Tag Archives: Rolls Royce

There Will Be a Maybach Successor and It Will Be a Benz

By Jens Meiners

1997 Mercedes-Benz Maybach concept

Mercedes will place a new S-class atop its range to replace Maybach, much like this Mercedes Maybach concept from 1997.

Mercedes-Benz is readying an ultra-luxury version of the new S-class that is being designed to take over at a slightly lower market position than the ill-begotten Maybach. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Automotive News that the vehicle would compete with vehicles in the $200,000–$250,000 range—rather than the 400-large-and-up bracket Maybach inhabited. He added that the technological and luxury content will top that of the 2014 S-class as currently offered in the marketplace.

The highest-priced S-class to reside outside this über-luxurious range-topping S-class will the the upcoming S65 AMG—which we hear will bow in Los Angeles this November—the AMG models, however, place high emphasis on extreme power and ostentatious sportiness. Benz’s challenger to the Bentley Flying Spur and the Rolls-Royce Ghost would have to display more restraint and a more-conservative style. The upcoming high-level S-class could have a slightly longer wheelbase than even the long-wheelbase model we get stateside, but it won’t come close to the now-discontinued Maybach 62.

Daimler’s decision means that the brand will abandon the segment occupied by both the Maybach 57 and the Maybach 62, which competed head-on with the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the Bentley Mulsanne. Born out of the inability to snatch up either Bentley or Rolls-Royce brands, Maybach never came close to achieving its projected market performance, and has been regarded as an unnecessary aberration for Daimler at best.

At the S-class launch in May, Mercedes chief designer Gorden Wagener told us that the new S-class is positioned “a half-segment above the outgoing model,” and that its “classic lines” would make it a credible successor of the Maybach. Our own sources tell us that one of the styling elements of the upcoming, top-level S-class will be traditionally styled, high-gloss, machined wheels. The new model is expected to arrive in 2015 as a 2016 model.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+

By Jeffrey N. Ross

Stretched Mercedes-Benz S-Class prototype - front three-quarter view

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We recently spotted a stretched version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it sounds like this new ultra-luxurious version of the sedan might not be quite as much of a Maybach-replacing model that we initially expected. Automotive News says that the car has somewhat more modest targets, with the so-called “super S-Class” expected to list in the $200,000 to $250,000 range when it goes on sale in 2014. That’s hardly chump change, but it’s about $175,000 less than the now-dead Maybach 57.

After speaking with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, AN’s article says that this new S-Class model will be targeted at the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost rather than more expensive models like the Mulsanne and Phantom, which makes sense since the Maybach brand was killed off due to slow sales. Of course, there is still the possibility that the three-row S600 Pullman could reach a little higher to fill in the void of those $400,000 sedans. Aside from the stretched body, Zetsche also promises cabin tech and luxury not offered on the standard S-Class, which is hard to imagine since the new S-Class has gobs of both already. During our recent first drive of the standard S-Class, we said that its interior is “going to give Bentley and Rolls-Royce night sweats,” so it sounds like Daimler will be aiming for breathing difficulties and heart palpitations with this new model.

Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+ originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Quick Spin: 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus

By Michael Harley

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Ignore the naysayers who say the Audi R8 is too refined to be a proper supercar, or that it has begun to show its age – after a few tweaks for the 2014 model year, the automaker’s flagship remains one of my favorite exotics.

Audi has treated all of its R8 models to a host of enhancements for the 2014 model year that include new LED headlights and tail lamps, larger steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, new exhaust finishes, updated alloy wheel designs and fresh exterior colors. However, the most significant news is the arrival of a proper seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission (it replaces the six-speed R-Tronic). The rapid-fire gearbox shaves a coupe tenths off the 0-60 sprint and improves fuel economy for both the eight- and ten-cylinder models (thankfully, a traditional six-speed manual is still on the order form).

