bogus “sudden acceleration” scandal tarnished Audi’s reputation in the US during the 1980s. But by 1994 when the A8 debuted Audi’s fortunes were on the way up. Audi appealed to people who wanted sensible transportation, the kind of people who bought Volvos. The A8 changed that. The aluminum space frame and body weighed a fraction of an equivalent steel one. It floated like Muhammed Ali in his prime while the Mercedes-Benz S Class and BMW 7 Series felt leaden. Top Gear called it an icon of the sports saloon world stating, “it’s fair to surmise AMG S-Classes and XJRs wouldn’t have upped their game so much in the years that followed.”
definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it. Or you can view the video below.
Mark Webb is fascinated by anything automotive and particularly loves cars that are unusual or have a good story. He’s owned a variety of cars from 60’s muscle, Japanese imports, and oddities like a VW Thing and Porsche 924. After 20 years in the automotive and tech industries, he’s a walking encyclopedia of car info and is always on the lookout for his next project or a good road trip.
Audi has always been at the vanguard of headlight tech, and the A6 e-tron Concept shows just how bright the future is.
Back in February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made an announcement that will finally drag U. S. headlight regulations out of the stone age. At long last, manufactures will be able to equip vehicles on this side of the Pond with adaptive headlights. The move ends a major technological disparity between European and American models, and means we’re about to see some serious innovation when it comes to illumination. Of course, Four Ring fans know Audi has always been at the vanguard of this cutting edge tech — and this latest video from our friends at carwow demonstrates just how bright the future is.
In this clip, presenter Mat Watson gives us a tour of the lighting system on Audi’s A6 e-tron Concept, and the technology on display here is nothing short of incredible. As opposed to an old-school lightbulb, the headlamps are use LED light and a micro-mirror chip to direct the light. That micro-mirror chip is a matrix of 1.3 individual panels, which are invisible unless you’re looking through a microscope at setting which makes a human hair look like a stretch of freeway.
But while they’re tiny, each individual mirror can be tuned on the fly so the assembly can project anything from still images to video. And here, Watson uses the tech to project a video game on the wall.
Before we get to see him do that, however, we get a demonstration of how the system works on the road, and it’s bonkers impressive. Even north of 163 mph, the system lays down what Audi calls a “carpet of light,” and works with the car’s active safety systems to communicate to drivers when it’s safe to change lanes. Plus, the lights also display a cool welcome message when you start the car. It’s kind of akin to the custom puddle lamps that are all the rage right now — but like a million times more cool. Honestly, even as someone who works in the automotive industry, I was blown away.
All gimmicks aside, advances like this are certainly going to make roadways much safer. Because right now? Poor illumination remains a key reason why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety docks many new vehicles points. And since the agency says roughly half of vehicle fatalities occur at night, getting the best and brightest solutions available is the biggest of no-brainers. Check out the video below, and let me know what you think! Are you stoked Americans will finally be able to see in the dark properly?
The past year has been a strange one for car buyers. Stocks of new cars dried up during the pandemic due to supply chain issues, which rapidly inflated the cost of used cars – and those lucky enough to have new cars promptly sold them to cash in on the boom.
The car industry still hasn’t recovered from the parts shortages, meaning new car buyers are forced to stomach long wait times. So, if you want to get behind the wheel of some fresh metal sooner rather than later, it’ll probably be quicker to scour the second hand car market for a nearly new vehicle.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of vehicles. The SMMT recently reported that the new car market boomed by 78.7 percent year-on-year in March 2022. The used market enjoyed a similar uptick, growing by 11.5 percent by the end of 2021 as owners clamoured to make a quick buck on their motors.
Scroll down for our list of the best selling news cars in the UK during March 2022. You can find nearly new examples of every car here online, although you should expect to pay a little more over an equivalent brand new model for the convenience of getting it the same day. Like any used car, it’s always worth checking its history using the DVLA’s online tool.
10. Ford Fiesta (3,890 sold)
The Ford Fiesta is a great little supermini. It’s easy to thread through busy city streets, excellent fun to fling down a B-road and reasonably comfortable on the motorway. Ford has just facelifted the car as well, meaning the last examples of the pre-facelift model can be had for a steal. Have a browse around and pick up a bargain.
