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Don’t head to the optometrist just yet. If the parking lot outside the California Pizza Kitchen and P.F. Chang’s seems particularly crowded with Mercedes-Benz SUVs, you’re probably seeing just fine.
The company had some good news to release with the new year, they managed to surpass the 2 million SUVs sales mark. According to a press release, the company enjoyed significant growth in SUV sales in 2011 thanks to the U.S. and China. SUV sales were up 24.3 percent compared to 2010 and additionally the company saw a 23.5 percent sales spike in November.
“With the launch of our first sport utility vehicle – the G‑Class – more than 30 years ago, we entered a segment in which we are now very successful with a total of five models. The SUVs today are an important pillar of Mercedes-Benz’s growth and have regularly posted a new sales record in every month since July 2010,” Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes’ head of sales and marketing, said.
While it may have taken the company 30 years to reach that number, luxury SUVs have really only been making a splash since the late 90′s with the introduction of the ML-Class. It may be easy to forget the rocky debut they had, but had some serous struggles making them a success. Questionable assembly and poor reliability in the not-so-distant past might still have some buyers feeling wary.
Nevertheless, it seems that suburban soccer moms and the expanding Chinese hunger for luxury cars is fuelling growth even with a shaky world economy. The R-Class boasted the biggest spurt with 50.3 percent sales growth this year, while the M-Class squeaked out 15.8 percent despite a model change.
Mercedes-Benz is still proud despite the M-Class taking last place in growth, calling it the latest star in their family. That pride comes part in parcel with the SUV having best fuel efficiency in its segment and receiving a five-star rating by the European New Car Assessment Programme for its safety.
Despite the accolades, we weren’t particularly impressed with the 2012 M-Class. It’s not to say we hated it, but the new model isn’t much to write home about either. Mild improvements thanks to direct injection and a scrapped hydraulic steering system were nice, but less than revolutionary. Mercedes-Benz isn’t falling short, but they didn’t jump ahead of the pack with this one either.
Well, now one guy has cause to point and laugh at all those idiots who plunked down $1.6 million for their Bugatti Veyron’s. The Hoffman Motorsports / Heffner Performance that just this year set a 252 mph standing mile record at the Texas Mile has done it again. At the, Exotics Rally Miami One Mile, this past weekend, they cranked up the boost from a pedestrian 26 psi in Texas to an unbelievable 41 psi, bringing the total output of this particular Ford to 1,900hp, and propelling the Yellow GT to a new standing mile record at 266.93 mph, and officially sealing the deal for me that the Ford GT is truly the ultimate tuner car.
Video after the jump.
Source [Exotics Rally]
The Nissan R35 GT-R is making a whole lot of news these days with aftermarket tuners really starting to make Porsche’s Nürburgring nemesis into something even more amazing. After conquering every twisted-track in the world, in true American fashion, different U.S.-tuners are turning the Japanese sports car into a straight line bullet. Late in March, AMS shattered the 9-second barrier with their GT-R, and much like everything else in drag racing, the record continues to fall as other tuners and builders come out of the woodwork with their projects.
Ever since GReddy/TRUST of Japan gave the world a scare by filing bankruptcy in late 2008, GReddy USA has been working diligently in ensuring the aftermarket that they’re here to stay and will be better than ever. They’ve stepped up all their research, design and development, ushering new parts to the market that prove to be better than the competition. Their latest result is a collaboration project with SP Engineering, one of many famed Southern California tuners. For close to 15 years, SP Engineering has been producing and building some of the world’s fastest and nicest cars from tuned Supras to Lamborghinis. Now they’re settling out for yet another record.
On April 13th, 2010, a pair of Nissan GT-Rs built and tuned by SP Engineering headed out to Arizona’s Speedworld Drag Strip. Battling blistering track temperatures of 120-degrees Fahrenheit, the pair of GT-Rs not only mustered 9-second passes, but set records. SP Engineering’s own GT-R stopped the clock at 9.62 @ 149.80 mph while one of their customer’s, Hing, wasn’t far behind with a 9.84 @ 148.40 mph. Both vehicles sport GReddy’s TD06SH 20G turbo kit upgrade that comes complete with a Type-2 intercooler kit and blow-off valve kit. The black GT-R setting the new quarter mile record has a built motor with CP Pistons and Carillo Rods and a collection of TiTek exhaust parts. Hing’s GT-R, in a contrasting white, sports GReddy’s new exhaust parts that are titanium and coming soon to the market. Both vehicles set their personal bests on C16 fuel.
Eugene over at SP Engineering has informed us that they plan on upgrading the GT-R monster motors with GReddy’s upcoming 4.0L “STROKE HER” kit along with some headwork. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these two GT-Rs along with the others that are certainly going to be stepping up to the plate. We might not be too far off from an 8-second pass from a completely streetable Nissan GT-R! Check out the video after the break.