I recently spent time with the new-for-2014 V10 Plus model, which is only available in a coupe body style. Compared to the standard V10 models, the Plus sheds upwards of 130 pounds thanks to lightweight manual seats (not fitted to my test car), carbon-ceramic brakes, reduced sound bay insulation, a smaller fuel tank and an assortment of carbon-fiber pieces (including side blades, front splitter, rear diffuser and spoiler). But that’s not all, as the V10 Plus also receives a bump in output that pushes its ten-cylinder to an even 550 horsepower.

Driving Notes:

  • My six-foot two-inch frame has always found the R8 Coupe to be very comfortable – a standout in a segment of cramped coupes. The enhanced cabin is nothing short of breathtaking, with beautiful carbon-fiber and aluminum accents, tactile switchgear and a fit-and-finish to rival Rolls-Royce. My Brilliant Red test car was fitted with the optional diamond-stitching full leather package ($6,300) that seems a worthy investment, if just to watch your passenger’s jaws drop when they climbed in.
  • The naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 has been massaged to produce 550 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, a 25 horsepower increase over the standard V10, which Audi says is good for a 3.3-second sprint to 60 mph (with the help of launch control). Nobody will miss the old, sometimes clunky, single-clutch gearbox. The new dual-clutch unit shifted smoothly during normal driving, yet it eagerly cracked off the gears when driven aggressively (don’t waste your time with the console-mounted shifter, as the wheel-mounted paddles are much easier to use). Power at the low end of the tachometer was plenty strong, but the V10 really came to life once it started vigorously spinning. Run it to the 8,500 rpm redline between each shift, and its screaming audio track will remind you why enthusiasts still appreciate fine, naturally aspirated engines.
  • Zipping through the canyon roads in the mountains above Malibu put the R8 V10 Plus right at home. Its mid-engine handling and balance was exceptional. The damping is fixed to a very firm setting, even though lesser R8 models offer a variable magnetic suspension, …read more

    Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Report: Supercars seized from African dictator's son sold for over $4M in Paris auction

By Brandon Turkus

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Corruption is a big problem around the world, but perhaps nowhere more than in African dictatorships. Proof? Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries on the African continent, the citizens of Equatorial Guinea live in abject poverty. Clean drinking water is available to less than half the populous, and one in five children is dead before their fifth birthday.

As so often seems the case with dictatorships, while the citizenry suffers, the rulers of EG live in the lap of luxury. With any luck, though, justice might be catching up to “President” Teodor Obiang’s son, Teodorin, according to a report from the International Business Times.

Obiang was subject to a raid by French law enforcement in 2011 that lasted two weeks. Why did it last two weeks? Because authorities had to search the his 80 million Euro, 101-room mansion on the Champs Elysees. Naturally, the house and everything in it was found to have been purchased using state funds. If this blatant display of wealth doesn’t outrage you, let us point you back to that stat about 20 percent of this country’s citizens dying before age five.

The seizure included a fleet of luxury and sports cars, including models from Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati and Maybach. The kicker is, most of the cars had little to no mileage on them. Fine art, vintage wine, and antiques were also seized. Now, French auction house Drouot has sold several of the cars, racking up over $4 million in profits. We can only hope the funds go back to the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, but we aren’t holding our breath.

There’s more at the IBT. Give it a read if you’re interested in making yourself sick.

Supercars seized from African dictator’s son sold for over $4M in Paris auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

2013 Rolls-Royce Alpine Trial Centenary Collection Ghost: 100 Years of Being the Best [2013 Shanghai Auto Show]

By Alexander Stoklosa

Rolls-Royce is steeped in history—it has, after all, been around for more than 100 years—and now it is mining some of that heritage with a special-edition Ghost called the Alpine Trial Centenary Collection. The unique Ghost debuts at the 2013 Shanghai auto show and celebrates the 100th anniversary of Rolls-Royce’s success in the 1820-mile Austrian Alpine Trials with a Silver Ghost. It might seem like an obscure reference for a modern automaker to make, but the Silver Ghost’s trouble-free completion of the 1913 Alpine Trials—a brutal endurance race over “near-impassable mountain terrain”—earned Rolls-Royce the title of maker of the “best car in the world.” Seems to us like it’s as good a car as any to hark back to.

