Armored Land Rover Products Make Protection Seem Cool

It could be said that the new Range Rover Sentinel is ballistic for ballistics shielding. While most of us do not have to concern ourselves with stray bullets on the way to our destinations, there remains a demand for armored vehicles in many not-so-savory places. The armored Land Rover Range Rover Sentinel and other offerings are for the types who many not need to drive through a mountain range to get to work—but need that option just in case.

armored Land RoverThe Range Rover Sentinel is understated and secretive when it comes to its protection capacity.

All jokes aside, the Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations division is packing some heavy artillery to make their offerings stand out among the rest. Not only is an armored Land Rover a Land Rover–it is designed to appeal to James Bond expectations of bad-assery. Everything they get their hands on comes out amazing, like the Range Rover SVAutobiography, Sport SVR and others.

Range Rover Sentinel How it works: To armor a luxury SUV like a Land Rover Range Rover product, the Special Vehicle Operations department takes a super-strength passenger cell that is separated into several pieces and ensconces it with bullet resistant glass and the ability to chuckle at explosives like grenades or M4 carbines. Some make jabs at the fact that using such an expensive vehicle draws too much attention in the first place, based on the assumption that it makes more sense to armor up something a little more lowkey. The answer to that is simple: Where there is the most need for the protection of armored vehicles, there are typically many Range Rovers and other higher class SUVs and vehicles crowding the roadways. It is all a numbers game when it comes to safety and one may stand out in a clunker.

Even with all of the extra pounds from the added protection, an armored Land Rover can still manage in the power arena. This is vital when it comes down to being able to out maneuver and possibly outrun an assailant.

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The Bugatti Plane Takes First Test Flight and Nosedives

On August 19th, 2015, the popular Bugatti plane took its first flight. Dubbed the Bugatti 100P Project, it is zeroed in on bringing to life an old project started but never finished by Ettore Bugatti back in the day. The name of the aircraft is Reve Bleu, and she became airborne at 104 miles per hour and achieved a top out of 127 miles per hour.

The well-followed Bugatti 100P Project is about a plane. That plane was the dream of founder Ettore Bugatti that was placed on hold way back in the 1930s. Now with a little help, that same plane is set to take off…but not without a few nosedives during testing! 

The Bugatti plane reached an altitude of just 100 feet, looking more like a floating maneuver than flying, but the team feels confident they are on the proper track to bring the project to fruition. If you watch the clip below, the pilot states that the right brake went out and that led to the less-than-poised nosedive. No one was injured and it seems to have been a blessing in disguise that the aircraft did not reach great heights just yet.

The Bugatti 100P Project shall forge on, striving to perfect the vision of Ettore following his exact specifications. He began drafting the dream of a plane back in 1937, but was forced to put the brakes on the project when World War II began. Until recently, the glorious forward-swept wing design and pair of Bugatti Type 50 engines were forgotten, but now the dream will take flight…and likely soon with all of the project’s dedicated staffers!

Bugatti 100P The Bugatti plane, Reve Bleu, holds true to the original designers size, powertrain, construction materials, shape and abilities. Photo ©Bugatti 100P Project.

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Mercedes-Benz Checkmates in Frankfurt with Shape Shifting Concept

So Mercedes-Benz just created a real transformer. The Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA) has just taken the annual Frankfurt Auto Show by storm—showcasing the first-ever automobile capable of changing shapes whilst driving down the road.

Mercedes-Benz IAA

This technology is different than just the typical automotive ability to produce a rear wing at high speeds. The Mercedes-Benz IAA is essentially a shape shifter, able to alter its physical form at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour. To make it even cooler, depending on preference, it is a hybrid.

The Mercedes-Benz IAA concept at a glance:

    • This concept looks like none of its siblings, but rather, a glimpse of the future. The sleek form is intended to be fluid so that it can mold into a different shape to achieve ideal aerodynamics. The racing business is likely already all over this. Will Mercedes feel like sharing?
    • Oddly, it is a 4-door layout. Would something like this be intended to transport passengers and the insane ability is just to save on fuel?
    • Fun fact: Mercedes is even playfully calling it a transformer.
    • What happens: The nifty front bumper boasts active grille shutters that can move to redirect airflow to the wheels. It can also move to the rear 2.4 inches to alter the airflow to the undercarriage. The 5-spoke wheels can switch to solid discs during drive time, and a rear extender protrudes out 15 inches to form a fancy tail.
    • Power stems from a potent plug-in hybrid kicking out 279 horses with an impressive range of 41 miles in electric-only mode. Top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour, because they are afraid of what it will morph into at higher speeds.
    • It was brought to life digitally to cut creation time to just 10 months. What is the rush, guys? Do you have something up your sleeve?

