Bentley Wants More One-Off Models In The Future
Just when it started to feel like we’d never run out of limited edition and one-off Bentley models, no less than the company’s own design chief Stefan Sielaff has come out saying that we should prepare ourselves for such a future. Apparently, “exploring more one-off, bespoke vehicles” is one of Sielaff’s primary goals now that he’s been named the man in charge of Bentley’s Mulliner division. In his own words, Sielaff said that he wants to “explore” more of these models, where the “only limitation is the imagination of the customer.”
Those who love them some limited-edition and one-off Bentleys should be thrilled about this declaration, in part because of how Mulliner has legitimately positioned itself as one of the best personalization divisions of any automaker in the business today. Recent releases like its collaboration with Bamford show what Mulliner is capable of, even though it has rarely ventured into the world of complete stand-alone one-off models the way brands like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and most notably, Lamborghini have in the past. But there’s still time to change that narrative and it appears that time has come for Bentley. We’ve seen what Mulliner can do by stamping its identity on existing Bentley models. Now we’re about to see what it’s made of when it’s given a blank slate and the opportunity to create something entirely unique from it.
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2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition
Fresh off of announcing the Mulliner’s new Design Series for the Flying Spur, Bentley is back at it again with another special edition version of the luxury sedan. It’s called the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition and it’s essentially a dressed-up version of the sedan that features plenty of dark tints lights and black gloss brightware, among other things.
It’s become a little bit of a tradition for Bentley to offer these special edition models in quick succession, so it’s not a surprise that we’re seeing another so soon after the British automaker released a previous special edition Flying Spur with Mulliner heavily involved in it. No one’s going to confuse these new Black Edition Flying Spurs for Mulliner’s Design Series, and I suppose that’s a good thing. With so many SEs coming out of Crewe these days, being different is a good thing, even if it means getting fewer digs than others. That’s essentially what the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition is. There’s not much to go by compared to what Bentley has come up with in past months, but there are still enough new features to at least justify it getting the SE label. It’s still a Flying Spur, too, so even if it’s lacking in distinctive upgrades relative to our expectations, there’s still more than enough opulence to go around for everybody.
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Brace Yourselves, A Track-Focused Successor To The McLaren P1 Is Coming!
The super competitive world of hypercars can be really amazing. Not only do we get some of the fastest and most powerful driving machines from it, but we also see first-hand how this space has spurred a competitive arms race among automakers. It’s great to see these companies embrace the challenge of innovation and dive in head-first. Take McLaren for example. The British automaker has already given us the P1 hypercar, and now it’s all set to follow that up with a successor that will apparently include a track-focused model that will be faster than the P1.
Word of this development comes by way of Autocar, which is reporting the new model, codenamed P15, will not only be faster than any McLaren model other than the P1 GTR, but it will also be much lighter than its predecessor. In fact, one of McLaren’s intended goals for this model is for it to have a much better power-to-weight ratio than the P1, allowing it to be much faster around the race track than the automaker’s ground-breaking hypercar. The report also says that the P15 will feature the company’s new Monocage II carbon fiber monocoque while also making extensive use of active aerodynamics to allow it to have better performances on a race track. Specific details are expected to be announced as the project advances, although it is being reported at this point that McLaren will only build 500 units of the model featuring just one variant, likely being a coupe, with a price tag of about €700,000, or around $814,000 based on current exchange rates.
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2018 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition by Mulliner
By now, you would think that Mulliner would have done just about every kind of luxury interpretation imaginable. That is at the heart of its job as Bentley’s in-house personalization division. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Mulliner turn Bentleys into works of pure art and opulence. You’d be surprised, though, how creative this group can get, and no more is that in full display than in its latest project, the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition.
Yes, Mulliner just finished another limited edition build for Bentley. Yes, it looks amazing. Yes, it takes its name from the Greek goddess of calm seas. And yes, it’s nautically-inspired, right down to the whole treatment in the exterior and interior of the convertible. It says a lot about the Continental GT Convertible Galene’s status as a decadent limited edition that even Princess Yachts, the creators of some of the most expensive yachts in the world, got involved in the project with Mulliner. The styling cues in the exterior and interior are indicative of what Princess Yachts does with its own expensive products, and you can tell by how the whole model turns out that it’s a Bentley that’s ideally suited for a specific clientele. Only 30 units of the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition will be built, too. That’s hardly a surprise considering the people behind its creation. Luxury begets luxury, and the Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition is a physical embodiment of that.
