Luxury Lifestyle

Rolls-Royce takes inspiration from world's fastest bird for new bespoke design

The Rolls-Royce embroidery team embroidered a photo-realistic falcon in a new Wraith.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A new bespoke Rolls-Royce Wraith is inspired by the fastest bird in the world, the Peregrine Falcon. The creation of Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, the vehicle features a number of design nods to the bird and unique detailing that cannot be found on any other vehicle in the world.

The Wraith is a two-door hardtop coupe that was first introduced in 2013. This model features a Bala Blue and Andalusian White exterior with an Arctic White coachline that was painted by hand using a fine squirrel hair paintbrush. A wing motif features on the coachline.

Rolls-Royce design embroidery roofThe falcon was made to look realistic rather than like a cartoon or imagined drawing.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Nearly 250,000 stitches make up the photo-realistic embroidered bird on the Wraith's headliner. It took the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Team, craftspeople, and engineers over one month to develop.

Josh Liles Rolls-Royce design embroideryJosh Liles, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke Embroidery Specialist is highly skilled at interpreting clients' wishes and translating them into embroidery.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

"The design required hours of observation of a Peregrine Falcon – we needed to understand the musculature, the movement, the shading of the feathers," said Josh Liles, Bespoke Engineering Specialist, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "We wanted the bird to adopt an alert and predatory stance. We created multiple iterations of the embroidery – the direction, length and spacing of the stitch can have a great impact on the final image. We purposefully shaped the beak and angled the eye to create a sense of aggression."

Rolls-Royce bespoke Wraith Peregrine FalconThe car features a two-tone paint job and a custom coachline.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

He continued, "The Falcon embroidery became a labour of love. Technically, it is exceptionally difficult to embroider this density of stitches onto leather. Embroidery puts stress and tension on leather causing a physical wave in the material, which naturally, is unacceptable in a Rolls-Royce."

Rolls-Royce bespoke Wraith Peregrine Falcon embroideryThe falcon theme carries over to the interior.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Specialized embroidery can also be found between the rear seats. A Bespoke Rolls-Royce clock in Baby Blue, with guilloché inspired detailing features on the inside.

Rolls-Royce bespoke Wraith Peregrine FalconBlue accents dominate the interior alongside traditional leathers and wood appointments.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The car's connection to sky and flight continues throughout the vehicle with blue and wing accents alongside the typical Rolls-Royce finery. The Charles Blue leather on the interior accents the exterior paint job.

The Rolls-Royce Wraith starts at $320,500 but bespoke models sell for tens of thousands of dollars more.

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Premium full-size truck

Toyota Caps Truck Lineup with New Range-Topping Model

The Capstone is a new top trim for the Tundra.

Toyota

Toyota has stepped up its truck game. After recently releasing the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra that was redesigned and reconfigured from the ground up with distinct six models, Toyota has now added a new range-topping version. The 2022 Toyota Capstone will give full-sized truck buyers another choice in the Toyota stable; Capstone, priced above the high-end 1794 and Limited trims, starts at $75,225, including destination and delivery. Toyota’s new flagship truck joins the increasingly-popular segment of upper-echelon pickups that includes the Ford F-150 Platinum, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country and Ram 1500 Limited, among others in the full-sized market.

Capstone is set apart from its stablemates with unique trim elements outside and within the premium cabin; the special edition model brings Toyota’s an all-new iForce MAX hybrid engine that is shifted through a 10-speed transmission-- also new to the lineup with the Tundra’s third-generation remake. Standard configuration is a 4WDemand part-time four-wheel drive system;new technology features that bundle towing aids and off-road enhancements; and a crew-cab with a 5.5-foot bed, along with air springs, 22-inch wheels shod with P265.50R22 tires; a 14.0-inch touchscreen and a 12-speaker JBL Audio system, as part of the notable collection of lux-level appointments.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe entire Tundra line is all-new for 2022. Toyota

The outside of the newest Tundra was crafted to evoke the ethic of muscled toughness and attract buyers interested in recreation and an outdoor lifestyle. The Capstone version adds an overlay of eye-appealing trim elements that elevate its allure, whether at posh digs like the country club or lakeside unhitching a boat or water-sports toys. Chrome is the jewelry of choice: the grille is beset by a color-keyed outer frame with a chrome mesh pattern insert and there arechrome mirror caps, door handles, chrome “TUNDRA” tailgate inserts plus chrome wheels that are the largest that Toyota has ever added to a truck. Power-retracting running boards and a power Bedstep are standard. Capstone comes in a palette of lush colors that includes Wind Chill Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Supersonic Red and Blueprint.

