Posts tagged with "Mercedes"

Mercedes Hotwheel illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Mercedes-Benz Drops in US Luxury Car Sales

By Nica San Juan

It was a close race right to the finish line for the top luxury car brands in the US in 2020. For the second consecutive year, BMW clinched the top spot.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, the Bavarian automaker sold a total of 278,732 units during the year. Compared to its 2019 tally, that marked a 17.5% sales decline. Its best-selling model was the X3, which posted 59,941 unit sales.

The Munich-based company had a strong Q4 2020, contributing significantly to its crossing the finish line in the first place. During the three-month period, it sold a total of 98,750 cars. Thanks to this impressive rebound, BMW’s unit sales in Q4 2020 were a mere 2% lower than Q4 2019.

German rival Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 274,916 units in 2020, marking a decline of 13% year-over-year (YoY). Just like BMW, Mercedes too had SUVs in the lead, with the GLC-Class selling 52,626 units during the year.

Generally, Mercedes’ SUV lineup had a strong year in the US accounting for close to 65% of total annual sales. However, Mercedes was not the second best-selling premium brand. The honor went to the Japanese brand Toyota Lexus, which sold 275,041. There was a difference of only 125 units between the second and third best-sellers.

Compared to the two German brands, Lexus had the best year in terms of percentage decline, dropping by 7.7% only. Lexus RX was its top-selling model, posting 101,059 unit sales, almost as much as BMW and Mercedes’ best-selling models combined.

Audi took the fourth spot on the list of best-selling luxury brands in the US. With a total of 186,620 unit sales, the automaker posted a 17% YoY decline. Rounding up the top five was Cadillac with 129,495, down by 17.1% from 2019.

Volvo was in the sixth position, the only US luxury brand to post a percentage increase in sales. It sold 110,129 units, marking a 1.8% increase YoY. Lincoln sold 105,410 units (-6.1%), Infiniti 79,502 (-32.5%) and Porsche 57,294 (-7%).

Mercedes-Benz Clinches Top Spot Globally with 2.16 Million Unit Sales

On a global scale, Mercedes-Benz narrowly outpaced BMW to secure the title of the best-selling luxury vehicle brand worldwide in 2020. It was the fifth consecutive year in which Mercedes beat its archrival and topped the ranks.

Over the 12-month period, it sold a total of 2,164,187 units according to Auto Industriya. The figure marked a decline of 7.5% over 2019 when it sold 2,339,562 units.

It is worth noting that while its sales in North America and Europe sank compared to 2019, the Asia Pacific market saw a 4.7% increase. China was the major force behind the uptick as it had a sales increase of 11.7%.

The GLC was its best-selling model during the year, moving a total of 320,000 units. Mercedes reported a 12.9% increase in SUV and crossover sales during the year. For its all-new S-Class, there are more than 40,000 customers on the waiting list.

On the other hand, BMW was the world’s second best-selling luxury car brand, falling 136,000 units behind the #1. It posted a slightly lower decline in sales, -7.2% YoY, with a total of 2,028,659 units sold. Audi took a distant third spot with 1,692,773 unit sales in 2020 and a decline of 8.3% YoY.

Li Auto Deliveries Soar by 530% in December 2020

Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi have had over 60% of China’s luxury car market under their control for years according to Bloomberg. But while the Chinese market drove their growth in 2020, they ceded share to Tesla and electric upstarts, Nio and Li.

Nio delivered a total of 43,728 electric vehicles (EVs) in 2020, marking an increase of 113% YoY according to Inside EEVs. These included 27,945 ES6s, 10,861 ES8s and 4,922 EC6s. The automaker launched its first EV sedan, the ET7 on January 9, 2021.

As of mid-December 2020, Li Auto announced cumulative sales of 30,000 units year-to-date (YTD). In December 2020 alone, the upstart delivered 6,126 vehicles, an increase of 530% YoY. Q4 2020 saw a total of 14,464 deliveries from the automaker.

In response to the growing threat from these brands, the aforementioned German car brands are rapidly expanding their offerings of electric vehicles. Daimler is planning to launch four purely battery-powered EV models in 2021, including the EQA compact set to launch in January. Meanwhile, BMW is planning to double its offering of pure EVs and hybrids to 25 by 2023.

In total, Mercedes sold 160,000 EVs in 2020, compared to BMWs 193,000. Audi was far behind the two with 47,000 deliveries of its e-tron SUVs.

Land Rover Defender Illustration Shot by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

2021 Land Rover Defender

Craftsmanship with Capability

By Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

Reimagined after 70 years of innovation and improvement, the newest model of Land Rover’s Defender 110 honors the company’s history of creating safe and reliable vehicles, with a new-found attention to detail and design for the 21st century.

