Holden launches capped price servicing on every Holden ever built … since 1948!

Holden FJ gaycarboys

 

  • Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program covers all Holden vehicles ever built from the ground-breaking 48-215 of 1948 to today’s world-class VF Commodore and beyond
  • Biggest CPS program in Australia, covering more than 2.5 million cars
  • Provides service price transparency for all vehicles, ensuring customers always know how much their service will cost
  • Lifetime CPS program launches 1 March 2015

Holden has announced the introduction of a new, ground-breaking Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program – the largest of its kind in in Australia*.

Holden Craig Lowndes Special Edition 2014 gaycarboys

The Lifetime CPS program applies to every Holden ever built since the first Holden 48-215 in 1948, ensuring that all Holden owners clearly understand the maximum price that they can expect to pay at every scheduled service.

Holden’s Executive Director of Aftersales, Michael Filazzola said the unique Lifetime CPS program represents Holden’s commitment to providing customers a positive experience throughout their ownership experience, no matter when they bought their new, or used, Holden.

“Our all-encompassing Lifetime Capped Price Servicing program is an incredible program and demonstrates yet again our commitment to our customers. Holden owners from as far back as 1948 can enjoy total peace of mind and service price transparency,” said Mr. Filazzola.

“This is the biggest CPS program in Australia and underlines Holden’s ongoing commitment to world-class customer service and outstanding value.  Our lifetime CPS means that once customers buy a Holden, of any age, new or used, we have them covered.”

The easy-to-use Lifetime CPS calculator found on the Holden website, clearly displays the maximum service price of any Holden vehicle, ensuring that customers will not pay more than expected when visiting their Holden Dealer for a scheduled service.

In addition to the all-inclusive, Lifetime CPS program and to further demonstrate the importance Holden places on providing clear service pricing and customer value, the first seven services for all eligible new vehicles will be subsidised.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley said the introduction of the biggest CPS program in Australia was yet another sign of Holden’s long-term commitment to its customers and Australia.

“We are proud to be able to introduce the Lifetime CPS program and extend our outstanding servicing value to all Holden owners, regardless of whether they have bought a new or used car,” said Mr. Keley.

“The support and clarity that this program offers customers, combined with our fantastic product range and great-value offers means there has never been a better time to buy a Holden.

“Holden has more cars in more segments than ever before and we’re committed to Australia and our customers now and long into the future.”

Holden Lifetime CPS will be introduced on 1 March 2015.  For more details including vehicle eligibility and, terms and conditions please visit the Holden website.

Lifetime CPS is the latest step in Holden’s long-term plan to ensure a bright and successful future in Australia for the iconic Lion brand. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced: 

  • Holden will have 24 major vehicle launches with 36 new powertrain combinations in the next five years
  • Launched the Holden Home Ground Advantage program – providing $5 million in grants over 10 years to local sporting clubs
  • Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan will launch in Q2 2015;
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s Global Design Centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
  • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

Audi presents the new R8 at Geneva: the sporty spearhead just got even sharper

 

New Audi R8 V10 plus gaycarboys (1)New Audi R8 V10 gaycarboys (1)

New Audi R8 V10 plus gaycarboys (2)New Audi R8 V10 gaycarboys (2)

New Audi R8 V10 plus gaycarboys (3)New Audi R8 V10 gaycarboys (3)

The second generation of Audi‘s high-performance supercar makes its debut in Geneva

  • 5.2 FSI engine with up to 449 kW, 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds
  • New multimaterial Audi Space Frame with a high proportion of aluminium and CFRP

Ingolstadt, February 26, 2015 – No model with the four rings is closer to motorsport, none is more striking and more dynamic. At the Geneva Motor Show, Audi is presenting the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The mid-mounted V10 and a newly developed quattro drive ensure breathtaking driving performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW. The new R8 V10 plus reaches 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds, its top speed is 330 km/h.

A high-revving mid-engine with superior performance, a consistently lightweight construction concept and an extremely dynamic chassis with quattro drive system and fully variable torque control – this is what makes the R8 the sporty spearhead of Audi. The high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating both on the race track and on the road.

“Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi.

“With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is therefore the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time.”

Thanks to the close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, the Audi R8 has seen a clear performance increase – this benefits both the series production car and the R8 LMS developed on the basis of this.

