By far the coolest display i found after trekking out to the farthest hall of all at Frankfurt Auto Show, was BMW’s 7 robot arm displays. Think apple like glossy white and wood and plexi displays with the blue led glow… housing 7 robotic arms and touch screens waiting for you to poke and prod and stare in wonder as they demonstrated their various technologies. Granted, most were being poked by everyone from kids to adults and few had any idea what was being demonstrated, but everyone was trying to see what they could do to get the arms moving… SO beautiful, i have lots of pics and videos of them in action for you on the next page!
IAA is one of the biggest auto shows in the world ~ quite fascinating besides the car are the luxury automakers “style” stores ~ filled with goods they are selling outside to complement their cars. Increasing trend? Toddler Cars! A great way for junior to be just like mommy and daddy? Nice way to start the brand loyalty young? And some really are SO cute. So take a peek at ones i found wandering the show floor over at Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Hyundai on the next page.
p.s. While many others have variations of these push/walk cars as well, these are the ones i actually saw today on the show floor!
There isn’t much to say here ~ but you can’t help but stop and stare when amongst a sea of cars you see a huge Bumblebee from Transformers between the Chevy Camaro and Volt… and secretly wish it would move. or talk. or… TRANSFORM? (And then secretly hope the rest on the floor are robots in disguise too… can you imagine which would be autobots and which would be decepticons?) This one is specially for Ganden, Shawn, and Madeline ~ take a peek at all the pics on the next page! He’s HUGE!
There are so many approaches one could take to a mashup ~ for whatever reason mine tends to be start with an evil mwuahahaha kind of mad scientist kind of laugh in my head, followed by trying to figure out what fun items around me might fit together. In this case, 2 of the new Plumen bulbs arrived - “the world’s first designer light bulbs” (So gorgeous! But simply hanging them from a regular light to show off their fun shape didn’t seem like enough!) ~ and i’d been playing with lightbulb fixture connectors/splitter/plugs (and wondering how big of a tree of them i could make with lots of bulbs at the ends!) ~ and there was the Blue Lounge Mini Dock that allows your iphone/ipad/ipod to stay off the ground when charging… and when you put them all together ~ along with a simple ikea lamp base… i ended up with this fun iPhone Charging Lamp! Where the bulbs are as much a part of the lamp as the rest! Something almost antler like about the bulbs viewed this way ~ and rather mesmerizing as it lights up a room ~ perfect little stand to charge the iPhone, light the room, and control my music from it as the phone streams to speakers over airplay… so iphone charging DJ lamp? Take a peek at more of the silliness on the next page!
The big announcement of the night at the Mercedes-Benz IAA 2012 event i just flew in for ~ the F125! “A redefinition of automotive luxury: emission free driving in First Class” is what they are leading with… and F-cell Plug-in hybrid with a range of 1000km! Hydrogen storage technology! Induction battery charging! Lithium sulphur high-voltage battery… and so much more. But you can read about the technical details elsewhere, for 4am, here’s a look at the car itself ~ up close with all the details! My favorite tiny detail is definitely the symbol on the side of the car to open the doors!
I’m curious to hear what you think ~ or what questions you have! Tomorrow i’ll be hosting a live interview with Christoph Horn, Director of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Anders Sundt Jensen, Director of Brand Communication Mercedes-Benz Cars, about the new products and features at the IAA tomorrow that you can view live on their Facebook page just after the streamed press conference! Please tweet questions you want me to ask with the hashtag #mbLiveTalk, and i’ll try to get answers for you! As for now ~ go check out the pictures on the next page!
Currently in Frankfurt for the IAA with Mercedes-Benz, i’ll be hosting a live interview with Christoph Horn, Director of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Anders Sundt Jensen, Director of Brand Communication Mercedes-Benz Cars, about the new products and features at the IAA tomorrow that you can view live on their Facebook page just after the streamed press conference! Please tweet questions you want me to ask with the hashtag #mbLiveTalk, and i’ll try to get answers for you!