2013 Shanghai Auto Show full coverage

The 2013 Alpine Trial Centenary Collection Ghost is Rolls-Royce’s first heritage model drummed up by its Bespoke internal customization shop, and is pleasantly subtle in its execution. The Ghost gets a silver-over-blue paint job accentuated by black wheels and a black grille, which mimics the 1913 Silver Ghost Trial car’s livery and rolling stock, and we think both rides look pretty darn good. The modern Rolls also gets a delicate pinstripe that runs its entire length and features four slashes, each of which represent one of the four Rolls-Royces that competed in the 1913 endurance trial. Inside, the Ghost’s dashboard clock face displays the different stages of the Alpine Trial and timings, and the dashboard and fold-down rear-seat picnic tables gain decorative inlays showing the Trial’s topography and distances.

Back in the early 20th century, arduous endurance races were the motorsport events that could make or break fledgling automakers; after all, if the cars could stand up to the abuse of being pummeled over unpaved roads—or no roads at all—they likely could handle anything potential customers could throw at them. Rolls-Royce built something that stood up to the task, and today it would seem it’s no less competent at crafting automobiles worthy of being considered “best in the world.” Of course, that measure today doesn’t require Rolls to send a car bouncing down a trail in some forgotten corner of the earth, but wouldn’t it be pretty cool if it did?

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caranddriver/blog/~3/84qzBQYjmoI/

Official: Rolls-Royce Ghost gets in the pink for breast cancer charity

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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Rolls-Royce has unveiled a special version of its extended-wheelbase Ghost, called FAB1, with the hopes of helping to raise more than one million pounds (roughly $1.5 million) for a UK charity named Breast Cancer Care. Over the next year, the FAB1 Million Project will see this pink Ghost used to raise money by renting it out for special events and occasions with all of the proceeds going to the charity.

More than just a pretty pink paint job, though, this Ghost demonstrates some of the bespoke options you can order from Rolls-Royce, including pink carpeting, pink leather, pink center caps and even a pink umbrella tucked into the door. The full press release for this Ghost can be found below.

Continue reading Rolls-Royce Ghost gets in the pink for breast cancer charity

Rolls-Royce Ghost gets in the pink for breast cancer charity originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should I Buy Rolls-Royce Holdings?

By Harvey Jones, The Motley Fool

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LONDON — It’s time to go shopping for shares again, but where to start? There are loads of great stocks to choose from, and I’ve got my wallet out. Does Rolls-Royce Holdings  offer investors a smooth ride?

High roller
There’s change at the top of Rolls-Royce Holdings, with Ian Davis, who previously served at BP, Johnson & Johnson and McKinsey & Company, replacing outgoing chairman Simon Robertson after eight years. Davis has shown his commitment by shelling out £55,500 on the company’s shares. Sadly, I don’t have that kind of money to hand, but should I also buy Rolls-Royce?

March of the maker
Airplane engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings is one of those great British engineering companies that we pretend we no longer have. But investors know a top quality operation when they see one, and its stock is up 34% over the past 12 months. So what has driven this splendid performance?

Only a handful of global companies do what Rolls-Royce does, and the barriers to new entrants are high, putting it in a strong market position. Full-year 2012 results were robust, with Rolls-Royce increasing its underlying profits for the 10th consecutive year, up 24% to £1.4 billion. It produced a record number of power systems, which have the added bonus of producing many years of aftermarket service revenues. Group profit margins hit 12.2%, up from 10.7% in 2011. Management is looking forward to “modest growth in underlying revenue and good growth in underlying profit” in 2013. Assuming it takes you five seconds to read this sentence, two Rolls-Royce-engined aircraft will have either taken off or landed by the time you finish it. When Chancellor George Osborne was recently talking about the “march of the makers”, he was talking about companies like Rolls-Royce.

