Some German Car News

A man walks into a bierhalle… hilarity ensues. 

The Posaidon G. (c) Autocar

The English language can be difficult enough to understand for those born to it – what chance the hapless non-native speaker dicing with the contrafibularities of cultural differences? How perfidious, Albion.

Comedy is a difficult mare to ride – relevance at risk to hosts of material becoming lost in translation. Anglophile German comedian, Henning Wehn, by example, once extoled upon the difficulties of learning such English idiosyncratic words as Gubbins (meaning possessions or the antecedent to ‘thing-y’). Contrary to that hackneyed old saw, our German friends are not only adept at comedy, they can also mine that more difficult vein of irony for good measure, as a (fairly) recent trawl through AutoCropley laid abundantly and amusingly bare.

In no particular order, since comedy can be dark just as well as light hearted, we look to our Stuttgart stooges, Mercedes-Benz and their G-Wagen. Well, not directly, since the German tuning firm, Posaidon (their spelling) have deemed it necessary to up the Gelandewagen’s engine output, considerably. My face cheeks bulge thinking of the average purchaser of such a vehicle (footballer or aggressive ice-hockey ‘keeper, perhaps) not caring one iota for fuel consumption, emission or vulgarity.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the G for all its many wrong reasons and such a car does turn heads. Posaidon however, wishes to twist yours off your shoulders with 927 bhp along with 943 newton metres. The engine has a water tank laced with methanol for such heady gains, handy for transporting your jet ski to the weekend lakeside retreat and once finished in the water, up that particularly tricky gravel path to your waterside chalet.

One can only imagine that Posaidon have a bevy of freshly minted expectant purchasers (closed Sunday’s) wishing to out G an MB AMG G63 whilst laughing all the way to the (Swiss?) bank. Meanwhile, these Sheffield steely greys would prefer to see a wolf in sheep’s clothing, not the snarling, salivating lupine beast itself. 

Mercedes-AMG ONE Prototyp. Keep the camouflage on, please. (c) Autocar

Remaining with Mercedes-Benz, pictures have recently circulated of a camouflaged One, track testing. This much hyped mid-engined hyper-car with 1000bhp (don’t tell Posaidon!) that retails for €2.27 Million (sorry – all 275 sold) and that frankly inadmissible moniker. Was that the best you could do, your Gorden-ness? The One? With its Formula One technology and stratospheric collectible status for the over inflated wealthy, I can hear the conversation now. What’s that new car in the paddock, Wolfgang? Why, an M-B One, Konrad.

For those uninterested (or blinded by tears of laughter at the cost), that name could easily be mistaken for a small pug-nosed hatchback with something more Bavarian about it. Were no Classical Greek or Romans referenced? No rare Amazonian beast, or desert wind modern, even a tech-based approach would have been preferable. Being the foremost number naturally implies importance, but lend this mythical beast a more appropriate adjective or park that One in a cul-de-sac.

To the darker side of comedy now, for I see ranks and rows of grown adults sounding like schoolchildren, baying Told You So! This swelling tide of indignation flows toward the relaunching of that grand old name of Borgward. Hampered no doubt by the global pandemic, the Chinese firm Foton (good name for a fast Merc…) sold out to compatriot car rental outfit, Ucar for $614 Million.

2016 Borgward BX-7: Autobild.de

Ucar’s chief shareholder has not helped matters by being investigated over accountancy issues. Still being sold in Europe in the one and only Borgward outlet, based in Luxembourg, more than 100 BX5 and 7’s have been sold since 2018. But that’s a far cry from the early predictions given at a global 800,000. For Borgward, it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong.

And with one’s tongue stapled firmly to the inside of one face cheek, we head on over to Schwäbisch-Gmund and manufacturer, Binz. Once upon a time, Binz would supply you with an estate car when Mercedes considered such matters the height of decadence. Nowadays, Binz have chosen the (seemingly) less frequented (cinder) path of the electrified hearse using an extended Tesla Model S as the base for its netherworldly cargo, in keeping with a growing trend towards environmentally aware funerals.

Doubtful the 0-60 time will ever be troubled, the silence and solemnity of the situation may be awkwardly altered should one hear the dearly departed giggling at the unexpected trip to the charging station: more tea, vicar? That eventuality is not to be expected as the Binz E hearse has a range of 220 miles whereas British rival (but German sounding) rival Brahms Electric Vehicles also offer an extended Tesla but a range of but 200.

A Brahms Tesla sets you back £140,000 (starting price) but also offer altered Nissan Leaf’s for the cheap seats to your final journey. Both Binz and Brahms offer the Tesla app with smartphone use but my flabber has never been quite so gasted as to what exactly for. Surely even Mr Musk can not contact the dead? Or could that be his next venture once Earth and space have been well and truly Tesla’d?

Goodness me, next thing you’ll be telling me a German made Claas tractor has been driven round the Nürburgring – backwards at top speed. Hang on… For those with half an hour’s leisure time to spend, leaving you wondering why…

 

Author: Andrew Miles

Beyond hope there lie dreams; after those, custard creams?

7 thoughts on “Some German Car News”

  1. Good morning Andrew and thank you for a jolly and eccentric start to my Saturday. Before we all start sniggering at the Posaidon (sic) we should remember Kahn Design, which hails from your part of the world, I believe. Here’s a fine example of their work:

    While some of Kahn’s efforts are beyond parody, they clearly have a market and the company is creating employment and wealth, so good luck to them.

    Imagine being one of the 100 or so customers who bought a Borgward. I hope they have been bought under a PCP or equivalent deal. (Do PCP-type purchases represent as big a share of European markets as they do in the UK?) Then there’s the issue of servicing and spare parts.

    A Nissan Leaf and a wicker coffin…that’s my funeral arrangements sorted then!

  2. Good morning Andrew.
    I was all set to engage pedant mode and point out that the Claas tractor that did an inverse lap of the Nuerburgring was in fact “fabriqué en France” like much of that company’s tractor range (they bought Renault Tractors some years ago) but in fact no. That particular model is an actual Claas design and is made in their original location in Harsewinkel.

  3. So is it actually a ‘Mercedes-Benz One’ in German? If so, then it’s the equivalent of a ‘Vanden Plas Eins’ (other British manufacturers are not available) and perhaps the laugh is on the English speakers, as it were.

    Excellent article, as always. Thank you.

  4. Afternoon Andrew
    I’m unsure as to which made me smile more. Your article or the Class design location -Harsewinkel – really?

  5. Having the seat face backwards really detracts from any ‘extra credit’ for the lap being done in reverse! Did you know that Thrust SSC had rear steering?

    It is also eminently beatable, with many tractors being capable of more than 50-53 km/h top speed.

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