On surprises when i went by the Mercedes-Benz Bremen Factory where my AMG C63 Coupé was just built (and unfortunately we missed it on the factory line by a few DAYS), they brought us out on the TEST TRACK!!! To do a few laps with their pro drivers. Apparently EVERY AMG that goes to the USA take a few laps here (and one out of a few for other countries to test). While i unfortunately don’t know how fast he got on the straight away and 60 degree bank of a hairpin turn… it was great fun! And at first i was far too busy experiencing it to take pics/vids… then we tried videoing two laps which you can see below ~ i tried hand holding my 5D MKII ~ as carefully in front of my face as possible without letting the g-forces slam it into my face! You’ve got crazy banking, straight away, speed bump, turns and more on this factory track… Take a peek at the video and pics on the next page!
Wow. The Mercedes-AMG SLS and SLS Roadster have internet browsing built in… and turn into WLAN hotspots… and runs Android… and someday you can even have apps… since it’s on android does that mean we can write our own?
I’ve never seen NOTCOT flanked in carbon fiber… or navigated to on an in car dashboard after we just hopped across the french/italian border and ended up on the top of some hilly lush greenery… granted, they don’t allow you to browse the internet while driving (so i guess no posting while racing around in the Mercedes-AMG SLS Roadster!) ~ this is only one of a series of fascinating options in the “AMG Performance Media” section. But on the internet related side first ~ “AMG Performance Media provides fully-fledged, mobile high-speed internet access: when the car is stationary, the driver and passenger are able to surf the web and install apps.” YES. Your car is a smartphone. Running on Android. You can even scroll through the websites with the usual COMAND Controller (the big dial). This all even turns into a WLAN hotspot! (Which passengers CAN access with their phones, laptops, etc while you’re driving.) Amazing, right? I want my car to come to life with internet! Oh, and in addition, you can also enter Race Mode, have dials showing engine outputs and torque in real time, output your stats to USB, record lap times, and more… It’s 3am sleep time before playing with it all a bit more tomorrow before ending up in Munich, so see some screenshots as well as full details on the next page!
We joked about Nail Polish Colors to match cars when i was playing with the Louboutins on the Mars Red C63… then i found the Mercedes Designo Zircon Red SLK inspired polish… well at AMG yesterday, they gave me a bottle of Le Mans Red SLS inspired nail polish… so at the AMG SLS Roadster drive in Nice/Monaco today, i couldn’t help trying it out to see just how “inspired” the nail color was from the car also in Le Mans Red… the conclusion (well you can judge for yourself on the next page as well) is that it needs a bit more metallic in it to be fully awesome… but it is still quite the bright red!
So many fun things to share with you from the last few days, but so sleepy this 1am and currently in the Côte d’Azur… so, silly things first. While visiting the Mercedes-Benz factory in Bremen, i couldn’t help but admire their Gran Turismo 5 + PS3 + Logitech circle of racing fun set up in the lobby. The design details of the racing pod are great ~ but even better is the Nürburgring mat it sits on, complete with each twist and turn labeled. The PS3 mount even resembles an engine! See all of the details on the next page!
Continuing our exploration of Mini HD Action Cameras (So far there’s the roundup, unboxing the GoPro, and unboxing the Contour+) ~ so here’s an unboxing of the germany based, GoBandit. The packaging is good fun, and they have super playful branding that tells you to Shoot Your Adrenaline! what’s most unique about the GoBandit seems to be its software side ~ tracking GPS, speed, and altitude, there are a variety of skins (perhaps someday customizable?) that can overlay your videos to show the data as well as a map alongside to see where you’ve gone. As far as tech specs, it isn’t the most powerful on the market ~ shooting only 720p video, 5mp camera, 135 degree angle of view ~ but is waterproof up to 1m for 30 min without additional housing, and you can embed your videos complete with navigable maps/altitude/speed graphs! And their GoBandit Community is definitely going for the competitive angle on action cam videos sorting videos by FASTEST and HIGHEST! We’re still playing around with it at the moment ~ but check out the unboxing and details of the camera on the next page!