9. Toyota C-HR (3,910 sold)
The Toyota C-HR takes the (rather humdrum) Prius’s hybrid technology and packages it into a sharper crossover body. It’s stylish and efficient – so its sales success isn’t a surprise. There’s a handful of nearly new examples on the market as well, with prices starting from around £21,000, representing an £8,000 saving over one lifted from the showroom floor.
8. Ford Kuga (4,223 sold)
Ford had another stroke of brilliance with the Kuga. It’s a family SUV that’s loaded with technology, cheap to keep on the road and almost as fun to drive as the Focus. A recent recall for the PHEV model also drove buyers to flog their cars – so there’s a few on the used market. Just make sure your purchase has had the remedial work done before you buy.
7. Kia Sportage (4,563 sold)
The previous-generation Kia Sportage sold like hotcakes for its reliability and its practicality – and this new model follows the same trend. The trouble is, it hasn’t been on sale quite long enough for a good stock of used cars to build up. If you find one, though, you can buy with confidence as the car will still be covered by Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty.
6. Ford Puma (4,755 sold)
Look past the controversial nameplate (as it’s fixed to the rear of a compact crossover rather than a sporty coupe) you’ll find that the Ford Puma is a cracking little car. It’s very nearly as fun to drive as the Fiesta on which it’s based, but it’s a lot more practical. If you’re a speed junkie, you can also have one with a 200hp 1.5-litre petrol engine in ST trim.
5. Hyundai Tucson (4,876 sold)
The Hyundai Tucson is basically the same car as the Kia Sportage underneath, but it’s been on sale for a little longer which means there’s a float of used stock available. It’s a good buy, too – Hyundai did an excellent job of the Tucson’s interior and technology. The driving experience leaves much to be desired, but it’s dependable family transport.
4. Nissan Qashqai (5,401 sold)
Nissan pioneered the SUV niche with the original versions of the Juke and the Qashqai. The latest Qashqai seems to be stuck in the same rut, shifting well over 5,000 units in March alone – mostly due to its pedigree and new-found interior space. Sales figures like that mean there’s a surplus of stock, so you should be able to find the spec you want easily.
3. Vauxhall Corsa (5,515 sold)
The Corsa has been on Britain’s best-selling list ever since the first-generation model was launched back in the 1980s. This new model gives buyers the choice of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains – but we’d recommend avoiding the electric model if you’re buying used. You can get a good petrol one for around £10,000, but the EV will cost you double that.
2. Tesla Model 3 (6,457 sold)
Tesla is capitalising on the EV push. If you live anywhere near a city, you’ll see Model 3s everywhere – and they seem to change hands regularly. We found 29 cars with less than 10,000 miles on the clock, with prices starting from around £42,000. That’s reasonable considering the amount of performance and technology on offer.
1. Tesla Model Y (6,464 sold)
Tesla topped the UK’s sales charts with the Model Y, as buyers can’t seem to get enough of crossovers lately. It shares the same underpinnings as the Model 3, but it comes with lifted suspension and a slightly taller body. It’s also a lot newer than the Model 3, which means there aren’t many second hand examples on sale. Keep your eyes peeled for a deal.
The “Mona Lisa” of cars – a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé – has been auctioned by RM Sotheby’s for a record amount.
One of two Coupés ever built, it was the sister car to Stirling Moss’s iconic Mille Miglia-record-breaking, open-cockpit 300 SLR.
Both 300 SLR Coupés had remained at Mercedes-Benz since new. This car has been mostly kept in storage and has only covered 6,045km covered in its entire lifetime.
The winning bid was made by British expert and dealer Simon Kidston on behalf of a client, after lobbying the board of Mercedes-Benz for 18 months to consider selling the car.
All the money raised will benefit a charitable fund being set up by Mercedes-Benz.
It had always been assumed that Mercedes would never part with one of the crown jewels of its company collection, considered the ‘Mona Lisa’ of cars because of its rarity, racing pedigree, beauty and unavailability.
