Official Blog

  • the DBC Posi-Carbon Performance Brake Pads

    DBC Posi-Carbon Brakes Pads – Semi Metallic, Ceramic, or Extended Wear

    DBC Posi-Carbon Brake Pads speaks for itself. The “Posi” in DBC Posi-Carbon brake pads means these pads are positive mold. What the heck is positive mold? Positive mold (Image #1 below) is a Original Equipment Manufacture process in making an OEM brake pad.
    DBC Posi-Carbon Positive Mold Process

    DBC Posi-Carbon Positive Mold Process - (Image #1)

    In positive mold, the fictions material are highly compress into a brake pad molding plate and then is bonded by extreme pressure into the backing plate of the pads. With positive mold, there will be consistent fiction material density throughout the whole pad. Meaning, even brake wear and consistent performance throughout the pads’ life. Also, with positive mold there’s no need of worrying about any adhesives being in the friction material. (Many non-positive mold pads use adhesives to combine the fiction material with the backing plates.)

    The “Quiet” in DBC Posi-Carbon is because these are truly quiet pads. There are many key characteristics in making a brake pad less noisy and squeaky. Posi Quiets are pads are all mechanically shimmed (Image #2) and shimmed accordingly to specification of each brake pad application. Many other company shim their pads, but using universal shims, where they cover only some section of the pads. That can lead to possible noise and vibration. Another feature DBC Posi-Carbon brakes pads have to noise minimization is having precision cut or shave backing plates (Image #3.) This with ensure proper fitment into the calipers, resulting in consistent braking power and brake pad wear. DBC Posi-Carbon fiction formulation makes the pads less noisy and squeaky as well. Also, these pads (depending on your application & specs) are chamfered on the sides to minimize noise. All these noise abatement features in DBC Posi-Carbon brake pads also makes it less noisy but also keeps the pads from vibration.

    Before we step into what type of pads DBC Posi-Carbon carries, there are more key features why these pads are considered bang for the buck. These pads are scorched meaning for no break-in required. The pads surfaces are pre-heated in a state of the art scorching oven (Image #4), simulating the initial break-in process performance by installation technicians. No need to worry about pad glazing since these are already scorched. Take a look at the Scorched chart to compare scorched to non-scorched pad(Image #5.)

    DBC Posi-Carbon brakes pads comes in 3 types of formulation: DBC Posi-Carbon Semi-Metallic, DBC Posi-Carbon Ceramic, and DBC Posi-Carbon Extended Wear. Depending on your driving conditions and what you’re looking for in a brake pad, DBC Posi-Carbon has it for you. Please take a look at the chart and see what type of pads fits you (Image #6.) The chart have 6 categories: high temp fade resistance; operating friction level; rotor life; pad life; anti-dust capability; and noise abatement.

    Semi-Metallic Quick Features:
    -Outstanding wear characteristics
    -High Friction level
    -Stable friction performance wide temperature ranges

    Ceramic Quick Features:
    -Longest wearing most advanced material available
    -Lowest dust
    -Stable friction performance wide temperature ranges
    Extended Wear Quick Features:

    -Long wearing
    -Low brake rotors wear
    -Stable friction performance wide temperature rages
    -Excellent for fleet service

    DBC Posi-Carbon Shims
    DBC Posi-Carbon will give the performance bite on the brake rotors. These are aboslutely the best bang for the buck. If you’re a daily driver, and stop agressive here and there while driving, than these pads fit perfectly for you. If you’re a aggressive driver/street/track, and always hard on the pedals, than I would recommend Axxis Ulitmates or Hawks HPS. Here at we carry DBC Posi-Carbon brake pads as well as other brands. Be sure to check us out.

  • How to Fix Squeaky Brakes on Audi and BMW Vehicles

    Squeaky brakes can occur for many reasons. Most brake pads are designed to start making noise when they are worn down to the last 25%. This squeaky or squealing noise can be an indicator that it is time to have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced. Brake noise can occur for other reasons than worn out pads, however.


    Squeaky brakes can occur for many reasons. Most brake pads are designed to start making noise when they are worn down to the last 25%. This squeaky or squealing noise can be an indicator that it is time to have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced. Brake noise can occur for other reasons than worn out pads, however. Moisture can cause brake rotors, which are unfinished metal, to rust as quickly as overnight. This is normal, and can lead to a grinding noise, which will last until the surface rust is removed. Hard braking creates heat, which can glaze brake pads and cause a squeaky brake noise. Also, long-life brake pads are harder and can emit noise as part of their normal operation.