As for sneak peeks, tonight was the pre-press conference event with sneak peaks all around… including getting to run around the 3 story “booth” of a space that has housed everything from rock concerts to tennis matches and for the last decade or so ~ Mercedes-Benz at IAA! One of the most noteworthy details beyond the breath taking facade they’ve constructed with in? The history of Mercedes through model cars (and a stuffed MOOSE) that you encounter between the escalators as you head from the ground floor to the 3rd. Take a peek at a video on the next page, as well as more pictures of the space!
The Mutewatch is here! Well the first batch coming in to the US landed at A+R, and during Fashion’s Night Out, Andy had me over to do the honors of unboxing with him! I’m sure you’ve seen the video by now of this magical swedish watch that is MUTE ~ visually and audibly. A flick of the wrist or the slightest caress and it will show you the time. Swipe with the finger to start changing modes. Pinch to delete an alarm… an alarm which is ALSO mute ~ and will vibrate to wake you… Beautiful packaging, it will definitely make for a fun and unexpected gift! Take a peek at the details on the next page ~ and the video to catch you up on how it all works too!
Shopping for a car in the mall. Pick up a pair of shoes, grab a bite in the food court, then saunter in to a store to build your car on an iPad and email it to yourself, then hop down into the parking garage for a quick test drive?
Tomorrow, LA based tech startup/car company, CODA, officially opens their first store in Century City ~ perhaps store isn’t even the right word ~ it’s an “experience center/meeting place” in which shoppers can learn about electric vehicles (EVs). Completely green ~ the facade and ceiling are made of reclaimed wood, the plywood is all formaldehyde free, even their wall graphics and pamphlets use eco friendly printing and materials. With a car parked outside, you can’t miss it’s location near the movie theater and food court, and even if you don’t peek in, the window inspires you with “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And when you’re ready for a test drive (or while looking for a parking space) ~ you can’t miss the special CODA section in the parking garage directly below the store with CODA’s waiting for you to give them a spin.
I love this trend of stores that are focused on the lifestyle and experience of a space versus simply selling their product. The theme of creating inviting spaces to engage buyers and could be buyers in a relaxed setting ~ and bringing the products and stores to where people already congregate (versus the usual destination streets filled with car dealerships.) is very Apple store like ~ and in fact Tesla brought on the man who helped create the first few to do theirs… and the team at CODA admitted Apple inspired their as well, and even strategically placed their first store near an apple store (across the way and down a few doors!) to attract people who like such experiential spaces. Will we be seeing more of these? I wonder which other genres will be next ~ is this going to continue to be an EV trend?
But first ~ take a peek into the beautifully designed CODA space in Century City as well as their test drive area in the parking garage on the next page!
Leave it to GearPatrol to come hand deliver their Onia collaboration Amaury board shorts in a 2012 Nissan GT-R in a nearly matching blue (their shorts are far less sparkly than the car thankfully) ~ So what better way to unbox it ~ than to unbox them together… so we popped the hood of the car to see the beast within, opened up the zipper pouch the shorts come in… and even found that the coin pocket they specially lined for the collab is a PERFECT fit for your GT-R key! And to top it off, when you start the car up, she even announces that there is a “High surf warning around current location.” Exactly when you need board shorts! So we promptly hopped in the car and took off along the beach to Malibu for lunch… though it’s currently one of the fastest production cars to lap the NÃ¼rburgring… we sadly didn’t have a chance to really see what it could do. Keep an eye over at GearPatrol to see what they have been up to with it soon! But for now, take a look at the GP x Onia Board Shorts and my favorite details of the 2012 Nissan GT-R on the next page.
p.s. After unboxing Louboutins on the Mars Red C63, it seemed appropriate to switch to blue and unbox the GP x Onia on the GT-R. What next?
