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IN THE NEWS: Bentley Announces 530-hp 811-lb.ft Mulsanne Speed

September 16, 2014

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(Crewe, 16th September 2014) Bentley redefines the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience in the world with a new pinnacle flagship. The new Mulsanne Speed is tailored for the driver, with 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW), 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) and selectable sports suspension and steering on demand.

The reengineered powertrain, featuring Bentley’s mighty 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8, propels the Mulsanne Speed to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds (0‑100 km/h in 4.9 seconds) and on to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). In modern Bentley tradition, the extra performance is matched by markedly improved efficiency; a 13% gain means a range extended by 50 miles (80 km).

New and contemporary styling features define the Mulsanne Speed as a statement in quintessential British luxury. On-board technology and connectivity are discreetly integrated beneath the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcrafted details.

Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, Wolfgang Dürheimer, comments:

“The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance. Our customers don’t compromise, and we’ve adopted the same approach in the design, engineering and crafting of our new flagship. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished, calm and relaxing, but always with a connection to the road and relentless dynamic performance on demand. In this car, every journey becomes a drive.”

The Mulsanne Speed will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday 2nd October, and will be available for customer delivery this winter.

Torque pushed to record levels

At the heart of the Mulsanne Speed is Bentley’s iconic 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which has been re-engineered for the Mulsanne Speed as well as the signature Mulsanne. A totally redesigned combustion system (including combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and compression ratio) promotes a much faster and more controlled combustion process. Through combining these advances with new variable valve timing and optimised turbocharger control, torque output of the engine has been pushed to record levels – 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) from 1,750 rpm.

The swell of torque from low engine speeds builds to a new peak power output of 537 PS, enough to drive the Mulsanne Speed to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) – an unrivalled figure in the ultra-luxury sector. The 0‑60 mph sprint is covered in 4.8 seconds, with 0‑100 km/h taking just 4.9 seconds.

The new engine is paired with a recalibrated gearbox designed to enhance the driving experience of the Mulsanne Speed. The gear strategy is optimised for the new, higher wave of torque, and is designed for instant torque delivery on throttle application. The connection between the car and driver has been the focus, and extensive validation with both keen drivers and professional chauffeurs has proven the new setup. A new “S” mode gives the driver even more control, and maintains the engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always ready to deliver instantaneous performance.

An extensive recalibration of the engine management system has yielded benefits beyond increased torque and power. The cylinder deactivation system, that runs the engine as a V4 during light load, has been retuned for smoother transitions between V8 and V4 for even greater refinement. This work combines with a new gearbox control strategy and the engine hardware improvements to give a new level of efficiency for the Mulsanne engine.

Meeting the new EU6 emissions legislation, and designed to also meet the upcoming US LEV III standards in the future, the new powertrain records 342 g/km of CO2 on the NEDC drive cycle – a 13% improvement on the current Mulsanne. The ensuing fuel economy improvements have extended the fuel range of the new Mulsanne Speed by 50 miles (80 km).

A Chassis System Tailored to the Driver

To deploy the effortless power and acceleration on offer in the Mulsanne Speed, an even more driver-focused Sport suspension mode is included. While the Bentley and Comfort suspension modes provide a comfort-focused and fully compliant chassis setup, the Sport mode stiffens the all-round air suspension for improved body control and adjusts the steering dynamics for greater feedback and accuracy. The driver can also choose to individually match steering, chassis and engine tunes according to personal preference through the Custom setting.

Through this new setup, the Mulsanne Speed builds on the abilities of the signature Mulsanne model, being able to switch from a communicative and enjoyable car to drive at pace, to a relaxing, comfortable and exceptionally refined limousine.

An assertive exterior

The Mulsanne Speed reflects its ground-breaking performance with new and more assertive styling features that are marks of distinction for Bentley’s pinnacle flagship.

A dark tint finish is applied to the exterior stainless steel matrix grilles, in a process unique in the automotive industry, with the radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents all featuring this exquisite treatment. The distinctive headlights of the Mulsanne show the same dark tint application, and at the rear of the car the taillights retain the “floating ellipse” design, but are similarly finished with a dark tint for a striking appearance, especially at night.

The Mulsanne Speed introduces Bentley’s first ever directional style wheel, with a design that is handed for the right or left side of the car. The 21″ wheels, available in painted, polished and dark tint with machined accent finishes, are individually machined from solid forged blanks, before being perfected by hand.

Twin rifled exhaust tailpipes are the finishing touch to the revised powertrain, while solid, polished stainless steel Speed badging adorns the front fender and door tread plate areas.

Four new exterior paint colours are introduced for the Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed. These are:

  • Spectre: Seemingly black at first glance, heavy gold metallic and a hint of green result in a rich tone inspired by reptilian skin.
  • Candy Red: A rich and deep liquid red.
  • Camel: Reminiscent of golden sands, Camel has a bright metallic highlight with a butterscotch mid-tone.
  • Marlin: A rich blue with a hint of green, inspired by the shade of deep ocean waters and with a metallic shimmer.

The “standard” paint range covers 25 shades, including Marlin, while the optional extended range features over 100 colours. A fully bespoke paint-matching service is available on request.

A Cabin of Contemporary Luxury

The cabin of the Mulsanne Speed is a contemporary reinterpretation of the exquisite interior of the Bentley flagship. To create a modern two-tone feel, a new and unique colour split is available, with new stitch lines, that balances diamond quilted light-colour hide with darker, smooth hide. A new technical veneer option is available, with Piano Black veneer panels now including expertly handcrafted carbon fibre inlays. These new, contemporary panels have been especially developed for the Mulsanne Speed and match the rich, lustrous finish of the Piano Black veneer.

The Mulliner Driving Specification interior features are fitted as standard to the Mulsanne Speed, and includes:

  • Diamond quilted hide door panels and seats
  • Indented hide headlining
  • Embroidered Bentley emblems to all seats
  • A coined finish to interior door handles
  • Knurling to the sports gear lever and “organ stop” ventilation controls
  • Drilled alloy sports foot pedals

Customers choose from 24 different hide colours, in six different colour splits, and ten different veneers (seven as cost options) when specifying their Mulsanne Speed. Included in these ranges is a new hide colour, Camel (to match the new exterior paint of the same name) and a new veneer to the Mulsanne family, Tamo Ash.

