Tag Archives: luxury car

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard: Bomb Proof

When the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard arrives in the second half of 2017, the 6.5 meter long, 5.6-tonne limousine will offer a challenge to any Rolls-Royce or Bentley in terms of interior space, creature comforts and passenger safety – even from bombs and bullets. The vehicle provides rear face-to-face seating so that four passengers will be able conduct a moving meeting while sipping champagne from bespoke crystal glasses. Perhaps the bubbly might be a little inappropriate for some meetings but it is a good option to have, especially if you have just escaped an assassination attempt. 

And when the passengers are done conversing, the two seats in the third row are able to recline, similar to a business class flight, complete with adjustable calf rest for a well-needed rest.

As mentioned, since this car conforms to protection class VR9 and Directive ERV 2010, bombs and grenades shouldn’t disrupt anyone’s power nap.

Everything from the floor to the windows is reinforced to withstand bullets, shrapnel and explosive devices. The armor plating on the doors is so dense that Mercedes has had to fit motors to the hinges so that someone with regular human strength can open and close them easily without rupturing a muscle group. Take a look at the interior below and just imagine how heavy those doors must be. Also, if you’re a Mountain-size human, it looks like you might find the space challenging…

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard

Interior

The reason the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard is able to offer such high levels of protection can be found in the reinforcing and other security elements that are integrated directly into the car’s basic structure, rather than added later as happens when people customize their vehicles after purchase. This approach also means that although the vehicle is considerably heavier than a ‘stock’ Pullman (the S 600 Pullman is Mercedes’ current absolute flagship), it should still behave like a car, not a tank, on the open road. Of course, that means the car is still a pleasant ride for passenger but it does provide some pleasures for the driver too.

The V12 bi-turbo engine has been tuned for power over speed. There’s 530hp on tap but a huge 830Nm of torque available at even low revs, so it will always be able to pull away. And though Mercedes has electronically limited the top speed to reduce the severity of a potential collision, it will still hit 100mph (160km/h). Bear in mind this is a 12,000-pound machine so just getting it to 160km/h is herculean. 

“Besides providing spacious seating in first-class comfort for high-ranking passengers, the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level,” said Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz Cars head of sales and marketing. “One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail.”

Prices for the Pullman Guard will begin at €1.4 million.  

Goodwood Revival Welcomes Aston Martin DBR1

Once upon a time, Aston Martin had a sterling reputation in the world of motor racing and it was all down to one car, the Aston Martin DBR1. This legendary car is set to hit the track once more as one of the many highlights at the Goodwood Revival later this week. In case you need a reminder, the DBR1 helped win the luxury automaker the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. Thanks to that win nearly five decades ago, Aston Martin was able to lay out the engineering and stylistic blueprint for all Astons. Even the modern DB11 bears some resemblance to the DBR1.

Along with the DBR1, Aston Martin is also bringing the 1961 DB4 GT Zagato and two examples of the DB3S from 1953 and 1955. “Goodwood provides two very different but equally special events for Aston Martin: the Festival of Speed and the Revival,” said Aston Martin President and CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “It seems entirely fitting, therefore, that Aston Martin plays its part once again this year and gives the visiting crowds something truly memorable to admire and experience.” Of course, the crowds are also part of the spectacle as period clothing is de rigueur.

Located at the Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, the Goodwood Revival celebrates vintage motoring and historical racing. The event is one where no car built after 1966 is allowed on track and attendees are required to come in period clothing to gain access (hence our point above). Running from September 9 to 11, this is one event that true enthusiasts won’t want to miss.

Porsche Welcomes Macan Compact SUV Range

The Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance package — to give it its full title — takes the existing Macan Turbo as its starting point but then dials up the power and the performance several notches.

The 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 nestling under its compact hood now outputs 440hp; that’s a 40hp increase, and 600Nm of torque (a 50Nm improvement) in order to get the SUV off the line and on to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, then on to a 272km/h top speed if the owner is lucky enough to be driving on the Autobahn where speed limits don’t apply.Porsche-macan-suv-interior

However, where restrictions are in place, that extra torque means that there’s still fun to be had. For instance, it can now accelerate from 80km/h to 100km/h (highway overtaking speeds) in just 2.9 seconds. That’s seriously impressive for what is a high-sided vehicle (1.62 meters tall) that weighs 2000kg.

To handle the extra performance, Porsche has upgraded the brakes and chassis and lowered the ride height. It’s also thrown in the Sport Chrono Package that will be familiar to 911 drivers. So there’s a stopwatch for timing laps and an extra driving mode — Sport Plus — that opens the exhaust, opens the taps on the engine and tightens up the dampers, suspension and paddle-shifted gear changes so that the driver can access everything the car has to give.

It’s impossible to exaggerate how important the Macan has become for Porsche’s bottom line since its launch in 2014. It’s well on its way to 1 million sales, and demand for the compact, premium sports SUV is such that owners are finding they can sell theirs on at a premium above the asking price as those that want one aren’t prepared to wait for Porsche to build one.Porsche-macan-suv-back

However, Porsche is not the only German car company that knows about how to make a mud plugger both premium and powerful and so to stop customers decamping to a BMW, Audi or Mercedes showroom, Porsche has added this new model to the lineup, before its competitors have a chance to catch up.

