First BMW Art Car designed by Chinese artist to debut in 2017

First BMW Art Car designed by Chinese artist to debut in 2017 (3)

First BMW Art Car designed by Chinese artist to debut in 2017 (1)First BMW Art Car designed by Chinese artist to debut in 2017 (2)


Creative contemporary art will anticipate emerging trends in future mobility.

  • The 18th BMW Art Car is set to premiere in 2017 and will become the first BMW Art Car designed by a Chinese artist.
  • In the spirit of innovation and going with the times, the 18th BMW Art Car will showcase emerging trends in future mobility such as automated driving and intelligent connectivity.

Munich/Beijing. Cao Fei, the first Chinese artist commissioned to design a BMW Art Car, shared her inspirations and design concept for her “rolling sculpture” during a media briefing at her Beijing studio on Thursday, August 25. The 18th BMW Art Car, which is based on the BMW M6 GT3, is set to debut in 2017. Inspired by the speed of racing cars and the tremendous changes of Chinese society over the past decades, Cao Fei will use this installation to interpret the themes of the century such as automated driving and the convergence of virtual worlds and reality.

“The car is key to understanding the changes occurring in contemporary Chinese society. The rapid speed of a car and the rapid changes taking place in Chinese society are my inspirations for creating the 18th BMW Art Car. But my BMW Art Car will adopt an expressive form completely different from previous ones. It will be an interpretation of the century’s theme, namely that we enter ‘a landscape of no man’s land’, e.g. autonomous cars and aircrafts and virtual reality,” said Cao Fei.

Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, emphasized the heritage and innovations of BMW Art Cars during the media briefing, “Art is a mirror that can reflect the future into today’s reality. The BMW Group believes that sustainability, connectivity and automated driving are the trends for future individual mobility. We are pleased to see that the artists’ ideas for the 18th BMW Art Car regarding future cars, society and humankind is in line with BMW’s vision for future mobility.”

Just like previous BMW Art Cars, the 18th vehicle of the collection will participate in a racing event in Asia and furthermore be exhibited in a major museum, making it the latest example of the BMW Group’s endeavor to promote the arts and intercultural communications.

Cao Fei is considered one of the most important young artists to have emerged from China. She has been active in the international art scene for almost two decades with her unique multimedia projects in which she explores the rapid changes occurring in Chinese society today. In November 2015, the jury of the BMW Art Car project, consisting of twelve renowned museum directors and curators, voted unanimously in favor of Cao Fei and American artist John Baldessari to design the 18th and 19th BMW Art Car respectively. The jury is “in particular looking forward as to how she may turn the car into an imaginative part of her parallel universe” as well as present a new perspective to the world.

Absolute creative freedom and full support of the artist

The BMW Group is committed to the pursuit of innovation and creativity. With regards to creating the 18th BMW Art Car, Cao Fei has been guaranteed absolute creative freedom and the full support of BMW.

Cao Fei has also gained a unique insight into the automotive industry. Over the course of the past year, the BMW Group arranged for Cao Fei to have several in- depth meetings with the company’s senior executives. For example, Dr Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, discussed the possibility for Cao to be the first artist to also create the inside of a BMW Art Car; Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, met with her to discuss colors; Karim Habib, Director of BMW Design, spoke to her about 3-D modeling; and Olaf Kastner, President and CEO of BMW Group, China Region, met with her to discuss BMW’s “Art Factory” in Shenyang.

In addition, BMW gave the Chinese artist a first-hand taste of speed and state-of- the-art technologies by arranging personalized visits and activities. For instance, the artist marveled at the sight of a number of IT industry experts collaborating with auto designers at the Group’s R&D center. She also was able to see some cutting-edge technologies showcasing human-machine interaction, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, which have already begun to influence the early stages of auto design.

At BMW Group’s plants in Munich and Shenyang, Cao Fei was given a comprehensive overview of the modern auto manufacturing process. She even witnessed the manufacturing of BMW’s latest engine. A young technician from the production line spoke with the artist about the many positive changes the plant has made in his life as well as for the city of Shenyang. The expatriate German experts from the headquarters at Shenyang plant showed Cao Fei how BMW’s “engineer culture” informs every detail of their work.

The communication of these ideas gave Cao Fei a whole new understanding of the design and meaning of cars, which in turn helped her gain a better understanding of the advanced technologies used in the modern car industry. In addition, she gained further insights into the wide range of creative ways informing the shape of future mobility. This interplay of ideas was the source of inspiration for the artist’s many ideas of how to create the 18th BMW Art Car.

History of the BMW Art Cars 

The perfect interaction of design, automotive, racing, technology and contemporary art has helped make each BMW Art Car legendary in both the auto industry and the art world. In 1975, together with former Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch, the passionate French racecar driver Hervé Poulain came up with the idea to create a canvas on his BMW 3.0 CSL, and commissioned American artist and friend Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car, thus marking the birth of the collection.

Over the past 41 years, BMW invited seventeen international artists to design BMW models, among them some of the most renowned artists of our time: Alexander Calder (1975), Frank Stella (1976), Roy Lichtenstein (1977), Andy Warhol (1979), Ernst Fuchs (1982), Robert Rauschenberg (1986), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989), Ken Done (1989), Matazo Kayama (1990), César Manrique (1990), A. R. Penck (1991), Esther Mahlangu (1991), Sandro Chia (1992), David Hockney (1995), Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur Eliasson (2007), Jeff Koons (2010). Thanks to their creativity, the BMW Art Cars have been a manifestation of minimalism, pop art, art brut and conceptual art – an authentic testimony to the unique trends and cultural ideas of their time.

Moreover, the BMW Art Cars have a long-standing racing tradition, in step with the BMW brand philosophy of “Sheer Driving Pleasure” they combine continuous innovation with speed and art. All BMW Art Cars are “rolling sculptures” built from production models or racecars, and out of those exquisite vehicles so far eight have excelled on the tracks and achieved extraordinary results.

