Concours de Zoom

Check out the cars that celebrities showed off during the Concours de Zoom

Mercedes-Benz hosted the first Concours de Zoom on May 1.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

One week ago, Mercedes-Benz USA hosted the first Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom, via video conferencing app Zoom. During the event, eight celebrities showed off the rides in their garage. From classic to modern, there was something for everyone.

See them all by scrolling down. You can watch the whole event at the bottom of this article.

Ludacris - Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe

Ludacris brought the energy and starpower to the "Concours de Zoom" while he showed off his Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe saying, "This car is my savior during times like this because it's so therapeutic to get into something like it...I am the true, fast and furious….that's why I am on this call and blessed to be a part of this family." He also talked about giving back in his hometown saying, "Man, I have literally been trying to help as many people as I possibly can...we're giving groceries to 50 different families in the Atlanta area."

Jay Leno - 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 & 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600

Jay Leno gave viewers a tour of the impressive Mercedes-Benz section of his garage, showing off some of his favorite vehicles of all-time including his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that he called a "factory hot rod" and his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600. Leno referred to the 600 as the "ultimate luxury car" and noted that John Lennon, Elvis & Jack Nicholson also owned one in that era as it was "the car to have".

Leno also talked about being in high school and college working at a Mercedes-Benz dealership, admitting that it was a great feeling to own a car like the 6.3 now because when he was younger it seemed unattainable and it was a thrill for him to just be around the cars and drive them when delivering a new car to a customer.

Martha Stewart - 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS 550

Martha Stewart highlighted her 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS 550 saying, "This Mercedes is such a safe, practical and comfortable way to drive. It's so important to find comfort in your car; sometimes I'm in mine seven days a week!" Martha has a long commute to the office and relies on that time to be productive, catching up on calls and emails.

Rickie Fowler - Mercedes-Benz S 63

Rickie Fowler was excited to show off his Mercedes-Benz S 63 and said, "It's mine and my wife's favorite to drive." He shared he always feels safe in a Mercedes-Benz and loves the speed and performance. Rickie also spoke about some of his experiences from the Mercedes-Benz AMG Driving Academy. He shared, "For me to get behind the wheel and to be able to get that adrenaline pumping like I used to on a dirt bike….something I definitely needed. To be able to go into corners hard, get on the brakes, it's been a great time. Whenever I get on the track, it's a good way to let loose."

Hannah Elliot - 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL

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Hannah Elliot showed off her 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL. Hannah said she loves her vintage car because of the personality and character. Hannah shared, "The thing that I really like about this car is the fact that it has so much style. You can arrive anywhere in the world...a fancy restaurant, a coffee shop, a hotel lounge, a club and you will always look cool pulling up in this car...it's almost a 40 year old car, but it just has a real sense of style and class."

Madelaine Petsch - Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan

Madelaine Petsch boasted about the fact that her Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan parallel parks for her at the touch of a button. "LA is very hard to navigate...this car parallel parks for me! The fact that I can press a button and my car will parallel park for me is still exciting a year into having this car." Madelaine also commented on the red interior saying, "On Riverdale, I'm a character who wears a lot of red. I thought it would be fun to have a little hint of Cheryl in my car."

Mike Kunz - Mercedes- Benz 300 SL Gullwing

Mike Kunz from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center highlighted his favorite car, the Mercedes- Benz 300 SL Gullwing, while sharing some of the unique features and interesting historical aspects of the vehicle. He shared, "This is a 1956 car. This car could go 160 miles an hour….This car is a 300 SL coupe, but it's named for its doors...this stems back to the fact that this is a derivative of a race car...so it had a frame underneath that didn't allow a conventional door…like many race cars, they often don't have doors. You jump in the car, so they created a Gullwing type door."

Watch the entire show here:


The Mercedes-Benz 2020 Concours de Zoom www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Travis Pastrana will return to Ken Block's popular "Gymkhana" stunt series.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Gymkhana GRiD is back. Ken Block's popular video series will be making a return in 2020 with Travis Pastrana behind the wheel of a specially configured Subaru.

