Tag Archives: SUV

World’s fastest production SUVs: Bentley Bentagaya, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S top the list for 2017

As Fast and Furious makes its way to the top of the box office, SUVs are doing the same in the motoring world. Car manufacturer Jeep races to the summit of the performance off-roader market with its new 707hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk alongside strong contenders. Here’s a look at its stats and at the cars, it’s had to overtake to get to the top.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

A full-sized SUV with a 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 good for 707hp and 645 lb ft. (875Nm) of torque. When that’s sent to all four wheels it results in a 0-60mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 180mph (though Jeep is quick to point out the speedometer actually goes up to 200mph).

Bentley Bentayga

It might be a high-sided limousine with wooden cabin trim that can only be sourced by artisans abseiling down a cliff face, but it also has a six-liter W12 twin-turbocharged engine under its immense hood. That outputs 608hp, 900Nm of torque and gives the 2440kg car a 0-100km/h time of four seconds. However, Bentley claims the Bentayga can hit 187mph.

Tesla Model X

Spec Tesla‘s first SUV with the 100kWh Dual Motor Performance D package and it will beat just about anything powered by fossil fuels off the line. Thanks to instantaneous electric motors running the show, this seven-seater has 967Nm of torque on tap and can go from 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds. However, it only outputs 603hp and its top speed is just 150mph (250km/h).

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

The only full-size SUV in this list to actually come from an out-and-out sportscar maker is also one of the slowest. Even with a 4.8-liter, 570hp turbocharged V8 under its hood, the Cayenne can only manage a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds. However, thanks to 800Nm of torque, it can hit a very impressive 176mph (283km/h).

Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic

The fastest and most exclusive series production Range Rover in the company’s history. Just like the Bentley its cabin is a place of zen-like tranquillity and business-class luxury. However, it is one of the world’s most formidable genuine off-road vehicles and, thanks to a 550hp supercharged V8 is also the most powerful one Land Rover has ever built. It serves up 680Nm of torque and covers the 0-100km/h dash in 5.4 seconds; its top speed is capped at 155mph (250km/h).

NIO's inaugural production car for the Chinese market, an all-electric SUV codenamed ES8. Image courtesy of NIOSocial Facebook Page

New car launches, Asia: Shanghai Auto Show 2017 to feature the first all-electric SUV codenamed ES8 by NextEV’s NIO

NIO's inaugural production car for the Chinese market, an all-electric SUV codenamed ES8. Image courtesy of NIOSocial Facebook Page

NIO’s inaugural production car for the Chinese market, an all-electric SUV codenamed ES8. Image courtesy of NIOSocial Facebook Page

NIO is the international name (Weilai in Chinese) for the Chinese start-up NextEV’s new automobile brand. On the occasion of the Shanghai Auto Show, which will be open to the public from April 21 to 28, 2017, NIO is set to unveil its first ever mass market vehicle, an all-electric SUV, along the lines of models already produced by US manufacturers Tesla (with the Model X) and Faraday Future (with the FF91).

The carmaker already created a sensation in the autumn of 2016 when it unveiled the EP9, 1342 brake horsepower all-electric supercar. As for the other specifications of the NIO EP9, the figures speak for themselves: the supercar can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 2.7 seconds and from 0 to 200 kilometres per hour in just 7.1 seconds. It can also reach a top speed of 313 kilometres per hour, and travel more than 420 kilometres without a recharge, which lasts just 45 minutes. Only a small number of EP9s will be produced, which is not surprising in view of the vehicles price tag of around one million euros. More recently, NIO presented EVE, a sedan concept that will be launched as a mass market vehicle by 2020.

In Shanghai, NIO plans to move ahead with the global premiere of its first SUV, codenamed ES8. According to specialist websites, the all-electric vehicle will have a range of more than 300 kilometres. It will also feature a spacious interior that can accommodate seven passengers. More interestingly, it will be equipped with autonomous driving technologies, however precise details on this capability have yet to be announced. It should be noted that the new SUV is not due to be launched in Asia before 2018, and not before 2020 on the US market.

NIO’s strategy is reminiscent of the one adopted by US manufacturer Faraday Future, which followed up the unveiling of its spectacular FFZERO1 concept, a 1000 horsepower single-seater with a top speed of 320 kilometres per hour, with the Las Vegas CES presentation of its first connected and customisable electric crossover.

