Bentley Motors has unveiled a remarkable ground-breaking new Gigapixel photograph – one of the world’s most detailed landscape images.
At the heart of the photograph sits a Bentley Flying Spur W12 S in the luxury marina of Dubai – the world’s fastest-growing city. Zoom out, and the groundbreaking NASA-derived technology of the Gigapixel image allows you to explore and experience the city panorama in intricate detail, while beyond it the curvature of the earth is visible.
Zoom in and the image will take you in sharp focus, through the landscape, right up to the instantly recognizable hood badge of the Flying Spur.
With the new Gigapixel image, viewers can also explore the Flying Spur W12 S inside and out with a 360-degree film narrated by John Paul Gregory, Bentley’s Head of Exterior Design. Gregory talks to the audience from inside the car; the stunning Bentley Suite in the The St. Regis Dubai; and the new flagship Bentley retailer on the famous Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Flying Spur W12 S features enhanced power and torque outputs from the mighty 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 engine. This increase in power means that the Flying Spur W12 S achieves a top speed of 325 km/h (202 mph) – the first four-door Bentley to exceed the 200-mph performance barrier.
The same attention to detail that is applied to the 130 man-hours it takes to build each Flying Spur went into creating the extraordinary Gigapixel image.
Bentley suspended a camera 264 metres up the Cayan Tower – one of Dubai’s tallest buildings – to capture what is the world’s most detailed landscape image. The innovative technology used had to withstand 40-degree heat that created a haze and 25 km/h winds that threatened to disrupt stability.
An incredible 57.7 billion pixels were carefully stitched together to create a single image that also balanced light levels painstakingly across each pixel. The intricate process took 48 hours and 1,825 frames to create. Downloading the image took a further 18 hours.
You can explore more at www.bentleymotors.com
“There are cars on show for the rich and cars for the super-rich; neither status describes me but it won’t stop me looking.”
You can dream about luxury cars and even touch them at the Vancouver auto show.
2016 Cadillac CTS-V
The new CTS-V is the pinnacle of Cadillac’s renaissance, repositioning itself as a high-performance luxury brand able to compete with the likes of BMW and Audi for the well-heeled 40-something power broker. This 200 mph 4-door sedan houses a Corvette engine, but not just any Vette V8. The 2016 CTS-V is infused with the supercharged 6.2L V8 power plant engineered for the formidable 2015 Corvette Zo6. It eagerly dispenses 640 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque to the V’s rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission featuring shift paddles. Pulling the CTS-V rapidly down from 200 mph is a set of Brembo cast iron disc brakes, which are more effective at shedding heat than carbon-ceramic setups. No firm price yet.
2016 Lexus RC F
The all-new track ready 2015 Lexus RC F adopts the best of the tuning and technology that went into the Lexus LFA Supercar to create an authentic high-performance coupe. Fully capable of running on a racing circuit and featuring the most powerful Lexus production engine to date – s 467 horsepower 5.0L V8. The Lexus RC F is for those ready to immerse themselves in pure driving pleasure. Available in two models starting from $81,650.
Jaguar F-TYPE Convertible
It’s hard to argue with Jaguar’s description of the F-TYPE as being pulse-quickening. It combines effortless, exhilarating performance, instant response and precise, agile handling with everyday refinement and usability.
The Jaguar supercharged 3.0 litre V6 340 hp engine delivers powerful and efficient performance. Select from a rich variety of colour combinations for body and cockpit. Acceleration is clocked at 0-100 km/h 5.3 seconds, with a top speed of 260 km/h. Priced from $76,900
The Mulsanne is the flagship of this esteemed British marque.
It’s simply sumptuous inside, thanks to the use of finely handcrafted materials and painstaking attention to fit and finish. The dashboard is measured to accommodate the thickness of leather that wraps around it precisely. The infotainment screen it surrounds, meanwhile, can be concealed behind a veneered panel when not required for route navigation, rear camera view or other control functions.
The Mulsanne includes a 14-speaker sound system with Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Audio perfectionists have the option to go even further: the Naim™ for Bentley system comprises 20 speakers, 22 channels and 2200 watts of aural perfection.
Under the hood is a re-calibrated 6.7-litre V8 engine, which generates 505 horsepower and takes the luxury car to 100 km/h in a time that matches the lithe Jag F-TYPE.
Expect to pay at least $480,000.
The BMW i8 is a sports car with the fuel efficiency of a micro-car!
This is possible because the powerful plug-in hybrid system with the combination of BMW eDrive technology and a BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder gasoline engine brings together the benefits of an electric motor and a gasoline engine to produce an outstanding driving experience.
And its efficiency is powerfully aided by the carbon-fibre car’s sleek design. The front appears extremely low and wide and everything is arranged to be optimally aerodynamic.
There are cars on show for the rich and cars for the super-rich; neither status describes me but it won’t stop me looking.
Contact: rrothwell [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
“This event has grown as a spectacle each year and is now the talk of the town among auto aficionados…”
Canada’s most valuable collection of supercars and luxury brands rolls into Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden this weekend.
The fifth Luxury and Supercar Weekend – September 6 and 7 – will again showcase the crème de la crème of cars and also dazzle with fashion and art on the Great Lawn. This event has grown as a spectacle each year and is now the talk of the town among auto aficionados.
The wide selection of luxury cars includes examples of Lamborghini, Pagani, McLaren, Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln and Mustang.
This year’s Canadian Concours d’Elegance classes include 100th anniversary of Maserati, 50 years of Mustang, 50 years of Jensen, 50 years of Sunbeam Tigers, The British Invasion, American Supercars, Modified Luxury and Modified Supercars, Chromes and Fins, Off Road Luxury, 50 years of Chevelle and GTO, Italian Supercars, Restomod, and Pre-First World War (Brass Era).