The engines: 10 cylinders in two versions
The 5.2 FSI is available in two versions: one with 397 kW and another sporting 449 kW. The range-topping model accelerates in a mere 3.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and keeps going to its maximum speed of 330 km/h. The sound of the freely aspirated V10 engine, whose maximum torque is available at 6,500 rpm, has become even fuller and sharper. A 7-speed S tronic transmission and a newly developed quattro drive system transmit the power to the road. The distribution of the drive torque adapts to the respective driving conditions – in extreme cases, 100 percent of the torque can be transmitted to the front or rear axle. The new performance mode in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system enables adaptation of the most important ride dynamics parameters to the friction coefficient of the road.

Lightweight construction: only 1,454 kg dry weight
The top model R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms. Despite a lot of extra equipment and greater rigidity, the new Audi R8 weighs up to 50 kilogram less than its predecessor. The multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF) ensures low weight and optimum axle load distribution. The combination of aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behaviour. The aerodynamic underbody which integrates a long diffuser boosts downforce. The chassis, too, with its double wishbone suspension demonstrates how close the new Audi R8 is to motorsport.

Design: flat, wide, muscular
The design reflects the powerful sporty character of the R8. A visual distinguishing feature which also provides enhanced safety comes in the form of the standard LED headlights. For an extended field of vision and more brightness, Audi offers the laser spot for the high beam as an option – complemented by the dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.

In the new Audi virtual cockpit, the displays are digital. The most important controls are grouped together in button clusters on the steering wheel, also known as satellites. In the interior, the driver has the impression of sitting in a race car. The air conditioning controls emphasize the simplicity of the control panel with its floating effect. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard.

New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
The new Audi R8 is produced at a new quattro GmbH production site that was specially built for the sports car – the “Böllinger Höfe” site in Heilbronn. An elaborate manufacturing technique ensures that Audi-typical quality is produced.

Specialists: the Audi R8 e-tron and Audi R8 LMS
The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for more models. The latest evolutionary version of the electrically-powered high-performance R8 e-tron sports car achieves a performance figure of 340 kW and a torque of 920 Nm. It sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Thanks to new battery cells, the range could be more than doubled compared to the first version of this technological wonder – it is now more than 450 kilometres.

The new Audi R8 LMS race car was developed based on the new GT3 regulations due to come into effect worldwide from 2016. This year it will already be put through its paces at the factory. Despite massive performance increases, around 50 percent of its components are the same as the series-production car.

Sporty and elegant, versatile and connected – the Audi prologue Avant show car

 

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  • New interpretation of the Avant philosophy
  • Groundbreaking infotainment architecture and entertainment concept
  • High-performance hybrid drive with 455 hp and 750 Nm of torque

Ingolstadt, February 25, 2015 – A design with dynamic elegance and the latest high-end technologies: The Audi prologue Avant show car with its stretched roof which the brand is presenting at the Geneva Motor Show gives a look into the future – with the new and emotion-filled design language that Audi has initiated with its study in the coupé, the prologue.

A glance into the future
In November 2014 at the Los Angeles Motor Show, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, giving a look to the brand’s future design language. Only four months later, the premium manufacturer is showing a variant of its visionary concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi prologue Avant combines dynamics, form and function in a perfect synthesis. With a length of 5.11 metres and a width of 1.97 metres, the five-door car with its pioneering body concept positions itself clearly in the luxury class. At the same time, it offers unmistakable sportiness and variability. Technology is becoming an experience, both outside and inside: The driver and up to three passengers can enjoy a luxurious interior and are digitally connected thanks to a state-of-the-art infotainment architecture and connect technology.

Architecture and operation are united
The luxurious interior is kept in dark shades. Here as well, the show car offers a new experience: The straight-lined architecture forms one whole with its display and control concept. The consistent front of the dashboard is composed of three touch displays. Moreover, the driver and up to three passengers can establish a digital communication via two OLED-displays made from organic LEDs. The extremely slim, detachable OLED displays in the rear – a spin-off of the Audi tablet from the new Audi Q7 – provide passengers with on-demand information and entertainment.

Technology close to series production
The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug-in hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which achieves even higher performance in the show car. 335 kW of system power output by the 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor in combination make the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds. The purely electric range is 54 kilometres. The chassis is equipped with adaptive air suspension and the dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system – thus combining comfort, sportiness, handling and stability on a new performance level.

Rolls Royce to build a posh SUV. Wow what next?