The brand is also involved in the FIA Formula E Championship (all-electric single-seaters) through its NextEV NIO stable.

The 17th Shanghai Auto Show will run April 21 to 28, 2017 at the city’s National Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Faraday Future Teases 2017 CES Debut

Faraday Future Teases 2017 CES Debut

We’re all ears here when it comes to Faraday Future (and generally electric vehicle) news so this advance confirmation of a CES debut perked us up immediately. American automaker Faraday Future has cautiously lifted the lid on its first all-electric and connected crossover, due to be unveiled at the CES technology show, which runs January 5 to 8, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Beyond the mysterious video teasers that the brand has released online, rumors point to a 100% electric vehicle that’s fully connected, more customizable than ever, and with a guaranteed range of at least 500km (311 miles). Hard facts are hard to come by on Faraday Future but we do what we can, Internet resources permitting. Tech Crunch and others already updated the world that this vehicle is slated for the aforementioned CES reveal, even while bemoaning the company’s secretive nature and frustrating marketing moves.

In just one example, it is as yet unclear whether the vehicle will also be fully or partially autonomous. The manufacturer has already admitted it is working in the field and has even been granted permission to carry out real-world testing on public roads in California. Various reports have even showed off images of the test cars, although these conceal much more than they reveal.

Faraday Future has also partnered with Chinese firm LeEco, which manufactures electronic devices (smartphones, TV, etc.) and has previously built a fully autonomous concept car called LeSEE. The two firms could pool resources to create a 100% electric autonomous vehicle at some point in the future.

The car market’s present reference when it comes to all-electric SUVs is the semi-autonomous Tesla Model X, notably in its P100D version, which boasts 0 to 100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration in 3.1 seconds and a range of 542km (337 miles). One major difference between the Model X and the new Faraday Future model is that Tesla has a real car that you cold conceivably buy today.

Faraday Future burst onto the scene early in 2016, again at CES, causing a sensation with the spectacular FFZERO1 concept vehicle, a 1,000hp single-seater with a top speed of 320km/h (199mph).

Check out the video teaser for the upcoming Faraday Future crossover:

Automaker Borgward Reborn Into Electric Race

Mansory Iteration Bentley Bentayga

  • The Bentley Bentayga is a knight in carbon fiber armor. Mansory’s latest variant has upgraded the powerful SUV in its appearance and performance. The result? Probably one of the most powerful and exclusive SUVs in the market. That’s quite a feat of course given that the Bentley Bentayga is made to order.

Let’s talk about the specifications. The ‘standard’ Bentayga is five meters long, nearly two meters wide and stands 1.7 meters tall. It sports a 6-liter W12 engine, giving it a capacity to reach 100km/h in 4.0 seconds, with top speed of 190mph. Mansory’s tweaked the base Bentayga powerplant to the tune of 700hp (100 more than the standard Bentayga) which increases the car’s top speed to 190mph. The torque is also boosted to 1050Nm.

However, it is Mansory’s visual treatment that stands out. In Mansory’s iteration, the Bentayga is covered with a carbon fiber outerwear – from the grille, front apron (including bumper and chin spoiler) and the hood. New side skirt and and rear wheel arch extensions give the vehicle the illusion of a wider front. The Bentley Bentayga also sports two spoilers, one on the tailgate and one mounted on the roof, for a better ride in high speeds and hard corners. A new carbon fiber diffuser and rear bumper package that cover the custom exhaust system add extra support in this regard.

mansory_bentayg-2af57132940-h0

The car sits on newly created lightweight 22-inch wheels that have been diamond cut and designed to optimize brake cooling. Mansory also added a new wood and leather steering wheel, re-upholstered seats and individually designed, hand-stitched interior surfaces in this variant. Overall, the Mansory Bentley Bentayga does stand out – in a world where expressing one’s individuality has never been greater.

New Audi Q5 Gets Aggressive

New Audi Q5 Gets Aggressive

The Paris Motor Show introduced Audi’s second generation mid-sized SUV, the Audi Q5. Developed to stand out against the other offerings in the market, the Q5 is blessed with stronger external styling, more interior space, and greater off-roading ability.