Concealed Technology and Endless Customisation

Concealed beneath the exquisite materials that define the Mulsanne Speed cabin is a suite of technology to make any journey as productive or relaxing as one desires. A 60 GB on-board hard drive can store the driver’s collection of music and films. Electrically-operated tables, with recesses and connections for iPads and matching keyboards, can be fitted to the rear of the front seats, while on-board Wi-Fi through a dedicated router keeps the car connected to the outside world. A frosted glass bottle cooler, complete with bespoke crystal champagne flutes, may be installed behind the rear armrest. A 2,200 watt Naim for Bentley premium audio system expands on the standard 14-speaker system and offers the best in-car sound experience in the world. Entertainment on-the-move can be provided through the Rear Seat Entertainment system, including two 8” screens and Bluetooth headphones.

Signature Mulsanne updated for 2015

The signature Mulsanne ultra-luxury sedan has been updated for 2015, to complement the launch of the performance-focused Mulsanne Speed. The Mulsanne receives the same efficiency upgrade through new engine hardware, with its 512 PS (505 bhp), 1,020 Nm (752 lb.ft) 6¾-litre twin‑turbo V8 engine also now 13% more efficient. Changes have also been made to the gearbox calibration of the Mulsanne, focussing on smoother, relaxed gear changes that promote a comfortable and refined driving experience. New paint colours, hide and veneers options are also available across the Mulsanne family.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed
Engine
Type 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V8
Max Power 537 PS / 530 bhp / 395 kW @ 4,200 rpm
Max Torque 1,100 Nm / 811 lb.ft @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission
Type ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift, Block Shifting and wheel-mounted paddleshift
Driveline Rear wheel drive
Ratios 1st: 4.71; 2nd: 3.14; 3rd: 2.10; 4th:1.67; 5th: 1.29;
6th: 1.00; 7th: 0.84; 8th: 0.67
Final Drive 2.92
Brakes
Front 400 mm ventilated iron
Rear 370 mm ventilated iron
Wheels and Tyres
Wheels 9J x 21″
Tyres 265/40 ZR21
Steering
Type Hydraulic rack and pinion with speed-dependant variable assistance
Turns lock-to-lock 3.3 turns
Turning circle 12.9 m / 42.3 feet
Suspension
Front Double wishbone, anti-roll bar
Rear Multilink rear suspension with toe and brake reaction control
Damping Self-levelling air suspension with Continuous Damping Control, automatic ride height control and four driver-selectable modes
Dimensions
Wheelbase 3,266 mm / 128.6″
Overall length 5,575 mm / 219.5″
Width (across body) 1,926 mm / 75.8″ (width with mirrors folded)
Width (inc. mirrors) 2,208 mm / 86.9″
Overall height 1,521 mm / 59.9″
Fuel tank 96 litres / 21.1 gallons / 25.4 US gallons
Boot volume 443 litres / 15.64 cu. ft
Kerb weight (EU) 2,685 kg / 5,919 lb
Gross vehicle weight 3,200 kg / 7,055 lb
Performance
Top speed 190 mph / 305 km/h
0-60 mph 4.8 secs
0-100 km/h 4.9 secs
0-100 mph 11.1 secs
0-160 km/h 11 secs
Fuel Consumption (EU cycle)*
Urban 12.4 mpg (22.8 litres/100 km)
Extra Urban 28.4 mpg (9.9 litres/100 km)
Combined 19.3 mpg (14.6 litres/100 km)
CO2 emissions 342 g/km
Fuel Consumption (EPA cycle)**
City (US mpg) 12
Highway (US mpg) 19
Combined (US mpg) 14
Emissions Controls EU6 / LEV 11

* Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval.
** Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to EPA certification.

ON THE FLATS: Valerie Thompson Pilots BMW S 1000 RR to New Land Speed Record

September 15, 2014

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Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 15, 2014…Motorcycle racer and team owner, Valerie Thompson, set her 7th land speed record on her CTEK sponsored BMW S 1000 RR during the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s 28th Annual World of Speed event September 6-9 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover Utah.

Thompson spent a month in Utah to compete in the three most prestigious land speed racing events held at the famed Salt Flats, including Speed Week, the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials and World of Speed. Speed Week was canceled due to heavy rains. Weather and track conditions during the Motorcycle Speed Trials prevented Thompson from setting a new record despite making a strong 203.77 mph pass.

Thompson’s patience paid off during the World of Speed event where her BMW S 1000 RR was fast right out of the trailer. Six out of eight of Thompson’s passes were over 200 mph. On her last run of the event, Thompson enjoyed her best speed on the salt with a first pass at 209.85 mph and a return run of 207.71 mph, setting a new MPS-G 1000 record at 208.81 mph. The new record earned Thompson lifetime membership in the prestigious Red Hat Club, recognizing her 200+ mph performance.

“I’ve wanted the 200 MPH Club Red Hat since I started racing on the salt, so it’s an awesome achievement for me. I can’t thank my team enough for their outstanding fight to the end. Ray Garcia did an incredible job of making all the right calls on the bike’s set up. Now I can focus on setting more records and going faster with the Red Hat,” added an ecstatic Thompson.

According to USFRA secretary, Ellen Wilkinson, more than 150 teams pre-registered for the event, which was cancelled last year due to rain. “This was my first time racing at an USFRA sanctioned event and I was very impressed. Everything went smooth and we got a lot of runs in. I can’t wait to come back next year,” said Thompson.

Valerie Thompson Background

Valerie is a seven-time land speed record holder and owner/driver of the Valerie Thompson Land Speed Racing Motorcycle Team.  She set a personal best top speed of 212 mph on her CTEK sponsored BMW S 1000 RR during the March 2013 Texas Mile competition. Thompson is an official member of the BUB Speed Trials 201 MPH Club, Mojave Magnum 200 MPH Club, Texas Mile 200 MPH Club, ECTA 200 MPH Club and a lifetime member of the prestigious Bonneville 200 MPH Club.

INSIDE SCOOP: Internally Mounted Turbos Highlight New Mercedes-AMG GT

September 9, 2014

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Affalterbach. The first Mercedes was a racing car and its most recent successor carries this heritage forward. With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new sports car segment. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Its front mid-engine design with a rear transaxle and use of intelligent aluminum lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. Its newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine underscores the hallmark of AMG driving performance. The first sports car engine from AMG with internally mounted turbochargers (‘hot inside V’) and dry sump lubrication is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 456 hp (340 kW) and as a GT S with 503 hp (375 kW). The new GT combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality and efficiency that sets new standards in the segment.

It has everything you would expect from an authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car – from the characteristic styling, thoroughbred motorsport technology to the optimum weight distribution. The drive system tailored to consistently delivering driving dynamics perfectly complements this set-up. The centerpiece of the Mercedes-AMG GT is thethe new 4.0-liter V8 biturbo, which responds instantly with extreme power at low revs and delivers outstanding performance. Top figures such as 3.7 seconds from 0-60 mph (preliminary) and a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h), combined with the outstanding driving dynamics will undoubtedly translate into extremely fast laps on the racetrack.

