Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Royce Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe on Asanti 26" Wheels and Pirelli Tires

Royce Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe on 26" Asanti 3pc Wheels and Wrapped with Pirelli Tires.
 Wheels have an amazing 7" Chrome Lip all around. 

Information below provided by
The Phantom Drophead Coupé is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design that captures the essence of adventure of the 1930s. Its unique raked grille combined with the flowing lines of the car, gives a sense of spirit and momentum even at rest.
Developed from the 100EX experimental model it offers both driver and passengers a dual experience - intimate and cocooning or embracing the elements depending on whether the roof is raised or lowered. Inspired by the J-class racing yachts of 30s (known for their performance and use of natural materials) the result is a car that epitomises romantic, performance motoring.

Outside in

"We wanted to create a car that is a shared experience," explains Charles Coldham, Chief Stylist Interior Design. "The occupants are surrounded by the finest natural materials, evoking the experience of being on board a yacht." The coach doors allow elegant entry and exit to and from the rear lounge seat that turns the passengers gently towards each other, creating a more intimate atmosphere. The signature hood is made from five layers of material including cashmere, making it both quiet and luxurious when the top is raised.

Engineering Perfection

Like the Phantom saloon, the Phantom Drophead Coupé is built on a hand-welded aluminium spaceframe that has been adapted to the needs of open-top motoring. The A-pillar and windscreen surround have been designed for optimum strength and roll-over protection. From the elevated driving position you can enjoy the power of the muscular aluminium V12 engine that offers effortless power and 75% of torque available from 1,000 rpm. With a low centre of gravity and weight distribution slightly to the rear of the car, the Drophead Coupé's drive is as spirited as its looks suggest.

2012 BMW 328i Sedan-The ultimate sports sedan reaches out to the More Generation

2012 BMW 328i Sedan

The ultimate sports sedan reaches out to the More Generation.

Wider wheel tracks—up 1.5 inches in front and 2.0 in back—give the new 3-series firmly planted feet from visual and dynamic perspectives. Pile on sufficient speed and steering lock to find the adhesion limit, and it’s the front tires that slide first with a gradually increasing chatter as grip is lost. Our test car’s 19-inch Bridgestone Potenza run-flat radials—included with the Sport Line trim level’s optional adaptive M suspension package—demonstrated impressive wet and dry adhesion.
As usual, dipping into the throttle will nudge the tail around so all four tires slide like well-orchestrated figure skaters. Unfortunately, control of the normally open rear differential is handled by the ABS via single-wheel brake applications. To activate limited-slip operation, the master driving dynamics control located on the center console must be toggled to the most aggressive sport-plus selection, and the adjoining DSC button must be held down to disable stability control. It’s not difficult to control the amount of sliding with timely countersteering, but the added chassis rubber does inflict a slight snap-back effect when adhesion is regained. That means it’s best to investigate these handling nuances on a track day before indulging any drift fantasies on the street.
Oh, My Goodness—Look at All the Goodies

Beyond the classic driving-dynamic attributes, the 2012 3-series offers a whole Christmas catalog of comfort, convenience, safety, entertainment, and connectivity functions. The rear-door openings are slightly longer to ease entry, and there are modest gains in front and rear passenger space. BMW’s iDrive console-mounted mouse and a dash-top display screen are standard equipment. A USB port, an aux-in connector, and smartphone docking are provided under a sliding center-armrest lid. Front-door pockets can accept one-liter beverage containers. The rear-seat backrest now splits in 40/20/40 sections for utmost freight-versus-passenger flexibility. The 13-cubic-foot trunk not only provides one more cubic foot of volume than before, but there’s also a handy bin under a hinged floor panel for stashing items out of sight. An option the More Generation will surely love is a hands-free, noncontact means of unlatching and opening the trunk with a simple fore-and-aft kick under the rear bumper.
Although the optional head-up display focuses on navigation and speed-related information, the center-dash monitor will track power and torque on dual dials when asked to do so by the iDrive controller. A host of cameras and sensors provides blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, collision warnings, rear-obstacle detection, and 360-degree views outside the car. (Don’t be surprised when Sky-Is-Falling!-Tronic is added next year.) A parking assistant will not only alert the driver to a suitable parallel-parking slot, but it can also assume control of the steering as the car is backed into place.
An unprecedented four trim levels are available. The Sport Line adds shift paddles with the automatic and a mix of gloss black and red accents inside and out to a base 328i or 335i. Contrasting stitching, anodized trim pieces, and red gauge markings do an excellent job of burying BMW’s past reputation for black-and-white austerity. The Luxury Line and the Modern Line use bright chrome or satin finishes, smooth or textured wood, colorful leathers, and color-keyed cabin trim to make their statements. Late next year, a fifth trim—the M Sport package—containing a sport suspension; shift paddles; firmer sport seats; a smaller-diameter, fatter-rimmed steering wheel; 18- or 19-inch wheels; and an assortment of aerodynamic add-ons will be available.

