HAVAL has previewed its first plug-in hybrid ahead of its official reveal at Auto China 2018 in Beijing. Launched under the company’s luxury brand – WEY – the P8 is set to write a new chapter in the company’s history and represents the first model built on HAVAL’s new Pi4 (plug-in intelligent four-wheel drive) platform.

Combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels, in tandem with an 85kW rear-mounted electric motor, the P8 boasts an impressive output of 250kW/524Nm and a zero to 100 km/h acceleration of just 6.5 seconds.

Power is delivered to a combination of front wheels (petrol), rear wheels (electric) and all wheels (combined) through a Getrag six-speed dual clutch transmission. Based on the WEY VV7 luxury SUV, the P8 measures 4765x1931x1655mm, has a 2950mm wheelbase and rides on either 20 or 21-inch wheels.

The bold lines of HAVAL’s first PHEV start with the wide-mouthed trapezoidal grille, and continues through the angular LED headlamps, flowing through to the fastback-inspired body and aggressive rear end dominated by the four exhaust pipes. The top-hinged tailgate can be opened automatically by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper.

Inside, the P8 adopts the VV7’s T-style console, angled purposefully toward the driver. The SUV comes loaded with luxury features, including panoramic sunroof, LCD instrument panel, premium sound system, 9-inch touch screen and leather seats with heating, massage and ventilation.

Demonstrating the company’s commitment to adopting the latest safety features, the P8 comes complete with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), blind spot monitoring (BSM), lane departure warning (LDW), lane keep assist (LKA) and 360° camera. To aid pedestrian safety, the WEY P8 employs an aluminum alloy bonnet.

The PHEV system offers a 50 kilometre range on pure electric, 660 km range with both motors working in tandem and fuel economy of just 2.3 L/100km. Charging from a 220V home power point can be achieved in seven hours, or just four from a dedicated charger.

Auto China is one of the world’s largest auto shows, alternating each year between Shanghai and Beijing. Last year it attracted more than 800,000 customers. This year’s Auto China will be held at the China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing from April 25 to May 4.

Nearly 50 years ago, Land Rover created the luxury SUV sector with the introduction of the Range Rover. Now it’s defining a new genre with the world’s first full-size luxury SUV coupé: the limited-edition two-door Range Rover SV Coupé.

Created by Land Rover Design and Special Vehicle Operations, SV Coupé is an exemplar of Range Rover design, craftsmanship and capability. It features a seductive body allied to the next-generation of cabin luxury – with the peerless all-terrain ability expected from Range Rover. No more than 999 will be hand-crafted by SVO for clients worldwide.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “The Range Rover SV Coupé is a celebration of the Range Rover bloodline. With a dramatic two-door silhouette, this breath-taking four seat coupé alludes to its unique heritage whilst being thoroughly modern and contemporary. Beautifully realised, superbly engineered, the Range Rover SV Coupé delivers the most distinguished, luxurious and exclusive Range Rover ever built.”

Beautiful proportions with a powerful stance give SV Coupé unrivalled on-road presence. The signature floating roof, continuous waist and tapering tail are instantly recognizable Range Rover DNA, yet are expressed in a unique way for this exclusive addition to the Range Rover family. SV Coupé’s purity of line is perfectly complemented by elegant power-close doors with frameless glass. In combination with the panoramic roof, light floods into the cabin, accentuating the relaxed, sophisticated and contemporary ambience.

Carefully curated body colour combinations, including a new Contour Graphic available in four duo-tone colourways, are offset by unique side vent and grille designs. This is also the first Range Rover with a 23-inch wheel option.

Enhanced luxury and exquisite craftsmanship extends inside too, with semi-aniline leather front seats bringing Range Rover’s already premium interior to a new level of luxury: accommodation comparable to private jets and yachts. Their gradated diamond quilt design is unique to SV Coupé. Each SV Coupé will be hand-assembled to the client’s personal specification by the fastidious experts at the SVO Technical Centre in the UK – a first for Range Rover.

John Edwards, Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director said: “The introduction of the new SV Coupé brings a new level of individual expression to the Range Rover portfolio and builds on the success of Special Vehicle Operations’ existing bespoke Range Rover programme. Feedback from SV clients who have already seen the vehicle in confidential commissioning sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.” 

SV Coupé clients can choose from four front-to-rear contrast interior colourways, or a range of single-tone interior colours. Both are complemented by a choice of three elegant wood veneers. A first for Range Rover is Nautica, which carefully balances heritage craftsmanship with new technology, fusing walnut and sycamore together. 

Optional paint finishes include Liquesence, which brings a sensational liquid metal finish to Range Rover for the first time. 

Additionally, Special Vehicle Operations’ bespoke personalisation team offers SV Coupé clients the opportunity to indulge their desire to create a truly unique vehicle to their exacting taste, granting access to 100 more paint colours, plus unique ‘match to sample’ hues, with a range of finishes; duo-tone front and rear leather colours with a bespoke quilt pattern; contrast stitching; headrest embroidery; door handle and tread plate engraving and semi-precious metal badging.

SV Coupé is also the fastest-ever full-size Range Rover, with a 226kph top speed. Powered by an exhilarating 416kW 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain, the most powerful engine ever placed in a full-size Range Rover, means SV Coupé hits 0-100kph in just 5.3 seconds.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, said: “As you’d expect from Range Rover, the engineering integrity in SV Coupé is more than skin deep. This is a meticulously honed vehicle that’s designed for SV clients who love driving.” 

The suspension is tuned to provide a more driver-focused edge than the standard Range Rover, with a ride height lowered by 8mm, but will remain composed and comfortable at all times. Plus, the SV Coupé loses none of Range Rover’s legendary all-terrain ability, with 900mm maximum wading depth – and a maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

*Range Rover SV Coupé sales are anticipated to start in Australia from the Q1, 2019, local pricing will be announced shortly.

RANGE ROVER SV COUPÉ: IN DETAIL

COMPELLING BODY DESIGN

With the exception of the bonnet and lower tailgate, all of the two-door SV Coupé’s aluminium exterior panels are new, as are the front and rear bumpers. A new two-part grille features Brunel Metallic rear mesh overlaid with Bright Chrome front mesh and a Satin Indus Silver metal surround, while Bright Chrome/Black Knurled Range Rover bonnet and tailgate script is handcrafted in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.