Audi’s Quattro system and rallying achievements gives them the competitive advantage of having vast all-wheel-drive expertise. The car also has a new multi-link suspension set-up, which means that it will be able to shrug off bumpy roads, be better at crossing streams, and perform well as a load lugger. In line with trends in the premium SUV space, the new Audi Q5 is a car that can handle towing a caravan, horsebox or sailboat.

The new model has taken subtle design steps to highlight the car’s capabilities when heading away from perfectly surfaced roads. Its lines are more angular and less swollen. Inside, it has a well-appointed and well-considered cabin with intelligent use of the best natural and man-made materials, since it is an Audi after all. Buyers can choose between a traditional console with an infotainment system, or opt for the company’s virtual cockpit set-up that utilises a multi-purpose, multi-display screen.

The powerplants will consist of four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, much like the new A4 and A5 models. Sportier versions of the Q5 will be available in the coming months.

During the reveal, Audi also confirmed that plug-in hybrid versions will also be coming to market in the near future.

Mercedes Teases EV SUV Concept with Video

Mercedes Teases EV SUV Concept with Video

So, what is an EV SUV anyway and why does Mercedes have one? This new video (below) from Mercedes Benz skips these questions and instead asks drivers if they’re “ready to change.” Ok, it does offer a tiny glimpse of what to expect when its long-gestating plug-in electric (that is the EV part) SUV concept car arrives at the Paris Motor Show on September 29.

Expected to be called the EQG (this alphabet soup bit is par for the course for Mercedes) and to mark the launch of a new EQ Mercedes-Benz sub-brand, the concept car is high on futuristic styling and fluorescent mood lighting. Although the video gives very little substance to the company’s claims that the car is truly revolutionary, it does confirm that the show car will have a minimalistic yet luxurious cabin that follows current interior design language and the same proportions externally as the company’s current flagship GLS SUV.

Although Mercedes has toyed with electrification in the past (it sells an electric B-Class MPV and this month rolled out the latest generation of its electric SMART cars), the company is making a statement of intent with this show car: it takes plug-in electric vehicles seriously and it aims to be more Tesla than Tesla before the end of this decade.

According to the latest Jato Dynamics figures, published Tuesday, electric and hybird vehicle popularity is growing rapidly. Over the first half of 2016, 231,300 plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid cars were sold across Europe – that’s a 27% increase year on year – and means that together they now represent 3% of the current European car market. If growth continues at this rate, then they will represent 12-14% of new car sales by the end of the decade, and that is the moment when Mercedes will be planning to really launch its electric vehicle offensive.

And to generate as much interest and excitement as possible it should come as no surprise that Mercedes went for an SUV.

One in three Mercedes sold globally is now of the SUV or crossover variety. Over the first six months of 2016 there was a 22% spike in C-segment SUV sales in Europe – i.e., models such as the Audi Q3, meaning they now represent 10% of the market. Full-size SUVs have also experienced a 16% surge in popularity in the first six months of 2016. Cars like the Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser and Mercedes GLC represent 1% of the market or 106,000 sales.

However, Mercedes won’t have it all its own way at this year’s show. VW will also be using the event to unveil its next-generation EV concept and like Mercedes, Volkswagen is claiming its car will usher in a revolution and that it will be able to cover 400 miles on a single charge.

lexus_ux_paris

Lexus UX Concept Car Gets Paris Reveal

Set to debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month, the Lexus UX Concept car could well be the car manufacturer’s third SUV, after the NX and RX. We say “could” because the Japanese automaker is just teasing the world right now.

And what a great job they’re doing! Besides the fact that it was created at the Lexus European Design Centre (ED2), we also know that it is geared towards a “progressive, urban audience living in a connected environment.” You can also expect “imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience, while the interior marries traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques.”

Aesthetics-wise, the one (and only) picture provided by Lexus above shows a steeply raked roofline that suggests the trend towards coupe-esque silhouettes are on the rise. Also, it looks pretty much like an SUV!

The 2016 Paris Motor Show will also see the updated Lexus IS makes its European premiere, alongside the new Lexus NX Sport Edition and new flagship LC coupe.

Watch this space for updates on Lexus’ UX Concept car.

Volvo Preps First Self-Driving Car Public Test

Volvo Preps First Self-Driving Car Public Test

The first fully autonomous, self-driving Volvo car that will be handed over to a member of the public to use on public roads, rolled out of the company’s factory late last week. This is an important milestone, even though the car will not hit the roads until 2017.

