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Monday, March 12, 2007

Mercedes Ocean Drive

Prepare to see a barrage of posts on some automotive design news that I've discovered (or rediscovered).

I recently came across this article on Wired News: Mercedes-Benz has produced a prototype of a four-door convertible, their first since the 1960's.

Built off the same frame as the top of the line S600 with additional reinforcements (to match the stiffness of the hardtop sedan), the Ocean Drive is not as sleek as the S Class, but it isn't trying to be. The grill is a third larger; the headlamps are made of five banks of 35 LEDs; the top, when down, is concealed under a "birds eye maple compartment behind the rear seats."

I typically like to focus my energies in the automotive realm around environmentally friendly cars. This isn't one of them. The 5.5L, 36-valve, biturbo V-12 produces 512 hp and an amazing 610 lb-ft of torque. The downside of all that power is gas mileage: 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway - that's pickup truck territory. I would love to see the day when someone like MB or Aston Martin make a car this expensive and powerful, but with a more fuel efficient motor. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

If produced, the car should cost "around $300,000." Needless to say, if this is produced, you'll see Jay Z in one.

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