Posts tagged with "drive"

ROLLS-ROYCE JOINS THE REBELLE RALLY

ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS JOINS THE REBELLE RALLY SHOWCASING ITS FIRST SUV IN STYLE

·       Rolls-Royce Cullinan joins the Rebelle Rally with its first entry into the world of adventure

·      The Cullinan is the first SUV for Rolls-Royce featuring its first All-Wheel Drive system paired with the brand’s proprietary Architecture of Luxury to create an ‘Effortless, Everywhere’ experience

·      Drawing from its strong history of adventure, Rolls-Royce enters this unique event with elements of serious competition and the ultimate luxury journey

·      2018 Rebelle Co-Champions have the honor to pilot in luxury for 2019 rally

When Rolls-Royce Motor Cars designed the Cullinan, they envisioned it being ‘Effortless, Everywhere’, and now that vehicle will be tested to its very limits when it enters as a competitor in the 2019 Rebelle Rally. The Cullinan will be contending in this unique adventure which combines elements of serious competition as teams navigate their way to checkpoints across the American West. Piloted by driver Emme Hall with direction by navigator Rebecca Donaghe, they’ll leave cell phones, computers, GPS and worries behind as the adventure is all about the teams and their endless abilities. True to its promise, Cullinan will provide the ultimate experience of ‘effortless everywhere.’

The Rebelle Rally, entering its fourth year, is the first all-female off-road navigational rally in the United States. The event has a unique challenge and scoring system where precise navigation and timing, not speed, is the ultimate goal. Participants trade in cell phones and GPS for old-school navigation in a competition for the elements of time, distance, headings, and hidden checkpoints. Armed only with maps, compasses, and roadbooks, 50 teams of two will be pushed to their limits as they make their way across 2,000+ kilometers of Nevada and California’s iconic terrain.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Rally Debut

When Rolls-Royce Cullinan made its debut last year, it was truly a Rolls-Royce that has never been seen before. When Sir Henry Royce said, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, he could have had Cullinan in mind.

Architecture of Luxury

Key to the creation of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV is the new Architecture of Luxury – Rolls-Royce’s proprietary all-aluminium architecture. Introduced with the new Phantom in 2017. Cullinan uses this new architecture to deliver elegant Rolls-Royce design and presence with uncompromised comfort, space and usability.

The all-new aluminium sub-structure delivers extraordinary car body stiffness for exceptional ‘best-in-class’ functional performance on rough terrain while offering better ride comfort.

It was designed and engineered from the ground up to be scalable to a variety of size and weight requirements for future Rolls-Royce models.  The engineering will also make it compatible with different propulsion, traction and control systems and industry electric drive. In short, the Architecture of Luxury is the technological underpinning for the long-term future Rolls-Royce product roadmap.

The component parts of the base architecture were reconfigured into a spaceframe for Cullinan that was higher and shorter while also delivering a completely new feature never seen before on a series production Rolls-Royce – a tailgate.

Technological Showcase

The integration of new technologies into the architecture was also key to ensuring the fundamental quality of Cullinan as Effortless, Everywhere. The engineering team began by creating a drivetrain that would bring Rolls-Royce’s famous ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ off-road.

“The drivetrain system we engineered for Cullinan had one key job to do,” explains Caroline Krismer, Engineering Project Leader for Cullinan. “To bring the famed Rolls-Royce ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ to all other terrains possible, while ensuring class-leading on-road behaviour in the SUV sector.”

Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride is experienced off-road as well as on-road thanks to the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. When driving off-road, the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system uses an air compression system to actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction to ensure every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is being provided to all wheels.

Through a re-engineering of the existing air suspension system – including adding larger air struts with more air volume to cushion the blows of the toughest of terrains, the suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and deliver incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to incredible drivability and nimbleness.

“Put simply, what makes the car great on-road makes the car great off-road,” concludes Krismer.

Cullinan features the reworked new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine[1] to deliver just the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rpm.) The Rolls-Royce engineering team has ensured Cullinan will take owners to places no modern Rolls-Royce owner has travelled in luxury before.

Mated to the celebrated Rolls-Royce V12 6.75 liter engine is an enhanced state of the art and fully capable eight-speed transmission that delivers with power and grace.  Using Rolls-Royce’s unique Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology, Cullinan’s systems read road and altitude data from the GPS system and anticipate upcoming gear shifts. This advanced SAT system reduces gear shifts by 20%, giving a more efficient and smoother ride regardless of road conditions. The drive system also features strengthened drive and prop shafts, the inclusion of drive to the front wheels as well as the back for the first time in Rolls-Royce history.