Check out the video above of the Mercedes-Benz IAA concept in action to obtain a visual on her remarkable capabilities. 

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Battle of the Brands: The 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

The 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show is in full swing—and the competition this year is fairly fierce. Automakers from all over the planet have gathered in Frankfurt, Germany to show off their wares and have a bit of a go with their people. It is an annual draw that is followed and looked forward to by millions. Without further fuss, let’s take a gander at what is happening this year in what I will call the ‘Battle of the brands’.

2015 Frankfurt Auto ShowThe year old Peugeot Quartz concept

While some companies use these types of shows to tout their upcoming models, some take advantage of a widespread arena to showcase fantasy creations—perhaps to test the waters, or just to tease. Some are production ready and some are mere concepts at various levels of project commitment. Still others are mere video game cars. The battle seems to be waging on as follows:

    • The savvy new Bentley Bentayga SUV is there showing the interesting new Jaguar F-Pace what is up. These two are not on the same planet in terms of pricing, with the F-Pace MSRP at just $40k and the Bentayga north of $200k. Also, how did they land on F-Pace? It is certainly not a pace car.
    • The Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce roadster is on hand at the show to stare down rivaling Ferrari 488 GTB spyder. The healthy competition between Lamborghini and Ferrari will forever be a sporty pastime for indulgent fans.
    • The Citroen Cactus M showed up to have a showdown with the swanky little yearling known as the Peugeot Quartz concept. Both are shapely and unique examples of what their tribe sees in the future.
    • On the greener path is the Porsche Mission E and the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, or IAA. The Mercedes-Benz IAA is actually capable of changing its shape for aerodynamic purposes. That is right—it is a friggin shapeshifter. It will be covered more extensively in a later blog.
    • Also around is the video game only Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept. The lag between models must be filled somehow, right guys? Still, lame. The Hyundai N2025 Gran Turismo car takes the cake here.
    • Worthy of mention: The Nissan Gripz. Stupid little name, sweet little vision.

See more of the Mercedes-Benz IAA in the descriptive clip above. The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show takes place September 15th to 27th .

Peugeot Quartz conceptThe Jaguar F-Pace SUV

Frankfurt auto showHyundai N2025 Gran Turismo car. Image credit Drew Phillips

Frankfurt auto showThe Porsche Mission E

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Christian Bale Cast As Enzo in an Upcoming Ferrari Movie

It has been confirmed that the biography style Ferrari movie coming out by Michael Mann will place Christian Bale as Enzo Ferrari. While the exotic car icon may have passed in 1988, his legacy still holds strong behind a logo that will likely be instantly recognizable for all of time.

Ferrari movie

Enzo Ferrari in his youth.

Enzo Ferrari

Enzo Ferrari in his…non-youth. Pop quiz: Would you rather be Enzo Ferrari or Hugh Heffner? 

The title is not yet announced, but could be called simply “Ferrari”. For that reason, it will be referred to as Ferrari movie for the general purposes of this article. The work is intended as a deep look at the expansive brand history through the eyes of its creator, Enzo Ferrari. It is said to be a project near to revered director Sydney Pollack’s heart. Michael Mann has paired with Pollack to bring the vision to life on the big screen with big stars and hopefully enough traction to make a hit. Will it be as well-followed as the iconic Fast and Furious series? Not likely. Will fans of all types of automotive brands, not just the Horse, race to see it? Absolutely. Especially if they toss in a few scantily clad actresses as hot as Megan Fox was in Transformers struggling under that hood.

Christian BaleChristian Bale is to portray the famous Enzo Ferrari.

Ferrari movie

Relax–the man is an experienced actor, he has a serious side. 