    Common causes of squeaky brakes:


    • Worn out pads
    • Brake rotor rust
    • Hard braking
    • Long-life brake pads

    So how can you tell if the noise coming from your brakes is a sign of wear (and might need replacing), and what can you do to stop the noise if the brake pads are NOT worn? A good start is keeping track of your vehicle’s service intervals. A typical set of front brake pads will last about 30,000 miles, while a set of rear pads will last about twice that long. Heavy stop and go driving, carrying heavy loads, or towing will shorten the life of brakes, while highway driving will extend pad life. Knowing how many miles it has been since your last brake service will allow you to estimate how much life is left in your brake pads. Having your brake pads visually inspected when you rotate your tires is also a good practice, since your tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles to ensure their longest service. The grinding noise caused by surface rust on the brake rotors and the squeal caused by glazed brake pads can be addressed by driving a short distance (1/10th or 2/10th of a mile) at normal speeds with your foot lightly on the brake pedal. This will remove any surface rust or glazing. If the noise continues, a brake inspection may be in order. Lastly, if you installed “lifetime” or extended life brake pads, a certain amount of noise is unavoidable, due to the harder composition of these pads.

    Our Carbon brake pads are specifically designed to bring the advantages of ceramic and metallic into one compound.

    How to determine if your brakes are worn or not:

    • Track service intervals
    • Stop-and-go vs. highway driving
    • Visual inspections
    • Removing rust to see if problem persists
    • Type of brake pads

    Both you and your family’s safety depend on properly functioning brakes. So whether you’ve got squeaky brakes or another brake issue, DBC offers a full range of brake rotors and brake pad replacement on all makes and models of cars, light trucks, and SUVs.

    DBC Pro Carbon Brake Pads - Our Solution to squeaky brakes

    Click here

  • Choose the right brake pads for your vehicle


    With the number of different types of brake pads on the market it can be helpful to have a guide that explains the materials used. Each style has benefits and preferred applications. Regular duty cars and trucks do not need the same type of performance from brake pads as heavy duty vehicles require. Performance vehicles and European models also have unique needs in brake components.

    Ceramic Brake Pads

    These pads are made of ceramic materials. Ceramic provides a smoother, quieter stopping power. These pads are also not prone to creating dust, keeping the rotor and wheel cleaner. Less dust also means less rotor wear. Ceramic pads are excellent for handling a wide range braking temperatures and have less heat fade. The pads recover quickly after stopping.

    Ceramic brake pads are designed to meet or exceed all OEM requirements for durability. While they often cost more than other premium pads, they also last longer and extend the life of the entire braking system.

    ** Ceramic Brake Pads We Carry

    Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

    Semi-metallic pads normally contain more than 30 percent steel or iron, by weight. Low-metallic has less than 30 percent metal by weight. Premium semi-metallic pads provide a greater resistance to temperature fade compared to Ceramic pads. However Semi metallic pads do create more dust than Ceramic pads.

    ** Semi-metallic Brake Pads

    Extended Wear Brake Pads

    Extended wear pads are manufactured to provide more than just long lasting pads, they are designed to also reduce wear on the rotor. These offer even wear and even friction performance. Extended wear pads are an excellent choice for fleet service vehicles and drivers that put extensive mileage on their vehicle every year. These pads do provide a quiet performance, but offer a moderate performance in braking. However, street performance extended wear versions are available.

    ** Extended Wear Brake Pads We Carry:

    OEM Replacement Brake Pads

    Pads designated as standard replacement are lower cost options that are designed to meet or exceed most OEM requirement. These pads are often referred to as organic or non-asbestos organic brake pads. Materials used in manufacturing vary but often include rubber, glass and resins. Some higher-grade organics include Kevlar. The materials do create moderate dust and wear out about the same as OEM pads.

    ** OE Replacement Brake Pads We Carry:

    Street Performance Brake Pads

    Pads designated as street performance are harmonically damped for maximum vibration and noise control. Backing plates are manufactured with steel and precision fit to further reduce vibration. Pads are designed to work with both slotted and standard rotors. Performance pads often use Performance Ceramic, Ferro-Carbon (all Hawk Performance Brake Pads) or Carbon Fiber; these materials will stand up to the high heat generated in aggressive driving.

    ** Street Performance Brake Pads

     Hawk Performance (PC)
    Brake pad

    Ferro-Carbon 2 Brake Pads

    Ferro-carbon offers a step up from performance ceramic brake pads. These are included in the top end of high performance brakes and often used in aggressive street/ mild track use. Manufactured for severe-duty friction, Ferro-carbon provides between 20 to 40 percent more stopping power and a high resistance to brake fade. The pads also produce moderate dust. Proper break in is required for maximum performance with this type of pad.


