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McLaren’s first open cockpit road car – Say hello to Elva

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McLaren Automotive reveals its new Ultimate Series roadster, the McLaren Elva. It is the brand’s first open-cockpit road car. Like its McLaren P1, McLaren Senna and Speedtail predecessors, numbers of the new McLaren Elva will be limited to 399 examples.

  • McLaren Automotive acquires rights to the Elva name for new Ultimate Series roadster
  • Open-cockpit two-seater celebrates Bruce McLaren-designed 1960s McLaren-Elva sportscars that embody McLaren’s pioneering design and engineering principles
  • The lightest road car ever from McLaren Automotive, with bespoke carbon fibre chassis and body, unique carbon fibre seats and sintered carbon ceramic brakes
  • Unparalleled driver engagement and Ultimate driving enjoyment, with absence of roof, windscreen and windows ensuring incredibly immersive and enthralling experience
  • McLaren Active Air Management System (AAMS) is a world-first; shelters occupants by manipulating air flow while retaining their connection to the elements
  • Homologated for all major markets; fixed windscreen derivative also available
  • New and unique McLaren ‘blurred boundaries’ design principle sees carbon fibre bodywork wrapping into the open-air cabin as exterior flows into the interior
  • Performance from 815PS, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8: 0-100km/h in under three seconds; 0-200km/h quicker than the McLaren Senna, at just 6.7 seconds
  • Innovative Inconel and titanium quad-exit exhaust delivers unique soundtrack; enhances engine power by reducing back pressure
  • McLaren expertise in vehicle dynamics showcased: active aerodynamics; state-of-the-art, linked-hydraulic active suspension; electro-hydraulic steering for purest feedback
  • Just 399 examples of new McLaren Elva available to customer order, from £1,425,000 including UK VAT. Final price will depend on level of personalisation by McLaren Special Operations (MSO)

World-first aero protection
McLaren innovates a world-first, the Active Air Management System (AAMS) to enhance driving pleasure. The system channels air through the nose of the Elva to come out of the front clamshell at high velocity ahead of the occupants before being directed up over the cockpit to create a relative ‘bubble’ of calm. The system comprises a large central inlet situated above the splitter, a front clamshell outlet vent and a discreet carbon fibre deflector that raises and lowers vertically; when the AAMS is active, the deflector is deployed at the leading edge of the bonnet outlet, rising 150mm into the freestream to create a low-pressure zone at the vent.

The vented air is directed through a 130-degree radius, using a network of transverse and longitudinally mounted carbon fibre vanes across the bonnet outlet; distributing the airflow both in front of and along the side of the cabin further assists air management in the cabin environment. At urban speeds, when the level of airflow into the cabin means the AAMS is not needed, the system is inactive. As vehicle speed increases, the AAMS automatically deploys and remains active until speed reduces, at which point the deflector retracts. The system can also be button-deactivated by the driver.

A view of the McLaren Elva Roadster dashboard
A curtain of air system is used to protect passengers from the wind. Credit: McLaren

Aesthetic and technical design in harmony
The AAMS is an example of the results of a harmonious approach, being perfectly integrated within the aerodynamic and cooling functionality of the McLaren Elva.

When the AAMS is inactive, the central duct is sealed, diverting air flow into the low-temperature radiators and increasing their cooling efficiency. To provide optimal packaging conditions for the AAMS, the McLaren Elva features twin low-temperature radiators (LTRs) positioned ahead of each front wheel. The new cores used in these LTRs contribute to the engine’s 815PS power output by reducing charge air temperature and also cool the oil in the seven-speed seamless shift transmission.

In addition to housing the AAMS, the front clamshell features deep contours that guide air into a discreet duct in the leading edge of each carbon fibre door – notably the lightest that McLaren has ever created. This captured cooling air is then directed into the two rear-mounted, powertrain-cooling, high-temperature radiators (HTRs) located just ahead of the rear wheels. A second, lower duct that starts inside the front wheelarch also channels air through the bodyside to the HTRs, which are additionally fed through the visible main side intakes. Intakes on the rear of each buttress channel combustion air into exposed air filters under the tonneau, which feed the carbon fibre engine plenum.

