Hyundai has come a long way in precisely 51 years of existence. The South Korean automaker has been manufacturing automobiles in the U.S. since 1986. Today, the industrial conglomerate has the world’s first all-electric compact SUV. On November 20, 2019, Bret Michaels helped the manufacturer celebrate the fresh year, helping them rock out the night.
Hyundai’s all-electric vehicle is the alluring KONA. Starting price is around 36,950 and tops out at approximately $45,200 (the ultimate package). This car allows you to drive 258 miles before recharge. Moreover, you have 2 alternatives for charging your money saver: 7.2 kW AC Wall Box Charger as well as a 2.8 kW Portable Charger. According to India Today, The 7.2 kW AC Wall Box Charger will take around 6 hours and 10 minutes for a full charge, while the 2.8 kW Portable Charger will take 19 hours to completely power the battery.
Overall, this vehicle is an easy-to-use showstopper.
Jaguar Land Rover will showcase its latest lineups from both brands at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, held from Nov.22 – Dec.1, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The show will feature the highly anticipated North American debut of the New 2020 Land Rover Defender, the world’s most iconic 4×4 reimagined for the 21st century.
Driven by a passion and respect for the original, the New Defender delivers transformational breadth of capability and advanced all-terrain technologies to redefine adventure while remaining true to the pioneering spirit of the Land Rover brand’s storied 70 year heritage. The New Defender is available in perfectly proportioned ‘90’ and ‘110’ body styles. Available in Spring 2020, the Defender 110 will be priced from $49,9001 in the U.S., while the Defender 90 First Edition will be available in Summer 2020 priced from $65,1001. The full range of Defender 90 models will be available in Fall 2020, priced around $50,0001.
Additionally, the New Defender featured in the upcoming James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” will be on display during the auto show. “No Time to Die” is the first movie to feature the New Defender, and will be released in April 2020.
This fall, Land Rover announced the creation of 4xFAR, a live music festival combining award-winning musical performances with lifestyle, culinary and adventure experiences. The festival was created to celebrate the New 2020 Land Rover Defender coming to the U.S. and will be the first opportunity for consumers to experience the New Defender. 4xFAR will take place Jan.18-19, 2020 in the Coachella Valley in Southern California; for more information, visit www.4xFAR.com.
In addition to showcasing several derivatives of the New Defender, the Land Rover stand will also showcase the Land Rover Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover SVAutobiography, Range Rover Sport PHEV and the Range Rover Evoque.
Jaguar will display its entire current lineup, including the new Jaguar XJ Collection Edition, a limited production luxury sedan with 300 units available exclusively to U.S. customers. Also on the stand will be the full ‘PACE’ family of Jaguar SUVs including the all-electric I-PACE performance SUV, the E-PACE compact SUV and the F-PACE SVR, the pinnacle of the Velar lineup. Other vehicles on display will include the Jaguar F-TYPE Checkered Flag Limited Edition Convertible, designed to celebrate the brand’s rich sports car heritage and the newly enhanced 2020 Jaguar XE sports sedan.
During the show, Jaguar Land Rover will host on- and off-road consumer test drive experiences from the Jaguar Art of Performance Tour and Land Rover Above and Beyond Tour2. The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour will include the opportunity for consumers to drive the all-electric I-PACE performance SUV, F-TYPE sports car and award-winning F-PACE SUV in a series of street drives.
The Land Rover Above and Beyond Tour will allow guests to drive a selection of Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles in a series of street drives as well as on a purpose-built off-road course designed to highlight the brand’s breadth of capability.
Land Rover will also offer a Carpool Karaoke experience in collaboration with the Signing Machine, allowing visitors to sing their favorite tunes in a Land Rover vehicle and learn more about the upcoming 4xFAR festival. Land Rover will also offer a Junior Drive Experience for children between the ages of four and 10 years old accompanied by a parent or guardian to drive an electric Series I kiddie car on an indoor course. On Friday, November 22, Land Rover ambassador and famed big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and former professional volleyball player Gabby Reece will host a book signing of Hamilton’s latest book, “Liferider.”
The drive lounge and indoor drive experiences will be located in the South Atrium Hall; off-road drive experiences will be held across from the convention center on Figueroa Street.
NEW 2020 LAND ROVER DEFENDER Reimagined for the 21st century, the 2020 Land Rover Defender offers the most off-road capable Land Rover vehicle ever while staying true to the brand’s iconic design and reputation for rugged go-anywhere utility. The New Defender will be available in 90 and 110 body styles, with up to six seats in the 90 and the option of five, six or 5+2 seating in the 110.
Delivering transformational breadth of capability and on-road handling, the Defender is in a category of its own. The Land Rover brand has developed the new all-aluminum D7x platform that delivers the stiffest Land Rover body ever created, with a torsional rigidity of 29kNm/Degree – making it three times more rigid than traditional body-on-frame designs. The New Defender is also the first Land Rover to feature Configurable Terrain Response®, allowing drivers to fine-tune a range of settings to suit the conditions more precisely than ever before3.
While still embracing its known and loved silhouette, the short rear overhang on the Defender, the same for both body styles, is made possible by mounting the spare wheel externally, rather than under the rear floor, where it is readily accessible off-road. The trademark side-hinged rear door is further engineered to accommodate any of the available wheel and tire combinations. These strong foundations provide an ideal basis for the fully-independent suspension, twin-speed transfer box and permanent four wheel drive.
To complete the functional, durable and flexible interior with exposed structural elements, the iconic 4×4 debuts the new PIVI Pro4 infotainment system featuring an intuitive interface, while Software-Over-The-Air updates allows customers to access to the latest software updates remotely. Additionally, the vehicle features an intuitive 10-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility delivers enhanced user experience and broader range of functions5.
Owners will be able to further tailor the New Defender to their lifestyle through the fitment of four distinct optional Accessory Packs (Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban), as well as an available 170 individual accessories.
