Just last month Top Speed reported that the Japanese luxury automaker [Infiniti would debut the 2011 M Class at Pebble Beach in a very interesting manner in which they would project the vehicle’s image onto a full sized foam model of the all new luxury sedan. At first we wondered how they would manage to pull off something so unheard of, but after watching the video of the presentation, it is hard to believe that there was any better way that the Infiniti team could have pulled off such an innovative unveiling. We especially liked the way that it appeared to drive away from the presentation at the end.
Inspired by the Infiniti Essence concept car, the 2011 Infiniti M will be offered with V8 and V6 engines. The 2011 M models will be designated the Infiniti M56 and Infiniti M37 respectively, reflecting their more powerful, larger displacement engines. While on the interior, the Infiniti M will offer innovative materials, an advanced climate control system, superior audio and an enhanced level of quality. This should get 5 Series owners something else to consider when their leases are up.
Edmund’s Inside Line editor Brian Moody was fortunate enough to be there when Infiniti cracked open the casket containing their Essence Concept car when it arrived at the world’s greatest car show, Pebble Beach. It’s always interesting to see how these million dollar rides are packaged for their long distance travel. The Essence concept debuted this past March in Geneva showcasing the luxury brand’s forward thinking combination of turbochargers and electric motors to create a super car that has almost 600 HP and can run as a zero emissions vehicle.
What sets the Essence apart from most concept cars is that it is a true automobile, able to run completely under its own power. The hybrid system combines a boosted gas burning internal combustion V6 with a pair of electric motors to create a true 21st century luxury super car. Quite possibly a hint at a future iteration of an Infiniti GT-R with its with its bold body lines and over the top accessories like Louis Vuitton luggage.
The luxury arm of the Nissan Motor Company also gave the world a preview of the new BMW 5-Series competitor when they showed off the redesigned 2011 Infiniti M which should make for an interesting addition to the segment in a few years. If the Japanese engineers can figure out a way to stuff some of that turbo VQ/electric motor technology under the hood by the time it hits showrooms, M5 watch out!
Aside from the 917s and 908s on display at the 36th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races there were no less than 145 Porsche privateer racers making up almost a third of the field at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this past weekend. After all Porsches were built to be raced and these owners are doing just that, head of the Porsche Rolling Museum Klaus Bischof couldn’t agree more. There was everything from the marque’s original Formula 1 car and an RS60 Spider to a pair of blue and red striped 917s and 935s to the much more modern 911 GT1 car and Porsche RS Spyder of Lemans Series fame.
With so many examples of historic racing and craftsmanship, it is no doubt that the German sports car builder will continue the tradition of building fun to drive high performance vehicles long into the future, evident by the star of the show, the all new Porsche Panamera four door sports sedan.
The Dutch super car builders from Spyker were keeping the theme of high-end debuts going at Pebble with the unveiling of the Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder. The drop top super car is based upon the exact same aluminum space frame chassis as the fixed roof version that made itself known to the world earlier this year at the Geneva Motor show replacing the long running C8. The Spyder is powered by the same 4.2 Liter Audi sourced V8 as the hard top and should be pumping out somewhere around 400 HP and for the first time is offering an automatic gearbox.
Aside from the beautiful new bodywork that hints at the automaker’s aviation heritage, the Spyder wears the company’s motto “Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via” on the tonneau cover that hides away the semiautomatic soft-top that is capable of sealing off the cabin in just 20 seconds. The unit is also covered in quilted Hulshof leather, the same as the Aileron’s interior, surrounding a wing shaped piece of travel luggage upholstered in the same quilted leather and resting on the CNC-machined aluminum luggage rack.
The C8 Aileron Spyder’s chassis was designed to be much more rigid than the outgoing C8 which will work wonderfully with the vehicle’s new suspension that was designed and supplied by Lotus to make this a very capable super car. Adding a bit of bling to aviation inspired road rocket are a set of 19 inch Aeroblade wheels housing a set of massive AP Racing brakes. Spyker expects that half of all C8 Spyders produced will end up here in America, so what better place to unveil the new open air machine to the U.S. market. With a move like this, Spyker is living up to their motto inscribed on the shoulders of the car, ”For the tenacious, no road is impassable.”
It didn’t take long for the 2011 Bentley Mulsanne to make an impression to car enthusiasts, did it?
Only a few hours removed from its unveiling at Pebble Beach, Bentley’s new flagship luxury car has already found a buyer willing to pay a cool $500,000 – with proceeds going to the Pebble Beach charity - for a chance to own the first Mulsanne ever produced after ‘chassis No1’ Mulsanne auctioned off at the Gooding & Company auction.
The Mulsanne, which is set to replace the dearly departed Arnage, is being billed as the up-and-coming challenger to the Rolls-Royce Phantom for luxury car supremacy and with car No. 1 being sold for half a million, the Mulsanne has served its notice to the Phantom. It has arrived and it’s ready for battle.
With the first Mulsanne already sold, the lucky buyer has around a year’s worth of bragging rights considering that his Mulsanne will be the only one out on the road until the rest of the cars go on sale around the summer of 2010.
It is only fitting that during the German automaker Audi’s centennial anniversary that a car wearing four rings on its grill got the Champaign and confetti treatment atop the podium Sunday afternoon on the 18th hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on California’s Monterey Peninsula. That is because one of those four rings represents the automaker from the turn of the century, August Horch.
This year it was the 1937 Horch 853 Voll & Ruhrbeck Sport Cabriolet of Neveda resident Robert M. Lee of Sparks that was chosen over all other entrants competing for the honor of being named “Best of Show” at the 59th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It is clear to see why in field of award winning show cars, this Horsch was chosen with its dramatic styling from an era when cars had hood ornaments and wire wheels. The wide front fenders continue back into the body complimented but the polished trim that swoops back along the body continuing the theme of the large shiny grille, over the louvers in the hood across the suicide door and then makes a dramatic turn upwards accentuating the bold rear fenders.
The two time Concours winner Robert Lee, the pre war Horch’s owner, had this to say: “The Horch has wonderful lines, a great proven chassis and all the beauty that make it the whole package… Pebble Beach is the greatest car show in the world and winning here is indescribable. It’s been a wonderful day for us here and I have the best team to thank for making it happen.” The win was confirmed by Concours Chairman Sandra Button who said: “This Horch is an incredibly beautiful open car with stunning styling…It’s very Teutonic, but also almost French. It’s fantastic. Bob certainly knows how to prepare cars for competition.”
The 2010 Jaguar XJ, which was launched a month ago in the UK and has created a firestorm of interest among interested buyers in Europe, has finally made its way to US soil after making its first appearance at the Pebble Beach 2009.
In front of a gathering crowd of curious spectators, Jaguar unveiled its new flagship luxury car to the American audience, most of whom have been waiting for a month to see the car in the flesh. Meanwhile, Jaguar also released the pricing for the 2010 XJ in the US, offering it a starting price of $72,500 for the standard version and over $115,000 for the tricked-out, top-of-the-line version.
Despite the buzz created by the 2010 XJ’s first US appearance, the brass at Jaguar have taken a relatively realistic approach on how the car is going to fare in the US, especially considering the state of the US economy these days. Richard Beattie, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Jaguar North America, said: “Today’s challenging economy raises the stakes for luxury marquees bringing new products to a different market; not every new automobile will win the hearts and minds of luxury car buyers.”
Rolls-Royce may be the foremost luxury brand in the world, but don’t tell that to Bentley because the latter is out to prove to its estranged sibling that it’s bent on taking over the top spot with the 2011 Bentley Mulsanne, the company’s all-new flagship car tourer.
Bentley’s new luxury car, which it is proclaiming as the “pinnacle” of luxury cars, made a resounding world debut at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours, drawing the attention of a throng of spectators who were there to witness the unveiling of Bentley’s newest toy. The Mulsanne, which was named after the infamous 90-degree turn at Le Mans, will be officially launched at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show but that didn’t stop the folks from Bentley from giving the gathered crowd at Pebble Beach a first-glance at the car that is shaping up to become the Phantom’s greatest adversary.
Significant for being Bentley’s first all-new originally designed car since the 1930’s, the Mulsanne was created using its predecessor, company founder W.O. Bentley’s 1930 Bentley 8-liter model, as the inspiration. Then again, the Mulsanne is more than just beauty on wheels. While most of its technical details are being withheld until its official unveiling at Frankfurt, Bentley did give a glimpse of what’s sitting under the Mulsanne’s polished hood: an all-new 6.75-liter V8 engine.
2010 Detroit reveal video added
The British coach builder Bentley Motors had a few surprises in store for the crowd at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit when they presented the all new Bentley Mulsanne and ’Series 51’ designer edition Continental GTC convertible. The first new car show of the season marks the official North American debut for the flagship Mulsanne, claimed to be the pinnacle of luxury, the all new Bentley made a resounding world debut at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours, drawing the attention from the throngs of spectators who were in attendance to witness the unveiling of the luxury limousine that has been named after the infamous 250 MPH back straight at Le Mans, which will be arriving in showrooms in the fall for $285,000.
When Aston Martin unveiled its $2 million supercar, the One-77, in Europe a few months ago, American fans of the British carmaker have waited with baited breath for the One-77 to make its first official appearance on US soil.
That day has finally come after Aston Martin pulled the covers out of its latest supercar at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Noteworthy for its jaw-dropping performance - even for supercar standards - the One-77 boasts of 7.3-liter V-12 engine, capable of churning up more than 700 horsepower, a top speed of well over 200 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds.
To justify the car’s stratospheric price tag, Aston Martin spared no expense in fine-tuning every detail in the car, including carbon ceramic wheels, LED headlights, and a white leather interior with personalized stitching of the two-seat cabin. There’s only one other car that has approached a $2 million fetching price: the Bugatti Veyron. The Aston Martin One-77 is looking to join that ultra-exclusive list as it goes country hopping in anticipation of the car’s official release sometime down the road.
For now, the sight of the One-77 in the flesh should suffice, especially for Americans who have waited months to catch a glimpse of the ‘next big thing’ of supercars up close and personal.
The Korean automaker Hyundai waited until the perfect moment to announce that the Equus flagship sedan will in fact be making its way into dealerships right here in the U.S. The announcement came from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance after much anticipation and speculation as to whether the American market was ready for an ultra premium sedan from Hyundai, and judging by the Genesis sedan’s warm reception, it looks like we are.
Hyundai Motor America president and CEO John Krafcik said that "We showed the car at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and the response was fantastic,... Since then, we’ve had a fleet travelling around the country, capturing input from our dealers and consumers. Here, too, the response was extraordinarily positive, and similar to the market reaction to the award-winning Genesis, so we’ve decided to bring it to the U.S.” In the states Hyunudai hopes to steal a few luxury buyers from the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus.
Congratulations are in order for the Korean automaker making a bold move and not being afraid to ruffle a few feathers at the world’s greatest car show. So while the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will be featuring names like Bugatti and Bentley and celebrating a century of Morgan, Audi and the designs of Zagato; Hyundai has given everyone something else to think about.