At the same time, this two-seater is a comfortable and reliable companion for everyday motoring thanks to its practical decklid, easily accessible luggage compartment, and high level of comfort on long journeys. It also features an extensive list of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems which ensure the high level of safety expected from Mercedes-AMG.

“With the new GT we are positioning Mercedes-AMG even more aggressively than to date as a dynamic sports car brand”, says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “With its technological substance, the Mercedes-AMG GT fulfils our high aspirations with regard to driving dynamics, agility and sportiness. The new GT is the second sports car developed fully independently by Mercedes-AMG. The car is manufactured according to the motto ‘Handcrafted By Racers’ – which perfectly encapsulates our heritage and our spirit.”

The models at a glance:

Mercedes-AMG GT S Mercedes-AMG GT
Displacement 3982 cc 3982 cc
Output 503 hp (375 kW) at 6250 rpm (6000-6500 rpm*) 456 hp (340 kW) at 6000 rpm
Max. torque 479 lb. ft. (650 Nm) at 1750-4750 rpm (1750-5000 rpm*) 443 lb.ft (600 Nm) at 1600-5000 rpm
Acceleration 0-60mph 3.7 s (preliminary) 3.9 s (preliminary)
Top speed 193 mph (310 km/h)*** 189mph (304 km/h)***

* In conjunction with AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package; *** Electronically limited.

The combination of aluminum spaceframe, V8 biturbo engine with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle, locking differential, sports suspension with aluminum doublewishbone suspension and a low curb weight delivers racetrack performance. The front mid-engine design and rear transaxle configuration makes for a beneficial weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent between the front and rear axle. In conjunction with the vehicle’s low center of gravity this translates into extremely agile handling and permits high cornering speeds. With a favorable power-to-weight ratio, the Mercedes-AMG GT self-confidently lines up alongside the very best in its segment.

Exterior design: sporty emotion and sensual purity

“The new Mercedes-AMG GT is a sports car in its purist form”, says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. “Breathtaking proportions, powerfully sculpted surfaces and flowing lines turn the new AMG into a contemporary sports car which embodies the spirit of the glorious Mercedes sports cars. The GT is a consummate combination of beauty and intelligence.”

The new Mercedes-AMG GT embodies pure sportiness and emotion. The two-seater is characterized by hallmark rear-wheel-drive proportions. The V8 biturbo front mid-engine ensures optimum weight distribution, which forms the basis for superb driving dynamics. The long hood with its pronounced powerdomes, the greenhouse which has been moved far back, the large wheels and broad tail end make up the distinctive looks. Additionally, the large deck lid conceals a practical luggage compartment.

Muscular and dramatic

Gracefully arched surfaces give the Mercedes-AMG GT its sensuous character and the appearance of artist’s sculpture. Viewed from the side, the domeshaped, arched roof line and the frameless doors are eye-catching features. A muscular element sculpted out of the side wall creates a sense of lightness and movement, even when the vehicle is at a standstill. The surfaces and lines of the side wall flow into the rear-end with a dramatic tapered effect. The GT deliberately avoids lines in the shoulder region in favor of one lower down extending into in the rear bumper, which stretches the body and makes it appear lighter. The side air outlets, each with two fins, represent a modern touch on a classic feature of Mercedes-Benz sports cars.

The creative interaction of diverse design elements lends the coupe a superior, Page 4 self-confident front: the three-dimensional diamond radiator grille with central Mercedes star, a broad single lamella and tastefully accented by the AMG logo stands in the center of the front end. LED High Performance headlamps with stylized “eyebrows” as daytime running lamps, side lights and indicators, as well as three separate high-beam reflectors lend the GT its characteristic look.

Large air intakes in the front apron optimize the flow of air to the cooling modules, while the the charictaristic A-wing design with a front splitter makes the sports car appear low-slung and wide. Finshed in high-gloss black on the GT S, the front splitter accentuates the aggressive look. Customers can also customize the exterior and options available include the Exterior Silver Chrome package, the Night package and the Exterior Carbon-Fiber package.

Broad shoulders for an emotional appearance

With its wide stance, broad shoulders, and narrow tail light design, the rear area creates an emotional appearance at any angle. The licence plate bracket is located in the lower part of the bumper, allowing the Mercedes star to be placed prominently on the smooth-surfaced rear deck lid. The rear features an electroncally retractable rear spoiler, which is concealed from view while the car is at a standstill. The black diffuser insert with integrated tailpipes is accented by a trim strip in matte iridium silver inspired by the A-wing design of the front, creates a visual sense of lightness across the entire rear end.

The tail lights underline both the sporty styling of the rear, as well as the attention to detail and sophistication – form and function combine in a unique way to create a perfect unit.

Interior: sensuality, emotion and perfection

The interior design also embodies maximum emotion and sensual purity. Radically low, sporty proportions create a unique sense of spaciousness. Clearly drawn components and their authentic materials underscore the dynamic character and create instant excitement: Anyone opening the door discovers an exciting interplay between the deep, sloping dashboard and a dominant, arched high center console; a design which evokes emotions and impresses with its perfection.

The central “aviation design” theme, which is the hallmark of Mercedes-Benz sports cars, has been restyled. The extreme emphasis on the width of the dashboard, which creates an impression of a powerful wing dominates the cockpit of the GT. Four central spotlight-style vents and the individual vents at each end of the dashboard reinforce this impression. The combination of high beltlines, concave-shaped door paneling, low seating position and a dramatic center console design, makes the GT feel like you are slipping into the cockpit of fighter jet.

The dominant center console with features lifted straight from motor racing by virtue of its styling that is reminiscent of a NACA air intake. Its surfaces are available with numerous trim options providing the customer ultimate stylistic choice of silver chrome, matte carbon fiber, high-gloss carbon fiber, black diamond and matte silver fiberglass. Positioned centrally, the free-standing display is easly and quickly seen while driving for minmimal distraction while providing modern stylistic flair. Attention to detail is also echoed in the AMG DRIVE UNIT controls: they are arranged like eight cylinders in a V layout, emphasising the powerful and high-tech impression made by the center console.

Outstanding precision and a superior quality feel thanks to the finest materials with superb workmanship are also apparent on the sports seats, the performance steering wheel and the instrument cluster. The most important control for sports car fans is located in the AMG DRIVE UNIT on the left-hand side: the button for starting the engine, which is aptly labelled “Engine Start Stop” and illuminates in red.

The newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine

The new high-performance engine springs to life at the push of a button. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine was developed specifically for the GT. The innovative eight-cylinder engine boasts outstanding power delivery, performance figures on a par with motor racing, lightweight construction as well as high efficiency and environmental compatibility. It boasts the brand’s hallmark emotive V8 engine sound, along with an immediate response and high pulling power.

