Luxe

The finer things

The Ford GT40 Is a Le Mans Legend. Now You Can Own a Soup-to-Nuts Replica for $300,000.

The Ford GT40 Is a Le Mans Legend. Now You Can Own a Soup-to-Nuts Replica for $300,000.

Sitting just 40 inches above the ground, the GT40 feels impossibly low upon entry. But slither over the sill-mounted shifter, under the Frisbee-sized steering wheel and into the right-hand seat, stab the start button and you’re rewarded with pure sonic adrenaline. The engine explodes to life, sucking a whale-lung’s worth of air into four Weber carbs and bellowing from an exhaust loud enough to rouse Beethoven.

With its sweep of the top three finishes at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, the GT40 became an instant icon. Powered by a fire-breathing Ford 427 cu in V-8 engine, it continued its first-place streak at the fabled endurance race through 1969, fit, for the latter two races, with a 302 cu in V-8.

A rear view shot of the fire-breathing race car. 

Robb Rice

This is a Tool Room GT40P/1075, built to replicate every nut and bolt of the same car that won in ’68 and ’69. Made in South Africa by Superformance (under license from Gulf Oil and Safir GT40) each Tool Room car bears a chassis number within the original P1000 series and can be homologated for historic racing. Impeccably constructed and wearing the iconic Gulf livery, the Tool Room GT40 costs from $300,000 to $330,000 ready to roll, depending on engine and options; a non-homologated version called the 50th Anniversary GT40 starts around $250,000 and comes with air-conditioning, optional left-hand drive and modern components.
Stretching its legs through sweeping back road curves, the car’s 14-inch-wide rear tires push like a steamroller. The brute is a challenge to control, with serious understeer, a suspension that transmits every pebble and a recalcitrant shift linkage, all battled from a stiflingly hot, cramped interior full of gasoline fumes. Yet the visceral experience becomes more addictive and exhilarating with every sweeper—a muscular, aggressive dance requiring constant concentration on steering, shifting, braking and maintaining revs above 3,500 rpm (without radiator fans, the car will boil to death if not kept at speed).

An inside look of the racer’s circuit-ready interior. 

Robb Rice

Having spent years behind the wheel of a De Tomaso Mangusta, which shares the same Ford 302 power plant and ZF transmission, I’m endeared to the quirks and personality of the GT40. But make no mistake: This is a high-strung race car, inspired by 420 hp and 425 ft lbs of torque at 5,500 rpm. It requires effort, though as far as work goes, it’s the thoroughly rewarding variety. At 7,000 rpm, the cockpit’s apocalyptic cacophony becomes an ecstatic jackhammering—the sort of sound one might expect if shattering the space-time continuum and landing, say, at Circuit de la Sarthe, circa 1969.

Bugatti’s Final Divo Is Here, and It’s the Bluest Thing You’ll See Today

Bugatti’s Final Divo Is Here, and It’s the Bluest Thing You’ll See Today

Bugatti is bidding adieu to the Divo in style.

The French automaker has just unveiled the last example from the bespoke hypercar’s limited production run. Debuting almost exactly three years after the gorgeous track-focused speed machine was first announced, the 40th Divo is set to go to a loyal Bugatti owner based in Europe.

The final limited-edition Bugatti Divo hypercar 

Bugatti

First announced at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 2018, the Divo, which is named after French racing legend Albert Divo, represents the marque’s first coachbuilding project of the 21st century. It’s basically a track-focused Chiron underneath an even more exaggerated and aerodynamic body inspired by the Type 57SC Atlantic and Vision Gran Turismo. The car was only offered to a select number of loyal customers, each of whom worked with Bugatti to design a car to their specifications. The idea proved to be a hit, as the entire production run was already spoken for by the time the car made its debut.

Inside the final Divo 

Bugatti

The final Divo is finished in bright EB 110 LM blue, similar to the color worn by Bugatti’s last Le Mans car. It’s accented with dark blue carbon and rides on a set of matte gold rims. The blue motif continues inside the car, where you’ll find seats and dashboard covered in French Racing Blue and Deep Blue, broken up by touches of matte grey carbon.  It’s nowhere near as outlandish as some of the Divos we’ve seen, but it is completely unique, just like every other example from the production run.
Like the Chiron before it, the Divo is powered by a 8.0-liter quad-turbo W-16. Mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the massive mill produces 1,500 hp and 1,180 ft lbs of torque and can push the car to an electronically limited top speed of 236 mph. An overall 77-pound weight reduction, 198 pounds of added downforce and a reworked suspension combine to make for a car that handles better than the one it’s based on.

