When the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE class midsize luxury crossover launched, it was only available in a four- or six-cylinder engine. That may have felt like a bit of an oversight, but it’s now corrected with the release of a V8 version.
Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz didn’t go with AMG for its V8; instead, the manufacturer installed its own GLE 580. Still, the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre engine has plenty to offer and comes with an electric motor/generator that adds 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
With that addition, the engine heaps out 483 horsepower and 516 lb-ft—an improvement of 121 more horsepower and 147 more lb-ft over the GLE’s inline six. Using its 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive system, the SUV can hit 60 miles per hour in around four seconds.
Inside and out, the 580 closely resembles other GLE models, though it does have a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen for the MB UX infotainment system as well a second screen of the same size for the analog instrument cluster. It also sports air suspension and the E-Body Control system.
The 580 is expected to go on sale later this year for a base price of USD$77,795.
2019 Porsche 935 Moby Dick, There She Blows By
You don’t have to be named Ishmael or even Ahab to appreciate the 2019 Porsche 935 Moby Dick, though you will have to be one of the first 77 people in line to get one of these extremely limited-run cars. Inspired by Porsche’s 935/78 racecar, and given the same moniker, the 2019 Moby Dick is a track-only race car, though even that might be hard to find events for since the car is non-homologated.
Porsche recognizes the limited potential use, stating that the car is “geared towards clubsport events and private training on racetracks.”
The 2019 Moby Dick makes use of the current generation 911 GT2 RS powertrain, which consists of a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine capable of 690 horsepower. The engine mates with a rear-wheel drive seven-speed PDK paddle-shift gearbox. That’s less power than the original Moby Dick.
While there’s a discrepancy in that regard, there’s little to complain about in the looks department. The carbon-reinforced plastic body kit mimics the swoops of the 935/78 version. It does have a new wing, and it sports incorporated LED lights.
Being a race car, the interior is minimal. There’s just one seat beneath an escape hatch, and a welded-in cage. Moby Dick sports a Cosworth data logger and a motorsport wheel.
As limited as it is, you’ll pay quite a bit to add it to your stables–£750,000.
Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Has a lot to Admire
In June, 1919, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in a modified WWI Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft. Of the event, Sir Winston Churchill commented, “I do not know what we should most admire—their audacity, determination, skill, science, their aeroplane, their Rolls-Royce engines—or their good fortune.”
Churchill called out the Rolls-Royce engines for a good reason. Just about everything that could go wrong on the flight did, with the exception of the Rolls-Royce engines. The Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII Collection pays homage to the duo—and the engines that carried them.
The Wraith is finished in a colour scheme reminiscent of the Vimy bomber—two-tone gunmetal and Selby grey paint that is dressed up with brass accents. Unlike the bomber, however, the cabin in an exercise in luxury.
The eucalyptus wood used in the dash went through a special “vacuum metalised” process to create gold, silver, and copper inlays that mimics a bird’s eye view of the moon-lit Earth. The custom clock has an “iced” background that references the instrument panel of the plane freezing up.
The headliner of the Wraith also received a special treatment to make it look like the exact nighttime sky of the flight at its halfway point thanks to 1,183 glowing fibres, with brass threads that outline the flight path Alcock and Brown took.
Only 50 of these special edition cars will be made.
Bentley Surprises with the Bentayga Bengala SUV
When you first see the Bentayga Bengala SUV, you might be a little incredulous that it is a Bentley. Granted, you will recognise the six-figure price tag, but the rest of the design is very different from anything else you’ve seen from Bentley. The biggest difference is the nearly tank-like appearance.
The SUV was designed by Spanish design house Bengala Automotive Design SL. Bengala gave the SUV a tall stance that is accented by the extended fender flares. In the wheel wells, Bengala added Dillinger forged wheels. Up front, the trademark Bentley grille was changed out for a new front fascia that features a customized bumper with an LED strip. It’s this new front end that really makes the Bentayga look more aggressive and intimidating.
On its website, Bengala confesses to working with a Spanish off-road rally champion and his team, and the influence shows. The Bentayga received an updated suspension to match the vision of combining luxury with “brutal appearance and outstanding performance.” Bengala is also known for using carbon fibre extensively, so no doubt the Bentayga received a few mods in that direction as well.
Only 15 examples of this design will be produced, and each will be tailored to meet the customer’s specifications. Regardless of what is chosen, one thing is evident—this isn’t the Bentley you’re used to.
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