At CES 2021, Chief Design Officer of Land Rover, Gerry McGovern, spoke about the Defender 110 and said,

“The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it …. This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”

Whether you’re off-roading, looking to pick up some necessary lockdown supplies, or traveling to see friends and family, the Defender promises to get you to your destination safely. Here at 360 Magazine, we recently took the luxurious yet rambunctious 2021 Land Rover Defender for a test drive, and were impressed by the car’s capabilities and curb appeal. We took the vehicle out for a spin to retrieve must needed supplies from various retailers including Home Depot, PetSmart, and Michael’s Art Supplies, shoot emerging recording artist LaJUNE, and pop in on my son and mother after they recovered from COVID-19 for some much needed fun. During all of these getaways, the Defender’s breaks dug deep into the asphalt at stop signs and hugged tight corners. All of the passengers felt safe and secure in the vehicle which operated with control and ease throughout all of our adventures.

Other recently released vehicles– such as the Mercedes Benz G Class, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Grand Cherokee– all pale in comparison to the Defender’s sleek design and driving capability, crafted with commitment to your safety and pleasure.

Design

The Defender’s doesn’t put style over substance as its incredible capabilities match its dazzling curb appeal. Immediately upon viewing the available Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone, or Pangea Green paint jobs shine with a glimmer of affluence and sophistication and compliment the vehicle’s constructivist, modular interior. A magnesium cross bar beam has been installed both for its reductive design and durability that it grants to the vehicle’s body. Beautiful alpine lights in the rear of the vehicle allow for an open-air design from floor to roof. The large panoramic sunroof in the car cabin makes the vehicle feel even more spacious by letting in even more light.

Additionally, the second row of origami seats can fold down to allow even more room inside the car cabin. With these seats folded down, the Defender 110 offers a total storage capacity of 78.8 cubic feet, or 36.2 cubic feet with the second row of seats positioned upright. Deep pockets on the back doors, baskets on the side doors, and a lockable 1.5-gallon glove box each allow for easy access to storage inside the vehicle.

Designed to maximize storage, users can lift up the floor to reveal a hidden storage bin equipped with a tool kit. In the trunk, a clip-in, textured floor design designed for rugged use covers the floor and the backs of all of the seats. This load space lets users transport the treasures and grit of your outdoor adventures, and can be hosed off or machined washed once arrived at your destination.

As you’re cruising down the road, the car’s all terrain, blackout tires will transport you on a smooth ride to any destination you can dream of, and in case of emergency, a full-size spare tire is mounted on the rear of the vehicle. The wheels come in several available sizes (in): 18 x 8.0, 18 x 8.0, 20 x 8.5, 22 x 9.0. Additionally, the rear of the vehicle possesses advanced tow assist and an ultra-strong tow hitch receiver with a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 lbs.

Technology

The new Land Rover Defender 110 offers the world’s first dual-modem, dual eSIM design, manufactured to enhance efficiency and function. Furnished with the Pivi Pro infotainment system in the vehicle’s dashboard, the system alerts drivers with Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates, and lets users stream music and operate applications with CloudCar technology. CloudCar technology allows for drivers to safely and seamlessly incorporate their digital lives into their driving– drivers can dial into meetings, store calendar invites, and stream music services like Spotify, TuneIn, and Deezer with ease.

Further, a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen allows drivers precise control over the vehicle with a digital speedometer display. Everything a driver needs to adjust is easily accessible. Other capabilities include driver assist, advanced off road, and standard off road standard packs. This model also offers Bluetooth, Android audio, and Apple CarPlay, so you can stay connected with those you hold close, no matter how far away they are.

And if you are embarking on an ambitious road trip to see your far-away family? The Defender 110 offers six standard speakers, or an optional Meridian sound system with subwoofers, so you can keep the beats bumping. Wherever you go, Smart Voice Guidance technology will optimize routing to get you to your destination most efficiently.

The Defender is equipped with AC power, so you can power accessories (such as a cooler) from remote locations. Wherever you go, the advanced technology and luxurious experience of driving of Land Rover Defender 110 stays with you.

Performance

Equipped with all-wheel drive, this off-road vehicle can handle all landscapes. The Defender’s auto-functionally Terrain Response 2 and ClearSight Ground View technologies can recognize different types of outdoors terrain and adjust the vehicle accordingly. Whether you are driving through the desert or tundra, the Defender promises the same deluxe driving experience. With a built-in hydraulics system, the Defender is able to be raised or lowered over whatever external grit you encounter, protecting the vehicle and its occupants against a single scratch. The Defender’s Response 2 technology grants intelligent off-road technology to drivers, optimizing traction in various outdoors environments.

Beneath the hood, the Defender is equipped with both dual turbocharged and supercharged Inline 6 engines, and a 48-volt hybrid system. The Defender offers a permanent magnet electric motor. With such a powerful system, the Defender can put out 396 peak horsepower at 5,500rpm, and 406 pound-feet of torque at 2,000-5,000rpm. The vehicle also boasts an 8-speed automatic transmission and dual-range gearbox. The fuel economy of the Defender is also impressive, with 1t MPG in the city, or 20 MGP on the highway. The 2021 Land Rover Defender is expedition ready wherever you wish to go, while assuring that safety and comfort come along for the ride.