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupé was a development of the open two-seat sports-racing car built by Mercedes for the 1955 season and driven by Grand Prix greats such as Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio and Peter Collins.
Heavily based on the company’s all-conquering W196 Grand Prix single-seater, the W196 S sports car was powered by a 302bhp, 3.0-litre straight-eight of great complexity, and dominated the 1955 World Sportscar Championship.
Moss’s record drive on the 1955 Mille Miglia has been described as one of the greatest-ever feats of motor racing.
Neither 300 SLR Coupé was raced, though they were used for practice. A road test jointly conducted by British magazine Autocar and Swiss periodical Automobil Revue in 1956 produced the following figures: 0-60mph 6.9sec; 0-120mph in 20.3sec; maximum speed 176.47mph.
“If you had asked classic car experts and top collectors over the past half a century to name the most desirable car in the world, there’s a good chance that they would have come up with the same model: the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR,” explained Simon Kidston.
“It’s a combination of exotic engineering, all-conquering racing history, the power of the three-pointed star on its nose and the fact that one had never, ever been sold. Many collectors had tried, all had failed.
“That was what the entire motoring world thought, but times change, and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.”
The most valuable car in the world – MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SLR UHLENHAUT COUPE – sold for an all-time record price of 135 million EUR with proceeds to establish the Mercedes-Benz Fund.
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe from 1955 has been sold at auction for a record price of 135 million EUR to a private collector. This icon of automotive history is an absolute rarity – one of just two prototypes built at the time. Named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, right, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of automotive engineering and design by automotive experts and enthusiasts worldwide.
“The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes are milestones in sports car development and key historical elements that have shaped our brand. The decision to sell one of these two unique sports cars was taken with very sound reasoning – to benefit a good cause. The proceeds from the auction will fund a global scholarship program. With the “Mercedes-Benz Fund” we would like to encourage a new generation to follow in Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s innovative footsteps and develop amazing new technologies, particularly those that support the critical goal of decarbonization and resource preservation,” says Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “At the same time, achieving the highest price ever paid for a vehicle is extraordinary and humbling: A Mercedes-Benz is by far the most valuable car in the world.”
“As a global company and as a luxury brand we bear a great level of responsibility towards society,” says Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, who is responsible for the governance of the Mercedes-Benz Fund. “The proceeds from the sale of the MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SLR UHLENHAUT COUPE provide us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our commitment with a long-term flagship project: We will establish the global scholarship program Mercedes-Benz Fund supporting young people in their studies, commitment and actions towards a more sustainable future. We are convinced that access to education in these areas will be crucial in encountering the great challenges of our time and contribute to greater stability, prosperity and social cohesion.”
The Mercedes-Benz Fund will be divided into two sub-categories: University Scholarships in order to connect, educate and encourage students to realize/conduct research on environmental science projects and School Scholarships focusing on pupils to realize local environmental projects in their communities. The program funds will be directed to individuals who otherwise do not have the financial means for their projects and career paths. The program will go beyond financially supporting the young people and include extracurricular elements like Mercedes-Benz mentorships opening up new career prospects. The Fund will be jointly developed with and managed by an experienced partner which is currently being evaluated. The detailed set-up and roll-out planning as well as the partner organization will be announced later this year.
The sale of the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe took place on May 5th at an auction held at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in cooperation with renowned auctioneer RM Sotheby’s. The invitees were among selected Mercedes-Benz customers and international collectors of cars and art, who share the corporate values of Mercedes-Benz. The Coupe sold at auction was part of the non-public vehicle collection belonging to Mercedes- Benz Classic, comprising more than 1100 automobiles from the invention of the automobile in 1886 until today.
“We are proud that we can contribute with our historical collection to this initiative connecting the past with the future of engineering and decarbonization technology”, says Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage. “The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.”
The special circumstances behind its creation, its unique design and its innovative technology have endowed the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe with a remarkable level of mystique that endures to this day. Its design set benchmarks that put it among the world’s most significant automotive icons – not least on account of its distinctive “gullwing” doors. Added to this is the outstanding performance delivered by its thoroughbred racing technology. Together, both have secured its acclaimed position in sports car mythology and a very special place in the hearts of Mercedes fans around the world.