The final piece of the puzzle of ensuring that the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Effortless, Everywhere is one single button. Known within Rolls-Royce as the ‘Everywhere’ button, one single push is all it takes to harness all the aforementioned peerless Rolls-Royce engineering and unleash all of Cullinan’s off-road capability.

Once engaged, the driver can finesse the off-road setting to conquer any situation, whether it be rough track, gravel, wet grass, mud, snow or sand delivering all 627 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels without interruption. Faced with deep snow, sand or the need to ford streams, Cullinan also delivers the deepest wading depth of any super-luxury SUV at 21-inches (540 mm) thanks to its highest ride height.

In-vehicle Technology

A host of cutting-edge technology makes Rolls-Royce Cullinan the most technologically advanced car of its type in the world. Further equipment includes:

·        Alertness Assistant; a 4-Camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility and helicopter view

·        Night Vision and Vision Assist including daytime and night-time Wildlife & Pedestrian warning

·        Active Cruise Control

·        Collision Warning

·        Cross-Traffic Warning

·        Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning

·        An industry leading 7×3 High-Resolution Head-Up Display

·        The latest Navigation and Entertainment Systems

Piloting the Adventure

Leading the Cullinan through this incredible adventure are the co-champion Rally team of Emme Hall and Rebecca Donaghe. This team has been competing together since 2016 and were both part of the first Rally four years ago. Emme Hall resides in Oakland and has been an automotive journalist with CNET since 2015. Navigator Rebecca is originally from Houston but now resides in Marina Del Rey where she works as a producer. Their combined skill sets complement each other and make for one unbelievable dynamic duo.

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine

LS Hybrid

2019 LS Hybrid: The Rolls-Royce of Lexus

By Yuan Chen × Vaughn Lowery

If you are in the market for an elegant yet bespoke type of vehicle, you definitely should consider the 2019 Lexus LS 500h. As of late, we decided to take this extremely luxurious sedan on a drive around the NYC metropolitan area to rendezvous with our east coast counterparts. Unlike the 2019 Audi A8L, 2019 BMW 740e or 2018 Mercedes-Benz S650, 2019 Lexus LS 500h is a vehicle which is filled with passion, performance and a boat load of technology.

Design

The design team was inspired by traditional Japanese design and culture for the 2019 Lexus LS 500h, offering meticulous craftsmanship with an array of appointments and newly pronounced spindle grille. Outside – the silhouette is sleek and athletic. Inside – the art wood herringbone, ambient lighting and hand pleated trim (reminiscent of origami) makes everyone who enters the cabin feel like Japanese royalty.

“I want those who see the grille to appreciate the design and to wonder at its creation. I want them to be amazed at first glance.”– Lexus Takumi craftsman Yasuhiro Nakashima

It’s astonishing how the company’s master craftspeople were able to fabricate their idea from a single piece of mesh (interlocking L-shaped pieces) into a reality. The complex process of its mouth started with the designer’s pen, and then a computer rendering took it further. But most importantly, the fine-tuning of the final production mold utilized Lexus Takumi craftsman Yasuhiro Nakashima’s highly trained hand. He helped it become more evocative and daring.

Technology

LS Hybrid is loaded with a vast amount of features which are comparable to many top luxury manufacturers such as Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Lexus Enform Remote, Rear-seat Touchscreen Controls, Satellite radio, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth capability and Remote Touchpad. Additionally, if you enjoy concert hall sound while driving, upgrade to the Mark Levinson Quantum Logic audio system. With this immersive 2400-watt audio package, the LS 500h provides an unprecedented listening experience for every person in the vehicle. This can be attributed to their 16 channels, 23-speaker injected surround system (four in the ceiling speakers and the largest subwoofer the manufacturer has ever used).

Performance

“The car hovers with both sophistication and poise unlike any other. One of the main reasons we fell back in love with Lexus” – Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

The LS 500 was built on the platform of the high-performance LC coupe, the LS 500 features Lexus’s first-ever twin-turbocharged engine. LS 500 has shared the same turbocharged V6 engine with the newest Audi A8L. However, LS 500h has 354hp with 257 lb-ft of torque (achieving 0 to 60 in just 5.1 secs in RWD or 5.2 secs in AWD). After six generations, the purveyors of this prestige hybrid sedan managed to maintain the industry’s leading benchmark in its class. It’s the first multi-stage hybrid luxury sedan and, contains the instinctive feel of a 10-speed automatic transmission, the most responsive and fastest LS Hybrid with a potent 354 valve Atkinson-cycle gas engine alongside of compact dual electric motors. Their lightest and most compact self battery. If you select different drive modes (from ECO to sport) you can transform from a town car into a spunky 4 seat space ship which rockets into action. With a 22.2 gallon tank, this 3.5L 6cyl gas/electric EVT flagship gets up to 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

Safety

LS 500h comes with anti-lock brakes and AWD which aids the vehicle’s ability to turn while braking, effortlessly gripping/stopping on most road conditions/terrains. Also, this model comes well-equipped with airbags: front, knee, overhead and seat side impact for the driver and their co-pilot. Another safety feature worth mentioning are the seat belt pretensioners which automatically tighten straps when abruptly coming to a halt.