Noble Chrome metal side vents with Brunel Metallic mesh and Satin Indus Silver metal surrounds complement frameless doors with Power Close functionality and Bright Chrome embellished body colour door handles. Pixel-laser LED headlights with 144 LEDs and four laser diodes (market dependent fitment) provide five times higher luminance than standard LED lights on Laser Supplementary High Beam – over 500m, operational above 80kph when no other lights are detected. 

SUBLIME PAINTWORK

Eight body colours are available, in gloss or satin effects, four offered for the first time on Range Rover: Constellation, Parallax, Liquesence and Obsidian; and four from the SV Premium Palette: Ethereal, Flux, Valloire, and Desire. The Liquesence option brings liquid metal finish to Range Rover for the first time. SV Coupé clients can also specify one of four exclusive duo-tone gloss Contour Graphic options: Valloire/Flux, Valloire/Ethereal, Parallax/Ethereal, Obsidian/Desire. 

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover said: “Accentuating Range Rover SV Coupé’s proportions, and available as a unique feature for the first time, the new Contour Graphic is created by applying a contrasting paint to the flanks of the vehicle. Starting at the side vent, it flows rearwards and around to the opposite vent, and offers customers the opportunity to further personalise their specification.”

16 optional SV Premium Palette colours include a range of finishes including tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes. And, further colours are available as part of Special Vehicle Operations’ bespoke personalisation service offered exclusively at Range Rover SV Coupé commissioning events or by appointment at the SVO Technical Centre in Warwickshire, UK.

SUMPTUOUS INTERIOR

Stunning to the eye, sumptuous to the touch, SV Coupé’s interior is a light, contemporary, space where attention to detail has been paramount. Four curated duo-tone colourways, contrasting light to dark, front to rear include Orchid/Eclipse, Orchid/Vintage Tan, Brogue/Ebony and Cirrus/Lunar, while four single-tone colours are also available: Ebony, Lunar, Eclipse and Vintage Tan.

The heated and cooled 20-way electrically adjustable front and 10-way electrically adjustable rear seats, wrapped in specially selected semi-aniline leather from a single tannery established in 1905, feature a unique gradated diamond quilt design. Concurrent with the latest Range Rover line, SV Coupé has wider, deeper seat foams and specially developed interlayers for world-class comfort. 

Nautica veneer – a first for Range Rover – combining heritage craftsmanship with a patented new form-following process to fuse walnut and sycamore together, joins three elegant wood veneer options for the steering wheel rim, door casings, centre console, instrument panel and loadspace floor: Nautica, Natural Black Ash and Santos Palisander. 

InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment includes a 10-inch display, 10-inch control panel and 12-inch Interactive Driver Display, while a 10-inch full-colour Head-Up Display shows turn information including street names, slope and wheel information, cruise control, RPM and gear information. The 1700w, 23-speaker, Meridian 3D Signature Sound System with dual-channel subwoofer features Trifield 3D technology for optimum sound quality. 

POWERFUL PERFORMANCE

SV Coupé features Range Rover’s most powerful 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain producing 416kW, 700Nm, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with rotary drive selector and paddle-shift. That delivers a 0-100kph time of just 5.3 seconds and a 266kph top speed. Permanent four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer box and Active Locking Rear Differential ensures effortless go-anywhere progress, assisted by Terrain Response 2 featuring Dynamic, Eco, Comfort, Grass Gravel Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl programmes. 

REWARDING DYNAMICS

SV Coupé’s ride height is lowered by 8mm over the standard Range Rover, to deliver enhanced dynamic performance and aesthetics and automatically lowers by 15mm at cruising speeds of 65mph or above to enhance stability and minimise fuel consumption. Its five air suspension height settings include: Access Height (-50mm max below normal ride height), Off-Road 1 Ride Height (+40mm max above normal ride height, up to 80kph), Off-Road 2 Ride Height (+75mm max above normal ride height, up to 50kph) – additional 30-40mm automatic increase if obstacle detected, and a further manually selectable 30-40mm increase above that. 

Four alloy wheel options from 21-inch to 23-inch include two new forged wheels – the 23-inch wheel, a two-tone silver polished six split-spoke design with 275/40 R23 all-terrain tyres, is a first for Range Rover. The 22-inch dark grey polished five split-spoke with polished finish is also new.

EXTRA CARE

Unique to Range Rover SV Coupé is a five-year Care Package, available either as standard or as an optional extra in most markets*. An extension to the existing Land Rover warranty is accompanied by five-year servicing and maintenance plans, which cover scheduled services plus wiper blade, brake disc and pad replacement.

*Excludes Latin America and the Caribbean region (LACRO), Ukraine, Morocco. Terms and conditions vary by country

Jaguar has announced a range of enhancements to its XJ luxury sports saloon. The 2018 model year (2018MY) updates include the introduction of the XJR575 performance flagship model, a host of technology upgrades and the addition of the latest intelligent safety features.

The new XJR575 is the most dynamic derivative in the line-up and delivers 423kW and 700Nm of torque for effortless acceleration and refinement. The 19kW uplift in power is delivered by Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine and powers the luxury sports saloon from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and to a top speed of 300km/h.

Available in standard-wheelbase, the XJR575 reinforces the XJR’s standing as Jaguar’s fastest XJ saloon. Customers will be able to choose between two bespoke exterior colour finishes created at Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art Oxford Road facility: Velocity Blue and Satin Corris Grey.

Tailor-made exterior details include a rear spoiler, side sills, front bumper and lower air intakes featuring Gloss Black surrounds. Updated XJR575 exterior badging and twin bonnet louvres mark the vehicle out from the rest of the range while 20-inch Farallon gloss-black wheels with red painted brake callipers are the final dynamic flourish.

Inside the XJR575 features bespoke embossed tread plates, 575 intaglio and diamond-quilted seating available in Jet/Jet and Ivory/Jet colour options and finished with additional 575 branding.

For 2018MY the XJ features a number of technology upgrades which enhance connectivity with 4G Wi-Fi capability, allowing occupants to stay online on the move with as many as eight devices.

In addition, the central console now features a larger 10-inch touchscreen. As well as giving customers greater clarity, the bigger screen functions like a smartphone allowing occupants to pinch and zoom when using satellite navigation and create custom homepages for shortcuts to favoured features.

Jaguar’s saloon car line-up promises strong safety credentials and the 2018MY XJ features the latest intelligent safety technologies. Forward Traffic Detection is designed to assist drivers when forward visibility is restricted, for example when pulling out of blind junctions.

