Cars – Men Style Fashion We Show You How Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:28:40 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Alfa Romeo – Museum Classic Car Tour Thu, 20 Sep 2018 05:23:50 +0000 My parents are Italian, my cousins drive many Alfa Romeo’s. In touring this fabulous museum this week, opened in 2015 just 25min from Malpensa Airport. Museo Storico Alfa Romeo is Alfa Romeo’s official museum, located in Arese, and displaying a permanent collection of Alfa Romeo cars and engines,  I agree with Henry Ford.

Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by,  I lift my hat off.

The Logo’s

Over the years their logo changed and at one stage they went bankrupt and had to be rescued.

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The Most Fuel-Efficient Car to Buy Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:18:08 +0000 In the market for a new automobile? There are many important factors to consider, but one of the key factors will be fuel efficiency. When you opt for an automobile which has high fuel returns it can save you money at the pump as well as through cheaper road tax. Not only this, but it will also be better for the environment and this is key in a time where there is so much focus on going eco-friendly.

Here are a few of the more fuel efficient automobiles to consider, most of which can be picked up for affordable prices in the used car market at places like FOW.


Peugeot 208

The excellent Peugeot 208 is proving to be a popular city car with a wide range of motorists thanks to its stylish looks, spacious interior and large boot. This is also one of the most economical vehicles on the market with the 75hp 1.6-litre diesel engine with claimed returns of 94.2 mpg which will help to keep the running costs down.

Renault Clio

The Renault Clio is a common sight on UK roads and this is because it is excellent value for money and one of the more reliable vehicles available. It will also appeal to those looking to save money at the pump with claimed fuel economy of an impressive 88 mpg.

Kia Rio

The Kia Rio is a stylish small city car with plenty of character and ideal for those in the market for a budget diesel automobile as it is cheap to buy with returns of 88 mpg – this is better than some hybrids. In addition to this, the Rio also comes with a seven-year warranty too.

Vauxhall Astra

The Astra from Vauxhall is another UK favourite and consistently amongst the best-selling automobiles in this country. It is easy to see why as the small family car has a spacious and quiet cabin, it is easy to drive and comes with lots of equipment as standard. It also sips fuel with claimed returns of 83 mpg.

Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra is a funky 5-door city car that has a cool interior, an excellent seven-inch touchscreen and a fun driving performance. It is not the cheapest in its class, but the 90hp 1.5-litre diesel has claimed returns of 81 mpg which will help to keep costs down.

These are just a few of the more fuel-efficient vehicles currently available. This should always be an important factor when shopping for a vehicle as it will have a big impact on the overall cost that you end up paying and will also help to reduce damage to the environment.

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AudiQ8 – Technology & Performance Reviewed Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:32:37 +0000 It was mid-week when an email rolled into my inbox with an invite from Audi to a film premiere – with a twist. Details were scarce, but the promise of a ‘surprise’ new model and a loan vehicle to take home ensured an RSVP was returned in double time.

From the title of this article, it will come as no surprise to hear this new model was in fact the Q8; with the unveiling complimented superbly by a live orchestra

Where the Q8 fits In

The Q8 is the first of a new breed of SUV for Audi. Rather than following the design language (and incremental size increases) of the existing Q3 to Q7 line-up, the Q8 goes it alone. If the Q7 is Audi’s utilitarian SUV, the Q8 is its sporty, luxury cousin. Gone is the function-first, boxy shape; instead replaced with slender lines, frameless doors and a more streamlined shape.

In the words of Audi; The aim is to bring together the ‘elegance of a four-door luxury coupé and the practical talents of a large SUV’.

Put the Q8 back-to-back with the Q7 and there’s no question who would win in a beauty contest.

The styling and refinement goes beyond the exterior too, with the cabin receiving tech and design cues galore from Audi’s flagship A8. Time to dig a little deeper.



First impressions of the Q8 were whilst exiting London’s superb BFI theatre late at night  ideal timing it turned out for the Q8 to unleash its signature piece, with the head & tail lights animating Knight Rider-style to reveal the car upon unlocking.

Frontward the Q8 carries over and pumps up the enormous front grill of the A8, with its girth now surely offering competition to numerous whale species. Nevertheless, with svelte curves around the headlights and strong lines running across the bonnet and wings, it somehow manages to carry an air of grace about it.

Thomas Koflach wearing Serengeti Eyewear

The Q8’s best angles are round the back though, where the high rake of the rear windscreen reduces its apparent bulk and the light strip running across its midriff comes into its own. Complimented either side by Glacier white paint on our test model, what can only be described as a red light-bar runs the full width of the rear, with angular LED ‘slats’ adding a bit of extra meat at the outer edges. The four rings sit centrally, with twin (fake, sadly) tail pipes rounding off the lower edges.


Standing the Q8 next to an ‘ordinary’ SUV, it’s clear that Audi’s efforts to make the car sportier have resulted in a lot of additional rake/lean of the upper surfaces. This means that, despite its footprint being similar, the cross-section size towards the top of the vehicle is a fair bit smaller than its brethren. This really tells when you look at the boot size – nearly 200 litres smaller than a Q7 and Range Rover Sport at 605 litres (although that still compares favourably with BMW’s X6 at 480 litres).

Although the slightly tighter cabin is noticeable when sitting in the vehicle, it does little to dampen the spacious feel. There’s plenty of headroom, and the sheer width of the vehicle means that the distance to passengers is enough to make even popcorn sharing a real issue.

Visually, the cabin’s a real masterpiece; it carries over the same design language & infotainment system debuted on the A8 – a fantastic myriad of touchscreens and haptic feedback that should satisfy even the nerdiest of tech heads.

Similarly, to the exterior, Audi have gone a bit wild with the lighting experience inside the cabin, creating something that wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Trek scene. The optional lighting pack (£275) adds surface and seam lighting galore, with almost endless customisation available to tailor the cabin just the way you like it.

The seats are quite sporty, offer excellent support and are generally comfortable – although they’re not quite on the same level as an A8. In the rear, passengers get plenty of leg room and a little seat adjustability, with only positive feedback heard from occupants during testing.

Then we get to the best bit; the sound system. Three tiers are offered on the Q8  Audi’s basic system, then two upgrades; a B&O premium system for £1150 and a 3D advanced system for £6400. Our test car came fitted with the middle ground Premium system, although on first listening we did mistake it for the £6400 system. Whether it’s the larger cabin, clever speaker placement or just the quality of the system – listening to music in the Q8 was a dream and far surpassed expectations. Bravo Audi and B&O.

On The Road

 First impressions of the Q8 on the road were; ‘woah, this is vast’. Moving from a mid-sized family estate, the Q8 takes a bit of getting used to, although the higher seating position and good visibility are an instant plus. Manoeuvring such a large vehicle is aided massively by all the in-car tech, with the 3D camera (£750 option) mapping the surrounding environment remarkably accurately – tight spots no longer seem so tight!

Adaptive cruise and all the usual trimmings are present, including my personal favourite feature on Audis; their Matrix LED headlights. Unusually, these come fitted as standard, making night-time driving a joy. Cabin noise in incredibly low – partly aided by the acoustic glazing (£550), although in truth so little of it appears to be coming from the road I wonder how necessary this really is.

Point the Q8 at some corners and it doesn’t shy away – the chassis is nice and stiff, giving very little body roll and inspiring a decent level of confidence through the steering – a feat for a car tipping the scales at just over 2 tonnes. Running across the bumpy stuff this chassis stiffness does create a ride slightly harsher than you’d expect. It’s perhaps a difficult compromise for Audi in this strange sector of the market, to choose a level of comfort vs sporting ability on such a vehicle; although adaptive dampers as seen on numerous modern cars would be right at home here.

