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Marchionne now considering 'Plan B' partners for FCA merger

Thu, Jun 11 2015

Okay Sergio, just stop. With the sting of rejection from General Motors CEO Mary Barra still fresh, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is moving on and trying to find another automaker to merge with. FCA may not be giving up hope on a merger with GM, but that doesn't mean it isn't at least considering alternatives. Sergio's so-called "Plan Bs" include the Volkswagen Group, as well as smaller Asian outfits, like Mazda, Honda, Suzuki, and Hyundai. Bloomberg reports that France's beleaguered PSA Peugeot Citroen could as a sort of "fallback" option due to its relative lack of volume, an unidentified source claimed. There are, of course, problems with each option. According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen expects complete control of a company, but the Agnelli family, which holds a large portion of FCA stock, is loathe to relinquish its stake in the company. On top of that, VAG just isn't looking to make a deal right now. Mazda, meanwhile, is enjoying a new partnership with Toyota and Suzuki is partially owned by VW. Honda and Hyundai have never expressed any interest in a partnership with a western automaker. That kind of just leaves the French then, but even that remains a long shot. As Bloomberg tells it, PSA boss Carlos Tavares is still working on a turn-around plan, and would want at least another six months to execute before even considering a deal with FCA. And even then, Tavares hasn't given any indication that he's considering a pairing. News Source: BloombergImage Credit: Paul Sancya / AP Chrysler Fiat GM Honda Hyundai Mazda Suzuki Citroen Peugeot Sergio Marchionne FCA Mary Barra psa peugeot citroen

Mercury rises around sexy Cougar pack

Sat, May 30 2015

With a slightly larger body and a more luxurious interior, the Mercury Cougar doesn't carry quite as much cachet among pony car enthusiasts as the venerable Ford Mustang. But don't try to make that argument around Cougar super-fan Mike Brown. Since starting his Cougar collecting in 1988, Brown has become an absolute expert on the model, and he claims to have owned 400 of the Mercury pony cars in that time. Ten of them are in his collection today, not to mention a heap of spare parts in the garage. Check out some of the rarer members of Brown's fleet and allow him to tell you about them in this interesting interview from Electric Federal.

Ford announces two recalls, 442k vehicles affected in North America

Wed, May 27 2015

Ford is announcing two recalls for North American that affect a total of 442,300 vehicles and multiple model lines. The larger campaign covers the possibility of electric power steering systems that can fail in the 2011-2013 Ford Flex, Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and MKT; the 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ; and the 2011 Mercury Milan. This recall affects 422,814 vehicles in North America, including 393,622 in the United States, 25,195 in Canada, and 3,997 in Mexico. According to the company, an intermittent electrical connection can cause the power steering to cut out, although manual steering would still work. Ford knows of four minor accidents from this issue, but there are no injuries. Depending on trouble codes from the vehicle, dealers will either upgrade software for the power steering control module or replace the steering gear. The second recall covers 19,486 examples of the 2015 Ford Mustang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a production date between February 14, 2014, and February 10, 2015 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Specifically, there are 19,095 of these in the US and 391 in Canada. These pony cars can show elevated underbody temperatures, which can lead to degradation of the fuel tank, fuel vapor lines, and parking brake cable seals. There are no reports of accidents, injuries or fires from this, though. To fix things, dealers will install a better-insulated fuel tank shield, add thermal patches around the tank and parking brake cable, and put thermal wraps around the fuel vapor lines. You can read the specific build dates and locations for the models affected by the power steering issue in Ford's press release below the video. Related Video: FORD ISSUES TWO SAFETY RECALLS IN NORTH AMERICA DEARBORN, Mich., May 27, 2015 Ford is issuing two safety recalls in North America. Four minor accidents and no injuries are attributed to one of these conditions.

Takata airbag recalls add another 5 million vehicles

Fri, May 15 2015

The Takata airbag inflator recall expanded by about 6.5 million vehicles recently when Toyota and Nissan announced global expansions to replace the faulty parts. You can add another 5 million more as Honda and Daihatsu also broaden their replacement campaigns. Although in this latest case, none of the affected models are in the United States or Canada. Honda is recalling 4.89 million more vehicles globally, and Daihatsu has about 260,000 to repair in Japan, according to Automotive News. With these latest expansions, all of the affected automakers have needed to fix about 36 million vehicles globally for these faulty airbags since 2008. Some of the first instances of these problems were found in an Isuzu campaign in 2001. This latest round of recalls was sparked by a study from Takata that found the inflators' propellant could be affected by moisture over time. While the automakers received this information in March, it took time to determine the number of vehicles in need of repair and where they were located, according to Automotive News. To make sure all of the affected vehicles in the US are repaired in a timely fashion, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reportedly considering a strategy to force things to speed up. Honda and Toyota are already using outside suppliers for the parts they need. Related Video: News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.Image Credit: Shizuo Kambayashi / AP Photo Recalls Honda Daihatsu Safety Takata airbag recall

Recharge Wrap-up: Georgia gets E15, new PSA EVs will be cheaper and offer more range

Fri, May 8 2015

What would it be like to test drive a gasoline-powered car in an EV-dominated world? A post by Tibor Blomhall at Tesla Club Sweden gives a glimpse into this alternate universe. The review begins by noticing the pushiness of the dealer at the "repair shop" that sells the car, which is cause for suspicion - a clear nod to Tesla's lack of such franchise dealerships. Of course, the author mentions the noise, vibration and the smell of the exhaust. He notes the inefficiency of the idling vehicle and its less-than-smooth operation, particularly when it comes to changing gears. The one plus: refueling is quick. The downsides, though, are that the fuel is toxic, dangerous and expensive, and you can't refuel at home. "Imagine if you could charge your electric car only at the power companies' most expensive fast chargers - and nowhere else!" Read more at Tesla Club Sweden. Georgia's first E15 station opens Friday, May 8. The Gulf Quick Stop Food Store at 855 S Cobb Drive SE in Marietta, Georgia will offer the 88-octane E15 ethanol blend. Two other Gulf locations in Madison and Greensboro will also offer E15 in Georgia. Customers at the Marietta location can enjoy "Happy Hour" pricing from 4 to 5 pm on May 8, and festivities include music, a concert ticket giveaway, face painting and a moon walk. State officials will be present for the celebration. Read more at Domestic Fuel. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen says its second-generation EVs will be less expensive and offer more range (surprise). The company is also planning to launch a plug-in hybrid in 2019 using the company's EMP2 platform, shared by the Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4 Picasso. "PSA will make pure electric cars from the bottom of the market upwards based on the new platform by the end of the decade," says a PSA spokesman. As for the plug-in hybrid, PSA CEO Carlos Tavares says, "We have completed the architectural aspects and are currently deciding on the battery technology." Read more from Automotive News Europe. Related Gallery 2014 Peugeot 308: Frankfurt 2013 View 23 Photos News Source: Domestic Fuel, Automotive News Europe, Tesla Club SwedenImage Credit: Citroen Green Tesla Citroen Peugeot Alternative Fuels Ethanol Electric recharge wrapup

