February 28th, 2013
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall recently took to the Tube. Clearly they haven’t fallen on hard times. It was actually a celebration of 150 years of the London Underground.
They boarded at Farringdon, having taken a look at how the multi-billion pound Crossrail network is developing, and then travelled on the Metropolitan line, which was the first route opened in 1863. However, they only stayed on for one stop, alighting at King’s Cross St Pancras where they took a look at Platform 9 ¾, created for the Harry Potter films.
As sightseeing trips go, it may not have been your cup of tea and as transportation goes, it might not seem to exotic either. But everyone gets tired of travelling around in the same old way all the time.
Just as the Royals must occasionally grow weary of chauffeur-driven cars – they must, surely – so you doubtless tire of trains and taxis. We may not be able to afford our own car and driver every day of the year, but there’s nothing to say you can’t splash out every once in a while. So if you’ve got some kind of a special occasion on the horizon, why not arrange to travel to your destination in style?
February 25th, 2013
There is a new marketing campaign for the Bentley Mulsanne and it involves a series of videos, one of which features Jackie Chan. It is entitled the ‘Mulsanne Visionaries’ series. Other relatively famous faces also interact with the car, but Chan is perhaps the most recognised.
His short film is called ‘Up In Smoke’ and sees the actor behind the wheel. He pulls up at a luxury hotel and then looks fidgety, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. A moment later, a customer steps in, chatting away to someone on the phone. Chan then removes his sunglasses, revealing who he is, and pulls off. We see the customer reclining and enjoying the ride while Chan takes him seemingly all over China. The scenery is really rather impressive.
Once on the open road, we see Chan switch the car to ‘sport’ setting and then he really starts to enjoy himself, laughing and taking the car round hair-pins as it climbs into the hills. Eventually, he parks at the Great Wall and gets out, whereupon he does a few moves and rather inexplicably disappears.
Chan recently auctioned off his Bentley, giving the proceeds to charity in an effort to encourage philanthropy in China.
January 25th, 2013
The Range Rover has never really gone away, but its popularity has waxed and waned. Currently, there is 24 hour production as the Evoque is in such great demand. Yearly production has tripled compared to the levels seen in 1992 and a special model has even been brought out according to specifications made by Victoria Beckham.
The success has led to a huge programme of investment by Jaguar Land Rover. Another 8,000 staff have been taken on and there are plans to launch as many as 16 Range Rover variants by 2020 with production doubling as a consequence.
A large part of this is down to changes in the market. Where once sports utility vehicles were just that – utilitarian – they are now considered luxury cars and have risen in popularity as a consequence. Nowhere is this more apparent than in China where such vehicles are greatly in demand. This market goes a long way towards explaining the Range Rover’s resurgence.
As many as 100,000 Range Rover Evoques are now produced each year and this is still not meeting the level of demand. This is great for the British job market as well as for Land Rover.
January 15th, 2013
The next S-Class is to feature a number of technological innovations as Mercedes-Benz looks to distinguish its saloon from the competition. Most will be safety-related features, but there are other gadgets too and this emphasis on computer systems is perhaps the most striking aspect of the latest version of the car.
The firm’s head of development, Thomas Weber, explained why many of these systems have been lumped together and branded as ‘Intelligent Drive’:
“This is the intelligent interlinking of sensors and systems to create a new dimension of motoring.”
There will be 25 external sensors in all, including light, infrared, ultrasound and radar sensors. Signals from these will then be interpreted by software to provide 360 degree awareness of potential hazards.
A stereo camera and radar sensors allow for lane-keeping assistance, whereby the car is moved back into its lane via gentle braking where necessary; adaptive cruise control helps keep the car a safe distance from the vehicle in front; and traffic sign recognition means that the driver can never claim to be unaware of the speed limit.
The car also offers ‘attention assist’ which rates how alert the driver is. An alarm is sounded if it seems the driver is getting drowsy.
December 5th, 2012
Being huge vehicles that glide about town creating excitement and intrigue to all they pass, when it comes to gas-guzzling guilty vehicles, limousines rank high!
The 2012 London Olympics showcased many talents and none more so than a Rolls Royce limousine that runs on electric power with zero emissions, thus creating a wholly green alternative to the notoriously gas gobbling world of limos.
With the demand for greener vehicles that produce far less emissions than conventional cars becoming increasingly imperative, the hybrid car industry is constantly evolving and becoming progressively more advanced. Recognising the modern demand for hybrid cleaner vehicles, Rolls Royce CEO, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes states that out of all large number of more eco-friendly cars currently saturating the market, the electric Rolls Royce limousine would be exposing:
“It’s outstanding electric and environmentally-friendly technology to the world”.
Talking to the Daily Mail, The Rolls Royce CEO said that not only would a pollutant-free hybrid Rolls Royce limo be marked progression in the automotive industry’s endeavours to save the planet, but would also help the business of limousines also survive.
With so much emphasis on adapting greener lifestyles and offsetting carbon emissions, particularly, it seems, within the world of the rich and famous, the green limo market is likely to gain greater presence and popularity, with Rolls Royce, in typical fashion, pioneering the drive.