The new AMG V8 engine (internal designation M178) stands out with its precise power output, which is easily a match for a naturally aspirated engine. The linear power delivery makes it easy to handle the vehicle even at its limits.

As part of this process, the sophisticated ECU even factors in the current Page 6 driving condition and adjusts the accelerator response depending on the lateral forces generated.

With a displacement of 3982 cc, the V8 uses a range of technologies which are already being used in the 2.0-liter turbo engine in the CLA45 AMG — presently the most powerful, series-production four-cylinder engine in the world. Both engines have the same bore/stroke ratio, providing the basis for high revving ability. The piezo direct petrol injection used at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process was further developed in the third generation to meet all future legal requirements.

First sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication

The new AMG V8 engine has two turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – experts call it a “hot inside V”. The benefits are a compact engine design, an optimum response from the turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions thanks to optimum air flow for the close-coupled catalytic converters. The dry sump lubrication also ensures the oil supply even with high lateral forces and allows the engine to be installed lower, thus moving the center of gravity closer to the road and forming the basis for high lateral acceleration. The new Mercedes- AMG V8 biturbo engine is the world’s first sports car engine with ‘hot inside V’ and dry sump lubrication.

Performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust vanes

The Mercedes-AMG GT S is equipped as standard with an AMG performance exhaust system with fully variable exhaust vanes. This allows the driver to vary the engine sound depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT mode. The driver may experience the V8 with a focus on comfort and relaxed, longdistance journeys or with a more powerful, emotive, motorsport-inspired touch. The AMG DRIVE UNIT includes a separate button to control the exhaust vanes directly. The exhaust note of the Mercedes-AMG GT has its own tonal characteristics which denote the car’s membership of the AMG family but that also distinguish it clearly from other high-performance cars.

A tradition of hand-built excellence: “one man, one engine”

The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is being made in Affalterbach according to the “one man, one engine” principle. In the AMG engine shop, highly qualified master engine builders assemble the engines by hand according to the strictest quality standards. Once completed, this impeccable standard is clearly visible on the AMG engine plate, as it bears the engine builder’s actual signature. “One man, one engine” ties in with Mercedes-AMG’s unique motorsport genes, which exude innovative strength by virtue of the technology transfer from the racing series – from Formula 1, the DTM to the involvement in customer racing with the SLS AMG GT3.

Seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a rear transaxle configuration

When it comes to the power transmission of the new GT the Mercedes-AMG engineers rely on a combination of front mid-engine and seven-speed dual clutch transmission in transaxle configuration at the rear axle – this layout has already successfully established itself in the SLS AMG. The weight distribution with its ratio of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear) is achieved in part from this configuration. The efficiency, speed and precision of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission were further optimized for the new sports car. Thanks to the larger gear ratio spread, the pronounced torque plateau of the new V8 turbo engine can be used optimally. The drivetrain’s overall design is ideal for an uncompromising sports car. At the same time, the exacting requirements in terms of everyday practicality, noise level, ride comfort and fuel consumption have been met.

To transfer the driver’s shift commands from the steering wheel mounted paddles even more directly; communication between the engine and transmission has been fundamentally revised. This means that the previous limits of shift performance have been increased while the response time has been substantially decreased. The driver can individually tailor the GT to their wishes with the aid of AMG DYNAMIC SELECT. Various modes are available: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport Plus) and – entirely new – “I” (Individual). The manual “RACE” drive program reserved exclusively for the GT S optimally adjusts the shift strategy of the dual clutch transmission to the needs of racetrack usage – including fastest shift speeds and highly emotive engine performance. By pressing the “M” button, the driver can activate the manual transmission mode in any drive mode.

Electronic rear-axle locking differential as standard in the GT S

The GT comes as standard with a mechanical rear-axle locking differential which ensures outstanding traction and superb driving safety in all driving conditions. The GT S is fitted as standard with an electronically controlled rearaxle locking differential, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing. The electronic function provides even more sensitive, faster control than the mechanical solution, thus pushing the limits of handling dynamics even further. Not only does it further improve the traction of the driven wheels, but also increases the cornering speeds at the limits. The system operates with a variable locking effect in acceleration and overrun mode, and is perfectly tuned to the various driving conditions and road surface friction coefficients.

Double-wishbone suspension derived from motorsport

Driving dynamics and comfort on long journeys with racetrack performance and everyday practicality; the new Mercedes-AMG GT delivers on all counts. A great deal of attention was paid to the seamless integration of all mechanical and electronic systems during the design, development and testing. Whether it is the suspension, 3-stage ESP®, locking differential, steering, aerodynamics, tires or brakes – with precision engineering the exhilarating sports car driving experience is characterized by superb precision and clear feedback.

The AMG GT offers the perfect combination of design and engineering to produce amazing peforomance on the road as it uses the technological DNA of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, one of the most successful sports cars in recent years. Thanks to the optimum weight distribution of 47 percent (front) to 53 percent (rear), the vehicle’s low center of gravity and the selected suspension layout, the driver benefits from precise steering response, formidable agility, low inertia when changing direction, and outstanding traction. Double-wishbone suspension is used at the front and rear – a technology adopted straight from motorsport.

Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers on the front and rear axle are manufactured entirely out of forged aluminum in order to reduce the unsprung masses. The double-wishbone concept locates the wheel clearly with minimal elastic movements. The high camber and track rigidity not only results in high cornering speeds, but also provides the driver with an optimum road feel when cornering at the limit. An extremely direct connection of the shock absorber on the rear hub carrier reduces vibrations and undesirable wheel load fluctuations. Highly neutral behaviour and defined, predictable the dynamic handling experts at Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes-AMG GT S with electronically controlled damping

The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping comes as standard on the Mercedes-AMG GT S. The driver can adjust the damping characteristics at the push of a button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT or by using the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive modes. Three stages are available: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”.

The speed-sensitive sports steering features a variable steering ratio: it enhances vehicle handling and agility at low speeds while maintaining driving safety at high speeds. The power assistance is a particular highlight: it not only responds depending on road speed, but also on the current lateral acceleration and the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive mode. As a result, the driver has a perfect feel for the vehicle thanks to the direct feedback from the road. The standard-fit 3-stage ESP® with the “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” functions works in perfect unison with the locking differential and is tuned optimally to the outstanding driving dynamics and safety.

AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package available as an option for the GT S

The Mercedes-AMG GT comes as standard with drivetrain damping. A specially tuned damper reduces undesirable rolling motion of the entire drivetrain including the transaxle transmission, thus substantially improving comfort and agility.

The AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package augments performance and agility even more. It is available exclusively for the GT S and includes dynamic engine and transmission mounts. The engine and transmission mounts assume an important function in the case of a transaxle design: soft mounts improve comfort since they provide more effective decoupling of noise and vibration. Handling and agility benefit, however, from an overall stiffer mount set-up.

Mercedes-AMG resolves these conflicting objectives using dynamic mounts, which adjust their stiffness continuously, and instantly to the respective driving conditions and handling. The special control electronics in the AMG CHASSIS CONTROLLER, (ACC), provide this function. The ACC detects driving situations on the basis of CAN data, is connected to the electronic rear-axle locking differential and thus ensures optimum, balanced driving dynamics. AMG has gone a step further when implementing this technology: the engine and transmission mounts are even actuated independently of each other. The advantage: this innovative solution provides an additional substantial improvement in driving precision and lateral dynamics.

Jochen Hermann, Head of Overall Vehicle Engineering AMG: “The combination of selectively variable mounts and a transaxle drivetrain is unique. Mercedes-AMG is once again promoting leading-edge technology, thus affirming our aspirations in terms of driving performance.”

A specific engine application in the DYNAMIC SELECT “RACE” drive mode and in the manual “M” transmission mode makes the GT S even more dynamic. The package also includes tauter suspension tuning thanks to raised spring and damping characteristics, more negative camber at the front axle as well as an adapted sports speed-sensitive steering. Thus the driver benefits from better performance with optimized handling. The performance steering wheel as well as yellow highlights in the instrument cluster round off the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package.

Optional ceramic high-performance compound construction brake system

Excellent deceleration characteristics and high resistance to fade come courtesy of the high-performance compound brake system – on the GT with internally ventilated, perforated 14.2” (360mm) brake discs all-round; on the GT S with discs measuring 15.4” (390mm) in diameter at the front, to cope with the higher performance, as well as red brake callipers. A ceramic highperformance compound brake system is available for both models as an option. Its advantages: lower weight, longer service life and even better fade resistance thanks to the ceramic brake discs with a diameter of 15.8” (402mm) at the front and 14.2” (360mm) at the rear.

Forged wheels and sports tires as an option

As standard, the GT is shod in 10-spoke light-alloy wheels, 9 x 19 inch (front) and 11 x 19 inch (rear), with 255/35 R 19 and 295/35 R 19 tires. On the GT S the dimensions are 9 x 19 inch (front) with 265/35 R 19 tires and 11 x 20 inch (rear) with 295/30 R 20 tires. A host of different design and color variants are available as options for both models, such as the ultralight forged wheels in cross-spoke design, painted matte black, with high-sheen rim edge and fully integrated wheel bolt covers.

In combination with the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, specially developed sports tires (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) are available for the GT S as an option – ideal for aspiring racing drivers on closed-off circuits.

Aluminum spaceframe with intelligent material mix

Mercedes-AMG has gone for an intelligent material mix on the body of the GT. Chassis including greenhouse and body are made out of aluminum alloy, the trunk lid out of steel and the radiator core support is made from magnesium. This extremely light element at the front reduces the inertia ahead of the front axle, thus improving the vehicle’s agility. Over 90 percent of the weight-optimized spaceframe is made out of aluminum components.

The bodyshell weighs 509 lbs. – a benchmark figure in the sports car segment. There were three key objectives during the design and development of the bodyshell structure: optimum strength, low center of gravity and low weight. The high resistance to flex and torsional strength of the entire design enables extreme linear and transverse forces from the drivetrain and suspension to be absorbed and transferred. Unwanted flexibility is thus reduced, with the vehicle responding rigidly and directly. As a result, the driver experiences a sports car with maximum driving dynamics that responds with excellent precision. The aluminum spaceframe also provides the basis for outstanding passive safety.

The Mercedes-AMG GT is produced at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. The 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine is manufactured at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.

Aerodynamics for high balance and effective cooling

Vehicle proportions, weight distribution, drive configuration, handling stability, drag, cooling and wind noise: the aerodynamics of the GT fulfill complex requirements. The high-performance vehicle has been developed aerodynamically with one clear objective in mind: high forces must be transferred onto the road without limiting driving dynamics and performance. Thanks to the aerodynamic configuration, critical driving situations can be avoided – such as with a sudden evasive maneuver at high speed.

The design of the front apron with A-wing and front splitter not only increased Page 12 downforce to a desired level, but also helps route air directly to and from the cooling modules. The flow of cooling air from the aerodynamically shaped brake cooling ducts also specifically improves brake performance.

The design of the extensively encapsulated underfloor guarantees optimum airflow out of the oil cooler in the underfloor area and provides effective airflow for the rear diffuser. As an active component of the aerodynamics, the Mercedes-AMG GT comes with an electronically controlled rear spoiler that is integrated into the design silhouette. Depending on the drive mode, the spoiler extends and retracts at various speeds. In combination with the rear diffuser with no leading edges, the downforce on the rear is maintained in the aerodynamically relevant speed range.

Active and passive safety of the very highest caliber

The brand with the star boasts the hallmark active and passive safety of the very highest caliber. The Mercedes-AMG GT adopts numerous assistance systems that are familiar from the new S-Class. Standard equipment includes COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS, ADAPTIVE BRAKE, ATTENTION ASSIST, PARKTRONIC, Rearview Camera, PRE-SAFE® system and the tire pressure monitoring system. Optional extras available include:

  • Lane Tracking package including Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist

The standard-fit restraint systems not only include three-point seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, but also front airbags, combined thorax/pelvis sidebags, windowbags and kneebags, for the driver and front passenger respectively.

Interior with outstanding quality and superb everyday practicality

Upon opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG start-up screen as an animated GT appears on the TFT display in the instrument cluster. The sportily designed instrument cluster in carbon fiber pattern provides information with two classic circular instruments with a in a 2-tube look and a 220 mph speedometer scale. The performance steering wheel with its three-spoke design sits perfectly in the hand: it comes with aluminum shift paddles, 12 o’clock marking and a steering wheel rim in black nappa leather with flattened bottom section. The sports seats featuring the AMG logo come in Nappa leather as standard with integral head restraints and provide optimized lateral support when driving dynamically.

The DYNAMIC SELECT Controller, the buttons for the engine start, the 3-stage ESP® and, depending on the equipment, the electronic damper control are located on the left in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The volume control as well as the buttons for the manual transmission drive mode, the ECO start/stop function and, likewise depending on the equipment, the selectable exhaust system are fitted on the right-hand side. The innovative touchpad in the handrest above the COMAND Controller is integrated in front of the E-SELECT selector lever to operate the dual clutch transmission. A free-standing central display is located centrally above the four ventilation outlets. The vehicle comes standard with an 8.4-inch screen with COMAND. Seat heating, PARKTRONIC, hazard warning lights and the optional extendable rear spoiler can all be operated via buttons in the top control panel in the roof frame.

