Car And Driver Gets First Look At Mercedes’ Upcoming GLK-Class Lineup

At a press event in Kitzbuehl, Austria, Car and Driver met with the head of Mercedes passenger car design Hans-Dieter Futschik to witness firsthand the Mercedes’ newest addition to its SUV family: the GLK-Class. Although taking photos of the model wasn’t permitted, a number of details of the model have been revealed, well ahead of its premier which is currently scheduled to take place in the second half of 2008.

Mercedes Dealer Attempts To Charge 6,500 Dollars To Remove A Pebble From Moonroof

Going through our inbox this morning, a reader by the name of Will tipped us off to a video posted on Wise Bread, one which provides an amusing look at a Mercedes dealer which attempted to, either directly or indirectly, screw a customer. It’s a seven minute video, so if you don’t have time to watch it, I’ll give you a quick summary. A Mercedes owner was having trouble with his moonroof, so he took it to a Mercedes dealership for a repair estimate. The dealership informed said Mercedes owner he needed a new frame, etc., and that the cost would be about 6,500 bucks. Owner then took his Mercedes to another repair shop, after which he was informed that a small stone lodged in the moonroof was the cause of the malfunction, a repair which was carried out with the help of a tweezers at the cost of 143 dollars.

New Transformers Clip Shown On Jay Leno’s Tonight Show

Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, aka “Sam Witwicky” appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and apart from the usual chit chat we also saw a clip from the movie featuring Sam trying to hide the Autobots in his backyard from his father. We heard that Michael Bay’s movie would have a few funny scenes, but if they’re like this one, we’d rather someone take them out before the film hits cinemas worldwide on July 4th.

A Look Into The Future: Mercedes Presents Details Of Their Forward-Looking Safety Concepts

As evidenced by the host of safety features found on their current model lineup, Mercedes is clearly a company focused on improving driving safety, whether it be in the event of an accident or by preventing an accident altogether. But have you ever wondered what the future holds in store for driving safety? If so, Mercedes has published a press release today detailing their forward-looking safety concept.

Volkswagen Beetle to be revive into a new car

Volkswagen is set to revive the beetle and make it a new-generation rear-engined economy car.

It was reported that the new entry-level, tiny four-seat Volkswagen is the brainchild of Ferdinand Piech, chairman of the Volkswagen board and grandson of original Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche. According to other reports, The new Volkswagen vehicle will have its engine mounted on top of the transaxle, driving the rear wheels, but a water-cooled radiator up front, shifting from the classic Beetle theme.

The engines of the new car are said to be a TSI (turbo/supercharged) three-cylinder petrol unit and an ultra-economical diesel. A two-cylinder petrol engine has also been suggested for developing markets.

There were also reports that three different wheelbase lengths will be offered for the Beetle. One type will include a 130″ model that will go to the US. There will also be and two body-styles. One a retro hatchback and the other a conventional saloon. This new car is designed as a rival for the Renault Logan, Fiat Palio/Albea and other economy cars sold in poorer nations.

The US-market retro hatch is predicted to cost at $10,000 to $14,000. It will also be available to Europe to compete with the Fiat 500, new-generation Ford Ka, Peugeot 107/Citroen C1 and suchlike. It was also reported that power steering will not be included, since the car will be small and light enough for this not to be necessary. It will be incorporated with all necessary modern safety features such as ABS, stability control, airbags and so on.

There’s no word yet on a name for this car but some reports have suggested it will be called Lupa.

Former parliament member convicted in Volkswagen corruption case

In a Volkswagen case, a former member of the German parliament and labor leader of the car company, Hans-Juergen Uhl, was fined 39,200 euros (52,130 dollars) by a German court yesterday after he admitted to having been involved in a bribery and corruption scandal at Europe’s leading car maker.

The municipal court of Wolfsburg sentenced Uhl, 55, to the fine after finding him guilty of aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and lying under oath.

Uhl, a work council chief at Volkswagen between 1990 and 2006, admitted accepting visits from prostitutes paid for with company cash and lying about it earlier in the case.

“I regret what I did and take responsibility for it,” said Uhl, who recently laid down his parliamentary mandate and quit the Social Democrat party (SPD) because of his involvement in the scandal.

In view of his confession, the court, which had originally planned five days for the trial, declined to interview any witnesses and handed down the sentence after just one day.

Earlier, Uhl had told the court that he had “lost grip on reality” and that, in retrospect, he was “aghast” at his own behavior.

In January, Volkswagen’s former head of human resources Peter Hartz was given a two-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of 560,000 euros for his role in a bribery scandal involving lavish holidays and prostitutes.

