Luxury Lifestyle

Sutton Bespoke creates super-luxury version of the classic British black cab

The Sutton VIP Class LEVC takes incognito luxury travel up a notch.

Photos courtesy of Sutton Bespoke

When you can travel to England again, you might want to consider traveling in style in this discreet black cab. Though it is likely to blend in with much of the classic cab landscape, Sutton Bespoke has taken the cab from traditional to super-luxurious with some key modifications.

Known as the Sutton VIP Class LEVC, the taxi is based on the heralded LEVC TX platform. It's a next-gen, low-emissions black cab, which means that it can operate in London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone without having to pay a pollution tax.

Sutton VIP Class LEVC exterior doors The black cab looks relatively traditional on the outside, but the interior is unique.Photos courtesy of Sutton Bespoke

The Sutton VIP Class LEVC taxi has an interior that has been completely redesigned from the traditional black cab setup. Its rear seats are angled for comfort and covered in Sandalwood leather with Alcantara trim. Instead of rubber flooring, the cab features high-quality thick-pile carpet. Hand-crafted wood veneers adorn the door trims.

Above the passengers' heads is a panoramic roof. Ambient lighting can be changed to the color of the passengers' choosing.

Just because it's functional doesn't mean that the cab is lacking high-tech features. It includes haptic climate controls, an upgraded stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity, a TV tuner with Apple TV, and a Sony PS4 games console. Between the rear passengers there is an armrest complete with cupholders, and behind that a refrigerator.

Sutton VIP Class LEVC interior driver The interior of the vehicle is adorned with Alcantara.Photos courtesy of Sutton Bespoke

Driver and passengers are separated by a retractable screen. A fully electrically adjustable leather seat and a state-of-the-art digital instrument cluster ensure the driver remains comfortable during prolonged stints at the wheel. Soft-close doors can also be specified.

A subtle two-tone paint job has been applied to the exterior of the model. It features the iconic black taxi paint for the lower portions and Ferrari's Grigio Silverstone above.

Sutton VIP Class LEVC interior doors Doors open wide and seating is at an angle for additional comfort.Photos courtesy of Sutton Bespoke

The taxi sign on the roof will remain to preserve the iconic silhouette of the vehicle, albeit with the 'TAXI' lettering replaced by 'VIP'. The price of the vehicle will be in the region of £100,000 (excl. VAT) for business buyers, or £120,000 incl. VAT for private buyers.

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A new run of Jaguar XK engines is available.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Classic is making a new, authentic 3.8-liter engine for the Jaguar sedans and sports cars. The engine was originally fitted to Jaguar models sold in the 1950s and 1960s. This is the first time in 50 years that brand-new XK engines are available.

The new engine line was created to the exact, original specifications with the guidance of Jaguar engineers. It is a direct replacement for the 3.8-liter six-cylinder units originally fitted to the Jaguar XK150, XK150 S, MkIX, Mk2, MkX, E-Type Series 1 and S-Type.

Jaguar Classic XK engine Buyers can buy a replacement engine for their classic car.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Many of these models are desirable classic cars, including the Jaguar D-Type, XK120, and E-Type all recently were voted onto the list of the best British classic cars.

The new engine replaces cylinder block casting numbers C16020, C17567, C17200/1, C19292, C19983, C22290, C20012, and C22250.

To qualify to get an engine, Jaguar Classic requires that the owner of a vehicle must confirm proof of vehicle ownership. Customers can choose to retain the serial number from their original engine block, which will be stamped on the new casting with a an additional asterisk denoting the new block is a replacement item. Alternatively, the new block can be stamped with a new unique serial number.

Last year at SEMA, Jaguar Classic announced that it was reintroducing the original E-Type toolkit after a 50-year hiatus. The owner's toolkit was originally ordered with Series 1 and Series 2 E-type sports cars but hasn't been available since the Series 2 went out of production in 1971. The E-Type toolkit and other parts can be purchased from the recently-launched Jaguar Land Rover Classic online parts shop.

Jaguar Classic XK engine The six-cylinder engine is a faithful replication of the original.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

The new 3.8-liter Jaguar XK engine blocks are priced at £14,340 each (approximately $17,914) and come with a minimum 12 months Jaguar parts and accessories warranty and certificate of authenticity, exclusively from Jaguar Classic.

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Electric vehicle production

GM outlines huge investment in new EV production

The $7 billion number is GM's largest single investment to date.

General Motors

Automakers are not shy about their plans to electrify their vehicle lineups. In fact, it's just the opposite, as most can't wait to release a media kit that sings the virtues of moving toward electrification and outlines their commitments to investing billions to make the move a reality. General Motors has been more active than most, building new facilities and revamping existing factories to handle new-age EV manufacturing. Today, the auto giant announced a further investment to build a new plant and overhaul the Orion Township facility in Michigan. The move creates thousands of jobs and positions GM as an early powerhouse in the EV race.

GM EV investment. GM says its new and existing facilities will create and retain thousands of jobs.General Motors

The $7 billion investment is slated for four Michigan manufacturing facilities. GM says the move will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 existing positions, and notes that the amount represents the single largest investment in company history. A new Ultium Cells battery plant in Lansing is part of the deal, along with the conversion of the GM assembly planting Orion Township. Orion will eventually house production of the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra, making it the second of GM's facilities dedicated to building electric pickup trucks.

The Orion and Ultium Cells Lansing facilities will help GM boost its total full-size electric truck production to 600,000 units per year when both Factory Zero and Orion are in full swing. Though Ford sells more full-size trucks than Chevy or GMC individually, GM notes that the two combined move more trucks per year than The Blue Oval. The two plants join General Motors' existing EV-ready facilities that include Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck, Spring Hill Assemble in Tennessee, CAMI in Ontario, and the Ramos Arizpe Assembly facility in Mexico.

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