Luxury Car Blog

Lamborghini Urus ST-X goes racing

Urus ST-X
The Lambo Urus ST-X goes racing.
Image: Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Urus ST-X is its production SUV that has been adapted for racing. The Italian manufacturer previewed the Urus ST-X race concept this model and showed spectators what the SUV is capable of.

Lamborghini showed off its Urus ST-X concept at the Super Trofeo 2018 World Finals in Vallelunga, Italy. In 2020 this event will be for race-ready, one-make SUVs according to an announcement by the firm. The races will consist of on-track and off-road portions at FIA-sanctioned courses in Europe and the Middle East, and the Urus is equipped to tackle either terrain.

The Urus ST-X has lots of upgrades compared to the standard Urus, as one might imagine. The model is the product of Lamborghini’s Squadra Corsa motorsport unit, and features FIA-approved upgrades such as a steel roll cage, a fire-suppression system, and an FT3 fuel tank. Additional modifications include a rear wing, a racing exhaust shaped like a hexagonal, and centre-lock wheels with Pirelli tyres. The hood is made of exposed carbon fibre and it has 641 horsepower twin-turbo V-8 engine, now with larger coolers.

The Urus ST-X is also much lighter than the production Urus SUV. This is due to the fact that drivers don’t need all the luxurious seating air conditioning and in car entertainment equipment that is required for daily use. In fact, it has shed 25% of the SUV’s weight. This and the extra rigidity of the racing model’s roll cage surely make this Lamborghini something to be feared by competitors on the track.

Lamborghini hasn’t yet provided much information about the one-make series, but has said it will debut a new “arrive and drive” format. The intention is to make it easier for customers to receive a vehicle and technical support on race weekends. Details about the series will be announced in due course, but we do know it will launch in 2020. Meanwhile, the Urus ST-X will make its on-track debut at the 2019 Lamborghini World Finals.

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Bentley reveals superfast WiFi

WiFi
Watch films, or catch up with work!
Image: Bentley

The Bentley Superfast WiFI network adds a whole new dimension to in-car entertainment. The luxury car manufacturer has revealed its plans for what it says will be the world’s first “reliable and secure” in-car WiFi system. And it will be available in all models produced in 2019.

The system is called Advanced Connectivity, and the network will use three SIM cards inside the bespoke router in the boots of the car, which will link to a fixed broadband hub to provide connectivity while on the move. This will allow multiple passengers stream movies, make video calls and access other online services from the comfort of a luxury Bentley.

Hamid Qureshi, Bentley’s connected car product manager, (now there is a job title!) said: “We’re really excited in terms of the uses cases – this idea that when you’re in the back of a Bentley car you can actually use this advanced connectivity to simultaneously view multiple types of heavy content.”

He went on to describe a potential use scenario: “So you could be sitting in the back of the car and a fellow passenger could be streaming Netflix on their iPad and another passenger could be doing a live Skype call and another passenger could be receiving a heavy data file from the office and editing that file and sending it back – and it’s all happening simultaneously because of this advanced router connectivity.”

Security is very important to MR Qureshi as well; he called it a “non-negotiable topic.” He stated that this was a critical element of the network design due to recent scrutiny over the safety of connected cars following a number of high-profile hacking demonstrations. He said: “Our ambition is to always ensure, through rigorous quality and testing, that products are secure and that goes not just for physical products such as producing a car but also digital services.”

The Bentley superfast WiFi network uses an inbuilt Virtual Private Network (VPN) and has been built in collaboration with Viasat, which is known for its management of millions of WiFi hotspots and for bringing satellite-enabled WiFi to commercial and government aircraft.

Let’s hope it doesn’t stop drivers from keeping their eyes on the road, or passengers from enjoying the scenery.

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Aston Martin DBX revealed

Aston Martin DBX
The Aston Martin DBX prototype.
Image: Aston Martin

The Aston Martin DBX has finally been revealed, at least in prototype form. The long awaited SUV, a first for the luxury sports car manufacturer will go into production in 2019 and arrive on the market in 2020.

Aston Martin decided to call the SUV, the Aston Martin DBX, which it has hinted at back in 2015 when it showed its first concept for an SUV. According to Motor Authority and others, there were rumours that it would have a different name; Varekai was one that was suggested, but in the end the British firm has gone with DBX, which links the SUV to the DB sports car range.

