"The 2010 Mille Miglia classic car rally kicked off Thursday in Italy featuring a caravan of incredibly gorgeous and historic Mercedes-Benz models. A total of 15 classic and rare Mercedes made the journey to Italy – nine Mercedes 300SL Gullwings, three Mercedes SSK's, one Mercedes SS, one Mercedes 220A and one W194 prototype ..." Via Luxist
Awesomer "It’s just a rendering at present, but Carlsson’s C25 Super-GT is the real deal: it’s a tuned SL65 AMG Black Series whose twin-turbo 6.0L V12 belts out 753 hp and 848 lb-ft. of torque."
The Mercedes 300 SL of the 50's and 60's is one of the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The trademark gullwing doors were revolutionary and a design masterpiece and are believed to be what defined its legacy and set the standard for super car looks. This revival design of the classic 300SL retains the bond-worthy doors and but ups the stakes with a whopping 370hp AMG tuned engine. This car typifies for me what sports cars are all about, a style that is timeless and classic and would look cool anywhere in the world but with modern grunt and refined performance. The details are slide and subtle and the mild green glazing on the glass harkons back to an era of cool mystique and sly good looks. A new classic is at hand, I'll take one, thank you.
In other car news this week, McLaren announced its limited edition Stirling Moss SLR a rare roadster version of the famed SLR supercar. This car is amazing. I'm not necessarily saying I like it, but it is stunning none the less. I can't even say I liked the stock SLR that much, the proportion of its bonnet was too long, the short upswept back end and those God awful wheels just never really touched the right nerve with me. What I can say is that for a GT coupe the SLR is pretty slick. At least Clarkson loved it. Gobs of power, musuem quality cabin silence and all the creature comforts make the SLR pretty close to perfect. This monster however is much more rakish, with no windscreen, a sad excuse for a top, weird looking rollover bulges and some shortened side exhaust. The 'Moss' is actually starting to grow on me. I'm still stuck somewhere in the middle but if for some strange reason I should have to own an open air supercar, this may be the one.
Maserati is dropping a remapped S version of the Quattroporte to mark the 70th anniversary of it's first official Indy win, with the new model producing 433 bhp along with new transmission software and slightly tuned bits. Although it might look the part and sound tasty too, the problem with the Maser is they have always been underpowered. Granted it's got some Ferrari parts under the bonnet, it just lacks the raw grunt of it's more famous cousin. Some people will have you believe that if you drive one of these, everyone will know it's not your grand daddy's Merc, what they don't tell you is that you'll be choking on grandpa's exhaust, because his German sled puts out a whopping 604 bhp and 743 nm of torque! Just check out VB Henderson's drive here and what them melt the tranny, and listen to the rants of Jason about how sluggish the Maserati can be.
See creating a great sports car is no longer about just looking cool (and the Maserati is cool looking for sure) but about making it work well in all areas, and it takes a lot of power to push that fat ass around the track at a decent clip when you've got all those fancy panorama roofs and seat heaters and such. It's here where Maserati falls short. Others have the power but lack the finesse and styling such as the Koenigsegg and the Veyron, stunning yes, practical hardly, and few can find the balance like Ferrari and McLaren. With new comers like the Panamera, the Estoque and the Rapide it still remains to be seen who will be king of the super saloons.