Tuesday, September 30, 2014


All new Audi 2014 Q5 is now a bigger standout in the competitive luxury crossover segment thanks to the addition of two new powertrains. New for 2014 is a fuel-sipping turbocharged diesel engine and a high-performance supercharged V-6, bringing the Q5's total engine choices to five. The turbo-four, mid-level supercharged six-cylinder, and eco-friendly hybrid powertrains still remain.
With seating for five and 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space when the second-row seats are folded down, the 2014 Q5 sits below the larger, seven-passenger Audi Q7. The Q5 is also ideal for rainy or snowy climes thanks to its all-wheel-drive system that is standard on all engine choices. Audi offers the 2014 Q5 in three trims levels. The base Premium model is sold with the 2.0-liter turbo-four as the sole engine choice and its list of standard equipment includes leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, three-zone climate control, and LED taillights. The Premium Plus model, which is available with all engines except the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and hybrid, adds a panoramic roof, power tailgate, adaptive HID headlights, and heated front seats. Available options on the Q5 Premium Plus include a rear seat entertainment system, navigation, and Audi's Side Assist blind spot monitoring system. The Prestige trim is standard on the hybrid (not available with I-4 engine) and includes navigation, side assist, and premium sound.

Whether you're a fuel miser, a speed junky, or something in between, the 2014 Q5 has an engine to suit your needs. The base 2.0-liter I-4 is rated at 220 hp for 2014 and a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 provides 272 hp and 295 lb-ft. The new Q5 TDI gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel that is EPA rated at 27 mpg combined, while the Q5 hybrid returns 26 mpg combined. Finally, the new SQ5 gets an even stronger supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 354 hp, which propels the crossover from 0-60 mph in an estimated 5.1 seconds. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic.
New For 2014
Two new engines join the Q5 lineup. First is a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, which is EPA rated at 31 mpg highway is provides 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. Next is the SQ5 with its 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 rated at 354 hp. Bluetooth connectivity becomes standard equipment on the Premium model and an S line plus package is available on all trim levels. New color choices include Maya Brown, Volcano Red, and Lava Gray and Audi's Side Assist system becomes a standalone option on Premium Plus models.

The Q5, in gasoline and diesel forms, impressed me in terms of acceleration, luxury feel and practicality, but besides my handling qualms there are also issues of price.

At $38,195 (all prices cited include destination charges) for the base 2.0 model, the Q5 costs significantly more than the RDX, which has a standard V-6 and optional all-wheel drive for $36,815. All-wheel drive is standard on the Audi. The BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350 both start higher than the Q5 with similar engines and all-wheel drive, but you'd likely have to move to a more expensive Q5 trim to get similar equipment. You can compare all four here.

If you're purchasing outright, the Acura or Volvo will be better values, but if you're leasing, the playing field may be evened more in the Q5's favor. The TDI version, however, pushes prices much higher, starting at $47,395.

In the end, the styling and excellent powertrains give the Q5 enough weapons for a very competitive fight.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Did you know that Volkswagen really does build a pickup? And when you put a fuel-efficient but burly turbo-diesel V-8 into it, the result is something that we can't help but think would be a hit in the land of stars and stripes.

Volkswagen still has no plans to bring the current Amarok to the U.S., and secondly, the MTM Amarok V8 Passion that was shown this past week at the Geneva Motor Show is a tuner special, also not for importation.Still, it's worth wondering if such a truck would do well in the U.S., and why VW has resisted doing such a thing. At 206.9 inches long, 76.5 inches wide, and 72.2 inches high, the Volkswagen Amarok is nearly the exact same size as the Honda Ridgeline, a vehicle that has sold well enough over its nearly ten years on the market for Honda to consider it a segment to stay in—with a next-generation model that will return for the 2016 or 2017 model year, after the current model reaches the end of the line after this model year.

Power is probably the main issue why the Amarok in its current build wouldn't translate well to the U.S. truck market. In other markets, it's sold with either VW's 2.0-liter FSI turbo four-cylinder gasoline engine, or the 2.0-liter TDI. In both cases, Americans would likely deem it not nearly enough power for a vehicle that weighs about 4,600 pounds unladen—let alone enough to tow or haul.

But as for the V8 Passion, its 4.2-liter TDI V-8 makes 410 horsepower, and it churns out an astonishing 686 pound-feet of torque—down low, of course, where it matters for a truck. The engine, MTM says, “fits like a glove” in the Amarok's engine bay, with no cutting or unusual provisions, and just as in the Amarok (as in the Touareg), the V8 Passion has an eight-speed automatic transmission.

With the TDI V-8, the Amarok likely returns 25 mpg or more on the highway. Its performance numbers are impressive, too; the V8 Passion gets to 62 mph in six seconds flat and can reach a top speed of 138 mph. And to bolster that extra steam MTM has added a Panhard rod with air springs, along with rear disc brakes for the rear (not standard otherwise) and larger front discs. Special 22-inch BBS SV wheels with Michelin Latitude tires give it more of a premium SUV look.

Modifications inside the cabin—which already reminds us of a cost-conscious take on the Touareg's interior—have been kept to new seats and some new trims and graphics. Those graphics, by the way—more David Hasselhoff than Will Hoge—are perhaps the only thing that might not be as fitting on this side of the sea.

In recent comments, several high-ranking Volkswagen officials have said that the Amarok is considered too small for the U.S. market but that a larger version was back under consideration.

With Ford stubbornly maintaining that there's no worthwhile market for compact (or smaller mid-size) trucks like the (former) Ranger, and eyes undoubtedly looking to see if the upcoming 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon will be a success, it's easy to imagine that Americans would find a lot to love in a VW truck like this.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Honda's Jazz compact car continues to keep the versatility of its tall-bodied predecessors – and their versatile 'magic seats' – but brings an edgy new design, cool new tech and class-leading features, while using less fuel than before. It's a fun and predictable runabout to drive and the icing on the cake is a price under $15K, making it the most affordable Honda car in Australia.

Mostly targeted to young drivers in their 20s and early 30s, the new Jazz hits a lot of high notes in terms of technology and connectivity, and is nothing if not feature packed and versatile, but there's also a few misses.

The Honda is priced from $14,990, has a capped-price service regime, it drives a lot better than its predecessor and is now roomier thanks to a slightly longer 2530mm (+30mm) wheelbase. Overall length has increased by 96mm to 3996mm, which improves interior space, but more on that in a sec.