The GT S comes with even more sophisticated equipment and appointments, including:

  • Instrument cluster with 220mph speedometer scale and red color highlights
  • Performance steering wheel, black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber
  • AMG Affalterbach Crest embossed in the center armrest)
  • Nappa leather

Trim in matte silver fiberglass or in black diamond

As an alternative to the standard-fit Interior Silver Chrome package, the customer can choose from various other packages. Carbon-fiber trim elements are available in a choice of matte and high-gloss finish. Highlights include the trim in matte silver fiberglass and the Interior Black Diamond package, all offered for the first time. Here the ventilation outlets, the frame of the center console and the trim strips in the door armrests come in a sophisticated highgloss black finish, with its striking 3D look. The “black diamond” method uses the chemical CVD (chemical vapor deposition) gas phase process to deposit a precious metal on a high-sheen chrome surface at temperatures of 1000°C. The metal reacts with the surface to form a layer that is highly scratch-resistant and has a high adhesive strength.

The superb everyday practicality of the Mercedes-AMG GT is also expressed in the airy feeling of spaciousness. In addition, the good all-round visibility and the high headroom demonstrate that sporty dynamics and comfort on long journeys are not mutually exclusive – not necessarily a given in this segment. A large stowage compartment in the center armrest, a centrally positioned twin cup holder and a large, easily accessible glove compartment are further evidence of the outstanding everyday suitability of the GT. The luggage compartment capacity of 12.4 cu. ft. will hold two golf bags either lengthwises or crosswises. The large decklid makes loading easy and a retractable luggage cover comes as standard. The cross strut made out of aluminum behind the seats prevents luggage from sliding forward as the vehicle brakes and is available in various trims (such as carbon fiber) to match the trim on rest of the interior.

The US will launch first with the 2016 AMG GT S in the spring of 2015. The AMG GT will launch in the following year.

Further information about Mercedes-Benz is available online:  www.mercedes-benz.com

IN THE NEWS: World Premier of Jaguar XE

September 8, 2014

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(MAHWAH, N.J.) – September 8, 2014 - The Jaguar XE has been revealed to the world at an event held at Earl’s Court, London. A true driver’s car, the Jaguar XE redefines the concept of the sports sedan thanks to its advanced lightweight construction, streamlined styling, luxurious interior, and outstanding ride and handling. The XE goes on sale in 2015 in Global Markets and in 2016 in North America. The high-performance S model will be at the top of the global line-up at launch in 2015.

The Jaguar XE S provides responsiveness and refinement from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6. Generating 340hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, this engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift controls. Accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, the XE S has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph1.

The aluminum-intensive Jaguar XE is the first model developed from the new JLR modular vehicle architecture. The long wheelbase and low seating position enable perfect proportions and a streamlined, coupe-like profile. The S model’s large front air intakes, chrome side vents, discreet rear spoiler and optional 20-inch forged alloy wheels reinforce its’ performance potential.

The cabin offers outstanding levels of comfort and spaciousness. Exquisite materials and finishes, combined with traditional Jaguar craftsmanship make this an interior without compare.

The Jaguar XE will be the first Jaguar to be equipped with electric power steering. This system is tuned to provide responsiveness and excellent feel, and offers improved efficiency over hydraulic systems.

The aluminum-intensive Jaguar XE is manufactured at an all-new facility at the Jaguar Land Rover Solihull plant. Part of a £1.5bn GBP investment, this highly flexible, manufacturing site will create 1,700 jobs. The XE completes the Jaguar sedan range sitting below the XF and XJ models.

Compelling design
The Jaguar XE was developed in parallel with the new modular architecture. The architecture unlocks design possibilities that did not exist before because the core dimensions were determined by design and engineering working together from the very beginning, under a philosophy of ‘anything we can imagine, we can create.

This makes it possible to realize perfect proportions: short front and rear overhangs and dynamic, cab-rearward stance. The architecture also enables the XE to feature both a low, sporty driving position and a sleek, coupe-like profile.

The strongly-sculpted hood creates a taut, muscular appearance. The rising waistline adds to the sense of movement, while the form of the rear quarters takes inspiration from the F-TYPE Coupe. The signature J-Blade daytime running lights are a recognizable Jaguar design element. In the rear lights, a horizontal line intersecting a circle is a powerful styling feature inherited from the iconic E-Type.

Jaguar has a rich history of producing stunning, aerodynamically-efficient cars. The new Jaguar XE continues the tradition of uncompromised form and function: its streamlined shape has a low drag coefficient of 0.26. This achievement is the result of 1,200 computational fluid dynamics simulations and million hours of processor time.

“Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-TYPE and will stand apart in the crowd.”
 Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design

The spacious cabin cocoons front seat passengers with a deep center console which creates a cockpit-like feel. The F-TYPE-style instrument panel dials and the cluster needle sweep on start-up further emphasize the sports sedan attributes of the Jaguar XE.

Front and rear seat occupants enjoy generous amounts of head and legroom – the XE proves that sleek, streamlined styling and interior space need not be mutually exclusive; fine-grain leathers and details such as contrasting twin-needle stitching give the cabin a bespoke quality. The choice of gloss black, textured aluminum, and contemporary wood veneers enhance the luxurious, hand-crafted feel. Available ambient lighting in a range of up to 10 colors adds to the sense of occasion.

Aluminum-intensive unibody
Jaguar is highly experienced in the use of aluminum construction. The expertise in working with this lightweight material has culminated in the revolutionary body structure of the new Jaguar XE. It is the first model designed around this all-new modular architecture.

Much of the aluminum is high-strength, 6000-series alloy. The body sides are a perfect example: these complex pressings are formed in one piece, and what would once have been 1.5mm gauge sheet has been reduced to just 1.1mm.

Sustainability is a big part of the Jaguar aluminum story. Recycling this highly valuable material delivers impressive savings in overall CO2 emissions and the new XE uses RC 5754 – an aluminum alloy made predominantly from recycled material. Future models will also use RC 5754 and this breakthrough will help Jaguar towards its goal of using 75 percent recycled material by 2020. The use of recycled aluminum reduces demand for primary aluminum, saving energy.

Riveting and bonding the lightweight body structure of the Jaguar XE consumes less energy than traditional spot welding. The XE also contains 101lbs. of recycled plastics and renewable materials, further reducing its environmental impact.

