Posts tagged with "sports sedan"

Rolls Royce Logo illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

New RR Ghost

In autumn this year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will make an historic announcement in launching new Ghost. This product follows the first Goodwood Ghost, which became the most successful motor car in the marque’s 116-year history.

· First of four animated films offering insight into the substance underpinning new Ghost goes live

· Post Opulence identified as emerging design movement defined by reduction and substance

· Podcast series exploring design and engineering philosophy of new Ghost available now

More than six years ago, a team of luxury intelligence specialists, designers, engineers and craftspeople assembled to begin development of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost. Like the first Goodwood Ghost, launched in 2009, this collective would work obsessively to ensure that New Ghost would hold its own place in the Rolls-Royce portfolio and represent a unique set of client values.

Since the introduction of Ghost, which became the most successful Rolls-Royce in history, the marque’s unique proximity its clients afforded the team access to a large body of information. It revealed the divergent interests, opinions and changing taste patterns within Ghost clients’ appreciation of luxury. This primary research allowed them to create a product myopically focussed on the requirements of these remarkable men and women. These insights were what informed the designers, engineers and craftspeople at Rolls-Royce as they moved into the development phase of the highly progressive new Ghost.

As with all primary research conducted by the marque’s specialists, these experts were also asked to present their findings. In this short film, Rolls-Royce shares some of these insights to demonstrate the underlying substance of the highly progressive new Ghost ahead of its official unveiling in autumn this year.

The series begins with Rolls-Royce Designer Henry Cloke, who identified an emerging aesthetic defined by purity and minimalism, internally codenamed Post Opulence. Cloke says, “We found that Ghost clients sought objects that are effortlessly, almost instinctively exceptional. They rejected busy details and flash gimmicks, instead seeking extremely high quality, thoughtfully designed pieces that stand up to the most intense scrutiny. This philosophy defined new Ghost’s minimalist design treatment.”

The marque elected to use the increasingly popular medium of animated illustrations to convey these insights. Renowned illustrator, Charlie Davis, was chosen to cohesively and beautifully represent these findings in a fashion that befits the highly progressive new Ghost.

In addition to these insights presented in animation form, a series of five podcasts have been launched that reveal the marque’s findings, as well as insights into the underlying material and engineering substance of new Ghost in long form. Hosted by Johanna Agerman Ross, Curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the podcasts are available on AppleGoogleSpotify and Deezer.

POST OPULENCE: ROLL-ROYCE REVEALS THE SUPER-LUXURY CONSUMER INSIGHTS THAT FORMED NEW GHOST HERE.

Toyota Avalon TRD

By Abigail Baldwin × Vaughn Lowery

Los Angeles traffic is a sea of homogeneity and it’s hard for your car to stand out amongst the sprawl of uninspired sedans and low-performance hatchbacks. The 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD is the perfect, unique commuter car that’s practical while also making a standout statement. The sleek, high-performance vehicle is perfect for a youthful executive with a small family in tow. It’s red accents, curved tail lights, and high-speed performance variants set it apart from the dull monotony of the commuter car market.

Design

The design of the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD is sleek and vigorous. It’s low to the ground, and 1.8 inches longer than a Toyota Camry, giving it a sporty look. Driving the Avalon TRD makes a visual statement with a massive grill. The taillights are elegant and concave, above TRD exhaust tips, and the side-skirts feature a unique red pin-striping detail.

Toyota has continued its uses of the push-button start and keyless entry features with the Avalon TRD. The car also features a remote start by holding down on the unlock button on the key, allowing you to start your car from inside the house on a cold day. The key also includes a trunk button that gracefully opens the exceptionally spacious trunk.