Safety

Engineered without compromise, the Defender commits to the utmost safety of its users. Land Rover’s 2021 Defender comes with driver assist, which includes emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, cruise control, speed limiter functions, driver condition monitors, and front and rear parking aids. The vehicle’s 3D Surround Camera system, developed with Bosch, is equipped with four wide-angle HD Cameras that provide a 190-degree field of view– a 50-degree wider field of vision when compared to traditional rear-view mirrors. This system includes a 3G bits/s video backbone and 14 ultrasonic sensors, which makes backing up into the smallest of spots effortless. Even if your trunk is full, the Defender is equipped with a digital rear-view mirror for increased visibility.

Best of all seat pretensions and front-impact, side-impact, and overhead airbags have been installed to protect passenger’s heads and torsos in case of a crash. To further ensure the safety of its occupants, the Defender protects its passengers with a security system designed to anticipate and detect unwanted vehicle intrusion.

Ergonomics x Additional Features

At a modest MSRP of $62,250, the Defender offers luxury and sophistication to anyone ready to get behind its wheel. Upon purchase, there are four optional accessories packs that allow users to specifically tailor their Defender experience: the Explorer Pack, Adventure Pack, Country Pack, or Urban Pack. The Land Rover Defender 110 drives users to experience new landscapes of life, during a time while everyone else is staying inside. Accoutered with a pop-up roof tent accessory, the Defender is ready to travel with you wherever you go, whether it be on an outdoors expedition or just a short trip to the grocery store.

The Land Rover Defender 110 model will be released for sale in the U.S. in early 2021.

PRE-ORDER NOW

LAND ROVER LAUNCHES ‘DEFENDER ABOVE & BEYOND SERVICE AWARDS’ TO HONOR U.S. ORGANIZATIONS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITY

  • Reflecting the seven decades of Land Rover, U.S. non-profits will be awarded a customized Land Rover Defender to empower them to further their efforts in helping those around them
  • Through July 27, 2021, Land Rover will be accepting video nominations here for organizations making a difference
  • Organizations must be U.S.-based 501(c)(3)1non-profits whose efforts fall within the seven categories outlined in the program
  • For information and rules3on the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards,’ please visit Land Rover’s website or follow @LandRoverUSA on FacebookInstagram or Twitter

Across seven decades, Land Rover vehicles have earned a unique place in the hearts of humanitarian agencies across the world. The Defender continues this legacy and maintains its standing as a vehicle purpose-built for service. Inspired by the endless acts of service across the U.S. from extraordinary citizens this past year, Land Rover announced the launch of the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’ to celebrate U.S.-based charitable organizations that are making a positive impact in their local community. To honor the 70-year history of the brand, Land Rover will award a specially outfitted Defender to seven organizations to help further their charitable efforts.

Organizations must be U.S.-based 501(c)(3)1 non-profits whose efforts fall within the seven categories below:

  1. Search and Rescue
  2. Coastal and Marine Conservation
  3. Animal Welfare
  4. First Responders
  5. Environmental
  6. Urban Improvement
  7. Fire Services

Entrants can nominate a non-profit charity or non-profits can nominate themselves here by filling out the entry form and submitting an up to three-minute video that shares what your charity is about, how it addresses a need in your community and how the Land Rover Defender will help to further your effort.

Starting with Search and Rescue and Coastal and Marine Conservation, Land Rover will call for entries through Wednesday, April 7, 2021 before opening submissions for the next categories. Once selected by a panel of qualified judges, finalists’ videos will be posted on their website for public voting before submissions for the next categories take place. All winners will be announced on September 2, 2021. To view submission deadlines for each category, please visit their website. 

“Defender vehicles have been used for various humanitarian causes around the world for decades and with its recent return to the U.S., we wanted to expand on that legacy with ‘The Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’ and celebrate organizations that know the value of community and drive to do great things with them,” said Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “Over this past year, we have been inspired by the endless acts of service from people who embody the Above and Beyond spirit of Land Rover, and we’re excited to reward these individuals with new customized Defender vehicles so they can continue to help those around them.”

With a nod to the historic Land Rover Defender, the New Defender is the toughest and most capable Land Rover vehicle yet, combining a new body structure with all-new technologies and legendary engineering to create a Defender fit for the 21st century. The 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 is on sale now in the U.S. and is priced from $50,5002, the Defender 90 body style is also on sale now in the U.S. and priced from $46,1002. Configure your Defender on their website.

For information on the Land Rover ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’, please visit Land Rover’s website or follow them on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

  1. Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in one of the seven (7) Categories specified, be approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization as of March 9, 2021, and maintain its tax-exempt status (i.e., good standing) until the end of the Contest Period.  The 501(c)(3) must be a public charity or a private operating foundation, but not a private foundation.
  2. All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $1,350 destination and delivery, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
  3. Information, submission deadlines, rules on the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards,’ can be found here.

Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards_Search & Rescue Defender Rendering (1)for Land Rover shoy by Havas Formula for use by 360 Magazine



 

 

 

Thornley Kelham’s Restoration of Mercedes Icon

‘NOT ANOTHER SILVER GULLWING’ – RESTORING A MERCEDES ICON WITH THORNLEY KELHAM
 

  • Classic and vintage restoration specialist Thornley Kelham has revealed the story behind its restoration of a Mercedes icon, the rare 300SL Gullwing
  • The Gullwing was delivered to Thornley Kelham by a renowned collector and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge for a full restoration
  • The tired-looking silver Coupé came fitted with unusual Roadster lights front and rear, and was totally transformed into period-correct Horizon Blue by Thornley Kelham

Award-winning classic and vintage car specialist, Thornley Kelham, has revealed the full transformation of a rare Mercedes 300SL with a highly knowledgeable and critical owner. The owner’s direction to the Thornley Kelham team was simple: it should be perfect, period-correct and finished in anything but silver…

The 300SL was the result of Mercedes-Benz’s decision to develop a sports-racing car in 1952. Using the engine, transmission, suspension and steering from the existing 300 luxury saloon, it was built around an innovative new chassis frame and clothed in one of the most beautiful bodies ever created. The result was the new 300 Sport Leicht or SL, informally known as ‘Gullwing’ because of its upwards opening doors. 

This particular 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing arrived at Thornley Kelham’s HQ in the Cotswolds, following a spell in France during its early days and having resided in the UK since 1981. Its early history isn’t all that well documented, but an inspection carried out on the car in 1971 as it transferred owners revealed it to be ‘in perfect condition’. 

Immediately obvious on arrival to the Thornley Kelham team were the Roadster headlights and taillights fitted to this Coupé. By 1957, Mercedes was focusing mostly on building Roadsters and there was a suspicion that this car could have been a special hybrid commission. However, a thorough inspection of the car revealed a more ordinary truth; accident damage at the front and rear had led to the car being rebuilt with Roadster parts.  

Thankfully, the tubular chassis was in good condition, but years of wear and tear meant that many of the Gullwing’s mechanicals, including its 3.0-litre straight-six engine were in need of rebuilding. Thornley Kelham’s in-house engine-building team set to work cleaning, crafting from scratch or replacing parts of the Gullwing’s drivetrain to ensure it runs reliably and to its optimum performance for years to come.   

Outside of restoring all the mechanicals, the team were also in a position to begin painting and trimming the car to the client’s specifications. Adamant to not have ‘another silver Gullwing’, the owner opted for a striking shade of period-correct Horizon Blue, with an interior finished with a blue plaid non-leather option. But perfecting the finish meant challenges at every corner; the complex doors take hours of careful adjustment and the ‘eyebrows’ above the wheelarch were a particularly delicate operation. Later Gullwings had an almost-invisibly different eyebrow design to earlier cars, and it was crucial to get it correct.  

As the car began to come together, the Thornley Kelham team were tasked with sourcing a large number of original parts, including things as difficult to find as the interior lights. In total, buying parts alone was more than six-figures-worth of expense. Two pieces they didn’t require, however, were the bumpers – the client wished to do without, preferring the visual of a de-bumpered Gullwing.

Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: “Restoring a Gullwing is a huge responsibility, and restoring a Gullwing for a Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge like our client also comes with a fair bit of pressure. When you’re working with a car as rare and iconic as this, originality and accuracy is absolutely crucial. We spent hundreds of hours getting the details of this car exactly right, while making sure it adheres to the same standard that every car we work on does – it has to look good, drive well and is made to last. This car has been enjoyed for over 60 years now, and we’re delighted to have extended its lifetime for many more years of pleasure for its owners.”

About Thornley Kelham:

Founded in 2009, Thornley Kelham Ltd is a specialist in concours restoration, maintenance, servicing, rally preparation and support of iconic vintage and classic cars. From its Cotswold headquarters, the team of 36 manage, restore and prepare examples of collector cars for global concours and motorsport events from a state-of-the-art 32,000 sq/ft facility.

With in-house bodywork, paint, engine and fabrication shops, Thornley Kelham is widely regarded for the quality of its restorations of historically significant, often unique vehicles across a variety of marques including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Porsche as well as Amilcar, Bizzarrini and others. 

Its prize-winning restorations are frequently shown at top-tier concours such as Pebble Beach, the ‘Royal Concours’ at Hampton Court Palace, Chantilly and Salon Privé, while a dedicated motorsport team supports clients at rally events worldwide including the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, Targa Florio and Peking to Paris. 

Thornley Kelham strives to create an enjoyable, informative and collaborative restoration process for the customer, with customer service as important as the restoration itself.

Thornley Kelham is also well known for the creation of the limited-edition, bespoke ‘Outlaw’ Lancia Aurelia B20GT project, details of which can be found at www.fuorilegge.co.uk.

Regina King, Cadillac Escalade, 360 MAGAZINE, General Motors

The Most Exciting Cars of 2020

by Ronald DiMaggio and Christina Perry, TRED

2019 proved to be an exciting year for car enthusiasts: we saw a revival of the iconic Toyota Supra, a redesigned Porsche 911 and BMW 3 Series, and a brand new McLaren hypercar in the Senna. Those were all properly exciting, but with the new year well underway, I think it’s only appropriate to start looking forward [insert cheesy 2020 vision joke], so in this article we’ll be taking a look at some of the more important cars set to come out in 2020. This list is not exhaustive, though it includes all the cars that we expect to make a big splash in the industry.           

