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Aston Martin is shifting up a gear. With the launch of the brand-new ‘regular’ flagship, as opposed to the super-exclusive One-77 and Zagato V12 models — the company is preparing itself for a new era of model development while continuing to stress that evolution, not revolution, will always be its guiding philosophy. A clear sign of evolution is the use of the Vanquish name for the new model, which is due to be launched in the summer with the first cars ready for delivery early next year. The original Vanquish, shown as a concept in 1998 and built between 2001 and 2007, was the first Aston to signal a move away from traditional construction methods. This new edition introduces a much stiffer ‘Generation 4’ version of the adaptable ‘VH’ bonded aluminium monocoque chassis that arrived with the DB9 in 2003. It also introduces a completely re-engineered version of Aston’s 6.0-litre V12 engine, with variable valve timing, new heads, bigger inlet valves and throttle bodies, and new manifolds that boost power and torque. Most importantly, the revised engine meets forthcoming US clean-air legislation. For the first time in a series-production Aston, the outer panels are all formed in carbonfibre. The body design presents a fresh face because of the influence of the One-77, and is the culmination of a three-year project led by Miles Nurnberger, Aston’s chief exterior designer. Nurnberger acknowledges the car’s use of “simple” existing Aston cues (low nose, ‘moustache’ grille, steeply raked screen, exaggerated rear haunches), but describes the car as “more deeply sculpted” than previous Astons. The car sits on a skirt of exposed carbonfibre in reference to its all-carbonfibre body construction. It features an integral rear wing specifically designed to look — on the orders of Aston chief Ulrich Bez — as if it was impossible to make. Nurnberger says that the extra sculpting and radically waisted shape of the Vanquish’s 2+2 body will make the car look quite different from existing Astons on the road, although it takes care to maintain the marque’s fundamental character. “An Aston always wears a suit,” he says. “It is assertive, not aggressive; powerful but polite.” Inside, the Vanquish gets an all-new cockpit design, still with a prominent centre stack, but with a suite of new hardware, including lighter and smaller screen, ventilation and hi-fi controls. The DB9’s allegedly jewel-like instruments, seen in most Astons since 2003, get a new, quieter and more technical-looking set of analogue dials, which are much clearer to read. The fascia ‘volumes’ have been reduced and moved 20mm away from occupants to give more room and a feeling of airiness without losing the tailored feel. Aston is keen to keep the bespoke nature of its trim, with hand-stitching, rich colours and classy materials, but beyond that the list of possible variations is almost limitless. The Vanquish sits on an identical 2740mm wheelbase to the DB9 (which continues as core model) and the DBS it replaces, but is “a shade” wider, longer and taller than both models. However, stung by suggestions that it keeps using a 10-year-old chassis, Aston engineers point out that in this first ‘Gen 4’ iteration, the new VH structure is 30 per cent stiffer than a DBS, thanks mostly to a new design of engine brace. The Gen 4 VH structure also uses improved anodising and bonding techniques, makes greater use than ever before of structural carbonfibre and features a boot space fully 60 per cent larger than that of a DBS (and 10 per cent bigger than a Bentley Continental’ coupé’s). More on that here
There were lots of boos around when Bentley first revealed their SUV . Having said that , Bentley gave ears to all the critics and have done their home work in the looks department They even revealed a teaser pic of the SUV Now we have the first ever Spy pic of the humungous SUV :) Waiting with eyes wide open for the launch which is stated sometime in 2016 ! Sorry for the low resolution pic, Pic source : Topgear India
Bentley just confirmed that it will be building an SUV which will go on sale in 2016. There are some renderings which have surfaced on the net and personally I find them really ugly. What do you think? I feel the exclusivity of a Bentley will be lost if they go in that direction Pics source: Autocar UK & Auto Express
What do get when you take a Bentley Continental GT and give it a boot and two additional doors? You get the perfect recipe for the fastest production saloon car in the world. And that is exactly what the new Continental Flying Spur is. The Flying Spur was recently launched in India adding to the already existing line up of the Arnage R and the Continental GT. So me, having an fetish for fast cars, and this being the "fastest saloon in the world", I knew I had to get behind the wheel of this baby. What do I do? Make a call to the Bentley dealer and book a test drive. Easier said than done. After a host of calls and few days later I finally manage to get an appointment. A flying Spur driving experience om Mumbai's Marine Drive on a Saturday evening sounded perfect. Read on to know about one of my best automotive experiences ever. There I was heading towards my destination immensely excited about what was to follow. As I reached my destination, lo and behold, a gleaming Flying Spur waiting just for me. Walked up to this beauty and it had me gaping in awe, and I looked like a small kid wanting his favourite candy from the candy store. It is stunning in the flesh. Looking at the car from the front, there is absolutely no difference between the Spur and its cousin the GT. The huge front grille is very imposing and the twin headlamps are typical Bentley. The side profile gives you an idea of how beautifully the Spur has been crafted. The design has very smooth flow and there isnt a stroke put wrong here. The rear end is nice too and if you notice the tail lamps have been carried over from the GT. But given a choice between the two, I would still go for the GT coupe. Don't ask me why? It's just that I have this thing for coupes. After such a beautiful exterior, I just couldnt wait to get to the insides. The interior of the Flying Spur pampers you with its luxury. As I got into the drivers seat, I knew I had entered an all new dimension. The quality of material used for the interior reminds you of the Bentley heritage. A classic mix of the finest grade leather and wooden veneers give the interiors a timeless appearance. I was told that Bentley offers 17 interior trim options and 16 exterior colours for the Flying Spur to suit each customer's needs. Talk about customization phew.. There is loads of leg room in the rear and if you dont like the conventional five seat layout, you can go in for the four seat cabin option where you have a central console running between the two rear seats. Now comes the best part...driving this monster. Powering this beast is a six litre 12 cylinder engine with two turbo chargers which is also found on the GT . Get this baby going and the power will blow your mind away. I had a short drive due to time constraints. We'll I wasnt complaining. The fact that I was driving this car within a week of its India launch was quite an achievement in itself. I started off driving lightly just to get accustomed to the power. The best part about this car is thats its a true cruiser when you drive it with a light foot and no sooner do push it more, it turns into a rocket. The Spur's powerhouse of an engine pumps out 552 bhp @ 6100 rpm and 650 Nm of torque @ 1600 rpm which is absolutely mind boggling. Don't believe me? Floor that pedal and you'll know what I'm talking about. The growling sound from that engine is mesmersing and you feel it telling you " yeh dil mange more". Well if it wasnt for the evening traffic I would have no problems in obliging to that request. The kicks you get every time those turbos come into the picture are very addictive. Mated to the engine is a 6 speed auto transmission gearbox. The gear changes are super smooth and for those who are not fond of auto trannys, you can drive using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel a la Formula 1. The Spur rides on massive 19 inch alloys and you have an option to in for 20 inchers to in either sports or chrome finish. The drive was exhilarating, time just flew by and before I knew it, it was over. Those few moments I spent in motoring heaven are something I will always treasure for life. This car was actually driven by me in 2005 when the Bentley FS was just launched in India. When I drove it, it was the most powerful car I had ever driven at 552 bhp. Of course time has flown by and I have driven more powerful cars as well as of today. But this will always be a special memory since exotics and high end luxo barges were a rarity in India then. Will try and look up more pictures