Potholes drive you mad? New Mercedes-Benz limousine scans road surface to brace itself for craters and bumps prior to impact
Driven mad by our increasingly cratered roads? Mercedes-Benz has a solution.
Its new flagship S-Class limousine, pictured, could be the cleverest car on the road; it can ‘see’ potholes and bumps ahead and adapt its suspension to brace itself prior to impact, reducing the potential damage and discomfort.
The system, called ‘road surface scan’, uses a stereo camera, works in good visibility and at speeds of up to 80mph. M-B says it helps make the car the ‘most advanced S-Class ever’.
The car can also drive itself, steer and brake automatically in a jam at speeds of up to 30mph.
The driver can even choose the scent that circulates around the cabin via an atomiser in the airconditioning system.
Mercedes-Benz S 350 BlueTec is super intuitive
And it’s also the first car in the world to dispense with light bulbs — replacing them with LED systems.
The launch took place against the backdrop of an Airbus A380 superjumbo in its hangar in Hamburg this week.
Other bells and whistles include variable brake light intensity — they dim at night or while waiting at traffic lights to ease the effect on other drivers — and a driver’s seat that can replicate a hot-stone massage.
For executives on the move, the car features a series of mobile office aids, including a multimedia system. It’s also lighter, more efficient and faster than the model it replaces. The most frugal S300 BlueTec hybrid model manages 64.2 mpg.
It will cost between £65,000 and £100,000 with UK order books opening in June ahead of first deliveries in October.
The 150mph, 100bhp lightweight WK650i, costs around £25,000
The first Chinese motorcycle to enter the legendary Isle Of Man TT road race has landed in Britain ahead of the race, which starts a week today.
The 150mph, 100bhp lightweight WK650i, costs around £25,000 and has been built by Hampshire Motorcycles from Chinese parts imported by WK Bikes.
The WK Bikes team is sponsored by Chinese brewer Tsingtao – based in China’s beautiful Shandong province.
It marks the first new major manufacturer in the TT since Honda in 1959.
Australian Dave Johnson, who will ride for WK Bikes, was the fastest newcomer in the TT in 2011.
Supercar maker Ferrari, which last year sold a record 7,000 cars worldwide, is to cut back on production to enhance its exclusivity.
It sells in 61 countries and reported record demand in the first quarter of this year, with sales up 4 per cent to 1,798 cars.
However, more special series cars, such as the limited edition LaFerrari, are planned and even one-offs for mega-rich clients. Chairman Luca di Montezemolo says: ‘Dealers must learn to work on quality not quantity.’
Talk about Jurassic car park. A generation of cars that dominated our highways and kerbsides in the Seventies and Eighties – such as Allegros, Montegos, Maestros, Marinas and Maxis – are on the brink of extinction. The fascinating details of a dying breed are revealed in a new analysis by industry expert Honest John on classics.honestjohn.co.uk.
The Austin Allegro is highest on the list of endangered cars with fewer than one in 200 ever produced being driven today. Famed for its square or ‘quartic’ steering wheel, 642,340 were turned out between 1973 and 1982, and 291 remain today.
It is followed by the Austin Montego (just 296 remain), the wedge-shaped Austin Princess (121), Hillman Avenger (369), classic Vauxhall Viva (1,057), Morris Marina (674), Austin Maxi (401), Morris Ital (174), the ground-breaking and futuristic-looking Rover SD1 (310), and the Vauxhall VX series, including the Victor and Ventora. Fewer than 1,000 are still around.
Next comes the Austin Metro, which enjoyed celebrity status as Princess Diana’s car when she married Charles in July 1981 – just 1,930 of the 1.5 million built between 1980 and 1981 survive.
The legendary Ford Cortina has fared slightly better with 5,411 still around – but that’s still only 1.13 per cent of the 4.15 million built in the 20 years to 1982. In 20th place is the infamous ‘jelly-mould’ Ford Sierra of 1982-93 – 15,282 remain of a total run of 3.47million.
Hyundai’s ix35 has been named Car Of The Year in the Honest John consumer awards.
The Korean car also won the ‘most popular crossover’ categories in the awards decided by the number of searches each car receives from the 1.6 million users of honestjohn.co.uk