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11th Year Anniversary

Today is the 11th birthday of my blog.

I still cannot imagine, it has been 11 years. I still remember the first day, I posted my first article on Blogger.com and now I am here.

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Cars

The Pursuit Seat – Rolls-Royce’s Answer to Garden Furniture

A few days ago, Rolls-Royce unveiled their latest product; a garden seat, valued at £6581. Never expect anything cheap from Rolls-Royce. If you think Apple is too expensive, or Christian Louboutin charges too much for a pair of shoes, you will reconsider your thoughts after seeing the Rolls-Royce price list. Whilst the Rolls-Royce brand is well-known for its skyrocketing prices, for this price, you could easily purchase a second-hand BMW!

Despite its shocking price, the Pursuit Seat is a state of the art chair. It is made from leather, carbon fibre and aluminium (it is probably aluminium alloy). Honestly, it has a minimalist design and is both portable and versatile; you can carry it and use it almost anywhere. The engineering and finishing details that have gone into this chair really are insane; it is, arguably, worth the price tag.

Before I finish, when the Apple Pro Display XDR stand came out, costing £949, people complained; they said it was just a stand. However, it is a state of art stand and offers state of the art comfort. After the launch of the Rolls-Royce garden chair, I think the Pro Stand will no longer be perceived as too expensive!

Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat
Rolls Royce Pursuit Seat

Photo Credit // Rolls Royce

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Cars

The Best Bugatti: Bugatti Bolide

Bugatti Bolide, the best Bugatti ever made?

Bugatti is well known for the 1001 PS Veyron from the early 2000s with its an 8-lt W16 engine. VW Group spent years developing this monster, during which it was a fantastic car. Sadly, many people assumed Bugatti was just a car manufacturer and never fully understood the its heritage.

In following years, we had the limited edition Veyron and SuperSport, among others. With the Super Sport, Bugatti reached up to 1200 PS. Sadly, Veyron was losing money for every car they sold, which is presumably why servicing the Veyron is still too expensive.

After the Veyron, we had the Chiron. By the way, I didn’t have many opportunities to see it. HR Owen Bugatti used to be part of the HR Owen Bentley showroom and after the Chiron, HR Owen Bugatti had its showroom and getting inside it is literally impossible, so I didn’t get many opportunities to see the Chiron. Nevertheless, I wasn’t impressed as much as the Veyron. It was heavier, and the engine and the transmission were from the Veyron. And that’s acceptable, VW Group spent lots of time developing the W16 (there were some rumours that the W16 is two Audi V8 engine glued together) and the transmission. They can’t get rid of them; they had to use them to get more power!

Despite my lack of excitement. I really admired the Chiron, and it was kind of an updated version of the Veyron. It had new materials and more efficient engine but something was still missing. Bugatti used to criticise Bentley for being the fastest truck in Le Mans, and now Chiron was taking that role. After the Chiron, we saw Chiron Sport, Pur Sport, Sport 110 Ans and we had SuperSport 300+. Both of these cars were on the same Chiron platform. They look like heavyweight cars. They didn’t have the lightweight heritage of the Bugatti’s of old.

Until now! Bugatti Bolide made it! Bugatti Head Office removed everything from the Chiron, all the unnecessary parts designed to show off in the streets of London and Monaco. The engine was beefed up to 1850 PS on racing fuel—everything designed for the circuit like the old days. Bugatti wasn’t creating the impression of a truck anymore. I always felt like Veyron and Chiron were the shrunk version of MAN trucks. Bolide is designed purely for Le Mans racing. Every single bit was designed to get the best from the engine and the aerodynamics. They made it!

The Bolide is the best contemporary Bugatti after the Veyron. Veyron introduced the four-digit horsepower league to the automotive industry, and the Bolide was introduced to show how to deliver that power into a racing circuit.

I wonder if the current Bugatti owners will be able to drive this car. As the car is not designed for comfort, driving it will be a challenge. I hope to see more electric-powered Bugattis in future as well.

I assume the Bolide will visit HR Owen Bugatti, and I don’t know if I will be able to see it. As you may notice, I am not an influencer even though I’ve blog about cars for 11 years. If I manage to spot it, I will share the photos.