2019 JAGUAR XJ COLLECTION SPECIAL EDITION The Jaguar XJ Collection Special Edition is a limited production model celebrating the last of the current generation of XJ design and offers a unique and bold blend of performance, technology and luxury. It represents the ultimate expression of the sedan’s legendary elegance and striking design.
Based on the long-wheelbase, rear-wheel drive Jaguar XJL Supercharged model, and powered by a 470hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8, the XJ Collection features a range of elegant visual enhancements to the sedan’s exterior and unique details to its luxurious cabin. Just 300 examples will be produced and sold only to U.S. customers, making it one of the most exclusive versions of the XJ since the ground-breaking original was revealed in 1968.
A number of distinct interior features and exterior design details deliver enhanced levels of craftsmanship, elevating the iconic luxury the XJ is known for. The new Jaguar XJ Collection is available exclusively in the U.S. starting at $85,0001.
The Jaguar Land Rover stand at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is located in the Los Angeles Convention Center, located at 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015. For further information about the Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles on display, visit www.jaguarusa.com and www.landroverusa.com.
LEXUS PRESENTS ITS VISION OF FUTURE ELECTRIFICATION WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE LF-30 ELECTRIFIED CONCEPT
Lexus Electrified vision promises unmatched driver fulfillment and enjoyment of automobiles.
‘LF-30 Electrified’ new concept embodies the vision of Lexus’ electrification
Futuristic exterior foreshadows the Lexus Electrified vehicles towards 2030
An innovative, interior that leverages autonomous driving technologies, a newly designed cockpit, and other advancements
Boasting four in-wheel electric motors, steering by wire, and Lexus Advanced Posture Control, LF-30 can offer a dynamic experience unlike any currently available
In its continued efforts to deliver innovative and amazing experiences, Lexus unveiled its “Lexus Electrified” vision for an upcoming generation of electrified vehicles. Headlining this moment was the debut of the Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept, which made its world premiere at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019.
Since the brand’s creation in 1989, Lexus has endeavored to deliver to its customers innovative and amazing product and brand experiences that stimulate the five senses. Since the launch of the RX 400h in 2005, Lexus has led the world as a pioneer in electrification technologies such as the two-stage reduction gear and the multi-stage hybrid system which leverage technology to offer excellent performance and the direct driving sensation characteristic of Lexus Hybrid vehicles.
The “Lexus Electrified” vision unveiled today targets a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment — even as mobility within our society continues to change with autonomous driving and vehicle electrification.
Evoking the original fun of driving, Lexus is developing new advanced posture control and other electrification technologies to further evolve driving pleasure, and to fundamentally transform the essence of luxury vehicles of the future. Towards this end, Lexus is drawing on the lessons learned developing the core technologies found in Lexus’ popular range of gasoline-electric hybrids, including battery management, power control modules, and electric motors. In particular, the technology of Lexus Electrified enables integrated control of powertrain, steering, suspension, and brakes, realizing the ultimate potential of the motor control technology cultivated in HV. With this technology, we can control the driving force to provide ideal vehicle posture according to each driving situation. Lexus endeavors to continue providing enjoyable and safer driving vehicles.
To advance this goal, Lexus plans to unveil its first BEV in November 2019 – broadening its response to the needs of various regions around the world, including the development of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs. Moving forward after that, Lexus plans to expand its electrified vehicle lineup – launching its first PHEV and a new dedicated BEV platform early in the coming decade. By 2025, Lexus will have available electrified versions of all Lexus vehicle models, and we are aiming for the sales of electrified vehicle models to outpace those of conventional internal combustion engine vehicle models.
Lexus LF-30 Electrified Highlights
The LF-30 Electrified concept vehicle embodies the “Lexus Electrified” vision. For its exterior styling the advanced image expected of a BEV has been channeled into artistic qualities that result in a futuristic form, and an interior that assertively weaves in autonomous driving and other new technologies aims to manifest Lexus’ distinctive worldview. Performance is rooted in Lexus Electrified components, adding Lexus’ latest technology to its leadership in development of HEV systems. Precise electric motor control enables instantaneous adjustments to posture not possible with conventional vehicles. Furthermore, the LF-30 Electrified employs numerous advanced technologies with a look ahead to the year 2030- such as a new-concept cockpit based on a human-centered design philosophy and a steer-by-wire system.
Futuristic exterior foreshadows the Lexus Electrified vehicles towards 2030
In taking up the challenge of expressing a new design that could only be achieved with a BEV powered by in-wheel electric motors, Lexus visually articulated the LF-30 Electrified’s unique energy flow. The vehicle form is meant to visually express the energy created by the wheels set at the corners of the vehicle body streaming toward the vehicle cabin and past the driver to directly flow onto the road surface.
Taking advantage of a hoodless vehicle shape made possible by being a BEV, Lexus’ signature “spindle” form has been further evolved to span the entire vehicle architecture. The window glass, which continually stretches from the front to rear, the muscular fenders, and the wing-shaped headlights form the contours of the Lexus iconic spindle. The shape of the body is fashioned with an elegantly flowing front which transitions into a linear and sharp rear. In addition to the wing-shaped headlights, the sharpness of the rear lights and side air intakes combine to achieve both excellent aerodynamics and cooling performance, resulting in styling fused with function.
The opacity of the side windows can be freely adjusted, providing occupants with expansive views of the surrounding scenery and a high level of privacy at night and in other situations. The color of the front face of the vehicle and luminescence patterns help identify from the outside whether the vehicle is being operated in its normal mode or in its autonomous driving mode, reflecting Lexus’ pursuit of both a high level of styling and functionality. The exterior color ‘voltaic sky’ employs a leading-edge metal-infused coating to achieve a unique quality tinted by a touch of blue-green.
