Supercars

New McLaren-Gulf deal offers the opportunity to get a Gulf livery on your next supercar

Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO; Mike Jones, Gulf Oil International Ltd CEO; Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO; and Lando Norris, McLaren Racing driver pose for a photo to mark the occasion of a renewed partnership between McLaren and Gulf.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

McLaren and Gulf Oil International Ltd announced a new strategic partnership that has implications from the garage at the track to your garage at home. The multi-year deal will once again formalize a longstanding relationship that the brands have had since the 1960s.

Racing enthusiasts may recall that Gulf's link with McLaren started in 1968. That initial partnership continued until the end of the 1973 season, with Gulf and McLaren enjoying success in both Formula 1 and the Can-Am series, winning over 40 races. The two came together again in the 1990s for the Le Mans 24 Hours, which saw the McLaren F1 GTR running in Gulf colours throughout the decade.

2020 McLaren Gulf Partnership Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO; Mike Jones, Gulf Oil International Ltd CEO; and Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO pose near one of the historic McLaren models that has worn a Gulf livery over the years.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

Starting in 2021, Gulf will become the preferred lubricant supplier to McLaren Automotive, with all cars to be filled with Gulf Oil and fuel optimized for high performance engines. Additionally, Gulf branding will also be displayed at McLaren Automotive's PURE customer events that take place around the world, at retailers, and on team kit.

A small number of McLaren customers will be offered the opportunity to have their supercar hand-painted by McLaren Special Operations, the firm's bespoke division, in Gulf liveries and colors which echo the famous F1 GTR Le Mans car that raced in the 1990s.

"It's great to be able to welcome back Gulf after a long historical association which has seen the name adorn many McLaren road cars and race cars over the years," said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive. "McLaren has a rich history of working with class-leading partners and we're delighted to continue this trend via our renewed partnership with Gulf. Like McLaren, the Gulf name is synonymous around the world with technical excellence and innovation and the excitement of going racing and motoring."

To launch the partnership, the Gulf brand will be integrated into the McLaren Formula 1 team starting with the British Grand Prix 2020 this weekend. The logo will be represented by McLaren F1 personnel throughout the 2020 F1 season, including via race drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz and the McLaren pit crew. Gulf branding will also appear on the engine covers and wing mirrors of the McLaren MCL35 race cars.

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The Twisted NAS-E California Series is a new all-electric 4x4.

Photo courtesy of Twisted

Earlier this year, a luxury 4x4 retailer in Austin, Texas showed off the Twisted NA-V8, a vehicle based on a classic Defender that comes in five different body styles. Now a limited run of 30 Twisted NAS-E all-electric 4x4 is bowing.

The NAS-E is born of the classic Land Rover Defender 90 body with a soft top and features an electric powertrain, a luxurious interior, and impressive off-roading capability. Each model is compliant with all North American EV Regulations and California CARB regulations.

Twisted NAS-E and NAS-E Plus

Photo courtesy of Twisted

"As the world moves steadily toward mass electrification, the Californian market has been missing a uniquely stylish electric 4x4 option that can stand out at the beach, off-road and at stoplights with a level of exclusivity and prestige that can only come from the timeless British Defender form," said Bruce Riggs, COO, Twisted North America. "With color schemes reflecting the natural beauty of California, a removable soft top shape to fully live the elements, advanced electric powertrain engineering exclusive to Twisted, zero-emission power, practical battery range and luxuriously modern interior touches, the Twisted NAS-E is the ultimate expression of the American coastal lifestyle."

The model is the first hero vehicle of the Twisted Legacy collection. It will be sold in two trim levels: NAS-E and NAS-E Plus. The difference mainly comes down to the power allocation. The NAS-E will be powered by a Remy Borg-Warner motor delivering more than 280 pound-feet of torque and 214 brake horsepower. The NAS-E Plus sees its output upped to 309 pound-feet of torque and 320 brake horsepower.

Twisted NAS-E Malibu Photo courtesy of Twisted

Twisted says that the model has a 200-mile range from its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The SUVs have custom-valved dampers, six-piston front brakes, four-piston rear brakes, hard-use RS29 brake pads, and a traction control system. Four-wheel drive is standard. There are Sport, Eco, and Off-Road drive modes.

The model will be offered in three color options: Malibu, Yosemite, and Tahoe. They will make up the California Series of the models, a limited time 30-vehicle offering.

Twisted NAS-E Tahoe Photo courtesy of Twisted

The NAS-E comes with a good list of features: cream leather seats featuring Alston Alcantara inserts, a three-seat bench across the front row with detachable headrests, 4x tip ups located in the load area, Twisted Sport Wheels finished in silver, a Twisted Stage One front end, NAS roll cage, Bimini hood, an infotainment system, EV management system touch screen, raptored 'spray down' unique flooring, eight-channel audio system, rearview camera with wideview angle, GPS tracker, immobilizer, and air conditioning.

The NAS-E Plus builds on that to include a NAS brush bar, NAS side steps, roll-bar spotlights, NAS-E body stripe decal, and black side sills.

Twisted offers the model with a comprehensive 24-month/20,000-mile warranty. Extensions are available.

Twisted NAS-E Malibu Photo courtesy of Twisted

The Twisted NAS-E starts at $185,000 while the NAS-E Plus comes in at $210,000. Each has a lead time of approximately nine months and requires a fully refundable deposit to reserve. Limited test drives will be available early October 2020.

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This image of a young child was considered so perverted by some that Audi decided to apologize for it.

Photo courtesy of Audi A

Audi has apologized for an advertisement that shows an image of a young girl eating a banana while she stands in front of an Audi RS 4 Avant.

The apology was issued after outcry from critics on Twitter who pointed to perceived numerous flaws in the ad from the overt sexualization of the child because of the banana involved to the potential danger the child was in because she was standing in front of a parked vehicle that can go up to 174 mph.

In the three-part apology, Audi stated, "We care for children. We hear you and let's get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system. That's why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign."
The statement continues, “We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone's feelings. We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case.“
Some of Audi's Twitter followers said that, in their view, the criticism was likely unwarranted while others chose to concentrate on the fact that the model in the photo features a potent power plant. Others pointed out that they felt that the image was pro-pedophilia writing, in German, “I see a pedophile ad here. And child abuse. Disgusting and reprehensible.“

Though this is the first advertising slip up this year for the Audi brand, it's the second major ad folly for Volkswagen Group, Audi's parent company. In May, the company became embroiled in a controversy surrounding an advertisement that features a dark-skinned man being maneuvered around by the hands of a white woman. As the ad developed, the dark-skinned man ended up being flicked away from a yellow Volkswagen Golf, all while upbeat music played in the background.

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