Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Roadster

The 2013 Mercedes SL benefits from the extensive use of aluminum

The SL is a defining vehicle for Mercedes Benz. It represents the core values of comfort, style and effortless power, and was for many years the default choice for successful lawyers and lucky lottery winners. With the outgoing model, introduced in 2003, MB somehow lost its way. Over time the “Sports Light” model had gained significant weight and lost design coherence. As a consequence of the ludicrous Daimler/Chrysler merger costs were slashed, build quality suffered and the electronics were notoriously quirky. Fortunately Mercedes has turned that ship around and after the successful launch of the flagship SLS it’s time to introduce a completely new, and it must be said, strikingly handsome version of the iconic SL.  Read More

The Varley evR-540 electric supercar will arrive in January 2012

Australia has a new home-grown electric supercar. The recently announced Varley evR-540 is handbuilt around an aluminum monocoque chassis and powered by locally developed and engineered twin Carbon ironless core AC motors with Tritium Wavesculptor inverters claimed to be up to 95% efficient. The performance of this lightweight 2-seat mid-engine coupe is impressive - it's capable of accelerating from from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), which puts it in the same league as the Tesla Roadster).  Read More

The Dartz Jo-Mojo electric roadster

Estonian armored vehicle maker Dartz has partnered with the Gray Design studio for the second time to give its recently-launched fuel-driven Mojo two-seater roadster an electric make-over. The lightly armored open-top electric low-rider will use the same Russian monocoque armoring system used for bigger vehicles like the Combat T-98. Designed for the streets of the Cote d'Azur, the Jo-Mojo will feature a novel sliding cover that will not only lock the car between trips but will also have solar cells built in, to give the onboard batteries some juice while baking in the Mediterranean sun.  Read More

With a new aluminum bodyshell the Mercedes SL is lighter than its predecessors

Mercedez-Benz has managed to significantly reduce the weight of its upcoming SL (sporty, lightweight) Roadster, thanks in large part to a new 89 percent aluminum bodyshell that, at 254 kg (559.9 lb), is 110 kg (242.5 lb) lighter than a comparable bodyshell. The new bodyshell structure also enables a new "FrontBass" system, which will make its world premiere in the SL series, that Mercedes claims delivers "concert hall" sound with the roof up or down. Another feature making its debut is the MAGIC VISION CONTROL wiper/washer system that cleans the windscreen without the splash of road-obscuring water seen in traditional systems.  Read More

The 2012 MINI Roadster

MINI has unveiled the final production version of its MINI Roadster which is set to join the company's rapidly-expanding lineup next year. Looking pretty similar to the Roadster concept unveiled alongside the MINI Coupe concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the sixth model to join the current MINI line-up is the first open-top two-seater in the company's history. It features a manually-opening soft-top roof and will be offered in four different engine variants.  Read More

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CDI

It's a sign of the times - after 15 years of production of its retractable hardtop (vario-roof) convertible SLK series, Mercedes has given the compact roadster a diesel engine. The 204 bhp four-cylinder delivers fuel consumption of 56.5 mpg/4.16 L/100km (combined cycle), but thanks to the 2143 cc diesel engine's 500 Nm midrange and 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, the car offers a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h).  Read More

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster ditches the gull-wings of the Coupe for a soft top

The SLS AMG roadster is nearing its official unveiling date of autumn 2011 and Mercedes is looking to further whet our appetites with the release of more images and info on the AMG-developed droptop supercar. Ditching the gull-wing doors and roof in favor of conventional doors and a soft top has required Mercedes to stiffen the body, resulting in the Roadster being 40 kg (88 lbs) heavier than the coupe ... but it can still go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 317 km/h (197 mph).  Read More

Hansjörg von Gemmingen has just clocked past 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) to become ...

While we had all of last century to work out the niggles of internal combustion engine powered automobiles, there's still a question or two hanging over electric vehicles - such as how long will they last? Tesla Motors is the early mover in the EV arena having commenced production of its Roadster model in early 2008 and with 1,600-odd of the all-electric sportscars now in the wild, the company has a growing pool of real-world research to draw on in that will help it answer this question and improve the long-term durability of its future models. At the head of the pack is European customer number 83, Hansjörg von Gemmingen, who has just clocked past 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) to become the most traveled Tesla Roadster owner to date.  Read More

Peugeot EX1 concept at Aeroport Lleida Alguaire

With preparations nearing completion for the commercial launch of the Peugeot iOn, which, like the Citroen C-Zero, is basically a French version of the Mitsubishi i MiEV electric vehicle, Peugeot has provided a glimpse of just how sexy an electric vehicle can be. Celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, the company has unveiled its latest concept car called the EX1 that is based upon the body of the SR1 concept car unveiled earlier this year. Although it’s still a concept car, Peugeot says the striking two-seater roadster has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start.  Read More

The Mitsuoka Motors Orochi

Beginning on September 1st at the Mitsuoka Motors showroom in Osaka, car enthusiasts will be able to rent the company's supercar, the Orochi, for 33,000 yen per day (or about US$390). While Mitsuoka is not an especially well-known name in the motor industry, the company is making a splash among gearheads looking for a slick car that will make heads turn.  Read More

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