Lane Keep Assist is able to determine the car’s lane position and monitor steering inputs. If the vehicle drifts out of its lane without indicating, the system applies gentle steering torque to correct the movement and prevent the unintended lane-change. In addition, Driver Condition Monitor is able to identify periods of little or no steering activity followed by sudden or excessive inputs – a clear indication of driver fatigue – and display multi-stage visual warnings to prompt the driver to take a break.

The pedestrian safety bar is raised further by Jaguar’s advanced Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which provides superior functionality with the introduction of Pedestrian Detection. The system operates from 5-60km/h and uses an advanced forward-facing stereo digital camera to spot hazards, automatically applying the brakes when the risk of a collision is detected.

The XJ is the pinnacle of Jaguar’s saloon car line-up. The luxury sports saloon delivers an unrivalled combination of Jaguar design and driving dynamics along with the ultimate in luxury refinement for drivers and passengers.

The authoritative yet elegant design is formed around Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture. Its low-slung coupe-like stance, precise lines and carefully judged proportions ensure it is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar from any angle.

Inside, customers experience a perfect combination of intricate handmade details and beautifully crafted materials such as semi-aniline leather and inlay veneers alongside advanced technology. Rear occupants benefit from over a metre of legroom in long wheelbase models.

For 2018MY a new XJR575 performance flagship is available, with a number of unique exterior and interior design cues including two unique paint colours created by Special Vehicle Operations. Meanwhile, a distinctive 575 intaglio and diamond-quilted seating finished with additional 575 branding set the interior apart.

“The Jaguar XJ is the largest model in our saloon car line-up and retains the physical presence and graceful design customers expect from a Jaguar flagship. Anyone who sees this car immediately knows it is both great to drive and to sit in. The intricate details inside and out give owners and passengers the feeling that they are in the presence of something truly special.” Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar

Creating a dynamic and refined driving experience has always been key to the Jaguar XJ’s appeal. Advanced Adaptive Dynamics dampers adjust to suit the conditions and driving style by monitoring the car up to 500 times a second. Analysing acceleration, cornering, throttle and brake pedal activity, and working alongside the air suspension system, the intelligent set-up improves body control in dynamic driving without compromising ride comfort.

The XJR575 features a unique version of Jaguar’s legendary 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. Delivering 423kW and 700Nm of torque, the engine powers the car from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 300km/h. The 19kW power increase is the result of enhanced engine calibration.

BMW Australia has announce pricing and specification for the new 420i Coupe and Gran Coupe Luxury Editions. These models will be available in showrooms from June, 2017.

The BMW 420i LCI Coupe and Gran Coupe Luxury Edition models further accentuate familiar Luxury Line assets while exhibiting additional standard specification on both aesthetic and technological fronts.

“The refined look and feel of the BMW 4 Series LCI has been taken a step further with the 420i Luxury Edition models,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner. “With even higher standard specification, the Luxury Editions highlight the 4 Series’ restrained blend of elegance and dynamic performance.”

BMW 4 Series LCI Luxury Edition pricing*:

  • BMW 420i Coupe $74,900
  • BMW 420i Gran Coupe $74,900

Improved standard specification further enhances presence

The BMW 420i Luxury Edition – available on both Coupe and Gran Coupe body styles – builds on the recent 4 Series LCI updates with further enhanced standard equipment. Popular 420i options, such as keyless Comfort Access, metallic paint and an electric glass sunroof, come standard for the Luxury Editions.

Inside, seat heating for those in the front row provides additional occupant comfort.

These additions augment the generous 420i Luxury Line specification, which includes a revised front apron to highlight the new LED front lighting signature, designed to distinctively widen and lower the new 4 Series’ stance.

At the rear, new L-shaped LED tail lights and a revised reflector design are integrated into a sophisticated rear bumper design (on Luxury Line models). The Luxury Edition rides on elegant new 19-inch light alloy road wheels, as per Luxury Line models.

Standard specification highlights:

The BMW 420i Coupe and Gran Coupe range is powered by the latest-generation ‘B48’ TwinPower 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. This generates 135kW of power along with a generous 270Nm of torque. When compared to pre-2016 variants, fuel consumption has been reduced to 5.8L/100km for both Coupe and Gran Coupe (down from 6.0L/100km and 6.1L/10km respectively).

Standard Specification includes:

- 19-inch light alloy wheels
- Eight-speed sports automatic transmission with gearshift paddles
- Adaptive M Suspension
- LED Headlights
- LED fog lights
- Exterior mirrors with anti-dazzle function
- Front and rear Park Distance Control
- Navigation System Professional with iDrive6
- Head Up Display
- Dakota Leather upholstery
- Electric sports seats with memory function
- Extended smartphone connectivity
- Emergency call and TeleServices
- ConnectedDrive Services
- Remote Services
- Real-time traffic information
- DAB+ radio capability
- Lane change warning
- Driving Assistant
- Surround View
- Speed Limit Info
- Rear View Camera
- Six-speaker stereo
- Automatic tailgate (Gran Coupe)

Condition Based Servicing

All maintenance requirements for the BMW 4 Series are controlled by the Condition Based Servicing (CBS) system.

With CBS, sensors and advanced algorithms monitor and calculate the conditions in which a vehicle is used, including mileage, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven. Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due.

Selected BMW service and maintenance costs can be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI), which is available in two packages: Basic or Plus.

Great Wall Motors chairman Wei Jianjun has officially launched his new WEY luxury SUV brand and unveiled two exciting new concept vehicles at the Guangzhou Motor Show. Aimed squarely at the growing audience of affluent younger buyers in China, the eponymous WEY brand promises to usher in a new era of luxury SUVs.

Production versions are expected to be launched at the Shanghai International Motor Show in Q2 of 2017. Boasting the latest automotive technologies, the WEY brand will be positioned higher than the best-selling HAVAL brand and promises to put luxury SUVs within reach of more customers.

“Great Wall is a company that will never be satisfied with sales figures. We will always look to make more breakthroughs. Our ambition is to make luxury SUVs more affordable for customers and gain worldwide recognition for desirable products made in China,” said Wei.

Wei introduced WEY CEO Jens Steingraeber, an industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience at Audi, where he headed up projects including the renowned R8 and TT sports cars. Steingraeber said the launch represented the culmination of four years’ hard work by a dedicated 1600-strong team and an investment of more than two billion dollars.

