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A Bentley Azure painted with two million diamonds, on show at Top Marques Monaco 2017. Image courtesy of Top Marques Monaco 2017

Top Marques Monaco 2017: Supercar premieres from Donkervoort, Calafiora, Frangivento, and David Brown Automotive

A Bentley Azure painted with two million diamonds, on show at Top Marques Monaco 2017. Image courtesy of Top Marques Monaco 2017

A Bentley Azure painted with two million diamonds, on show at Top Marques Monaco 2017. Image courtesy of Top Marques Monaco 2017

This year’s edition of the Top Marques Monaco luxury car show was held April 20 to 23 in the principality, setting the stage for some spectacular world premieres.

The Monaco event, billed as the world’s most exclusive car show, featured a host of exceptional new vehicles and saw four supercars make their worldwide debut: the Donkervoort G8 RTO, the Calafiore C10, a Charlotte Edition of the Asfané by Frangivento and a Mini revisited by David Brown Automotive.

The D8 GTO-RS is the fastest and lightest supercar ever built by Dutch car maker Donkervoort. It is a limited-edition 40-car model (starting at just over €150,000 excluding taxes, which roughly translates to USD 165,000 sans tax) that is more powerful than the current range, with improved aerodynamics for even more impressive acceleration. Italian brand Calafiora presented the C10, which has been under development for no less than seven years. It has a lightweight carbon fibre chassis and tops 1,000 horsepower.

Another show highlight was Frangivento’s special edition Asfané, the Charlotte Edition, named after the Princess of Monaco. This model is directly derived from the concept car unveiled by the Italian manufacturer earlier this year. Capable of topping 300 kilometres per hour, it’s expected to set buyers back at least €1.8 million (approximately USD 1.97 million). British car maker David Brown Automotive presented an original Mini. The firm’s Mini Remastered, as seen in the video below, is particularly modern with its LED headlamps and seven-inch touch screen and uses luxurious materials like leather and aluminium.

In a different style, the show also featured a Bentley Azure painted with two million diamonds from the Jean Boulle Luxury group, and Vanda Electrics revealed a two-seater all-electric Dendrobium concept car capable of topping 320 kilometres per hour.

Finally, two futuristic flying cars premiered globally at the event the latest AeroMobil and the Pal-V Liberty.

BMW-record-sales-2016

BMW is World’s Top Luxury Carmaker

It seems that BMW is leading the rat race of the automotive world, claiming the title of most popular luxury car maker. The Bavarian automaker achieved this with a record combined quarterly sales of 605,534 units for Mini, BMW and Rolls-Royce vehicles. Yes, this is in relation to BMW overall, not just cars bearing the BMW badge.

BMW-record-sales-2016-x1

BMW X1

Having said that, the group record isn’t the only one the German firm shattered in 2016. The first half of the year saw a record 986,557 BMWs being sold, with an increased demand of 31.7 percent for the premium 7 Series. Interest in the X1 compact SUV also rose 61.7 percent, with 94,156 units sold; the larger X3 models saw a 16.6 percent increase in demand, hitting a sales total of 77,486 cars.

New Dawn For Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Dawn

Rolls-Royce Dawn

Like its German counterpart, the ultra-luxurious British marque Rolls-Royce has also achieved new quarterly sales record of 1,133 cars, of which 514 were the new Dawn.

And if these figures are anything to go by, it is that drivers are gearing up to the idea of electric mobility and autonomous driving. Obviously, there is clearly strong demand for high-end vehicles, despite overall sluggishness in the global economy. “Sustainable profitability on this scale provides us with the financial headroom we need to pursue our work on future technologies such as electric mobility and automated driving. For me, there is no ‘either/or’ between the present and the future. The strength of today’s core business is the cornerstone for tomorrow’s success,” Krüger said.

This is especially apparent in select parts of Europe, where charging infrastructure is relatively more developed and government incentives are greatest. In June, 14.9 percent of Beemers sold in the Netherlands were electric or hybrid, while Scandinavia saw 13.2 percent across the same period. Throughout the continent, electrified accounted for 4 percent of the company’s sales.

Battery Upgrade
BMW-record-sales-2016-i3

BMW i3

The impressive figures don’t stop there. Since the i3 received an upgraded battery this July, more than 7,000 orders have been placed (triple the number of reservations when the first-gen i3 was launched). The more efficient battery will increase the range of everyday driving from 130km to 200 km on a single charge.

