Last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show saw the debut of some of the hautest cars to come on the market in 2015. Here are the five vehicles that have us the most excited to drive in style.
1. BENTLEY’S GRAND CONVERTIBLE—the brand’s newest show car—made its global debut at the Bentley Studio in Los Angeles on November 17. The Bentley Grand Convertible is the ultimate expression of the British luxury automobile, representing the ultimate in powerful, opulent roofless motoring, as well as style and luxury. Quite simply, it is the most sophisticated open-top car ever created by Bentley. Resplendent in Sequin Blue, originally a bespoke colour created from a single sequin from a customer’s haute couture gown, the Grand Convertible features a silver “liquid metal” finish to the bonnet and windscreen frame. Contrasting the rich blue body work is the Bentley directional wheel design, handed to the left and right sides of the car and finished by hand before being polished to a high shine. The wheels hint at the enormous power and torque that wait under the bonnet. With 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW) and 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) of torque from Bentley’s legendary 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine of the flagship Mulsanne, the Grand Convertible promises the luxury of effortless performance to match its unparalleled style. As cossetting as it is breath-taking, the interior of the Grand Convertible is a showcase for the abilities of Bentley’s master craftsmen. 14 naturally tanned leather hides are merged together with progressive-diamond quilting, with the shape of the pattern changing over the seats and doors in a cabin sized for four adults. Bright blue is used to highlight the extraordinary skill of Bentley’s trim specialists, with Sequin Blue thread cross-stitched by hand through the linen-coloured leather. The light hide is contrasted by the sleek elegance of Beluga leather around the top of the doors and extending back to the rear tonneau, framed in polished chrome. The tonneau itself provides the most significant example of Bentley craftsmanship at its finest. Replete with book-matched, mirror-finished and dark-stained Burr Walnut, the tonneau features the largest piece of wood veneer ever applied to a Bentley. Fashioned entirely by hand, this expanse of veneer is only paralleled by the creations of the world’s best furniture makers, and is finished with elegant parallel lines of chromed steel.
2. BMW’S X5 and X6 The new BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe, BMW’s second generation of the Sports Activity Coupe, comes with a suitably exclusive roster of standard equipment that goes well beyond the previous model: Xenon headlights, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, automatic tailgate operation and the 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles included, as are leather trim, two-zone climate control, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors and the Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster. The BMW X6 is offered in the U.S. in two powertrain variants, with the BMW X6 xDrive 35i using an in-line six-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and 300 horsepower and the BMW X6 xDrive 50i presenting the latest-generation V8 gasoline engine and 445 horsepower. Both models will come with BMW xDrive, the company’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. Meanwhile, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, the innovative EfficientDynamics drive technology BMW eDrive and the intelligent all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive are united for the first time, creating the world’s first plug-in hybrid Sports Activity Vehicle. The combination of a BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder combustion engine and a 95-horsepower electric motor provides typical BMW performance, with BMW xDrive further increasing the dynamics. At the same time, this powertrain is impressively efficient. It has an average fuel efficiency of approximately 62 mpg, which is unrivalled among vehicles in this class, with CO2 emissions of less than 90 grams per kilometer also setting new standards. Via the driving dynamics control switch, different drive modes can be selected. In the fully electric mode, which is free from local emissions, a maximum range of 19 miles is possible – at speeds of up to 75 mph. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive obtains its electrical energy from a (lithium-ion) high-voltage battery, which is accommodated in a space-efficient manner under the flat luggage compartment floor. This means that the room in the vehicle can still be used flexibly, with an almost identical luggage space volume. The high-voltage battery can be charged quickly and conveniently using the BMW home charging station. Alternatively, it can be replenished using any standard household power outlet or at a public charging station.
3. MERCEDES-BENZ’s MAYBACH S600 The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class melds the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. Some of the features that distinguish these vehicles from production models include extra spaciousness with lavishly designed, prestigious interiors offering an extensive scope of individualization. As a result, the cars fulfil the requirements of even the most discerning customers worldwide. Inside the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the level of wind noise is impressively low and in the rear, despite the large windows, betters even the quietest car in the world – the S-Class Coupe. For passengers in the rear, the Mercedes- Maybach S-Class is the world’s quietest production sedan. In its exterior design, the vehicle combines stylish, effortless superiority with trend-setting exclusivity, making modern luxury come alive in an exceptional way. Along with the extended wheelbase, emphatic lines suggest power and dynamism. Due to the side profile’s special design, characteristic design elements for the S-Class are retained such as the sweeping, dome-shaped roofline. The key distinguishing feature is the new side line: by comparison with the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, the striking rear door has been shortened by 2.6 inches and therefore appears to meld seamlessly into the overall composition. The door has no triangular window because this has been relocated into the C-pillar. As a result, the rear seats are situated beyond the door cutout, which creates a feeling of exceptional privacy and exclusivity. The elegant Maybach Manufaktur logo – a double M inside an arched triangle – adorns the C-pillars on both sides. The car also features the exclusive Maybach perfume Agarwood for fragrancing as part of the air balance package and two silver-plated, handcrafted champagne flutes. The standard Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a unique optical and acoustic experience. As a visual highlight, the tweeters in the rear doors of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are particularly sophisticated and can also be moved towards the passengers in a spiral motion. The Chauffeur package is also part of the standard equipment. A “chauffeur position” for the front passenger seat is one of the key components: due to changes to the kinematics system, the rear seat occupant on the front- passenger side has 3 inches more footroom compared with a normal front passenger seat in the furthest forward seat position. In addition to this “chauffeur position”, the front passenger seat can be folded forward and the rear seat placed in an extended recline position for breaks. EASY ADJUST luxury head restraints come as standard for the driver and passenger, and the one on the front-passenger side is folding. For the rear passenger, the Chauffeur package also includes a heel support, which extends from under the front passenger seat. This allows a reclined position that sets new standards in the automotive sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort.