Rolls Royce Spoirit Of Ecstasy gaycarboys (2)

 

The launch of Phantom in 2003 marked the beginning of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Since then, we have set a new benchmark for what a super-luxury car should be – unique, hand-crafted, beautiful and rare. Often imitated, Phantom has never been equalled and continues to be hailed as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by our customers and media alike.
Twelve years later, after the introduction of successful new models like Ghost and Wraith, Rolls-Royce stands proudly at the pinnacle of British luxury manufacturing, confirming our custodianship of this precious marque.
Now we have reached another seminal moment in Rolls-Royce’s 111-year journey.
Today we confirm that we are developing an all-new Rolls-Royce with exceptional presence, elegance and purpose:

  • A car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain
  • A car that meets our customers’ highly mobile, contemporary lifestyle expectations
  • A Rolls-Royce that is as much about the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls as it is about Sir Henry Royce’s dedication to engineering and innovation
  • A car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury
  • A high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture
  • A unique new motor car worthy of carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy into the future

This new Rolls-Royce will be Effortless … Everywhere.
Many discerning customers have urged us to develop this new car – and we have listened. At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars we are uniquely focused on the desires of our customers and are driven by our own thirst to innovate. So we challenged our engineers and design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor, to create a different and exceptional new car.
This car will embody all the values and capabilities that drove our two Founding Fathers to secure Rolls-Royce’s reputation, early last century, by taking top honours in rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.
Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. In other parts of the world including Australia, India and the Americas, Rolls-Royces carried their owners over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort.
History sets our precedent and our future calls us to action.
This new journey begins now. We will take our time in developing and perfecting this new concept in luxury. We will include our customers, enthusiasts and media along the way and will keep you informed of our progress.
Until then, rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.
Sir Henry Royce famously said: “When it does not exist, design it”.
We are doing just that.

BENTLEY MULSANNE SPEED

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

 

New Bentley Mulsanne SpeedBentley Mulsanne Speed Detroit 2015 gaycarboys

 

  • New Bentley Mulsanne Speed ­- pinnacle of luxury and performance
  • Signature Mulsanne upgraded for 2015
  • Powerful Flying Spur W12 showcases latest Bentley technology
  • Continental GT V8 S and Continental GT Speed complete line-up

(Crewe/Paris, 2 October 2014) Bentley unveils a new flagship model at the Paris Motor Show today, positioned at the very pinnacle of automotive luxury and performance.  The new Mulsanne Speed is the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience in the world.

Joining the Mulsanne Speed at the Show is Bentley’s powerful four-door sedan – the Flying Spur – and two  dynamic Grand Tourers, the Continental GT V8 S and the GT Speed. Completing Bentley’s presence in Paris is the signature Mulsanne model, also enhanced  for 2015.

During the press conference, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, commented: “We listen carefully to the needs and preferences of our customers and it is this approach that has made Bentley the most sought after luxury car brand in the world.  We are the choice of many high achievers, independent thinkers, world leaders and Royal Families around the world.”                     

Unrivalled, effortless Speed

The Mulsanne Speed is tailored for the driver, with 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW), 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) and selectable sports suspension and steering on demand. The reengineered powertrain, featuring Bentley’s mighty 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8, propels the Mulsanne Speed to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds (0‑100 km/h in 4.9 seconds) and on to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). In modern Bentley tradition, the extra performance is matched by markedly improved efficiency; a 13% gain means a range extended by 50 miles (80 km).

New and contemporary styling features define the Mulsanne Speed as a statement in quintessential British luxury. Dark tint accents to exterior detailing hint to the Speed’s powerful character, while on-board technology and connectivity are discreetly integrated beneath the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcrafted details.

Signature Mulsanne enhanced for 2015

The signature Mulsanne ultra-luxury sedan has been updated for 2015, to complement the launch of the performance-focused Mulsanne Speed. The Mulsanne receives the same efficiency upgrade through new engine hardware, with its 512 PS (505 bhp / 377 kW), 1,020 Nm (752 lb.ft) 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine now 13% more efficient. Changes have also been made to the gearbox calibration of the Mulsanne, focusing on smoother, relaxed gear changes that promote a comfortable and refined driving experience. New paint colours, hide and veneers options are also available across the Mulsanne family.   

Luxury performance sedan

With its unrivalled blend of effortless driveability, exquisite luxury and craftsmanship, sculpted design and state-of-the-art technology, the success of the Flying Spur continues.

