Luxury Car Blog

Infiniti and beyond – Prototype 9

Infiniti Prototype 9The Japanese car manufacturer Infiniti unveiled its Prototype 9 concept sports car at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and it caused quite a stir. Not just because it’s an electric sports car, but because it also looks like a Grand Prix racing car from the 1940s. It is a guide to the future, but with a nod to the past.

Infiniti is Nissan’s premium brand and its employees have been working on this project after work hours, which shows their dedication to the concept. Electric cars are very much in the UK news, partly because of the government’s recent announcement that after 2040, all new cars on sale will have to be electric. So, the race is on to bring models to the market.

The Prototype 9 is probably not going to be an everyday car, because of its looks and style. It is more of a luxury sports car for one. Its gleaming, hand-beaten steel bodywork and next-generation electric powertrains have been lifted straight from the Japanese car maker’s high-tech EV department that’s developing models of the future. Even though this one is more ‘vintage’ in its appearance.

The Prototype 9 has an elongated bonnet, trimmed tail section and open wheel design with a single-seat cabin that is handmade. From the driver’s seat, there’s a selection of control switches along the left side of the cockpit, with the gear shift to the right. It offers single-speed transmissions, so you can expect it to “engage forward, reverse and neutral instead of a box full of gears.”

Its power source is a 30kWh high-voltage battery that’s connected to two electric motors to develop 148 horsepower. This connects to the rear wheels, which have wire spokes and wrapped in cross-ply rubber – just as they would have been on racing cars of 70 years ago. It will take you from 0-62mph/100kmh in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 106 mph.

How would it perform on a racetrack today? Well, it wouldn’t last very long. Infiniti says that the battery power will only last around 20 minutes under heavy track use, which wouldn’t take you very far in any race, not even ones in the 1940s.

But, if you’re not concerned about racing it on a track, there is no doubt that it looks extremely appealing. The shell is made up of a steel frame that’s used as the template and wrapped in steel sheets that have been expertly beaten by Nissan ‘master craftspeople’. They claim it is a “blend of motorsport and aeronautical inspiration.” And, Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of Global Design at Infinti, said: ‘The beautiful execution of Prototype 9 represents a combination of artistry, craftsmanship and commitment to a romantic notion of our heritage.”

He is also proud of the way in which the designers and crafts people threw themselves into the project. He told the press: “’It inspired our people to work on Prototype 9 in their own time – as they were completely invested in the project and the details and features originated with them. Prototype 9 has been a labour of love for many of us.”

It is a beautiful looking car, and we will see how popular it becomes when they finally make it available for sale.

Titanium Luxury Hire allows you to simply enjoy all the fun and thrills of driving a prestige vehicle without any of the hassles. Plus, we’ll deliver the car to you at your home, your office, conference venue, airport or hotel in any of our extensive list of locations. All you have to do is Contact Us and tell us when and where you’d like one of our luxury hire cars.

Browse our prestige vehicles by Brand or by category: Supercars, Cabriolets, Grand Tourers, Executive Prestige and Luxury 4x4s.

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Places to drive from Florence

AssisiTitanium Luxury Hire delivers luxury motors to the city of Florence and to its Aeropuerto di Firenze-Peretola. The capital of Tuscany is one of the most culturally rich cities in Italy, and it can probably make a strong claim for having one of the greatest art collections in the world. The entire city is in reality a ‘gallery’, but there are some amazing places within a short drive of Florence and you’ll get to explore Tuscany’s roads in your prestige vehicle rental.

Assisi

The birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi is only a couple of hours from Florence. It’s a small medieval town that attracts a diverse number of visitors. Once you arrive there, it is probably best to park and explore the town on foot, although if you are there during summer, make sure you arrive in the morning and avoid the afternoon heat. Assisi sightseeing is mostly about churches: there is the Basilica of St. Francis, San Rufino Cathedral and St. Claire’s Basilica, where St. Francis received a revelation. Of course, there are wonderful restaurants, cafes and bars where you can stop for refreshments and no doubt there are plenty of souvenir shopping opportunities.

Val d’Orcia

This picturesque region has castles, tiny hamlets and farmhouses within its protected national park. The medieval castles are not to be missed, nor is the village of Pienza, called the “Ideal City”. Other famous villages include Radicofani and Montalcino, which has a 14th-century fortress offering stunning views of the valley and some of the region’s finest wine.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is possibly one of the most colourful and easily recognisable seaside towns in Italy. Four of the villages are on the coast and for those who like walking there are some excellent hiking trails along the coastline and inland. Each village is quite unique and apart from the exceptional views, it is also renowned fro its restaurants. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive here from Florence and is well worth the journey.