Innovative interior that leverages autonomous driving technologies, a newly designed cockpit, and more
To manifest in a higher dimension Lexus’ fundamental human-centered philosophy, the cockpit was designed based on the new Lexus concept of “Tazuna.” Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering controller-mounted switches and head-up display have been coordinated to a high degree, creating a space that enables the driver to focus on driving while controlling various functions, such as the navigation and audio system and driving-mode selection, without having to shift one’s vision or operate manual switches. As an indication of the future image of a Tazuna cockpit, the LF-30 Electrified employs next-generation interfaces, such as gesture control and enhanced presentation of vehicle information through AR (augmented reality). The resulting interior is one that provides comfort and convenience for both driver and passengers.
With the layout of the front passenger seat echoing that of a first-class seat on an airliner, the interior is one in which a sense of openness and a sense of envelopment coexist. All switches and other controls being comfortably within reach and a gesture-control large-screen display for the passenger seat add to the achievement of interior comfort and convenience.
The rear seats use artificial muscle technology to mold to their occupant, and can support various modes such as reclining, relaxation, and alert functions. A Mark Levinson® audio system creates a next-generation listening environment, in which minute speaker control establishes ideal acoustic spaces for music listening pleasure for the driver and each passenger, and speakers built into the headrests not only provide an optimal audio environment but also have a noise-cancelling feature that contributes to enhanced quietness.
A glass roof above the rear seats features voice control and a gesture controlled “SkyGate” display window that uses AR to display various types of information, such as a realistic star-filled sky, user-favorite videos, and even navigation.
In addition to its unique design, the interior also indicates the direction of next-generation luxury by using sustainable materials to reduce environmental burden. Yakisugi (charred cedar), a traditional Japanese material, is used in the floor and steering controller while recycled metal was processed into fibers for use in creating the pleated door trim. This approach expresses Lexus’ distinctiveness and innovative spirit.
With in-wheel electric motors, steering by wire, and Lexus Advanced Posture Control, the LF30 can offer a dynamic experience unlike any currently available
To achieve a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment, the LF-30 employs numerous state-of-the-art technologies even beyond advanced posture control. In-wheel electric motors for each of the vehicle’s four wheels and low positioning of the battery enable better handling of inertia and high-level driving performance. Autonomous driving technologies and drone support vehicle technologies look ahead to the year 2030 and the widely expanded value that vehicles can offer.
Lexus Advanced Posture Control technology regulates the drive-power output from high-torque electric motors to adjust vehicle posture in tune with human sensibilities. Completely independent control of front and rear drive wheels allows appropriate provision of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the driving situation. Compact and lightweight drive-power units expand freedom in vehicle packaging and are used to enable the driver to enjoy ideal driving, regardless of the road surface or driving conditions.
Positioning Lexus Advanced Posture Control technology as a core element of the ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision, Lexus intends to widely apply this technology throughout its lineup of electrified vehicles.
The steer-by-wire system eliminates a mechanical connection to allow more flexible turning control depending on driving conditions, and a more precise steering feel aligned with the driver’s intention. It also contributes to a greater sense of openness by allowing the steering controller can be shifted forward and out of the way during autonomous driving.
As a next-generation BEV, LF-30 uses wireless charging technology to simplify daily charging, and AI-based energy management to enable optimal distribution of electric power to both the vehicle and the home, and charging control coordinated with the user’s daily schedule.
Onboard AI distinguishes the voices of vehicle occupants, and uses personalized information stored on the driver’s control key to serve as a partner. It facilitates the adjustment of elements of the interior environment, such as air temperature and audio, and the setting of navigation routes and destinations, while also making proposals for activities after arrival. It also understands the driver’s preferences and helps them control the suspension and powertrain settings in real-time according to the driving scene.
The LF-30 Electrified also carries the ‘Lexus Airporter’ drone-technology support vehicle. Using autonomous control, the Lexus Airporter is capable of such tasks as independently transporting baggage from a household doorstep to the vehicle’s luggage area.
Based on the latest autonomous driving technology concept of ‘Lexus Teammate’, the LF-30 Electrified features advanced driving support functions in the form of a Chauffeur mode and a Guardian mode. Occupants can enjoy both comfort and peace of mind during autonomous driving with advanced posture control technology being employed. Furthermore, a self-parking function and a front-door pickup function in which the LF-30 Electrified autonomously moves from driveway to doorstep provide an especially high level of convenience.
In addition to the LF-30 Electrified exhibition, the Lexus booth at Tokyo Motor Show will contain “Lexus Senses theatre,” a space where people can experience the “stimulation of the five senses.” It consists of two experience spaces, audio and visual. In Theater 1, the sensual engine sound of Lexus LFA stimulates hearing with 360° 3D sound.
Theater 2 offers a visually stimulating experience with the Lexus LC model by projection mapping – which changes its appearance according to the time of day and the viewing angle. In this booth layout you can appreciate the Lexus philosophy, while enjoying sensory stimulation through “real experience.”
Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Compatibility
Convertible Top Opens in Approx. 15 seconds
471-horsepower Naturally Aspirated V8 Engine
Barrett-Jackson to Auction One-of-a-Kind LC 500 Convertible Next Year
On Sale in Summer 2020
With a focus on providing the same dynamic and luxurious driving performance for which the flagship LC 500 coupe is known, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible makes its global debut today at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Expanding the aspirational two-door LC family, the LC 500 Convertible offers an additional way to stimulate the senses – with the top down. The exterior of the new LC Convertible stylishly blends the coupe’s unique roofline with the character of a convertible, achieving an exquisite profile with the top open or closed.
Designed from the Top, Down
The LC 500 Convertible echoes the coupe’s “Even Sharper, More Refined” driving characteristics, with a low center of gravity, optimal weight distribution, and a focus on performance-minded handling thanks to impressive structural rigidity. Lexus engineers relied on computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis and real-world driving evaluation to match the driving qualities of its coupe counterpart, and the extensive research and development yielded impressive results.
