Category: Luxury

By on May 26, 2017

2016-Toyota-Avalon

Lyft, the ride-hailing company with nowhere near the amount of bad press as Uber, has launched a luxury black car service in five American cities as a challenge to its rival.

Luxury models in “excellent” condition from model years 2011 and newer are qualified to shuttle around Lyft Lux passengers, assuming the seats are either leather or “leather-like.” However, while Lincoln Town Cars owners will be dismayed to hear their vehicles don’t make the cut, newer flagships from other brands remain suspiciously absent from the accepted vehicle roster. Read More >

By on May 25, 2017

 

BMW Concept 8 Series

If your 7 Series has friends and club patrons pretending not to know you, BMW has the answer: its upcoming, resurrected 8 Series. Once again, BMW has decided to carve out some space at the top of its model range, this time to rebuff efforts by Mercedes-Benz to lure buyers in the six-figure luxury market.

It’s big, it’s long, it’s expensive, and it’s…a concept. While buyers can expect some deviations between the BMW Concept 8 Series premiering at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the final production model, this vehicle seems pretty fleshed out. Also, unlike such styling efforts as the Buick Avista, this vehicle will actually see production. Read More >

By on May 19, 2017

Aston Martin Logo Emblem

Rumors that Aston Martin is destined for an initial public offering, either eventually or imminently, have persisted ever since former parent Ford offloaded the British luxury marque in 2007.

The brand has come a long way since Ford dropped it off at the orphanage by expanding into new segments, spawning a sub-brand, and entering the non-automotive realms of merchandise and luxury speedboats. As its trajectory increasingly mirrors that of recently spun-off Ferrari, sources claim an IPO is right around the corner. Read More >

By on May 11, 2017

[Image: BMW AG]

It once sat at the pinnacle of BMW’s model podium, but cutting-edge technology, German opulence and a choice of eight or twelve cylinders couldn’t keep the 8 Series in production. It was only rival Mercedes-Benz’s decision to push the S-Class into the luxury stratosphere that compelled the Munich automaker to consider climbing the luxury ladder again.

Now, a year after the automaker trademarked a slew of 8 Series model names and insider sources assured us of its return, BMW has officially confirmed it. The 8 Series will reappear next year. Read More >

By on May 5, 2017

Toyota Century, image via eBay

Heads of state and other dignitaries typically like to ride around in large, sedan-shaped vehicles. Offerings like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and contemporary Rolls-Royce sedans have long been the go-to around the world. Of course, there are exceptions. For places like the United States, national pride dictates an American-made Cadillac or Lincoln.

The Japanese also have a strong sense of national pride, and for decades there was only one vehicle appropriate for heads of state and CEOs — the Toyota Century.

Now it’s gone.

Read More >

By on May 4, 2017

812-superfast

Thanks to the increasing wealth of the world’s elite, supercars have remained in fashion. Ferrari profits surged upward in the first quarter of 2017 as the Italian automaker continued a scheme designed to gradually accelerate volume.

The brand’s net income over the first three months of 2017 climbed to 124 million euros ($135 million) from 78 million euros during same period last year. Meanwhile, overall revenue increased 22 percent to €821 million, helped largely by engine sales to Fiat Chrysler’s Maserati — the car you buy when you wanted a Ferrari, but fell just shy of being able to afford one. Read More >

By on April 21, 2017

2018 Lexus NX front – Image: Lexus

Pretty? No.

Popular? Most definitely. In fact, the Lexus NX is twice as popular as Lexus anticipated.

The Lexus NX, a crossover you must never confuse with the Nissan NX, is marketed in the United States both in NX200t and NX300h variants. At the New York International Auto Show three years ago, Lexus revealed the brand hoped to sell around 26,000 NXs per year; roughly 2,200 per month. At that point, in the lead-up to the NX’s 2014 Q4 launch, there were two schools of thought. One, the NX was so ghastly to behold Lexus surely wouldn’t sell 2,200 per month. Or, because Lexus is such a luxury crossover powerhouse, even the NX — with a face even a mother couldn’t love — will be more popular than Lexus anticipated.

Dealers believed Lexus’ forecast was on the low side.

But could anyone have expected the Lexus NX would be more than twice as popular as originally forecasted; that the Lexus NX would be America’s fifth-best-selling luxury utility vehicle; that the NX would account for one-in-five Lexus sales in America? Read More >

By on April 19, 2017

2017 Lincoln Continental

Say you’ve just gone through the hassle of buying a new Lincoln. It’s out there, sitting in the driveway, but you’ve got things to do. It doesn’t own you. You’re busy, and worthy of love.