2021 BMW M3                   

BMW is set to reveal its all new M3 sedan, based on the existing G20 3 series later this year (with sales starting early 2021.) Spy photos and renderings (like the one above) have fans of the brand on the edge of their seats. This is mostly because spy photos have indicated that the 2021 M3 may follow in the 7 series’ footsteps with an absolutely ​massive ​grille that extends from the hood all the way down to the front lip. Yikes. Less worrying, however, is what will be hiding behind that grille, a stronger and doubly turbocharged version of the existing B58 inline six, dubbed the S58. The new M3 will also be the first one ever to offer all-wheel drive. We can be sure that it will drive well, as all M3s do, but here’s hoping it looks okay…               

2021 Ford Bronco                   

Ford is set to debut its new Bronco in spring of this year, and intel so far is pointing toward it being exactly what we expect out of a vehicle wearing a Bronco badge: a boxy, rugged, body-on-frame SUV. As we saw with the recent Supra unveil, bringing back an icon after decades of dormancy is a risky proposition, but it appears that Ford is doing it right.   

2021 Ford Mustang Mach E                                   

Another exciting vehicle from Dearborn is the new Mustang Mach E crossover. Slated for delivery in late 2020, the Mustang Mach E is Ford’s first full-fledged foray into the all-electric segment. It looks good, it will be quick, and it seems to be at least somewhat reasonably priced, though I do have one small gripe with the Mustang Mach E. Did they ​have ​to call it a Mustang? I’m not one to get hung up on the mostly arbitrary sanctity of model names, but this is a bit ridiculous. Aside from styling cues, this vehicle has absolutely nothing in common with the traditional Mustang, and I think it’s something of an affront to the Mustang heritage.                   

2020 Tesla Model Y                           

Tesla is planning to start deliveries of their new crossover, the Model Y, in the summer of this year. The Model Y, as all Teslas are, will be an important car because it will assuredly disrupt sales of its gas-powered competitors in a big way. Tesla’s entrance into a more reasonable price bracket with the Model 3 made quite a splash in the sedan segment, and we can expect the Model Y to do the same in the increasingly hot crossover market.               

2021 Tesla Roadster                       

Another Tesla sure to shake things up, though at a much bigger cost, is the upcoming Roadster. Set to go on sale after the Model Y, the Roadster is a $200,000+ supercar with quite a few big claims to support. Tesla has claimed that the Roadster will do 0-60mph in ​under two seconds​, and will be able to reach speeds in excess of 250mph with seating for four. If it’s as potent as Tesla says it will be, I’m sure Lamborghini, Ferrari and McLaren will be sweating once it hits the streets; though I’m sure those brands have at least a small fanbase unwilling to switch to a supercar that doesn’t make any noise.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette                           

We already know quite a bit about the new C8 Corvette, but since it hasn’t technically hit the streets yet, it still belongs on this list. The C8 is Chevrolet’s first mid-engined Corvette and it marks the biggest transformation of the iconic sports car since its inception in the 1950s. It is still very much a Corvette though, with pushrod V8 power, two seats, and two doors. Dealers are preparing to make deliveries as early as next month, and I can’t wait to see them on the road.               

2021 Mercedes Benz S-Class                   

Representing for the luxury sedan category on our list is the all new 2021 Mercedes Benz S-Class, set to be available for purchase later this year. The S-Class is a staple of the Mercedes brand, but more importantly, it’s a technological leader in the industry. Mercedes tends to debut lots of new tech in their flagship sedan, and other manufacturers often follow suit. With this in mind, the new S-Class is sure to bring with it many new innovations, and induce lots of innovative ripples throughout the industry. 

2021 Land Rover Defender

Arguably the quintessential British 4×4, the Defender has been absent from the US since 1997, because its lack of airbags (and Land Rover’s refusal to engineer their addition) failed to comply with US safety standards. The used market for the Defenders that had already made it stateside has been hot since then, and there was no hint of any new iterations of that classic Landy recently. 

And now, the Defender’s return is imminent. It has a lot of modern updates, but it still retains a fair amount of the rugged, utilitarian styling that gave the original its charm.

2020 Lotus Evija

In the awesome but unobtanium category (for most of us), Lotus is bringing out one of the sexiest, most exciting hypercars we’ve seen in a long time. And… it’s electric. In fact, exciting is sort of an understatement. It’s the most powerful electric car ever, with nearly 2,000 horsepower and a top speed of over 200 miles per hour. Oh, and it charges insanely fast, too—18 minutes to charge 100% (to a very respectable 250-mile range.)

Even the name is pretty exceptional; it’s probably partially a clever riff on the electric vehicle acronym of “EV,” and it also (loosely) means “living” or “breathing” in Hebrew. 

2021 Cadillac Escalade

Because the ‘Sclade is the perennial choice of A-list Hollywood celebs, reality show stars, and ballers everywhere, it has to stay on top of its style game. The 2021 iteration fittingly made its TV debut in commercials alongside Academy Award-winning actress Regina King during the 2020 Oscars.

It’s big (even bigger than before), and bold, adding 7.1 inches in length over the previous model, and a massive grill. Inside, there’s more space, and some serious tech updates to everything from the suspension and transmission to the giant, curved  OLED screen that probably has better image quality than the TV on your wall at home. A diesel engine will also be an option for the first time.

*Featured image of Oscar®-winning actress and acclaimed director Regina King behind the scenes with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

Lexus Performance Driving School, 360 MAGAZINE, Lexus, Toyota, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Vaughn Lowery

LPDS

A life-changing and immersive experience!’ 360 MAGAZINE

By Vaughn Lowery

As of late, we caught an opportunity to attend the Lexus Performance Driving School [LPDS] in Monterey, California at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the 4th year of this program helmed by legendary Nascar driver Scott Pruett alongside of world-class driving instructors. Under his direction, consumers as well as car enthusiasts can learn to become more confident and cognizant drivers with personalized coaching.

We flew into the Monterey airport to take in our cobalt blue RC 350 and headed straight to our accommodations at the Portola Hotel. The following dawn, we showered and worked out at the hotel gym. Within minutes, we pulled up to the prolific track to indulge in a snack bar-style breakfast. Upon check-in, we split into four teams which consisted of 10-12 people. Directly after, we met in a larger hangar to watch a video and were greeted by Mr. Pruett. Shortly after, we learned about the proper seating position, steering, throttle technique and helmet fitting.

The 8-hour course taught us about braking, line position, skid pad, autocross as well as lead and follow. Of course, like most AMG, BMW and Skip Barber racing platforms, we got to delve deep into how to drift (on wet asphalt) and ‘hit the apex.’

Towards the close of the day, all teams took to the slalom test to see who had the best time within their group for an assortment of prizes, including an F Sport watch and/or a hot lap with Pruett. After the announcement of the top three times, we were granted a certificate of completion which makes for a keepsake.

All in all, this was an awesome opportunity to learn more about dynamic performance vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. The LC 500 proved to be nimble, the RC F had a melodic exhaust note and the GS F was surprisingly agile (with its widebody).

In short, this is one of the best driving colleges offered on the Western Hemisphere and would constitute a memorable present for a celebratory moment and/or Christmas.

#360Recommended

Mercedes, 360 MAGAZINE, Neo Classics®, René Staud, Jürgen Lewandowski, teNeues

Neo Classics®

Neo Classics® are rare manufactured vehicles, one-of-a-kind high-end cars, special short-run cars, and “young classics.” They are vehicles that become legends—and coveted collectors’ items—the moment they leave the factory.

Faster, more powerful, more exclusive: whether they’re called supercars or hypercars, these are turbo-charged fantasies in chrome. For most of us, however, they will remain dreams on wheels. In this book, René Staud brings the dream a little closer. Page after gleaming page, the “Master of Light” brings these shining stars to our coffee table—from the Bugatti Chiron to the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder to the Mercedes AMG One. The images are accompanied by expert texts from the seasoned automotive writer and aficionado, Jürgen Lewandowski.

René Staud is considered one of the most sought-after automotive photographers and one of the most innovative in the industry. With the Magicflash® lighting system, he has given not only his art, but studio photography in general an important impulse. He has published six volumes with teNeues. With more than 70,000 copies sold, they are in turn classics of automotive literature.

With texts by Jürgen Lewandowski, the automotive section editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung for over 20 years, and the author of roughly 100 books about cars. Among his books published by teNeues are the best-selling titles The Porsche 911 Book and The Ferrari Book – Passion for Design.

• Special cars in a special book

• The term Neo Classics® is a registered trademark and, at the same time, the focus of this book: it’s about vehicles that stand out for their price, their exclusivity, or their performance

• A wonderful gift for all lovers of exceptional cars

Photo © 2019 Staud Studios GmbH, Leonberg, Germany. www.staudstudios.com. All rights reserved

© Neo Classics® by René Staud & Jürgen Lewandowski, published by teNeues, $125, www.teneues.com

BlocBoy JB “Mercedes” Music Video

Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB returns with a music video for new single Mercedes,”directed by AWGE visual artist, Hidji and premiered exclusively via The FADER. Released via Bloc Nation Records, the song was originally teased earlier this year via a Triller clip, reaching near a million views and popular demand in the comments.

While the single artwork gives a nod to Mercedes’ Rear End album, the Dilip x Otxhello produced track sports a catchy hook with BlocBoy JB’s signature drawl and sly sense of humor.”Mercedes” also marks as the BET Hip Hop Award-winning artist’s first solo official new music release in 2019, following “Mini Van” with DaBaby and 2018 EP release, Don’t Think That, featuring guests spots from Lil Uzi Vert and HoodRich Pablo Juan.