Look out for the Pagani Huayra, which is powered by a 720-horsepower twin turbo engine, the fastest car to go around the BBC TV program Top Gear’s test track. Also worthy of a lingering look will be the P1 McLaren, one of only seven in Canada; a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4, making its debut here; a 2014 Rolls Royce Ghost Majestic Horse Edition, a 2015 BMW i8, the new electric luxury car; and a 2015 Aston Martin V12 S Roadster, arriving directly from Pebble Beach for its Canadian debut.
Those with racing in their blood should enjoy the 2015 GT Speed, the fastest Bentley ever produced, very rare Weissach Porsche 917K, a Saleen S7R race car, a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS 6th Series, which is a winner of the Gold Cup at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, a 1957 Maserati 200 Si once owned by Franco Cornacchia & Carroll Shelby and one of only 28 built. Also expected are a 1937 Bugatti type 57 and a 1964 revision Buick Riviera ‘Ridler Award Winner’.
It’s not all about cars though. A partnership with Oakridge Centre has produced a fashion pavilion which will stage six shows throughout the weekend – three each day. ‘Casual Elegance’ will be the focus of the first show of the day on the runway at 1 p.m. then ‘Seasonal Silhouettes’ at 2 p.m. and ‘Fashion Forward at 3 p.m.
More than 100 luxury retailers, including automotive, music, art, gourmet food suppliers, top Vancouver restaurants, champagne, wine and spirits companies, will be represented at the event. Other highlights include a James Bond Ultimate Entertainment Bungalow by Inform Interiors, EA Sports’ “Need for Speed” hospitality/gaming tent and a Ferrari Maserati Pavilion, featuring Hawksworth Restaurant.
Single day tickets are $50 and VIP tickets (19+), which include lunch and adult beverages, are $100 per person, per day. Visit http://luxurysupercar.com/p/ticket-information to purchase.
The Ford Fiesta ST makes the list because, in all the years that I’ve been testing vehicles, I have never been as tempted to impulse buy a car…
Before looking ahead with hope for a promising new year, indulge me while I check my rearview mirror.
My review of 2013 might offer you some thoughts to ponder for your 2014. I tried to count how many cars I tested last year. I tried. However, I could only come up with an approximate figure. And it comes in at around 102. That’s a lot of vehicles. And it doesn’t even include motorcycles, ATVs, ROVs and anything else that you could consider some sort or transportation or recreational vehicle.
So, within that lot, you have to either be pretty good or pretty bad to stand out.
Though, there were a few surprises along the way that made the list.
Here are the cars that stuck with me and still leave me wanting more (or less).
Making the top of my list as the most memorable car that I drove is not what you’d expect. It’s the 2013 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van. (Say what?)
Without taking up too much space, I fell in love with its utility, its practicality and its ability to be a workhorse, even though it only has 131 horsepower. In the city, it fit in underground parking lots and surprisingly had pep.
Visibility is non-existent out the rear and there was no vanity mirror, but it was just an admirable vehicle to drive. And it even fits a motorcycle inside. I’m not a small business owner who could fully make use of its adaptability, but I made Costco runs, helped a friend move and transported audio equipment for a band with which I occasionally sing. I just love it.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST makes the list because, in all the years that I’ve been testing vehicles, I have never been as tempted to impulse buy a car. For under $25K you get a firecracker of a car, a manual transmission, 197 horsepower and an amazing chassis setup. For an everyday driver and a car you could put on the track, it’s just stellar. The smile on your face when driving is included in the price tag.
The least bang for your buck, that I tested, comes with the 2013 BMW 320i xDrive. At $46,500, that’s pretty steep for a car that doesn’t even have a backup camera or streaming Bluetooth audio. Not to mention, it comes with a humble 181 horsepower engine. That said, it’s a BMW, therefore has some nice touches to it. Put it in Sport mode, tinker with the throttle and you’ll instantly become a happier person. And for everyday driving, I really had no complaints.
My favourite convertible of the year goes to the Bentley Continental GT Speed drop top. It’s not hard to see why. Yes, I could have opted for the Porsche Boxster S (it came so close and is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper) but I hand the title to the Brits because I love the craftsmanship. After all, that’s what luxury is all about. Getting inside and feeling like you’re in your living room, albeit a posh and exquisitely detailed living room. And one that has 616 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Sign me up.
It’s always a fabulous time when I can be behind the wheel of a racecar. I had two opportunities. The first came when I participated in the Bridgestone Racing Academy at the Driver Development Track at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Two days behind the wheel of a Van Diemen Formula car was heaven. And I learned a thing or two about car control (www.race2000.com).
Then, I drove a track ready vehicle that was super fast and zero emissions. Nissan’s world renowned LEAF was available for laps at the manufacturer’s international event called Nissan 360. But this one was a little more special. It was the LEAF NISMO RC (RC stands for race car) and had been on tracks around the world. It was lightening fast and of course, a very memorable experience.
And while I loved most of all the cars I drove in 2013, adding the 2014 VW Touareg TDI to the family was certainly a highlight of my year.
Our own Alexandra Straub won the 2013 Pirelli Photo Award in the unpublished photograph category, with this shot (above) of three of Bentley’s fastest coupes and convertibles (the Continental GT, and GT Speeds) at a French chateau in the quiet town of Fillé in France
Today, we are happy to right the wrong and publish it in our ‘Picture this on your Driveway’ feature.
The award was presented at last week’s Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s Canadian Car of the Year event in Ontario.
Alexandra was also runner up in the Julie Wilkinson Motorsport Journalism Award for her story published this year about the Bridgestone Racing Academy.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Straub