Engineers aimed to retain similar handling dynamics to the LC 500 coupe while also improving chassis rigidity with the addition and relocation of various structural braces. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
Drivers of the front engine, rear-wheel-drive LC Convertible can expect similar breath-taking performance to the coupe, thanks to the powerful drivetrain combination of the 5.0-liter V8 engine paired with the seamless Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission. The naturally aspirated, direct-injection V8 is rated to produce 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.
Soft Top, Hard Demeanor
The LC Convertible’s soft-top design features an innovative folding mechanism that includes a tonneau cover for when it is stored. The design allowed engineers to focus on accentuating the sleek lines of the convertible without significant intrusions to the trunk and cabin space that can come with a heavier, bulkier hard top. The coupe’s curves are further highlighted with the silhouette of the convertible through a few key changes. At the rear, the trunk is accentuated with a “kicked up” design that lifts its profile slightly, while the surface of the spoiler is laterally broadened to emphasize the low, wide stance of the car. The center brake light is now integrated into the trunk lid, unlike the coupe where it rests on the top of the rear windshield.
The four-layer soft top is designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe without the supporting frame visible through the fabric. The roof material itself was carefully selected and manufactured to ensure for optimal tension, to minimize wrinkling and improve sound insulation. The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animated display on the instrumentation panel shows the top’s progress. One of the most impressive aspects is the time it takes: approximately 15 seconds to open and approximately 16 seconds to close*.
The top is offered in two colors: black and beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared**, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow**, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
Shown at the Los Angeles International Auto Show is the LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series. This special edition is limited to only 100 units, and it will be offered in Structural Blue with white semi-aniline leather interior trim, unique blue top, gray headlamp garnishes, side intake garnishes, and taillamp garnishes. Chrome/black 21-inch wheels come standard. More details to follow in a later announcement.
Top Down, Year ‘Round
With the new LC Convertible, even if the weather cools down that doesn’t mean the top has to stay on. In fact, the HVAC system is designed to adjust temperature automatically regardless of whether the top is raised or lowered, and if the top is down neck heaters are designed to help keep the upper body warm. The Lexus Climate Concierge with Upper Body Heating automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin is at the ideal temperature even if the outside weather is not. The HVAC system has also been optimized to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver’s hands when gripping the steering wheel.
Engineers also took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants. The cabin is designed to reduce wind noise thanks to the unique shape of the beltline and rear molding to suppress wind from entering. A transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin during city and freeway driving so occupants can enjoy comfortably conversing with the top down. There is also an available wind screen that further reduces wind buffeting at higher speeds. Active Noise Control (ANC) combines sound insulation and absorption techniques to help suppress unwanted harshness from entering the cabin.
While efforts are taken to keep certain sounds out, the powerful roar of the naturally-aspirated V8 engine of the LC family is a sound to savor. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble (similar to the system employed in the Lexus LFA). There’s no electronic sound generation here! To further enhance the aggressive tone of the engine’s exhaust and augment performance, a computer-controlled valve balances the fine line between optimizing exhaust back-pressure and exhaust tone and volume at higher engine speeds.
Impressive Technology Top of Mind
Much like its coupe brethren, the LC 500 Convertible will come with an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display to provide immediate, simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems, including the voice-activated navigation system.
For 2021, the LC Convertible will feature Android Auto, allowing you to seamlessly cast your device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Play your music via your favorite apps such as Spotify® and Pandora®, send messages through a range of commonly used apps like WhatsApp®, navigate with Google Maps™, and request information—all with just the sound of your voice—through the Google Assistant™. For added convenience, Android Auto can also deliver tailored information based on your calendar, usage activity and habits.
With Apple CarPlay® integration, you can access the familiar interface from your iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri®, and access apps like Spotify™, Audible® and Apple® podcasts.
Bring all the convenience of Amazon Alexa on the road with the Lexus+Alexa app. Using only your voice, you can easily access thousands of the same functions you get with Alexa at home. Listen to audiobooks, stream Amazon Music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings and much more. You can also use it to control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to your Navigation System to provide on-the-go recommendations.
The Lexus Enform Remote service lets you lock and unlock doors, start the engine and climate control, check the fuel level and more all through your smartphone, smartwatch or devices enabled with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. And it’s included for the first three years of ownership.
Lexus Enform Destination Assist three-year trial is included and acts as an in-vehicle personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent. The included Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 app trial period offers access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, NPR One, iHeartRadio®, Slacker® and Yelp®.
Safety Remains a Top Priority
The new 2021 LC Convertible will come standard with Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+). This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. Also like the LC 500 coupe, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert come standard.
There are important safety features specific to convertible, though, such as the active roll bars that are designed to deploy upward when a rollover is detected. When not deployed, these roll bars are hidden from view to retain the convertible’s exquisite silhouette when the top is down.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect comes standard and is complimentary for the first three years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect, complimentary for the first 10 years, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus app or LexusDrivers.com website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.
Top Bidder to Win Unique LC Convertible
If the idea of owning a one-of-a-kind LC Convertible is enticing, that opportunity will come early next year. At the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, from January 11-19, 2020, Lexus will auction a unique LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series on the evening of Friday, January 17.
This one-of-a-kind LC Convertible, which will be offered in Structural Blue with a host of unique features not found on any other Inspiration Series convertible, will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Most importantly, all the funds will be donated to charities to be named later. More details will be available closer to the auction date.
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 241 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
Sporty, elegant design and enhanced efficiency, drag coefficient of just 0.25
300 kW boost output, up to 448 kilometers (278.4 miles)* range according to WLTP
Innovative digital matrix LED headlight available as standard
“The future is electric:” Audi is staying consistently true to its strategic alignment by presenting the second model in its e-tron product line. The Audi e-tron Sportback is a dynamic SUV coupé offering up to 300 kW of power and a range of up to 448 kilometers (278.4 miles) * from a single battery charge. Its digital matrix LED headlights are a new feature now available for the first time in a mass-production vehicle. Their light is broken down into tiny pixels and can be controlled with exceptional precision. This makes safe lane centering easier on narrow stretches of road and shows the position of the vehicle in the lane. The Audi e-tron Sportback can be ordered as of the end of November. Market introduction in Europe is scheduled for the spring of 2020.