Promoting cultural engagement to fulfill the commitment to social responsibility 

BMW Group is committed to corporate social responsibility through cultural engagement while pursuing innovation and development. The range of seventeen existing BMW Art Cars showcases various artistic themes including animal patterns from Australian aboriginal myths as a symbol of admiration for ancient civilizations as well as a recurrence of African tribal paintings that introduce distinctly novel perspectives and thus new life into traditional art. All of these demonstrate the BMW Group’s unrelenting efforts to promote the development of and exchange between various cultures.

As the latest member to join the BMW Art Car collection, the 18th BMW Art Car will offer the whole world an opportunity to better appreciate the values of Chinese modern art and understand the transition of Chinese society.

BMW initiated the program “BMW China Cultural Journey” in China in 2007 in an effort to raise public awareness for its heritage and culture as well as to protect both tangible and intangible Chinese cultural heritage.

Find the BMW Art Car Collection on our social media sites following:

Mr Mini Takes His Top Off


MINI Cooper Convertible - 2016 (1)

MINI Cooper Convertible - 2016 (2)MINI Cooper Convertible - 2016 (3)

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 (1)MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 (2)


We sent Brent Davison to cover the Mini Convertible Australian launch. You can read about it here.

I like the look of Mini very much. There is just enough of the “classic Mini” to evoke the memory of a carefree flower-power summer without being merely a hollow pastiche. In many ways, the 2016 models are exactly what the classic 60’s Mini would have been had it been in continual development.

The look hasn’t changed much since the relaunch more than 15 years ago because, then it wouldn’t be a Mini would it?

In true Mini style, much of what I loved about our test car was an optional extra. None the less, the $52,250 (plus onroads) price as tested is good value for a premium 2+2 convertible.

The only option I’d have left out was the hideous dark stained genuine simulated artificial fake wood interior trim. It looked like old bits of garden shed had been whacked by a fence paling then glued in by a 5-year-old. It was nasty.

The outside looked much like the model it replaced, but with the optional LED headlights, there was added panache mixed with je ne sais quoi in equal measure.

Our test car had 3 optional packs, plus a host of other goodies, which added almost 13 grand to the MLP of $37,900 (add approx. $5,000 for drive-away price).

The $3,500 “Chilli” pack adds Satnav, LED lights, Mini Driving Modes and fancy “Propeller” wheels. Run-flat tyres were added for $260 but made the ride too harsh for my taste.

The $3,650 “Multimedia Pro” pack upgraded the satnav to “Pro”, added DAB radio and harmon Kardon speakers with a Heads-Up display for the driver.

A further $1,800 for the Convenience Pack gave us Comfort access with remote roof operation, a mirror package, Park Assist and an alarm. The heated seats were $490 and their leather upgrades cost $1,700.

Keyless start and go means the fob never leaves your pocket unless you want to wash your pants.

Since Sydney has entered a mini ice-age, the heated seats were useful on the National Park run. With the outside temperature around 12c, the heating at floor level wafted gentle warm air around the nether regions, and the seats kept the bum and back toasty. Sadly, we didn’t know the wind deflector was in the boot, which would have made life even nicer. It is a folding-net-affair which fits in behind front seats, and extends from behind the front headrests to the top of the back seats. The cold air can’t leak forward, so the warm air stays where you want it even if you have the windows and roof all the way down.

The roof has 2 modes, sunroof, and all the way. Unfortunately, the sunroof mode directs icy air down the front passenger’s backs. It certainly makes you sit up and take notice. When all the way down, the roof gives the full open air atmosphere that used to cost the GDP of a small African nation. For around $57,000 drive-away, you get a 100kw 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine putting out a decent 220Nm of torque. The base price is about $42,000 drive-away if you don’t get the option packs.

The optional “Mini Driving Modes” is meant to give the driver a way of changing the experience, but most of the time I just left it in normal. I couldn’t feel any appreciable difference. It’s part of a pack because I suspect no one would tick the box if it was on its own.

I have a rule: never drive a convertible with the roof up unless the sun threatens to blister fair skin, or it is raining. The only time the roof was up was during a sudden shower. I discovered you don’t have to come to a stop for it to operate. The roof will work of speeds up to 30kph which is perfect for traffic.

There are no paddle shifters, so manually changing the 6 speed auto gear box is a bit hit and miss until you get used to which way is up.

The upgraded Satnav gets a track pad on top of the rotary dial between the front seats. Scrolling back and forwards through the menu is fairly easy and the inputs straight forward.

I love the throaty little 3 pot in a way I never thought I would. It reminds me of some of the classic cars of the 60’s and 70’s with that raspy wheeze in full flight.

And so, to the drive:

As is my want, the Royal National Park beckoned. The allure of sharp bends and sweeping curves is irresistible. The deep shade of the dense canopy makes the shadows dance over the car and looks rather like fireworks when you’re in a drop-top. I entered the park at the northern end, something I usually avoid. You see, there are several turnoffs where locals insist on doing 10 or 20 KPH below the speed limit. It is a favourite for sight seers too in their awkward SUVs and camper vans. Curse the lot of them.

It was about then that I encountered a Kluga hell-bent in ruining the day of anyone behind it. We crossed the weir at 30kph and rounded the bend near the café to head up the hill. Kluga thought it would be super-awesome to slow to just 5kph. It pulled off to the left side of the road, before swinging right, sans indicator of course. Never mind, there was nothing in front of it so the road was mine alone.

I let slip the dogs of doings and took off like a scalded cat.

The gentle sweeping bends and dips gave way to deeply shaded blind corners punctuated. There were little streams of water across the road from the storms the night before. The crisp air and rainforest smells added a sense of surreal pantomime to the experience. Yet, somehow it felt like driving a simulator. In a simulator there is no feeling that she would have let go no matter how she was pushed. The go-cart handling is just like the “classic Mini” I love so much. I was temporarily transported back in time to an era before power steering and air conditioning, and horror of horrors, mobile phones.

