Video: 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is a topless beauty

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Europe, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

2012 SLS AMG Roadster

2012 SLS AMG Roadster – Click above to view video after the jump

On the heels of its official unveiling, Mercedes-Benz has dropped a video of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster in its natural habitat. Let the ogling begin. If you were floored by the still shots of the latest confection from AMG, the video will leave you gibbering lump.

Though the Roadster loses the coupe’s iconic Gullwing doors, it keeps its performance credentials and only gains a scant 88 pounds. Power doesn’t budge, but somehow Mercedes claims the topless SLS is quicker than the coupe to 60 by one hundredth of a second. That isn’t much, but faster is faster. To see the newest SLS in action, click past the jump.

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2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is a topless beauty originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 May 2011 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Italian beauty and absurdity extend to gas stations in Cuneo, Italy

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Design/Style

Italian gas station by Damilano Studio Architects – Click above for high-res image gallery

When luxury becomes a commodity, there’s little left but to make commodities luxurious. This is a newly constructed gas station in Cuneo, Piemonte, Italy, designed by Damilano Studio Architects, and it’s rather pleasant to look at if modern architecture is your thing. Reinforced concrete enclosing a glass wall creates staggered, latitudinal forms that are sliced by aluminum canopies front and back, with blood red fuel pumps.

We have no idea if a beautiful station sells more fuel or makes the Skittles taste better, but a little more pulchritude in one’s day never hurt, did it? As to that absurdity, around back is a red steel block bearing a work of art that looks like a long armed, dog-headed man on a toilet. It is actually “a wolf howling, illuminated at night, draw[ing] attention to the urgent needs.” Now that will definitely make the Skittles taste better. Thanks for the tip, John!

Italian beauty and absurdity extend to gas stations in Cuneo, Italy originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 May 2011 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barrett-Jackson 2011: Woodill Wildfire is a turbine-powered thing of beauty

Filed under: Convertible, Auctions, Specialty

1955 Woodill Wildfire

1955 Woodill Wildfire at Barrett-Jackson – Click above for high-res image gallery

Before stumbling upon this 1955 Woodill Wildfire here at the Barrett-Jackson festivities in Scottsdale, we weren’t even aware that such a car existed. And this is one of the reasons why Barrett-Jackson is such a cool event.

Apparently, an employee of McDonnell Douglass (we’d guess with the last name Woodill…) built an experimental turbine engine originally intended for use in a helicopter. First seen in 1952, this machine is recognized as the world’s first production fiberglass-bodied automobile. For what it’s worth, the Corvette didn’t come until late 1953.

According to the official Barrett-Jackson auction page, the engine puts out 310 horsepower at the crank at a stratospheric 37,500 rpm. This particular machine, built in 1955, was reportedly clocked at 137 miles per hour on a dry lake bed and then sat for 40 years until being restored to its current condition.

See the proceedings for yourself live and in living color over at Speed’s online streaming channel. You can also play along with Speed’s online Fantasy Bidding game – we only hope you’re better at guessing these values than we are…

Gallery: Barrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine Convertible

Barrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine ConvertibleBarrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine ConvertibleBarrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine ConvertibleBarrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine ConvertibleBarrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine Convertible

Photos copyright (C)2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL

Barrett-Jackson 2011: Woodill Wildfire is a turbine-powered thing of beauty originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Meet The Green Hornet’s original Black Beauty

Filed under: Etc., Celebrities

Green Hornet

The original Black Beauty – Click above for high-res image gallery

A derby-and-mask shod Seth Rogen and a mask-wearing Jay Chou owned the weekend box office reprising roles that were originally created in 1936: The Green Hornet and Kato, a superhero and his martial-arts-maven sidekick that began as a radio show in the 1930s. If the trailers are to be believed, this is the first superhero film in which the sidekick is more badass than his boss. It actually makes sense, though, because the first actor to play the role of Kato onscreen was none other than Bruce Lee in his first big American role. But what is perhaps most important about our current duo is the wheeled fiend they’ll be driving: a Chrylser Imperial called Black Beauty. A supercar long before there were Murcielagos and Veyrons, Black Beauty is so significant to the story that it gets just as much time and space as the superhumans in the trailers and on the billboards.

For The Green Hornet television show of 1966 and 1967, with Van Williams as the stinger leading Bruce Lee, two Black Beauties were built by star Hollywood carmaker Dean Jeffries, both based on 1966 Imperials. The first of those cars, the driving car, has disappeared into the void that we assume also contains Amelia Earheart and the aliens who made crop circles. But the second car, the hero car with all the gadgets – that still work, mind you – that one is parked in The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. And because Autoblog enjoys doing its homework before going to see a film, we went to see it.

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Gallery: The Original Black Beauty of The Green Hornet

Photos copyright (C)2011 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

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Meet The Green Hornet’s original Black Beauty originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jan 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beauty and a Beast: New Lancia Stratos runs 0-62 in 3.3 seconds

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Lancia

New Stratos cornering hard

New Stratos – Click above for high-res image gallery

In a perfect world, the fastest cars would be the best looking ones. And to some extent, that’s often the case. But not always. For instance the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous automotive creations ever devised, but by most accounts, its performance fails to live up to its styling. Conversely, cars like the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 GT2 RS are some of the most devastatingly fast vehicles ever to grace tarmac, but not everyone’s enamored of their sheetmetal.

The New Stratos is here to suggest that you may be able to have your cake and eat it to, as full technical specifications and performance stats have been released on the one-off retro creation. The aluminum chassis from the Ferrari 430 Scuderia is a good starting point, giving the New Stratos a compact, lightweight frame, a 44/56 front/rear weight distribution ratio and a 4.3-liter V8 tuned from the 508 horsepower delivered in the Scud to 540 in the nuovo Lancia.

That’s enough to rocket the coachbuilt custom from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.3 seconds, past 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.7 and on to a top speed of 170 mph. (That last figure may not be the most impressive, but the original Stratos was never geared for top-speed runs, but for rapid acceleration and nimble handling, and its successor appears to have followed the same route.)

Not ready to cry “uncle” just yet? The full specifications – from gearbox to dimensions – can be found after the jump, so click on to feast your eyes.

Gallery: New Lancia Stratos

[Source: New Stratos]

Continue reading Beauty and a Beast: New Lancia Stratos runs 0-62 in 3.3 seconds

Beauty and a Beast: New Lancia Stratos runs 0-62 in 3.3 seconds originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Dec 2010 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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