German Car Maker

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...
Few events stir more memorable moments than baseball season openers; the third Thursday of every November, when the Beaujolais Nouveau is uncorked; and the introduction of any BMW bearing an M badge...
Audi’s A8 L W12 was the tuxedo in our wardrobe of beautifully tailored driving machines. It carried itself with Department of State formality on a wheelbase of near-limousine dimensions. The deep,...
What a difference $22,000, a supercharger, some transmission reprogramming, bigger wheels, beefier brakes, tighter suspension, classier trim, and a couple of discreet AMG badges will make. They...
No car before or since has cleaved the air as effectively as did the 1954 Mercedes 300SL, the Gullwing. Today, more than 50 years later, automakers still are striving to achieve its coefficient of...
Sir Stirling Moss buckles the strap on his trademark white open-face helmet, adjusts his goggles, and settles into the tartan cloth seat of his classic Silver Arrow Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racer. Head...
Driving the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is not an experience that will make you hold on to your hat, at least not literally. Surging through a narrow, curvy stretch of autobahn on the...
When the new Porsche Cayman S arrives in showrooms in the spring of 2006, it may look familiar; it will share front fenders, hood, doors, headlights, and taillights with the Boxster convertible. But...
Another monster has come to life in the quiet German town of Ingolstadt, but unlike Mary Shelley’s creature, this one, Audi’s 2007 RS4, is ferocious by design. However, the RS4, which will have a...
The wailing exhaust note of a Porsche V-10 engine is not a wake-up call option at most resorts. Nevertheless, that distinctive reveille echoes early one morning off the high walls of the Chateau...
Sipping a cocktail while lounging in the Patio de Caballos at the elegant Hacienda La Boticaria Hotel near Seville, Spain, BMW board member Burkhard Goeschel gestures toward a new bronze BMW M6...
Excepting the exotic SLR, the bad boy in the Mercedes-Benz convertible clubhouse is the SL55’s bigger brother, the SL65. It is an amazing creation in terms of engineering, and its stealth factor is...
From the outset, I was impressed with the appearance of BMW’s new-Bangled 7 Series sedan. Its unconventional lines seem to reflect the spirit of designs produced by Italy’s carrozzerias in the 1950s...
Whenever I get my hands on the latest 911, I cannot help but compare it with its predecessor. True confession: I never really loved the 996, despite using one as a daily driver for many years. It was...
A side from several understated features—aluminum side mirrors and a slightly modified spoiler, for example—the Audi S4 resembles a standard-issue $28,000 A4 sedan. A punch on the gas, however,...
When Mercedes-Benz executives huddled together four years ago to develop plans for a brand-new model, they wisely looked no further than their own stable for ideas. After all, there they had the S-...
The interstate highway traditionally has been the playground for bikes bearing the BMW propeller. But the German manufacturer, known for producing cruisers that can complete cross-country journeys...
If the 2005 Porsche 911 has indeed been in development since the fall of 1998, then it could appear—at first glance, at least—as though the German automaker’s designers took plenty of draft and...
To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class ( www.mbusa.com ), AMG fitted the upcoming G55 with the ultimate noisemaker: a bellowing 469 hp, 5.5-liter, supercharged V-8. Producing one...
Lorinser GS03 The SL55 undergoes a stunning makeover. When I was growing up in the late 1970s, I had a crush on singer Debby Boone, who was—and still is—attractive, vivacious, and in possession of...
The Porsche Cayenne is shrinking, and its sibling, the Volkswagen Touareg, is growing. Porsche will release a downsized, V-6 version of its SUV before year’s end, a move sure to further distress...
Though they will have to wait until the end of this year or the beginning of 2005, fans of Audi ( www.audiusa.com ) can expect a 12-cylinder version of the flagship A8L sedan in the United States...
In 1954, Mercedes-Benz rolled out a vehicle so unique and so revolutionary that it gained universal praise. Not only did the 300SL Gullwing capture the eyes and imagination of the general public, but...
Push can quickly come to shove in the Porsche 911 GT3. With its minimalist bent—no traction control, no Porsche Stability Management system—an aggressive stomp on the accelerator, especially during a...
Building an SUV might not have seemed an obvious choice for Porsche; when announced, the news prompted head-scratching, even amid the extreme vogue for SUVs. (Lamborghini did set a precedent in the...
Mainstream BMWs have typically been safe, three-box designs—handsome but never sensual, clean and catchy without being really clever or truly eye-catching. The 645Ci coupe, however, exorcises all...

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