We came out of the thick forest on to the clifftop where the wild sea came into view, and I knew the most exciting part of the drive was behind me. Only the house with the glass pool sticking out over the sea, and the hairpin bend was left. The hairpin is to be taken at 15kph or death will quickly follow, but Mini was having none of it. It was like being flung into hell from a slingshot.

The throttle response varied little even with the drive mode in “Super Exciting”. A combination of manual gear selection and brilliantly precise electric steering kept the rubber just where it should have been. With little overhang at either end, a wheel in each corner makes the weight distribution near perfect, just as Sir Alec Issigonis intended when he penned the Classic Mini in 1958.

I turned back for a slower, gentler run home. Of course I would keep a careful eye in the rear view mirror for anyone behind, unlike some we could name.

No sooner had I started the return leg, when Kluga rounded the bend heading straight for me, on my side of the road. Normally there would have been little to worry about, but with a sharp drop-off no further than a metre from the passenger’s door handle, my eyes must have looked like saucers. With no time to think, and nowhere to turn, I threw out the anchors. Mini sensed the dilemma and applied full emergency braking and switched the hazard lights on. Kluga merely lurched back into its own lane with the grace of a geriatric pachyderm. It had missed the innocent Mini by what seemed like the width of a bee’s private part.

The plucky little Brit had stopped in little more than its own length. The Kluga had displayed abominable roads manners, but just this once I was grateful that it was an ancient grey-haired tourist, and not an 18 year-old P-plater experimenting with death.

The remainder of the run was emergency-brake-free with only Whipbirds as a sound track.

I turned onto the highway still thinking about the moron who made my life pass before my eyes. I wondered about how many people Kluga had forced into shrubberies the length and breadth of the country. How could people be so useless? How is it that some get licenses based on almost no capacity to drive?

On the highway, the mood was somber despite the roof and windows being down. As the bush gave way to traffic lights and Maccer’s stores, I raised the roof to see if my near death experience could be blocked out by a few layers of fabric, but it couldn’t. In the few brief kilometres the roof was up, I noted that the Mini was not as quiet as I’d have liked. There was a bit of background rattling and creaking from overhead, so back down the roof went after the shower had passed.

Entering the secure underground lockup failed to erase the incident in what had otherwise been a joyous spin through the countryside. I shall not allow it to ruin the impression of the afternoon. Indeed, you could argue Mini did exactly what it was designed to do so no harm done.

There was a time when power output was secondary to the way a car handled. You had to grab your ride by the scruff of the neck and in a way, the 100kw engine is a bit like that. Even with all the mod-cons, there was a real feeling of the classic 60’s experience. You could imagine a gingham cloth and wicker basket on the back seat. There’d be a couple of beach towels and some factor 15 in the boot just in case, and the radio would be playing 50’s hits. You’d probably find 50’s music as long as the DAB is in digital range. The audio upgrade is worth every penny because the killer sound system is just the ticket when you’d had a bad scare.


I loved the Mini. All of the things people usually say are still true. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, there are way too many options, and yes, the ride is harsh. So, don’t get any options, especially the dreaded run flats. You’ll have a can of goo if your tyre goes down on you, so all is not lost. Run Flat tyres are meant to be driven under 80kph for short distances to get you out of trouble, but with roadside assistance who needs them. Ideally, I’d like a space saver spare tyre at the very least because a Run Flat has to be replaced after it has run flat. That’s a costly proposition if you do that more than a couple of times a year.

I loved the quality feel of the cabin with the exception of the god-awful fake timber trim extra-cost option. The cabin is cosy and well laid out but the switch gear is a bit busy. The retro knobs and switch gear add a certain verisimilitude. The Climate Control is brilliant even on automatic, and the brakes work under the most stressing of trials.

If you opt for the Heads Up display, buy a pair of sunglasses that don’t have polarized lenses or you may as well not have spent extra. The polarized Ray-Bans completely erase the HUD display even on full brightness. The display puts info onto a pop-up glass panel on top of the driver’s instruments, unlike my preferred method of projecting the info onto the windscreen.

Even a heavy foot will return a decent fuel figure, so the only real niggle is that the ride was too hard, and the roof blocks most of your view rearwards when it’s down. It doesn’t completely stow away because BMW would like you to have a bit of luggage room in the boot.

Friends laughed when I said I’d have this car any day. They said I’d be a fool not to buy Mazda’s MX5. I like MX5 a lot, but I wouldn’t buy one. It is simply too small. Yes, it is fun to drive, but you feel like you’ve been shoe-horned into a ballet slipper. With the roof up it feels positively claustrophobic, and eventually all convertible owners will spend some time in the saddle enclosed by canvas. Taller drivers would notice their line of sight obscured by the top of the windscreen even with the seat all the way down, so with the roof up, your head touches it.

No, there are too many drawbacks to the Japanese roadster that don’t crop up in the slightly more expensive, thoroughly British Mini. The mini has more power too.

Would I buy one? You know I love Mini, right? It is not the car you buy because you want practical, but because you want different. I would have one tomorrow, sans Run Flats of co

Citroen Unveils Stunning CXPERIENCE CONCEPT ahead of 2016 Paris Motor Show

Citroen CXPERIENCE CONCEPT gaycarboys (4)

Citroen CXPERIENCE CONCEPT gaycarboys (3)Citroen CXPERIENCE CONCEPT gaycarboys (1)

Citroen CXPERIENCE CONCEPT gaycarboys (2)

Citroen will unveil its CXPERIENCE CONCEPT, a sleek new four-door car with a 200-kilowatt plug-in hybrid power unit, at October’s Paris International Motor Show.

The two-box saloon, measuring 4.85m in length, merges Citroen’s extensive design history with modern technologies to deliver a new take on the executive saloon, a territory that is close to the brand and its past.

With its distinctively unique body style, this new concept car has aerodynamics that overturn established codes while illustrating the benefits of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ programme, its design emphasising every detail.

“The whole Style team pulled in the same direction to create a new executive saloon with international reach, breaking with conventional codes to express the brand’s values: Optimistic, Human and Smart,” said Alexandre Malval, Citroën Design Director.

