all four backrests, and the AMG crest is embossed on the front centre console.

Other features of the exclusive package include the Nappa leather roof liner, a leather-lined dashboard, door center panels in a diamond-pattern design, leather-clad roof grab handles, chromed door pins and AMG stainless steel door sill panels illuminated in white. Customers ordering designo AMG Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery are able to choose between black, porcelain/espresso brown, saddle brown/black and crystal grey/black.

New sports steering wheel in a three-spoke design

The new three-spoke sports steering wheel allows perfect vehicle control. It features shift paddles, a distinctly contoured rim trimmed with perforated leather in the grip area, and a metal insert featuring AMG lettering.

Another typical AMG speciality is the AMG instrument cluster. Information on the engine speed, vehicle speed and much more appears on two animated round dials on the 12.2 inch, high-resolution colour TFT display. The typography, the needles in red/silver, the speedometer with its 220 mph scale and the “V12 BITURBO” lettering in the rev counter all have a distinctive AMG look. When the driver’s door is opened, an AMG start-up screen appears on the right-hand display, while an animated S65 AMG Coupe appears in the instrument cluster.

Extensive standard equipment with head-up display and touchpad

The extensive range of standard equipment for the S65 AMG Coupe includes the head-up display and the touchpad. The head-up display projects key information such as the vehicle speed, speed limits, navigation directions, traffic signs and information from DISTRONIC PLUS onto the windscreen. The visualization of the engine speed and the current gear is exclusive to AMG. In manual transmission mode, a colored upshift bar and the possible gears for a manual gear change are also projected onto the windscreen. The virtual colour display, measuring 8 x 2.75 inch, appears to hover above the hood at a distance of around two meters from the driver. The innovative Mercedes-Benz touchpad makes it significantly easier to operate the radio, telephone and navigation system. In contrast to conventional systems, the touchpad can be used to operate all of the infotainment functions. The input area is approximately 2.5 x 1.7 inches in size and is integrated into the handrest with a cover for the keypad.

Intelligent Drive: new standards in safety

The S65 AMG Coupe also sets new standards in terms of active and passive safety. What began with PRE-SAFE® ten years ago and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS is now leading to a new dimension in driving. Comfort and safety have merged into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive. Ground-breaking systems make the new S-Class Coupe even more comfortable and safe.

Standard equipment for the S65 AMG Coupe includes (selection):

  •  360° camera
  • Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
  • Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system
  •  Driving Assistance package Plus, including DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS
  • Upholstery in AMG Exclusive nappa leather
  • KEYLESS-GO package

Orders can be placed for the S65 AMG Coupe in the coming weeks, and the United States market launch at Mercedes-Benz sales outlets and authorized dealerships is planned for the end of 2014.

ON THE BLOCK: RHD Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso at Salon Privé

July 8, 2014

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Regarded by many as the most beautiful of Pininfarina designs for Ferrari, an extremely rare 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ is to be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ inaugural sale at Salon Privé on September 4th, estimated at between £1.75 and £2million.

Just 22 right hand drive cars were built, with some reports suggesting that today just 17 examples remain. First appearing at the 1962 Paris Salon, the car generated much admiration for its exquisite proportions. This particular matching numbers car is so special thanks in part to the comprehensive restoration, which it received by respected craftsmen Auto Restorations NZ of Christchurch in the years to 2010.

Confirming its quality, the car was crowned Winner in the Masters’ Class of the NZ Classic Car Weekend Intermarque Concours d’Elegance and it beams in Rosso Cordoba coachwork with contrasting Tan leather interior. It now joins the sale from a significant UK collection.

Commenting on the sale of this very special motorcar, Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to offer this exciting and beautiful car in our new sale. Salon Privé deservedly enjoys its reputation as one of the UK’s most prestigious luxury automotive events and this car is sure to be one of the highlights of the auction.”

The model joins a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Series II Coupe, estimated at between £375,000 and £425,000, and a 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Sedanca by Knibbs & Parkyn, once owned by a Costa Rican diplomat, estimated at between £80,000 and £100,000.

More exceptional cars have already been consigned into the new auction, taking place following the signing of a joint venture between the event organisers and Silverstone Auctions. Details of these cars will be announced over the coming weeks.

Silverstone Auctions is still inviting entries into the sale and so those that would like to have their vehicle considered for entry into the sale should contact Silverstone Auctions on +44 (0) 1926 691 141 or visithttp://www.silverstoneauctions.com/salon-prive for more information.

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