The Jazz has a sportier look thanks to a bolder front-end design, dubbed 'cross fade monoform', and the way the window line sweeps up toward the rear gives it a touch more attitude. New tail-lights add a contemporary look to the rear and there are heaps of new tech toys fitted as standard on all models, such as the LED headlights (a first for this class), a seven-inch touch-screen with HDMI input, twin USB ports and MP4 playback, not to mention a reversing camera with three angles – regular, wide and top-down view.

All the Honda models come with cruise control, Bluetooth audio and, Jazz’s smartphone integration (such as mirroring the phone screen on the car’s dashboard screen) is also currently limited to the iPhone 5 or 5S, with android integration coming soon. Basic Bluetooth connectivity works with both iOS and android., electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking and an engine immobiliser. There's good storage solutions too, with cup and bottle holders and plenty of incidental storage cubbies. 

Three models are offered in total, all fitted with the same 88kW/145Nm four-cylinder petrol engine, and Honda will offer the entry-level manual VTi model at a sharp $16,990 driveaway price for the foreseeable future. Check out the Honda Jazz news story for more details on standard features on mid-and top-spec models. Here are the prices, plus on-road costs:

The plucky 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit is certainly not the most powerful nor the quietest in its class. When paired with the CVT the engine is responsive and flexible and has no trouble hauling the car up steep hills without labouring, but it is noisy when revved, despite Honda's claims of reduced cabin noise. 

A five-speed manual is offered on entry-level models, but we didn't get to test it and is expected to be a slow seller. It uses fuel at a rate of 6.2L/100km, which is hardly class-leading and no better than the previous model, but the CVT auto models' thirst is slaked more easily, as they use just 5.8L/100km -- down from 6.7L/100km.

The Honda  Jazz rides smoothly over bumps and, though ride quality is perhaps a touch firmer than before, it's still a very comfortable and easy going compact car.Driven in the hinterlands along twisting roads – and careening around a few roundabouts – at a spirited pace, the Jazz reveals a much sharper chassis than previously, the updated suspension and new electric power steering combining to deliver a more engaging drive.

The large windscreen and neat seating position – neither too low nor highly perched – provides excellent vision, and the seat and cloth quality contrives to deliver a very comfortable experience.

The cabin looks schmick and the Jazz has a good trip computer and all models except the entry-level VTi come with touch-sensitive 'electro-static' heating/cooling controls that are achingly cool.

Although the seating and boot layout is virtually unchanged over the previous that's no bad thing when the highly versatile 'magic seat' layout offers a huge amount of load space. There's a real sense of space for all passengers, and I was massively impressed with the amount of rear seat leg room available.

Also, the Jazz holds 1492 litres in utility mode, which is with rear seats and the front passenger seat folded down. And there are some 18 different ways the seats can be arranged to fit long, low and even tall objects.

The large cargo capacity via ambidextrous 60/40-split folding rear seats is very impressive and the low floor makes loading bulky objects easy. The boot has 350 litres of space with the rear seats in place, up from 337 litres, and almost as much as the VW Golf. That expands to 906 litres with the rear seats folded flat – and, unlike the current Ford Fiesta, Mazda2, Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20 and Toyota Yaris, the Jazz has a completely flat load floor.

The Honda Jazz is a more accomplished car than its predecessor. It drives a whole lot better, has loads of useful and practical features and a good looking (but poorly executed) infotainment system. That the car still relies on its brilliant folding seat versatility as its drawcard feature shows a lack of progress in some regards, but is that really a bad thing?

The biggest problem the Jazz faces is fierce competition from rivals, which will be even more intense as new versions of the Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai i20 hit the streets within the next year. Indeed, the light car segment is one of the most populated in Australia, with almost 40 models to choose from. Luckily the new Jazz has the kind of chipper attitude and pragmatism that may keep it front of mind for many buyers.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Available Hands-Free, Foot-Activated Liftgate
With the key close by, simply kick your foot under the bumper to open the power liftgate.

Perfect when your hands are full
Makes it easier than ever to load and unload cargo.The SE Chrome Package includes:

Chrome door handles
Chrome liftgate appliqué
Chrome skull caps
Chrome roof rails
Chrome rear license plate appliqué
Chrome accents on the front lower fascia grilles
Partial leather-trimmed sport-style v-shaped seat
19-inch chrome wheels.The available panoramic Vista Roof features a large forward panel that tilts up or opens fully, plus a fixed rear skylight. So whether you're sitting up front or seated in back, the Vista Roof lets in more of the world above.                                                                           Available Intelligent 4WD System
The available Intelligent 4WD System can help keep you in control in a variety of conditions.

Monitors traction and cornering conditions every 16 milliseconds
Automatically adjusting torque distribution where needed,                                                                      Available voice-activated SYNC® technology helps keep you connected to your world while you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.27

Stay in touch with hands-free calling
Stay entertained with voice-activated commands
Stay confident with 911 Assist®28
Stay connected to all your favorite mobile apps with SYNC AppLink™ (on select vehicles)63              Eco-Conscious Interior
Inside and out, the Escape utililizes recycled materials.

More than 10 pounds of recovered cotton from jeans, sweaters, T-shirts and other items - material that otherwise would be sent to a landfill - is used in sound-absorption material throughout the Escape
The carpet in the Escape is manufactured from a blend of post-consumer and post-industrial polyester fibers, which reduces the need for new raw materials and helps eliminate waste. The post-consumer,Available Active Park Assist* is designed to help make parallel parking a breeze.

While driving slowly near parking spots, simply activate this feature and it scans for available parking spots. Ultrasonic sensors measure the distance to the curb and other parked cars
Once a big enough spot is identified, you're signaled to stop and accept the system's assistance
With a few actions on your part, the vehicle can smoothly parallel park into place

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Mercedes-Benz has released pics and figures on the 2015 C63 AMG sedan, and and it appears to be another work of art by the German car maker.

Of course, given the looks and performance of the standard 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class,The C-Class is Mercedes-Benz's North American bread winner ,that’s no surprise—especially not after AMG has had its turn massaging the car into something more track-worthy. So far these specs and details are only for the German market, and may well change before making the translation to America, but they do give us some good insight into the basic outlines of the car.

The 2015 C63 AMG gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine similar to the one found in the new AMG GT. Rated at 503 hp and 516 lb-ft, the new engine is considerably stronger than the 6.2-liter normally aspirated V-8 from the previous-generation C63 AMG. Despite the boosted power output, the C63 AMG claims gas mileage of 28 mpg or better in European testing.

One notable absence is the lack of the any mention of 4Matic all-wheel drive, a feature that's become common to all AMG sedans in the U.S. of late. The C63 AMG may come in rear-drive form for the U.S., as well, the better to allow for the fun of tail-out action.AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch with five AMG-specific driving modes "Individual", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" and "Race".