Inspired by architecture and furnishings, the cabin of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a work of clean, contemporary lines. Featuring premium materials, it is clad in a citrus yellow shade synonymous with a fresh, optimistic mindset.

The single-spoke steering wheel gives a nod to the brand’s history and the floating dashboard is a horizontal design with a three-dimensional appearance featuring a sculpted, tubular cut-out flowing in a single piece from the right rear door to the left rear door.

The drive experience leverages Citroen’s know-how and history and is the latest demonstration of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort ®’ programme, designed for the well-being and comfort of vehicle occupants.

In line with the ‘Advanced Comfort’ programme, the cabin of the concept car is designed as a true ’cocoon’, a second ’home’ in a large executive saloon conveying an impression of immediate, intense ultra-comfort for both the driver and passengers as soon as they step inside.

Uniquely, the CXPERIENCE includes Citroen’s personal ’sound bubbles’ which allow each passenger to select their personal sound medium via a network of integrated microphones and speakers.

Outside, the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT stands apart with its V-shaped headlamps blending seamlessly into Citroen’s trademark grille, rear-hinged ‘autoclave’ doors that rise to the top of the roof at a 90-degree perpendicular angle (in line with the wheels) and a concave rear window punctuated by V-shaped, laser fibre optic 3D rear lights that reference the frontal lighting signature.

Citroën’s CXPERIENCE CONCEPT delivers outstanding dynamic performance and can be driven in all-electric mode in the city as a ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) with a 60 kilometre range. This is supplemented by a petrol engine developing between 110 and 150-kilowatts with an additional energy boost of up to 80kW provided by the electric motor.

On the open road, fuel consumption can be limited by using the two forms of energy together in successive acceleration phases and on the motorway the internal combustion engine takes over to deliver real performance at the wheels with total power output of up to 200kW (272bhp).

The architecture of Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is ingenious and unique. The 8-speed electronic automatic gearbox is placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor and a compact battery is positioned under the cabin to deliver electric power to the rear axle motor, the design maintaining both passenger space and boot capacity.

“The Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car challenges convention to express a new vision of executive saloons. It also fits in perfectly with the ambitions of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme,’ ” said Citroen Chief Executive Officer, Linda Jackson.

“CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its ’Be Different, Feel Good’ promise in this segment,” she added.

  • A strong identity

With its unique and distinctive body lines, the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car expresses a new take on the codes of executive saloons, a territory that is close to the brand and its history. It is an aerodynamic concept car whose design reflects the emphasis placed on every detail. The shape lines and graphics belong solely to Citroën, making them easy to identify and remember.

Designed by Citroën Styling at the company’s Velizy Design Centre near Paris, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT expresses the brand’s new aesthetic codes. An innovative vehicle, it is inspired by the high-tech world on the outside and by furnishings and travel on the inside.

The CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car is immediately recognisable. With its two-box style and cleverly designed rear-hinged doors, it looks ready to leap forwards. The bold lines express power while the generous curves and smooth volumes express the car’s own stylistic language.

A vehicle of imposing proportions (4.85m long and 2m wide) with a very low roofline (1.37m tall) and short overhangs (3m wheelbase), the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car allies its majestic stature with flowing lines. The pearlescent sea green ’Mizuiro’ bodywork is modern, relaxed and sober, the upmarket looks of the car further underlined by large 22-inch wheels and five-spoke covers.

At the front, the pure lines of this concept car are very much in evidence with an original light signature expressing a new take on the layered headlights that are part of Citroën’s identity. Other attributes of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT include a smooth front-end and special grille with chevrons that accentuate the vehicle’s width with chrome-finished bars angling out to the headlights.

The observer’s eye is drawn in particular to the V-shaped daytime running lights which give the car a high-tech look. They are made up of fine 3mm-wide strips with the indicators elegantly positioned in between. Further down, the light signature is completed by three LED directional headlights positioned either side of the vehicle.

For greater efficiency the controlled air intakes – mobile flaps designed to open and close – are integrated with the front bumpers and positioned either side of the vehicle, contributing to aerodynamic performance on the road while also improving manoeuvrability. 

The rear end of the concept car also makes a statement with strongly marked wings and a concave rear window with a mobile fin at the bottom for improved aerodynamics.

The 3D rear lights, featuring laser fibre optics, are also V-shaped. Indicators are positioned in the centre under a slim one-way panel, giving CXPERIENCE CONCEPT a unique, high-tech identity.

The light system is fitted in a black technical block with lines following the cut-out of the boot to underline the width of this large saloon. Like the brand’s most recent vehicles, the chevrons at the rear of the concept car feature a black lacquer finish.

Another characteristic styling feature contributing to the unique personality of the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is the rear-hinged ‘autoclave’ door design. The doors rise to the top of the roof and open to a 90-degree perpendicular angle (in line with the wheels), making for easy entry and exit and providing an excellent view of the spacious, upmarket cabin. Comfort takes centre stage, issuing an invitation to travel.

  • An interior designed to showcase the flowing design lines

Inspired by architecture, decoration and furnishings, the cabin of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a work of clean, contemporary lines. Featuring premium materials, it is decorated in a citrus yellow shade synonymous with a fresh, optimistic mindset.

Alongside the single-spoke steering wheel – a nod to the brand’s history – the horizontal floating dashboard design brings a three-dimensional appearance and features a single-piece sculpted tubular cut-out extending from the right rear door to the left rear door.

This presentation reinforces the immediate impression of space, lightness and amplitude, the yellow tones of the interior ambience enhancing the original sense of visual continuity between each of the areas dedicated to the driver and passengers.

Considerable emphasis has also been placed on seat design with the seats upholstered in a padded-effect yellow mesh fabric and the backrests featuring walnut wood in an elegantly light shade to match the dashboard.

Designed to resemble alcoves, the inner door panels are also made from high-quality materials with sea-green geometric fabric matching the body colour and contrasting with the interior ambience.