    Para-aramid Composites Brake Pads

    These pads are positive molded to provide uniform density for uniform friction. Braking response is linear no matter what the brake temperature. Aramid fibers are a strong and heat-resistant synthetic material. The fiber stand up to temperatures up to 500 C. Para-aramid composites create little dust and contain no asbestos. The pads are scorched to improve cold braking effectiveness. They rate highly for noise reduction and pad life while offering extremely high resistance to heat fade.

    No matter what type of brake pads you choose, the best braking results will come from matching materials on the front and rear brakes. However not vital, but a mismatch in the friction may create different braking performance results.



  • Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

    Riding on the most capable suspension not currently exploring Mars—and decorated inside like Balmoral Castle’s library—the Range Rover is refined, serene, and elegant. The Supercharged model’s V-8 is fortified to 510 hp, fed to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system that features more adjustments than a chiropractor. If the standard-wheelbase model isn’t enough, a long-wheelbase version with an added 7.3 inches of rear legroom is available.


    By September 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition, en route to the Pacific, had exited their canoes and strolled into Montana’s verdant Bitterroot Valley, a 100-mile-long corridor extending from the Idaho ­border to present-day Missoula. Back then, the Shoshone Indians called the valley the “Waters of the Red Osier Dogwood.” Or something like that. Course, that was before they led the curious white men to a pink-flowered plant with an edible root.

    From Meriwether Lewis’s diary (you may forgive his spelling): “[It] appeared to be fibrous; the parts were brittle, hard of the size of a small quill, cilindric and as white as snow throughout. [They] had a very bitter taste, which was naucious to my pallate, and transfered them to the Indians who had eat them heartily.”

    A bitter root, indeed, although the expedition’s members had for months been without fresh veggies. They thus devoured whole fields of what is now known as Lewisia rediviva. Diarrhea, indigestion, and “much wind” ensued, and the men were later “so unwell that they were compelled to lie on the side of the road for some time.”

    Two-hundred eight years have passed, as well as much wind, but the pink-flowered Bitterroot Valley  would be still recognizable today to the Corps of Discovery. Apart from a few million-dollar summer “cottages” erected by tanned orthopedic surgeons from California, the valley yet leads to vast tracts of unmolested wilderness. And even today, the Bitterroot Mountains—whose dagger-like spires recall the Italian Alps—block all commercial access headed west.

    Top: Rover’s cockpit is a regal treehouse from which to investigate Bitterroot Forest fire damage more than a decade old.

    Lewis’s heart sank. “We were entirely surrounded by those mountains from which to one unacquainted with them it would have seemed impossible ever to have escaped,” he later wrote. Historian Daniel Thorp noted: “Crossing the Bitterroots stands out as the most difficult part of their 7000-mile round trip.” Expedition members later wrote of “verry bad thickets” and “slopes nearly as steep as the roof of a house.”

    Which doesn’t adequately explain why C/D’s Montana Desk is situated but a raven’s flight from where Lewis and Clark once sat calculating the size of their predicament, consoling themselves with 520 fish caught in one day. But it does explain why we felt obliged to drive a “Luxor”-hued Range Rover the full 1950 miles from Ann Arbor to judge firsthand the precise thickness of those thickets and incline of those slopes.

    This is the fourth-gen Range Rover, with our supercharged edition carrying an as-tested price of $114,930. Compare that with the estimated $40,000 that Lewis and Clark spent on their entire three-year trek. (Well, okay, that was circa-1804 dollars.) Part of the Rover’s dearness, of course, derives from its being about as aluminum-intensive as your average bauxite mine. Land Rover has lately boasted of weight savings of up to 926 pounds. Maybe that was true before the Brit interior decorators and safety engineers got their hands on the thing. But our test car tipped the scales at 5612 pounds, making it “only” 326 pounds lighter than the Range Rover Supercharged we tested in June 2010. Still, it was a worthwhile adventure in alloy.

    Upon climbing into this mobile castle, what you notice first is the panoramic view. You sit high and upright, facing towering slabs of side-window glass and a windscreen the size of upper Idaho. The hood pleasingly falls nearly from view, and even the side-view mirrors are monsters. Land Rover pretentiously calls this the Command Driving Position, but, in truth, you do occasionally feel like William Clark captaining his 55-foot keelboat, directing his little armada through sheer force of will and ineluctable mass.