Two concept SUVs were unveiled to the media throng – the W01 and W02. The W01 sits atop a platform measuring 4800mm while the W02 platform is 4400mm long.

Various technologies have been promised for the new WEY luxury SUVs including:

  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Intelligent rear-view mirror linked to a camera with an 80-degree viewing angle
  • Virtual instrument panels, and
  • Plug-in hybrid powertrains

The brand is also investigating the potential application of autonomous driving systems and brainwave technology to future models. HAVAL suggested the launch signalled exciting times ahead for China’s leading SUV manufacturer. At this stage the WEY range of luxury SUVs will only go on sale in China. The WEY team will explore the potential for the brand expansion. Given the rise of SUV sales, we believe the brand would have enormous appeal.

Hyundai Motor Company unveiled its G90 premium luxury sedan for the Genesis brand in the U.S. market, the new flagship of the brand’s model line-up. The G90 will compete at the top of the premium luxury car segment with world-class technological innovations and the highest levels of refinement, convenience and dynamic performance.

Created by key members of the new Prestige Design Division, G90 represents the embodiment of the brand’s ‘Athletic Elegance’ design theme. The G90 silhouette is both powerful and refined, from its prominent hood, generous wheelbase, minimised overhangs and sophisticated rear deck contours. Inside the cabin, fine materials and textures from top automotive suppliers meet human-centered ergonomics to provide occupants with absolute convenience and luxurious comfort.

With advanced technological innovation at its core, G90 features GENESIS SMART SENSE, a suite of active driver safety technologies. These features cover the full spectrum of safety, from driver alertness and focus to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers around you. This suite brings together systems such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Smart Blind Spot Detection and Lane Keep Assist.

G90’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), utilising sensor fusion technology to help avoid a potential collision or reduce its impact. With this system, G90 will employ automatic braking when it detects another vehicle or pedestrian at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses the front radar from the Smart Cruise Control system and the forward camera from the Lane Keep Assist (LKA) to provide this extra margin of safety.

Benefitting from an intensive four-year development focus by an 800-strong team, the G90 offers best-in-class NVH refinement levels. Every detail of the interior has been crafted to enhance the car’s human-centered focus. Advanced ergonomic analysis dictates the positioning of driver controls, passenger comfort and entertainment features, while exclusive materials are sourced from the finest artisans around the world. For optimised comfort, Genesis offers a 22-way power driver seat. Vehicle dynamics, including ride comfort and road holding in adverse conditions, are optimized by combining an advanced H-TRAC all-wheel-drive system with the first application of Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (ACS).

G90 owners will immediately notice the highest standards of refined performance. These characteristics are central to the Genesis brand, with development teams carrying out rigorous performance testing at the company’s European Technical Centre at the Nürburgring in Germany and the California Proving Grounds in the Mojave Desert. Even with this sporty and responsive character, the G90 interior environment remains well-mannered. G90 powertrain options include an all-new 3.3-litre direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 or the award-winning Tau 5.0-litre direct-injected V8 for ultimate power.

In addition to the United States, G90 will be offered in other markets, including China, Russia and various countries in the Middle East. Five additional Genesis models are planned for launch within the next five years.

Genesis G90 – Human-centered Luxury Defined

01) Styling
Athletic Elegance in design that exudes confidence and originality

02) Powertrains
Refined, powerful and responsive powertrains

03) Driving Performance
Refined performance with sporty agility

04) Safety
Passenger-focused innovation and world-class safety technologies

05) Convenience Features
The ultimate worry-free ownership experience

06) Low Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
Extensive development for best-in-class refinement levels

07) Technical Specifications
Technical details of new Genesis G90

 

01) Styling

Led by key design members of Hyundai Motor’s new Prestige Design Division, the distinctive appearance of the G90 exudes both confidence and originality. Under the oversight of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, G90 expresses the first interpretation of the design theme ‘Athletic Elegance,’ which harmonises beauty and elegance of movement with dynamism and an explosion of energy.

The G90 exterior design conveys a natural dignity evident in both static and dynamic perspectives. In crafting the G90, the Prestige Design Division aimed to capture the car’s strength and originality, while presenting fresh appeal through innovative styling and sporting proportions.

From the front perspective, the G90 identity is conveyed through a Genesis-family design feature, the ‘CREST’ grille, and crowned with the winged Genesis emblem. Powerfully proportioned, the G90 combines a prominent hood with short overhangs, an unequivocal manifestation of its performance rear-drive architecture. Available full-LED signature headlights (V8 model) flow from fascia to fender – a key design element of the new Genesis brand. On the lower fascia, standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) add to the distinctive illumination signature. A unique interpretation of the hexagonal grille also supports a bold and confident front visage.

Inspired by clean, modern lines and effortless elegance, the sedan’s bold lines are accentuated along a distinctive chrome character line to the rear. From there, dual asymmetrical chrome exhaust tips surrounded by a lower fascia chrome accent provide a substantial reminder of power, while vertical full LED light signature elements complete the design message of athletic elegance. Even more, the clean lines of the G90 yield the additional benefit of an exceptional 0.27 Cd for minimised wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency, a best-in-class for the segment.

With luxurious interior spaciousness, the G90 is available in five colours created to accentuate its distinctive lines. Ranging from Casablanca White and Caspian Black to Manhattan Brown, Santiago Silver and London Gray, the colour palette was painstakingly matched to a wide spectrum of interior environments and sophisticated material selections.

Effortless ergonomics, interior design harmony, convenience and luxurious comfort helped craft the G90 interior design. From the graceful layout of driver controls and genuine, premium material selection, to meticulous craftsmanship, precision leather-stitched instrument panel and an elegant material colour palette, virtually every element of the interior focuses on the passengers.

Extensive consideration has been given to material selection for the G90. The highest-quality, authentic materials adorn the cabin, with ease of operation and intrinsic beauty as fundamental priorities for the interior. Throughout the cabin, the controls for these latest technologies are luxuriously ensconced amid Nappa leather and genuine wood accents, delighting the senses and cosseting the occupants in a first-class ambience. Even the Lexicon® audio speaker grilles convey an ultra- luxury ambience, precision-machined of high-grade aluminum alloy.

Passenger space is a key component of interior comfort and design, and the new G90 has significantly improved spaciousness, derived in part from a generous 11cm increase in wheelbase for greater passenger comfort. This increase in wheelbase also resulted in reduced overall overhangs when compared with the previous model. Inside the cabin, this translates to superior front headroom (104cm) and legroom (117cm) compared with key competitors.