The trailing edge of the bodywork features a full-width active rear spoiler, the height and angle of which are adjusted simultaneously to optimise aero balance. Airbrake functionality improves braking from high speeds, the range of operation varying according to whether the AAMS is active. The rear diffuser works in conjunction with the active rear spoiler. The McLaren Elva has a completely flat underfloor until the point by the rear axle at which the diffuser starts and increases in height to accelerate air out from under the vehicle. The diffuser features vertical ‘fences’ to guide the airflow without reducing the air evacuation path and these combine with the rear bumper side extensions to further improve the aerodynamic efficiency.

Elva features a full-width active rear spoiler. Credit: McLaren

Designed to deliver an elemental driving experience
“Our mission with the McLaren Elva was to create an open-cockpit, two-seat roadster that delivers the most elemental of driving experiences. Formula 1-inspired shrink-wrapped volumes create a technical sculpture that is as striking as it is remarkable, the exterior flowing into the interior in a stunning example of a new and unique McLaren ‘blurred boundaries’ design principle that has allowed us to seamlessly bring the outside in, to further enhance driver engagement while remaining true to our philosophy of making no compromises.”
Rob Melville, Design Director, McLaren Automotive

Highlighting the intensity of the driving experience through the direct connection to the elements, there is no clear demarcation between the exterior of the McLaren Elva and the interior. The uppermost sections of the carbon fibre doors simply curve over and flow down into the cabin, the light, stiff and strong composite material providing the perfect properties to form such enticing shapes and forms. Complementing this unique design feature, the buttresses behind the driver and passenger also flow into the cabin behind the seats. While ensuring the driver and passenger remain exposed to the elements, the sculpture of the wraparound upper cabin environment enhances the feeling of security and protection within a cocooned interior.

McLaren Elva Roadster Interior View
Carbon Fibre extensively used in Elva’s interior help to make it McLaren’s lightest roadcar. Credit: McLaren

A spar of carbon fibre additionally sweeps down from between the buttresses and runs between the driver and passenger seats to support a central armrest and cradle the engine start button and the controls for Drive, Neutral and Reverse functions. The seats themselves are of a bespoke design, with a new lightweight carbon fibre shell that not only supports the head, shoulder and back area of the occupants, but works seamlessly with the upper shape of the cabin. The lower area of each seat is marginally shorter than a conventional McLaren seat, allowing enough space within the footwells for driver or passenger to stand should they want to in order to enter or leave the vehicle. The seats are available with different upper and lower colours and materials, creating a contrast between the exposed upper section and cocooned lower section. Six-point race harnesses can be selected should the customer wish to use the McLaren Elva on track.

Ahead of the driver and passenger, the view forward is unprecedented, with the dashboard seamlessly flowing down into the cabin and around to meet the swooping doors. The shapes are organic and natural, almost pebble-like, with the only interruption to their smooth forms the instrument cluster that stands proud, moving with the steering wheel to optimise visibility of vehicle data for the driver.

In a first for McLaren, the controls for the Active Dynamics functions are integrated into the instrument cluster; set either side of the binnacle, the dynamic mode switches are situated close to the gearshift paddles and their operation does not require the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel. Additional functionality is accessed through the centrally-mounted 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen monitor; a hub for all the vehicle’s functions, this brand-new interface features an edgeless-glass screen and a side-mounted control dial. This Central Infotainment Screen has been developed to allow the driver to run multiple applications simultaneously, akin to a smartphone, flicking through them on a vertical carousel. The system shows a range of applications on the screen, including satellite navigation, McLaren Track Telemetry, rear-view camera and climate control. The screen is mounted on a lightweight carbon fibre arm and tilted towards the driver.

Stowage space is offered beneath the rear tonneau. Crafted from carbon fibre, the curving single-piece panel is operated manually and secured with soft-close latches. Elegant and lightweight, it further reduces weight at one of the highest points of the McLaren Elva. The compartment under the tonneau has space for helmets and also houses the porthole-like panels that showcase the two visible air filters – a fine example of the McLaren design principle of exposing functional engineering.