Behind the athletic exterior design and immaculate interior application of luxurious leather and wood lie a host of advanced acoustic and electronic technologies. A bespoke hand-held Touch Screen Remote allows rear-cabin occupants to control an extensive range of features from the comfort of their seat. With an optional Rear Seat Entertainment suite including two 10” LCD screens, DVD players, wireless headphones and an on-board hard-drive jukebox, plus the options of full Wi-Fi connectivity and an 1100W Naim for Bentley premium sound system, the Flying Spur is the perfect place for work or relaxation on the move.

Powered by Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin turbo W12 engine, the Flying Spur features 625 PS (616 bhp / 459 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque. A 14% improvement in the power-to-weight ratio over the previous generation Flying Spur ensures a remarkable 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top-speed of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Distinctive and dynamic Grand Tourers

Building on the success of the acclaimed Continental GT V8, the new V8 S models feature a more powerful version of Bentley’s 4-litre, twin-turbo Mulsanne Speed  gaycarboysV8 engine developing 521 bhp (528 PS / 389 KW) and an immense peak torque of 680 Nm (502 lb.ft) at a mere 1,700 rev/min. An 8-speed ZF automatic transmission and Bentley all-wheel drive system with 40:60 rear-biased torque split ensures effortless delivery of the increased power, providing exhilarating yet smooth performance.       

The GT V8 S coupe sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.5s) and onto a top speed of 192 mph (309 km/h). The performance of the GT V8 S convertible is equally impressive, reaching 60 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.7s) and a top speed of 191mph (308km/h). This increased performance is not at the cost of the efficient engine’s fuel economy capabilities, with both coupe and convertible able to cover over 500 miles (805 km) on a single tank of fuel.

The capabilities of Bentley’s flagship grand tourer, the Continental GT Speed are dramatically underlined in 2014 with enhancements to its unique combination of supercar performance and unrivalled refinement. 

Bentley’s iconic 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine is now even more potent and develops 635 PS (626 bhp / 467 kW) and a record 820 Nm (605 lb.ft) of torque. The ultimate new Continental GT Speed coupe reaches a top speed of 206 mph (331 km/h) – the fastest production Bentley ever – while the convertible reaches 203 mph (327 km/h).    

The enhanced dynamic performance to the Continental flagship model is accompanied by an even more distinctive road presence. The sharp front splitter, discreet side skirts and elegant rear diffuser of the Mulliner Styling Specification are finished to match the exterior paint colour and a dark tint finish applied to the 21” Speed wheel design, headlamps and tail lamps. The new appearance is further complemented by red-painted brake calipers and a stylish chrome “Speed” badge fitted to the front fenders and inside the luxurious cabin there is a completely new colour split reserved exclusively for the Speed models.    

Volvo Cars presents a unique system solution for integrating self-driving cars into real traffic

 

Autonomous drive technology – Cloud-based 3D digital map

press release

Volvo Cars presents a unique, complete system solution that makes it possible to integrate self-driving cars into real traffic – with ordinary people in the driver’s seat.

“We are entering uncharted territory in the field of autonomous driving,” says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “Taking the exciting step to a public pilot, with the ambition to enable ordinary people to sit behind the wheel in normal traffic on public roads, has never been done before.”

Autonomous drive technology – detection on the roadAutonomous drive technology – Multiple beam laser scanner

As the Drive Me project enters its second year, Volvo Cars is moving rapidly towards the aim of placing 100 selfdriving cars in the hands of customers on selected roads around Gothenburg by 2017. The public pilot, a one-ofa-kind collaboration between legislators, transport authorities, a major city and a vehicle manufacturer, is a central component of Volvo Cars’ plan to achieve sustainable mobility and ensure a crash-free future.

 

 

From lost time to quality time
Based on an extensive analysis of potential technical faults, Volvo Cars has designed a complete productionviable autonomous driving system. The key to making this unprecedented leap is a complex network of sensors, cloud-based positioning systems and intelligent braking and steering technologies.

“Autonomous driving will fundamentally change the way we look at driving. In the future, you will be able to choose between autonomous and active driving,” says Dr Mertens. “This transforms everyday commuting from lost time to quality time, opening up new opportunities for work and pleasure.”