Elegant, efficient, expressive: the exterior design
The Audi e-tron Sportback combines the power of a spacious SUV with the elegance of a four-door coupé and the progressive character of an electric car. It is 4,901 millimeters (16.1 ft) long, 1,935 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide and 1,616 millimeters (5.3 ft) high. Its roof extends flat over the muscular body, dropping down steeply to the rear—in typical coupé style— and flowing into the steeply raked D-pillars. The lower edge of the third side window rises towards the rear—a typical Sportback feature.
With the octagonal Singleframe, the powerful contours above the wheels, and the sculptural rear end, the Audi e-tron Sportback is perfectly aligned with the brand’s design idiom. Details signal to the outside world that the SUV coupé is fully electric. The largely enclosed Singleframe with its vertical struts is presented in a light platinum gray—a specific identifying feature of the e-tron models. In the lower area of the matrix LED headlights, four horizontal segments create the e-tron-specific signature in the daytime running lights. This is taken up at numerous points on the model and interpreted in three dimensions, for example, on the striking side sills. Their black inlays draw the eye to where the battery, and thus the energy center, of the Audi e-tron Sportback can be found. The designers also varied the signature at the broad diffuser, drawing attention to the absence of exhaust tailpipes. A light strip connects the LED lights to one another.
A total of thirteen paint finishes are available for the all-electric drive SUV coupé, including the new color plasma blue, metallic, which is exclusive to the e-tron Sportback.
The logo on the electric charging flap features the eye-catching high-voltage signal color orange, which can also be applied to the brake calipers on request. The wheel arch trims and sills are finished in matt anthracite as standard to underscore the off-road look. The same applies to the underbody protection, the diffuser, and the door sills, all of which are painted black. In the exterior line advanced, the attachments are finished in a contrasting gray or, as an option, in the body color. The underbody projection and diffuser then feature a matt silver tone.
The S line model places particular emphasis on the sporting DNA of the Audi e-tron Sportback. It is equipped as standard with 20-inch wheels and sport air suspension. The more distinctively contoured bumper is flanked by more expressive air curtains, which improve the air flow. They extend below the headlights, thereby creating a dynamic appearance even from a distance. An S line emblem adorns the radiator grille, while the illuminated aluminum door sill trims feature an #S logo. At the rear end, the spoiler fitted as standard as well as a striking diffuser that extends across the entire vehicle width contribute to the outstanding vehicle aerodynamics. In contrast to the basic model, the attachments on the S line exterior are painted in the exterior body color – including the wheel arch trims, door sills, bumpers and exterior mirrors. Audi also offers the black styling package that accentuates the area of the Singleframe, the side windows, and the bumper. The exterior mirror housings are also available in black as an option.
Drag coefficient 0.25: Top aerodynamics for extended range
The Audi e-tron Sportback in conjunction with the S line exterior and virtual exterior mirrors achieves an outstanding drag coefficient value of just 0.25—even better than its Audi e-tron sister model. This is primarily due to the coupé body shape and the associated lower aerodynamic drag behind the car. The high separating edge of the Sportback minimizes swirl in the air flow in this area, which ultimately also benefits consumption. In the WLTP cycle, the SUV coupé has a range of up to 448 kilometers (278.4 mi) on a single battery charge. Roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the increased range compared to the e-tron can be attributed to the aerodynamically more favorable body. The optional virtual exterior mirrors, whose wing-shaped supports integrate small cameras, represent yet another efficiency factor. The captured images appear on high-contrast OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and the door. If the driver moves their finger toward the surface of the touch display, symbols are activated with which the driver can reposition the image. In addition, the mirrors adjust automatically to three driving situations: On the highway as well as during turning and parking maneuvers, they provide optimum visibility for each scenario. The aerodynamic refinement also extends to areas hidden from view. Among others, these include the controllable air intake with channels for cooling the front brakes, the aero wheels, and the fully lined underbody including the aluminum plate to protect the high-voltage battery.
Global innovation in a production vehicle: The digital matrix LED headlights
With the digital matrix LED headlights as top-of-the range equipment, Audi presents a worldwide first in a production vehicle: Broken down into minute pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution. The design is based on a technology abbreviated as DMD (digital micromirror device) and is also used in many video projectors. At its heart is a small chip containing one million micromirrors, each of whose edge length measures just a few hundredths of a millimeter. With the help of electrostatic fields, each individual micromirror can be tilted up to 5,000 times per second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed via the lenses onto the road or is swallowed by an absorber in order to mask out areas of the light beam.
In the Audi e-tron Sportback, the digital light that will expand the offering in mid-2020, performs multiple tasks. It can generate dynamic leaving- and coming-home animations that appear as projections on a wall or on the ground. This presentation transforms the area in front of the car into a carefully illuminated stage. Not only does the digital light system deliver cornering, city, and highway lighting as versions of the low-beam light with exceptional precision, it also supplements the high-beam light by masking out other road users with even greater accuracy. Above all, however, it offers innovative functions such as lane light and orientation light. On freeways, the lane light creates a carpet of light that illuminates the driver’s own lane brightly and adjusts dynamically when he or she changes lane. In this way, it improves the driver’s awareness of the relevant lane and contributes to improved road safety. In addition, the orientation light uses darkened areas masked out from the light beam to predictively show the vehicle’s position in the lane, thereby supporting—especially on narrow roads or in highway construction zones—the safe lane centering assist. The marking light function is also used in conjunction with the optional night vision assist. The light automatically draws attention to any pedestrians it detects, thereby reducing the danger of overlooking pedestrians in the immediate vicinity of the lane.