This new breed of AMG is definitely going to turn heads wherever it goes. Given its sporty, elegant and powerful looks it will also be in high demand like it's predecessors the 2014 AMG.

Monday, September 22, 2014


This new 2016 Dodge Dakota pickup is expected to receive a smaller cargo room, luxurious interior, standard dynamics and modern features. The exterior style and decor will be enhanced to ensure the car looks stylish and ornamental.The chassis of the 2016 Dodge Dakota is equipped with enormous preview and four active doors. On the frontage, the truck is equipped with chic headlights and chrome grille. On the rear and front bumpers, the truck is finished with beautiful and amazing decors. Due to the lightweight materials used, the curb weight have been decreased something that boosts the car performance and acceleration. 

To meet all off-road and on-road conditions, the chassis has been made sturdier and more aggressive.The 2016 Dodge Dakota interior has been designed functional and stylish to go in line with the current auto demands. Included in the cabin is a wide range of active business and fun equipment. Seats are designed adjustable besides being enforced with comfortable and supportive structures. As for the interior materials, they are obtained from high-quality materials which help boost the car performance. Interior space both the cargo and passenger space has been heightened with better structures and products to make it look larger but with the same hauling capabilities. Standard features include air conditioning, digital LCD display, thermometer, ventilation system, compass, CD player among others.

Engine specs and Performance is said by Doge sources to be a v6 4 cylinder engine though the fueling capacity details are not yet available. As per the available details, the powertrain will deliver a smoother ride and more incredible efficiency. The fuel intake is likely to be lower with an estimated rate of 30mpg. In addition, chances are that there will be more engine options of which cannot be predicted as at now.

According to the previous performance in terms of sales, Dakota had remarkable sales from the time of release to 2005 of which decreased thereafter up to date. Since 2005, the automaker has nor had good records in terms of sales but it is the automakers hope that when the 2016 model hits the market next year or in 2016 it will regain the lost sales volume. The price is expected to be somewhere ranging from $40,000 to $60,000.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Porsche already has three plug-in hybrids in its lineup, the limited edition 918 Spyder as well as the Cayenne and Panamera S E-Hybrid models, but the sports carmanufacturer won’t be stopping there. This is because Porsche sees vehicle electrification as a crucial element of its ‘Intelligent Performance’ philosophy, where performance gains are met with improvements in efficiency through the use of technology.

This means that even the iconic 911 will eventually go the plug-in hybrid route, but before we get to that point we’ll likely see the automaker’s other models, like the Macan, adopt the technology first.

Speaking with Motoring, Porsche sales and marketing executive Julian Baumann said the company hasn’t decided on the launch of a Macan plug-in hybrid yet but is ready should the market demand such a vehicle.

However, peer under the skin and you’ll quickly realize that this is not only one of the most significant launches for Porsche but also for the rest of the Volkswagen Group.

That’s because the 2014 Porsche Panamera is being launched with the Volkswagen Group’s new plug-in hybrid technology, which will eventually appear in models from Audi, Bentley, Volkswagen and possibly even Lamborghini.

The new plug-in Panamera is labeled as a Panamera S E-Hybrid and features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain first previewed in the Panamera Sport Turismo concept from 2012. The drivetrain is an evolution of the one in the current Panamera S Hybrid and will appear in the Cayenne SUV next.

A 3.0-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic is paired with an electric motor, in parallel, and combined output is 416 horsepower. Porsche says this is enough to rocket the Panamera S E-Hybrid to 62 mph in about 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 167 mph. Fuel economy, meanwhile, can reach as much 75 mpg, though in real-world conditions we expect this to be lower.

Powering the electric motor is a 9.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, which takes about four hours to charge using an ordinary household power outlet. On a single charge, the battery offers an electric only range of about 22 miles and a top speed of 83 mph. Power regenerative systems help top up the batteries while on the run.

Owners of the Panamera S E-Hybrid will also be able to take advantage of some new smart phone app functions, which include a charge status indicator, remote control of the climate system and a program to help search for charge points. Some of these options will also be available for the non-hybrid models in the 2014 Porsche Panamera lineup.

2014 Porsche Panamera 4S2014 Porsche Panamera 4SIn addition to the Panamera S E-Hybrid, the 2014 Panamera lineup also sees the introduction of a long-wheelbase Executive option and a twin-turbocharged V-6 for the Panamera S and Panamera 4S instead of the naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 currently fitted to these.

The new twin-turbocharged V-6 engine displaces 3.0 liters and develops 420 horsepower, 20 more than the old V-8, and thanks to its smaller capacity is said to be about 18 percent more efficient, too. If that wasn’t enough, the torque curve is also said to be flatter over a broader rev-range.

As for the new long-wheelbase Executive option, this is available as a Panamera Turbo Executive and a Panamera 4S Executive, and adds about 5.9 inches to the wheelbase over the non-Executive versions. These models get two bucket seats in the rear, instead of a bench, as well as a range of available extras to keep those in the back entertained. These models also get air suspension as standard.

Across the range, the 2014 Porsche Panamera gets mild visual changes, which include a slightly revised front end and available LED headlights (bi-xenons are standard), as well as a tweaked rear bumper and tail lights. From the side, a new, more swept-back rear window creates a more extended silhouette. When viewed from the back, the new Panamera is primarily made out by its new trunk lid, and the aforementioned bumper and light tweaks.

2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo ExecutiveInside, most Panameras come with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission, except the Panamera S E-Hybrid and Panamera Diesel, which make do with an eight-speed auto.

The full range also comes with a new multifunction steering wheel, automatic trunk lid and available safety features including an adaptive cruise control system with automatic braking, as well as camera-based traffic sign detection and lane departure warning systems.

Further down the track, Porsche will replace the Panamera Diesel’s engine with a new unit rated at 300 horsepower, which may even be offered in the U.S. this time around. A Panamera Turbo S Executive is also planned.

Look for the 2014 Porsche Panamera range to land in showrooms late in the year, and stay tuned for the official debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show on April 19. In the meantime, you can follow our ongoing coverage of the upcoming event via this dedicated show hub.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Since introducing her collection at Fashion East in 2010, London-based Simone Rocha has, in short order, become one of the highlights of London Fashion Week.

Peter Pilotto Spring/Summer 2015 | Source: NowFashionThe transparent Perspex-heeled brogues, which she presented during her first collection, were an immediate hit and stocked at I.T in Hong Kong and 10 Corso Como in Milan, earning her valuable exposure in new markets. She has since attracted influential wholesale partners (including Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo, Ikram in Chicago and Colette in Paris) and, in less than five years, defined a real signature aesthetic: a mash-up of distinctive feminine and masculine shapes, with dose of gothic romanticism.

