Friday, November 21, 2014

Mercedes-Benz CL 500 Lorinser

Mercedes-Benz CL 500- elegant design, 300 HP, high-quality leather and wood, electronic navigation, ABS, ESP- the list of features can be indefinitely continued. For true admirers of the CL 500, there seems to be only one model standing above in rank- the CL600. But the German tuning company Lorinser came up with an alternative by creating Mercedes-Benz CL 500 Lorinser. It is to mention that the CL has also been modernized by such giants as AMG, Brabus and Carlson.

There is a world of visual difference between the standard CL 500 and the one tuned by Lorinser. So, for instance, the front and back bumpers look more embracing, the fog lights have also changed, the car has been equipped with more aggressive wheels and  radiator grille. The new fenders, rear roofline and lip spoilers are the result of Lorinser’s aerodynamic solutions.
In general, the tuning has imparted subtlety, beauty and some sport features to the CL. The CL 500 Lorinser introduced in this article has undergone only external tuning. The suspension, power train as well as the saloon remained unchanged.
So, the 5L 306 HP V8 engine easily accelerates the car to 250 km/h (electronically limited). The maximal torque reaches 460 N m at 2700 RPM. The first thing to attract  (or to scare) passer-by is the triumphal engine roar produced through the branded silencer. But, thanks to the famous noise insulation by Mercedes, the noise is almost inaudible inside the car. According to factory data, the CL 500 accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6,5 seconds. In my hands, this 12-year-old CL accelerated to 100 km/h in only 7,1 seconds.

The braking system is highly reliable, since it is reinforced with powerful Brembo braking system, which can be seen through the 19-inch Lorinser wheels. In my test, the brakes showed high efficiency- the car fully stopped after 34 meters of braking distance.
By the way, the smooth running is supported with a 5-speed automatic gearbox, which can also be shifted manually. The preferred driving mode can be saved in the memory of the computer, which controls the transmission, after which the operation of the transmission is adapted to the selected mode.
As for interior, compared to the S-class sedan, there is no change- the same luxurious finishing, comfortable seats with heating and ventilation and the same informative dashboard. The positions of the seats, steering column, wing mirrors are electronically controlled and can be saved in the memory of the computer for three different drivers.

There is plenty of power, dynamics and stability to perform any kind of maneuvers in a dense stream of cars moving at high speeds. There is also enough maneuverability to park the car at tiny places. The interior is so comfortable that you will rest during the ride.
 During the ride, I never stopped amazing at how carefully every detail was thought out in this car. I had the impression that the car was able to guess and instantly fulfill every whim of the driver.
Undoubtedly, among all vehicles designed for active driving, the CL 500 Lorinser is one of the most appropriate options to fully meet the requirements of its owner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Enigmatic Car (Unrecognized Mercedes)

It is obvious that our today’s hero belongs to the family of Mercedes-Benz, but I find it rather difficult to make a deduction exactly which model it is.
The exact year of production of this "mysterious" Mercedes is unknown. The owner offered his version, but, having carefully examined the car, I couldn’t come to a certain conclusion on the production year.

The reason for that is that the car has undergone numerous changes at the hands of its previous owners. Before appearing in Armenia, the car must have been carelessly used somewhere in the Soviet Union after the World War II (I am more than sure that the car was brought to the USSR as a war trophy from Germany like many other retro miracles), and then it was shamelessly equipped with details and spare parts taken from soviet cars, so it altered beyond all recognition.
However, after much research, I found that there was a similar model manufactured between 1932 and 1937, which had various body modifications: a sedan, like our undiscovered hero, the Pullman (the elongated version of the sedan), coupe-cabriolet, “landole”, etc.

At first glance, our hero bears a strong resemblance to Mercedes-Benz 200 W21, which was first introduced at Berlin Motor Show in 1933, but at the same time, it also bears external resemblance to 260D model, which was also introduced at the same motor show as the first passenger vehicle with a diesel engine in 1936. I also learned that the 200 W21, in spite of being produced in large quantities (15622 samples), didn’t play a major role in the history of the German car manufacturer.
As for the D260, it was a “trailblazer” in the world of automotive industry. In the mid-thirties of the last century, not many people believed in the success of passenger cars with diesel engines, but time has shown quite the reverse- every second vehicle runs on diesel fuel nowadays.

When I found out that the first diesel engine car was built on the chassis of the 230 model, which was subsequently built on the chassis of the 200, I only then understood the reason of the similarity between our unknown Mercedes, the 200  W21 and the 260D. The 200 W21 was the most affordable and fuel-efficient car of its time, and the 230 was the petrol engine modification of the 200 W21.
It is impossible to even guess which engine the car was equipped with, diesel or petrol, since it underwent not only numerous external changes, but also external. There is nothing left from the original chassis either.
One thing for sure, this car belongs to the family of Mercedes-Benz, the members of which have always been the tops.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BMW 330Ci Cabriolet

Since the release of the first model in 1975, the BMW 3 series has become a unique and very popular car all over the world. The reason for this success is the combination of the best technical characteristics:  inline engine, rear wheel drive, a choice of manual or automatic transmission and independent suspension.
Over the years the concept of this model has not changed- a sports car for transportation of passengers and cargo.

This powerful “pile of muscles” is designed to meet the highest standards of accuracy, reliability and durability. The production of 3 series was launched in 1999. By the year 2001, there were already 10 models on the production line, including two four-wheel sedans and a sport pickup. The 330 sedan and the coupe started to be released in June 2000. The version330 (2001) convertible completed the model  line. The 330 Ci convertible was produced in Regensburg, Germany.

The interior decorations and trimmings are available in one version.
However, the highlight of the car is hidden under the hood. The car is equipped with a powerful inline-6 24-valve 3.0 L DOHC engine with VANOS system. This engine produces 231 HP at 5900 rpm, which is more than enough to make your adrenaline run high. The transmission is available in two versions: a standard 5-speed manual with a direct drive and an automatic 5-speed adaptive transmission. The latter can be used manually without using the clutch. The convertible is not available in four-wheel drive version.
For such a car, it is vitally important to have a short barking distance. After accelerating the car to 100km/h, I slammed on the brake. The car moved about 31 meters, before stopping finally.

Undoubted advantages:
The powerful inline-6 engine has impressive characteristics!
“Goodyear Eagle RS-A P205/50R17” tires together with the super suspension press the car tightly to the road. The suspension system consists of longitudinal and transverse rods, hydraulic cushions and a front stabilizer. The front and rear dual shock absorbers allow you to feel confident on any road.
External visibility is excellent. The display and controls are located towards the driver like in a racing car, which is extremely convenient to use.  The 330 Ci is undoubtedly comfortable both  for the  driver and passengers.
The roof is perfectly made not only mechanically, but also aesthetically- it folds and unfolds through a simple press of a button. The entire process is automated- no fuss, no worries.