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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New automotive program

The Grand Tour returns soon with new special

A new special drops on December 17.

The Grand Tour - Amazon

The Grand Tour is returning, and soon. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hamond, and James May set out in Carnage a Trois, the second special produced during the COVID-19 pandemic. French cars are the subject of this special, and there looks to be plenty of action and potentially hilarious situations. Amazon Prime subscribers can watch the new special on Prime Video starting December 17.

Due to travel difficulties and a general state of worldwide unease, the trio have stayed close to home. The first special, Lochdown, took place in Scotland and this one in Wales. Though James May confirmed that a special in Russia is still a possibility, global travel conditions are still tough and unpredictable.

The Grand Tour Presents: Carnage A Trois | Official Trailer | Prime Video youtu.be

The Grand Tour premiered in late 2016 after the three hosts' relationship with the BBC ended. For three seasons, the show followed a similar format to Top Gear, which was created by Clarkson and his partner, Andy Wilman. At the end of season three, the trio announced that the show's familiar format would move from the studio tent to the field, where all subsequent episodes would be the longer travel specials that the three are best known for.

The announcement of the new special made its rounds on social media, where reactions (as always) were mixed. Some say the show is too scripted now and that it's just not fun anymore, but many disagree. At this point, with the hosts' ages and difficulties producing media of any kind, it's a bonus to have a car-oriented show, scripted or not.

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New hot hatch

Toyota teases GR Corolla hatchback

The Instagram teaser contains many hints at the new GR Corolla.

Toyota

Toyota isn't always top of mind when it comes to performance cars, but the Japanese giant has a few tricks up its sleeve. There's the Supra, which the automaker partnered with BMW to produce and there's also the not-for-the-U.S. GR Yaris. The hotted-up hatchback features tremendous power and a four-wheel drive system, but buyers here can only watch jealously as our friends in Europe and elsewhere get all the fun. That's about to change for U.S. buyers, however, as Toyota has begun teasing the GR Corolla hatchback, which we will get.

The automaker posted a cryptic image to Instagram a month ago, but it's still making the rounds on the internet today, with users of the GR Corolla Forum still discussing the post today. The teaser, which is of the Corolla's interior, features hints as to what we might see when the car debuts. The navigation screen shows GR Four road, which points to the car's four-wheel drive system, while a G:16 on the clock in the gauge cluster represents the G16E-GTS engine that the car is expected to get. The GR Yaris also sports that engine, where it produces 268 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

Toyota GR Corolla GR, or Gazoo Racing, is Toyota's motorsport armToyota Europe

The GR Corolla should break cover next year, but we don't yet know if it will be a 2022 or 2023 model. As far as pricing goes, Toyota may pull out some surprises, but the car will likely be far more expensive than an everyday Corolla. The smaller GR Yaris is priced starting at nearly $40,000 in Europe, so the Corolla's price tag should be around or slightly above that number.

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