The Macan Turbo Performance Package will cost from €91,000 in Europe when it goes on sale following its official debut at the Paris motorshow, which opens to the public on October 1.

Citroën Presents CXPERIENCE Concept in Paris

The end of September will see the Mondial de L’Automobile Paris 2016 open its doors to visitors. Despite the state of this year’s show, one car manufacturer to watch is Citroën. The firm will be taking advantage of the absence of a few major names to get more attention for its own unique efforts this year. The French automaker will be bringing the CXPERIENCE concept to the show and it is already drawing attention for its perspective on the executive car.Citroen-concept-car-3

The four-door hatchback stays true to the hallmark of French automotive design by keeping things smooth and elegant, without the aggression that typically marks German and Italian designs. In principle, this is done by keeping the wheels close to each corner as possible. For some reference, just compare this with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6. With a height of 1.37 meters and length of 4.85 meters, the car is one that comes off as sleek. According to Citroën, the exterior of the car features a glass roof as well as a concave rear window, providing minimal visual clutter. In place of wing mirrors, the car has cameras; headlamps are cleverly hidden within its wraparound front grille, which is said to have been inspired by current high-tech trends.

Within the car, Citroën uses breathable natural fabrics that are paired with wooden panelling. With four seats, the cabin is reminiscent of a cozy cocoon that envelops you in intentionally oversized seats. The entertainment system is integrated into each headrest, which ensures that voices never have to be raised. To contrast the citrus yellow seats, the brand has padded the flat floor with dark leather. This sense of space and de-cluttering is emphasized further by the rejection of many knobs and dials in favor of touch screens – a central display in the front and a shared tablet for rear-seat passengers, both boasting an interface developed for ease of use.Citroen-concept-car-2

As for propulsion, the concept is a plug-in hybrid, capable of covering 60km on battery power alone. “[The car] challenges convention to express a new vision of executive hatchbacks,” said Linda Jackson, Citroën Global CEO. “CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its “Be Different, Feel Good” promise in this segment.”

 

A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring © Darin Schnabel Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Record-Setting Car Auctions: Concours 2016

“The rise of Ferrari across the board has been a bit of phenomenon of the last 10 years,” begins Peter Haynes from RM Sotheby’s. Not only have the incredibly rare models from the 1950s and 60s rocketed in value but in recent years the prices of even 1980s and 90s Ferraris have jumped significantly — $575,000 for a 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta, anyone?

But is that about to change? “It’s a relatively limited pool of people that want to buy the very high value cars,” says Haynes. “You could potentially argue that Ferrari has been overheated because there have been far too many big Ferraris coming to market.”

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater is one of the stars of this year's Bonhams sale. © Courtesy of Bonhams

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater is one of the stars of this year’s Bonhams sale.

What sends an auction into a frenzy is when a seriously significant car that has been in private ownership for a very long period of time finally comes up for sale.

“There are lots of lovely Bugattis that haven’t come to market over recent years. Lots of D-Type Jags. And now that they are, they are shining,” says Haynes.

And after years of unavailability, a Le Mans-winning D-Type is coming up and it has a conservative estimate of $20-$25 million. “A big, historically significant car doesn’t need to be a Ferrari to make a record price. A Le Mans-winning D-Type Jag is always going to be one of the most valuable cars in the world,” says Haynes.

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans. © Patrick Ernzen Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.
© Patrick Ernzen Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

But the D-Type isn’t a solo performer. There is a 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater ($14-$20 million+) that went under the hammer at Bonhams’ Quai Lodge auction on August 19 (It actually sold for $4 million, narrowly edging the Ferrari LaFerrari at the same sale). Or a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring, one of only 12 in the world if you had upwards of $25 million to spare and attended the RM Sotheby’s sale. It closed for $19.8 million, making it the 8th most expensive car ever sold at auction.

A new order?

And then then there’s the total wildcard. The original Shelby Cobra, the car that Carroll Shelby himself built and owned until the day he died. A car that has never, ever come up for sale and one that represents Genesis verse one, chapter one in the bible of American international motorsports history. A normal Cobra can fetch upwards of $1.5 million. This one could fetch 20 times more. In the end, when the gavel fell, the car sold for $13.8 million, making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction. It is, by our reckoning, number 21 on the list of most expensive cars in the world sold at auction.

“All of these cars are absolutely capable of entering the top 10, which up to now has been almost exclusively dominated by Ferrari,” says Haynes. From what we have seen, only the Alfa 8C lived to this billing, which is still a big thrill.

The very first Shelby Cobra CSX2000 © RM Sotheby's

The very first Shelby Cobra CSX2000
© RM Sotheby’s

As well as Ferrari fatigue, any possible rearranging of the top 10 is also down to changing tastes. Every year the average age of auction attendees drops as does the age of the cars they covet. This leads to even Japanese models becoming motoring icons and thus collectible.

