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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Off-road performance truck

Shelby American announces new Ford F-150 Raptor

Shelby just announced the new truck, which has a starting price of more than $124,000.

Shelby American

The third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is a true off-road menace, with a strong turbocharged V6, beefy tires and shocks, and a luxury-level interior. Most people would consider the truck overkill for all but the hardest-core off-road enthusiasts, but the wizards at Shelby American have other ideas. As it has done with Ford vehicles for years, Shelby gave the new Raptor a performance makeover, and the finished product is quite impressive.

Shelby F-150 Raptor There's no mistaking a Shelby-tuned Raptor. Shelby American

The F-150 Raptor is already a capable beast, but Shelby turns things up a few notches. Performance upgrades include a performance intake and high-flow filter, an aluminum intercooler, a tune that pushes power to more than 525 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque, a Shelby exhaust, and a BDS lift kit. The Shelby Raptor rides on 18-inch wheels with 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud Terrain tires.

If you’re thinking Shelby slaps a few go-fast parts on the Raptor and calls it good, think again. The truck’s interior features embroidered custom leather upholstery and exclusive floor mats. A unique serial number plate is mounted in the dash. Shelby also fits billet racing pedals, carbon fiber accents, and deep tinted windows.

Outside, the Raptor gest several touches to let everyone know it’s not a standard Ford. A special Shelby hood with intake and extraction vents is standard, along with power side steps with rock sliders. A bevy of Shelby logos and badging grace the truck’s body, and both bumpers have been replaced with steel units to accommodate light bars and additional tow points.

Shelby F-150 Raptor Shelby fits performance parts and gives the truck a tune.Shelby American

If you’re hoping to be one of the insane few to own a Shelby Raptor, get your wallet ready. The truck’s base price starts at $124,820, which includes the MSRP of the truck itself. That said, it’s unclear how extreme demand and supply chain issues will impact Shelby’s ability to get new trucks to modify.

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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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