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LAUNCH: Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

September 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce decided to unveil their new Phantom Coupe to a small select mix of media and customers at their showroom on Wednesday evening. Entering the showroom, the Coupe under a veil of red sat in the middle with the wall in the background covered with small LED’s, mimicking the starlight headlining in the actual car.

The Coupe is powered with the same 6.75 litre V12 we are all so familiar with in the Phantom and the Drophead Coupe as well. But in usual Rolls-Royce composure, all of the 453 horses are delivered to the wheels as controlled and unhurried as a Windsor grey horse pulling the queens carriage. The Drophead and the Phantom made an obligatory appearance aswell, borrowing space from the Porsche showroom next to RR’s.

The Coupe comes almost a year after the Drophead cruised to our shores, and sales for it has been pretty good here considering the cost of it. So far just below 10 of these luxury land yatchs have been delivered to their owners since their introduction. Even though both the drophead and coupe share almost similar everything, they both appeal to a different segment of people. So different in fact that since it’s introduction, 70% of RR’s new customers are new. 

The younger, affluent segment of the market seem to relate to the image conveyed in the marquee’s newer creations. Even I found myself wanting one. Walking around the car admiring every curve on the body, the plush leather seats that gives you that right balance of snug but without being too comfortable. A beautiful car in almost every aspect you could think off but I’m just wondering how this would compare to the Bentley Brooklands. Till I do manage to get my hands on it, enjoy the pictures.

Jump: http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/raginb21/Rolls-Royce%20Phantom%20Coupe/

NEWS: HUMMER to be SOLD

September 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Yes yes old news Im sure but this time, the anguishing people at General Motors have given the Hummer brand a definitive sell-off date. GM has already mentioned that there are a few suitors who were interested in taking the brand up but thats as much as they’re willing to share. 

Originally manufactured by AM General Corp as a purposeful  High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), they made the decision to modify their offerings and build a less spartan version for the mass markets in 1992. 6 years later, the HUMMER brand was sold to GM but they still got AM General to manufacture the vehicles while GM took charge of the marketing and distribution. GM then introduced the H2 and H3 models after the original vehicle, which was considerably smaller then the H1.

With sales of HUMMER’s bullish for so many years, GM would not have imagined the current situation they are in.  With fuel prices skyrocketing and the “green movement” coming to much light, HUMMER’s have seen a dip of 40% in sales for the first half of this year on the back of customers prefering to buy more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient cars instead.

Certainly the measures taken by GM and other ailing manufacturers alike reflects the grim condition that the US auto market is in. Even the European market is showing signs of a slowdown in regards to its auto industry with BMW reporting slipping sales figures.

Categories: Automotive, Cars, Hummer, News

LAUNCH: 2009 Mini John Cooper Works (JCW)

September 2, 2008 Leave a comment

 

A conservative launch was held in the Mini Habitat at Leng Kee today morning for the 09 JCW Mini. Guests included all members of the media and also VIP’s from the local and regional BMW offices.

The event started off with a bang, well…more like a thud. The lights were dimmed and our attention was focused on the garage door, opening in cliche movie-like speed. Just as the door completely folded up the Mini, with tires screeching leaped out from the garage in reverse and did a hang brake turn to face the audience.  Only to have turned just a second too late and ended up intimately kissing the tire-wall in front of the cement pillar. This was probably one of those instances when split seconds and finely-tuned reactions were the difference between a great entrance and a complete disaster.

Thankfully the Mini only suffered a broken JCW Insignia on the grill. Besides that the event went relatively simple although the initial introduction and commentary for the car seemed a tad bit under rehearsed. Quite embarrassing when top management from the local and regional BMW offices were standing right there with lips bit.

The new JCW is a much different animal from its older Sisters, at least in production wise. The past JCW’s were basically normal Mini’s retro-fitted to take on the JCW kit and the upgrades. Since the purchase of JCW earlier in the year, Mini has integrated the manufacturing aspect of the JCW cars into their own production line so these JCW’s come direct from the factory.

It is visually stimulating. With it’s various carbon fiber accents, wonderfully sculptured rims and brakes, the JCW does cut out a mean stance when still. The 2 major gripes I do have about it though are the new bumpers and the spoiler. The aero kit which came as an option for the newer Mini’s are now stock on the JCW and it looks absolutely horrendous.

Performance wise the new JCW promises to be an even more engaging and entertaining ride the last one was and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Categories: Automotive, Cars, Launches, Mini

NEWS: Aston Martin to revive the “Lagonda” marque

September 1, 2008 Leave a comment

 

About a year after Aston Martin was sold by Ford to a consortium comprised of David Richards from Prodrive, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co., and the British sports carmaker announced its plans to relaunch the Lagonda marque. The famous nameplate will be used on a series of exclusive luxury cars, the first of which we’ll see in the form of a concept model in 2009, the year that Lagonda celebrates its 100th birthday. The concept car will lead to a production version that is slated to enter global markets in 2012. -Continued

Here’s what Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez had to say about the revival of the Lagonda marquee:

“After my eight years with Aston Martin, four with profitability, and 16 months of independence, it’s time to think about a longer term future. Aston Martin is an honest, authentic brand which builds the most beautiful sportscars combining modern technology with craftsmanship.”

“Next year we will launch the four door Rapide sportscar, and this will be followed by the project ‘one 77’, the most spectacular Aston Martin ever. Aston Martins are currently available in 32 countries but we will remain limited in our market penetration by the pure character of our cars – sportscars.”

“We have now investigated and concluded that the revival of the Lagonda brand would allow us to develop cars which can have a different character than a sportscar, and therefore offer a perfect synergy. Lagonda will use a unique design language as Aston Martin does. We will take elements of DNA from the past but will be very future orientated as we are with Aston Martin. With Lagonda offering exclusive, luxurious and truly versatile products with high quality and usability and suitable for both existing and emerging markets, I believe we can be present in more than 100 countries in the world. “

“In 2009 Lagonda is about to celebrate its 100th birthday and in its centenary year we are confident that we will show the first concept of a car which could be in the market in 2012,” he confirmed.

Report from carscoop.blogspot.com

Categories: Aston Martin, Automotive, Cars, News

LAUNCH: The Nissan Cefiro..I mean Teana

August 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Nissan customer’s together with the automotive press gathered at the Singapore Turf Club on Thursday for the launch of the Nissan Teana, formly known as the Cefiro. Nissan sells the Teana under the Cefiro and Maxima tag in different regions.

  

With an all new look, the new Teana comes in 3 variants in the form of a 2 litre, 2.5 and also the top of the range 3.5 charging it head on with the recently launched Honda Accord 3.5. After viewing all 3 variants, the 3.5 is clearly a serious threat to the Honda Accord with luxuries like a twin-gass sunroof, an indirect LED illumination which shines on the front and rear door grips, a much less cluttered center console when compared to the Accord, a power ottoman-style legrest for the front passenger and even a Push Start button ignition.

I’ve had the pleasure of testing the Accord 2 litre and 3.5 litre a couple of months back(My article comparing the Toyota Camry with the Honda Accord: http://www.sgcarmart.com/news/review.php?AID=45) and I am looking forward to testing the Teana soon and comparing it against the Accord. Please follow the jump for the pics of the ne Teana: 

 http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/raginb21/Nissan%20Teana/

Categories: Automotive, Cars, Launches, Nissan

LAUNCH: The new Lamborghini LP560-4

August 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Surviving on the amazing teaser video’s released by Lamborghini on their new Gallardo replacement, the highly anticipated car has finally made it to our shores to much fanfare. 2 launches, 1 for media and an evening affair for existing and prospective Lamborghini owners exclusively were held. The newest addition to the already impressive line-up from Sant’Agata seems to be on a totally different diet than the older Gallardo.

The heart of this bull comes from an all-new, direct-injected 5.2l V10 churning out 540bhp, 10 more than the Supperleggera. The total weight of the LP560-4 has also decreased by 20kg from the Gallardo. Other machanical enhancements includes a revised transmission and a permanent 4 wheel drive system that creates a rear bias of up to 30:70.

To the stance and look of the beast, it doesn’t take you long before you realise that the front mug of the car takes after the super exclusive Lamborghini Reventon. New revised rear diffuser and the smoother underbody improves the aerodynamic efficiency from the its older sibling by almost 31%. New front and rear lamps greatly improve the appearance of the car and gives it a much wider stance, especially at the rear. Although priced much higher than the car it replaces, the hike is absolutely justified with the numerous improvements made.

Follow the jump to see all the photos from the launch:  http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/raginb21/LP560-4%20Launch/

EVENT: Singapore’s Vintage Car Grand Prix & Concours ’08

August 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Over a quiet weekend a coupla weeks ago, convoys of cars were seen(mostly heard) chucking past famous landmarks here like the Fullerton Hotel, the Padang and finally coming to a pit stop at the Raffles Landing Site. Driver’s and curious by-standers alike paced up and down the different stretches of roads, awestruck in admiration of these beautifully sculptured machines. On parade were various car’s from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Lancia, Triumph and even a Cadillac. 

 

 

 

 

Follow the jump for pictures:  http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y138/raginb21/Vintage%20Car%20GP/

Categories: Automotive, Cars, Event