02) Powertrains

Tuned for maximising driving confidence, a rigorous engine testing regime focused on overall responsiveness, while retaining luxury-class refinement levels. G90 is fitted with a choice of two petrol engines: a 3.3-litre direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine developing an estimated 272kW @ 6,000 rpm (premium fuel), or the top-trim 5.0-litre direct-injected V8 engine developing an estimated 314kW @ 6,000 rpm (premium fuel). With either powertrain, G90 boasts impressive performance characteristics even while offering exceptional passenger comfort, a hallmark of the Genesis brand.

G90 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine

The 314kW V8 powerplant develops an estimated 519Nm @ 5,000 rpm (premium fuel). Hyundai Motor’s first twin-turbocharged engine, the all-new 3.3L direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6, also boasts strong performance with an estimated 510Nm of torque throughout a wide RPM range of 1,300 - 4,500 rpm (premium fuel). Both G90 powerplants employ dual, mid-phase Continuously Variable Valve Timing for enhance power, efficiency and lower emissions.

G90 5.0-litre V8 engine

Further, both engines benefit from an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission with extensive lightweighting, reduced clutch-disc drag, lighter torque-converter components and reduced losses from lower oil pump displacement compared with the previous generation. This new transmission boasts lower overall weight, higher efficiency and more compact dimensions as well.

03) Driving Performance

A fundamental brand characteristic of all Genesis models is the careful melding of sporty agility and refined performance. At the pinnacle of the Genesis line, G90 achieves these often competing goals via an extensive research, development and testing regime.

G90’s engineers worked closely with the company’s European Test Centre based at Germany’s demanding Nürburgring circuit, and also put the car through its paces in controlled environments at Hyundai’s California Proving Grounds in the Mojave Desert. Through an intensive program of testing and development, the engineering team refined G90 ride, handling, steering feel and suspension damping to deliver an exhilarating driving experience with overall dynamics that are simultaneously luxurious, sporty and refined. G90 also features Intelligent Drive Mode with four distinct driving settings: Eco, Smart, Sport, and Individual (driver-specified parameters).

These four driver-selectable modes provide unique calibration settings for suspension, steering, stability control, engine, transmission and available AWD, allowing the driver to determine G90 driving character based on personal driving preferences, road quality, or traffic conditions. Further, G90 includes proprietary “Smart Shift and Drive Control” automatic transmission technology that analyses driving style and adjusts shift character, engine torque response and suspension damping in real-time driving conditions.

As a foundation for better handling precision, G90 body rigidity has been increased, with an overall bending rigidity six-percent higher than the Mercedes-Benz S550. To achieve this impressive rigidity, G90 utilises 52 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), a full 300 percent more than the previous generation, along with more than 183 metres of advanced structural adhesives.

To achieve the smoothest possible ride comfort while retaining engaging dynamics, G90 is fitted with a multi-link suspension design for minimised camber and toe changes throughout the suspension travel range. Rear cross member bushings were also improved from a rubber to a hydro construction. In addition, the Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension system with electronic damping control smoothly and precisely controls body motions throughout the range of dynamics with minimal compromises to ride comfort. This adaptive control suspension, sourced from Sachs/ZF®, offers independent damping control for both rebound and compression strokes of suspension travel for improved body and yaw control.

G90 motor-driven power steering was further refined with optimised assist-and-recovery calibrations and increased steering torsion bar rigidity for more precise steering responsiveness. Large, 19-inch turbine-blade design alloy wheels with 245/45R19 front and 275/40R19 rear performance tires ensure immediate response to steering inputs and precise handling character.

An advanced H-TRAC® AWD system is available with either powertrain, for confident control under adverse driving conditions such as ice or snow. This system features an electronic transfer case with active torque control and offers dual-mode Sport or Normal calibrations that are linked to the Intelligent Drive Mode. The H-TRAC system can direct up to 40 percent of available torque to the front axle, for enhanced traction in adverse conditions such as ice or snow. In more ideal conditions, the H-TRAC Sport calibration features a high degree of rear-drive bias for sportier cornering and acceleration characteristics, with up to 90 percent of available torque distributed to the rear axle. In addition, with the H-TRAC systems’ Economy mode, up to 100 percent of available torque is distributed to the rear wheels for maximum driveline efficiency.

G90 brakes were also improved for greater fade resistance with larger, 376mm rotors (5.0 V8 model) and thicker (34mm) front rotors, with dedicated cooling vents in the front fascia for enhanced front brake heat dissipation. Rear brake performance was also enhanced with larger, 340mm rotors. G90 brake calipers use a 4-piston fixed design in front and a 2-piston fixed design in the rear.

04) Safety

‘Safety without compromise’ summarises the passenger-centred philosophy that has directed the development of the G90. Its world-class safety technologies accompanied by outstanding structural rigidity combine to increase its overall safety quotient. G90 is expected to receive a 5-star safety rating (NHTSA), and a Top Safety Pick+ (IIHS), based on preliminary internal crash tests. All individual crash scenario classifications are expected to receive a Good rating or above.

The G90 body structure has been strengthened with a dual-layer member connection design and a newly optimised load-dispersion structure for the small overlap crash test. A variety of class-leading standard safety technologies work to minimise risk and maximise protection for the driver, passenger and other road users. These advanced safety features include: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Blind Spot Detection (SBSD), Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Dynamic Bending Light headlights with High Beam Assist, and a 360-degree Multi-view Monitor. In addition, G90 also features Smart Cruise Control with stop/go capability. For enhanced visibility for the driver, the Head’s-up Display has been increased from 19cm to 25cm with enhanced illumination.

05) Convenience Features

Simplicity and intuitive function were key elements in the development of G90 convenience features, delivering the ultimate carefree ownership experience for owners. In developing the car’s specifications and trim levels, every effort was made to provide customers with everything most customers would need without anything unnecessary or overly complicated.

Seating comfort was a key development target for G90. Ergo-design seating, including an electronically-controlled, 22-way power driver’s seat with power shoulder adjustment, was approved by the German campaign for healthier backs, Aktion Gesunder Rücken. The G90 passenger seat offers 16-way adjustment for optimal comfort. All front seat positions, side mirrors and steering column position are controlled by an integrated memory system. Front seat positions offer both heating and ventilation.