Have you ever been on a road trip with traffic and consistently worrying about the sudden stops of the front car? There are no more worries when it comes to 2019 Lexus LS 500h. This model contains features like drivers assist, lane departure assist, park assist and the 360 backup camera which will assist you the best while driving on the highway as well as backing up on tiny roads. While driving in Manhattan in bumper to bumper traffic with pedestrians on all sides, tons of sensors and alerts warned us as people/vehicles (within our blind spots) approached the vehicle. The aforementioned came in handy as this vehicle has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor.

Ergonomics/Additional Features

Best of all, the driver’s seat (28-way adjustable) has 7-massage options for both you and the passenger. This is important for driver’s fatigue on long drives and helps circulate the blood in the lower/upper extremities. Even more, the model also has powered operated privacy screens in the back to block out the sun. Moreover, this model allows you to raise higher and lower by the press of a button so that you can avoid unnecessary scraping while driving up steep driveways.

Not to mention, with the executive package the backseats automatically recline when passengers enter (with ottoman). The climate concierge allows for massage features along with heated/cooling, ventilated seats for added comfort. Most of which can be controlled with the rear seat controls. If this doesn’t make you feel like an emperor/empress, we don’t know what will.

In short, the 2019 Lexus LS 500h is a perfect match for someone whom likes to drive and to be driven – a high profile executive, celebrity and/or a member of an elite dynasty. At approximately $107,000, this vehicle will provoke a certain level of importance. Instead of driving to meetings, most likely meetings will be held inside of it. It’s quiet, smooth suspension as well as hospitable yet intuitive tech make it one of the best in it’s class.

View on Lexus Website here

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Ls hybrid, Lexus, 360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery

*Photos courtesy of Vaughn Lowery

AIWAYS previews intelligent AI cockpit tech at CES Asia 2019

  • AIWAYS gives show visitors first opportunity to experience new AI and AR technology
  • Shanghai-based company previews ‘Intelligent Care System’ of all-electric AIWAYS U5 SUV, set to go on sale in 2020

AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, is previewing its new intelligent cockpit technology at CES Asia 2019. Committed to creating a new travel lifestyle that exceeds drivers’ expectations, AIWAYS is giving show visitors the first opportunity to experience its innovative approach to connectivity, including industry-first artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) features.

These new smart technologies will be presented to consumers as part of the AIWAYS holistic ‘Intelligent Care System’ connectivity package, set to be an integral part of the all-electric U5 SUV when it goes on sale in selected markets in 2020. The system has been developed to offer U5 occupants a personal, friendly and intelligent cockpit environment.

Mr Cai Jianjun, AIWAYS Executive Vice-President of Sales and Service, said: “Our mission at AIWAYS is to provide intelligent systems that make driving easier and more enjoyable for motorists. We believe technology should be warm and inviting, and the Intelligent Care System has been designed to create a ‘home away from home’ for occupants while travelling. We look forward to sharing our ideas with CES visitors and giving them the opportunity to experience these exciting new technologies first hand.”

A leading feature of the Intelligent Care System is the ‘AI Virtual Assistant’. This driver-support technology uses AI algorithms to create an anthropomorphic in-car assistant based on a human appearance defined by the user, replacing faceless computer images. Enhancing the familial atmosphere, new voice synthesis technology allows users to give their virtual assistant a personalized voice, mimicking that of themselves, a friend, or loved-one, making the inside of the car feel like home.

Underpinning this ‘intelligent mobile companion’ proposition is a ‘Multimodal Active Interaction System’. Like the AI Virtual Assistant, this also uses AI algorithms to learn driver preferences, habits and gestures, allowing the car to intuitively understand and proactively attend to their needs. The ‘Driver Monitoring System’ observes driver behavior and provides warnings in certain situations to improve safety, including looking out for instances of driver fatigue and distraction. The monitoring system can also scan the vehicle after locking and alert drivers through the complementary AIWAYS app if they have left personal belongings inside.

A first for in-car augmented reality technology, an innovative ‘AR User Manual’ takes the complexities of a conventional printed vehicle manual off the page and into more engaging scenario-based episodic animations. This is designed to help drivers use and understand their vehicle more efficiently and effectively.