The interior of the Avalon TRD is airy and luxe. The black leather features red contrast stitching to match the vibrant red seat belts, red piping accents on the seats, and the exterior pinstripe. No one has to fight for shotgun because the back seats have ample legroom, two charging stations, and a convenient center armrest that has a drop-down cup holder for everyone’s Starbucks…

The attention to detail includes the front seat door panel, which is padded leather with classic window and mirror controls. The red piping and cloth inserts make the heated front seats sporty and comfortable. The red contrast stitching is incorporated throughout the interior of the vehicle, including the steering wheel. The dashboard and gages have a simple, uncluttered look. The center console matches the sporty aspect of the car and doesn’t skimp on handy features: four USB charging stations, a Qi-compatible wireless charging station, two cup holders, and a button parking brake below the shift. A large sunroof set into the dark leather ceiling completes the luxurious interior.

Technology

The state-of-the-art technology enhances the commodious interior of the Avalon TRD. The Avalon TRD features cruise control on the steering wheel and a back-up camera with multiple angle options. The media center is a touch screen and provides voice activation Bluetooth for handsfree calling and music control. The voice control button is placed on the steering wheel for easy access. The Audio Plus system includes eight speakers for surrounding sound. The media center has an audio jack and a USB 2.0 port. The car is Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatible, as well as Scout®, GPS Link, Siri®, and HD Radio™ compatible. This model also offers an HD radio with a SiriusXM® 3-month All Access trial.

Performance and Safety

What’s most unique about the 2020 Avalon TRD is that it’s a commuter sedan with multiple performance variants. The car includes eco, normal, and sport modes. The Avalon TRD has an incredibly luxurious and sporty feel. It is an 8-speed automatic with the option of manual gear shift, using steering wheel tabs or the traditional stick shift.

The car has an almost silent start and minimal road noise. It has a responsive, natural feeling throttle and fast acceleration. The 2020 Avalon has two-piston brake calipers. The breaks are smooth with a gradual bite and require that you push halfway down to get a more dramatic break. The 2020 TRD has a lower center of gravity and stiffer springs than the previous Avalon model. It features 19-inch rims, lighter than the standard, s, and the car has updated, track-tuned suspension. Also, the special suspension accompanies a 15.8 gal fuel tank capacity, a 3.5 L V6 engine, and a horsepower of 301 hp. With a curb weight of 3,638 lbs and an MPG of 22 city/31 highway, the Avalon’s features are space and resource-efficient. The steering is a bit heavier than the previous Avalon but still exceptionally light, allowing for flat turns with a great grip.

The Avalon TRD has great visibility, with additional trunk windows on either side. The car’s protective system offers fast response times and enhanced vehicle stability control for a safe drive you can trust. It includes ten airbags: driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, rear seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags. Additionally, the 2020 Avalon has front and rear energy-absorbing crumple zones, a blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Overall, the 2020 Avalon TRD is a unique, luxury vehicle with safety and security you can feel, and style you can see.

Pricing

The 2020 Avalon TRD goes for $45,000 before market adjustment, making it a competitor for Audi and BMW models. The suggested retail price or MSRP starts at $42,375. The TRD, however, is larger than the competition, with a more spacious and luxurious interior, and its own sleek, red-accented look. Additionally, the TRD comes with a memorized steering wheel position and a higher fuel economy when compared to the 2020 Nissan Maxima.

For updated pricing details and a closer look at the model, visit Toyota’s website.

Tyler Jacob, sports sedan, Jaguar, XE, R-Dynamic, auto, automotive news, automotive trends, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

JAGUAR XE R-DYNAMIC

By Vivek Lalchandani × Krishan Narsinghani × Vaughn Lowery

The BMW 3 series has always dominated the small luxury sedan market. Jaguar challenges that with the 2020 Jaguar XE. Jags have always been known for three things: driving feel, prestige and presence. In a market saturated with big players from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Genesis, JLR had no choice but to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the XE. 360 Magazine examined the changes to see if they produced.

Exterior

Known for its dashing looks, Jaguar has been making subtle but effective updates to the current generation XE. In 2020, notice the head and tail lights have been sharpened slightly to give the vehicle a wider and lower impression. These upgrades make the car look more aggressive and imposing. LED lighting is standard in the rear and optional up front. Wheel options are formidable throughout the lineup with sizes ranging from 18” to 20”. In addition, it possesses puddle lights which differentiate it from other compact European vehicles within its class.