A portfolio of bespoke interior materials will be available for the new McLaren Elva, allowing customers to personalise their car according to its intended use. Interior leathers in a range of finishes and levels of protection – including an Enhanced Full Aniline leather with a second protective layer to the leather – have been developed to meet the requirements of the open-cockpit car. Additionally, a new technical interior material, Ultrafabric, is another innovation for the car. This breathable synthetic material offers a very different proposition to leather; comprising four layers, the outer two surfaces providing durability and moisture resistance and the inner layers adding a reinforced rayon-fibre base and cushioning, the Ultrafabric helps to ‘grip’ you in the seat.

The McLaren Elva does not have an audio system as standard (in line with the determination to minimise vehicle weight) but customers can specify a bespoke system at no additional cost. Further non-cost options include 5-Spoke Super-Lightweight forged alloy wheels in lieu of the 10-Spoke Ultra-lightweight wheels fitted as standard; track-focused Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres rather than Pirelli P Zero™ tyres; and a vehicle lift system.

Additional personalisation options available through McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the bespoke division of McLaren, include interior colour choices for the Ultrafabric and leathers; virtually limitless exterior paint colours and almost anything else between a delicate pin-stripe on the wheels and a blended full-body ‘contour’ or ‘velocity’ finish that mixes multiple colours across the length of the vehicle. Any selection is individually hand-painted by MSO’s highly experienced craftspeople.

Alternatively, customers can select a Gloss Visual Carbon Fibre Body, which exposes not only the carbon fibre body panels, but also the perfectly aligned twill of the composite material. This can be further enhanced with a range of colour tints. McLaren Special Operations can also develop a bespoke tint for the exterior or interior carbon fibre.

The McLaren Elva can also be personalised with 18ct white gold or platinum badges that feature a TPT inlay. An automotive world-first when introduced on the McLaren Speedtail, thin-ply technology carbon (or TPT for short) is formed from multiple ultra-thin carbon layers just 30 microns in depth. Positioned at a 45-degree angle, when gently milled they expose a stratified, shimmering surface that resembles flowing water. Additionally, MSO offers a 24ct gold engine bay heat shield.

The new Ultimate Series McLaren is priced from £1,425,000 including UK VAT, the final specification is determined by customer choice, with infinite possibilities in terms of personalisation by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to ensure each Elva is unique.

An extraordinary amount of customising is available with the Elva. Credit: McLaren

Ultimate, immersive performance
“The McLaren Elva is a true Ultimate roadster; it exists purely for the pleasure of driving, to deliver an enthralling and immersive experience born from the ultimate connection between the car, the driver and the elements. The lightest road car we’ve ever built at McLaren Automotive, the Elva is incredibly agile and ferociously fast, its 815PS twin-turbocharged V8 engine providing breathtaking performance that heightens every sense. “
Andy Palmer, Vehicle Line Director – Ultimate Series, McLaren Automotive

The core of the McLaren Elva is – as with every McLaren road or race car since 1981 – a carbon fibre monocoque. This state-of-the-art ‘tub’ is incredibly strong and stiff, and its inherent properties mean an open-top roadster does not require any additional strengthening as would be the case with a vehicle built from aluminium or steel. Conversely, despite its rigidity, carbon fibre is also incredibly light, helping to reduce the overall vehicle weight.

To that effect carbon fibre has also been used extensively throughout the McLaren Elva. The entire body is carbon, and McLaren has pushed the limits of the material to not only create incredible sculpted forms, but to also reduce weight. The front clamshell, for instance, is just 1.2mm thick and meets all of McLaren’s structural integrity targets – yet it forms an astonishing one-piece panel that wraps around the entire nose of the vehicle and provides a clean, uninterrupted vision without any panel joins. Perhaps even more impressive are the body side panels, which are each over three metres long and stretch from the front wheels, past the side intakes, around the rear tonneau cover and all the way until the active rear spoiler.

Each door is constructed entirely of carbon fibre and features a single-hinge design, mounting to the vehicle just behind the front clamshell. The doors operate in a Dihedral function, a McLaren trademark. The floor within the McLaren Elva is exposed carbon fibre, once again highlighting the weight saving throughout. Practicality is enhanced with the use of non-slip material at selective points, or bespoke floor mats if preferred.

