It’s well known that the Rolls-Royce Bespoke division can personalise a car in virtually any way that its customers desire, sometimes irrespective of practicality or good taste. Even so, the company says that the three Phantom Drophead coupes created for the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London this week are the most collectable and unobtainable Rolls-Royces ever made. The three white Phantom Dropheads are the first Rolls-Royces in 108 years to be badged with something other than the classic double-R logo. In its place is a representation of the Spirit of Ecstasy wearing a Union Jack, instead of the traditional flowing gown. The steering wheel centre features a graphic of a laurel wreath and torch, while the self-righting wheel centres (which stay upright even when the car is moving) carry a London 2012 logo and the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).
Velocity for Veloster
Hyundai New Zealand has introduced a faster version of its quirky Veloster coupe. The Veloster turbo has a 1.6-litre engine with 50% more power and 60% more torque: 150kW/262Nm. It comes in manual or automatic versions and costs $49,990 – $5000 more than the non-turbo Elite version. The Veloster’s unique selling proposition is its body configuration: one door on the driver’s side and two on the offside.
Show and tell
In this part of the world, the motor industry is gearing up for the Australian International Motor Show, which will be open in Sydney from October 19 to 28. The Australian brands usually pull out something special for the local crowd, although they’re also usually tightlipped about exactly what until show-day. One of the most important new models to appear at Sydney will be the all-new Mazda6, which makes its worldwide debut in Moscow at the end of this month.
Globally, all eyes are on the Paris Motor Show, which kicks off on September 27. The sttar attraction for Paris is likely to be the global debut of the Jaguar F-Type, an all-aluminum two-seater that will be launched first as a convertible, with the coupe to follow. Engines will include a supercharged V6 and a new version of the maker’s existing supercharged V8. The timing of the F-Type launch might even be right for Jaguar New Zealand to achieve the impossible: launch a European convertible in this country when we’re not in the grip of winter.
Room with no view
Racing really might improve the breed. Not in performance or handling but perhaps in rear vision mirror technology. The new Audi R8 E-Tron road car due later this year will feature a digital rear vision mirror, with images fed onto a 7.7-inch screen by a camera mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The camera system was used on Audi’s R18 racing cars in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race this year. Like the R18, the R8 E-Tron has no rear window and thus no opportunity for the driver to see what’s behind the car. Audi claims the camera/screen setup produces a brilliant picture thanks to Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology – similar to that used in some high-end smartphones. It also gives a wider field of vision than a conventional camera.