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Range Rover Velar launched at the Design Museum: Jaguar Land Rover bets on a future design classic


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 1, 2017/21.42

Jaguar Land Rover is betting on its Range Rover Velar becoming a design classic, launching it today with the Design Museum playing host to the new SUV in its first car exhibit.
   Velar is a name from Range Rover’s archives: the name was originally a fictional one that adorned prototypes of the original 1970 Range Rover. JLR has dusted the name off and applied to the fourth member of the Range Rover range, slotting in between the Evoque and Sport, with a wheelbase of 2,874 mm.
   The Range Rover Velar (called Blade during development) is a sleeker, more avant-garde model, with the idea of simplicity driving each stage of its development. The drag coefficient is a low 0,32, a figure seldom seen in this class.
   The interior is an exercise in simplicity and calmness, with a sustainable seat material developed with Kvadrat, in place of leather. The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, with two 10-inch high-definition touch screens, is said to be state of the art, with controls not appearing till they are lit up. The exterior features clean surfaces, slim LED headlights, flush door handles and a sleek tailgate. The Velar’s 22-inch wheels give it a show-car presence, but they help to give it Land Rover’s all-terrain capability, something Range Rover customers expect. A locking rear differential is optional. It will also have outstanding ride, says JLR, with standard air suspension on six-cylinder models, and Adaptive Dynamics for all models. The Velar uses plenty of aluminium in its structure, contributing to its lightness.
   The launch at the Design Museum, which drew guests including Poppy Delevingne, Damien Lewis, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Kostja Ullmann, and Rag ’n’ Bone Man, saw a capacity audience, who checked out both the new car and a photo exhibition featuring it, shot by Gary Bryan.
   There was a simultaneous unveiling at a pop-up display on Kensington High Street, West London.
   JLR also announced a partnership with the Design Museum, with events over the next three years.
   The Velar goes on sale in mid-July priced from £44,830. Engines range from a four-cylinder Ingenium diesel to a supercharged 3·0-litre V6 petrol engine delivering 380 PS.

Margot Robbie shows you can in a Nissan, with BladeGlider electric sports car


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/February 20, 2017/23.19



Patrick Gosling

Margot Robbie (Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad) has become a spokeswoman for Nissan, showing off the Japanese brand’s electric car credentials with its BladeGlider sports car around the streets of Monaco, and into Casino Square.
   The Australian actress tested one of the two BladeGliders on closed roads in the principality, racing against its twin. She drifts around Fairmont Hairpin, and slid sideways around the Massenet corner.
   The petite sports car has a very Japanese appearance with its origami-like folds and detail-rich surfaces, and seats three, with the driver in the central position. It’s not for sale—it’s a prototype that will be unveiled at the Salon de Genève later this year.
   It’s in direct contrast to the bulky Nissan Leaf, the world’s best selling electric vehicle.
   The Renault–Nissan Alliance has invested heavily in electric cars, staking its future on the growth of the sector.
   In a release, Robbie said, ‘It’s a really exciting time for electric vehicles. More people are choosing to go electric, leading the way to a more sustainable future and the Nissan BladeGlider hints at the future of smarter performance cars,’ said Margot Robbie.
   Nissan chose Monaco as it has a sustainability programme that aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent by 2030. ‘We want to inspire people to take small steps towards cleaner, safer cities, and working with Margot is the perfect way to do just that,’ said Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
   The advertisement forms part of a campaign, hashtagged #ElectrifytheWorld, to get people talking about sustainability and zero emissions living.—Nathalia Archila and Lucire staff

Milla Jovovich launches Toyota C-HR in London


NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 3, 2017/18.53


Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images



Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

At the Printworks in London on February 2, Toyota staged a drive-through immersive theatre experience with actress Milla Jovovich to promote its C-HR sport crossover.
   The event, The Night That Flows, saw 100 guests experience scenes from Berlin, Milano, Paris, Barcelona and London, interacting with actors and projection footage, with narration by Jovovich.
   The Berlin scenes were taken from its International Festival of Light. The Milano scene was backstage at a fashion show, with fashion designer Fabio Attanasio (the Bespoke Dudes) and model Giorgia Palmas in attendance. Croupier and magician Étienne Pradier hosted the Parisian casino scene, while rally driver and pro skier Guerlain Chicherit “drove” guests round a projected roulette table. Spanish DJ Cuartero led a flash mob-style Barcelona club scene, promoting the C-HR’s JBL sounds system, while the final London bar scene saw mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale with Jovovich herself.
   The event was creative-directed by the Department’s Jonny Grant and Hamish Jenkinson, with Jessica Rees Middleton as executive producer.
   The Toyota C-HR (Coupé-High Rider) is a compact crossover on a platform shared with the Toyota Prius (albeit with a shorter wheelbase), originally designed for the European market and overseen by engineer Hiro Koba. Unusually for Toyota, the company placed style over interior room first, and when the dynamics of the smaller prototype weren’t up to par, they waited for the newer platform, with a lower centre of gravity.











Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images






Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Aston Martin reveals Vanquish Zagato, with production limited to 99


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 22, 2016/22.25



As expected, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept that was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como has become a production reality, with the company saying that it will produce 99 examples at Gaydon, Warwickshire, with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2017.
   Aston Martin says the car is an example of its collaboration with Zagato, though its press information does not say whether the model, based on its Vanquish flagship, was styled by the Italian coachbuilder or done in-house, as it had been for the V12 Vantage Zagato in 2011.
   The company notes that the new car has ‘Aston Martin’s acclaimed dynamic and material qualities with Zagato’s signature design language.’
   At the launch of the concept last month, Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato noted, ‘We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience. It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years,’ but there was no elaboration on where the design took place.
   The first collaboration began with the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato of 1960, and it was revived under Victor Gauntlett’s leadership of the company in the 1980s with the V8 Vantage Zagato. Neither car was considered attractive on launch, though both were perceived to be future classics—which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over £10 million and has few critics today.
   Subsequent collaborations were the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, which used a lightly modified version of the donor car’s front end so it did not have to be retested for safety; and the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato.
   The Vanquish Zagato has an engine uprated to 600 PS, with a claimed 0–60 mph time of 3·5 s. The company says the suspension set-up will be unique to the model. It features a unique carbonfibre body that has new round rear taillights, LED technology shared with the Aston martin Vulcan supercar, a sculpted rear end that has a profile similar to that of the DB11, with a downward contour and pronounced spoiler splitting the taillights. There is a pronounced side strake, reinterpreted so it now runs more deeply down the height of the front wing aft of the wheels, and, as expected, there is the famed Zagato double-bubble roof. The Vanquish Zagato is a liftback.
   Inside, the Vanquish Zagato uses herringbone carbonfibre, and shadow and anodized bronze leather, with the option of aniline leather. The seats and doors have a Z-pattern stitch, and the Zagato Z is embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.















Filed under: design, history, living, London, Lucire

Bugatti, Luisa Via Roma celebrate partnership: Cecilia Capriotti, Grace Chatto, Leonida Ferrarese among VIPs


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 15, 2016/12.59




Stefania d’Alessandro

Luisa Via Roma, styled LuisaViaRoma, is a familiar sight to the fashion scene: it’s one of the biggest international concept stores in Firenze and its history goes back to 1930.
   With Bugatti having extended its brand into lifestyle, using founder Ettore Bugatti’s name for its collection, Luisa Via Roma is an ideal partner for the company. The two announced their collaboration at the Bridge of Love installation on the Arno during Pitti Uomo 90 on Tuesday. The Ettore Bugatti Lifestyle Collection will be available from the Luisa Via Roma physical store in Firenze and its website. A classic Bugatti Type 51 racing car from the 1930s was there at the launch.
   Luisa Via Roma will be the first place in Italy which will retail the clothing and accessories’ ranges from the collection, beginning with the autumn–winter 2016–17 collection.
   The launch of the collaboration, entitled Underwater Love, saw VIPs including Bugatti brand manager Massimiliano Ferrari, Paolo Lao, Petite Meller, Grace Chatto of Clean Bandit, Diego Rizzi, Bugatti marketing and communications’ Elke Palmaers, Bugatti creative director Daniele Andretta, Mauro Bucco, Marlen Lissek, Marco Cartasegna, Filippo Cirulli, Federico Oggioni and Luisa Panconesi, Marco Tolentino, Leonida Ferrarese, and Cecilia Capriotti.





















