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10 самых дорогих и редких «Мерседесов»

А начнём мы с одной из самых знаковых моделей с трёхлучевой звездой — 300 SL Gullwing 1955 года. Это легендарное «крыло чайки» с 3-литровым рядным 6-цилиндровым двигателем мощностью 215 сил, которое ещё в середине прошлого века могло разгоняться до 250 км/ч и выше.

Самый дорогой Gullwing продали на аукционе RM Sotheby’s в 2014 году за 2,3 миллиона евро. Это один из 1400 выпущенных 300 SL, сохранившийся до наших дней в идеальном состоянии и не потребовавший реставрации.

Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss (2009) - 2,6 миллиона евро

Updated Audi Q5 declares war on BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC

Like parent company Volkswagen with the Touareg, and fellow Volkswagen Group stablemates Porsche (Cayenne), Lamborghini (Urus) and Bentley (Bentayga), kindness most certainly didn’t come Audi’s way when it announced a SUV back in 2003.

The road from Pikes Peak

At its eventual launch, the concept, called the Pikes Peak quattro, was billed as a vehicle custom made for the four rings’ rally-honed quattro four-wheel-drive system.

Just over two years later, and as a way of driving the point home about the now production model called the Audi Q7, a three-page advertising spread used in magazines got drawn up.

Updated Audi Q5

On the one side, it featured an airborne original quattro in rally livery with the tag line “we invented quattro for our cars”. On the other side, a double page depicting a Q7 splashing through water with the caption: “now we’ve invented a car for quattro.” Bulky, ungainly and famously described as “looking like a hippo stuck in a vice grip” by a British magazine, the plush seven-seat Q7 nevertheless became, and remains, a success for Ingolstadt.

Passing the mantle down

The knock-on effect was of course the introduction of a complete range of Audi Q SUVs; the Q5, Q3, Q2, Q8 and if recent reports are to be believed, an ultra-luxurious model called the Q9.

Including the S and RS derivatives, as well as the various coupe offshoots, the Q models have become the most popular Audi models with global sales last year seeing three in the top-five.

New Audi Q5 Sportback

Unsurprisingly, a Q model heads the charts and following its world reveal last year, the facelift Q5, and its Sportback sibling, officially arrived in South Africa earlier this month. And the nation’s media descended on Cape Town to get a first taste.

What’s new Q?

With current global sales of 249 149 units, the Q5, while on track to retain its position as Audi’s best-selling model, faces a tough battle in a segment that has evolved dramatically.

Visually, the changes to the now-second generation Audi Q5, though small, have resulted in a more aggressive appearance that mirrors the Q8. This includes a new take on the Singleframe grille, new LED or optional Matrix LED headlights and new door sills.

New Audi Q5 Sportback

At the rear, the tweaked taillight clusters now come with OLED technology as well as dynamic indicators, while a new faux diffuser inserts rounds the changes off. As before, the Q5 retains the optional black exterior package, with two new colours joining the palette; Ultra Blue and District Green.

The biggest addition however is the Sportback, which takes Audi’s coupe-styled SUV range to three after the Q3 Sportback and the Q8. Despite its lowered roof, the Sportback has the same height, wheelbase and width with the only difference being a seven-millimetre gain in overall length.

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Updated Audi Q5

Similar to its outside, the Audi Q5’s interior has undergone a series of equally small but noticeable changes. Central is the new freestanding 10.1-inch touchscreen MMI infotainment system that replaces the old affixed display with its touchpad controller, and a revised 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit Display instrument cluster.

The rest of the cabin remains unchanged with buyers continuing to have the option of a selection of materials and colours via the S line interior package offered only on said model.

The drive

On launch, the models available included the top-spec S line versions of the Q5 and Q5 Sportback, and the fire-breathing SQ5. The first leg of the journey, which meandered around Worcester and Stellenbosch, included the stunning Du Toitskloof Pass and Hugenote tunnel behind the wheel of the Q5 Sportback 45 TFSI.

Updated Audi SQ5

Unfortunately, the various faces of the Cape’s weather was anything but fair as the 200 km trek took place in appalling conditions. Thick mist eliminated any thoughts of spirited driving up and down the pass.