Volvo’s ‘Drive Me’ is currently the world’s most ambitious autonomous driving project and one that Volvo plans to conduct with real people in real driving situations. The project will see 100 test cars drive around nearly 50km (31 miles) in and around the city of Gothenburg.

After nearly two years of testing and development work with Volvo engineers in controlled environments on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, the cars are now ready to meet their public and for the real testing to begin.

“This is an important milestone for the Drive Me project,” said Erik Coelingh, Senior Technical Leader Active Safety at Volvo Cars. “Customers look at their cars differently than us engineers, so we are looking forward to learn how they use these cars in their daily lives and what feedback they will give us.”

The autonomous cars are based on the company’s current XC90 SUV flagship and though production is now underway, Volvo is quick to point out that each car will be subjected to some rigorous testing before it is handed over to a member of the public.

The testing in Gothenburg is just one of several similar trials Volvo is conducting as part of ‘Drive Me’. For example, next year it will be ready to hand over the keys to customers in London for real-life testing and is assessing the feasibility of bringing ‘Drive Me’ to a Chinese city.

Mercedes-GLC-Coupé

Mercedes Blazes Past 4-Million SUV Milestone

Thanks in part to its SUVs, Mercedes-Benz can celebrate its most successful August in its 100-year-plus history. According to the German automobile manufacturer, the firm has sold an outstanding 156,246 cars worldwide during the month.

“SUVs once again contributed significantly to the best-ever unit sales by Mercedes-Benz this August,” Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “Mercedes-Benz has already delivered more than four million SUVs to customers worldwide. Their popularity is rising year on year.”

Just over one in three of the 156,246 cars sold over the past month are of the SUV variety. Yes, that’s 56,286 sold in just one month. But Mercedes-Benz is not one to be satisfied with this figure; plans for a bigger push into the SUV market are in the works. To keep up with up-and-coming competitor Tesla for a share of the eco-friendly automobile industry, Mercedes is rumored to be unveiling a plug-in electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model X at the Paris Motor Show next month – check this space for updates.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupé

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupé: Accessible Performance

When AMG brings its magic to a standard Mercedes model, the keywords are usually power and performance; with the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupé, things are a little more complicated. The latest Mercedes SUV to get the AMG tuning treatment won’t break any crossover land speed records but it won’t break the bank either.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupé is propelled by a 3-liter twin turbo 367hp V6 engine that sends its power through a nine-speed automatic gearbox to all four wheels. That is perfectly respectable, if prosaic, for an AMG-treated vehicle. This power plant and power train result in an admirable 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited 250km/h top speed.

In isolation, those numbers are impressive but when this new variant of the GLC Coupé makes its official debut at the Paris motorshow in October, it will do so alongside the latest Porsche Macan. Also announced last week, the Macan Turbo with performance package offers similar interior space and four-wheel drive, but its twin-turbo V6 serves up 440hp, a 0-100km/h time of just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 272km/h.

But before those in the market for a sporty SUV start Googling ‘Porsche Dealership’ the Mercedes has Porsche completely beat in two important ways.

First this is a Mercedes and therefore at the cutting edge of luxury and of latest-generation driving tech. Admittedly, if you’re not a fan of the Mercedes way then this point makes little difference but the second point may yet win you over. Though prices for the GLC have not been confirmed yet, it will cost roughly 30% less than the new €91,000 Porsche.

This means that, according to Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes AMG GmbH: “The Coupé is able to appeal to new target audiences.”

In times gone by, the AMG badge meant a massive, supercharged V8 or a monstrous V12 under the hood. But regardless of cylinder count, those three letters signified the pinnacle of performance possibility.

However, in an attempt to bring AMG’s engineering excellence to the Mercedes masses, since the beginning of 2016, the company has started offering two AMG variants (63 and 43) of new models with either eight or six cylinders calling the shots – think the difference between full cream and semi-skimmed – meaning that the calorie count is lower but the taste is still the same. Something that Moers highlights.

“The new GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé is characterized by a high level of agility and sporty driving dynamics,” he said.

Creating two AMG variations of each new model also means that the best (from a performance perspective) is still to come in terms of the GLC Coupé range at least. And that model will be a statistical match for any Porsche Macan or BMW X4.

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.

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.