Hartz, the architect of extensive German labor market reforms and the former head of personnel at Europe’s biggest car maker, avoided prison under an agreement struck with the prosecution under which he gave full testimony and admitted paying bribes.

2008 Citroen C5 II Uncovered Prior To Its Frankfurt Debut

This is it: Citroen’s brand-new Mondeo fighter, the C5 that’ll make its first public appearance at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September. However, since three months is a lifetime in the world of automotive journalism, French car magazine Auto-Journal took the liberty to enlighten us with a whole series of photos featuring a totally undisguised 2008 C5.

While it would be foolish, to say the least, to draw any final conclusions on the C5’s appearance, judging by what we see here, Citroen’s new five-door liftback abandons the first generation’s sober looks in favour of a more dynamic shape, inspired from the latest C4 and C6 models. Likewise, the 2008 C5’s interior blends several characteristic details we find in other Citroens like the C4 & Picasso derived, fixed steering wheel hub that in theory, lets the driver operate several functions of the car without removing his or her hands from the wheel, but in practice, proves a huge annoyance. –Continued: Click “Read More…” below

No word on technical specs, but if there’s one thing we can be sure of is that, like the current model, the new C5 with be equipped with a will be equipped Citroen’s technologically advanced, hydropneumatic suspension.

Pics via: Autojournal

Oil Tycoon Planning World’s Largest Windarm

T. Boone Pickens wants to build the largest wind farm in the world. You might assume that with a name like T. Boone Pickens, this guy would be some kind of oil tycoon.  Funny thing is, you’d totally be right.

You know wind power has made it big when Texas oil moguls start getting into the business. And, of course, everything is bigger in Texas.

Pickens’ wind project will stretch over 200,000 acres in four Texas panhandle counties and produce over 4000 megawatts of power…enough to power around one million homes.

Of course, these plans don’t always become reality, but the prospect of a four gigawatt $6 billion solar plant is pretty freakin’ exciting. If approved, the plant would begin construction in 2010. And that may be the first time in my life saying "Thanks" to an oil tycoon.

Via BusinessWeek

Waves Could Power the World 2X Over

Ever sit by the ocean, and watch a buoy or a seagull bob up and down without end? The energy it
takes to move all that water up and down is massive. Prevailing winds,
temperature differentials, strong weather and even the rotation of the
Earth all contribute to the never-ending crash of waves against the
shore, and viewed from a certain perspective, that’s a lot of energy
going to waste:

The World Energy
Council has estimated that approximately 2 terawatts (2 million
megawatts), about double current world electricity production, could be
produced from the oceans via wave power. It is estimated that 1 million
gigawatt hours of wave energy hits Australian
shores annually and that 25% of the UKÂ’s current power usage could be
supplied by harvesting its wave resource.

The image above shows average yearly wave-power energy in various parts of the world in kilowatts per METER!

same ocean currents that fueled the economic growth of the 18th and
19th centuries may now help power the countries that prospered as a
result – with the best sites in the world lying off the shores of
developed countries, look for this alternative energy to (I can’t help
myself) make some waves in the coming years. Scotland, Portugal,
Australia and Hawaii already have installations underway or in place,
and feasibility studies are being undertaken by Spain, Norway, USA and
New Zealand.


Mazda’s Simple Engine Mod Burns 20% Less Gas

Mazda’s new Miller-cycle engine will power the new Mazda2, (named the Demio for the US).

Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a new, naturally
aspirated 1.3-liter Miller-cycle gasoline engine, which will power the all-new Mazda2
when it goes on sale in Japan
in July 2007. The Miller-cycle engine
usually depends on having a really big super charger but Mazda has figured out
a way to use the Miller-cycle on a normally aspirated engine.

The Miller-cycle is a fancy name for a simple change in the
valve timing for an engine.  It allows
the compression stroke of a 4-cycle engine to begin later than typical. Less power wasted on compression means more

In combination with MazdaÂ’s first continuously variable
transmission (CVT), the engine enables the new Mazda2 to offer 54 mpg US, an
improvement of approximately 20% compared with MazdaÂ’s current 1.3-liter
engine model.

In addition to the new powertrain, the all-new Mazda2 has
been made approximately 220 lb lighter than its predecessor through a strict weight
reduction program, which results in quick handling to go along with the
significantly improved fuel economy.

can see no reason that the Miller-cycle engine can’t be used to improve
the efficiency of larger engines and/or engines in hybrids.  I wonder
what the carbon footprint of a Miller-cycle hybrid car running on
cellulosic ethanol would be?

Via Green Car Congress