Rocha’s Elizabethan-inspired collection for Autumn/Winter 2014 was hailed by critics as her most polished to date. Her Spring 2015 collection, presented just days ago, was her first after the designer came within a hair’s breadth of winning the inaugural LVMH Prize (according to market sources, she was considered a front-runner, but was passed over due to her family’s wealth, as she is the daughter of esteemed designer John Rocha; the top prize ultimately went to a fellow Saint Martins graduate, Thomas Tait).

While it’s worth noting that her father, also a fashion designer, remained independent throughout his career, eschewing external financial backers, Rocha’s impressive trajectory validates her business as a natural target for investment.

Mary Katrantzou 
Mary Katrantzou Fall/Winter 2014 | Source: NowFashion
Mary Katrantzou first gained a strong following for her sublime trompe l’oeil prints shortly after launching her namesake line in 2008. In only six years, the Greek-born, London-based designer has built one of the largest and fastest growing business of any independent designer, not just in London, but across the world. Her early collections were quickly snapped up by prestigious international stockists including Colette in Paris and Joyce in Hong Kong. She has since attracted over 200 stockists and, in 2010, won the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear.

While Katrantzou’s eye-popping digital prints have long been her signature, industry observers have wondered if the designer might fall into ‘the Pucci trap,’ presenting a predictable repertoire of prints season after season. For her Autumn 2014 collection, however, she successfully demonstrated the range of her voice, jolting her audience by showing a beautiful collection — rendered in lace, jacquard and brocade — without a single print on display.

Katrantzou’s design talent, existing business traction, personal drive and commitment easily make her an attractive contender for investment.

Peter Pilotto
Peter Pilotto Spring/Summer 2015 | Source: NowFashion
Commercially-savvy upstarts Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos met while studying at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2000, before going on to launch their own womenswear label in 2007. Since debuting at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout showcase in London, which gave the brand its first real exposure, Peter Pilotto has become known for its vibrant yet approachable digital prints.

Industry recognition has come fast and furious: the label was awarded Best Emerging Talent at the British Fashion Awards in 2009 and the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2014. It’s certainly no disadvantage that this buzzy London label is a two-man team and can, therefore, share the heavy workload of building a fashion brand from scratch.

Peter Pilotto is now stocked in 50 countries and has proven to be a swift seller at influential retailers, including Selfridges and Dover Street Market in London, Colette and Le Bon Marché in Paris, and Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Peter Pilotto’s collection for Target was Net-a-Porter’s fastest selling collaboration ever, besting Karl Lagerfeld and Christopher Kane, who have previously teamed up with the low-cost retailer. The partnership helped generate increased global awareness of the brand, particularly in the US.

While Peter Pilotto has demonstrated business traction, making it an attractive potential investment target, the label is still trying to shake off the impression that its aesthetic remains confined to prints. This will be an essential next step for the brand as it seeks further growth and expansion. 

Tim Coppens 
Tim Coppens Spring/Summer 2015 | Source: NowFashion
New York-based Tim Coppens, a former BoF Spotlight, has rapidly ascended the menswear ranks with a sleek aesthetic that blends classic tailoring with the technical details of activewear. Born and raised in Belgium, Coppens graduated in 1998 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and worked with Adidas and Ralph Lauren’s RLX, an activewear line, among others, before going solo and founding his eponymous label in 2011.

Building a men’s fashion brand can be difficult and designers often follow a formulaic approach. Coppens, on the other hand, has succeeded in striking a winning balance between being wearable and being cool. Indeed, along with particularly great outerwear and skilled tailoring, his greatest strength lies in his ability to produce slick and sporty clothing that is directional, but not unattainable for the average guy.

The industry has taken notice. Coppens has attracted influential stockists, including Barneys New York and Matches Fashion. In 2014, Coppens won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and was a finalist for this year’s LVMH Prize. And, as the global menswear market continues to accelerate, Coppens has carved out an enviable position that is sure to attract attention from investors.

But Coppens currently shows his menswear in New York, during the city’s womenswear week, which puts the designer out of sync with the global menswear calendar. In coming seasons, Coppens’s business would surely benefit from shifting his shows to Europe.  

Aquazzura Fall/Winter 2014 collection | Source: Aquazzura
After attending Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion, Edgardo Osorio, the Colombia-born founder and designer of emerging women’s footwear label Aquazzura, spent over 10 years perfecting his craft and acquiring valuable market knowledge, designing footwear for luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Sigerson Morrison and Roberto Cavalli before striking out on his own in 2011.

A former Bof Spotlight, Osorio has since built a largely self-financed, fast-growing business based on sexy, high-quality shoes. Based in Florence, Italy, the designer has defined himself as a real expert in shoe manufacturing, a true cobbler who understands construction and quality and has pinned down the production side of his business. Indeed, strong relationships with manufacturing partners in Italy, as well as close proximity to factories, which allows him to personally oversee production, have given Osorio an important advantage. His shoes are currently stocked at influential stockists including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion.

With a new company headquarters in the left wing of the iconic Palazzo Corsini in Florence and his first retail store set to open, next month, in the same building, Osorio has big plans for his label and aims to expand into new product categories, including bags, small leather goods and jewellery, turning Aquazzura into a full-fledged lifestyle brand and, no doubt, making the company an attractive proposition for investors. 

Erdem Spring/Summer 2015 | Source: NowFashion
Canadian-born Erdem Moralioğlu moved from Montreal to London to attend the Royal College of Art, where he received his master’s degree in 2003. Upon graduation, Erdem moved to New York and worked in the design studios of Diane Von Furstenberg before relocating to London to launch his namesake ready-to-wear label in 2005. His debut collection won him £100,000 in prize money from Fashion Fringe prize. Shortly after, Moralioğlu won the 2007 Swarovski British Fashion Council Enterprise Award.

Over time, the designer has developed a real signature for graceful, feminine designs that fuse serious craftsmanship with custom-designed prints. The level of handiwork that goes into Moralioğlu’s clothes is whispered to rival that of a respectable Paris couture house and his recently debuted Spring 2015 collection was no exception. For the jungle-inspired show, he used coloured palm fronds and arched-widow motifs as the base for beautiful, Victorian broderie anglaise dresses.

Importantly, Erdem’s work appeals to clients across multiple generations. The designer is something of a modern Oscar de la Renta, who has attracted a wide range of customers, dressing both mothers and daughters, young starlets and grande dames, and managing to be both fashionable and creative without being inaccessible. Today, Erdem is available in 160 stores in 40 countries, including Barneys New York, Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Selfridges, as well as online via his own e-commerce site.