“The XE is as strong and light as it could possibly be thanks to exhaustive analysis and by bringing the latest engineering techniques to bear on its design. It has been challenging to accomplish but the XE structure is absolutely at the cutting edge of what is achievable today.”
– Dr. Mark White, Chief Technical Specialist, Jaguar; Body Complete

Chassis
The new Jaguar XE features a sophisticated double wishbone front suspension. The aluminum front spindles are light and stiff – forged from cast blanks using a patented production process while the rear suspension features an integral link system. This system delivers lateral and longitudinal stiffness for precise handling and a supple ride. Aluminum has been used extensively in the suspension, minimizing weight.

Offering incredible tuning possibilities and greater efficiency than traditional hydraulic systems, electric power steering (EPAS) will be standard on the XE.

Powertrain
For customers demanding ultimate performance and an exhilarating engine note from idle right up to the redline there’s the Jaguar XE S, which shares its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with the acclaimed F-TYPE.

Direct injection and fully variable valve timing optimize power and torque throughout the rev range. The 90 degree cylinder bank angle provides space for the twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger, a balancer shaft ensures the engine runs smoothly.

Developing 340hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, the V6 provides the Jaguar XE S with exceptional performance: 0-60 mph takes just 4.9 seconds, and top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph1.

The Jaguar XE will also receive the new family of Ingenium engines. This advanced in-house modular design began from a clean sheet and will be manufactured at the new JLR Engine Manufacturing Center near Wolverhampton in the UK.

Proven over 2 million miles of real-world testing, Ingenium is the future of the low-CO2 powertrain strategy at Jaguar and is engineered to deliver fuel efficiency, refinement and performance.

The Jaguar XE will be offered with a lighter version of the ZF 8-speed automatic used in the rest of the Jaguar range: this benchmark eight-speed transmission is controlled using the Jaguar rotary shifter and steering wheel shift paddles.

Active Safety and Driver Assistance features
The new light and stiff body structure of the Jaguar XE has been engineered to meet demanding legislative and consumer crash test requirements. Complementing the outstanding levels of protection it offers is a suite of advanced driver assistance systems designed to help and support the driver.

The Jaguar XE will be equipped with All Surface Progress Control (ASPC)2. This all-new system, developed with the input of decades of Jaguar Land Rover experience in off-road traction systems, works like a low-speed cruise control. Functioning between 2 mph and 19 mph, ASPC is designed to precisely control the brake system and powertrain to deliver optimum traction in slippery conditions.
Projecting high-contrast color images onto the windshield, the optional laser heads-up display (HUD) technology provides the driver with information such as speed and navigation instructions.

Jaguar is one of the first manufacturers in the segment to use stereo camera technology. When fitted, this sensor is the ‘eyes’ of the optional autonomous emergency braking system for the Jaguar XE, providing measurements of speed and distance of objects ahead, and can initiate full braking to avoid or mitigate a collision. The stereo camera also performs traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning functions as part of the autonomous emergency braking system package2.

The XE also offers systems such as adaptive cruise control, closing vehicle sensing, blind spot monitoring, semi-automated parallel and perpendicular parking, and reverse traffic detection2.

All-new infotainment system
The all-new Jaguar InControl® infotainment system offered on the XE provides the latest technologies to connect the car, driver and the outside world. At its heart is an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen featuring a clear, intuitive interface and fast response times3.

InControl Touch® supports Bluetooth®, audio streaming and USB connectivity. The Jaguar XE can also be fitted with an SD card-based navigation system which allows easy upgrades of map data, and voice control using plain speech gives access to any level of the system, without navigating through menus, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road3. Both systems feature a user-friendly map which can be utilized by touch and directed by pinch-to-zoom.

Smartphones are changing the way people interact with the world around them and the new Jaguar XE ensures that drivers can stay connected. Jaguar InControl Apps® allows users to seamlessly access and control smartphone apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen3. With a subscribed data plan, the Jaguar XE can also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling multiple devices to connect to the internet.

Jaguar InControl Remote® functionality allows users of iOS® and Android™ smartphones to connect to the car remotely to control car functions. These include seven-day timed pre-setting of the vehicle’s climate control system, locking or unlocking the doors, or remote starting of the engine.

The new Jaguar XE will be available with a range of Meridian™ audio systems. These superb systems are the latest product of the long-standing partnership between Jaguar and British audio experts Meridian. Unique algorithms guarantee the best possible sound reproduction and tailor the experience to the interior’s acoustics. Available systems range from 250 watt, 11-speaker systems to 825 watt, 15-speaker systems, both equipped with stereo and surround sound processors.

Detail of the Jaguar XE North American model line will be announced closer to the vehicles launch in 2016.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS*

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Engine capacity (cc) 2,995
Cylinders 6
Valves per cylinder 4
Bore / stroke inches (mm) 3.3 / 3.5 (84.5 / 89.0)
Cylinder block Aluminum alloy
Cylinder heads Aluminum alloy
Fuel injection equipment 150bar spray-guided direct injection
Induction system Twin-Vortex supercharger
Transmission ZF 8HP45 8-speed automatic
PERFORMANCE
0-60 mph (sec) 4.9
0-100km/h (sec) 5.1
Top speed mph (km/h) 155 (250)
Horsepower 340 @ 6,500rpm
Torque lb ft (Nm) 332 (450) @ 4,500rpm
DIMENSIONS
Length inches (mm) 183.9 (4,672)
Width excl. mirrors inches (mm) 72.8 (1,850)
Height inches (mm) 55.7 (1,416)
Wheelbase inches (mm) 111.6 (2,835)
Curb weight lbs (kg) From 3,249 (1,474)

*Manufacturers estimated figures for UK specific models at time of going to press. Subject to final confirmation ahead of production.
1 Always follow local speed limits.
2 These features are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc.  Driver should not assume that these features will correct errors of judgment in driving.  Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Jaguar Retailer for more details.
3 Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones, and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. 

IN THE NEWS: Q By Aston Martin Personalization Available Online

September 8, 2014

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The ultimate in automotive luxury, the renowned Q by Aston Martin personalisation service, is now available to view in rich, lifelike detail online via an innovative new microsite.

Designed to offer an indulgent glimpse into the sumptuous world of Q by Aston Martin, this web experience has been specifically developed for public and dealer use to help communicate the many possibilities available through Aston Martin’s bespoke personalisation service.

Dr Matthew Bennett, General Manager of the Q by Aston Martin service, said: “As part of the continued major investment in our digital presence I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new Q by Aston Martin web experience.

“Following the positive reception to the launch of the Q by Aston Martin book and the expansion of the service we have now introduced a more inspirational and immersive element to our AstonMartin.com content.”

