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Sinkhole Eats $750,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom in China

$750,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom Meets Sinkhole

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, a sinkhole in china decided to swallow a $750,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom in China. At a value of 5 million yen, or $750,000 USD, the Phantom was unfortunately the target of the disaster. While waiting at a traffic light, the ground collapsed created a large sinkhole. This happened in a northeast China city on a typical day. Unfortunately, due to widespread construction corruption in China, the poor quality of the roads most likely led to this incident.

Driver Walked Away with No Injuries

Fortunately, the driver was able to walk away from the accident with no injuries. On the other hand, the Phantom sustained damage as it fell into the hole. The incident was recorded on video which will be available as part of this article. The driver made a statement about the accident shortly after. As you’d expect, he was completely unprepared for it.

“I was waiting at the traffic light here and was about to start the car at the turn of the green light when the road suddenly caved in” – Owner of Rolls-Royce Phantom

Poor Quality Construction of Some Roads Due to Corruption

The poor quality construction of roads was also seen during two other incidents this summer. In August, half a carriage way collapsed in the downtown section of a city in the Guangzi providence in southwestern China. The sinkhole was large enough to swallow an entire truck. Unfortunately, a scooter rider fell into the sinkhole due to being distracted on a phone. Luckily for the rider, they walked away with only minor injuries.

Sinkholes Eat Cars for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

In June, a massive sinkhole opened up in east China’s Jiangsu providence after days of heavy downpours. Heavy rain can test a road due to the amount of water on the surface as well as what seeps through the concrete. This leads to softer ground underneath the roadway which can lead to increased sinkhole risk. This sinkhole ended up swallowing a minivan and a tree on the side of the road. It seems that there were no injuries for this sinkhole as well, thankfully.

Thankfully, the Driver Wasn’t Injured in this Incident

Overall, sinkholes are not a friendly surprise. These usually catch the public by surprise and can happen anywhere in the world, even in the U.S.. It is unfortunate that the Rolls-Royce Phantom driver had to suffer the consequences on Sunday. But, it is fortunate that he was not injured according to news reports. In the end, hopefully the insurance company doesn’t give the driver a hard time on this claim – since it was obviously a random, unlucky occurrence.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan: High-Quality Engineering

Rolls-Royce Cullinan: High-Quality Engineering

With the Cullinan, It’s All About the Details

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Desert Dunes - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Desert Dunes – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Rolls-Royce brand symbolizes luxury. So, it’s a given that you can expect lush interiors and top-of-the-line components in the new Cullinan. However, unless you look at the specs, you may not immediately recognize the amount of high-quality engineering that goes into the frame and under the hood.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Granted, you may not think about it because you expect a car bearing the Rolls-Royce name to perform in accordance with the brand’s reputation. However, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan proves that the details matter. High-quality engineering went into the design and construction of the vehicle.

To prove the point, let’s first take a look at the car’s framing and supports.

The Cullinan and The Phantom

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Rear Passenger Seats - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Rear Passenger Seats – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Cullinan rides on an all-aluminum space frame similar to the one that debuted with the Phantom. This space frame eliminates weight and makes room for additional luxury items such as sound deadening.

The chassis has some neat engineering also. A new air suspension design gives the car the ability to adjust a single wheel if ground traction is lost.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

As Caroline Krismer, the project’s chief engineer stated, “[it] brings the famed Rolls-Royce ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ to all other terrains.”

The Cullinan also has the distinction of being Rolls-Royce’s first four-wheel drive vehicle. With its beefed-up drivetrain components and rear axle steering, it really can conquer any terrain just as the engineers intended.

Under the Hood of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Here’s Why the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Is the World’s Most Expensive SUV – Doug DeMuro – YouTube

Like the Phantom, the Cullinan runs on a 6.75-liter V12. Both engines generate 563 hp but the Cullinan has a torque of 627 lb-ft at 1600 rpm for better performance off-road. But as Krismer said, the Cullinan was meant for ALL terrains, so you won’t be disappointed in its performance on pavement. The V12 can move the Cullinan along at a top speed of 155 mph.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Rear Seating - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Rear Seating – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: Calling Out The Bentley Bentayga

In late 2018, Rolls-Royce expects to introduce their first SUV model into the worldwide market, the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV

Rolls-Royce named the Cullinan after an enormous diamond of 3106.8 karats worth an estimated $400 million U.S. dollars. With this vehicle, Rolls-Royce intends to join the recently booming market of luxury SUVs. As with most Rolls-Royce vehicles, the Cullinan will have a hefty price tag of around $420,000, similar to the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The obvious target audience for a car of this stature is the rich and wealthy. In reality, only a few percent of the world population can afford such an extravagant vehicle.

The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will be built on a new aluminum spaceframe architecture specifically designed for the vehicle. The Cullinan will sport 4×4 all-wheel drive as well as the typical Rolls-Royce V12 motor. Auto theorists suggest that the Cullinan may use the same engine as the Rolls-Royce Ghost, a 6.6-liter V12 twin-turbo with 563 horsepower and 605 lb.-ft. of torque. On top of this, the Cullinan will be offered in a Plug-In-Hybrid version to enter the electric auto market. In today’s world, providing the hybrid version makes sense as the V12 motor will obviously be a gas guzzler (although preferred).

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Competition

Competition in the luxury SUV market has been very competitive in the last few years. The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will compete with a handful of other vehicles including the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-AMG G65, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and Range Rover Supercharged. Out of those vehicles, the biggest competition will be with the Bentley Bentayga. The other SUVs are half the price of the Bentayga and definitely will not be comparable to the Cullinan’s price. Recently, Rolls-Royce punched hard at Bentley with a comment by its CEO.

While revealing the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII in London, the Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös stated: “We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce.”

Rolls-Royce called out Bentley over using the same mass-manufactured frame as the Audi Q7 on the Bentayga. For a better understanding, Volkswagen owns both Audi and Bentley. On top of that, Volkswagen owns Lamborghini and Porsche, two of the Cullinan’s market competition.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a Masterpiece

Overall, the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will be a masterpiece of an SUV. Probably worth over $400k, this vehicle will be a rare sight for people around the world. If assumptions are correct, the Cullinan should hit the market in late 2018 with its eyes on the prize. Although the Rolls-Royce CEO attacked the Bentley Bentayga, there is sure to be competition between the two competitors. Hopefully, the public will be able to see this beautiful vehicle at the 2018 auto shows around the world.

Audi Considers Reviving Horch to Battle Bentley & Rolls

Audi Considers Reviving Horch to Battle Bentley & Rolls

Horch Might Be Making a Comeback!

Audi has said that they plan to revive the Horch name for their A8 sedan. The most powerful version of the A8 will rival both Bentley and Rolls in terms of luxury and performance.

The Audi A8 W12 Powertrain

Audi A8 - Front Corner - M 93 - Wikipedia - EuroDrift
Audi A8 – Front Corner – M 93 – Wikipedia – EuroDrift

Automotive News reports that the new Audi A8 will come with options for either the V8 or the W12 that is currently only used by Bentley. Specs for the A8 Horch W12 include a 585 bhp, 6.0-litre engine which is more powerful than Audi’s previous generation A8 W12.

In the Bentley Continental, the W12 puts out about 582 horsepower and uses a 6.0-liter engine. The Rolls-Royce Phantom boasts 563 bhp. The modifications planned for the new Horch A8 will now make it competitive with the other W12 cars.

The History of the W12 Engine

Napier Lion Engine - Overview on Display - Peter Grecian - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift
Napier Lion Engine – Overview on Display – Peter Grecian – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

The W12 engine was originally used in aircraft engine designs during the 1920’s and Formula One racing cars in the 1980’s. The modern version of the W12 is part of the Volkswagen Group W12 engines and used on several concept and production vehicles.

  • Audi 
    • Avus Quattro (concept version only)
    • A8L W12
  • Bentley
  • Spyker
    • C12 La Turbie
    • C12 Zagato
    • D12 Peking-to-Paris (prototype version only)
  • Volkswagen
    • GTI W12-650 (prototype only)
    • Phaeton W12
    • Touareg W12
    • W12 (concept car)

(source)

The Revival of the Horch Name

A journey through the Audi history – The Horch Museum Zwickau – Audi Germany – YouTube

The revival of the Horch name pays tribute to one of Audi’s original founders, just as Mercedes’ revival of Maybach did.

Right now, Audi has no plans for a stand-alone model under the Horch name. Audi has said that they don’t plan to use the moniker on any other vehicle but the Audi A8. It seems fitting that their top-of-the-line vehicle would carry the name of their founder.

Despite the fact that the plans for the Horch A8 W12 are complete, no production date has yet been set.

Note: The 1939 Horch 930V Phaeton picture for the featured image was taken by Ramgeis of Wikimedia Commons.

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