Concours de Zoom

Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom car show featuring Ludacris, Jay Leno, Rickie Fowler

Celebrities will be showing off their vehicles

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The inaugural Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom will go live on Friday, May 1 at 5:00 pm EST (2:00 pm PST) and feature iconic vehicles and their high-profile owners. The event is free to attend and watch.

Notable participants include Jay Leno, Rickie Fowler, Martha Stewart, Madelaine Petsch, Ludacris, Hannah Elliott, and Cole Walliser. Each participant will showcase their favorite Mercedes-Benz vehicle, which regularly reside in their garage, and discuss what they love about it.

Among the vehicles to be showcased are a 908 chain-drive Mercedes with a Benz Aero engine (nicknamed Rabbit-the-First), a 1956 300 SL Gullwing, a 1988 560 SL and a 1991 G 300 D. In addition, dynamic new models that will also be highlighted include the A 220, the GLS 550, the AMG S 63 Coupe, the AMG G 63 and the AMG GT C Coupe.

Many auto shows have already been cancelled for the year, including the Geneva Motor Show. The New York International Auto Show has been postponed to late August. Organizers have canceled most of the activities surrounding Monterey Car Week, including the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

These cancellations have put a pinch on automakers who traditionally use these events to debut new product.

Viewers can click the following link and will be admitted to the Zoom webinar once the event begins: https://zoom.us/j/99721462795. To participate you'll need to download the Zoom app for your computer, tablet, or smartphone, which can be done at Zoom's website.

Jay Leno Mercedes-Benz SLR Host Jay Leno stands by his Mercedes SLR during the Robb Report's "Best of the Best" at Hangar Eight on August 28, 2004 in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz USA will make a donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of the participants.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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This autumn, Nissan celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its Maxima flagship sedan with a milestone-marking model. The 2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition joins the company's stable and builds on the Maxima Platinum grade.

The Maxima is the longest continuous running Nissan nameplate in the U.S. It made its debut on American shores in 1981 as the 1982 Datsun Maxima, replacing the Datsun 810. The original Maxima had the engine of the 240Z and a 5-speed manual transmission.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Datsun brand's presence in North America was phased out just a few years later and for the 1985 model year, the Nissan Maxima emerged also sporting a new V6 engine and front-wheel drive. The 1988 model was the last to be offered in a wagon body style.

The third-generation Maxima was launched in 1989 with a 3.0-liter V6 that achieved 160 horsepower helping it keep up with the German cars of its time. By 1995 the model got larger and had a new engine, which resulted in a power boost.

Nissan's large car is now in its eighth generation. It debuted in 2016 sporting Nissan's fashionable V-motion grilled and a more aggressive design complete with a floating roof. The car received styling and safety updates for the 2020 model year.

A new Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition includes a unique two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl exterior paint job with black roof, exclusive 19-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, black exterior finishers and trim badges, a 40th Anniversary badge, black exhaust finishers, red semi-aniline leather-appointed seating with 40th Anniversary embossing, red contrast interior stitching, Satin Dark Chrome interior faceted finishers, white speedometer and tachometer faces reminiscent of past Maxima models, and heated rear seats.

In addition to the 40th Anniversary Edition, the 2021 Maxima will be offered in SV, SR and Platinum grade levels. Every Maxima has a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood that is capable of achieving 300 horsepower. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Pricing and on-sale information will be revealed soon. The 2021 Nissan Maxima will arrive at dealership lots this autumn.

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