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Range Rover Announces Exclusive Astronaut Edition

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Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations has launched a special edition Range Rover which will be available exclusively to Future Astronauts signed up to fly to space with Virgin Galactic. The Astronaut Edition features distinctive exterior and interior design elements celebrating this once in a lifetime experience and Virgin Galactic’s unique community of Future Astronauts. It marks another important milestone in the ongoing partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, which has been an authentic collaboration since the start.

A unique Zero Gravity Blue paint finish inspired by the depth and intensity of the night sky demonstrates Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art technologies and exceptional attention to detail. A bespoke puddle lamp illumination design features the silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two while unique Astronaut Edition badging features on the tailgate and side profile finishers.

Inside, the Astronaut Edition features a crafted piece of the spaceship’s front landing skid that flew on Virgin Spaceship Unity’s first space flight in December 2018. Part of that skid, which provides the spaceship with a highly effective, lightweight braking mechanism, has been re-purposed to form two discs within the cup holders. One of these references a quote which Richard Branson often makes to his fellow Future Astronauts – ‘See you up there’ -and the other features the details of the space flight. Once a Future Astronaut has flown to space, and becomes an astronaut, this will be swapped out with part of the wooden skid from that customer’s own spaceflight, personally inscribed with the specific details of a life changing experience.

Further bespoke features include a ‘DNA of Flight’ graphic on the carbon fibre front console drawer lid and this motif is also debossed onto the leather rear armrest. Solid aluminium metal door handles are engraved with Virgin Galactic’s own Future Astronaut community constellation pattern which represents a global community connected by a love of space. This design also features on the rear of the front headrests and metal letterbox panel design above the glovebox. Additional personalisation options include stitching the Future Astronaut’s initials onto the headrests.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “Land Rover vehicles have been part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team since the launch of the partnership in 2014. The Astronaut Edition Range Rover is the next step on this journey and the chance for the Future Astronaut Community to celebrate our two brands’ shared values of pioneering spirit and true sense of adventure. This vehicle really will take them Above and Beyond.”

Stephen Attenborough, Chief Commercial Officer said: Land Rover joined Virgin Galactic on its journey to space in 2014 and from the start, the collaboration has been underpinned by iconic design, engineering excellence and desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation. The Astronaut Edition has been crafted with that in mind, a meaningful and lasting embodiment of a shared vision. We could not be more excited to be able to offer this unique vehicle to our wonderful, global community of pioneering Future Astronaut customers”.

The Astronaut Edition is based on the luxurious Range Rover Autobiography, where comfort and refinement meet peerless all-terrain capability. In line with both brands’ commitment to a sustainable future, the Astronaut Edition is available with Land Rover’s P400e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, which delivers a combined 404PS, EV range of 42km and CO2 emissions of 72g/km – subject to market availability. A high-performance 5.0-litre V8 P525 supercharged petrol is also offered.

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MG Motor Conducts Hot Weather Testing of its All-Electric Marvel R in the Middle East

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MG Motor has confirmed it has been conducting hot weather testing of its all-electric and exciting Marvel R model in the Middle East.  This marks a crucial phase for the MG brand as it looks to pave the way for future all-electric car launches in this region.  The car has been pushed to the limits as part of a range of different evaluations in various hot weather situations and conditions, to ensure it lives up to the high standards delivered by the rest of the MG product lineup.

The MG Marvel R embodies a progressive design interpretation of the future that endows it with an attractive and powerful presence.  The Marvel R is a zero-emission, all-electric flagship SUV from MG that offers unparalleled class-leading features, comfort, safety, reliability, as well as range. It exemplifies the dynamic and progressive nature of the brand. The first stage of the Marvel R testing in the region occurred in the UAE in 2021 under cooler conditions. This second testing stage is now taking place in the extremely hot weather conditions of the UAE and soon across all the GCC markets.

Tom Lee, Managing Director of MG, said: “When we relaunched the MG brand in the Middle East, we committed ourselves to work incessantly with our team in HQ to ensure our products are continuously enhanced and optimally equipped for each individual market’s environmental conditions.  This ensures our vehicles, especially our fully electric Marvel R, are among the most capable vehicles in all our markets. With these assessments, we are getting closer to introducing an exciting range of electric models to our customers in the Middle East who are ready to embrace an all-electric lifestyle.”

The all-electric Marvel R from MG is a full battery-electric SUV for a new generation of drivers who value innovative design, personal comfort, outstanding performance, and a confident range with fast charging capabilities.  The car has an eye-catching look to match its inner strength.  A smooth, sporty design accentuates the SUV coupe body type, with a low and rear-leaning centre of gravity.  The forceful and elegant X-shaped face flows from the front into wide, bold body contours, forming an unmistakably powerful design statement.