Moving beyond demonstrators
Volvo Cars’ Autopilot system is designed to be reliable enough to allow the car to take over every aspect of driving in autonomous mode. The technology advances a crucial step beyond the automotive systems demonstrated so far since it includes fault-tolerant systems.

“It is relatively easy to build and demonstrate a self-driving concept vehicle, but if you want to create an impact in the real world, you have to design and produce a complete system that will be safe, robust and affordable for ordinary customers,” says Dr Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Cars.

The main challenge is to design an Autopilot that is robust for traffic scenarios as well as for technical faults that may occur. It cannot be expected that the driver is ready to suddenly intervene in a critical situation. Initially, the cars will drive autonomously on selected roads with suitable conditions, for example without oncoming traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.

Back-up systems
“Making this complex system 99 per cent reliable is not good enough. You need to get much closer to 100 per cent before you can let self-driving cars mix with other road users in real-life traffic,” says Erik Coelingh.

“Here, we have a similar approach to that of the aircraft industry. Our fail-operational architecture includes backup systems that will ensure that Autopilot will continue to function safely even if an element of the system were to become disabled.”

For example, the probability of a brake system failure is very small, but a self-driving vehicle needs a second independent system to brake the vehicle to a stop, as it is unlikely that the driver will be prepared to press the brake pedal.

Handles complicated scenarios
On the road, the complete technology solution will handle even the most complicated scenarios, from smooth commuting to heavy traffic and emergency situations.

“Just as good drivers would, potentially critical situations are approached with sensible caution. In a real emergency, however, the car reacts faster than most humans,” says Erik Coelingh.

When autonomous driving is no longer available – due to exceptional weather conditions, technical malfunction or the end of the route has been reached – the driver is prompted by the system to take over again.

If the driver is incapacitated for any reason and does not take over in time, the car will bring itself to a stop in a safe location.

Consumer and societal benefits
In addition to simplifying people’s lives and transforming the everyday commute from lost time to quality time, self-driving cars create environmental benefits.

Volvo Cars expects that autonomous driving could cut fuel consumption. The technology could also improve traffic flow as well as open up possibilities for urban planning and more cost-efficient investments in infrastructure.

“Developing a complete technological solution for self-driving cars is a major step. Once the public pilot is up and running, it will provide us with valuable knowledge about implementing self-driving cars in the traffic environment, and help us explore how they can contribute to sustainable mobility. Our smart vehicles are a key part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is vital to offer sustainable personal mobility in the future.

This unique cross-functional co-operation is the key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles,” says Erik Coelingh.

A selection of Drive Me system solution components:

Sensor technologies
Volvo Cars is developing a holistic solution that generates exact positioning and a complete 360° view of the car’s surroundings. This is achieved by a combination of multiple radars, cameras and laser sensors. A network of computers processes the information, generating a real-time map of moving and stationary objects in the environment.

Precise positioning is based on this surround information together with GPS and a high definition 3D digital map that is continuously updated with real-time data. The system is reliable enough to work without requiring driver supervision.

Combined radar and camera
The combined 76 GHz frequency-modulated continuous wave radar and camera placed in the windscreen is the same as that in the All-New XC90. This system reads traffic signs and the road’s curvature and can detect objects on the road such as other road users.

Surround radars
Four radars behind the front and rear bumpers (one on each corner of the car) are able to locate objects in all directions. By sweeping both left and right, transmitting waves that bounce off signs, poles, and tunnels, they monitor a full 360° around the car.

360° surround vision
Four cameras monitor objects in close proximity to the vehicle. Two are under the outer rear-view mirrors, one is in the rear bumper and one is in the grille. Besides detecting objects at close range, these cameras monitor lane markings.

The cameras have a high dynamic range and can handle very quick changes in lightning conditions, e.g. when entering a tunnel.

Multiple beam laser scanner
This sensor system is placed in the front of the vehicle, below the air intake. The scanner can identify objects in front of the car and ensures very high angle resolution. It can also distinguish between objects. The unique laser sensor has a range of 150 metres for vehicles and covers a 140° field of view.

Trifocal camera
In addition, a trifocal camera placed behind the upper part of the windscreen is three cameras in one, providing a broad 140° view, a 45° view and a long-range, yet narrow, 34° view for improved depth perception and distant-object detection. The camera can spot suddenly appearing pedestrians and other unexpected road hazards.

Long-range radars
Two long-range radars placed in the rear bumper of the car ensure a good rearward field of view. This technology is particularly useful when changing lanes because it can detect fast-moving vehicles approaching from far behind.