Sporty efficiency: Electric motors, electric all-wheel drive, suspension
The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro allows the driver to savor the interaction of efficiency, performance, and supreme calm. Each axle is fitted with an asynchronous electric motor that is fed with three-phase current by the power electronics. With an output of 265 kW and 561 Nm (413.8 lb-ft) of torque, the two standard electric motors pack a powerful punch in launching the SUV coupé from a standstill – locally emissions-free and in virtual silence. The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro takes just 6.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and its top speed is electronically limited to 200 km/h (124.3 mph). By shifting from drive range D to S and fully depressing the accelerator pedal, the driver can activate boost mode. Here, the drive generates 300 kW of output and 664 Nm (489.7 lb-ft) of torque for eight seconds. This enables the SUV coupé to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. Two-stage planetary gearboxes with one gear range transfer the torque from the electric motors to the axles. A switch, which the driver can operate with the thumb and forefinger, is used to select the gears. It is embedded in an elegant lever that is set low above the center tunnel and serves as a hand rest.
Electric all-wheel drive ensures outstanding traction and dynamism on any terrain. With it, Audi is writing a new chapter in the history of quattro drive. It continuously regulates the ideal drive torque distribution between both axles—within fractions of a second. In most driving situations, the Audi e-tron Sportback relies exclusively on its rear electric motor—for exceptional efficiency. If the driver requests more output than it can provide, the front unit is instantly activated. This also happens predictively before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers.
A key factor behind the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low installation position of the drive components—resulting in a center of gravity that is much lower than in a conventional SUV. All of the heaviest components are concentrated in the center of the vehicle. The axle load distribution with a ratio of almost 50:50 is perfectly balanced; the self-steering behavior is neutral. With components such as the five-link suspensions, the progressive steering and the electrohydraulic brake system, the suspension combines the latest technologies, which together ensure agile vehicle handling and a high degree of comfort. The standard 255/55 R19 size tires stand out with their ultra-low rolling resistance. On request, tires of up to 22 inches will also be available—one size larger than on the e-tron.
The dynamic handling system Audi drive select—fitted as standard in the Audi e-tron Sportback—allows the driver to switch the method of operation of multiple drive components between seven profiles. This creates a marked difference between smooth rolling comfort and sporty, stable handling. The adaptive air suspension with controlled dampers provides a major contribution to this versatile character. At higher speeds, the body is lowered, noticeably improving airflow around it and extending the vehicle’s range. In total, the system is capable of varying the ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in).
95 kWh of energy: High-voltage battery system and recuperation
The battery system of the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro stores 95 kWh of gross energy (86.5 kWh net) and operates at a rated voltage of 396 volts. It is fitted as a wide flat block beneath the passenger cell, to which it is bolted at 35 points. The battery system is exceptionally rigid and crash-proof—thanks to a solid protective frame and an aluminum laminate that holds the 36 cell modules. These are arranged on two levels, as a long lower “floor” with 31 modules and a short upper floor with five modules. Each module integrates twelve ‘pouch cells.’ The cooling system is located beneath the cell chamber.
During deceleration actions of up to 0.3 g—which applies to over 90 percent of such actions in everyday driving—the high-voltage battery is charged by the electric motors, primarily by the rear electric motor, which act as generators in these situations. The recuperation system provides for variable regulation of energy recuperation between both electric modules—both in coasting mode when the driver releases the right-hand pedal as well as during braking. The degree of coasting recuperation can be set to three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel and is even more strongly differentiated than on the e-tron.
When braking from 100 km/h (62.1 mph), the Audi e-tron Sportback can recuperate a maximum of 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW. As with its sister model, this amounts to more than 70 percent of its output and more than any other production model. Overall, the SUV‑coupé attains up to 30 percent of its range through recuperation.
The wheel brakes, whose innovative electrohydraulic activation concept allows them to respond with exceptional speed, come into play only at deceleration forces greater than 0.3 g. Depending on the driving situation, the control system decides individually for each axle whether the SUV coupé recuperates using just the electric motors, just the wheel brakes, or a combination of both. The transition between electric and hydraulic braking is smooth and homogeneous so the driver does not even notice it. Brake forces remain constant.
On the wheel brakes of the Audi e-tron Sportback, the developers have substantially reduced what is referred to as residual brake torque—the losses that occur during brief application of the brake pads against the disk. This benefits both efficiency and range. The same applies to three additional measures: During normal vehicle operation, the front electric motor is almost completely decoupled from the drive. An increase in the usable range of the high-voltage battery combined with a reduction in several of the volume flows in the coolant circuit means that the pump has to provide less power.
The highly flexible thermal management, which comprises four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components with maximum efficiency. This enables rapid DC charging, a long battery life cycle, and reproducible performance even under heavy loads. The standard heat pump, which harnesses waste heat from the high-voltage battery, can use up to 3 kW of actual power losses for heating and air conditioning the interior—which is exceptionally efficient. Depending on the outside temperature, that can boost the Audi e-tron Sportback’s range by up to ten percent in customer operation.
Generating 230 kW of output: the Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro
At market launch, Audi will offer the all-electric drive SUV coupé with a second motor variant. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro generates 230 kW of output and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque. The battery dispenses with the upper “floor;” and its 27 modules each consist of twelve prismatic cells. The system, which weighs roughly 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) less than the battery of the Sportback 55 quattro, provides 71 kWh of gross energy (64.7 kWh net). This allows the SUV coupé to cover up to 347 kilometers (215.6 mi)* on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. The Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 km/h (118.1 mph).
Continue driving in just 30 minutes: the charging line-up
On long-distance routes, the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro can charge with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW at fast-charging stations. In just under half an hour, the battery reaches 80 percent of its capacity—sufficient for the next leg of its long-distance trip. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro can charge at up to 120 kW and achieves an identical charge status in the same time.