December 4th, 2012
It doesn’t take WAG sensation Coleen Rooney to be seen pulling into a petrol station in Cheshire in her new sleek Bentley GT Convertible, for the mere and albeit jealous mainstream to understand the luxury assets of the Bentley.
Whilst only a minute minority of the rich, famous and idolised can actually afford to fork out £137,000 on a luxury sports car, there is another way we can be riveted to the superior pedestal movie stars, Premier League footballers and their ultra-glamorous wives experience daily – hiring out a Bentley Limousine!
The Bentley Mulsanne
So your ecstatic Hen do party may not be able to all squeeze into a Bentley GT Convertible like the one Mrs Rooney owns, but that doesn’t have to stop you from all jumping on board a chauffeur-driven Bentley Mulsanne.
Being refined, exquisite, characterful and speedy, the Bentley Mulsanne embodies all the typical merits that are synonymous with Bentley and its inimitable presence.
Whilst its breathtakingly beautiful exterior is guaranteed to turn heads, internally the Bentley Mulsanne limousine is equally as stunning. With a four-zone air conditioning system, a velvet soft carpet, a state-of-the-art audio system and an unrivalled feeling of opulence, you can rest assure that being driven about town in a Bentley Mulsanne, you are guaranteed to be propelled to WAG status – if only for a short while!
November 22nd, 2012
When most of us think of hiring a limo, we tend to focus on the luxury aspect. A chauffeur driven car is for special occasions, such as weddings or anniversary celebrations. However, they are also frequently used for business and as such, many are kitted out for practical purposes as well. The Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept delivers both luxury and practicality in a big way.
The car can basically be used as a mobile office by whoever is sitting in the back. As well as built-in Wi-Fi and three TVs, it also has wireless keyboards and a telephone inside an armrest. The thinking is that if you’ve got business to do, why waste commuting time?
The main TV is a 15.6 inch affair – plenty big enough for the space. You couldn’t get far enough away to justify anything bigger. There are also smaller screens in the headrests which form part of what are basically laptops built into picnic tables that fold down in a similar way to those found in aircraft.
Many of us spend long hours commuting and this can be dead time. For those who can afford such a vehicle, this particular Bentley Mulsanne could lead to a great increase in their productivity each day.
November 13th, 2012
A Bentley Meteor has recently gone on sale which boasts a 27-litre Spitfire engine. Created by engineer Bob Petersen, it will cost over half a million pounds.
The V12 Rolls-Royce Meteor engine derives from the one used in the Spitfire and the Lancaster bomber and produces a whopping 850 bhp. However, the downside is that the car can only do two or three miles per gallon – not much in these days of hybrid technology.
Nevertheless, the 19-foot car can do 160mph, although you will first have to fill the 400-litre tank, which will cost around £550 at current prices. Power steering and disc brakes help ensure the car is easy to handle, despite its weight and power.
Petersen based the car on the chassis of a 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II and then crafted the coachwork to be that of a Bentley.
Dan Zuckerman, a salesman at Coys, the classic car specialists who will be selling the car, said:
“It is absolutely unique, a spectacular example of British engineering. The attention to detail is exquisite – it really is an outstanding car.”
October 20th, 2012
More details are emerging about the new Mercedes S-Class. Most strikingly, the firm’s technical boss, Thomas Weber, has said that the car will be the first plug-in hybrid Mercedes.
It is not known whether that plug-in hybrid will be diesel or petrol powered, but the aim is to achieve optimal fuel consumption, not to design for power. This could mean a vehicle with emissions around 80g/km, which would mean it was not subject to company car tax.
Improved mileage per gallon will also be achieved through making the car lighter, although the firm believes that it will also be safer and more comfortable as well. There are also promises that in-car information and entertainment technology will take a big leap forward.
In terms of looks, the firm’s head of design, Gorden Wagener, said:
“We’re not reinventing the wheel here. The next S-Class will refer to previous versions, because we don’t want our existing cars to look old-fashioned and be worthless.”
However, he did hint that the design could be more aerodynamic, describing the look as ‘sophisticated and flowing’. There are also likely to be a few different options in order to cover some of the market that was previously being targeted by the Maybach.
October 2nd, 2012
Earlier in the year, President Vladimir Putin said that before too long government agencies should only use vehicles made in Russia. This raised the possibility that ZiL limos could be revived.
The name is not very exotic – ZiL stands for Zavod imeni Likhachova, which translated literally means ‘factory named after Likhachov’. However, the cars are iconic. Most ZiL limos were made for the Russian government, lending them an air of genuine exclusivity.
However, there is scepticism as to whether this is a viable plan. Oleg Datskiv, the director of auto-dealer.ru, said:
“Without involving foreign automakers it is currently unrealistic to implement the project to build limousines in Russia. Producing limousines was necessary during the time of the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union. Why do this? It will break down and malfunction like before.”
Currently, Putin is driven around in an armoured Mercedes S600 Guard Pullman, which is estimated to have cost around £600,000.
Sergey Sokolov, the CEO of Depo ZiL, has spent almost a decade trying to design and construct a government limousine. He says a concept car could be tested very soon.