Defense investment
It isn’t all clear skies. Rolls-Royce has also been tainted with scandal, with the Serious Fraud Office investigating allegations of malpractice in China and Indonesia. Fines, prosecutions and reputational damage could follow. The group has large pension liabilities, recently rising to £148 million. Despite its recent power play, it isn’t immune to global economic headwinds. Cuts in defense spending, both in the U.S. and U.K., are a big worry, although the recent decision to allow the Ministry of Defense to roll over £1.6 billion of unspent money eased investor worries. There’s strength in diversity, and Rolls-Royce has a thriving civil aerospace operation. Its share price also benefited from the government‘s plan to invest £1 billion in the aerospace industry.

Operating margins look healthy at a current 9.9%, but chief executive John Rishton is looking enviously at big U.S. competitors such as General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, whose lower costs allows them to offer lower prices, and invest more in infrastructure and training. Dividend investors will be disappointed by its 1.8% yield, although covered three times, there is scope for growth. Management recently hiked the full-year payment 11%, although the forecast yield for 2014 is just 2.2%.

Roll on
Rolls-Royce is up 172% over five …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why I'm Bullish on Defence

By Tony Reading, The Motley Fool

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LONDON — So-called “sequestration” — automatic spending cuts, half of which are allocated to defense — came into effect in the U.S. this month after Congress failed to agree a budget.

Bad, but not that bad
It’s an added threat on top of planned military spending cuts. But a report from rating agency Fitch last week suggested that sequestration won’t have such a dramatic impact on European defense companies as many fear. It thinks:

  • Exposure to U.S. defense spending is limited;
  • Defense procurement will be protected;
  • Defense companies are good at restructuring to maintain cash margins.

US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts typically have lead times of around three years, so procurement spending will be little affected in 2013. The DoD is saving money by cutting operational expenditure such as training.

BAE most exposed
With 30% of its revenues coming from the DoD, BAE  is the most exposed. But Fitch estimates its 2013 revenues will suffer by 2% or less. The company has a 17% interest in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project, which has largely evaded budget cuts.

Like most of the sector, BAE is pursuing emerging market sales and reducing its dependence on defense. But its entrenched position in the U.K. and U.S. defense markets underpin its secure cash generation.

On a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 9 and with a prospective yield of 5.3%, the twice-covered dividend makes it a great income stock.

More expensive, better growth
If only Rolls Royce  were so cheap! The world’s second-largest jet engine maker is on a prospective P/E of 17.6. Revenues grew 9% last year compared to a 6% contraction at BAE. Civil aviation accounts for over half of sales, with defense a fifth.

Meggitt  is the only other U.K. aerospace and defense company to make the FTSE 100. The aircraft brake manufacturer saw a 6% rise in revenues last year, and confidently increased its dividend by 12%. On a projected P/E of 13, it’s yielding 2.6%.

One fan of the aerospace and defense sector is Invesco Perpetual‘s star fund manager Neil Woodford. He has 8% of his £22 billion funds invested in BAE and Rolls Royce. That’s a big bet on a sector that represents less than 2% of the FTSE‘s total capitalization.

Woodford’s stock-picking track-record is unmatched. His high income fund has grown at an annual compound growth rate of 12.6% since its launch in 1988, turning each £1,000 invested into £19,365. According to Hargreaves Lansdown, it’s “the best performing of any fund investing in the U.K. since it launched”.

You can learn more about how Woodford selects stocks in a brand-new report from the Motley Fool: Eight Shares Held by Britain’s Super-Investor — now updated for 2013. It’s full of insights into his investment style. You can download it by clicking here — it’s free.


The article Why I’m Bullish on Defence originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tony Reading owns shares in BAE and Meggitt but no other shares mentioned in this …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Video: Watch this Lamborghini Gallardo get hooned like a WRC car

By Seyth Miersma

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Driving your million-dollar supercar or ultra-lux limousine carefully and pridefully on to the well-manicured lawns of a fancy concurs d’elegance is what your old man did, square. Driving your exotic through mud and filth, with fast sideways bits and loads of counter steering is what all the hip kids are up to these days.

Having already experienced the puerile joys of seeing a Rolls-Royce turf a lawn and a Ferrari Enzo slide around the farm, we can now enjoy this Lamborghini Gallardo in the mud and ruts. The video below shows about exactly what you’d expect from WRC-themed title, except for lacking in big air and, you know, really good, fast driving. Still, there’s mud. Check it out below.