    The new cabin is as airy as an acre of sunflowers, with no surface that doesn’t promote tactile nirvana. The headliner, in particular, might be fashioned from Sacagawea’s pj’s. And everywhere there’s Bridge of Weir leather covering surfaces that cows wouldn’t opt to hide. In short, a near-perfect “10” for fit and finish, but why the extra $1800 for “Premium Paint”? Isn’t all Rover paint premium?

    Despite all the animal skins, the seat cushions, both front and rear, are hard. After about 90 minutes, you begin shifting your tush as if on the witness stand. According to Land Rover, the new Rover’s larger dimensions (1.1 inches longer on a 1.6-inch-longer wheelbase) mostly went to obtaining a bonus 4.7 inches of rear legroom, and, in truth, it’s the sort of place back there that would make a nice office for a judge. The LCD instrument pod looks far more appropriate in this SUV than it does in, say, the Jag XJ. For the sake of aesthetics, Land Rover harvested half of the dashboard’s buttons and switches. Mind you, there’s a ton of unseen switchgear that now operates through the eight-inch touch screen, which is where you’ll find the seat heaters, for instance, rather than on the sides of the seats. No matter, the big rotary knobs on the dash, controlling HVAC functions, are perfect, operable in the gloaming by touch alone.

    At full throttle, the carryover 510-hp blown V-8 emits a distant cruise-ship whoosh, appropriately un-hot-roddish. In fact, at idle, WOT, and a 70-mph cruise, this Rover is now quieter than either a Mercedes-Benz ML63 or a BMW X5 M. Even the highest fan speed elicits but a subtle hiss, which Land Rover attributes to foam ductwork replacing hard plastic.

    But who cares about ducts when 60 mph is now yours in 4.7 seconds? That’s 0.4-second quicker than its predecessor and places this new Range Rover, through the quarter-mile, only 1 mph behind the 5242-pound Porsche Cayenne Turbo we tested in 2012. The aluminum diet has surely helped, but so, too, has the new eight-speed ZF transmission, which responded so unerringly on both the interstates and in the Bitterroots that we batted at the paddle shifters for amusement only. Still, this Rover is no kayak. Observed fuel economy: 17 mpg.

    The electric-power-assisted steering is now more communicative, which isn’t saying much. Road surfaces and small front directional events still remain largely classified information, and the steering’s heft builds artificially. At least its effort is light, and the wheel itself—comprising alternating arcs of leather and by-God-real wood—is like holding the Queen’s fattest corgi. What’s more, the vehicle now tracks with greater dedication, less affected by truck ruts or side winds, knocked off course by only the occasional Inland Revenue agent.

    Top, left: The back seat would satisfy a cranky judge. Low range automatically jacks ground clearance to its maximum of 11.6 inches.

    Turn-in remains an undertaking in molasses, as if as much time as possible must be reserved for the four-corner air springs to get a grip on body roll. By the way, you can still sometimes hear the compressor huffing and puffing, but its new location atop the battery has mitigated much of the intrusion. Truth is, copious roll, squat, and dive have all come to define this SUV, the price paid for monster wheel travel and for that regal ride. You’re still ever conscious of the 27.5-inch-high center of gravity, but at least it no longer feels like you’re piloting the Eiffel Tower. Throttle tip-in is silk on silk. Skidpad grip has climbed from 0.64 g to 0.75 g, both performances inhibited by the dominatrix stability control.

    Naturally, Land Rover never forgets its heritage of winching dead sheep out of peat bogs. Check out the new split hatch, whose lower third becomes a plebeian tailgate, the ideal perch from which to wipe mud off your Anderson & Sheppard hunting cape. And the company’s latest Terrain Response now clicks through a back-country buffet: 1) grass/gravel/snow, 2) mud ruts, 3) sand, 4) rock crawl, and 5) low range—the latter entailing a slightly fussy agenda of shifting and poking and possibly consulting lawyers, right at a time when the terrain has suddenly got your full attention. Low range also automatically jacks ground clearance to its max 11.6 inches, up 0.7 inch. Wading depth has increased to almost three feet, making it the sort of watery temptation that will earn a four-digit fine from a West Fork ranger fond of his bull trout. A separate button engages a smart hill-descent mode that permitted us to scuttle down half of icy Trapper Peak (10,157 feet) without dirtying the brake pedal.

    If all that off-road rigmarole sounds like work, then simply summon the automatic mode, which by itself figures out the securest climb over Saks’s parking curbs. Keep in mind that this Rover is a wide-bodied gal, occupying more than her share of two-track logging trails. Also keep in mind that the 21-inch Goodyear Eagle F1s, when dipped in the primordial soup, are a compromise, their meager sipes quickly clogging with Bitterroot clay.