Spring 2015 — which coincides with the brand’s 10th anniversary — is set to be a key season for Erdem, as the brand will open its first physical retail store on London’s South Audley Street, near Rick Owens’ London outpost and around the corner from Mount Street, where Balenciaga, Lanvin and Céline operate stores.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


The Lincoln MKZ, designers took the notion of “elegant simplicity” as their point of departure – and arrived at a luxury sedan whose integration of lines and curves is stunning. Design cues become individual pieces of art, like the pedestal mirrors that add a jewel-like touch.The refined lines of the signature Lincoln split-wing grille integrate seamlessly with the headlamps and flow with the contours of the hood to create a unified, modern design. 

Standard full LED taillamps and standard LED headlamps beautifully blend elements of style and function. Not only are LEDs sharper and brighter than conventional incandescent bulbs, but they also illuminate faster and use less energy,The sense of fluid motion seen on the outside continues inside. Lines are clean and flowing. The open feeling is made possible by a daring design choice. Rather than impede the natural connection between driver and passenger with a center console shifter, Lincoln designers replaced conventional thinking with an innovative push-button shift. Putting your hands on a cold steering wheel is a thing of the past with the available heated wheel, wrapped in hand-stitched leather for exquisite craftsmanship and luxurious comfort. It can heat quickly for a welcome feeling on cold winter mornings and an elegant touch all year round. 

Lead designer Soo Kang drew inspiration from the world’s greatest suspension bridges in imagining the spacious pass-through center console. It’s perfect for connecting drivers with passengers.SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ lets you personalize your driving experience from entertainment to climate with simple voice commands, touch-screen controls or customizable cluster screens controlled by steering wheel-mounted buttons.

Stay reassured thanks to 911 Assist®18 that can call for help if an airbag deploys ...Impeccable craftsmanship is evident in the careful attention given to every detail. Voice-activated technologies like SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ are seamlessly integrated. The instrument panel is trimmed in genuine wood. Lighting casts a subtle glow over the entire cabin, creating a warm, luxurious mood. The center console is clean and spacious in appearance and function. And the ergonomic transmission controls are set in a vertical column of buttons on the center instrument panel. 

Design elements such as these enhance the Lincoln MKZ environment that is open, inviting, welcoming. he Lincoln MKZ offers three engine choices. A V6 for the performance-minded. An efficient hybrid. And the innovative EcoBoost® engine that provides the best of both worlds.

• The 2.0L EcoBoost is the standard Lincoln MKZ powerplant. EcoBoost uses three technologies – the boost of turbocharging, the precision and efficiency of direct injection, and the sophistication of twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT). (240 horsepower;* 270 lb.-ft. torque).

• The 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 is for the driver who wants a higher-performance experience of 300 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. Ti-VCT controls when intake/exhaust valves open and close, and optimizes combustion at full load to deliver power and low-speed torque for responsive passing and merging.

• The efficient hybrid powertrain consists of an electric motor and a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle I-4 gas engine. These power sources combine to generate 188 net horsepower. Ordinarily a conventional lever on the floor or steering column comes to mind when you’re thinking about the design of a gear shifter. But the 2015 Lincoln MKZ is different. Departing from the conventional, designers put the transmission controls in a vertical series of ergonomic buttons on the center instrument panel. For a sport-performance feel in a Lincoln MKZ, pressing the “S” button puts you in the Sport mode of Lincoln Drive Control. 

You can also enjoy sporty driving by using the paddle shifters (not shown) located on the steering wheel.* Eliminating the floor shifter frees up space between the driver and passenger seats, and enhances the clean, uncluttered appearance that characterizes the whole of the interior.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Hyundai's i30 wagon for 2015 has been a smash-hit for the Korean company and a revelation to those of us who remember the car that preceded it. While the hatchback does battle with the Corolla and Mazda3, the Tourer has an even more formidable foe - the SUV that's so beloved of Australian motorists.

The i30 Tourer is the wagon version and naturally commands a premium. Kicking off at $24,990, the basic Active petrol is a sharp buy as long as you don't want to climb any hills when fully-laden - the 1.6 litre petrol is no fireball.

The diesel manual joins the range at $27,590 while the automatic stretches to $29,840. We went all out and got the automatic diesel with the optional ($495) aqua blue metallic paint. You can stretch even further to $33,440 for the Elite which brings upgraded stereo with sat-nav, dual zone climate control and leather-look trim.The full colour navigation system is displayed via a 7" touch-screen, operated by a fast and intuitive menu structure. The rear view camera image will also be shown automatically here, when shifting to the reverse gear.

Being the Active, the spec is basic but reasonably generous at the same time. Standard is tough cloth trim, air-con, six speaker stereo with USB and Bluetooth, cruise control with speed limiter, win–panel roof offers true open–air driving fun. At the touch of a button, the front panel opens and a wind deflector activates for passenger comfort.

It couldn't be anything but a Hyundai. The hatchback is a sharp-looking thing and the Tourer is a fine example of a wagon conversion - it only looks to have a little bit extra at the back but when you open the boot, it's huge inside. The boot is bigger even than that of the ix35 stablemate, an SUV that punches a much bigger hole in the air than the i30. The 16-inch wheels fill the arches well and there's little in the way of glitz.

Inside is regular issue i30 until you get to the scalp of rear seat passengers where the roof keeps going. The dash is well laid-out and the plastics are perfectly alright albeit on the hard-wearing rather than tactile side.

The old Hyundai i30 dropped 15 places in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, which indicates that it was falling behind newer rivals. Nonetheless, it still finished ahead of the Volkswagen Golf. Owners liked the in-car tech, but marked it down for performance and build quality. We would expect the current model to show improvements in next year’s survey.

Safety is excellent in the Hyundai i30 and it got a five-star rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. The i30 gets electronic stability control, a seatbelt reminder that covers the front seats, and six airbags. LED Daytime Running Lights improve road visibility, while adding an elegant style feature to the i30. Safety is also enhanced by giving other vehicles an additional light source for reference. 

The small-ish but crisp screen gives basic access to smartphone functionality via USB or Bluetooth and standard AM/FM. The sound isn't too bad from the six speakers and the system seems more usable than that found in the Elite.

The i30 Tourer is the best of the i30s to drive, with the exception of the sporty SR. Built in the Czech Republic, the hatchback's torsion beam rear end is replaced with a more capable multi-link arrangement.

