Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman takes us on a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog museum in Gaggenau Germany. You can really tell that the Unimog is something he’s been passionate about as he explains what makes it so iconic and details the historically significant exhibits in the museum. Johnny also gets to drive some modern Unimogs on the museum’s proving grounds to show off some of their absolutely mind-boggling capabilities.
**EDIT** May 18th, 2013: Here is an additional video from the Daimler Automotive Group of the Unimog assembly line in Woerth as well as some additional proving grounds footage:
Motor Trend puts together the latest comparison from the ongoing muscle car war with Chevrolet’s awesome new 1LE handling package for the Camaro SS and Ford’s Track Package for the Mustang GT. The $3500 1LE Package uses huge 10 and 11 inch wide wheels, custom tuned mono-tube shocks, bigger anti-roll bars, a 3.91:1 final drive and some minor driveline enforcement to fix the stock Camaro’s handling problems for track use. Ford’s $1500 GT Track Package includes the anti-sway bars from the GT500, retuned shocks and springs, 19″ wheels with Pirelli summer tires, Performance Friction brake pads, recalibrated ABS and traction control and a shorter (numerically larger) 3.73:1 final drive with carbon fiber clutch plates. The guys put the two cars against each other at the drag strip and then around the Horse Thief Mile at Willow Springs with Randy Pobst behind the wheel.
The concept for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was born when the question of “What can we do with the Corvette if we allowed the price tag to exceed $100,000?” GM’s answer to that question was a highly capable ZR1 version of their Corvette that stood alone in the American Supercar class. That was until the performance division of Dodge, SRT, decided to make a new Viper. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SRT engineers bought a ZR1 to use as a benchmark because many of the performance specifications are nearly identical. Naturally we have to see which is the better car. Thankfully Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman and Randy Pobst are on the job with some hot laps around Laguna Seca.
I have no delusions in thinking that the DIY auto enthusiast crowd will ever be shopping for $200k-$300k cars like these. It is still interesting to see what’s out there, though. Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman pits the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG against the Bentley Mulsanne after Rolls Royce declined to participate in the showdown. He gets it, too. Johnny ends up showing us what is cool about both cars without taking things too seriously as evident by his joke about the “Peasant Crusher” suspension settings while wearing a tuxedo t-shirt. Even if the fancy luxury stuff doesn’t do it for you, both cars make over 700 ft-lbs of torque. They may not be what we usually talk about here at Flux Auto, but these cars are still extreme ways of expressing the automobile.
Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman gets an opportunity to tour AMG’s engine factory in Affalterbach, Germany and we get the pleasure of tagging along. He works with one of the AMG technicians to build one of the 5.5 liter twin turbo V8’s that powers the entire AMG line with the exception of the C63 AMG (the engineers thought the C63 was too light for the turbo engine’s torque so they stayed with the 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8). The part that I found particularly interesting was the assembly and testing of the 2,000 psi direct injection fuel system. After everything is installed, they pressure test it for leaks with helium since it’s the smallest practical atom (hydrogen is smaller but more ridiculous to work with). The last thing they want is a bunch of high pressure fuel spraying all over the engine. This was a special opportunity for the Johnny unlike GM’s program where anybody can pay to assemble their own LS7 or LS9 for their Corvette or crate engine purposes. AMG actually decided not to put the engine Lieberman worked on into use. Right now it’s on a display stand where it can’t hurt anybody.