Editor's Note: It was announced today that uber-luxury magazine and lifestyle empire Robb Report has been acquired by Detroit-based private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity, cofounded by businessman Dan Gilbert (the guy who's been buying up Detroit real estate at a prodigious rate for the last several years). So, let's see, Detroit is good enough for the Robb Report but not good enough for Cadillac? Now, granted, Robb Report headquarters will remain in Malibu, CA, but an office will be opened in downtown Detroit. Apparently Gilbert doesn't view Detroit as an impediment to reaching and communicating with the upper echelon of luxury consumers. -WG
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Yes, interesting news. I don't genuflect before Gilbert's presence like every other boot-licking, card-carrying member of the local media does, because Glibert couches all of his blatant land grabs that he's been orchestrating in the city for the last several years as some sort of altruistic quest to resurrect Detroit, which is unmitigated bullshit. The guy is betting on the come, pure and simple, and I'm frankly tired of the rote canonization that goes on in the local media everytime he opens his mouth or buys another property. As for opening a Robb Report office here, it's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Cadillac's move to Manhattan, is it? In retrospect, I, too, would have moved Cadillac away from GM's RenCen monolith headquarters, but I would have made sure the new Cadillac HQ was at least within an hour's drive from the GM Tech Center and GM Design, and of course the Milford Proving Ground. Having Cadillac's headquarters in Manhattan is a style play, and it ultimately will have nothing to do with the efficacy or integrity of the product. And make no mistake, the future of Cadillac rests with the excellence of the product. Period. - PMD
Chevrolet. In what can only be looked upon as a stunning upset, the Chevrolet Colorado is Motor Trend's Truck of the Year, beating out the all-new Ford F-150. Watch for massive spending by Chevrolet to tout the honor. Oh, and that sound you hear? It's the ka-ching of the Motor Trend coffers as Chevrolet spends a bundle and M/T gets a cut for mentioning the award and showing the trophy. What, you were thinking that this whole business has everything to do with actual integrity of the award? Silly you. It's about the money, honey, pure and simple.
America's Super Car is on the way. Chevrolet is now shipping the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06 coupe from Bowling Green Assembly and a few early customers are expected to receive their cars later this week. Powered by the new LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine, the 2015 Corvette Z06 has a SAE-certified 650 horsepower (485 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm) at 3,600 rpm – making it the most powerful production car ever from General Motors. The new Z06 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.95 seconds when equipped with the all-new, available eight-speed automatic transmission and achieves it in 3.2 seconds with the standard seven-speed manual gearbox. The quarter-mile sprint takes just 10.95 seconds with the eight-speed automatic and 11.2 seconds with the seven-speed manual. With both versions, the Corvette Z06 hits 127 mph at the end of the quarter-mile. The Z06 can stop from 60 mph in only 99.6 feet, the best braking performance of any production car GM has ever tested. Additionally, the Corvette Z06 achieves 1.2 g in lateral acceleration compared with the Corvette’s previous best of 1.13 g. The 2015 Corvette Z06 starts at $78,995 including destination, while the convertible model (available early next year) will start at $83,995.
Aston Martin together with EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond film franchise, have unveiled Bond's new ride - the Aston Martin DB10 - on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios. Bond will once again drive an Aston Martin in Spectre, which will make its debut on November 6, 2015. For this new Bond film, Aston Martin is developing a custom model built in-house specifically for the film by the brand's design and engineering teams at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters. Led by Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, the design team worked closely with the film's director, Sam Mendes, to create the ultimate car for the world's most famous spy. The DB10 "gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins," according to the manufacturer. Production will be strictly limited to 10 of the bespoke sports cars.
Editor's Note: The 2014 RS 7 that we had this summer was Peter's favorite car of this driving year, so when the 2015 version arrived, it was my turn. The S6 we had last week was wonderful in its own right, but I'm confining my comments to the much hotter RS 7. Monday afternoon I drove - no, make that flew - to Ann Arbor in the Audi supercar. My lead foot was more than sufficiently rewarded by the 560hp V8. When you choose to engage it, this machine is a beast, there's no other way to say it. But in normal driving around town, it is perfectly tame and demure, except, of course, for that delicious engine growl, which signals the RS 7's impatience to be unleashed. That's probably what I like most about this car. It's an "ordinary" luxury car, but it becomes extraordinary with a tap of the foot. And then suddenly you're on a different level altogether. Inside is another amazing Audi interior (the consistency across models is truly mind-boggling), although I would have liked some of the controls to be a bit more intuitive (I have zero patience for trying to figure that stuff out). I've decided to give a stranger at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor the last word here. As I was getting into the RS 7, a voice behind me called out, "That car is awesome! I'm not shittin' you - that thing is bad ass!!!" Enough said. -WG
2015 Audi RS 7 4.0T quattro Tiptronic: $122,625 ($106,500 Base Price; Nardo Gray; Black Interior; 4.0-liter TFSI V8 with 560HP and 516 lbs-ft of torque; quattro all-wheel-drive system with sports rear differential; Eight-speed Tiptronic transmission; 20" forged 7-twin-spoke-RS-design wheels with 275/35 summer performance tires; Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock brake system (ABS); Ventilated disc brakes front and rear; Electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering; Energy recuperation without start-stop system; Tire mobility kit (without spare tire); Power sunroof; Full LED headlights (DRLs, low/high beams, turn signals); Auto dimming, power folding, heated exterior mirrors; 12-way power adjustable sport front seats including lumbar adjustment; Heated front seats; Four-zone automatic climate control; Head up display; Audi advanced key; Audi side assist; Audi navigation plus with MMI touch; Audi connect with six month subscription; SIRIUS Satellite radio with three-month complimentary subscription; Three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles; BOSE Surround Sound System; Garage door opener (HomeLink); Preparation for mobile phone (Bluetooth); Audi parking system plus with rear view camera; Dynamic Package - Sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, Dynamic steering, Red brake calipers, front and rear, Sport exhaust with black finishers - $5,500; Carbon Optic Package - High Gloss Black package, Front spoiler and rear diffuser in carbon, Exterior mirror housings in body color - $4,000; Driver Assistance Package - Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go, Audi pre sense plus, Audi active lane assist, Corner view camera system - $2,800; Extended Carbon Package - Exterior mirrors in carbon, Carbon accents on engine cover - $1,900; 21" 5-spoke Blade-design wheels with gloss black finish and summer performance tires, $1,000; Front filler panel; Destination charge, $925)
Adherence to Brand Image: Last summer, Peter described the RS 7 as an "everyday supercar," and I concur. It is Audi through and through, a technological marvel and a stunning representative of the brand. -WG