This corresponding increase in sales suggests the biggest hurdle car firms need to overcome when it comes to getting consumers to move from gasoline-powered cars is ultimately range anxiety – a problem that should be easily solved now that the industry has sharpened its focus on eco-friendliness.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: BMW, Produsen Mobil Mewah Teratas di Dunia

BMW Unveils Concept Center in Tokyo Bay

BMW is taking its “the next 100 years” concept very seriously, so what better place to open its latest state-of-the-art experience complex than Japan, a country well-known for its obsession with technology – more specifically the future of technology.

Located in Tokyo Bay, the 27,000 m² space will allow visitors to view the iconic Mini and luxurious BMW models in showrooms, grab a bite at the cafes, view exclusive features at exhibition spaces and even an opportunity to experience Virtual Reality. However, fans of BMW and Mini will revel in the test-driving facility, built to BMW’s own ‘M’ standards. And because we’re talking about Japanese service, you can reserve your car of choice online and even receive full driving training before taking it for a spin.

“Not only can they see a range of our cars in a spectacular static environment, they can also get behind the wheel and experience both brands’ exceptional dynamic capabilities. This is far more than just a new showroom — it’s somewhere for customers and fans to enjoy BMW and Mini in an exciting and engaging way,” said Dr Ian Robertson, BMW AG Management Board Member for Sales and Marketing BMW.

The facility comes after BMW unveiled a series of concept cars from each of its brands – Mini, BMW and Rolls-Royce – where the German automobile firm imagines the revolution of its vehicles by 2116.

Mini Seven Blends Tech and Luxe

Sometimes smaller is better, as the old Volkswagen Beetle advertising campaign “Think Small” back in the 1950s proved. But while that campaign was based more around being economical, the Mini Seven, a new part of the Mini line-up, is set to match smallness with contemporary technology and luxury. The name in question references the Austin Seven model that Mini started production on back in 1959, way before the brand’s acquisition by BMW (probably unthinkable at that time).

Available in diesel and gas versions, the Seven can develop 170hp for the former, and 192hp for the latter. That puts the top speed at 141 or 146 mph respectively, with a 0-100km/h timing of 7.2 or 6.7 respectively. Average fuel consumption goes at 4l or 5.3l, while CO2 emissions go at 106 or 123g/km. Supercar this is not but it sure is cool. The Seven will be available in three- and five-door models with pricing yet to be announced.

Pushing up the features for the Seven, there will be LED headlights and fog lamps, and two-zone automatic air conditioning. There will also be the Mini Visual Boost radio, the Mini navigation system and the Mini Connected in-car infotainment system, ensuring up-to-date digital facilities. To help with driver-navigation, the Mini will come with a special Heads-Up display, driving assistant with cruise control, road sign detection, a collision and pedestrian warning system etc… All these technological functions are melded together and can be controlled via an optional 8.8-inch color screen.

Small, contemporary, and sturdy, the Mini Seven is connoisseurs who want a reminder of the past that is totally wrapped up in the present.

Images courtesy of BMW

BMW Marks Centennial Milestone

In light of its 100th birthday, the German car manufacturer unveiled its Vision Next 100, a concept car that combines a sleek coupé design with an autonomous driving mode as well as a shape-shifting interior. The futuristic car will be on display in Beijing from May 5 to 15, and sports seats that can be shifted to allow passengers to face each other, a steering wheel and center console that can retract and headrests that can be shifted sideways. From Beijing, the car will embark on a world tour including destinations such as the Paris Motor Show.

Vision Concept cars will also be unveiled by the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, owned by BMW, on June 16 in London as well as the BMW Motorrad concept car in October 11 in Los Angeles. Once the world tour comes to an end, the cars will he housed in the BMW Welt plant in Munich, Germany that is home to the BMW museum. The museum, is currently holding a temporary exhibition entitled “100 Masterpieces. BMW Group — 100 years of innovative strength and entrepreneurial courage.”

Apart from BMW’s iconic vehicles such as the BMW 328, BMW 507 and the BMW Turbo on display, the exhibition will look back at the brand’s progress over the years and the many technical milestones in its history. Later in the year, the “BMW – The Next 100 Years” festival will be coming to the Munich Olympic Park (Olympiapark) and the BMW museum, September 9-11, for a weekend of entertainment and experiences in the company of celebrities, brand ambassadors, musicians and DJs.