Currently, the press only have access to photos and a video, so it is difficult to know everything about the new model, except that it fits into the ‘small SUV’ sector. However, some compare it in size to the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which gives you an idea of its dimensions.

What we do know is that the Aston Martin DBX will be based on a new platform developed specifically for a high-riding vehicle capable of off-road conditions. Specifically, Aston Martin will focus on suspension technology to address the SUV’s mass, size and purpose. There was also some suggestion that this SUC would be electric, but this changed when Aston Martin decided that the Lagonda range would be its electric brand. Instead, it is likely that the DBX will have a standard powertrain; probably the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V-8 that Aston Martin sources from Mercedes-AMG.

Aston Martin Chief Engineer Matt Becker drove a prototype along a Welsh Rally stage to show off its performance, and eventually more prototypes will be sent around the world for testing in harsher conditions, including the frozen Arctic, the scorching deserts of the Middle East, high Alpine passes and the high-speed demands of the German autobahn and Nürburgring racetrack.

The DBX is the fourth of seven cars promised under Aston Martin’s Second Century plan. The first was the DB11, which has since been followed by a redesigned Vantage and new DBS Superleggera. The DBX will be followed by a Vanquish supercar and then a Lagonda SUV and sedan.

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Jaguar Land Rover has motion sickness solution

JLR
JLR promises nausea detector is self-driving cars.
Image: Express UK

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) made an important announcement about self-driving cars of the future. As the self-driving car sector starts to pick up pace, we are hearing more about potential features that make them more attractive for consumers.

In the case of Jaguar Land Rover the company says that is self-driving models will have the ability to tell if a passenger is suffering from car sickness. Anyone who does feel nauseous, or have a child who gets unwell on car journeys, will be interested to know that JLR says its future models will be able to detect the problem and adjust the car’s setting to prevent nausea, as reported in the Daily Mail.

How exactly would this work? It is suggested that the car will moderate its driving style by “taking corners more smoothly or by turning on the voice commands on the sat nav to warn passengers if it is about to turn left or right.”

The UK-based luxury car manufacturer says motion sickness affects more than 70 per cent of people globally and that its pioneering motion technology will be able to reduce car sickness by 60 per cent.

One man deserves the credit for this idea and his name is Spencer Salter, who has been a JLR engineer for decades. He is behind the creation of an algorithm that generates a ‘wellness score’ for passengers using biometric sensors to record physiological signals that indicate they are getting sick. JLR has already collected 15,000 miles of motion sickness data from passengers as part of the work on the algorithm, and the company says that passengers will also be able to use the sensors in the self-driving cars to assess their own ‘sickness’ score.

JLR also said that data would be entered into a car so it can adjust the driving and cabin settings plus seating positions to help stop a passenger from becoming nauseous.

Mr Salter made a statement saying that little research had been done on what causes car sickness and how to lessen the effects. He added: “As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants will have more time to either work, read or relax on longer journeys, it’s important we develop vehicles that can adapt to reduce the effects of motion sickness in a way that’s tailored to each passenger.”

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Jaguar Series Elite track car

Jaguar
The Jaguar Series Elite for wealthy drivers over 50.
Image: Top Gear/Jaguar

Jaguar has announced it is building a jaguar Series Elite track car, or as it said, “a new “one make racing series exclusively for the mature driver.” In case you’re wondering how to define mature, Jaguar says the model is exclusively for “high net worth individuals, with a minimum age of 50 years.”

This race series will use a Jaguar XE SV as its star car and only 20 drivers will be handed the keys “ to lightly modified XE SV Project 8s, which can also be turned back into road cars once the series is finished.” According to Motor Authority, jaguar only planned to build 300 Project 8 models and this new Series Elite appears to be one way of using any leftovers that haven’t been sold.

Jaguar doesn’t expect professional drivers to show up ready to race. The brand has said it will provide “all the relevant training, testing and race experience needed to compete in the new series.” Plus, the cars will also be prepared and stored at a central facility. The organisers hope drivers, which it’s planning to entice with “unique luxury experiences” beyond racing (like ice driving, an African safari and tickets to the Formula E), will be a mix of former and first-time racers.

The race series starts in May 2019 with 12 races happening across the United Kingdom. As Motor Authority says, Jaguar has not stated how much it costs to enter the race, but each car costs $192,000, so the ticket will probably be fairly expensive.

Previously, Jaguar announced that the XE SV Project 8 will serve as a ‘Ring Taxi at the Nürburgring, marking yet another way the British company may be using its excess inventory.

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