Aston Martin CEO Pushes Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode Button

There are occasions to be reserved and gentlemanly—but the press is no longer one of those places, thank you Internet. Media outlets of all types have become a sort-of adult playground where players can freely express how they truly feel about things without having to ‘sugar coat’ it for mass consumption. Case in point: The CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer, recently shared with the world exactly how he feels about Tesla’s new ‘Ludicrous Mode’. Recall that the ‘Ludicrous Mode’ is a button enhancing the performance of the Tesla Model S.

Ludicrous Mode

Palmer stated that he feels Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode is “stupid” and that he would rather have an electric vehicle that could last a few laps at a decent race course rather than one posing as a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Ouch! Aston Martin is working on their own precious electric and hybrid powertrains, with murmurings about a potentially potent electric Rapide S and a DB9 gaining traction out there.

Aston MartinOne thing is for certain–whatever Aston Martin is planning to bring to the hybrid arena will be superior to the old Cygnet concept. Remember when all of the emerging hybrid concepts were tiny city cars enduring endless ridicule? Say that to LaFerrari’s face. 

Palmer hit up Twitter to share the following brightly worded challenge to Tesla: “Aston’s insane mode comes as standard—no button required”.  A little humor and challenge can go a long way in social media. What will Aston Martin’s electric variant have in store? The company shared recently that it would be an electric Rapide sedan boasting roughly 800 horsepower with a 200-mile range. All of that electrified luxury will come at the modest cost of somewhere between $200-250k.

Enjoy the clip above to see passenger reactions to the new Tesla ‘Ludicrous Mode’. Spoiler alert: It is amusingly similar to the new group of mature Volkswagen ladies.

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Citroen Cactus M Concept Incites Thirst To Learn More

Citroen Cactus MAll photos ©Citroen 

French automaker Citroen just released sleek glimpses of their latest concept: Behold the Citroen Cactus M. The Cactus concept is actually far from dry and seems to have plenty to offer in several vital areas. It has been playfully described as the ‘French Jeep’ and certainly packs ample artillery in the way of a stylish and sporty option for those outdoorsy types who simply cannot tolerate the thought of a Land Rover. Let us learn more about the feisty new Cactus offering:

The Citroen Cactus M concept at a (rather longing) glance:

  • This cruiser is a convertible open-air crossover that proclaims to the world: Hey! Perhaps you do not need a motorbike to feel like you are flying free! Also, you can bring along more of your awesome things.
  • It is successor to the 2CV-based Citroen Mehari and other Cactus crew members
  • This model rides a touch taller with a more straight-standing windshield—a good indication that it is a beachy pleasure craft lacking the slightest inkling to rip it up in street racing on the weekends. This is a simple case of ‘when something tells you what it is–believe it‘.
  • While there appears to be suitable rear seating, the lack of…rear doors…leaves one to surmise that those riding back there must first earn the privilege by launching themselves up and over. They may also fold the seat forward, but where is the sport in that?
  • Back to that roof: It is an inflatable convertible top that doubles as a tent! That is correct—drivers can amble down any strip of nature and simply opt for an unplanned outdoor sleepover using their vehicle roof/tent. Why has no sport utility maker worked something like this out yet?
  • Other sporty features include: Waterproof neoprene seating, outdoor equipment rack options and nifty hose-out drains in the flooring to remove all that sand and camping debris. Brilliant.

Citroen Cactus MThe Citroen Cactus M concept is anticipated to appear at the Frankfurt International Motor Show where it will begin the quest to transform “Leisure into lifestyle”. It appears we must wait until then to learn about pesky points like powertrain and pricing. Stay tuned friends.

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Why Ferrari Took Over a Gas Station

Luxury automaker and branding guru Ferrari has surprised the masses by acquiring temporary rights to a certain gas station. The move has nothing to do with any sort of energy battle, but rather, a unique way to allow fans to interact with the brand called ‘Casa Ferrari’. When I first heard of the story, my initial thought was that the Prancing Horse had perhaps purchased a gas station near one of their testing sites, alas, it was something completely different!

Casa Ferrari took Pebble Beach and Monterey Car Week by storm. The best way to get a feel for just how all-encompassing this event was is to take in the short clip above:

The events of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance attract massive amounts of luxury and exotic car fans, buyers and manufacturers. Ferrari decided that it would behoove the company to rent out a gas station to reinforce the presences of the Prancing Horse (as if it could ever be overlooked), cater to VIP guests and prevent all of those fine automobiles from getting thirsty. The lightbulb/idea seemed to be a success because over the course of the event, the Shell station at the Carmel Highlands general store accommodated over 4,000 guests and countless exotic sports cars and vintage cars. The station was completely transformed into a picturesque Italian scene complete with test drives and elegant dining. This approach is much more attractive than the standard smattering of cars baking on the lawn coupled with the yawns as the day progresses.