The flat foam floor has been made to measure and is covered in dark, textured leather with a deconstructed design. Broad, chrome-finish sills on either side underline the careful emphasis placed on interior colours and materials.


Comfort is a concept that has always been closely linked to Citroën and ’Citroën Comfort’ has become a true brand signature. Today, this concept has become part of a broader approach with a range of criteria including brightness, space, ergonomics and connectivity. All these criteria contribute to well-being in body and mind and promote discussion and sharing on board the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car.

  • Contributing to well-being in body and mind

Through the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, which guided the design of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT, Citroën is reviewing its approach to comfort in the light of its modern vision and expertise.

Designed as a true “cocoon”, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT filters out the outside world along with the bumps and dips of the road and employs a progressive hydraulic cushions advanced module. Came out many weeks ago, this exclusive Citroën technology significantly improves the filtration system regardless of the defects road ensuring an outstanding driving comfort. The result : a purely Citroën sovereign comfort.

Entirely  focused on the well-being of the occupants,  this large executive saloon conveys an impression of immediate, intense ultra comfort, for both the driver and passengers, when they step on board.

The interior was designed to promote well-being, as illustrated by the seats, the part of the car with which passengers are in closest contact. The generous, body-hugging seats of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT provide unique comfort and support. Made from flexible shape-memory foam, they invite the occupants to enjoy a new travelling experience.

In row 1, both the driver and passenger have wide, welcoming seats. The enveloping seats in row 2 reflect the same “living room” mindset. A physical sensation amplified by the alliance of warm, natural materials. To make every journey a friendly, relaxing experience, the front seats feature tapered backrests and openwork headrests to provide greater visibility for passengers in the rear.

Adding a final touch to this peaceful ambience, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features generous interior space and ingenious storage compartments to make life easier.

The dashboard creates an impression of space with its transverse graphics and the centre console, with its flowing design lines, includes a functional storage compartment at the front and a second compartment for smartphone induction charging. Other storage compartments positioned conveniently around the cabin also contribute to the comfort of the occupants and their day-to-day wellbeing.

The emphasis placed on light, another part of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ programme, also contributes to the sense of onboard wellbeing. Each occupant enjoys an area bathed in light with a wide lateral glazed area around the cabin and the two ‘cielos’ running the full length of the roof.

The ambient lighting and air purifier also contribute to making the cabin a ’feel good’ area, a haven of wellbeing where the occupants can relax and decompress.

Finally, to ensure peace of mind for the driver and to reduce the cognitive load, useful driving information is projected into the driver’s field of vision on a wide ’head-up’ display panel.

  • Promoting sharing and discussion

In tune with its times and in phase with the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort ®’ programme, the Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car is welcoming, comfortable and hyperconnected. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a car apart, with an intuitive human-machine interface designed to provide continuity between digital worlds for the driver and passengers.

Intelligent technologies promote interaction and contribute to smoother use of the vehicle and its equipment. Available to everybody and present at both front and rear, these technologies underline the brand’s efforts to place particular emphasis on passengers, who play a full role in each journey.

Dramatically integrated in the middle of the dashboard is a 19-inch rectangular display screen with a 16/3 format. It is the key onboard feature and functions as the vehicle’s control centre, clearing superfluous controls from the dashboard and reinforcing the impression of width and space.

Easy to use because of its size, the screen groups all the onboard functions such as air-conditioning, driving aids, navigation and media sources.

The key touchscreen is split into parts, putting the emphasis on the driver as well as the passengers thanks to its configurable ’multi-fenestration’ in 1/3 – 2/3 or 2/3 – 1/3 or in full-screen mode, depending on the desired onboard experience.

The infotainment options enable easy browsing by all the occupants who can find information on their journey, select their own music or watch their favourite film.

To maintain a link between the vehicle and the outside world, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a range of connected services, enabling the driver to open the gate from a distance, for example, or receive home deliveries.

Two other control features, a smartphone and a mobile tablet, maintain digital continuity and activate a number of onboard functions. At the front, a central console houses a dedicated smartphone stand. Induction-rechargeable and connected to the screens, the smartphone starts the car and activates a range of control functions (comfort, photos and videos).

At the rear, passengers have access to a mobile tablet. Presented in a refined case, the tablet lets the occupants adjust the seats and air conditioning at the same time as well as providing access to media sharing through the new ‘Share with U’ app as part of a fun and intuitive approach.

With this new service they can share media files (games, music and videos) with their travelling companions and use them onboard! Don’t miss the opportunity to test this new feature at the Paris Motor Show!

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT opts for high-tech rear vision with cameras, the conventional exterior door mirrors replaced by two discreet side cameras sending pictures to small digital screens. Featuring chrome surrounds, these small screens are positioned along the inner door panels and have the same trim features as the audio speakers and air vents.

The driver has a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s immediate environment, making driving and manoeuvring easier. A hyper-connected car in tune with the times, CEXPERIENCE CONCEPT also features the ConnectedCAM™ Citroën premiered as a world-first on the new Citroën C3.

Located just behind the interior rear-view mirror, this wide-angle, high definition, connected camera records whatever the driver sees on the road. A witness to the driving experience, it captures life’s moments in pictures and on video to keep or share on social networks.

To promote onboard discussion and exchange, the designers also placed considerable emphasis on sound spatialisation. The Citroën Styling teams working on the ’sonification’ applied the same principle used for the Citroën AIRCROSS concept car, an SUV which premiered at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. The open-work front and rear headrests feature two loudspeakers with integrated bass sound and microphones.

These sound bubbles let everybody choose who they want to communicate with or simply lets them sit and listen to their own audio programme, each journey setting the scene for either lively discussion or individual relaxation.

For easier discussions or to keep an eye on young children, integrated cameras make it possible to see each passenger or even take part in a video conference.


The emphasis on intelligent technology can also be seen in the choice of a plug-in hybrid solution for a relaxed drive. A true invitation to travel, Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain allying efficiency with performance.

Based on the expertise of the PSA Group, this plug-in petrol-electric hybrid technology allies power and versatility.