    Whenever we discuss Roverdom, the reliability issue, like smoke, swirls ominously under the door. During this test, the park assist ($650) expired after we whacked a bird in Wyoming. The remote radio-volume buttons worked when they felt like it. We endured two false warnings to check the already locked-tight fuel cap. The radio switched itself off in Chicago and took five minutes to reboot. And the power rear-seat recliner locked the seatbacks in the half-down position, where they remained for two days as if taking a bow. Luckily, the warranty extends for four years/50,000 miles, but it might be wise to get on a first-name basis with your service manager and find out whether he prefers scotch, bourbon, or meth.

    Then there were items that didn’t break but maybe should have. The automatic high-beam dimmers, for starters, accurately reverted to low for oncoming headlights but did the same for random street lights, front-yard floodlights, and highly reflective signs. The interior door handles were hard to find. In their most comfy position, the inner front armrests made it tricky to lock seatbelts. And the pop-up rotary PRNDL was known to seize if any downward pressure was applied as it twirled through its balletic arc.

    As they traipsed under a canopy of the Bitterroot Valley’s ponderosa pines, Lewis and Clark came to realize that there was, as Thomas Jefferson had assigned them to find, no “direct and practicable water communication across this continent.” The Bitterroot Mountains put an end to that. All they could do was continue west on horseback to search for another river, eating as few of the ponies as possible. But before setting out, the Corps of Discovery enjoyed a few days of hard-won comfort in what is today the village of Lolo, at the northern tip of the Valley, in a camp they called “Travelers’ Rest.”

    In a sense, that’s what this latest Range Rover is, the rich man’s Travelers’ Rest. It is the Lexus LS460 of SUVs—not so much a charismatic driving experience as an isolated aerie of peace and solitude that tacitly promises Thor’s own thunder to flatten all ugliness ahead. If, as folks say, there will be blood, at least it needn’t be spilled on your Bridge of Weir leather.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC

    Like Rodney Dangerfield, Karl Benz gets no respect. The highly regarded inventor of the automobile, the man who put the Benz in Mercedes-Benz, is no longer associated with the German company’s highest-performing machines—all vehicles formerly marketed as Mercedes-Benz AMGs are now simply known as Mercedes-AMGs. Meanwhile, the company’s most luxurious cars bear the Mercedes-Maybach label.

    It’s not just AMG products that complete a rebranding scheme for the 2017 model year as Mercedes’ new hierarchical naming structure for its crossover SUVs, which mimics its sedans and coupes, now is fully realized. Hence the vehicle you’re looking at is not the updated and improved Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG but is instead the new Mercedes-AMG GLS63. What’s in a name? In this case, a lot, and it makes the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 a good deal sweeter than its S-less, Benz-badged predecessor.

    Extra icing is applied to the big Mercedes, but the sweetest dollop sits under the GLS63’s hood, where AMG’s 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine now produces a neck-snapping 577 horsepower, a gain of 27 hp. Torque remains the same at 561 lb-ft. The hand-built engine’s punch is channeled to all four wheels through a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission that can be manually operated via fat metal paddle shifters connected to the back of the GLS63’s meaty three-spoke steering wheel. The result is a behemoth weighing nearly three tons that’s nonetheless able to hustle to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds at 111 mph. The GLS63 isn’t just quick, it’s wicked quick, besting the last GL63 AMG we tested by 0.5 and 0.4 second in those metrics. Another perspective: Our 435-hp long-term 2016 Ford Mustang GT, which at 3782 pounds weighs 2076 pounds less than the GLS63, reaches 60 mph in the same 4.3 ticks and needs an additional tenth of a second to cover the quarter.

    The GLS63 isn’t shy about telling others what it’s about, either. Compared with its forebear, the GLS63 brings the latest Mercedes and AMG design touches to the seven-seat luxury liner’s exterior. Our test vehicle’s understated black-on-black theme drew little attention from passersby or law-enforcement types, but the burbles and pops emerging from the GLS63’s two exhaust pipes—the quad tips seen from behind are faux —announce that this SUV’s sheep’s clothing conceals a massive wolf that’s ready to pounce.

