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House of Mercedes-Benz


Photos by Adrian Streather
One of the stars of any motor show is the Mercedes SLR McLaren. The automobile according to Mercedes Benz was inspired by the 300 SLR coupe from the 1950s. Built by Mclaren in England the SLR is powered by a 5.5 liter, turbocharged V8 with an output of 415 kW (557 hp). Top speed is estimated to be in excess of 320 kph. Acceleration time from 0 to 100 kph (0 to 62 mph) is estimated to be in the region of 4.2 seconds. The SLR also makes use of the latest available technology including a carbon-fiber chassis to keep it as lightweight as possible. The recommended retail price of the SLR is US $425,000 but the first SLR offered for sale in the USA was sold at auction for US $2.1 million.

House of Maserati


Photos by Adrian Streather
Maserati also known as the House of Trident used to be a household name in motor racing. Who can forget the Maserati Tipo 60-61 birdcages of the early 1960s with the legendary racer Stirling Moss as their number one driver? Unfortunately Maserati fell on hard times and very nearly went into automotive oblivion. The world without the House of Trident was unthinkable to their legions of fans and owners alike. Luckily for the brand, existing owners and fans worldwide a white knight appeared riding a black horse. Ferrari stepped in and took over Maserati. The House of Maserati was back in business. The new House of Trident has attracted new converts to their product. Alois Ruf who manufactures his own range of sports cars based on Porsche designs and soon his own design, was so taken with the new Maserati product lines starting with the 3200 GT coupe that he set up his own Maserati dealership. The small Bavarian town of Pfaffenhausen Germany is super car heaven.
The Geneva Auto Salon 2004 saw the world premiere of the latest super car offering from the House of Trident, the Maserati MC12 Stradale. The MC12 is also known as the MCS in some publications.
The MC12 Stradale is based on the new FIA GT Maserati MCC (Maserati Corse Competizione) racing car. This racing car will compete under the colors of the House of the Trident in selected FIA-GT races in the 2004 season and will enter a full race program in the 2005 series. Recent press releases about the Maserati MCC on the track have shown it is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
30 MC12 Stradales will be built in 2004 with 25 of them being fully approved road going versions. A further 25 will be built in 2005 in road going configuration. The MC12 is two-seater with a mid-mounted engine and rear wheel drive only. The body style is that of a roadster. The hard top is removable.
MC12 Stradale basic specifications: Engine: Engine 65 V12, Bore & Stroke 92x75.2 mm (3.62X2.96 in). Total Displacement 5998 cc (366 cubic in). Compression Ratio 11.2:1. Maximum power at the flywheel is 465 kW (623.6 hp) at 7500 rpm and maximum torque is 652 Nm (481 ft lbs) at 5500 rpm. The engine has an aluminum crankcase, titanium con rods. The oil lubrication uses the dry sump system. The engine is based on the Ferrari V12 so it will have the same highly efficient oil scavenge pump developed by Ferrari. The engine is started using a blue engine start button.
Transmission: Longitudinal rear-mounted gearbox rigidly connected to engine. Maserati Cambiocorsa mechanical gearbox with electronically controlled electro-hydraulic operation via paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. Dry twin-plate clutch, Hydraulic Bosch ASR traction control system.
Chassis: Carbon and Nomex honeycomb monocoque chassis with aluminum front and rear sub-chassis.
Interior: The inside of MC12 uses mixture of carbon fiber, leather and a suede type of material. For a car based on a racer the interior is extremely elegant. The suede is used to cover the carbon fiber framed seats, the dash and doors. No radio is fitted (keeping the MC12 as light as possible) but strangely is still fitted with climate controls, electric windows. An electric analog style clock is also standard. Performance: Maximum speed: In excess of 330 kph (205 mph)
0 to 100 kph (0 to 62 mph) 3.8 seconds.
The basic price of the Maserati MC12 is not officially available at this time Sources place the cost at $US800, 000 or 600,000 Euros plus VAT per unit. So what are you going to get for your money? Having seen this super car up close and personal I can assure anyone that if anyone who can afford it, is going to be the owner of the best of the best when it comes to super cars. I could not imagine what the registration and insurance costs of such a machine are but if you can afford to purchase one in the first place these things are not a worry. Just do not scratch the wheels on the curb. I wonder where they put the spare tire? The wheels are enormous.


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2004 Geneva Auto Show Highlights



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