Charging at public AC charging stations can be performed using a standard mode-3 cable. Up to 11 kW of power is available here, which can be increased to 22 kW with an optional second on-board charging device that will be available in summer 2020. Audi’s own charging service, the e-tron Charging Service, provides easy access to more than 110,000 public charging points in 21 European countries – and the number is rising. Whether AC or DC, 11 or 150 kW—a single card is all that is required to start the process. The Plug & Charge function, which is also due to follow in 2020, will make charging even more convenient: The car authorizes itself at the charging station and activates it.
Audi also offers a range of solutions for charging in the garage at home, depending on the capacity of the domestic power supply. The standard compact charging system is suitable for a simple 230-volt connection and for a 400-volt three-phase outlet with an output of up to 11 kW. The optional charging stem connect will be available for ordering at market launch. It offers smart charging functions, for example preferred charging at low-cost times. The combination with a suitable home energy management system allows the vehicle to be charged preferably with self-generated solar power, provided that the house is equipped with a photovoltaic system.
Form and function perfected: The interior
With a wheelbase of 2,928 millimeters (9.6 ft), the Audi e-tron Sportback has ample space for five occupants along with their bags. Rear headroom is just 20 millimeters (0.8 in) less than in the Audi e-tron. The rear footwell is virtually level—just a flat step remains in place of the center tunnel. Including the 60-liter (2.1 cu ft) stowage compartment underneath the hood, which houses the vehicle tool kit and charging cable, the car offers a total of 615 liters (21.7 cu ft) of luggage capacity. Folding down the rear seat backrests increases the luggage capacity to 1,655 liters (58.4 cu ft). The tailgate opens and closes electrically, by foot movement as an option.
The interior of the Audi e-tron Sportback is an elegant lounge featuring a seamless blend of design and technology. A generous arc that spans the instrument panel, extending from door to door, harmoniously integrates the cover for the Audi virtual cockpit. Its sleek display stands visually free in space. The wrap-around in the door trims also integrates the screens for the optional virtual exterior mirrors. The instrument panel with its two touch displays is angled towards the driver and therefore particularly ergonomic. When deactivated, the upper of these blends almost invisibly into the large gloss-black surround. Open sidewalls at the center tunnel console emphasize the impression of lightness.
In every equipment line—along with the basic line, there is the interior design selection and S line interior—the Audi e-tron Sportback features carefully coordinated upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. For the front seats, customers can choose between the standard design, sport seats, S sport seats, and the customized contour seats, with optional ventilation and massage functions. Their stitching pattern is reminiscent of electric circuits and can be enhanced with optional bright orange contrasting stitching and piping. Little details create highlights: The optional contour/ambient lighting package illuminates surfaces subtly and edges sharply. It also issues a brief welcome jingle over the audio system when the motor starts.
When the Audi e-tron Sportback is driven in an urban setting, its interior remains almost completely silent—thanks to sophisticated soundproofing and aeroacoustic measures. This ensures that HiFi sound is even more enjoyable, especially with the optional Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D Sound System on board. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded, without any artificial effects. Another attractive infotainment module is the Audi phone box, which sets benchmarks in terms of connection and sound quality as well as wireless charging.
Palpable and comprehensible: The operating concept
As with all full-size class models from Audi, the e-tron Sportback also features the MMI touch response operating system with two displays. A tactile and acoustic pulse confirms when a finger activates a function. On the upper 12.1-inch touch screen, the driver controls the infotainment, telephony, navigation, and dedicated e-tron settings. The lower 8.6-inch display is used to input text and to operate the convenience functions and climate control. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat in the same way as a smartphone; the graphics are clear and condensed.
Standard equipment on the Audi e-tron Sportback also includes the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit. Its display excels with an extremely high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and can be switched between two views using the “View” button on the steering wheel. An optional “plus” version featuring an additional display centered around the power meter is also available. On request, the display and operating concept can be expanded to include a head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield.
In addition to operation by the two touch displays, the driver can activate a host of functions using natural language voice control. The system understands freely worded commands and search queries. The dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted. In doing so, it accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the knowledge from the cloud.
Top-caliber connectivity: Navigation and Audi connect
In Germany, the Audi e-tron Sportback is equipped as standard with the MMI Navigation plus and the DAB+ digital radio. The top-end infotainment system supports the high-speed data transmission standard LTE Advanced and comes with an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices. The navigation system makes intelligent destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, which monitors the overall traffic situation in the region.
The wide range of Audi connect navigation & infotainment functions complements the route guidance perfectly. Highlights include online traffic information, navigation with Google Earth™, the e-tron route planner, the hybrid radio, and Car-to-X services. The most recent of these are the on-street parking service, which helps find parking spaces on the roadside, and traffic light information. In some cities, the latter connects the car to the central computer controlling the traffic light systems and provides information to the driver in the Audi virtual cockpit. The service thus contributes to an efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic.
A further component of the package is the cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is fully integrated into the MMI operating system of the Audi e-tron Sportback. The driver can use it to perform a range of tasks such as placing orders and finding information about many current events. The service offers access to more than 80,000 Alexa Skills.
In addition, the free myAudi app can connect the car to a smartphone, which allows the owner of the Audi e-tron Sportback to manage all charging processes remotely. These include querying the battery and range status, starting the charge processes, programming timers, and displaying driving statistics. On long-distance trips, the e-tron route planner displays the necessary charging stops along the route—both in the app as well as in the MMI. In the process, it continuously updates the charge planning based on the traffic situation and to take account of driving behavior. Another function of the myAudi app is preheating/precooling prior to departure, which is powered by electricity from the outlet. The optional deluxe auxiliary air conditioning system allows the customer to specify in detail whether the interior, the steering wheel and the seats—depending on the equipment level—are to be heated.
This smart networking includes the digital Audi connect key in addition to the myAudi app. Available as an option, it authorizes an Android smartphone to not only lock and unlock the SUV coupé, but also to start the engine via the start/stop button.