Ultimately, what this car does well is carry people and stuff. You can cram a hell of a lot into the Tourer, more than its external dimensions suggest. The load area is well-shaped and quite a bit more voluminous than its ix35 stablemate, but without the high floor. 

Dropping the seats leaves an almost-flat load bay that would cheerfully survive most trips to Ikea. Seats up, four adults will survive quite happily for extended periods with plenty of rear headroom, a happy consequence of the longer roof. The middle seat wouldn't be a lot of fun for an adult, but around town is more than adequate if the fifth occupant is a child.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


NISSAN X-TRAIL CROSSOVER Is available with front-wheel drive and a manual or CVT automatic gearbox, or four-wheel drive with a manual ’box only. A 129bhp 1.6-litre diesel is the only engine.The engine is lethargic at low revs, but the turbocharger kicks in progressively, so you don’t get a sudden surge in warp speed, and there’s enough horse power to make the X-Trail feel sailing away open highway's.

The X-Trail’s body leans heavily through corners and wobbles subtly as you go over big bumps, but the soft suspension absorbs creases in the road effectively, so the ride is comfortable most of the time. Light steering makes for easy going around town, but it’s slow to respond. The two-wheel-drive model has good traction and plenty of grip, so go for the four-wheel-drive version only if you regularly drive off-road or in slippery conditions. 

Ownership List prices are competitive and the X-Trail’s resale values should be among the best of all similarly sized SUVs. Equally, the diesel engine offers substantially better CO2 emissions – and potentially better fuel economy – than those of rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, making the X-Trail tempting for company car buyers.

Ownership We’ve tested only higher-spec X-Trails, which get a seven-inch touch-screen system compete with well damped buttons around it. The audio controls on the steering wheel feel a little flimsy, and there are some cheap-feeling plastics around the glovebox and door handles, but generally the cabin feels classier than those of key rivals. The X-Trail was too new to feature in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Nissan as a manufacturer was rated merely average for reliability.

Entry-level Visia models get air-con, alloys, Bluetooth, a USB socket and cruise control, but Acenta is the best value because it adds dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, and automatic lights and wipers. It’s disappointing that you have to go for one of the higher-level trims to get a digital radio and the touch-screen sat-nav system,All versions have six airbags, stability control and a tyre-pressure-monitoring system to help keep you safe. 

A Smart Vision Pack (optional on Visia and Acenta trims, and standard on more expensive models) adds lane-departure warning and emergency braking functions. An engine immobiliser and alarm are fitted to deter thieves.All models get a height-adjustable driver’s seat and front armrest which, combined with the airy cabin, make things supremely comfortable up front. The switchgear on the dashboard is a little small and fiddly, but otherwise it’s easy to get used to and is logically laid out. There’s also a colour readout between the clear dials that allows you to display a variety of useful information.There’s plenty of space for adults in the sliding and reclining rear seats, as long as the seats aren’t moved as far forwards as possible. It’s also easy to fold the 60/40-split rear bench flat for a long, uninterrupted load bay. Adding the optional third row of seats means boot capacity drops from 550 litres to 445, but it’s still a big, square shape. The two rearmost seats will be fine for shorter adults on quick journeys, and are easy to fold up and down.

Friday, September 12, 2014


The Tesla Model S may be the darling of the EV world, but it's currently under investigation by federal auto-safety regulators after multiple fires involving the 60- or 85-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that powers the car. 

The battery pack can send the S flying to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds (in the top-of-the-line Performance variant) by taking advantage of the beneficial qualities of lithium, a relatively lightweight material that can release a lot of energy quickly. But because the material is so reactive, lithium-ion batteries need to be heavily protected to avoid explosions. That drives up the cost of manufacturing and adds around 500 pounds to the vehicle, reducing the number of miles it can travel between charges. And even then, the battery may still overheat and catch fire, which is why researchers are working fast and furiously on new electric-car-battery technology—with a little help from the U.S government. 

This past summer the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, awarded $36 million in funding to researchers across the country with proposals for redesigning EV batteries. The 22 funded projects represent some of the best hopes for a safe, low-cost, efficient electric vehicle. 

One of the people searching for a better alternative to the lithium-ion battery is Michael Fetcenko, a chemical engineer with BASF, the German corporation that owns the license to the technology behind nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Those batteries are currently used in gas-electric hybrids, but Fetcenko and his team are using an ARPA-E grant to explore whether NiMH chemistry could be applied to purely electric vehicles as well. 

The key is to both lower the cost and increase the energy density of the NiMH battery. Right now, a NiMH battery has an energy density of 1 kilowatt-hour. But in order to be a viable replacement for lithium-ion batteries, BASF has to find a way to boost the energy density up to 30 to 50 kilowatt-hours. 

One way to do this would be to find a replacement for some of the battery's most important materials: rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, so named not because they are truly rare (one of them, cerium, is as abundant as copper) but because they are found in ores that are expensive to mine and process. Rare earth elements are "the workhorse" of the NiMH battery, supplying half of the reaction necessary for the battery to produce energy, Fetcenko says. But rare earths are limited in their ability to store energy, and because they have to be imported from China, their cost can be volatile and their supply uncertain. 

So, BASF is looking to develop metal hydride alloys using low-cost metals for use in the NiMH battery. Fetcenko thinks they can improve the NiMH-battery chemistry and make the new batteries cheaper and more efficient. But for a pure-EV battery, lithium still has the advantage over NiMH because it's considerably lighter.

In a lithium-ion battery, lithium ions travel from the lithium oxide anode to a carbon-based cathode through an organic electrolyte. But a zinc-air battery uses air as its cathode. This means EnZinc can pack more zinc anode material into the battery to achieve a greater energy density. Zinc is also a benign substance—its byproduct in a battery is zinc oxide, the main ingredient in sunscreen. Add in the fact that the U.S is the third largest producer of zinc in the world and you have the makings of a safe, low-cost, high-energy battery. 

Not everyone is looking for a replacement for the lithium-ion battery. Some researchers are approaching the challenge as if it were a giant jigsaw puzzle, focusing on improving just one aspect of the battery. For example, Gabriel Veith and his team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are trying to cut the weight of the protective system around the battery. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Winter’s here! And for most of us, it’s sure to be a white Christmas. This may not be the happiest Christmas for everyone, what with all the problems most of us are facing, but the best way to somewhat enjoy the holidays is to make the best out of what we still have—for some good health, for others a great family, others still excellent friends, and I’m hoping that you, like me, are still thankful that you have a car to drive to town with.

For me, the best thing about winter is snow. I usually stay over at my sister’s place with the rest of my family to celebrate the holidays with them. Snow is almost-always present especially during the latter parts of December. So I have to remember to take extra-care of my vehicle and to drive really slowly, or to not drive at all when the streets are icy.

