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Roadster

Mercedes-Benz took the unusual step of combining the unveiling of the 2012 Mercedes Petronas AMG W03 Formula One car with the launch of the AMG version of the new SL Roadster. This was probably quite a smart move. Although these F1 launches are good photo-ops there is always a severe lack of hard information, for understandable reasons. A new AMG however is always an interesting story - plus, ‘Shuey’ and Nico get to ferry a few privileged journos around the Barcelona F1 track. Extensive galleries of both the road and track cars included. Read More
The world's automakers continue to provide a glimpse of what to expect at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. The latest teaser comes from Bugatti, which will unveil its Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, calling it the world's most powerful roadster - time to invest in some super-strength adhesive for that toupee. Read More
The MINI continued its remarkable evolution overnight with the news there will be a sixth derivative of the breed, this one likely to set the hearts of enthusiasts beating with anticipation - the first open-top two-seater in its history. For a car already voted the second most significant model in the century of the automobile, the MINI is having a stellar year, having just won the Dakar Rally. Read More
Volkswagen will this week unveil its two-seater E-Bugster concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are no prizes, I'm afraid, for deducing from the entomological etymology that this is an all-electric variant of the classic VW Beetle. Kudos, though, if you identified that the name betrays the E-Bugster's shared DNA with the Ragster, VW's 2005 concept which itself informed the conventional Beetle of today. But enough on the name, let's take a look at the specs. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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