This modified Hummer hybrid will go to the South Pole on biofuel

Thu, Apr 30 2015

One modified Hummer H1, traveling with another vehicle that looks like a modified Hummer H1, will spend six to 10 days driving to the South Pole, two days camping at the Pole, and take another six to 10 days driving back to the coast of Antarctica. Assuming all goes well. That's not guaranteed, since this blue beast really is - fundamentally, at least - a Hummer H1, not just Hummer-like bodywork over non-Hummer internals like you'd find on, say, the Dakar-winning "Mini." The Zero South team has been working on this vehicle for seven years (we checked it out at SEMA in 2008 and in 2010). The frame, suspension, axles, hubs, differentials, and the body are pure 1998 Hummer, the funky bodywork being from an insulated H1 ambulance, the uprated driveline from an armored H1. The original H1 used a 6.5-liter V8, but here that ICE engine has been swapped for a 3.2-liter turbodiesel V6 straight-six that will run on aviation-grade biofuel pulled from two 30-gallon tanks. Called the Hybrid Polar Traverse Vehicles, the serial hybrids use that engine to power a 216-horsepower electric motor that juices up a 24-kWr battery stored in an insulated, five-foot-long battery box between the frame rails. That battery powers two 200-hp electric motors, one at each axle, that will keep the tracks going through the Antarctic December half-light. We aren't sure what the second vehicle is based on, but its internals mirror the Hummer's, it has the exact same specs, and it looks almost the same except it's painted orange. They will pull a modified Airstream trailer called the "Snowstream," and are planning and eight-episode TV series as well as a feature film to document the expedition.

Nine cars we wish were convertibles

Thu, Apr 16 2015

The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer. At the Autoblog Detroit office we feel like our winter hibernation is finally over. And with warmer temperatures come visions of opening up a convertible roof and cruising. You know, just turn up the bass and let the Alpine blast. There are plenty of droptops on sale in the US, and more on the way (like the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata). That said, we always want more. More! More! More! In that spirit, we cooked up a list of nine cars aren't currently sold as convertible, but ought to be. Check out our picks, below. Summer's just around the corner. Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S In some parallel universe, this car actually happened. Toyota showed us a FT 86 Convertible concept at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, and we immediately started licking our chops over the thought of a rear-wheel-drive convertible based on the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S twins. These days, the MX-5 Miata is our only option for affordable roadster fun. A competitor to the Mazda seems like a no-brainer to us, especially since we have naught but good to say about the BRZ/FR-S as-is. Unfortunately in our present timeline, this car is as likely for production as a BRZ STI. Which is to say, not very. Dang. Lexus RC F Unlike the FR-S, a convertible from Toyota's luxury division might actually see the light of day. The current IS convertible is about to be phased out, and the Lexus LF-C2 concept from the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is really a thinly veiled look at a possible RC convertible. A droptop RC would be plenty good, but let's reach for the starts. What we really want is to run topless in an RC F, complete with that powerful, loud, 5.0-liter V8 engine. Lexus says the RC F is a true competitor to the BMW M4. If that's true, it only makes sense for Lexus to mimic the Germans and offer its performance coupe in a folding hardtop form. Maybach Landaulet Maybach is bach back, recast as an upper crust trim level for Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 is seriously awesome, and more luxurious than a trip to the spa. But why not go a step into the truly ridiculous levels of extravagence and bring back that open-top Landaulet? We think your local princess will love this idea, and with better S-Class bones underneath, Jeeves will have a pretty enjoyable ship to steer, too. Besides, with that slick new Mercedes design language, a Landaulet redux wouldn't be nearly as hideous as the old model, pictured here.

NHTSA investigating Ford's solution to May 2014 power steering recall

Tue, Apr 7 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a complaint that Ford's response to a May 2014 recall of the 2008 to 2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner doesn't quite go far enough to solve a troubling power-steering problem. Roughly a year ago, Ford recalled nearly a million vehicles after it was found that a problem with the torque sensor's communication with the power steering control module could cut steering assistance for drivers. While manual steering would still be available, the problem was enough to ask drivers to report in to have the PSCM inspected, and if necessary, replaced (along with the torque sensor, or in dramatic cases, the entire steering column). That would only happen, though, if trouble codes were being thrown. If there weren't any problems, dealers were told to simply update the PSCM's software so that any issues between it and the torque sensor would simply throw a visual and audio warning power steering would still be maintained. The petitioner claimed that following the recall work, he still experienced a problem with the torque sensor. According to NHTSA, a claim was made that Ford didn't go far enough in its solution to the problem, and that "the software update itself may in fact cause further issues with the affected vehicle's power steering, causing it to fail, and ultimately requiring replacement of the torque sensor or entire steering column." The petition was filed in early February and is now officially being looked into by NHTSA.