Continue reading Watch this Lamborghini Gallardo get hooned like a WRC car

Watch this Lamborghini Gallardo get hooned like a WRC car originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Mar 2013 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

7th Annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance

By Harvey Schwartz

2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4 Done Small

February 24, 2013: Boca Raton, Florida:

Under blue skies with temperatures in the high 70’s, and taking place on the newly renovated and expanded showfield at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, classic automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world experienced an automotive showcase of more than 200 of the finest collector automobiles and motorcycles from around the country.   This year the Concours celebrated 50 years of Lamborghini and highlighted Rolls-Royce and Bentley as featured marques.

2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance Sign Done Small

An expert panel of renowned judges including Grand Marshal Keith Martin, Chief Judge Dr. Paul Sable, and Honorary Judges Carl Bomstead, David Schultz and Mark Gessler, selected the finest vintage, antique, classic and exotic vehicles based on period, presentation, and overall style, with an awards presentation to the winning entries.

2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance Lamborghini Aventador Done Small

Once the show started at 10:00 AM, attendees were also able to cruise through Vendor Row featuring vendor tents offering hats, commemorative Concours d’ Elegance programs, posters and pins from previous shows and this year.  Also new this year is an Automotive Art Show featuring some of the country’s top automotive artists in an exclusive tent to view and purchase one-of-a-kind paintings, sculpture, and prints.  Attendees also enjoyed a selection of gourmet food, wine and cocktails from more than 30 of south Florida’s finest restaurants at the Concours D’ Gourmet Pavilions.  It was a great memorable day for all in attendance.

Best of Show Winning Automobile-1947 Talbot Lago T26

2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance Sign Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1919 Hudson O Type Limo Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1928 Rolls-Royce Ascot Tourer Convertible Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Cabriolet DeVille Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1929 Willys Knight 66B Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Zagato April Done Small
2013 Boca Raton Concours d' Elegance 1933 Packard 1006 Done Small
<img width="150" height="100" src="http://www.automotiveaddicts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2013-Boca-Raton-Concours-d-Elegance-1938-Steyr-220-Done-Small-150×100.jpg" …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Geneva: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith is everything you need, everything you don't [w/videos]

By Steven J. Ewing

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith - front three-quarter view, live at Geneva Motor Show

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It’s not often that we get to talk about a new Rolls-Royce, what with the fact that the company’s current model line is basically made up of two vehicles. But that all changes here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, with the introduction of what might be the most emotional Roller of modern times, the Wraith.

The new two-door Rolls is effectively a Ghost coupe, and it stands to reason that this is Royce’s answer to the Bentley Continental GT, albeit at a higher price point. Much higher, actually – the 245,000-euro – $320k USD – price of entry for the Wraith is about $100,000 more than a Continental GT Speed coupe. Woof. And to our eyes, all that extra money isn’t buying you much in the looks department, as the collective opinion of the Autoblog editors on-site in Geneva is that it’s more imposing than elegant.

But the Wraith will no doubt be a special, exclusive, impressive machine for anyone who plunks down that sort of cash. For starters, it’s powered by a V12 that puts out an impressive 624 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed ZF “Satellite Aided” transmission. This nifty cog-swapper actually works with GPS to not only pre-select the right gear for the portion of road you’re on, but for the next portion of you’ll be driving on, as well. That, friends, is cool.

Of course, the Wraith will be laden with every bit of luxury befitting of a proper Rolls-Royce including “Phantom-grade” cow hides, new Canadel wood trim and the same Starlight Headliner fiber optic roof lighting found in the brand’s flagship sedan. The company is also touting the Wraith’s onboard voice command technology, which will no doubt be paired with the most up-to-date infotainment tech on the market.

Don’t miss our live-from-Geneva gallery of the 2014 Wraith above and have a look below for a multitude of official videos and the press release. Eying one for your very own? Rolls has already launched a Wraith configurator on its website – you can check it out here.

