Aston Martin has certainly been busy making headlines in recent weeks with the unveiling of new models such as the Vantage GT3 and the ultra-exclusive Vulcan, but apparently they had one more trick up their sleeve. Meet the first of its kind, all-electric, all-wheel-drive, Aston Martin DBX Concept Coupe. Making its debut at the 85th Annual Geneva International Motor Show yesterday, this is certainly a departure from what we typically associate with Aston Martin. Powered by electric, in-wheel motors, the DBX features drive-by-wire electric steering, carbon ceramic brakes, a KERS energy recovery system, and cameras where one would typically find actual mirrors.
In terms of design, there’s no doubt this is the brain-child of the engineers at Aston Martin. Featuring the signature wide-mouth grille, sleek, yet aggressive, body lines, and taillights similar to those found on Aston’s current line-up of luxury grand tourers one could argue that this is ready to join the current line-up as-is. Though we’d love to see this concept hit the road in all of its raw, concept glory, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, made it clear that this vehicle is far from production ready: “This is, clearly, not a production-ready sports GT car, but it is a piece of fresh, bold thinking about what Aston Martin GT customers around the world could request of us in the future.”
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the evolution of this beauty and we can only hope to see something street-ready in the near future. For all of the details surrounding the DBX’s debut, read the full press release below.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
ASTON MARTIN DBX CONCEPT CHALLENGES CONVENTION
3 March 2015, Gaydon: Aston Martin today challenges the nature of luxury GT travel in the 21st Century with the debut at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show of the innovative DBX Concept.
Created to defy conventional thinking about the luxury GT segment, the DBX Concept widens the appeal of the iconic British luxury brand and reaches out to a more diverse global audience than ever before.
Unveiling the concept, Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “The DBX Concept is a challenge to the existing status quo in the high luxury GT segment. It envisages a world, perhaps a world not too far away, when luxury GT travel is not only stylish and luxurious but also more practical, more family-friendly and more environmentally responsible.
“I asked my team at Aston Martin to expand their thinking beyond conventions, to explore what the future of luxury GT motoring would look like in years ahead, and the DBX Concept you see before you is the result.”
Dr Palmer added: “This is, clearly, not a production-ready sports GT car, but it is a piece of fresh, bold thinking about what Aston Martin GT customers around the world could request of us in the future.
“The DBX Concept is more than a thought starter for us and for our customers, though. We will, in due course, be entering a car into the new DBX space and I am very much looking forward to seeing how this concept is received not only here today, but also by our legion of existing loyal customers and by those potential customers around the world who have, to this point, yet to consider one of our cars.”
Imagined by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and his team at the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the all-electric DBX Concept showcases not only cutting edge engineering but also a major evolution of the British brand’s world-renowned and highly-regarded design language.
Clearly signalling an extension to the brand’s existing model lines in the future, the all-wheel drive DBX Concept seamlessly combines traditional Aston Martin beauty with elegant new engineering that gracefully aligns form and function.
Capable of accommodating four adults in comfort, the DBX Concept also majors on day-to-day practicality. It offers generous luggage capacity by virtue of the fact that its rear trunk and forward load bay can both accept passengers’ belongings.
Opulence and cutting edge style go hand-in-hand in the DBX Concept thanks to a unique fusion of high luxury and advanced technology. These characteristics, allied to the ingenious use of unconventional materials and finishes inside and out, are calculated to further broaden the appeal of Aston Martin.
The concept’s exterior bright work emphasises the brand’s approach to the use of authentic materials, and is made up of machined billet aluminium with visible milling lines in a piece of exquisite craftsmanship intended to be seen as the car’s jewellery. The DBX Concept’s unique paint finish – Black Pearl Chromium – has been specially created to mimic the look of a genuine black pearl, and comprises a micro-fine layer of chrome to deliver a level of reflectivity that cannot be obtained through normal paint finishes.
Inside, the deliberate use of non-automotive standard materials generates a uniquely soft, cocooning ambience. The extensive application of velvet-like Nubuck leather contrasts with the concept’s hard, hi-tech equipment. The exposed leather reveals a sandwiched accent layer, more akin to high-end furniture, while the car’s interior bright ware matches that of the exterior with the addition of a gold ‘pin striping’ element on the edging.