NHTSA investigating 500k Ford and Mercury cars for lighting failures

Mon, Apr 6 2015

The Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis might be long gone as new models in showrooms, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration might check them out yet again for a potential problem. At the urging of North Carolina Consumers Council, the agency may open another investigation into the front lighting control module on vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years, and NHTSA estimates the issue could affect 517,945 vehicles. If the module stops working, it can cause a complete failure of all forward lighting, including the headlights. NHTSA previously investigated the issue in 2008 and 2009 but found no need for a recall, according to Bloomberg. Ford also extended the warranty on the part to 15 years or 250,000 miles. To prompt this new request, the North Carolina Consumers Council received a letter from a woman experiencing the module's failure. Upon further investigation, the council found 604 complaints of this problem on NHTSA's website, including seven crashes. Furthermore, the group has alleged that dealers told customers that the parts to perform the replacement weren't available, despite the extended warranty. According to the government agency, "A defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and make a grant or deny decision." Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker tells Autoblog via email, "We will cooperate with NHTSA, as we always do." You can read the council's complete letter to the Feds in PDF format, here. INVESTIGATION Subject : Loss of headlamp/exterior lighting Date Investigation Opened: APR 01, 2015 Date Investigation Closed: Open NHTSA Action Number: DP15002 Component(s): EXTERIOR LIGHTING All Products Associated with this Investigation Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s) FORD CROWN VICTORIA 2003-2005 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 2003-2005 Details Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company SUMMARY: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a petition from the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. requesting a defect investigation of an alleged defect condition resulting in headlight and/or exterior lighting failure on 2003-2005 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles. The petition letter is attached for review. The petitioner alleges a defect in the lighting control module that powers the headlights which can result in the loss of vehicle headlights and/or all exterior lighting while driving. ODI has previously investigated this issue under PE08-066 which was closed without a defect finding.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class named 2015 World Car of the Year

Thu, Apr 2 2015

It's been a good morning for Mercedes-Benz, with three of the company's wares taking home awards today at the New York Auto Show. The 2015 World Car of the Year awards have just been announced, and the charming new C-Class sedan has taken top honors, beating both the new Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mustang. But Car of the Year isn't the only award Mercedes received this morning. Here are the other World Car announcements, where M-B was honored two more times. World Performance Car of the Year: Mercedes-AMG GT World Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe World Green Car of the Year: BMW i8 World Car Design of the Year: Citroen C4 Cactus Congratulations, all around, to this fantastic group of cars.

Auto Show Notebook: Legendary Continental name inspired Lincoln's designers

Thu, Apr 2 2015

What's in a name? A lot for the Continental concept, and it gave Lincoln designers a sense of purpose as they styled the brand's upcoming flagship sedan. "The moment that we told them, it was amazing," Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra said. "They totally got it." "It" is cutting-edge technology wrapped in stately, large-sedan design. It's a nod to Lincoln's storied past, but a signpost for where the brand is heading. Though the Continental name dates to the late 1930s, Lincoln designers avoided making the concept overtly retro. "You can't let it pull yourself back too far in history, but you've got to design a car that lives up to the name," Galhotra said. Speaking to Autoblog on the floor of the New York Auto Show where the Continental formally debuted Wednesday, the Lincoln president reiterated that the car is on track to launch in 2016. It will compete against the Audi A6, Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series and other large luxury sedans. After its debut, the concept in New York will fly to China another critical market for Lincoln – for display there. It will be replaced in New York by a prototype without an interior. The Continental is the latest high profile play by Lincoln to raise its image with consumers, who have either ignored or forgotten about it amid steep competition in the luxury sector from German and Japanese brands and a potentially resilient Cadillac. Lincoln sales are essentially flat compared with 2014 through the first quarter of this year, with total volume of 21,478 units. The middling start to 2015 comes on the heels of nearly 16-percent sales growth last year spurred by the launch of the MKC and the prominent signing of Matthew McConaughey to star in Lincoln advertisements. Other News, Notes & Quotes Speaking of names, Chevrolet did its homework before deciding to proceed with "Malibu" for its new generation of midsize cars. "We went out and researched it," said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America. "People actually like the name 'Malibu,'" he said. Admittedly, the current Malibu has struggled in the marketplace against entrenched competitors, Batey said, but he's optimistic its awareness and historical value are assets to the dramatically redesigned sedan."The name's strong," he said. Meanwhile, in other Chevy news, the brand kicked off a new marketing campaign, "Real People, Not Actors" Wednesday. It will show consumers interacting with Chevys and their spontaneous reactions to the vehicles.

Bugatti Veyron La Finale gets a video farewell

Wed, Mar 25 2015

It's still amazing to think that the Bugatti Veyron project is finally over. Even today, 10 years after the start of production, the car is an engineering marvel. And while Bugatti waved farewell to the supercar at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with the Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale, it promised a successor was on the way. Before we get to the next Bugatti, though, the brand will milk La Finale for as much news as it can get. The upshot is a peek into Bugatti's sci-fi workshop with a video that chronicles the final build of La Finale. Obviously a performance powerhouse, even the way the Veyron comes together looks unlike any other automobile. The shop has a massive wall of windows, and the metal columns to hold the assemblies can disappear into the floor when not in use. The clip also shows the supercar's rear structure unadorned with the carbon fiber body. The mass of tubes and wires demonstrates just how complicated the W-16 engine really is. This is a wonderful way to bid adieu to the last of a legend.

Weekly Recap: GM scales back as Russian auto market teeters

Sat, Mar 21 2015

General Motors' extensive plans to scale back its Russian operations are the latest sign the automotive market in the former superpower is collapsing and there are few signs of recovery. GM said Wednesday it will stop selling mainstream Chevrolets and shutter the entire Opel brand in Russia. The moves leave GM with a luxury-focused presence consisting of Cadillac and Chevrolet's Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe. The cutbacks will be completed by the end of the year. The automaker will also idle its factory in St. Petersburg and end a contract-assembly agreement with Russian manufacturer GAZ. "We had to take decisive action in Russia to protect our business," Opel Group CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement. "We confirm our outlook to return the European business to profitability in 2016 and stick to our long-term goals." GM is the latest automaker to scale back in Russia as the economic conditions, volatile currency and uncertainty over the conflict in the Ukraine all have sandbagged new car sales. Last month, vehicle sales collapsed 38 percent in Russia to 128,298 units, according to the Association of European Business, which records sales. Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB automobile manufacturers committee, didn't even feign optimism in a statement announcing the figures. "The market is entering a very difficult phase now, and February is only the beginning," he said. "Industry sentiment is the next few months will be extremely difficult and the market bottom has yet to be found." The dovetails with industry experts, who predict the Russian auto sector will remain in the doldrums. IHS said earlier this year it expects Russia's sales to slip to just 1.8 million units in 2015, which is a 40-percent drop from 2012. Other News & Notes Chief leads Jeep's Easter Safari stable Jeep is bringing seven attention-getting concepts to Moab for its annual Easter Safari off-roading celebration in Utah, but the Chief is perhaps the standout of the group. It salutes the 1970s Cherokee with a throwback appearance and surfer styling cues. The Chief has a custom modified razor grille made famous by the Wagoneer, and it rolls on 17-inch slotted mag wheels. The surf theme comes in with ocean blue paint, floral cloth and leather seats and a tiki-style shifter handle. Based on the Jeep Wrangler, the Chief has removable sides, a 3.6-liter V6 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.

