Mercedes-benz S-class Designo Pkg on 2040-cars
Powell, Texas, United States
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Auto blogFri, 01 Nov 2013
Records, as the say, are made to be broken. Whether that's cramming the most hot dogs down your gullet, running a faster mile, or yes, driving across the United States, odds are that there's someone out there wants to eat more, run faster or drive harder. Speaking of that last example, the record for driving from a set location on the east coast, in particular the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA, has been one that has fascinated gearheads since a guy named Cannonball Baker made the trek from New York to LA in 53 hours, 30 minutes, in 1933.
The competition saw its glory days when Car and Driver's Brock Yates came up with the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (more affectionately known as the Cannonball Run), although the record was most recently set by Alex Roy and his 32-hour, seven-minute trek behind the wheel of a BMW M5 in 2006. Now, there's a new champion, who made the trip from east to west in a scarcely imaginable 28 hours and 50 minutes, behind the wheel of a 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG. That's works out to an average speed of 98 miles per hour over the course of 2,813.7 miles.
His name is Ed Bolian, and Jalopnik has a writeup of the epic voyage that details everything from the history of the Cannonball Run to Bolian's preparation and trouble finding co-drivers, to the trip itself. It is well worth a read.
Unlike the US, the commercial truck market throughout the rest of the world is chocked full of competitors from many different automakers. Since 2006, Volkswagen has had a fullsize van called the Crafter that was a result of a partnership with Daimler AG and based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This partnership is supposed to last through 2016, but Reuters is reporting that VW might be looking to end its relationship with Daimler and create its own van in cooperation with German truck and bus maker MAN.
The article says that VW AG has more than a 75-percent stake in MAN, which would essentially be keeping the new commercial vehicle in-house. Even if VW bolts, Daimler still has a deal worked out in the commercial truck industry between its subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso and Renault-Nissan to supply the other with different trucks.
If you think Mercedes-Benz will slap an AMG badge on anything with wheels, think again. Word has it the German manufacturer will not offer buyers a performance version of the GLK, with Tobias Moers, director of AMG vehicle development, saying that he doesn't see a market for the car. That's not to say the picture won't change in the near future, however. According to CarAdvice.com, AMG is keeping a close eye on the arrival of the Porsche Macan.
"Maybe there will be a change in the market when the Porsche [Macan] comes up," Moers said, "but right now, no."
The real hitch in the giddy-up seems to be cost. Moers says developing the machine into something worthy of an AMG would represent "a huge investment." We can't exactly argue with that. Fortunately, AMG buyers have plenty of Mercedes-Benz models to choose from.