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July 29, 2015

Classic & Sports Car London Show gets an iconic poster by artist Tim Layzell

Lucire staff/13.55

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Motoring artist Tim Layzell was commissioned to create an artwork for Classic & Sports Car magazine’s inaugural London Show, featuring a Jaguar E-type, Bentley Speed Six and McLaren F1 at Alexandra Palace.
   The iconic sports cars are among those in a public poll for the magazine, where readers are invited to name the ‘Best British Car Ever’. Other cars in the running include the Mini Cooper S, the Range Rover, and Jaguar XKSS. The winner will be revealed at the Show at Alexandra Palace, from October 30 to November 1.
   The Show will also feature over 300 classic cars from world-famous collectors and retailers.
   â€˜It’s a real honour to be asked to produce a one-off piece for this amazing new event,’ said Layzell. ‘With such an incredible line-up of icons on the shortlist for the Best British Car Ever and such a stunning location as Alexandra Palace, this commission has been a motoring artist’s dream. I’m so looking forward to the event; with the experts from Classic & Sports Car behind it, it’s going to be a must-attend show.’
   Layzell’s image will be used on all marketing and promotional material for the event.
   Tickets are available from www.classicandsportscarshow.com.

June 5, 2015

Aston Martin Works’ customer track day sees One-77, V12 Zagato, DBRS9 at Silverstone

Lucire staff/23.26

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On June 3, Aston Martin Works hosted a customer track day at the Silverstone race track, featuring rare, exotic models (even by Aston Martin standards) such as the One-77, V12 Zagato and DBRS9.
   Aston Martin Works is celebrating its 60th year in 2015, and this anniversary event, where some customers brought their own cars, allowed fans to unleash their cars.
   Other models at the event included V8 and V12 Vantages, DB9s, one Virage, and a V12 Vanquish. More than 20 cars were present, with drivers coached by Aston Martin Performance driving instructors.
   Aston Martin Works’ commercial director Paul Spires said, ‘It’s great to see so many of our sports cars being driven so skilfully by such an enthusiastic group of owners.
   â€˜When we proposed this idea at the beginning of the year we weren’t sure how many people would want to bring along their cars, but the response today has been superb.’



Filed under: history, living, Lucire
May 12, 2015

David Gandy and Jodie Kidd lead Jaguar’s Mille Miglia line-up; Bentley fields 1930 Blower

Lucire staff/12.09

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Top The nine Jaguars taking place in this year’s Mille Miglia. Above Almost Bondian: the 1930 Bentley 4½-litre with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers competing in the 2015 Mille Miglia.

British car makers are taking this year’s Mille Miglia seriously. Jaguar is taking part with a large heritage line-up, and has enlisted, once again, the help of model and motorhead David Gandy, who competes in an XK120 as he did two years ago along with Jodie Kidd, who must equal Gandy both in the modelling and motorhead stakes. Bentley will field an original 1930 4½-litre Blower, in an attempt to complete what it could not do back then: complete the race.
   Jaguar’s fleet consists of nine, including three C-types, three D-types, an XK120, an XK140, and, the most unusual of this group, a Mark VII—although one had won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1956. One of the C-types is NDU 289, which competed in the original Mille Miglia in 1953, driven that time by Mario Tadini and Franco Cortese. Jaguar engineer Mike Cross drives the car in the 2015 event.
   Other C-types are PUG 676, which was raced by Ian Appleyard, Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’s son-in-law, this time driven by RAC motoring committee chairman Ben Cussons; and KSF 182, formerly raced by Jimmy Stewart and Jackie Stewart between 1953 and 1955, and owned now by Adam Lindemann, driven this time by five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. The D-types are the ex-Ralph Lauren NCV 260, which had competed in the original Mille Miglias, driven by current owner Simon Kidston; RSF 303, the Ecurie Ecosse car that was second in Le Mans in 1957 and competed in the Mille Miglia in 1957 and 1958, driven by Jaguar design director Ian Callum and enthusiast Clive Beecham; 393 RW, the Reims winner for 1956 and the sixth-place-getter at Le Mans that year, setting the lap record, will be driven by Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin.
   One XK120, nicknamed Betsey, will be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy, as noted: she had driven the car in the 2014 trial. The XK140, TAC 743, was once raced by David Hobbs; it will be driven by Elliot Gleave, a.k.a. Example, and his father Michael. The Mark VII will be driven by Charley Boorman.
   Bentley, meanwhile, will field a 1930 British racing green 4½-litre Blower with a Vanden Plas Open Sports four-seat body and a supercharger by Amherst Villiers—not unlike the one driven by James Bond. The Bentley Boys, the Hon Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin and Bentley chairman Woolf Barnato (right, at Le Mans in 1929), were the first British drivers to compete in the Mille Miglia, using the No. 2 Birkin Blower, a 4½-litre supercharged model. However, they were unable to complete the race.
   Bentley is aiming to do what it could not 85 years ago, using an equivalent model and seeing if its director of royal and VIP relations, Richard Charlesworth can complete the race in the 2015 event. It is the Blower’s fifth entry.
   Between May 14 and 17, 2015, racers will depart from Brescia and drive 1,000 miles, including through Roma, and return to Brescia.



Top The XK120 to be driven by Jodie Kidd and David Gandy. Above The famed 393 RW Jaguar D-type, which set the lap record at Le Mans in 1956.

April 14, 2015

Goodness and Noa Noa welcome the winter blues

Lucire staff/5.56

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Nikita Brown Photography

When the scene gets quiet, you can always trust our own fashion and beauty editor, Sopheak Seng, to helm a show to get things buzzing again. In collaboration with Goodness, which was the first out of the gate at a two-label show at Caffè l’Affaré last Thursday, Wellington fashionistas and guests escaped the first wintry blasts for one of the more memorable social events on the calendar.
   Goodness’s Chris Hales, whose boutiques have been selling fashionable and sometimes harder-to-find independent designers for some time, launched her own range to complement the likes of Loobie’s Story, Kowtow, Nyne and Deborah Sweeney some time ago, but this was the first catwalk outing that Lucire witnessed. And she understands her customer well: casual separates, paired in unexpected ways, tapping in to the floral trend that’s been forecast for autumn–winter 2015. Taupe and olive similarly conveyed the winter vibe, right on time for the colder months Down Under.
   The second half of the show, styled by Lucire’s Sopheak Seng, showcased Danish label Noa Noa, with a winter collection ‘inspired by the tapestry of life,’ says Seng. Trawling through the markets in France to the bazaars in Marrakech—not unlike our last few print editions, then—the eclectic collection saw masculine lines meeting feminine fabrications, tied with the first half of the show through floral motifs in forest green, Moroccan blue, and tawny red. Sunglasses were donned by each of the models, resplendent in jackets and coats, looking cool as they wandered down the catwalk, much as the designers would have wandered through those bazaars.
   Live music from Ophelia, the indie folk–dubstep duo of Patrick Shanahan and Alex Louise, served as the unique soundtrack to both shows, cranking up the non-mainstream vibe of the show, while in the café, itself one of the trendy spots of the capital, sponsors served up Triple Rock vodka (the jaffa and liquorice varieties were very memorable), Colombo wines, Moa cider, and l’Affarè coffee itself. Clinique did the make-up, Chop created the hair looks using Kevin Murphy, and Rydges were credited with their support for the band. Shoes were from Shoe Connection. Finally, Gazley’s support was very evident with four stylish Alfa Romeo Giuliettas parked outside and a MiTo on the catwalk, upping the Euro credentials with Italian chic. The blue lights shining on the walls surrounding the catwalk served to remind us that one can, indeed, stay warm with the winter blues!






Nikita Brown Photography

Backstage



Nikita Brown Photography

The Scene











Nikita Brown Photography

April 13, 2015

Mini’s augmented reality glasses include X-ray vision

Lucire staff/11.49

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Augmented reality for drivers may be here sooner than some might think, as BMW’s Mini brand reveals its prototype eyewear at Auto Shanghai.
   The Mini Augmented Vision eyewear links the car and the driver, transmitting basic information such as speed and speed limits, but adds other practical features for the 2010s lifestyle.
   Mini foresees that one can enter the destination when outside the car, and have the data sent there for use in the eyewear. There will be a navigation display from one’s current location to the car, or from the car to the final destination. If a message has been received, an icon will appear, and the SMS can be read out by the car. Points of interest and navigation arrows can also appear in the eyewear; the latter can show highlight available parking spaces.
   The science-fiction-sounding features, which BMW believes can be realized, include “X-ray vision”, a virtual view through parts of the car, such as A-pillars and doors, rendering items that may be hidden from the driver’s seat.
   Finally, the company’s augmented parking feature projects images from a camera in the passenger’s side door mirror so the driver knows how far the car is from the kerb.
   All of this is in line with the BMW Group’s research, which forecast increasing urbanization and the need for associated services.
   BMW cooperated with Qualcomm on the technology, while the design and colour concept of the eyewear was created by Designworks.
   Project manager for Mini Augmented Vision, Dr Jörg Preißinger, said in a release, ‘This prototype with its customised, interactive functions succeeds in fusing augmented reality with the brand’s trademark sense of lifestyle.’
   â€˜We are proud to have helped develop a breakthrough augmented reality interface between eyewear and the automobile,’ said Jay Wright, vice-president of Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc. ‘Mini Augmented Vision offers a compelling example of what’s possible today, and what we can expect in the future.’









April 9, 2015

St Regis Ä°stanbul launches sumptuous, car-inspired Bentley suite

Lucire staff/4.05

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Eric Laignel

The St Regis İstanbul hotel has débuted a Bentley suite, named for the car brand, its interior inspired by the current Continental GT model.
   A collaboration with St Regis Hotels & Resorts, the suite features a balcony overlooking Maçka Park with views of the Bosphorus and the city. There are floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing Ä°stanbul’s sights.
   Bentley design cues are present in the living room, bedroom, the one and a half baths, the dressing room and powder room.
   The entrance’s mirrored ceiling reflects the marble floor, inset with a Continental GT wheel-inspired design. The living area’s veneer walls are meant to evoke the Continental’s interior, and the living room’s sofa’s leather is shared with the car’s. Bentley’s diamond upholstery is present on the sofas, which have two champagne bottle coolers, while the light installation evokes the Continental’s jewelled headlights. The curves of the Nürburgring race track are suggested in the way the rug has been cut, and both the living area and bedroom rugs capture the Bentley grille in abstract form.
   The wet bar, with olive ash, is inspired by the Bentley’s dashboard, and the bar doors reveal three Breitling clocks. The humidor in the bar set-up has been hand-crafted in Bentley’s own wood shop. Items from the Bentley home collection feature throughout the suite, including the chaise in the bedroom.
   The work desk sits alongside a 40-inch pop-up television, while the bed base, tailor-made from burgundy hide and bright engine spin, also conveys the lines of the Bentley Continental GT’s interior. Controls for the room are accessed via a touch panel and Ipad.
   The master bathroom has a dual-basin sink, glass-enclosed rainforest shower, and free-standing glass-enclosed bathtub. There is a 19-inch mirror TV and an adjacent dressing room. The suite also has an additional full bathroom and powder room.
   Naim Audio equipment, which is available on the Bentley as an option, appears throughout, with the SuperUniti player in the living room, and the Mu-so wireless system in the bedroom.
   The new hotel has been designed by Emre Arolat in the art-déco style. Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant and the Iridium Spa also appear at the new property.