Scion previews new iA sedan, iM hatch ahead of New York debut

Wed, Mar 18 2015

Scion is preparing to revitalize its lineup with the debut of not one, but two new models at the upcoming New York Auto Show next month. That much we already knew, but now Toyota's more youthful counterpart has revealed teaser images of both. In one corner will be the Scion iM, a hatchback previewed in concept form at the 2014 LA Auto Show and based closely on the European-market Toyota Auris. In the other will be the Scion iA, which will be the brand's first proper sedan with an actual trunk instead of a liftgate. Though we'd generally call hatchbacks more practical than trunked sedans, Scion says the four-door iA will be more practical than the iM hatchback, and will be more aggressively styled as well. We'll have to wait a little longer to find out additional details, but Scion promises to reveal both at the end of this month before they make their live debuts in Manhattan. Related Video: Scion's Double-Take at New York International Auto Show World Debuts of Scion iM 5-door hatchback and Scion iA sedan March 18, 2015 TORRANCE, Calif., March 18, 2015 One look at Scion won't be enough for guests attending the New York International Auto Show. It will take two looks (or more) to see the World Debuts from Scion. Both the Scion iM and the newly named Scion iA will be revealed on the eve of the show, March 31, 2015. The Scion iM is a 5-door hatchback that combines maximum versatility with a sporty design and a fun-to-drive experience. Meanwhile the Scion iA sedan is designed to appeal to young people who need a little more practicality, but still want engaging styling and outstanding driving dynamics. The "i" in the models' names can stand for intriguing, individual, and easy on customers' income. The "M" reflects the hatchback's modern style and multi-faceted uses. Meanwhile the "A" for the sedan denotes the accommodating trunk and the aggressive styling. "We've been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York," said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha. "Both the iM and the iA are tremendous additions to our line-up and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand." About Scion Scion continues to be the test laboratory division for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. From its start in 2003, Scion's goal was to offer products and processes that stand apart from the crowd.

Chrysler withdraws from UK market

Tue, Mar 17 2015

Ford factors big in the British market, as does GM's Vauxhall brand. But one automaker that will be missing from the UK from here on out will be Chrysler, as the latest reports coming in from the British Isles indicate that the American brand is closing up shop. For the past few years, Chrysler has been selling a combination of its own models as well as rebadged Lancias to British customers, but has been having a tough time making a go of it. After just a few short years of lackluster sales, Chrysler UK ceased selling the Delta, and according to Auto Express, is now withdrawing the 300C and Grand Voyager as well. That leaves just the Ypsilon, which will reportedly continue on an on-demand basis if customers ask for it, but even that will end by 2017. The withdrawal of the Chrysler brand from the British market mirrors that of Lancia, under whose name the same models are sold in continental Europe but which is now being confined strictly to Italy, where it will similarly continue to sell the Ypsilon. Of course that doesn't mean that FCA is withdrawing from the British market altogether. The Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Jeep brands will continue being offered in the UK, as will Maserati and Ferrari. Just don't expect to see many wing-badged Chryslers on the high street anymore not that you would have until now. Last year the Chrysler brand reportedly sold fewer than 2,000 units in the UK, compared to the 10,000+ examples of just the Fiat 500 it moves there every month. Related Video: Featured Gallery 2012 Chrysler Ypsilon News Source: Auto ExpressImage Credit: Chrysler Chrysler Lancia chrysler ypsilon

Autoblog's guilty pleasure cars

Tue, Mar 10 2015

Guilty pleasures are part of life don't even try to pretend like you don't have one (or two, or six). In the non-automotive space, this could come down to that secret playlist in your iPhone of songs you'll only listen to when you're alone; or think of that one TV show you really do love, but won't admit to your friends. I've got plenty, and so do you. Going back to cars, here's a particularly juicy one for me: several years ago, I had a mad crush on the very last iteration of the Cadillac DTS. Oh yes, the front-wheel-drive, Northstar V8-powered sofa-on-wheels that was the last remaining shred of the elderly-swooning days of Cadillac's past. Every time I had the chance to drive one, I was secretly giddy. Don't hate me, okay? These days, the DTS is gone, but I've still got a mess of other cars that hold a special place in my heart. And in the spirit of camaraderie, I've asked my other Autoblog editors to tell me some of their guilty pleasure cars, as well – Seyth Miersma, as you can see above, has a few choice emotions to share about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Read on to find out what cars make us secretly happy. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG This decadent convertible is the epitome of the guilty pleasure. It's big, powerful, fairly heavy and it's richly appointed inside and out. It's a chocolate eclair with the three-pointed star on the hood. Given my druthers, I'd take the SL65 AMG, which delivers 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That output is borderline absurd for this laid-back convertible. I don't care. You don't need dessert. Sometimes you just crave it. The SL line is about the feel you get on the road. The roof is open. The air, sun and engine sounds all embrace you. It's the same dynamic you could have experienced in a Mercedes a century ago, yet the SL gives you the most modern of luxuries. An Airscarf feature that warms my neck and shoulders through a vent embedded in the seat? Yes, please. Sure, it's an old-guy car. Mr. Burns and Lord Grantham are probably too young and hip for an SL65. I don't care. This is my guilty pleasure. Release the hounds. – Greg Migliore Senior Editor Ford Flex I drove my first Flex in 2009 when my mother let me borrow hers for the summer while I was away at college. The incredibly spacious interior made moving twice that summer a breeze, and the 200-mile trips up north were quite comfortable.