Marek Reichman explained: “The exceptional craftsmanship, with detailing more typically seen on luxury consumer goods or fine jewellery, gives the DBX Concept genuinely global appeal.”
Embracing the very latest engineering techniques and theories, the DBX Concept needs no engine compartment thanks to its use of electric, inboard-of-wheel, motors powered by lithium sulphur cells.
Drive-by-wire electric steering, toughened glass with an auto-dimming ‘smart glass’ inter-layer, and bespoke driver and passenger head-up displays are further examples of its cutting edge technology.
Active LED exterior lights, carbon ceramic brakes with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and rear view cameras in place of conventional mirrors also underline the mould-breaking nature of this luxury GT concept.
Dr Palmer explained: “A concept car such as this should, in my view, challenge conventional thinking and explore the art of the possible. In the DBX Concept, I believe we have created a new type of luxury car that can not only broaden the appeal of Aston Martin to a whole new generation of customers, but sit with pride alongside the rest of our range.”
Aston Martin has announced that it will be bringing its extensive racing heritage to Gentlemen Racers by way of the Vulcan. The Aston Martin Vulcan project was born to give the customer an experience of performance driving like no other. Ownership allows participation in many performance driving events worldwide, unlike programs from competing performance brands. And Aston Martin will work with owners to ensure they can take the Vulcan to the tracks they want to drive and that it will meet the various sound requirements. Once you have committed to ownership, Aston Martin invites you to Gaydon for a unique commissioning experience to select the colors and finish for the car. Additionally, they take measurements for seating, steering wheel grips and custom racing suit and helmet.
Prior to taking delivery, Aston Martin will offer intensive track training for each customer via their Fast Track Training program. Experienced professional racers will offer a chance to refine driving skills and technique through practical and theoretical training events using Aston Martin’s already extensive stable of performance cars like the V12 Vantage S, One-77 and the Vantage GT4 race car to further build the customer experience.
If you haven’t been impressed so far, lets cover the car itself: The Vulcan boasts some amazing features like carbon fiber removable panels surrounding a rigid carbon fiber tub. Power comes from a 7 liter V12 engine producing 800 plus horsepower which is set back behind the front axle line to ensure an excellent weight balance. All of this power is channeled to a six speed sequential gearbox mounted in the rear of the car by way of a magnesium torque tube housing a carbon fiber drive shaft. To tame all this power, the brakes are carbon ceramic racing discs with 6 piston front and 4 piston rear controlled by a driver adjustable Bosch anti-lock braking system. Push rod suspension is mounted to all four corners with 4 way adjustable DSSV dampers.
Safety is also very important to Aston Martin, so they have worked very hard to design the Vulcan with FIA race requirements. This will include Frontal Head Restraint, 6 point racing harness, roll cage, fuel cell and fire extinguisher. All of these safety features allow the Vulcan to run one-make races or other open races.
As you might’ve heard, Morrie’s Luxury Auto just announced that Aston Martin will be coming to Minnesota soon. While the showroom will be stocked with plenty of beautiful and fast grand touring cars ranging from the V8 Vantage up to the Vanquish, we just discovered via Jalopnik that Aston Martin is cooking up a more potent street car that shares more DNA with their racing efforts than any other car they offer today.
Rumor has it that Aston Martin has the Porsche GT3 RS squarely in their sights, and as such, will be differentiated from the swoopy, sensual V8 and V12 Vantages by offering a big rear wing and wider bodywork aimed at providing some extra downforce. Meanwhile, a pumped-up V12 from the V12 Vantage S will likely provide over 600 HP of grunt to power it around the track.
Think of it as one heck of a final send off for the Vantage lineup before it gets redesigned in the next few years.
The North American debut of the Bentley GT3 racecar was quite the show. Coming out for the Cadillac Grand Prix at Road America, all eyes were on the Bentley as it took to the grid for the first time. With Butch Leitzinger behind the wheel and a full Bentley support staff, it was no question that Bentley came prepared. Unfortunately, during the qualifying session the rain became a problem. Race officials determined to switch it to a practice session. And while the transponder was not properly functioning in the Bentley which precluded them from recording an official lap time, seeing the Bentley charge up the long straight through the finish line even in the rain was a pretty spectacular sight. Unofficially it was calculated that Butch Leitzinger was able to drive the Bentley in the 2:08.9 range at Road America.