Interior

The interior is perhaps the biggest improvement of the 2020 XE. Dominating the center console is the twin screen infotainment/HVAC controls pulled from all other Jaguar Land Rover products. Remarkably, the modernized system brings a new level of intuitiveness missing from prior model years. Quality is a mixed bag, some soft materials and some cheaper with uneven gaps, as usual with the group. An excellent attention to detail is the half-metal stalks coming off the steering wheel. Otherwise, the Jag is mostly unchanged on the inside compared to the outgoing model. Additional features include power adjustable leather seats, dual zone climate control, and a huge panoramic sunroof for an airy experience. Talk about sunshine on a cloudy day. Light shines through to amplify the size of the car.

Technology

First enter the sedan at night for an eyeful of bright and colorful ambient lighting that highlight the contours throughout. Drivers can expect a head up display, 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 360 team appreciated a new rear view mirror with a built-in camera similar to GM’s. 

Performance  

Jag delivered as promised on the most important aspect of a small luxury sedan – performance. As with what seems like every other vehicle nowadays, a 2.0L 4 cylinder turbocharged engine is standard. In the base XE S trim, the engine outputs 247 horsepower and 269 lb-ft torque which is good for a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds. Step up to the R-Dynamic S trim and the 2.0L engine kicks out 296 horsepower, 295 lb-ft torque, and a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds. Both trims are built on a lightweight aluminum architecture with a curb weight of 3,385 and 3,560 pounds, respectively. The base trim pushes power to the rear wheels standard with AWD as an option. Engineers also considered aerodynamics heavily while developing this car and have fine tuned it for this model year. The XE has a drag coefficient as low as Cd0.27, which is slightly more than the BMW at 0.26 but still very impressive. This leads to the friendly MPG numbers.

R-Dynamic vehicles come standard with AWD. Standard performance and handling features include brake vectoring, double wishbone front suspension and integral link rear suspension. Optional features include Configurable Dynamics with adjustable steering weight and throttle response, Adaptive Dampers, and bigger brakes and aero treatments. Combine everything and you have a dream handling machine. Fuel economy numbers stand at 25/34 city/highway for the Base trim and 22/30 for the R-Dynamic.

Safety

The XE comes standard with emergency braking, standard cruise control, driver condition monitoring, rear view camera and lane keep assist. The LKA is the variety that nudges the vehicle back into the lane rather than keeping it centered in the lane. Gearheads may not feel comfortable taking hands off the wheel in this vehicle. This is the opposite of most BMW vehicles as their LKA is much more confidence inspiring. With that being said, we are excited for Jaguar’s next generation XE and its updated LKA as it should be top notch. Optional features for the XE include Adaptive Cruise Control with start/stop, High Speed Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Assist. The comprehensive suite of advanced safety technology makes this cruiser feel very sturdy and safe.

To top it off, the XE has powerful brakes and six airbags spread out throughout the cabin in the front, side and rear curtain. This Jag comes in at approximately $40,000 base with the R Dynamic Trim starting at $46,000. After an extensive drive, it’s apparent Jaguar built a real competitor in the true driver’s car market.

Pre-order

Carr Winery, Santa Barbara, 360 MAGAZINE, Lexus, GS F, Vaughn Lowery

LEXUS GS F

“The Lexus GS F is undeniably one of the most iconic vehicles of the brand’s history! Like a reserved bottle of wine, it ages well.” – 360 MAGAZINE

By Anthony Sovinsky × Vaughn Lowery

The ‘F’ marquee represents the high performance division of vehicles engineered by Lexus. The 2019 Lexus GS F has earned its right through rigorous testing to bear the weight of the ‘F’ stamp of approval. It’s graceful design and superior performance are on par with the BMW M Models and Mercedes-AMG line.