 

 

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

Hooked: Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner

There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than to sit by the river bank, fishing rod in hand and taking a swig of ice cold beer while waiting for a bite. That is, unless, you drive this special edition Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner to said river bank, complete with everything you’d need for fly fishing, and finished with a good dose of luxury. And yes, for those wondering, that is the actual name of this Bentley model.

Dubbed the ultimate luxury car for fly fishing enthusiasts, coachbuilder Mulliner started its project off on the best note possible by choosing Bentley’s big, lumbering soft-roader, the Bentayga, which offers the best off-roader driving experience of the lot with its Responsive Off-Road Setting. Together with the multi-mode air suspension, the SUV will also tackle just about every road surface you throw its way.

Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner (5)

But it is what’s inside that truly counts, and we’ll start with the best bit. Four leather-wrapped tubes (finished with linen cross-stitching, mind you) on the underside of the parcel shelf accompany a pair of landing nets in matching leather bags. These are stored in a customized, carpet-trimmed hard pocket, conveniently located at the side of the boot.

Then there are the customary fishing essentials, which Mulliner has also thoughtfully doused with in Saddle leather: a master tackle station, a refreshment case and waterproof wader-stowage trunk. Built upon a sliding tray for easy access, the master tackle unit sees an exclusive Burr Walnut veneered drawer that houses fly-tying vice and tools, alongside cotton, hooks and feathers. The removable refreshment case will hold up to three metal flasks, a set of Mulliner fine-china tablewear and a separate storage compartment for food. And because nobody wants their Bentayga getting damp and smelling like fish, Mulliner has also gone to great lengths to not only make the floor waterproof, but also install an electronic dehumidifier.

Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner (4)

“The Bentayga Fly Fishing car showcases the breadth and level of detail a customer can expect from Mulliner. This is an individual bespoke solution and our skilled craftspeople can design elegant and exquisitely executed bespoke solutions to complement any customer lifestyle or hobby. Fly fishing is a sport that requires a variety of equipment and clothing, so it was essential to package the rods, reels, waders, boots and fly-tying station into the car in a luxurious, accessible and elegant way – and the end result is truly extraordinary,” said Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner.

Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner (11)

Mulliner isn’t stranger to pushing the boundaries of Bentleys. In March, the coachbuilder presented the world’s longest limousine, the Mulsanne Grand Limo, and have also teamed up with the Breitling Jet Team to commission a limited edition series of seven Continental GT Speeds.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Ketagihan Memancing Bersama Seri Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing oleh Mulliner

Jaguar Debuts First SUV With F-Pace

There’s always a first for everything – vaccination, kiss and even spouse; the first is usually the most memorable. The same goes for Jaguar’s first-ever SUV, the F-Pace, a jacked-up softroader that delivers more than enough power for that school run.

And Jaguar certainly didn’t hold back on its affectionately dubbed “performance crossover” vehicle. Brought to life with either an Ingenium two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit or the three-litre V6 supercharged petrol variants, the F-Pace is really more sportscar than SUV, and is well-positioned to rival the Beemer’s X3, Audi Q5 or – dare we say it – the Porsche Macan. The former will bring you to 296 bhp, while the latter, 375bhp that propels the car to 62mph in 5.5 seconds.

We have to say that we were perplexed by the four-cylinder version and on the little makeshift test track as the Singapore launch, this version did seem to suffer ever so slightly coming out of corners and hitting the gas. That it works at all is a testament to the creativity of the engineering department.

The highly adaptable Lightweight Aluminium Architecture on the monocoque, previously utilised on the XE and XF models, work in tandem with the F-Type-derived double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension for a refined yet dynamic ride. The Jaguar, being sister company to Land Rover, inevitably share the same gene pool. The standard Torque Vectoring, coupled with the Electric Power Assisted Steering system delivers specific handling and control for an enjoyable ride.

JAGUAR_F-PACE_LE_S_Location 10

On that familial note though, don’t expect all-wheel drive in this vehicle. However, an apple never falls too far from its tree, so all F-Pace variants are equipped with Jag’s F-Type sports car rear-biased all-wheel drive transmission. The part-time all-wheel drive is engaged for safety when the weather turns grim and roads get slippery, as they are wont to do in the United Kingdom and indeed, the tropics.