The anniversary is also being celebrated with a collection of 13 centenary publications tracing the history of the group and its various brands (BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad) and outlining future challenges. In autumn 2016, the publications will be grouped together and released as a comprehensive limited-edition work.

MINI Clubman 2016

Mini opens the doors to its new Clubman

MINI Clubman 2016

 is stretching into a new automotive area with its latest model due to be officially unveiled this week in Frankfurt.

The old Clubman was based on a three-door Mini and used a controversial ‘suicide door’ on one side, but one side only, to improve access for rear passengers. It offered more interior space, but that room came with compromises. Not so with the new Clubman…

READ MORE: THE MINI CLUBMAN BOND STREET

It’s based on the new five-door Mini, so it has proper front and rear passenger doors, but boasts an extra 27cm of length and 9cm of width over the standard car. Those small numbers make a huge difference.

2016 MINI Clubman photo

The Clubman is bigger than an Audi A1 and, thanks to a shooting-brake profile ending in split rear doors, it’s also much more practical.

It offers 360 liters of luggage space with the rear seats in place and as each of those seats can be folded down individually, there are a host of solutions on offer for those struggling to transport everything from shopping to skis. With all 3 seats down that space jumps to a massive 1250 liters.

MINI Clubman 2016 interior

In fact, seats up or down, with an overall length of 4252mm the new Clubman is only 3mm shorter than a VW Golf and is actually 27mm wider (1817mm verses 1790) and crucially, will have a list of interior options, high-tech features and creature comforts to match.

For instance, the new model will be the first Mini to get an eight-speed steptronic gearbox and an electric parking brake — perfect for stop-start congested city driving and for unexpected hill starts.

The split rear doors will also get remote opening and closing while slightly more egocentric elements include projectors integrated into the wing mirrors that will shine a Mini logo-shaped light on the ground when the doors are open as a way of illuminating the ground at night.

2016 MINI Clubman

As for engines, like all powerplants coming from BMW at the moment they’re focused equally on performance as they are with efficiency and achieve this via prodigious use of turbocharging. Initial engines for the car will include a 192hp four-cylinder unit but with a combined cycle fuel efficiency of 45.6mpg (6.2l/100km) and an even more economical three-cylinder motor that offers 55.4mpg (5.1l/100km) yet still delivers 136hp.

The new car will be going on sale in Europe this October following its official Frankfurt debut on September 15 when other performance data such as acceleration and tops speeds will be confirmed.

MINI Clubman 2016 photo

MINI Augmented Vision

Mini focuses on the future with smart glasses concept

MINI Augmented Vision

The  Augmented Vision glasses are designed to put information such as GPS navigation and parking aides in front of your eyes.

Due to be demonstrated for the first time at the Auto Shanghai motor show on April 22, the headset, which is still in the conceptual stage is very similar to Google Glass except that it has a very clearly defined, specific use and has also emphasized the aesthetic angle

Put them on while behind the wheel and the glasses will offer a head-up display experience, with speed and navigation information projected directly into the field of vision.

However, turn your head left or right and any obstacle to a clear view, such as the car’s A Pillar or that blind spot over the shoulder when reverse parking, will disappear so that it’s like driving a glass car.

The reason why Mini has focused equally on looks as well as function is because it wants Mini owners to use them when away from their cars, as a hands-free way of getting first and last mile navigation instructions — no journey can be completed entirely by car.

Mini’s glasses were developed in partnership with Qualcomm and will connect with a user’s smartphone for displaying alerts such as incoming calls and messages, which can be responded to or ignored via voice command and dictation.

Mini Cooper S 5 door

Mini range to be cut back to five models

Mini Cooper S 5 door

BMW officials confirm that the third generation of ‘s model range will be smaller, with five ‘super hero’ vehicles leading the line-up

Mini brand’s chief, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said yesterday that the decision was to ensure each new Mini really stands with its own personality and capabilities “Like a superhero.”

When BMW resurrected the Mini in 2001 it did so with a single model available in three levels of trim and performance.

MINI GETS FAMILY-FRIENDLY WITH NEW 5-DOOR MODEL

However, over the past 13 years the range has slowly swollen and there are currently eight different Minis available plus limited edition models.

