BREMONT AND JAGUAR CONTINUE E-TYPE LEGEND WITH NEW MKII CHRONOGRAPH

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In 1963, a legend was born, which continues to be celebrated decades later. Just 18 Lightweight E-type racing cars were intended to go into production, but only 12 were manufactured – until Jaguar completed the final six in 2014. The car found immortality on a Florida racetrack at the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the foremost endurance races of its era. Two Lightweight E-types led the field in the GT 4.0 class and number 23, in Old English White with bold red and blue stripes, crossed the finish line first.

Number 23’s victory is still celebrated today. And with such a distinguished racing history, Bremont has chosen this car as the inspiration for its new MKII chronograph. Through the launch of Bremont’s E-type collection the British watch company has paid homage to the dial and car designs of that time, a source of constant inspiration for co-founders Nick and Giles English. This new white-dialed counterpart to the existing Bremont Jaguar range incorporates very similar design features to the successful MKII black dial, but with a new internal tachymeter dial ring which can be used to measure speed. The Sebring MKII also has new hands and a red stitched ‘racing’ leather strap, a nod to the red racing stripes which adorned the car and the vintage embroidered branding details.

Giles English, Bremont co-founder, said“Bremont has enjoyed a very special relationship with Jaguar over the years. Nick and myself have always loved the old E-types and were thrilled to be a part of the Lightweight story in 2014 when Jaguar completed the production run of these 18 original racing cars from the 60s. The Sebring has such a lovely story in its own right, having won its class in 1963, so seemed a natural source of inspiration for our new MKII release.”

The MKII model, designed to instantly transport the wearer back to the golden era of 1960s sports car motoring, carries the Jaguar heritage logo above the six o’clock position as well as hour markings in the style of the numerals found on E-type instruments. The classic chronograph layout – featuring two subdials at the three o’clock and nine o’clock positions – is achieved through the use of the beautifully decorated BE-50AE automatic movement which has been customised by Bremont to a unique specification. A subtle ‘red line’ on the 60-minute counter pays tribute to the E-type’s tachometer.

The 43mm, polished stainless steel case – fitted with a double-domed crystal to enhance the vintage appearance of the watch – is made entirely in the UK by Bremont using its renowned, three-part ‘Trip-Tick’ technology which ensures a hardness seven times greater than that of a normal steel watch. Visible through a sapphire crystal case back, the mechanism again takes design cues from the E-type with an automatic ‘steering wheel’ winding weight. Further automotive imagery can be seen in the ‘tyre tread’ winding crown, which is topped with the Jaguar heritage logo to match that of the dial.

Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design said“The MKII pieces capture the spirit of what is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sports cars of all time in a subtle and intelligent way. All the Bremont Jaguar watches subtly relay some of the codes of the E-type, but are also easy to recognise as having been created with the car in mind. They simply look absolutely right when you wear them in the driving seat – almost as if they had been designed alongside the car back in the 60s.”

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THE MOST UNLIKELY JAGUAR SPECIAL YOU CAN IMAGINE …

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Meet a Jaguar powered Austin Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite which was built at an unlimited cost, and still exists in Australia where it has been for many decades – unseen.

The car has most been forgotten, but apparently was built in England with major engineering input from Cosworth.

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The coachwork, trim and all other items were beautifully finished, but the idea of shoehorning an XK Jaguar engine into a tiny Sprite certainly was an adventurous one.

How many more outrageous specials like this one are out there undiscovered I wonder?

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Does anyone know where this car lives now?

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THE JAGUAR ENGINED SPECIAL TO TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY

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Meet a Jaguar powered Austin Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite which was built at an unlimited cost, and still exists in Australia where it has been for many decades – unseen.

The car has most been forgotten, but apparently was built in England with major engineering input from Cosworth.

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The coachwork, trim and all other items were beautifully finished, but the idea of shoehorning an XK Jaguar engine into a tiny Sprite certainly was an adventurous one.

How many more outrageous specials like this one are out there undiscovered I wonder?

jaguar 1

Does anyone know where this car lives now?

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SIX I-PACES ORDERED IN AUSTRALIA TO DATE – motoring.com.au

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Six Australians have already paid deposits for the Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV, even though the production version has yet to be unveiled and won’t go on sale in Australia until the middle of 2018.  Three of those orders belong to readers of Jaguar Magazine and have been placed on the Gold Coast in Queensland!

They also don’t know the full price they will be paying for Jaguar Land Rover’s first battery-electric vehicle, although they can expect no change from $120,000 before on-road costs.