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2017 BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre
The latest-generation 7 Series came to be in 2016, just as the nameplate was preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Redesigned from the ground up on the lighter platform, the new 7 Series is far from revolutionary styling-wise, but it boasts more luxury than ever before, as well as numerous technology firsts for the brand. Lighter, quicker, more fuel efficient, and more autonomous than ever, the new 7 Series is definitely a turning point for the nameplate. Come 2017, and BMW is celebrating four decades of the 7 Series with the limited-edition 40 Jahre.
German for "40 years," the Edition 40 Jahre was conceived as a tribute to 7 Series’ rich history. Recognized as a symbol of luxury, driving pleasure, and innovations, the 7 Series is one of the company’s most mature products, and its 40-year-long history speaks for itself. The anniversary model is more than just a 7 Series with a special badge. The sedan also comes with exclusive exterior and interior design features, as well as the possibility to have the car tailored to individual customer specification at the BMW Dingolfing plant. Find out more about that below.
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2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo
If cars could tell stories and write books about their lives and what they’ve been through, this particular Pagani Zonda would have a New York Times best-seller on its hands. See, it may look like a brand-new Zonda that Pagani has kept under lock and key in Italy, but it’s actually far from new. Strip away the new body and what you get is a 12-year old car that originated as a Zonda F. True story.
Now it’s christened as the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo and it looks resplendent in dark red carbon fiber. Even in its new guise, this car’s history is as rich as any Pagani model in history. It’s been through a crash that left it short of the scrap heap. It’s been sent back to Pagani for nips and tucks more times than even the owner can count. It’s changed names a handful of times, too, first as the Zonda F before being renamed the Zonda SH to account for the owner’s initials. From there, it became the Zonda Fantasma because it apparently has a nicer ring to it. And after the latest series of modifications, it’s added the “Evo” moniker, this officially making it the Zonda Fantasma Evo. Through it all though, one thing about the car that hasn’t changed: the AMG-sourced V-8. Twelve years after hitting the market, the Zonda Fantasma Evo still makes use of a naturally aspirated, 7.3-liter engine, though it now makes 100 more horsepower than its 660 factory tune. In a nutshell, the Zonda Fantasma Evo has become the living embodiment of the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
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2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain 4x4² Wagon
God love Mercedes-Benz and its outlandish imagination for all things off-roading. The automaker has built a one-off 4x4² version of its new E-Class All-Terrain. Yes, a 4x4²! You’ll recognize that odd designation from the AMG G550 4x4², the four-wheeled version of the high-riding AMG G63 6x6. But it’s not just the name that’s similar. Mercedes actually fitted the E-Class wagon with the same Portal hubs as the G550 4x4². The extra height gives this AWD car a whopping 16 inches of ground clearance. That’s equal to a Humvee!
The project is the brainchild of Jürgen Eberle, a vehicle development engineer assigned to the E-Class. According to Auto Express, Eberle wanted to build something that gave the new 2017 E-Class All-Terrain some credence to its name. Eberle was eventually given a small budget after approaching his bosses with the idea. The E-Class suspension was modified to accommodate the large portal hub assemblies at each wheel, which drastically widened the E-Class’ track. This necessitated fender flares, which Eberle and his team crafted from carbon fiber. Beadlock wheel and 31-inch-tall winter tires were then added to round out the project. The best part – nothing else changes. The remainder of the exterior and all of the interior is standard E-Class All-Terrain, making this one awesome looker.
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2018 Audi TT Lighting Style Edition
The new-generation Audi A8 is understandably getting all the love today, but it’s far from the only Audi model making the news. Over in Japan, Audi has introduced an exclusive limited-edition version of the TT sports coupe. It’s officially called the TT 1.8 Lighting Style Edition, and it’s making us wonder (yet again) what we did to deserve not getting any of these special editions in the U.S.
The TT Lighting Style Edition features a steady diet of cosmetic upgrades. It has exclusive color offerings, aesthetic upgrades, and packages that come standard on the model. Audi also picked a good variant of the TT – the 1.8 – to dress up in the exclusive garb. The automaker didn’t say how many of the TT Lighting Style Editions it plans to roll out in the Japanese market, but it did say that the car will be priced in the market at 5.29 million yen, or around $46,200 based on current exchange rates. The price tag is surprisingly modest considering that here in the U.S., the 2.0 TT starts at $43,500. Fortunately, this is one of those times where we don’t really miss out on a special edition model since American customers can basically order the same thing. That said, it still would be nice if Audi sent more of its special edition models to the U.S. That way, we wouldn’t have to keep looking to the other side of the world to satisfy our SE fixes.
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2019 Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar entered a new era in 2013 when it launched the F-Type and regained the sporty and innovative spirit it had lost in recent decades. The British company made another big step into the future in 2015, when the F-Pace became the first SUV to wear the "Cat" logo. In 2016, Jaguar unveiled yet another crossover, this time around in the shape of an all-electric crossover. Dubbed I-Pace, it previewed the company’s first-ever battery-powered production model. Come 2017, and the I-Pace is getting ready to make its public debut with camouflaged prototypes being tested on public roads.
Unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the I-Pace was loosely based on the F-Pace styling-wise but ditched Jaguar’s already familiar four-cylinder, V-6, and V-8 powerplants for a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. Described as a smart five-seater that’s "a performance car, a family car, and an SUV all in one," the I-Pace is Jaguar’s first-ever electric vehicle and essentially bring to fruition the electrification process that the company began back in 2010 with the C-X75 concept. What’s it all about? Let’s find out in the speculative review below.
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BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Gets BMW M Performance Parts
BMW is good for a lot of things these days, and when it comes to introducing performance add-ons masquerading as extra options, the German automaker is as good as it gets in the business. In fact, M Performance parts have become staples among a long list of BMW models and it’s no surprise that we’re here to once again talk about another model getting the same goodies.
This time, the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo gets its turn in the spotlight, receiving its own line of M Performance goodies for the first time ever. As you might expect, the “extra” parts are all about enhancing the 6 Series GT’s looks and performance capabilities. The parts and accessories may be short on actual engine upgrades, but for the most part, the pieces are there to give the massive sedan the necessary modifications that will enhance the car’s aesthetic and aerodynamic features. Even better, Bimmer says that prospective customers of the 6 Series GT stand to get the full spec of accessories made available to them as soon as the model hits the market. There’s a long list of parts to choose from so owners with budgets might have to choose wisely which bits and bobs they’d like to put on their 6 Series GTs. That or they could just get everything. BMW probably doesn’t mind either scenario.
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Ford Builds F-22 Raptor-Themed F-150 Raptor for Charity Auction
Ford has built a one-off, 2017 F-150 Raptor with an aeronautical theme for a charity auction for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual Gathering of Eagles fundraiser. The truck is dubbed the “F-22 Raptor” in an obvious hat-tip to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter jet. The F-150 sports several modifications, including a grille with the F22’s silhouette, off-road lights, a custom graphics package, a larger wheel and tire setup, and modifications to the EcoBoost engine giving it 545 horsepower.
Ford design manager, Melvin Betancourt, headed the build with backing from the Ford Performance Team, meaning this isn’t some aftermarket hack job. “This F-150 Raptor is a new look at Ford’s tradition of building unique vehicles in support of EAA’s youth aviation programs,” Betancourt says. “We know this truck will create an unmatched buzz around this year’s Gathering of Eagles auction.” Last year, Ford built a Shelby GT350 Mustang called Ole Yeller to pay homage to the P-51D Mustang fighter from WWII. That car raised $295,000. This year’s F-150 F-22 Raptor goes under the gavel on Thursday, July 27 at the EAA’s AirVenture aircraft show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. All proceeds will help inspire and educate youth about flying.
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2017 Ford Mustang Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special Edition
Those of you who are familiar with the Mount Panorama race track in Bathurst, Australia will attest to the circuit’s status as one of the world’s greatest race tracks. The 79-year old circuit is home to the Bathurst 1000, one of the most famous endurance races in the world, and was also the site of Ford’s famous one-two finish back in 1977. Forty years after that memorable triumph, Australian Ford tuner Pickford is rolling out a limited run of Ford Mustang GTs called the Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special.
The limited-run set of Mustangs will feature plenty of cosmetic upgrades, but none are more important than its livery to match the race-winning 1977 Falcon XC Hardtops that racers Allan Moffat and Colin Bond drove to victory 40 years ago. If anything, the special edition Mustang pays tribute to the storied ties between Australian motorsports and the Blue Oval. “We wanted to give fans that either witnessed the famous one-two live, or have come to appreciate the supreme effort after the fact, the chance to own a unique vehicle that has been developed in conjunction with the man that made it happen,” Tickford CEO and Prodrive Racing Australia team boss Tim Edwards said.
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