Design

Bentley Flying Spur's list of new features includes a thread as long as Big Ben is tall

A host of exterior and interior upgrades are in order for the new Flying Spur.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The Mulsanne era has come to a close and the dawn of the Bentley Flying Spur is upon us. The sunrise has gotten more spectacular thanks to an even longer list of super luxury features for the 2021 model year.

Buyers can now configure their Flying Spur with just four seats. The option is also available on the refreshed Bentayga alongside the more traditional five- and seven-seat options. When the four-seat option box is checked, buyers get a center console that divides the auto from front to rear. It houses the storage space for Bentley's 5.0-inch touch screen remote, two cup holders, two USB ports, and a 12-volt power socket, and offers additional storage space. Available upgrades include a heated armrest and wireless charging pad.

2021 Bentley Flying Spur Picnic tables are available.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Flyings Spur seats can now be upholstered in semi-aniline leather with hand cross stitching (consuming 115m of special thread equal to the height of Big Ben). The stitching takes 18 hours to complete and requires 11,100 hand sewn stitches. The thread used has been uniquely designed for durability and colorfastness. The leather used features a reduced thickness, which allows it to be more breathable and deliver a softer feeling.

Two new finishes are available for the interior - carbon fibre and Côtes de Genève. The steering wheel is also fresh and includes improved safety functionality.

There are also available veneered inserts for the rear doors and electrically operated picnic tables. The tables are mounted at the rear of the front seat and can be deployed with the press of a button. Each table is covered in leather and has a recess for a pen or stylus.

2021 Bentley Flying Spur The auto has a new steering wheel.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The car can be gotten in the buyer's choice of paint colors including Viridian, Patina and Snow Quartz. Viridian is a modern take on the traditional British Racing Green, Patina is inspired by polished metals, and Snow Quartz is a modern white three layer pearlescent paint. The complete extended range palette is also available, including Bentley Mulliner satin finish and pearlescent paints as well as full bespoke color matching upon request.

There are new wheel finishes and the option of a full chrome front matrix grille.

2021 Bentley Flying Spur The car is available with new interior treatments.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

When specifying the Blackline Specification, which replaces all exterior bright chrome with gloss black versions, over 75 percent of Continental GT customers select black wheels. To mirror this option for Flying Spur, Bentley is introducing a gloss black wheel and a black-and-machine-finished version, allowing customers to match their wheels to their choice of brightware.

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The Jeep Wrangler Islander is now aviallable to order.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep is bringing back its popular Islander special edition SUV for the 2021 model year, but with a twist. This year, the Wrangler and Renegade are getting the treatment. This is the first time the Jeep Renegade has been available with this special edition treatment.

"Our Jeep enthusiasts expect legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, and they also embrace the Jeep brand's fun 'go anywhere, do anything' adventure lifestyle," said Jim Morrison, Vice President, Jeep Brand North America. "With Surf Blue accent stitching, Islander-embroidered front seats and available white three-piece hardtop on the Wrangler, you can't help but think summer and the beach life when you see these new Islander special editions."

2021 The Jeep Renegade Islander beings the spirit of coastal communities to the off-roading family hauler.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021

The Wrangler Islander has been gone for 11 years after being first introduced as a special edition in 1988. The new model is based on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Sport S with either two- or four-doors. It comes standard with the following features and equipment:

  • Jeep Command-Trac 4x4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio
  • 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels in Silver Finish with all-terrain tires
  • Rubicon Rock Rails
  • Uconnect 4 with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Dual-zone temperature control
  • Exterior details include a Tiki Bob hood decal; interior details include a Ceramic White mid-bolster and black cloth seats with an embroidered Islander logo and Surf Blue accent stitching
  • Available white three-piece hardtop
  • Optional Islander Plus Package by Mopar adds front/rear grab handles, cargo tub liner, solid sunbonnet top and Tiki Bob soft spare-tire cover

The Jeep Wrangler Islander is available in Billet Silver, Black, Chief, Granite Crystal, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Hellayella, Sarge Green, Snazzberry and Sting-Gray.

Each Islander model receives unique interior appointments.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The Renegade Islander is based on the 2021 Jeep Renegade Latitude. Its list of standard and available features and equipment includes:

  • Available Jeep Active Drive full-time 4x4 system
  • 19-inch Silver Alloy wheels with all-season tires
  • Dual-pane panoramic sunroof for ultimate open-air freedom
  • Uconnect 4 with a 7-inch touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Exterior details include a Tiki Bob hood decal; interior details include premium black cloth seats with an embroidered Islander logo and Surf Blue accent stitching
  • Keyless Entry with panic alarm
  • Remote start system
  • Available Alpine White painted roof

The Jeep Renegade Islander is available in Bikini, Jetset Blue, Glacier and Omaha Orange paint jobs.

The two models serve up a unique look.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

All 2021 Jeep vehicles get the Jeep Wave premium owner loyalty program with purchase. It gives access to benefits and exclusive perks like three years of worry-free maintenance at Jeep dealerships, including oil changes and tire rotations; 24/7 support via phone or chat; 24/7 roadside assistance and first-day loaner coverage; access to select Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Islander has a starting U.S. MSRP of $33,370 for two-door models and $36,870 for four-door models (all prices exclude $1,495 destination). The starting price for the 2021 Jeep Renegade Islander is $27,430.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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