Customization after the purchase: Functions on demand
The Audi e-tron Sportback is a standard-bearer for the new digital services and business areas that the brand is opening up. One of these is the “functions on demand” offering, which covers functions from the areas of light, driver assist systems, and infotainment. The customer can book them online—on demand and at any time. Even after they have taken delivery of their car, the customer can now continually customize it to their individual requirements. Every function can be obtained for varying periods—monthly, annually, or permanently. Functions are booked either via the myAudi app or on the myAudi online portal and paid for conveniently and securely via AudiPay.
In the lighting package, customers can upgrade the LED headlights to matrix LED headlights with intelligent high-beam control. This provides additional functions such as daytime running lights with the e-tron signature as well as front and rear dynamic turn signals. When the e-tron Sportback is locked and unlocked, the headlights and rear lights provide an expressive showcase of the electric SUV. To begin with, park assist will be available as an add-on option for the assist systems. The infotainment package includes the Audi smartphone interface and the Audi connect navigation & infotainment package.
Ensuring safety in the city and on long journeys: The driver assist systems
The driver assist systems that Audi offers in the e-tron Sportback support drivers and reduce their workload in many situations. The Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front safety systems are fitted as standard. Audi offers the assist package City specifically for urban traffic. It includes the intersection assist and rear cross traffic assist functions as well as the lane change and exit warnings. Audi pre sense 360°, the combination of Audi pre sense front, rear, and side, is fitted. This system detects collision hazards and initiates targeted protective measures—from full braking to tensioning of the seat belts.
Highlights of the assist package Tour are the adaptive cruise assist, which simplifies longitudinal and lateral control, as well as the efficiency assistant. The latter uses data from the on-board sensors, the navigation system, and Car-to-X services and signals to the driver when it makes sense to take their foot off the accelerator pedal. In combination with the adaptive cruise assist and traffic sign recognition, the efficiency assistant can also brake and accelerate the SUV coupé predictively. The turn assist, collision avoidance assist, and emergency assist functions round out the Tour package. Audi also offers the park assist, the night vision assist, and the 360 degree cameras that allow the driver to select from multiple views.
The central driver assistance controller operates as standard behind the driver assist systems in the Audi e-tron Sportback. It continuously computes a differentiated model of the surroundings. Depending on the selected options, data is received from up to five radar sensors, five cameras, and twelve ultrasonic sensors.
At market launch: Edition model “edition one”
The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is being built in the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels, will debut on the European market in spring 2020. In Germany, the e-tron Sportback will be available in two output variants, with the base price starting at EUR 71,350. To celebrate the launch, Audi will offer the limited-edition model “edition one” in the plasma blue color. Based on the S line exterior, it also includes the virtual exterior mirrors, attachments finished in an aluminum look, exclusive 21-inch wheels, orange brake calipers, and the panoramic glass sunroof. The illuminated front door sill trims project the model name “edition one” as a logo onto the ground. The interior offers a choice between the interior design selection, supplemented with customized contour seats with exclusive Monaco gray seat covers in Valcona leather, and the S line interior with sport seats also in Valcona leather. The equipment also includes the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with front 3D sound, the assist package Tour and matrix LED headlights with front and rear dynamic turn signals as well as dynamic light scenarios.
As of late, Rolls-Royce invited a slew of journalists and digital influencers from around the globe to test out their newly introduced SUV. Jackson Hole, Wyoming is notably recognized for it’s elite residents and celebrity visitors alike, including Kanye West, Sandra Bullock and Harrison Ford. Yet, this time around the Snow King Resort and one of its steepest slopes had become acquainted with the Cullinan. Not the largest rough diamond found in South Africa in 1905 but the manufacturer’s first-ever sport utility vehicle. Yes, we couldn’t conceive that a Rolls could ever climb a mountain but seeing is believing.
As we ascended to the top with the 6000 lb gem, she started to metamorphose from a stately Caterpillar into bodacious butterfly. We went over unpaved trails and ruts all the way to the summit (8010 ft above sea level) for pastries and coffee. On the way down with merely a switch of a button we descended with ease over gravel and dirt all while being enamored by the Spirit of Ecstacy with her wings throwing caution to the wind.
On the road, we felt every bit of 563 hp (627 lb-ft torque @ 1600 rpm) as we swiveled through the two-lane main road with minimal traffic. Just as graceful as her siblings and as celebrated as the Phantom we witnessed tons of townies gawk at her effortless design and styling. Her grill kept in line with the overall DNA of the brand but its standard 22″ part polished shadow wheels matched her midnight sapphire exterior nicely.
Our deep scarlet red leather interior was enunciated with the usual technology and innovation of their BMW iDrive-inspired infotainment system as seen in the Ghost; however, in the back we had separate seats and access to tablet-like screens which erupted by the touch of a button. Along the back top panels were buttons to dial up or down the 22-speaker bespoke sound system which mimicked an IMAX theater. We bopped around the back in comfort and chit chatted with no outside noise due to their 200 lbs of sound-deadening insulation and privacy glass which lurks behind your head.
Like most automobiles in this segment, her dual-pane sunroof opened up wide enough for you to want to hop up and cleave your head out while screaming all the way to prom. Our model didn’t feature the tailgate retractable seats; but nonetheless this vehicle will most likely end up at some stadium for playoffs with a chilled champagne bottle and scotch in the back middle console with custom etched snifters.
This vehicle’s MSRP is $325,000 but our model tested was approximately $400,000. Is the price worth it? Hell yes! After all, this is the first in its family, which can conform to most terrains and excursions. Go figure, the youngest in its batting order can be used to pick the kids up from school, off-road and be chauffeured to Rihanna’s Annual Diamond Ball. It’s highly probable you may see this truck at a Costco’s as well as Jay-Z and Beyonce’s next On The Run tour. Having said that, this is most decidedly one of Rolls-Royce’s more practical vehicles as it will and can be used on an everyday basis. With its dynamic all-terrain capabilities, safety features and height, you’ll have more command of the road that any of its tribe members.