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Cars

Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray is Available In Europe

For the first time in my blog I will be covering news about the Corvette brand. The iconic American sports car, the Corvette C8 (Stingray spec is the factory default), is crossing the Atlantic and coming to Europe. To date, Corvettes were typically sold by private importers.

Regrettably, the Corvette has previously failed to offer an excellent handling experience due to its leaf spring suspension setup. Furthermore, its pushrod engine also fell short. The leaf spring setup of the Corvette was a composite material, to save weight and space, and the second-generation Volvo XC90 adopted the same structure. It was interestingly a fibre-reinforced plastic; yes, the Corvette used to encompass plastic suspension! The C8, however, has a magnetic suspension.

The C8 now comprises a more conventional independent suspension system, as the leaf spring system in a sports car inevitably won’t be popular in European countries. The engine is a V8 6.2-lt engine, with cylinder deactivation, 495 PS and 637 Nm is being produced. With these statistics, Corvette began to impress me! In addition, you will find an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The brakes are from Brembo, an electronic limited-slip differential is standard, performance data recorder, head-up display, sound system, as well as an array of gadgets.

The interior design hosts more buttons than the SpaceX Crew Dragon cockpit! Yes, Corvette’s interior design director decided to place all of the button controls onto the column; it is likely that you may trigger the seat heater whilst looking for the hazards!

Overall, if the Corvette were not named the Corvette, it would have been more impressive. Notwithstanding, these features and anticipated ground-breaking performance levels will capture the attention of many customers who are becoming bored of the European ‘norm’. The C8 is way better than the Maserati GranTurismo (it is nearly 15 years old) and more fuel-efficient than the Mercedes-Benz SL600. If you have the opportunity, give this car a chance!

Images // GM

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Fashion

Dsquared2 High Heeled Rain Boots

We are in the middle of the summer, but still, it rains a lot across the world. During the summer (and also in autumn), rain is the biggest obstacle to looking beautiful and chic! Being ready for the rain is like walking around the beach with a scuba diving costume.

When there is rain and mud, what do you need? You need a pair of boots! However, rain boots don’t look cool, and if you are addicted to heels, you will have a lower altitude experience with their flat sole. If you aren’t prepared to ditch the heels despite the rain, you either ruin your daily shoes or end up with winter boots with heels.

DSquared2 have offered a solution to this problem – high heeled rain boots. They are still elegant, in that they are a pair of heels, and you have the functionality of rain boots without looking like you just left the farm in your wellies. Literally, form and function are equal.

If you are looking for a pair of rain boots and love heels, these boots were made for you.

Yellow https://www.dsquared2.com/gb/boot_cod11887670xn.html
Green https://www.dsquared2.com/gb/boot_cod11887671gx.html

Images // DSquared2

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Cars

Bugatti Chiron’s Top Secret: Air Condition

Bugatti Chiron is the most powerful (and the most expensive) mass-produced vehicle currently available. In my personal opinion, Chiron is something from the early 2000s – using a W16 8.0 L engine to produce 1500-hp is a bit outdated. Chiron is an impressive car, but it doesn’t compare to the original Veyron that was the embodiment of a crazy idea brought to reality. Chiron is the polished version of the 1001-hp Bugatti Veyron.

Bugatti recently revealed an eccentric detail of the Chiron – the air conditioning unit. It is a system that cools you down when you press a button, but like everything in the Chiron, it is exaggerated. According to the press release, the air conditioning unit needs a cooling system, and that cooling system needs another cooling system! Understandably, this is due to the extensive heat generated by the W16 engine that produces 1500-hp and can travel up to 482 km/h (300 mph) Chiron Super Sport 300+ model.

As the numbers get mental, the laws of physics also start to push boundaries. To achieve the crazy speed of the Chiron, the windscreen is much larger and angled lower than an average car. Similarly, whilst the Sky View option offers two glass roofs, bringing additional sunlight to the interior, this results in a higher than average inner temperature.

Unlike regular cars, the air is not forced through the lower end of the windscreen. This action happens at speeds over 250 km/h. Therefore, the air conditioning compressor has to produce up to 10 kW to achieve cold air. As a guide, this amount of power could quickly cool down an 80 square meter apartment.

In ten years, we will see this technology downscaled to the other VW model for a more efficient cooling system. Sometimes I do wonder if VW Group is using the Bugatti brand as a testing bed and make it sellable to wealthy people so that while VW Group is doing its R&D, they recover some of the costs?

Images // Bugatti

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Fashion

Kate Upton is Back! Neiman Marcus Lockdown Stay-At-Home Styles Video

Yes, Kate Upton is back! Kind of. She has been away from the digital world and from advertisement space for a long time. She got married and had a kid. She likely had got a bit bored with the entertainment world as well. Anyway, she is back again with a Neiman Marcus campaign: What to wear at home during the lockdown.

Whilst the lockdown is easing a bit in some parts of the world, these tips are still worth a try. Don’t expect any fun content like old times.




Photo Credit // Neiman Marcus

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Cars

Mercedes-Benz New MBUX Technical Details

Mercedes-Benz recently revealed their next-generation user interface system for the upcoming S-Class. I didn’t have a chance to try the system, so my assumptions are based upon what I have observed from press releases and others’ experience.

Since the Tesla Model S was launched, there has been a trend to remove all buttons from the dashboard, instead of replacing all controls via a touchscreen glass panel. On paper, it is a great way of minimising the clutter of buttons on the dashboard, whilst upholding a current on-trend aesthetic that is technologically savvy. Undeniably, it also looks great from a design perspective; who doesn’t admire Bauhaus (form follows function)?

By removing all necessary physical buttons and replacing them with a touch screen also created a new source for vehicle accidents; I crashed while I was trying to adjust the climate control temperature.

This problem is ousted by Mercedes-Benz’s voice-activated technology. The system assumes that people will say something and the car will simply understand; wishful thinking? There are so many accent and sentence structures, it is extremely challenging for a computer to understand what we want. You can also control everything from the interior buttons and knobs whilst driving, therefore it is very easy and safe.

Of course, Mercedes-Benz didn’t simply release a funky user interface. They introduced probably the best navigation system launched yet. By implementing augmented reality into the front screen, the navigation system will show arrows and provide direction directly from the windscreen, placing them at the correct points, instead of telling you ‘turn right after 200 meters’.

I loved the augmented reality navigation system and, likely, other manufacturers and brands will soon follow suit. Admittedly, though, I am not in favour of buttonless dashboards. These will only act to increase accidents and distract people. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if operating a touch screen dashboard is a violation of traffic law. Yes, we need touch screens but not for everything. A hybrid approach would be more optimal than a smartphone approach. What is essentially copying and pasting a smartphone experience into a 2-tone metal object that can travel up to 250 km/h is not the way to move forward.

Here is the technical details of the MBUX (next generation S-Class W223):
Display: 1888 x 1728 resolution, 12.8-inch and 200-ppi (pixel-per-inch) (Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 458-ppi)
Storage: 320 GB SSD
Memory: 16 GB RAM with 41,790 MB/sec (bandwidth)
Over-the-air updates

Images // Daimler AG

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Cars

New Bentley Bentayga Facelift

Bentley’s least iconic vehicle, the Bentayga has received a facelift. It was first introduced in 2015 and became the best-selling vehicle in the Bentley portfolio. In my opinion, this is not surprising, it should have been introduced a decade ago. The Bentayga is based on the Audi Q7 using the same MLBevo modular platform. It essentially shares everything with the Audi Q7.

Honestly, on paper, there is nothing not to like about the Bentayga, yet the exterior design is nothing short of a nightmare. When it was first introduced it had the same outdated front-end aesthetic from the Continental range. The Bentley Continental family was introduced in 2004, and ultimately, the Bentayga possessed this same 1990s years later, past the millennium!

Even despite this, loyal customers continued to order the Bentayga with its outdated look. Thankfully, Bentley decided to upgrade the front-end, giving it a complete overhaul. The result; the front-end is now improved, and the rear-end resembles a real estate version of Flying Spur.

Sadly, Bentayga’s design needs to be revised and taken back to the drawing board. Whatever they do, one side of the SUV looks terrible. I saw the rejuvenated Bentayga recently, and yes from the front, it looks better, but it looks terrible from behind and even more bizarre from the side. Despite this absurd design issue, the price tag is floating around £200,000!

The interior received a make-over as well, and now it looks the same as those in the Continental family, which is positive. Don’t expect different interiors for different vehicles, that era passed a long time ago. Nowadays, car companies try to keep costs as low as possible to survive. If the interior is designed well and is easy to use, I am happy to see it inside different models under the same brand.

Long story short, the Bentayga will be Bentley’s saving grace in these uncertain economic times. If you are looking for an SUV that is capable of performing under light off-road conditions, is reliable (I am betting that Audi is part sharing), and exudes luxury, then the Bentayga is your SUV!

Images // Bentley

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Cars

New Maserati V6 Nettuno Engine

The all-new Maserati twin-turbo V6 engine was recently unveiled. Until now, Maserati has historically used Ferrari power plants for the manufacture of its fleet. Essentially, Maserati only featured Ferrari engines, with the exception of their diesel models. With the recent estrangement of Ferrari / Maserati, a few years ago, Maserati has become autonomous for the first time in nearly 20 years with the production of this novel engine.

Maserati calls its engine the Nettuno. It generates an astonishing 630 PS at 7,500 rpm and 730 nm of torque between 3,000 to 5,000 rpm range. According to Maserati, this engine encompasses Formula 1 technology enabling it to reach this power through a 3-lt engine.

