Bespoke

Aston Martin Pastel Collection is the result of over a year of collaboration with Q

Aston Martin's Q bespoke division has created give unique models.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Five special edition super luxury cars make up the new Aston Martin Pastel Collection. Each model is a result of over a year of collaboration between Aston Martin Newport Beach and Q, the bespoke division of the parent company.

The Pastel Collection is made up of a Vantage Coupe wearing an Ultra Violet paint job, a Cardamom Violet Vantage Roadster, and Aston's DB11 Coupe and Roadster swathed in Butterfly Teal and Clear Water, respectively. Aston Martin Q also designed a Vibrant Coral DBX.

The Vantage Roadster is a relatively new addition to the Aston Martin lineup. It debuted last year bringing top down driving enjoyment to one of Aston's most beloved vehicles.

Last July, the first DBX rolled off the company's production line in Wales. The model is Aston's first SUV and was developed to not be a performance or elegance compromise.

Late last year, Aston Martin announced a partnership with renowned architect David Adjaye to create five homes within the 130 William condo complex in New York City. Additionally, Adjaye worked with the automaker to create a 130 William Adjaye Special Edition Aston Martin DBX, which is included with each residence purchase.

The 130 William Adjaye Special Edition Aston Martin DBX marks the first time that Aston Martin has collaborated with an architect on the custom fit out of one of their signature vehicles. The DBX features a number of 130 William-related features including an Aston Martin-first, real stone accents, with Grey "Pietra D'Avola" marble inlays matched with Satin Walnut wood.

Aston Martin's hand-stitched leather has Parliament Green trim and the steering wheel matches the walls of the simulator room option. There's also carved solid walnut trim, with Q by Aston Martin Parliament Green leatherwork and details in bronze, black anodized aluminium and real stone.

In addition to the Pastel Collection and the 130 William Adjaye Special Edition, Q has also recently created two James Bond-themed Vantage and DBS Superleggera models and customized a DBX to reveal its dark side.

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Special edition Land Rover

Special Land Rover Defender stars in new James Bond film

The special Defender features several 007-inspired touches.

Land Rover

James Bond and British vehicles go together like bread and butter. The spy's most well-known rides come from Aston Martin, but Land Rover isn't sitting out on the action. The 25th film in the Bond series, No Time To Die, premiers in just a few weeks, and with it, a new special edition Land Rover Defender. Land Rover's SV Bespoke division created the special Defender, which in addition to making an appearance on the silver screen, will be on sale for a limited run to 300 lucky Bond fans willing to shell out the cash.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The Defender gets exclusive infotainment animations.Land Rover


The villainous Defender is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and Land Rover says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty off-roader to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.1 seconds. The V8 is a recent addition to the Defender line, and comes paired here with unique suspension and transmission tuning, bespoke spring and damper rates, and a new electronic active rear differential.



2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The 007 Defender V8 get special puddle lights.Land Rover


Unique touches to the 007 Defender include "Defender 007" treadplates, special infotainment animations, and "007" exterior puddle lamps. The interior will get a laser-etched detail plate to denote its number among the 300 vehicles. No Time To Die will feature the Defender front and center, but it's not the only Land Rover in the film. Two Range Rover Sport SVR SUVs will also make an appearance, along with a Range Rover Classic and a Land Rover Series III.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition You'll need to be really into Bond to truly appreciate the special Defender.Land Rover


If you're more interested in seeing the Defender's time on screen than you are in getting behind the wheel, it hits theaters in the U.S. starting on October 8, 2021. The film will be the fifth and final movie to feature Daniel Craig as Bond. However, if you're really excited about the Defender, get ready to pay up. Prices start at $114,600 and supplies are extremely limited.

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All-new vehicle

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz splits worlds

It's not quite a truck or an SUV, but lands somewhere in the middle.