Ultrasonic sensors
Twelve ultrasonic sensors around the car are used to identify objects close to the vehicle and support autonomous drive at low speeds.

The sensors are based on the technology used for current park assist functions enhanced with advanced signal processing. A typical example of when this technology is useful is for detecting unexpected situations, such as pedestrians or hazards on the road close to the car.

High definition 3D digital map
A high definition 3D digital map is the tool used to provide the vehicle with information about the surroundings, e.g. altitude, road curvature, number of lanes, geometry of tunnels, guard rails, signs, exits, etc. The position geometry is in many cases at centimetre level.

High performance positioning
The high performance GPS is one part of the positioning control that is enhanced by a combination of an advanced GPS, a 3-degrees of freedom accelerometer and a 3-degrees of freedom gyro. By matching the 360° image created by the multitude of sensors with the map image, the car will get the information about its position in relation to the surroundings.

By combining the information from the sensors and the map, the Drive Me car is able to choose the best course in real time, factoring in variables such as the curvature of the road, speed limit, temporary signs and other traffic.

Cloud services
The cloud service is connected to the traffic authorities’ control centre. This ensures that the most up-to-date traffic information is always available. The control centre operators also have the ability to tell the drivers to turn off the autonomous drive mode if necessary.

RC350: The Sexy Lexus, Yes, I said Sexy!

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show8 RC F %28pre%2Dproduction model shown%29hr

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

12 Exterior_ihr2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

Yes Yes Yes oh Yes!: spectacular looks, classy cabin, gadgets gadgets gadgets

Oh dear me no: aging engine, no auto parking, economy could improve.

Remember we took the yummy IS350 for an outing a few months ago and liked it? We liked its sensual lines and cutting edge gadgets, and we liked the power, oh yes, the power. The RC is the gym-fit 2 door cousin of the IS which gets many, many more looks.

Looks:

Yum.

Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor ShowLexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show

It is achingly gorgeous. It is a delicious work of art even when it is sitting quietly in the garage gently lit by dimmer switched downlights. The 5 layer paint job is so smooth you could apply your lippy in it. Leaving it parked for more than a few minutes causes nose marks to mysteriously appear on the glass. Very spooky.

Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (1)The pictures don’t do the “look at me” silhouette justice. It is just the sort of car for an owner who wants to be conspicuous yet considered to have good taste. We will be the judge of that. After all, if sir doesn’t want to be noticed, a bright metallic orange Lexus Coupe isn’t the car for sir. Everyone says they don’t want to be noticed, until they drive a car they get noticed in.

The deeply sculptured nose is replete with an LED headlights under lit with daytime running lights and indicators. The pert rear end has a high lip which is a little hard to see over but the parking camera fixes that. LEDs have been used with gay abandon for the quality of light. We all look better with good lighting and the RC is no different. There are 9 colours to choose from and our car was the very loud Lava Mica AKA 70’s metallic Orange. Peace Man! It sounds horrible but we snapped a few cheeky Iphone shots to prove it is drop dead gorgeous, especially against the blackened starkness of a baron fire-damaged Blue Mountains landscape.

Interior:

The inside is as tasteful as the outside. It is borrowed heavily from the IS which is fine by me. Entry is 2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury front seatsby gently caressing the door handle, then giving it a good yank. The door is ginormous but still not big enough to get into the back seats without sliding the front seats forward. Pull the seat-back forward, and the bottom of the chair is whizzed forward electrically. When I say whizz, I mean “YAWN! Have a cuppa while you wait”. That isn’t a bad thing because you can give the outside another once over while you wait.

Shut the door and press the start button, and the steering column swings into place. It stows itself so you can get your bum in and out of the driver’s seat more easily. The seats are leather, of course, and are heated and cooled as well as being adjusted by electric motors. We don’t want Sir getting ruffled on the way to Sir’s important muscle-pumping schedule do we? The seats hug perhaps a little too snugly but it is as a grand touring coupe should be. The instruments have the same slightly twee centre ring that slides to one side. I have a love hate relationship with it. It is naff, but I like naff. Why is it there? Because it can be! It displays far too much info for the driver’s own good. He is going to ignore most of it anyway.

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury interior2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury steering wheel

The posh Mark Levinsen speakers sound divine. The seats don’t have a massage function because when the volume knob gets a twist the seats don’t need extra help to vibrate. The rear seats are useable but not on an everyday basis.

