Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled its latest Collection Car, Wraith Eagle VIII, on the shores of Lake Como at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, 24-26 May. Created by the Bespoke Collective at the House of Rolls-Royce, a Collection of just 50 Wraith Eagle VIII motor cars will tell the epic tale of one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century.
Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown braved uncharted skies to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June, 1919. Contemporaries of Sir Henry Royce, Alcock and Brown flew non-stop from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft. The bi-plane was powered by twin 20.3 litre, 350 bhp, Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines. It is from this remarkable engine that this Collection takes its name. Rolls-Royce marks the 100 year anniversary of this feat with a highly contemporary Collection that speaks to today’s adventurers, whilst honouring those who changed the course of history.
“I do not know what we should most admire – their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines – or their good fortune”, commented Sir Winston Churchill, following the perilous journey that brought unfathomable advancement to 20th century society.
Alcock and Brown established a legend and gained a place alongside Sir Donald Campbell in the most select club in the world; those who push beyond previous conceptions of human endeavour to achieve seemingly impossible records on land, water and now, air. Their one binding characteristic? Rolls-Royce power.
The duo suffered every conceivable challenge an aviator could face. The Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines were the only components that proved indestructible. The engines propelled the aerial voyage at previously unimagined speeds, averaging 115 mph. Their peril cannot be underestimated. Their radio and navigation instruments failed almost immediately, leaving the pilots flying unaided at night through dense cloud and freezing fog for many hours, sometimes upside down. Eventually they emerged from the cloud and using Brown’s extraordinary skill as a navigator, flew by the stars to the coast of Ireland.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Wraith Eagle VIII is at once an object of desire; an homage to heroes and a protagonist to today’s visionaries. This Rolls-Royce Collection demonstrates the extraordinary skill of our Bespoke Collective at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex. Bespoke remains the jewel in the crown of the marque, creating luxury items that defy the trend of mass luxury manufacturers using ‘tick-box’ options to answer customer demand.”
The exterior of the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Car is evocative of Alcock and Brown’s compelling night time adventure. Swathed in Gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper two-tone, the colours are separated by a brass feature line, a hint at the detailing that lies within. The black grille vanes draw immediate reference to the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine cowling on the Vickers Vimy aircraft, the wheels are part polished with a translucent shadow finish.
Within, the finely executed interior mirrors the exterior hue. Selby Grey and black leather are accented by brass, redolent of the brass sextant so integral to the success of the transatlantic journey. Executed in a contemporary fashion, the material populates key areas throughout the cockpit of the Collection. Brass speaker covers depict the estimated flight distance of 1,880 miles and ‘RR’ monograms are embroidered in brass coloured thread onto headrests. A flash of brass complements the navigator door paniers, whilst the door of the driver includes a brass plaque with Churchill’s quote commending the duo’s remarkable achievements.
Inspired by the night time flight of our intrepid heroes, the fascia represents a modern-day abstract interpretation of the view the pair would have enjoyed as finally, their craft cleared the thick fog and cloud. In a fusion of contemporary and traditional practises, Smoked Eucalyptus wood is vacuum metalized in gold before being inlaid with silver and copper, to depict the rich detail seen in night time images of the Earth from above. The scene extends to the centre console providing both an emotive and immersive experience for today’s occupants – the cockpit is in perspective with the headliner. Below, the brass-stitched quilted sides of the centre tunnel provide a direct nod to the V12 engined Vickers Vimy.
The clock of a Rolls-Royce is frequently viewed as jewellery, with many patrons choosing this canvas to tell the story of their motor car in miniature. Wraith Eagle VIII is no exception. Our intrepid pioneers recounted that their instrument panel was frozen from the high altitude and the poor conditions, referring to the only illumination coming from the green glow of the control panel lighting and the burst of flame from the starboard engine.
In homage to this, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective has masterfully fabricated a clock with an iced background effect which glows a faint green in night time driving conditions. The red hour hand sits atop compass inspired lines on the clock’s fascia, whilst the landing location coordinates are engraved below.
Perhaps the most alluring feature of the Collection is the extraordinary unique starlight headliner. 1,183 starlight fibres show the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight in 1919, the flight path and constellations are embroidered in brass thread, whilst the exact moment the pair left the cloud to navigate by the stars is indicated by a red fibre optic light. Clouds are embroidered and a plaque reading, “The celestial arrangement at the halfway point 00:17am June 15th 1919, 50” 07’ Latitude North – 31” Longitude West” shows the half-way point of the momentous journey.
Just 50 of these highly collectable motor cars will be created for discerning collectors at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex – a Centre of Global Luxury Manufacturing Excellence.
MG Motor Conducts Hot Weather Testing of its All-Electric Marvel R in the Middle East
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.
INFINITI Rolls Out its INFINITI VALET Program Across the Middle East
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.
Cadillac Reveals CELESTIQ Show Car
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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