    The snarls are most prominent when the console-mounted Dynamic Select control is moved to the Sport+ setting, which also lowers the ride height, stiffens the dampers for more spirited driving, and quickens throttle response. The selector also offers Comfort, Sport, Slippery, and Individual modes. We mostly kept the GLS63 in Sport+, as Comfort mode wasn’t much more comfortable—we were pleasantly surprised at the reasonableness of the ride quality, given the oversize wheels—while Sport bridged some purgatorial gap that seemed to marry the less responsive throttle found in Comfort with the stiffer suspension setting of Sport+; it was arguably the least desirable of both worlds. (We never needed Slippery mode when testing in summer weather, nor did we use Individual, which allows drivers to tailor their own custom settings.)

    The GLS63 overachieves in track tests beyond acceleration. This bulky crossover seemingly bends the laws of physics by skirting our skidpad at 0.91 g and by coming to a halt from 70 mph in 166 feet—bettering the figures we put up in a 2509-pound Fiat 124 Spider Abarth by 0.04 g and five feet. Much credit goes to the GLS63’s 295/40 21-inch Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires. Applaud, also, the Mercedes-AMG engineers who dialed in the GLS63’s Airmatic suspension and signed off on its massive 15.4-inch front and 14.2-inch rear brake rotors.

    As expected of a vehicle wearing the three-pointed star on its grille, the GLS63 remains a dedicated luxury machine. Rich leather covers the seven seats, while modern convenience features such as heated and cooled front seats, keyless entry and push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, active cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and lane-keeping assist are all standard fare. Also standard is Mercedes’s Steering Pilot, a semi-automated driving mode that assists in guiding the GLS63 when the adaptive cruise control is engaged but requires the driver to keep hands on the steering wheel lest a warning pop up in the gauge cluster’s screen. Additional features such as heated and cooled front cupholders ($180), manually operated second-row sunshades ($380), and power-folding second-row seats ($400) to ease entry and exit to the standard power-folding third-row seats helped increase the GLS63’s luxury and convenience quotients.

    The latest COMAND infotainment system, which includes a touchpad atop the traditional control wheel, provides access to the various systems, but many key features, such as the HVAC and audio controls, are operable via hard buttons on the dash or steering wheel. If asked to nitpick, we could wish the COMAND controller were positioned a little farther forward—it works best for tall drivers who have the seat adjusted to the rear of its travel. We also find it odd that Mercedes doesn’t allow use of the built-in navigation system whenever a phone equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is plugged in. In general, trying to fiddle with the touchscreen layouts of either phone operating system becomes difficult when the user is forced to use the COMAND knob. (Mercedes has yet to add touchscreen capability to its vehicles.) Plus, the heavy bolsters on the front seats that do such a great job of holding occupants in place on our skidpad also make a chore out of entry and exit. Good thing those seats include a standard massage function to relax strained muscles and reduce long-haul fatigue.

    Admittedly, these are small annoyances that any consumer looking for a machine such as this one will surely tolerate. Only the Tesla Model X P90D offers a competitive combination of performance and people-carrying capabilities. While the Tesla falls behind the AMG around our skidpad by 0.05 g and needs six additional feet to come to a halt from 70 mph, when properly equipped, the battery-powered crossover spanks the GLS63 in outright acceleration. We coaxed a $133,700 Model X P90D with the Ludicrous Speed option to 60 mph from rest in a mind-bending 3.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds—a full second quicker than this ridiculously quick GLS63 in both measures.

    Of course, the all-electric Model X P90D’s EPA-rated 250-mile range can’t compete with the AMG’s 470 miles of highway range, a figure that’s more a testament to the GLS63’s massive 26.4-gallon fuel tank than its fuel economy, which is listed at a thirsty 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway by the EPA. Still, at a steady 75 mph in our 200-mile real-world highway fuel-economy loop, the GLS63 overachieved by managing 18 mpg. But, in mixed driving, our lead-footed staffers managed just 13 mpg overall.


    On the passenger-carrying front, the GLS63’s second-row 60/40-split bench seat can be manually reclined and offers a fold-down center armrest, while Model X middle-row passengers must do without the armrest. Meanwhile, the GLS63’s third row provides 35 inches of legroom and 38.9 inches of headroom, figures that compete with the rear seats of many compact luxury sedans, and a full 2.3 and 1.8 inches more legroom and headroom than the Tesla affords its rearmost riders. Cargo room for the GLS63 ranges from 16 cubic feet with all seats in place to a Cadillac Escalade–like 94 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded.

    Our test vehicle also was prewired for a rear-seat entertainment system ($170) and came with a set of wheel locks ($150) to ensure the GLS63’s pretty multispoke 21-inch wheels don’t go wandering off and a trailer hitch ($575) to help take advantage of the 7500-pound towing capacity. All told, our GLS63 cost a healthy $126,880, only $1855 of which was attributed to options. Still, the AMG cost $6820 less than the Ludicrous Speed–equipped Tesla Model X P90D we tested.

