The Aura Blockchain Consortium joins the SMI Fashion Task Force to leverage technology to achieve sustainability and circularity goals
Aura Blockchain Consortium, founded by LVMH, Prada Group, Cartier, part of Richemont, the OTB Group and Mercedes-Benz, is joining the Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Task Force, a private-sector coalition aimed at accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable future in the global fashion, textile and apparel sector. The SMI was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2020, and its Fashion Task Force is chaired by Federico Marchetti, tech entrepreneur and sustainability pioneer. Aura Blockchain Consortium’s technology will help members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Task Force achieve their sustainability goals and enhance traceability.
“We’re thrilled to have Aura Blockchain Consortium join the Task Force. Its presence will accelerate our mission to build innovation, transparency and a collaborative spirit within the fashion industry. Only by working together and leveraging technology will we protect the planet.” says Federico Marchetti, SMI’s Fashion Task Force Chair.
“It is a privilege to support HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Task Force along with its members and teams through the Aura Blockchain Consortium’s private blockchain and NFT solutions as we work towards our shared vision to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future. We are excited to start the collaboration with the Fashion Task Force’s team to push circularity and traceability forward” says Daniela Ott, General Secretary of Aura Blockchain Consortium.
Across 2021 and 2022, the Task Force has been delivering action in multiple areas where Aura Blockchain Consortium’s traceability platform, built for the luxury sector, will bring considerable value. In recognition that consumer interest in more sustainable products is on the rise, the Task Force is focused on unlocking circularity by rolling out a Digital ID, which was launched at the G20 in Rome in October 2021. The Digital ID allows key players in the fashion value chain – including manufacturers, brands, retailers, resellers and recyclers – to provide unprecedented transparency and traceability of the products they sell. It also unlocks new circular services for customers, such as care and repair services, as well as ones focused on resale and recycling.
The Aura Blockchain Consortium already enables and supports participating members to tag their products with secure, unique blockchain-based identities that can track a product’s manufacture and supply from raw materials through to end consumers. As such, it owns the perfect innovative technology to enable the Task Force and its member brands with this ambition.
The automotive industry is in a state of upheaval. The demands on mobility are changing. This is a development that Hirschvogel, as a global automotive supplier, is actively addressing. Jörg Rückauf, who has been CEO of the Group since July 1 and who will assume responsibility for Future Business, says: “The mobility industry is undergoing a transformation. We want to take advantage of the resulting opportunities and help shape the change together with our customers.”
Hirschvogel, a family-owned steel and aluminum processing company headquartered in Denklingen, Upper Bavaria, has been systematically expanding its range of products and services over the years. In the automotive industry, it is moving into innovative products that are independent of the combustion engine. At the same time, the company is opening up to new sectors in the mobility environment and investing in other business areas by acquiring stakes in technology companies. These efforts have resulted in the generation of a partner ecosystem.
This year’s IAA Mobility in Munich will see Hirschvogel exhibiting for the first time together with some of those ecosystem partners. Under the name “Hirschvogel Mobility Network”, they will be presenting components and services for mobility concepts of the future. Among the partners present: Eatron Technologies, a specialist for intelligent software in electric and self-driving mobility concepts; Usaneers, experts for the development of innovative human-machine interfaces for the automotive industry; Automotive Synergies, supplier of electronic systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles; and the Hirschvogel Innovation Center, which coordinates the innovation projects.
Developed for the short haul
The centerpiece of the Hirschvogel Mobility Network’s presence at the IAA will be the new AXIMO (derived from the Latin words for axis and movement), with which it is breaking into the micro-mobility market. AXIMO combines the expertise and services of the individual ecosystem partners to form a component platform for three- or four-wheeled micromobiles. The platform, which encompasses forged and machined components as well as operating displays and software applications, is a modular system. The modules can be used on the customer side to implement different concepts for micro-vehicles in a cost-efficient way. At the IAA Mobility, a delivery robot and a cargo bike will be showcased as application examples.
Tailored to E-mobility
In the automotive supply industry, the Hirschvogel Mobility Network has a growing portfolio of components for E-mobility. These encompass heat sinks for power electronics which, as forged components, demonstrate improved thermal conductivity. Other product highlights include stator housings and ready-for-assembly rotor shafts for electric motors in micromobiles, passenger cars or commercial vehicles, as well as forged and machined electric transmission shafts for passenger cars and trucks. In conjunction with the differentials and components for half shafts that have likewise been added to the portfolio, Hirschvogel can thus cover the entire electric powertrain.
Independent of the powertrain concept
These ready-for-assembly differentials and differential bevel gears expand the range of Hirschvogel components that are independent of the powertrain concept. An augmented reality presentation will make their advantages tangible for the audience at the IAA Mobility. Another focal point will be the chassis. Here, arms and struts, steering knuckles as well as wheel carriers made of forged aluminum will be presented. Compared with cast aluminum, their forged counterparts demonstrate improved mechanical properties and, as lightweight components, help reduce vehicle weight.
“Mobility is becoming more diverse. So is the range of products and services at Hirschvogel. We want to support our customers with suitable components and services when it comes to designing and implementing their mobility concepts. In so doing, we bring our manufacturing know-how–and gladly also our design expertise–to the table,” says Rückauf.
The Hirschvogel Automotive Group
The Hirschvogel Automotive Group is one of the largest manufacturers of forged parts made of steel and aluminum worldwide. As a development partner for modern mobility concepts, with a focus on the automotive industry, and as a production specialist in forging and machining, the core competencies of Hirschvogel include powertrain applications based on all drive technologies, as well as transmissions and chassis in passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and components in off-highway applications. Together with its network of partner companies, Hirschvogel is also active in the fields of electromobility, micro-mobility and software.
Hirschvogel is an independent family company and has approx. 5,700 employees worldwide. Total sales in 2020 amounted to 1.04 billion euros. The headquarters of the Group are located in Denklingen, Upper Bavaria. Likewise located there are Hirschvogel Umformtechnik GmbH and its parent company Hirschvogel Holding GmbH. The Group is also represented in Germany with three other plants based in Schongau and in Marksuhl, near Eisenach. Internationally, the Hirschvogel Automotive Group is present on three continents: in Gliwice (Poland), in Sanaswadi (India), in Pinghu near Shanghai (China), in Columbus/Ohio (USA) and in San Juan del Río/Querétaro (Mexico).
The Concours of Elegance – famed for gathering together the rarest cars ever created – will showcase some of the world’s most extraordinary Bentleys at Hampton Court Palace in this year’s ‘Main Concours’ display. Taking place from 3-5 September, the event is renowned as one of the top three concours d’elegance events in the world for the quality of cars it attracts; nowhere else in the UK can the public see such a high standard of rare historic vehicles.
Since it started manufacturing cars in 1919, Bentley has established itself as a pinnacle of both luxury and performance. Built upon the company’s racing pedigree – five victories at Le Mans in the 1920s, plus a sixth in 2003 – Bentley is known across the globe for creating cars with an unrivaled blend of speed and the finest craftsmanship and materials.
Among the earliest Bentleys on display is ‘YB 633’, a very original 1926 6 ½-litre Sports Tourer. The car is reputed to be the last 11 foot chassis with the original one-off aluminum body still on the car – a four-light drop head coupe with a dickey seat and wind-up windows, referred to as a “Simplex Coupe” by Coachbuilder H J Mulliner. In Bentley factory records the car is referred to as a “3/4 folding head coupe”. The car also features its originally installed engine.
Alongside it, is ‘YW 5758’ a 1928 Bentley 4 ½-litre Le Mans Team Car – the most decorated original-bodied car in existence – still featuring its original chassis number, engine number, body number and body. The car’s impeccable racing history includes second place in class at the 1928 Newtownards TT, fifth at the inaugural 1929 Irish International Grand Prix at Phoenix Park, and class winner and third overall, at the 1929 ‘Six Hour Race’ at Brooklands. The car also placed fourth at Le Mans in 1929. The car continued its successes into the 1930s, and is still used regularly at historic meetings today.
Also on display is another Bentley 4 ½-litre with a different kind of history. ‘GC 6002’ was originally delivered via Jack Olding & Co to a Mr Arthur Grout in 1930. Arthur was the landlord of The Southampton Arms which was at the centre of the ‘race track wars’ of the 1920s – recently made famous by the Netflix series ‘Peaky Blinders’. The car is a sports four seater by Vanden Plas with fully valanced wings finished in green. Unfortunately for Arthur, the car’s commanding looks would do nothing to ward off the creditors – his failure to keep up repayments meant the vehicle was returned to the factory in 1935, as denoted on the chassis record. The car has never been rebuilt, only maintained, and is in regular use today, having covered less than 100,000 miles in more than nine decades.
Also gracing the pathways of Hampton Court is an early example of a ‘blown’ Bentley – a 1931 Bentley 4 ½-litre supercharged. The addition of the supercharger was facilitated by then racing driver Tim Birkin who, in 1929, suddenly found himself hopelessly outclassed by the supercharged Mercedes cars that were running away on the straights. Birkin approached engineer, Charles Amherst Villiers, who had already made his name with Brescia Bugattis and the supercharged Villiers Vauxhall Special, and commissioned him to design a super-charger installation for the 4½-litre Bentley. Villiers also reworked the engine to cope with the strains imposed by the supercharger. The example on display at the Concours retains its original four-seater open sports body by Vanden Plas, and its original colour scheme of black with fine lining in red.
Rounding out the selection of 1930s Bentleys is ‘WD 4499’ which is a 1932 Bentley 8-litre, and the 64th of the 100 8-litre Bentleys built in 1930–31. The 8-litre was designed as a fast, powerful chassis capable of carrying heavy closed coachwork with sports car levels of performance. Indeed when the 8-litre was introduced at the 1930 Olympia Show it was the fastest production chassis in the world, capable of 103mph at 3,500rpm. This particular car is a long wheelbase model, with coachwork by H J Mulliner finished in black and green.
These are just some of the beautiful Bentleys that will be on display, with many more examples forming a line-up with the Bentley Drivers’ Club. This display is part of the additional content that makes up the near-1,000 cars on display during the Concours of Elegance, also including a collection of 95 British cars gathered to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday, and a 30UNDER30 Concours aimed at inspiring the next-generation of classic car enthusiast.
Special features for 2021 will also gather together a line-up of Future Classics, representing the potential concours d’elegance stars of the next 50 years, a celebration of 60 years of the Jaguar E-type and a Veteran Car Run display, gathering the pre-1905 motoring pioneers that each year make their pilgrimage from London to Brighton.
Away from the automotive displays, Concours of Elegance remains an occasion of pure luxury, with champagne provided by Charles Heidsieck, picnics by Fortnum & Mason, live stage interviews with Chubb Insurance, hosted by Jodie Kidd, and a collection of art, jewelry and fashion displays. Presenting Partner, A. Lange & Söhne, recently confirmed to support the event for a further three years, will continue to showcase some of its most intricate timepieces. New long-term partners joining the event in 2021 include The Peninsula London Hotel and Residences, Gooding & Co and McLaren.
Tickets to the Concours of Elegance 2021 are available now ranging from standard entry tickets to full three-course hospitality packages from £288. Tickets can be bought from Concourse of Elegance.
Established in 2012, the inaugural Concours of Elegance was held within Windsor Castle to mark the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign. Organized by Thorough Events, the first Concours of Elegance set a new global benchmark for a classic car concours; winning prestigious awards in the process; unheard of for a ‘start-up’ event in its first year. The second Concours of Elegance was held in 2013 to equal fanfare at the historic Royal Palace of St James in London, with the widely acclaimed third Concours set in the stunning grounds of Hampton Court Palace in September 2014, before heading to the Palace of Holyrioodhouse in 2015. Only cars of the highest calibre are invited to the Concours of Elegance, from all over the world, painstakingly selected by the Concours Steering Committee; a respected team of authoritative historic car experts. A key objective of the annual Concours of Elegance is to raise significant sums for charity.
Historic Royal Palaces
Hampton Court Palace is cared for by Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that also looks after the Tower of London, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information, visit Historic Royal Palaces.
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.
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.
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 uncompromisedcommitment.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Facebook, Instagram 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:
Search and Rescue
Coastal and Marine Conservation
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 theirwebsite.
For information on the Land Rover ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’, please visit Land Rover’s website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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.
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.
Information, submission deadlines, rules on the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards,’ can be found here.
‘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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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