The Nettuno’s Formula 1 inspired technology; a dual spark plug design with a pre-chamber combustion zone is set to power the forthcoming Maserati MC20 mid-engine supercar. There are three main features of this engine; the pre-chamber, the lateral spark plug, and the twin injection system (direct and indirect). You can find more details on Maserati’s website.

Even though Maserati is pedaling this engine as 100% manufactured by Maserati themselves, in Modena, R & T (Road and Track) magazine have questioned the authenticity of the Nettuno, that appears to share some resemblance with the Ferrari and Alfa Romeo engines. Honestly, I couldn’t believe this engine was entirely developed without using Ferrari’s know-how. Here are some of the facts acknowledged by R & T magazine:

The Nettuno specs list a 90-degree angle for the engine, a match for the F154. A cursory glance of the rear also shows a layout that is very similar to Ferrari’s V-8. The 88mm bore and 82mm stroke are a direct match for the F154 as found in the SF90 Stradale. The rev limit of 8,000 RPM is also a match for the SF90, which leads us to believe that development of the Nettuno may have started by removing two cylinders from that engine. The firing order of 1-6-3-4-2-5 for the Nettuno is also the same as the firing order of the F154-based V-6 found in Alfa Romeo vehicles.”

In my opinion; this is simply a great engine that offers F1 technology that can squeeze 630 PS from a 3-lt engine. Just 15 years ago, a 3-lt engine was only capable of delivering 250 PS power and now we have engines that can achieve more than double this. I am sure, there will be an exciting time ahead for the Maserati brand.

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Maserati Nettuno V6 Engine

Photo Credit // Maserati

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Cars

Why I Can’t Like Lamborghinis

Yesterday, I was walking past the Lamborghini dealer in London, and I realised I had never liked a Lamborghini except for the Miura, and that was all. All my life, I never desired any of their cars. They are simply too loud, extremely impractical, no racing heritage, too much bling – and the list goes on.

Even though I am not a fan of Ferraris, I still really admire the technology transferred from Formula 1 to road cars. Ferrari isn’t a brand I would like to drive, but I like their cars. On the other hand, Lamborghini cars have one function, namely: making too much noise and annoying everyone around you.

I am sure they accelerate quickly and handle great (thanks to lower central gravity) but other than that, a Lamborghini usually has the previous generation Audi interior (Gallardo) and doesn’t feel as unique as a Ferrari.

I probably have this feeling due to Lamborghini’s actual business heritage – in agriculture. When I found out at the age of 11 (1992) that Lamborghini was not originally a car company, I was extremely shocked! I guess that moment created a new neural pathway that prevented me from liking the Lamborghini, and as they produced ever louder and blingier cars, things did not go well.

Images // Lamborghini

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Cars

Bentley Mulsanne Product Ended

The time has arrived, the last Bentley Mulsanne has been manufactured after a period of 11 years. The era of the 6.75-lt V8 engine is finished, and the ‘real original’ Bentley has ceased to be. From now on, when you buy a Bentley, you will be buying a Porsche Panamera modular-platform vehicle.

The Mulsanne was one of the iconic designs of the Bentley, and it was the only ‘driver’s car’ luxury sedan. You will look ridiculous if you drive a Rolls-Royce, but the Mulsanne was different from the others, and that era is gone now.

The last car was manufactured for the US market, as you can see from the orange sidelights. Bentley manufactured 30 examples of the Mulsanne 6.75 Edition. This edition is based on the Mulsanne Speed with 530 PS power coming from the iconic 6.75-lt V8 engine. That engine was first used in the 1959 Bentley S1. Then it only produced 180 PS – and now 530PS!

Until further notice, the Bentley Flying Spur (aka Panamera) will be filling the space of the Mulsanne. And there will be a hybrid version of this car by 2023.

When you spot a Mulsanne on the road, then, keep in mind that it is not manufactured anymore.

Images // Bentley

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Cars

Bentley Built Their Last 6.75-lt V8 Engine

A few weeks ago, Bentley built their last 6.75-lt V8 engine. It was only used for the Mulsanne model. The iconic engine had been built for 60 years. It started its journey as a 180-hp engine, but now produces 500-hp. This engine became a part of the Bentley heritage: it was reliable, powerful and delivered the required torque without any hesitation. It revved up to 5,000 rpm, but was more than enough for a smooth acceleration.

Sadly, the sales of the Mulsanne fell heavily, and people were leaning towards SUVs. Therefore, Bentley had little option but to cease production of the Mulsanne and the iconic V8. The W12 will take over the role of this engine for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, it won’t create the same emotional experience.

I know that using a 60-year-old engine is not considered logical nowadays. On the other hand, manufacturing the same engine for a long period enables it to realise its potential and reach a level of near perfection (in a manner of speaking).

The end of the Mulsanne and the 6.75-lt V8 marks the end of an era at Bentley.

Images // Bentley