By far the coolest display i found after trekking out to the farthest hall of all at Frankfurt Auto Show, was BMW’s 7 robot arm displays. Think apple like glossy white and wood and plexi displays with the blue led glow… housing 7 robotic arms and touch screens waiting for you to poke and prod and stare in wonder as they demonstrated their various technologies. Granted, most were being poked by everyone from kids to adults and few had any idea what was being demonstrated, but everyone was trying to see what they could do to get the arms moving… SO beautiful, i have lots of pics and videos of them in action for you on the next page!
IAA is one of the biggest auto shows in the world ~ quite fascinating besides the car are the luxury automakers “style” stores ~ filled with goods they are selling outside to complement their cars. Increasing trend? Toddler Cars! A great way for junior to be just like mommy and daddy? Nice way to start the brand loyalty young? And some really are SO cute. So take a peek at ones i found wandering the show floor over at Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Hyundai on the next page.
p.s. While many others have variations of these push/walk cars as well, these are the ones i actually saw today on the show floor!
There isn’t much to say here ~ but you can’t help but stop and stare when amongst a sea of cars you see a huge Bumblebee from Transformers between the Chevy Camaro and Volt… and secretly wish it would move. or talk. or… TRANSFORM? (And then secretly hope the rest on the floor are robots in disguise too… can you imagine which would be autobots and which would be decepticons?) This one is specially for Ganden, Shawn, and Madeline ~ take a peek at all the pics on the next page! He’s HUGE!
There are so many approaches one could take to a mashup ~ for whatever reason mine tends to be start with an evil mwuahahaha kind of mad scientist kind of laugh in my head, followed by trying to figure out what fun items around me might fit together. In this case, 2 of the new Plumen bulbs arrived - “the world’s first designer light bulbs” (So gorgeous! But simply hanging them from a regular light to show off their fun shape didn’t seem like enough!) ~ and i’d been playing with lightbulb fixture connectors/splitter/plugs (and wondering how big of a tree of them i could make with lots of bulbs at the ends!) ~ and there was the Blue Lounge Mini Dock that allows your iphone/ipad/ipod to stay off the ground when charging… and when you put them all together ~ along with a simple ikea lamp base… i ended up with this fun iPhone Charging Lamp! Where the bulbs are as much a part of the lamp as the rest! Something almost antler like about the bulbs viewed this way ~ and rather mesmerizing as it lights up a room ~ perfect little stand to charge the iPhone, light the room, and control my music from it as the phone streams to speakers over airplay… so iphone charging DJ lamp? Take a peek at more of the silliness on the next page!
The big announcement of the night at the Mercedes-Benz IAA 2012 event i just flew in for ~ the F125! “A redefinition of automotive luxury: emission free driving in First Class” is what they are leading with… and F-cell Plug-in hybrid with a range of 1000km! Hydrogen storage technology! Induction battery charging! Lithium sulphur high-voltage battery… and so much more. But you can read about the technical details elsewhere, for 4am, here’s a look at the car itself ~ up close with all the details! My favorite tiny detail is definitely the symbol on the side of the car to open the doors!
I’m curious to hear what you think ~ or what questions you have! Tomorrow i’ll be hosting a live interview with Christoph Horn, Director of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Anders Sundt Jensen, Director of Brand Communication Mercedes-Benz Cars, about the new products and features at the IAA tomorrow that you can view live on their Facebook page just after the streamed press conference! Please tweet questions you want me to ask with the hashtag #mbLiveTalk, and i’ll try to get answers for you! As for now ~ go check out the pictures on the next page!
Currently in Frankfurt for the IAA with Mercedes-Benz, i’ll be hosting a live interview with Christoph Horn, Director of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Anders Sundt Jensen, Director of Brand Communication Mercedes-Benz Cars, about the new products and features at the IAA tomorrow that you can view live on their Facebook page just after the streamed press conference! Please tweet questions you want me to ask with the hashtag #mbLiveTalk, and i’ll try to get answers for you!