“We can only guess what our kids may be potentially interested in buying when they hit their 40s,” explains Haynes. “How will they view something like a Ferrari Daytona? They might think it’s very cool or they might think its a horrendous antique not worth the garage space. It’s going to be interesting.”

2017-range-rover

2017 Range Rover: Dynamic Reboot

Everyone’s favorite off-roader will be getting a bit of a boost, it seems. For its 2017 model year, Range Rover’s flagship SUV, the SVAutobiography, will soon be more powerful, more intelligent and apparently more ‘dynamic’ – or so says its name.

First, let’s talk about the more exciting flagship option: the sportier ‘SVAutobiography Dynamic’. With a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 petrol engine that will generate all 542bhp, ZF’s eight-speed automatic box (yes, the same one in the Range Rover SVR and Jag’s F-Type) and 502lb-ft of torque, the SUV manages a rambunctious top speed of 140mph and will bring you to 60mph in 5.1 seconds.

Range Rover complements all that power with sharper suspension and steering, a lowered ride height of 8mm and ‘Dynamic Response.’ That’s Range Rover’s intelligent solution to preventing body roll when cornering at speed by applying equal and opposing forces via the front and rear axle. It also monitors the car’s behavior according to the driver’s input and will adjust suspension according to changes in the road surface.

2017-range-rover

Mark Stanton, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “The Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic has been specially developed by the Special Vehicle Operations team to deliver a more engaging driving experience. It delivers the ultimate combination of performance and Range Rover luxury, befitting its unique position in the portfolio.”

2017-range-rover

Range Rover has also delved into the brave new world of autonomous technology. Low Traction Launch will help get you out of slippery situations such as ice and wet grass gracefully; Advanced Tow assist will make manoeuvring with a trailer or horsebox stress-free by pre-plotting the course to take. A set of apps will plan journeys including the sections that will be on foot, learn the owner’s routine to automatically offer the best route in real time and even send arrival time updates to friends and family.

 

 

4 Exotic Cars at Daytona: Charity Drive

Ever wanted to race around a world famous track, have an evening with Hollywood celebs and A-listers, and do a car show all for children’s charity? I had the privilege to attend such an event. Celebration Exotic Car Festival in Florida, gives individuals with exotic cars the opportunity to spend two days on Daytona International Speedway driving the infamous 24-hour circuit. Afterwards we headed to an amazing 5-star wine and dinner cooked by Wolfgang Puck himself.

Of course, to close the fun few days, there was a car show that Make a Wish Foundation had some Wish Kids attend. I’m sure you are all want to know more about the details of the cars well, we had cars such as Pagani Huayra, Bugatti, McLaren P1, Vipers, Ferraris of your calling, along with some race cars.

Porsche GT4

Porsche GT4

During the event I had the chance to drive the new McLaren 570s which I won’t go into much as I did a story on the McLaren P1 last month but what a fast, fun, and light little car. I also had the opportunity to drive the brand new Viper ACR Xtreme. This car is pretty much a race car that is street legal. It can produce roughly 800kg of downforce and 650bhp. This thing is quick!

All American muscle with a lot of downforce, the car is a blast and brings me back to what it’s like to be in a real GT race car. The car has set production car track records everywhere it goes. The interior is full of carbon fiber and alcantara and has a great short shift manual 6 speed transmission. I also had the opportunity to take out one of the latest cars out there, the Porsche GT4. This was a fun and tactile machine.

Definitely a great car for the track, but in my opinion, a little underpowered. I think this is probably because of its bigger brother that always has the stage – the Porsche GT3 RS. Give this car 100 more bhp and I think you would have one of the fastest cars on the track. The feedback from the steering was amazing and the balance was on point.

Dodge Viper ACR Xtreme

Dodge Viper ACR Xtreme

I didn’t get the chance to drive the Pagani Huayra, but that car is a work of art as you can see from the photos. I wouldn’t consider it a track car, but more an investment and a beautiful piece of art. Everything about it was beautiful and over the top.

Each year the event has grown tremendously and helped raised over $1 million for children’s charities. Stars from Orange County Choppers, Happy Days, Star Wars cast members have attended, with next year’s special guest to include Mr. Jay Leno. If you ever are in the Central Florida area in early April, be sure to make this an event you attend, as it’s not only for an amazing cause, but also one you will never forget.

McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S

 

This article was first published in Palace magazine.

e 2017-Aston-Martin-DB9-GT-side-angle

Goodbye Aston Martin DB9, Hello DB11

The Aston Martin DB9 is no more. Yes, 13 years after the first car rolled out at Gaydon, the British car manufacturer will cease production of one of the most beautifully designed Grand Tourers in history. The company will mark the milestone with a final nine examples of the DB9 GT (pictured above), before starting work on its next highway star: the DB11.

Fans of the DB9 will remember the thunderous roar of its front mid-mounted V12 engine, all 540bhp of it. They will also never forget the day they tried tearing down the roads at its top speed of 183mph. This two-door coupe was destined to be iconic.