Eric Laignel

April 1, 2015

Jaguar launches second-generation XF saloon: lighter, roomier, more class-leading tech

Lucire staff/13.10

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A week after previewing the new XF in a high-wire stunt over Victoria Docks in London, Jaguar has released images and details of the car as it enjoyed its official début at the New York Auto Show.
   The second-generation XF is recognizably Jaguar, stylistically an evolution of the 2007 X250 model that brought the company’s saloon car range into the 21st century. Prior to the XF, Jaguar saloons had been stuck in a sort of time warp, reminding customers regularly of the 1968 XJ6. The original XF changed that, with its fresh, fastback styling and, in the interior, the rotary dial gear selector, which helped give the cabin a feeling of airiness.
   But underneath the svelte styling, the XF did not share the aluminium-intensive construction methods of the larger XJ, something which the second-generation model remedies. Now up to 190 kg lighter than the outgoing model, the use of aluminium has allowed Jaguar to create a more rigid, refined car that’s also more fuel-efficient, according to the company’s figures. Jaguar cites carbon dioxide emissions of 104 g/km and the new four-cylinder Ingenium diesel gets 71·7 mpg (Imperial) in fuel economy, though it remains to be seen just how well it will fare in the real world.
   The weight saving means that the new XF is cleaner, and Jaguar claims it is 80 kg lighter than the competition, using the base model for comparison. In terms of environmental impact, Jaguar Land Rover uses a form of aluminium alloy called RC5754, which is predominantly made from recycled material, for its pressings.
   The body is also more slippery, helping with efficiency, with the drag coefficient dropping from 0,29 to 0,26 on the new model.
   The company is emphasizing its leadership in aluminium usage, especially extending it from the large XJ saloon down to its entry-level XE, launched last year.
   By increasing the wheelbase by 51 mm while cutting overall length, Jaguar has increased the interior room, and with the sixth light added in the design, the car now appears lighter and roomier inside.
   The cockpit is dominated by a configurable 10·2-inch touch-screen, while the maps for the sat-nav are stored on a 60 Gbyte solid-state hard drive.
   The front suspension is modelled after the F-type sports car’s, with the company claiming segment-leading handling for the new model.
   Other goodies include parking assist for bay and parallel parking, adaptive cruise control, and even reverse traffic detection, to warn drivers of fast-approaching traffic. The laser head-up display is also sharper than comparable TFT systems, with higher contrast; the unit is also a third lighter, which helps the XF save weight.




Murray Crane becomes Jaguar’s first New Zealand ambassador; new suit commemorates partnership

Lucire staff/11.00

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Menswear designer Murray Crane (above) joins a select group of celebrities such as Sir Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba and Stella McCartney as he becomes Jaguar’s latest brand ambassador.
   Crane is the first specifically appointed for the New Zealand market and, to commemorate the announcement, he has designed a Jaguar × Crane Brothers suit.
   The suit uses a fine worsted wool in navy pinstripe sourced from Dugdale Bros. & Co. in Yorkshire, with a British racing green lining, an intentional nod to the Jaguar Villains campaign.
   The icing on the cake for New Zealand customers who buy a new XF from April 1 will be their own tailored Crane Brothers suit, personally fitted by Crane himself at a Crane Brothers store, or a location of their choice, as a perk of the purchase.
   Jaguar says the partnership with Crane Brothers is a natural one. James McKee, Jaguar New Zealand’s marketing manager, said, ‘We approached Crane Brothers as we feel the brand truly embodies the spirit of Jaguar and we’re delighted to announce Murray Crane as Jaguar’s first New Zealand ambassador. The strong brand synergy means together we can offer customers an even more exceptional Jaguar experience.’
   The company sees Crane’s flair for style, luxury and innovation as natural fits for its own brand, which, since the second-generation XK sports car, it has pursued, resulting in the new F-type and XE, which arrives in New Zealand this year.
   Crane said, ‘For Crane Brothers as a business, this partnership represents an enormous opportunity to work with an international brand in such a significant way. Personally it inspires me to continue to raise the standard of what we do and reward our clients by continuing to improve and develop.’

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