But rather than diluting the brand, the expansion has worked — Mini is enjoying record sales — and has led to some imitation, most notably from Fiat with its equally retro-styled 500 being stretched into a range including a five-door model, a people carrier and a crossover miniature SUV.

Although Schwarzenbauer wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, the cars most likely to get the chop will be the Paceman, Coupé and the Roadster.

Slimming down the range will also give Mini the space to add new levels of customer care and individual service. Bringing a premium touch to the mass market car buying experience is a growing trend.

SEE ALSO: MINI PACEMAN BY ROBERTO CAVALLI

Schwarzenbauer said that Mini intends to open up access to its cars and its dealers on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis and to put a greater focus on transparency, informing its clients on how cars are made, how the materials are sourced and sustainability.

Mini CitySurfer Concept

The MINI Citysurfer Concept

Mini CitySurfer Concept

For the LA Auto Show,  has been pondering the future of individual urban mobility and it thinks that the answer is a foldaway scooter.

The CitySurfer Concept is a foot-powered two-wheel scooter, but a rather smart-looking one nonetheless, thanks to some design cues taken from Mini’s own styling manual.

Its chunky pneumatic tires should flatten out the lumps and smooth the ride over bumpier roads and, when not in use, it folds down into something easy to carry in a bag or in the trunk of a car.

Mini CitySurfer

Kick scooters are already a common sight in most major cities, but what makes Mini’s CitySurfer stand out is that it has an electric motor integrated into its rear wheel hub that gives the scooter a top speed of 25km/h.

But in order to fire up the motor, you have to start riding the scooter under foot power alone. Once you hit a certain speed, the motor kicks in and can be controlled by a thumb trigger accelerator.

There’s also a smartphone mount for those that want to access a navigation app or keep the handset’s battery topped up.

Mini City Surfer Concept photo

The scooter’s lithium ion battery, which is an integral part of the frame, is good for 25km before it needs recharging.

However, the CitySurfer can also recapture energy via braking while running on the motor and use it to top the battery up. When the battery is finally dead, the scooter still operates like a normal kick-scooter and the cell can be recharged via the 12V power socket found inside most cars.

 

Mini Cooper S 5 door

Mini gets family-friendly with new 5-door model

The BMW Group unveils the second body variant of the new , the MINI 5 door, their first five-door model in the small car segment.

The Mini 5-Door is nothing short of a revolution for the brand, which is slowly but surely edging towards the premium compact family car segment.

For enhanced comfort, the body of the new Mini 5-Door has been lengthened by 16.1cm compared to that of the classic three-door version, while the wheelbase has been widened by 7.2cm.

The rear of the car includes a bench seat with room for three and a 278-liter trunk. When the seat bench is folded down, the car’s storage space reaches 941 liters.

Mini Cooper S 5 door

Together with the new model, the brand is introducing two new three-cylinder fuel engines, with 102hp and 136hp, for the Mini One 5-Door and Cooper 5-Door. A new four-cylinder diesel engine with 170hp is also available on the Mini Cooper SD 5-Door.

Prices for the Mini 5-Door start at €21,100 in Europe. In general, the five-door models cost €900 more than their three-door equivalents.

The Mini 5-Door will be on display at the Paris Motor Show.

Mini Just Park

MINI teams up with JustPark to make parking easier

Mini Just Park

 has just launched a new app called JustPark allowing users in the U.K. to reserve a parking spot directly from their dashboard.

A 2013 survey found that for 45% of UK motorists, parking was their biggest headache and that although the average time taken to find a space at the end of a journey clocks in at six minutes and 45 seconds, when it comes to parking in London, this time rockets to 20 minutes.

JustPark has been attempting to solve this problem for over 10 years. Initially launched as a web browser-based service called ParkAtMyHouse, the service allowed people to rent out their parking spaces to needy motorists.

Over the years the business has grown and grown, jumping from the desktop to the smartphone and now on to the new Mini’s dashboard.

Mini and JustPark

Mini’s parent company, BMW, has been working closely with JustPark for three years to ensure that the resulting service is fully integrated into the Mini’s own Connected platform and that it works in a way that ensures it is simple to use but, crucially, isn’t distracting to the driver.