Interesting facts of Bugatti Bolide:
– 1,850 PS and 1,240 kilograms – weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg/PS
– 1,850 PS and 1,850 newton-metres of torque
– With 98 octane fuel at 1,600 PS
– The Bolide takes 3:07.1 minutes to complete a lap of Le Mans and 5:23.1 minutes to get around the Nordschleif
– Top speed is well above 500 km/h

Images // Bugatti

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Cars

Hummer is back! It is the Electric Hummer

General Motors have recently announced their new Hummer, bringing it back to life after the H3. This time, GM created the Hummer purely electric, and you may presume the driving range would be around 10km, I think everyone has the same concern.

Hummers are notoriously heavy, slow, and unreliable due to their electric power train, with the H1 being the exception. I know I sound slightly negative, but Hummers do not have a good reputation.

According to GM, Hummers are capable of delivering 1000 hp and 15,000 Nm of torque. I think this was a typo! Neither the drivetrain nor the tyres will be able to cope with this amount of torque and stress. The range is approximately 560km but turning on the Hummers front light could reduce the range to 50 km. They appear hilariously energy-consuming for an electric SUV and will feature two or three electric motors with 350 kW charge speed.

In my opinion, it will be fun to see an electric Hummer. Maybe this time GM will produce a Hummer that will not fall apart like the previous ones. We will see!

Images // GM

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Cars

New Rolls Royce Ghost // HR Owen, Mayfair London

Recently, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. And I had the chance to see it at the HR Owen Mayfair London dealer. The first generation Ghost was unveiled in 2010. It was based on the F01 BMW 7 Series platform and uses a 6.6lt V12 N74 family engine with a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. It was a great success for the Rolls-Royce; the Ghost enabled them to reach a new audience and begin to capture Bentley’s market share. Also, a coupé and cabriolet version of the Ghost was revealed, named Dawn and Wraith respectively, both of which were very successful.

A decade has passed since Rolls-Royce first released the Ghost. This time, it is based on the Rolls-Royce’s in-house modular platform shared with the latest Phantom and Cullinan models. Instead of using the BMW 7-Series platform, Rolls-Royce wanted to create their own. However, the new Ghost features a 6.75lt V12 N74 family BMW engine. Sadly, Rolls-Royce does not have an engine factory yet (as far as I am aware).

The new Ghost is an all-wheel-drive based on BMW x-Drive technology (a perfect choice) including all-wheel steering. Now you can have the magic carpet experience driving the new Ghost. The front camera and laser scanner analyses the road surface and adjusts the suspension for added comfort. The Ghost is quieter than before; actually, too quiet, causing passengers to experience motion sickness. Therefore, they had to increase the noise level inside the cabin. Rolls-Royce also developed a new upper wishbone damper unit that has never been seen on any other car’s drivetrain.

BMW have included their latest driving assistance system in the new Ghost. I know Rolls-Royce does not wish to mention any mutual technology with the BMW, but without the BMW’s know-how, the Ghost would simply be an analogue car. To stay current in the luxury car market, you need a big company behind you. Just look at Aston Martin, no one is supporting them, and they struggle to keep up with the competition.

People usually say the features I mention are not particularly luxurious. However, the definition of luxury has changed dramatically. If your car does not have smartphone connectivity, it is obsolete. Overall, new Ghost is an amazing car will definitely regain the market share lost to the Bentley Flying Spur.

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Cars

A Cool Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon: Project Geländewagen

Coupe of weeks ago Gordon Wagener, the Chief Design Director of Mercedes-Benz, announced a brand-new G-Wagon. A collaboration with Virgil Abloh (founder of Off-White brand and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men wear collection). However, only one has been produced so far, with the project being named Project Gelandewagen. The car is inspired by the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG and looks fantastic.

The reason I am saying that this is a fantastic vehicle is because G63 AMG is undeniably the most pointless SUV. It has massive wheels, its engine is not fit for off-road drives, it makes too much meaningless noise and the exhaust is overexposed. I would even argue that the G63 AMG should have a different, bolder design than the traditional G-Wagon.

The Mercedes-Benz marketing team initially proposed the G-Wagon as a fashion item rather than a functional vehicle. Sure, this helped increase sales figures, but it distanced people like me from the G-Wagon. I think it’s a really good off-road vehicle which doesn’t need to offer an AMG engine. It should be something like a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – a true off-roader!

Now Mercedes-Benz has the opportunity to offer a proper G63 AMG; it has been designed by Virgil Abloh and Gordon Wagener, LV men’s fashion director and the founder of the Off-White brand. It is only a one-off project, but I think it should be mass produced.