The F30 3-series game plan includes xDrive all-wheel drive and an ActiveHybrid 3 that combines the turbo six with an electric motor and the eight-speed automatic to deliver improved fuel efficiency with 335i performance. Coupe and convertible models—they might be badged 4-series—will come later; the E90-based models will continue through the 2012 model year. There will be a 3-series Gran Turismo. And you can of course expect an M3, but it remains a couple of years out.
BMW 3-series, the Greening
Two standard features declare the hybrid 3-series redundant. The first is an automatic stop/start function that shuts down the engine to eliminate consumption while idling in traffic. (Those who can’t stomach this feature can disable it after every startup by pressing a switch located above the starter button.) The second reason not to buy a hybrid is the eco pro mode offered by the driving dynamics control switch. Toggling down past the sport and comfort modes, you enter the low-consumption domain with powertrain settings adjusted to maximize gas mileage. Throttle response is softened, and the automatic transmission upshifts sooner and downshifts later. Electrical consumption by the climate-control system and heated seats and mirrors is reduced. Various displays in the instrument cluster flash to help the driver become adept at hypermiling—the technique of squeezing extra distance out of every drop of gas. Eco pro’s reward for exemplary behavior is displaying how many bonus miles of driving range were achieved on any given trip.
Clearly, the new 3-series is the compact sports sedan for a changed world. This is where 24/7 connectivity and socially responsible consumption join hands with skidpad grip and slalom-course agility. Without totally abandoning its driving-enthusiast constituents, the 2012 3-series tenders a rich menu of gimmicks and gadgets that probably will appeal to those who always want more. If BMW doesn’t appeal to them, Audi, Cadillac, Lexus, and Mercedes surely will.

Original Article:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Test: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG


2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG

All hail the tiny thunder.

Bless Mercedes-Benz. Bless that company a thousand times. The house that Gottlieb, Karl, and Wilhelm built might not be good at everything, but at the end of the day, it gets one important thing right: If you are going to build a high-performance car for public sale, then said car must sound bitchin’.
Meet the 2012 SLK55 AMG. It sounds excessively bitchin’. Actually, that descriptor might be too modest—this machine is loud and raucous enough to wake the undersea dead. The naturally aspirated 415-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 under the SLK’s hood is the kind of powerplant that gives Detroit nightmares: torquey, smooth, and blessed with an exhaust note that makes the average V-8–powered American sled sound like a soprano eunuch. AMG calls this engine the M152, a fact worth mentioning only because it helps distinguish this V-8 from another Mercedes V-8. The M152 is a variant of the M157, the twin-turbo, 5.5-liter eight recently rolled out as a replacement for AMG’s aging naturally aspirated 6.2-liter M156 V-8.

So Many Numbers, So Little Sense
Let’s get this down for posterity: The M156 used to live in AMG 63 cars such as the E63 and CL63. Most of those cars still wear “63” badging, a nod to the 1968–72 Mercedes 300SEL 6.3, despite the fact that they now are powered by the 5.5-liter M157. The M156 is still found in the C63 sedan, coupe, and new Black Series coupe; it also lives, albeit in slightly modified M159 form, in the SLS AMG. For the moment, the naturally aspirated 5.5-liter M152 is found only in the SLK55.
Confused yet? All you really need to know is that Mercedes-Benz badging can’t be trusted to accurately portray engine displacement—except in the case of the SLK55, one of the few cars whose number makes sense. Let’s move on.
Like all AMG engines, the SLK55’s powerplant specializes in torque. In addition to the aforementioned 415 hp, the 7200-rpm M152 cranks out a whopping 398 lb-ft of grunt, enough, we figure, to hurl the diminutive roadster to 60 mph in barely more than four seconds. The V-8 is oriented toward efficiency, at least as much as a 5.5-liter eight-pot can be; cylinder deactivation is standard, as are direct injection, variable valve timing, and a stop/start system. The cylinder-deactivation system, a first for AMG, can disable cylinders two, three, five, and eight by cutting spark and fuel and parking those cylinders’ valves. The transition is noticeable only in the form of a slight change in exhaust note—it shifts from a rumbling burble to a boomier, less-complex tune—and an indicator light on the dash. The cylinders go to sleep under light load and only from 800 to 3600 rpm. Mercedes says they need as little as 30 milliseconds to relight, and the active cylinders still produce up to 170 lb-ft of torque. The system only functions when the transmission is set to efficiency mode or when the folding hardtop is up, leaving the top-down experience unsullied by practical concerns.

Mighty (Hefty) Mite
The SLK should weigh a whopping 3550 pounds—hundreds more than a Porsche Boxster or BMW Z4, both of which offer slightly nimbler handling and, in the case of the Boxster, gobs more steering feedback. This is as it should be. Mercedes isn’t known for building pared-down, die-hard sports cars, and the brand’s droptops have always seemed more suited to grand touring than corner carving. The 55 gets the usual pantheon of handling goodies—stiffer springs and dampers, a variable-assist hydraulic steering gear, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and a pseudo torque-vectoring function for the brakes that uses rear-caliper pressure to help the car turn in—and it’s happy sucking up winding pavement, but it’s happier still carrying big speed over long distances. The standard seven-speed automatic shifts smoothly and quickly, blipping the throttle on downshifts, but the engine is so flexible that you tend to forget the gearbox is there. Gripes are limited to a noticeable amount of nose weight—for better or worse, V-8–engined SLKs have always felt bigger than they are when pushed—and a rear-suspension tune that produces a lot of head toss and the occasional sideways hop over rough pavement.
The SLK55’s sports-car clothing and soundtrack can be misleading, but ultimately, this is a remarkably balanced, fast touring car. Pricing hasn’t been released, but figure on a sticker close to $69,000 when the model goes on sale in 2012. That’s anything but cheap, but the noise—that beautiful, lavish noise—is worth every penny.