The cabin feels expensive and classy and everything works just right. The menu system takes a bit of getting used to. Once mastered, allows it’s user to flit through the system with gay abandon. The Levinsen sound system is epic! The lows are low but everything is crystal clear at almost any volume.

2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury remote touch2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury rear seats folded2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury remote touch

The Drive:

The engine might be getting on a bit, but it is willing and able. Through the smooth 8 speed auto, the RC is propelled to 100 in only 6.1 seconds. The auto has a torque converter which locks up between 2nd and 8th gears. That means there is no slippage in any gear but first giving the same economy as a manual. In fact you might even get a little better. In normal driving mode the Lexus makes sure the engine revs as low as possible and only changes down when power is needed. It does a better job of managing gears than a human could do if fuel consumption is the aim. Most of us won’t go higher than 4th around town meaning the 3.5 V6 would be screaming its head of most of the time on the dreary drive to work. The Auto will have none of it and changes up. Sports mode is a different kettle of fish altogether. The revs are kept up up up.

The seating is a snug fit keeping a keen driver in the right place in tight corners. We took the RC on a romantic trip to the Blue Mountains to stay at our favourite hotel, the newly re-opened Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath. The hotel was utterly diabolical with the room being a closet of unrivaled misery, but the RC was spectacular.

The mountains are strewn with hairpins and long stretches of gentle smooth road with magnificent views over the valleys far below. What struck us first was the ride, which was like being on a feather bed. You might think that made the corners intolerable. You might expect the body to wallow and lurch about like drunken sailor, but not a bit of it. The chassis has settings which a driver can select at will so you can be as stiff or as soft as you like. The F Sport also gets a fancy rear steering setup. The RC loves being thrown around like a rag doll. Even in the most unruly bend things never get untidy, so the driver only has to point the nose to know the car will follow.

Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (2)Lexus RC350 F Sport Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath GAYCARBOYS (4)

After a few hours we arrived at the Hydro refreshed and excited, but would have then been more comfortable sleeping in the car rather than our room. I’ve never stayed somewhere of such unrivaled awfulness.

The boot isn’t huge but the seats fold down if you want to get something really big in the rear.

The Lexus is pitched against BMW’s 4 series and it compares favourably. For the same money it has more kit. Apart from the 4wheel steering, the blind spot monitoring and radar guided cruise control came standard. The V6 will also take E10 which is the cheapskate petrol if you can find it. Better still, 10% of the fossil fuel comes from plants which are renewable. The specs sheet says E95 and up, but the fuel filler cap says E10, so you decide.

The cabin is lit by a touch-controlled dome light. No matter how often I drive a Lexus I have to fiddle with it. It’s way better than a clap-lamp.

I’m disappointed auto-parking and heated cup holders aren’t available, but the reversing camera and air-conditioned seats make up for it.Lexus will unveil the F Sport variant of its RC Coupe at the  2014 Geneva Motor Show

Should you unintentionally scoop up a pedestrian, the bonnet fires a couple of charges to pop the outer surface upwards clear of the engine block. The hapless bystander is less likely to more seriously injured.

One last thing, modern cars have many nannies to make sure you have the best chance of avoiding catastrophe. This was put to the test in the wet weather. A car swerved to avoid a dog crossing onto our side of the road in the process. Its driver 2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sportyanked rather too enthusiastically and lost control. We were able to brake heavily and steer at the same time. The nannies knew it was an emergency. They applied full force to the brakes, automatically activated the hazard flashers, and all while making sure none of the wheels locked up. It is an eerie feeling but we felt safe and at times. Being safe is as important as feeling safe.

Conclusion:

Many an ad campaign infers its subject is a head turner. It is a phrase over used to the point of distraction but in this case it it’s true. The striking exterior and glittery orange paintwork gets attention wherever you are.

We felt safe and comfortable and the RC350 is one of the very few cars I would ever want to take on a Great Australian Road Trip. Lexus, are you listening?

Would I buy one? Yes yes yes. If I had access to a little extra I’d opt for the RC-F which is the fire breathing butcher sister of the RC350.

Price: Luxury-$72,965 F Sport-81,365 Port Luxury-$93,965 (prices drive away in NSW)

Engine: 24 valve VVTI, 3.5 V6, 233kw/378Nm, 9.4 L/100k

Weight: 1740kg