Casa Ferrari

Ferrari chose the gas station to rent wisely, settling on the Shell in that spot because it has been a traditional sort-of landmark thanks to its prime location and the annual luxury Pebble Beach goings-on. Casa Ferrari ran from August 12-16th and provided an interactive outlet for fans and visitors, because Ferrari North America’s director of marketing and brand experience, Greg Adams, has not been impressed with how other brands approach Pebble Beach. Adams shared: “This whole event weekend was becoming a showroom on the green, and that to me was a turnoff.” To depart from the expected brand booth motif, Casa Ferrari boasted a bright white façade with Ferrari red shutters (think Enzo Ferrari’s home) and the gas station was reimagined to resemble a quaint but racy Italian villa. Outside, genuine Italian cuisine was served to the delicate acoustics of surrounding supercars. Now that is an image/experience I could get behind!

Casa FerrariFerrari is brave enough to be a Horse of a different color in a sea of commonality. The brand is known to be the first to switch gears. 

As it would turn out, the owner of that Shell station happens to own a Ferrari. Well done Ferrari, well done!

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What Happens When Buyers Demand A Street Legal Aston Martin Vulcan?

The Aston Martin Vulcan emerged and laid absolute waste to previous expectations of the brand. With radical exterior styling cues and a 7.0-liter engine with a serious drinking problem, it is no wonder buyers are now demanding a street-legal version of the epic beast. What is even better is that Aston Martin is actually entertaining the notion!

Aston Martin VulcanReports state that Aston Martin is indeed looking into offering a street legal version of the Vulcan, breaking the track-only variant out and onto the public ways. Aston Martin product manager Simon Croft shared that clients have expressed great desire to own one with street status. This does not mean that a toned-down Vulcan variant would be an ideal commuter—just that it would be legit to take out on the weekends and also to car shows and similar events. Let’s face the facts: feeding 800 thirsty horses is not a light expenditure on the bank account.

Aston Martin VulcanThe Vulcan seems to cater to a select breed of supercar lovers, with the Aston Martin racing attributes along with a look that can best be summed up as extreme. She is practically composed of just carbon fiber and can hold her own in most situations, racing or seeing who looks best.

Aston Martin VulcanThe idea of a street legal Aston Martin Vulcan would make sense, seeing as how it did work for McLaren and Ferrari with certain offerings. The astronomical $1.8 million dollar price tag of the precious Vulcan would likely be reduced along with a bit of her power, but that likely would not upset buyers. Just 24 examples of the Vulcan will be crafted, but if the street version emerges, it is likely to include a larger production run. Don’t worry—drivers likely won’t miss a roll cage when tooling about town.

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Imagine Lifestyles Takes Fantasy Fest 2015 by the Horns…With Horsepower

Fantasy Fest 2015 in trendy Philadelphia was a home run yet again this year, with Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals front and center for all of the action. What is the fastest way to attract everyone within earshot to your booth? There is no megaphone required when you have two Lamborghini cars to rev up at the same time. It is the most exhilaration one can have in the presence of local vendors, exotic dancer booths and the standard cute beer stand girls. While the Lamborghinis were not open for rides that day–the plastic shark designed to toss riders off like a bull certainly was. Awkward? Indeed. Hilarious? You betcha.

Fantasy Fest 2015Exotic cars, exotic dancers and celebrities—Oh my! Fantasy Fest was brimming with the usual suspects, offering up a little something for everyone.

Fantasy Fest 2015CEO Ryan Safady and COO Jeff McCorry direct the team setting up the booth at Fantasy Fest 2015.

Fantasy Fest featured local vendors from all around the region and a smidge of celebrity action including Charles Barkley and the always-adorable and social Miss Pennsylvania (both pictured in the gallery below). The Imagine Lifestyles crew arrived early and stayed late to indulge in the pulse of the event—attracting over 500 visitors to our booth for our current contest “Win a luxury or exotic car rental”—follow link to enter in a few easy steps. The winner will be announced on Halloween 2015 and will spend 24-hours with a dream car.

Fantasy Fest 2015Fantasy Fest was held at Xfinity Live in Philadelphia and hosted by 97.5 The Fanatic.