The news comes just two days after Pastrana, a full-time member of the 2020 Subaru rally team, and Block (and Subaru) agreed that they would be willing try to make it happen. Here's how it went down.

Pastrana and Block have been staying at home with their families during the COVID-19 crisis but they haven't been idle. The longtime friends and former teammates have been competing to produce at-home stunt videos for their fans. Block's "Gymkhana GRiD: Stay at Home Edition" called out the Pastrana family, challenging Pastrana to film a better version at his home in Maryland. Pastrana's rebuttal featured big dirt jumps, driving on two wheels and donuts around his personal WRX STI. Both drivers encouraged their fans to vote on who made the better video.

Then, on Tuesday's "Hoonigan Tangents Live" show, the talk turned from friendly jabs between the two into Block offering Pastrana the chance to film his own Gymkhana installment in 2020 with Subaru and the Hoonigan Media team. Pastrana and Subaru immediately agreed to the challenge, marking the first time in 11 years that Subaru will be a part of the series.

"What Ken has done with 'Gymkhana' over the years has really been amazing," said Pastrana. "But I think he made a big mistake giving me a shot at doing one of my own! I've got some ideas that I think can blow Ken's videos out of the water, and Subaru is on board to provide a car to do it. One thing's for sure, it's going to be unlike any 'Gymkhana' you've ever seen before."

This won't be Pastrana's first trip around the "Ghymkana" block. The five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert has made cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series.

More details of the location and release timing of the special video will be announced at a later date.

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The second-generation Acura TLX has debuted, packing a heck of a punch.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has been teasing the return of a performance-focused sedan to its lineup for years now. Behind the scenes, plans have been in place to bring back some of the sports flavor to the Acura lineup that made it so popular two decades ago. Today, the first part of that puzzle has been revealed: the 2021 Acura TLX.

As it turns out, Acura had already given away many clues about the TLX, showing off a darn close version of it as the Type S prototype at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. With its elongated wheelbase and low roofline, the TLX looks every bit the sports sedan.

The All-New 2021 Acura TLX: Reveal www.youtube.com

Exterior

The car's exterior showcases Acura Precision Concept design with an expansive hood, tapered windows, and muscular rear haunches. Its wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer in the new generation. The car also has a 2.2-inch wider body, wider off-set tracks in the front and rear (+1.2 in. and +1.6 in., respectively), a lower roof (-0.6 inches), and an extended dash-to-axle dimension (+7.8 in.).

The second-generation TLX is faced by an upright diamond pentagon grille that is flanked by lighting originally showcased on the Type S Concept. Under the headlamp cover are new Jewel Eye LED headlights with four LED elements and bright-white "Chicane" LED daytime running lights inspired by the championship-winning Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype race car. At the back are LED taillights and exposed dual exhaust.

The TLX rides on standard 18-inch wheels. Nineteen inchers are available in a variety of finishes, depending on trim level. TLX Type S models will be equipped with 20-inch split-10 spoke alloy wheels finished in Shark Gray. Buyers can upgrade to a lightweight wheel inspired by the NSX "Y-spoke" design that will be offered alongside a high-performance summer tire.

2021 Acura TLX An available A-Spec package puts black accents on the car but doesn't include any performance upgrades.Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura will make its popular A-Spec appearance package available on the TLX. It will include Shark Grey 19-inch wheels, gloss black accents front to rear, darkened headlight and taillight treatment, and a pronounced rear decklid spoiler.

The company will sell the model in nine exterior finishes including five premium colors. New to the TLX for 2021 is Phantom Violet Pearl. The TLX Type S will be offered in an exclusive, bold Tiger Eye Pearl. Apex Blue Pearl, previously available only on A-Spec models, will be added to the Type S catalog.

Powertrain

Buyers will have their choice between two turbocharged engines. A 2.0-liter turbo-four is standard and paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This base engine delivers more power than even the high-end 3.5-liter V6 in the previous generation model.
The TLX Type S will be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that is paired with the same 10-speed automatic transmission. However, Type S models will receive unique transmission tuning to provide an aggressive and responsive characteristic during performance driving scenarios. Final specifications for the new engine, including power output, will be released closer to launch timing. The car will have paddle shifters.

Drivers will be able to choose between Comfort, Normal, and Sport drive modes. TLX Type S models also get a Sport+ mode.

Ride and Handling

The 2021 TLX rides on a new platform that was designed for the sports car. The performance-focused chassis has a double wishbone front suspension, the same as what is in the redesigned 2021 BMW 5 Series and the current Acura NSX. This is in place of the common MacPherson strut setup that is favored by many other sedans.

The car also has a variable-ratio steering system, electro-servo brake-by-wire technology (applied from the NSX), and an available driver selectable Adaptive Damper System.

2021 Acura TLX The car features an elongated wheelbase.Photo courtesy of Acura

The architecture of the car is the most rigid that Acura has ever produced. It delivers a 50 percent increase in global torsional stiffness and up to a 100 percent improvement in localized rigidity where the suspension is mounted to the body. The new structure uses 56 percent (by weight) advanced, lightweight materials, including aluminum and press-hardened steel, more than any previous Acura sedan.

Acura has used aluminum extensively on the body and placed the car's 12-volt battery in the trunk to give the car a good front to rear balance ratio.

Acura is offering all variants of the car with all-wheel drive. Acura calls their rear-biased system Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and it delivers industry-leading torque-vectoring all-wheel drive technology. The TLX Type S comes standard with the tech.

Interior

The cabin of the TLX takes a heavy nod from the RDX, which was redesigned for the 2019 model year. Its premium appointments and driver-centric cockpit design put the car in line with the expectations of sports car enthusiasts who may have been turning to German brands to satisfy their need for speed.

2021 Acura TLX TLX models will be available with a red and black leather interior. Photo courtesy of Acura

While a high center turned divides the car up front, it creates a dual-cockpit-like design for the driver and front passenger. However, because of the extended width of the next-gen model, Acura doesn't expect occupants to feel pinched.

Sporty front seats provide 16-way power customized adjustability for the driver and front passenger.

A total of seven interior color options will be offered on the 2021 TLX. Ebony, Espresso, Graystone and Parchment will be offered on the standard TLX models, depending on trim. TLX A-Spec and TLX Type S models will feature either Ebony or Red Leather, both with black Ultrasuede inserts. Additionally, the TLX Type S will offer an exclusive Light Orchid leather interior option.

The car features real aluminum, open-pore wood, and full-grain Milano leather appointments. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather. In A-Spec and Type S models, that wheel is flat-bottomed.

Infotainment

At the center of the dashboard is a 10.2-inch infotainment screen that is navigated using the driver-oriented True Touchpad Interface. This is the same system setup as in the RDX. Physical power, volume, and seek control buttons are mounted next to the touchpad.

2021 Acura TLX The car's center stack is straight from the RDX playbook, with some fine tuning.Photo courtesy of Acura

In front of the driver is a 7-inch multi-information display in the middle of the center gauge cluster. A 10.5-inch full-color head up display is available, as is the Acura ELS Studio 3D premium audio system.

Safety

The new TLX also features the latest generation of AcuraLink with in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi with over-the-air software update capability and a variety of available cloud-based services, including emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and Acura concierge services.

All models will come equipped with the latest version of AcuraWatch safety and driver assistance technology.

On-sale date and pricing

The 2021 TLX will arrive at dealerships early this fall with a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) starting in the mid-$30,000 range. The 2021 Acura TLX Type S will arrive in the spring of 2021. The new TLX will be manufactured exclusively at the company's Marysville, Ohio plant.

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