    True, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is silly, expensive, and totally unnecessary; a Mercedes-Benz GLS450 offers just as much utility with better fuel economy and performs well enough for anyone who can be satisfied with something less than ludicrous. Even so, we can’t help but swoon over this enormous roadgoing Concorde that effortlessly blends luxury, size, and performance. Sensible or not, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 deserves respect. We’re tellin’ ya.

  • WARNING: These Jaguar F-type Shooting Brake Renderings May Stop Your Heart

    Holy mancats. Holy. Mancats. HOLY MANCATS. This, friends, is the thing of which all automotive dreams are made, the manifestation of every vision of pure, rolling sex you’ve ever had, digitized for your ocular pleasure. We didn’t think there would ever be an F-type we’d lust for more than the beautiful coupe, but this one—well, decisions like that are silly. We’ll take one of each, of course.

    First things, uh, in the second paragraph: There’s no indication from anyone, anywhere that Jaguar intends to build this thing. And if it did, Jaguar would probably sell, like, 20 of them, and it probably wouldn’t so much as sniff American air, similar to the gorgeous XF Sportbrake offered in Europe.

    For now, just imagine the F shooting brake stuffed with five cubic feet of exotic cheeses, single-malt whisky, and the keys to your yacht; a couple of supermodels piled into the passenger seat; and propelled by the lusty 550-horse supercharged V-8 from the R coupe. Holy. Effin’. Mancats.


  • A Brief History of Ferrari Shooting Brakes

    2012 Ferrari FF


    By now you’ve seen, drooled upon, and set your computer’s desktop wallpaper to pictures of Ferrari’s latest creation, the FF. (Get details and see the photos here.) In honor of Maranello’s first factory shooting brake, we present a brief look back at the coachbuilt Ferrari brakes of yore.

    250 GT SWB “Breadvan”

    Ferrari 250 GT SWB "Breadvan"

    Gioto Bizzarini designed this humpback race car, referred to as the Breadvan, or camionnette in French. It was later converted for use as a road car. The unusual looks were a product of Kamm aerodynamic theory.

    330 GT by Vignale

    Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake by Vignale

    The Italian coachbuilder unveiled this 330-based beauty at the 1968 Turin show. It was built for the Chinetti family, the patriarch of which was Ferrari racer and famed U.S. importer Luigi Chinetti. The design came from his son, Luigi, Jr., (or Coco as he was known) with help from designer Bob Peak. The 330 was completely rebodied by Alfredo Vignale and company, with only the original car’s windshield and part of its doors remaining.

    365 GTB/4 by Panther Westwinds

    Ferrari 365 GTB/4 shooting brake by Panther Westwinds

    Luigi Chinetti, Jr., conceived of the idea with the help of designer Gene Garfinkle, but it was originally drawn as a Cadillac Eldorado 2+2 with the front engine moved to the rear—no joke. The Eldo was never built, but one of Chinetti’s Ferrari customers, Bob Gittleman, saw the design and they decided to adapt the look to a Ferrari. Panther Westwinds, a U.K. shop, built this Daytona-based brake, which is actually a “four-door”; access to the cargo area was through the gullwing-hinged rear side windows. Just don’t accelerate too quickly with anything back there, or it’s liable to break through the brake’s floor-to-ceiling backlight.

    365 GTC/4 “Break” by Felber

    Willy Felber, a Swiss who was also a Ferrari dealer, built his own pair of three-door Ferraris. This one’s brown (trust us) and made its debut at the 1977 Geneva show.

    Ferrari 365 GTC/4 shooting brake by Felber


    Ferrari 365 GTC4 shooting brake by Felber

    Croisette by Felber

    Croisette by Felber

    The Croisette was based on a Ferrari 400. We know very little about it, other than that it is awesome.

    456 “Venice” station wagons by Pininfarina

    Ferrari 456 Venice station wagon


    Pininfarina penned the new FF, and it got some good practice by building a few of these four-door station wagons (as well as several other one- or several-off Ferraris) for the Sultan of Brunei. More evidence that it’s good to be the king.

  • Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Shooting Brake Rendered: Can You Say “Instant Obsession?”


    From the fantasy files come these renderings of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat shooting brake, whipped up by the same artist who dreamed up the heart-stopping Jaguar F-Type shooting brake a few months ago. And now that we’ve seen how the sensational Challenger Hellcat would look with a bit more back, we’re obsessed.