Continue reading 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith is everything you need, everything you don’t [w/videos]

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith is everything you need, everything you don’t [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Mar 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Geneva: Rolls-Royce Wraith revealed, ready to battle Bentley

By John Neff

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Bentley may have rounded out the redesign of its Continental line of cars with the new Flying Spur four-door’s debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, but Rolls-Royce has shown up in Switzerland with the Wraith, a GT coupe version of the Ghost sedan that moves the brand one step closer to having an answer for everything that wears a Flying B.

The Wraith’s natural combatant would be Bentley’s Continental GT Coupe, though as all Rollers come in orders of magnitude more expensive than their already costly competitors from Crewe, the new coupe’s €245,000 initial starting price will be $100k USD more than the base price of the most expensive Continental, a GT Speed coupe.

What your CEO bonus money will get you is a 624-bhp V12 engine cranking out 590 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 miles per hour will pass by in 4.4 seconds, with a unique 8-speed ZF automatic transmission snapping off shifts using a new Satellite Aided Transmission technology that works with GPS to pre-select the right gear for not only the road you’re on, but the road you’ll be coming up on ahead.

Rolls-Royce is also pushing the bounds of technology inside the Wraith relying heavily on voice commands, what it calls an ‘on-board valet,’ to input instructions and data into the nav and infotainment systems. For those who prefer more tactile inputs, a Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller accepts inputs via a touchpad that offers pinch-to-zoom and character drawing functionality.

The Wraith wouldn’t be allowed to wear the winged goddess if it didn’t pamper its passengers, and that goal is achieved in typical Rolls fashion with herds of “Phantom-grade” cow-hide, expanses of new Canadel Panellng wood trim, and the first use of the brand’s unique Starlight Headliner fiber optic headliner outside the Phantom range.

We’ll have live images of the Wraith’s debut in Geneva soon, but you can dine on this gallery of fine official images until then and have a servant read you the official press release below.

Continue reading Rolls-Royce Wraith revealed, ready to battle Bentley

Rolls-Royce Wraith revealed, ready to battle Bentley originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Mar 2013 23:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Britain's Rolls, Bentley fight luxury battle for German owners

The logo and sign of Rolls-Royce is seen at its Seletar campus in Singapore

LONDON (Reuters) – British carmakers Rolls-Royce and Bentley will unveil new vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show next week, joining battle in the fast-growing luxury end of the market on behalf of their German owners. BMW's Rolls-Royce will debut a two-door coupé version of its Ghost model, known as the Wraith, which the company says will be its most powerful vehicle yet. Meanwhile Bentley, part of the Volkswagen empire, will unveil its updated Flying Spur, its speediest ever four-door model. …

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Yahoo Business

5 FTSE 100 Shares You Should Have Bought In February

By Alan Oscroft, The Motley Fool

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LONDON — After January’s dramatic rise, the FTSE 100 settled into a steadier month in February, gaining 105 points to reach 6,381. The index of the U.K.’s biggest companies did pop its head over the 6,400 parapet on Feb. 20, but it has yet to close above that level.

A number of the FTSE 100’s constituents have soundly beaten the average during February, and some of them will surely go on to even better things. Here are five that have risen and might still be good values.

Legal & General
The insurance sector has been making a bit of a comeback, and Legal & General Group has done well along with the rest of it. The shares gained a relatively modest 5.3% during February to reach 160 pence, but that adds up to a rise of more than 30% over the past 12 months.

Full-year results are due next week, and they look like they should be good. The City is forecasting a 13% rise in earnings per share, and that puts the shares on a relatively modest price-to-earnings ratio of 11. There’s also a dividend yield of 4.7% expected, topping two previous years of dividend rises, and it’s likely to be about twice covered. There could still be more to come from the shares.

Shares in Rolls-Royce Holdings climbed 8.7% to 1,028 pence, taking them up more than 25% over the past 12 months. Full-year results released on Feb. 14 showed revenue up 8% to 12.2 billion pounds, pre-tax profit up 24% to 1.4 billion pounds, and earnings per share up 22% to 59.3 pence. That resulted in an 11% dividend lift to 19.5 pence per share.