That’s the figure JLRA managing director Matthew Wiesner nominated to motoring.com.au as a “there or thereabouts” guide to the starting point for I-PACE pricing. That makes sense considering it will compete directly against the Tesla Model X, which starts at $122,810 but climbs beyond $200K for the top-spec P100D.

The I-PACE concept broke cover at the Los Angeles motor show last November and has since been spotted undergoing on-road testing.

While having interest so far out in the five-seat crossover with a claimed singe-charge range up to 500km is a positive, Wiesner made it clear JLRA was still very much in the planning stages for its arrival.

The company has hired a staffer from Tesla Motors Australia and established an internal six-member working committee in mid-2016 to work through the myriad issues related to launching an electric vehicle in Australia. The I-PACE will also be the first of a series of EVs from JLRA, as well as plug-in hybrids.

That committee has extensively researched the Tesla experience and one conclusion JLRA has already drawn is it is unlikely to offer free fast-charging to I-PACE buyers.

Tesla had offered free use of its fast-chargers to customers for life, but changed that to around 1600km for new buyers of Model S and Model X from last January. Free recharging was never part of the package for the forthcoming smaller and cheaper Model 3.

“They (Tesla) had issues with people just driving up to dealerships around the place and plugging in and doing all sorts of things which caused all sorts of challenges,” Wiesner explained.

“They ended up paying for everyone’s fuel and it might have been a nice introduction to launch the product but they can’t keep doing that otherwise they will have cars coming in and sitting around the place for way too long.”

Wiesner also confirmed I-PACE will be available through much of the JLRA dealer network because it is the first model in a sustained roll-out of alternate energy vehicles rather than an isolated one-off.

“There will be instances where dealers have to make an investment and it’s important for them to understand the longer term and make sure they understand it’s not just a short-term idea.

“It is very much about the first steps into what is going to be. In my view, it is another drivetrain we are introducing into the network; it’s not just the full-EV — eventually there will be plug-in hybrid and whatever else it might be.

“So you have to give it the uniqueness that it is due in regard to the technology, but you also have to be mindful that you don’t try and over dial it from that point because at the end of the day it’s another drivetrain amongst diesel, petrol and what have you.”

The natural competitiveness between rival dealers is also a factor Wiesner admitted.

“What do you do if you have a dealer in Brisbane and not on the Gold Coast yet there might be more activity on the Gold Coast? Quite frankly, trying to get dealers to co-operate and pass on their prospects who also buy other cars is not necessarily an easy thing to do.”

Issues JLRA’s EV committee is currently dealing with include the infrastructure and training the dealer network will require to handle the I-PACE; state and federal government policy on alternative energy vehicles; the development of charging networks around the country and the type of recharging kits that will be required at buyers’ homes.

“As we head into the next phase of this development [we need to make sure] that people actually have the confidence to go from here to there and stay overnight … and have the ability to be able to plug these things in and have the confidence to use these things in their normal everyday life.”

Wiesner also confirmed that JLRA was in discussion with its fellow luxury brands to reach an agreement on common plugs and other aspects of charging.

“We don’t want the crazy situation where BMW, us, Benz and Audi all have different charging plugs, or whatever it might be,” he said. “It’s good that everyone is talking.”

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JLR TO EXPLORE RIDE-SHARING PLATFORM WITH INMOTION VENTURES

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InMotion Ventures, the venture capital business powered by Jaguar Land Rover, has completed a seed investment in enterprise-focused ride-sharing platform SPLT.

SPLT is a car pool service that enables employees at large organisations to connect and share the drive to and from work, using their own vehicles. The platform’s ride-matching algorithm allows lifts to be dynamically arranged in seconds within a trusted community of commuters, saving time and money for both employees and employers as well as combatting traffic and parking issues.

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SPLT (Splitting Fares, Inc), a 2015 Techstars Mobility graduate, was founded by Anya Babbitt and Yale Zhang. The Detroit-based startup currently operates in five major US cities, serving over 100,000 users, and recently established a partnership with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport. SPLT has just opened an office in Mexico City, and is preparing for European and Latin American expansion next month.

SPLT is a perfect fit for our portfolio, and a hugely exciting business that tackles a universal problem. Making the commute more efficient greatly benefits businesses and their employees. SPLT’s move into medical transport demonstrates the significant growth potential of the business, and its innovative model will inform and complement some of our other projects.

SEBASTIAN PECK
MANAGING DIRECTOR AT INMOTION VENTURES