    First, let’s ponder the benefits of this body style: You could haul a set of drag slicks to the track, rip out the insulation and soak in the exhaust note, collect copious amounts of bras, or all of the above. The appeal of shooting brakes—at least among modern enthusiasts—has nothing to do with practicality. It’s about having something rare, something contrarian, something so deliciously ironic that even Audi R8s would feel obliged to kiss your square-backed ass after you blow them into the weeds

    Wagonizing muscle and pony cars is nothing new—witness our 1966 test of one based on the contemporary Ford Mustang—but it usually requires an insane owner, a pile of cash, and a talented customization shop. So don’t expect any such Hellcats to ever come from the factory. If they did, though, the Hellcat Shooting Brake would be the only five-passenger two-door wagon in decades, a semi-successor to the gone-but-not-forgotten Dodge Magnum SRT8, usable cargo area and all. And with 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque on tap, it could also become the only production wagon to ever break into the 10s in the quarter-mile.

  • Fake parts destroyed as concerns grow


    SKF recently destroyed 1 million euros worth of fake parts in Greece after court battle that started in 2009.



    And you thought handbags and sunglasses were the only knockoffs you might find in your neighbor’s house.

    Turns out, ball bearings are also quite popular. So popular, in fact, that manufacturer SKF recently destroyed 1 million euros (about CAD$1.4 million) worth of bearing that were deemed to be fake.

    The company had been entrenched in a legal battle for about eight years against a dealer of counterfeit bearings and other goods in Greece. Fifteen tons of fake bearing were seized in a raid of a company “with whom SKF had no business relationship during these years,” the company said.

    The fake bearings were destroyed in a metal recycling facility on Greece.

    The company selling the fake parts passed them off as the real thing, SKF said. “Instead of getting the premium quality product they thought they were purchasing, the customers ended up with products of unpredictable quality and performance.”

    “We will continue to fight the problem of counterfeit products and importers in Greece,” said Rania Patsiopoulos, managing director of SKF Hellas in Greece. “This is vital for us in order to protect our customers and their business as well as the reputation of the SKF brand.”

    Counterfeit claims have picked up recently. Hyundai in the U.S. recently launched an ad campaign to highlight the dangers of choosing counterfeit parts. In January, Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said over half a million counterfeit car parts were found in the raid of a warehouse in Al Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi.

    There, 21 truckloads of parts were discovered, bearing the logos of 15 carmakers with a value of over AUD$5.4 million (roughly the same value Canadian). The FCAI said these would be destroyed.

    “Through our investigations over the last 25 years, we have increasingly seen spare parts for the major car brands being imported into Australia from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other parts of the UAE,” said Craig Douglas, director of Nationwide Research Group in Australia. “Our investigations have revealed that some of these parts are fake. This recent seizure of fake parts suggests the problem is on the rise and Australian consumers should be vigilant.”

    Customers with the fake good will be the ones hurt most, and technicians who install the parts will also suffer, SKF said. The company shared a story of an anonymous customer who bought bearing from an unauthorized supplier. “Their failure was a fact after only a few months, while the expected service life was several years. We faced costly downtime and broken promises to our customers. All this could have been avoided, by more awareness and caution in our sourcing.”

    Like those fake handbags, it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not just by looking at them.

    “Counterfeiters are more sophisticated than ever,” said Tony Weber, chief executive of Australia’s FCAI. “These inferior copies are so close in appearance to the originals that even professionals can have difficulty telling them apart until they test their actual performance.”

  • Brake calipers better protect against rust

    DBC has applied its rust prevention technology to its plated brake calipers. This will help provide a better defence against Mother Nature, the company announced.

    The “calipers are premium quality, remanufactured calipers that function and fit like OE. A proprietary zinc electroplating process inhibits rust and provides all-weather protection against the elements,” DBC said in a news release.

    Furthermore, said John McLane, marketing manager at Brake Parts Inc., the “calipers are friction ready and engineered for safe, leak-free operation. Strict testing criteria guarantees the calipers provide trouble-free installation and optimal performance in demanding driving conditions such as rain, salt and snow.”

    The news release also noted that the “calipers undergo a rigorous remanufacturing process to ensure they not only meet or exceed OE standards, but that they also adhere to global industry standards including SAE J1603, QC/T 592-2013, ASTM B117 and JASO C448. All recovered components are thoroughly cleaned, checked for wear and straightness, and zinc electroplated. The seals, boots, bleeder screws and O-rings are replaced with new materials.”

Items 211 to 220 of 289 total

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 20
  4. 21
  5. 22
  6. 23
  7. 24
  8. ...
  9. 29
Post your comment

Cross Drilled Rotors