So you’ve seen the Making Of… well, here is a look at our 6 playful experimental mini videos of new ways to look at Bentleys! Watch them all. We had fun finding the perfect clips and fun music to set the mood for each one…
Nothing quite like new toys, new cars, good friends, and a day of experimenting in beautiful LA weather with Mister C being the home base for the day… two weeks ago we brought our new Contour+ mini HD action cam with us to meet up with Bentley’s fleet en route to Monterey… armed with suction cups, we had far too much fun mounting the camera and driving all over beverly hills, bel air, and late night through the tunnel in santa monica and on pch… take a peek at the setups, as well as the beautiful 1936/37 Mercedes Roadster we found!
Here’s a first from Shawn, our automotive editor, who has been exploring the world of Concours D’Elegance this weekend with me ~ i was mesmerized by these beautiful classic Mercedes-Benz White Knights!
With Mercedes Benz celebrating their 125th anniversary, they commanded the stage and 18th hole on Sunday at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. Lining the coast, the “White Knights” stood side by side collectively paying tribute to the Pre-War German engineering and racing of Benz and Daimler. While they are all immaculate, the 1909 Blitzen-Benz is with out a doubt the grand-daddy. The 21.5 Liter four-cylinder laid down 200hp and set the world land speed record of 141mph on April 23, 1911 at Daytona Beach. It is exactly these milestones of the “White knights” that brought Mercedes their glory on and off the track. These legendary cars will remain some of the finest German engineering through time. Take a look at some of their stunning details on the next page.
We ended up at an unexpected oasis amongst the madness of Monterey Auto Week when we drove up into Monterra Woods to join friends at the Aston Martin Estate. They took over a beautiful house and filled it with a brilliant mix of lifestyle brands from Far Niente Wines and Louis Roederer Champagne, to Emanuel Andren’s Chocolates from Sweden… Vizio 3D tvs and CxC Driving Simulators, to Flexjet by Bombardier and Worth magazine… There was even a tailor, diamonds, non-alcoholic cocktails (test drives happening!), and of course Aston Martins ~ from the V12 Zagato and One-77 to Virage CoupÃ©s, Vantage S Roadster, and Rapide. They created a beautiful space with relaxing indoor and outdoor areas, and endless things to do. Favorite? While waiting for test drives, the garage had two 3-large-screen simulators with racing seats that throw you around almost as hard as a real F1 car. (Of course, had we planned a bit better ~ i’m sure test driving the Astons would have been the favorite!) All in all, there was so much to see and do, and it was the perfect way to get a feel for the lifestyle they imagine around the marque. There were even herds of deer and flocks of turkeys roaming nearby! Take a peek and explore the estate and details on the next page!
One of the most fascinating spectacles yesterday was watching how they unload and maneuver/roll precious, concept cars into the putting green in front of the Lodge at Pebble Beach. Especially fun to watch? The unload of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster Concept… a hydrogen electric fuel-cell powered, joystick controlled, bicycle wheeled buggy. While the press pics have been floating for 2+ years, there was something intriguing about seeing it being semi-driven/rolled around and seeing the responses on people (especially kids) faces as they watched in wonder, perhaps even imagining a reality where that could be what we drive. The wood panels on grass technique was fun to watch, take a peek at the process and details on the next page.
Having spent the day with the newest Bentley’s all over LA on wednesday ~ and then being convinced to spontaneously pop up to Monterey Auto Week… the time warp to see Bentleys of the past amongst their contemporaries is quite a trip. While I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to attend on such short notice, but Bentley swooped in and have been helping guide us through the week. They were kind enough to invite us in to the world of The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, which we were told was an event not to be missed amongst the endless car events of the weekend. They weren’t kidding. It was an incredible introduction to the classic cars, while still getting to play with the supercars of today… all while lounging on golf courses… without playing any golf. Driving cars along golf cart paths and all over greens felt so wrong, yet is so normal here! One of our surprising favorites of the show turned out to be this green 1927 Bentley 6.5L coupe! So take a peek at the awesome car above in detail… as well as a silly unboxing of the jacket that saved me from the windy/mistiness that is the monterey peninsula… on the next page!