As the automotive world has known for a while now, the Rolls-Royce High-Sided Vehicle (don't call it an SUV) will be named Cullinan; Rolls-Royce confirmed this fact just this week.So who or what is Cullinan?Sir Thomas Cullinan was a randlord (the South African equivalent of oligarch), who operated the Premier Mine just outside of Pretoria, modern-day South Africa, in the early 20th century and for whom a giant diamond that was found there is named. The 3,106.75-carat Cullinan Diamond was discovered in 1905, making it the largest rough diamond ever mined. The diamond was eventually broken up into nine smaller diamonds, some of which were made into brooches and crowns for the British royals. The largest of the nine pieces, named the Great Star of Africa, is set in the Sovereign's Sceptre and is still ranked as the largest clear cut diamond, rated at 530.2 carats and measuring 2.32 inches in length.Rolls-Royce's new "High Sided Vehicle," which is what it prefers its SUV to be called, … [Read more...] about Cullinan: What’s behind the name of Rolls Royce’s new SUV?
We did it! Thanks to the modern obsession with larger vehicles and opulence, domestic luxury brands are taking off like a rocket. It’s going so well, in fact, that American automakers are starting to steal market share from high-end import manufacturers. Of course, this is only applicable to SUV and crossover sales.As you know, sedan sales are losing ground to their high-riding counterparts. While this hasn’t resulted in the obliteration of the passenger car market, despite claims to the contrary, those vehicles are being massacred by wayward consumers. Sedans are becoming passé and this has allowed sport utility and crossover vehicles to amass a significant portion of the pie.Nowhere is this more apparent than in the luxury market. The rapid growth of the luxury truck segment has substantially increased the United States’ share of domestic models sold with an average transaction price of $60,000 or more. Apparently, the inarguably phenomenal Mercedes-Benz … [Read more...] about Domestic Luxury Trucks Now Usurping Germany’s Market Share of Premium Vehicles
The former digital chief of Credit Suisse, Marco Abele, intends to introduce an app allowing wealthy individuals to share ownership of experiential assets — things like vineyards, works of art, and even fine automobiles.Abele calls the digital service a “blockchain-based investment platform,” which is just a bullshit businessman buzzword way to say there will be a transaction ledger. By keeping things transparent, the group’s owners can ensure nobody gets financially burned when someone drives a shared $300,000 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo into a barricade.At any rate, it sounds like communism for rich people. However, it’s not quite that simple. Abele claims investors should benefit from any value increases as a group and are also able to actually use their shared assets, citing the race cars as an easy-to-grasp example.“We want all the assets traded to be insured and we want to work with Allianz [Insurance] on this,” … [Read more...] about Former Banker Wants Wealthy Individuals to Share Racing Cars Via New App
Before Porsche introduced the newest generation of 718 Boxsters, it built a 3.8-liter H6 powered variant of the last generation to send it away in style. Well, according to what Autocar spotted testing in the cold climes of the Arctic Circle, the next Boxster Spyder is just around the corner.According to Autocar, the Boxster Spyder will share most of its track-ready parts with the Cayman GT4 except for its powerplant -- the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated H6 from the Porsche 911 GT3 will apparently see use in the Boxster Spyder instead of the 3.8-liter H6 in the Cayman GT4. If that’s the case, the Boxster Spyder will go down as one of the coolest Porsche road cars ever.We expect the upcoming Spyder to come with either a six-speed manual with an optional PDK dual-clutch automatic available. True track rats should probably spring for the seven-speed PDK, but if you plan on just toying around and having fun, the six-speed is the only way to go. Autocar also speculates that … [Read more...] about Will the next Porsche Boxster Spyder get GT3 power?
More automakers are considering subscription models as they try to figure out the future of car ownership — and whether such plans will be profitable over time.Mercedes-Benz and BMW last week said they are preparing to launch vehicle subscription pilots this year in the U.S. The luxury rivals described the efforts as learning endeavors."I do believe these platforms have their benefits," Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche said of subscription plans and other nontraditional ownership experiments. It "remains to be seen if any one of them will have a really profitable business in the long run."Daimler's Mercedes unit will offer a pilot in an as-yet-unidentified U.S. market this year to help it figure out the potential, global sales chief Britta Seeger told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show."We need to learn," Seeger said. "In different markets, we want to try this out."BMW "most likely" will test a subscription model this year in a U.S. market, BMW of North America CEO Bernhard … [Read more...] about Will you subscribe to your next BMW or Mercedes?
