Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake

Here are two amazing photos for all of you shooting brake fanboys. Aston Martin is rumored to be introducing their Rapide Shooting Brake at the Geneva car show. So now all of the one-percenters will have their choice of three, big buck shooting brakes: the Porsche Panamera, the Ferrari FF and the Aston Martin Rapide.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Introducing the New MPG World Champion

Feast your eyes on the new Volkswagen XL1. While shown previously as a concept, Volkswagen announced last Thursday that the vehicle has been green-lighted for production. The miles-per-gallon performance of this car is absolutely astounding: it delivers 261 mpg!

It's a two seat plug-in that has an electric-only range of 32 miles. After that, an incredibly efficient diesel engine kicks in. How efficient you ask? The car needs only 8 horsepower to cruise at 62 miles per hour. Top speed of the XL1 is 99 mph and it will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

The car has gull-wing doors, spats over the rear wheels and camera-based rear mirrors, all to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. In fact, it will be the most aerodynamic car ever built, with a Cd of 0.19. By comparison, a Ferrari 458 Italia clocks in at 0.33. It weighs less than 1800 pounds and it's shorter than a Porsche Boxster.

The car will debut this year at the Geneva Car Show and will be available later this year as a 2014 model. Pricing and availability details have not yet been released.

Friday, February 15, 2013

In Praise of Automotive Art

Back when I was in the ad biz, the thirty-second TV spot was King of the Hill. While they are still the major source of revenue for broadcast networks, the network brass have to feel like a large herd of leaf-chomping Apatosaurus watching that enormous meteor hurdle directly at their favorite feeding spot.

Al Gore's Internet has changed everything. Imagine trying to convey the image, feel and sex of the new Jaguar F-Type (shown above) in a thirty second spot. Hate to be the creative team on that assignment. But now imagine the client said you had no time constraints, no product restraints, no network censors and you could create a work of automotive art to be placed on the Internet (to derive maximum enjoyment, view in full screen at 1080p):

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Google Maps Hits the Slopes

All through college, there was a group of us that worked at Hoigaard's Ski Shop and we were really passionate about skiing in Colorado. Every chance we got, we were off to Aspen to ski. We'd take Mark Paulson's VW Beetle because we could make it from Minneapolis to Snowmass on just $16 of gas.

The mountains out there are huge and the trail system complex. Accordingly, you always had to carry a large, folded paper map of the ski resort to make your way down the mountain. On February 6, Google Maps put a sword through the heart of paper map publishers everywhere.

They just added ski run and chairlift maps for 38 US ski resorts. Now, when you search for any of the new ski resorts in the Google Maps app, you’ll be able to see the standardized colored runs. Green is for beginners, blue for intermediates, black for experts and orange for terrain parks – as well as the ski lifts as red dotted lines.

The full list of ski resorts is as follows:
  • Alpine Meadows – CO
  • Alyeska Resort – AK
  • Aspen Highlands – CO
  • Aspen Mountain – CO
  • Attitash Mountain Resort – NH
  • Big Sky Resort – MT
  • Big White Ski Resort – BC
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort – CO
  • Brighton – UT
  • Buttermilk – CO
  • Copper Mountain – CO
  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort – CO
  • Deer Valley Resort – UT
  • Granite Gorge – NH
  • Heavenly Mountain Resort – CA
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – WY
  • Lake Louise Ski Area – AB
  • Mammoth Mountain – CA
  • Mount Bachelor – OR
  • Mount Shasta – CA
  • Okemo Mountain Resort – VT
  • Panorama Mountain Village – BC
  • Park City Mountain Resort – UT
  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort – BC
  • Schweitzer Mountain Resort – ID
  • Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort – CA
  • Snowbasin – UT
  • Snowmass – CO
  • Squaw Valley – CA
  • Steamboat Ski Resort – CO
  • Stowe Mountain Resort – VT
  • Sugar Bowl Resort – CA
  • Sun Valley Resort – ID
  • Telluride Ski Resort – CO
  • Vail Mountain – CO
  • Whistler Blackcomb – BC
  • Wildcat Mountain – NH
  • Winter Park Resort – CO