San Gimignano

If you want a shorter drive, San Gimignano is only about a one-hour drive from Florence. San Gimignano delle Belle Torri, is a small medieval town dating back to the eighth century that overlooks olive groves and vineyards. It boasts 14 medieval towers of the 72 that once existed; these represent the historical practice of rich families competing for status by constructing tall towers.

It is the perfect place to visit for a flavour of what Tuscany was like in medieval times and strolling along its narrow cobblestone streets will certainly take you back in time.

What car will you choose to tour Florence and Tuscany? A thoroughbred Italian supercar from Ferrari or a luxury SUV from Range Rover? Or something entirely different?

CONTACT US and we’ll find the perfect luxury car rental for your tour of Tuscany.

 

 

Is a Ferrari SUV on its way?

Ferrari It seems somehow unthinkable that a luxury sports car manufacturer would produce an SUV, but media reports suggest a Ferrari SUV is on its way.

The media has been rife with rumours that Ferrari is going to unleash an SUC on the world, and at the beginning of August 2017, this chatter seems to have been turned into fact by a report from Bloomberg.   According to the reputable news source, it has spoken with anonymous sources who confirmed that an SUV, or some sort of crossover vehicle, is in the works and is planned for launch by 2021.

The rumours started with the idea that Ferrari would design a car to rival the Porsche Cayenne, and that Lamborghini’s announcement of the Urus model. In July, Car magazine said it could confirm that Ferrari was working on a crossover and that the project is named F16X.

Car‘s sources in Maranello say that the vehicle will be built alongside the next-gen GTC4 Lusso with aluminium body, that it will be a high-riding soft-roader, and will feature rear doors with no B-pillar. It will have all-wheel drive, building on Ferrari’s experience with the FF and GTC4 Lusso and that it will have a V8 engine, possibly with a hybrid powertrain option.

It may have two or four doors and a more spacious interior than the GTC4 Lusso. Onlookers believe that it will be targeted at the Asian market, and the fact that it will offer hybrid variant fits in with Bloomberg’s reports that Ferrari plans a series of hybrid versions in addition to the new crossover SUV. There’s a good reason for this move – it will help the Italian manufacturer meet emissions regulations.

As Autoblog says, this announcement is a little surprising give that Ferrari’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne once said that he rather be shot than build a Ferrari SUV, but in the current climate, it makes absolute sense. It is the easiest way for the company to increase its sales. Porsche knows that, and so do Aston Martin and Lamborghini. A luxury SUV might seem to go against the grain for the prestige marques that have made their name with supercars and sports cars, but they are merely moving with the times and market demand. Since taking charge of Ferrari in 2014, Marchionne has been pushing volume, already blowing past an earlier cap of 7,000 cars. Although this might dilute the brand, Ferrari realises that it must dial up its efforts to secure Ferrari’s independence as the automobile industry grapples with the challenging shift to electric-powered cars.

And, as for Ferrari’s CEO – he is likely to retire around the time that the Ferrari SUV comes on the market, which means he can say that there were no SUVs coming out of Maranello while he was in charge.

Whether you’d like to drive a luxury SUV or a Ferrari – reserve your favourite model with Titanium Luxury Hire today!

Titanium Luxury Hire allows you to simply enjoy all the fun and thrills of driving a prestige vehicle without any of the hassles. Plus, we’ll deliver the car to you at your home, your office, conference venue, airport or hotel in any of our extensive list of locations. All you have to do is Contact Us and tell us when and where you’d like one of our luxury hire cars.

Browse our prestige vehicles by Brand or by category: Supercars, Cabriolets, Grand Tourers, Executive Prestige and Luxury 4x4s.

Contact Us Now!

 

Marque of the Week – Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce brandThe story of Rolls-Royce is one of the greatest in automobile history. It started at the turn of the 20th century, when Henry Royce, a successful engineer, met Charles Rolls, the owner of an early car dealership, and together these innovators decided to form a new company called Rolls-Royce.

The Silver Ghost appeared in 1907 and it is this model that paved the way for the company’s legendary status. After this model had successfully completed the 1913 Alpine Trial – a drive that takes in over 14,000 miles of tough mountain terrain –fans of the Silver Ghost claimed that in terms of comfort and reliability it must surely qualify for the accolade of “Best Car in the World.”