2014 Aston Martin DB9 Carbon Black

2014 Aston Martin DB9 Carbon Black

As the replacement for the DB7, Aston Martin christened it DB9 instead of DB8 to represent revolution rather than evolution (while conveniently dispelling misunderstandings that its engine might be eight cylinders rather than 12). The car was credited with boosting Aston’s sales almost four-fold in four years and its fan club consisted of the hard-to-please Jeremy Clarkson and Daniel Craig’s James Bond – who destroyed not one, but two DBS models, the DB9’s more aggressive twin.

James Bond 'Quantum of Solace' Aston Martin DBS

James Bond ‘Quantum of Solace’ Aston Martin DBS

Now, in collaboration with the company’s Q Division bespoke customization firm, Aston Martin will roll out the last of its kind at its Gaydon, Warwickshire production line in England. Each of the final nine DB9 GTs are custom-finished, and if you’re looking to get your hands on one, don’t bother trying – they’re all taken.

2017 Aston Martin DB9 GT

2017 Aston Martin DB9 GT

Like its predecessor, the DB11 will also mark the firm’s next big revolution; its all-new 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 will muscle 600bhp and hit 62mph in 3.9 seconds. Aston has, however, created a one-off DB10 for the recent Bond film Spectre. But the Aston Martin DB9 will clearly never be forgotten – classic car insurance and classic car industry experts Hagerty has already noticed an increase in both demand and prices for mid-2000 produced DB9s.

Watch the Aston Martin DB9 in all its glory here:

And for old times’ sake, watch as Jeremy Clarkson proves his DB9 is up to the challenge of getting to Monte Carlo faster than Hammond and May with public transport on Top Gear.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Selamat Tinggal Aston Martin DB9, Halo DB11

Review: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Since Porsche created the 911 more than 50 years ago, it’s been an evolutionary process, more than a revolution. The model generally changes shape minimally and the way it generates its power comes from a flat 6, horizontally opposed, hung out over the rear axle. A layout that shouldn’t work, but does. In the standard Carrera model, you could maybe name a handful of major changes to the car since its creation. Most notably being the switch from air cooled to water cooled in the late 1990’s when the 993 gave way to the 996. The change caused stir with 911 purists, however the result was one of the most popular 911 models of all time and a far more efficient power delivery system. Having owned a 996, I can honestly say the car was bullet proof.

As the 996 gave way to the 997 and then on to the 991 v1, few changes were made with the engine, until now. For the 2017 991, Porsche has launched all Carrera models with a turbo charged engine. A company first. Typically, only models with the designated turbo badge in the 911 range have a turbo engine. However, in a move which we are seeing across the industry, manufacturers are downsizing and adding turbos to make their cars more energy efficient, while at the same time generating more horsepower and torque. Have turbos killed the legend?MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_036

I had the opportunity to try out the new model. A rear wheel drive Carrera S model with a downsized 3.0 litre engine displacing 420 HP, 500 Nm of torque and equipped with a revised 7 speed PDK gearbox. From the outside there’s relatively few changes from the previous 991 and the new 991. Like most Carrera facelifts, unless you really know what to look for, they can be difficult to see. To name a few, if the sports exhaust is fitted, it now features two mid mounted pipes, somewhat similar to the GT3.

Also, to get air to those twin turbos, the air flows through vents above the engine and small vents that can be found near the splitters at the back of the rear wheels. On the inside, a steering wheel similar to a 918 and a revised multimedia interface with Apple Play is now available.MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_027

From the moment you climb into the sumptuous cockpit, you instantly begin to recognize why this is such a useable sports car. It’s comfortable, has all the latest gadgets, yet remains so very driver focused. Even with the improved interior quality over the years, you always know you’re in a 911. It feels so familiar every time. Those 5 dials with the large rpm gauge centrally mounted, calling at you that this car means business.

In historical Le Mans starting fashion, the ignition is still on the opposite side of the steering wheel to the gear lever. As I insert the car-shaped key and turn, the familiar flat six sound burbles to life. Instantly my heart starts to race. We pull away, I start to flip through the driver settings on the steering wheel, until I reach sport and then sport +. Suddenly the exhaust gets louder, the suspension sharper, the gearshifts quicker. Yes, I think that’ll do.

There’s a gap in the traffic, I blip down a couple gears, the exhaust crackling and popping with each downshift. It’s time to go. Whoosh! I’m instantly pushed back in my seat. First gear, second gear, each change coming with racing like millisecond precision. The engine revving to just over 7k and the rear mounted spoiler rising just before I hit third gear. Turbo lag is non-existent and the response is effortless. 0 – 100 km/h on this Carrera S model is clocked at 3.9 seconds by Porsche, however they tend to state slower times then what the car can actually do. I wouldn’t be surprised if this model can hit 100 km/h in 3.6 or 3.7 seconds. It definitely felt like it.