Design

The GS F is only in its third season, yet it’s overall traits are retro while still embodying Lexus’s luxurious appeal. The side profiles are simple – no excess vents or useless lines. At the front, there’s a gradual growth in aggressiveness which begins with fender cut-outs. The spindle grille is accompanied by two massive air ducts which lie beneath each Triple Beam LED headlamps. It has been masterfully carved to enhance aerodynamics with a 0.33 drag coefficient. The buttocks is the defining attribute on this sports sedan – clearly this car can deep squat. Reminiscent of its predecessors, however, this model has chrome quad exhaust pipes (diagonally stacked upon one another). 

Our test model came well-equipped with the 10th Anniversary Package for an additional $5000 USD. It has several unique style upgrades inside and out. Only 100 units were produced in the United States. Exterior refinements include a matte Nebula Gray paint and 19” contrasting BBS 16-spoke wheels. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires come standard along side of painted blue Brembo calipers and ‘F’ logo puddle lights. 

Up front are a 16-way power adjustable driver and a 5-way adjustable passenger ‘F’ performance race-inspired seats. They encase passengers comfortably and firmly. An ‘F’ Sport steering wheel with racing ergonomics elegantly compliment the cabin. There’s electric blue carbon fiber along the door panels and dash coupled with alcantara door trim and armrest. Futhermore, there’s a F 10th Anniversary Limited medallion affixed just right above the blue shift knob. 

Performance

Unlike its competition, commonly turbocharging and supercharging their vehicles to boast extra power, Lexus decided to implant a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in the GS. It outputs 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s not outpowering it’s German counterparts, it offers a nostalgic feel with balanced performance and predictability. Its force is distributed through an 8-speed automatic transmission that is best experienced in SportS+ mode. One should take advantage of the paddle shifters and row the gears through their more spirited ranges, 4800 RPM and above. 

This car exemplifies it’s athletic prowess on roads which test it’s balance. And, for those of us who don’t have access to a track, windy roads will serve. We drove through LA’s Mulholland Drive to PCH for a Sunday morning jaunt to Carr Winery in Santa Barbara for a tasting. Much to our surprise, the husky 4-door held its ground. The tires stuck around corners with great tenacity and body roll was almost absent. Moreover, the ventilated disc brakes with high friction pads were of great help in approaching turns. In gain, F Sport suspension with Ilachs-sourced shock absorbers kept the ride firm with little rebound in both Track and SLALOM modes. 

Safety

Plenty of features are included to keep drivers as well as passengers safe and sound. Essential characteristics that came in handy are the following: smart stop technology, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control (for long drives), lane departure alert with steering wheel assist and lane keep assist (are great for driver fatigue). Lastly, Lexus Enform offers assistance if the vehicle is involved in accident or stolen. You can also communicate with an actual representative to send directions straight to the car while in motion. Finally, a car concierge for a sports sedan that confortably seats four.

Technology

As much as we enjoyed listening to the sweet serenade of the exhaust, the audio system is just as satisfying. Our version came with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, with 835 watts of power ($1380 USD). It’s unquestionably one of the most powerful units its segment. In addition, there’s a 12.3-inch infotainment display that can be surfed with an armrest remote. To date, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are unavailable. However, music can be played from your phone while connected to Bluetooth and/or plugged into the USB port. And, for $900 you can opt for an in color heads-up display (HUD) that offers metrics such as the speed limit, current MPH/KMH and tachometer. 

Conclusion

In short, the standard 2019 Lexus GS F is priced at $84,350 and the 10th Anniversary Edition retails around $93,250. For far less than its challengers, the GS F is an exotic with tons of intuitive amenities. A true head-turner and automotive beast.

For additional information on the LEXUS GS F go HERE.

Lexus IS 350 F Sport

By Tara McDonough × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 MAGAZINE took a road trip from Los Angeles to Palm Springs in the new 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport. The Friday midday drive took around 3 hours with heavy traffic and the Lexus handled like a dream, providing a comfortable and quiet ride.