Here is another first for Jaguar: an infotainment system that won’t let you down. The F-Pace’s new generation InControl Touch says goodbye to Fisher Price graphics of the past and instead sees a 10.2-inch widescreen in its place, providing crystal graphics and none of those tacky buttons. This big friendly SUV also comes in four trim levels – the entry level Prestige, masculine R-Sport and the high performance S and First Edition, an exclusive model dedicated to honoring the new F-Pace’s launch.

JAGUAR_F-PACE_PORTFOLIO_Location 05

“The F-PACE has been much awaited since its dramatic reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Instantly recognizable as a Jaguar, our first-ever performance SUV combines maximum driving exhilaration and practicality and is sure to excite the senses,” says Russell Anderson, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Importers, Jaguar Land Rover. “With its seductive look, exceptional ride and handling, it is the ultimate practical sports car. It drives, feels and handles like a Jaguar and we are extremely excited and proud to finally launch the F-PACE in Singapore.”

The F-Pace is now available at Jaguar showrooms in Singapore, and prices start from S$245,999.

Fun Squared: Mercedes G550 SUV

It seems only days ago that we brought you news of the Mercedes G350 d but we have another very impressive G-Wagen to show you, the G550 SUV. Seriously, this monster of a car doesn’t even look like a car and it is most affectionately known as a ‘wagon’ believe it or not. Capitalizing on the massive (pardon the pun) appeal of the SUV in the United States, the G550 4×4² is coming stateside. Briefly, the G550 4×4² is an off-roader that stands 2.25 meters tall and 2.1 meters wide and, in the eloquent words of the AFP, it has a ground clearance greater than the average toddler.

When it goes on sale in early 2017 don’t expect to get much change from $250,000 but do expect to get noticed, no matter where the road leads. The car’s gargantuan proportions are certain to attract attention but they’re the result of fitting it with portal axles.

On a normal car and even on a normal SUV, the axles – front and rear – are perfectly in line with the centers of the wheels they drive, because the wheels are fitted to them and the axles to the engine via a transmission.

That means that ground clearance – what you can drive over without hearing the sound of metal crunching and bending – is dictated by wheel size and wheel size alone because that height dictates the level of the axle.

Even a monster truck has to use immense, oversized wheels to overcome this problem. Axles and wheels being in line also reduces what the suspension can do in terms of how much or how far the body can move to overcome an obstacle.

Portal axles eradicate all of these problems by breaking this union. A series of gears send the power down from the axles above (at engine height) to the wheels below.

This remarkable piece of engineering means the car has a 51.6° approach and 43.8° departure angle (a normal G-Class can only manage 30°) and a fording depth of 1 meter. It also means that for the uninitiated at least, it will seem like someone’s allowed a monster truck on the road.

It won’t quite have the grunt of Big Foot. The G550 4×4² will run on normal pump gas for starters and that fuel will be running through a 4-liter biturbo V8 engine good for 416hp and 450 lb-ft of torque that will run to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

The car will also come with a satnav as standard, but with such an elevated driving position, owners should have no problem seeing the route ahead even without it.

Off-Road Warrior: Mercedes G 350 d Professional

While Mercedes has been making cars more suited for the urban explorer, they’ve not forgotten those with a more Indiana Jones kind of spirit. The Mercedes G 350 d Professional is the latest version of their iconic G Wagon and it is all fitted out for maneuvering through the harshest conditions and terrain – whilst still maintaining a certain level of passenger comfort.

In terms of its performance, the Professional will be sporting a 3-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine under its castellated hood, with 245hp on tap and, most importantly, 600Nm of torque available from as little as 1,600 rpm. Beyond that, this new model sports permanent all-wheel-drive, a low-ratio transmission and three electronically locking differentials.

With specs like that, it is clear Mercedes intends for you to go on as rocky and as unstable ground as you can get. The Professional completes its encouragement by being hard to tarnish – with grille and wheels finished in matte black rather than easy-to-scratch chrome, and also chunky all-terrain tires as standard. The suspension, too, has been overhauled to give it an extra 10mm of ground clearance (245mm versus the standard 235mm), and that in turn results in an improved angle of approach (36˚) and a 600mm fording depth (because with this G Wagon, of course fording will be something you’ll get up to). All in all, this is an exciting step up from the now discontinued G 300 CDI.