The drivetrain on test was the ‘50’ TDI variant – a 286PS V6 TDI with mild hybrid functions married to an 8-Speed automatic ‘box. In a nutshell, this drivetrain and the Q8 are a match made in heaven. The diesel motor is silky smooth, offers plenty of low end grunt and the almost endless selection of gears ensures the Q8 can really get a wriggle on, then operate in total silence once up to speed. Economy is the only concern, with low 30s seen throughout testing; I guess even Audi’s engine nerds can’t work wonders on a car this big.



It’s safe to say that whilst the up-sizing of cars has been a trend for a while, the trend for making ‘sporty’ SUV’s hasn’t been around so long, but is certainly here to stay. Although Audi are a little behind their German compatriots in this market – both the Mercedes GLE and BMW X6 have been around for a while, I think Audi’s design is the boldest. They’ve also done something very un-Audi, and that’s laden the base model with numerous features usually reserved for the optional extra tick sheet. As a result, despite the Audi’s starting price being a few thousand more than the BMW or Merc, it still represents good value (it’s also a smidge cheaper than the Range Rover Sport).

The Q8 is a very relaxing car to drive, with superb creature comforts and technology galore. The ride is perhaps a little firm, but it does mean it avoids feeling lazy on the road – Audi have certainly nailed their ambition for making this feel sporty and responsive. Fuel economy aside, I struggled to find anything I disliked about the Q8 during my time; if you’re in the SUV market, the Q8 is well worth a look.


Thank you to Audi UK for providing our review vehicle. Price as tested: £76,990

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Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean Wed, 12 Sep 2018 06:38:53 +0000 Clean cars say good things about their owners. This is especially true when you’re looking to get your car valued through companies like AA, who will fight to secure you a better valuation if you’ve clearly taken good car of your vehicle. All in all, clean cars are not just a point of pride, but a selling point too!

Whether you’re desperate to bump up the value of your vehicle or simply make it look pristine for your own pleasure, a good sprucing up of your motor can go a long way. Of course, there’s also something to be said for technique too.

Consequently, here’s a few tips that will help you keep your car spotless!

Look Closely

It might seem obvious, but a keen eye is often overlooked in the cleaning process. A rigid routine can replace your own intuition, and suddenly you’re just daydreaming about your favourite sandwich as you wipe down the car instead of noticing the subtler grime. For example, you should hose the wing mirrors to remove any build-up of spiders and their cobwebs, or pay close attention to the number plate, as this always needs to be spotless  according to the law. Look closely and inspect every detail, only then will you know what parts to clean!

Frequency of Cleaning

You should aim for a weekly cleaning of your car to experience the best possible results. It doesn’t matter if you have an old banger or a beautiful Bentley Flying Spur, if it’s covered in dirt and bird poo it’s not a good look. Frequent cleans means the shine gleams, and dirty marks don’t have a chance to stick and subsequently become tougher to remove. It also means the paintwork stays in good shape too, and the colour doesn’t become washed out from all the constant grubbiness.

Keep It Simple

If you clean your car often, then there’s no need to start buying and purchasing questionable sprays to help remove permanent stains. Dip a sponge in some hot water and wipe the car down, then hose the whole thing. Keeping it basic is best so long as you do it often, as if you start squirting some strong cleaning liquids on to the body of your vehicle, you risk once again diluting the paintwork and even causing scratches. Clean often yes, but also clean well.

Clean Seats

The inside needs a bit of TLC too! Whip out a hoover and suck up any crumbs or litter left in the car, as this will also remove any dodgy odours inside from yesterday’s snack as well as make it easy for you to clean after. After, consider waxing any leather seats you own. Spray some leather cleaner onto the surface and then wipe it down with some more hot water. This will create a softer, cleaner and richer feel to your seating.


Tyringham Hall Launch 2018

Wipe Down the Windows

Snag a quality glass cleaning cloth and wipe down the windows. Swipe up and down with your cloth and sponge and never in a circular motion, as this boosts the likelihood of leaving irritating streaks behind. Try to use warm water only too and no chemicals, once again to avoid leaving noticeable smudges. Stay consistent with your efforts, and you shouldn’t have a problem with the windows!

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Lexus RX450h F Sport Hybrid- SUV Reviewed Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:32:57 +0000 The Lexus brand has been voted one of the most reliable car brands for 2018. And I have to admit this is my first time driving a Lexus and for one week I had access to the RX450h Hybrid F Sport.  I am a huge advocate for the Toyota brand and its luxury offshoot Lexus. Growing up in rural Australia, it was and still is one of the strongest and toughest brands out there, in fact my whole family is addicted to Toyota’s. Now back to Lexus and as first impression counts, I must say the RX450h looks very edgy. The grill is a powerful statement and looks damn right mean. As I walked around it, the design thought behind it, was one that stood alone amongst this very competitive SUV market. I just loved the sharp lines as well as the window lines going over the C pillar meeting the rear window.

I decide to to test this SUV, and head to Wales for one week. When I looked inside, it did remind me of Toyota and its more simplified design, it was no frills and very comfortable seating.

Lexus RX450h Hybrid F Sport WalesRX450h Hybrid F Sport front grille


There’s an enormous amount of equipment on board, the Lexus, pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane-keep assist, side and knee airbags, sway-warning alert, wireless smartphone charger, drive mode select, and perforated leather upholstery. But all of this was in a very simplistic presentation. I had just reviewed the Range Rover Velar a week before, and the Lexus left me feeling a little dated, regarding graphics and interior. The car buttons are very simple, the seating is very simple but functional.

RX450h Hybrid F Sport Interior


I do not stand alone here when I say that the GPS is complicated and it’s a design that got me very frustrated. It actually took me 45 minutes to figure out that the Icon Options, is where I needed to place my postcode. Why not just put the word POSTCODE? As for the button function to put in your address. I was laughing once again it was hard to use, until I got used to it. To be frank, I never adapted to this technology very well. Maybe I should have read the manual, but who does nowadays?

It was a GPS that I had to second guess where I was going. It was a very stressing experience for me for the very few days that I was driving. I was going to Wales and it was a while a go since I was here last, so I really needed to depend on the exact location here. Unfortunately on most occasions, it let me down. Thank God for my mobile phone and Google maps.

I also allowed several other people to hop in the car both male and female to see if it was just me. On most occasions, many people could not figure it out within the first 10 minutes. Such a shame, and can only conclude it is not user friendly. It seriously needs to be addressed.

RX450h Hybrid F Sport

I had to visit Penny Lane in Liverpool

RX450h Hybrid F Sport GPS RX450h Hybrid F Sport GPS


The Lexus’s hybrid system, means the electric motor is always working, with the petrol engine dipping in and out continuously, depending on how hard I chose to stamp on the throttle. On many occasions I was cruising. I had just driven the Tesla Model S 100D two weeks before, so this was a nice reminder of the power of electric cars and on this occasion hybrid cars and where it’s all heading.

I loved how you got in the car and the seat was positioned very far back form the steering wheel, I pushed the start button and the seat moved forward to acknowledge that the car was on. Being a Hybrid, I found this important. Because on two occasions, after parking I walked out and realised I had left the car on. I managed shopping trips around town in silent mode, which was interesting when crowds were looking at me with slight confusion in Liverpool especially driving onto the famous Penny Lane. It was brilliant when I was site seeing Wales, on many occasion the speed was 30 miles per hour.

Famous Penny Lane

As I hit the road, that Sport mode engine fired up and I was impressed. On the road it was solid, fast and smooth, it had plenty of power. The steering throughout Wales on those long very narrow roads, was great. This car can do 0-62 mph in 7.8 seconds.

But the steering felt alive, and the power piles on when you press the throttle and the engine kicks in. Better still, the car will travel a long way on electric power alone. Economically it was excellent, I drove it from Oxfordshire, around Wales up to Liverpool and back down to Oxfordshire in less than two full tanks. The official figures state 44.8 mpg.

I liked the aluminium pedals, giving it a sporty look, a nice classy touch and easy to see when stepping into the car.