I reach a long sweeping bend. The electronic steering which was so heavily criticized in the 991 v1, now has so much feel that I really couldn’t tell that it wasn’t hydraulic. Within a matter of seconds, we are back in traffic and I get the opportunity to try out the huge rotors equipped to the 305 rear and 245 front Pirellis. The stopping power is immense. No matter how much larger the 911 gets, it’s still feels light and on its toes when you need it to be, while being extremely planted at speed.MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_007

I have few complaints about this car, I do miss the higher revving naturally aspirated engine. The sports exhaust does help and the new car is definitely faster and more efficient, but it may have lost a little bit of its soul. I’m sure as we get more used to it, the turbos won’t come into question anymore, a bit like how hydraulic steering no longer seems an issue. Also, the rear seats, while still useable, haven’t really changed much since the first time I went in a 911, which was an early 1980’s 911 SC. Other than that, this car will be hard to beat by any of its nearest competitors. It deserves 5 stars. Porsche has managed to retain most of the 911’s core personality traits, while keeping in line with the government imposed industry trend. It will be interesting to see how the new V8 R8 by Audi and Aston Martin’s next generation Vantage stand up to the German benchmark.

Specifications:

Engine 3.0 liter twin-turbo horizontally opposed six
Horse Power 420 @ 6,500rpm
Torque 500 Nm @ 1,700rpm
0-100 km/h 3.9 (official)
Top Speed 307 km/h

This article was first published in Palace.

Rolls-Royce-Dawn until dusk-Dawn

Rolls-Royce Unveils Bespoke ‘Dusk Until Dawn’ Cars

It is easy to see Porto Cervo’s charm, especially to a top-shelf automaker such as Rolls-Royce. The swanky seaside resort destination in Northern Sardinia boasts a spectacular coastline, lots of beautiful people and a laidback glamour like no other. Rolls-Royce even has a special initiative related to Porto Cervo, which we have covered previously. No surprise, then, that Rolls-Royce is returning to the Italian marina as palette inspiration for ‘Dusk Until Dawn’ – a bespoke series of two of its well-loved cars, a Dawn drophead and a Wraith coupe.

Rolls-Royce-Dawn until dusk-Dawn

Revealed at the brand new Rolls-Royce Summer Studio in Sardinia, both cars are infused with the ambient hues of Porto Cervo at its most spectacular: dawn and dusk. As its name suggests, the bespoke Dawn (pictured above) is a vision of the marina’s aquamarine waters as light breaks upon the waves. An ethereal emerald green exterior envelops a seashell and green leather cabin, complemented by teak trimmings (yacht decks, anyone?) that extends to the tourneau cover that shields the roof and trunk compartment. With an insignia of Porto Cervo on the dashboard fascia that’s embedded with real emeralds and mother-of-pearl in white gold, this Dawn is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious vehicles in the world.

Rolls-Royce-Dawn until dusk-Wraith

For the one-off Wraith, an iridescent two-toned silver finish on its exterior reflects the changing light as the sun sets, setting the mood for its ethereal twilight-infused interiors. Step inside to a cocoon of glamour with seats swathed in decadent plum-colored ostrich leather and wooden veneers and marquetry in shades of slate greys, browns and black.

Rolls-Royce-Dawn until dusk-Wraith

“Patrons of our marque delight in inhabiting some of the world’s most beautiful enclaves,” said Isobel Dando, General Manager, Future Retail, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The stunning Bespoke Wraith and emerald embellished Dawn, inspired by the sights and colors of Porto Cervo, have been commissioned in the spirit that so many of our customers delight in.”Rolls-Royce-Dawn until dusk-porto cervoIt’s also somewhat fitting that the British car marque extends its bespoke reveals to one of its clients, tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta, who used Sardinia’s stunning environment as inspiration for two tattooed Rolls-Royce headrests. “The designs I have created for Rolls-Royce evoke the emotion experienced by observing this magical place from the harbor of Promenade du Port,” Coppoletta said.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Rolls-Royce Menampilkan Unit Pesanan ‘Dusk Until Dawn’

Lincoln Debuts Client-Focused Luxe Service

No, “The Lincoln Way” is not a new law referencing the former US President or a new plank for the Republican party, but rather, Ford’s standalone luxury car label Lincoln’s new philosophy. Regardless of its slightly confusing name, “The Lincoln Way” aligns itself with the values of simplicity, time-saving and personalization.

Taking a leaf out of rivals Mercedes’ and Bentley’s books, Lincoln recognizes the need for absolute excellence when handling clients in the premium car market. This means customers’ expectations extend beyond aesthetically pleasing facades and interiors, and desire every aspect of ownership to resonate with the same quality. Cue valets who will pick your cars up for servicing, even going as far to thoughtfully leave a courtesy vehicle for the owner’s use, to quote an example. It is an all-in-one package.

lincoln-lead-car-service-1

In a similar vein, a dedicated Experience Center at Fashion Island in Newport Beach California is also in the works, where clients will be able to explore every aspect of the Lincoln marque. Customers basically get a business lounge where they can sample individual models and build a Lincoln (not literally of course) to their exact specifications. It is a step up from the Black Label service, which Lincoln already provides for US clients to access personal shopping and some of the country’s best restaurants.

“We’re continuing to expand on The Lincoln Way, and as we do, you’ll see a common theme — effortless and personal service for the client,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Lincoln Motor Company. “Lincoln is matching compelling vehicles with world-class service.”

For more information, visit Lincoln’s website here.

Luxuo David Beckham for Jaguar 2016

How British Car Brands Sell to China

Many British automotive marques are already forging reciprocal links with Chinese firms. Aston Martin is working with LeEco to develop an electric version of its Rapide super sedan and everyone from Jaguar to Bentley is also developing models with longer wheelbases and greater space for rear passengers, uniquely for the Chinese market.

But how do these storied British brands get the biggest and youngest car-buying market to fall in love with them within the next few years, when they’ve had over 60 years to become pin-up fixtures on children’s walls in Europe and the US?

Jaguar has already hired David Beckham as its sportscar ambassador to China, but, as football fans will tell you “There’s only one David Beckham” so it appears the long-term answer is to celebrate all that’s good about British motoring heritage by crafting a festival on a par with the Goodwood Festival of Speed and bringing it to the Chinese mainland.

The British Motorsport Festival (BMF), will open its doors to the public at the Goldenport track, Beijing, on October 1 and promises past, present and future cars from Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren, Morgan and Noble.

But more than simply trying to get car fans excited, the two-day event will be a proper family-inclusive lifestyle experience.

“The British Motorsport Festival is a unique blend of cars, fans and fun for the entire family. Our hope is that the British Motorsport Festival can help brands connect with fans to build lasting relationships,” said Jim James, BMF’s founder.

So the event promises racing, a ladies competition, go-karting and electric car racing for kids plus a vintage car show.

Alongside the festival the UK government is also assisting in setting up an annual motorsports conference, in partnership with Motorsport China, the first of which will be held in Shanghai on November 2. Because as with every country that starts to fall in love with cars, the urge to race tends to follow very quickly. But there are pitfalls that need to be avoided if it’s going to be done in a sustainable, profitable way.

“Motorsport in China is developing rapidly, and the goal of the Conference is to bring experts from the UK and China together to discuss best practices, build deeper relationships and ultimately to develop the industry to a world class level,” said Managing Director of Motorsport China, Steven Lu.

So the conference will bring together experts from every facet of racing from track development to team owners and specialist services companies under one roof.

Lamborghini Hits Sales Records in 2016

We are only half way through 2016 but Lamborghini has already hit a milestone in its books. In the first six months of this year, the luxury car-maker sold 2,013 cars. The month of June saw them deliver 416 cars, which is a feat for a single month.

In 2015, the company sold 1,882 cars within the same period. The jump in sales, has been attributed in part to the expansion of the Huracán family, the introduction of the Spyder as well as the rear-wheel drive version to the international market. “With a solid order bank, not only for the Huracán, but also for our V12 model the Aventador, we aim to outperform the last year’s sales record yet again” said Stefano Domenicali, Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

The country with the highest call for Lamborghini’s came from the United States. Following closely behind the Amercian market, is Japan and the United Kingdom coming in third. Unsurprisingly, China stands as the fourth biggest market. The record sales performance tallies with the overall bullish tone in the higher end of the car market and follows Lamborghini’s own previous record achievement.

Sports Sedan Reborn: New Porsche Panamera

Having contributed to record sales for the German automaker since 2009, it was only high time the trusty Porsche Panamera got the facelift it deserved. This year, the liftback-style sedan replaces the previous model with a sportier façade and amped-up specs.

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While maintaining the Panamera’s recognizable silhouette – long bonnet, distinct shoulder line and large alloy wheels – the new iteration is also now 35mm longer, 5mm wider, 5mm taller, and with a lower, more curved roofline, creating a flyline that harks back to the iconic 911. Its wider wheelbase, now 30mm longer, also serves to accentuate the car’s sporty disposition.

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The new Porsche Panamera will launch with three engine options; the most powerful 4.0-liter V8 Turbo’s 550 hp will power the car to 60mph in 3.8 seconds, or 3.6 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono pack. Porsche’s brand new 2.9-liter twin turbo V6 in the 4S model will get you 434hp (20hp more than before) of driving pleasure, and is capable of hitting 60mph from rest in 4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack, and the Panamera 4S Diesel’s V8 (fastest diesel car in the world, Porsche claims) will equip your ride with 416hp and hit a top speed of 177mph, going from nought to 60 in 4.3 seconds.

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Otherwise, the four-wheel drive model is also equipped with Porsche’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission shift gearbox, automatic rear wing and next-generation air suspension for an even smoother ride. But what is a fantastic ride without all the nifty gadgets we’ve come to expect from the luxury-grade vehicles of today. Drivers of the new Panamera will work with the new Porsche Advanced Cockpit, equipped with thermal imaging cameras and InnoDrive, an adaptive cruise control. The improved UX features two new 7-inch displays in place of dials, with a 12-inch touchscreen that has all the works – online sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and an updated voice control system.