Settled to a cruise, the Sportback showed its mantle as the combination of the optional 20-inch Audi Sport 5 V-spoke alloys and adaptive air suspension made for a comfortable ride and compliant ride despite the conditions.

Updated Audi SQ5

Aside from the new infotainment system being easy to use, the Sportback’s main drawing card was its powerunit. Now helped by a 12-volt mild-hybrid system, the 2.0 TFSI offers up 183kW/370Nm with drive going to all four corners via a seven-speed S tronic box. It is a combination that pleasantly surprised as its suits the characteristics of the Sportback rather well.

New Audi Q5 Sportback

With the Audi Dynamic Select system switched to Dynamic mode, the all-ready sharp response is taken up a notch. A faster spooling turbo and better throttle response had the Sportback live up to its name.

Surefooted and well balanced, the steering was quick with just enough feelback and the gearbox slick regardless of it being in left in D or clicked over to manual with the paddles in operation.

Updated Audi Q5

By contrast, the District Green Q5 40 TDI sampled for the second half of the trek from the launch stop to Stellenbosch itself was less dramatic. In spite of lacking the hybrid system, the stalwart 2.0 TDI remains the civilised option with its 140kW/400Nm being suited to the more staid nature of the “normal” Q5.

New Audi Q5 Sportback

Unlike the 45 TFSI, the 40 TDI, unsurprisingly, pulls a lot stronger from low-down. It also levels out a lot quicker as the obvious economical benefits take preference over fun.

Nonetheless, the oil-burner is likely to prove the more popular Q5 option with the model itself offering another benefit over the Sportback; a more capacious boot measuring between 520 to 1 520 litres versus 510 to 1 480 litres.

Updated Audi Q5

In fact, the main downside of the interior is the lack of rear headroom, which came in the form of the optional panoramic sunroof both model driven featured.

We did not get a chance to experience the combination of the SQ5’s 260kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and eight-speed Tiptronic box at the launch. However, expect all to be revealed once it arrives on test.

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Conclusion

Its launch coming not long after that of the updated BMW X3, the refreshed Audi Q5 doesn’t hold back. Its return from the surgeon has made it a more complete and better-suited offering than what it was before.

Updated Audi SQ5

With the added addition of the Sportback and the halo model that is the SQ5, it now poses the biggest threat to the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Pricing

All models come as standard with a five-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway Plan.

Межвоенные годы

В 1923 году DMG открыла представительство в Москве, в 1920-е годы автомобили компании регулярно участвовали в автопробегах по СССР. До начала Великой Отечественной войны Daimler-Benz поставлял в СССР только грузовые автомобили и автобусы (всего около 500 единиц).

Простым гражданам в Советском Союзе до войны марка Mercedes была больше известна по печатающим машинкам. Их производило предприятие Mercedes Buromaschinen, получив от DMG право на использование товарного знака.

AA DRIVEN COTY: The best Luxury and Sports/Performance cars of the year

Photo / Supplied

This week, we continue our rollout of the category finalists for the AA DRIVEN New Zealand Car of the Year award.

We’ll be awarding wins in 10 different categories: Small SUV, Medium SUV, Large SUV, Passenger, LCV, Clean & Green Hybrid/PHEV/BEV, Sports & Performance, Luxury and Safety, not to mention the outright AA DRIVEN NZ COTY.

The focus is on cars launched in the last 12 months, but in fact we have considered all cars on sale as long as they have a five-star crash rating. Let’s take a look at the finalists for the Luxury and Sports/Performance categories.

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Luxury

SUVs are a natural platform for luxury models, with their commanding seating positions and generous cabin space. The Audi Q5 has always been a highly polished example of the premium-SUV genre and the very latest ups the ante on equipment and technology, including mild hybrid technology. In age of EVs we also still rather enjoy the option of diesel power in the Q5 – especially the all-new, very powerful and very clean V6 unit in the high-performance SQ5. It now also offers the choice of conventional SUV or svelte Sportback body shapes.

Hyundai is rapidly gaining traction as a premium brand in NZ: think top-level Santa Fe and the Palisade. The radical-looking Ioniq 5 advances the cause in a big way, with the very latest in Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) technology, stunning design and a truly premium interior that more than justifies the $100k-plus price of the top variants.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC also joins our list of Luxury finalists. It’s not a new car (launched back in 2019), but we reckon it’s still a sublime premium BEV and a plug-in that truly encapsulates what’s great about this marque.