RX450h Hybrid F Sport mirror RX450h Hybrid F Sport interior wales

Family Friendly

Yes, most SUVs are family friendly cars and the Lexus RX450H Hybrid F Sport is no exception. The car is very spacious to seat 5 adults easily and the ride is smooth, even on those 19 inch alloys. As a parent of two girls, I had no complaints whatsoever about the Lexus. They loved the GPS buttons as they thought it was a good computer game to entertain themselves with, they figured out the controls more easily then me. On my journey this year, my children’s feedback is vital for my sanity. They loved the simplicity of the car and the space. I had over 100kg of luggage and the boot space was ample for that, the children had loads of space in the back for their extra fluffy mates.


Visually the Lexus RX450h Hybrid F Sport is a car that stand out from the crowd, and has a funky feel factor about it, I especially loved the grille how it was really mean looking. The cabin is very quiet at speed especially with this tried and trusted hybrid system. The drive is on the comfortable side of sporty, however when pushed the engine does sound more sporty. For me driving alone with my girls, doing 1000’s of miles in a Lexus, it is all about reliability.

Reliability as a mum means stress free driving trips. Please fix the GPS navigation soon.

RX450h Hybrid F Sport

Dropping the Lexus of to meet my next car.

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 Range Rover Velar – The Fashion & Lifestyle SUV Tue, 04 Sep 2018 14:23:37 +0000 It’s my first time driving a Range Rover, apart from a quick snow driving experience in Andorra, and in England every man and his dog seems to own one. In my case, when it comes to standing out, it would be much more of a challenge than I thought. For me I like to stand out and be noticed, when I drive cars.

Until, I realized after travelling from Oxford in the Velar to the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, that I only saw one other one on the road. As I got overtaken by a Discovery and an Evoque, I noticed they were overtaking me to see what the design difference was all about.

Range Rover Velar in the yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales United Kingdom

Range Rover Velar Yorkshire Dales

Design & Size

From the moment it turned up, for whatever reason I thought it was going to be small, but I was wrong. It’s wide  (193cm) and very long (480cm) with ample of boot space (558l). MSF car nut Jimi is in the process of buying another SUV and on this occasion, he was keen to find out if it fitted his windsurf gear. I wanted to test to see as passenger how comfortable I could sit with all his kit towering over me.  I was very impressed and so was he. He was pleased it passed the windsurfing test and I was happy I could sit in the front with comfort.

After booting him and is equipment out. I decided to take step back and look at it. And as for a wow factor, the colour red and design was very flashy indeed. It is a really good looking SUV. This car had that such pulling power, that over the next few days I never got tired looking at it and taking photos.

Infact, as far as car photography went, it certainly was Britain’s next top model winner. The perfect, fashion car to showcase models all around the globe for fashion week this month. Or on this occasion, it looked great in the city of York, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, as well as back down at Blenheim Palace standing alone in the massive car park.

Rnage Rover Velar Yorksire Dales

Boot space Range Rover Velar

Interior Design

I had just handed back a Bentley Flying Spur, so when it came to comfort and design there is no way it was going to match. It could never be due to the Velar costing £75,000 compared to the Bentley at £179,000. But when I opened the door the snow white interior and heathered grey fabric was something very new to me. This sofa interior looking design had me more and more intrigued. It was an interior that I could not help touching. The car materials used, including the two displays, the knobs and even the air vents were very stylish indeed.

Having two kids with me, I turned white as fear gripped me regarding how it would end up looking after a week. I was very strict with them and no eating at all was allowed.

I can only describe the fabric as a retro throwback of my love for velvet fabrics, on this occasion it was, suede cloth. To have it on the dashboard reminded me of my Italian upbringing when my cousins would glue carpet on the dashboard for a luxury message. Thanks to Range Rover, they pulled it off much better.

The same suede cloth was on the steering wheel, which was very nice to feel and drive with.

Range Rover velar rear seatsRange Rover Velar interior

Feeling such a soft material whilst driving was quirky.My children loved placing their faces on the dashboard, don’t ask the thought process on this one? It kept them entertained and that’s a bonus for me. This Velar, had personality both inside and out, it was a lifestyle car after all.

Range Rover Velar Yorkshire Dales

Driving Performance At High Speed

Again it is unfair to compare the handling on long distances, when it comes to driving a Bentley. So it took me some time getting used to in the Velar. I found it actually a bit too light on the steering wheel. It was very sensitive at high speed and in high winds even more so. This as a mum was a tad distracting especially when I had screaming kids in the back seats. Even as I changed the driving modes it would not change. As far as any SUV I have driven and I have owned many over the years, The Range Rover Velar was a car I was never entirely relaxed when it came to driving on the highway at high speeds, due to the sensitivity of the steering.

Yorkshire Dales

This beautiful part of Britain, was the perfect place to test all the technology in the Velar. The narrow roads were busy and braking, taking corners, not at high speed, was well tested here. This car was perfect for this environment. The braking was excellent and the comfort of the seats driving for hours on end was lovely.

Range Rover Velar Yorkshire Dales


When it came to navigation I trusted the Range Rover Velar’s GPS 100 percent. I loved the two display screens. So did my daughter who also tested all the features and technology the car had to offer. With the Velar, I traveled to parts of Britain I have never been too, so this GPS had to get me there. So when I was heading to the stunning city of York let alone the Yorkshire Dales, I was blown away how accurate and precise and easy to use this GPS was. It was clear, bang on point and got me to my destinations every single time. The GPS repeated the instructions three times before I had to make the turns. I am in love with this GPS. The displays were bright, large enough and very clear to see. It was the best I have experienced in all the luxury SUV’s since 2015.

Range Rover Velar GPSRnage Rover Velar display unit

Parking And Steering

Parking was very easy, I loved all the tech available for self-parking. In the city of York it was well received. There is a nice big screen to see where I needed to maneuver with caution and care. It’s a large car so parking it can be a challenge in built up cities, let alone tight multistory car parks. But the steering was light and it was not that much of a challenge at all, with all the displays screaming at me not to hit anything.

Range Rover Velar Car Park

Boot Space

Regarding design boot space of The Range Rover Velar, it stored my 100kg of luggage with ease. I loved how it was blacked out in the back, so I could safely leave my luggage in the back without anyone realizing that there was anything in the car. A risk I was willing to take on many occasions.

Range Rover Velar boot space

Glass Roof And Back Seats

Touring around Yorkshire Dales and The Peak District is truly stunning and to have a roof which is all glass was an added bonus of having the sightseeing tour literally in the back seat. When the weather was rough, we were not affected because as we stopped, we looked up and out of the roof glass and loved what we were looking at.

It’s a nice touch, when it opens automatically when I start the car and closes when I stop and park. Regarding back seat passenger space ample of room for toys and girlie bags.

Range Rover velar glass roof

Fuel Economy

I travelled from Oxfordshire, to York through the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District back down to Oxfordshire. Then to and from Tyringham Hall back to Woodstock for the Blenheim Palace. I did this on a tank and a half, which was excellent value for money.


As for my first time driving a Range Rover, I can now understand why they are a must have in the UK. When it came to design and image, I really felt very funky indeed. More so than ever, the style of what I drive has to match my personal style and lifestyle. It is a car that I would tour around for both business and pleasure. Every time, I parked the Range Rover Velar, I always turned back to admire, both its colour and design.

It certainly is Britain’s, Next Top SUV Model.

Range Rover velar yorkshire dales

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AudiQ8 – Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra Launch Mon, 03 Sep 2018 10:18:09 +0000 Last night MenStyleFashion thought they were heading to a film launch? But instead we were greeted with their new AudiQ8 Advert.

The arrival of the new Audi Q8 is announced in a spectacular major campaign – Big Entrance. The TV ad’s premiere was accompanied by a live 16-piece orchestra and 40-strong choir at the BFI Southbank in London.

Created by BBH London, Big Entrance shows the 100-strong Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra tuning up in the dead of night beside a shipping dock. As the Q8 rolls out of a container, the orchestra breaks into the epic swoon of Verdi’s Dies Irae. It is a rousing reception fit for the latest premium SUV from Audi.