The Ferrari movie will transport viewers to 1957, when Ferrari was on fire in the racing circuits and the brand’s passion was teenage and raw. It is loosely based on the book by Brock Yates titled ‘Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the cars, the Races’. It would not be a movie about Ferrari without some competition—and there is another Ferrari movie in the works! The other is a production of Robert De Niro’s film company paired with Triworld’s Gianni Bozzacchi and will provide a view of Enzo Ferrari’s life from the 1940s through the 1980s. Overall, it will be fantastic to view both pieces and interpret more detailed information on the life of a legend.

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What Will Bugatti Use To Drown Out The Crickets?

Now that the last Bugatti Veyron is finished and all of the seriously hyped and rehyped excitement has been reduced to a calm crescendo of crickets, what will the brand do? Bugatti is a badge that radiates adrenaline, after all, so it cannot be expected to remain silent for too long. The Bugatti Veyron successor rumors have certainly been going on long enough in an industry with the attention span stuck on zero miles per hour.

Bugatti Veyron successorPrevious rumors have gone back and forth tennis court style about whether the Bugatti Veyron successor will be faster or better in any measure. Now with the Frankfurt Motor Show looming, the rumors have reignited at full energy, claiming bravely that the successor shall be even more of a speed demon and going further to say that there will never be a Bugatti SUV. Because there are no legitimate announcements by Bugatti itself at this juncture, we must assume that they are truly indulging in the joy of the long tease. We must also assume that they have something for us—and hope against hope that it is enough to fill that immeasurable void.

Bugatti Veyron successorFun fact: Wolfgang Durhiemer heads both Bugatti and Bentley.

Bugatti leader Wolfgang Durhiemer seems to be of the impression that the brand could bask in the glory of the completion of the Veyron series a bit longer. That is more than humorous, if true, because everyone knows the attention span of the automotive industry is as short as a standard lap around the track. Overall, when it comes to changing up the game, Bugatti considers itself already at the top of the industry–with no desire to change the way the world (and itself) views it. Therefore, at this time, there likely will not be a slew of experiments going on like a sedan, SUV or other options, but that only means that the brand is highly unlikely to release anything less spectacular than the Veyron. Will it shock and eventually satiate? We must continue to wait on Bugatti for the answers!

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Video Action: Maserati Boomerang Concept

The Maserati Boomerang concept emerged back in 1972 and was perhaps ahead of its time. The spunky machine has proven what it is worth in today’s dollars when it changed hands for $3.7 million at Bonham’s recently. Check out the video clip below of the Boomerang in action:

The Maserati Boomerang concept was created to serve a special purpose—to show what the brand was capable of and that they were ahead of the curve, so to speak. At her very essence the Boomerang is a show car. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Boomerang appeared at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show packing a 4.7-liter V8 engine borrowed from the Maserati Bora. The spirited and angular Boomerang produced an impressive 310 horsepower.

Maserati BoomerangFun fact: The Maserati Boomerang concept made an appearance at the 1971 Turin Auto Show without an engine or running gear. That is a mark of confidence in the auto industry. 

The interior of the Boomerang was every ounce as modern and even futuristic as the exterior was for that time period. The world was recovering from the onslaught of hippies, peace and love and the edgy little Maserati was a welcomed prospect for things to come from the exotic sports car industry. Following a stint of touring auto shows and museum exhibits, the Boomerang was quietly sold to a Spanish collector. It was sold and restored in 1980, and not seen again until the 1990 Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance in Paris, France. The original designer, Giugiaro, saw the car at the 1990 show and added his signature to the rear, perhaps adding value.

Collectors are showing no signs of tiring of this gem, as she has changed hands quite a few times with increasingly high results. Is it worth over $3 million, or is this a group of collectors with very singular tastes?

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Will Land Rover Create Something Smaller than the Range Rover Evoque?

Will Land Rover be offering something even smaller than the exquisite Range Rover Evoque? It seems that they may be focusing in on something daintier to compete with the smallest of the small, as in one step above a sedan. Think in terms of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3-both showing that some buyers desire that size range. Because the Range Rover Evoque is the 3rd best-selling SUV in its class, it is entirely feasible that a more diminutive sibling would be welcomed with open wallets.

Range Rover EvoqueThe Evoque set the styling standard for the entire line—with newer models adopting many of the cues.

The luxury SUV market is becoming more and more crowded these days, as companies are busy trying to outmaneuver competition. It truly was not long ago that the SUV market pretty much flat lined, but today the only concern for companies is having enough options to attract today’s buyers in the burgeoning market. That is because the SUV has made the most versatile and healthy comeback in automotive history thanks to futuristic powertrains and all of those amazing new gadgets. The inside of a Range Rover or other luxury SUV is something incredible to behold—from high-end leather seating to elegant trim and seamless infotainment features. Even a small Range Rover SUV could accommodate all of the cabin and performance expectation…will they ever end up entering the sedan or coupe arenas? It is certainly an amusing thought!

Range Rover EvoqueIf it is operations go on the mission, it should be a mini Evoque convertible, perhaps?

With many huge automotive shows coming up just around the corner, it will be interesting to see if Land Rover is going to go big or show off a new style of subcompact SUV. They will continue with their large and robust offerings without a doubt, it will be the little guy people are looking for this year!

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Bentley SUV: Why They Landed On Bentayga

It is surprising enough that the Bentley Bentayga SUV exists, but how did they land on that particular name? The company selected ‘Bentayga’ for their luxury SUV to communicate the vehicle’s ability to function in a variety of terrains. According to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer: “Bentayga is a name that reflects what we know our SUV will do better than any other car in the world—combine the best automotive luxury with outstanding performance to take the Bentley experience to new environments.” It is unlikely that Land Rover is very nervous at this point in the roadtrip, but let us go on.

Bentley BentaygaPhotos ©Bentley

Apparently parts of the word Bentayga represent various rugged terrains out there on this stunning planet. If that sort of thing fascinates you, consult the all-knowing and all-seeing Google and dive a bit deeper. The statement made by the name and the SUV format itself is bold, but is Bentley really trying to compete with reigning king that is Range Rover? Hey, go big or go home they say. There is also a video with the headline “Bentayga-the World’s fastest SUV”.

The clip above was released by the brand to show the speed of the SUV. It is always more appealing when it says: “Testing at undisclosed location” in agent-style typing. 

The Bentley Bentayga SUV at a glance:

  • Previewing the new SUV has become a bit of a sport. So far, there is a dedicated hub on the official Bentley website providing details and an option to show your interest in owning one.
  • It is apparently the start of an illustrious breed of SUV—with a rumored price of around $229k. That is more than the Range Rover Autobiography, just to add perspective. Others could include a Maybach SUV, which is completely fascinating because that production run ended a few years back. An SUV Maybach would be nearly impossible to compete with in terms of exclusivity.
  • Power stems from a W12 engine capable of trucking it along to reach 187 miles per hour and an arsenal of high-tech terrain management gadgetry.
  • She shares a platform with the Audi Q7

Bentley BentaygaPhotos ©Bentley

The Bentley SUV concept first emerged back in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show as the EXP 9 F. While Bentayga is also a stand out name, it is likely the better option because numbers and letters work best for things like C3P0 or a Ferrari.

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The Current Bentley Flying Spur Brings Unexpected Speed

The first thing to do upon purchasing the 2015 Bentley Flying Spur would be to locate an open and unmonitored stretch of pavement and take it all the way up to speed…just once. The next gen Flying Spur is bringing it in the performance department, seemingly ignorant of that 2.7-ton curb weight! Brilliant. Some view the Flying Spur as a gracefully aging lady in need of preservation, but she can certainly hold her own and shock any unfamiliar driver.

Bentley Flying SpurPhotos  ©Bentley

The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur at a glance:

  • For just under $228k, buyers get a taste of the brand’s future: a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine releasing 616 healthy horses onto the pavement
  • That price includes a modest destination fee of $2,725 and a punishment fee of $2,600 for inhaling gas like an alcoholic on a Friday at 5pm
  • Will the 2016 Flying Spur go a litter leaner on the fuel consumption with pending regulation on the matter taking effect? While many automakers are falling in line, some of the heavier machines may take a bit longer to catch up, no matter how fast they are!

Bentley Flying Spur

What some view as an elegant slice of environmental havoc, others see as rolling tradition with the potential to evolve. The Bentley Flying Spur has been around since 1957, with the first offering being a four-door touring saloon with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner & Co. Like with any home run, the model maintained its exclusivity through customization and limited production and now serves as an example of how the best things in life just keep up with the changes while holding true to their historic value. Bentley does offer a variety of other exotic cars and is likely to release its first-ever luxury SUV at some point, so overall, the heavier and more decadent Flying Spur deserves her place in the lineup.

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