Owners of new Minis in the UK will have access to over 100,000 parking spaces at their fingertips and once selected, the car’s own navigation system will be able to guide them safely to the chosen spot.

The app also allows drivers to search for spaces while on the go — to see what’s available in the immediate area, check prices and even read reviews left by other users.

But if you’re not a Mini driver, help is still at hand. JustPark can be downloaded as a standalone iPhone app or accessed via the web in the UK.

As for the future, once enough spaces have been added, the app will soon be rolling out to other countries via Mini dashboards.

MINI Paceman Adventure concept showcased

Mini Paceman Adventure Concept

BMW has revealed the results of a design study headed by its young apprentices in the form of the Mini Paceman Adventure concept.

Starting with a standard Paceman coupé, the young designers have done away with half of the car in order to create a Mini Pick Up complete with permanent four-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine.

Mini Paceman Adventure Concept photo

To maximize cargo space in the back, what little is left of the car’s roof gets a permanent rack for carrying a spare wheel.

The team responsible has overhauled the suspension set-up and boosted the ground clearance so that the car really could cope with everything from muddy fields to fording rivers — it even has a snorkel to ensure water-free air can still get to the engine when the vehicle is partially submerged.

Mini Paceman Adventure Concept picture

The effect is topped off by a row of roof-mounted spotlights and a coat of ‘Jungle Green’ metallic paint. MINI confirmed that the Paceman Adventure is strictly a one-off and there are no plans for series production.

New Mini set to debut on November 18

new mini

The BMW-owned company has chosen the 107th birthday of the iconic car’s creator, Sir Alec Issigonis, as the date for the next Mini’s global debut.

The reveal will take place at the Mini production plant in Oxford and will be followed up with a party in London before the new car heads to Los Angles and Tokyo for its first motor show appearances.

One of the world’s most enduring automotive brands, the Mini has been in production since 1959 and was revolutionary upon its launch.

The first car with a transversely-mounted engine to save space and improve balance, the Mini was nimble, surprisingly spacious and because it had one wheel at every corner, was great fun to drive. As such it was not only a hit with car buyers it also established itself as a serious race and rally car.

Since rescuing the brand some 19 years ago, BMW has done everything it can to recapture that excitement and to align the Mini with innovation and excitement and for the most part it has succeeded.

BMW has confirmed that the car will feature new engines, new chassis technologies, even greater levels of quality and comfort and a host of connected car features.

The world’s smallest luxury camper van

MINI Clubvan Camper

Mini has revealed three new vehicles that it claims are ideal getaway cars. Tapping into what it says is a growing trend for spontaneous camping, Mini has created the MINI Clubvan Camper.

Packed with practical solutions which the company claims make it the world’s smallest luxury camper van, it boasts a single sleeping berth, a kitchenette with propane stove and a fridge, a sat-nav system optimized for finding remote locations, a handheld shower, TV unit and heavy-duty heater for staying warm whatever the conditions.

However, potential owners will hope that the skies are always clear and the weather warm as one of the vehicle’s best features is a sliding glass roof panel perfect for star gazing.

To complement the Clubvan Camper, Mini has also created two other ‘getaway’ vehicles which are meant to reflect different aspects of the rise in popularity of camping and festivals, creating a choice of premium home-from-home options.

MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp

The MINI Cowley is an ‘overnight’ two-berth compact caravan complete with kitchen, a built-in solar battery charger, a shower unit plus TV and DVD, all in a shell small enough to glide behind a Mini — it’s only 12cm wider than a Mini Clubman.

The MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp is for those with a more adventurous streak and takes the safari as its design inspiration. As such it has a roof-mounted tent and fixtures and fittings for mountain bikes so that there’s no need to break camp in order to go exploring the next morning.

And, as the Countryman has permanent four-wheel drive, the list of potential camping spots for the ALL4 Camp is only limited by the driver’s imagination.

MINI Cowley

2013 Mini Clubvan back

MINI Clubvan

2013 Mini Clubvan back

The new MINI Clubvan which was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is now confirmed for production and will be available in the market in autumn 2012.

The car is described by MINI as the world’s first premium compact delivery van. The model is aimed at customers with small businesses that are looking out for a small utility vehicle.

The exterior dimensions of the Clubvan are exactly the same as those of the Mini Clubman—155.9 inches long, 66.3 inches wide and 56.1 inches tall.
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