2014 Mercedes-benz Sprinter High Roof -170" Wheelbase -4 Door -2500 Passenger on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 07 Oct 2013
Brazil is the place to be, apparently. Toyota has been investing in the South American country, as has BMW, which announced a $261 million investment in October 2012, on the heels of an Audi factory announcement in San José Chiapa. The high-end immigration is only set to continue, as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover have both announced plans to set up manufacturing operations there.
Mercedes is the big news here, as its new facility will see the German manufacturer invest 170-million euros for production of its next-generation C-Class and upcoming GLA-Class. "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition," noted Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Production is expected to begin by 2016.
Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, isn't so concrete in its plans. The news of its investment in South America comes from a job posting for a plant quality manager in Brazil that was picked up by the UK's AutoCar. "Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage" for interested candidates, according to the job listing. The want ad follows on the heels of remarks by Jaguar Land Rover's Dr. Ralph Speth, who said there are "very intensive discussions" with Brazil's government. Unlike Mercedes, there's no mention of which vehicles will be produced in South America, although AutoCar thinks the Freelander, sold in the US as the LR2, is a leading contender.
The wheel ranks right up there with the telescope and four-slice toaster in the pantheon of inventions that have moved humankind forward. But what if a circle in three dimensions had never occurred to anyone, and we all had just moved on without it? Perhaps we'd be driving around in Lucas Motors Landspeeders with anti-gravity engines. Or maybe we'd have the same cars we do today, just without wheels.
That's the thought experiment that seems to have led French photographer Renaud Marion to create his six-image series called Air Drive. The shots depict cars throughout many eras of motoring that look normal except for one thing: they have no wheels. The models used include a Jaguar XK120, Cadillac DeVille (shown above), Chevrolet El Camino and Camaro, and Mercedes-Benz SL and 300 roadsters.
Perhaps one day when our future becomes our past, you'll be able to walk the street and see with your own eyes the rust and patina of age on our nation's fleet of floating cars. Until then, Monsieur Marion's photographs will have to do.
After an argument with his adoptive parents that resulted in them taking away his mobile phone, an angry 13-year-old boy ran away from his home in Italy and headed straight to Poland to meet his biological sister. But instead of taking the train or hitching a ride, like most on the run, the young man (an accomplished go-kart racer and car enthusiast) grabbed the keys to his father's Mercedes-Benz and jumped behind the wheel for an impromptu road trip.
With less than 200 euros (about $270) in his wallet and a passport in his pocket, the youngster managed to put more than 500 miles between himself and his distraught parents, crossing two international borders in the process, before German police nabbed him just shy of the Polish border. According to reports, the vehicle was tracked - it wasn't his driving that alerted authorities to his location.
Reunited with his mother and father, who traveled to Germany to retrieve both their son and the vehicle, the young man apologized and acknowledged his error. As a result of his actions, social workers will increase checks on the family and we can be sure his parents are now hiding the keys.