Bentley had two races during its North American debut at Road America. The race on Friday provided for some intense battles between Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, and Bentley. Because Bentley had no points, what with this being their first race, they were staged at the back of the pack. Knowing they needed to really fire on all cylinders with minimal mistakes, Butch Leitzinger performed well under the rain conditions. During the 2nd race on Saturday, Bentley was able to secure a 2nd starting position and throughout the race fought hard against the competition. While they did not bring in a podium finish, it was still a great weekend of Bentley racing.
Powered by a V8 engine with around 600bhp, this GT racecar is unlike anything Bentley has produced before. To begin with it is the only Bentley Continental GT that is RWD, of course for racing this suits the car just fine. Included in the GT3 racecar we find an xTrac 6-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Looking to Bentley’s recent past the only thing that could come close with regards to power and handling would be their W12 Supersports, which sadly won’t be making a return to the production line. Clearly the production model, GT3-R, will fill the Supersports shoes nicely.
What sets the Bentley GT3 apart from other Bentley racecars is that Bentley has also produced a road-going GT3R, but only in a limited production run of 300 units. From what we are able to gather at Morrie’s Luxury Auto it appears that 100 GT3Rs were available for sale in the US, however they are all sold out.
For more race coverage make sure to visit our blog often.
This week marked the celebration of the 25th Annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit and we were there getting coverage on some of the luxury brands!
We made sure to get a good spot for the Bentley press conference where they unveiled the all-new 2015 Continental GT V8S! This new model will have a 4.0 liter-twin-turbocharged V-8 producing 521 horsepower and 502 lb/ft. of torque! This is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sport mode with sharper throttle response.
A higher-output 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 will give the vehicle 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. This will be mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that includes an S mode with sharper throttle response and a more aggressive shift logic. The vehicle is said to reach 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds and hits top speeds of 192 mph!
This entire Continental lineup includes electronic climate control, Bluetooth, a DVD nav system, Google maps and an 8-inch LCD touchscreen, and the Naim audio system for an addition $7,000. You can also purchase the Mulliner package, which offers quilted leather interior, knurled chrome, and turned aluminum trim and lambs wool rugs as an option. Stay tuned for more information of the latest Bentley model revealed just this week!
We couldn’t attend the International Auto Show without making a stop at Porsche for the unveiling of the 2015 Porsche911 Targa! The all-new Targa is Porsche’s latest in a long line of Targa models. This model is known for having a lower, wider body and rear track. The Targa 4 will start around $102,595 and with that you can expect a 350-horsepower 3.4 liter flat-6 cylinder engine. You can also choose between a 7-speed manual and Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission. The Targa S on the other hand is equipped with 400 horsepower and the same flat-6 motor. But don’t forget the top, it was the talk of the show! The beautiful automatic Targa takes the top off and stores in away in the center with the push of a button. We hope to see the Targa 4 and 4s both on sale next summer.
While at Porsche we also spotted the 2014 918 Spyder again, but this time it was in Pearl We saw this beautiful vehicle for the first time at the LA Auto Show a few months back, but we sure were happy to lay our eyes on it again! The 918 Spyder is powered by a 4.6 Liter V8 engine which is backed by two electric motors that can achieve up to 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
Make sure to check out all of our photo’s below in the gallery and head over to YouTube for a playlist of all our Auto Show videos!
The official debut of Maserati’s four-door sports sedan, the 2014 Ghibli will take place at the Shanghai Motor Show later on this month, but Maserati has just released a few official images to the press. This vehicle will be available with two turbocharged 3.0 liter v6 engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive along with the new Q4 all-wheel drive system. For more information check out the official Press Release below:
Have you outgrown your Continental GT? Do you find the Range Rover too common? The Cayenne Turbo too slow? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Bentley has your answer. Welcome, everyone, to the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.
Destined to be the most powerful and most luxurious SUV ever built, the EXP 9 F will be the third model in Bentley’s lineup, alongside the Mulsanne and Continental ranges. Revealed the night before the start of the Geneva Auto Show, the EXP 9 F is very elegantly styled, featuring a prominent hood, flat beltline, a generous grennhouse and Bentley’s hallmark matrix grille. You’ll also recognize the well-defined power line that runs over the front fenders and through the door handles towards the prominent rear “haunch,” just as you’ll find on the Continental GT.