A bit about the vehicle itself: literally everything inside the vehicle is removed. The steering wheel is from the AMG F1, the seats are from the AMG GT, the chunky door handles are done. There’s brand new paint inside and outside. All dials are replaced with the GT racing dials. Their massive slick tyres reduce suspension height and project for the headlamps with duct tape.

This is a proper G63 AMG – I loved it, and I believe this is how it should be offered.

Images // Daimler AG

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Cars

Mercedes-Benz CLA vs. A-Class Sedan

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity of seeing the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon, in person, on the King’s Road, Chelsea. I thought it was a CLA, and that someone had decided to remove the CL from the vehicle’s badge. Apparently, I was wrong! I should have read the Daimler AG’s press release more carefully, as the A-Class Saloon is an entirely different car than the CLA model.

I personally consider the CLA to be the most obsolete car on this planet, in fact, in our solar system! It looks like someone put the CLS into a dryer which resulted in the obscure looking CLA. The CLA is, however, a cash maker in emerging markets, where the taxation is burdensome on cars. Even taking this into account, it does not justify the awkward aesthetic of the CLA.

I have always considered the CLA to be the ‘Saloon’ version of the A-Class, with a similar frontage, the same interior but with a larger boot. Daimler AG headquarters had a different idea, launching the A-Class Saloon, based on expensive consultants, Excel spreadsheets, and very long reports to justify the advantages and differences over the CLA.

I have been interested in cars since I was a child, and I can even spot the model of a car at night. I could not, however, decipher the difference in design between the CLA and the A-Class Saloon. True, the A-Class Saloon has a higher roofline at the C-column, along with a few other variances, including the suspension which is probably a bit softer in the A-Class Saloon. Yet no glaringly obvious difference would entice someone to choose anything other than the cheapest.

The CLA is positioned as a sportier version, but the differences are so slight I doubt that someone would visit a dealer and measure the rooflines to then decide.

The CLA and A-Class Saloon will inevitably saturate each-others’ market share.

A similar situation occurred with the BMW brand. Take the BMW 3-Series Gran Tour and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe; they look the same. I raised this issue on my blog and received an abundance of emails in response as so many people were bewildered about the difference or lack of difference between the two models. The only notable criterion was pricing, and this soon wore thin with the consumers, and consequently, the 3-Series Gran Tour was abandoned!

Inevitably this may also be the fate of the A-Class Saloon and the CLA. Someone accidently pitched the idea to Daimler AG, and it went into production.

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Cars

Does The New Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W223) Interior Design Has Serious Problems?

Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the interior design of the next-generation S-Class W223. Typically, the features you would see inside one S-Class model would be very similar ten years later on subsequent models, including safety technologies such as ESP and the pre-crash system. This time, Mercedes have broken the mould.

The brand is pushing the boundaries with its functionality, with touch-sensitive buttons or tiny touch screens included in its new model for the seat climate controls. The centre console of this S-Class is akin to the likes of the Audi A8, the Tesla Model S, and the Range Rover. There is a complete absence of physical buttons; now you control everything via a state-of-the-art touch screen. It is very much reminiscent of an iPad experience; however, it can be difficult to alter the aircon temperature, for example, whilst you are driving. The lack of real feedback of a physical button when using the touch screen is a concern, and this is a well-known issue.

The S-Class has taken the touch screen control to an entirely new dimension, with even the controls for seat temperature being controlled in this way! Heating and cooling controls for seats used to be psychical buttons. Notably, the Audi A8 still has these, which I consider to be the optimal experience. Now, if you wish to heat your seat, you have to look at the button area to see whether you are touching the correct one; otherwise, you can quickly cool down your seat on a cold winter drive!

Physical buttons allow us to gauge the pressure we apply to the button, and also how many times we have pressed it. These would be much more practical for users when in the motion of driving – something Mercedes have overlooked.

Regrettably, addiction to touch screens will increase the opportunity for a new type of accident. Until now, we haven’t experienced accidents due to driver distraction from touch screen controls, but this could be on the horizon with drivers of cars like this model having to overt their eyes from the road to manage the screen controls. Pre-crash technology systems may prevent such accidents, but there is no need to invent a new type of accident when the existing solutions work perfectly.

Images // Daimler AG

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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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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