“Its strengths have been reinforced, its weaknesses eradicated and above all its character preserved,” said Michael Mauer, Head of Style Porsche AG. If you’re still not convinced, Porsche has created a video that will surely seal the deal:

 

Future Drive: Rolls-Royce Vision 100

Last week we drove headlong into an exhibition at the Turin Motor Show that investigated the possible futures of cars. This week, Rolls-Royce made like Neil Armstrong and took a giant leap into that future with the Vision 100. The luxury car firm debuted the Vision 100 at a special event in London, echoing something its parent company BMW did back in March. We’re talking about the BMW Vision Next 100 of course and indeed we’ll be seeing this from all BMW brands but perhaps Rolls-Royce is even bolder in its vision than BMW itself.

The Vision 100 ditches a good deal of the familiar ‘car-like’ trappings in favor of an exterior that feels more like an otherworldly rectangular pod. When we saw ‘car-like’ trappings, what we mean is that the Vision 100 is a fully autonomous zero-emissions vehicle. Seriously, there’s no steering wheel or instrument panel here (there is instead a cabin-wide OLED display)… Yet there’s still that iconic Spirit of Ecstasy gleaming at the front, marking it as, unmistakably, a Rolls-Royce. Also, at close to 6 meters in length and more than a meter tall, the two-door Vision 100 comes from a future where bigger is clearly better.

Speaking of the Spirit of Ecstasy, there will be one inside the vehicle too. This happens to be Eleanor – the virtual personal assistant that can be viewed on the visual display in the interior. She’ll track your personal tastes, make recommendations, and run your appointments. All this falls in with one of the basic tenets of luxury, which is to do nothing that you don’t want to do. Even the design for the interior is set up like a comfortable cocoon with fine wool, leather, woods and a sofa. Yes, this vision of the future comes with a couch because someone at Rolls-Royce was paying to all those jokes car writers make about the Goodwood firm’s penchant for creating luxury living rooms on wheels.

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“The grand arrival of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 boldly points to a bright future for our marque where our patrons’ individual demands for complete and authentic personalization will be met through an exquisite fusion of technology, design and hallmark Rolls-Royce craftsmanship,” said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös at the concept’s launch. In coming up with the Vision 100, the design team led by Giles Taylor tried to imagine what cars would look like a century into the future. They decided that four key ingredients were important – personal vision; an effortless journey; a grand sanctuary; and the grand arrival.

Well, this is only the beginning. As things develop we can easily expect more automation, more convenience, and more exclusivity. In keeping up with their vision of the future, Rolls-Royce even released a 3D video to showcase exactly what the model can accomplish. You can view it down below.

Porsche Teases New Panamera

For hardcore Porsche purists, there are a number of faults to levy at the existing Porsche Panamera, despite the overwhelming success of the model  – the main gripe being the optics. Even CEO Matthias Mueller admitted to that back in 2014, in an interview with Motoring. With this peek at the new-generation luxury sports GT, though, those worries seem to have been put to rest. It is both a car that’s great on paper and one that keeps its crisp personality on the exterior.

Beyond just a cleaner form overall, with sharper lines, the Porsche Panamera also has much more entertaining V8 and V6 powertrains. Judging from the sketches, the wheelbase is also bigger, leaving more cabin space for front and rear passengers. Though, being only a sneak peek, there are still many more questions to be answered before we know whether it is a definitive model to get your hands on.

At the very least, Porsche has also confirmed that the performance will definitely upgraded, when compared with its predecessor because of the lighter and stronger materials used. There is also the five years of engineering innovations that the brand has made, since the first Panamera went into production. It is also worth remembering that a four-door sedan Porsche has come a long way from its days as a concept in the 1980s. While there are no details yet on this upgrade, we think it is safe to say that the luxury trappings of the Panamera are here to stay, as is the engine position (although that one is a lot less certain).

Beyond the sketches, you can also look at the video below that Porsche released, teasing the new model. (Spoilers: unfortunately, the car isn’t revealed)

Porto Cervo Rolls-Royce Studio Opens

The name Rolls-Royce is synonymous with the peak of luxury. To maintain this standard, the company has decided to open up a Summer Studio in the heart of Porto Cervo on the island of Sardinia, Italy. The city boasts of being one of the most popular yet least known haunts of the world’s elite; it is exactly this chunk of the populace that the brand is aiming to sink its teeth into. With the studio, patrons of true luxury will have their very own hub to enjoy high society and fine living, ongoing until September.

A host of Rolls-Royce automobiles will occupy their highly contemporary space located at the Promenade Du Port but Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is not just aiming to sell the cars. The whole point of the studio is to let visitors get a glimpse of the lifestyle, not just beautiful machines. In the day, you can experience rides around the roads of the island in models such as the Rolls-Royce Dawn – the marque’s newest and most social Drophead Coupé ever created. By night, the place transforms into a harvest of social activities, with exclusive gatherings and an upbeat atmosphere allowing connoisseurs to mingle.

“Connoisseurs of true luxury are seeking an unforgettable experience in their pursuit of perfection… The worlds of fashion, art and design collide to create an ambient atmosphere which embodies the spirit of Rolls-Royce” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce, on the whole concept behind the studio. True enough, the furniture and decoration are specially commissioned to ensure a totally exclusive and luxurious experience.