4. AUDI’S PROLOGUE CONCEPT is a two-door coupe has a flowing, elegant shape in a sporty and taut design. The headlights – shaped like wide, flat wedges –present high-resolution Matrix laser technology: an innovation from Audi which opens up new approaches to headlight design and enables completely new functionalities. The 4.0 TFSI produces up to 445 kW (605 hp) of power and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of torque; it accelerates the Audi prologue from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Its dynamic all-wheel steering, in which the rear wheels can turn up to five degrees, makes the large couple extremely responsive and stable while driving. The entire front of the instrument panel is a large touch display, and a portion of the user interface operates with a new type of OLED display made of organic LEDs; the doors are also tech-advanced as they have no handles and are opened electromechanically when the illuminated sensor surfaces are touched. A radically new type of display and operating concept is embedded in the elegant architecture. Across its full width, the front of the instrument panel is designed to be a display surface which integrates three touch displays. The driver-oriented display to the left of the steering wheel is used to control functions for lighting and assistance systems. The driver-oriented operating unit to the right contains media controls. The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to individually and conveniently control entertainment features. The new type of front passenger display enables digital interaction between the driver and front passenger for the first time. A wiping movement by the passenger is all it takes to send pre-configured routes to the driver’s display and input them into the Audi virtual cockpit future.
5. LINCOLN INTRODUCES BLACK LABEL MKZ AND MKC VERSIONS The Lincoln Motor Company introduces its bespoke Lincoln Black Label for customers who desire the ultimate in personal service and luxuriously appointed vehicles. Lincoln Black Label versions of MKZ and MKC will feature one of four unique interior design themes, showcasing the use of premium materials such as Venetian leather, Alcantara® and designer wood trim and will also provide personalized shopping and special privileges with dedicated personnel in the showroom, online or in locations more convenient for customers. When the program launches in December, 32 dedicated Lincoln Black Label dealers in six states will provide showroom space dedicated to serving Black Label customers. Lincoln plans to expand the network nationwide in late 2015. Lincoln Black Label owners will enjoy special privileges, such as four years or 50,000-mile extended premium service and maintenance coverage on wear items such as shock absorbers, engine belts and hoses, brake pads and linings, wiper blades and spark plugs, no-cost rental vehicle while any covered maintenance is performed, remote service that lets Lincoln Black Label customers have their vehicle picked up and returned (within a 30-mile radius) while maintenance is performed, annual vehicle detailing, anytime car washes and a Culinary Collection membership: Black Label customers enjoy access to a curated list of restaurants from coast to coast, with noted chefs who will provide an at your-service dining experience. While delivering sumptuous interior luxury, Lincoln Black Label vehicles will feature understated exterior cues. Customers can choose from a palette of standard exterior colors exclusive to Black Label: Black Tie, Confidential White and Crystal Silver are core colors, and are offered with all interior design themes. Other standard exterior color choices are Chroma Flame, a deep red; Chroma Couture, a rich brown; and Notorious, a vibrant blue. There are also four design themes, as follows:
- Indulgence: Inspired by the allure of rich, sumptuous chocolate, Indulgence is defined by Truffle-colored Venetian leather featuring an antiquing process to infuse richness and depth on the seats, doors and armrests. Ganache-colored Alcantara extends the richness to the headliner, pillars and package tray. Seat leather features an elegant linking-L perforation pattern with black accent stitching. Ziricote wood trim, a material typically reserved for use in yachts and classical instruments, adds an elegant touch on the instrument panel and doors.
- Center Stage: Inspired by the drama of theater arts and fashion, Center Stage includes a Jet Black cabin with Foxfire Red accent stitching on the doors and seats. Jet Black Alcantara headliner, pillars and package tray surround Jet Black Venetian leather seats that feature a diamond-L perforation pattern. Onyx wood trim in the Lincoln MKZ and Black Stripe wood trim in the Lincoln MKC are equally stunning accents.
- Modern Heritage: Offering a fresh take on a classic black-and-white color theme, Modern Heritage features Jet Black upper door panels with Vianca white Venetian leather seats and center console.
Seat leather is accentuated by an exclusive diamond-L perforation pattern. Subtle Crimson Red accents and Black Argento wood trim on the instrument panel and doors add a dash of elegance.
- Oasis: Inspired by the warmth and serenity of a spa, Oasis leans on Far East influences to create a peaceful escape. The interior features the colors of Oasis and Island for a soft, harmonious environment. Venetian leather seats in the soft Oasis color are accented by a darker Island-colored instrument panel and center console. Oasis-colored Alcantara covers the headliner, pillars and package tray. American Walnut Burl wood trim appliqués with a natural open-pore finish continue the earth-tone theme on the instrument panel and doors.