Hyundai

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the most unique vehicles to be released in a long time. It's not quite a pickup truck, but it's not quite a crossover or SUV, either. Landing somewhere in between the two segments, the vehicle is shorter than any pickup currently on sale today. Don't let its size fool you, though. The Santa Cruz packs a load of standard features, compelling technology, and a useful bed into its funky shape.

The internet is full of people who'll tell you that small pickups are destined to fail, but let me be clear: There is no reason that small, unibody pickup trucks can't become the norm for most people that think they "need" a truck. They're more maneuverable, cheaper to fuel, and easier on the wallet to buy. I think that's a pretty good reason to at least give them a chance, and after a full day behind the wheel, it's obvious the Hyundai Santa Cruz has enough merit to stand on its own as a useful and even fun vehicle to live with on a daily basis. Hyundai invited us to Santa Cruz, California to drive the new vehicle and see what it's all about, so let's dive in and take a look.


2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Hyundai's signature LEDs add a futuristic touch to the Santa Cruz' grille.Hyundai


Competent Powertrains and Handling

The Santa Cruz comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Our test cars on the first drive event were equipped with the optional turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, which produces 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The lesser engine comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the turbo powerplant gets an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In its top configuration, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The turbo engine and DCT pairing are a treat, and make the compact Santa Cruz feel lively and fun to drive. On California freeways, passing is effortless, and the transmission readily downshifts to provide more grunt on demand. As people in the Santa Cruz area know, the roads quickly shift from wide-open cruising to twisty mountain highways, and the Hyundai can make that transition with ease. Don't expect to keep pace with a dedicated sports car here, but the Santa Cruz' wide stance and capable suspension system keep the ride both comfortable and interesting.

From the driver's seat, it's easy to forget what you're driving. There's no indication of a pickup bed or anything resembling a pickup truck-like ride. That's thanks to the Santa Cruz' unibody design, which is the same one used in crossovers and in the Honda Ridgeline. Noise, however, is another story. While it's mostly controlled, freeway driving reveals weaknesses in the Hyundai's sound insulation. Rough pavement and grooved road surfaces send more sound into the cabin than expected, but it's far from severe.


2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz There's more than enough space here for most people, and configurable cargo options make it even more useful.Hyundai


Car-Like Comfort with Truck Utility

Cabin comfort and materials are another area where the Santa Cruz differentiates itself from traditional pickup trucks. Since the vehicle is based on the Tucson SUV, the layout inside is familiar and comfortable. The front seats are wide, deep, and nicely padded, and do a good job of holding the driver in place while flinging the Santa Cruz around mountain roads. Though I didn't have my kids' car seats on hand to test rear seat space, a visual inspection showed that there would be plenty of room for two kids without causing a tug-of-war with front-seat passengers for legroom.

The four-foot bed looks small on paper but is far more useful than you'd think in practice. Hyundai designed the space with under-bed storage, cargo D-ring tie-downs, side-bed storage compartments, and a sliding tonneau cover that is water-resistant. Owners can cut and insert wood pieces to create a sturdy shelf system with the bed's molded slot system, and Hyundai will offer several bed accessories, such as racks and cargo organizers.


2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz The optional 10.25-inch screen lacks wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but looks great.Hyundai


Useful Tech and Safety Features

The top Limited trim with options gets a useful and configurable digital gauge cluster, along with a large 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. Hyundai's infotainment software is far from the most colorful or the fanciest on the market, but its straightforward operation makes it less distracting and much less frustrating to use when the vehicle is in motion.

Due to its limited time in existence, the Santa Cruz hasn't been crash-tested by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Standard safety features include lane keep assist, forward collision warnings with pedestrian detection, lane follow assist, and high beam assist. The SEL trim adds blind spot collision-avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, while a surround-view camera, blind spot camera, and highway driving assist system are available.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an interesting vehicle, and not just because it's unlike anything else on sale right now (that will soon change with the Ford Maverick). It's interesting, because of its infectious attitude, unrelenting utility, and funky style that all work together in a surprisingly cohesive and entertaining way. If I were in the market for a truck, and I always am, the Santa Cruz would be hard to ignore.

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