New Model News

Aznom Palladium is a 'surprising' hyper-limousine that can be fully customized

Aznom Automotive has specially crafted the Palladium and are looking to sell just 10 worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Aznom Automotive

If you have ever wondered what the love child of a Rolls-Royce Phantom and the Parthenon would look like, turn your gaze to the Aznom Palladium, the world's first hyper-limousine.

Italy-based Aznom Automotive is the first to admit that it is a "surprising and unique" auto and says that it's "ready to fill a rather interesting and exclusive niche".

The carmaker looks to have pushed the Palladium to the extreme. In doing so, they also are striving to create a vehicle that follows in the footsteps of Italian coachbuilders of the past. In doing so, Aznom will offer just 10 of these models for sale, each one able to be completely customized by the buyer.

Aznom Palladium The Aznom Palladium is a truly customizable vehicle. Photo courtesy of Aznom Automotive

"We have produced this vehicle choosing artisanal manufacturing techniques that are almost lost today, such as panel beating and hand-crafting the body of the car, together with other technological solutions engine builders, tanners, panel beaters, designers and engineers who have worked on this project are heirs to a tradition that has made Italian cars famous all around the world," said Aznom's founder Marcello Meregalli.

The Palladium is nearly two meters (over six feet) tall and almost six meters (19 feet) in length. That makes it nearly as long as an adult Brachiosaurus, firmly placing it in the limousine category of vehicles, but not nearly reaching the typical 30 foot length of a limousine in the U.S.

Its length belies its capability. Aznom says that the Palladium is capable of "traversing any terrain" with two- or four-wheel drive (though you'll probably want to keep it away from Moab) with an electronic locking rear differential. It comes standard in rear-wheel drive but can be switched to four-wheel drive mode via a button. The independent front suspensions feature aluminum upper and lower arms while the stabilizer bar has been fitted behind the wheel axis to reduce the car's body roll.

The car comes equipped with a 5.7-liter biturbo engine that delivers 710 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight speed automatic transmissions. Buyers can option the vehicle with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology for more fuel efficiency.

Aznom Palladium

Photo courtesy of Aznom Automotive

The Palladium traces its roots back to the Atulux, a luxury sedan based on a Ram Trucks pickup. Though its exterior was not much different than the donor car, the interior was classed up thanks to high-end design and innovations made specially for the model including reclining business class-style seats.

"In truth I've always been passionate about large automobiles like the huge American sedans manufactured from the thirties to the beginning of the seventies," said Meregalli. "Or the incredible Rolls-Royce and Bentleys of those periods. I've always been fascinated by big vehicles, I liked the super large hoods and the imposing stance of those cars.

"I thought about creating something similar for a long time and I even considered a "resto-mod" operation on a vintage Rolls-Royce. Then in 2008 Cadillac unveiled the new presidential limousine for President Barack Obama. This was not a "stretched" vehicle but it had been built with different proportions. Starting from a mega-SUV Cadillac had built a luxury sedan, big and imposing but with the proportions of a classic sedan."

The foundation for the car was designed in 2018. The evolution for its style was entrusted to Studio CAMAL in Torino. Its exterior features horizontal lines that are only broken by the fender at the rear with the front and back of the car framed. The grille features a rectangular perimeter and the car's hood is tilted toward the front. Its rear is imposing and slopes down from the roof while a horizon window allows passengers to catch a glimpse of the outside while relaxing in comfort.

Palladium's main body structure is made of high resistance steel. Aluminum is present, but not en masse. The car's hod and roof are made of carbon fiber while both forward and rear bumpers are made of composite materials.

The car rides on 22-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport 285/45ZR22 tires.

Its interior features large seats as well as drawers and compartments where a driver and passengers may stow items. The front seats have a custom pattern in the seat and back areas. Rear seats recline.

The door panel and the dashboard follow the pattern of materials and colors used in the upholstery, bright and dark leather spaced out by wooden parts and solid aluminum details. Aznom's backlit logo stands out from the instrument panel. The Palladium has Foglizzo leather throughout its interior, including on the ceiling.

Occupants are able to dictate the climate in their area of the cabin via multi-zone controls. The touch display on the driver's door panel allows for the complete control of the interior lights, air conditioning, on-board refrigerator, and the opening and closing of all drawers and compartments including the trunk, windows, and doors. The display on the other door controls the door locking, window, light and accessories concerning the respective side.

The car features a Harman/Kardon sound system and two Microsoft Surface X PRO tablets. A handmade gold and palladium clock is available to sit on the lower central position at the rear of the cabin.

Aznom has given the car six airbags and active and passive driver assist and safety systems including braking assist, hill descent control, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and park assist. A 360-degree camera system is available.

Aznom is also providing owners of the Palladium with a full set of luggage pieces, manufactured with the same leather and stitching as the limousine's interior. A notable piece is the umbrella, signed by Francesco Maglia, historic company manufacturing umbrellas in Milan since 1854.

Pricing for the model has not been announced but is likely to exceed six-figures.

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BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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