One of the most amusing driving reminders I’ve ever gotten from a close friend is that: “If the roads are wet, drive like it’s snowing. If the streets have snow, then drive like they’re icy. And if the roads are icy, then don’t drive at all.” The cool thing about this tip is that it’s actually a great way to avoid accidents! And while this tip doesn’t just apply to the winter season, it’s more recommended during the colder parts of the year. .The thing about cars is that they need regular maintenance. If you don’t maintain them as you should, they will end up running rough. They will also use more fuel, and you will encounter reliability problems on a regular basis.
But what happens if you buy a used car, for instance, and it doesn’t “seem” right? It could be that the car needs a tune-up.
In today’s handy blog post, I will show you what you need to do to give your car a tune-up. By the end, you will know how to make your car’s motor run sweet!                                                                  .
Oil and filter

Change your motor’s oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s service schedule. Every second oil change, add some engine flush before you drain the old oil. It will thin the oil and clear out any gunk build-up inside.
Air filter  A Filthy Air Filter. It’s recommended that you replace your air filter each time you notice a buildup of debris on its netting. If your filter is reusable and you’ve tried washing and reusing it several times, inspect your filter for signs of damage. Remember, while it’s crucial to let in the right amount of airflow for more efficient fuel combustion, it’s equally vital that you prevent fuel contamination by keeping your air filter in mint condition.
If your car doesn’t feel as powerful as it once was, it could be that it is just starved of air. In all engines, air is essential for the combustion process inside of the cylinders to work well.
Clogged air filters are simple, quick and cheap to replace. Make sure your air filter is clean! . You might know this, but your car’s battery is only good for five years or so. After that time, you are playing a lotto! If you suspect your car’s battery is five or more years old, you should get it replaced.
There are plenty of batteries on the market, so just choose one that provides the best CCA (cold cranking amps). And make sure it’s the right battery for your car!
Ignition system

Once you have got your battery sorted out, it’s time to travel further along the line, so to speak. The next area to look at is your motor’s ignition system.
Spark plugs get used in gas engines. One spark plug gets used per cylinder. If your car has a 6-cylinder engine, it will use six spark plugs. If your motor is misfiring, chances are the spark plugs have had it!

Buy some high-quality spark plugs, and make sure you “gap” them before you install them.
Ignition leads (also called “HT leads”) connect to your spark plugs at one end. At the other end, they connect to the ignition module. The module is sometimes called a DIS pack (distributorless ignition system).
On older cars, you might have a distributor cap and rotor. Does your car have a rough idle? Maybe it doesn’t feel as powerful as it once was? If so, the leads and ignition module/distributor are often the cause of the problem.
Drive belts

All cars have at least one drive belt. In many cars, you will find two belts; an “auxiliary” and “cam” belt. The former gives power to your car’s power steering system, electrics and charges the battery.
The latter ensures the crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons and cams all work in harmony. Drive belts usually last for around 40,000 miles or four years.
The guys at www.carbase.biz recommend inspecting their condition. You should check for any signs of cracking or fraying.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Guys sit down and take a long, cold, hard look at facts.  Most women are not that attracted to sports cars.  In fact, it is quite the other way around.
Gasp, Shock, Horror! those day are history men even women need new pair new shoe's so cars are the same way?THIS FAST THE SALEEN IS ALL GREEN CAR  Typically Saleen aims to add horsepower to the muscle cars they tune.

Women like men who drive eco-friendly cars and are safe on the road.  Should you be surprised?  Not really.  This new 2,200 UK survey from Motors.co.uk (read it here) shows that women actually prefer a thoughtful man, in touch with the environment and who is safe.  Guess those sleek sports cars, or other supped up boxes won’t be the ticket many of the masculine gender would hope for.
It would stand to reason, since according to my personal experience, I got my women smiles driving a Mitsubishi i MiEV then my cute little 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider.  Go figure!  The strange thing is most guys laugh when I mention this anecdote.  A proof that most guys just don’t get it.  Still, who cares when women smile at me in a tiny eco-friendly electric car?
Half of the Men Get It Wrong!

No surprise there either, considering 48% of men still hold the archaic thinking that driving a sleek sports car means they will attract women.  Contrary to popular opinion, women favor men who drive eco-friendly hybrids, or even better, electric car.  The women polled said this was the best way to portray yourself men, in a positive light.

Here at CarNewsCafe, we love to educate people about automobiles, but it is also our intention to help our fellow men.  We would like to see more women automotive writers and are actively seeking them for CarNewsCafe.com.  We also hope men can pick themselves up from falling off their chairs and not only start considering an eco-friendly car as you next purchase, but actually embrace modern times.
Ladies Not Perfect Either…

Not that soccer mom usually look for a mate, but the survey did find men not attracted to 4×4 women drivers.  The survey reported: “…being particularly unattractive to blokes, who regard them as arrogant, rude and self centred.”
So pay attention, men.  We are no longer living in the 1950s or 70. it 2014 now the flying cars are here end green will be the next and forever like birds in the air and horse God ment that way.  How do you attract the opposite sex?  You need to be perceived as being conscientious, intelligent and safe on the road.  Don’t believe us, the survey even showed that a quaint mid-size generic sedan is seen in a better light than a gas guzzling sleek car.
Times have changed and those repeating past mistakes are doomed for failures.  In the meantime, go and rent a Prius on a Friday if you feel the need to date us and have your way's even we women do the same to you guy's “score”.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The 2014 Lexus ES 350 seats five and comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Only one trim is offered, though a number of packages are available. The Lexus ES 350 was redesigned for 2013 and sees few changes for the 2014 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2013 and the current model year.

The 2014 Lexus ES 350’s V6 engine is refined and powerful, and that its automatic transmission provides brisk, smooth shifts. It offers room to stretch out and cloud-like comfort, but rival cars are significantly more exciting to drive. 

The ES 350 has a refined V6 engine that offers ample power. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and test drivers say it makes good use of the engine’s power, though they acknowledge that rivals like the Audi A4 have quicker, more sophisticated transmissions. The ES gets an EPA-estimated 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is better than most V6-powered rivals’ fuel economy estimates. Reviewers say that vague steering means the Lexus ES isn’t very engaging to drive. However, they say it delivers on Lexus’ promise of comfort with a quiet, composed ride.

