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

 
 

The car is the halo model in the Mercedes-AMG lineup.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Its heart is the most powerful V8 AMG has ever built. The new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series super sports car is priced to match, starting at $325,000.

The Black Series has been known as the pinnacle of performance since 2006 when Mercedes-AMG introduced the branding. The models aren't designed to gather dust in garages or sit on display appreciating in value. They're meant to be driven. Fast. Though primarily built for track use, the models are road-approved.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Drivers can choose from two splitter settings: Street and Race.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The super sports car is track-ready out of the gate. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine that's been handcrafted by AMG and delivers 720 horsepower. It has a flat-plane crankshaft and has active aerodynamics that have been honed using design from the AMG GT3 racing car. The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

In addition to the 720 horsepower, the engine generates 590 pound-feet of torque. The car redlines at 7200 rpm.

The connection between the engine and transmission is made of carbon fiber and weighs just 30.6 pounds, making it 40 percent lighter than the same component in the traditional AMG GT. The driveshaft is also made of carbon fiber.

The new engine gets off the line and to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. It can get to 124 mph in less than nine seconds. Its top speed is 202 mph - something Mercedes says is, "only sensible on closed-off racetracks."

The car's Race Start function has increased starting revs. its transmission cooling functionality has been adapted to tougher requirements and transmission ratios have been modified.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series The car's wing has large carbon fiber supports.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The car's carbon-fiber front splitter has two manually adjustable settings - Street and Race. Race is designed specifically for race track use. When in Race mode, the splitter moves to accelerate air flow to the underbody of the car creating a Venturi effect, increasing downforce.

A large wing, completes with carbon fiber supports, works in tandem to increase downforce even more. The wing has an adjustable top flap that can be retracted or extended using a button on the center console.

Additional body modifications from a typical AMG GT include extensive use of carbon fiber on the body (hood, hatch), use of lightweight aluminum in place of steel, and a lightweight laminated front windshield. Its standard ceramic high-performance compound brake system with black painted brake calipers and white lettering is also lightweight.

The car rides on 19-inch wheels up front and 20s in the back. It's shoed with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires, which were customized for the Black Series car.

Mercedes has customized the interior of the car as well. It is upholstered in nappa leather that's combined with Dinnamica microfiber in black with orange contrast stitching. The doors have loop pulls instead of handles. Trim is in, what else, carbon fiber.

The car's fully digital instrument display measures 12.3 inches and is adjacent a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen. Drivers can choose their view of the instrument display: Classic, Sporty, or Supersport.

An AMG Performance steering wheel is standard and outfitted in Dinnamica microfiber.

The AMG Interior Night Package is also included as standard equipment. In this package, the shift paddles, steering wheel spokes and seat insert in the AMG Performance seats are finished in high-gloss black, while the door sill panels are finished in black brushed stainless steel, further emphasizing the car's sportiness.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series will begin arriving in U.S. dealerships in early 2021.

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The all-electric Porsche Taycan took to a track in Germany to set a new world record.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The record holder for the longest drift with an electric vehicle belongs to the Porsche Taycan. A rear-wheel drive version of the electric sedan took the Guinness World Records title at the Porsche Experience Center in Hockenheimring, near Heidelberg, Germany.

Porsche instructor Dennis Reter completed 210 laps of a 200 meter-long drift circle without the Taycan's front wheels ever pointing in the same direction as the curve. The feat took 55 minutes and covered a total of 42.171 kilometers. Reter's average speed behind the wheel was 46 km/h.

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The attempt was logged using experts from various professions, including a professional from the Guinness Book of World Records.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

"When the driving stability programmes are switched off, a powerslide with the electric Porsche is extremely easy, especially of course with this model variant, which is driven exclusively via the rear wheels," said Retera, "Sufficient power is always available. The low centre of gravity and the long wheelbase ensure stability. The precise design of the chassis and steering allows for perfect control at all times, even when moving sideways".

Retera has an extensive performance driving background. He is currently the Chief Instructor at the Porsche Experience Centre Hockenheimring. Previously he has competed in karting, single seaters, and endurance car races. Still, it was a challenge for him to pilot the car during the record-making experience.

"Nevertheless, it was also very tiring for me to keep my concentration high for 210 laps, especially as the irrigated asphalt of the drift circuit does not provide the same grip everywhere. I concentrated on controlling the drift with the steering – this is more efficient than using the accelerator pedal and reduces the risk of spinning," said Retera.

The attempt took place under the supervision of Guinness World Records official record judge Joanne Brent on the irrigated driving dynamics area of the Experience Center. Brent has five years experience supervising Guinness World Record attempts. "We've had some drift records, but with an electric sports car it's something very special for us too," said Brent. "Here Porsche has done real pioneering work."

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The drifting circle at the Porsche Experience Center is 80 meters.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Overseeing the event wasn't just an easy spectator sport. Brent documented the record with a number of technical aids and independent experts. Before the attempt, a local land surveyor measured the 80-meter diameter area where the attempt was to take place with millimetre precision. GPS and yaw rate sensors within the vehicle were used for documentation purposes, as was a camera installed on the roof of the track's control tower, with which the record ride was filmed.

Denise Ritzmann, the 2018 and 2019 European drifting campion was responsible for ensuring the car remained permanently drifted during the attempt. "You can see at a glance whether the front wheels are pointing in a different direction to the curve. As long as this is the case, the car is drifting," she said. Together with Brent, she also counted the laps completed during the record attempt.

The Porsche Taycan Drifts into the Guinness World Records www.youtube.com

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