Auto News for April 20

Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupé

The “Concept GLC Coupe is a near production standard study” unveiled by Mercedes at the Shanghai Auto Show. With a 111.4 inch wheelbase and 186.2 inches long it is about the size of a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and an attempt by MB to crack the hot market for smaller sport utility vehicles. But in this design, as is evident in the accompanying photo, those 21 inch wheels really stand out. A 376 horsepower biturbo V6 with 384 lb-ft of torque with a 9 speed automatic is the power end of the concept.

Shanghai banned skimpily dressed models this year, feeling they detracted from the cars and trucks on display. Ya think?

McLaren_540C_2241

Gathering a lot of attention at the McLaren stand was the second and final model in the new Sports Series, the 540C Coupe. While one must put this in the proper context of the company’s price market, it is said to be the “most attainable” McLaren yet. That has not dimmed the firm’s performance specs with a top speed of 199 mph and just 3.5 seconds from 0-62 mph or 100km/h. Deliveries will begin early next year. It will sport a mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V8 and a unique carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis “offering improved ingress to and egress from the cabin.” It is a relative lightweight coming in at 2,890 pounds.

A009_C007_032339

Volvo certainly took interior luxury to a whole new level with a concept called the Lounge Console that eliminated the front passenger seat. Designed for those who have chauffeurs, it features a huge amount of stretch out room for execs seated out back. “A key element in our thinking was how to make the available interior space work for the occupants in an optimal and luxurious fashion. Removing the passenger seat enabled us to create an open space that dramatically changes the dynamics of the interior and led to a firework of ideas and new possibilities,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior VP of Design at Volvo. All this was the result of “ethnographic research” you understand.

Among the features is a large work table which opens to unveil an illuminated vanity mirror, including a storage tray for jewelry and personal accessories or make-up. The table rotates 90 degrees and powers forward to display a 17” media screen for a “full in-car theater experience,” Volvo said. Below the cushioned leg rest is an additional area for shoes. There is also a lockable storage box. All of this is aimed at people on the go with a hectic lifestyle who need some “space, some luxury time, and the opportunity to relax and refresh themselves for the next engagement.” Sounds like it might appeal to presidential candidates running around Iowa and New Hampshire.

2016 ford taurus

Ford displayed a Taurus designed for the China market that immediately sparked debate over whether a similar redesign will be sold here in the states. It is a bit bigger than the current model with a four inch longer wheelbase that created more space for second row passengers. Under the hood is the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that is also featured in the F-150 pickup. Ford is expected to have more to say about the domestic Taurus this fall.

Ram truck parade

It is a Guinness World Record. A total of 451 Ram trucks paraded through Arlington, Texas breaking the previous record of 438 trucks. Owners came from seven states and Canada for the event. Ram maintains that more Texans drive pickup trucks than any other state, some 20 percent of all registrations.

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