Five reasons to love, or hate, the culture of German cars

Thu, Mar 5 2015

A few months back, we took a 500-foot view of the culture of American cars, dissecting prides and prejudices on our way to the conclusion that automotive allegiances can be simultaneously embraced and derided. We had so much fun with the narrative that we decided to do it again, this time taking a look at Germany and its world-renowned lineup of automakers, including the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen, among others. Join us below as we discuss the points and counterpoints that make or have made the German auto industry what it is today. And remember, Germany did pretty much invent the automobile, after all... The V12 Engine If America is known for the proliferation of the V8 engine, an argument could be made that Germany owns the V12. Yes, of course, other companies have created V12 engines Ferrari, Jaguar and Lamborghini immediately come to mind – but the big 12-cylinder powerplants from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, in particular, have proven to be some of the most effortless, luxurious and downright over-built engines the world has ever seen. These days, having 12 cylinders is more a case of wretched excess than ever before, and yet, you can still stroll into your local BMW or Mercedes dealership and get a brand-new 760i, S600 or even an over-the-top G65 AMG, efficiency be damned. Best of all, since the majority of these German powerhouses depreciate as fast as an anchor sinks, nearly any auto enthusiast who dreams of a dozen cylinders can satisfy their carnal desires. Current Star: 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 View 28 Photos Diesel Engines Remember how we talked about those glorious V12 engines? Well, you can even get one from Audi that runs on diesel. If your compression-ignition fantasies err more on the side of fuel savings, that's no problem, either. Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen have got you covered, with engines starting as small as 800 cubic centimeters (Smart Fortwo). If you want something a little more practical, it's hard to argue with a VW Golf TDI, which will provide plenty of space for you and three of your best friends, plus a fair bit of luggage, all while returning 50-ish miles per gallon. For the purposes of this discussion, we'd rather focus on the asinine levels of torque provided by Germany's high-end diesel engines than the lower-end fuel sippers.

Suzuki iK-2 and iM-4 concepts suggest future style

Thu, Mar 5 2015

Suzuki might no longer sell cars in the US, but the Japanese brand is showing that it's still vibrant in the rest of the world by unveiling two concepts at the Geneva Motor Show. The models also debut some the company's future technology and preview the look of upcoming production vehicles. The iK-2 Concept (top) foreshadows a future compact hatchback, and Suzuki is clear that a production version is due to arrive in Europe in 2016. Its styling is a flowing take on the traditional five-door hatchback, especially around the front fenders. More importantly, the model also rides on the Japanese brand's next-gen platform that promises to be lighter, more rigid, offer better efficiency and improve safety. Power comes from the new Boosterjet engine, but despite the speedy name, it's a 1.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged three-cylinder. A mild hybrid system is also going to be offered on the iK-2, but outputs for the powertrains aren't specified yet. The more interesting of the pair visually is the Suzuki iM-4 Concept (pictured inset) that imagines a simple, mini offroader, possibly a replacement for the Jimny. It's on the same platform as the iK-2 but with a much higher ride height and quirky styling. The grille and headlight configuration take inspiration from a pair of sunglasses, Suzuki claims. The model also features broad, fairly unadorned surfaces and short overhangs. The whole look just gives the impression of a little mountain goat ready to go anywhere. Power goes to all four-wheels thanks to a 1.2-liter engine and mild hybrid system. With Suzuki long gone from the US, your best chance to look at the brand's latest concepts might be to check out our live galleries from the Geneva show. iK-2 SUZUKI'S NEW COMPACT HATCHBACK CONCEPT The smartest compact car developed by pursuit of compact hatchback ideals to a new even higher level for Suzuki Excellent design and utility integrated into a single package Design theme of "Liquid Flow", elegant design with flowing lines suggestive of an energetic movement of liquid Built around a new-generation platform and equipped with BOOSTERJET engine Production model to be released in Europe in 2016 Making its global debut at the 85th Geneva Motor Show, Suzuki Motor Corporationreveals its new compact hatchback concept car, the iK-2. The iK-2, the smartest compact car, offers all the elements expected in a car of this size.

2015 Toyota Auris freshens up in Geneva, prepares for New York debut

Thu, Mar 5 2015

Toyota is preparing to bring its Auris hatchback to the US market as a Scion. That makes news of this refreshed Auris, debuting at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, a fairly noteworthy piece of news. Changes are decidedly light, befitting of a refresh. Toyota has tweaked the headlights, taillights and both bumpers for 2015, featuring a wider grille up front. In the cabin, changes are similarly limited, with updated connectivity equipment, particularly the area around the infotainment system, being the biggest change. A new instrument cluster looks to have been installed, as well. Aside from those changes, though, Toyota didn't do too much to the Auris. You can check out our full gallery of live images for Geneva, and you'll want to be sure to check back here next month, for the official coverage of the Auris-based Scion iM when it debuts at the 2015 New York Auto Show. NEW TOYOTA AURIS TO JOIN NEW AVENSIS ON STAGE AT GENEVA Motor show debut for British-built Auris hatchback and wagon Toyota will reveal its new Auris at the Geneva motor show (3 15 March), the British-built hatchback and Touring Sports wagon versions making their debut alongside new Avensis. New Auris enjoys a refreshed design that adds presence and prestige, together with an upgraded cabin and new comfort and safety equipment features. The hybrid remains at the heart of the range, having established itself as the leading powertrain in the line-up, accounting for around half of all Auris sales in Europe in 2014. Nonetheless, the new model heralds the arrival of new and improved petrol and diesel engines, developed with a focus on efficiency and performance. The simultaneous reveal of new Auris and Avensis follows on from last year's introduction of Aygo and Yaris to complete a full rejuvenation of Toyota's core European model range. Both Auris and Avensis will continue to be built side by side at Toyota Manufacturing UK's car plant at Burnaston, near Derby. Toyota will host its Geneva motor show press conference on its stand in Hall 4 at Palexpo, at 12.15pm on 3 March. Related Video:

Bugatti Veyron Vitesse La Finale bids us adieu [w/video]