Cinturato CA67 Tire

PIRELLI EQUIPS THE ‘GULLWING’ MERCEDES WITH THE CINTURATO CA67, THE VERY FIRST MODERN SPORTING TIRE, AT THE HISTORIC MILAN-SANREMO RACE

The Cinturato CA67, now part of the Collezione range for classic cars, pioneered Pirelli’s Perfect Fit strategy by creating a bespoke tire for every car: the hallmark of the current P Zero family

The Pirelli Cinturato CA67 will equip the ‘gullwing’ Mercedes 300 SL; an emblematic car at the 2019 tribute to the historic Milan to Sanremo race. The Cinturato is the first sporting tire in modern history as well as Pirelli’s longest-standing brand, which represented the company on posters and in adverts for decades. Pirelli’s Cinturato was born as “tread pattern 367” and then sold by the Italian firm under the CA67 name from the early 1950s. Now this tire is back at the latest tribute to the famous Milan to Sanremo road race: one of the oldest motorsport competitions in Italy, where Pirelli is a sponsor. In this 11th running of the event, which gets underway from the Monza circuit near Milan on March 28, Pirelli returns one of most potent symbols of mass motoring to the road: a result of the economic boom of the 1960s.

AN ITALIAN STORY: EMANUELI, THE TIRE WIZARD

The Cinturato was the first radial tire made by Pirelli and also the first to have an overtly sporting character, having been initially designed to equip the Alfa Romeo range. The tread compound was extremely resistant to high temperatures and cuts, while the radial canvas structure with crossed belts ensured extra rigidity. This in turn made the tire feel more precise and well-suited to the first sports cars of the modern age. The father of this patented product was Luigi Emanueli from Milan: a master of technology and a renowned tire wizard; to the point where he is now remembered as the creator of the Cinturato. But before becoming the most long-standing brand in Pirelli’s range, the Cinturato had to earn its fame in an age (the 1950s and 1960s) when comfort was prioritized over performance. It was the start of the era of specialization that we know today, and manufacturers were beginning to produce the first true sports cars. However, for a ground- breaking tire like the Cinturato CA67, it wasn’t always easy to shake off the dominance of established tires with more conventional structures, such as the Stelvio and Sempione. It didn’t take long for the change to come. Already by 1954, the CA67 had become the public face of Pirelli, with its distinctive silhouette and tread pattern representing the company at trade shows and in adverts. The CA67 remained part of the range until 1980, and today it is available as part of the Pirelli Collezione family. This is where enthusiasts can find tires that combine classic looks with modern technology and materials, helping to retain each classic car’s all-important originality. The Cinturato brand, of course, never went out of production. Today, it’s still available with the P7: one of Pirelli’s tires with the greatest number of homologations.

THE FIRST MADE TO MEASURE TIRE

Sporting performance and customization remain key hallmarks of Pirelli’s DNA today, and this became well-known thanks to the Cinturato. “Tread pattern 367” heralded the start of Pirelli’s Perfect Fit strategy, which represents the focus of the Milanese company and helps it stand out from competitors, especially with the P Zero range. As a result, makers of premium and prestige cars can rely on tires that are precisely tailored to every individual model. The Cinturato CA67 was the forerunner of a family of tires with specific applications, modified to perfectly suit the vehicles they are fitted to. As the name suggests, a Perfect Fit that inaugurated the unique made-to- measure approach that still characterizes Pirelli tires today.

 

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

The Work-To-Weekend Luxury SUV

Practicality meets luxury with the 2018 GX 460 SUV, a work-to-weekend warrior that’s as at home on the trail as it is in the city or suburbs. Underscoring the three-row GX 460’s all-weather capability and comfort that seats up to seven passengers, the heated/ventilated front seats are available as a standalone option for the base model (standard on the Premium and Luxury models). In addition, the top-line GX 460 now offers captain’s chairs for the second-row seating in the Sport Design Package.

The Lexus signature spindle grille gives the GX 460 a distinctive, standout style. The Sport Design Package puts an extra accent on that design with special details such as an exclusive front bumper, rear bumper spoiler, special exhaust tailpipe tip, a redesigned side mirror case, scarlet tail lamps and unique 18-inch split-six spoke alloy wheels.

One Vehicle, Two Ways Easy maneuverability and the comfort of the GX 460 make it an ideal contender for the modern family. A dual-purpose vehicle, the luxury SUV can go from the office to an active, demanding 4×4 environment on the weekend without looking out of place. The standard and sole engine is a 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 that issues 329 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Combine that with 6,500-lb. towing capacity, and you’ve got an ideal boat hauler. Towing is aided with Trailer Sway Control, a function of the Vehicle Stability Control that enhances straight-line tracking.

A key to the GX 460’s dual personalities is its standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which helps to significantly reduce body lean without resorting to stiffer springs and dampers. Lexus made the stabilizer bars stiffer to help reduce maximum body-lean angle by as much as 50 percent. Hydraulic cylinders act on each stabilizer bar, and linked by a pressure-sensing valve, they continually vary the lean resistance. During on-road cornering, when both front and rear hydraulic cylinders are in a neutral position, no fluid flows in the system and the stabilizer bars work conventionally to help reduce body lean.

Driving in off-road situations, KDSS is designed to reduce sway resistance, which allows the wheels to move with a larger degree of side-to-side independence. When the GX 460 encounters an uneven surface, one compressed cylinder causes fluid to flow to the other cylinder, helping the vehicle to keep all four wheels on the ground. The system works without any action needed by the driver.