“The car is equipped with innovative technology to offer the driver an immersive, exhilarating drive.  Middle East drivers will get to experience technology at an advanced level with real-time functional information and personalised entertainment, while making the most of hands-free music, navigation, phone, and vehicle controls.  The car’s Zero-emission performance has a 70-Kilowatt battery and a maximum range of 402 kilometres (WLTP).  With three electric motors, a combined 288 PS, and 665 Nm performance, the MG Marvel R accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds,” the company said.

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INFINITI Rolls Out its INFINITI VALET Program Across the Middle East

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With the aim of providing a premium experience for its owners, INFINITI Middle East has rolled out the INFINITI VALET Program across the Middle East, offering vehicle pick-up and drop-off when scheduling a maintenance service without having to visit the service centre. Available throughout the region, including UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan, the INFINITI VALET Program can be easily reserved on any maintenance appointment touchpoints, including the web contact form and via the call centre.

INFINITI customers can have their vehicle collected for an upcoming maintenance appointment by VALET truck (where available), a service team member or a recovery vehicle from their home or office. Payment can be settled online after the service is completed and the car is returned to the owner.

“As a human-centric organization, we understand the value of convenience and in crafting a premium customer journey. With service offerings such as INFINITI VALET, we create a seamless experience that enables our customers to rise above the details of every day, by returning to them the luxury of time,” said Andrew McLaughlan, Managing Director, INFINITI Middle East. “The INFINITI VALET Program is rooted in our Japanese heritage and honours our commitment to providing thoughtful hospitality.”

The INFINITI Valet Program is available to all INFINITI customers, regardless of vehicle age, and is not limited to any kind of warranty. The program can also be used in conjunction with INFINITI’s Courtesy Vehicle Program, where available, allowing the INFINITI owner to enjoy seamless mobility while their vehicle is being serviced.

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Cadillac Reveals CELESTIQ Show Car

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Today, Cadillac unveiled the CELESTIQ show car, a vision of innovation and purpose that previews the brand’s future handcrafted and all-electric flagship sedan. Conceived to lead Cadillac’s electric future and inspired by the brand’s 120-year heritage, it serves as a touchstone for the Cadillac design and engineering teams, who continue to develop CELESTIQ as it moves closer to production.

“The CELESTIQ show car is the purest expression of Cadillac,” said Magalie Debellis, manager, Cadillac Advanced Design. “It brings to life the most integrated expressions of design and innovation in the brand’s history, coalescing in a defining statement of a true Cadillac flagship.”

In developing the show car, the design and engineering teams immersed themselves in the artisanship and customization that defined early Cadillac sedans such as the bespoke V-16 powered coaches of the prewar era, and the hand-built 1957 Eldorado Brougham. The CELESTIQ is the culmination of that heritage, brought to life with innovative production methods and new technologies.

“Those vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras, and helped make Cadillac the standard of the world,” said Tony Roma, chief engineer. “The CELESTIQ show car — also a sedan, because the configuration offers the very best luxury experience — builds on that pedigree and captures the spirit of arrival they expressed.”

Designers drew further inspiration from classic architecture such as the mid-century masterpieces of architect Eero Saarinen, along with other iconic American designs, which made era-defining statements when introduced and endured with distinctive timelessness.

Realizing and infusing those influences within an Ultium-based EV architecture resulted in a clean-sheet expression for the CELESTIQ show car that considers the entirety of travel as a curated experience — one intended to evoke an emotional response.  The result is a vehicle that makes a magnetic first impression and cultivates a permanent personal connection.

“We’ve combined the beauty of function with the beauty of form,” said Laetitia Lopez, Color & Trim creative designer. “We had to reconsider all aspects to immerse the customer, all of their senses, and create a connection with the vehicle through the finest genuine materials, exceptional detailing and advanced technology.”

The show car previews some of the materials, innovative technologies and hand-crafted attention to detail harnessed to express Cadillac’s vision for the future. Highlights include five high-definition, advanced LED interactive displays, including a 55-inch-diagonal advanced LED display, along with expected many industry firsts such as a variable-transmission Smart Glass Roof and Ultra Cruise1, General Motors’ next evolution of available hands-free driver assistance technology which Cadillac plans to offer on CELESTIQ.

The Smart Glass Roof features Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology that allows for four zones of variable lighting, allowing passengers to fine-tune their cabin experience for completely personalized comfort and visibility. Additionally, the 55-inch-diagonal advanced LED display introduces a passenger display with electronic digital blinds, an active privacy technology, which is designed to allow passengers to enjoy video content while blocking it from the view of the driver.

While they’re previewed on the show car, these technologies and more will make the CELESTIQ the most advanced vehicle ever from Cadillac. Availability for the production version of CELESTIQ will be announced at a later date.

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