Keeping children entertained on the road while creating cherished memories is a challenge for any parent. The ‘AR Story Platform’ enables occupants to keep a visual record of memories from journeys, with the ability to create 3D picture books through AR technology at the end of a drive. The interactive picture book encourages children to develop their own stories and record time spent travelling, creating an engaging, multi-sensory experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Throughout CES Asia 2019, AIWAYS will enable visitors to experience Intelligent Care System technologies for themselves through a series of interactive displays. Show attendees should visit the AIWAYS exhibition area (Hall N5, Booth 5382) to find out more.

CES Asia 2019 takes place 11-13 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).

2019 GMC Sierra Denali

From a distinct grill and smooth ride, the all new 2019GMC Sierra Denali is elegantly appointed and design to make you live like a pro. Simply put, this is more than a work truck. Luxury goes to work to ease your burdens. The multi-pro liftgate makes lifting any load a breeze. It is your time to step up to state-of-the-art design. My recent drive of this amazing vehicle through the beautiful terrain of Newfoundland Canadareaffirmed the strong market presence of this truck in the market place. This automotive genius is  not just a truck it is a lifestyle. Get to know the GMC Sierra Denali it is worth a test drive!

2019 HONDA CIVIC TYPE-R

2019 Honda Civic Type R and Civic Hatchback Accelerate into Dealerships

Honda’s most powerful production car, Civic Type R, showcases its performance and sporty appearance with new Sonic Gray Pearl color

– Fun-to-drive 2019 Civic Hatchback brings comfort, versatility and premium features, including standard Honda Sensing®

– Civic Type R and Hatchback benefit from numerous interior upgrades, including an updated Display Audio system with physical volume knob

– Civic on track to be the #1 retail-selling car in America for the third straight year

The 2019 Civic Type R and Civic Hatchback return with upgraded interior features, standard Honda Sensing®on Civic Hatchback, and Sonic Gray Pearl available on Civic Type R for the first time in the U.S. The changes build on the edgy styling, fun-to-drive nature, versatility and premium features that made Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R instant hits last year after joining the award-winning 10-generation Civic lineup. The 2019 Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R go on-sale at Honda dealerships beginning Saturday, November 3 with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP1) starting at $21,450 for Hatchback, and $35,700 for Type R (excluding $895 destination and handling).

Both models benefit from multiple interior updates designed to provide drivers with a more comfortable and efficient in-vehicle experience. Enhancements to technology and connectivity include an updated Display Audio system that now features physical buttons and a volume knob for more intuitive control, improved voice recognition and Bluetooth® connectivity, a USB sub-cord and, similar to previous models, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration standard on EX trims and above. In addition, steering wheel controls have been upgraded for simplified operation, the electronic parking brake has an indicator light for when it’s engaged, the center console sports larger cupholders, and there are physical buttons for fan speed on models with dual-zone climate control.

Civic Hatchback
At 20 percent of all Civic sales, Civic Hatchback is a key player in the Civic lineup, which continues as the top-selling retail car in America this year2 — a position it has held in each of the past two years. Civic Hatchback Sport, with its combination of eye-catching good looks and a dynamic driving feel, was named a 2017 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, a list dominated by sports cars and luxury marques. Civic Hatchback Sport, along with Civic Type R and Civic Si, also earned a coveted spot on the Car and Driver 10 Best list for 2018. Perhaps best of all, Civic Hatchback’s lively demeanor doesn’t detract from excellent EPA fuel economy ratings of 31/40/34 mpg3(city/highway/combined) for the LX, EX & EX-L Navi trims with continuously variable transmission (CVT). 

For 2019, Civic Hatchback again will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L with Navigation, and Sport Touring trims. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo in-line 4-cylinder with peak output of 174 horsepower4 in LX, EX and EX-L Navi trims. Civic Hatchback Sport and Sport Touring trims bump peak power to 180 horsepower4 

For the 2019 model year, Civic Hatchback includes Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment on all trims. Honda Sensing®includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. 

Civic Type R
Civic Type R stormed onto the U.S. market last year, with an exclusive 2.0-liter 306-horsepower direct-injected VTEC® Turbo 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission with automatic rev matching. With an adjustable suspension that includes Comfort, Sport and +R modes, Civic Type R is suitable as a civil and practical daily driver, with 22/28/25 city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy ratings, or an aggressive track star that has shattered records at some of Europe’s most celebrated racing circuits, including the famed Nürburgring.

