Automobile

Lisa FullerLisa FullerFebruary 8, 2018
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National Film Academy has announced a partnership with AZ Luxe Ltd as official VIP Chauffeur partner for the prestigious 4th annual National Film Awards 2018 taking place on the 28th of March 2018 at the Porchester Hall in London.

AZ Luxe Ltd have over 14 years experience in the industry and have acquired a reputation for delivering exceptional value and a first-class product. Whether you need a luxury car for an important meeting, trip, wedding, or other special occasions, the team at AZ Luxe Ltd will exceed all expectations and provide an experience that you’ll treasure forever.

The National Film Awards are one of the UK’s most hotly tipped annual event celebrating the best in motion picture. AZ Luxe Ltd have acquired the naming rights to the Best Thriller  category  with nominated films including;
Prevenge
Redwood
You Were Never Really Here
Eat Locals
The Moving Theatre
Hellriser
The Snowman

Voting is currently live @ www.nationalfilmawards.org/voting

To find out more about AZ Luxe Ltd . Please, visit: www.azluxe.co.uk

For all Social media handles. Go to:
Instagram:          @AZLuxeLtd
Twitter:                @AZLuxeLtd
Facebook:           AZ Luxe Ltd

 


Lisa FullerLisa FullerJanuary 26, 2018
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The Lamborghini Urus, the first Super SUV and the third model line for Lamborghini, makes its UK debut in London. The UK, which is the third largest market for Lamborghini, forecasts a doubling of sales with the introduction of the Urus, reflecting worldwide expectations. Deliveries to customers of the Urus commence in summer 2018, when the Super SUV joins the Lamborghini Aventador and Huracán super sports car model ranges.

In a presentation by the Automobili Lamborghini board to more than 500 guests at the RHS Halls in London, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali said: “The UK is an extremely market for Lamborghini, which has a strong motoring heritage and a particular enthusiasm and empathy with performance cars. The Lamborghini super sports DNA of design, performance, driving dynamics and driving emotion is clear within the Lamborghini Urus, which is also as much a luxury SUV as the most powerful. An SUV for the city and the open road, the Lamborghini Urus opens the door to new possibilities for both our customers and our brand, and we are proud to formally present it to one of our most significant markets.”

The Urus features a 4.0 litre V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650 hp at 6,000 rpm and 850 Nm of maximum torque already available at 2,250 rpm. With 162.7 hp/l the Urus claims one of the highest specific power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio at 3.38 kg/hp.

The Urus accelerates from 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-124 mph in 12.8 seconds, and with a top speed of 190 mph it is the fastest SUV available.

In 2017 Automobili Lamborghini set a sales record for the seventh year running: up 10% over the previous year, Lamborghini delivered 3,815 cars around the world.

The UK currently operates eight Lamborghini dealers, with two further authorised outlets opening in 2018. Its Lamborghini London dealership is one of the largest by volume in the world: Automobili Lamborghini has 145 dealers serving 50 countries. The UK, which also achieved a sales record in 2017, is the third largest market behind the USA and Japan.

The Lamborghini Urus retails in the UK from £165,000 on the road.


Lucy ColemanLucy ColemanJanuary 24, 2018
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David Hugh – the company behind the widely celebrated Elysium chair launched the £38,000 Elysium-R at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London. The chair was in exhibition at the branch  until 19 January 2018 alongside the new Phantom, with a window display from DavidHugh showcasing Elysium-R to the Mayfair public Elysium is reported to be one of the most technologically advanced chairs in the world neutralising gravity, implementing floatation theory and taking comfort to a new level – and the newcomer takes that even higher.


– Priced at £38,000, Elysium-R is presented in a near-black pure aniline leather, with a black chrome-plated stainless steel base and a stunning almond-gold frame. It incorporates pioneering gel-filled, black-anodised aluminium armrests that sweep back to offer more support. Just 18 Elysium-R chairs are being made available worldwide.


Alberto ArnaudAlberto ArnaudOctober 19, 2017
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  • Luxury residential development breaks ground one year after Aston Martin and G&G Business Developments announced partnership
  • Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way is the first condominium tower to begin construction in Downtown Miami in 2017 and is on track for completion in 2021

18 October 2017, Miami, FL: Aston Martin and global property developer G&G Business Developments have broken ground on Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Miami, confirming that construction of the 66-story luxury condominium tower is set for completion in 2021. The milestone marks the development of Aston Martin’s first real estate project, and the iconic brand’s expansion into luxury residential design. Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way has become the first condominium tower to break ground in Downtown Miami this year, underscoring the development team’s strength and market confidence.

The striking building of curvilinear glass and steel is set to rise on one of the last parcels of developable land on the Downtown Miami waterfront and has been designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, renowned for creating visually impressive and exceptionally well-engineered landmark properties. General contractor Coastal Construction Group will now begin work on the tower.

The 391 condominiums will combine breathtaking design aesthetic with an ideal location, featuring spectacular panoramic vistas of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The development’s seven penthouses and one duplex penthouse – all of which will enjoy private pools and spacious terraces – will be complemented by a range of expansive one to four-bedroom apartments.

Aston Martin’s design team, led by EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, will design the interior and amenity spaces throughout the development. Key Aston Martin design elements, such as the signature carbon fibre reception desks, will adorn each of the tower’s two private lobbies. Highlight features will include doors with bespoke artisan Aston Martin handles, number plinths and kestrel tan leather door tabs. Residents will be able to relax and unwind just steps from their front doors, with 42,275 square feet of outstanding Sky Amenities spanning four full levels between the building’s 52nd and 55th floors. Amenities will include a double-level fitness centre overlooking the ocean, spinning studio, boxing gym, virtual golf room, art gallery, two cinemas, as well as a full-service spa, beauty salon and barber shop.

These exquisite spaces will be encased in a bold sail-shaped building reflecting the marina setting and offering superb views of the local surroundings. Residents will also be able to enjoy direct access to the turquoise waters of Miami via an exclusive yacht marina.

Representing Aston Martin at the ground breaking ceremony, Simon Sproule, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Aston Martin is on a growth trajectory globally and across the United States. Our partnership with G&G Business Developments to create Aston Martin Residences Miami, forms an important part of that growth story and of our desire to bring our brand to new audiences across the world.”

German Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments said: “In October 2016 we announced the partnership with Aston Martin and our plan to break ground in October 2017. Exactly one year later we are here to celebrate the start of construction which is confirmation of our commitment to follow our own strict timeline. This development has been extremely well received, in part due to the unique offer but also due to the outstanding job our official broker Cervera is doing. I am confident we will deliver on our promise to create the ultimate residential tower and I’m looking forward to admiring the view from the top of this special building when it is complete.”

Coto concluded: “The success of this collaboration is a testament to the team work, mutual trust and dedication of everyone involved, both at G&G and Aston Martin.”

The residences and penthouses, which range from 700 to 19,000 square feet, are priced from $600,000 to upwards of $50 million.

The sales centre for the Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, Florida is open daily from Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

– Ends –

www.astonmartin.com

 

 

Note to Editors:

About Aston Martin

Aston Martin is an independent British luxury sports car company. Famous for the creation of beautiful handcrafted sports cars, the Aston Martin range today comprises the Vantage, Rapide S, Vanquish, DB11 and special-series cars such as the Vanquish Zagato and Aston Martin Vulcan. Based in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin designs and creates sports cars, which are sold in more than 50 countries around the world.

Founded in 1913, the company recently launched its six-year Second Century plan for sustainable long-term growth. This is underpinned by the replacement of its entire sports car range, including the all-new DB11, an all-electric RapidE, the reintroduction of the Lagonda marque, as well as the development of a new manufacturing centre in St Athan, Wales which will build the company’s new sports utility vehicle.

About Aston Martin Art of Living

Aston Martin is a British luxury brand with more than a century of success behind it. Now, with its Art of Living portfolio, the brand is translating its legendary quality into a new generation of carefully crafted commercial partnerships that are the very best reflections of its high luxury values. Art of Living by Aston Martin is a growing collection of luxury lifestyle goods and services made and delivered with the care and quality that would be expected of Aston Martin.

About G&G Business Developments:

Headquartered in Miami, G&G Business Developments, founded and managed by key members of the Coto family, is the largest domestic retailer in Argentina and one of the country’s leading exporters.

The company has quickly established success in the global real estate market, attracting investors seeking well-funded, innovative projects, delivering exceptional results.

 

 


Jeff ArmstrongJeff ArmstrongOctober 2, 2017
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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has entered into a benefactor relationship with Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai. As part of this arrangement, the partnership will bring American artist Asad Raza’s work Root sequence. Mother tongue, to the Rockbund Art Museum.

The installation will now form part of ‘RAM HIGHLIGHTS 2017: DISPLACE’, a project which aims to transform the museum into a boundary-breaking experimental space, fostering a diverse and yet open viewing experience. The installation will mark the Chinese debut for the work, which was first shown at the Whitney Biennial, 2017.

Additionally, and most importantly, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme will maintain a relationship with the museum and artist, to further show the work around the world. In this instance, Root sequence. Mother tongue, will, after a six day public exposure at Rockbund Art Museum, be reconstituted at venues which will be announced in due course.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commented, “Asad Raza’s work Root sequence. Mother tongue, is an intriguing and beguiling installation that challenges the conventions of how we interact with art. The Rolls-Royce Art Programme seeks to foster reativity and we are thrilled that the public will once again experience this unique and exciting installation.”

Larys Frogier, Director of the Rockbund Art Museum, commented, “The Rockbund Art Museum is honoured for the brilliant support given by the Rolls-Royce Art Programme to Root Sequence, Mother Tongue, a stunning artwork created by Asad Raza, that combines eco-care, visual arts, choreography and performance, with ongoing collective artistic contributions. In the framework of the DISPLACE art event produced for the RAM Highlight 2017 edition, the two organisations share the same value for excellence, high quality and unique creative projects. They also stand at the forefront of supporting new art formats, beyond the usual definition of art exhibition and art object. Such collaboration between Rolls-Royce and RAM is based on a sincere and full engagement in favour of the artists’ projects and as such it envisions brand new possibilities for contemporary art development.”

The Rolls-Royce Art Programme has committed to creatively contribute to the fabric of the contemporary art world and seeks to work collaboratively with internationally acclaimed art institutions and museums, to bring the work of extraordinary artists to the public, which might not otherwise be available for public viewing.

Root sequence. Mother tongue will bring the forest – a space of myth and fairy tales – into the museum. The installation will include 26 trees planted in soil-filled wooden boxes and local Chinese people who act as ‘caretakers’ for the trees, which collectively, the artist describes as characters, individual inhabitants in a living network. Each tree is grown locally, and their continuing growth throughout the installation forms part of the exhibition, alongside the improvised interaction of the caretakers, who might even opt to move the trees, as part of their performance. UV lights are strategically placed to encourage the trees’ photosynthesis throughout the installation, whilst casting a pink hue over the proceedings.

Objects belonging to the caretakers and relating to their personal histories are also incorporated into the installation, creating an intriguing and unexpected immersive experience. 

 

Raza intends to create an environment that provides visitors a park-like respite from the traditional museum viewing experience, shunning silence and sedentary observation in preference of interaction and stimulation. Adding a further complexity to the work, the space can be adapted for other artists or performers to interact with the environment, acting as guest contributors to the piece.

Asad Raza commented, “It is a privilege to bring my piece Root sequence. Mother tongue to China as part of this groundbreaking exhibition, DISPLACE, in which live presence and interaction will animate the Rockbund Art Museum. These are new grounds on which novel forms of art-making are being pursued. As the piece leaves behind a permanent grove of trees, I look forward to returning over the years to take care of it. Rolls-Royce’s focus on hand-made craftsmanship is linked to these forms of presence: when the living being takes precedence over the mere machine.”

The Rolls-Royce Art Programme celebrates a shared philosophy with the world of contemporary art. To date, Rolls-Royce has worked with leading international artists and key figures from the contemporary art world including: Yang Fudong, Isaac Julien and Ugo Rondinone.

Asad Raza’s installation Root sequence. Mother tongue will be publicly exhibited at the Rockbund Art Museum with the support of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme from 29 September to 4 October 2017.


Jeff ArmstrongJeff ArmstrongSeptember 22, 2017
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Toyota took the concept of aiming high to a new level by using an iconic sports car, a global drifting superstar and a satellite circling 660 miles above the Earth to create a world first.

New films released today show world champion drift king Fredric Aasbø burning rubber around the Millbrook skid pan in a Toyota GT86 to “paint” the car’s famous logo in tyre marks large enough to be photographed from an orbiting satellite.

The films Fredric Aasbø and the Donuts from Space are available to view on Toyota’s official UK YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHhcg4pC6No&feature=youtu.be

This was not simply a matter of driving a fast car in circles to create “donuts” on the ground. It called for precision planning, for the driver, the camera crew and the team plotting the exact time at which the satellite would pass overhead to capture the image.

The production team collaborated with the aeronautics and space giant Airbus to schedule a high resolution image of the completed 86 logo from one of its twin Pléaides satellites, circling in space, 800km above the earth. Experts at the National Geo Centre helped calculate the precise time at which the satellite and 86 logo would be in perfect alignment.

The only factor that could not be controlled was the weather, but after four months of planning the two-day shoot in August was completed in fine conditions, ensuring a pin-sharp image could be obtained.

Fredric Aasbø, a Formula Drift World Champion and Toyota Global Ambassador, completed the task in his Icom Toyota Express Service 86-X, a unique competition version of the GT86, powered by a 3.4-litre turbocharged straight-six engine, tuned to produce a mighty 1,150bhp.

He practised the manoeuvres needed to produce the 86 design using a virtual reality system before executing the real thing on the 137m diameter skid pan at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire, working in inch-perfect synchronicity with two road-going GT86 cars.

“When I was told about the project I thought is this for real, then it was ‘heck yeah, let’s do it!’” he said.

“Drifting is controlling a car that is essentially out of control,” he explained, “but this was the first time I had used my car as a paintbrush. It was epic and the highlight of my year.”


Johana BaldellaJohana BaldellaApril 13, 2017
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TOYOTA FT-4X CONCEPT: TOYOTA’S “RUGGED CHARM” SUV DEBUTS AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

 

It’s only natural that if your work confines you to the city, you feel an urge to get away from the urban environment whenever you can, whether it’s to go climb a mountain, or simply enjoy a great view. Toyota has picked up on this mood among millennial-aged professionals to produce its new FT-4X Concept (Future Toyota – Four-Wheel Drive Crossover), which made its world debut today at the New York International Auto Show.

Dubbed a four-wheel drive “toolbox,” it has been penned by Toyota’s Calty design centre in California. Its styling is defined by the theme of “Rugged Charm,” while its capabilities are “casualcore” rather than hardcore, making the FT-4X suitable for any kind of outing, any time.

Kevin Hunter, Calty President, introduced the concept: “The Toyota FT-4X is not simply a concept where style meets function; it is a thoughtful, charming and engaging experience that adds real pleasure and convenience to the journey. We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both in and out of the city.”

Casualcore exploration

The Toyota FT-4X Concept’s “casualcore” quality addresses the growing popularity of unplanned, spur-of-the-moment trips among young urban people, whether its dinner on the beach, heading into the country for a run or a walk, camping under the stars or time spent shooting the breeze and listening to music with a group of friends sitting on the tailgate of your vehicle. It’s the kind of get-away that can be inspired by social media, moving on from “liking” a digital snapshot to going somewhere to create your own.

“Rugged Charm” persona

Rugged Charm places value on simplicity, capability, durability and Toyota heritage. It also takes into account compact, sturdy dimensions and the provision of a wealth of tactile grips, handles and controls that give the user a satisfying sense of a mechanical reaction to their input.

“You can really tell we had a blast designing the FT-4X because it looks fun to use and fun to drive,” said Ian Cartabiano, Calty Studio Chief Designer. “I love this idea of mechanical satisfaction because while we’re living in today’s digital world, we took something that’s based on physical movements and made that a large part of what this vehicle is.”

The designers took an unconventional approach to their work, starting with the rear of the vehicle rather than its nose or profile. This acknowledged how the target Gen Y explorers make the tailgate or hatch of the car the centre of activity.

For the exterior, the stylists applied an “X” theme throughout the car’s Toyota New Global Architecture C-platform: for example, a door handle is located at the centre of a vertical, bowed X, at the widest point of the vehicle. This places driver and passenger within the broadest area, creating a natural protective zone. A similar bowed X shape can be seen in the rear hatch design, again with the door handle centrally located.

 

 

 

The concept is fitted with 18-inch wheels and custom 225/55R18 Goodyear All-season tyres. It stands 1,623mm tall, measures 4,249 long and has a 2,639mm wheelbase.

The rear Multi-Hatch can be opened horizontally, in Urban Mode, or vertically, in Outdoor Mode. Urban Mode splits the hatch in half for easy kerbside loading when space is tight. Outdoor Mode opens the hatch upwards in one piece. The door’s design has a satisfying mechanical touch, a rotating handle that’s turned to select the opening mode and which is deep-set so that it’s easy to operate when wearing thick gloves.

The flat roof is reinforced so that big items can be carried, with tie-down hoops located at each corner. Power outlets are integrated into the base of the tie-downs for use with camping or roof rack accessories.

Generous approach and departure angles ensure that FT-4X can tackle both on and off-road conditions – capability that is reflected in the black-painted wheel arch mouldings. A vertical window above the offside rear wing pays homage to the design of Toyota’s Xtracab pick-up and original 4Runner SUV, with removable glass that can be replaced with tinted or opaque options.

Sculpted rocker panels enhance underbody protection and durability when venturing off the beaten path. And whenever the FT-4X does find some heroic scenery, a GoPro® HERO5 Session™ camera built into the driver’s side rear-view mirror can capture it all.

The X theme is captured in the front design, too. A classic, extra-large Toyota emblem is set dead-centre, flanked by LED headlamps. The horizontal orientation of the grille, headlights and bumper nods to classic Toyota FJ Cruisers and pick-up models of the past.

Multi-tool cabin

The cabin has been conceived as a large open space fitted with easily accessible storage for all kinds of kit. Areas are colour-coded: blue for closed and orange for open storage. The inside of the hatch features two boxes, one warm, one cold, to warm or cool items as required.

The cabin is divided into three zones: Clean Zone, where the driver and front passenger sit, with rugged floor mats and sills inspired by Japanese sunoko slotted wood flooring; Wet Zone, with all-weather mats where damp or muddy kit can be stowed just behind the front seats and below the rear bench; and Rear Cargo Zone.

The Rear Cargo Zone has a completely flat floor with a concealed deep storage compartment accessed by sliding the floor section towards the Rear Multi Hatch (doing this transforms the floor into a tray). Extra space can be gained by folding the rear bench and there are plenty of red tie-down hooks to hold items in place.

 

 

 

An ultra-compact The North Face® sleeping bag fits neatly between front passenger seats, and functions as an armrest that is strapped atop an extra-large dividing console. The console can fold upward, revealing additional storage capacity for medium-sized gear. Its breathable, high-grip, hybrid mesh surface allows for wet items to dry quickly, and its bungee cord lattices keep small items in place.

Clever touches abound: the interior lighting can be removed and used as a torch; the side and rear door handles can serve as ad-hoc water bottles; and the armrests are fitted with USB ports and large rotary window switches. The centre dome light can be taken out to use as a locating light or beacon. The multimedia audio system can also be removed and is designed with an extra-large handle grip. There is no traditional navigation screen; instead there is a mobile phone mount immediately above the cylindrival digital instrument cluster, the thinking being that owners will download apps for both navigation and off-road instrumentation.

Drivetrain

The FT-4X has been designed potentially to run with a small-capacity four-cylinder engine. It features mechanical four-wheel drive and selectable low-range transmission, reinforcing its always-ready character. The sophisticated MacPherson strut front and double wishbone rear suspension design is engineered to cope with driving over rocks and potholes.


Johana BaldellaJohana BaldellaApril 11, 2017
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International music producer challenges audiences to Make Your Mark in new Lexus campaign

Lexus is pleased to announce a creative collaboration with the multi-award-winning music producer for its new flagship coupe, the Lexus LC. The campaign, aptly named Make Your Mark, will help introduce the new model and a new era for the luxury brand.

Through working with Ronson, Lexus will continue to realise its ambition to create amazing experiences, in music, art and technology. Make Your Mark follows on from the successful 2015 international campaign The Life RX, which featured the celebrated actor Jude Law.

 

During the next six months Make Your Mark will deliver a range of exciting content and experiences for customers and fans.

Speaking about the campaign, Mark Ronson said: “I always like to work with collaborators who are innovative and unique in and out of the studio. When I was approached by Lexus with the concept of this campaign and saw the new LC, it felt fresh and exciting; I was drawn to the idea of using music to inspire and create an experience around this car.”

The LC is the figurehead of an evolving new vehicle development culture at Lexus in which design and engineering teams have worked in an unprecedented collaboration to produce a car that surpasses all expectations. The LC’s design is remarkably faithful to the radical styling of the original LF-LC concept car, and both are recipients of international EyesOn Design awards.

Alain Uyttenhoven, Head of Lexus Europe, said: “Mark Ronson is the iconic music producer behind some of the biggest hits of the decade and we couldn’t have thought of a better collaborator for the Make Your Mark campaign.

“The Lexus LC symbolises the beginning of a new phase for Lexus which is all about creating greater synergy between engineering and design. Who better to work with on this than Mark – a man who has made a significant contribution to the world of music through his incredible performances and collaborations.”

 


Jeff ArmstrongJeff ArmstrongAugust 18, 2016
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Bringing the splendor of Sant’Agata Bolognese to Oxfordshire, Lamborghini celebrates past and present at this year’s Salon Privé, with activities including concours entries, a debut and supercar test-drives.

With cars to admire, marvel at, and even test drive, there’s something for all Lamborghini fans, and Salon Privé is delighted to announce the full Lamborghini event plan for its amazing event from the 1st to 3rd September.

Salon Privé and Lamborghini PoloStorico, the marque’s heritage division, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura, universally regarded as the first-ever supercar. With its own class in the prestigious Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance, 50 Years of the Lamborghini Miura will see over ten of the world’s best examples entered into the Miura-only category, with two examples making their way from the USA in order to compete.

As part of the celebrations, the PoloStorico division will display the iconic one-of-one Lamborghini Miura Roadster, which will take pride of place on the lawns of Blenheim Palace.

 

Also on display as part of the 50 Years of the Lamborghini Miura class celebrations is the original Miura SV shown at Geneva Motor Show in 1971. It will be showcased at Salon Privé following its recent comprehensive restoration by Lamborghini PoloStorico. The unique pre-production model was originally built with parts of the Miura S, but incorporated pioneering features that would be seen on later SVs.

Not to be outdone, the Pirelli-backed Prestige & Performance Competition on Saturday 3rd has its own Diablo-only class,The Diablo Tribute, where a 2000 6.0 VT Final Edition will battle it out in the modern-day concours against nine other entrants, including chassis number 001 SVR, the first of just 31 racing versions produced, a limited-edition SE30 30thanniversary model and also a VT Roadster.

Throughout the event, Lamborghini’s official Birmingham dealership will manage guests’ test drives in the rear-wheel drive Lamborghini Huracán and its four-wheel drive equivalent, as well as the Spyder version. The 15-mile test-drive opportunity is part of Salon Privé’s ‘see it, test it, drive it’ experience. Salon Privé is the only event of its type that allows its guests to drive cars on the public road in the UK.


Simon BerrySimon BerryFebruary 8, 2016
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I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend the launch of the all-new Jaguar XF in Spain both on the road and at Circuito de Navarra on Saturday 5th September. Not only were the hosts, presenters and everyone that represented Jaguar, both directly and on their behalf professional, yet warm, friendly and approachable… the car is exceptional! On arriving in Spain, after the formalities of a safety brief/waiver sign off, we were shown to the cars we would be driving to Navarra.

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The first I got to experience was the 163ps RWD 2.0 ltr diesel automatic in the Diplomat specification, which was visually stunning on approach. It has a look of effortless power, even when stationary, it speaks of movement, asking you to take it for a spin. And when you do, my word, you are rewarded! The XF also offered an equally impressive interior, every detail a pleasure to behold, each surface beautifully crafted to be ergonomic, tactile and of the very highest quality. Sumptuous leather seats cradle you and as you would expect the driving position is endlessly adjustable to suit all. I found myself reopening the door to hear again the perfect sound it made on closing, the drive to the track from Bilbao was some 178 km, I was paired with another of the fortunate few at the event (a lovely young lady named Hannah) we each drove half of it, myself going first.image1

Considering I was in the ‘wrong’ (left) side of the car and in an automatic when used to a manual, it really was fairly effortless, the car performing my will rather beautifully, proving to be quite simple and intuitive in operation, this extends to the media unit, which basically does it all, just as you’d expect and more. Cabin noise was extremely minimal (aside from witty banter!), feedback through the steering wheel enabled smooth sailing without vast amounts of adjustment, not a hint of the ‘twitchiness’ I’ve experienced in medium/large powerful saloon cars on narrow roads in the past. The throttle response took some getting used to, it’s close to instant! And speed limits changed often-at times within forty yards the limit will have changed three times! The miles were whittled down all too quickly and the track loomed ahead. The fact we knew lunch was waiting and the place looked like the real deal with glimpses of twisting track offered as a starter on the short drive into the pit-access.

A brisk and enjoyable lunch was followed by a presentation from chosen representatives of each area of design and engineering that nurtured this car to fruition, without repeating all the stats and individual improvements-I was most taken by the passion each showed for their ‘subject’ so to speak and how it fitted into delivering the overall goal, of ‘doing everything better’ than its predecessor, and by virtue of it’s success in this, the competition too.

The track was waiting, it time for us to have a professional driver take us out, show us a little of what the car could do, advise us as to the meaning of the markers to aid in hitting the best line to get safe, fast and clean laps. I was assigned Carles, (with, I believe a history in rally-driving, but certainly a great track driver too).
The model for this was somewhat more apt for the track (though I’m sure the car we arrived in could have put in a respectable time itself). It was time for the XF-S to shine and shine it did, the throttle response and its ability to deliver it’s abundant power without tearing a hole in the road-or in time, seemed a few steps past genius to me! It’s a supercharged 3.0 ltr V8 petrol automatic (with rapid paddle-shift) and has a great power-train, the 8 speed transmission quickly and efficiently picked its way to vast speed smoothly yet assertively. The ride was incredible, 28% more rigid sounds like a huge improvement to make on a car that already handled superbly and… it is! The poise of the car was excellent under all the intense demands of the of track driving, it had not been race prepared and was in fact exactly how a customer would receive it, so no roll-cage. Regardless, even under the massive lateral force of cornering at maximum speed, it all felt perfectly manageable, reassuring and confidence inspiring, the handling at the heart of it, a ‘green light’ for the pre-programmed set of survival instincts we each possess. The wheel base improvements (longer, less overhang) and the variability of the suspension that is switch-able, along with the ecu set-up are just two of the dynamic settings that can (by degrees) tame the beast to make everyday use comfortable and practical too. But here it was at it’s glorious full sporting best. My laps got a little better each time, my fondness of the car grew at a far greater rate.

Finally we were again paired to drive east to the hotel for the night, another-hugely enjoyable 130ish km later I had both engrained more deeply my respect and desire for the all-new XF but also re-acquainted myself with Bruce Springsteen through the media centre having paired to Hannah’s phone, this was our first use of the sound system and-I have to say the audio set up is fantastic, the experience overall was brilliant and the last leg literally rocked!

Would I like one?…

…Yes please!!!!!!!!



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Chelsea Monthly is London’s No.1 Luxury & Lifestyle magazine, with over 150,000 copies distributed throughout Chelsea, South Kensington and Knightsbridge and subscribers globally. The magazine covers the best in Travel, Lifestyle, Fashion, Entertainment, Tech , Property , Food & Drinks plus much more. To advertise on either the Print or Online publication. E-mail: advertising@chelseamonthly.com or Call: 0044 (0) 203-302-7160


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