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A Series of Unfortunate Events
On Thursday, January 3, 2019, a series of unfortunate events occurred in Los Angeles, California. A driver was attempting to park a Mercedes-Benz G-Class on the 3rd story of a garage. Unfortunately, the driver hit the gas instead of the brakes. From here, chaos began to unfold right before everyone’s eyes. According to ABC7 Los Angeles, the vehicle drove through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall and plummeted to the street below. Yes, this car fell 3 stories right into the street of LA. Landing on its roof, the driver is lucky to be alive. The event took place on the 5400 block of Tujunga Avenue, near Magnolia Boulevard.
The Driver is in Stable Condition
Thankfully, the driver of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is now in stable condition. At first, it was questionable as the driver was critically injured from the fall. The last statement by Los Angeles Police Department was that the driver was “alert and talking”. LAPD has ruled out DUI, so the driver will most likely walk away with no charges. But, possibly a battle with the parking garage company and it’s insurance. As everyone knows, neither of them will want to cover the driver’s damages to the structure.
”How Could This Happen?”
A question many people may have on mind is, “how could this happen?”. Well, incidents in parking lots occur all the time. Just as driving on the road, parking isn’t free of incidents. On a daily basis, cars are bumped about in cities worldwide. Sometimes, people mistakenly hit the wrong peddle. Unfortunately, this time, the driver didn’t have enough time to correct the issue. Sometimes, people get lucky and avoid accidents. In conclusion, although the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is most likely irreparable, the driver is okay.
Fond Memories of Mario Kart Bananas
Worldwide, most gamers have knowledge about the infamous banana peel in Mario Kart. Although the banana attack could be quite devastating to others in the game, nobody tested it in the real world… at least until now. In August of 2018, the YouTube channel TheHoonigans went ahead and put the theory to the test. Instead of using a go-cart, the team uses a beautiful Audi RS5 coupe. To make it even more unique, the car has the well debated Sonoma Green Audi paintjob. The real question is… will the banana cause the RS5 to crash? Well, time to find out!
The Sonoma Green B9 Audi RS5
First, let’s take a moment to discuss the stunning Sonoma green B9 Audi RS5. With a MSRP of $70,875, this car sports a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. This engine produces 444 horsepower and 4443 lb.-ft. of torque. Furthermore, this motor works in combo with an 8-speed auto transmission. From 0 to 60 mph, the RS5 takes only 3.9 seconds. Furthermore, the RS5 can complete a quarter mile in only 12.4 seconds. Lastly, the top speed is 155 mph to 174 mph depending on the governor settings. But, if an aftermarket tune is purchased, that number will be left behind.
The Origins of the Banana Theory
Nintendo 64 Longplay  Mario Kart 64 – World of Longplays – YouTube
In the year of 1992, Nintendo began the now worldwide famous Mario Kart series. The first game, Super Mario Kart, was available on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Not surprisingly, this game is the 4th best-selling SNES video game in the world with almost 9 million units sold. With the Mario Kart game, came the ability to “attack” opponents to slow them down. And no, this doesn’t mean shooting each other with rifles like Call of Duty. This means using attacks such as banana peels and turtle shells. The banana peel was an attack that is left behind by a person up front, or behind, for someone to hit during the current or future lap. Leaving behind a banana even left the opportunity for the peel dropper to run into it themselves. Lastly, just for note, the video above is gameplay from Mario Kart 64, the second video game in the overall series.
And The Results Are In!
Will Banana Peels Make a Car Spin Out?? Mario Kart IRL! – TheHoonigans – YouTube
Well, the results are here! With a ton of banana peels on the track, the Audi RS5 slid slightly more through the turn. But, the slide is nowhere near the level of Mario Kart. This theory could really be tested by simply using a RWD car, such as a BMW M4. With Quattro, the RS5 is basically cheating as it is specifically programmed to maneuver power between wheels to regain control as quickly as possible. Even with stability and traction off, the RS5’s AWD setup would simply benefit the car so. So, next time this is done, whoever it may be, please ensure a RWD car does the job. Although the RS5 is an amazing car, it doesn’t optimize the chances of confirming the Mario Kart banana theory.