Civic Type R has won numerous accolades since its introduction, including being named a 2018 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, and a 2018 Editor’s Choice by Car and Driver. On the racing front, Civic Type R TCR dominated the Pirelli World Challenge series by way of 11 podium finishes over the 12-race season en route to the championship.

In addition to the interior updates, the 2019 Civic Type R adds Sonic Gray Pearl to its palette of exterior color choices that also includes Championship White, a color exclusive to Civic Type R.

The 2019 Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R for the U.S. market are both manufactured exclusively by Honda’s Swindon, UK plant. The 2.0T engine for Civic Type R is produced in Honda’s largest automobile engine plant, in Anna, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

2019 Lexus LC500, LC500h

By Shin Takei

For those of us lucky enough to experience driving the Lexus LFA we lamented the fact that it was a limited production (500) high dollar super car (MSRP $375K USD) produced from 2011 to 2012. Needless to say, it remains an icon and a collector car. For most driving enthusiasts, the word exciting, sexy, exhilarating, thrilling was never associated with Lexus. In fact, after the LFA, nothing from Lexus could be labelled exciting, until now. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chief Branding Officer of Lexus heard the automotive journalist’s call and vowed that Lexus will never be associated with those words. Being an avid car enthusiast and master driver who honed his skills at Nurburgring, Mr. Toyoda wanted Lexus to be emotional and exciting vehicles to drive.

As part of the Lexus Flagship lineup which consists of the LS500 and LX570, the LC500 and LC500h, the Flagship Sports Coupe is part of the Global Architecture-Luxury platform that features a low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high- speed stability which is shared by the LS sedan. The styling of the LC Flagship coupe is aggressive starting with the prominent spindle grille and wide flared out hip and low frontal area due to a multi-link front suspension system. The ultra-compact LED 3-projector headlamps are flanked by the L-shaped daytime running lights. An optional carbon fiber roof panel is available and at the rear the spindle profile is carried out. A set of optional 21” black wheels enhance the sporting look. The coupe looks purposeful and its aggressive looks generated a few stares wherever we drove it. Liberal use of light weight high strength steel, aluminum and CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) contribute to the stiffest unibody ever built by Lexus and with much of the drivetrain behind the front axle a 52:48 weight distribution was achieved resulting in the driver’s hip and heel points to be lowered in the cockpit.

The LC500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0 liters V8 with 471 HP @7,100rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque @4,800rpm. The DOHC 32 valve Dual VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) engine is hooked up to a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode. 0-60mph arrives in less than 4.5 seconds. To increase the exhaust sound, Active Exhaust channels the sound to the firewall through a special resonance tube. The engine switches to the Atkinson cycle for efficiency and to he Otto cycle for performance. The LC500h features Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive and is mated to an Atkinson cycle 3.5 Liter gasoline engine and allows for operating the vehicle up to 87 mph without the gas engine. To enhance the sports driving experience, the owner can opt for the Lexus Dynamic Handling system (LDH) which coordinates EPS (electric power steering with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Active Rear Steering (ARS).

The interior of the coupe was designed to maximize the driving experience by positioning the driver low and close to the center of gravity to transmit road feel more directly. The seats feature bolsters in the shoulder area and the optional sports seats provide more grip around the driver during hard cornering. The Alcantara door panels with drape-surfaces are similar to the flowing exterior lines. The TFT display and the Lexus Multi-Media display integrates the Remote Touch Interface touchpad control for Navigation, Audio and Connectivity. As if the standard 12 speaker Pioneer surround sound system isn’t enough, there’s the optional Mark Levinson 13 speaker sound system to blow your ears away.

So how does this all work out? Quite well, thank you. The coupe is easy to drive, and in true GT car fashion, comfortable and relaxing but turning the Drive Mode Selector switch to Sport+ brings out the true character of this coupe. Faster shifting, enhanced engine performance and increased engine sound contribute to an exciting driving experience. There’s a lot of Japanese culture incorporated in the car. The chrome strip next to the rear glass panel is not unlike a samurai sword and words like Kizashi (a sign of great things to come) and Omotenashi (hospitality) are integrated throughout the car.

There is a limited edition of 100 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series that are painted in Flair Yellow, which does draw your attention and a new pigment called Structural Blue was formulated taking characteristics from butterfly wings tropical fish and precious stones. Both are brilliant and intense and unique in enhancing the profile of the car but you better hurry to get one.

The Lexus LC500 is a true GT (Grand Touring) car. It is quick, handles well and finally has feeling and excitement. Yet it is comfortable enough to drive it for an evening out. However, we feel they’ve left a little wiggle room for more performance and believe a LC500 F-Sport is coming soon that would satisfy the hardcore sports car enthusiasts. Until then, the Lexus LC500 and LC500h will be more than adequate for most of us who won’t be driving it to the limit.