Tue, Mar 3 2015

Some things just keep popping up until you take them for granted. Like the endless procession of special-edition Bugatti Veyrons. It seems like every major auto show included another unique take on the iconic supercar, with more announced in between. And at the Geneva Motor Show this week, Bugatti unveiled yet another. Only this one will be the last. This edition is called La Finale, and it is what the Alsatian automaker says will be the very last. Not just the last special edition, but the last Veyron the 450th and final one built. It's based on the Vitesse, which means it has the upgraded 1,184-horsepower engine from the Super Sport and the removable roof panel from the Grand Sport. The final Veyron features a unique red and black carbon-fiber livery with matching dark red wheels and an interior decked out in cream and scarlet leather, with La Finale script appearing throughout. Which is all well and fine, especially for the Middle Eastern customer who bought it. But more than what sets this Veyron apart from others is what it represents: the end of the line for the million-dollar supercar that started it all a decade ago. And we're looking forward to seeing what The House That Ettore Built comes up with next. Featured Gallery Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale: Geneva 2015 View 13 Photos Related Gallery Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale View 19 Photos Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2015 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL Geneva Motor Show Bugatti Convertible Supercars Videos 2015 Geneva Motor Show bugatti veyron grand sport vitesse bugatti veyron grand sport vitesse la finale

Mercedes rolls out the long red carpet for new Maybach S600 Pullman [w/video]

Tue, Mar 3 2015

Remember when the S-Class was the S-Class and that was it? The pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, at least as far as sedans were concerned. But those days are long behind us. Now there's a coupe as well (bringing the former CL back into the fold), a convertible on its way, the uber-luxe Maybach limo and this: the new Pullman. The creme de la creme of the Silver Star range, His Excellency Field Marshall Dr. Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Dada as it's known in full, at least with the twelve-cylinder engine – is... well, it's enormous. It's bigger than the old Maybach 62 it essentially replaces and bigger even than an extended-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantom. And why would you need a vehicle so large? Well, you wouldn't. And neither would we. But there are some, shall we call them "unelected heads of state" who would accept no less. They're the customers who favored the original, and 50 years later, they're the ones who'll be snapping up the new one. (The little wavy flags on the front fenders are optional.)

Bugatti Veyron bids adieu with the Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale [w/video]

Mon, Mar 2 2015

It's the end of an automotive era at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as Bugatti unveils the last Veyron, and it's appropriately named La Finale. Based on the Grand Sport Vitesse, this vehicle is number 450 of a production run that included 300 coupes and 150 convertibles, over the last decade. Sitting right next to La Finale on Bugatti's Geneva show stand is the very first Veyron chassis built, and the pair purposefully carry similar stylistic cues. Where the original car combines a black-painted hood over red fenders, the final one switches the motifs around. Although, the color now comes from exposed carbon fiber, and this marks the first use of crimson carbon on a Veyron. The choice of material lends a muted, almost somber tone to the design, which is appropriate for the concluding model. A set of matching, maroon wheels and contrasting air intakes complete the look. The interior continues the scarlet theme with more exposed carbon fiber and a shade of leather called Hot Spur. Contrasting cream upholstery provides some visual relief, though. For their final outing, the designers took the opportunity to add a few unique touches, as well. Bugatti's famous elephant logo appears on the wheel center caps, fuel door and oil cap. There's also another one cast from bronze on the storage compartment cover inside the car. In addition, the La Finale gets written in a brighter shade of red under the passenger-side headlight and on the bottom of the wing. Mechanically, the La Finale doesn't receive anything extra over the other Grand Sport Vitesse vehicles. It still sports an 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 with 1,184 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft of torque. The sprint to 62 miles per hour reportedly comes up in a shockingly quick 2.6 seconds, and a top speed of 255 mph is claimed possible. While this ends the story of Veyron production, Bugatti isn't going to fade away now. The company says that development of its next vehicle is "well underway," in the La Finale announcement. "With the next Bugatti model, we are aiming to consolidate and expand the market-leading position we have established with the Veyron," said Bugatti President Wolfgang Durheimer. "Our challenge is to make the best even better." That certainly leaves something to look forward to. Related Video: Geneva International Motor Show 2015: Bugatti celebrates the Veyron World premiere of the 450th and final Veyron, the Grand Sport Vitesse "La Finale" ?

Fiat brings raft of special-edition hatchbacks to Geneva

Wed, Feb 25 2015

The annual Geneva Motor Show presents a prime opportunity for any automaker European ones especially – to show off new metal. You'd figure that would include the sprawling Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, but instead, one of Europe's largest automakers will be presenting a series of special-edition hatchbacks for the European market. Yeah, we're as disappointed as you are. First up is the Fiat division itself, which will be showcasing the Vintage '57 edition of the 500 and the Panda K-Way. The former puts an even more retro spin on the already-retro hatchback, with a two-tone pastel blue-and-white exterior, 16-inch white-and-chrome wheels and a tobacco-leather interior. The latter was designed in collaboration with the famous rainwear label, K-Way, and features mix-and-match exterior color combinations, titanium-finish trim and a specially crafted interior. Alfa Romeo will be celebrating the European debut of the 4C Spider we already saw in Detroit. In terms of new debuts, Alfa also has the elegant Collezione edition of the Giuletta and the MiTo Racer edition with gray and brown trim that looks, at first blush at least, much more subtle than the name would convey. Though no longer a major player in the Fiat portfolio, Lancia is showcasing the 30th Anniversary and Elle editions of the Ypsilon – the car that in its own words, "Italian women love more than any other." Jeep is showing the Renegade with new powertrain options, and Abarth has updated its range of 500-based hot hatches, but for something new and exciting, it looks like we'll be passing right by the Fiat section at the Geneva Palexpo this year. Related Video: Featured Gallery Fiat Group special editions for Geneva 2015 News Source: Fiat Geneva Motor Show Alfa Romeo Fiat Lancia Hatchback 2015 Geneva Motor Show alfa romeo mito fiat panda alfa romeo giulietta lancia ypsilon

Lexus tops JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study again, Buick bests Toyota