The atmospheric ad brims with pomp and ceremony, but there is also a splash of trademark Audi humour: as the Q8 carefully navigates its way through a tight spot near the percussionist, the orchestra momentarily grinds to a halt – the players are stunned by the Q8’s power and elegance.

A witty tagline reads: The new Audi Q8. It makes a bit of an entrance

The special screening of Big Entrance was streamed via Periscope and Twitter.

An audience of more than 440 Audi guests and BFI members was then treated to an exclusive screening of the upcoming heist caper American Animals, one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year. Meanwhile, a fleet of Q8s was displayed on a walkway by South Bank in all its glory.

The ad was filmed at the Odessa Port, Ukraine, and directed by Sam Brown.

Benjamin Braun, Marketing Director of Audi UK, says: “The latest SUV from Audi, the Q8, is distinctively bold, beautiful and packed with new technology. It deserved a spectacular unveil in the UK, it got one with a 40-strong philharmonic choir. Verdi’s ‘sturm und drang’ (storm and drive) was the perfect soundtrack to the latest incarnation of our philosophy of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’.”

Ian Heartfield, Executive Creative Director of BBH London, adds: “The Q8 is the biggest, ballsiest Audi ever made. So, it wasn’t enough to give it the biggest, ballsiest music score: this car demanded to have the entire orchestra and choir physically there for its arrival on our shores.”

Director Sam Brown says: “We wanted to characterise the Q8 as a commanding presence, deserving of great reverence and fanfare. Big Entrance achieves that, all the while maintaining the distinct Audi tone, identity, intelligence and wit.

The Big Entrance

Big Entrance will make its television debut on 3 September, running across Channel 4, ITV and selected Sky channels. It will be supported across VOD, out of home, radio and cinema.

The new Audi campaign will be among the first to show on The Kensington – the first billboard by Zaha Hadid Design.  This landmark advertising structure, commissioned by JCDecaux on London’s West Cromwell Road, integrates public art, contemporary design and digital media. Its stainless-steel looped ribbon structure expresses the dynamism of the advertised brand and an on-the-go audience.

The campaign was planned and bought by Omnicom Media Group’s PHD, alongside PHD Fuse which was responsible for brokering and managing the special Audi screening with the BFI.

Tyringham Hall Launch 2018

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Bentley Flying Spur – The Dark Knight V8 Reviewed Sun, 26 Aug 2018 10:00:50 +0000 The Bentley Spur for me is a car that finally stands alone, from the rest of the Bentley collection. This classy looking large four-door saloon, valued at £178,050,  is all about luxury comforts for both driver and passengers. I was driving a Light Onyx with piano black Beluga interior, so my passengers felt like royal officials or business clients who were not to be disturbed and only to be chauffeured around. The big difference here is that, the new Flying Spur V8 S offers a more sport-focused interpretation. It made perfect sense on this occasion, to drive long distances around the UK at luxury locations to really test the driving experience. There are two engines to choose between: a V8 and a W12, I had the V8 delivered to me and the way Bentley delivers its fleet and press cars is an experience like no other.

Welcome To The Dark Knight

From the moment the Light Onyx came out of the truck, this Flying Spur, was given a new name, welcome to The Dark Knight. The Bentley Flying Spur V8 S is now available in an intriguing Black Edition. This saloon, had such a dark attitude about it. It was confirmed, every time I was driving or parking, the public stopped, stared and seemed very intrigued with its appearance.

This dark tint finish also extends to the rear bumper, light surrounds and door handle inserts. The intense look is completed by Beluga gloss door mirrors, black radiator matrix and window surrounds, along with a choice of striking red or black painted brake callipers.

I love feeling the Bentley. Photography Jimi Markham

Windsor Castle

It’s the year for Royal weddings and anything regal is trending both in lifestyle and on the catwalks. Over the years, the Queen has been known for being chauffeured in Bentleys on many occasions. Therefore it only made sense for me to visit Windsor Castle. I had to drive from West Sussex which took me over 2 hours.

This is where I fell in love with the Bentley Flying Spur. It’s so easy to drive, I could drive all over Britain, without feeling exhausted.

Back Seat Features

We departed for Windsor for 6am, with what seemed at first as disgruntled passengers but;

With heated seats and massage chair options, my passengers for the next two hours were wide awake but silent and that’s a first for my two children aged eight and ten. Their extra friends were well entertained with the radio option available at their little finger tips.

My passengers, sunk into the sumptuous straight-fluted seating that features a hand-stitched leather headliner and unique colour split that can be commissioned in duo tone combinations, mine was trending red. The space in the back is huge, my 8 year old daughter could actually stand in the back. As for leg space and comfort, it’s an indulgence of the finest leather seating money can buy and smell.

With what I could only describe as, double glazing windows with extra shutters, which allowed my passengers to be blackened out from the rest of the world. My passengers, at 6am felt they were in a luxury first class seats flying down the the A27 heading to what is commonly described as the biggest car park in the world, the M25. As we sat on the M25, I noticed glaring envious eyes looking at me. Probably because I was clapping and singing along to tunes, I love the Bentley’s Naim sound systems which is truly first class sound to my ears.

Stowe School And Blenheim Palace

I was situated in Oxfordshire for the next few days as I wanted to explore what Britain is famous for. Its large parks, palaces, English rose gardens and afternoon tea. Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house in Blenheim, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace.

Driving into the Palace for me was the perfect place to showcase the Bentley Flying Spur. With its long grandeur roads leading up to the palace, I certainly felt every bit trending when it came to royal lifestyle. This is what I encourage anyone who is looking for a posh week or weekend getaway. Rent a Bentley, buy one if you have the budget and drive, eat, pray and love the United Kingdom for what is unique and famous for.

When it comes to luxury school drop off and pick up, this endless drive to Stowe School is brilliant. Stowe House is a grade I listed country house in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England. It is the home of Stowe School, an independent school and is owned by the Stowe House Preservation. It has wonderful grounds and parks to explore here too.

When I pulled up at the gates, there was never an issue of asking for a private tour. Who would refuse a mum with her two children in the back, driving The Dark Knight, Bentley Flying Spur?

Fuel Delivery

I am always impressed with the driving range a Bentley offer. On this occasion 522 miles (840 km), thanks to the highly efficient engine that includes cylinder deactivation to save fuel, along with intelligent thermal management and electrical recuperation. I can confirm that I drove 500 miles on one tank which is 90 litres or 20 gallons.

Can you spot me flying in the background?

Car Tech and Torque

Bentley focused on three key areas when they created the sporting V8 S: the look, the engine and driveability. Looks can be deceptive here because I thought initially it was going to be slower in take off and overtaking as it’s kerb weight is 2425kg.

In Oxfordshire heading onto the M40, from a small village is actually very dangerous. The traffic is coming fast and on most occasions I had to come to a complete stop and wait before I could enter the motorway. I can wait for ages due to the heavy traffic. This is where I was going to test, the formidable 4.0 litre V8 S twin-turbocharged engine. Bentley now has tuned it, giving it higher levels of power [521 bhp/528 PS] and toque [680 Nm from 1,700 rpm] to give it a more sporting edge and a brilliant take off.

My only frustrations driving the Bentley, is that I can never experience it’s breath-taking top speed of 190 mph [306 km/h].

However the Flying Spur, for me is mainly for cruising around the UK and if working on wheels is what one requires then, this is the perfect luxury car for that.

Braking And Turning

Oxfordshire is known for its narrow and windy roads. On many occasion I had to brake fast and hard due to other vehicles dominating the road. The Bentley is just fabulous when it comes to braking, as a mum you always want the best and safest possible driving experience that money can buy. Regarding the turning circle, the sharper steering and an improved power to weight ratio with such a large vehicle allowed me turn at such narrow roundabouts without reversing. I also noticed other cars seemed very impressed too at my ease regarding turning circles. Regarding parking such a large vehicle, I found it very easy to park as well.

It also features the all-wheel drive system, with 40:60 front to rear torque split, which is found at the heart of some of the world’s fastest Bentley luxury vehicles. 


There is no denying that driving any Bentley sets you apart from the masses of cars on the road. The driving experience is always wonderful and I never feel exhausted driving a Bentley. The Flying Spur upgrade makes this car stand alone regarding sporting power and performance. It’s a lifestyle car that can be best driven on open roads.

In the below video more tech talk about the V8 engine, suspicion and interior design.

Over the few days I had it, my passengers ranged from children, to men in their forties to a retired lady who worked for British Airways focusing on first class experiences. The world of Bentley is all that, driving first class all the way even, if it’s dropping by at Bicester Village.

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The Most Economical Vehicles Available Thu, 23 Aug 2018 11:09:51 +0000 When shopping in the market for a new vehicle, one of the most important aspects to consider is economy. Fuel is a major expense and particularly for those that spend lengthy periods behind the wheel – this means that finding a car with high MPG can help you to make big savings at the pumps. Additionally, these vehicles will be better for the environment which is particularly important in today’s eco-conscious approach to motoring.

So, which cars (not including hybrid or electric) should you be looking at if economy is a key factor?

Peugeot 208

The always popular Peugeot 208 is a fantastic purchase for many different reasons with its economy being a key selling point. This is the most economical non-hybrid in the UK and can even top some hybrids with amazing returns of over 94 mpg with the 1.6 BlueHDI on the combined cycle. This is also a highly stylish and practical hatchback that is well-suited to a wide range of motorists.

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is the UK’s top-selling vehicle and it is easy to see why. This brilliant supermini is highly reliable and has a surprisingly spacious interior to go along with a superb driving performance. It is also incredibly cheap to run with claimed fuel economy of 88.3 mpg and emissions of just 82g/km which is lower than many hybrids. The Fiesta is a great car to purchase used from places like Imperial Cars as it is highly reliable and can be found for low prices second-hand.

Nissan Micra

The new Micra from Nissan has been given a serious overview and it is now one of the more stylish vehicles in its class with a much-improved experience behind the wheel too. Those looking to keep fuel costs down will be tempted by the impressive figures of 88.3 mpg to go along with low emissions for cheap road tax.

Renault Clio

The Renault Clio has always been popular with a range of motorists thanks to its affordability and reliability. The new Clio is also a sharp looking vehicle both inside and out whilst still retaining its affordability and reliability. All of the models sip fuel with the 1.5 litre diesel engine being the most economical with returns of 88 mpg.

Vauxhall Astra

The Astra is another UK favorite and consistently amongst the best-selling vehicles due to its all-round performance and build quality. The latest version is one of the more economical vehicles in its class with the 1.6 litre Whisper diesel engine retuning 85.6 mpg with emissions of just 82g/km.

When it comes to economy, these are the non-hybrid or electric vehicles to look out for and will help you to make big savings on fuel and road tax each month.

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Tesla Model S 100D – The Silent Electric Power House Sun, 19 Aug 2018 12:45:44 +0000 Today, in our world, being at one with nature is a great leveler. More so than ever I am realising the importance of looking after our planet. As I tour around the world, I notice a new millennial trend shifting and arising. The very earth we survive needs the respect from us regarding pollution, and being committed in doing whatever is needed, when it comes to living in clean air. My high priority more so than ever, is to make a huge mind shift in the way I buy and consume everyday items. Who would have imagined that in the last few years electric cars thanks to Tesla would be the most disruptive creation, along with the autopilot, that the car industry has ever seen. Whether we like it or not, electric cars are going to continue to evolve and dominate our roads. Regarding clean air and respecting the world we live in, the Tesla Model S ticks all those boxes, that is if the electrics you put in are of course from a renewable source.

Tablet On Wheels – The Touch Screen

I was very anxious to drive the Tesla, for the simple reason it was an unfamiliar ground for me. I was overthinking the whole concept, simply because I was not allowing my mind to place trust in the technology I knew nothing about.

I would encourage anyone when driving a Tesla for the first time, not to be anxious, let alone doubt this electric car. In entering the car the obvious game changer is that almost everything operates on the touch screen. As I search for buttons to open the sunroof or look for the handbrake to literally find none.

I soon discover, that this tablet on wheels would be my new best friend if, I want to go anywhere.

The amounts of endless data and functions takes a little training to get use too. But it’s an amazing concept. I was dealing with the improved MCU (Media Computer Unit) which is twice as fast as the older one and is a lot smoother, faster, and responsive touchscreen. It is a bit like your old phone and getting a new one. Apparently owners of older Tesla model  S can just upgrade the tablet part. The touch panel on the newer Model S is also very vibrant, with the display featuring accurate colour reproduction.

The browsing experience is brilliant. Having access to Google and with the split screen options allowed me to search for places to visit and explore, which took out a lot of stress. The kids loved exploring too, their favourite was Spotify through which we all had ample music choices, for the great sounding stereo.

I was driving with my two children, so to be able to use the voice-activated functions was brilliant, a real safety bonus as I could focus my attention on the road. This is where the Tesla Model S overall stands apart regarding road safety because there are less distractions regarding car tech which means my focus was more in tune with driving.

The 17” centre touchscreen seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel.

Still listing to Despacito, I am so stuck in summer 2017.

Over The Air Software Updates

There is a Tesla App which is very important and what was amazing for me was the software updates. The Tesla brand, reminds me of the movie Minority Report. Over-the-air software updates add functionality, enhance performance, and improve the driving experience of Tesla vehicles.

Similarly to how you receive updates to your smartphone or computer, Model S owners receive updates to their car remotely without visiting a service centre. The ability to receive these updates is free for the life of the vehicle.

Whilst I was parking, the Tesla shut down on me. Here is where no other car in the world can compete. Initially my mind was thinking old school tech. How can we push it? Do I need to call AAA? How on earth am I going to move this fully electric saloon?

  1. There are three options here. The first by pushing the control buttons simultaneously, on the steering wheel, I could reset the car. I know, it takes time to understand that this car is electric.
  2. The second option is the coolest experience for me. I could start the car with my phone app. I just was laughing my head off.
  3. The third option and my top tip, is I discovered that simply taking the battery in and out of the key fob which worked as well. The simple things in life often are the best solutions.

This is why the electric car industry is so powerful as its technology allows me to get on with my everyday life without depending on road safety for help, if things go wrong.

Old versus new technology. Had to use this phone to get into a business car park. My back to the future moment.

Model S, the first fully electric saloon, is an evolution in automotive engineering. Combining performance, safety, and efficiency, it has reset the world’s expectations for the car of the 21st century with the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any electric vehicle, and over-the-air software updates that continuously make it better.

Tesla Architecture & Safety

The Model S understated design, is why initially it took me time to appreciate what lies ahead for me, regarding its innovative performance. It’s a design that blended in with other car brands. But it was only when I opened the door, I realised that to fall in love with a Tesla, it was the technology inside that was going to stimulate my mind and emotions.

Safety for me is always important and built on the Tesla platform, the battery’s location on the floor gives the Model S an extremely low centre of gravity, greatly reducing the risk of rollover while at the same time enhancing handling and performance. When I am driving on the highway I always want to feel I have enough speed when needed. Reaching 0-60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds, the Model S is the quickest four-door saloon ever built. Every time I accelerated, the kids thought they were on a roller coaster ride, they loved this.

It felt firm and steady at high speed and when overtaking I could not believe the kick back. I was impressed with the speed.

I have never been in a car accident, but I could not help pondering that without an engine in the front maybe the safety and impact would result in more injuries. Without a petrol engine, the Model S has a crumple zone much larger than other performance saloons to absorb the energy of a front end impact making it safer.


I have around 80kg of travel luggage at the moment due to travelling with my family. I also had to on one occasion, I to pack my belongings with only 15min to spare. This was very easy thanks to, without an internal combustion engine, the Model S allows for additional cargo space in the front as well is in the rear. In the rear there is also the option of of 2 rearward facing seats which are great for kids. You can therefor have 5 adults and 2 kids easily in this car.