To celebrate its 70th anniversary Lotus unveiled the new Evora GT410 Sport, a more subtle GT430. Available as a two seater or 2+2 the GT410 Sport arrives Stateside this summer, with prices coming closer to launch.Lotus’ latest takes the GT430’s basic shape and adds new composite front and rear body panels minus some of the 430’s higher downforce pieces for a more-subtle shape. The revised front panel has bigger carbon fiber air ducts, the idea being to more-efficiently move air around the front wheels, cutting turbulence and drag. Deeper front and rear splitters and carbon ducts behind the rear wheels add downforce. In total downforce increases 211 pounds. Carbon pieces also include the front access panel, roof panel and rear decklid.The automaker’s 3.5-liter V6 powers the car, producing 410 hp and 310 lb ft of torque, good enough for a 3.9-second zero-to-60 sprint with a manual and four seconds flat with the six-speed automatic. The new car weighs just 2,859 … [Read more...] about Happy 70th Lotus! Evora GT410 Sport celebrates platinum anniversary
One of our favorite cars, the Mercedes-AMG E63 wagon is back on the market, benefiting from all the new updates to the E-Class line.Let’s start with the good stuff: The handcrafted 4.0-liter biturbo V8 makes 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, making the E63 the quickest grocery-getter in the world with a sprint time of 3.4 seconds. That’s faster than a V8 Chevy Camaro, faster than a Mustang and faster than a Corvette. In fact, that time was reserved for cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo just a few years ago. It comes with Mercedes’ multiclutch nine-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive.That AWD system features fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles using an electromechanically controlled coupling that reacts based on conditions and input. Mercedes notes, comically, that it is still possible to drift this wagon using a special drift mode on the E63 S. It’s activated when the car is already in race mode and the ESP is deactivated. … [Read more...] about Here’s what your 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 wagon will cost
The next TVR Griffith was revealed a few months ago at the Goodwood Revival in September, which is fitting, but we haven't seen the 200-plus-mph car driven in anger -- until now.The above video starts with an overlay: "At a secret location, OK, it's Dunsfold," before we see the new TVR fly by at full tilt. It doesn't really sound like a Mustang, but we're guessing that's part of Cosworth's tuning method for the now-500-hp Ford V8.This is the first car built under new company owner Les Edgar, who made his bones in the video game industry. He purchased TVR from Russian Nikolai Smolensky four years ago.Like we told you in September, the Griffith is based on Gordon Murray's iSteam architecture and, with the engine set back behind the front axle, has a claimed 50:50 weight balance. It has a bonded steel frame with carbon-fiber panels leading to a curb weight of just 2,755 pounds. That makes it good for a sprint time of less than four seconds, according to TVR.“Today’s … [Read more...] about Watch the new TVR Griffith do a full-speed drive-by
BMW is reminding folks about its upcoming X7 SUV by showing some lightly camouflaged preproduction vehicles on an assembly line. Judging from what we can see from the images above, the X7 looks mostly like the concept X7 iPerformance the company debuted at the Frankfurt motor show earlier this year. The styling folks at BMW injected some steroids into the X7's kidney bean grille and apparently decided it looked good enough to go onto the production version. The panoramic sunroof, headlights and taillights also appear carried over from concept to preproduction. 2018 BMW M5 first drive: All-wheel drive, but not all the time Now in its sixth generation, the BMW M5 is new for 2018. It’s bigger, lighter and now includes all-wheel drive. Lighter is good, but the rest is disheartening for us car folk. Nostalgic ... BMW isn’t talking about the X7's powertrain, but it’s easy to guess it will have … [Read more...] about BMW X7: Here’s our best look yet at BMW’s upcoming full-size SUV
With the latest redesign of its entry-level car family coming to market in 2018, Mercedes-Benz finally has an A class suited for U.S. consumers, says the brand's global sales chief, Britta Seeger.Mercedes will offer the A class in a sedan body style for the first time. That is the variant slated to go on sale in the U.S. next fall as the brand's new entry-level vehicle."We truly believe that now with the body style we have the right answer for the market," Seeger told Automotive News. Here's why the U.S. is getting the Mercedes A-Class after 20 years The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been different things at different times during its relatively short lifespan -- the nameplate is 20 years old -- and for all 20 of those years Mercedes has declined to ... Likely customers for the A-class sedan in the U.S. will probably be younger in general, with many of them new to the brand, Seeger said."It's a very attractive car for younger people," she said. "But not … [Read more...] about Mercedes thinks its new A-Class sedan is finally ready for the US market