As the gap between automotive haves and have-nots continues to grow, ultraluxury automakers are exploiting fresh ways to lure the sorts of well-heeled car aficionados who would rather spend their spare time shipping exotic sleds to private tracks than sitting on a beach in the Maldives.This rarified air presents a daunting challenge to boutique carmakers attempting to distinguish themselves, especially when they're vying for attention amidst voluptuous Paganis, Koenigseggs, and Brabus G63 AMG 6x6s. When the stakes are this high and the competition this fierce, you need a novel approach to peddle your four-wheeled wares – even if you're Bugatti. Playing The Numbers GameThe Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 bowed in 2005 as an audacious gesture of ego and hubris, spearheaded by Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch. When tasking his engineers with creating the Veyron, Piëch famously gave numerical marching orders: the car should produce no less than 1,000 horsepower, hit 60 miles per … [Read more...] about Bugatti Dynamic Driving Experience
European desert hawk
After festooning the Jeep Renegade with 30-plus original-Jeep graphics, many of them hidden in the oddest of places, it’s about time the small SUV got its first complete Mopar body kit.While we won’t get this black-and-yellow Renegade with the MoparONE pack, we are getting the black and tan Renegade Desert Hawk that also premieres in Paris. Somehow, an American Jeep with U.S. Army–style star decals that’s made in Italy and showcased in France will not make it to America. Blame globalization, or something.The Renegade MoparONE is based on the European market’s Longitude trim (as opposed to our Latitude) with Solar Yellow paint, a black-striped hood, and matte-black mirror caps. It also packs a one-inch lift kit with taller 70-series all-season Michelins (up from the stock 65s) to better match the more aggressive Trailhawk, even though the Longitude is just one step up from the base model. A rooftop cargo carrier also comes with the package, which … [Read more...] about Over There: Jeep Renegade MoparONE Gets Overseas Duty
Jeep is continuing to expand the Renegade subcompact crossover SUV model line with the addition of two new trims: the Altitude and the Deserthawk. Both will formally be unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show next week.Like other Jeep models to previously wear the Altitude badge, the 2017 Jeep Renegade Altitude lands on the lot with a host of exterior and interior features dolled up in Gloss Black. This includes the crossover’s 18-inch wheels, badging, seven grille rings, and taillamp surrounds. Although the Altitude is available in a variety of colors, the interior is limited to just one—black.Based on the $22,490 Renegade Latitude, the $23,385 Altitude includes features such as a rearview camera and proximity key with push-button start. A 160-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine connected to a six-speed manual transmission is standard; however, $1330 buys a bigger, 180-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a nine-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is … [Read more...] about High ’n’ Dry: Jeep Renegade Adds Altitude and Deserthawk Trims
The $1.5 million Ferrari rusting away in the Arizona desert for half a century. The $2 million Duesenberg parked in a Manhattan garage for 60 years. The $5 million Bugatti forgotten in a British barn for generations. There’s something irresistible about the notion of beautiful machines once capable of setting speed records by tenths of a second sitting motionless and lame, collecting dust for decades. Few people know that one of the greatest cars Mercedes-Benz has produced in its 125-year history sits on flat tires, covered by 30 years of grime, in an unmarked building in South Central Los Angeles. The 1935 Rudolf Caracciola Mercedes-Benz 500K “Roadster Limousine,” one of the most beautifully struck and elegant prewar cars ever built, was commissioned as a gift for one of the most legendary race car drivers ever to turn the wheel. Based on recent auction figures, the 500K—one of the holy grails of car collecting—could be worth upward of $10 million … [Read more...] about Wheels of Fortune: The $10M Mercedes-Benz 500K That Vanished
Pity the marketing types tasked with coming up with names for special-edition automobiles. In an era when even energy drinks and vacuum cleaners sport hyperbolic branding that makes them sound more like action-movie titles than workaday products, it’s a challenge to create genuine drama with a name. So it’s difficult to blame Jeep for taking the sequel route with its latest special edition by simply adding a “II” suffix—hey, it worked for Iron Eagle and the Ford Mustang II, right? Officially named the Jeep Cherokee Night Eagle II Special Edition, it’s an overseas-market model that follows up on the theme started by last year’s Jeep Cherokee Night Eagle and Renegade Night Eagle models.Based on the Cherokee Limited, the Night Eagle II Special Edition is essentially an aesthetic treatment that puts lots of black where previously there was none. On the outside, this means the front fascia appliqué, Jeep and 4×4 badges, roof bars, … [Read more...] about This Time It’s Personal: Jeep Cherokee Night Eagle II Special Edition
Hyperloop Technology’s co-founder and chief technology officer Brogan BamBrogan, who is a real person and not a Bond villain living in a volcano lair, choose yesterday’s SEA International Congress talent meetup to push the Elon Musk-conceived technology, Automotive News has reported.BamBrogan’s company is dangling job opportunities in front of the Detroit crowd in a bid to lure new henchmen auto industry talent into its fold.The former Chrysler and SpaceX engineer’s message to the Detroit audience was clear. To paraphrase Seinfeld — this technology is real, and it’s spectacular.“We’re calling this our Kitty Hawk moment,” BamBrogan told them.There are jobs to be had if auto industry employees want to make the jump. Hyperloop Technologies plans to hire between 180 and 280 engineers between now and the end of next year.BamBrogan plans to have a two-mile prototype up and running in the Nevada desert later this year to … [Read more...] about Hyperloop Visits Detroit; Will Auto Talent Make the Jump From Tires to Tubes?