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT delivers outstanding dynamic performance with a petrol engine developing between 110 and 150kW (150 and 200bhp) with up to 80 kW (109bhp) of additional energy provided by the electric motor.

CXPERIENCE CONCEPT can be driven in all-electric mode in the city as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) where it has a range of 60km. On the open road, fuel consumption can be limited by using the two forms of energy together in successive acceleration phases and on the motorway the internal combustion engine takes over to deliver real performance at the wheel, with total power of up to 220kW (300bhp).

The Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT has a 3kWh battery that can be charged in just a few hours, from 4.5 hours with a standard charging system to less than 2.5 hours with an ultra-simple charging solution based on a 6.6kW charger designed for connection to a 32Ah socket.

The attractive, functional signature of this drivetrain can be seen on top of the bonnet in the form of two battery charge indicators extending the line of each DRL.

The architecture of Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is ingenious and unique. The 8-speed electronic automatic gearbox is placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor and a compact battery is positioned under the cabin to deliver electric power to the rear axle motor, the design maintaining both passenger space and boot capacity.

This plug-in hybrid’s new solution invites users to enjoy a new driving experience whereby they can travel from city centres to the most isolated areas without restriction, receiving exceptional dynamic performances thanks to the electric motor’s additional energy while also respecting the environment.

Reflecting the brand’s ability to plan for the future and deploy its positioning and values in very different territories, two ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ showcases will be present on the stand at the Paris Motor Show:

  • the C3, the new brand offensive in the B-segment
  • the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car, expressing Citroën’s approach to comfort and executive vehicles.

Length: 4.85m
Width: 2m
Height: 1.37m
Wheelbase: 3m

Electric range: 60 km
Power (EEC): between 180 and 220kW

Aston Martin announces Vanquish Zagato Volante at Pebble Beach




Friday 19 August, 2016, Pebble Beach, CA: To accompany the North American debut of the Vanquish Zagato Coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin is proud to announce a striking partner for this very special car; the Vanquish Zagato Volante.

Driven by overwhelming customer interest for the previously revealed Coupe, the Vanquish Zagato Volante will be strictly built to a limited production run of 99 cars at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England,

Vanquish Zagato Volante is the latest creation from a collaboration that reaches back over nearly six decades, beginning with the beautifully muscular DB4 GT Zagato race car of 1960 and includes the DB7 Vantage Zagato of 2002, 2011’s V12 Vantage Zagato and the most recent Vanquish Zagato Coupe announced earlier this year.

Previous Aston Martin Zagato convertibles have included the striking V8 Vantage Volante, first shown in Geneva in 1987 and the DB AR1 in 2003. Developed as an open-topped Zagato-bodied DB7 and also limited to 99 units, DB AR1 was similarly designed for the North American market and is considered today an established collectible by automotive connoisseurs worldwide.

The Vanquish Zagato Volante will be a powerful addition to the Aston Martin and Zagato lineage, embodying Aston Martin’s inherent refinement and capabilities, as well as Zagato’s characteristic design details. Both cars share an enhanced version of Aston Martin’s iconic V12 powertrain, increasing its output to 592bhp with a projected 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds.

The Vanquish Zagato Volante shares its proportions with the Coupe, a quintessential Aston Martin form with a classic Zagato twist, evoked by round tail light reflectors that use the same ‘bladed’ LED technology as the Aston Martin Vulcan supercar. The twin cowls on the rear deck blend into the leading edge of the luggage compartment, concealing a bespoke folding hood derived from the mechanism used in the Vanquish Volante. Carbon fibre sills around the lower body create a pronounced horizontal emphasis that runs from front to rear.

“Just like the Coupe, we have emphasised the way surfaces change and intersect to create a muscular form. We’ve endeavoured to create an elegant, flowing shape that really works to emphasise the car’s sculpted rear haunches” says Aston Martin’s EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.

Inside, the Vanquish Zagato Volante continues the fine tradition of Aston Martin craftsmanship. Aston Martin’s specialist ‘Q’ division can add further personalisation and enhancement to a cabin finished with rich and highly luxurious materials, including herringbone carbon-fibre, anodized bronze detailing and the finest Bridge of Weir leather. The Volante features the unique signature ‘Z’ quilt pattern stitch on both seat and door sections, as well as the celebrated trademark Zagato ‘Z’ embossed on the headrests and stitched into the centre console.

“The Vanquish Zagato Volante illustrates the ways in which Aston Martin design can evolve in collaboration with such a trusted and long-standing partner,’ says Reichman. “Vanquish Zagato Volante continues Aston Martin’s new century of innovation and creativity, strengthening the association between these great automotive marques in the process”.

Customer deliveries are set to begin in 2017.

BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney

BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney gaycarboys


BMW Team SRM will start tomorrow’s Sydney Motorsport Park 101 from 11th position, after a promising opening day of running for Steven Richards and Max Twigg.

Richards and Twigg kick-started a packed day of track action by going sixth fastest in this morning’s first practice session. It was a confidence-boosting result ahead of two qualifying sessions that, combined, would determine the grid for tomorrow’s second round of the Australian Endurance Championship.

Twigg jumped behind the wheel of the #100 BMW M6 GT3 for the first 20-minute qualifying session, setting the 16th fastest time in a competitive group that was split between the pros and the amateurs.

Richards then took over for session two. A stunning run at the end of the session rocketed him from eighth to fifth position, before a final blast saw the M6 GT3 jump to third on its final flying lap.

With the times combined and then averaged, the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 will start tomorrow’s 101-lap race from 11th position.

“The car was good. We’ve definitely made some progress, which is great,” said Richards.

“When we went out it was quite dry, but there was a little bit of rain which made it a bit slippery mid-way through. We pitted at exactly the right time, put on the second set of tyres and made a small adjustment to the car, and the car was obviously better.

“We’re in a good position, and we can see that we’re making solid progress.”

“The car has improved,” added Twigg. “The whole package is working well. I was a tiny bit off the pace in my session, my time was a bit off what I was hoping to do. So there’s a little bit of time there too.