Stefania d’Alessandro

Brooklyn Decker stars in new video for Chrysler Pacifica minivan, alongside the ‘PacifiKids’


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 27, 2016/21.51

Former Lucire model Brooklyn Decker, now better known for her role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, stars in Chrysler’s new campaign for its 2017 Pacifica minivan.
   The campaign sees Decker along with the ‘PacifiKids’, Miles (aged 11), Izzy (10) and Harper (8), explain the new model to her, which is Fiat Chrysler’s replacement for both the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan (the latter remains in production for the time being).
   A series of videos will début in advance of the US Memorial Day weekend on Facebook, according to the company. The first video can be found here.
   The PacifiKids understand technology in the way modern children can, and take the viewer through features such as the Pacifica’s tri-pane panoramic sunroof and voice-activated infotainment system.
   Decker is a new mother, having given birth to a boy on September 30, 2015.
   The Pacifica is reputed to be the best in class, keeping Fiat Chrysler ahead in the large MPV segment which it created back in the 1980s.
   Fiat Chrysler says there are two additional videos featuring the PacifiKids. The campaign was created with Chrysler’s social media agency, Society.

Renault releases first details of Koleos II, its most upscale SUV yet


NEWS  by Jack Yan/April 21, 2016/13.11

We had anticipated this announcement since Salvatore Marti, operations’ manager of Renault New Zealand, told us to wait till April 21 to see photographs of the Koleos II, the company’s latest SUV.
   He never said Renault Maxthon, which was the name bandied about by the media for part of 2016. There’s a logic to having another name with a hard k sound at the start, tying in to Captur and Kadjar, Renault’s other own-brand SUVs.
   We had been concerned that the new Koleos wouldn’t match the Kadjar in looks, since the current model was conceived by Samsung of Korea, one of Renault’s subsidiaries, and never had the flair of some of its rivals.
   Marti assured us that we shouldn’t worry, and he was right: Koleos, which has the same 2,705 mm wheelbase as the Nissan X-Trail, is arguably better looking than the Kadjar. It’s also slightly bigger, in the same way the X-Trail is bigger than its sister car, the Nissan Qashqai, by the same amount. Both sets of Renault’s and Nissan’s SUVs are on Renault’s CMF–C/D platform.
   However, the Koleos will only be a five-seater, with Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker saying that the company was already catering to the seven-seat market with its Scénic IV and Espace V.
   The grille is similar to that of the international (as opposed to the Chinese-market) Renault Talisman, which had been fêted as the Most Beautiful Car of the Year by the Festival Automobile International in Paris. It also ties in to the look of the Renault Mégane IV. It appears that Renault is looking to target more upscale buyers with the Koleos.
   The Koleos II is one of the débutantes at the Beijing Motor Show next week, with CEO Carlos Ghosn officially unveiling it on the 25th. It will be built in Wuhan for the Chinese market, but no announcement has been made on where other countries’ Koleoses will be sourced from. Chinese buyers will get 2·0- and 2·5-litre petrol models, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
   The Koleos II will be sold in New Zealand, but the Kadjar will not, said Marti.—Jack Yan, Publisher

New Zealand gets first Renault Zoé glimpse at Leading the Charge event in Wellington


NEWS  by Jack Yan/April 20, 2016/6.13



New Zealanders got their first look at the Renault Zoé last Friday at the Leading the Charge event in Wellington.
   The electric car, which has been a standard-bearer for the French company’s zero-emissions ambitions alongside its Twizy single-passenger commuter, arrived in the country only that week in right-hand drive form and made its way to the event at the CQ Hotel in Wellington.
   The Zoé posed alongside the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3, which is the subject of an upcoming comprehensive Lucire road test.
   Leading the Charge is a real-world north-to-south road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff, New Zealand to educate people about zero-carbon motoring, to prove that it is indeed possible, even in a country like New Zealand where major cities are scattered around the landscape, with rural roads linking them.
   Better NZ Trust and EECA are behind the drive, and for Wellingtonians, guest speaker Steve West was on hand to talk about his venture, Charge Net NZ, which aims to have 100 fast-charge stations located nationally.
   Instead of the nightly charge of a car via the mains, which can take all night, these fast chargers pump electricity through in less than half an hour, making the electric car particularly viable. Presently, owners of electric cars pay no road tax.
   In New Zealand, where electricity is in part sourced from hydro sources, electric cars make environmental sense overall.
   Host CQ Hotels had installed eight electric car charging stations in its car park, as part of its social responsibility to the environment.
   The cars have made their way now to the South Island. You can follow @leadingthecharge on Instagram for the latest updates.—Jack Yan, Publisher







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