The halo-truck’s interior adds driver and passenger comforts and updated technologies with the “technical muscle theme” carried over inside; the horizontal layout is newly styled and a standard panoramic moonroof brightens the ambiance. Slipping in, you’ll find standard semi-aniline leather-trimmed heated and ventilated seats in a Capstone-only black-and-white color combination and a center console and passenger-side dash that are accented with authentic Dark American Walnut enunciated by an open-pore finish; on the dash, the Walnut inlay surrounds a Capstone logo that illuminates when the doors are opened. Bowing to driver comfort and convenience is a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel; a 12.3-inch digital Multi-Informational Display and standard 10-inch color Head-Up Display. A massive 14.0-inch touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated into the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system that allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity. A Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices by turning Tundra into an AT&T Hotspot and also provides the ability to link your separate Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle with Integrated Streaming.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe Capstone comes with an ultra-plush interior and great tech.Toyota

We drove the new Capstone model during a ride and drive program in Carmel Valley, California, that was designed to highlight different aspects of the truck’s capabilities. We motored along the Pacific Coast Highway’s serpentine track, as well as on two-lane in-town roadways and along a few busier stretches that required pushing the throttle to pass and ascend uphill grades, especially when we were towing. Of note, Capstones can tow up to 10,340 pounds and have a max payload rating of 1485 pounds (other Tundra grades can haul more).

Among our takeaways: the truck is especially quiet with standard acoustic glass in the front cabin, however pushing the the twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 iForce MAX hybrid engine, which produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, brings two features of delight—instant torque and a throaty growl that has been dialed in to enhance the senses of enthusiasts. The hybrid system has a motor generator between the engine and the transmission to boost power, in addition to parallel hybrid components that provide start-up, EV motoring, electric assist and energy regeneration. Integration of the gas and electric system is seamless and the 10-speed auto provides a smooth transition between gears. Engineered to enhance towing, the hybrid system provides additional power and torque, whereas when motoring in the city it focuses on a quiet ride with improved fuel efficiency; tuning for highway driving allows a lively linear power delivery and for off-highway forays bring peak torque performance early in the RPM range.

Drive Mode Select allowed us to select a driving mode depending upon preference and need, with settings for Eco, Normal and Sport. With available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension, modes expand to Comfort, Sport S, Sport S+ (SPORT or SPORT+ settings that are engineered to make the electric motor’s response instantaneous).

The all-new chassis with its fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame brings a comfortable-although-slightly-stiff ride. We found excellent handling for carving corners with the new multi-link rear suspension and competent braking with a good pedal feel. Standard are adaptive dampers, while Tundra's new optional rear air springs’ system can raise or lower the bed.

2022 Toyota Tundra CapstoneThe Capstone gets an exclusive interior color scheme and plush leather upholstery. Toyota

Capstone’s standard Towing Technology Package brings Trailer Back Guidance, which is a great help in overall maneuvering of trailers, plus Straight Path Assist that is designed to ensure your truck and trailer will back up in a straight line---360-degree cameras aid with visibility and tough-to-see areas around the truck and trailer. When connected with Toyota’s integrated trailer brake controller, the Blind Spot Monitor can recognize blind spots for not just the truck but the trailer as well.

Onboard cameras display multiple exterior angles that can be viewed from the touchscreen and/or the standard Digital Display Rearview Mirror; Panoramic View Monitor displays a top-down view of the truck. Other views include the rear truck bed to check on cargo, and a helpful aide for towing is the rear split view to show what’s nearby on each side of the trailer and the hitch view to assist with trailer connecting.

Capstone, like all Tundra grades, comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, Toyota’s active safety system that bundles an impressive array of safety features.

**The 2022 Toyota Tundra is available in 2WD and 4WD; 4-door Double cab and Crew max body styles; and the option of 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed lengths. Seven grade levels include SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, TRD Pro and Capstone. Two engines are available: In addition to the hybrid, is a twin-turbo V-6 that produces 389 hp./ 479 lb.-ft. torque. Both engines are shifted through Toyota’s 10-speed transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 12,000 pounds/max payload 1,940 lbs., depending on model.

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Updated premium crossover

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 QX50Pricing 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 QX50ProPilot 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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