As for the interior, with its electronically operated seats, a multi-function steering wheel and optional compatibility with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, you can expect yourself to still have access to your entertainment in the wildest countries. Just in case, though, the floor is clad in non-slip mats and there are drainage ports so that dirt from muddy boots and clothes can be easily washed away.

What about those who are G-class fans simply because of it is a luxury SUV with serious utilitarian chic? Don’t worry about it – the rest of the range is also being updated with the latest Mercedes infotainment, navigation and communication systems. With all that, the price for the Professional (in Europe) will start from €90,636.35. You can book your orders now, and European deliveries commence in September.

Jaguar Land Rover Reports Record Sales

It appears that Jaguar Land Rover have struck gold with their range of crossovers, SUVs and luxury cars as appeal soars despite heftier price tags and financial turmoil. Obviously, this is company that makes Jaguar cars and Land Rover SUVs.

According to its full-year results for fiscal 2015/16, the British automotive company experienced a 13% increase in sales to sell 521,571 cars, breaking its half a million barrier for the first time in history. This is despite the cars’ price tags; an entry-level Evoque costs $42,000 in the U.S., while a Holland & Holland Range Rover LWB is $250,000 – yes, that’s five times as much. Jaguar Land Rover has been riding a wave of high demand, launching several new Jaguar models over the past 12 months, though Land Rover and Range Rover are leading the company’s charge.

“Jaguar Land Rover has produced and sold more cars than at any time in our history. We are now the largest automotive manufacturer in the United Kingdom and our vehicles have received more than 140 awards across the range for design, technology, safety and environmental sustainability,” said Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer.

It also seems that SUV and CUV owners don’t have a penchant for changing their preferences. A study by HIS Automotive has revealed that they have the highest rates of brand and model-style loyalty in the States, with two-thirds of them buying another SUV or CUV. In comparison, only half of sedan owners replaced their car for something similar.

“We continue to see the SUV/CUV segment reaching record registration volumes in the US market,” said Tom Libby, manager, loyalty and industry analysis with IHS Automotive.

With demand for utility-style vehicles on the rise, car companies have cashed in on the trend with more rugged-looking models and choices – an approach that has helped Land Rover grow its appeal. Its vehicle range has grown from three to five core models, with more in the pipeline.

“During this fiscal year, we have delivered sustainable, profitable growth and introduced new models,” said Dr Speth. “We are on track to deliver even more sensational products that will underpin the future performance of the business.”

 

Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition

Don’t let its tough exterior fool you – the Cayenne is Porsche’s gentle giant. During its debut in 2002 as Porsche’s first-ever SUV, the model stood out like sore thumb amongst the German automaker’s sleek sports cars. The irony, then, is that the Cayenne was responsible for turning Porsche’s fortunes around during a period of stagnation but that is a story for another time. The point is that this Cayenne may well be the coolest one ever created.

Kitted out with either a 3-liter 262hp V6 engine or a 416hp gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain, the Platinum Edition’s upgrades are more than skin deep. The 20-inch RS Spyder alloy wheels (previously 21-inch 911 Turbo design) on the all-wheel drive are designed for sports performance and a refined drive through urban spaces.

The 5-door SUV also boasts one of the best infotainment units around, with a Bose sound system as standard and Power Steering Plus with ParkAssist that works together with the infotainment system’s display.

While both versions come standard with privacy glass and anti-glare mirrors, only the hybrid version enjoys stationary air conditioning and heating – a very useful feature in hotter countries with which drivers can cool or heat the cabin remotely. Yes, this means you can prep the car for your arrival without actually being at the wheel.

Inside, electrically operated leather and Alcantara sports seats provide a high-level of ergonomics, each one embellished with Porsche crests on the headrests. The stainless steel doors are backlit while a special analogue clock completes the dashboard.

The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid Platinum Edition offers a combined fuel economy of 3.4-3.3l/100km (47mpg) and will cost €90,298 in Europe ($81,600 in the US, plus delivery and handling fees) when deliveries commence in June, 2016.

Meanwhile, the diesel edition manages 6.8-6.6l/100km and will cost €74,352. A lack of interest in diesel power in the U.S. means that Porsche will be offering its U.S. customers a 3-liter 300hp gasoline V6 option at $65,600 instead. Both versions will be available in black, white as standard, though a variety of five metallic colors are also available.

 

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report.