With a red carpet ready exterior combined with the public presentation and speed of a cheetah, the $53,000 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport effortlessly combines luxury and performance. The clear and alluring looking vehicle makes a bold statement for Lexus brand sedans. The vehicle is intuitive and dynamic with brakes that feel stronger and suspension that feels tighter.

PERFORMANCE

The IS 350 F Sport gets a combined 23 mpg city/hwy. It uses 4.3 gallons per 100 miles. With a 311 horsepower and 280 pound-ft of torque, the Lexus leaps across the pavement, while maintaining a smooth ride. The vehicle is fitted out with a 3.5-liter V6 24-valve, dual overhead cam, direct injection, adaptive variable suspension and variable timing intelligent wide intake and exhaust. It boasts an 8-speed sport shift transmission with driving modes such as ECO, normal, sport and snow. The visibility and force in a car this size is impressive combined with less road vibration and responsive brakes. Very reminiscent of the 2003 Infiniti G35, Lexus really does it all in this 2019 IS 350 F Sport.

EXTERIOR

The appearance of the IS 350 F Sport combines dark chrome with a pronounced mesh grille which pairs nicely with its large black 18’’ split 5-spoke wheels. The motorcar is a compact and speed oriented vehicle enhanced with triple beam headlights.

INTERIOR

The inside holds a geometric style allowing for a sturdy yet cozy appearance. The sharp black interior is matched with leather and imitation grain wood paneling. It’s bolstered F Sport seating is heated and ventilated as well. In addition to its leather stitching, the left and right positions of the steering wheel are manually heated as well. This model comes with the classic F Sport gauge which which is controlled by the tinge of a button. Back seats fold down for additional storage, making the IS 350 F Sport the only Lexus Sedan model with the option.

SAFETY & TECHNOLOGY

The Lexus IS 350 F Sport received government 5-Star Safety Ratings in Overall Vehicle Score, Frontal Crash, Side and Rollover. It owes its safety capabilities mainly to the technology implanted into it.

Just a few aspects of the Lexus’s technology which works to ensure the safety of passengers are it’s blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, it’s intuitive parking assist and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect & Service Connect. Other mentionable features include the Lexus Safety System+ which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, high speed-dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and intelligent high beam headlights. This model also takes into account the safety of our environment with a Fuel Economy & Greenhouse Gas Rating of 5 due to it’s eco mode gas saver. Due to this feature the 360 team was able to race from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and back with animalistic stamina and no need to refill the tank.

The IS 350 F Sport Model also comes equipped with a Mark Levinson audio which includes a navigation System with 10.3-in Color Multimedia Display, Mark Levinson 15 speaker and 835 Watt, 5.1-channel Surround Sound Audio System. In addition to the audio package the model comes with voice command, siri eyes free and Scout GPS Link TurnStrem(™).

CONCLUSION

The Lexus IS 350 F Sport is a vehicle made for successful self-motivated individuals who have a strong appreciation for extremely dynamic vehicles while additionally having the capabilities to comfortably seat five. Nevertheless, Lexus truly has found a means to win back car enthusiasts with this newly imagined entry level sports sedan.

Pre-order now!

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

Cadillac CTS-V

By Vaughn Lowery x Reid Urban x Anthony Sovinsky

Cadillac is widely known for being America’s premier luxury vehicle. As for most luxury vehicles, it is focused on a classy, curb-appealing design with a comfort-oriented ride and top of the line technology. As a result, then appeared the 2004 debut of the Cadillac CTS-V, continuing to meet all the previous high-end expectations with some Olympic level athleticism.

The upgraded 2004 CTS-V inherited the Corvette’s 400-hp 5.7 liter V-8 engine and offered it only in a 6-speed manual, which is a unique addition to a unique consumer: the sports car enthusiast. This was a historical step for Cadillac as they now entered the luxury sport sedan realm with the likes of the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG. What better way to make a statement than to be featured in one of the best adrenaline pumping car chase scenes of that time as seen in the 2004 movie The Matrix Reloaded.

