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Salon Privé Chelsea, London 2022

I have tried to attend Salon Privé for a long time, but I’ve never managed it! I always thought Salon Privé was a small car show, and that’s all. However, I was wrong.

I realized this when I attended the event at Royal Chelsea Hospital in London this year. Since I started blogging, I think this is the first car show where I didn’t ask for a press pass.

Salon Privé London has something unique to offer! It is small, but it has everything! From Prodrive’s Paris Dacar off-roader BRX Hunter to Bugatti Chirons (multiple Chirons were present). I’m not even taking into account the number of Lamborghinis that were present.

Another great part of Salon Privé was Anna-Louise Felstead (Instagram @alfelstead). She is a fantastic artist whose paintings I love. This is especially true for the ones that convey the reality of luxury cars. They are amazing!

Also, there were two helicopters at Salon Privé. I can’t ignore them in this write-up. From this year, I will be attending a future Salone Privé event, and I highly recommend it!

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Cars

The Best Car for London: Honda e

London is well known for its congestion, narrow streets, and extensive underground network, known as the tube. However, despite the ease of getting around on the London Underground, if you still wish to drive in the City, this article is for you.

A good starting point is the streets of London, which are very narrow. After the Great Fire of London of 1666, everything was consumed. That was the moment to extend the existing road width; the timing was perfect, the city would be built from scratch, and there was no better time to extend the street widths. However, things didn’t go as planned. Land owners were reluctant to sacrifice their lands for wider streets, and they wanted to keep the existing London road network. And the story ends here.

If you’ve ever been to London, you’ll have noticed that the city is like an open-air museum. Everything is old and preserved. Therefore, at this point, there is no opportunity to extend the street widths any further.

Why am I talking about street widths in relation to London? The main reason is that they are narrow. As a matter of fact, they are exceedingly narrow, and I don’t know how people drive Range Rovers or American SUVs on these streets. Nothing fits into the lanes apart from small cars, such as the Honda e!

Honda e is a tiny, rear-wheel drive, and amazingly good looking vehicle. It offers a luxurious interior within a high-tech car. It is not based on an existing petrol car; rather, the Honda E is designed from scratch to be an electric car. The Honda E’s design looks more expensive than its price tag! I saw it in Mayfair in front of luxurious residences next to Bentleys. Probably no one realised the car was a Honda.

Honda e is one of the cutest and most beautiful electric cars on the market. Even legendary car designer Frank Stephenson has supported this statement (or, in reality, I’ve supported his!). Frank gave the Honda e 10/10 in terms of design, and he made the right call. After all, Honda e is like an Apple device turned into a car.

Regarding the Honda e’s technical specifications, it has level-two semi-autonomous driving, blind spot assist, cross traffic monitor, heated steering wheel, and 360-camera. Honda E has two engine outputs, 136PS and 154PS (315 nm of torque). My advice is to ignore the 136PS and go for the powerful one. 154PS means you will choose the Honda e Advance version. Top speed? 145 km/h (90 mph). 0 to 100 km/h? 8.3-sec!

The battery capacity of the Honda e is 35.5 kWh. Battery capacity determines how much energy the vehicle’s battery can hold. EV operation efficiency, which is similar to fuel consumption, is 17.2 kWh per 100 km. Also, the maximum range of the vehicle is 218 km (136 miles).

Honda e may be a challenging car for longer journeys, but for London, it is the best car available right now. The luxury and technology you will find in the Honda e will surprise you.

So, the perfect London car – for me – is the Honda e.

Photo Credits // Honda

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Cars

New Range Rover vs. Old Range Rover

After a long break, Land Rover recently revealed its new-generation Range Rover. I previously covered the new Range Rover on my blog. The new model is better than the earlier generation, in terms of technologies, engines, and drive trains.

In terms of design, however, things are more complicated. You might already have spotted similarities between the new and old versions, especially at the front-end. As for me, I’ve been trying to notice any design differences between the two, and it’s challenging.

Both generations look exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are minor differences in the latest generation compared to the previous one.

From the side view, the new generation is not too different from its predecessor. The main difference is the door handles. The new generation has useless pop-out door handles, which tend to break down in harsh or cold weather conditions. However, it also has cleaner lines. This is an important reason why I prefer the new generation.

In terms of the rear-end, the two vehicles are entirely different. I’m still trying to get used to the look of the new generation’s rear-end, but it’s growing on me. Ultimately, it’s unique and creates an impression of a sculptured look.

I’m not an industrial designer or a car designer, and my views are just those of an enthusiastic car blogger. I hope Frank Stephenson will soon provide his review of the new Range Rover’s design.

Photos // Land Rover

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Cars

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ Grand Finale for The Internal Combustion Engine

The world’s fastest mass-production car, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, and Bugatti’s London dealer, HR Owen, has delivered three of them! Sadly, I can’t share my photos as the HR Owen Bugatti dealer is not open to the public. You can’t go into the dealer and take pictures. Once I had the chance, I guess that was all.

The Bugatti Chiron is the predecessor of the Veyron, and they share many features. Such as the engine! The W16 Bugatti engine is an engineering masterpiece from a different perspective. When the Bugatti’s W16 engine was announced at the beginning of the 2000s, the world was a different place. Massive engine displacement was somewhat part of Bugatti’s success and reaching 1001-HP was a fantastic benchmark. During those times, there was some rumour, that the W16 engine was based on two Audi V8 engines stuck together. This has never been confirmed or rejected. I guess that’s one of the automotive secrets.

Chiron Super Sport 300+ promises one thing, reaching 309 miles per hour or 498 km per hour. That is 500 km/h! This is thanks to aerodynamic revisions, an extra 100-HP and many other upgrades. Every single piece of the SuperSport 300+ is revised or redesigned to withstand this speed. The engine produces 1600-HP and 1600nm of torque. The fuel consumption is insane. I am not talking about servicing this Chiron.

For me, Chiron Super Sport 300+ is a great car and show how much we can push the limits of physics. Is it a logical car? Of course not. Does it make sense? Absolutely not. But it is an excellent piece of engineering to see how far we can push the limits of an internal combustion engine. This is probably the last fastest Bugatti with an internal combustion engine.

There are, or there were, only 30 cars available, and they are gone. Will this car pollute the world? Yes, but most of the owners will not drive it that much. You also can’t reach the top speed that easily. This is a piece of engineering; that’s how I see it, and that’s why I wish I had one. Honestly, this is the only Bugatti I wish to own. Because we won’t be able to see these figures again. I guess Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ is the grand finale for the internal combustion engine.

Pictures // Krishan Parmer

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Cars

12th Year

Today marks the 12th anniversary of my blog. I still can’t believe how all those years have passed. Blogging changed a lot twelve years, but I kept writing, and I will be writing.

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Cars

Hyundai IONIC 5 Worth It?

I’ve never thought to cover the Hyundai brand on my blog before. However, many things have changed at Hyundai, especially its transition from an inferior car company to a competitive EV brand.

To be fair, though, Hyundai doesn’t create dream cars that many people want to own or drive. Their products have been excellent and logical for a long time, but they’ve never been ground-breaking until now.

The Ioniq 5 is a ground-breaking, premium electric car. And interestingly, it offers better features than the VW ID family.

Hyundai’s latest EV entry is available in either a rear-wheel drive setup or all-wheel drive (AWD). I would highly recommend the AWD setup because electric motors deliver their maximum torque at any RPM. So, it’s better to get an AWD setup to benefit from the power. In addition, interior build quality and features are substantially better than the VW ID.

Suppose you’re going to order a top-spec Ioniq 5, ticking all the boxes: eco pack, tech pack, and V2L pack. Maybe even a solid colour pack? But a solid colour pack isn’t a necessity like the other packs.

Long story short, Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a premium electric car. Unlike its competitors, including VW, Audi, and even Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai didn’t cut corners with the luxury aspect in this segment.

Regarding the electric range, this is perhaps the most crucial and annoying thing! It ranges from 383 km (238 miles) to 478 km (298 miles). Two electric motors are placed on both the front and rear axles (AWD version), delivering 305 HP of power.

Also, keep in mind that compared to traditional cars, EVs offer a larger interior space and lower centre of gravity (good for handling). Ioniq 5 not only paves the way for level 5 autonomous driving but also shows how cars will become living spaces in the future. We can see a preview of this movement with the Ioniq 5.

Would I buy the Ioniq 5? Yes. I know it’s still a Hyundai, but it’s not like the other Hyundais.

Photos // Hyundai

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Cars

Is the New Range Rover Good?

Land Rover recently revealed its fifth-generation Range Rover. One of the most iconic SUVs in the market! We can’t ignore the fact that Range Rover created the luxury SUV segment, and other brands benefited.

Unlike the last Range Rover reveal, a picture of the new vehicle was leaked on Instagram days before the show. When even Apple can’t keep its upcoming devices secret, good luck, Land Rover!

The new Range Rover outperforms the previous generation. Land Rover’s engineers have fixed many of the old version’s problems and its lack of features. Now, the vehicle has a better infotainment system, improved interior design, and new driving assistance systems.

Despite all these efforts, the new Range Rover still lags behind the Mercedes GLE or BMW X7. Sadly, Land Rover can’t spend R&D cash like these German brands, which would otherwise allow it to top up the latest Range Rover with the latest gadgets.

For instance, the new Range Rover can’t scan the road surface and adjust the suspension firmness to eliminate the bumps. This feature is already offered by Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLS and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Despite the limited features, the new Range Rover didn’t remove the low range gearbox and the rear-differential lock! However, this time they are mated with 23-inch wheels. Good luck with your off-road experiences.

The most shocking part about the new Range Rover is its exterior design. It resembles the previous generation too much. And I’m not surprised by this!

The last generation’s Range Rover was a cash cow, and Land Rover clearly didn’t want to do something too different and freak out its customers. With competitors like the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce Cullinan competing for ugliest SUV, Range Rover needed to play it safe, and they did it well.

A similar strategy was used in the iconic design approach of the Porsche 911. Every Porsche 911 has looked exactly the same since the first one. Land Rover could be planning to implement this design strategy for future Range Rovers. So, do you expect the upcoming Range Rover to look the same? Maybe?

I’m not a designer. However, I still want to see meaningful design improvements with every new Range Rover. Despite my negative feelings towards the Range Rover due to its lack of technology, I still love the way its off-road abilities are wrapped up in luxury.

Would I buy one? Yes – and I’ll moan about it whenever I’m not off-roading.

Photos // Land Rover

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Cars

What is That Truck/Lorry in Clean Bandit feat Wes Nelson Drive Song?

British music group Clean Bandit recently released their latest song, Drive feat. Wes Nelson.

If you’ve watched the music video, you may have spotted a white lorry driving through space toward the Sun. Interestingly, in this scene, the driver isn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Rightly so, you might be asking, “What’s a truck doing in Clean Bandit’s Drive?”

Here’s my answer: the lorry in Clean Bandit’s latest music video is a MAN TGM 18.290. This is a commercial vehicle designed for short- and long-haul journeys. It is capable of carrying up to 18-tonne and powered by a 6.9-lt six-cylinder inline turbo diesel generates 290-hp (euro 6). Probably the tonnage and the euro 6 emission level will not make any sense in space!

More details https://www.man.eu/uk/en/trucks/all-models/the-man-tgm-and-man-tgl/overview/tgm_l-overview.html

Sadly, the MAN TGM isn’t designed to withstand the pressures of traveling to the Sun, and its engine won’t run in space. As we all know, there is no air in Space, and diesel engines need air to run.

MAN was founded in 1758 in Germany. Now, the company is called MAN Truck & Bus. It’s a subsidiary of VW Group. Notably, MAN invented the diesel engine along with Rudolf Diesel, but that’s another long story!

I’m not sure why Clean Bandit chose to feature a MAN TGM in their music video. Also, the journey to the Sun is likely to be a tough one. Most importantly, I would strongly recommend that the driver wear a seatbelt! As is common knowledge, there is no friction in space, and when you stop, you stop quickly.