Bugatti

Considering the cost of a standard Bugatti, it’ll come as little surprise that the Divo is even pricier. The figure for the final example wasn’t announced, but the hypercar starts at $5.4 million before customization costs. Still, given that there are only 40 Divos, and each is unique, this may well be a collector car that ultimately pays for itself.

Jenni Kayne and Malia Mills Are Courting Shoppers in the Hamptons

Jenni Kayne and Malia Mills Are Courting Shoppers in the Hamptons

With the Hamptons overridden with summer residents, day trippers and city escapees, the number of brands looking to entice shoppers there is increasing.
Jenni Kayne is opening a permanent store and design showroom in Amangansett at 10 Amagansett Square Drive on July 28. Located near Ulla Johnson and Henry Lehr, the shop is offering the brand’s full furniture collection as well as apparel and accessories. Shoppers in the 1,500-square-foot store can check out the brand’s first design bar and meet Kayne’s team of interiors designers, on staff to offer inspiration projects, review swatches and wood samples, assist with ordering furniture and more.
Activations and special events are in the works for a limited time, including complimentary yoga on the lawn with Mandala Yoga Amagansett and complimentary hand-stitching monogramming and embroidery from Rachel Hearn.

So far, bestsellers include the Fisherman Sweater, a relaxed look offered in cotton and cashmere that retails from $295 to $395, according to a company spokeswoman. Mules in suede or shearling that retail between $395 and $425 have also been of interest.
Meanwhile, swimwear designer Malia Mills has teamed up with the Little Red Planet’s Mindi Smith to open a pop-up in the latter’s permanent store in Sag Harbor. There is also a creative space for artists and designers. Mills’ pop-up there will stay open through the end of September. Instead of paving different routes, there are benefits to working together with people that share your ethos, work ethic and quality, Mills said.

Shoppers will find swimwear, clothing, accessories and other items for a range of ages. Mills started her swimwear line more than 25 years ago in New York City. The Little Red Planet specializes in sustainable children’s wear from 30 international designers.
Mills and Smith decided to team up after Mills closed two stores in the Hamptons and Smith relocated hers last year. The Little Red Planet outpost is located at 34 Long Island Avenue. “It’s awesome the ultimate summer share. We’re sharing our house. We’re sharing her store,” said Mills.
Having had a Hamptons location for 12 years, the company has a loyal following there, Mills said. Shoppers are now more inclined to shop online and in-person, and they are price-conscious, the designer said. “Our customer is very supportive of us. They have been shopping with us throughout the pandemic. Obviously, that’s something that we’re grateful for,” she said.
A popular item is the $125 zero-waste Course of Trade “Chi It Forward” bag that is sewn by women who have been victims of sexual violence, been incarcerated or are struggling to be financially independent. Mills’ production director Libby Mattern created this industrial learn-to-sew program, which also includes resume writing and other essential trainings, a few years ago.

This 1-of-25 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR Could Fetch $10 Million at Auction

This 1-of-25 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR Could Fetch $10 Million at Auction

One of the most impressive supercars to have come out of the ‘90s is heading to auction.

The rarity in question is a 1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR Strassenversion. While its name is quite the mouthful, this high-octane beast represents the pinnacle of German auto engineering and has quite the backstory.
The sleek two-door is actually a riff on the automaker’s formidable CLK GTR racecar, which dominated the FIA GT championships in 1997 and ’98. The Strassenversion or “street version” was limited to just 25 and is especially sought-after among collectors.

This particular model, which will go under the gavel during Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction, was the ninth model to roll of the line and is presented in pristine condition.

The Benz still sports a retro dash with analog gauges. 

Gooding & Company

Under the hood, the car sports a naturally-aspirated 6.9-liter V-12 mated to a paddle-shifted 6-speed Xtrac sequential transaxle and can churn out 604 hp and 572 ft lbs of torque. The road rocket has a top speed of 214 mph and can soar from a standstill to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. The car has the same wishbone suspension as its track twin but includes softer springs and dampers plus a higher ride height to make it more conducive to the streets.
The 23-year-old ride has changed hands only a few times and has just 896 miles on the dial. It also retains all its original finishes, including a retro dash with analog gauges. As such, it’s likely to fetch a pretty penny. Gooding & Company expects the car to hammer for between $8.5 million and $10 million at the upcoming sale, which is running August 13-14.
This four-wheeler is no stranger to eye-popping sums. When it was released in ‘97, it broke the record for the most expensive production car ever made thanks to its $1.5 million price tag.
The auction house says the seminal Benz comes to auction at a time when enthusiasm for homologation specials could not be stronger. Surely, that’s reason enough to put a bid in.
Check out more photos below:

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company

Justin Bieber Stars in Balenciaga’s New Campaign

Justin Bieber Stars in Balenciaga’s New Campaign

MOONLIGHTING: A meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron wasn’t the only thing on Justin Bieber’s Paris agenda last month.
Rumors that the “Sorry” singer had taken advantage of his romantic getaway with wife Hailey Bieber in the French capital to shoot a Balenciaga campaign were confirmed on Friday, when the brand dropped the first of a series of portraits by American art photographer Katy Grannan.
To be revealed in three phases, the visuals also feature French actress Isabelle Huppert, alongside regular Balenciaga runway models Eliza Douglas, Awar Adhiero Odhiang, Anania Orgeas, Isabelle Weldon Herouard, Minttu Vesala, Litay Marcus, Emmanuel Culkin Mugisha, Abdou Diop, Taishi Suzuki and Hans Schmidt.

Isabelle Huppert in the Balenciaga campaign. 
Katy Grannan/Courtesy of Balenciaga

Shot on sets that evoke the atmosphere of Los Angeles parking lots, in a nod to Grannan’s street portraits, they show the models in seasonless ready-to-wear and accessories, including the Le Cagole handbag, named after derogatory French slang for people with a tacky dress sense.
Bieber wears the introduced DIY Runner sneakers, which feature a one-of-a-kind, handmade vintage look by using raw cuts, stitches and glue for the mesh and leather upper.
In the fall, Balenciaga unveiled a giant billboard on the side of the Louvre museum starring Cardi B, reclining on fake grass surrounded by kids’ toys. Stars including Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are regulars at creative director Demna Gvasalia’s runway shows, including his recent debut at Paris Couture Week.

Balenciaga’s Le Cagole handbag. 
Courtesy of Balenciaga

SEE ALSO:
Cardi B Takes Over Louvre With Balenciaga Billboard
Inside Balenciaga’s Couture Comeback
Launch of Balenciaga Runner to Be Offered Exclusively at Kith

From Dash to Wrist

From Dash to Wrist

Porsche Design echoes its dashboard clock with a set of chronometers.
To complement the Sport Chrono Porsche Design clock designed for Porsche Panarama and the Porsche Taycan car interior, Porsche Design in the past year introduced a matching the Sport Chrono wristwatch collection.
The line, while not brand new, is impressive. It includes three models that closely match the automotive clock, complete with a small seconds subdial (above), plus one additional model boasting a flyback chronograph.
As with the clock, the operative word is chrono – for chronometer. While only one of the two models is a chronograph, both are officially certified COSC chronometers, with all the enhanced precision that certificate confers.
With its small seconds subdial at six o’clock as on the dashboard timer, the three-hand Sport Chrono Subsecond is 42mm titanium watch offered with either a black, blue or brown dial. Each dial comes with a color-matched rubber strap.
Inside these watches Porsche Design fits its estimable in-house developed Porsche Design caliber WERK 03.200.

The chronograph
While the Sub Second chronometer models feature closed case backs, the chronograph model boasts a clear sapphire case back. This wise choice offers a clear view of Porsche Design’s eye-catching caliber WERK 01.100, with its Porsche-centric P-Icon design.
Other classic Porsche Design features include an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a leather strap made from Porsche interior leather and a titanium folding clasp with safety push buttons.
Prices: $4,750 (Sport Chrono Subsecond) and $6,150 (automatic chronograph). 

First Drives: Jaguar’s 2021 XF and F-Pace Mark the End of an Era with a Grand Exit

First Drives: Jaguar’s 2021 XF and F-Pace Mark the End of an Era with a Grand Exit

Jaguar is a brand that combines three favorite automotive traits to various degrees: performance, luxury and style. In the 1960s, models like the Mark 2 and the E-Type represented the fastest cars, by a considerable margin, that you could get at a semi-affordable price. In the 1970s, the marque underwent a significant transformation, mainly driven by the US market: Jaguars became plush and luxurious, the brand image was defined by polished burl walnut dashboards, Connolly leather and, of course, the silky V-12 engine. By 2007, with the advent of the original XF, the automaker had refocused on contemporary, modern styling epitomized by designer Ian Callum’s first-generation XF and, subsequently, by the F-Type.

Now Jaguar is reinventing itself again. On the cusp of the electric age that is presumably upon us, Jaguar has announced that it will go fully electric by 2025. That doesn’t just mean there will be no more conventionally powered cars launched; it means that the entire current lineup, with the exception of the I-Pace, will be gone in just three-and-a-half years. And the consolidation of the portfolio has begun.

For the grand finale, Jaguar has made the XF sedan and F-Pace SUV more attractive, and more affordable. We recently drove both of them—specifically, the XF P300 R-Dynamic SE AWD with a 296 hp four-cylinder, and the F-Pace P400 R-Dynamic S powered by a 395 hp straight-six engine.

The 2021 Jaguar XF sedan. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Let’s start with the XF, which according to Jaguar USA CEO Joe Eberhardt represents “a segment that has been reduced dramatically over the past few years.” Up to the last model year, Jaguar offered both the more compact XE and the XF and, just two years ago, Jaguar also offered the big XJ. Now it’s XF only, and it has gone from 10 versions down to only 3. The Sportbrake is gone, and so is the six-cylinder engine. There are no more diesels, either. How is less choice a good thing?
Not so fast, says Eberhardt: “If you have fairly small volumes with a highly complex and proliferated lineup, it gives the consumer the appearance of choice.” He notes, however, that customers often went to the dealer and found out that most variants were sold out. “So we focused on combinations that are most interesting from a customer perspective,” adds Eberhardt. And Jaguar made them less expensive, by a substantial amount. The entry-level price was lowered from $51,100 to $43,995, about 20 percent to 25 percent cheaper than a similar Audi A6, BMW 5-series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The new XF wears more aggressively styled headlights and gaping front air intakes. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

No wonder the XE is gone. “As you know, in the US bigger is better,” Eberhardt says. “There is really no benefit in having the smaller car.” But there is a benefit in having a small engine: With the switch from the aging AJ V-6 engine to the new Ingenium straight-six, there is simply no more room under the hood of the XF. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder, sold with 246 hp and rear-wheel drive, or with 296 hp and all-wheel drive, must do. According to Eberhardt, “A lot of our customers don’t know whether they have a four-, six- or eight-cylinder engine. They just know that around 300 hp will allow them to accelerate as quickly as they need.”
Before getting behind the wheel of the XF, we first notice the updated exterior. Little has changed, the most significant upgrade being the more aggressively styled headlights with double “J”-shaped LED stripes. And the XF sedan is now fitted with the smoked taillights previously used on the defunct Sportbrake version. Even the entry-level models feature the gaping front air intakes of the R-Dynamic variant, distinguished only by bright accents.

The XF is now fitted with the smoked taillights previously used on the defunct Sportbrake version. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

The body has aged well, its proportions hinting at the rear-wheel-drive platform. The drag coefficient is an excellent 0.25, slightly better than before the facelift. The lower air intakes are more aggressive than before, especially on the standard versions, but conversely, the look is less elegant.
Yet those are small modifications. Far greater changes have taken place inside: The cockpit features generous, horizontal lines, a sculpted steering wheel—taken from the I-Pace—and a large, slightly curved touch-sensitive central screen that operates, among other things, Jaguar’s new “Pivi Pro” infotainment and navigation system that’s “always connected” and wants access to your phone and calendar in order to learn about your travel habits. It’s standard on the SE models, and it’s a quick and very competent setup.
The new XF’s interior is one of the more pleasant we’ve been in. Al Whelan, Jaguar’s creative director of interior design, mentions: “What we wanted to do is bring the lovely materials and the perforated grain leather close to the customer, where they can touch them.” Indeed, the materials are soft, beautiful and perfectly executed. And the “Est. 1935 Jaguar Coventry” lettering is a posh reminder of the brand’s heritage.

The interior of the XF features a sculpted steering wheel, taken from the I-Pace, and a large touch-sensitive central screen. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

We did not fall in love with the new gear selector, however. The commonplace palm shifter, with a well-hidden unlock button, replaces the automatically rising rotating knob that had been a futuristic signature element of the brand. Another feature we could do without is the gesture-activated roof blind, a gimmick that doesn’t simplify anything. And while we are complaining, the open cupholders in the rear armrest look downright cheap. Moreover, for a new dashboard, the integration of the head-up display is loveless.
Starting the (clumsily named) XF P300 R-Dynamic SE AWD with the push of a button brings the Ingenium Four to life unobtrusively, aided by a noise-cancellation system. The engine allows for a rate of acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, and little distinguishes this power plant from similar four-cylinder offerings by the competition, but that’s not a bad thing. It does the job with competence and efficiency, aided by the ubiquitous and meritorious ZF 8HP automatic transmission that’s used in a vast number of premium cars.
The chassis hits a good compromise between ride and handling, with precise steering and a suspension setup that does a very nice job at absorbing uneven surfaces. And although the lane-keeping assistant did not excel, we prefer to turn those systems off anyway as soon as the drive commences.
Priced at $49,995, only $6,000 above the entry-level model, the top-tier XF we drove adds all-wheel drive, a more powerful engine tune and a plethora of extra equipment. It’s a steal.