When I opened the door, I was impressed with the super white interior, it looked and felt very classy. I had kids with me and it was very easy to keep clean. This interior just like the right outfit made me feel I could conquer the world. The seats were super comfortable and had a very cosy feel to it.

Charging Stations

With the ever expanding Destination Charging program, Tesla owners have access to an additional network of chargers at business, travel and leisure destinations. The locations are easy to find thanks to the car tech. If there was anything that I was stressed about was that there were no Tesla charging stations in East and West Sussex. To be honest Tesla needs to address this problem asap. The city of Brighton is a mini London, and one of the most visited seaside towns, rich in both visitors and cash. It’s the perfect Tesla location to market the car and use it.

So I decided to head down to Portsmouth which is the only place I could have the Tesla supercharging experience other than Gatwick that was close to me. It’s easy, costs nothing but time and is quick to charge.


Fully charged up the Model S has a range of 393 miles (NEDC standard) which allows drivers to travel unprecedented distances on a single charge. The Model S is now the longest range all-electric production saloon on the market. For most Tesla owners, home charging provides plenty of range for daily travel. For long distance travel, the Supercharger network allows Tesla owners to conveniently charge on major routes across the UK stretching from Edinburgh to Exeter and connecting to Europe via Folkestone.


Am I hooked?  Do I value support and embrace electric cars? Is Tesla the best invention ever regarding electric cars? Yes, yes, yes. I was in South East Asia a lot this year, noticing how polluting too many cars can be. I was also in Hong Kong were Tesla’s are everywhere and when it comes to pollution, there is nothing more inviting for the preservation of both our health and environment, especially in our inner cities. I loved my week with the Model S and I am looking forward spending time in the Model X in a next month.

Can you hear the sound of electric? We all need to embrace electric cars and I am confident that whether you like it or not we will be forced too eventually. Tesla has done a wonderful job with the Model S making electric cars very exciting.

Welcome to electric life.

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The Best New Safety Car Tech Available Sat, 18 Aug 2018 04:43:08 +0000 Safety technology in cars has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. There are now all kinds of incredible safety features available in automobiles which have already saved lives and stopped countless collisions from occurring or minimized the impact of these collisions. Here is a closer look at a few of the safety tech features that have been introduced in the last few years.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

AEB is a remarkable safety feature that has been introduced in recent times and one that has saved many lives. AEB constantly scans the road ahead and can apply the brakes automatically if it detects that a collision is imminent. This can either stop the collision from occurring or reduce collision speed. Fortunately, AEB is widespread and available in most modern cars (although sometimes under a different name). This also means that it can be found in the used car market when you shop at places that sell used cars.

Blind-Spot Warning

Every motorist worries about their blind spot and particularly when parking or traveling at high speeds. The blind-spot warning system constantly monitors your blind spot and will alert the driver of a vehicle’s presence. There may be an additional warning if a vehicle is in the blind spot and the user attempts to change lane. Again, this system is quite common in modern vehicles and a fantastic safety feature to have.

Safety Exit Assist

This new safety feature has been introduced by Hyundai but it is likely to be available in a wide range of cars in the near future. Safety exit assist can stop a passenger from opening the door to exit the vehicle when vehicles or bicycles are approaching – this is a system that will appeal to parents who often worry about their kids exiting the vehicle safely.

Facial Recognition

Another new system which is starting to appear in a number of different cars, facial recognition will constantly monitor the driver’s level of alertness and give warning when they are not paying attention. It can be incredibly difficult to tell when you are too drowsy to drive, so this important system could help to save lives and stop accidents from occurring.

Lane Departure Warning/Keep Assist

These two features both work to make sure that you stay in your lane. Lane departure warning will alert the driver if they begin to drift outside of their lane without indicating, whilst lane keep assist can gently steer you back into your lane if you start to drift out. One of these systems is available in most modern day cars.

Safety technology has evolved at a rapid rate with the above being just a few of the standout systems, but there are sure to be many more great advances to come in the near future.


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Audi RS6 Performance Review Wed, 25 Jul 2018 05:13:07 +0000 597hp, 750nm of torque, Quattro all-wheel drive and a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds – performance specs that would bode well in a game of 2018 supercar top trumps. It’s all-the-more hilarious therefore that they belong to a luxury estate car from Ingolstadt, not the latest exotic from Italy…

Audi’s third generation ‘C7’ RS6 Performance is perhaps the company’s most ludicrous yet; sprinting to 62mph nearly a second quicker than its V10 equipped predecessor and pumping out 34% more torque than an R8 V10 Plus. On paper at least then, it’s a pretty impressive beast. Also after having driven the RS4 in Malaga I wanted to feel the RS6 in comparison.

So, despite the A6 on which the RS6 is based being superseded recently (see our ‘C8’ A6 launch article here), we thought it was well worth a look…

Supercar Drivetrain

In case the introduction hadn’t laid it on thick enough; the RS6’s drivetrain is really quite special. Shoe-horned under the bonnet is Audi’s 4.0 litre twin turbo TFSI V8, which has been tweaked and fettled to produce a staggering 597hp and 700nm of torque – with the potential to overboost up to 750nm when required.

Engine power is distributed via the Quattro system to all four wheels, with an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox sandwiched in between. A sports rear differential comes as standard, aiding rear end stability and agility.



Of course, what sets the RS6 apart from a traditional supercar is the fact that it’s a fully functioning Avant (estate), with creature comforts aplenty and all the mod-cons you’d expect from a high-end car. 565 litres of boot space allows for copious amounts of luggage, shopping or even family pets to be safely stowed – the included adjustable brace points are a bonus for luggage safety during spirited drives.

Leg room too is plentiful, with 5 adults able to travel in comfort (and speed) over long distances. The ‘RS’ seats play a role in this, with the fronts a particularly big upgrade over a standard A6. The car on test came fitted with the super sports seats covered in an alcantara/leather mix, which looks great and does a fantastic job of holding you in the bends without feeling too claustrophobic or uncomfortable.

The rest of the interior is all typically top notch Audi – the fit and finish is exemplary, button tactility is great, all of the surfaces feel premium and the overall look is sophisticated and sporty without looking tacky. The multimedia interface is the only area where the RS6 is now a little behind the curve – lacking Audi’s latest incarnation of touch-focused hardware which debuted on the new A8 (see here). Considering the RS6 is still based around the C7 A6, this comes as little surprise – it’s unlikely these features will trickle through until the RS6 receives the imminent jump to ‘C8’ spec.

On The Road

With all that power, 21” wheels and sports suspension you’d be forgiven for expecting the RS6 to be a bit of an animal on the road; In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Starting off in comfort mode, the RS6 is exceptionally quiet, with engine and road noise both controlled extremely well (almost too well for this type of car). Our test mule was fitted with dynamic ride adjustment (electronic dampers), which meant the ride could be softened right off, giving excellent road handling. It’s no A6, but the ride manages to avoid being crashy whilst staying firm enough that it doesn’t feel like you’ll fall over in the bends.

Fuel economy was slightly better than expected too, even if it was still towards the slightly painful end of the spectrum. On a long run mid 20s were attained, but a little exuberance on the throttle would drop this quickly – still very commendable for a heavy car with 600hp and AWD. Part of Audi’s secret is the ability to drop to 4-cylinders in light load situations, greatly improving motorway cruising efficiency – neat!

Switching into dynamic mode is where things get interesting. The exhaust note suddenly becomes more audible, the chassis stiffens and the gearbox and engine sharpen ready for action. The lightest of touches on the throttle unleashes hilarious levels of torque, pushing the RS6 to break-neck speeds in a heartbeat. Despite the cars size, it handles remarkably well and can be chucked around without feeling intimidating. The steering is also good, providing effective communication from the car’s front end without being unnecessarily heavy – if only the steering on all Audis could be this good.

British roads aren’t exactly known for their quality, and with the suspension in fully dynamic mode the ride does get uncomfortable. Most of my time with the car was spent with everything in dynamic bar the suspension, and for UK roads this worked superbly. It’s also worth noting that whilst driving ‘modes’ on cars have been commonplace for a good while now, the RS6 has by far the most dramatic transformation between comfort and dynamic (sport) modes I’ve ever witnessed, producing two distinct personalities.

Presence & Looks

 It’s fair to say supercars receive their fair share of admiring glances, waves, gawps and pointing  – never failing to make their presence known and their occupants the centre of attention. As nice as the admiration can be, there are times when you just want to blend in, avoid the negative press they also attract and go about your drive. This is where the RS6 really comes into its own – it’s a supercar without the supercar fuss.

For the majority of my time with the RS6, I just wafted past fellow road users and pedestrians without even an eyebrow raised. However, there was also a number of situations where the RS6 would receive a thumbs up, nod, wave or smile – subtle signs of appreciation from an admiring, knowing few who truly understand what this car is all about.

You can’t blame them for admiring either, as the RS6 is a real looker. With its wider arches, angular chin, Quattro grill and purposeful stance; it’s only a subtle tweak on the base A6 recipe, but it really works – particularly in the stunning Ascari blue as tested.


It’s difficult to know where to start the conclusion, so I’ll get straight to the crux of it – I absolutely loved my time in the RS6 Performance. With roads in general getting progressively worse in terms of congestion and pot holes, the opportunities to really enjoy an all-out supercar are increasingly limited, meaning for long journeys you’re often stuck with many of their drawbacks for no real gain.

The RS6 strikes no such compromise, functioning superbly as both a family wagon and an absolute road weapon. For crunching through the miles & still managing to put a smile on your face, I’ve yet to experience something as capable as the super-Avant.

Our only niggles would be the slightly dated multimedia interface and sometimes sluggish tiptronic gearbox – both of which could easily be fixed in the rumoured C8 RS6. Bring it on…

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Le Mans 24 Hours- It’s More Than Just Racing Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:09:32 +0000 I was invited to the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to Serengeti Eyewear. It was an automobile endurance event that took place on 16 and 17 June 2018, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. It is my second time experiencing this extreme loud racing event and this time it occurred to me that Le Mans 24 Hours is not just about endurance for the drivers. It is a lifestyle that I had to also partake, endure and embrace. I had to run my own VIP race and capture every moment and opportunity within the next 24 hours.

The atmosphere can only be described as a force of nature, some what like a slow unpredictable lightening storm. One of the exciting parts of Le Mans 24hours is not knowing what is going to come at you, let alone who I would have access too. On this occasion it was Derek Bell, five times winner of Le Mans 24hours. Along side Liam Griffin, who was racing on the day and Giancarlo Fisichella racing driver for Ferrari. Meeting the drivers, is a wonderful way to understand the pressures they endure before the race.

Derek Bell – 5 times Le Mans 24 Hours Winner

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing 1


Liam Griffan – British ELMS Racer Grid Walk Parade

Part of my VIP experience was walking on the grid where I could meet the drivers before the race. On the Grid walk was British ELMS racer, Liam Griffan. Liam wanted to try on my Serengeti eyewear as he was attracted firstly to the gold frames. I was amazed how accessible and calm he was before the race.

Liam  explains that the reality sinks in, when he is going through The famous, Dunlop Arch. That it is every man’s dream to be able to drive at Le Mans 24hours.

The Gridwalk parade is where all the cars are lined up for me to see, before the race. It is one of my highlights of the 24hours race for me.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing - the grid Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing team ferrari Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Porsche

Panoramic 24 Lounge – Endurance Race For Food and Drinking Experience

Located on the 4th floor of the ACO building in front of the start and finish line, with view of the pits, the Panoramic 24 Hospitality Lounge provides an all inclusive VIP experience for an entire week of events. There is a buffet gourmet food served throughout the 24hours and the food was excellent. I opted to stay the whole 24 hours and rested during the night which was more than comfortable on a leather lounge.

There was nothing more invigorating than waking up to the sound of those roaring engines.

I woke refreshed and ready for the day but I could not help wonder how the drivers, let alone the spectators below me, were feeling, who did not have the comforts I had. This is what is amazing about Le Mans 24hours, for those spectators enduring the race. It’s not only about the race it is the culture and what is happening off track that is just as thrilling as the race itself. Throughout the night alongside the cars racing, there is plenty of entertainment. Texas the music band was one of them. The atmosphere is electric.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing start of race

The view from the Panoramic 24 Lounge just before the race begins.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Gracie Opulanza

6am wake up call

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Gracie Opulanza

I was a tad stiff so I thought I would do my own laps to wake up at 6am

Track Viewing Point

Part of the VIP treatment, I had the chance of observing viewing points of the race, which was combined with wine, champagne and fresh oysters. For those that watch movies have a look at Rush, I noticed in this movie that the Hesketh racing team was the first to bring champagne and oysters to the track.

At the chicane corner it is insane to see how fast the cars come at this corner. I was taken to two major iconic points to see how dangerous this car race really was. There are eating and drinking locations for me to be able to watch and sit whilst the drivers endure those corners, it’s a priceless experience.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing At night

The 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum Tour

Part of the VIP experience was that, I got access to the Media centres that operate during the race. The 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum Tour was brilliant to see and to have backstage guided tours, to see how many people are involved ( roughly 800 ) for this race to be broadcast all over the world. Two interesting facts are that the president of Le Mans 24hours, actually volunteers to make this race happen. Also the Doctor who volunteers his expertise, sits next to the 24hours president, and his job is solely to watches the race and decide when there is an accident, which medical team needs to be sent out. The reason for this, is time is precious and can result in the difference between a life and death situation out here on the track.

Did you know that over 1800 people volunteer here at Le Mans 24hours, to guide and scan the paying fans around Le Mans 24 Hours access zones.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing The Finish LineLe Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Control roomLe Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing

My Footage Of Le Mans 24 Hours

Day Turns Into Night

At 3am Darren from that camera man, who also endured the night with me, ventured out at different parts of the track and took these amazing shots.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Braking disk turning red hot

The glowing wheels means the drivers are braking

We were exhausted watching the race. It’s so full on and exhilarating, meeting new people. So I decided early in the morning, to walk around the garages. I noticed this guy just sitting next to his garage after assisting his team.

It’s why Le Mans 24Hours happens only once a year, it is so technical and exhausting for everyone involved on every level, to part-take at such an extreme level.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Exhausted driver

This shot was taken at 10am on day two

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing At night Ford

The Final Hour

The last hour, I could see that this was going to define the boys from the men. Anything can happen in the very last hour, due to exhaustion both on the drivers and the car itself. To win the race each car company must cross over the finishing line, no matter if you have a strong lead.

During my interview with Derek Bell, Toyota who had a whopping four lap lead got into engine trouble. I asked Derek what the driver would be thinking and having to do out there alone on the track?

Derek explained,  it’s every drivers nightmare to be enduring 23hours of racing and then to be confronted with engine problems. No matter what he has to make sure the car does not stop and get it back into that garage as fast as he can.

I also noticed in our VIP area that people were struggling to stay awake and focus on the race. It is at these moments I realised you have to push through.

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing At night CorvetteLe Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Gracie OpulanzaLe Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing 4 Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Ford driver

The Final Lap

The last lap is always so exciting as anything can happen. This year it was a clean finish. On this occasion everything went to plan. Well done to Toyota who won. Congratulations to  Giancarlo Fisichella for his brilliant result P2 and Podium win for Ferrari.

I went home feeling shattered, but it is a race that will stay with me for ever!