Also, when the MAN TGM approaches the Sun too closely, the entire lorry will start to melt and spin around the orbit of the Sun. In all likelihood, it will be a scorching journey!

Anyway, Drive is another great song from Clean Bandit. I’m looking forward to seeing what vehicle they decide to use for their next music video.

By the way, if the MAN truck featured in the video isn’t a TGL, please let me know. Unfortunately, in the video, it’s hard to make out the model badge on the vehicle.

Watch Clean Bandit Drive feat. Wes Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrB8wB49z7c

Copyright // MAN Truck & Bus SE, Clean Bandit Drive Videoclip

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Cars

How will Car Companies Make Profit from Electric Cars?

Over the last three years, we have witnessed a considerable increase in the number of electric cars in the market. Starting with Tesla, many other manufacturers introduced electric vehicles in their range of models, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.

This trend is not something new, and it was ignited by Tesla. Early in 2013, BMW introduced the i3 and i8 models. At this point, there were only a few electric cars. Now, Mercedes literally offers every ICE car in an electric version. BMW and Audi are going in that direction as well. I am sure VW Group will implement this strategy in the rest of their brands.

All of this is good news for the consumer, and it’s nice to see a shift from ICE to electric cars. The rise of electric vehicles in the market will increase competition, quality, and the range of choices.

There is one thing unique to electric cars, and many people haven’t realised it yet. They realised it as a benefit! Servicing! Electric vehicles have literally no moving parts. The Porsche Taycan is the only electric car with an automatic gearbox.

Electric motors don’t need servicing. This is because there is no engine oil, air filter, spark plugs, clutches, or catalysers. As a result, servicing your electric car will be cheap. Probably, brake pads and brake fluid will need to be replaced from time to time. You may also need to check the condition of the electric motor, and maybe few other bits.

This is good for consumers but bad for car companies. These companies make lots of profit from servicing. Manufacturing a car is an expensive process, but servicing it is really easy! So, the profit margin for servicing a vehicle is high.

Given the limited servicing frame for electric vehicles, then, how will car companies compensate for the lost profit? One option is to increase the price, but this may backfire.

Now let’s have a look at Apple’s business model. You buy an iPad and keep it for a long time; Apple can’t sell you an additional iPad that easily. So, how does Apple make a profit from you? The answer is, again, services! These include Apple Music, Apple TV+, and all the other apps you’ve subscribed to. Your iPad is nothing without those services.

I believe the car industry may go in a similar direction. That’s to say, after you buy your electric car, you may be required to pay a subscription fee if you wish to use services.

Mercedes-Benz is already doing something similar with its EQS. You have to pay for it if you want to have extended angle rear-wheel steering, and Mercedes-Benz will enable it over-the-air. This model is similar to how Apple’s AppStore used to work. If you pay once, the model doesn’t work; everything needs to be on subscription.

Over the next ten years, we will probably see car manufacturers rolling out many subscription services to compensate for the financial loss of vehicle servicing.

Photos Daimler

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Cars

Bugatti Restoration Programme

Welcome to the world of Bugatti restoration, Bugatti’s personalized “La Maison Pur Sang” program.

If you’re reading this article, you might have wondered about whether it’s ever right to treat your Bugatti like an everyday VW Golf. At the end of the day, the two cars are from the same company – Volkswagen – and they can be driven for anything.

Even though an average Bugatti costs ten times the amount of an average family car, both cars are still practical for everyday tasks.

Bugatti recently revealed a bespoke restoration service known as the “La Maison Pur Sang” program. The first Bugatti to be restored was the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, the prototype for which was featured at Pebble Beach in 2008. An interesting fact is that due to its status as a prototype Bugatti, I don’t think it was sold to a customer. A prototype means that something may fall apart without giving any notice.

According to Bugatti, they reacquired the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport for restoration (from whom they reacquired is the question). The process of restoring a Bugatti involves the following:

Are you planning to buy a used Bugatti, or do you want to refresh your worn-out Bugatti? If so, there’s a service designed for your needs.

One final note, though: to enter Bugatti’s “La Maison Pur Sang” program, and also benefit from a restoration process for your Bugatti, this will set you back around the price of a brand new Audi A4!