The top 3 most-asked questions at the Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals booth that day were as follows:

  • How does insurance work with a car like this? The answer: Most auto policies already have enough coverage. If they do not, just contact your agent and have it increased for that time period.
  • How much would something like this (the latest Lamborghini Gallardo) cost to rent? The answer: It is available for the day for around $1,600, and there are weekend specials to take advantage of as well.
  • Are you guys located around here? The answer: We are located at 3501 Haddonfield Road in New Jersey, just over the bridge from Philadelphia. It is the prime location to seamlessly service New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Our Miami office services the state of Florida.

For those who did not get a chance to come hang with us at Fantasy Fest, we will be at the Met Life Stadium September 18th-19th running our Ultimate Driving Experience. Click here to sign up for the event and take one of our exotics around the track–sign up before spots run out!

Here are some of the best shots from our Fantasy Fest 2015 experience. If you were there with us, please feel free to share your shots on Facebook:

Fantasy Fest 2015The view from the VIP section inside Xfinity Live

exotic car rentalsCOO Jeff McCorry ensuring proper placement of the Lamborghini rental.

Fantasy Fest 2015

Eric Fralin of Imagine Lifestyles had the tough job of chatting up Miss Pennsylvania when she stopped by to say hello! 

Charles Barkely

Eric also bumped into Charles Barkley inside the VIP section.

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Video Action: Bugatti Veyrons Going All Out On Public Roads

It is fun to see photos of hyperbeasts like the Bugatti Veyron and perhaps even the occasional video clip of them tooling about their various habitats—it is quite another to see them parade out slowly and then get clocked reaching max speeds on public roadways! Check out the 3 minute clip below showing 3 Bugatti Veyrons doing what they were intended to do: Show off!
The clip shows 3 Bugatti Veyrons, including the masterpiece Vitesse L’Or Rouge revving around and then hitting speeds of 230+ miles per hour as someone clocks them from the side. 

Bugatti VeyronLove them or loathe them, the Bugatti Veyron model will forever thrive in infamy. Even though the production run of the epic model has screeched to a pre-planned halt, those created will change hands and be followed for eons to come.

Before viewers begin to spaz, the Bugatti cars were attending the Sun Valley Road Rally, an event that closes off 3.2 miles of public roadway and permits supercars to indulge for onlookers. Nifty. The ‘winner’, per se, of this epic show-off was the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse L’Or Rouge, which hit 235.7 miles per hour in her sprint. Not that the other two Veryons were slackers—they both cleared the 230 mile per hour marker and sounded like hellish aircraft whizzing by!

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Lamborghini Urus Tramples Over Asterion Concept

With the SUV comeback still in full-effect with no indication of slowing its roll, it seems that the Lamborghini Asterion hybrid concept is sort of sulking on the back burner. Essentially, the Raging Lamborghini Urus SUV has trampled over the Asterion. But will Lamborghini Urus adopt that hybrid powertrain along with the spotlight? It seems quite likely for the Urus to be not only the first SUV the brand has made in while, but also the first hybrid.

Lamborghini UrusThe Lamborghini Urus SUV concept

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann shared that because the Raging Bull only offers two models in the current lineup, the introduction of a third would most certainly be an SUV. A hybrid Lamborghini SUV would help to round out the family–which consists of the award-winning Lamborghini Aventador and the newer and less intense Lamborghini Huracan now that the long-running Gallardo has been retired. It is a known fact that a large percentage of exotic sports car owners have a soft-spot for the SUV as a daily driver, and that love is increased if offered by their preferred brand with perhaps perks.

Lamborghini AsterionThe Lamborghini Asterion concept 

The Lamborghini Asterion concept is a hybrid GT model that shows the brand’s capacity to plug into the powertrain trend. It seems that customer reactions to the Asterion were what put the brakes on the project. Even with 910-horsepower via a petrol and electric powertrain it was not enough somehow in current form. Perhaps the brand fears that adding another supercar to the mix may disturb sales for the other two offerings—the guesses are endless.

Could a 900+horsepower hybrid Lamborghini SUV be just the ticket? Because the Lamborghini Urus (or whatever name they land on if that is squashed) is slated for a 2018 release, there may be a bit more of a wait before the official decision is made public.

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Rolls-Royce Reborn: A Glimpse of a Remarkable Brand Journey

Take a moment to take in the Rolls-Royce brand as it stands today. It is a force to be reckoned with, selling a record number of luxury automobiles in 2014 and continuing forward with much momentum. It is rather difficult to fathom that just 17 years ago it was sold to BMW with no factories and no cars—only the name survived a serious drought in business.

Rolls-Royce

BMW acquired the Rolls-Royce name in 1998 for £50 million euros. Not a bad investment when you look at the brand today. That sum only bought the famous name, no cars and no factories. 