The GX 460 has another ace up its fender for on-road smoothness. Available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) uses electronically controlled dampers that adjust to road surface conditions. The driver can tailor ride and handling characteristics by selecting from among Normal, Sport or Comfort modes.
In today’s world, a full-capability SUV means the ability to casually traverse highways and grocery store parking lots while also offering the ability for an off-road excursion. That’s why the Lexus GX 460 uses a full-time automatic four-wheel drive system that can enhance everyday handling on the pavement as well as on the trails.

A Torsen® torque-sensing limited slip center differential distributes power 40:60 under most driving conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on wheel slip. The system offers a low range for off-road driving, and the center differential can be electronically locked.

Driving through a curve on pavement, for example, the Torsen differential can change the torque split to 30:70 to enhance vehicle tracking. If wheels spin, the center differential can change the ratio to 50:50 to help control slippage. The system can respond to sudden changes in road-surface conditions, such as driving through a puddle or over an ice patch. A two-speed transfer case with low range is supported by a wide array of chassis control technology. With Downhill Assist Control (DAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and available Crawl Control, the GX 460 has the ability to roam unpaved, uneven trails and steep inclines.

In some off-road conditions, where the driver might have a hard time knowing which direction the front wheels are pointing – the GX 460 comes with a standard steering angle indicator in the gauge panel. A-TRAC provides the traction benefits of having locking front and rear differentials, but with lower weight. The system can apply the brake to a slipping wheel, while transferring torque to the wheels with better traction.

Trail drivers who encounter steep and rocky hills know well the skill and concentration needed to manipulate the throttle, brake and steering to help keep the vehicle moving forward securely. The GX 460 makes it easier with available Crawl Control, which automatically modulates the throttle and brake, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering.

Engaged when the vehicle is in low range, Crawl Control allows the vehicle to move forward or in reverse at one of five driver-selectable low-speed settings. Crawl Control also engages the front and rear “virtual” locking differentials to help reduce tire slippage and optimize chassis behavior. Crawl Control can also help the driver navigate the GX 460 through sand, mud or snow.

The GX 460’s multimedia system is a multitasker, offering a customizable home screen that can display three sections simultaneously. For example, you can view a single display (navigation/map), dual display (navigation/map + audio, compass or other function) or three displays on the same screen (navigation/map + audio + weather). The available Navigation System’s three-dimensional map view makes it an even more effective driving partner. The touch-screen Display Audio uses an eight-inch screen that includes a backup camera, HD RadioTM, Bluetooth® audio, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio.

The system also incorporates cache radio, which can pause live radio, recording up to 15 minutes of broadcast for later playback. Drivers with an iPhone ® (iPhone 4S and later) can get things done just by asking through standard Siri® Eyes Free Mode. Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple® maps, and much more.

The Lexus GX 460 also goes above and beyond with safety features. Technologies that exemplify the brand’s forward thinking are found in the optional Driver Support Package, which includes the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Driver Attention Monitor, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Outside Rear View Mirror (camera + Blind Spot Monitor indicator) and a Wide-view Front and Side Camera that is designed to enhance visibility in tight settings and around corners. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set following distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.

The Driver Attention Monitor helps to address a growing safety concern, that of driver inattention. The innovative system uses a camera to monitor the orientation of the driver’s face. If it determines that the driver is not facing forward when an obstacle is detected by PCS, a warning chime and a warning display convey alerts. If the driver doesn’t respond as the vehicle closes on the obstacle, the next level of warning is PCS gently applying the brakes. At the same time, the system automatically retracts the front seat belts and prepares the brake system to respond with increased force when you apply the brake pedal.

By monitoring visible lane markings, Lane Departure Alert can detect unintentional lane departure and sound a warning buzzer and display a visual alert. Also part of the Driver Support Package, Intelligent High Beam brings courtesy and safety to the road by automatically switching high beams to low when meeting oncoming vehicles or approaching vehicles from the rear.

When equipped with the available Navigation System, the GX 460 also comes with a one-year complimentary subscription to Lexus Enform Destination Assist, and the subscription-free Lexus Enform App Suite.

These voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Destination Search, make restaurant reservations through OpenTable®, order movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, listen to Internet radio (including Pandora®, iHeartRadioTM and Slacker), and search business reviews on Yelp®.

The 2018 GX 460 includes Lexus Enform® Safety Connect featuring Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Lexus Enform Destination Assist (includes a complimentary one-year subscription). Lexus drivers can also opt in for Lexus Enform Service Connect with a complimentary one-year subscription included. This service allows customers to remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via the MyLexusandBeyond mobile application for iOS smartphone users or LexusDrivers.com for others.

Information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report that includes email and push notifications for diagnostic information, required maintenance reminders, current vehicle alerts, service campaigns, and more. Available Lexus Enform Remote (one-year subscription included) allows the owner to remotely view and control certain vehicle features using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Key features include remote door lock/unlock, remote stop/start for the engine and climate control, vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.

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