LUXLIFE 2017 | March 2017
Between revived classics and futuristic fantasies made manifest, the automotive world can’t quite decide whether to move forward or backward in its search for the next big trend. Whichever way they go, they’re going fast. Aston Martin and Rolls Royce rely on the tried and tested for 2017, bringing back beloved models with a state-of-the-art touch to satisfy the need for speed, safety, fresh tech and old school cool all in one, while companies like Tesla continue to push the boundaries of design and question the basic assumptions about what a car can or should be. And for those looking to leave the narrow confines of the asphalt for the watery plains of the open ocean, Searay’s latest aquatic innovations give all the more reason to take the plunge.
2017 ROLLS ROYCE DAWN
Rolls Royce calls back to a simpler time with the ultimate cruiser in the Rolls Royce Dawn convertible. Taking its name from the brand’s limited edition run in the 1950s, the Dawn prowls the asphalt canals at a total length of over 17 feet and width of more than six, announcing its presence with cool assured- ness and no need to sneak around. A convertible version of the acclaimed 2014 Wraith, the familiar profile exudes a classic muscular dominance from a time of unabashedly superior machines while an updated face with reshaped headlamps, recessed grille and extended bumper grant a touch of modern aggression offset by the inherent refinement debarking through rear-hinge side doors. With a 6.6-liter V12 under the hood taming 563 horses champing at the bit, cruise at your leisure or leap from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds sailing toward a top speed of155mph and all in near complete quiet—until the top comes down, retracting in 21 seconds at speeds up to 30mph. Base Price: $335,000.
2017 ASTON MARTIN DB11
Still the ride of choice for British superspies—the DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and the DB10 manufactured as a one-off concept for Daniel Craig in Spectre—the DB11 brings this iconic series up to date with the first new commercially available model in 13 years. The sleek and refined silhouette of the DB9 remains, amped and accentuated by newly designed aluminum architecture and the introduction of an expansive clamshell hood dominating the low and sweeping front end culminating in a slightly redesigned signature Aston Martin grille. Aficionados will note the lack of a rear spoiler, made obsolete by the Aeroblade system, sucking air in through vents at the C pillar and out through the rear of the vehicle achieving the same effect without the clunky appendage. Winner of the 2016 Car Design Award at the Salon dell’ Auto Torino, the DB11 is no slouch in performance either, with a 5.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-12 housed under the clamshell, keeping 600 bucking horses at bay and ready to go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds for a top speed breaching 200mph. A lightweight structure combined with a stiff chassis bestows surprisingly agile handling while a completely revamped suspension system keeps the ride smooth (if so desired) whether screaming down the Strip or twisting through the cobblestoned streets of old Europe. Base Price: $215,000.
PORSCHE PANAMERA 4 E-HYBRID
Porsche spared no expense on the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, ushering in a new generation for the model including revamped exterior design, enhanced interior comfort and redesigned engine lineup with a new decoupler making the transfer from engine to electric motor smoother than ever before. Heightened and mean, the lowered nose and new grille lend a sportier look to the front end—an aggressive stance intensified by front wheels shifted subtly forward on the frame. Prominent creases running the length of the body evoke whipping winds at high speeds, leading to a squared rear end assuring stability and strength at the edge of velocity. Powered by the newly developed eight-speed, six-cylinder, twin turbo Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) engine, fly from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds and carom through the streets at up to 172mph. With a range of 31 miles and top speed of 87mph, electric mode can pull you out of a pinch when running on fumes, but shines when stacked with the PDK for a total 462 horsepower under the pedal. Thanks to the Porsche Connect system, owners can stay in constant contact with their cars through smartphone or Apple watch, affecting climate control before entering or locating their parking spot after a night on the town.
TESLA MODEL 3
CEO Elon Musk has kept much about the Model 3 under wraps, but what little has been revealed is more than enough to raise a few eyebrows. Sleek and smooth, with no grille to mar the prominent plane of its upturned snout and handles running flush to the body, the Model 3 retains the overt aerodynamism of its predecessors but with the addition of a panoramic glass roof sweeping over the occupants’ heads for an air of futurism and feeling of openness. Made of proprietary glass engineered by Tesla’s recently established glass division, the new material is introduced on the Model 3 and will likely offer embedded solar panels to power the car and/or its components and supplement a battery capable of 215 miles per charge running an electric motor the company says will propel the Model 3 from 0 to 60 in under six seconds and in near complete silence, turning even honking traffic into a silent tableau of auto- motive safari. With a feature affectionately dubbed Camper Mode, passengers can recline their seats completely horizontal and turn the cabin into a mobile glass-top tent for sleeping under the stars. And thanks to a recent announcement, the driver can too, with the Model 3 sporting a full self-driving capability that Tesla describes as already markedly safer than the average human driver. Eight cameras provide 360-degree visibility at up to 250 meters, supplemented by 12 ultrasonic sensors and forward- facing radar giving the onboard computer—newly designed with a Tesla neural net capable of 40 times the computing power of previous models—more data about its situation than a human driver could ever access, much less process. With a quick tap on the Tesla app, send the car out to the shared fleet to shuttle passengers and earn its keep in your absence. Available to reserve for $35,000, production is set to start mid-2017.
SEARAY SUNDANCER 350 COUPE
35 feet long from bow to stern and comfortably housing up to six overnight passengers, the Searay Sundancer 350 Coupe is your ticket to aquatic paradise, gracefully combining all the solitude of the sea with the excitement of a getaway with friends. Hit the waves solo and kick up spray for a couple days, commanding the sea from the walkaround deck or the newly designed foredeck, complete with recessed lounger, beverage holders and speaker system, or invite the inner circle for a secluded night out. A deluxe galley with recessed stove and solid counters provides ample room to showcase culinary talents, while an extended swim platform and optional transom gourmet center, complete with fridge, speakers and built-in grill, expands the party to the water’s edge. Between the inviting salon, multi-purpose mid-berth spaces with convertible beds and V-berth cabin, space is not an issue should guests need to stay over when land is not in sight. A coupe top with sunroof and exterior vents ensures optimal airflow through the cabin and lends an open atmosphere even at full capacity. With fine wood flooring, teak accents and chestnut, cherry or pecan cabinetry completing the look, ditch the asphalt and embrace the soothing rhythm of the waves with a boat as classy as it is fun. Base Price: $415,414.
2017 DUCATI 1299 SUPERLEGGERA
With the 2017 1299 Superleggera, Ducati set out to make its most powerful twin- cylinder production bike yet and the most technologically advanced bike in the world, and by most accounts it succeeded. With reshaped piston crowns, enlarged titanium valves and reworked camshafts and cylinder head, the 1285cc Superquadro engine harnesses the power of 215 mad stallions at 11,000rpm—outpacing Ducati’s 1299 Panigale engine and coming in 4.6 pounds lighter. Less weight means more speed and Ducati’s designers have brought weight reduction to a science, crafting the frame, subframe, swingarm and even the wheels of lightweight carbon fiber, a first in the industry and winnowing the final weight to a lean 344 pounds. To help the rider keep the reins, the 1299 Superleggera comes equipped with a whole barrage of technological safety systems. Utilizing a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit to register the bike’s position relative to the road, Ducati Slide Control and Ducati Wheelie Control EVO join new traction control functions, enabling easier, safer handling even at high speeds around hairpin turns. And each unit comes with a race kit including an Akropovic racing exhaust, front and rear stands, racing screen, kickstand removal kit and more, should the need arise. Unveiled in late 2016 in Milan, only 500 are slated for production. Base Price: $80,000.
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