Sports & Performance

Any genre of car can qualify as a Sports & Performance contender – as long as it puts driver appeal at the top of its priorities.

The Audi e-tron GT (and of course its sister car, the Porsche Taycan) is proof-positive that a BEV can stir the soul of the enthusiast. It’s dramatically fast in a straight line, especially the top RS model, but that’s not such an achievement with a pure-electric model. What is remarkable is the engaging way that performance is delivered, with a two-speed transmission on the rear axle, and the highly entertaining chassis dynamics. It works on every level.

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BMW’s new M3 (sedan) and M4 (coupe) paternal twins could be considered more traditional performance machines: powerful front-mounted petrol engines, rear-drive (although an AWD option is coming) and easy oversteer when you want it. On a track day, of course! We’ve been blown away by the combination of high technology and old-school appeal in these M-cars.

Toyota’s GR Yaris is not really a Yaris at all. The only parts it shares with the standard five-door hatch are headlights and door mirrors. It’s actually a purpose-built hot hatch, with a 200kW three-cylinder engine, manual transmission and wonderfully capable AWD system. And it truly is a motorsport-inspired car, created as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship.

What was the first mass-produced car?

The first car to be mass-produced on an assembly line was the 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash, a pioneering American car built until 1907 with around 19,000 units made. The image of it below was taken in 1902.

Oldsmobile Curved Dash

It was Henry Ford’s adoption of the moving assembly line in 1913, inspired by the techniques used in Chicago slaughterhouses, that had the most profound influence on car production.

The moving assembly line meant that a single Ford Model T took just 93 minutes to produce, meaning that the company could build the car in vast numbers and thus take advantage of economies of scale. It allowed the Model T to be sold more cheaply, making it the most popular car in the world with fifteen million sold between 1908 and 1927.

Ford Model T factory, Michigan

Other manufacturers soon adopted Ford’s mass-production techniques and though now robotised, the basic principle of car manufacturing remains the same today.

Latest Drives

Sponsored by electric car battery producer Britishvolt, this year’s event shone a spotlight on the technical achievements and inspiring leaders that helped see the motoring industry through an unprecedented year of change and upheaval.

Autocar Awards 2021: the winners

The Editor’s Award recognises seven-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton for his achievements both on and off the race track. Hamilton has become an advocate for causes such as environmentalism and the Black Lives Matter movement, using his high profile to help promote positive change in society.

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “As the most successful driver in Formula 1 history, Sir Lewis Hamilton was an obvious choice for recognition at this year’s Autocar Awards – but we were just as impressed by his achievements outside of his Mercedes-AMG car. Hamilton has used his high-profile to speak out on a number of important social issues, and hasn’t been afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even if that might attract criticism from some.”

The Sturmey Trophy for technical achievement, named after Autocar founder Henry Sturmey, was given to Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath for his leadership of the fast-rising electric car brand that is owned by Volvo and Geely.

The Mundy Award for Engineering, which is awarded to a standout engineer for their contributions to the industry, has been won by Aston Martin’s Matt Becker, for his work across the brand’s portfolio, but in particular the game-changing DBX SUV.

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Stellantis’s Klaus Busse wins Autocar’s Design Hero award for his contributions to Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, including on the new Fiat 500 electric and Maserati MC20 supercar. He has helped the brands regain their Italian flair and desirability.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award has been won by Richard Parry-Jones, an industry titan who helped transform the fortunes of Ford through his role leading the development of cars such as the Mondeo and Focus.

Sadly, Parry-Jones died earlier this year, shortly after being informed that he would be awarded the trophy.

Innovation comes in many forms, and it’s not always about pioneering technology or groundbreaking hardware. Sometimes, such as in the midst of a global pandemic, the real innovation is found in identifying new ways of working, in decision making and in revamped processes, rather than production. Bentley’s crisis management team’s fast-acting reaction to Covid-19 set a gold standard for crisis response that has served the company beyond all expectation, earning the brand this year’s Autocar Innovation Award.

This year’s Motorsport Hero award recognised Formula E founder Alejandro Agag for his visionary new venture Extreme E, which aims to raise awareness of climate change.

