Posts tagged with "top cars"

Lexus, Costa Rica, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, RXL

Lexus Milestones

By Flore Chaumont × Vaughn Lowery

Lexus celebrated their 30-year anniversary this past July; and we couldn’t escape it. We were invited on a 3-day lifestyle activation in Costa Rica, testing both their latest vehicles along side of their precursors. Since Lexus is the leading producer of luxury hybrids, their choice of hosting this event in Costa Rica was not arbitrary. Aside from lush landscapes, the island is a place where environmentally driven initiatives and technologies thrive. The country is a leading producer of hydroelectric energy, and conserving their beautiful flora and fauna is one of their top priorities.

1. Accommodation

Our hopes were high and they were remarkably met with our arrival at the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel, located in Liberia, a jewel in the countryside of Costa Rica. The luxurious property, nicely integrated into the surrounding region was mesmerizing. Modern yet rustic decorated rooms spilt out onto the beachfront as we assembled at a welcoming reception. We were treated like loyalty with excellent service, savory bites and of course, great fellowship. With a 181 rooms, fitness center (which rivaled Equinox), day spa (complete with plunge pool, steam room and hot tub) and private beach, many of us were tempted to stay longer within the 1,400 acres of utter bliss. There was so much to explore via a biking excursion or a simple hike into neighboring jungles.

2. History of Lexus

During the conference, we learned about the history of Lexus; and their product line from 1989 to present. With the use of VR, we were teleported in time to when Toyota arrived in the US. In 1984, they launched the Circle F Project with the aim of releasing a luxury car. The challenge was to change America’s perception of the marque. For this project, Chief Engineer Ichiro Suzuki sets aggressive goals which will define the brand’s strategy and excellence down the route. With over 1400 engineers involved and 400 prototypes later, the Lexus LS was born. A sedan unlike any other. The name, originally Alexis, became Lexus, and the logo came to become this symbol of beauty and perfection with a succession of exceptional cars to accompany.

3. Meeting with Executives

We also got the privilege to sit down and shoot the breeze with some of the senior level executives of Lexus. Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design, explained to us his inspiration for adding the concierge and driver refresh, he maintains, “Our vision is human centered: what the customer wants, while focusing on our distinctive culture and heritage.” Indeed, the driver refreshes function is an imitation of shiatsu massage, and it was also our favorite feature in this newly reintroduced full-size flagship. In a discussion with Koji Sato, Vice President of Lexus International Products & Engineering, we were informed that the brand expects to issue its first EV by 2025. And he gave tongue to what gives the sedan a long-term advantage over SUV models. He states, “I think the sedan is more formal, more stylish, with a low center of gravity that provides a more emotional feel.”

4. Vehicle Drives

After being fascinated with the history of Lexus, we got to take a glimpse of and even test drive a few. The incredible LFA was on display and the RC F Sport (f/ in Men in Black: International) were definitely crowd favorites. We test drove three of their models: the LS 500h; RXL (new RX w/ third row seating) and LC 500h. The LS literally made us feel like a royal family. The sleek design, alongside a more pronounced spindle grill and a ton of driver/passenger amenities made the interior feel like nirvana. The RXL possesses a 4.4 inch longer wheel base than RX, now seats 7 and has been refined to exaggerate masculinity. Lastly, the LC 500h, spotlighted in the critically acclaimed Black Panther, was simply sublime, from its paw-like exterior to the silky ride it offers. The peaceful drive along windy roads near the rain forests was almost mysterious.

5. Adventure

On our final day, we drove to the Diamante Eco Adventure Park which is home to one of the highest zip lines in the world – approximately 80 stories high and 1 mile long from one side to the other. We strapped into the renowned Superman, headfirst while facing forward on our bellies. Within, 45 seconds or less we were tailed and ready to retrieve our rides.

In short, Lexus created an atmosphere which showcased creativity, confidence and courage. Everything was exemplified through their leaders, bold design and humanity. Here’s to another 30 years!!!

Rolls-Royce, 360 MAGAZINE, Luxury, Black Badge, Pebble Beach

Rolls-Royce × Pebble Beach

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed today the ‘Pebble Beach 2019 Collection,’  Inspired by the hills, sand and sea surrounding Pebble Beach, this year’s collection is the most colorful yet.  The Collection includes 13 beautiful Bespoke Commissions offered exclusively for the clients attending Monterey Car Week 2019 and will be revealed at a series of exclusive activities hosted by the luxury brand throughout the week.
 