The interior is as opulent as one would expect from the folks in Crewe, with leather, wood and chrome everywhere. The “T” shaped dashboard echoes the design found in the Mulsanne, and Bentley expects the EXP 9 F’s interior to set new benchmarks for luxury in the SUV segment.
They also expect the performance to set new benchmarks for the SUV sector. Motiviation will likely come from the venerable 6.0L W12 found in the Continental Range with the power being sent through an advanced all-wheel drive system. Power and torque figures haven’t yet been released, but expect to see north of 600 horsepower and more than 590 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing hasn’t yet been released, but stay tuned to the Twin Cities Luxury Auto blog for updates as we get them. For those of you anxious to get line for the EXP 9 F, we expect it to be in our showroom by sometime in 2015-16. We’re now taking pre-orders.
Source: Bentley Motors
The name Juha Kankkunen should immediately resonate with all you rally fans out there. Just in case you’re not a rally fan and you’ve never heard of Kankkunen before, here’s the skinny. He’s a former rally driver for Toyota, Peugeot and Lancia and has won 23 individual rallies and has earned four world driver’s champion titles. Needless to say, the man can drive.
What you may not know is that Kankkunen is a big fan of Bentley. Such a big fan, in fact, that he set the world speed record on ice in 2007 with his own Bentley Continental GT. You read that right – he drove his own car at nearly 200 miles per hour on ice. In 2011, Kankkunen beat his own record in a factory-provided Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible averaging 205.48 miles per hour (one run in each direction on the track). Both records were set in largely stock vehicles, save minor aerodynamic improvements, the addition of roll cages, studded Nokian tires designed specifically for the task, and that’s it.
To see what it’s like to drive a 5000-plus pound car at insane speeds on a frozen fjord, Bentley invited some of its best-performing dealers to attend a driving event in Finland. Our General Manager was the fortunate one from Bentley Minneapolis to make the trip. Bentley provided lots of seat time for Matt and the other folks who were there, but the best part may have been the ride along with Juha himself.
Luckily for us, Matt brought a camera with him to capture the experience. Check out the video below to see what it’s like to ride with a world-champion rally driver in a 621 horsepower Bentley on nothing but ice and snow.
Note: the car in the video is the very same Continental Supersports Convertible that set the 205-MPH record in 2011 (shown in the photo above).
Top gear has a nice little feature on some of the cars to be featured at the Villa d’Este sale this weekend. From a Ford GT Roadster, to this gorgeous 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider, it’s quite the collection of cars.
Check out the full slideshow over at Top Gear
It’s no secret that Bentley’s sales have lagged a bit in the past couple of years. To combat that decline, the folks in Crewe have put a great deal of focus into strengthening their line-up with cars like the Continental Supersports, the Mulsanne, and the soon-to-be-released 2012 Continental GT. It looks like they aren’t going to stop there, however. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we may see something along the lines of a Mercedes CLS competitor, as well as a crossover to fight the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and Maserati’s upcoming SUV.
Here’s what Autoblog had to say:
Rumors continue to swirl that incoming Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer, who previously served as head of research and development at Porsche, is looking long and hard at how to expand the luxury marque’s product line. Considering Dürheimer’s experience making magic happen at Porsche, it seems likely that Bentley would tap into the platform used for the Panamera sedan, and that’s exactly what the blokes from Auto Express are suggesting.
The first new model may be an ultra-luxe machine that would fit into the burgeoning four-door-coupe segment. If so, expect a price tag in the mid-$250,000 range and engine choices ranging from the tried-and-true W12 to a new turbocharged 4.0-liter V8.
Those powertrains may also find their way into the engine bay of a Bentley crossover, says Auto Express. As much as some may protest, a Porsche Cayenne-based Bentley with a price near the $200K mark would seem a very real possibility… as would an optional diesel engine, which would be new territory for the brand.
Finally, the long-rumored entry-level (can anything with a $150,000 price tag be called entry-level?) Bentley coupe that would slot below the Continental GT is still a talking point. Branching out into any or all of these segments are seen as a way to get back to the 10,000-unit peak sales year of 2007, as compared to just 4,616 units in 2009.
Head on over to Auto Express to see some rendered speculation on what these vehicles could potentially look like.
source [Auto Express]