Now BMW has infused the Rolls-Royce brand with the desperately needed funding to flourish, and that it has. Rolls-Royce sold 4,063 cars in 2014 for the first time in the brand’s 111-year history. For the past five consecutive years, sales have only increased. The brand held on as long as possible before selling the Crewe, Cheshire headquarters and the Bentley badge to Volkswagen Group. The last to go was the official Rolls-Royce name, which after a bit of back and forth, ended up with BMW.

Not only are sales up, but also the Rolls-Royce factory is working at capacity just to meet demand—which creates jobs. BMW has proven that a traditional brand with a powerful name can indeed be resurrected into something able to continuously evolve and remain on top. Let us take a look at the current brand lineup for a better feel:

Rolls-RoyceThe 2015 Rolls-Royce lineup proves that the brand is fluid and forward-focused:

  • Rolls-Royce Phantom: Coupe, drophead coupe and extended wheelbase
  • Rolls-Royce Ghost: Ghost series II and extended wheelbase
  • Rolls-Royce Wraith: The frontrunner and unprecedented example of evolution for the marquee
  • There are several variants and customizations for the lineup available

The story of Rolls-Royce proves that a name can be salvaged and rise from the ashes—also that BMW has many talents in the luxury automotive arena.

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The Aston Martin Vulcan Is Proving Itself All Around the World

The track-only Aston Martin Vulcan has been busy proving its beast mode at events all over the world. The racer climbed the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex and took on 2 flying laps at the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium to help revv up the crowd prior to the start of the endurance race.
The clip above shows more of the Vulcan in action.

The Aston Martin Vulcan is a 7.0-liter 800 horsepower weapon. Just 24 units of the Vulcan are planned for production, and buyers will have to separate from around $2.3 million USD in order to own one of them. Some of the Aston Martin Vulcan’s siblings competed in the race, making it a fitting introduction indeed. Will the Vulcan participate in an endurance race soon? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, the mad machine is making her publicity rounds and showing off all of her beauty and brawn.

Aston Martin VulcanThe motorsport-inspired Aston Martin Vulcan is perhaps the most extraordinarily beautiful track car from the brand to date. It would be a challenge to be charged with altering the exterior in any way.

They seem to be starting the Vulcan off a bit slowly, teasing in a way because it is clear that the car is certainly capable of achieving some serious wins in several racing circuits. According to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: “Seeing the Aston Martin Vulcan unleashed at Goodwood today is a memory I will cherish for many years. We wanted to give this car its debut on ‘home soil’, and where better than at this hugely popular and globally renowned event.”

Aston Martin VulcanPhotos courtesy of ©Aston Martin 

Where will the all-new Aston Martin Vulcan end up next?

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New 800-Horsepower Lamborghini to Be Privately Previewed

Word is that the Raging Bull will be introducing a new 800-horsepower Lamborghini at a private showing. The car is such a secret that none have an inkling of what it is. The new Lamborghini could be a one-off, very limited special edition or a special version of an existing model.

800-horsepower LamborghiniThe Lamborghini Asterion

The anticipation of the new 800-horsepower Lamborghini is burning up the internets. As it stands, there are currently two production models out there, the Lamborghini Aventador and the Lamborghini Huracan. Is the brand going to unleash something completely different? There is the Lamborghini Egoista, of course, which came out in 2013 and the awe-inspiring Lamborghini Veneno hypercar. Will this be of the same breed of Bull, or perhaps a hybrid or electric super ninja to compete with the LaFerrari and Porsche 918?

The $4.5 million dollar Veneno boasts a thirsty 6.5-liter V12 engine capable of catapulting it from not to 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. The Egoista was a bit of a 50th birthday gift from Lamborghini’s parent company, Volkswagen Group. The Egoista borrowed the 5.2-liter V10 from sibling Gallardo and kicks out 600 horses. It would certainly make sense to see an electric or hybrid…but wait! Could it be the Lamborghini Asterion plug-in hybrid being released in production form?

800-horsepower LamborghiniWill it look as fantastic as the Lamborghini Veneno?

The Lamborghini Asterion plug-in was introduced at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in concept form, packing 900 horses. While it typically takes around 2-3 years for a car to travel from concept to completion, this is a definite possibility in regards to the mystery machine. Lamborghini is currently denying that such a vehicle is coming to a private event at Pebble Beach, but that type of secrecy is quite common prior to a huge release.

Lamborghini EgoistaIt is a safe bet that few wish it to look like the Egoista. Some likely do, and they know who they are.

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