Since then, Rolls-Royce has announced a new $40 million contract to provide “equipment and related services to power the flow of natural gas through the Uzbekistan section of the Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline.”

Forecasts for 2013 put the shares on a P/E of 15.5, which is not high for a quality company, and there’s a further dividend hike expected to yield 2.1%.

Hargreaves Lansdown
ISAs, SIPPs, stockbroking — it has all added up to a great month for Hargreaves Lansdown, whose share price powered up a whopping 25% to 867 pence in February — and that’s on top of a strong year that has seen the price nearly double.

On Feb. 6, first-half results showed record revenue of 140 million pounds, up 24%, with pre-tax profit up 30% to a record 93.7 million pounds. The firm now has 30.4 billion pounds in assets under administration — and yes, that’s also a new record. Forecasts for the full year suggest a 25% rise in earnings per share, but that does put the shares on a prospective P/E of 28, which is about twice the long-term FTSE average. Many will see that as a bit pricey.

ITV shares had a good February, rising 8.2% to 124 pence. In addition, you …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Rolls-Royce Wraith: Final Teaser Distills Design to Four Lines and One Spirit [2013 Geneva Auto Show]

By Andrew Wendler

2013 Geneva auto show full coverage

The latest and final dispatch in the flurry of build up to the Wraith’s Geneva debut arrived today in the form of a simple but elegant line sketch. It arrives after an interior preview and some shadowy and vague photos—it seems the crew from West Sussex has its protocol reversed, as this type of drawn-out reveal generally begins with a sketch and ends with a photograph.

The point of the new graphic is to illustrate how a car’s overall design can be distilled down to three or four key lines, in this case a long, sloping fastback configuration that Rolls-Royce trumpets as the Wraith’s defining element.

Giles Taylor, design director for Rolls-Royce sums up the importance of the sketch by offering this tidbit: “In my view, the most successful designs always come down to three or four lines.” We couldn’t agree more. We’ll see how well his vision translates into sheetmetal when the wraps finally come off next week at the 2013 Geneva auto show.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Teased: Latest Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser reveals fastback form

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser #4 - profile lines

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In its fourth and final teaser before the 2014 Wraith is introduced next week, Rolls-Royce has released another image of the car showing a distinct fastback appearance. We’ve seen this car teased in its profile before, but that image had a heavy shadow over the rear of the car obscuring what should be the Wraith’s defining element.

Rolls-Royce motorcars aren’t exactly known for having overtly sporty proportions, but this could all change with the Wraith’s styling. Judging by the teased drawing and official words from Rolls-Royce, the coupe’s roofline will flow practically in a straight line from the A-pillar back to the rear of the car. With such a design, the Wraith could well become one of the world’s most elegant and expensive hatchbacks, though it may also have a conventional hinged trunk opening.

Over the last month, we’ve also seen a rear shot of the car as well as glimpse of what the interior has in store, but the two images showing the car’s profile give us our best idea of what to expect when the car is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. Until then, you can check out our winter testing spy shots and read a brief quote from Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor in the press release posted below.

Continue reading Latest Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser reveals fastback form

Latest Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser reveals fastback form originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Video: Grey Poupon's <i>Pardon Me</i> Lost Footage ad airs during Oscars

By Seyth Miersma

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Those of you that took our tip and tuned in for last night’s Academy Awards may have caught the latest iteration of the famous Grey Poupon commercials, featuring a pair of Rolls-Royce sedans and their condiment-loving stewards. The update to the 1981 commercial was only shown in part on television, however, as the mustard company directed viewers to its website to see the entirety of the Lost Footage spot. Of course if you didn’t bother then, you can just scroll down to see the full-length two-minute commercial here.

As you’re viewing, note that the Grey Poupon marketers did not, it would appear, get official sanction from Rolls-Royce this time around. While the Rollers in the commercial have all sorts of James Bond-like accouterments, they don’t appear to have the official Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornaments, for example, and they have restyled lights and grilles. Check out the new spot below, and see if it stacks up to the iconic Pardon Me original.