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

Suisun Valley, Fairfield

Story by Susan Hiland provided by Daily Republic

Suisun Valley greeted a group of out-of-town travel writers with a bounty of beauty, food and wine over the weekend.

They toured just about every winery, olive oil factory, candy-making company and barley brew-maker in the area.

This was the result of the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau reaching out to Geiger & Associates, which has put together these travel tours for several communities including Lodi.

“This is the first time we have done something like this,” said Anand Patel, president/CEO of Visit Fairfield. “The goal was to get people thinking about Fairfield and Suisun Valley.”

He said he hoped that the travel writers would see the beauty of the valley and share that with their readers. The writers came from Portland, Oregon, Southern California, Northern California and even Quebec, Canada.

“We hope people read their articles and get interested in the valley,” he said.

The group of writers included Susan G. Hauser, Elyse Glickman, Vaughn Lowery, Wendy van Diver, Cortney Erndt, Carla Waldemar, Ruksana Hussain, Wendy Lemlin, Janet Boileau and Robin Raven.

The writers arrived Thursday and enjoyed an afternoon at Jelly Belly Candy Co., where they took the tour, sampled sweet treats and shopped.

“Every single stop we hope they learn something new,” Patel said.

Boileau, a writer and publisher for Taste and Travel International Magazine, which is a culinary publication with 20,000 subscribers across Canada, had no idea about Suisun Valley.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “But this is a very impressive part of the wine country.”

She was enjoying how relaxing the area was with some wine from Suisun Valley Wine Co-op along Pleasants Valley Road. The stop offered an opportunity for everyone to sample a variety of wines from the area in one place.

Lowery is the president of 360 Magazine, a lifestyle magazine that goes out to thousands of subscribers from Los Angeles to Japan.

“Anyone visiting here needs to stop at Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co.,” he said. “It was a sensory overload.”

They sampled a meal with each of the foods having been created using produce from the company’s garden.

“This is a great cross of Napa and Sonoma,” Lowery said. “It’s a place you can take time out and is very drivable.”

He said he was envisioning himself returning with a convertible, rolling the top down and just cruising through the back roads as a vacation.

“We tasted the grapes at Wooden Valley Winery. They were so sweet, I thought no way that was real,” he said.

“Fairfield is just a great town for a great road trip,” he said.

2019 Lexus ES 350 Longer, Lower, Wider

By: Shin Takei, Automotive Editor at Large

Following the debut of the RC and LS models, the all new 2019 Lexus ES series features their Global Architecture-K (GA-K} platform and is longer, lower and wider than previous ES model. Realistically it looks much better than its predecessor and despite its lower roof, there’s more room inside. There are three models offered at this time, the ES 350, ES 350H and for the first time the ES 350 F-Sport. The signature spindle grill is a vertical pattern in the ES 350 and 350H while for the F-Sport it’s similar to the LS with a wider meshed “L” pattern. The overall look is a smooth, fluid faster looking shape. Three wheel choices are available; standard 17,” 18” and the 19” for the F-Sport. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 (2GR-FKS) engine that develops 302 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm the ES still returns 22mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Each ES is built by a team lead by Master Craftsmen who go through rigorous technical training back in Japan. This includes strict discipline such as to feel by touch tolerances in panel gaps and surface irregularities.

The GA-K chassis is an extremely rigid chassis with structural adhesives and laser-weld screws as well as reinforcements for the front strut towers to improve front end stiffness. Sound deadening insulation covers 93% of the floor plan and performance dampeners reduce vibration on all Ultra Luxury and F-Sport models. Furthermore, the wheels are designed to direct road noise into the tire chamber to help quiet the ride. Dynamic Control shocks were designed to smooth out the ride and reduce roll. In the F-Sport Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is offered with 650 levels of adjustment to deliver optimal ride and precise control. Instead of the steering column mounted power steering assist, a rack-assist Electric Power Steering (EPS) has been incorporated to provide precise feedback.