Carbon, too, forms the core of the braking system which is the most advanced ever fitted to a McLaren road car. Each sintered carbon ceramic disc measures 390mm and takes significantly longer to produce than a conventional carbon ceramic disc, but the resultant material is much stronger and has improved thermal conductivity. This allows the front brake discs in particular to be reduced in size, benefitting unsprung mass while still maintaining performance. Cooling requirements are lessened, reducing the brake ducting needed, which further reduces weight and improves aerodynamic efficiency. The braking system was first introduced on the McLaren Senna but is enhanced for the Elva with the addition of titanium caliper pistons which save a total of 1kg across the vehicle.

Such braking performance is essential because of the performance delivered by the 815PS, 800Nm 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 that powers the Elva. From the same family of engines that powers the McLaren Senna and Senna GTR, it features a flat-plane crankshaft, dry-sump lubrication and lightweight connecting camshafts, rods and pistons that reduce mass in the powertrain. Power is directed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox, and working in conjunction with a launch control function, the performance is breathtaking: 100km/h from a standstill (0-62mph) is reached in less than three seconds, while the McLaren Elva is quicker than the McLaren Senna to 200km/h (0-124mph) at just 6.7 seconds2.

the McLaren Elva is quicker than the McLaren Senna to 200km/h. Credit: McLaren

The increased power output is achieved through an optimised exhaust system with reduced back pressure and improved LTR performance that reduces charge air temperatures. The exhaust itself is an intricate and lightweight titanium and Inconel system, with two lower exits flanking a twin top-mounted exit. In a first for a McLaren road car, the titanium exhaust finisher is created using 3D printing technology to form the unique shape. The exhaust note of the Elva is clean, crisp and unmistakably powerful, as befits an Ultimate Series McLaren.

The power of the McLaren Elva is complemented by a chassis set-up that maximises agility and driver engagement and feedback, enhancing the incredibly immersive and enthralling driving experience. Electro-hydraulic steering provides the purest feedback, as expected of a car when the open-cockpit design positions the driver so close to the elements. State-of-the-art McLaren linked-hydraulic fully active suspension offers a staggering breadth of ability on all road surfaces, with both unique software settings and bespoke springs and damper valving matched to the extremely light overall vehicle weight.

Accessed through the Adaptive Dynamics Controls, the Comfort, Sport and Track modes for the handling and powertrain change the driving characteristics to suit driver mood or environment. Those wishing to explore the full performance of the Elva can adjust the level of available wheelspin and oversteer with three Electronic Stability Control (ESC) modes or utilise Variable Drift Control (VDC). Unique to McLaren, VDC unlocks new levels of driving freedom and excitement. Track-focused Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa tyres are available as a non-cost option.

The original McLaren Elva M1A and the new McLaren Elva face off. Credit: McLaren

McLaren M1A: superlight success designed and engineered by Bruce McLaren
Designed by Bruce McLaren, the McLaren M1A was superlight, weighing just 551kg (1,215lbs) with a lightweight but very rigid and strong chassis – in this case a tubular steel spaceframe. Made using both round and square section tubes, the chassis was reinforced with magnesium alloy sheeting, bonded and riveted in place as a stressed undertray.

A 340bhp Oldsmobile 4.5-litre V8 was mid-mounted. Suspension was cutting-edge for the mid-1960s: fully independent, with unequal length wishbones, anti-roll bar and adjustable coil springs and shock absorbers at the front and reversed lower wishbones with similar coil springs at the rear.

The moulded resin bodywork – again light in weight – was visually very distinctive, with the M1A and McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk I] both having a pointed nose and absence of any lip at the rear. The styling of the later McLaren-Elva M1B [Mk II] and M1C [Mk III] was more muscular, but from the outset the cooling ducts and side fuel tanks integrated into the design were laying down the principles of ‘form follows function’ and ‘everything for a reason’ to which McLaren still rigorously adheres.

When the M1A raced in September 1964 at the Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix – the forerunner to the famous Canadian-American (Can-Am) Challenge Cup that McLaren drivers won for five consecutive years from 1967 to 1971 – it took third place overall but was the fastest car on the circuit, equalling the lap-record four times and breaking it seven more.

Demand for customer cars after such an impressive showing was immediate, but with just seven employees at McLaren – all of whom were engaged in building team racing cars – the only solution was to outsource production. Frank Nichols of Elva Cars Ltd, a small, specialist sportscar manufacturer based in Sussex, UK, proposed that he would build replica versions of the M1A and in November 1964, McLaren and Elva’s parent company agreed terms to proceed.