Credit for Featured Image: BagoGames (Flickr)
The Replacement for the Ferrari California
For the 2019 model year, Ferrari will begin selling the all-new Portofino. The 2019 Ferrari Portofino is the official replacement for the California. This new Ferrari remains a hard-top convertible with a new style and upgrades. Due to Ferrari’s success with California sales, this car targets the same market segment. This sector includes 70% of all-new customers to the Ferrari brand. Obviously, new customers are great for Ferrari, so targeting them only makes sense.
3.9-Liter Twin-Turbo V8 with 591 Horsepower
The 2019 Ferrari Portofino sports the same 3.9-Liter Flat-Plane-Crank Twin-Turbo V8 as the California. Basically, the difference is an increase of 38 horsepower and 3 lb.-ft. of torque. This means the Portofino has 591 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque. Furthermore, the Portofino is said to reach max boost 5% quicker than the California. Not surprisingly, this motor works in combo with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a top speed of 200+ mph, the Portofino can reach 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds, or less. Even furthermore, the Portofino should be able to reach around 460 miles before refueling… wow! This makes the Portofino faster than the Aston Martin DB11 Volante, Bentley Continental GT, and Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster.
Technological Advancements Over California
Overall, the 2019 Ferrari Portofino receives a few overhauls in comparison to the California. On the steering wheel, there is the Manettino switch for the vehicle’s mode, such as Comfort or Sport. Furthermore, there is a D button to select transmission mode, such as auto or manual. As with most sports cars, the vehicle contains an electronic differential with active torque-vectoring. Otherwise, the interior features quite a bit of technology. This includes navigation and other basic necessities. Even furthermore, there is 2 extra inches of legroom in the rear. Finally, the retractable roof can be motioned up to 25 mph.
Will the Portofino be as Successful as California?
The main question by Ferrari, and many consumers, is if the Portofino will be as successful as the California. With the achievement of the California, Ferrari will need to ensure the same target audience maintains interest. Most Ferrari enthusiasts upgrade to a higher-level models while new entries prefer the California. With the overall enhancements, the Portofino should attract the right customers. In conclusion, the 2019 Ferrari Portofino is a beautiful sports car that should be Ferrari’s next popular model.
FIRST LOOK at the NEW Ferrari Portofino! – Shmee150 – YouTube
Aston Martin’s 1st Hypercar: The Valkyrie
In the last few years, the race for the fastest hypercar has caught a ton of momentum. First, there was the Bugatti Chiron and shortly after, the Koenigsegg One:1. Furthermore, even Mercedes-AMG hopped on the bandwagon with the Project One. Now, Aston Martin has introduced an all-new hypercar titled the Valkyrie. The Aston Martin Valkyrie is Aston’s first production hypercar. For the Valkyrie project, Aston Martin has teamed up with Red Bull Racing.
Aston Martin & Red Bull Collaboration Project
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is in production at the Gaydon, Warwickshire, England facility. Here, Aston will produce 150 units through 2018. Originally, this vehicle was called the Nebula which is an acronym for Newey, Red Bull, and Aston Martin. Although, the final code name was AM-RB 001 which stands for Aston Martin-Red Bull 001. Once it was time to hit production, the vehicle title became Valkyrie. Valkyrie is a word in relation to Scandinavian mythology. It stands for the beautiful twelve handmaidens of Odin who conducted the slain warriors of their choice from the battlefield of Valhalla.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie: AM-RB 001 hypercar officially named – Aston Martin – YouTube
6.5-Liter Cosworth V12 Engine with 1,130 Horsepower
The Aston Martin Valkyrie sports a 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 engine. This motor produces a whopping 1,130 horsepower. The overall design of the engine leads to optimal torque during take-off and uses an electric motor for boost. Additionally, this engine couples with a 7-speed Ricardo dual-clutch transmission. As per the battery, it is a Rimac-built KERS hybrid battery system. Not surprisingly, the Valkyrie offers a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio just as the Koenigsegg One:1.
All-Carbon Bodywork & Mid-Mounted Powertrain
The Aston Martin Valkyrie starts with an all-carbon bodywork with no steel. For the layout, this vehicle is an advanced mid-mounted powertrain vehicle like F1 race cars. As usual, the front end withholds the trademark Aston Martin upper grille outline. The overall design of the Valkyrie yields an exceptionally low weight of only 2,271 lbs.! This makes this car one of the most lightweight hypercars to date. Basically, the Valkyrie is a formula one car for the street.
Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Track-Only Edition
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is available in a street legal version as well as a track-only version. The street legal version is exactly as described above. The track version will be slightly different. The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is a track-version Valkyrie with only 25 models total in production which are sold. The engine on the AMR Pro will have a lot more power due to battery and engine tunings. The battery power will remain the same but the functionality will be in a racing sense. As per the engine, it will have a better tune to produce more power all-around.
Hypercar MSRP of $3,200,000
FIRST LOOK: Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Concept – Shmee150 – YouTube
Overall, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is quite an amazing hypercar. With over 1,000 horsepower and a 1:1 power-to-weight-ratio, this car will be major competition for all other hypercars of the generation. The MSRP of the Valkyrie is a hefty $3,200,000. Furthermore, 25 lucky millionaires will own the Valkyrie AMR Pro track-only edition. In conclusion, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is another feat of engineering that shows the world where the future of the hypercar is going.
The 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One
The 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One boat is a Mercedes-AMG partnership venture. Mercedes-AMG is working on a hypercar project with the Project One title. The goal for the Project One hypercar is for it to be AMG’s fastest vehicle. Cigarette Racing, AMG’s boat partner since 2007, figures why not do the same for their business in the boat industry. Hence, the 515 Project One boat came to be into existence. Prior, the partnership was simply set for customer and marketing opportunities. Due to the abundant boating community and Cigarette Racing’s location in Miami-Dade, Florida, this boat made its appearance at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show.
Statement by Skip Braver, CEO of Cigarette Racing
“Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing both have racing as part of their DNA, which makes us natural partners to work together to continue to push the limits of design and high performance,” – Skip Braver (CEO of Cigarette Racing)
Two Mercury Racing V8 Engines with 3,100 Horsepower
The 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One sports two Mercury Racing V8 engines. These motors produce a whopping 2,700 horsepower on pump fuel. Furthermore, the motors hit 3,100 horsepower on racing fuel. Although the Project One hypercar will hit 200+ mph, this boat can reach over 140 mph. This boat will provide one thrill of a ride for anyone willing to attempt to tame it. The 515 Project One is one heck of a boat to impress the ladies, or the men.
Name Based on Length of 51’5” & Project One Hypercar
The 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One obtains its name from two places. First, the 515 stands for the length of the boat which is 51 feet and 5 inches (51’5” Inches). Second, as mentioned above, the Project One portion is based on the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar. Beyond the name, the boat also features a few other perks on the comfort side. Furthermore, the boat has a widened beam of around 10 feet for increased luxury. Lastly, and surprisingly, this boat can seat six people comfortably on board.
Carbon Fiber, Carbon Fiber, & More Carbon Fiber
Expectedly, the 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One is a carbon fiber beast. Starting with the hull, the main materials are carbon fiber and Kevlar. This is due to the high strength and low weight. Next, the deck is also made of carbon fiber to reduce weight further as well as lower the center of gravity. This is a great decision as with a top speed of 140 mph, you’ll need the low center of gravity to prevent a disaster. Furthermore, the cabin liner, consoles, engine hatch, forward bulkheads, inner structural laminate, and storage hatches are also made of carbon fiber.
Half Dozen Units at $2,000,000 MSRP
In conclusion, the 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One boat is a beast of a machine. With 3,100 horsepower on racing fuel, this boat will be the ultimate thrill for those who can afford it. The MSRP of the boat will be around $2,000,000 with a limit of 6 models. Overall, this is a one-of-a-kind vessel for any boating enthusiast. In the end, the 2018 Cigarette Racing 515 Project One and the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar are meant to be together.
Introduction of the Ferrari FXX-K Evoluzione
Recently, in October 2017, Ferrari introduced the FXX-K Evoluzione to the world. The Ferrari FXX-K Evoluzione is an enhanced version of the FXX-K, which both stem from the LaFerrari. Many people believe this is Ferrari’s answer to the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Although the total number of production models is unknown, this car is going to cost a few million. It may be expensive, more so than the FXX-K, but it will be well worth the price increase. Ferrari intends to race the FXX-K Evo in the 2018-2019 racing season which includes 9 track events starting in March 2018.
Electric Motor & V12 Produce 1036 Horsepower
The Ferrari FXX-K Evoluzione sports a V12 engine as well as an electric motor. The V12 produces 850 base horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor produces around 186 base horsepower and 111 lb.-ft. of torque. These engines combine for a total power of 1036 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque. This power level combines with high-level F1 dual-clutch gearbox to make a mean racing machine.
75% Downforce Improvement Over LaFerrari
Downforce plays an important role in the Ferrari FXX-K Evo. The FXX-K Evo has 23% more downforce than the FXX-K and 75% more than the LaFerrari. This is mostly due to an aerodynamic fixed rear wing. This increase in aerodynamics combined with a weight drop create an engineering marvel. Negative lift is around 1410 lbs at 125 mph and exceeds 1830 lbs near top speed.
Downforce Levels Similiar to GT3 and GTE Championships
The Ferrari FXX-K Evo had 12.5k miles of development and reliability runs prior to its announcement. A lot of testing was done via CFD simulation and in a wind tunnel for aerodynamics. This led to the great numbers mentioned above of a large amount of downforce and negative lift. Ferrari claims that the FXX-K Evo downforce levels are “very close to those of the cars competing in the GT3 and GTE championships.” This statement is clearly true with the numbers that the car is displaying in testing. Track tests with the FXX-K Evo at the Fiorano test track led to impressive results of 1 minute 14 seconds, 5 seconds faster than the LaFerrari.
Ferrari FXX Program
In 2005, the XX Program was started by Ferrari. These cars are for sale to loyal customers who are willing to spend millions for special track versions of cars. These cars are built with the track in mind at a competitive level. Ferrari XX vehicles are usually built in low quantities leading to higher collectibility. Luckily, for those select few, they are collecting pieces of modern artwork.
Carbon Fiber Construction & Twin-Profile Fixed Rear Wing
The Ferrari FXX-K Evoluzione has a carbon fiber construction with a twin-profile fixed rear wing. The fixed rear wing works with an active rear spoiler to optimize downforce. The active spoiler adjusts itself accordingly while in motion. There are 2 side fins as well as a central fin to help with aerodynamics as well. The FXX-K Evo also has redesigned front and rear bumpers. The front has widened front brake air intakes. The rear has enlarged bypass vents on the wheel arches for better flow to the rear diffuser.
Central & Side Fins Boost Stability
The side fins and central fin support the rear wing. The central fin plays an important role on this vehicle. “Firstly it acts as a vertical fin, boosting stability at low yaw angles, and secondly, it supports the action of the three delta (triangular) vortex generators.” Basically, it boosts stability at low yaw angles as well as supports three delta vortex generators. The vortex generators “clean the follow field striking the wing of the effects of the wake of the hot air flow from the radiators which vents onto the bonnet, while also creating a down wash component in the flow which boosts the twin-profile’s downforce capacity.”
Front & Rear Bumper Alterations
As mentioned above, the front bumper is slightly different on this vehicle. “The geometry of the sides of the front bumper was altered by hollowing out the surfaces beneath the headlights. This made space for a couple of flicks divided by vertical turning vane and an additional intake ahead of the front wheels. This system makes good use of know-how acquired in the GT programs in which rules introduced in 2016 permitted extensive study of the interaction between horizontal (flicks) and vertical (dive plane) flow management systems, optimizing their efficiency.” By hollowing out beneath the headlights, Ferrari was able to make space for other important items including additional intake space. All of the changes to the exterior led to the enormous 73% downforce gain over the LaFerrari.
Interior Technology Overhaul
On the inside, there is a “conceptually-different steering wheel”. This wheel includes a KERS Manettino and a 6.5” rear camera screen. The LCD displays telemetry, KERS status, and lap times via the click of a button. All of this combines to enhance the interior layout for additional improvements. This car is beautiful inside and out.
Masterpiece of Modern Automotive Art
Overall, the Ferrari FXX-K Evoluzione is another masterpiece of modern art. From it’s exterior updates to its enormous power capabilities, it is a true beast. The number of vehicles should be very low at a steep price if it follows the usual pattern. We can all look forward to the upcoming racing season to see the potential of this car. In conclusion, will it be a true racing competitor for the Mercedes-AMG Project One?
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Mercedes’ AMG division, and to celebrate it they added the new Mercedes-AMG GT-C Coupe. The GT-C Coupe was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) along with the AMG GT-C Roadster. Also present at the show, was the Mercedes-Benz GLA compact SUV and their new E400 E-Class Coupe.
Mercedes Celebrates 50 Years of the AMG
Two months before the Detroit show, Mercedes debuted its AMG GT-C in Los Angeles. The Detroit show gave the public another look at this newest car in the AMG GT lineup. With 550 horsepower and 502 lb.-ft. of torque, the V8 is one powerful engine. Couple that with the performance exhaust system and the negative camber on the front wheels, you have a car built for performance.
The GT-C sports wider wheels and fenders than the other GT models. It also has a sports suspension, four-wheel steering, and larger front brakes. All of this is necessary when you put the Coupe in “race” mode. To handle that much car, Mercedes incorporated a 7-speed dual clutch transmission into its design. Mercedes boasts the the GT-C will go 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds – faster than any other GT model except for the Mercedes GT-R.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA Compact SUV
Mercedes unveiled its first compact SUV in 2013 with the GLA. The newest version of this popular model, which they showcased at NAIAS, featured updated interior styling and sleeker lines.
The Mercedes GLA enjoys a reputation for light handling and fuel efficiency. Its direct injection system re-tunes every few milliseconds so that you get more mileage for your dollar.
Mercedes has long been associated with luxury vehicles, and their SUV holds onto that reputation. Inside the cabin, you find a freestanding color screen both for entertainment and information. Bluetooth audio streaming is standard along with navigation, music, and other online features. If you enjoy playing with the newest thing out there, the GLA comes with Apple’s new “Car Play.”
E400 E-Class Coupe
The new 2018 E-Class Coupe features a longer wheelbase which translates into a bigger backseat. Inside the car, you find leather seating, wood accents, and technological gadgets galore.
The car comes with the Mercedes infotainment system. A 12.3 inch, high-resolution screen displays car functions and media. A second screen displays the instrument cluster. Both units are voice activated and controllable from the steering wheel. The Coupe also comes with Apple Car Play and wireless charging.
Outside, the E400 features such things as active brake assist and the Distance Pilot Distronic which automatically maintains speed and distance, even at high speeds.
The E400 boasts a 3.0 liter V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. The E400 is not as fast as other European models, taking 5.2 seconds to hit 60mph – but that is still fast enough to get the adrenaline pumping! The coupe comes with the 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes Upholds Its Reputation for Luxury
One thing is for sure, all of the Mercedes models on display at NAIAS reflected the Mercedes reputation for elegance. Whether it was the luxurious leather, state-of-the-art gadgets, or high-performance engines, one couldn’t help but feel the high-profile glamor that is uniquely Mercedes.