If you’re heading down to Porto Cervo during this period – this may well be worth checking out. Perhaps the whole experience will be convincing enough for you to invest enough to let you own one of their fine models for yourself.

The New Maserati Quattroporte: GranLusso & GranSport

Maserati has given its flagship model, the Quattroporte, an update (actually, make that two) for 2016, and the result is the GranLusso and GranSport — both polar opposites of each other.

The Maserati Quattroporte (literally translated to ‘four doors’) has had an illustrious history since its inception in 1963. Less clinical than its German counterparts: the Mercedes S class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, the four-door grand tourer is now available in two models to better suit the diverse preferences of Maserati’s customer base.

The GranLusso is the luxury-oriented variant of the two, its exteriors now fitted with 20-inch Mercurio alloys and subtler spoilers. Other enhancements include chrome bumper inserts, black brake calipers and an elegant 20-inch Mercurio wheels. Inside, the car is decked in bespoke Ermenegildo Zegna silk and leather, and finished with top grade wooden trim.

On the other end of the spectrum, the GranSport – as its name suggests – is performance-driven, both in style and function. Front and rear new sports bumpers with body-coloured sideskirts reflect its driver’s more athletic lifestyles, as with its larger 21-inch Titano wheels and red brake calipers. The GranSport is essentially a big limo with sporting intent, so it’s only natural its interiors also play the part. Carbon fiber trimmings and piano-black wood veneers add to its aggressiveness, while its sport seats are built for optimum comfort and support, a feature you will appreciate after you learn what its engines can do.

At the heart of the cars, the same Ferrari-developed 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 530 hp, propelling the car from 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds and delivering a top speed of 310 km/h. A milder (read: less exciting) 410 hp twin-turbo V6 option is also available, hitting nought to 100 km/h at 5.1 seconds. Both versions are also fitted with a host of latest-generation active safety technology, including an adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a new electric parking brake and a 360-degree camera.

Custom Job: Ferrari 458 MM Speciale

The Ferrari 458 Speciale was distinctive when it was first released in 2013, which is only fitting for what is a souped-up version of the 2009 Ferrari 458 Italia. All versions of the 458 were phased out in 2015 so if you get one brand new today, you can count yourself extremely fortunate. For one mysterious British customer though, a rare car just wouldn’t cut it. Thus, the 458 MM Speciale was born. The bespoke Ferrari made its debut on Tuesday during a shakedown testing on the Fiorano circuit. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article

The one-of-a-kind creation has a few similarities other 458s, with a few unique features in the mix. Like the collectible 458 Speciale, the bespoke Ferrari boasts a 4.5 litre 600 hp V8 engine and can go from 0 to 100km/h in three seconds on its way to hitting a top speed that exceeds 200mph. The differences begin with the exterior that is re-sculpted in aluminum and carbon fibre composites while also featuring side air scoops as well as a re-worked nose and tail. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article-1

The custom Ferrari that was designed in-house by the Ferrari Styling Centre showcases sporty lines —a request of the client— as well as a glasshouse that resembles the 1984 Ferrari GTO. This wraparound solution sees the windscreen and side windows become one seamless glass surface while also lowering the roofline. The roofline joins the side scoops in adding to the aerodynamic revision of the new car. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article-2

Thanks to the unique additions, Ferrari could afford to modify the car further by having the cooling radiators mounted closer together. With the help of the side scoops, the car is able to provide direct additional cooling to the engine. The downforce is evenly balanced thanks to a spoiler on the tail — something that you would not find on current production Ferraris. The customization of the car doesn’t stop there: the owner also requested specific wheels that are exclusive to the car along with an upgraded audio system as well as Ciccolato leather upholstery with white stitching and satin white rings around the tunnel controls.

BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Gets a Reboot

Like the rest of its 3 Series siblings, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo also gets its own facelift for the summer, taking on more engine options and spiffier interiors.

Let’s start by looking at the inside. BMW justifies the premium price tag with luxurious updates – think more wood, chrome trimming and leather options – to cater to the increasing demands of its American and Chinese customer base. The car is also fitted with the “BMW Navigation System Professional”, a feature once reserved only for the company’s ‘full-sized’ cars. The 3 Series GT also has the usual fanfare: automatic climate control, LED headlamps and fog lamps, a smartphone hands-free kit, a full HD color display with iDrive Controller, USB ports and Bluetooth for audio streaming.

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The biggest difference, however, lies in the 3 Series GT’s engines. There are in total three gasoline and five diesel engines to choose from. Coupled with the drive configurations and gearboxes that Beemer is offering, there are essentially 18 different models to choose from. Petrol engines start with the base 320i and the new 330i, both boasting better fuel economy. The higher-end 340i replaces the 335i with higher horsepower and lower carbon emissions. Depending on engine selection, the car can be specified with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed Streptronic automatic transmission.

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The car’s body sees the same athletic stature and raised roof lines as its predecessor, its chassis still an extra 200mm longer than the standard 3 Series. This translates into larger luggage capacity, one that’s even greater that the BMW 3 Series Touring station wagon.