The 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SUV. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Moving on to the updated F-Pace, we found that it starts out where the XF reaches its ceiling. The four-cylinder F-Pace begins at $49,995, but unlike the XF, the popular SUV comes with four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. We drove the F-Pace P-400 R-Dynamic S, priced at a very competitive $65,200 and powered by a 395 hp 3.0-liter straight-six that drives all four wheels through a ZF eight-speed automatic.
The changes to the exterior of the F-Pace are subtle but a bit more extensive than on the XF. The SUV gets more angular taillights, and the sensors for the assistance systems are better hidden. The interior receives a major improvement with a dashboard—previously shared with the defunct XE—that is now identical with the one on the new XF. Thus, it comes with that big central screen, luxe materials and the same unremarkable gear selector.

Jaguar’s new “Pivi Pro” infotainment and navigation system aboard the F-Pace. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Unlike the XF, the F-Pace’s engine compartment has room for the 3.0-liter straight-six, a marvel of an engine that, in P400 trim, cranks out a healthy 395 hp, allowing the vehicle to cover zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds and cruise easily into triple-digit speeds. While the engine itself sounds silky-smooth, only the most tech-savvy occupants will appreciate the high-pitched whir of the electric supercharger that provides instant throttle response before the exhaust-fed twin-scroll turbocharger spools up.
The handling characteristics are still at the top of the class, the steering is precise. Yet it is comfortable enough on virtually every surface, and with the large trunk and generous rear seats, the updated F-Pace remains a veritable long-distance cruiser.

Our F-Pace P-400 R-Dynamic S tester was equipped with a 395 hp, 3.0-liter straight-six that drives all four wheels through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Also in contrast to the XF, The F-Pace doesn’t undercut the competition’s price, but is right in the center of its segment. And given its undeniable qualities and style, it remains one of the most attractive offers in the class. But we strongly recommend checking out the wild F-Pace SVR, priced at $84,600 and powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that cranks out an impressive 550 hp.

The F-Pace’s interior receives a major improvement with a dashboard that is now identical with the one on the new XF. 

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.

Having spent time with the new XF and F-Pace, we find that they blend performance, luxury and style with a true value story. It’s hard be believe they represent the end of an era. No more gasoline-powered Jaguars after 2025? Perhaps it’s time to get one of the last ones, or hope for a “Plan B” in Coventry.

Learn more about Robb Report’s 2022 Car of the Year at the event taking place in Napa Valley here and in Boca Raton here.

The New Ford Bronco Just Came Out, and It’s Already Selling for More Than $100,000 on eBay

The New Ford Bronco Just Came Out, and It’s Already Selling for More Than $100,000 on eBay

It’s nearly impossible to find the new Ford Bronco right now. Because of this, those desperate to get their hands on the SUV have resorted paying nearly double the sticker price on the secondary market.

Automotive reporters have start noticing listings for barely used examples of the reborn off-roader popping up on eBay—with asking prices well above $100,000. While there are plenty of vehicles listed for six figures on the auction market, few have just been released with starting price that’s about $40,000 lower.

2021 Ford Bronco First Edition 

Ford

This is especially true for the fully loaded First Edition models that have popped up on eBay in recent days, according to The Drive. Earlier this week, the website noticed that bidding for a Cyber Orange example of the exclusive variant, build no. 178, had soared past the $105,000, despite the listing making clear that the vehicle’s sticker price was $63,200. That auction was ended by the seller, so it’s unclear exactly how much it ended up selling for, but if that was indeed the top bid, that’s a premium of more than $41,800, or an extra two-thirds the MSRP.
That’s not the only example, either. A quick look at eBay shows multiple listings with asking prices of more than $100,000, including one with a “Buy It Now” price of $145,000 and another listed at $150,000. And those prices aren’t just reserved for the limited edition, which already sold out its 7,000 examples. There are sellers asking for up to $84,000 for the regular Bronco, albeit with the Badlands trim package.

Ford

So why is the secondary market for such a new vehicle going so bonkers right now? Because the eagerly anticipated new Bronco, like Chevy’s C8 Corvette before it, has been plagued by an unusually high number of production delays, according to CNET Roadshow. The SUV was originally supposed to arrive at the beginning of the year, but because the global pandemic affected work and supply chains, deliveries of the first examples have only just begun. So, if you’re really looking forward to taking the 4×4 out for a spin, be prepared to wait—or spend big.

China’s New 373 MPH Bullet Train Is Now the World’s Fastest Land Vehicle

China’s New 373 MPH Bullet Train Is Now the World’s Fastest Land Vehicle

It took a couple years, but the world’s new fastest train has finally pulled into the station.

China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation unveiled the production version of its maglev bullet train in Qingdao on Tuesday, reports Reuters. State media says the train has a top speed of 373 mph, or close to half the speed of sound (767.29 mph).
That speed doesn’t just make it the fastest train in the world, it makes it the fastest land vehicle period. The bullet train is able to travel at such high speeds because of magnetic levitation. The technology uses electro-magnetic force to levitate the body of the vehicle less than two inches from the rails and propel it forward along the tracks. By riding on a cushion of air, friction is drastically reduced, allowing it to travel faster than traditional trains where wheels and rails are constantly in contact. Although China has made use of the technology for a couple decades now, it’s only ever been used at very limited scale.

China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation’s maglev bullet train 

AP Images

China Railway says its bullet train will drastically help cut down on travel time. At top speed, the vehicle will be able to complete the 754-mile trip between Beijing and Shanghai in just two-and-a-half hours, Reuters notes. That same trip takes just over three hours by plane, five-and-a-half hours by current high-speed rail options or 12 hours by car. That could make the train an especially attractive travel option for business travelers in the country.
It’s currently unclear when the new bullet train, which can pull between two and 10 passenger cars, will go into operation. The vehicle that the company showed off on Tuesday is the finished article, though, unlike the prototype the company unveiled in the spring of 2019.
Of course, the train’s record might not stand for long. The Central Japan Railway Company is currently testing a maglev train it says will be able to top out at 375 mph, according to New Atlas. But that isn’t expected to make its debut until 2027 at the earliest. That gives China plenty of time to refine and upgrade its bullet train and push its top speed even higher. Let the ultra-high-speed bullet train wars begin.

Mercedes-Benz Will Spend a Whopping $47 Billion to Build a Fully Electric Fleet by 2030

Mercedes-Benz Will Spend a Whopping $47 Billion to Build a Fully Electric Fleet by 2030

Mercedes-Benz is going all in on electric cars.

The German automaker plans to be an exclusively electric marque by the end of the decade, according to a strategy update shared Thursday. To make that happen, the brand will spend more than $47 billion (€40 billion) over the next 10 years, creating a wholly emissions-free line-up and clean, green infrastructure to support it.

In 2025, Mercedes will launch three new all-electric vehicle platforms for cars, vans and light commercial vehicles. It will also stop developing powertrains for internal combustion engines the same year. In addition, the marque says customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model the company makes from 2025 onwards.

The German outfit and its partners also plan to set up eight factories across Europe that will focus on the development and production of battery cells and electric motors. This is in addition to the already planned network of nine plants that will be dedicated to building battery systems.

The EQS is the first all-electric luxury saloon from Mercedes-EQ that will roll out in late 2021. 

Mercedes-Benz AG

The marque is currently working with Shell to expand its charging network that currently comprises more than 530,000 AC and DC charging points worldwide. It also plans to streamline the chargers to make them easier for drivers to use.
“The EV shift is picking up speed—especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said in a statement. “The tipping point is getting closer, and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade.”
Mercedes did add one caveat: The transition to a solely electric fleet by 2030 will depend on “market conditions.” Of course, given that the UK and the European Union will effectively ban new cars with internal combustion engines in 2030 and 2035, respectively, the demand for battery-powered cars is only expected to rise. Various states across the US, including California and Massachusetts, will also ban the production of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
What’s more, several luxury nameplates, including McLaren, Bentley, Audi and Volvo, have already joined the electric revolution and are switching from petrol-guzzling vehicles to those with no tailpipe emissions.
“Thanks to our highly qualified and motivated workforce, I am convinced that we will be successful in this exciting new era,” Källenius added.

Bring on 2030.

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