Bentley Motors took its next step towards going all-electric by 2030, with the European debut of its Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid at the Autoworld Museum in Belgium. The first reviews are out—and auto enthusiasts don’t seem too impressed. Most reviewers have praised its luxury detailing and cruise range but say the performance just isn’t enough. “The cabin is lined in decadent leathers, British wool tweed, and open-pore koa veneer wood, and it offers a drive quality that lulls one into blissful gluttonous stupor like red wine after a feast,” reports Bloomberg. But, it adds, “the Spur felt gutless compared other vehicles of its calibre. Despite the eight-speed transmission that cut through gears like a hot knife through butter, it just didn’t put the power down.” Set on the same platform as the Porsche Panamera and driven by a V6 engine and an electric motor and 18.9kWh battery system, the Flying Spur Hybrid is likely to be priced at around $200,000.
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MAKING MILLIONS IN A PANDEMIC
People do seem to be getting all dressed up with nowhere to go. Luxury fashion houses Burberry and Prada have both reported an increase in profits for the year. London-based Burberry expects its profits to increase about 35% this year on the back of new and younger consumers, even as it stopped discounting, reduced third-party distribution, and has become more premium. Earlier this week, Prada SpA unveiled annual revenue which outperformed analysts’ estimates, while Cartier owner Richemont reported the fastest holiday-season sales growth in at least a decade, reports Bloomberg. Italian brand Prada said that its sales recovered to above levels seen before the pandemic as demand for jewellery, timepieces and fashion items is rebounding as vaccination rates across the world increase.
METAVERSE DOESN'T IMPRESS
PlayStation inventor Ken Kutaragi shrugged off the metaverse, describing the technology as dividing rather than unifying the real and virtual realms. “Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it,” the entrepreneur, 71, told Bloomberg. “You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites.” Kutaragi serves as the chief executive officer of Ascent Robotics, a Tokyo-based artificial intelligence startup. The goal of Ascent, which Kutaragi describes as his life’s mission, is to blend the real world with cyberspace in a seamless, gadget-less fashion akin to Star Wars holograms.
LAMBORGHINI IN DEMAND
Italian super luxury carmaker Automobili Lamborghini reported its best ever sales performance of 69 units in India in 2021, a growth of 86% over the previous year. The company, which sells a range of super luxury cars with prices starting from ₹3.16 crore in India, had sold 37 units in 2020. In terms of individual markets, the US held on to top spot in 2021 with 2,472 units, a growth of 11%, while China leaped into second place with 935 units followed by Germany, 706 units, and the UK, 564 units.
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