The 2014 Lexus ES 350’s interior is finely crafted and feels luxurious. The cabin is very quiet thanks to premium insulation, they add. The front seats are well-bolstered and comfy and the rear seats are incredibly roomy. The Lexus ES comes standard with a moonroof, an eight-speaker CD audio system, a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth phone connectivity, satellite radio and a HomeLink programmable garage door opener. 

Optional features include parking sensors, a backup camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert, an upgraded stereo with surround sound, a panoramic moonroof, a power rear sunshade and voice command navigation. Reviewers say the available infotainment and navigation systems have a controller that’s difficult to use, and that many audio and entertainment functions are inaccessible when the ES is in motion.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Infiniti faces a unique challenge as a luxury automotive brand. The fads of the fashion world are increasingly influencing how vehicles are designed and styled. manufactured products, such has automobiles,  computers, automobile interiors, office materials, A tiny minority of people can create an explosion of products. And that’s because it’s a tiny minority of a very big number. That’s the beauty of the whole thing. If you put the tools of production in the hands of millions of people and only one percent of them turn that into entrepreneurship, that’s still thousands of new entrepreneurs, new companies and new product categories that wouldn’t have otherwise existed. All of these skills are necessary to create an effective, appealing product. 

Walking into the recent GILT City + Infiniti event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, it was immediately obvious that this wasn't a standard vehicle event—this was another experience entirely. Once allowed inside, attendees entered the lavishly decorated space, received a glass of champagne, and were invited to experience the cars up close. There were no auto journalists in sight; they were instead replaced by Manhattan's fashion elite. Drab suits and slacks made way for daring thigh-high crocodile skin shoes.boots.

This wasn't the official Q50 reveal; that happened back in Detroit last January. This event was, however, a far clearer picture of what Infiniti wants to be than any auto show could ever reveal.

On the surface, the partnership between Infiniti and these two designers may seem like just another in the overstayed trend of celebrity creative directors. But digging in deeper reveals that this partnership is much more that of a spokesperson, and the effects of this partnership have already influenced the way Infiniti thinks about its own design.

The worlds of fashion and automotive design are far more similar than one might think, particularly in the luxury space. Fashion designers strive to create timeless design—something that feels fresh and current now but that the consumer will be just as comfortable wearing ten years from now. Auto design is similarly challenging. Designers need to consider that while some buyers will turn around a lease every two years, many cars will remain in driveways for a decade. Both need to consider the combination of soft materials and hard finishes, the use of various metals, how color plays into design without becoming overbearing, the quality of the materials, and how things feel to the touch. For luxury automotive, designers need to strike the fine line between fashionable and daring vs. a long product life and everyday use. With the costs of R&D and the highly-competitive landscape, it's a very expensive line to find.

"The design of the cars is always paramount," said Keith St. Clair, director of marketing for Infiniti USA, in a recent phone interview. "The curb appeal will always be critical. To buyers, their cars, they're expressions of themselves. The cars essentially serve as fashion."

In that sense, there is no better partner for a luxury car brand than a fashion designer. Unlike celebrity "creative directors" who typically carry little to no experience in product design, these two men have built their careers on it. That the panels are also covered with fabric marked by square, convex bumps ties into yet another fashion trend,.In a market where Infiniti is trying to appeal to the fashion-savvy, it's a smart move to go directly to the source.

"You just look at the latest architecture and it blends into the environment,'' Lai says, noting the former's luxury New York apartment building that has a rumpled stainless steel skin resembling a piece of fabric blowing in the wind and the latter's design for a private San Diego residence that looks like a space station. This isn't to say it's always automotive designers looking to other industries for inspiration, rather than the other way around.

For Mark Armstrong, creative director for Blue Sky Design - a multidisciplinary firm that designed not only the portable cauldron that was used in the Sydney Olympics relay in 2000 but also Qantas's new check-in areas across the country - car dealerships are often his first port of call when brainstorming a new product.

''If we want to create a feeling of luxury, then spending some time inside a Bentley or Rolls-Royce [showroom] is really good,'' Armstrong says.

Reflecting on this partnership, Browne said, "I went into this project almost as if I was designing a made-to-measure suit—everything from selecting the materials and colors to tailoring the upholstery to fit the curved lines of the interior, and also making sure the hallmarks of my design aesthetic are still reflected throughout."
One of those hallmark elements is a completely chrome exterior finish, including the wheels. In an industry where chrome finish usually equates to gaudy and overdone, like Justin Bieber's notoriously hideous Fisker Karma, Browne's Q50 is surprisingly attractive in person. The chrome finish reads a bit darker and smokier than most of the in-your-face executions out there, and it's an appealing contrast to the understated, masculine interior featuring Browne's signature red, white, and blue striping and stitching. It's clear that Browne understands how to employ "everything in modesty" in his well-balanced design.

Posen, a strikingly slender man wearing a head-to-toe red velvet suit that perfectly complements his car, gained notoriety after designing a dress for Naomi Campbell in 2000 that quickly exchanged hands among fashion insiders. He has since joined Project Runway as a judge and is a go-to designer for starlets such as Natalie Portman, Beyonce, Cameron Diaz, Claire Danes, and Kate Winslet.

Posen's Q50 features a 1930s-inspired red interior, clearly appealing to a woman who loves a bit of glamor behind the scenes. On his distinctively feminine design, Posen said, "I had in mind the woman who's going to drive this car: She is feminine, confident and sophisticated. The woman for whom the Infiniti Q50 is designed is not dictated by trends. She enjoys the transformative power of fashion, but she's not defined by it."

The most striking feature out of either cars, however, was the paint finish on Posen's exterior. In stark contrast to the rich, lush reds of the interior, the exterior features a tonal ombre gray—transitioning from light to dark from the front of the car to the rear. Beyond the color shift, the top coat also shifted from a soft-touch matte finish to a gloss. Photos hardly do it justice, and the finish is truly stunning in person.

The standard automotive design process is an insular and repetitive one, often highly guarded in R&D centers with little collaboration with anyone from the outside. While there's no doubt that the auto designers are at the top of their game, it's easy to get comfortable in the traditional process. Injecting these two fashion designers into the process forced them to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. Posen's vision for the paint finish, for example, required over 30 coats of paint and clear coat to achieve the desired effect, something that had never been done before.

Both fashion designers noted that they gained a new found respect for auto designers, particularly in regards to designing around legal and safety regulations. After all, these two cars may be someone's daily driver .

"On our side of the fence," St. Clair said of the reactions from the Infiniti design team, "our lead designers are very much inspired by each of the elements, and its effects can already be seen in future concept sketches. Clearly, a few things in the cars were very inspirational for the team."The fashion designers forced the Infiniti team to think differently, and those effects will be seen in vehicles are designed and styled future designed.