Well, for a fee, Lincoln will set you up with someone nice. (No, not that kind of setup.) The automaker has created a pilot program called Lincoln Chauffeur, which delivers just what it states: a driver to ferry you around as you work on your tablet, drop you off at the airport and return the car home, or run out to the Safeway for sprouts. Read More >

By on April 12, 2017

navigator

There has always been something distinctively inelegant about Lincoln’s Navigator. It never felt nearly as special as the Cadillac Escalade and it was difficult to see its owners as people worthy of emulating. Lincoln made some positive headway in its third generation, but Navigator ownership still felt like you received a bum deal on an well-equipped Ford Expedition. It was working-class utility embellished with the lies of premium luxury and sold for more than it was worth.

While the 2018 Navigator still shares its platform with the Expedition, it has done away with that sense of unsavory sameness. They’re both hulking SUVs and fit for similar duties, but the Lincoln now feels prestigious. You can soon say that you drive one while raising your eyebrows in a suggestively triumphant manner. People might even envy you. The 2018 Navigator finally matches the Escalade in both kitschy flair and genuine class. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better than the Expedition, but it does — for the first time in history — provide a real reason to covet one over the other.  Read More >

By on March 18, 2017

2016 Lexus GS350 red

When the second-generation Lexus GS 400 arrived in North America in late 1997, the automaker paired the introduction with a can’t-miss-it ad campaign. “Something wicked this way comes,” the glossy advertisements warned of the looming V8 model.

Well, that ominous late-90s tagline would soon be a lie, as rumor states that the 2018 model year could be the last for Lexus’ sporty midsize luxury sedan. There just might not be room in the lineup for this once-boastworthy rear-driver. Read More >

By on March 6, 2017

2018 volkswagen arteon

Let’s face it, the Volkswagen CC was just a tarted-up Passat and the ultra-lux Phaeton was a colossal dud that bit the dust in the same manner in which it lived: without anyone noticing.

With scads of room to fill at the top of its lineup, VW has decided that the CC should make way for a true premium sedan, one with a swoopy Germanic roofline and up-to-date architecture. (And ideally saddled with a hard-to-remember name). With the 2018 Arteon, unveiled today ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, the automaker finally has what it needs. But is it what premium sedan buyers want? Read More >

By on February 18, 2017

2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD

In the dark days of the recession, as General Motors was frantically attempting to save itself from the abyss, many thought it odd that the automaker’s GMC division was saved while a storied brand like Pontiac met its executioner. As for Saturn and Hummer, well, let’s just say far fewer tears were spilled over those deaths.

Clearly, GM saw long-term profitability in its carless brand — a prediction that has since panned out. From a low point in 2009, GMC sales doubled to 558,697 units by 2015. However, it isn’t the number of vehicles sold that’s the sweet spot for the automaker — it’s the number of GMCs sold in top-end Denali trim.

At GM’s utility brand, luxury versions of non-luxury vehicles are proving increasingly popular. Read More >

By on February 8, 2017

Volvo V90 Location 7/8 Rear, Image: Volvo

Volvo has officially revealed pricing for its newest wagon, the V90.

Available in two trims, the V90 R-Design will start at $49,950, while Inscription will start at $51,950.

Both come standard with Volvo’s T5 turbocharged four-cylinder, which sends 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. A more powerful T6 four-cylinder, fed with turbocharged and supercharged air, will be available as a $6,000 option. Those models send 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels as standard.

Read More >

By on January 27, 2017

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante S

Even though the DB11 highlights a marked transformation for Aston Martin, there are still a few sexy dinosaurs milling around its factory floors. The Vanquish is one of those dinosaurs and, last November, Aston debuted a 580 horsepower S coupe to keep it from supplicating for its own extinction. This month, the British automaker hacked off its roof to bestow unto us the Vanquish Volante S.

Unless your supercar is completely ridiculous-looking — and Aston’s tasteful examples typically are not — converting one into a droptop is a straightforward way to ruin its grandeur. Fortunately, Aston Martin has a decent track record with convertibles, thanks in no small part to bulging rear fenders and abundance of inoffensive style.  Read More >

By on January 21, 2017

Just as geese fly south in the winter, metal conducts electricity, and tides rise and fall at the will of the moon, a luxury-laden SUV that rivals yachts for sticker price is guaranteed by all of science to become a premium brand’s best-seller.

After seeing the stunning success of the once-unthinkable Bentley Bentayga, what other conclusion could the folks at Mercedes-Benz draw? Carving out a stratospheric utility vehicle niche well above a brand’s high water mark means money falling from the sky. Period.

Naturally, Stuttgart wants in on the action. Like any rational competitor, the company now plans to tart up an existing SUV, slap on a Mercedes-Maybach badge, and sit back to await the arrival of the money train. Read More >

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