The McLaren Elva has history. Credit: McLaren

The McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk I] developed into the McLaren-Elva M1B [Mk II] and then the McLaren-Elva M1C [Mark III], the cars competing in privateer hands while in parallel the status of the McLaren brand grew as it moved towards becoming a major force in top-level motorsport.

The McLaren-Elva M1B [Mk II] attracted the attention of American automotive magazine Road & Track, which in July 1966, declared it, ‘the fastest car we’ve ever tested (and) an example of the latest thinking in sports/racing cars.”  The final iteration of the series, the McLaren-Elva M1C [Mk III], was introduced in 1967, by which time the McLaren works team had moved into a new era with the M6A.

We are delighted to have gained the rights to the Elva name for an extraordinary new roadster that adds a new dimension to the McLaren Ultimate Series while tracing its lineage back to the sportscars that laid the foundations for McLaren’s success. The McLaren-Elva M1A [Mk I] and its immediate successors not only set standards on the track but also established the pioneering design and engineering principles that remain at the heart of our brand; what better way to celebrate that than by bringing the Elva name right up to date.”
Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Customer deliveries of the McLaren Elva are scheduled to begin towards the end of 2020.

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Luxury Cars

Bugatti Chiron Noire Revealed: The “affordable” version of the $18.7million La Voiture Noire

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Bugatti have recently revealed the Chiron Noire Élégance and Chiron Noire Sportive, two new limited edition versions of the Chiron that are inspired by the one-off $18.7 million La Voiture Noire unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
Bugatti Chiron Noir Sportive
Bugatti Chiron Noir Sportive. Credit: Bugatti
  • Bugatti have revealed two new limited edition Chiron designs based on the incredibly popular $18.7 million La Voiture Noire.
  • Chiron Noire Élégance features a gloss carbon fibre body
  • Chiron Noire Sportive is distinguishable by its sporty matt black body work.
  • Only 20 to be made with prices starting at $3.3 million.

Given the immense interest generated since La Voiture Noire was revealed, it makes sense that Bugatti would be willing tweak the current Chiron model to facilitate the desires of customers who either missed out on the one-off $18.7 million model or want something similar (but a little more friendlier on the bank balance).


The Chiron Noire Élégance – Exposed gloss carbon fiber body

Externally, the Chiron Noire Élégance is closest to the original La Voiture Noire spec and is recognizable by its gloss black exposed carbon-fiber body with the signature line in solid metal. It also features a newly designed radiator grille, solid silver Bugatti “macron” emblem and the “Noire” inscription adorning the side panels and on the underside of the rear wing. Calipers are also finished in black, along with the rear-view mirror and engine cover.

Internally, the black theme carries through with only the “Inner Signature Line” – the light bearer curved in the style of the outer C-line  being made of aluminium with a silk-matt finish. The “Noire” wording appears on the door sills and on the outside of the centre console, as well as being sewn into the headrests.

Bugatti Chiron Noir Elegance
Bugatti Chiron Noir Elegance. Credit: Bugatti

The Chiron Noire Sportive – Matt black body

In contrast to the gloss appearance of the Chiron Noire Élégance, the Chiron Noire Sportive is the “blacked-out” version and features an exposed carbon fibre look with a matt black finish. Almost all of the exterior trim elements are finished in matt black, including the C-shaped Bugatti signature line, wheels, front spoiler and radiator grille, along with the four visible tailpipes of the titanium exhaust system and parts of the engine cover.

The interior is even more dominated by black than in the “Chiron Noire Élégance”. The embroidered “Noire” inscriptions on the inlays of the centre console and the headrest are all in black, as are the aluminium trim parts in the interior, the inner C-line, dashboard hardware, steering wheel and door handles.

Limited to only 20 cars (still included as part of the 500 Chiron production run), both versions of Chiron Noire will feature the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 as the standard Chiron and share the same 0-62mph speed of 2.4 seconds.

Prices will start at $3.3 million for the limited editions (compared to $2.9 million for the “standard” Chiron) and Chiron Sports customers will also have the option of upgrading to the “Noire” package at  a cost of $110,000.