Using imagery, creative design and themed model stories from the Q by Aston Martin book, the new ‘What Inspires You?’ experience uses rich graphics and innovative parallax scrolling functionality to offer an in-depth microsite.

Features include a full introductory gallery with: contemporary inspiration section; luxury inspiration section; sporting inspiration section and nine picture galleries and features on Q by Aston Martin cars.

Going live today, the new inspirational web experience can be found at: http://q.astonmartin.com

Meanwhile, development work is ongoing on another exciting digital element to the personalisation service with news that in the next few weeks the luxury British brand will be launching a Q by Aston Martin Vanquish configurator.

Using the current Aston Martin configurator platform, the sport car company’s digital team has expanded the number of views, colour and trim choices and will also offer exclusive Q by Aston Martin options to create a more detailed and nuanced configurator experience.

Matthew Bennett said: “Sharing some of the possibilities of ‘Q’ with our huge digital audience around the world is another exciting way in which we are showcasing Aston Martin’s power, beauty and soul to enthusiasts and customers worldwide.”

ON THE BLOCK: Inaugural Salon Privé Sale a Roaring Success

September 5, 2014

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The inaugural Salon Privé Sale, hosted in partnership between Silverstone Auctions & Salon Privé London, achieved some roaring results in London last night, with a 61% sales rate and a total sales value of £9.9 million.

Topping the bill at the Sale and securing a believed world-record price was an incredibly rare 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder which sold for a premium inclusive £2.27 million. A stunning 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Series II Coupe sold for a premium inclusive £707,215, more than £330,000 over its lower estimate also achieving a believed world-record.

Another rare Ferrari, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’, sold for a premium inclusive total of more than £1.89 million.

Getting the auction off to a fantastic start was a limited edition 2013 Patek Philippe 5960P-016 Gentleman’s Annual Calendar Chronograph, all proceeds of which were donated to the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

Porsche 911 prices continue to rise with a 1973 Porsche 911 S Targa, part of the Henry Pearman collated‘Stradale’ Collection, selling for £195,500, more than £80,000 over its lower estimate. A piece of motoring history, Range Rover chassis number 001, sold for a premium inclusive £132,250 whilst last year’s ‘Most Elegant Design’ winner, a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback, sold for a premium inclusive £1million. Aston Martin’s proved as popular as ever with a beautiful 1970 DB6 MK.II Volante selling for £954.500.

Commenting on the results Managing Director of Silverstone Auctions, Nick Whale, said: “We’re delighted with the results from our first sale at Salon Privé. Some of the prices paid for particular cars are truly staggering and hope that both buyers and vendors alike are as happy as we are.”

“The Salon Privé Sale has exceeded all expectations, the atmosphere was both tense and electrifying with phone bidders from all over the world and in person filling the Garden Room Marquee and we are certainly looking forward to next year,” added Andrew Bagley, Managing Director and Owner – Salon Privé London.

For the full results list please visit http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/salon-prive.

ON THE LAWN: 1955 Jaguar E-Type Wins Best in Show at the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elegance

September 4, 2014

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The Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance basked in golden sunshine yesterday with the best in show announced – the 1955 JAGUAR D-TYPE

CLASS A WINNER ‘Preserved for Posterity’ – 1939 BENTLEY DERBY 4 ¼ LITRE MX

CLASS B WINNER ’50 YEARS OF FERRARI 275’ – 1967 FERRARI 275 GTB/4

CLASS C WINNER ‘DRAMATIC COACHWORK’ – 1934 ROLLS ROYCE PHANTOM II –

CLASS D WINNER ‘Pre-War Sports Cars’ – 1935 SWALLOW SIDECAR SS1 FOUR LIGHT SALOON

CLASS E ‘LEADERBOARD LEGENDS’ 1960 MATCHLESS METISSE MKIII

CLASS F ‘STRIKING BIKES’ – 2014 OEM TYPHOON

CLASS G ‘FIT FOR A KING’ – 1970 MERCEDES-BENZ 600 PULLMAN LONGTOP LANDAULET

CLASS H ‘100 YEARS OF MASERATI’ CORSA – 1955 MASERATI 300S SPORT

CLASS H ‘100 YEARS OF MASERATI’ STRADA – 1951 MASERATI 1500GT

CLASS I – ‘ART OF DESIGN ZAGATO’ – 1963 ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT

CLASS J – ‘JAGUAR D-TYPE’ – 1954 JAGUAR D-TYPE

CLASS K – ‘THE GREAT GRAN TURISMOS – 1962 FERRARI 250 GT SWB

CLASS L – CONCEPTS & PROTOTYPES – 2014 MINI SUPERLEGERRA VISION

PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD – DELAHAYE TYPE 235 MS COUPE BY CHAPRON

The annual Salon Privé spectacular includes Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance , Boodles Ladies’ Day and The Salon Privé Sale, The Royal College of Art ‘Concours of the Future’ design exhibition, The British Supercar Show (Friday), EFG Art & Memorabilia Fair and the Luxury Retail Village.

Our esteemed judges: -

  • Derek Bell, MBE (Chief Judge: Non-Voting) – 5 Times Le Mans Winner & British GP Racing Driver
  • Keith Bluemel – Ferrari Historian
  • Sandra Button – Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance Chairman
  • Martin Button – Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance Selection Committee Member
  • Ian Callum – Head of Design at Jaguar Land Rover
  • Steve Cropley – Editor-in-chief at Autocar and on the European Car of the Year judging panel
  • Dale Harrow – Head of Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art
  • Philip Kantor – International Director of Business Development and Head of European Motorcars, Bonhams
  • Joanne Marshall – Head of EMEA Communications and PR – Ferrari SpA
  • Adolfo Orsi – President of Historica Selecta
  • Christian Philippsen – Automobile Consultant and organises the Louis Vuitton Classic Car events
  • Tom Purves – Chairman of the RAC and former CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • Patrick Rollet – President of FIVA
  • Giles Taylor – Rolls-Royce Design Director
  • Tom Tjaarda – World renowned automobile designer and journalist
  • Mick Walsh  – Editor in Chief, Classic and Sports Car Magazine
  • Andrea Zagato – CEO of Zagato

Salon Privé is a boutique automotive Garden Party which opens on Wednesday 3rd September with the crème de la crème of classic cars from around the world competing in the internationally-renowned Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance.

Afternoon Tickets to Salon Privé are still available costing just £75 are available now and on the door.  They can be purchased either by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0808 100 2205 or online atwww.salonprivelondon.com.  Full hospitality tickets are also available from £195 and include Pommery champagne, lobster luncheon, complimentary bar, English afternoon tea and full access to all areas.

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