Continue reading Grey Poupon’s Pardon Me Lost Footage ad airs during Oscars

Grey Poupon’s Pardon Me Lost Footage ad airs during Oscars originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Feb 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Rumormill: Rolls-Royce mulling V16 roadster, SUV

By Zach Bowman

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe - dead-on front view

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Rolls-Royce may be working on a new, mega-powerful roadster for 2017. CAR reports the convertible would conceivably boast a V16 engine. Of course, the report gets a little muddled here, with CAR saying the engine would be very similar to that of the one that powers the Bugatti Veyron – the French machine makes use of a W16 mill. Even so, the article says the Rolls-Royce version could put down around 700 horsepower. Design wise, we’re told the creation will feature a suitably long nose with the passenger compartment pushed far to the rear.

Of course, 2017 is a long way off, and the thought of a 16-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine bowing under the crush of ever more stringent government fuel efficiency and emission regulations seems unlikely. We’ll just put this one in the wait-and-see file for the time being. In the interim, you can hop over to CAR for a closer look at the magazine’s rendering of the would-be roadster. If a V16 convertible does happen, look for a smug look on Rowan Atkinson’s face.

Oh, and about that SUV? There’s not much to report, though CAR does note that officials are keeping a close eye on rival Bentley and its plans for a luxury utility vehicle. Rolls brand boss Harald Krüger has even gone so far as to admit “we’re regularly debating whether to take action.”

Rolls-Royce mulling V16 roadster, SUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Feb 2013 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Report: Grey Poupon to air new version of famous Rolls-Royce ad, this time with car chase [w/video]

By John Neff

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Grey Poupon mustard will revive the concept behind its famous Pardon Me commercials with a new ad that will air only once on television during this Sunday’s broadcast of the Academy Awards.

The original spot, which showed two one-percenters sharing the condiment between their Rolls-Royces at an intersection, first aired all the way back in 1981, and variations of it continued up through 1997. Kraft, owner of the Grey Poupon brand, is hoping that reviving the commercial will boost sagging sales and raise the mustard’s profile with a younger generation of fancy folk.

So why are we talking about this on Autoblog? Because the new version of the ad won’t end with a polite passing of the bottle. Rather, we’re told a car chase ensues when the Grey Poupon‘s owner doesn’t get it back. We’re assuming the two cars in question will again be a pair of Rolls-Royce sedans, probably Phantoms unless they go with more vintage model years.

This should be an ad worthy of a potty break during January’s big NFL game, as a 30-second spot during the Oscars is estimated to cost $1.7 million and the director they got has upwards of 40 Super Bowl commercials under his belt. Scroll down to watch the original ad, and we’ll bring you the new one as soon as it airs during the Oscars and becomes available online.

Continue reading Grey Poupon to air new version of famous Rolls-Royce ad, this time with car chase [w/video]

Grey Poupon to air new version of famous Rolls-Royce ad, this time with car chase [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Feb 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Teased: Third Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser looks inward

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser #3 - door panel

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After shadowy images of the 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in profile and of the car’s rump, the slow striptease of this hyper-luxury coupe finally starts to show us what the inside of the car will look like. We’ll get our up-close look at the 2014 Wraith at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th, but to tide us over until then, Rolls-Royce has provided a pair of images showing just some of the details that will be present inside.

Promising the interior of an “ultra-luxury yacht,” the Wraith will get plenty of soft leather and real wood paneling, and as we suspected, this car will share a lot of interior bits with its sedan counterpart, the Rolls-Royce Ghost. We can somewhat see this from the second image provided showing the placement of the clock and the air vents that look almost identical to what can be seen currently on the Ghost. On the Wraith, though, the clock’s hands feature “Blood Orange” tips, which not only contrast the high-gloss, piano black finish of this instrument panel but also is designed to pay homage to the aviation side of Rolls-Royce.

Continue reading Third Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser looks inward

Third Rolls-Royce Wraith teaser looks inward originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Feb 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog