• Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition shows off luxury interior concept

    April 25, 2015

    Rather than debut a new car at the recent Auto Shanghai 2015 motor show in China this week, Infiniti has chosen to debut a new interior in its flagship Q70L.

    Chinese car buyers love two things more than life itself — luxury and legroom. That’s why the new cabin concept was debuted on a the stretched wheelbase version of the Q70 sedan. With acres of quilted leather white as new-fallen snow, a rolltop console splitting the rear buckets, and oodles of handcrafted elements, there’s only one word fancy enough to distinguish this superopulent cocoon. Behold, the Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition.

    According to Merriam and Webster, bespoke means custom-made. And while this concept is a one-off for now, Infiniti says it bridges the gap between its current interior and the ones on its concept cars. However, the company made no statement about whether the sumptuous quarters would make it to production or, as the name implies, preview some kind of personalization program like Ferrari’s Tailor-Made series.

    Diamond-quilting and stitched cowhide dominates every interior surface of the Bespoke Edition, from seats to door panels to the headliner. The hand-cut pattern on the seats evokes the cabins of other Nissan products ranging from the just-launched 2016 Nissan Maxima to the classic Datsun 240Z. There’s even jewel-like Infiniti logos embedded in the doors.

    With China’s appetite for anything luxury and Infiniti’s global headquarters in Hong Kong, it seems like a match made in heaven. As evidence, Infiniti head Roland Kruger said the marque’s sales increased globally by 13.5 percent in the past 12 months, while sales in China’s increased by 28.3 over the same period.

    Watch the Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition’s video below.

  • BMW shows i Remote app for Apple Watch

    April 25, 2015
    BMW has revealed its “i Remote” app for the Apple Watch.
    The utility has been developed specifically for the company’s i-Series models, including the i3 and i8, providing owners with tools to help manage each vehicle’s electrical system.

    The wristwatch interface provides a quick way to remotely check on charge status, with configurable alerts to notify the owner when the battery is full. The same screen also shows the estimated electric range for the given charge status.

    Other tools allow users to check and lock the doors, close the windows and sunroof, view service alerts, or set the climate-control settings to pre-condition the cabin before arriving at the vehicle. The latter feature is said to be a great way to maximize range, using the plug power to heat or cool the cabin rather than the battery.

    Navigation features can be used to direct a driver to the vehicle on foot, or to a destination when they step out of the vehicle. Drivers can also activate the horn or lights to help find the car in a parking lot.

    Porsche announced its own Apple Watch app earlier in the day, and more introductions will likely continue to flood in from other automakers in the coming weeks.

  • VW confirms Golf R400 production

    April 25, 2015
    A Volkswagen executive has confirmed that the Golf R400 has received an official green light for production.
    “We have the Golf more sporty than ever before, since we soon will have the Golf R400 – we will do this car,” development head Heinz-Jakob Neusser told Car.

    The company has not yet confirmed details surrounding the production version, but it is expected to closely follow the concept. An Audi-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will likely provide 400 to 415 horsepower and at least 331 lb-ft of torque, delivered to all four wheels via a six-speed manual or dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

    Drivers should expect the performance hatchback to reach 62 mph from a standstill in just 3.9 seconds.

    VW is not expected to make any changes to the chassis, but the body will likely keep many of the concept’s enhancements. Tweaks include a front splitter, redesigned bumpers, a trunk-mounted spoiler and a rear air diffuser. Both three- and five-door body styles have been mentioned, each outfitted with sport seats for the front passengers.

    Unconfirmed rumors point to a September debut in Frankfurt, with deliveries later in the year or early in 2016. The range-topping Golf could fetch around twice as much cash as the GTI, which retails for around $25,000 in the US.

  • GM recalls Cadillac CTS-V over corroded brake lines

    April 25, 2015
    General Motors has issued a recall for the 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V, citing a problem with brake components.
    The front brake hose fittings at the caliper are said to be prone to corrosion, eventually allowing the brake fluid to leak. Braking performance can consequently diminish, extending stopping distances and increasing the risk of a crash.

    The problem was first noted in a customer complaint, resulting in an investigation that started in February. The inquiry found that the 2004-2007 CTS-V uses the same brake hoses as the 2003-2007 CTS, which was recalled in 2009 for the same problem.

    The campaign is being handled on a regional basis, limited to nearly two dozen “rust belt” states with high road-salt exposure.

    General Motors earlier this year succeeded in resisting a push for wide-ranging recalls of older models due to corroded brake lines. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed that owners are responsible for inspecting and replacing rusted lines, however the latest recall suggests GM views the corroded fittings as a defect rather than a maintenance item.