Wed, Feb 25 2015

It shouldn't surprise anyone, but Lexus has once again taken the top spot in JD Power's Vehicle Dependability Study. That'd be the Japanese luxury brand's fourth straight year at the top of table. The big news, though, is the rise of Buick. General Motor's near-premium brand beat out Toyota to take second place, with 110 problems per 100 vehicles compared to Toyota's 111 problems. Lexus owners only reported 89 problems per 100 vehicles. Besides Buick's three-position jump, Scion enjoyed a major improvement, jumping 13 positions from 2014. Ram and Mitsubishi made big gains, as well, moving up 11 and 10 positions, respectively. In terms of individual segments, GM and Toyota both excelled, taking home seven segment awards each. The study wasn't good news for all involved, though. A number of popular automakers finished below the industry average of 147 problems per 100 vehicles, including Subaru, (157PP100), Volkswagen (165PP100), Ford/Hyundai (188PP100 each) and Mini (193PP100). The biggest losers (by a tremendous margin, we might add) were Land Rover and Fiat, recording 258 and 273 problems per 100 vehicles. The next closest brand was Jeep, with 197PP100. While the Vehicle Dependability Study uses the same measurement system as the Initial Quality Survey, the two metrics analyze very different things. The VDS looks at problems experienced by original owners of model year 2012 vehicles over the past 12 months, while the oft-quoted IQS focuses on problems in the first 90 days of new-vehicle ownership. Like the IQS, though, the VDS has a rather broad definition of what a problem is. Because of that, a low score from JD Power is no guarantee of extreme unreliability, so much as just poor design. In this most recent study, the two most reported problems focused on Bluetooth connectivity and the voice-command systems. The former leaves plenty of room for user error due to poor design (particularly true of the Bluetooth systems on the low-scoring Fords, Volkswagens and Subarus), while the second is something JD Power has already confirmed as being universally terrible. That makes means that while these studies are important, they shouldn't be taken as gospel when it comes to automotive reliability. News Source: JD PowerImage Credit: Copyright 2015 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL Buick Fiat Ford GM Hyundai Jeep Land Rover Lexus MINI Mitsubishi RAM Scion Subaru Toyota Volkswagen Auto Repair Ownership study

Luxury carmakers make way more than just cars

Tue, Feb 24 2015

Whether it's as simple as Ferrari offering model cars or as opulent as Bugatti with an $84,000-belt buckle, practically every automaker does more than just sell cars to keep their brands visible. The profits from these ventures might not be enough to keep the lights on, but in such a competitive industry, any extra cash is welcome. For the automakers that get licensing just right, there is a ton of profit to be made. According to a recent story examining the practice by The New York Times, Ferrari makes around $2.6 billion from merchandising each year, and General Motors tops that at $3.5 billion. Beyond just a profit center, merchandising can also protect an automaker's name. Take Hummer for example. The GM division shut down years ago, but it has continued to produce licensed cologne on sale around the world. "Because we still have the active fragrance, we're protecting the brand if we ever decide to bring it back," Gene Reamer, a GM licensing senior manager, told the Times. The whole piece is a fascinating look into this often ignored, but quite lucrative facet of the auto business. Read it for yourself, here. Related Video: News Source: The New York TimesImage Credit: Luca Bruno / AP Photo Design/Style Earnings/Financials Marketing/Advertising Read This Ferrari GM Hummer branding

Bugatti has sold the last Veyron

Mon, Feb 23 2015

It's the end of an era, boys and girls: Bugatti has sold the last Veyron ever to be made. And in doing so, it sets the sun on a saga dating back ten years to when production began and even longer since Volkswagen began development of what would become one of, if not the most powerful and fastest supercars of all time. The story of the Veyron dates back to 1998 when VW bought the rights to the Bugatti name. It subsequently rolled out a series of concept cars to preview what it had in store for the storied Alsatian marque, setting upon the final design in 2001 and determining to put it into production. It would be another four years or so before the Veyron would finally be ready, but once it was, nobody cared how long it had taken. It was one of the most impressive feats of automotive engineering ever undertaken and the harbinger of a new era of million-dollar exotics. (Or $2.6 million, we should say, because that's the average price paid for a new Veyron.) Bugatti set about making 300 coupes, which it completed in September 2011, and subsequently undertook the additional production of 150 roadsters. Now that final example – the 450th and final Veyron ever to be made – has been sold to a customer in the Middle East (naturally), the news arriving hot on the heels of a similar development with another seven-figure European exotic as the Pagani Huayra has sold out its entire allotment as well. Dubbed the Grand Sport Vitesse La Finale, the final Veyron will be showcased at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Some time after that, we hope the House that Ettore Built will tell us a little more about what it has planned next. Bugatti sells the last Veyron - Bugatti president Wolfgang Durheimer: "An unprecedented chapter in automobile history has reached its climax" - World premiere for the 450th Veyron at the Geneva Motor Show - Veyron is the world's most powerful and fastest production supercar Molsheim, 23rd February 2015. Bugatti has sold the 450th and last Veyron. 16 cylinders, 1,200 PS, a maximum torque of 1,500 Nm, 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds and a world record speed of 431.072 km/h – these are the figures that describe the magic and uniqueness of the ultimate supercar of the modern era. The Veyron has caused a sensation across the world ever since its launch ten years ago.

Rolls-Royce debuts super limited Ghost Mysore edition

Fri, Feb 20 2015

Rolls-Royce is celebrating the history of India with its latest, extremely limited edition of the Ghost Extended Wheelbase called the Mysore Collection. Just three of these specially upholstered versions are being made. These Ghosts are dedicated to Mysore, India, and to the Tipu Sultan there in the 18th century. They receive a two-tone blue and silver livery with a pinstripe featuring a stylized peacock running down the side. For the interior, they feature light-colored wood, white leather and blue carpets. However, the most obvious change for this limited edition is the inclusion of a tiger on each headrest. Rolls did make one rather odd decision for this commemoration of India. According to the luxury brand's Facebook post about them, the three special Ghosts are only for sale in Abu Dhabi. Although, the brand says, "In Arabic, Mysore also refers to wealth and power." Rolls-Royce Bespoke Ghost Mysore Collection 'In this world I would rather live two days like a tiger, than two hundred years like a sheep.' Tipu Sultan - 'The Tiger of Mysore.' Tipu Sultan was the ruler of 18th century Mysore in India. In Arabic, Mysore also refers to wealth and power. The Bespoke Ghost Mysore Collection takes inspiration from this, and each of these extended wheelbase models are adorned with symbols of success. Ghost Mysore will be available exclusively in Abu Dhabi. Only three have been created. Related Video: Featured Gallery Rolls-Royce Bespoke Ghost Mysore Collection News Source: FacebookImage Credit: Rolls-Royce Design/Style Rolls-Royce Luxury Sedan rolls-royce ghost

