Publications

New book showcases the specs of a Hollywood favorite, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

A new book in the "Essential Buyer's Guide" series takes a look at the boxy Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Photo courtesy of Veloce

The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has been driven by everybody from Queen Rania of Jordan to Kylie Jenner and Ranbir Kapoor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. A new book from celebrated automotive author Nicholas Greene guides readers through the history of the vehicle, including several less star studded parts from engine specs to model changes.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" by Nicholas Greene is an Essential Buyer's Guide celebrates the boxy model, which set out to be Stuttgart's answer to the Range Rover. The model was codenamed W460 during development after the Shah of Iran proposed such a vehicle for non-military use- he was a large Mercedes shareholder at the time.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" by Nicholas Greene

Photo courtesy of Veloce


That was 1972. By 1973, the first G-Class wooden prototype was presented to Daimler-Benz management and the following year the first drivable prototype began testing in German coalfields, the Sahara Desert, and the Arctic Circle. From the start, the 4x4 was meant to be a terrain conquerer - something its engineers still prides themselves on it being today.

The W460 was introduced to the press in 1979. These models never made it to U.S. shores via a dealership. It wasn't until an importer in New Mexico, Europa International, Inc., began buying, certifying, and modifying the G-Class for the US market in the early 90s that the first models graced America's roads.

Virtually ignoring the U.S. market didn't bother the Germans. They were too busy making a long list of varieties of the G-Wagen. They had models with engines from four to twelve cylinders. They were supercharged, turbocharged, twin-turbocharged, and naturally aspirated. There were as many as 22 paint color options from the manufacturer. Special editions ran rampant through the lineup.

"Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen" helps owners and buyers sort through it all, including issues that you may come across when looking to buy a G-Class, the market value of the vehicles, and the cost of spare parts.

Greene would know. He's a frequent contributor to classic car and club magazines in the U.K. and France, and a restorer of many Mercedes vehicles including a W126 S-Class 560SE and G-Wagen.

The 96-page book features 107 photographs and is available now, priced at £13.99(UK), $25.00(US),and 32.99(CAN). It's also available here on Amazon.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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Supercharged V8 pickup

Watch the Ram TRX Lap the Nürburgring

The TRX looked awkward but completed the lap.

BTGDale via YouTube

The Ram TRX is a cartoonish truck with specs that would make most people shy away. Its size, sound, and imposing appearance live up to the hype laid out on the spec sheet, and its Hellcat-derived powertrain demands attention. The truck is one heck of an off-roader, too, but a recent YouTube video proves it can dance on a racetrack, too, though not as gracefully as the low-slung cars it passes.



The YouTubers took the TRX to the imposing Nüburgring in Germany to test its mettle on track. Unsurprisingly, the big Ram rolls over kerbs and is able to blast past several cars on the track. The biggest problem for the truck is its brakes, which end up cooked halfway through the lap. In between a few blasts of NSFW language, we can hear the driver note that his brake pedal is "about halfway to the floor," though he did retain some functionality after letting things cool off. The 6,400-pound truck would likely cook all but the most hardcore motorsport brakes.

The truck appears unmodified and looks to have just over 1,000 miles on the clock for the lap. Of course, the TRX looks about as at home on a track as a Mini Cooper would rock crawling, but the truck's 4.5-second 0-60 mph and 702 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 are more impressive than many sports cars.

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