The upscale rear outboard passenger seats are electronically-adjustable in 12 ways (14-ways for the right seat position) on the 5.0 V8 model, ensuring the highest levels of comfort. These luxurious seats were carefully developed via thorough analysis of the renowned “Stressless” seat design. In addition, the rear seats offer heat, with ventilation on 5.0 V8 models. The rear seats offer an unusually high comfort level on V8 models, including power: slide linked with recline, shoulder-adjusters, rear lumbar support, 4-way head restraints and a rear integrated memory system controlled by a dedicated rear console selector.

Many of the car’s features rely on interaction with the car’s audio visual system displayed via a luxurious 12.3-inch high-definition widescreen in the center stack, operated via DIS control knob. The screen plays a key role in enhancing the ease of parking and tight urban maneuvering for drivers. A one-megapixel digital camera is activated when parking, simultaneously sharing the screen with a high-resolution 360-degree Multi-view monitor with steering guidelines. A heads-up display helps drivers to find key driving data while keeping their eyes safely on the road ahead. In addition, a seven-inch high-resolution TFT-LCD display enhances data recognition for the driver from the center gauge cluster.

Depending on individual taste or mood, one of seven interior ambient lighting mood lamps can be selected, and LED lamps are positioned in the overhead console and cabin lighting positions. From the outside mirrors, Genesis-logo approach lamps are projected on the ground for enhanced visibility while approaching the vehicle.

Ultra-high fidelity was an absolute development requirement for the G90 audio system. Presenting a concert-like experience, the Lexicon® Premium Sound System boasts QuantumLogic® Surround sound with 17 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer. Developed in concert with Grammy Award-winning artists and producers, QuantumLogic® Surround is a revolutionary new audio algorithm that is designed to mimic the acoustics of the original performance and recording space, identifying individual voices and instruments and re-authoring these into a precise multi-channel soundstage.

In addition, Clari-Fi® music reconstruction technology rebuilds sonic details typically lost in the compression process for digital music sources, adjusting fine musical nuances based on the overall quality of the audio signal. This helps to further maximise the high-fidelity listening experience with every track. On the 5.0L V8 model, the rear seats feature dual rear monitors with 9.2-inch high-definition screens that can be controlled from the rear seat Driver Information System controller.

Elsewhere in the finely-appointed cabin, the ventilation system offers a segment-first three distinct zones of control with a cabin CO2-level sensor and Air Quality System (AQS) that allows additional fresh air to enter the cabin when needed. The G90 steering wheel also offers a heating function as standard. G90 passengers can now conveniently charge their mobile devices with the latest Qi wireless-charging standard technology and utilise both front and rear USB ports. For ease of entry, the G90 includes a proximity key with an integrated push-button start system.

Power rear- and rear-side-window sunshades are also standard. From the outside, a power Smart Trunk with hands-free opening adds convenience whenever the owner’s hands are full for convenient loading and unloading, and all doors have power door closure function. For adverse weather, G90 also offers a windshield wiper de-icer, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-defogging windshield.

06) Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)

Engineers focused on segment-leading low NVH as a key differentiator for G90, dedicating hundreds of hours to fine-tuning every aspect of noise reduction and comfort enhancement. This obsessive attention to detail has resulted in G90 boasting best-in-class ratings for in-cabin noise levels, a major achievement in this critical area of refinement in the luxury segment.

With special sound-absorbing materials throughout the cabin, to the application of specially laminated acoustic film glass on every window, the G90 cabin is a pleasant refuge for its passengers. Road noise was further minimized through the development of a specialised Helmholtz design, with hollow, two-piece wheel construction, and an integral sound absorption chamber for the 19-inch alloy wheels. This design produces an innovative resonance effect which provides sound absorption for reduced tire noise levels in addition to lower unsprung weight for more responsive handling and better ride comfort.

Sound engineering also extended to the suspension set-up, optimised at test centres around the world for high-speed cruising, while minimising cabin noise intrusion and body vibration. Wind noise in the cabin has been reduced through the application of a 3-layer weather-strip seal on all doors. Special sound insulation now also includes the rear glass, while carpet and headliner insulation thickness have been increased by more than 20 percent. In the rear quarter panel, a special plate foam pad has been added as a special sound block for rear passengers.

For the powertrain, the intake ducting now employs a variable-type valve for minimised intake resonance at various engine speeds. In addition, transmission-housing rigidity has been improved with external rib enhancements and increased thickness leading to reduced NVH. In the engine bay, a special single continuous powertrain seal has been applied for reduced sound penetration into the cabin. Underneath G90, underbody airflow has been improved for reduced turbulence and wind noise, greater efficiency and enhanced stability at higher speeds.

07) Technical Specifications

Engines

 

Capacity (cc)

kW
(estimated)

Nm
(estimated)

3.3-Litre Twin-Turbocharged V6

3,342

272 @ 6,000 rpm

510 @
(1,300 - 4,500) rpm

5.0-Litre
Direct-injected V8

5,038

314 @ 6,000 rpm

519 @ 5,000 rpm

Drivetrain:

 Rear-wheel drive - standard
All-wheel drive – optional

Transmission:

 Eight-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with lock-up torque converter

Suspension and damping:

Front

Multi-link

Rear

Multi-link

Steering:

Type

Rack-mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering

Overall steering gear ratio

12.9

Steering wheel turns (lock to lock)

2.55

Minimum turning radius

6 metres

Wheels and tires:

Wheel size

Tires

8.5 x 19-inch (front)

245/45R19

9.5 x 19-inch (rear)

275/40R19

Exterior dimensions (mm):

Overall length

5,204

Overall width

1,915

Overall height

1,496

Wheelbase

3,160

Front overhang

861

Rear overhang

1,186

Front tread

1,641

Rear tread

1,638

Interior dimensions (mm):

 

Front

Rear

Head room

1,044

965

Leg room

1,176

960

Shoulder room

1,501

1,471

Capacities:

Fuel tank (gallons)

21.9

Luggage (cubic feet)

15.7 (SAE standard)

*Figures stated are manufacturer’s estimates for the U.S. market, specification in other markets may vary.

Hyundai has revealed the first rendering of its new range-topping G90 luxury sedan, which is named EQ900 in Korea. The elegantly designed, technology packed G90 hints at the recently-launched Genesis brand’s design identity and future direction. Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center and Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor, said, “Genesis’ new large luxury sedan G90 will deliver a concept of ‘New Luxury’ to our customers. The G90 sits at the pinnacle of the Genesis brand and demonstrates how we apply our human-centered values to give our customer true satisfaction in every aspect of the vehicle ownership experience.”

As the Genesis brand’s flagship model, G90 is a blueprint for change and innovation that will distinguish the Genesis brand. Majoring on ‘human-centred’ technology combined with engaging driving dynamics, G90 boasts a raft of world-best safety features and technological innovations to set itself apart in the luxury market.

G90 also showcases the Genesis brand’s hallmark design style ‘Athletic Elegance’, interpreted by the newly-formed Prestige Design Division to bring graceful and profound elegance to G90’s significant proportions. Crowned by the Genesis emblem, the grand radiator grille combined with sophisticated headlamps communicates the car’s dynamic, future-orientated character. A theme that flows along a body-length character line to the long and agile rear lamp cluster completes the Athletic Elegance of G90.

Hyundai created the Genesis brand for a new generation of discerning consumers. Capitalising on its success in the fast-growing global car market, Hyundai will launch six new Genesis models by 2020. The launch of G90 is scheduled for early December in Korea.

Hyundai Motor has announced an all-new global luxury brand – Genesis – that will deliver ‘human-centred’ luxury through a range of new models that feature the highest standards of performance, design and innovation. reated for a new generation of discerning consumers, Genesis will be a stand-alone brand that operates alongside the company’s popular Hyundai marque. Capitalizing on its success in the fast-growing global car market, Hyundai Motor will launch six new Genesis models by 2020 and will compete with the world’s most renowned luxury car brands.

The Genesis brand seeks to create a new definition of luxury, one that will provide a new platform for future mobility centred on people. By anticipating human needs at every touch point, Genesis models will embody four key aspects: Human-focused innovation, refined and balanced performance, athletic elegance in design and hassle-free customer experience.

“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction. The Genesis brand will fulfil these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centred brand strategy,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman.

Genesis models will boast outstanding driving dynamics and design, with innovations tailored to closely-meet the needs of customers. The new model line-up will distance itself from the traditional technological overload of brand-focused competitors, concentrating instead on a personalized, hassle-free customer experience. Continuing the customer-oriented approach that flows through every Genesis model, sales and service staff will provide rapid and attentive service to customer’s requests. To elevate and differentiate the Genesis brand from Hyundai, a distinct design identity, emblem, naming structure and customer service offering is being established.

Genesis models will be badged with a new wing-type emblem, redesigned from the version used on the current Genesis model to create an even more luxurious look. This emblem firmly cements the Genesis models as a collective family of luxury models under the Genesis nameplate. The Genesis brand will also adopt a new alphanumeric naming structure. Future models will be named by combining the letter ‘G’ for Genesis with a number, 90, 80 or 70 etc., representing the segment.

Woong Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Centre and Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor said, “The Genesis models will provide technological innovation, excellent driving performance and luxury to customers. Every Genesis model will be created with the needs of our customers in mind, so the resulting car will perfectly meet their needs without any unnecessary burden or excess.”

Fitted with the latest proactive safety technologies, intuitive convenience features and IT connectivity, Genesis models are engineered to provide excellent ride comfort while retaining confident sportiness. To develop a distinctive and differentiated design for the new Genesis brand vehicles, Hyundai Motor has created a Prestige Design Division. From mid-2016 Luc Donckerwolke, who was previously responsible for the design of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, SEAT and Skoda models at the Volkswagen Group, will lead this new division alongside his role as Head of the Hyundai Motor Design Centre. The work of the new Prestige Design Division will be overseen by Peter Schreyer, as part of his group-wide design responsibilities as President and Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Hyundai Motor Group.

Peter Schreyer commented, “In creating the design signature of Genesis brand cars, we set out to display confidence and originality, creating highly desirable products that present new charm through innovative styling and proportions.”

The name ‘Genesis’, which also means new beginnings, hints at the new values and standards that the brand will bring to the global luxury car market. Initially on sale in the Korean, Chinese, North American and Middle Eastern luxury car markets, the Genesis brand will expand its reach to Europe and other parts of Asia as the model range grows to full strength. Setting the brand’s cars apart from competitors, innovation will begin with the consumer, with customer requirements directing development. This philosophy echoes the vision of Hyundai Motor to be a ‘lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond’, with the ‘Modern Premium’ brand direction of Hyundai reinterpreted for the new Genesis marque.

Since the launch of its first cars in 1967, Hyundai Motor has grown quickly to become one of the world’s leading automakers. The strategic decision to create an all-new luxury car brand is recognition of the company’s strengths and its global ambitions. By introducing new customers to Hyundai Motor and elevating its competitiveness, the new Genesis brand will enable more people to experience the premium value of Hyundai Motor.

My Drive this week was the Tesla Model S, a sedan running only on electricity by a relatively new company based in Silicon Valley in the USA. The Model S is as revolutionary as they get, and in 15 years of testing cars I don’t think I’ve quite driven anything like this car, but let me get to it in a moment. The name “Tesla” is one that’s only recently begun circulating around Australia, but Tesla Motors has been around for a little longer than that, being founded in California back in 2003. They’ve been working only on electric cars, starting with the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster they released around five years ago now. However, the Model S I’m talking about today is the company’s own completely in-house design, and for a car company with only 12 years of experience, you have to marvel at just what they’ve created here.

Just take the exterior design for instance. At first glance, it’s a large, sleekly-styled saloon that looks like your average luxury sedan, but the door handles appear to be chrome-coloured parts that are completely buried in the doors themselves. There doesn’t appear to be any way of operating them until you move closer to the car, where they gradually slide out, now ready for you to pull on them and open the door. Tesla explains that having the handles completely buried in the doors improves aerodynamic drag, reducing power consumption. Very high-tech.

Once you step inside the Model-S, your attention goes to the massive 17 inch LCD touchscreen built into the centre of the dashboard. This vertically-oriented screen is the control centre of the car, because everything is operated from this screen. The door locks, the headlights, the climate control system, everything. And while the car is almost completely missing any buttons altogether, I have to say, this way of doing things is just so intuitive. The top of the screen has status icons, just like your smartphone. There’s a Bluetooth status icon; tap it and you get the Bluetooth control screen, where pairing your phone is the simplest process I’ve seen in any car. There’s also the name of who’s driving the car; tap here and you get the profile control screen. You can set up profiles for everyone driving the car, and it’s only a matter of changing this profile to have seat, mirror and steering wheel position memory change, as well as every other personalisation setting change for that person.