Fast forward to its second best debut in 2009, which engraved Cadillac in the record books by setting a lap time of 7:59.32 at the Nurburgring for fastest production sedan. This was achieved with a 556hp supercharged 6.2 liter V8, enhanced handling due to the introduction of magnetic ride control, and brembo brakes on all four corners. This catapulted the CTS-V to the top of the ranks of the sport sedan class in performance,  beating the M5 and E63 AMG respectively from zero to 60 mph. 

PRESENT TIME 

The CTS-V will continue its reign in the high performance sport sedan category with the introduction of the astounding new and approved 2019 Cadillac CTS-V.

The front-end greets you with very sharp fighter-jet like lines matched with mesh grills and vents. It is clear the intent of the vehicle is to be as aerodynamic and performance-centric as possible. It features a carbon fiber splitter to redirect wind-drag to down force and keep the vehicle firmly planted for increased traction at higher speeds. The hood is also finished in carbon fiber with functional vents strategically placed to perform a variety of roles including: cooling of the high revving power plant, increased aerodynamics, and a slight weight reduction compared to its stock counterpart.

Moving to the rear of the vehicle, the side profile is reminiscent of a base model CTS until you spot the 19-inch forged premium painted alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer-only low profile tires. Peering through the light weight forged alloy wheels are gargantuan racing-inspired six-piston front, four-piston rear, fixed caliper Brembo performance brakes with vented rotors that remind you to not forget the V. Moreover. The rear features a carbon fiber spoiler and rear diffuser accompanied by sport badging and quad pipes that announce top of the line engineering. The aggressiveness of the body suits the power in perfect synergism.

The various performance aesthetics are functional for two reasons: compliment the driver and compliment the engine. Let’s start with the engine. The boisterous opulent sedan is blessed to be a part of an incredible gene pool that continues to be one of the fittest on the road. Well-endowed with a supercharged 6.2L V8 producing 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, it plans to be catapulted by this ostentatious hotrod from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. The horses are put down to the road with an 8-speed automatic transmission available in several drive modes: from the least powerful but still faster than your Eco Mode, to the keep-both-hands-on-the-wheel Track Option. Track mode will tighten the suspension and open all of the cylinders for more power while the transmission will hold gears and have quicker shifts for increased acceleration.

Suspension has been one of the major highlights of the CTS-V since 2009 with the introduction of magnetic ride control. It’s an important feature that reads the road up to one thousand times a second, allowing for incredibly sharp responses from driver input at the wheel. Supplementing “Mag Ride” are multilink MacPherson struts with independent front-and-rear suspension connected to a light-weight stiffened chassis. Such handling technology is especially important to expand the confidence the driver has on and off-track with a vehicle exhibiting as much power, size, and precision as this one embodies.

Interior finishing further address the performance capabilities, as it is fitted with Recaro racing seats up front that are tastefully badged with the V-series logo. Designed for a glove-tight fit for both driver and passenger, the racing-inspired seats keep you firmly situated to resist lateral G forces while hauling through twist and turns through your favorite canyons. However, also comfortable enough to endure a lengthy road trip or frequenting your executive meetings at the office. Rear seats comfortably sit three full-sized adults allowing for a total of four in tow. Don’t worry! It will take more weight than a cabin full of people to slow this bad boy down. The infotainment system is equally accessible to both passenger and driver for ease of use. Simple and straight forward, controls are all touch sensitive as to make the dash sleek and non-distracting. Additionally, the souped-up caddy is laced with some cool features including automatic window shades for more privacy, a digital rear view mirror that allows for more greater vision surrounding the vehicle, blind spot indicators, and Apple Carplay that is compatible with Siri for ease of use and hands-free connectivity with your super car.

Base models for the CTS-V are priced just at $86,995, which is a great value per dollar of horsepower you receive comparatively to other vehicles in its class. Not only that but you have the option to deck it out and become a real show-stopper with carbon fiber and Recaro seat package, which will put you over the 100k mark with a price tag of $106,000. All-in-all, the 2019 Cadillac CTS-V is one of the best performance sport sedans in the world and deserves a spot in your garage.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery,

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery,