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JAGUAR E-TYPES from EAGLE For the world’s most spectacular choice of cars currently for sale, ranging from original low mileage classics, to our uniquely upgraded, sports equipped examples, including the Speedster, visit our website www.eaglegb.com or call Henry Pearman on 01825 830966


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Appreciate the Appreciate Difference the Difference


Established in 1946, Frank Dale & Stepsons are the world’s oldest independent Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist. We are recognised globally as one of the market leaders, consistently offering some of the finest vintage, classic and modern Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars for sale. We are the only Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist in London with showroom, workshop and upholsterers under one roof. Collectors and enthusiasts come to Frank Dale & Stepsons from all over the world to inspect our outstanding selection of motorcars.

1939 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre (Overdrive) Sedanca Coupe by Hooper

1938 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre (Overdrive) Coupe by James Young

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Boat Tail Drophead Coupe by Park Ward

1938 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Sedanca Coupe by Gurney Nutting

1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Balloon Car Roadster

1934 Bentley 3 ½ Litre Drophead Coupe by James Young

1935 Bentley 3 ½ Litre Drophead Coupe by Barker

1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Piccadilly Roadster by Custom Coachworks

1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Park Ward Style Three Position Drophead Coupe

1926 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Playboy Roadster by Brewster

We offer the finest facilities for the sale and service of Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor cars For further information and complete stocklist please telephone or email us


With as many as fifty cars in stock at any time, from the finest pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentleys, to more recent models such as the Corniche, Azure and Continental R, we aim to offer a varied selection through the decades of both marques. We also welcome enquiries regarding motorcars that are not on our stock list as with our unrivalled level of experience, the car that you are looking for may well be available to us.

1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe By Park Ward

1954 Bentley R Type Continental Fastback by H.J.Mulliner (Left Hand Drive)

1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe by H.J.Mulliner (Left Hand Drive)

1962 Bentley S2 Continental Coupe by H.J.Mulliner

1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupe by H.J.Mulliner

1958 Bentley S1 Continental Four Light Flying Spur by H.J.Mulliner

1947 Bentley Mk VI Drophead Coupe by Windovers

1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe by Park Ward

1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Standard Steel Saloon

1962 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward (Left Hand Drive)

125 Harlequin Avenue, Great West Road, London TW8 9EW, UK Tel: 020 8847 5447 Fax: 020 8560 5748 www.frankdale.com Email: info@frankdale.com


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Book your tailor-made photography experience Call us now on (+974) 3374 6690


| Ign i t i o n | Edit o r ’s Le t t e r |

VOLANTE

02

F SUR TO

BIA - A S RA

PLEME N UP

MARCH 2015

TERRE A LA

A JOURNAL FOR THE GENTLEMAN DRIVER

bolD eAGle

WE GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE LOW DRAG GT

in the ey e of A stoR m: WE'RE BLOWN AWAY BY THE LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN

hell A nD hiGh WAteR:

TESTING THE METTLE OF THE CHALLENGER HELLCAT AND THE DISCOVERY SPORT

tA k e the hiGh RoA D:

560 MILES TO THE HOME OF GOLF IN A ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH

Cover image: E-type Low Drag GT shot by Mark Bramley, courtesy of Eagle GB.

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Start Your Engine...

F

irstly, I want to start by thanking everyone who picked up a copy of our first issue at the Qatar Motor Show, the response to Volante was magnificent and everybody's kind words were truly touching. It was a vindication of the whole team's hard work.  There was not much time to rest on our laurels though, with so much happening through February and the first week of March. There was, of course, a lot of news coming out of Geneva. It was difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, but I think we managed to get the most significant reveals into our news pages.  We were in high demand, too. I was in Oman on an off-road adventure in the VW Touareg V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

before returning home to get bounced around Doha's dunes in Nasser Al-Attiyah's Dakarwinning Mini, driven by the man himself - all of which will make the pages of a future issue. While, from Losail International Circuit, Volante columnist Mohamed Abu Issa returns to give his thoughts on the McLaren 650S. Then there was the small matter of giving the epic Lamborghini Huracán a thorough examination. We found out that you have to be holding onto something sturdy when you reach down and ask it to cough, because it will blow you away. In my opinion, it's the prize Bull in the Sant'Agata paddock for its sheer fun, comfort and drivability. That doesn't mean it's tame; it's still a proper Lambo and will goad you into reaching for the naughty end of the speedometer every time you sit behind the wheel.   Away from home soil, our magnificent contributors offer up a global smorgasbord of precious metal, from trying to tame a Hellcat in Oregon and Volcano-bashing in Iceland, to resurrecting a TV hero in Australia. One of our chaps also wafts 560 miles across the UK to the home of golf in Scotland at the helm of a Rolls-Royce Wraith. The sceptered isle is also the setting for the road test of our magnificent cover car, as we fly through the English countryside in the über-exclusive Eagle Low Drag GT. Evoking similar feelings of nostalgia as the Eagle E-type, “Driven Men” chases speed records with the late Donald Campbell and ruminates on his remarkable achievement on the lakes of Australia in 1965, and “Fitting Room” shows you how to dress for dinner with traditional black-tie flair. You'll also find a few blasts from the past in our DVD cabinet, as we pick our favourite motoring-centric movies.  Looking forward, there are even more great cars and adventures in the works for the next few issues, not least an epic journey from the UK to Geneva in a Morgan 3-wheeler, thrashing the Corvette Z06 in the UAE, the sumptuous S600 Maybach in the US and a first drive of viciouslooking Lamborghini Aventador SV.  Until then, while we get to work on that lot, strap yourself in for this thrilling second lap of Volante.


| I gn i t i o n | C o n t e n t s |

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ignition 20 | Contributors

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first gear 22 | The Racer: Columnist Mohamed Abu Issa tries out the McLaren 650S 23 | The Auctioneer: Columnist James Nicholls is wowed at Retromobile 2015 24 | News 26 | News: 2015 Qatar Motor Show 30 | News: 85th Geneva Motor Show 34 | Calendar 36 | Gear ď‚„ď‚„

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| I gn i t i o n | C o n t e n t s |

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88

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the garage 38 | Lamborghini Huracรกn 44 | 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport 50 | Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat 56 | Classic - 1965 Jensen C-V8 62 | Dream Car - Eagle Low Drag GT grand tourismo 68 | Route Book 75 | Great Driving Roads 78 | Something For The Weekend 80 | Rev Counter 82 | Fitting Room

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driven men 88 | Donald Campbell 93 | Nasser Khalifah Al-Attiyah The Club House 98 | Automobilia 100 | DVDs 102 | Exhaust Note: Bugatti Galibier

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| E x h a u s t No t e s | C o n t r ibu t o rs |

contributors

“They had holes to fill on every page and jammed in any vaguely newsworthy string of words provided it did not include expletives, which they were apparently saving for their own use around the office.” - Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists Please raise a glass in salute of this league of extraordinary wordsmiths, without whom, this issue of Volante would not have been possible.

Carlin Gerbich Coming from a long line of New Zealand carrot farmers, Carlin cut his automotive writing teeth on RallySport magazine in the UK. That led to a string of senior roles on titles that included Cars and Car Conversions, Classics Monthly, Carbuyer, Great Cars and Car and Driver Middle East. He has also contributed to Racecar Engineering, Auto Express, Esquire Middle East and edited Men’s Fitness. In a career of numerous high points, such as sliding a Subaru Impreza World Rally Car on a track in Abbeville, France, competing in the Barbados Rally Carnival and piloting a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, nothing really comes close to winning “Best Carrot Car” at his primary school flower show. He’s also lapped the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife exhaustively and was part of the only rally ever to have taken place on the circuit. He is currently seeking help for his addiction to balsamic vinegar.

Kevin Hackett Kevin has been described as “the Ray Winstone of motoring journalism,” though whether this is due to his take-no-prisoners approach to reviewing cars or his sunny disposition remains unclear. He has been obsessing over anything with four wheels since he was eight years old, when his father bought a Triumph TR6 to use as the family car. After years of being driven around, squashed onto the rear parcel shelf of a two-seater sports car between his two younger brothers, he finally got his own driving licence and now makes a living by

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trotting the globe to test the world’s most exciting automobiles. A former motoring editor of The National in the UAE, he has also written for, among others, FHM (UK), The Times newspaper in London and Sur la Terre Arabia. When he’s not upsetting GM’s top brass, he plies his trade as the Publishing Chief at newly-formed automotive creative agency, WSF.

James Nicholls James is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster based in Sydney, Australia. He specialises in writing about and photographing classic cars, boats and any of the other finer things in life. He has spent a great deal of time on the other side of the fence, too. As well as running the Motorclassica Auction on behalf of Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers (Australia’s oldest auction house) he was head of the car department for Bonhams & Goodman and Sotheby’s Australia, which means he knows a good deal when he sees one and can spot a knacker from 200 yards in poor light. A regular contributor to high profile magazines around the world, including Invictus, Rewind, Jetgala, Ocean, ArteNavale, he has now added Volante to his list of literary conquests.

Ben Oliver

Ben writes for CAR magazine and for the Telegraph and Mail on Sunday newspapers in the UK, as well as numerous magazines and newspapers around the world. He has won multiple “Journalist of the Year” and V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

“Feature Writer of the Year” awards for his work. A former chief test driver for Autocar magazine, he now covers the big issues facing the car industry, from economics to the environment and has interviewed everyone from the heads of the world’s biggest car companies to the former head of the CIA. His favourite drives include taking the Bugatti Veyron to 340kph, driving a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa on Italian public roads just hours before it became the most expensive car ever sold at auction and driving a Mini to the highest place a car can go: the 5,600m Khardung La pass in the Himalayas.

Phill Tromans Phill has written about cars professionally for the past decade, firstly in the UK and then over a six-year period in the Middle East. Formerly part of the editorial teams at Car Middle East, Evo Middle East and Crank & Piston, he now freelances on automotive and luxury topics for magazines and newspapers around the world. Highlights of his career include driving from the Nürburgring to Abu Dhabi in a Cadillac, spending three months crossing the US in a Buick, and drifting Bentleys on ice with rally ace Juha Kankkunen. He’s also interviewed numerous Formula 1 drivers, three different Bond girls and fought in a reenactment of the English Civil War. When he’s not writing, Phill enjoys lusting over fine watches that he can’t afford, building model cars from Lego Technic, and rollerblading. Why? Because, damn it, he’s an adult and he can do what he wants.


first gear

V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |


| Fi r s t G e a r | C o l u m n is t |

Qatar’s Quad-biking wunderkind, Mohamed Abu Issa, falls in love with the McLaren 650S

the racer

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t’s been a very busy month for me, with a number of events for Red Bull and preparations getting underway for the Cross-Country World Cup, so it’s great to get some downtime and do something a little different. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled when I was invited by Al Wajba Motors to head up to Losail International Circuit to try out the new McLaren 650S. I don’t often get to do much track driving and, when I do, it tends to be in cars like Mercedes-Benzes or Porsches. The McLaren, however, was another level. I tried it on the track in all three modes, “Normal,” “Sport,” and “Track,” and the difference between them was amazing. In the Normal mode there was a lot of body roll and nose dives when it came to braking, but it was a quiet ride and the gear shifting from the twin-clutch gearbox was really smooth. However, once I put it into Sport mode it became a completely different vehicle. It was like nothing I’ve ever driven before. The 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 is epic, the response to any throttle input, rather than a sudden boost of turbo torque, is more progressive

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and it was extremely fast. Turbo cars back in the day were slightly unpredictable with the lag, but in the 650S it was immediate. While I couldn’t push it to the limit, the car clearly has a lot of potential on the track. With the flick of a button it can go from being a road car to a race car. The difference between the 650S and and the 12C is also staggering. The 650S is so much more precise and refined. And a heck of a lot faster. The upgraded McLaren ProActive Chassis Control is more focused towards a firm and sporty ride than the 12C and noticeably reduces body roll compared with its predecessor. It was raining when I went out in the car and the track was damp and a little slippery, but the the traction control and ESC did a really great job. I felt comfortable in the car and could feel the technology working for me. The Brake Steer is an obvious example, given the types of corners I was addressing (Losail is designed more for bikes than cars). I could feel it working on the inside rear wheel, enabling me to brake later and apply throttle much earlier through the turn than I would be able to in a normal car. It meant the 650S V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

was on-point and felt far more stable taking corners at speed. I had no scary moments, which I have experienced in a Ferrari under similar conditions. McLaren really has done a tremendous job with this car. The suspension makes it such a smooth ride and the chassis is stiff throughout. There was no understeer or oversteer and it’s not like you need a lot of time to get used to the car, it’s very straightforward and fun to drive. My only fault with it however, is that I am a pretty tall guy and it’s a bit of a squeeze to get in and out of. That said, I love this car and, if I had one, I would happily drive it every day. That I don’t have one is probably a good thing though, as I think it would be difficult for my team to get me out of the 650S and back on to my Quad!

T he M c L aren was on another I love this car and , if I had one , I would happily drive it every day .

level ...


| Fi r s t G e a r | C o l u m n is t |

A seasoned veteran of the sales floor, even James Nicholls wasn’t prepared for the recordbreaking Artcurial sale

The Auctioneer

I

should have been prepared, ready for what was about to happen. The collection of industrialist Roger Baillon and his son Jacques had lain hidden and forgotten in the middle of the French countryside for decades. It was the motoring find of not just this century, but probably of all time - Bugatti; Delage; Delahaye; Facel Vega; Ferrari; HispanoSuiza; Lorraine-Dietrich; Maserati; Panhard et Levassor; Talbot Lago: legendary names and legendary cars with bodywork by Saoutchik, Chapron and the like. What is more, completely unmolested, untouched and often, just as described in the Artcurial catalogue, the vehicles were “mecanomorphes” - most of them were dead cars, decomposed wrecks and Artcurial had priced them accordingly. Lot one: a Singer roadster 1500, was offered with no reserve and with an estimate of $230 to $910. It sold for $12,210! Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start it was like being at a football match. The pushing crowd outside Hall 2.1 (adjacent to the main Retromobile exhibition hall) embodied the atmosphere

of a sold out derby game. Envious glances were cast in my direction as I made my way through the mob, ushered into the inner sanctum by the security guards courtesy of my press pass. Inside it was the same; standing room only, serried ranks of TV cameras. The show was about to begin. I was prepared, after all, I run the biggest auction in the Southern Hemisphere and I have previously been Head of Cars for two major auction houses. I know the game, what goes on and what to expect… I guess not. There were 3,500 people in the salesroom, 1,600 registered bidders with another 1,000 registered to bid on-line. It was the sale of the century and without doubt the most exciting moment was the appearance of the sale’s star car, one of the most coveted automobiles of the second half of the 20th Century. The room was plunged into darkness, the music started and the audience stood on their chairs to see Lot 59, the 1961 Paris Motor Show, ex-Alain Delon, Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, sell for a world record fee of $18.5 million, amid resounding applause, to Simon Kidston on V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

behalf of an anonymous overseas client. It was pure theatre, pure drama and wonderful to be a part of. To see the enthusiasm and frenetic bidding as some of the cars fetched up to ten times their pre-sale estimates was just mind blowing. The bidding battles and applause were not for the faint hearted, or indeed those with small pockets. It was without a doubt as exciting as anything I have ever seen. The total made by 2015’s Retromobile Sale was $52 million including the takings for the Baillon Collection. It was not only a record for a collectors’ car sale in Continental Europe, but also a record for a single collection of cars sold in the same market. In total, 89 percent of the lots were sold and there were no fewer than ten world records established. I still cannot believe that anyone would pay $1.9 million for what can only be described as a total wreck - the 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport by Saoutchik. However, I wonder how long it will take - and how much more money it will cost - before we see it winning at Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este.

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| Fi r s t G e a r | N ew s |

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rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Declares Its LUV

Above: A Rolls-Royce SUV as imagined by graphic artist Matt Tandrup

The Goodwood-based marque puts all-terrain, luxurious utility vehicle rumours to bed with an open letter from the top brass.

S

urprising absolutely no-one, RollsRoyce supremo, Torsten MuellerOetvoes finally announced, in an open letter, that company will mount its Spirit of Ecstasy on the prow of a car that could loosely be described as an SUV. It is unlikely to be very sporty in demeanour though, given that it will sit just below the Phantom II in the company’s existing line-up. While details are sparse, Volante understands from the open, signed by both Mueller-Oetvoes and company Chairman, Peter Schwarzenbauer, that it will be a “high-bodied car” with an “all-new aluminium architecture.” It will also be pretty powerful, too, with vehicle expected to be driven by RollsRoyce’s powerful V12 engine. According to Rolls-Royce’s regional PR, within the top echelons of the

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company, the car is considered to be “the single most significant development” of the Marque’s 111year history, and that it is very much in response to customer demand for such a product, categorically stating that putting the rumours to bed and creating a luxury utility vehicle (LUV?) is not a response to Bentley’s advanced development of the Bentayga. Quoting Sir Henry Royce, who famously said, “if it does not exist, design it,” the letter states that Director of Design, Giles Taylor, has been tasked with creating the new RollsRoyce with the remit that the car has to be able to cross any terrain comfortably and reliably, reflecting the brand’s ethos of effortless luxury. Describing the vehicle as “effortless everywhere,” the Goodwood-based V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

firm is playing on the rich history of the Marque to traverse all terrains, evoking Lawrence of Arabia’s endeavours across desert flats, biggame hunting in the jungle with the Maharajahs to the victorious Alpine Trialists which won the brand its “best car in the world” title in the early 1900s. We are told that the new “LUV” is expected to appear at some time in 2018 and will be produced at the Goodwood plant. In terms of volume, the “LUV” will undoubtedly become the most prevalent of the company’s line-up of models, certainly with the expected demand from both this part of the world and China, though in typical enigmatic style, Rolls-Royce are keen to stress that the car will remain “elusive.” Obviously, the company wouldn’t talk actual figures, but just as it used to describe a Roller’s performance statistics, you can be sure that volume and price - will be suitably “adequate.” www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Rolls-Royce is playing on its rich history, evoking Lawrence of arabia’s endeavours in the desert and that of the alpine trialists of 1913.


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bugatti

450 All Out: Bugatti Sells Final Veyron

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he 450th and last Bugatti Veyron, the Grand Sport Vitesse “La Finale,” has been sold to a collector here in the Middle East, according to the Alsacebased company. After ten years, 300 coupés - including the record-breaking Super Sport - and 150 Grand Sport and Grand Sport Vitesse roadsters, the curtain has finally fallen on arguably the most ground breaking supercar of the modern era. “In the Veyron, Bugatti has created an automobile icon and established itself as the world’s most exclusive supercar brand,” said Bugatti President, Wolfgang Dürheimer. “An unprecedented chapter in automobile history has

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reached its climax.” The development of the Bugatti Veyron represented one of the automotive industry’s biggest technical challenges. The Bugatti developers were given four goals: it should transfer more than 1,000 horsepower to the road, drive faster than 400 km/h, accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and – the biggest challenge – still be suitable for driving “to the opera” in comfort and style. “The Veyron is unique in many respects, even ten years after its launch,” Dürheimer noted. “The Veyron is not just a masterpiece of modern automobile design, it is more of an automotive piece of art. “Upon purchasing a Veyron,

the owner becomes part of the history of an automobile brand that is steeped in tradition.” Bugatti, fittingly, celebrated the iconic car at the recent Geneva Motor Show presenting the 450th vehicle as a world première alongside the first ever Veyron chassis number 1 - which left the

Atelier in Molsheim a decade ago. The big question being asked now, though, will be what is next to roll off the Molsheim production line, given that the criticallyacclaimed four-door Galibier concept (see page 102), shown back in 2010, has long since been shelved. www.bugatti.com

aston martin

Aston Martin Vulcan Set To Stun

A

ston Martin has unveiled the Vulcan - a $2.3m, 24-car limited edition supercar designed purely for customers to use on the track. Powered by the the company’s naturally-aspirated, 7.0-litre V12 petrol engine, the Vulcan is capable of delivering in excess of 800 bhp. Developed in conjunction with Aston Martin Racing, this front mid-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car draws extensively on the company’s GT motorsport experience.

The car features a carbon-fibre monocoque and body constructed by Multimatic, integral limited-slip differential, magnesium torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft and Brembo racing calipers acting on carbon ceramic racing disc brakes. Power is channelled to the rear wheels through a race-bred rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential shift gearbox. Aston Martin says that the Vulcan will comply with all relevant FIA race safety requirements and that prior to taking delivery of their cars, owners will take part in a detailed programme of intensive track driver training with experienced racers like Aston Martin Racing’s Le Mans-winner, Darren Turner.

www.astonmartin.com 

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| Fi r s t G e a r | N ew s |

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qatar motor show

The fifth Qatar Motor Show got underway in February, here are some of the highlights.

GM Middle East Is Putting Customers First

GM’s Maurice Williams addresses the burgeoning SUV crossover market, product recalls and the company’s customer-focused philosophy.

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news in brief

he GM brands were out in force at the Qatar Motor Show, showing off many regional firsts following a large collection of reveals at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Among the highlights was the new “Reaper” customisation package being displayed on the latest Chevrolet Silverado model and the 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible.

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However, it is apparently the growing market for compact SUVs and crossovers that is currently driving the company forward. “Chevy is known for the Tahoes and Suburbans, and we continue to do well in those segments,” Maurice Williams, Managing Director of GM’s Middle East operations, said. “Where we need to continue growing, and where the market

Above: Maurice Williams, Managing Director of GM Middle East, at the Qatar Motor Show.

Mawater Ramps Up

GAC Makes QMS Debut

Visitors to the show would have easily spotted Mawater’s stand outside the main entrance. The Qatari organisation is looking to build the local classic car community through a number of activities, including programmes to educate drivers in the practical skills of car maintenance, tuning and customisation, as well as through social activities, such as regular classic car meets. On its stand, Mawater showed off a gorgeous C1 Corvette, an original Fiat 500 and a Pontiac GTO.

Chinese car manufacturer, GAC, took its Qatar Motor Show bow with the local launch of three model lines. The Domascopartnered company unveiled the GA3 and GA5 sedan range and the GS5 crossover SUV line up. The cars themselves are pretty basic in their performance specifications, but are pleasingly styled both inside and out, and while they aren’t likely to have BMW and Audi worried, they will certainly give the likes of Nissan, Honda and Chevy a run for their money.

www.mawater-qatar.com

V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

has kind of shifted to a little bit, is cars and small SUVs. “We’re just bringing the new Chevy Trax to market here and we think that it’s going to do well in this segment.” Addressing the recent glut of GMbrand product recalls, Williams explained that it’s all part of GM’s focus to put the customer first. “A lot of the recalls are proactive. We want to make sure that the customer understands that we’re going to do everything we can to make sure they get a good product,” he stressed. “It’s probably why there seems to have been so many recently, and it’s not just us, other manufacturers are doing the same. “You learn from things that have happened in the past - ideally, you learn from other people’s mistakes so that you don’t have to go through them. “If we put the customer at the centre of everything we do, we’re going to do the right thing, make the right decisions and make the right moves. That’s where GM is right now.” Looking forward, Williams affably deflected questions about the Corvette joining the ranks of recently-launched hybrid supercars. “We’re not going to give away all of our secrets now,” he laughed. “But it’s no secret that alternative fuels and powertrains is something we’re always exploring and there’s a lot of exciting things coming down the road.”

New Audi Q7 Arrives In Qatar Audi presented the new Audi Q7, fresh from its global unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With the second generation of this large SUV, the brand has managed to shave 260kgs off its predecessor, making it one of the lightest SUVs in its class. Outputting 333hp from its V6 engine, the Q7 can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and deliver a top speed of 250km/h. 


qatar motor show, continued

Bentley’s Kevin Rose adresses the media at the Qatar Motor Show.

Autumn Unveiling For Bentley SUV

Bentley’s Kevin Rose hints that the final product will be far removed from the original, polarising, concept.

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news in brief

he long-awaited Bentley Bentayga SUV will make its global debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, according to Kevin Rose, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at the Crewbased marque. Over a coffee on the Al Wajba Motors stand at the recent Qatar Motor Show, Rose indicated that all those who remember the polarising concept car that was unveiled at Geneva in 2012 will bear witness to a completely different vehicle come the autumn show. “The car you’ll see at Frankfurt will be very different to the concept. We’ve changed the front, the back, the sides, the top,” he noted with a smile, “but apart from that it’s the same car.” When asked what he thought of some of the

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scathing criticism of that initial concept, Rose explained that any car that was shown had to be a traditional, upright SUV shape. “There was good and bad feedback, but the overall positive was the fact that Bentley could make an SUV and that it would be accepted by the market. “It’s a car that a lot of people have been waiting for,” he added. “The pinnacle at the moment is the Range Rover. While that is a brilliant car, there is nothing beyond it in terms of luxury, and that is a problem we’re happy to solve with the Bentayga.” The car will be powered by a Bentley W12 engine and Rose says that, apart from some component sharing across the VW group, it will be a new car from the ground up. “It’s a brand new architecture

and we have the capacity to build a reasonable number. Our initial view is that we’ll deliver 3,000 to 3,500 units for the first year, but we have deliberately tried not to lean too hard on specific targets as it is a completely new market for us. “What I do know is, we’ve seen very good interest and purchase intent and I’m sure people will love it, especially in this region.” Once the covers come off in Frankfurt, orders will already be well on their way to being fulfilled, according to Rose, with the first European customers taking delivery of the Bentayga in the first six weeks of 2016, ramping up to global shipments by the end of the first quarter.

Nimrod Takes Its Qatar Bow

Harley-Davidson Shows 2015 Line-Up

Mercedes Unveils AMG GT S

Hungarian aftermarket tuning company, Nimrod made its first appearance at this year’s Qatar Motor Show. Showing off its Katyusha creation, a Hennessey-upgraded and heavily remodelled Ferrari 458 Italia, and its Avanti Rosso model, which is an even more aggressive looking (if there is such a thing) Lamborghini Aventador, the company told Volante the experience had been a very positive one.

After our intrepid contributor, Richard Whitehead, tried each of the iconic motorcycle brand’s latest steeds on his epic trip across the Levant in the last issue of Volante, Harley-Davidson Qatar used the Qatar Motor Show to unveil its latest line-up of 2015 models to an eager local market. Fat Bob and the new Electra Glide that featured heavily in Mr Whitehead’s opus were among the models on show.

No sooner had the new MercedesAMG GT S made its Superbowl advertising spot debut with the tale of the tortoise and the hare, than the covers were being pulled off the first one seen in captivity in Qatar. The baby sibling of the criticallyacclaimed, gull-winged SLS, the GTS offers the world’s first 456hp, 4.0-litre V8 engine with the turbos built inside the “V,” a 0-60mph sprint time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 193mph. 

www.harley-davidsondoha.com

www.nimrodluxurycars.com

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geneva motor show

In early march the eyes of the automotive world turned to Geneva as its 85th International Motor Show, arguably the world’s most important motoring industry event, got underway.

First Shots Fired In Battle Of The Next Gen GTs

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t started when Bentley unveiled the EXP10 technology, in the beautifully laid-out cabin. Speed 6, essentially slapping Aston Martin’s face However, with morning mist still settling with a Poltrona Frau leather glove and demanding on the first press day at Geneva, Aston Martin “satisfaction at dawn.” retaliated, with a stern “have at you, cad,” as it Taking its cues from the racing success of pulled the parachute silk off its all-new DBX the company’s early years, the EXP10 Speed concept. With a more high-riding coupé look, 6 is, according to Chief Executive, Wolfgang but no less sleek, the DBX is the physical Dürheimer, “one vision for Bentley’s future” embodiment of the company’s “second and could one day be an actual model, sitting century” ideology. According to CEO, Dr Andy alongside the Continental GT. Palmer, it was designed for a world when luxury The concept employs a petrol-electric hybrid GT travel is “not only stylish and luxurious but powertrain, though the chances are, should the also more practical, more family-friendly and car make it into production, it will utilise some version of Bentley’s epic Above: Bentley’s stunning EXP10 Speed 6; Below: Aston Martin’s DBX concept. 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and it would certainly be at home at the heart of the car’s muscular, lithe form factor, with its bulging rear wheel arches, long drooping bonnet and low, reworked grille. Underneath that rakish British Racing Green skin, the interior is nothing short of spectacular, too. All quilted leather and fine wood, mingling with the latest

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more environmentally responsible.” That’s why there’s no continent-crushing V12 under the hood. In fact, there’s no internal combustion of any kind. Embracing the very latest engineering techniques and theories, the DBX concept uses electric, inboard-of-wheel, motors powered by lithium sulphur cells. That’s coupled with a KERS-type braking system, as well a lot of other clever tech like drive-by-wire electric steering, auto-dimming “smart glass” and bespoke driver and passenger head-up displays; all the things a good concept should have. The likelyhood of the DBX becoming a production car in its current form is slim, but whatever does arrive in its place will undoubtedly incorporate some of these of these new-fangled gizmos. What is absolutely certain though, is that the first salvo in the battle of the concept GTs has been fired and the resulting conflagration will only be good for car fans. It's your move, Ferrari.


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Morgan Redesigns Aero 8

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ifteen years after crashing into the 20th century with the retro-but-futuristic Aero 8, Morgan whisked away the covers on the fifthgeneration model at Geneva. Each generation has been more of an evolution than a ground-up redesign, but the new Aero 8 is a bit more radical than previous overhauls. Most notably, it’s a soft-top again after a dalliance with the world of hard roof coupé styling in the previous iteration. The roof now folds away, out of sight for the first time in a new rear clamshell-style design, although a removable hardtop is available as an option. It’s the highlight of a styling overhaul from the front wings backwards, which, as well as refreshing the car’s look, is more aerodynamic - the result of exhaustive wind-tunnel work and simulation using computational fluid dynamics. Head of design, Jon Wells, took inspiration from boats, aviation and classic Porsches and Fiats of the 1960s for the redesign, which continues inside with an all-new interior. There’s less reliance on leather, with some new luxury carpets and plenty of options, including carbon seats and a touch-screen

media system. A new air conditioning system should ensure that the Aero 8 remain drivable during summer months in warmer countries. The revamp is more than just skin-deep though; plenty has changed under the Aero 8’s hand-beaten skin. Torsional stiffness has been improved on the aluminium chassis, with all-new double wishbone suspension in place of the old cantilever system, while anti-roll bars and

Ferrari’s 458 Is Dead; Long Live The 488 GTB

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agnum P.I. will be dusting off his moustache and pulling his Hawaiian shirts out of the attic with the announcement from Ferrari that, 40 years after the launch of its iconic 308 GTB, it is set to deliver its another mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta, the 488 GTB. It’s the successor to the critically-acclaimed 458 Italia. And it’s very pretty. Achingly so. With design elements drawing on styling cues from the past, not least the 308 GTB-inspired scalloped flanks, it’s a

a BMW limited-slip differential serve to dramatically improve the car’s handling. The engine remains unchanged – it’s a BMW 4.8-litre V8 with 367bhp, mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or an auto with paddle shifters. The new Aero 8 goes into production in the autumn of this year, replacing the Aero Supersports and Coupé, which will stop rolling off the Morgan line in Malvern, England in April.

real head-turner. We’re sure everyone that might have recently bought a 458 in any of its iterations is now quickly descending into deep depression, especially as the 488 is quicker and more powerful. The Maranello-based marque is quoting a power output of 660hp, despite the new engine being smaller than its predecessor and it falling in line with the company’s promise to retire naturally-aspirated V8s, opting instead for a turbocharged unit. That said, the block in the CaliforniaT is pretty epic, so no doubt, the new 488 GTB will use some of the clever tech used to map that. The 3.9-litre, mid-mounted 90-degree engine will be coupled to a double-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission that will deliver 760Nm of torque at the top of the ‘box. The same Variable Torque Management system from the California will ensure consistent delivery across the rev range which, by the way, redlines at 8,000rpm. That’s staggering for a forced induction engine. Performance wise, Ferrari claims a 3.0-second 0-62mph sprint time, reaching 124mph in 8.3 seconds. The 488 GTB is also said to be capable of a top speed of 205mph. That’s 3mph higher than the topof-line 458 Speciale. Ouch. 

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geneva motor show, continued

Lambo Aventador SV Breaks Cover

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t’s hard to believe that the Lamborghini Aventador is already four years old. Equally, it’s hard to believe that Lamborghini could make its most powerful and brutal car even more powerful and brutal, but the evidence of such a feat was unveiled at Geneva in the form of the LP-750 Aventador SuperVeloce. Through the use of carbon-fibre and other weight-saving materials, the new Aventador SV is 50kg lighter than the standard Aventador coupé, but with 50 more horsepower thrown into the mix, an equation that Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s Director of Research and Development, calls the “rule of 50:50.” Aerodynamics have also been augmented, with downforce increased by 180 percent

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compared to the coupé thanks to upgrades such as a revised front splitter and rear diffuser, as well as a rear wing. Under the skin there’s also enhanced electronic steering for better manoeuvrability at high speeds, magnetic pushrod suspension for improved handling and chassis tweaks to increase rigidity. With the big 6.5-litre V12 pushed to 750hp and a curb weight of 1,525kg, the SV now has a ratio of 2kg per horsepower. Couple that with 375Nm of torque and its superb new 7-speed ISR transmission and Lamborghini says that it will get from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds - a tenth of a second faster than the coupé - on its way to a top speed in excess of 217mph. V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

Company President and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, noted in his press conference, the Aventador is “the greatest commercial success in the V12 history of Lamborghini,” and called the new car an “Homage to the Aventador’s fan base and its existing customers.” With those customers due to start taking delivery of their $361,485 cars by spring this year, the question now is where the company will take its flagship in another two years? With the specs of the SV taking that mighty V12 engine even further to the limits of performance, it’s going to have to be an aweinspiring mid-lifecycle refresh to top this.


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| Fi r s t G e a r | C a l e n da r |

1. CommercialBank MotoGP of Qatar

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When: March 26 - 29 Where: Doha, Qatar In the seven years since the MotoGP first arrived in Qatar under the auspices of the QMMF, it’s no coincidence. there has been massive rise in motorcycle use in the country. Every year, thousands flock to the Losail International Circuit to watch the likes of former World Champions and intense Yahama team rivals, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, battle it out under the floodlights. As the first fixture in the MotoGP calendar, it sets the tone for the rest of the year’s racing.

www.motoGP.com

2. Bonhams’ Spring Motorcycle Sale

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When: April 26 Where: Stafford, UK Staying with the two-wheeled theme, the Spring Motorcycle Sale is one of the many Bonhams auctions that takes place throughout the year, but unlike the MotoGP, the lots are not the high-tech pocket rockets you’ll see hareing around Losail. Among the bikes on offer are a 1928 Indian type 401 four, a 1929 Norton 490cc CS1 and a 1955 Vincent 998cc Series D Black Shadow. Older models include a 1926 Sunbeam 4½hp Model 7 and a c.1916 Norton 490cc Model 8 “Brooklands Road Special.”

volante

alendar

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www.bonhams.com

3. Geico 500 NASCAR Race

When: May 3 Where: Talladega SuperSpeedway, USA The Daytona 500 might be, arguably, the most famous NASCAR race, but Talladega is renowned for its steep banking and the location of the start/ finish line - which is closer to the first turn than at Daytona,


| Fi r s t G e a r | C a l e n da r |

making it one of the series’ fastest tracks. In fact, the Alabama Tri-oval boasts the record for hosting the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR racer in a closed oval course, with the 216.309mph set by Rusty Wallace in 2004.

www.nascar.com

4. The Mille Miglia

When: May 14 - 17 Where: Italy The Mille Miglia (1,000 Miles) has been described as the “most beautiful race in the world,” though it’s hard to tell if that’s because of the spectacular scenery on the route from Brescia to Rome and back, or if it describes the hundreds of gorgeous vintage road and race cars that take part. It could also refer to the myriad A-list celebrities that sign up to hurl precious motoring metal around Italy in homage to the famous race once competed by the likes of Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio.

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www.1000miglia.it

5. Historic Grand Prix of Monaco

When: May 24 Where: Monaco For the past 18 years, a fortnight before the Monaco Grand Prix, the famous street circuit has rumbled to the sound of legendary historic Grand Prix race cars. It’s like travelling back in time as you watch the likes of a Maserati 250F battle for honours alongside a Ferrari 625, or Jodie Schecter’s Tyrell-Ford rubbbing all six wheels with James Hunt’s McLaren. Equally enjoyable are the beautiful cars that the spectators usually arrive in, with plenty of automotive class on show around town.

International motor shows, classic car meets, auctions and motor sport events that shape the industry and fuel our petrol-driven passion are happening every day, all over the world. Now is a good time to start planning that next road trip.

www.monacograndprixticket.com Vo l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

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the best bits of kit for car and driver Vocier C38 Suitcase

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Klein Leather Tool Bag

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ote your tools in style with this 5115 leather tool bag from Klein Tools, which has been plying its trade making quality kit for professional tradesmen since 1857. Made entirely of thick, tanned leather, this rugged, pocketless bag sports a large compartment for gear, reinforced ends, a double-ply base with steel studs, and triple-riveted rolled loop handles. It’s so well made, it will likely outlast its user, looking better and better with every passing year. www.kleintools.com

Montblanc galaxy s6 phone case

CarbonLite Wrenches

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ou have your beautifully crafted tool bag, now you need something to go inside, so why not pick up a set of these Carbonlite CarbonFibre Wrenches. Made in the USA from 3/8” high-strength carbonfibre, these durable wrenches feature stainless steel teeth, come in 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, and 15mm sizes and together they weigh just 190g! That’s about the same weight as this issue of Volante. www.carbonlitetools.com

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f you’ve ever travelled with a suit before, you already know keeping it crisp and wrinkle free is nearly impossible. The C38 Suitcase from Vocier has the solution. Its innovative space management system not only fits all the clothes and shoes you need for a long trip, but also keeps them safe from creases, while individual compartments provide space for things like your dopp kit and your laptop. The C38 will also ensure your gear survives even the most negligent airport baggage handlers thanks to its impact resistant fibre-reinforced BASF plastic exterior. www.vocier.com

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or those of you looking to buy the new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone when it arrives in April, show that you’re both tech-savvy and stylish by opting for one of Montblanc’s new sophisticated phone cases, tailor-made for the S6 and S6 Edge. Choose either elegant black soft grain leather (pictured) or Montblanc Extreme Leather - a new high performance material developed by to withstand the toughest conditions. www.montblanc.com

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the garage

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Rock Me Like A first drive

Huracán Volante’s Managing Editor, James McCarthy, is blown away by the new “baby” Lambo.

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| T he G a ra ge | L a m bo rgh in i H u ra c á n | Words: James McCarthy pictures: Herbert Villadelrey

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s the stygian tarmac glistens in the late afternoon sunlight, stretching infinitely into the horizon, the wind whips up small zephyrs of sand that dance gaily across the shimmering surface. There is calm, but for the susurrus of sand grains hitting the compressed, sun-baked stone with every gentle gust. From the east, without warning, a Huracán approaches. Seconds later, just as the black ribbon bisects the flat, lifeless yellow desert, the silence, too, is split asunder by the unmistakable Banshee wail of a Lamborghini V10 at full shriek, getting higher with every gear change. Inside the car, the cacophony is muted, but not by much, and the speedometer keeps on climbing. One hundred miles per hour in 4th gear, a flick of the paddle, 150mph in fifth. Another flick and I’m in sixth doing 185mph. I’m rocketing down the blacktop now, and the car is absolutely planted and as steady as it was at sub-100mph. Last change up. Seventh gear, the speedo ticks over at 198mph and the car still feels like it has more to give. However, I’m not sure if I do and my nerve breaks. I ease off the throttle. As the exhaust spits and crackles on the down change, a few things are immediately evident. The 7-speed DSG ‘box is nothing short of a revelation, every change up is seamless thanks to the dual-clutch - a first for Lamborghini and far removed from the sustained bludgeoning you would take at the helm of the Aventador or a Gallardo of old. The steering, too, is light and precise when hanging onto the reins of the 620 horses. Oh, and it has got some poke. It took less than 30 seconds to go from 60mph to nearly 200mph - about four notches on the dial away from the quoted top speed. I pull over to wait for the white Jeep Wrangler tracking car to hove into view. It’s going to take a while, even with Dakar Quadist, Mohamed Abu Issa at the wheel, so I step out of the driver’s seat to have a calming smoke and to get a good look at the Lamborghini Huracán in the wild. I confess, there were moments, long before the death knell sounded for the Gallardo, that I feared it would become the automotive equivalent of errant Italian politician, Silvio Burlesconi - being made to look ridiculous by much younger models. Any longer and it would have become a parody of itself, with bright young things like Ferrari’s 458 and McLaren’s pneumatic MP4-12C flaunting their wares, it was getting harder 

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to keep up in the performance stakes. It was being held up to unfavourable comparison with cars that were best part of a decade its junior and to compete, Sant‘Agata started delivering ever more extreme limited editions, with exaggerated aerodynamic adornments, such as air scoops, diffusers and rear wings. It is refreshing, then, to look upon the clean, uncluttered lines of the Huracán; a car that proves that, even in Lamborghini’s case, less is sometimes more. It is absolutely stunning to look at, from just about every angle. Its shark-like snout does more than just hint at its lineage, while the stocky haunches, short overhangs and low-profile fastback shape give it all the styling cues that make even the most jaded GCC resident stop dead in their tracks. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the best looking Bull in the Sant’Agata field at the moment. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most drivable. That’s not suggesting it’s tame by any stretch. Oh no. As the little stunt on a private strip of road in Qatar’s western desert will attest, the Huracán can mix it with the best of them when it comes to sheer, brute force. However, unlike its forebears - and even its siblings - it doesn’t need do it with an air of hooliganism. It’s a far more refined creature indeed. As well as the less shouty exterior styling (apart from the colour, of course), the newly designed interior is surprisingly comfortable. The seats, which can be electrically adjusted both horizontally and vertically, are cosseting without feeling like you’re squeezing a Kardashian into a wetsuit. Also, unlike a lot of cars of this ilk, you can happily drive it for hours without feeling like you’ve had a botox enema. After a day hooning the Huracán around the peninsular’s sandy roads, I could still feel both my buttocks and my feet worked when I climbed out of it. Admittedly, part of that is due to mechanics as well as upholstery, with the car’s new MagneRide electromagnetic damper control system, which helps take the punch out of pockmarked road surfaces so you don’t feel like you’re having your spine shattered every time you hit a bump. It’s most effective in “Strada” mode, which is perfect for stalking around traffic-clogged conurbations, or for 7th gear cruising on the highway. Behind the wheel again, the newly mapped 5.2-litre V10 barks to life as I push the big red start button and, with a flick of the right hand paddle, the “Lamborghini Doppia Frizione” finds first. With no fuss, just a growl of intent, the Lambo pulls away. There’s no wheelspin, even though three-quarters of the car’s 560Nm of torque is available at only 1,000rpm. It’s like a Lamborghini for grown-ups. Everything is all relatively sedate in “Strada,” which has me weighing up the practicalities of having one as a daily driver. Despite all the comfort in the cockpit, there’s very little storage space. There is a slightly irritating lack of cup-holders, you can just about squeeze an iPhone 6 in the glove compartment and if you drove it to Carrefour for your weekly shopping trip, a loaf of bread and pint of milk would probably fill the boot. That being said, who couldn’t do with a little help controlling their calorie intake? You wouldn’t need to buy coffee anymore either, thanks to the Anime switch on the bottom of the three-spoke steering wheel. Lamborghini claims that the word “Anime” is Italian for “Soul,” so its marketing team worked very hard to contrive a suitable acronym for its drive mode selector - “Adaptive Network Intelligent ManagEment” - which dynamically alters the Huracán’s personality. Whenever you need a pick-me-up, just flick the little Anime button to “Sport” mode. The instant I do, I feel the car stiffen up. The nose drops, the variably-racked electro mechanical steering becomes even sharper and the happy thrum of the V10 suddenly becomes an aggressive snarl. The car takes on a far more visceral edge.

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An Italian Super Model: the Huracán is arguably the best Lamborghini in the current line-up in terms of interior comfort and all-round drivability. It isn't bad looking either.

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I put my foot to the floor and the response is instant. I’m pressed back in my seat as I’m propelled forward with all the force that the wailing ten-cylinder doomsday weapon behind my head can muster. Which is a lot. Enough to make it hit 60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Through the vast windscreen, the world just bends around me as the Huracán accelerates; like Han Solo engaging the hyperdrive of the Millennium Falcon. Forget caffeine, I might as well be mainlining pure adrenaline. It’s a good thing that the car is so damned quick and that my front field of vision is unencumbered though, because (apart from no cupholders and the inability of the bluetooth to connect to my iPhone) my biggest bugbear with the Huracán is its sheer lack of rear visibility. I only really had the wing mirrors to guide me as to what was approaching from behind, but even they struggle to see past the milewide blind spots on either side of the car. 


| T he G a ra ge | L a m bo rgh in i H u ra c รก n |

At A Glance

Lamborghini LP610-4 Huracรกn Engine: 5,204cc 90-degree V10 w/ IDS+MPI dual injection Power / Torque: 630hp @ 8,250rpm / 560Nm @ 6,500 rpm Transmission: 7-speed LDF dualclutch Weight: 1,422kg Performance: Top speed 204mph; 0-60mph in 3.2 sec Price: $183,785

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| T he Ga ra ge | L a m bo rgh in i H u ra c á n |

The slatted engine cover, conveniently situated where most cars would have a rear windscreen, is the worst offender. It’s like peeking at the outside world through a letterbox. From about twenty feet away. The glass cover option is marginally better, reducing that distance to about five feet. Trying to keep as much traffic behind me as possible so as not to worry about such things, I floor the loud pedal into a long sweeping turn, preparing myself for some friskiness from the back end, or at least some degree of understeer on the way out. The baby Lambo, however, remains comfortably sure-footed throughout, thanks to the car’s variable grip application, which can switch from a standard 70/30 front/rear split to 50/50 front and back, or even full rear wheel drive, should the situation demand. In fact, the Huracán’s clever ESC tech will iron out a lot of potential creases, allowing you to look like you know what you’re doing pretty much all of the time. That’s not so much the case with the Anime button’s third option, “Corsa,” where only manual gearing is available and the ESC functions are at their most relaxed and, as such, their most unforgiving. Things can get a little hairy if one is too exuberant, so on the road “Corsa” is often best avoided. If you really must explore your inner rally champion, save it for the customer track day. Given Qatar’s lack of decent driving roads, bar lots of arrow-straight empty highways (and even those are blighted by speed traps every few hundred yards), initiating “Corsa” mode would be pretty pointless here anyway. I struggle to find any real twisty stuff, but some sprightly driving through the narrow roads of a seemingly abandoned town, followed by a few empty back-to-back roundabouts, allows me to give the car a bit of a workout. Enough to know that up on the immaculate winding roads of Jebel Jais in the UAE, or in the Hajaar mountains of Oman, the Huracán would easily

Above: the fighter plane-inspired start/ stop button; Left: the Huracán’s all-new V10 engine; Bottom Left: the personality-altering Anime switch.

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excel in being the most fun you can have with your clothes on. After a few more photo stops, one or two even forcing the car to channel its distant Audi Quattro cousin with some off-roading, with which it coped surprisingly well, it’s time to start the long drive back to the congested streets of Doha. As the bloated sun sets behind me, for the first time all day I am grateful for the lack of visibility offered by the car’s slatted backside. Then, from nowhere, after hours of trying, my iPhone finally connects to the bluetooth and the raspy vocals of Scorpions lead singer, Klaus Meine, fills the cabin: “your lust is in a cage, ‘til the storm breaks loose.” As the overdriven power chords kick in, I mash my foot into the carpet one last time and the V10 sings out in a final metallic refrain. Filling my ears is the open-throttle choir of a Lamborghini at full chat, accompanied by Meine screeching prophetically through the speakers: “here I am, I’ll rock you like a hurricane!”


A landmark

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| T he G a ra ge | L a n d Rove r D is c ove r y S po r t |

first drive

discovery Kevin Hackett takes on the harsh, unforgiving landscapes of Iceland at the wheel of Land Rover’s new Discovery Sport.

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Words: Kevin Hackett pictures: Land Rover

f this goes wrong I will, quite literally, be in deep water – frigid, fast flowing and potentially death-dealing deep water. I’m not going to pretend otherwise, my derriere has got the jitters and I’m tensing far too many muscles than is good for someone trying to drive a car through an Icelandic river that’s flowing like the clappers. White stuff is everywhere – this is Iceland in

the winter and one of the most extreme climates on the planet – and the thundering waters provide at least some visual relief, cutting an enormous, wiggling slice through the surrounding snowcovered tundra. But I cannot for a second avert my eyes from the task at hand. Whenever you do anything unusual in a car, it almost always feels more dramatic inside the cabin than it looks from outside. And so it was, as 

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No terrain too tough: from dormant volcanoes and frozen lakes, the Disco takes it all in its stride.

I edged Land Rover’s newest baby – the Discovery Sport – into the river, the incline appearing to be far steeper than it probably was. But there’s no denying the depth of water this brilliant new car is making its way through – as it surges against the passenger side door, it splashes the glass as though it’s the car’s turn to go through its own Ice Bucket Challenge. I can feel the rocks on the river bed shifting as my car’s tyres traverse them and, as I make slow but steady progress, I try to banish all thoughts of what might happen if, indeed, this goes wrong. As I emerge from the icy waters at the other side of the river, I feel like I should power down my window and drop a dead fish into the lap of a gobsmacked sunbather in possibly the ultimate Bond tribute. But sunbathers are conspicuous by their complete absence in this minus-10, windswept wilderness, so I’ll have to save that Kodak moment for another day and another continent. As a six-year old boy watching The Spy Who Loved Me in the cinema, I can recall my father scoffing at Roger Moore’s exploits in a Lotus submarine, telling me once we got home that it wasn’t really possible. And, as I laugh out loud, once the Disco is back on terra firma, I suddenly think that what this plucky little Brit has just done shouldn’t really be possible, either. But it is and,

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“I’ve been flummoxed by its ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to make it through what you’re asking it to do.”

in all honesty, I shouldn’t be at all surprised at its immense breadth of capabilities. Land Rover has, at long last, come of age and the all-new Discovery Sport is the product of a company operating at the top of its game. Forget anything you think you know about Land Rover if your experiences are limited to the products it pretty much threw together in the 70s, 80s and early 90s (I’ve owned two Range Rovers and a Land Rover Defender in my time and I can confirm they really were quite badly made), because things are different now. Much like certain American manufacturers, Land Rover had to buck up its ideas, stop building rubbish and treat its customers with some respect. The result, thanks to a 360-degree direction change and the financial cushioning provided by a new parent company, Tata, would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. And now it’s making, alongside its sister company Jaguar, the very best cars in its long and distinguished history. Beautifully designed V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

and crafted, inside and out, they’re exquisitely engineered, too, and at long last are well built. After a day and a half of negotiating plenty of terrain that would have had a BMW X3 or an Audi Q5 crying into its milk and asking for mummy, it’s entirely obvious: the Discovery Sport is built tough and the sense of wellbeing that pervades as you allow it to make headway along surfaces that are more slippery than a cod’s codpiece is remarkable. It puts you at complete ease and, looking back on that river crossing, I know I shouldn’t have worried – this car had my back all along. By now, I should know that Land Rover puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to its new product media launches. I’ve driven across mountain ranges in South America and Morocco in them. I’ve crossed deserts in them, gone shooting in them, taken them through Welsh and English mud that threatened to engulf them, thrashed them up and down aircraft runways and even tackled assault courses within the belly of


| T he G a rage | L a n d Rove r D is c ove r y S po r t |

At A Glance

Land Rover Discovery Sport Engine: 2.0-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder Power / Torque: 240hp - 5,800 rpm / 340Nm - 1,750 rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic Brakes: Front 325mm vented discs, Rear: 300mm solid discs Suspension: Front: Coil springs; Rear: Multi-link Weight: 1,841kg   Performance: Top Speed 124mph; 0-60 mph 7.8 seconds Price: $43,280

a disused Boeing 747 in them. And every single time I have been flummoxed by their abilities to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to make it through to the other side of what you’re asking them to do. The Discovery Sport is no different, and it’s not just because I made it across that river without getting my pinkies frostbitten. Yesterday afternoon, as I left the airport in Reykjavík as part of a large convoy for the three-hour drive to our hotel for the night, the weather turned from blizzard to full on washing machine spin cycle in a matter of minutes (apparently it does this a lot in Iceland). The convoy ground to a halt in darkness – which descends at about 4pm at this time of year – due to a bus careering across the road we needed to take, blocking it fully. The police came and told us we needed to take another route as the weather was just too bad, but Land Rover’s people were having none of it. The boys in blue took some convincing, but the argument that we’d be alright because we were all driving vehicles designed to tackle precisely these sorts of conditions seemed to make sense to them and we were waved through while everyone else was turned back. What followed was an exercise in extremism. The snow was coming down thick and fast and what was already on the ground was being whipped

up by the fierce winds, completely disorienting anyone behind the wheel. Only referring to the satnav screen could you tell whether you were still on the actual road and pointing in the right direction. Yet, slowly but surely, we battled through and made it. Late, yes, but we made it. This morning, at 9am, we set off for more punishment and marveled at the uniqueness of this unfathomably beautiful country. It was still dark then, with the sun only putting in an appearance two hours later. As the journey unfolded, across tracks that are normally gravel-strewn, the sky turned from inky black to sepia and the frozen mountain lakes took on an ethereal appearance that you’d need to see to believe. And all the while, the plucky Disco just kept moving with little or no sign of a struggle. If you’re wondering what this car is all about, the bare bones of the story are that it has replaced the Freelander (or LR2, depending on what part of the world you’re in). This year it’s believed that the iconic Defender will shuffle off this mortal coil, the victim of “progress” as it simply cannot be sufficiently updated to meet the demands of legislators using its existing platform. Land Rover simply cannot make up its mind right now how to replace such a motoring legend. So, once it’s gone, Land Rover will be producing just two model ranges: Range Rover and Discovery. The V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

Disco proper will be launched next year and, by that stage, there will be five models in two ranges: Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque – which continues to sell like fast-food at Fat Camp. The Discovery Sport shares a fair few of its oily bits with the suave Evoque, but don’t for a minute think it’s the same thing underneath. The two look practically identical up to their B-pillars and that’s what’s known as a “good thing,” giving the little Disco a cosmopolitan look that’s as fashionable as a pair of Jimmy Choos – it’s a physicality that appeals to men and women in equal measure. The rear end, though, is what sets this car apart – a brilliant mix of styling cues resulting in possibly the best balanced of Land Rover’s current output and easily more pleasing to the eye than either the Range Rover or its Sport sibling. It looks sleek, grown up and sexy (for a car of its ilk) and, true to its origins as a family load-lugger, there’s an air of practicality about it, which is confirmed as soon as you climb inside. Cleverly, Land Rover has given the Disco Sport seven seats. Officially referred to as a “five-plustwo seater,” it’s no genuine people carrier but it does mean the car offers something its German rivals cannot – room for all your mates / kids / whatever. You can fold away these seats and the 

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| T he Ga ra ge | L a n d Rove r D is c ove r y |

load space has been intelligently designed to eek out every single last millimetre. The rest of the Discovery Sport’s interior is an exercise in elegant good taste. The vertical centre stack between the front seats is nicely laid out with intuitive and easy-to-use controls and, at long last, there’s a decent touchscreen “infotainment” system that, while still not perfect, is light years ahead of anything else available in a Land Rover or Jaguar product. Connectivity is high on the agenda of practically every manufacturer these days and now Landie lovers can join in the fun too. The engine is the 2.0-litre, turbocharged fourpot as fitted to the Evoque, which is good for 240hp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with power, naturally, sent to all four corners. And if you’re about to moan that anything with less than six cylinders isn’t worth getting out of bed to drive, don’t. This car has no need for a bigger engine – it’s extremely quiet and has bags of mid-range punch while affording a degree of lightness and fleetfootedness that would be lost if the weight of its engine was increased. The seats are excellent, as is the driving position, allowing for good visibility all round – essential if taking your car off the beaten track. And that’s what we’ve been doing for hours now. As the precious daylight continues to allow Iceland’s staggering beauty to delight anyone with functioning peepers, it’s time to press on. As we do, a number of other journalists seem to think this is some sort of race, and impatiently they overtake on quite inappropriate sections of track, obviously desperate to get to the next coffee stop for a smoke. Funny how they ended up stuffing their cars into snow banks from where they needed rescuing by Land Rover’s ever patient organisers who, no doubt, have seen it all. For me, the chance to make steady progress allows me to soak up the visual drama of a country I might never again get to visit after this expedition. The route is epic in scale, taking in waterfalls that dwarf everything around them, dormant volcanoes and frozen bodies of water edged by the blackest of volcanic rock and sand. There isn’t much in the way of forestry, thanks to the continuous harsh winds that prevent much big flora, but the bare mountainsides are probably coated in lush green foliage during the summer months. For now, though, it’s white all the way and, after spending years living in desert climes, it’s a beautiful spectacle to behold. This brilliant car takes everything Iceland can throw at it, never once letting the side down,

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Refinement levels of the Discovery Sport are always impressive, whatever the terrain you happen to be on.

even when making its way through snow so deep you’d sink right up to your nether regions if you stopped to get out. It’s entirely predictable, with considered responses from its drivetrain and its all-new suspension technology (it has hydraulic rebound stops in its damper turrets for increased levels of insulation) and refinement levels are always impressive whatever the terrain you happen to be on. It seeks out grip where other cars would likely find none and hauls itself out of danger each and every time. Relax, the Discovery Sport has your back – everything’s taken care of. It truly is an excellent car.

“Iceland This brilliant car takes everything can throw at it, never letting the side down

and seeking grip where other cars would find none.” V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |


first drive

Hell

Hath No Fury... Carlin Gerbich takes on the tyreshredding hooliganism of The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Words: Carlin Gerbich

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pictures: Dodge

hile wild animal attacks in Portland, Oregon are rare, advice in dealing with agitated beasts is fairly universal. Should you ever find yourself at the pointy end of a Hairy Woodpecker, Sage Grouse or Northern Flying Squirrel, then you’re advised to back off and let them go about the kind of business that keeps critters busy on a daily basis. There are other things to be wary of in Oregon though. The state’s main man-killer is the sneaky and lethal cougar, a cat that doesn’t roar but is able to pounce up to 20 feet and kill you with a single bite to the neck. Its other name? The Ghost Cat - a name given to it, presumably, because it moves in silence and is able to convert most of its victims from meat into spiritual beings.   The thought is making this little pee-stop in Oregon’s Guy W Talbot State Park more unnerving as the minutes tick by. The Ghost Cat is far from rare in these parts: the State had to introduce a cull in the mid2000s to bring numbers down to a manageable level, but authorities say that it appears the population is again on the rise. That’s great news 

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| T he G a ra ge | D o dge C h a l l e n ge r SRT H e l l c a t |

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| T he G a ra ge | D o dge C h a l l e n ge r SRT H e l l c a t |

for cat lovers - but troubling news for anyone who appears tasty in the eyes of a cougar, particularly one busy with personal matters of a pressing and temporary nature. There’s not a lot that can be done to counter a fuzzy flying feline missile of muscle, with its claws extended and fangs exposed, when you’re otherwise engaged. The other wildcat of note running around the region at the moment is the 707 horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, a car that takes the European rules of subtlety and shreds them to bits. We’ve been handed the keys to one of the very first cars off the production line, and it’s sitting a cougar’s leap away in a lay-by, purring in idle in a bid to keep any real wildcats at armslength. Others, too, roar past in a wall of supercharged V8 noise and barking gearshifts that must, even for a Ghost Cat, seem otherworldly. In terms of performance, the Challenger SRT Hellcat is Dodge’s apex predator. It sits above the 485hp Challenger SRT in the range, and replaces the naturally-aspirated 6.4-litre V8 fitted to the SRT with a smaller, supercharged 6.2-litre V8 that makes that incredible 707 horsepower. Even more impressive, for power fans, is that the engine makes 881Nm of torque, with two thirds of that available from 1,800rpm. The name Hellcat comes from the Grumman F6F Hellcat, a carrier-based fighter jet used by the US Navy in WW2, and applies to the engine, following a recent tradition by Dodge’s engineers in naming their projects after significant military aircraft. The first hints that the new Challenger SRT Hellcat is something special come well before you even prod the starter button. If you manage to miss the subtle design tweaks to the metalwork made between the first generation Challenger and this, then the sculpted bonnet, large air extractors and angry Hellcat logo behind the front wheel arches should grab your attention. The car also comes with two key fobs. The black one is the one you give to drivers that can be trusted just enough to park the car or run errands for you because it limits engine output to only 500hp and caps revs at 4,000rpm. The red key fob is the one you keep close at all times because it’s the gatekeeper to the Hellcat’s underworld, granting you full access to the car’s extreme limits. To summon that level of power, Dodge’s boffins started with the same engine used to power the 6.4-litre Challenger SRT (codenamed the Apache) and junked 91 percent of the parts. The decision to supercharge the engine was made early on; extracting more power from a supercharged engine was both easier and more economical than trying to do it without forced induction. It also means the engine can be tuned to run more economically when not being throttled to within an inch of its life. Supercharging an engine isn’t without its complications. Forcing air and fuel into the engine creates enormous pressure on the bits inside, so Dodge’s engineers turned to their motorsport playbook for reference. They inserted a steel forged crankshaft, toughened bearings into the bottom end, fitted heat-treated cylinder heads - an exacting and expensive process in its own right - and fitted forged con rods and forged alloy pistons. The die-cast rocker covers are a throwback to Dodge’s street racing heritage. The 2.4-litre supercharger sits on top of the engine and spins at 14,600 rpm. It’ll vacuum-seal a medium-sized bedroom in a matter of minutes, drawing air through an inlet which replaces the driver’s side inboard marker light with a gaping hole which leads to an eight-litre air box and filter system. The fuel system feeds eight injectors which, with a wide open throttle, will deliver 600cc/minute - that’s close to five litres every minute, for 13 minutes, until the tank runs dry. Prod the dash-mounted starter button and the engine roars into life as the supercharger’s whine and deep grumble combine to create a visceral, percussive blend of noise. A stab of the throttle sends a shockwave along

In performance terms, the Hellcat is the 707hp apex predator in the Dodge line-up.

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the twin 2.75-inch straight-through exhaust pipes that sets off neighbouring car alarms. There’s a wave of noises, chirps, whistles that accompanies the wail of the supercharger and the metallic rumble of the engine as we negotiate our way out of Portland. Buyers are blessed with a choice of transmissions too. You can either spec the standard Tremec six-speed manual that Dodge also uses in the Viper, or a newly developed eight-speed Torqueflite auto, which comes at a slight cost premium over the self selector. For this initial stint on-road, Dodge has very wisely chosen to supply us with autos because there’s enough to take in while negotiating Portland’s suicidal traffic without having to worry about dealing with extra confusions. The route is pleasant enough but is peppered with slow moving traffic and radar-equipped lawkeepers at almost every junction. It’s an hourlong exercise in frustration, alleviated by a brief taste of the Hellcat’s potency in a short tunnel run near our morning coffee stop. Trimming the

car to tunnel-configuration takes a few seconds as you and your driving partner work in tandem to get the windows down, sunroof open, sport/ race modes dialled in and car slowed to under 2,000rpm in second gear before pinning the throttle to the firewall, but it’s worth flying halfway around the world to experience it. The sound is immense and all-encompassing, as though you’ve been thrown headlong through a jet-engine driven cement-mixer. Such power can really only be experienced on track, which Dodge has happily laid on for us at the Portland International Raceway. The track has nine turns, is a little over three-kilometres long and has hosted rounds of the SCCA, ICSCC road racing championships, as well as the Nascar Pro Series West regional championships. 

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| T he G a ra ge | D o dge C h a l l e n ge r SRT H e l l c a t |

At A Glance

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Engine: 6,166cc 90-degree Hellcat V8 w/2.4-litre IHI supercharger Power / Torque: 707 hp @ 6,000 rpm / 881 Nm @ 4,000 rpm Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic Weight: 2,026kg (manual) Performance: Top speed 165mph; 0-60mph in 3.5 sec Price: $58,295

There, sitting in the pit lane, are five Hellcat-equipped Challenger SRTs - three autos and two manuals. You may imagine that, given the choice, true driving enthusiasts drawn to the most powerful road-going muscle car Dodge has ever produced would prefer a manual over an auto - but my track instructor is adamant that he’d opt for the Torqueflite eight-speed auto every time. And, given that the two manuals have been ignored for much of the first hour, this seems to be true. I’m not so sure it’s the right call because, while it is easily faster around the track and to 60mph, it remains a two-pedal, two-hands-on-the-wheel, not-really-working-for it drive. Muscle cars are meant to be manhandled and hustled, and while the noise and drama of that engine will certainly keep you entertained for hours, the work you put in to nailing a clean and tidy lap in the manual Hellcat is the sort of thing that keeps you going back. Autos, in my mind, are for those who simply want to dabble. A manual-equipped Hellcat is the sort of car that only the most hairy-chested of drivers will be able to manage. The manual’s gear shifter is canted towards the driver and the shifts are slick. The clutch plate in the Hellcat is a little broader than the one in the SRT so it takes a little more effort to push in, but there’s plenty going on to to keep your mind off a little left-leg discomfort, especially along Portland’s back “straight,” which is actually a slightly off camber, long, sweeping right hander that sees the Hellcat hit 150mph before you have to stand on the brakes and gather it all up. On track, the car is constantly reminding you that you’re one miscalculation from monumental catastrophe. It doesn’t so much whisper to you that it will one day kill you, so much as scream it into your ears while punching you in the base of the spine. Hit the throttle a little too enthusiastically, and it’ll spin the rear tyres up, sending you into a real-estate gobbling power slide; hit your

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A manual-equipped Hellcat is the sort of car that only the most hairy-chasted of drivers will be able to manage.

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braking point a little too late, and the two-tonne coupé will simply not make the next corner. But get it right, and it’s the most rewarding, engaging and utterly mind-blowing muscle car on the market. There are more sensible versions available, but in an age where more is better, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the best.


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| T h e G a ra ge | J e n s e n C -V 8 |

classic car

Epitaph For A Hero Unlike the ill-fated TV show in which it appeared in 1966, the Jensen C-V8, argues James Nicholls, has stood the test of time and is more than capable of a repeat performance. ď‚„ď‚„ Words & pictures: James Nicholls

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elevision and film tie-ins and product placement have been around for many years. A particular vehicle is often synonymous with the intrepid hero. Of course, we all know of James Bond’s association with the Aston Martin DB5 (however, in Ian Fleming’s novels 007 drove a Bentley); Leslie Charteris’ protagonist, The Saint with the Volvo P1800 (the fledgling TV programme’s budget constraints played a part here, as did Jaguar failing to provide an E-Type); and even Virgil Tracy with Thunderbird 2 (and, of course, Lady Penelope’s six-wheeled pink Rolls-Royce from the same show). Other partnerships are not so easily recalled without some prompting; the Aston Martin DBS and Dino 246 of Roger Moore and Tony Curtis in The Persuaders, and the Bentley Mulliner 4-door Continental driven by Peter Wyngarde, aka Jason King in Department S. Way down at the bottom of the list, though, from an eminently forgettable show is an almost forgotten car too. The premise of The Baron, which first appeared in September 1966 only to sink without trace six months later, was like so many programmes of the time, during the paranoia of the Space Race, the Cold War and the threat of the Atomic Bomb, that of an undercover agent. On this occasion, with the wooden Steve Forrest masquerading as John Mannering, an American antiques dealer living in London, known as The Baron. Indeed so tree like was the aptly named Forrest that one could be forgiven for not realising that it was the producers first “live” show in colour, their previous work having been limited to Stingray and Thunderbirds under the guise of Supermarionation. The series had only two redeeming features as far as I can see. The first, being that the desirable Sue Lloyd (later to appear in a proper and definitive espionage film, The Ipcress File in 1965) is seen in some 23 of the 30 episodes; the second is that The Baron drove a Jensen. The Baron’s Jensen is a very rare beast indeed: a Jensen C-V8 and one of only 499 (all but ten of which were right hand drive) of this unusual looking car ever made . The C-V8 first appeared in 1962 and considering the glorious Jaguar E-Type had been born a year previously, its styling, from the pen of the Jensen Chief Engineer Eric Neale, already looked some what dated and perhaps redolent of the 1950s rather than the Swinging Sixties. The car’s last year

of production was 1966 when it was replaced by the much more modern looking, but also much heavier, Jensen Interceptor designed by Touring in Milan. Some feel that the C-V8 was really the last proper Jensen, as it was the final vehicle produced under

“Without a doubt the Jensen C-V8 was right up there with the most exclusive of marques and appealed to the more discerning motorist.” 58

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the auspices of the brothers Richard and Alan Jensen before they left Jensen Motors in 1966 after 32 years at the helm. It is a quirky looking vehicle and quintessentially English, but despite its rather conservative overtones the Jensen was very quick. It is equipped with a Chrysler 361 cubic inch (ci) V8 motor whilst some MK II and MK III versions of the C-V8 had an even larger 383ci power-train. The V8 in its name obviously stood for the engine configuration whilst the C stood for Central Chassis. This chassis


At A Glance

1965 jensen C-v8 Engine: 2.0-litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder Power / Torque: 240hp - 5,800 rpm / 340Nm - 1,750 rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic Brakes: Front 325mm vented discs, Rear: 300mm solid discs Suspension: Front: Coil springs; Rear: Multi-link Weight: 1,841kg   Performance: Top Speed 124mph; 0-60 mph 7.8 seconds Price: $43,280

was constructed using two four-inch diameter 10 SWG (standard wire gauge) steel tubes that ran either side of the engine and transmission along the entire length of the car, to the rear axle, as the main structure. This chassis design proved to be exceptionally strong and was carried over to the Interceptor when it was launched in 1966. A point to note is that the right hand side steel tube also acted as the vacuum reservoir tank for the servoassisted brakes. When I first looked at and drove the example

of the C-V8 pictured here, I was a little unsure of my thoughts regarding it. Was it supremely ugly? Or did it have a certain beauty, with its headlights like Cindy Crawford’s trademark cluster of pigmented cells? Was it lumpen? Or did that V8 provide it with sporting characteristics and appeal? The more time I spent with the car though, I was impressed by its performance and the more I viewed it, the more I began to find a pleasing symmetry to its lines and even an allure to the C-V8’s equivalent of the Crawford mole. V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

Chassis number 105/2282 left the Jensen Factory in Kelvin Way, West Bromwich in the English Midlands on the March 9th 1965, so this year marks its milestone half-century, and what a car it is for a 50-year-old! It was supplied to its first owner through the Mayfair of London dealer, Charles Follett of Berkeley Street. Originally, it was finished in the colour scheme of Oyster Grey with red leather, coincidentally the same finish as The Baron’s vehicle. Today, though, we find our car in the pale metallic green known as California 

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| T h e G a ra ge | J e n s e n C -V 8 |

Sage, coupled with a biscuit interior. Of course all C-V8s are quite rare having only been produced in limited numbers and, rather like a suit from a bespoke tailor, all are somewhat different from the others. Chassis 105/2282 however is particularly individual and desirable in that it is just one of only seven MK II cars to be built with a manual Chrysler A-833 gearbox, originally designed for a race-tuned 426 Hemi motor. There were also two manual gearbox MK III cars manufactured whilst all of the rest of the C-V8s, including all the MK I cars had automatic TorqueFlite transmission systems. Unusually, and going against the norm, the A-833 gearbox - and the privilege of manually changing gear - cost an extra £100 at the time. Our car retains its original 383ci Chrysler V8 engine, as with all the engines the Jensen Factory received, spray-painted black over the original Chrysler turquoise or orange. It has, however, been tuned, taking the power output from its standard 330bhp to a whopping 440bhp at 5,800rpm. In order to cope with the improved grunt, the brakes and suspension have also been enhanced and modernised without taking away anything form the original integrity of this gentleman’s express. Indeed we are provided with the perfect symbiosis of the British Club and American industrial might.

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The English car with its walnut and best quality hide upholstered interior, complemented by the American engine and transmission to provide a union that exemplifies the “special relationship” as extolled by Winston Churchill. Comfort, style, understated elegance and a considerable amount of power to propel the C-V8 fast and long enough to win the 24-hour Commander’s Cup endurance race at Snetterton in the hands of the charismatic Roy Salvadori, a stylish Anglo-Italian racing driver who drove in 47 Formula One Grands Prix. Other competition success for the C-V8 came at the 1965 Brighton Speed Trials, where this wolf in sheep’s clothing took first and second in class, seeing off plenty of Jaguars. And quite rightly so as, in 1964 a Jensen C-V8, with a 361ci, 5.9-litre engine, cost £3,392 including purchase tax, while a 3.8-litre Jaguar S-Type could be had for as little as 1,758 quid. Without a doubt the Jensen C-V8 was right up there with the best and most exclusive of marques and appealed to the more discerning, not to say, well-heeled motorist. An indication of this is the positioning of Jensen Motors Ltd at the 48th International Motor Exhibition Motor Show at Earls Court in 1963, sandwiched as it was on stand number 126 between the exclusive Officine Alfieri V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

Maserati on one side and Bentley on the other. This Jensen was indeed available only to the few who could afford it. A genuine 2-door, 4-seat saloon, it was unusual in that its body was constructed of resin-bonded fibreglass rather than steel or light alloy, but that coupled to its thunderous, burbling V8 from the US meant it was very quick. It demonstrated the same understated glamour and quality of a Bristol 408 or 409 of the period, which were also sporting Chrysler V8s, or an Alvis TE 21, but was perhaps only matched by the much more exotic Iso Rivolta with its Chevrolet Corvette Turbofire 327 V8. The Iso, like the Jensen, combined the best of two countries, this time Italian sophistication and artistry with American muscle. In 1966, though, the Jensen C-V8 was consigned to history to be replaced by the much more fashionable Jensen Interceptor, redolent of sideburns, gold medallions and flared trousers. The Interceptor, as the name implies, was a car in many ways suited to the arriviste than the Board Member, antiques dealer or discreet secret agent - the stalwart supporters of the C-V8. The C-V8 was a vehicle, to borrow from Frank Sinatra, fit for “barons and earls…ermine and pearls,” which should not be defined only by its association with The Baron.


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| T he G a ra ge | Ea gl e Low D ra g GT |

Sweet Chariot Slung low

dream car

IN THE HEART OF ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND, BEN OLIVER DISCOVERS A RARE BREED OF EAGLE 

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| T he G a ra ge | Ea gl e Low D ra g GT |

Words: Ben Oliver PICTURES: James Lipman

There must be something in the water in this part - my part - of sleepy, rural East Sussex. Petrol, probably. On a farm near the village of Buxted you’ll find historic motorsport specialists Crosthwaite and Gardiner, who can build you, from raw lumps of aluminium, a sixteen-cylinder 1930s Auto Union racer. Or rather, they can build you one if you’re Audi - which has commissioned seven - because only a global carmaker could handle the bill.

A Fit Old Bird: While the Low Drag has an ageappropriate amount of power, it has a better powerto-weight ratio than a modern Jaguar F-type V8 S.

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By coincidence, at another farm nearby you’ll find Eagle, whose work on E-types is just as astonishing. The exact location isn’t made public, given the value of what you’ll find here, but if you seem like a serious prospect you’ll be sent directions, which include helicopter landing coordinates. I drove there. Eagle was founded in 1982 by Henry Pearman, a man who knows a fair bit about Jaguar E-types. He will sell you a standard car, but only if it is one of the very best. Don’t expect to find much on his stock list under $155,400, and standard road-going Es with an interesting history can nudge $466,100 now. He will restore your E-Type, but only if you commit to having every last nut done: “we’re not interested in half-doing things.” Or he will build you an Eagle E-type, which is a standard-looking car with a bunch of “enhancements” refined over 20 years and includes AP Racing brakes, Ohlins suspension, power steering, air-conditioning and electricals that actually work, unlike most cars that came out of the United Kingdom in the sixties. Prices for these Eagle E-types start at $614,000, plus options. Each takes around 4,000 hours to make. And then there’s this. The Low Drag GT. Now, we’re talking truly Leno-esque levels of automotive indulgence. “Just a few” will be made. You’ll need at least $1.1 million to buy one. And I’ve driven the first. One million dollars for an E-type? Really? Eagle sits at the nexus of two trends in the classic car world. First, the reappraisal of the E-type, which even Enzo famously described as the most beautiful he’d ever seen, and which many drivers and racers preferred to period Ferraris, yet which have always traded for a fraction of the value of their Ferrari rivals. Greater supply alone doesn’t explain their cheapness, and it’s now being corrected. The second trend is the whole classic-reimagined, better-thanit-ever-was movement typified by Singer Porsches, and the rest (see panel). Each takes a genuinely iconic classic and improves it, either starting with an original shell or an entirely new chassis, and freely using whatever it takes to make a car that drives as well as it looks. Eagle’s Low Drag GT uses a donor car, still carries its VIN plate, and reuses as many of its components as possible without compromising the end result, which at this price needs to be perfection. The bodywork is hand-formed from aluminium and features lower sills (with a lower seating position) and a wider track, which sort out the only two criticisms you ever hear of aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer’s

original shape. The upper body is a direct recreation of his original, one-off Low Drag Coupé, which he built in advance of the E-type’s launch as a prototype race version, but which regulation changes and Sir William Lyons’ loss of interest in racing meant it was never pursued. That one car - CUT7 - still races, and really does rival those Ferraris for value. Into this body goes everything Eagle has developed for the E-type, chiefly its bored-out 4.7-litre development of the XK straight-six, here using fuel injection like the later Lightweight E-type racers, and with an aluminium engine block (made by the neighbours) to cut mass. There’s a five-speed gearbox (again like the Lightweights, but here with an ally casing) and the E’s Power Lock diff, again in a new ally housing. The brakes are four-pot AP Racing items, 315mm at the front. There are eye-wateringly expensive Ohlins adjustable shocks and lightweight magnesium wheels. With a mass of just 1,038kgs and around 345bhp and 360lb-ft from that engine, the Low Drag has an age-appropriate amount of power, but a better power-to-weight ratio than a modern Jaguar F-type V8 S. Much of the engineering has been carried over from the roofless Eagle Speedster. It costs $1m, or an extra $155,350 for the SuperSport specification (one of which, Henry lets slip, he happens to have available for immediate delivery). In making the Speedster, Eagle’s Technical Director Paul Brace was brave to attempt to improve on the looks of a car in the design collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. But armed only with hammer and power tools, he managed it. “It’s not exactly what you’d call ‘computer-aided design’,” he says. “I’d had an idea for a speedster-bodied E-type rattling around in my head. I sent some sketches to an American client who wanted something really special and he loved it. But I had a moment of tension: what if it looked crap? So I cut up an old roadster shell with an angle grinder, hand-rolled the new panels, made a plastic screen and just put it all together and stood back and squinted at it.” The result was enough to move Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson to apparent sincerity when he described it as “by a long way, the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen. It might actually be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never driven a car that I’ve wanted more than this one. I yearn to own one.” But he hasn’t seen the Low Drag yet. While Brace’s achievement with the Speedster was remarkable, having seen them both side-by-side 

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At A Glance

Eagle Low-Drag GT E-Type Engine: 4.7-litre in-line 6, 12v, dohc, fuel injection Power / Torque: 345bhp @ 4,800rpm / 360lb-ft @ 3,600rpm Transmission: Five-speed manual Weight: 1,038kg   Performance:Top Speed 170mph (est); 0-60 mph 5.0 seconds (est). Price: from $1.1m

“We're talking truly Leno-esque levels of automotive indulgence. You’ll need at least

$1.1 million to buy one”

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In the public interest: The joy of piloting that extraordinary shape through the scenery is that it’s like you are performing a public service.

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I think the Low Drag is the better-looking car. Brace’s subtle tweaks below the beltline are carried over from the Speedster and married to a superstructure that is faithful to Sayer’s beautiful, attenuated, slippery original. Together it makes for the kind of automotive grace that you can’t quite take in all at once, and you risk blowing a mental fuse and fainting if you try to. It really is that good, and I’m no E-type fanboy. It is so good that Jaguar was prompted to make its own run of Lightweights using six unused chassis numbers. But they have all been sold, whereas Eagle has the flexibility to build a Low Drag for the right client, and to that client’s exact specification. It’s also the car Pearman has always wanted to make; one that a steelyeyed German industrialist client and his attractive third wife could take on a glamorous European vintage rally and be more beautiful, more reliable and quicker around Spa than the 911s that dominate such things. They’d certainly be comfortable in the cabin. Using the original E-type’s architecture, subtly integrating the new switches and dials, and trimmed in blue leather, I think it’s the most beautiful cockpit I’ve ever sat in, and I’ve sat in a few. It is a crushing reminder that I’m just not rich enough. If you are, you can of course have the cabin, and the entire car, anyway you like. One customer wanted the Jaguar “growler” at the center of his Speedster’s hornpush to look a bit growlier, and Eagle was happy to oblige. But does the Low Drag still drive like an E-type? Yes and no: it certainly drives like the two Speedsters I have been lucky enough to drive. With that power-to-weight ratio, Eagle’s claimed sub-5-second 0-60 time feels like an underestimation, with the Low Drag generating chest-tightening thrust when you sink the throttle, accompanied by a deeper, louder, richer remix of the XK’s hallmark trombone exhaust note. The ‘box changes with a similar weight and throw to the later E-type’s synchromesh four-speeders but is quicker and sweeter, though the emphasis on torque means you can often dispatch slower-moving moderns without changing down. The ride isn’t as fluid as a standard E-type’s, but you trade it for a greater connectedness with the road through backside and fingertips. That said, you can have it set up any way you want. There’s more grip, yet not too much. With 225-section front tyres and 235s at the back it’s not over-tyred like a modern of the same power, and retains the drifty throttle-adjustability that ought to mark a sixties sports car.

Like a Lamborghini Miura, the joy of driving it comes as much from the knowledge that you’re piloting that extraordinary shape through the scenery; you feel like you’re performing a public service. You’re more inclined to stretch the Speedster knowing that you have functioning brakes when you need to restrain it. However, it is that 7,000 man-hour figure that keeps you honest as you progress along these wet, narrow Sussex lanes. You wouldn’t want to be remembered as the man who fell through the Mona Lisa. But what about this whole better-than-new movement? Should Eagle be “enhancing” one of the great cars? Pearman is unapologetic. He sees no conflict in improving on cars he loves, cheerfully admitting they were often badly made. “You wouldn’t live in a beautiful Georgian house and still chuck your sewage out of the window,” he says. “Having a classic car with brakes that work and that won’t overheat and that will take you to the south of France and not disappoint you is a good thing. We know E-types. We stay true to the spirit and heart of the car. We just make them work.”

The “Rivals”

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o what do we call this trend of re-engineered icons? “Restomod” is too simple, and just implies modern power in a vintage body. At Singer, they “backdate” early ‘90s 964 Porsches, keeping or improving the relatively modern mechanicals but building a bespoke, early-’70slooking body around them. Price? Around $466,000. At Icon, also based in California, they do it the other way around, starting with a vintage Ford Bronco body but underpinning it with a new ladder chassis and suspension, and the Coyote 5.0-litre V8 from the Mustang GT. They can do the same for an old Jeep or Land Cruiser. Price? Well over $155,000. Wait? Until next year, at the earliest. The new kid on the new/old block is Equus of Michigan, whose Bass 770 owes only its looks to an old Mustang: the chassis and panels are bespoke aluminium and carbon fibre, and the engine is the 638bhp unit from the Corvette ZR1. Price? Upwards of $233,000.

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grand tourismo

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route book

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| G ra n d To u r i s m o | Ro u t e B o o k |

Taking the

High Road Phill Tromans makes a 560-mile pilgrimage across Britain to the home of Golf in a Rolls-Royce Wraith ď‚„ď‚„

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Words: Phill Tromans Pictures: Andy McCandlish

As a freelance writer,

I’m keen to grab a fee wherever I can. So when a commission comes in to write a story about a new luxury apartment complex in St Andrews, Scotland – apparently quite a noted place for golfers - I accept. I know nothing about golf, but a job’s a job, and so a trip to Britain’s north is put in the diary. But there’s a substantial journey to consider before scribbling can commence. I live in the south of England, a considerable distance from the middle of Scotland. My options are several. The first is to take the train, but that would also cost equivalent of a week’s holiday in Europe, and that’s not an exaggeration. Blame the privatisation of British Rail. The second is to fly. Also expensive, with extortionate airport parking and a taxi from Edinburgh to add to the cost. No, driving is the way to go. But it’s a long one; Fife is almost 559 miles from West Sussex. Could be taxing. So I decide to do what any sane automotive journalist would do – I call the world’s foremost luxury carmaker. “It was clean when I left,” laments the delivery driver, as the deep blue Rolls-Royce Wraith is dropped off at my door after a short journey from its birthplace in Goodwood. The British winter weather is not for fans of clean cars. It’s close to freezing, it’s dark and I have to be up very early tomorrow. There’ll be plenty of time then for an appraisal of my new ride. I’m worried, having procured one of the world’s most expensive cars, that I won’t have time to actually enjoy the Wraith’s dynamic qualities. It’s Rolls-Royce’s sportiest model, at least within the spectrum of cars bearing the Spirit of Ecstasy upon their prow. Unlike chief rival Bentley, Rolls doesn’t have a history of motorsport, so there’s no particular push to make its cars swim with adrenaline. But the specifications of the Wraith suggest it has something of a strong arm nonetheless – under its long bonnet lurks a twinturbocharged 6.6-litre V12 with a whomping 624bhp, capable of taking it from standstill to 100kph in just 4.6 seconds. For a car that’s as big as my house, that’s really, really fast, and suggests there’s excitement to be had. But the journey is so long and subject to time pressures that I can’t afford to take a winding, more interesting route – where there’s a motorway, I’m taking it. The plan, once in Scotland, is to hook up with photographer Andy McCandlish and head out to 

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“Like a good butler , it obliges my juvenile whims, but has an air of mild distaste about

being asked to perform outside of its remit. After a few minutes of trying to push, I decide it’s preferable, and more enjoyable, to return to a cruise.”

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more picturesque, interesting roads to really ice the Wraith’s driving cake. For now though, I’m in West Sussex, and out of the door into the biting chill of 5am on a Monday. I’m only away for two nights, so my belongings are few, but the Wraith’s enormous boot could store enough provisions for at least a week on the road. If I were a golfist, I could have brought a full bag of bats and a spare set too. Shivering against the cold, wet air, I climb into the Wraith’s cabin for the first time. The tone of the car is set by the doors. To call them suicide doors seems trite for a car of this level; let’s call them front-hinged coach doors instead. They glide outwards, showing off the handle of a RollsRoyce umbrella stored in each wing, and once I’m settled into the capacious driver’s seat, I notice a button by the A-pillar that electrically swings them shut at a press. A Rolls-Royce driving gentleman should not be forced to do anything as demeaning

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as lean out towards a grab handle. Having driven a Ghost before, the interior is not unfamiliar, but it is notably of a quality unmatched in the automotive world, save perhaps by Bentley. The likes of Audi and Rolls’ parent company BMW do a good impression of a quality interior, but customers in this price bracket will accept nothing less than the best. Consequently the Wraith’s cockpit is a picture of craftsmanship, from the piano black wood veneer to the sumptuous leather seats. The only reminder of BMW’s involvement is the software on the infotainment screen, which is immediately familiar from the iDrive. I push the start button to the left of the steering wheel. The V12 catches immediately, with barely a whisper, just a rumbling cough that settles into a low hum. The gear selector is a stalk on the steering column; I pull down for D, and set off into the darkness. My first forays with the Wraith are on the pitch-black, narrow and winding country roads V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

that lead to the M23 motorway. These are not the ideal surroundings for adjusting to a $340,000 car, because I’m terrified of scraping it against the jutting hedgerows. Traffic is minimal, so the fantastically bright full-beams help me monitor the road ahead, but the Wraith feels huge. I cautiously helm it over hump-back bridges and around blind corners, occasionally blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars, and hoping desperately that I won’t catch the left wing on a gatepost as I waft past. After ten minutes, having adjusted to the girth, my confidence grows. But hopes of thrusting forward with the Wraith are dampened by the realisation that there’s no option to manually shift gears on the eight-speed automatic ‘box – no paddles, no buttons. In fairness, the auto is doing a pretty good job, aided by very clever tech that uses GPS to determine what corners are coming up and in which gear it’s best to take them. The changes are virtually seamless and the result is almost a dictionary definition of the


word “waft;” I’m insulated from the cold and wind outside, breezing along in near silence save for the whirr of the V12 when I squeeze on the throttle. The road surface, potholed to near oblivion, trundles beneath the air suspension with barely a thud. No wonder Rolls calls it the ‘magic carpet ride’. The motorway arrives and I press on as much as I dare, keen to avoid the notorious morning M25 snarl-up. The 188km ring road around London is the byword for English traffic hell, often at a standstill by 7.30am. The adaptive cruise control is set to a speed I think I can legally get away with and I’m whisked towards the capital. The cruise function is genuinely useful, and pleasantly smooth in its variance of pace. So many such systems can be jerky when the front-facing sensors spot another car and jam on the brakes, but the Wraith’s BMW-derived set up merely lifts off the gas to match the speed of the car in front. All I have to do is steer. To my delight, the M25 is relatively clear. There’s

still a decent amount of traffic, despite the early hour, but it’s flowing and I loop west of the capital and start heading north. There’s a brief 10-minute delay by Heathrow airport, but soon I’m onto the M40, heading towards Birmingham. Behind me, the sun starts to break over the horizon, creating long shadows across the road and out of the black-and-white journey, colours start to erupt as headlights are switched off and the greens of the British countryside lick the edges of the motorway. With progress better than expected, I stop for breakfast just past Oxford. Nothing fancy, as I’m keen on getting past Birmingham, Britain’s second city, before 9am. It seems somewhat incongruous to be scoffing a pastry out of a bag while sitting in a Rolls-Royce, but needs must. Onwards once again. The Rolls’ Bluetooth connectivity lets me stream a medley of music and podcasts to entertain me on what has so far been an uneventful journey. It’s a great sound system too, V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

and I continue the incongruity by blasting Metallica at full volume. Because why not? Birmingham and the dirge that is the M42 arrives at around 8.15am, and I brace for a battle with neverending speed cameras and rush hour traffic. But before I know it I’m past the second city, and as the sun climbs into the sky I’m on the M6 and soaring towards what the English tend to call The North, even though I’m barely a third of the way up mainland Britain. It strikes me, as I sail past Stoke-on-Trent, that I don’t feel at all tired, despite the early start. Being in the Wraith is like being in a bubble, almost entirely cut off from the outside. Were it not for the occasional bursts of wind noise that rattle around the door mirrors and punctuate James Hetfield’s gravelly vocals, I could be watching the journey unfold on a big screen. The discovery of the massage function on the driver’s seat does little to bring me back to reality. Another stop wakes me from my reverie – not only do I need coffee, but the Wraith needs fuel. 

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The tank is almost empty, and filling it up near Lancaster costs me $130. Oof. Wallet still smoking, I get back on the road and check the fuel economy via the car’s computer. It works out at around 15l/100km. That V12 might be beautifully refined, but it’s damned thirsty. Maybe it’s just as well that I didn’t take the scenic route. Through the Lake District, there’s a change in the surroundings. Most of the journey thus far has been urban sprawl interspersed with brief sections of countryside, but now nature is taking hold. The landscape opens up and as the Scottish border nears, mountains appear, sprinkled with a dusting of snow. A glance at the Wraith’s computer confirms a drop in temperature, the display hovering around freezing. This is epic country, Lord of the Rings-style terrain, the motorway snaking its way through valleys. By early afternoon I cross into Scotland, and the snow is getting thicker on the ground as the M6 dissolves into the A74(M). The sky is clear and blue, but the ground is white, with slush gathering on the central reservation. Another stop for a coffee in Lockerbie prompts a wince in the bitingly cold wind, and I scurry back into the Wraith’s leathery embrace. With the border behind me, I can sense the home stretch. My aim now is to clear Glasgow before 4pm and the early onset of evening rush hour. Reaching Glasgow and its suburbs is a rude awakening after several hours of breathtaking scenery, but I’m ahead of schedule and turning east

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towards Dundee. The motorways are smaller now, and more obscure – the M74 has given way to the M73, M80, M876 and M90, and the passing towns have increasingly parochial names; Bonnybridge, Pool of Muckhart, Auchtermuchty. Almost there. The road to St Andrews is a single-laned one, festooned with tractors and little old ladies barely cracking half the speed limit in their ageing Hondas. But the scenery is once again beautiful – not sweeping like in the lowlands, but almost quaint. Stone walls abound and tiny cottages dot the roadside. It’s around 4pm when I finally rock up to the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews. The small, stone-built town is considered the birthplace of golf, where the Game of Kings was founded hundreds of years ago, and from where it is now controlled via the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the sport’s governing body for most of the world. I’m tired, after 11 hours on the road, but not exhausted. In a regular car, this would have been an epic journey, but the Wraith is such a comfortable environment that it takes most of the stress away. With the dynamic cruise control on, all I had to do was steer and make sure I was going in the right direction. Other cars – other expensive cars – would leave me needing to have a lie down to recover, but I’m sufficiently sprightly on my arrival to jump straight into doing some work in my room. My mission in St Andrews is to write about a new super-luxury apartment building overlooking V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

the Old Course’s famous 18th hole. I ponder how much I would have to like golf to spend $11 million on a four-bedroom apartment. The next day, I meet up with photographer Andy. While he shoots the car parked overlooking the North Sea, I content myself with finally taking in the outside of the car properly. The more I look at the Wraith’s lines, ignoring the streaks of dirt and rain, the more I appreciate the sculpture. At first glance it’s merely a Ghost with a sloped back end; a look I’ve become used to in the six years since it was released. But as Andy snaps away and I watch, occasionally waving a flashgun at the car’s flanks, I can’t help but understand how it all flows together. It’s understated, and doesn’t draw that many glances from passers-by, but it is a beautiful, elegant machine. The shoot is a chance to experience the Wraith away from the motorways. We choose instead to follow the east coast of Scotland south, heading out of St Andrews and towards the small fishing town of Crail. From there, we head inland, and finally I have a chance to see what the Wraith is like dynamically. Having spent a dozen hours or so behind the wheel I’m no longer intimidated by its size, and the windswept coastline, devoid of trees, gives excellent visibility ahead. I’m free to give it some welly. Wooomph. That’s the sound of 624 horses whinnying; put that much power in any car, even one that weighs 2,360kg, and it’ll move. Luxury accelerates to naughty speeds very fast indeed, but the serenity of the cabin is only slightly ruffled. The road ahead flicks from left to right, but the moment I hit the brakes and turn in, I’m reminded of the bulk I sit within as inertia tries to have its way with grip. The steering isn’t geared for ultimate precision, and the lack of paddles mean I can’t flick down for extra engine braking. Although the Wraith stays commendably poised for its size, it’s not a sports car, and it’s not trying to be one. The throttle pick-up is tailored more towards the limousine end of the spectrum than the supercar. Like a good butler, it obliges my juvenile whims, but has an air of mild distaste about being asked to perform outside of its remit. After a few minutes of trying to push, I decide it’s preferable, and more enjoyable, to return to a cruise. Is the Wraith worth the huge premium over the likes of the Bentley Continental GT? It’s almost twice the price, and it’s not twice as good. Nor is it really a fair comparison – Bentley actively chases dynamic excellence and excitement, whereas Rolls-Royce has no such aim. Its cars are about craftsmanship, comfort and elegance, not thrills. As I begin the long cruise back to the south coast of England, I’m happy to keep the adrenaline for another time, and another car. For this journey, the Wraith is as good a car as I can ask for.


Great Driving Roads

GPS 46°43.8′N 08°26.94′E

the susten pass, switzerland

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

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great driving roads

From the deserted desert roads of Al Ain in issue one, to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, Volante goes in search of the perfect Pass.

W

hen most people think of the ultimate driving roads, their minds automatically transport them to famous Alpine passes, such as the Stelvio Pass - once hailed by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson as the world’s best road - or the Great St Bernard Pass, parts of which feature in the iconic opening to the original (and by far superior) version of The Italian Job. Sadly though, the reality is that, most of the time, when it’s open, the Stelvio Pass is clogged with cyclists, motorhomes and ambling tourists, chugging along at Driving Miss Daisy speeds, trying to take in the view. And it’s not a road that you will find many places to overtake these barely-kinetic speed calming measures. Unless you can afford to close the road like Clarkson et al, then you have no hope of getting out of second gear. Even if you did manage that, you would soon find that quickly descending hairpins get a bit dull after a while. As for the Great St Bernard pass, if you’re already downloading Matt Monroe’s “Days Like These” and hoping to look as effortlessly cool as the languid, cigarette-smoking Roger Beckermann, whipping his orange Lamborghini Miura through sweeping corners and over pretty viaducts, you’ll be disappointed. For starters, it suffers many of the same ailments as the Stelvio. Secondly, only certain parts of the road used in the final cut of the film were actually the St Bernard Pass. And then, the car travels in both directions on the bits that did make it to the silver screen. It was all cleverly spliced together to deliver the ill-fated Beckermann and his soon-to-be-crushed Lambo to a tunnel that resides on a completely different road altogether. All is not lost, however. One of the best

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Alpine roads is nearby, but only snakes through Switzerland, skirting the border with Italy, but not actually crossing it. On the bright side, you won’t get “offed” by a 1960s Mafia stereotype driving a snow plough. The road itself is the Susten Pass and links the Reuss Valley, at the foot of the Gotthard Mountain, with the Hasli Valley in the Bernese Oberland. While popular with cyclists, motorbikes and tourists, it offers a much wider (and better paved) track than the other aforementioned roads, with a far better view of approaching bends and, therefore, plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Opened in 1945, it was the first pass road to be purpose-built for cars and offers the gentleman driver a precipitous 18km ascent to 2,224m, punctuated at the summit by a 300-metre long tunnel (great for those top-down, naturally aspirated V8 Ferraris) and followed by a spectacular, but no less vertiginous 20km descent. It’s an impeccable road surface, littered with drive-with-the-tapsopen straight sections, and wide, soft turns which will test the mettle of either the truly brave (or the truly insane), insofar as how much braking is applied to get round them. There are intermittent hairpin bends that creep up, which are pretty blind, quite tight and can pose a challenge. They require a bit of concentration, as the only thing between the road and certain fiery death are a few large, equally-spaced (just enough to fit a modern day Mini through) blocks of concrete. The Susten Pass is a superb road, which not only delivers adrenaline-pumping, high octane thrills, but also offers breathtaking views of ice-age old glaciers and stunning Alpine vistas. It usually re-opens after the winter period in late May or early June, depending on the conditions, so there’s still plenty of time to restart that Matt Monroe download. V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |


| G ra nd To u r i s m o | Gre a t D r iv in g Ro a ds |

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| G ra nd Tour i s m o | S o m e t h in g Fo r T h e We e ke n d |

Grooming gorgeous! A

little grooming goes a long way, as does a well-manicured gent.

Let Volante

be your guide to the

essential kit required for the modern man.

The Cutting Edge

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Taylor Made

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o matter how good your razor is, if you suffer from sensitive skin, every morning shave or trip to the barber is an exercise in discomfort. Fortunately, the most gentlemanly purveyor of pomades and shaving accoutrements, Taylor of Old Bond Street is at hand. Its “Jermyn Street Collection Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin” has been specially formulated for those of us with a more delicate complexion. It has a modern, fresh fougère fragrance which contains allergenfree Patchouli oil, with notes of bergamot, amber, musk and vanilla, among others. One thing is for certain, with a history stretching back to 1854, you know that it will do exactly what it says on the tub, especially as Taylor remains a familyowned business to this day. While you can buy the Shaving Cream on the company’s website, the next time you’re in London, we recommend a visit to the company’s famous flagship store on Jermyn Street. www.tayloroldbondst.co.uk

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othing says “manly” like whittling away your whiskers with a straight edge “cut throat” razor. It suggests that your hand is a steady as a surgeon’s, that you can be cool in the face of peril and that you can probably walk away from an explosion without looking back. Well, for the man that likes his shaves close and wants them stylish, modern and sleek, we present this beautiful collaboration from Bison and renowned artisan of custom straight razors, Max Sprecher. The Bison Signature Razor features a full-sized 8/8-inch, 1/4 hollow-ground blade intended to last several lifetimes. The blade is forged from 01 carbon steel, with a hardness of 63 on the Rockwell Scale, which means it’s perfect for honing a sharp and long-lasting cutting edge. The handle is made from carbon-fibre “Uni” plate which not only has a density designed to perfectly counterbalance the weight of the blade, but will never rot or warp. Coupled with the superior materials of the blade, this razor will be at the cutting edge of shaving for generations. The Bison Signature is available through Klhip, a creator of precision grooming tools and winner of several industrial design awards. With a price tag of $900, your grandson will definitely be getting your money’s worth. www.klhip.com

A Racy Little Number

Fabled jewellery house, Chopard, has been a sponsor of the Mille Miglia, the 1,000-mile classic car race around Italy, for 27 years. Every year, it produces beautiful limited-edition commemorative watches, like the one featured in the last issue of Volante. While they tend to sell out quickly and can be a bit tricky to get your hands on, in recent years, Chopard has bottled the magic of Mille Miglia with the production of a far more accessible, masculine fragrance. The scent itself is a blend of amber, wood and coffee beans, enlivened with bergamot and juniper which, according to Chopard, inspires three things every racing driver needs - concentration, inner peace and unshakable selfconfidence. This racy fragrance, which was masterfully created by perfumers Olivier Polge and Bruno Jovanovic, echoes the basic tenants of watch-making and automobile design. Mille Miglia, encased in a bottle of minimalist steel and chic matte black, exudes an unmistakably macho elegance. The black rubber cap is inspired, like the strap on many editions of the Chopard watches, by Dunlop’s racing tyres, mimicking their durability and the iconic tread design.

www.chopard.com

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| G ra nd Tour i s m o | S o m e t h in g Fo r T h e We e ke n d |

accessorise all areas Some of life’s greatest pleasures are its little vices, like a fine cigar over post-dinner drinks. Next time the Montecristos are passed around, don’t be encumbered by inferior gear.

A Cut Above

On The Case

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ike anything, to do a good job, you need the right tools and they don’t come much better than this $330 Davidoff Nicaragua double blade cutter. Entirely made of stainless steel, the two blades are razor sharp and a 21mm diameter enables aficionados to snip the tip off cigars up to a 56 ring gauge. To guarantee optimal stability, handles and blades have been welded together using a special laser application and an integrated spring system ensures that they slide smoothly. The Nicaragua will finely cut your cigar in such a way that you will be able to fully enjoy the nuanced flavours and intensity of your chosen smoke. Davidoff has been in the cigar game for 140 years, so when you wield this inimitable blade, people will notice that you are all about quality. www.davidoff.com

Light Fantastic

As we mentioned in the last issue of Volante, Dunhill prides itself on delivering beautifully crafted, functional accessories. The classic Rollagas lighter is one of their most famous. Developed in the mid1950s, it was one of the first butane gas lighters. Its iconic design has remained relatively unchanged in the last 65 years, bar a few functional improvements, and enjoys that most status-affirming of associations: Ian Fleming’s fictional super spy, 007. James Bond used one regularly in print and perhaps most memorably on-screen during Sean Connery’s charismatic introduction in Dr. No. They are, as you would expect from Dunhill, incredibly well made and so robust they last for decades. In fact the market for vintage Dunhill Rollagas lighters is huge, and the older they get, the more valuable they become. Most importantly though, they are aesthetically beautiful, reassuringly expensive, feel luxurious in your hand and they make a lasting impression the minute you offer to light someone’s smoke.

A Gent’s essential item

For the last decade, Brizard & Co has been one of the foremost makers of fine cigar cases. Recognising the passion that exists between a man and his cigar, combined with the privileged experience of the relaxation and enjoyment therein, Brizard has always revered the surrounding rituals as a tradition and its products are a way of honouring the “art of cigars.” Out of respect for the laborious process of making a premium cigar, Brizard & Co’s cases are all handmade, using only the finest Italian leathers and exotic woods. This $320 Tan Ostrich Leather “Show Band” 3 Cigar Case, for instance, is fully laminated with Spanish cedar, providing the ideal conditions to preserve the freshness and taste of your cigars. Adjustable cedar dividers are also included to add structural rigidity and protection, while the design features a show band window, easily allowing you to select your smoke without the need to flip the case upside down. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully functional, making sure you look suave, even when selecting your stogie. Pulling this case from your pocket, with its wonderfully tactile facade and the anticipation of the treasures within, is sure to become a welcome first act to your cigar smoking ritual.

www.brizardandco.com

Covered In Style

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moking jackets are making a comeback and The Housecoat is the most flamboyant of the lot. Distinctive in that it is belted at the front with quilted black duchesse satin collar and cuffs, the styling of the jacket is closest to the original robe de chambre, before they were adapted to the shorter style during the Crimean War. This beautifully louche example can be yours for $1,800. www.favourbrook.com

www.dunhill.com

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Time To Race In 1963, Rolex decided to create a watch that would meet the demands of professional racing drivers. Fifty-two years on, and the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is considered a horological and automotive icon.

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amed after one of the world’s most iconic racetracks and inspired by the record-breaking antics of Sir Malcolm Campbell who set a world land speed record by exceeding 300mph in his famous car, Bluebird, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has become both an automotive and a horological icon. The British daredevil reportedly wore a Rolex while chasing that 1935 speed record and, in 1963, as its ties with the world of motorsport grew, the Swiss watchmaker decided to create a watch that would serve the needs - and meet the demands of professional racing drivers. The Cosmograph

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Daytona’s engraved bezel functions as a tachymeter by measuring elapsed time over a given distance. Combined with the chronograph, its scale provides a perfect instrument for measuring speed of up to 400 units per hour, whether expressed in kilometres or miles. An original series Daytona watch is an incredibly rare beast these days, with so few being originals made because of an initial lack of demand. So scarce are they, that in 2013, during a special Rolex-themed auction, Christie’s sold a rare stainless steel 1969 Daytona (Ref. 6263) for over one million US dollars. Despite its early sluggishness in the market, V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

the popularity of the watch gained traction when it was discovered that the motor racing-addicted legend of the silver screen, Paul Newman, wore a Daytona. In fact, it is beleived that he wore it every single day from 1972, when it was given to him by his wife, until his death in 2008. The short supply led to a second series being developed to meet demand, which was introduced in 1988 using a Zenith “El Primero” modified automatic winding movement. The movement was originally manufactured and released in 1969 and Rolex purchased the remainder for the Daytona. They were then modified from 36,000 vibrations per hour (VPH) to 28,800VPH, along with a few other subtle changes. These later series Daytonas, pre-dating Rolex’s in-house movements, were produced in limited quantities from 1988 to 2000. The current Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with the company’s in-house calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture incorporates far fewer components than a standard chronograph, which the company claims enhances reliability. Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 4130 is a certified Swiss chronometer, which features a Parachrom hairspring, offering greater resistance to shocks and to temperature variations - essential for motorsport where such things are constant occurrences. The Daytona has helped cement the racing credentials which Rolex has been pursuing since the late 1950s, when it formed a lasting alliance with one of North America’s most renowned circuits, the Daytona International Speedway. This is a bond celebrated by the Cosmograph Daytona since the 1960s. Today, Rolex sponsors the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the only race of its kind in North America. It sits alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans as one of the most famous and revered endurance races in the world. More recently, Rolex has forged a long-term partnership with Formula 1 as a Global Partner as its Official Timepiece, not only reinforcing its long-standing commitment to motor racing at the very highest level, but justifying the Daytona’s place amongst the pantheon of the all-time great sporting timepieces.


The popularity of the watch gained traction when it was discovered that the motor racingaddicted legend of the silver screen, Paul Newman, wore a Rolex Daytona.

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dJ Lessons There

is nothing that will make you feel as debonair as wearing a well-cut dinner jacket.

Black

tie

though, while beautiful in its simplicity, needs to be done right.

hard & fast rules

Black And Blue

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he traditional black-tie evening wear evolved from the coat and tails worn by late nineteenth century British gentlemen, whose daily pursuits of riding, hunting and industrialising the world required something a little more practical. It was Queen Victoria’s eldest son, the sartorial rebel and noted rake, Albert, Prince of Wales, who started the trend for the tail-less coat, ordering one to be made by Saville Row stalwart, Henry Poole & Co. It was tailored for use at Sandringham, the

Prince’s informal country estate. He described it as a smoking jacket, and like his rule about keeping the last button of a waistcoat undone, it quickly passed into fashion norm. It remains, to this day, the standard semi-formal attire (white-tie being the most formal) for men and, like the ladies’ little black dress, a tailored blacktie ensemble should be a staple in every chap’s wardrobe. The DJ is beautiful in its simplicity, but when dressing to impress, there are a few hard and fast rules to follow.

■ Jacket: Black or midnight blue jackets which can be singleor double-breasted with either peaked or shawl lapels, but never notched. ■ Shirt: A white dress shirt with a turneddown collar is a must. Winged collars, once acceptable, are now the preserve of the white-tie dress code. Dress shirts must be double-cuffed and fastened with cufflinks or studs. ■ Trousers: These should match the material of the jacket and are usually tapered slightly with one braid running down the outside of each leg. ■ Braces: Never wear a belt, even if hidden by a cummerbund. Instead opt for braces, in either black or white. ■ Waistcoat / Cummerbund: If wearing a single breasted jacket a

low-cut waistcoat or cummerbund should be worn. The primary purpose is to conceal the bit of white shirt between your jacket button and waistband. With a Cummerbund, the folds should point upwards. ■ Bow Tie: A hand-tied black bow tie only. The black necktie is the preserve of funerals, vapid reality TV stars and premier league soccer players. ■ Socks: Black silk evening socks or conventional black wool or cotton socks only. ■ Shoes: You are not Kanye West. Be thankful for that and ensure you only wear patent, or well-polished, black leather lace-up shoes in an Oxford or Derby style. ■ Pocket Square: A top pocket handkerchief, if worn, should be white.

Do The White Thing

T

he “white” variation of black-tie began in the early 1930s as a way for well-heeled holidaymakers to dress formally in the tropical heat without having to endure the heavy and dark-coloured fabrics of the standard evening wear. The key to successful execution of the white dinner jacket is steeped in subtlety and restraint. It is appropriate for formal occasions in the tropics (certainly the Middle East) all year round, but in America during the summer months only and typically at open-air social gatherings. The UK eschews the wearing of the white jacket, just as sartorial sticklers believe that a white jacket should never be worn in the city except, as Esquire once succinctly put it, “if one has a napkin over his arm or a saxophone to

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his lips.” Single- or double-breasted jackets can be worn with either peaked or shawl collars. The cummerbund is worn only with single-breasted jackets and can be used as an opportunity to inject a dash of colour to the ensemble (red or burgundy is the most acceptable alternative). You can match the bow tie to the cummerbund, but in the event you don’t, a black tie in the same fabric is the rule of thumb. Rules for shirts, trousers, shoes and socks remain the same as those pertaining to the more sable alternative, but matching your pocket square to the cummerbund, or adding a contrasting flower to your button hole will add a dash of panache and a license to thrill.


| G ra n d To u r i s m o | Fit t in g Ro o m |

DRESS TO KILL Look the part at your well-stitched threads

Style MADE SIMPLE

next black-tie bash with these and essential accessories.

Favourbrook Fine Tailoring

Sock It To ‘Em

F

Okay, with the white jacket being a more informal alternative to the traditional black Tux, we here at Volante, think that maybe the hard and fast rules on the socks can be bent a little. Especially when you look at these great Paul Smith efforts. Conservatively black, with a little bit of dandy flash courtesy of multi block stripes in the company’s trademark colours. Just enough to hint at your dapper sensitivities without looking garish. In fact, we can attest to the fact that these particular Italian-made, 80 percent cotton hose, look particularly good with a pair of black patent Oxfords. That said, Mr. Smith does a rather good line of socks, with stripes, spots and geometric designs, in a range of colours, which are suitable for all occasions and every conceivable outfit. Apart from shorts and sandals, of course.

avourbrook has showcased its vision of traditional formal wear from London’s Jermyn Street and the beautiful Piccadilly Arcade in the heart of St. James’s since the early 90s. Founded by three friends as a fun antidote to the dull and drab attire of that time, it quickly became a haven of elaborate, elegant and extravagant style for the individually minded. The company has worked hard to remove the starch and stuffiness from the tailoring process, with a knowledgeable and experienced staff, well versed in rules of formal wear, but with the ability to eschew the traditional dictates when the rules need to be bent. Offering three distinct avenues of tailoring: Ready-to-Wear, which is exactly what the name suggests, Madeto-Order, which is the customer’s choice of style and cloth, then fitted and finished. Finally, Made-to-Measure, which utilises the skills of the company’s master cutters and master tailors to create unique, individually crafted clothing. For emulating the white jacket, black tie look opposite, the good news is that Favourbrook is pretty much a one-stop shop. www.favourbrook.com

www.paulsmith.co.uk

A classic accessory, finished in a moiré silk.

Gainsborough Ivory double breasted dinner jacket, vintage moiré silk lapels.

Black Barathea trousers, tapered to match the styling of the dinner jacket. Finished with black grosgrain silk tape.

Brace Yourself

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races (or suspenders, as the Americans like to call them) are making a comeback in both contemporary casual and workplace fashion. We can thank the Hipsters for that, in part anyway. Films like Wolf of Wall Street have also had an impact, particularly on the office-going masses, with people looking to emulate Leonardo DiCaprio’s workplace style. However, when it comes to evening wear, they are an absolute must. If you doubt how good it looks to wear braces with a dinner jacket, cop a look at Daniel Craig’s blacktie rig in Casino Royale. The Tie Bar not only has the black or white braces required for your dinner jacket ensemble, but a whole range of styles. www.thetiebar.com 

Classic white Marcella bibbed dress shirt with fly front, double cuff and deep collar.

A Black-Tie Essential ITEM

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here comes the sun

W

ith spring nearly upon us, we can start looking forward to warm sunny weekends. That means lazing on the beach, bashing the desert dunes, ploughing through the Arabian Gulf on boats and jet skis,

or even just a bit of top-down driving. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll need to be breaking out the sunnies, so here’s Volante’s four favourite classic styles.

Bentley Aviators

Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Designed in 1952 by optical designer Raymond Stegeman, the Wayfarer has become an iconic eyewear design. When they were first introduced, they were radically different to anything else on the market, and were hailed as “a midcentury classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins.” According to design critic Stephen Bayley, the “distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness, but one nicely tempered by the sturdy arms which, according to the advertising, give the frames a ‘masculine look.’” Lauded in popular culture, with numerous movie, TV and musical references, the Wayfarer offers a timeless look that oozes a rebellious, yet sophisticated style.

These aviator-style shades, commissioned by Bentley to complement its flagship luxobarge, the Bentley Mulsanne, are made by Austrian eyewear specialist Estede. With lenses from Carl Zeiss, the shades are hand-crafted with surfaces engraved to emulate the style of a Bentley’s interior quilted leather and emblazoned with Bentley’s famous “Flying B” logo in polished enamel. They are available in 18-carat yellow, rose or white gold and include a bespoke presentation case, fashioned from the the same fine leather hide that adorns the Crew-based company’s car seats.

www.bentleymotors.com

www.ray-ban.com

“W ith my sunglasses I’ m J ack N icholson . W ithout them , I’ m fat and 60.” - J ack N icholson

on ,

Oakley Holbrook Wraparounds

US-brand Oakley is well known for its sporty wraparound shades, usually in bright, vibrant neon colours. The Holbrook, however, is a far more subtle design. Oakley drew its inspiration for these chic shades by echoing the rebellious screen heroes from the 1950s and 60s. The frames are made from the company’s O-Matter, a lightweight yet highly durable stress-resistant material that can withstand environmental extremes - a necessity here in the GCC summer and in the eponymous town of Holbrook, which is found along the historic Route 66 in Arizona, sitting on the outskirts of the painted desert. It’s a classic western badland, that epitomises a spirit of exploration and adventure for which Oakley is famous.

John Varvatos is an American contemporary menswear designer whose love of Rock ‘n’ Roll heavily influences his work. Models for his ad campaigns read like a hall of fame, boasting the likes of Iggy Pop, Dave Matthews, Alice Cooper and Ringo Starr, among others. That influence is easy to see in these retrostyle sunglasses. Easily identified by their guitar headstock-inspired hinges, the signature double V engraved in the top right lens on each pair, as well as the four signature Varvatos hallmarks on each temple tip. The glasses are handmade in Japan and make a signature statement about your cool credentials, especially as they aren’t widely available in this region.

www.oakley.com

www.johnvarvatos.com 

John Varvatos Classic Round Sunglasses

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bright young things With statement-making electric neons, to-toe or mismatched, go for abstract prints for a powerful visual impact.

1

2

3

spring is here with a big colourful bang!

Whether

patterns with a pop culture twist or mix bright colours and

1.Jumper by Acne Studios 2. Swim Shorts by Frescobol Carioca 3. Trainers by Dior Homme 4. T-Shirt by JW Anderson available at Mr. Porter 5. Wallet by Dior Homme 6. Belt by JW Anderson available at Mr. Porter 7. Burberry Prorsum Shoes available at Matches Fashion 8. Leather Card Holder by Valextra available at Matches Fashion 9. Cotton Blend Trousers by Michael Bastian available at Mr. Porter 10. Tailored Shorts by J. Crew available at Mr. Porter 11. Tie-dyed Poplin & Mesh T-Shirt by Kolor available at Mr. Porter 12. Rucksack by Christian Louboutin available at Matches Fashion 13. Sweater by Kenzo available at Matches Fashion

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“T o

me ,

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clothing is a 4

form of self expression

-

there are hints about who you are in what you Compiled by Dina Kabbani

wear .” – Marc Jacobs 6 13

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it’s head-

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Driven mEn

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High Speed driven men

Pursuit Ever since man invented the wheel, the desire to go

ever faster has fascinated us. For some, it is ingrained in their DNA. Breaking speed records became a family affair for the Campbells, but while Malcolm was Knighted for his endeavours, his ill-fated son, Donald, is mostly remembered for his tragic death. Yet, it is the achievement of the junior Campbell, who’s feat of breaking both the Land Speed Record and the Water Speed Record in the same calendar year, that to this day, remains unmatched. 

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Triumph And Tragedy: Donald Campbell was a man driven to emulate the legacy of his father, Sir Malcolm.

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Words: James Nicholls Pictures: James Nicholls / Getty

S

ince the first world Land Speed Record (LSR) of 39.245mph was recorded by the Frenchman, Gaston de Chasseloup Laubat on the 18th December 1898, or the 92.83mph first official world Water Speed Record (WSR) set by George Wood on the 5th September 1928 in Miss America VII in Detroit, many have sacrificed everything, including their lives, to push the boundaries of speed. One man who certainly had the need for speed in his genetic make up was Donald Campbell. His father, Sir Malcolm Campbell, throughout the 1920s and 30s, had set the LSR record no less than nine times and the WSR record four times, before passing

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away of natural causes aged 63 on New Year’s Eve 1948. Donald, no doubt, had much to live up to and his relationship with his famous father is the subject of much discussion. Overcoming the many obstacles set in his path, he set about emulating his father on both land and water before his tragic death on the 4th January 1967 when his boat Bluebird K7 (like his father’s cars and boats, Donald Campbell christened all his vehicles Bluebird) left the surface of Coniston Water in the English Lake District, flipped and smashed. What more Donald Campbell had to prove to himself, his father or the public is difficult to imagine. At the time of his death Campbell Junior had already broken the WSR seven

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times and still held the record at 276.30mph. Donald Campbell was no doubt a complex man, driven to go faster and faster and eventually beyond his - or his machine’s - limits by an innate desire for more speed and the difficult nature of his relationship with Sir Malcolm. Having said this, he is unequivocally, like his father, one of the great heroes in the annals of world speed records. It is now 50 years since Donald Campbell broke the world LSR on Lake Eyre in South Australia with his car Bluebird. On the 17th July 1964 he recorded the incredible speed of 403.100mph in a wheel driven car before the age of jet and, subsequently, rocket propelled cars that followed. On the 31st of December of that same year, the anniversary of his father’s death, he set his final WSR at Lake Dumbleyung in Western Australia. By doing so he became the only person ever to break both the LSR and WSR in the same year. He was also the last man to hold the LSR in a wheel-driven car and the first man to officially break the 400mph barrier. It seems strange that the LSR should be set on a lake, especially when Lake Eyre is one of the largest lakes anywhere in the world. The Lake Eyre Basin covers 1.2 million square miles, one sixth of the total vast continent of Australia. Yet because it is such a dry and arid country the lake is only rarely full and for much of the time it is an enormous parched level area of salt. The lowest point in Australia, 15 metres below sea level, water covers the lake only every seven or eight years and it has only been at capacity three times since the first European, Edward John Eyre, first stumbled upon it in 1840. Even today, Lake Eyre is in the middle of nowhere and it is an adventure in itself to access the very heart of Terra Australis, the big Southern Land - even in a modern four wheel drive vehicle. By the time Campbell eventually broke the world LSR on Lake Eyre, he and his car were already regarded as dinosaurs. Having fought the elements (it rained on his parade at Lake Eyre in both 1963 and


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“Campbell had been trying to break the LSR for nine years, almost killing himself in the process in 1960 at Bonneville before his desperate and ultimately successful attempt in Australia.” 1964 causing huge logistic, safety and morale issues), petty politics and financial concerns while creating a new record, he and Bluebird, with its engine driving the wheels, were old school and old technology. The 1960s were the jet age, the age of space exploration and his achievements, whilst acknowledged, were never regarded in the same light as those of his father and his contemporaries from the inter-war years; Henry Segrave, Parry Thomas, Ray Keech, George Eyston and John Cobb. Donald Campbell had been trying to break the LSR for nine years, almost killing himself in the process in 1960 at Bonneville before his desperate and ultimately successful attempt in Australia in ’64. It was truly a remarkable achievement but,

after the incredible high of setting the world Land Speed Record, he set himself another Herculean task. Already the holder of the world Water Speed Record, which he had increased each year in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958 until reaching 260.35mph on the 14th May 1959, on Lake Coniston in England, Campbell planned to do something no-one else had ever achieved - to break the both the world Land and Water Speed Records in the same calendar year. Even Donald Campbell’s father, Malcolm, who was knighted for his achievements in breaking land and water speed records, had never achieved this. Off he confidently headed with his Bluebird K7 to another lake in South Australia - Lake Bonney. Once again, as at Lake Eyre, Campbell’s attempts were V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

beset by problems. The weather again was not good and Lake Bonney had continuous currents unsettling the surface of the water. With time running out it was decided to relocate to Lake Dumbleyung in the heart of Western Australia’s wheat belt, some 1,600 miles to the west. So the long journey and the logistical nightmare of transportation, accommodation, etc., began once again. Ironically, on the anniversary of Sir Malcolm’s death, the 31st December, Donald Campbell set a new world Water Speed Record of 276.33mph and thus became the only person ever to break the Land and Water Speed Records in the same calendar year, albeit with just a few hours to spare. Two years and four days later the swashbuckling Donald would die 

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at the wheel of Bluebird K7 as he attempted to up the WSR once more on Lake Coniston. A record that has only been bettered three times and now stands at 317.60mph set by Ken Warby in Spirit of Australia on the 8th October 1978 at Blowering Dam in New South Wales. Donald Campbell, perhaps, lived uncomfortably in the shadow of his much celebrated father and, even though he was the first man to pilot a wheeldriven car at over 400mph on the treacherous surface of Lake Eyre when he broke the record, and was still the holder of the Water Speed Record, there was

still possibly a need to prove himself to the old man. Times, though, were a-changing, and in the age of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, moon rockets, jet planes, and James Bond, maybe Donald Campbell and his truly wondrous feats of bravery and skill were not recognised as all that they should have been in the Swinging Sixties. Already in 1963, Craig Breedlove in Spirit of America - a three-wheeled “motorbike” blown along by a jet engine - had recorded figures of 407.45mph on Bonneville, and Campbell’s Land Speed Record was literally blown away by jet-propelled cars. In

“Even though Donald Campbell was the first person to break both the water and land speed records in the same calendar year, there was possibly still a need to prove himself to the old man.”

Above Top: moments before tragedy on Lake Coniston in 1967; Above: Bluebird K7 on its record -breaking run across Lake Dumbleyung in 1965. Left: The local Australian newspaper reports Campbell’s achievement. Right: A young Donald Campbell with his highlydecorated father, Sir Malcolm Cambell.

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October 1964, new records were set five times by Americans, Tom Green, Breedlove and Art Arfons in Green Monster recording 536.710mph to completely put Campbell in the shade. The following year saw the record extended to 600.601mph by Breedlove. The next record was set at 622.407mph five years later by Garry Gabelich in The Blue Flame, though this was only increased to 633.468mph by Richard Noble in Thrust 2 in 1983. The next records did not come until 1997, when, in September of that year, Andy Green, an RAF Squadron Leader, went 714.144mph, before he took his car, Thrust SSC, supersonic, breaking the sound barrier (Mach 1.0175) and setting the current record at 763.035mph. Since then, the record has stood proudly at this mark but, once again, we look to be entering a period of new record attempts as several syndicates around the world look to break the 1,000mph barrier. Amongst those endeavouring to set a new record are Aussie Invader 5R led by Ross McGlashan, who is in the process of constructing the most powerful car ever built, creating 62,000lbs of thrust from its bi-propellent liquid oxygen (LOx) and bio-kerosene rocket motor. It is perhaps, though, the British - who have held the LSR for 31 years - who are the most advanced in this new quest for glory. Bloodhound SSC with Andy Green on board once again is a project scenting something remarkable, as it seeks to inspire a new generation with a renewed enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Bloodhound SSC weighs a whopping 7.5 tonnes and produces 135,000bhp in what its makers describe as the ultimate jet and rocket powered car. To put that into perspective this supersonic car will produce six times the power of ALL the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together! Indeed, it requires an F1 Cosworth engine just to power its fuel pump! Whenever the attempt (now scheduled for 2016), it will leave its mark. After all, the tracks laid down by Sir Malcolm Campbell on the dry Verneuk Salt Pan in South Africa when he reached 218.45mph in 1929 at the helm of his Napier-Campbell Blue Bird are still visible today, as is the legacy of his heroic son half a century ago.


| D r ive n Me n | N a s s e r K h a l ifa A l -At t iya h |

Hail

To The

Chief On a global scale, Qatar’s motor sport credentials have never been higher, while on the domestic front, there is a continuing trend towards greater road safety awareness. It’s all down to the vision of one man, the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation President, Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah. He talks to Volante about his days in “the beautiful game,” what getting behind the wheel as a local rally driver used to be like, his goals for the future with the QMMF and, of course, those Qatar F1 rumours. Words: James McCarthy Pictures: QMMF / Herbert Villadelrey / Getty

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| D r ive n Me n | N a s s e r K h a l ifa A l -At t iya h |

“You are dealing with a machine. You deal with

high-speed risk. You carry fuel in the car. You carry your life.” On a sporting level you are perhaps one of Qatar’s most accomplished people: footballer, football coach, rally driver and now a senior figure in world motorsport. It’s an unorthodox career path, isn’t it?

the talent here, reaching a world class to compete at a high level. We are one of the best, maybe the best country in the region, that is really providing motor sport at the highest level, either with our youth or with our stars, like [Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah]. He won in the WRC, he has won the Middle East Championship ten times and and he has won Dakar twice. We are like a leader in this region on both an organisational level and by challenging with our drivers on world-class level. Our riders and drivers are now respected at the top of their respective disciplines.

Yes, I suppose so. I started as a footballer in Qatar. I played for Al Sadd, and then the Qatari team. After I stopped playing, I started running the national team, as a team manager. I always loved rallying, though. It is one of the most difficult and enjoyable sports. It’s really not a cool sport, but a really tough sport. You are dealing with a machine. You deal with high-speed risk. You carry fuel in the car. You carry your life. As well as that, the physical exertions on the body are quite intense, with very high G-forces and the pressure of the blood and brain. It is really risky whenever you reach 200km/h in the desert. It is not an easy job. People lose their life to this. You need to be really tough mentally and physically to handle it at the highest level. Some drivers, they do it for the enjoyment, so that is different because they love the sport and they want to have fun. If you want to be in the top echelon, it needs focus and work, too much work, in the gym physically and mentally. I did that for 10 years before joining the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, but it is very expensive. It’s not easy to be a rally driver. The work that you are doing now, is that influenced by your time as a driver and the support that you received when you were driving? Has that driven you to create an infrastructure for new drivers, because you maybe didn’t have as much support?

For sure those days were very difficult for us. To invest in rallying or to continue in the business of rallying was very difficult from a financial perspective. We were facing difficulties. Now the situation is much better, because the government is involved and supporting us financially, allowing us to nurture

Do you miss the thrill of competition?

Sometimes. I would love to race again, but I’m getting older now. I carry a big responsibility on my head. I have no time really to ride, anyway, with my work… Ah yes, I’m sure the vice-presidency of the FiA and the FiM keep you very busy, congratulations on your re-election.

Thank you very much. This really gives credit to my region and my country. It will hopefully create good scenarios for the MENA region. As you know, I am controlling the whole MENA, Middle East and North Africa, under my responsibility at the FIA, and also on the FIM side, so we are linking both together for new kinds of projects in the region. Obviously being involved with the FiM and the FiA puts the QMMF on a much bigger, global stage. What is your ultimate goal with the Federation? Opposite Top: A soon to be regular sight? A Scuderia Ferrari F1 car laps Doha’s Corniche; Opposite Bottom: Thanks to the QMMF, the MotoGP is already a regular sporting fixure in Qatar.

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I’d like to see a safe environment in Qatar, reducing the number of accidents and injuries on the roads is one of my main goals now. At this stage, we will continue our motorsport strategy, but it’s really my remaining personal project that is a focus, and that is really fighting to educate society about road safety. To further the sport itself, to work 

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| D r ive n Me n | N a s s e r K h a l ifa A l -At t iya h |

side by side with the young generations coming in to this business in the future with the same potential so that they can accept this challenge. One day, for sure, I will retire, but as an advisor attending in the FIA and Vice President in the FIM, I carry a big responsibility of trust that they gave me. I need to continue working and to continue giving better service to developing motor sport. We need to make something to remember for the future, something for the people to enjoy safely. We have a lot of projects with the schools here to involve them in road and safety projects, because each generation is getting bigger. For sure they are going to drive, or they are going to ride, one day and we deal also with both male and female motorists, so we have to respect both sides and give opportunities to each to get this education. We need the whole of society to support us, to help in this matter, because we are facing a big number of accidents. Education and sports education is so important. To be working together with the road and safety education is currently our main goal.

Above: Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah at the helm of a Subaru Impreza and competing in the 1996 Qatar International Rally, a race which he won in 1992.

Will it be a circuit race or a road race? Am I going to be sitting in my office on the corniche watching Sebastian Vettel crossing the line for the World Championship?

It could be both; half circuit, half corniche. It could be. This is the aim. But already we have strong interest from the government, we have strong interest from Mr Ecclestone, so I’m in the middle really, building these scenarios.

That is excellent work that you have been doing. You’ve done so much in the time that you have been with QMMF. However, What do see for the future? Obviously, we have the MotoGP here, the Qatar Rally and the Middle East Rally Championship, but there have been a lot of rumours that perhaps Qatar will become a future F1 venue. Is there any truth to them?

That will be quite some legacy: the man who brought the world of Formula 1 to the streets of qatar.

We hope. Very soon. We’re sure Mr. Eccleston will keep you very busy in the coming months.

To be honest, we cannot hide this kind of information now because we were already caught. You know we were

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silent for many months, but Bernie Ecclestone himself already announced in The Independent newspaper that Qatar has the chance in 2016 or 2017 to host a round of the F1 season. For sure now I can tell you that we have been in negotiations, we have been preparing the agreement together and it’s now a matter of just a little bit of work, to modify some of the small details of the agreement to continue to sign and to build the project. We are really moving forward strongly on this project and we are ready to start, but we need a little bit of time to clarify things. It is a huge agreement. We need to finalise it very quickly, but we are in the final stages.

Yes, but we are ready for that. V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |


The clubhouse

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| T h e C l u bh o u s e | Au t o m o bil ia |

automobilia Curios

and collectibles that every deserving man-cave should have...

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Winged Messenger

wo of the most prominent names in British luxury have joined forces to create a sumptuous mobile phone. This is the Vertu for Bentley smartphone, swathed in fine quilted calf leather, in the classic Bentley shade of Newmarket Tan, and stitched with the automotive marque’s signature diamond pattern. The supple leather and sapphire crystal screen is encased in grade-5 titanium, which features tactile diamond knurling. A discrete, metal Bentley “Winged B” motif appears on the face of the handset, while the slip case which accompanies every handset also depicts the Bentley logo, embossed on the leather. Its beauty is not just skin deep and, like the cars that bear the same fabled badge, this Bentley is a high-performance product with plenty of power under the hood. With acoustics developed by Bang & Olufsen, a camera tuned by Hasselblad, wireless charging and, perhaps most importantly, the most up-to-date Android operating system, this phone is not just style over substance. Each handset comes with a suite of exclusive services, including the “Vertu Concierge” service alongside a unique “Vertu for Bentley” app, which provides customers with access to exclusive experiences, recommended routes and local chauffeur and dealer information, as well as a shortcut to the Touch Screen Remote features for Bentley Flying Spur drivers. Limited to just 2,000 pieces, the new “Vertu for Bentley” smartphone is available in selected Vertu Boutiques worldwide priced at $17,100. www.vertu.com

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Big BOYS’ TOYS


| T h e C l u bh o u s e | Au t o m o bil ia |

Quick Out Of The Blocks It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never too late to play with Lego. There’s even more excuse now that our favourite Danish brick-based toy has started selling kits based on a new partnership with Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, under the banner: Lego Speed Champions. Seven different sets will be available, complete down to the last detail with mini-figures wearing branded racing car overalls, flags and detailed tools. So, how about a large red Ferrari truck together with the Ferrari F14 T? Or what about getting oily in the McLaren Mercedes pit stop with the MP4-29? Maybe you fancy rocketing down the home stretch with real start lights in two Porsche 911s? Whatever your choice, you will enjoy many productive hours putting them together - and even more playing with them when the family is not around.

www.lego.com

Timeless Prose

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ininfarina is one of the most famous names in car design. The Italian styling house has created the silhouette of some of the world’s most timeless and beautiful cars and is synonymous with beautiful, luxury aesthetics. However, it may come as a surprise to some that the company occasionally turns its hand to applying that ethos to other, more mundane, everyday things. Like pens. This revolutionary writing instrument, for instance. Hand made in Italy, it takes its inspiration from the Cambiano concept car - elegant and

essential lines have been crafted from aluminium and wood to create something unmistakably Pininfarina. However, the most unique aspect of Cambiano Forever Pen, is the ethergraph tip, which allows it to write forever, without the need to ever refill ink. It offers the precision of writing with a sharp pencil, with effortless strokes, while also leaving a permanent mark like your former favourite pen. www.pininfarina.com

Wheelie Good Art

Whether it’s a large black and white Klemantaski print of Sterling Moss at the Nurburgring, or something a little more contemporary, every automotive man-cave needs some artwork hanging on the wall. For something truly unique, you should check out PopbangColour. Ian Cook is a British artist and renowned car enthusiast who has become famous for his unorthodox method of painting his subjects. All of his art is created using radio controlled cars, car tyres and toy car wheels. Describing his work as a “friendly explosion of colour,” Cook’s star has risen over the years, as has his collection of toy cars. He has captured the artistic eye of many an aficionado, not only because of his chosen subject matter and his unusual method of working, but through his dynamic live performance art demonstrations the world over. After one such event, he was asked to paint a portrait of Lewis Hamilton for Reebok the size of a three storey building, using real cars. His website offers a great selection of prints, covering a myriad automotive marques and models, both modern and classic. If you want something truly unique for your man-cave wall, he also takes private and corporate commissions. www.popbangcolour.com 

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| T h e C l u bh o u s e | DVD s |

The Car’s The Star... There’s a long list of movies where the wheels steal the show. This team’s DVD stash to bring you these must-see motoring matinées.

issue we’ve raided the

Volante

Rush (2013) Studio: StudioCanal Director: Ron Howard

T car chase classic

The Italian Job (1969) Studio: Paramount Director: Peter Collinson

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uintessential British caper movie, The Italian Job, sets out its automotive credentials from the opening sequence. The V12 growl of a bright orange Lamborghini Miura set against the backdrop of the stunning Italian Alps, accompanied by the syrup-coated vocals of Matt Monroe’s “On Days Like These,” is pure joy. From there on in it’s a petrol head’s delight. Protagonist Michael Caine is picked up from prison in a Daimler Majestic Major before he collects his gorgeous 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible. As the plot to steal $4 million of gold bullion gets underway, viewers are treated to two Jaguar E-types that get mercilessly destroyed by mafia hit men driving Fiat Dinos. Then there are the numerous police-spec Alfa Romeo Giulias, a Land Rover Series II and, of course, the famous red, white and blue Mini Coopers. When you chuck in the stiff upper lip of Noel Coward, the bawdy comedy of Benny Hill, a car chase that accounts for at least a quarter of the movie and countless fantastically quotable lines from Caine’s cheeky cockney character, Charlie Croker, it all adds up to 95 minutes of superb cinema.

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his retelling of the Niki Lauda and James Hunt duel during the epic 1976 Formula One season is without a doubt one of the best racing movies ever because, for all intents and purposes, it’s steeped heavily in truth, even if certain aspects are slightly exaggerated. Ron Howard assembles an incredible cast, with a stellar - and unnervingly accurate - portrayal of the ill-fated Lauda by Daniel Brühl, while Chris Hemsworth plays Hunt. However, it’s the cars that are the real stars. The film features a fabulous array of authentic vehicles, with two McLaren M23s, two Ferraris (312T and 312T2), two Lotus 77s and two six-wheel Tyrrells. Most other marques of the era were also represented by at least one example. Some cars, however, could not be sourced, so the team had to make their own. Ligier-Matra and Brabham-Alfa replicas, using Rover V8 engines, were commissioned, as well as two 1973 BRM P160s. Equally, stunt doubles were made for the priceless main protagonists: the Ferraris and McLarens. The upside of all of this is that the film doesn’t rely on massive amounts of CGI and, when watched on a big screen, the race sequences are amazing.

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The Cannonball Run (1981) Studio: Contender Director: Hal Needham

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espite being panned by the late doyen of film critics, Roger Ebert, as “an abdication of artistic responsibility at the lowest possible level of ambition. In other words, they didn’t even care enough to make a good lousy movie,” The Cannonball Run was a massive commercial success. If you’re looking for wall-to-wall automotive exotica, thinly veiled sexual innuendo, comical stereotyping, impossible stunts, chases and spectacular car crashes, then this is the movie for you. Believe it or not, it’s actually based on a true story, that of the 1979 running of the “Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash,” a US cross-country outlaw road race held four times in the 1970s. We were hooked from the moment the Lamborghini Countach appeared, driven by two spandex-clad Playboy models, outrunning a hapless highway patrol car. There’s also a Ferrari 308GTS occupied by Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., an Aston Martin DB5 driven by Roger Moore and a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow piloted by a comical Saudi Sheikh, all competing to be the first to cross America, coast-to-coast, in the fastest possible time. Oh, and Burt Reynolds is the epically-moustachioed hero. What’s not to love?


| T h e C l u bh o u s e | DVD s |

C’était un Rendezvous (1976)

editor’s choice

Studio: Spirit Level Films Director: Claude Lelouch

I Le Mans (1971) Studio: Paramount Director: Lee H. Katzin

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ilmed in a documentary style and starring the king of cool, Steve McQueen, as racing driver Michael Delaney, there is no dialogue in the first 37 minutes of Le Mans and there is barely any plot thereafter. There is, however, a lot of actual footage from the real 24 hours of Le Mans, which ran in June 1970, and the film remains hugely popular with petrol heads to this day as it is considered a relatively accurate depiction of the era. Delaney drives the Gulf-liveried “long tail” Porsche 917K and much of the racing in the movie is based on the rivalry between the Gulf Porsche team and the works Ferrari 512 of Erich Stahler (played by Siegfried Rauch) - a play on the actual competition between Ferrari and the JW Automotive Engineering team. By 1970, McQueen was already an accomplished racer in real life and one of his cars, a Porsche 908/2, in which he had previously co-driven to a second place at the 12 Hours of Sebring, was entered to compete in the actual Le Mans race by Solar Productions and was equipped with heavy movie cameras to provide the actual racing footage from the track, adding an even greater degree of authenticity to the film.

t’s an illegal, highly dangerous documentary that Jeremy Clarkson once said “makes Bullitt look like a cartoon.” C’était un Rendezvous (It was a Date), is an eight-minute, POV, non-stop drive through Paris in the early hours of an August morning in 1976, accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, toe-to-heel gear changes and squealing tyres. Recently remastered and re-released on BluRay, strap yourself in and watch as, at speeds claimed to be around 140mph, pedestrians are narrowly avoided, pigeons are scattered and rules of the road, such as speed limits, red lights and one-way systems are summarily ignored in this captivating one-take, high-speed thrill ride. At one point the car even mounts the curb to avoid a rubbish lorry. The car itself is never seen, though pictures that have since surfaced show that it is a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 with a camera mounted on the front grille. Director, Claude Lelouch, later admitted to being the driver and in order to achieve a more visceral soundtrack, repeated the drive later using his Ferrari 275GTB. Urban legend has it that Lelouche was arrested after it was first screened. When asked if, at any point, he was scared, he simply replied: “yes, but only that I would run out of film.”

Dukes of Hazzard (2005) Studio: Warner Bros Director: Jay Chandrasekhar

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his movie makes it into the mix, in part, purely out of nostalgia, but also because, again, the car is the star. The 1969 Dodge Charger, emblazoned with the Confederate flag and nicknamed the “General Lee” is arguably the most iconic TV muscle car. Ever. While the portrayal of the eponymous Bo and Luke Duke by Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville may have left a bad taste in the mouths

of many fans of the 1980s TV show, the General’s epic car chase through the streets of Atlanta is a definite highlight. Set against an AC/DC soundtrack, there are power slides and ridiculously long drifts all finished off with an impossible jump onto a trafficfilled freeway. No doubt, many Chargers were sacrificed in the completion of that stunt, as they probably were in the Hazzard County Road Rally, the final act of the movie which offers even more high-octane thrills. Whatever you may think of the weak plot, terrible acting and Willie Nelson’s awful jokes, no true petrol head can deny that seeing the General back on the screen satisfied the car-loving kid inside all of us.

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| E x h a u s t No t e |

Our

parting shot,

as we head off into the distance for this issue looks at a car that, had it survived past the concept stage, would have seen

Bentley, Lagonda, Maybach and Rolls-Royce all reaching for the panic button

Galibier: The Road Less Travelled

With the news that the final Veyron has already been sold and that the company will continue to focus on two-seater hypercars, we look back to a rainy day in Molsheim when Bugatti pondered an, arguably, more compelling future direction. Words: James McCarthy Pictures: Bugatti

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ack in 2010, Bugatti unveiled the Galibier 16C. Named after an especially challenging Alpine pass in the Tour de France, it was set to become the world’s most highperformance saloon car and would thrust Bugatti into the second decade of the 21st century once its run of Veyron supercars came to an end. With the same W16 engine as the Veyron relocated over the front axle, the company targeted around 900 horsepower and a 240mph top speed, while twin mechanical superchargers increased lowend torque to 950Nm. Probably the least expected part was that, in a tip of its hat to the green lobby, the new Galibier 16C was likely to offer owners a choice of standard fuel or bioethanol, making it a supercar with a family focus and an environmentalist’s heart.

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However, it was the striking attention to detail that made the Galibier more than just a run-of-the-mill concept car. From the glowing EB logo on the hubcaps and the removable Parmigiani watch/ dashboard clock, to the Bose headphone compartments that sat flush inside the interior door panels, the car was a very carefully thought out piece of design engineering. Perhaps one of the most captivating elements of the Galibier though, was its automated butterfly-wing bonnet, which opened like an exquisite jewel case to reveal that gem of an engine. Much of the exterior of the Galibier paid homage to the captivating Bugatti Type 57 Atlantique. The rear window was bisected by a central ridge running the length of the car’s fastback design, finishing with the flourish of eight exhausts, bunched in two groups of four, poking out from either side, and a glass covered registration plate. V o l a n t e | M a rc h 20 1 5 |

Despite the clear Veyron DNA starting from the front and, at the rear, the clamshell two-tone theme and sheer presence of the Galibier evoked the romance of the golden age of Bugatti in a car for the 21st century.


A Journal for the Gentleman Driver

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A Journal for the Gentleman Driver

Director of Publications Mohamed Jaidah m.jaidah@firefly-me.com General Manager Joe Marritt j.marritt@firefly-me.com Regional Managing Editor James McCarthy j.mccarthy@firefly-me.com Creative Director Helen Louise Carter Production Coordinator Ronald Alvin Baron International Sales Director Julia Toon, j.toon@firefly-me.com Regional Sales Area Manager, Qatar Chirine Halabi, c.halabi@firefly-me.com Area Manager, UAE Nesreen Shalaby, n.shalaby@urjuan-me.com Deputy Sales Manager Masha Ivanova, m.ivanova@firefly-me.com Printing & Distribution Distribution Manager Azqa Haroon Logistics Manager Joseph Isaac Printer Ali Bin Ali Printing Press, Doha, Qatar Publisher: Firefly Communications, PO Box 11596, Doha, Qatar. Tel: +974 4434 0360 Fax: +974 4434 0359 info@firefly-me.com www.firefly-me.com www.volantemagazine.com @volante_magazine

Š2015 Volante is published as a bi-monthly supplement to Sur la Terre Arabia by Firefly Communications in Qatar and Urjuan Media in the UAE. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, without the prior written permission of Firefly Communications or Urjuan Media, is prohibited. All content is believed to be factual at the time of going to print, and contributors’ views are their own derived opinions and not necessarily that of Firefly Communications, Urjuan Media or Volante. No responsibility or liability is accepted by the publishers or editorial staff for any loss occasioned to any individual or company, legally, financially or physically, as a result of any statement, fact, figure or expression of opinion or belief appearing in Volante. The publisher does not officially endorse any advertising or advertorial content for third party products. Photography and image credits, where not otherwise stated, are those of Getty Images and/or Shutterstock and/or Firefly Communications / Urjuan Media, each of which retains their individual copyrights.

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Volante Magazine - Issue 2 - March 2015