Week 47 : What’s new in Motoring
Stealing the headlines this week is the Los Angeles Auto Show with announcements flooding in including some of the biggest names in the motoring industry. Add in a rafter of other announcements and we have a lot to discuss in Week 47.
Los Angeles Auto Show
Mercedes-Maybach introduce the S 650 Cabriolet
Making it’s debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show was the first cabriolet from Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 which is set to hit the market in Spring 2017, with its limited production of 300 models and a 300,000 Euro price tag, it’s not a model for the faint hearted. After the Vision European premiere at the Paris Motor Show, the S 650 Cabriolet is a new entrant to the modern luxury auto market. The mode embodies modern luxury and represents the design philosophy of Sensual Purity: it is both hot and cool at the same time.
Unique features will include nine additional colour concepts for the interior, the trim – optionally with “flowing lines” – plus the hand-finished craftsmanship of the leather seats with perforations in a waterfall-style look. Supported by a 6.0-litre V12 engine with an output of 463 kW (630 hp), the S 650 is definitely on our radar for one of the must-haves for 2017.
Jaguar unveil electric vehicle commitment
Jaguar Land Rover has revealed its first electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, alongside the all-new Land Rover Discovery at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Jaguar Land Rover is working towards a cleaner future, with ultra-clean diesels and petrol engines, BEVs, PHEVs and MHEVs all in its strategic plans. By 2020 the company will offer customers the option of electrification on half of all its new cars, CEO Dr Ralf Speth confirmed.
The Jaguar I-PACE Concept is an electric five-seat performance car with supercar looks, sports car performance and SUV space. The production version will be revealed in later 2017 and will be on the roads in 2018 with a predicted range of more than 500km on the NEDC cycle (220 miles EPA).
Dr Wolfgang Ziebart, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This is an uncompromised electric vehicle designed from a clean sheet of paper: we’ve developed a new architecture and selected only the best technology available. The I-PACE Concept fully exploits the potential EVs can offer in space utilisation, driving pleasure and performance.”
Jaguar break a 60 year drought of XKSS model
The first genuine Jaguar XKSS to be built in almost 60 years was today given its world debut presentation at the Petersen Museum, Los Angeles by Jaguar Classic. The stunning XKSS, finished in Sherwood Green paint, has been created by the Jaguar Classic engineering team ahead of the production of nine cars for delivery to customers across the globe in 2017.
Often referred to as the world’s first supercar, the XKSS was originally made by Jaguar as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type, which was built from 1954-1956. In 1957, nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in the British Midlands; meaning just 16 examples of XKSS were built.
The rest of the industry
McLaren Special Operations announce Hyper-GT for 2019
McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the department of McLaren Automotive responsible for bespoke customer commissions, has this week confirmed details of the world’s first ‘Hyper-GT’ which will be the most exquisitely crafted and luxurious road-going McLaren to date. Development of the car, codenamed BP23, standing for Bespoke Project 2 and featuring three seats, will be entrusted to MSO with production limited to 106 units, all of which have already been pre-sold.
On the announcement of the project, McLaren Automotive’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Flewitt, said: “BP23 will borrow the three seat layout with the central driving position made famous by the iconic McLaren F1, and it will be housed in a streamlined, shrink-wrapped carbon fibre body of great elegance. We are calling BP23 a ‘Hyper-GT’ because it’s a car designed for longer journeys, but with the high levels of performance and driver engagement expected of any McLaren. A hybrid powertrain will make it one of the most powerful McLarens yet created but the car will also deliver the highest levels of refinement, enabling significant journeys to be undertaken with up to three people aboard.”
Design work has begun, with an ambition to deliver the first examples in early 2019. Production is being capped at 106 units which is exactly the same as the number of McLaren F1s produced.
Aston Martin create the Vanquish S
Aston Martin took the opportunity this week to turn up the heat on it’s ultimate Super GT to create the new Vanquish S. Sharper styling, greater potency and increased athleticism define this latest evolution of an illustrious model line. One that originated from Aston Martin’s legendary Works in Newport Pagnell and has proudly served as standard bearer for the marque’s sporting and stylistic values since 2001.
In this, the second generation Vanquish’s evolution to S specification, careful attention has been paid to the engine, chassis and aerodynamics to create a machine honed to deliver more intense thrills and even more scintillating performance.
Vanquish S is available in both Coupe and Volante with the recommended retail price starting from £199,950 in the UK with deliveries commencing next month.
Vauxhall introduce the Grandland X
Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement about its new Crossland X, Vauxhall can now reveal that its 2017 SUV/crossover family will be rounded off by a third model, which will become the big brother of the range. Known as the Grandland X, the new crossover will sit next to the Mokka X SUV and Crossland X and will boost Vauxhall’s credentials in a segment which is one of the fastest-growing in the UK’s car market.
With a design that blends elegance with ruggedness, the Grandland X will offer customers a raised seating position, good all-round visibility and plenty of luggage space. Easy ingress and egress will also be on the menu, along with plenty of cabin practicality, high levels of comfort and fine driving dynamics.
Since 2012, the Mokka (which has recently been replaced by the new Mokka X) has found more than 120,000 buyers in the UK, its single biggest market in Europe, and this has been set against SUV and crossover segments which have grown year-on-year. The Grandland X and Crossland X are set to bring still more growth when they go on sale in 2017.
Volvo announce new Pilot programme
Volvo is announcing the roll-out of a pilot programme in San Francisco, targeting Volvo owners driving the new XC90 SUV and S90 luxury saloon. In an effort to make their customers’ lives easier, Volvo has dug deep into consumer research to deliver on their customers’ unmet needs. The pilot is due to start in November and will ramp up to include around 300 Volvo owners.
“Imagine parking your car in the morning at work and when you head home your car has been serviced, cleaned and refuelled. These are the kind of services we want to deliver to our customers. Our research shows that people spend hours every week doing these small errands – we want to give that time back to Volvo drivers, so they can do something more valuable instead,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Experience at Volvo Car Group.
Hyundai unveil Autonomous IONIQ concept
Hyundai Motor announced the introduction of the Autonomous IONIQ concept during its press conference at Automobility LA (Los Angeles Auto Show). With a sleek design resembling the rest of the IONIQ lineup, the vehicle is one of the few self-driving cars in development to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof, enabling it to look like any other car on the road and not a high school science project.
The goal of the autonomous IONIQ concept was to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This was accomplished by using the production car’s Smart Cruise Control’s forward-facing radar and Lane Keeping Assist cameras, which are integrated with LiDAR technology. Hyundai is also developing its own autonomous vehicle operating system, with the goal of using a lot less computing power. This will result in a low-cost platform, which can be installed in future Hyundai models the average consumer can afford.