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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Nuts & Bolts


The new RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car showcases the future of the Hyundai brand.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai debuted the RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car this week, showcasing what isn't the beginning but what is very much the future of what the Hyundai brand will offer. The electric-based high-performance race car, like those designed by other manufacturers is a proving ground for technologies that may be employed in Hyundai passenger vehicles in the future.

Hyundai has been quite open about this calling the platform the RM20e is based on, the RM development platform, will be used for future N brand products that are inspired by the car. This follows as part of the progressive evolution of the car with previous iterations bearing the names RM14, RM15, RM16 and RM19.

RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai's first electric race car was developed for the eTCR electric touring car series in 2019 - the Veloster N eTCR.

"Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally-focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments," said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. "RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics."

The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive RM20e features a powertrain that achieves 810 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque thanks to its electric motor. It can get from zero to 62 mph in less than three seconds and to 124 mph from a standstill in 9.88 seconds.

Hyundai says that the RM20e combines "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip while retaining daily-driver quietness, responsiveness and road-going capability".

The propulsion system driving the car, as well as the equipment that helps it achieve the "race car-like levels of performance, balance, braking, and grip" are part of Hyundai's larger plant to develop hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Hyundai isn't working alone. The company has formed a strategic partnership with Rimac Automobili to co-develop battery and fuel cell electric vehicle prototypes.

Additionally, Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of the Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, and new Ioniq brand, has committed to addinng 44 "eco-friendly" models by 2025.

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The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has debuted but Americans will have to wait around six months to get one.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q5 Sportback takes the traditional dimensions of the Audi Q5 and shaves some off the back of the roof to creating a more sloping design. The result is a model that fits right into Audi's lineup.

At the front of the new all-wheel drive model is an octagonal Singleframe grille that is flanked by large air inlets. The car's headlights feature daytime running lights with the buyer's choice of LED or matrix-design LED technology. At the rear are taillights that feature OLED lighting technology split into three ties of six segments each.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Like the roof, the car's windows taper as the design of the vehicle flows backward. Its rear bumper appears to be high-mounted.

Base Audi Q5 Sportback models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system to to deliver 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The SQ5 will come standard with adaptive dampers and has an available air suspension and dynamic steering capability.

Each model has Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system, which can be optioned to include a 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver as well as virtual cockpit and head-up display technologies. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation. The system allows for multiple user profiles.

The Audi phone box and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound are available.

Inside the cabin, the car has a rear bench seat the can be shifted laterally as well as forward and aft. The seat also reclines.

Each Q5 Sportback comes with a standard hands-free power tailgate.

Buyers can option their model to include numerous driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, standard Audi Side Assist and Audi Pre Sense Rear, lane departure warning, and Parking System Plus.

The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at $43,000. Expect the Sportback model to be slightly pricier when it arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. It will be assembled at the San José Chiapa plant in Mexico.

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