Drive Type: AUTO
Roslyn Heights, New York, United States
The wheel ranks right up there with the telescope and four-slice toaster in the pantheon of inventions that have moved humankind forward. But what if a circle in three dimensions had never occurred to anyone, and we all had just moved on without it? Perhaps we'd be driving around in Lucas Motors Landspeeders with anti-gravity engines. Or maybe we'd have the same cars we do today, just without wheels.
That's the thought experiment that seems to have led French photographer Renaud Marion to create his six-image series called Air Drive. The shots depict cars throughout many eras of motoring that look normal except for one thing: they have no wheels. The models used include a Jaguar XK120, Cadillac DeVille (shown above), Chevrolet El Camino and Camaro, and Mercedes-Benz SL and 300 roadsters.
Perhaps one day when our future becomes our past, you'll be able to walk the street and see with your own eyes the rust and patina of age on our nation's fleet of floating cars. Until then, Monsieur Marion's photographs will have to do.
Jaguar may move the company's XK further upmarket following the introduction of its forthcoming F-Type. The newcomer to the range easily shoulders the burden of carrying the Jaguar sportscar mantle, freeing up the XK to evolve in another direction. While speaking with Autocar, Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum said there's an opportunity to grow the grand tourer both in size and luxury.
Whether that means the vehicle will retain its two-plus-two seating configuration or swell to offer buyers even more space remains to be seen. Either way, the future will likely see the XK soften its claws moving forward. And that's no bad thing. Jaguar has a long history of building luxurious grand tourers more content to soak up miles of highway than bounce from apex to apex.
What else is in store for the brand? Callum seems to have kept his cards close to his chest, refusing to acknowledge ongoing rumors of a Jaguar crossover beyond saying the brand "had to take notice" of the popularity of the luxury SUV market.
Back in January, we reported on a new British coachbuilder called David Brown Automotive. In February, the startup released the first details and images of its inaugural project, and now it has revealed the finished product.
It's called Speedback, and it's based on the Jaguar XKR. But while it's built on a modern chassis (relatively, anyway - the XK arrived in 2006 and is soon to be discontinued), it's been rebodied to look like a classic British GT. That means that, while it may look like a classic Aston Martin, it's got a thoroughly modern 5.0-liter supercharged V8 under the hood with over 500 horsepower on tap.
Otherwise, little in the way of details have been disclosed - including what you can bet will be an astronomic price that tends to come with these sorts of coachbuilt customs. But the important parts are what you can see, and that means the finest British craftsmanship inside and out. Whether you like the particular style or not, of course, is entirely a matter of taste.