Cynics may have been quick to scoff when the Spanish businessman founded the electric single-seater series in 2014, but it has grown into a full-blown FIA world championship featuring seven of the world’s major car makers. New series Extreme E doesn’t exactly aim to repeat the formula, though: it has embraced gender equality, and shines a light on what motorsport can do to help when it comes to improving our climate for the better.

It’s rare that a car retains its Britain’s Best Driver’s Car title once, but the Ariel Atom 4 won’t arrive at this year’s BBDC contest as an outsider looking for a third win on the bounce. Last year’s contest, held in wet, cold conditions, shouldn’t have suited the Atom or any sodden, shivering person inside it, but it was just the purest driving experience we had on offer. It has agility and pace to spare, and it combines that raw ability with a lovely linearity and a way of telegraphing its every move that sucks the driver into the process and keeps them aware of exactly what’s going on.

Those are the two keys to a truly great driver’s car: fantastic objective ability and a willingness to tell the driver what is happening. The Atom 4 achieves both of those.

Contrary to the explosive hype uncorked by its arrival, the Toyota GR Yaris was no shoo-in for a five-star verdict. Nothing ever is. Notable foibles include ergonomics that are hampered by the perched driving position, and the rear-view mirror cuts off your line of sight on the way into corners: not great in a B-road specialist.

And yet, both in concept and execution, the GR Yaris is a spellbinding machine, shot through with integrity and feel-good factor in equal measure. That’s rare in six-figure thoroughbreds, let alone £30,000 tearaways.

It’s a complex car on paper but feels gloriously pure on the move, and it has not only performance to spare but also serious intrigue in the handling department: trustworthy, but with an edge to its dynamic character. You simply don’t get bored with the GR Yaris. Ever. Which is why, at last year’s Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car contest, it put to the sword not only the Volkswagen Golf GTI (we knew it would), but also the Ford Fiesta ST (slightly surprising, that) and the Honda Civic Type R (simply, wow). Bravo Toyota, you’ve created a legend.

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Autocar invented the road test 83 years ago this year, and it remains the most thorough and exacting test in the industry. A five-star Autocar road test verdict is rare, with just three cars earning that distinction over the past twelve months.

Any five-star car should, among its numerous other strengths and attributes, somehow ‘move the game on’. Equally, cars that are objectively superb but don’t break the mould generally don’t make the grade, falling half a star short. So where does that leave the Alpina B3 Touring, which as a mid-size performance estate is about as revolutionary as a toddler refusing to eat peas? Well, there’s another hugely significant metric of success that we Autocar road testers constantly refer to, which is ‘fitness for purpose’.

It’s here that the B3 Touring crushes the brief in a fashion that isn’t merely rare but perhaps unprecedented. If we were to plot a spider chart showing the attributes of ride quality, handling finesse, performance potential, build quality, interior opulence and all-round usability against the ideal for this kind of car, it would be lapping at every edge.

It’s a beautifully conceived car, almost perfectly executed, and marries many strengths that taken individually would surely encroach on the abilities of specialist machines. The finest all-rounder on the planet today? We think so.

The Autocar road test has given some emphatic recognition and praise to plenty of electric cars over the past decade. But no battery-electric production machine – not the Tesla Model S in 2013, the BMW i3 in 2014, the Jaguar I-Pace in 2018 or the Kia e-Niro in 2019 – was awarded a full-house five-star rating before the brilliant Porsche Taycan. More than any other car of its ilk, the Taycan vividly demonstrates that the electric car can be so much more than the dull, characterless means of transport that so many expect.

An astonishingly fast, really tactile, effortlessly poised and genuinely absorbing driver’s car as objectively accomplished as any bigger Porsche that has ever been built, it goes leagues beyond the staggering catapult acceleration and rapier response of its one-trick high-end electric rivals. It handles, communicates and involves superbly well on the road and holds its own on track, too. It’s a proper Porsche, much as some won’t easily admit it.

What’s more, if Porsche’s stunning accomplishment with this car had been achieved by simply squeezing the most state- of-the-art electric powertrain, energy storage and active chassis technologies into a car with a six-figure price, the Taycan would have a credible sporting rival by now. But, not counting the intimately related Audi E-tron GT, it doesn’t – and we suspect it won’t for some time to come.

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