“But we’ll be right tomorrow, I’m positive about it. We have a good starting spot and it’s a long race. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Sydney Motorsport Park 101 starts at 8:05am local time tomorrow.

Paris world premiere for all-new Kia Rio


4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Front Quarter Rend

4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Rear Quarter Rendering
4th Generation Kia Rio Interior Rendering


(SEOUL) August 24, 2016 – The all-new, fourth-generation Kia Rio will make its world premiere on September 29 in Paris, at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s main design centre in Namyang, Korea. Straight lines and smooth surfacing give the car a distinctive new character, while a longer front overhang and bonnet, longer wheelbase, and upright C-pillar give the car an even more confident and balanced appearance than its predecessor.

The all-new Rio will offer buyers class-leading practicality and safety technology, the latest connectivity features, and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics.

The Kia Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 for Europe, with production timings for other regions to be announced closer to launch.

Kia’s 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile press conference will start at 14:45 CET on September 29. Kia’s stand will be located in Hall 3 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Jaguar’s Big, Bold and Beautiful XJ Saloon is More than the Sum of its Parts

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (1)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (2)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (3)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (4)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (5)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (6)


Jaguar started life as the Swallow Sidecar Company, and was known as SS. SS became rather unpopular during the late 30’s for obvious reasons, so the name Jaguar was adopted and soon became synonymous with British motoring luxury. The XJ is the official car of the British royal family, and the British PM so, it is dead posh.

The iconic XJ nameplate was launched in 1968, but Jaguar has used XJ or X as internal project numbering since the beginning. The current Saloon is the X351. The 1968 XJ was the last to have had Sir William Lyons input, and I’m sure the company founder would be very happy with the 2016 version.

The current model was launched in 2009 and has had several updates since. Jaguar keeps models around for about 7 to 8 years so the current XJ is in her twilight years.

Under laudable head designer Ian Callum, 20 designers brought the XJ to life. The exterior “theme” was penned by Adam Hatton. He drew the design using good old-fashioned pen and ink, starting with the wheels to “set the design”. He wanted a “homage to classic jaguar with 21st century appeal”. For too long Jaguar looked like it belonged to a different era, and attractive as that was, failed to get the new buyers in.

So the new era started with the XF sedan, then the XJ.

The X351 is all aluminium. Stamping aluminium is not like working with nasty old steel. Making sharp corners and crisp lines almost impossible, so you’ll notice a gentle edge treatment giving the XJ a hand crafted look. The bends and bumps that give the panel strength also allow a certain amount of spring. Adam Hatton used this to his advantage to design a slippery but strong coupe shape. It allows the air to slide along the surface of the car, then be flicked off at the “separation point” by an inbuilt lip on the boot lid. There is a corresponding lip under the grille at the front to perfectly balance it. Jaguar says keeps the XJ perfectly balanced at cruising speed because it uses the reverse plane-wing principle to keep it glued to the road. The underside of the car is designed to be as smooth as Michael Bublé.

There was much riding on the lithe design of the X351. After a string of owners and decades of decline, Jaguar was in deep financial strife, so it was sold by Ford for a peppercorn  to Indian car giant Tata. Tata, of course, had the debt to deal with, but was not going to cheap-out on the new flagship.

No expense was spared in ensuring each panel is perfectly stamped then hand inspected. They are hand adjusted by  using gauges lined up by eye. It’s the kind of craftsmanship robots alone can’t match. Luckily, XJ has the kind of body you can’t help but caress..

The designers were able to sit inside a virtual car using the Automotive 3D Cave, which was the most advanced in the world at the time, and probably still is. They can touch the switches and look at the dials, then stand outside the car and spin it through all 3 axis then move through any of the mechanical parts.

Such care is taken during manufacture that hard plastic covers are put on the outside panels to prevent scratches, and the 2.7km wiring loom is kept under heat lamps so it is pliable during installation.

The engine blocks come from the best manufacturers available and are assembled onsite at the Castle Bromwich plant. Once mated to the 8 speed auto, the “marriage” takes place where 36 bolts are used to fasten the body and the drivetrain.

Rather amusingly the XJ is considered a “full sized” saloon.

Just for giggles here is the XJ/XJ-L (long wheelbase) compared to Australia’s hefty Holden, the Caprice. Caprice looks big because it is big, but the standard XJ is a mere 30mm shorter with a wheelbase that’s 23mm longer. That means the room is in the cabin where you want it. The XJ-L wheelbase is almost 150mm longer than Caprice, with the overall length 95mm longer. So, even the “short “XJ is Caprice size.



XJ long wheelbase

Holden Caprice





Width (excl mirros)
















The XJ is almost 130kgs lighter than a Caprice because it is all-aluminium, despite having electric motors throughout, including the door locks and boot lid. Aluminium is much lighter than steel while being much stronger. The body is made using 3,000 rivets and 150 metres of adhesive in a process called rivet bonding. This is the same process used in the aerospace industry. Aluminium has 1/3 of the density of steel with a weight equal to12,000 worth of recycled drink cans in every XJ. At the end of its life, 85% of the car can be recycled.

The last makeover brought stunning new LED headlamps. There is no high beam as such. The switch merely causes the LEDs to drop their focus so as not to blind the oncoming drivers. The rear lights adopted an L shaped swish instead of the 3 claw-like scratches previously seen at night. The evening display is glorious.

The is smart entry and start, which means the audio system can be started by pushing the “on” switch. You don’t need to press the engine-start button. The cleverness continues with the “virtual dash” which is an IT Geek way of saying “an LCD screen instead of traditional dials”. The centre stack has the slick infotainment system with its touch screen display.

Most of it is intuitive and makes navigating the menus fun. The Satnav, while mostly efficient, still wants you to input the address by suburb, then street, then number. This can be a pain if you haven’t got the suburb quite right. You need to google the address to see what other possibilities there are.

The sound from the high end system in our XJ R-sport is sublime. There are a choice of surround modes, and a subwoofer that will make the air in your lungs vibrate.