Satellite navigation is standard and it’s based on Google Maps, although the navigation itself is provided by Tesla. You just have to begin typing your destination or address to get it to come up, and once you select it, bang, your navigation starts. It’s that much easier than competing systems, and it also will show the location of any registered charging stations, even factoring them into really long journeys where you might not have enough energy to make it. I’ll get to charging stations later, but having said this, the nav system can do with a bit more customisation. For example, you can’t tell it to specifically avoid tollways, which is a shame. But really, once you’ve got Google Maps up on a 17 inch screen, it’s hard to go back.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how Google Maps works without an internet connection, that’s because the car actually has its own one powered by Telstra’s 3G network, which Tesla says is free with the car for the first four years. This connectivity also allows Tesla to provide software updates for the whole car over the internet, just like your smartphone. This means software problems can be quickly fixed, and even new features can be added to the car over time. Tesla has already promised autopilot-related updates to the cruise control down the track, and I’ve been told newer cars will get faster 4G connections soon too. Amazing.

The driver’s instrument cluster is also one big LCD screen which shows a lot of information and can be reconfigured. You have both digital and analogue speedos and you can display trip information, energy consumption, the media player and even navigation info when you have a destination set.

I can go on and on here but I’ll mention one other thing I like about the screens – the attention to detail. Whenever you change something related to the car such as the headlights, you have a picture of the Model S on-screen to show you how the car looks as you change it. What’s great is that the picture of your particular car is exactly the way you’ve customised it – the car’s colour, the alloy wheels, if there’s a sunroof or not, all of it. It’s not just a random placeholder picture, it’s your car. These minor touches are everywhere to be found in the Model S, and it makes the experience special.

Ok, let’s get to the rest of the interior. It’s huge. With the electric motor in the rear, there’s no transmission tunnels or other mechanicals so there’s loads of legroom both front and back. Looking at luggage storage space, there’s a massive 744 litres of storage space in the rear boot, and you can drop the back seats to go up to more than double that capacity. Notice I said rear boot. Yes, there’s a front one too. There’s no engine or anything up front, so that space has been repurposed into a small 150 litre storage compartment under the bonnet. Beautiful.

Now let’s get to the driving. My test car was the 85 variant, which refers to a rear-wheel electric drivetrain with an 85 kWh battery, good for an official 502 km of range, although more realistically you’ll get just under 400 km out of it, still very practical for an electric car, or any car for that matter. For comparison, there’s a smaller and cheaper 70 kWh battery, as well as a larger 90 kWh battery available. The rear motor produces 270 kilowatts of power and 440 Newton-metres of torque in a direct drive configuration, meaning there’s no gearbox at all. It’s good for 0-100 km in 5.6 seconds.

In a word, wow. The amazing thing about electric torque is how instant, linear and consistent it is. Put your foot down in the Model S and the car will respond by nailing you into your seat in a way that no petrol or diesel engine can match. That’s how strong, how ferocious, and also how instant the acceleration is. If you need to suddenly overtake a car for whatever reason, I can tell you now that with the Model S you can do it with confidence because it will respond instantly and move quickly – it’s that impressive. It also does it in almost complete silence – the drivetrain is so refined that, even under full acceleration, the most you hear is the small whine of loads of electrical current being dropped into the motor, but dial things down and drive normally and it goes silent. If you listen really carefully you’ll hear a very slight hum at certain speeds, but otherwise, nothing. When they say silence is golden, they were probably talking about this car. Of course, the car itself is also soundproofed quite well, with road noise barely intruding into the car at all. The ride itself is a little too sporty however, being a little firm with small corrugations mostly transmitted into the cabin even at low speeds. It’s here that the Model S could use a little more work.

Energy consumption averaged out around 21 kWh per 100 kilometres, so with an 85 kWh battery you will get a 400 kilometre or so range as I mentioned earlier. If you have to travel further than this in one trip, Tesla operates a network of charging stations it calls Superchargers, which can top up your car with a few hundred kilometres of range in around half an hour – enough time for a coffee break. The company is in the process of building out this network on major highways around Australia, starting with the east coast, and best of all, the electricity they supply is free for the foreseeable future. Tesla has also got agreements with quite a few hotels and other facilities to supply charging infrastructure for Model S owners, so I think you’ll be hard pressed to get any range anxiety whatsoever in this car.

The Tesla Model S starts from $113,152 dollars for the cheapest 70 variant, and quickly works its way up from there with several options to choose from.

I have to say, it’s an absolutely amazing car that is extremely competitive with other luxury carmaker offerings, and it will be very interesting to see whatever else Tesla Motors conjures up in the future. That’s it for me this week.

August 8th 2015
Albert Malik

The F 015 Luxury in Motion is the visionary answer of Mercedes-Benz to a rapidly changing world. By 2030, the number of mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants will increase from about 30 to over 40. "The single most important luxury goods of the 21st century are private space and time," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Autonomously driving cars by Mercedes-Benz shall offer exactly that. With the F 015 Luxury in Motion, this revolutionary concept of mobility becomes tangible for the first time."

Progressing from the self-propelled ("automotive") to the self-reliant ("autonomous") vehicle, Mercedes-Benz as a pioneer goes far beyond the purely technical realization of automated driving. People are always at the centre of such considerations. Just as the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car and its successors revolutionized personal mobility and, as a consequence, society as a whole, the first self-driving cars will also bring about major changes.

The pivotal feature of the innovative interior concept is the variable seating system, with four rotating lounge chairs that allow a face-to-face seat configuration. All four passengers can use their time aboard to work, to relax or to communicate. In order to make getting in and out of the car easier, the electrically powered seats also swing outwards by 30 degrees as soon as the doors are opened.

One key aspect of the research vehicle is the continuous exchange of information between vehicle, passengers and the outside world. This is facilitated by six display screens harmoniously integrated into the instrument panel and the rear and side panels, which turn the interior of the F 015 Luxury in Motion into a digital arena. Passengers can interact intuitively with the connected vehicle through gestures, eye-tracking or by touching the high-resolution screens. Employing laser projection and LED displays, the electrically propelled F 015 Luxury in Motion establishes contact to the outside world and is a real social partner in traffic.

Dr Zetsche: "Already two years ago, with the S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE we showed on the historical route Bertha-Benz took in 1888 that we have the technology which makes autonomous driving reality in everyday traffic. We have a master plan in place to take the big leap required getting from technically feasible to commercially viable. The F 015 Luxury in Motion demonstrates where this may take us.