As for sneak peeks, tonight was the pre-press conference event with sneak peaks all around… including getting to run around the 3 story “booth” of a space that has housed everything from rock concerts to tennis matches and for the last decade or so ~ Mercedes-Benz at IAA! One of the most noteworthy details beyond the breath taking facade they’ve constructed with in? The history of Mercedes through model cars (and a stuffed MOOSE) that you encounter between the escalators as you head from the ground floor to the 3rd. Take a peek at a video on the next page, as well as more pictures of the space!
The Mutewatch is here! Well the first batch coming in to the US landed at A+R, and during Fashion’s Night Out, Andy had me over to do the honors of unboxing with him! I’m sure you’ve seen the video by now of this magical swedish watch that is MUTE ~ visually and audibly. A flick of the wrist or the slightest caress and it will show you the time. Swipe with the finger to start changing modes. Pinch to delete an alarm… an alarm which is ALSO mute ~ and will vibrate to wake you… Beautiful packaging, it will definitely make for a fun and unexpected gift! Take a peek at the details on the next page ~ and the video to catch you up on how it all works too!
Shopping for a car in the mall. Pick up a pair of shoes, grab a bite in the food court, then saunter in to a store to build your car on an iPad and email it to yourself, then hop down into the parking garage for a quick test drive?
Tomorrow, LA based tech startup/car company, CODA, officially opens their first store in Century City ~ perhaps store isn’t even the right word ~ it’s an “experience center/meeting place” in which shoppers can learn about electric vehicles (EVs). Completely green ~ the facade and ceiling are made of reclaimed wood, the plywood is all formaldehyde free, even their wall graphics and pamphlets use eco friendly printing and materials. With a car parked outside, you can’t miss it’s location near the movie theater and food court, and even if you don’t peek in, the window inspires you with “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And when you’re ready for a test drive (or while looking for a parking space) ~ you can’t miss the special CODA section in the parking garage directly below the store with CODA’s waiting for you to give them a spin.
I love this trend of stores that are focused on the lifestyle and experience of a space versus simply selling their product. The theme of creating inviting spaces to engage buyers and could be buyers in a relaxed setting ~ and bringing the products and stores to where people already congregate (versus the usual destination streets filled with car dealerships.) is very Apple store like ~ and in fact Tesla brought on the man who helped create the first few to do theirs… and the team at CODA admitted Apple inspired their as well, and even strategically placed their first store near an apple store (across the way and down a few doors!) to attract people who like such experiential spaces. Will we be seeing more of these? I wonder which other genres will be next ~ is this going to continue to be an EV trend?
But first ~ take a peek into the beautifully designed CODA space in Century City as well as their test drive area in the parking garage on the next page!
Leave it to GearPatrol to come hand deliver their Onia collaboration Amaury board shorts in a 2012 Nissan GT-R in a nearly matching blue (their shorts are far less sparkly than the car thankfully) ~ So what better way to unbox it ~ than to unbox them together… so we popped the hood of the car to see the beast within, opened up the zipper pouch the shorts come in… and even found that the coin pocket they specially lined for the collab is a PERFECT fit for your GT-R key! And to top it off, when you start the car up, she even announces that there is a “High surf warning around current location.” Exactly when you need board shorts! So we promptly hopped in the car and took off along the beach to Malibu for lunch… though it’s currently one of the fastest production cars to lap the Nürburgring… we sadly didn’t have a chance to really see what it could do. Keep an eye over at GearPatrol to see what they have been up to with it soon! But for now, take a look at the GP x Onia Board Shorts and my favorite details of the 2012 Nissan GT-R on the next page.
p.s. After unboxing Louboutins on the Mars Red C63, it seemed appropriate to switch to blue and unbox the GP x Onia on the GT-R. What next?
So you’ve seen the Making Of… well, here is a look at our 6 playful experimental mini videos of new ways to look at Bentleys! Watch them all. We had fun finding the perfect clips and fun music to set the mood for each one…