Le Mans 24 Hours- It's More Than Just Racing Giancarlo Fisichella

Serengeti Eyewear Ambassador Giancarlo Fisichella

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How to Clean Your Car Upholstery? Fri, 06 Jul 2018 23:47:03 +0000 The car that your drive in requires as much attention as your home. It gets dust, dirt and stains and it is important to get it cleaned regularly for not only retaining its physical appearance and ensure that it remains in good shape, but it is also important from the hygiene factor, especially if it is in use as a family car.

The problem with cleaning car’s interior is that it is made up of a variety of different materials such as fabric, leathers, faux leathers etc. and each one of them requires a different cleaning protocol. This means that you need to take out some time and dedicate it to a detailed cleaning routine. Unfortunately, most people do not have that luxury and for them, a car cleaning regime barely goes beyond a quick wash at the exterior and a vacuum session for the interior. While vacuum does help in cleaning off the dust and dirt on the surface, it does not help much with a deep cleaning that you will require once in a while.

Team MenStyleFashion driving the Audi A6

The Basics

If you do a weekly quick clean up such as a car wash and a vacuum every Sunday, you car will most likely not be too messy to handle and you can easily handle the cleaning session. Therefore, we recommend that you dedicate 30 odd minutes every Sunday for a quick cleanup of your car. Next, understand that there are a few basic upholstery items in your car’s interior which need to be cleaned. Since all these items have a different nature, they might require a different set of cleaning protocols. Generally, these items include plastic mats, carpets, car seat covers and another vinyl, rubber or plastic fixtures.

Gracie Opulanza and the Audi RS8 Spyder

Upholstery Cleaners

Generally, people are scared of buying and using dozens of different upholstery cleaners for every different type of item. Instead of investing in a dozen different kinds of cleaners, we recommend that you use one of these car cleaners by professional cleaning brands. A good high-end all-purpose cleaner will make cleaning very smooth for you to manage. Instead of stacking your garage shelf with dedicated cleaners, use a professional all-purpose cleaner and learn to use tools and techniques to handle different kinds of upholstery. It will save you a lot of time, money and effort and you will get better results.

Audi A6 Dashboard

Tools and Techniques

Now that you have a good professional all-purpose cleaner, all you need is a set of good brushes for scrubbing different surfaces. Since your car’s interior has different fabrics and textures to handle, get different brushes for each item. Get dedicated brushes for carpets, vinyl and leathers. Also, invest in bottle brushes and larger scrubbing brushes for large and closed spaces.

Before you begin cleaning, make sure that you have vacuumed your interior properly to clean up any residual dirt and dust. Next, spray your cleaner on each of the surfaces separately and start scrubbing. The kind of brush and the strokes you will use will be dependent on the item you are handling. Therefore, it is important that you educate yourself on different handling techniques of leathers and woven materials.

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David Gandy – Interview Lifestyle & Car Trends for 2018 Sat, 23 Jun 2018 16:37:15 +0000 1. What are your thoughts on LFW:M now having women also on the catwalk? Does the message illustrate men’s fashion weeks are no longer in demand?

I believe that it illustrates exactly the opposite. It shows that the mens fashion weeks and especially LFW:M are receiving more coverage than ever and the brands and designers feel confident enough to have female models and clothing, as the women press and journalists are covering and supporting the shows as much as they are the women’s fashion week.

2. Gender neutral is and will dominate more and more. It seems fashion designers are confused how to go forward with this. Catwalk trends and fashion weeks future will be forced to change. What’s are your thoughts on this?

I don’t think designers are confused at all, mens and womens fashion weeks have been increasingly merging together over the last couple of years. As we have seen from this fashion week and from the last women’s fashion week, shows are now transitioning to have both men and women walking down the catwalk, and many of the clothes could be called gender neutral and worn by both sexes. I believe the fashion industry is leading the way for many other industries in engulfing gender neutrality, transgender models and cultural appropriation.

3. What favourite jacket are you loving right now? Where would you choose to wear it?

Tailoring wise Thom Sweeney blazers are superb. My favourite jacket is the Private White Field Jacket that I wore on the first day of LFW:M. It’s the versatility I love most about the jacket; it can be worn casually or in a formal manor.

4. Explain what it feels like to drive the I-PACE?

At first it takes a moment for you and your senses to adjust. What I mean by this is the car is so incredibly fast, with an instant torque, but this is accompanied by no engine noise, which is something we are not used to in a car. Once you get used to this though, it feels very much like a Jaguar and sticks to the traditions that Jaguar is known for, which is brilliant handling and entertaining luxury cars.

5. What is your favourite feature on the I-PACE?

The design is my favourite feature, inside and out. Car manufacturers seem to think that when they build a hybrid or electric car they have to design it to look futuristic or very unique and the results have been pretty awful.

Ian Callum and his design team have not only produced one of the best looking all-electric cars, but one of the best looking crossover vehicles available. They have taken advantage of not having to incorporate an engine and produced a spacious interior with the most technically advanced Jaguar interior to date.

6. What’s your favourite I-PACE colour both interior and exterior?

I haven’t seen the I-PACE look bad in any colour. My favourite Jaguar colour ever is Stratus Grey and mid-brown leather, with the Dark 22-inch wheels.

7. Ever driven a Tesla? How does the I-PACE compare?

I have driven them briefly and been a passenger in many of them. Tesla has done an incredible job with their electric cars and getting a full electric range on the market ahead of the larger more established car manufactures. The Teslas to me feel like you are driving a very large iPhone; the involvement feels quite minimal. Whereas, the I-PACE feels like a sports car to drive and has the DNA of Jaguar, but just happens to have an electric engine.

8. How does the I-PACE perform at high speed?

I was fortunate enough to have been with Jaguar when they were winter testing the I-PACE.  I was with Jaguar’s Formula E racing driver Mitch Evans and we thoroughly tested the high performance of the I-PACE which was incredible, especially with the all-wheel drive system, drifting at high speed on the frozen lakes.

9. When driving the I-PACE do you miss the sound of a petrol engine?

I think in sports cars, you are always going to miss the sound of the engine and exhaust. However in Crossovers, SUVs and luxury cars you do not miss the sound of an engine whatsoever, if anything electric engines in luxury cars makes much more sense, as engineers have for decades been trying to make the cabins as quiet as possible and insulated from the engine and exhaust noise. Of course, we are still in the infancy of electric engines and, so I can image a time when we will be able to make our electric cars sound like any engine note we choose.

10. Plastic amongst our oceans is a big problem. MSF is currently travelling in South East Asia and we are playing our part by not using anything plastic and volunteering to clean up rubbish on the beaches. What plastic habits can you share that you have adopted within your lifestyle?

In our household, we have always recycled and separated all out different rubbish. We of course hardly ever use plastic bags from supermarkets, and majority of our shopping now is done at places like Whole Foods, that not only use paper grocery bags, but use far less plastics for there fruit and veg items. They also provide paper bags for the customer to put the items in themselves, instead of pre-packeing them in a lot of plastics.

We certainly don’t use take away coffee cups anymore and in a couple of start-up businesses I have invested in, we have worked with CanO Water, to provide staff and customers with water in aluminium cans and not plastic. We are also trying to source non plastic, recyclable materials to use for the products and packaging.

11. What is your favourite racing?

My favourite racing and the racing drivers that I have always respected the most is rally drivers, or when it used to be the RAC Rally, with drivers such as Colin McCrae and Richard Burns. I don’t ride motorbikes, but think that Moto GP is far more entertaining than F1.

Formula E has proved to be getting more entertaining year by year and I love watching these races on a Sunday afternoon now, especially cheering on Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jnr, who I know personally.

12. Summer is here. What is your top luxury travel tip for guys this summer?

For English guys, pack sun cream, as English men seem to get very excited about seeing the sun and get hugely sun burnt on the first day. My top travel tip, would be to explore the world. Go somewhere that puts you slightly out of your comfort zone and experience something that is new and exciting.  So many people go to the same place year after year and to the same place as everyone else. The world has so much to offer and teach us and is now more accessible than ever.

MSF in Rural Australia driving the Jaguar FPACE

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