The ES is equipped with a Drive Mode Select system that allows the driver to choose from Eco, Normal and Sports node for the AVS cars and those with AVS gets Sports S, Sports S+ and Custom where there are three engine and transmission programs and two steering and suspension programs. Fun stuff like quicker throttle response, faster shifting and steering parameters are enhanced. The Eco Mode is for those more environmentally concerned and the ES 350h has an all new Hybrid drivetrain that gets up to 44 combined mpg. We will report on this car when we have time to test it later. For the ES the already driver-centric cockpit has been further enhanced with a Seat in Control concept which places all instruments and switches within the direct view and reach of the driver with up to an 8” LCD display as well as an optional Heads-Up display. An additional Multi-Media display sits high in the line of sight with up to a 12.3” Navigation Electro Multi Vision (EMV) screen. All of this is accessible through an updated Remote Touch Interface (RTI). Headroom was increased despite the lower roofline because of a lower hip point and headliner positioning. A more natural steering wheel angle as well as revised pedal position and the 10-way power adjustable seats contribute to a comfortable driving environment. There are three interior color schemes, four types of trim and three different material choices for the seats. The F-Sport gets an additional Circuit Red seats and door panels. There are three wood trims and for the F Sport an aluminum trim inspired by the Japanese sword called Hadori Aluminum is included.

Being connected is now a breeze with the ES with Apple CarPlay© and Amazon Alexa©. While the standard audio is a 10-speaker Pioneer system, the optional Mark Levinson with 17 speakers and 1,800 watts of power is available for the audiophile. Onboard Wi-Fi by Verizon is standard and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect is free for a year and Lexus Enform Service Connect reminds you of maintenance schedules. Other features include Lexus Enform Remote that connects your phone with your ES to perform certain functions, Lexus Safety System 2.0 with daytime bicyclist detection, Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Assist (LDA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), All Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Road Sign Assist (RSA) in case you missed it.

So how does it drive? The ES 350 is a pretty nice package of comfort and performance which brings the car to previously uncharted territory and finally cuts the grade with its rivals. The F Sport brings excitement by being a worthy contender with added emotional content. Because of the engineering, one might forget that the ES is still a front drive configuration until it is driven to the limit and even if so, it retains its composure. Most drivers will never get there but it is reassuring to know that if you ever do, the ES will be quite stable. The steering has enough feel and stability and directs the car exactly where you want it to go in spirited driving. It’s refreshing to think you can drive an ES hard and actually enjoy it.

The result of Chief Designer Yasuo Kajino and Chief Engineer Yasuhiro Sakakibara’s creation is remarkable. They set out to move on from the past image often associated with the ES which were good but boring or unexciting. The 2019 Lexus ES 350 is a car to look forward to specially if you are looking into buying or leasing a car in this crowded segment. You will be looking forward to driving this car for fun and not just a car to transport yourself to and from your destination.

For more information visit: www.lexus.com

RUF Makes US Debut

The German sports car manufacturer will have a special class at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, August 24, 2018 and debut its latest CTR alongside the freshly restored legendary 1989 “Yellowbird” CTR #001.

Ruf Automobile GmbH, manufacturer and engineer of bespoke sports cars, will be honored in a special class at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering entitled “The Alois Ruf Reunion”. The event will make the first North American appearance of the new RUF CTR alongside the completely restored RUF 1989 “Yellowbird” CTR #001 owned by an automobile enthusiast, connoisseur and car collector Bruce Meyer.

“The Alois Ruf Reunion” will bring together a handful of notable cars from throughout the marque’s history, reuniting them with Alois and Estonia Ruf on the manicured lawns of The Quail Lodge in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Other RUF cars that will be on display include the CTR Clubsport, CTR2 and RCT.

“When we began building our own automobiles in 1974 it was all for the thrill of the drive,” said Alois Ruf, owner of RUF Automobile GmbH. “We are honored to have been given a special class at The Quail, but we recognize that this is a celebration of RUF owners and their passion for driving as much as it is the RUF brand. RUF is not a car or a company, it’s an all-encompassing experience of which we are just a part. We share this honor with all of the members of the RUF community.”

The 1987 RUF CTR “Yellowbird” took the automotive world by storm when it out-paced every other production car in the world, topping out at an unprecedented 211 mph at the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. Along with its top-speed record, the CTR also became the first production car to break the 200-mph barrier. RUF commemorated the 30th anniversary of the “Yellowbird” with the release of the new CTR, an entirely bespoke high performance sports car developed and built in RUF’s Pfaffenhausen, Germany facilities. Among other engineering achievements, the new CTR is the first carbon fiber monocoque production car with a rear-engine layout. The turbo charged RUF is only equipped with minimalistic electronic driving aids, such as ABS and slip-control, resulting in one of the purest driving experiences available in a modern car. Production of the new CTR is expected to begin in late 2018.

The celebration will also include a private event for RUF owners at a separate location during the week. For more information on RUF automobiles, visit the RUF website at ruf-automobile.de/en.