The collection is headlined by the brand’s flagship, Phantom. Rolls-Royce Bespoke designers have cloaked this Phantom in a shimmering Black Diamond and Gold Bespoke exterior. The interior features the Rolls-Royce Phantom Gallery, a feature available in no other motor car in the world, is designed to house personalized art making the Phantom an extension of its owners art and design collection. The ‘Best Car in the World’ raised the bar of luxury with the introduction of the new Rolls-Royce ‘Architecture of Luxury’ which delivers the ‘magic carpet ride’, defining Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. 
 
Cullinan marks its second year at Pebble Beach with some of the most extensive Bespoke designs of in the ‘Pebble Beach 2019 Collection.’  The four vehicles on display during the week feature colors including, Burnout Grey, Black Green, Iced Gunmetal and Galilea Blue.  The iced finish showcases one of the most popular innovations in surface finishes from the paint specialists at Rolls-Royce.  The subtle finish offers the solid effect of matte colors with an elegant shine.  Color finish innovations are nothing new to a design group that has built finishes using glass, silver, gold and even diamonds for Bespoke commissions.
 
The ‘Pebble Beach 2019 Pastel Collection’ – Black Badge goes beyond Black

Following recent years of alternating drought, fire and rain, the Monterey Peninsula this year is awash in seas of colorful wildflowers. Highlighting this year’s debuts are a trio of Bespoke motor cars showcasing the creative color capabilities of the Bespoke designers in Goodwood, Home of Rolls-Royce. The Pastel Collection draws upon painter’s palette of colors this year’s ‘wildflower superbloom’ on the Monterey Peninsula. The collection includes three one-of-one Black Badge Commissions adding new colors to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke palate and reaffirming the idea that Black Badge Rolls-Royce don’t have to be black.
 
The collection starts with Black Badge Ghost in Light Green Solid, a new Bespoke exterior Finish. The pastel green represents the rebirth of the flora on the peninsula following the years of drought and fire.  The hand-crafted leather interior is Black with a striking Serenity Green splash highlighting the iconic Black Badge technical fiber.
 
The drophead creation among the collection is Black Badge Dawn in Coral Solid which showcases the Bespoke finish that can only come after seven coats of paint and more than 9 hours of hand polishing in the Goodwood paint workshop.  The new pastel color carries over to the Bespoke aero cowling giving the Dawn a colorful yet aggressive exterior. The Black Badge Dawn interior is finished in Artic White and Sunset carrying over the visual imagery of the blooming northern California hills and valleys.
 
The final piece of the trio is Black Badge Wraith in Semaphore Yellow, a bright and sunny finish for the most powerful member of the Rolls-Royce family.  Black Badge Wraith features a Selby Grey and Lemon interior with the iconic Rolls-Royce Black Badge Starlight Headliner.  The ‘Roll-Royce 2019 Pastel Collection’ presents Black Badge unlike you’ve ever seen before.
 
This collection showcases the alter ego of Rolls-Royce Bespoke as the brand highlights the potential of its Black Badge Bespoke offer. The combined skills of the Bespoke craftspeople from the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, and the rebellious spirit of Black Badge has propelled the brand into the 21st century appealing to the risk-taker who is not afraid to embrace a bold and progressive statement of true and modern luxury, in an aggressive form. All Black Badge commissions feature a stunning technical fiber fascia and interior accents as well as custom Black Badge Bespoke Starlight Headliners and Bespoke ‘Pebble Beach 2019 – special commission’ treadplates.
 
“Every year thousands of Rolls-Royce Owners come together for Monterey Car Week, It’s one of our most important family gatherings each year around the world, especially for our American owners.  This year we present the largest offering of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars ever and in the most vivid Bespoke colors and configurations in history. Each and every commission has been created by the designers and craftspeople at Goodwood, home of Rolls-Royce working with the finest metal, leather, wood and precious materials.  It’s thrilling to introduce the 2019 Pebble Beach Collection as the world gathers to view he classics the brand has created over the past 115 years.” Martin Fritsches, President of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America.

Additional images posted here.