German Car Maker

Happy Hour. It is late and dark at the end of a 16-hour workday. Home and the nearest martini are 27 miles away. And it is raining. That is when a body needs to slip into the Mercedes-Benz CL63 and...
Impulse Purchase. After 40-odd years of refining the 911, Porsche has created automotive perfection. The Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet may not have garnered as many first-place votes as either the Audi...
It has been more than 10 years since the first time I jumped out of an airplane, but I still recall every detail of the 60-second free fall that preceded my pulling the rip cord. So with some degree...
Blasting through puddles at 187 mph on the main runway at Alhorn flugplatz in northern Germany, Porsche’s 2008 911 GT2 spits out a rooster tail taller than Miss Budweiser’s. It is a spectacular...
Appearing like a 911 coupe captured through a wide-angle lens, the Panamera is Porsche’s answer to Mercedes-Benz’s highly successful four-door, four-passenger CLS. The Panamera—named after La Carrera...
The first BMW X5 ( www.bmwusa.com ) introduced drivers to the concept of an SUV that behaved like a sports sedan. (BMW calls the X5 an SAV—for Sport Activity Vehicle.) Redesigned for 2007, the X5...
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Since its introduction in 1956 as the company’s huge, luxurious, and unexpectedly fast flagship, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has ranked high—some say highest—on lists of the best...
The Audi R8 ( www.audi.com ) may lack a long history, but it already has experienced plenty of racing success: The prototype that dominated sports car competitions for the past seven years went by...
First came the Maybach 62, introduced four years ago as an 18-footer for elderly businessmen and their chauffeurs. Next was the smaller Maybach 57, designed more for those who prefer to do their own...
The $59,890 Lotus Exige S ( www.lotuscars.com ) may look like a bantamweight in this company of heavy hitters, but make no mistake: This mid-engine racer swings a mighty punch. Key to its phenomenal...
The oversize, overendowed, and pretty much over-everything undertaking known as Maybach was supposed to supplant Rolls-Royce as the acme of automotive overindulgence. Mission not accomplished. The...
One writer damned the Quasi-Automatic Transmission in the otherwise smooth and affable Maserati Quattroporte for its mechanical hiccups and “up-shifts that are depressingly clumsy and slow.” Another...
The Mercedes-Benz Concept Ocean Drive car has the underpinnings of the long-wheelbase S600 sedan, the V-12 engine and two-tone exterior color scheme of a Maybach, and a shape that bears a strong...
The thin, dry desert air over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway often resounds with the noise of F-22 Raptors and B-2 Spirits running war games out of nearby Nellis Air Force Base. However, on a recent...
One carmaker continues to advance standards for technology, safety, and performance in automobiles designed for real-world use. This year, Mercedes-Benz ups the ante once again with what may be the...
Fresh from Bavaria, the latest M Series coupe follows the M5 sedan’s 2006 Car of the Year showing with identical results: a tie for the seventh position. Equipped with the same venerable 5-liter V-10...
Audi’s new version of the S8 exceeded the expectations of many participants in this year’s event. They were surprised that this S8 was even better than its predecessor, and that it possessed more...
Conventional wisdom says that while a Rolls-Royce fairly screams money and status, a Maybach, a less recognizable marque, is more likely to whisper wealth. Phantoms form a line leading to the red...
The first Porsche 911 Turbo hit the streets more than 30 years ago, and depending on one’s perspective, the latest, greatest, sixth-generation Turbo can be considered either a descendant from that...
What a difference pressing a button can make. One jab of the index finger upon the simple gray device that BMW has mounted on the steering wheel of its newest and most exclusive vehicle launches you...
If BMW motorcycles were cars, they would be Porsche 911s. Both are high-end, high-priced forms of transportation that are made in Germany and powered by horizontally opposed engines, but the...
It may be true that, as a BMW spokesman says, the M6 convertible will appeal to the car enthusiast who really appreciates performance, someone who also is an aficionado of airplanes, watches, and...
In the very beginning, in the 1880s, while working independently and in separate workshops near Stuttgart, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the first automobiles, which eventually led to the...
With the advent of the R10, the turbo-diesel-powered prototype that is dominating the international Le Mans circuits, Audi’s R8 racecar recently went the way of the dodo. But a sports car of the same...
No sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks The silence of the summer day, As by the loveliest of all lakes I while the idle hours away. –from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Cadenabbia, Lake of Como Had...
BMW was first, in 1996, with its made-in-America Z3 roadster, which, powered by a 4-cylinder engine dribbling out 138 hp, required nearly 10 seconds to reach freeway speed limits. Get a ticket in a...
It used to be that Mercedes-Benz built highly capable sedans wrapped in utterly conservative bodywork. Even when the German manufacturer ventured into the realm of high performance—say, the 300 SEL 6...
“On the gas! On the gas! On the gas!” my guide repeated as I shot up the side of a sand dune in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. I had left the highway only a few minutes earlier and was already sweating...
“What brings people to Mallorca this time of year?” I asked the concierge at Son Julia ( www.sonjulia.com ), a restored and resplendent 24-room mansion-cum-grand hotel that had opened barely two...
En route from Málaga to Marbella along the scenic expressway in southern Spain, I search in vain for a flight attendant call button. Finding none, I abandon the fantasy and accept that this is the...

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