ABOUT RUF AUTOMOBILE GMBH
In 1939, Alois Ruf Sr. first formed his company, AUTORUF, as a general service garage. The company grew and in 1949 Ruf Sr. added a gas station to the company complex. By 1955, Ruf Sr. recognized a need in Germany for a full-size tourist bus and challenged himself to build his own to run this as a separate business. In 1963, the company began specializing in Porsche vehicles, a direction that Alois Ruf Jr. vowed to continue when he assumed ownership of the company in 1974. In the following year, the first RUF-enhanced Porsche model made its debut.

In 1982 RUF has been approved by the German authorities as a car manufacturer in its own right, which meant that RUF cars were identified by their own VIN. In 1987 RUF achieved the approval from NHTSA and EPA in the United States. Now it is still family run by Alois and Estonia Ruf.

Moving to a New State With a Car? Here Are 7 Tips to Have a Smooth Transition

According to the American Moving & Storage Association, 11.2% of Americans moved in 2015-2016. That comes out to 35.1 million, or 15.3 million households with 2.3 persons per household. If you’ve ever moved, you know how hectic it can be: packing, unpacking, and getting settled in. It can be even more stressful when you’re moving to an entirely new state. On top of moving and getting acquainted with your new home, you also have to apply for a new driver’s license, update your auto insurance, and register your vehicle. You also need to know when to renew your driver’s license in your new state. To help make the transition as smooth as possible, here are seven tips you should know when moving to a new state.

1. Find Your New State’s DMV. If you move to a new state, you must apply for a new driver’s license. Most states require you to apply for a new license within 30 days of becoming a resident. If you are a student, however, you most likely do not have to apply for a license in the state where your college or university is located because you’re not considered a resident. Because you’re a new resident, the state will probably require you to visit the DMV in person. To save yourself time, you can go online and find your local DMV branch. There, you can locate basic information, including the address, office hours, services offered, how many days you have to apply for a driver’s license, when you’ll need to renew your license, and what documents you’ll need to apply for a new license. To save you even more time, some states, such as Washington allow you to pre-apply for a driver’s license online.

2. Apply for a New License. Once you’ve found your local DMV, you’ll need to apply for a new license. In most cases, this is a simple trip to the DMV where you have your picture taken and pay a small fee, as long as you have the following.

  • Your valid out-of-state license that contains a picture. If your license is suspended or revoked in another state, you can not apply for a new driver’s license
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Proof of residency (a utility bill or bank statement)

Some states also require that you take a vision test or written exam on state driving laws. Again, visit your state’s DMV website to find out the exact documents andrequirements you need to obtain a new driver’s license.

3. Register Your Vehicle in Your New State. While you’re at the DMV, you might as well go ahead and register your vehicle in your new state. If you own your vehicle, this shouldn’t be a hassle. Simply bring your title and proof of insurance, and pay a small fee. Other states do require that your vehicle pass an emissions test and vehicle safety inspection.
If you’re financing or leasing a vehicle, this can be a little more complicated since you don’t have the title. In this case, you need to contact your lender and ask them to mail the title to your local DMV. After they register your vehicle, the DMV will mail the title back. Because each state has different laws, visit your state’s DMV website to locate the specific process for registering your vehicle.

4. Update Your Auto Insurance Policy. Insurance requirements vary from state-to-state. Most require you to have minimum coverage, while some allow you to pay an uninsured motorist fee. Regardless of the exact laws, if you want to avoid any financial or legal repercussions, make sure to call your current insurance company to update your policy. Your insurance company should be able to connect you to an agent licensed in your state to help you determine the right policy you’ll need.

5. Register to Vote. If you want to participate in elections your new home area, you’ll need to register to vote. Thankfully, when you’re at the DMV, you can also register to vote in your new state.

6. Surrender Your License Plates. When moving to a new state, your previous state might require you to surrender your license plates. You can do this by dropping them off at the DMV or mailing them back to the DMV. This ensures that you don’t have to pay extra in property taxes. In some situations, you might also be able to receive a refund for any overpaid taxes and registration fees, but you’ll need to contact your county clerk to handle the matter.

7. Renew Your Driver’s License in Your New State. Now that you have your new license, the driver’s license renewal process in your new state is fairly straightforward as long as don’t let your license expire or have it suspended.
Depending on the state, your new license will be valid for 4 to 8 years. If you aren’t sure of the exact date, you don’t need to panic because you’ll receive a renewal notice in the mail. After you’ve received the notice, you have the option to renew your driver’s license in person, by mail, or online by providing the same documents you used to apply for your new license. If you’re in the military and stationed out of state, you can renew your license by phone or by asking for an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces card. And, don’t forget to have a credit or debit card or check to pay the driver’s license renewal fee. The amount varies from state to state, but your renewal notice should state the amount you owe. If not, contact your state’s DMV.

For more info visit https://www.moving.org/newsroom/data-research/about-our-industry/