• Lexus builds hybrid IS300h that paints its driver while in motion

    October 27, 2013

    To promote the new IS300h hybrid, Lexus has built one that not only paints your self portrait as you drive, but the artwork will vary depending how you drive. Titled “Art is Motion,” the project is a collaboration with Spanish artist Sergio Albiac and his generative painting techniques.


    Perhaps somewhat revealing about the way the automaker and the artist feel about eco-conscious driving, those who employ the hybrid system’s 141-hp electric motor more will end up with a more accurate painting in cooler colors. On the other hand lead-foots who make greater use of its 178-hp petrol four-cylinder will draw a more abstract depiction in “virulent” hues.

    A photo of the subject uploaded into a computer forms the basis of the painting. Software linked to the car’s hybrid system then uses Albiac’s techniques to digitally “paint” its own version of the image. The result is displayed on a screen mounted on the dashboard so that the motorist can see the results of his driving in real-time.




    The IS300h is sold in Europe and Japan. There are no plans to bring it state-side to supplement Lexus USA’s 204-hp and 306-hp V6 lineup. Lexus will auction the Art is Motion IS300h when the project is complete. Watch the videos below.


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  • BMW details one-off 760Li Sterling

    October 27, 2013

    BMW’s Individual Manufaktur branch has lifted the veil off of the 760Li Sterling, a one-off sedan designed to showcase the division’s know-how in manufacturing bespoke vehicles.


    The 760Li Sterling was built jointly by BMW and silver tableware manufacturer Robbe & Berking.  It stands out from a stock 760Li thanks to real silver plating on both kidney grilles, on the trim piece that adorns the trunk lid and on the exhaust pipe, and BMW emblems hand-crafted out of solid 925 sterling silver. 

    Discreet “Robbe & Berking” lettering on the C-pillars and on the trunk lid add a touch of elegance, while a low-key Singapore Gray paint job finishes off the overall look.


    The silver treatment continues inside with trim fashioned out of exclusive hand-hammered sterling silver.  Passengers are treated to seats upholstered in brown Merino leather with Robbe & Berking’s century-old logo embroided into the headrests, and the center console houses purpose-built silver goblets.


    The silver stops under the hood, where the 760Li Sterling is powered by a stock twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 engine that churns out 535 horsepower and 550 lb-ft. of torque.  The sedan is capable of reaching 60 mph from a stop in just 4.5 seconds.


    Precisely how much the one-off 760Li Sterling costs is not known but BMW says it is the most valuable bespoke model its Individual Manufacktur division has ever created in its 20-year long history.<![CDATA[
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  • Mercedes previews next mid-size van’s interior

    October 27, 2013

    Mercedes has revealed the dashboard of the upcoming V-Class, a mid-size van that slots between the Renault-based Citan and the full-size Sprinter in the German automaker’s commercial vehicle lineup. 


    Designed to replace the existing Viano, the V-Class will follow the van industry’s shift towards more car-like interiors with a curved dash, an instrument cluster made up of analog gauges and a configurable thin-flim transistor (TFT) screen, circular air vents and a touch screen mounted on top of the center stack.  Buyers will have access to a mile-long list of options to customize their van’s cabin.

    The V-Class will adopt a more dynamic exterior design that will be heavily inspired by the third-generation A-Class and the redesigned E-Class.  The passenger-carrying models will come with a healthy amount of chrome trim that will set them apart from their more Spartan cargo-hauling Vito-badged siblings. 


    Rumors indicate that the V-Class will ditch the current Viano’s six-cylinder engines in favor of downsized four-cylinder turbodiesel units, but Mercedes has yet to release any mechanical details about the van.   Regardless of what lies under the hood, power will be sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.


    More details about the V-Class will be available in the coming months.  Whether or not the van has been earmarked for the United States, where the market for compact front-wheel drive commercial vehicles is steadily growing, is not known.<![CDATA[
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