Deliveries are expected to roll out Q2 of 2020.

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Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo

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Lamborghini presents its new concept car, the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo, at the World Finals of the 2019 FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships.
Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
The Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo. Credit: Lamborghini
  • Lamborghini’s latest concept car
  • Available to drive digitally on Gran Turismo Sport – PlayStation 4 Spring 2020
  • Would use the V12 hybrid powertrain from the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37
  • Designed as a single seat track car

Earlier this year Lamborghini reached for the future and launched it’s first hybrid, the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37. Now off the bones of the Sián, Lamborghini has looked even further into the future and developed it’s latest concept car, one that reveals Lamborghini’s desire to relentlessly push forward with new technologies and visions. Its official name is the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo or Lambo V12 for the short version.

Catering to Lamborghini’s young demographic and fans, the Lambo V12 concept will exist, in the short term at least, as a digital and virtual reality on the latest Gran Turismo Sport Game available on the Sony Playstation 4 from Spring 2020. However, to Lamborghini’s Centro Stile, the technologies and ideas of the Lambo V12 are hoped to live past the game and become a reality.

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo. Credit: Lamborghini

LAMBORGHINI CENTRO STILE

Lamborghini Centro Stile was established in 2004 and carries the mission to combine the spirit of the brand with innovation to create consistently new and unexpected design solutions. The Centro Stile brings together the greatest talents in automotive design from all over the world, who work in close contact with the Technical Office to create the perfect balance between form and function.

“The Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo is created to provide the ultimate virtual car for young fans and gamers, who are ultra-enthusiastic about Lamborghini and its futuristic aspirations,” said Mitja Borkert, Head of Lamborghini Centro Stile. ”It is an opportunity for the design talent within Lamborghini to stretch its wings and visualize a car that, like every Lamborghini, is a head-turner and the best driving experience, but also mirrors Lamborghini’s push on future technologies, particularly in the arena of lightweight materials and hybridization.”

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo rear lights
The Lambo V12 is definitely a head turner. Credit: Lamborghini

The concept car’s powerful overall design is dedicated to sophisticated aerodynamics. A large wing housing a significant Y-taillight dominates the rear. All elements are designed as high performance surfaces, integrating design and aerodynamics. The main body is disconnected from the fenders, and the hexagon-inspired theme in the side windows is inspired by the Lamborghini Marzal from 1968. The Lambo V12 Vision GT uses the typical Lamborghini Y-signature for both front lights and rear lights.

Front view of the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
Signature Y Headlights follow on from the Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Lamborghini states’ “The design builds on historic Lamborghini design DNA, expanding the potential of the design language in a very futuristic way. Focused on the single center line, the iconic silhouette of all Lamborghini models, it emphasizes a single seater layout conceived for a racing game where a passenger is not needed.”

Side view of the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
No side doors on this beast. Credit: Lamborghini
Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo active suspension

Inside the Lambo V12 Vision GT

Visualize approaching an open cockpit on a F-14 Tomcat because this is how Lamborghini wants you to feel walking towards this car. With no doors on the Lambo V12 the driver enters the cabin like a jetfighter pilot, from the front of the car. The main driving controls are located within the steering wheel and all driver information is projected virtually in front of the driver, via holographic displays that Lamborghini anticipates will be possible within the next ten years. The Lambo V12 will also offer intelligent, context-sensitive advice from one of the factory drivers when you’re attempting to stomp down your lap times.

Holographic display concept Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
Driver information is projected virtually in front of the driver. Credit: Lamborghini
Holographic displays on the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo
It’s hoped holographic displays will be available within the next 10 years. Credit: Lamborghini

Head of design, Mitja Borkert, has said that while the full scale car has been revealed at Gran Turismo World Finals, there’s still refinements to be made before the Lambo V12 is seen in the game next Spring and certainly before this hybridized V12 ever burns rubber on a real track.

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo wheels
Signature Pirelli P Zero’s on the Lambo V12 Vision GT. Credit: Lamborghini

Raymond Weil Freelancer Skeleton has an ultra sleek design featuring an open-work dial revealing sophisticated swiss movements.
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Aston Martin’s first SUV fully revealed – Aston Martin DBX

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For the first time in Aston Martin’s 106-year history, Aston Martin has today unveiled its first SUV, the DBX, a model they hope will propel the brand to new heights.

Side view of the 2020 Aston Martin DBX SUV
The 2020 Aston Martin DBX SUV. Credit: Aston Martin
  • First SUV for 106 year-old Aston Martin
  • The fourth car of Aston Martin’s Second Century Plan
  • Retail Price from £158,000 in UK – $189,900 in USA – €193,500 in Germany
  • First deliveries scheduled to begin Q2 2020

The DBX started as virtual development back in 2015 from what could be described as a clean sheet of paper for Aston Martin. Today it was officially released and available for sale, an occasion that is sure to be creating many celebrations at Aston Martin. The DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin’s pursuit to deliver exceptional performance, style and usability in a segment previously unexplored by the British marque.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Development of the Aston Martin DBX SUV started back in 2015. Credit: Aston Martin

What The Aston Martin Lagonda CEO Said

Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, exclaims: “I can’t emphasise enough how incredibly exciting and significant DBX is for Aston Martin. Through its development alone, this beautiful SUV has already taken the company into new territories and in inspiring directions. DBX also marks a key moment in the delivery of the third and final phase of our Second Century Plan, not only representing the promised expansion of our portfolio but also signaling the start of production at Aston Martin’s second manufacturing plant. We have both delivered this model through our expertise, but also by garnering invaluable experience and knowledge from external counsel, including our Female Advisory Board. This is a real landmark for this great British brand and I promise that DBX will reward all who experience it in their everyday lives.”

Aston Martin DBX SUV
The Aston Martin DBX powered by a 4 litre turbocharged V8. Credit: Aston Martin

Turbocharged V8

Powered by a new version of the characterful 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine found in DB11 and Vantage, DBX features an impressive output of 550PS and 700NM of torque, carefully tuned to meet the specific needs of this model. With a sound character that is unquestionably Aston Martin, the active exhaust system ensures this is a luxury SUV that can sound refined one moment and exhilarating the next. The engine’s versatility isn’t restricted to its vocals either; the turbocharged V8 has cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy, yet it can also propel DBX from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 181mph.

Transmitting this power and torque to the ground is a nine-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox, allied to an all-wheel drive system with active differentials featuring an active central differential and an electronic rear limited slip differential (eDiff). This allows the torque to be moved precisely both fore and aft in the vehicle and also across the rear axle. When combined with the bespoke steering system that has been tuned to deliver feel and sports car-like response, DBX imbues the driver with an overriding sense of control, whatever the conditions.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Aston Martin DBX draws inspiration from Vantage. Credit: Aston Martin

DBX Exterior & Design

DBX’s exterior works as hard as the interior at bringing the elegance of Aston Martin’s sports cars into the world of the SUV. From the signature ‘DB’ grille at the front, through the sculptured sides and design feature line, to the tailgate with a flip that draws inspiration from Vantage, this is an Aston Martin from first glance to detailed inspection. Beautiful details like the hidden side glass seals on the frameless doors and glass B-pillar finishers add an elegant sleekness and confidence to the stance. Cutaway sills also assist in narrowing the stepover required to enter the sumptuous cabin, while reducing the risk of ruining a fine dress or suit on arrival to a dinner engagement.

Utilising bonded aluminium, a construction method Aston Martin has refined through the development of its sports cars, the body structure is both very light and incredibly stiff, assisting in the delivery of an overall kerb weight of 2,245kg. Right from its genesis, it was designed to allow maximum room in the cabin, putting a premium on refinement and class leading spaciousness for both front and rear occupants. Meanwhile, the exceptional stiffness inherent in the design of the new platform has also enabled DBX to achieve exceptional dynamics both on and off-road.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Aston Martin DBX’s sports a full length glass panoramic roof. Credit: Aston Martin

DBX Interior

The luxuriously handcrafted interior of DBX has been designed to provide equal space and comfort whether sitting in the front or rear of the car. Class-leading headroom and legroom combines with a full-length glass panoramic roof and frameless door glass to offer a fantastically light and spacious cabin environment. The use of sports car seat packaging in the front not only provides the driver with exceptional support and long-distance driving comfort, but also provides knee and footwell clearance for those sitting behind.

Small touches throughout, including separate central armrests, glovebox design and the ergonomic positioning of the car’s key control systems, have been guided carefully by the input of the brand’s Female Advisory Board, dealership feedback and a variety of private focus groups held worldwide. Not limited to this area, the guidance provided has been key to the success of DBX’s overall design.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Full grain leather seats. Credit: Aston Martin

The seats are trimmed in sumptuous, full grain leather, sourced from long term partner Bridge of Weir. An industry first, both the headlining and electric roof blind are available in a luxurious Alcantara finish, providing a harmonious design, light obscuration and solar attenuation without compromising headroom. Throughout the cabin, DBX maintains an authenticity of materials, with judicious use of metal, glass and wood throughout the cabin.

Another design highlight includes the elegantly crafted bridged centre console allowing for both flexible storage below and a beautiful, architectural centrepiece. This feature keeps valuables close to hand while not occupying the passenger seat and away from dirt on the car’s floor mats. As part of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ – Aston Martin’s personalisation service – optional features of this centre console can be machined from a solid piece of wood, such as Walnut, for added tactility.

A contemporary range of exquisite wood, composite and metal veneers ensure that the cabin can be tailored to any taste. This includes a range of innovative materials and an industry first application of a fabric made from 80% wool. A new flax composite – derived from the same plant as fine linen – also provides an alternative to carbon fibre and a distinctive design aesthetic.

Framed by these materials is an abundance of technology. A 10.25” TFT screen sits elegantly flush in the centre console, while a huge 12.3” TFT screen provides a wealth of information to the driver. Apple CarPlay comes as standard, as does a 360-degree camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different colours in two zones.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
DBX cabin saddle bags accessory. Credit: Aston Martin

Suspension

Adaptive triple volume air suspension has been combined with the latest 48v electric anti-roll control system (eARC) and electronic adaptive dampers to provide the new SUV with a huge breadth of ability. With its capacity to raise the ride height by 45mm or lower it by 50mm the air suspension gives any driver the confidence to tackle a wide range of terrain. While this of course provides benefits while on the move, the system can be further programmed to aid with ingress, egress and loading requirements, aiding on a practical level.

The adaptive triple chamber air springs enable variable spring stiffness, giving both luxurious comfort and dynamic prowess. Extraordinarily the eARC – capable of 1,400Nm of anti-roll force per axle – can limit DBX’s body roll for handling that is much more akin to that of a sports car than an SUV. This sophisticated system of adaptive air suspension, dampers and eARC allows for maximum ride comfort when transporting up to five occupants and their luggage, while maintaining a highly responsive and engaging dynamic capability.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Aston Martin DBX ride height can be raised 45mm and lowered 50mm. Credit: Aston Martin

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics were an important consideration within the design process and this included the novel experience for the team of running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests with a DBX towing a trailer with a DB6 on it. At the car’s front, the daytime running lights (DRLs) have an integrated aerodynamic duct, which channels air through the front wheel arches and along the side, helping to reduce both drag and lift while also cooling the brakes. Air flows cleanly over the roof, through the rear wing, over the rear window and on to the rear flip. This unique approach and design detail allows the rear screen to self-clear on the move. Aerodynamic design has also played a key part in passenger comfort because as one of only a few companies using computational aeroacoustics technology, Aston Martin’s engineers have been able to keep cabin noise to a minimum at speed.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Great lines and curves of the Aston Martin DBX. Credit: Aston Martin

For The First 500 Owners

Further adding to the desirability of DBX, the first 500 owners of this landmark model will benefit from an exclusive ‘1913 Package’. Fitted with a unique fender badge, sill plaques and an inspection plaque detailing its limited build-run, each of these first examples will be personally endorsed and inspected by Andy Palmer. In addition, each customer will also receive a unique build-book signed by both Aston Martin’s CEO and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and an invitation to a regionally hosted Waldorf Astoria celebration cocktail party, hosted by a member of the Aston Martin Lagonda executive team.

Pricing and Delivery

Recommended Retail Price from £158,000 in the UK, €193,500 in Germany and $189,900 in USA. DBX is on sale now, with first deliveries scheduled to begin Q2 2020.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
Roof mounted ski rack, bike rack and surf board holders are just some available accessories. Credit: Aston Martin

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