The cabin feels uber luxurious. The leather is butter-soft and the overhead lining feels like velvet, but not in that tacky 70’s way. The front seats have electric adjustment. Even the headrests go up and down with the touch a button. Front and back seats are heated and cooled and comes complete with 4 zone climate control. You can set the temperature of your very own set of vents. There are storage bins everywhere and the rear armrest has little cubby holes for things you don’t want burglars to find. Of course there are rear controls for the air conditioning with video controls in some models.

Overhead, the touch control cabin lights will keep the little kid in all of us happy for hours.

The supercharged 3.0L V6 puts out 250kw/450Nm and does the sprint to 100 in 5.9 seconds. The supercharged V8 only manages to do it 1.1 seconds faster.

There are various drive modes, and the rotary gear selector has a “sports” setting, but frankly why bother. In fact, you’re not even going to use the steering wheel paddles because the car does a great job of anticipating the needs of the average driver.

The real magic starts when you engage drive and begin to move. Considering the 20” wheels, the ride is incredibly smooth. In fact, the ride is smooth, period. Jaguar came late to the “electric power steering” party, but come they did, so you now have semi-automated parking too. Since the power is only supplied when the driver turns the wheel, the maker claims a 3% power saving because the belt isn’t continually draining the engine. I dare them to try and prove it.

Despite her ample bosom, the XJ is a doddle around town. She really doesn’t feel anywhere near her size. Between the rear cameras and the sensors, you’re never out of your depth, and if you decide to park yourself, the side mirrors dip to make sure you don’t hit the gutter.

In an otherwise perfect car, the wires that heat the windscreen are a trifle annoying especially once the glass is a bit dirty. Also, the centre arm rest can get in the way of really spirited cornering. We gave the city, the highway, and the mountain passes a thorough workout, and there is no part of the experience that isn’t sheer magic.

You’d expect a big car to be a handful in the city, but it isn’t. You waft to Coles, then you waft to dinner, then you waft to the movies. On the highway, again, you waft, but in a super-sporty kind of way. That’s the true marvel of a Jag XJ, it always feels super light. When I say light, I mean small city-car kind of light. I’ve commented many times on how heavy some rides feel. The steering, the body, the suspension all feel a bit cumbersome and ungainly. It’s the combination of light precise steering, fast engine response, extra-rigid body that allow the suspension to do its job far better than something this size has any right to.

I set her an impossible task. I pushed the old girl through the Royal National Park and Macquarie just like I did the F-Type a few months earlier. The response was stunning. It just wouldn’t let go. It did the job with the aplomb of a cheeky convertible. Country roads can be a challenge but the Jag barely blinked at the pot holes and wild undulations. Out the back of Bowral, home of “The Don”, the roads feel like they were made to shake cocktails. The handling begs you go faster, yet she remains unflappable. I’ve driven many XJ’s and loved them all. Even the awful XJ40 had some redeeming features, but the X351 is perfection, even as her time comes to an end.


Sometimes, a car is just a tool to extend our capacity, and is merely way to get from one place to another. The Jaguar XJ is more than that. It has a sense of arrival, and with it, a sense of occasion and and success. There were many admiring comments, and anyone who rode in it fell in love with it. On one occasion, the rear seat passenger was very put out that I hadn’t got the model with extra legroom. After I pointed out that the long wheelbase version also has personal video screens, and pull out tray tables, the 10-year-old involved got into a right huff. I’ve never seen such pouting! For the record, the big Jag was 100% Ollie-Approved.

Then we turn to the handling. In moves that would make Jeeves want to decapitate you with a cake slice, the XJ excelled. She was thrown into tighter and tighter corners and changed direction without hesitation or protest. One can only imagine what a beast the supercharged V8 powered XJ-R is. Mind you, how much better than perfect can it be?

Each time I tucked her into her cosy car park, I noticed that she only just fits into the average sized spot. Luckily the touch-opener for the boot is on the driver’s side of the rear, so you can go quite close to a wall and still get to your things from the side. The closing button on the boot lid is also on the driver’s side. Very thoughtful indeed. I got into the habit of pressing the button on the dash board so that when I got around to the back, the boot was open to welcome me.

The fuel consumption is where you’ll expect me to deliver the death blow, but not a bit of it. The figures are not too different from the maker’s claims. We averaged at just over 10.5L/100km for our combined city/highway runs which is amazing considering the sporty sections were, shall we say, lively.

Although she tempts you to sink the boot in, you find yourself wanting to tune the DAB to “Buddha” and chill. The XJ is the one and only car ever that has made me feel cool and calm in Sydney traffic. In fact, bumper to bumper was a pleasure.

We had the mid-range short wheelbase model, so there was no Blind Spot, Cross Rear Traffic alert, radar cruise control with queue assist, and lane departure? Forget it. That’s all an option on this model. For near on $250,000 (on-road) I’d have liked those thrown in. You can get them standard in a 40 grand Kia for goodness sake.

You can opt out of the heated windscreen and if you live in Australia, ice is a rare thing. Why pay for something you don’t need? I’d ditch the steering wheel heater too. The button was right behind the phone buttons on the left hand side of the wheel. My hands often got unexpectedly hot and not in a good way. It reminds me of a Peugeot with a poorly placed massage button. You sat on it every time you got into the passenger’s side front seat. After a while your bum started to feel like a pair of overripe avocados.

There are thoughtful touches of design for the sake of beauty and convenience. All doors have soft close, so gently push the door to the first click, and a little motor closes it and secures the lock. The speedo and tacho only show the area directly around the current speed/revs, and there is a digital speedo if you’d prefer it.

Apart from the missing goodies, there is nothing I would change. The XJ is magnificent and impressive as it is luxurious and comfortable.

Would I buy one? Yes, and I’d sell my mother to do it. But, I’d be happy to sell her regardless!






0-100KPH (SECS)



3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol

250 @ 6500rpm

450 @ 3500-4000rpm

250 (limited)





$ 232 895