Business continued and in the 1930s, the Phantom III arrived on the market to become the first Rolls-Royce with a V12 engine. Although the war intervened, the firm quickly picked up after it ended bringing new developments in design and craftsmanship to the marquee. The emphasis was on hand-built luxury motors and up until 1959 every Silver Wraith had an individually built body.

This level of craftsmanship ushered in a firm relationship between the British royal family and the luxury British marque. What better way to enhance your reputation than by having a Queen show a preference for your automobiles and receive a Royal Warrant. The Phantom IV was one of the first models added to the Queen Elizabeth’s State fleet of motors and she also has a Phantom VI Currently there are three Rolls-Royces, three Daimlers and two Bentleys kept at the Royal Mews and visitors to the UK can view some of the monarch’s vintage models from her personal collection at Goodwood.

The 1960s, with its dynamic social changes brought a new kind customer to Rolls-Royce. Previously its clientele had primarily consisted of global royalty and government dignitaries; now a Rolls was sought after by actors, musicians and other celebrities who were attracted to the marquee as a symbol of success.

In the 1970s the company faced some challenges, but its decision to launch two separate companies and launch two new cars helped to reinstate it as a powerful contender in the luxury car market. First came the Corniche, made under the name of Rolls-Royce Motors, and then the Camargue. The latter was hand-built by Mulliner Park Ward and based on the Silver Shadow and was styled by Pininfarina.

British defence manufacturer Vickers bought Rolls-Royce Motors in the 1980s and the Rolls models were produced alongside Bentleys. And, in 1985, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd was floated on the London Stock Exchange. In the 1990s, BMW bought the rights to produce Rolls-Royce models and also opened a new manufacturing facility called Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood.

It continues to produce cars that are desired by royalty, celebrities and the ultra-wealthy and it continues to have an unblemished record for luxury, reliability and comfort.

You can drive a Rolls-Royce today. Browse our collection and CONTACT US to make your reservation. We’ll put you in the driving seat of your dreams.

The Audi A5 Sportback

Audi A5Audi has recently announced a rather stunning new car, which will come to marketing 2018. The Audi A5 Sportback crosses the saloon with the estate car and is far better looking than any model in these categories.

In some ways it is a younger sibling of the Audi A7, but the motoring press feel it will give both its older brother and other competitors a run for their money, because this model packs in practicality and performance alongside elegant design and styling.

Athletic is one word to describe this new model. It has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and lots of boot space, especially when you put the back seats down. It’s longer than the A5 coupe and can accommodate five people in comfort thanks to the graceful, sloping roof and the extended wheelbase. This new model is the work of Frank Lamberty, Audi’s head of body design and the creator of the Audi R8 supercar, and his flair shines through clearly. It also does 0-60mph/100kmh in 4.5 seconds, which is not to be sniffed at.

It is going to compete with models from the other German manufacturers and it looks like this new Audi A5 Sportback will attract a new swathe of clients. In the past, some motoring enthusiasts have been put off by the understated elegance of Audi’s designs, the word ‘dull’ may have even been used, but this new car should effortlessly put any such thoughts to rest. Certainly the R8 and the R8 Spyder are two high-performance cars with stunning looks that cold never be accused of being dull or boring, and they have done quite a bit to bring the non-believers into the Audi fold. The new Sportback may not have all the flash of a Maserati, but it will give you class and style as well as a great driving experience. Having said that, we won’t know all the details of that until the car is on the road.

What else will amaze you? Well, the on-board technology is quite spectacular and features the amazing new 12.3” Audi virtual cockpit system, which also gets you a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. The virtual cockpit is futuristic and can be customised to your requirements, allowing you to select various configurations for navigation and audio displays and controls; it even has Google Earth. The cockpit is spread out over the entire main screen and is also visible on the driver’s instrument cluster. Plus the driver assistance systems are excellent. Overall, it’s beyond anything you’ve ever seen in an Audi before. It’s unfortunate that we’ll all have to wait until next year to take it for a drive.

In the meantime, if you want a taste of the Audi experience, reserve your favourite Audi model from Titanium Luxury Hire today.

Titanium Luxury Hire allows you to simply enjoy all the fun and thrills of driving a prestige vehicle without any of the hassles. Plus, we’ll deliver the car to you at your home, your office, conference venue, airport or hotel in any of our extensive list of locations. All you have to do is Contact Us and tell us when and where you’d like one of our luxury hire cars.

Browse our prestige vehicles by Brand or by category: Supercars, Cabriolets, Grand Tourers, Executive Prestige and Luxury 4x4s.

Contact Us Now!

 

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