Rolls-Royce is officially in the SUV business

Wed, Feb 18 2015

This might be the most brand-appropriate announcement ever for a previously unthinkinable vehicle, complete with a press release titled like a royal edict. After saying a month ago that it would decide on building an mixed-terrain hauler by the end of the year, Rolls-Royce issued a press release entitled, "An Open Letter from the Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars on the Subject of a New Rolls-Royce." Let's hold on a second while the sound of trumpets dies down. Nowhere among its 453 words will you find the acronym "SUV," nor the words "sport" or "utility." You will find talk of "an all-new Rolls-Royce," "a high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminum architecture," "a vehicle that can cross any terrain," and references to Lawrence of Arabia traversing mountain ranges and "the vastness of unexplored deserts" and the founders' "rigorous overland adventures," complete with sepia photos. And then there's this: "History sets our precedent and our future calls us to action." Let's hold on a second while the applause dies down. We don't know when we'll see it - Rolls-Royce says it plans to take its time getting it right, to create a vehicle that is "Effortless ... Everywhere." We would believe any date we read about, though; not even two years ago we were told a Rolls-Royce SUV hadn't even been discussed since such a vehicle couldn't fit into the brand ethos, not even a year ago the company's head designer had narrowed it down to "a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV," with the Ghost platform for support and a speculated release date of 2017. If they brought a near-production-ready sample to the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, we wouldn't be surprised. We sincerely hope that, like the image, it comes with a man to shovel any obstacles out of the way. Gather round the dais and enjoy the press release below. It's a whole new world. Related Video: AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS ON THE SUBJECT OF A NEW ROLLS-ROYCE 18.02.2015 -- The launch of Phantom in 2003 marked the beginning of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Since then, we have set a new benchmark for what a super-luxury car should be unique, hand-crafted, beautiful and rare. Often imitated, Phantom has never been equalled and continues to be hailed as 'The Best Car in the World' by our customers and media alike.

Mercedes-Maybach Pullman stretches its way to Geneva

Wed, Feb 18 2015

Mercedes-Benz is known the world over for producing luxury automobiles, but even among Benzes there's a hierarchy. The S-Class sits at the top of the Mercedes range, the Maybach at the top of the S-Class, and what you see here sits at the top of the Maybach line. It's the new Pullman limousine, and it arrives on the 50th anniversary of the original. Stretching a massive 21.3 feet, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is even longer than the previous Maybach 62 by a full foot, and a good 3.5 feet longer than the standard-wheelbase Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, or two feet longer than the G63 AMG 6x6. In other terms, it's over a foot longer than the Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB, and the better part of a yard longer than even the Cadillac Escalade ESV. Heck, you could just about fit Benz's other flagship, the Mercedes-AMG GT, inside the new Pullman's 14.5-foot wheelbase. As if that's not enough, it also stands 3.9 inches higher than a standard S-Class to the benefit of its imposing presence and interior space. Should you be so fortunate as to be graced with an invitation to step inside, you'd find an interior entirely clad in leather with four seats: two recliners and two fold-down seats facing backwards. Those principal rear seats can recline between 19 and 43.5 degrees and offer an extensive array of individual adjustments to cater just-so to the occupants' individual preferences. Ingress and egress are enabled by larger rear doors that open in front of instead of next to – those rear seats to enhance the privacy of the traveling dignitaries, who will be able to monitor the state of affairs through the analog thermometer, speedometer and clock mounted in the roof liner. They'll also enjoy privacy thanks to the electrically operated glass partition wall with an 18.5-inch monitor mounted in front of it and a choice of Burmester sound systems. Long the favorite of heads of state and captains of industry, the new Pullman will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show now just weeks away. We don't doubt that Mercedes will offer its customers a choice of engine options (as long as they're capable of motivating the new Pullman's assuredly substantial heft), but most suitable to the task will of course be the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 with its 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.

Rolls-Royce bringing one-off Serenity to Geneva

Tue, Feb 17 2015

Rolls-Royce is bringing Serenity of the Phantom kind, not the Joss Whedon kind, to the Geneva Motor Show. In case being driven around in 19-feet of extravagance wasn't enough, the firm's Bespoke Design team has stitched together a silk interior inspired by its historic cars, European furniture and Japanese Royal Kimono designs. We're told the result is a "haven of tranquility," as if that weren't the case before. It's also called "the most opulent interior of any luxury car," which makes us think Rolls-Royce won't let us get within 30 feet of it with our half-finished convention hall coffee and ham sandwich. We'll start cleaning up for the privilege now; there's a press release below in the meantime. Show full PR text ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS TO BRING SERENITY TO THE 2015 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 12.02.2015 -- The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars stand at this year's Geneva International Motor Show will be a haven of tranquility as the celebrated marque brings Serenity to Switzerland. Celebrating the historical role played by silk as a symbol of regal and imperial power, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke Design team has created a magnificent one-off motor car which will set a new benchmark for luxury individualisation in the motor industry, and reaffirm that Bespoke is Rolls-Royce. Delivering authentic modern luxury, Serenity will reintroduce the finest of textiles to create the most opulent interior of any luxury car. This unique design demonstrates the levels of craftsmanship, creativity and attention to detail only Rolls-Royce Motor Cars can offer. The marque's Bespoke Design team has taken inspiration from the opulent interiors of Rolls-Royces that have conveyed Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses and world leaders throughout history, whilst using contemporary interpretations of European furniture combined with Japanese Royal Kimono designs to deliver a truly innovative, modern and tranquil Rolls-Royce interior. The new benchmark in super-luxury motor cars will be unveiled at a press conference in Hall 6 of the Geneva International Motor Show at 13.30hrs on 3rd March. The car will be on the stand for visitors to admire from 5th to 15th March. Design/Style Geneva Motor Show Rolls-Royce Luxury Sedan rolls-royce phantom