4×4 Assist Response charity in Sussex gets support from TheChauffeur.com
Dec10

4×4 Assist Response charity in Sussex gets support from TheChauffeur.com

A new charity in Sussex operating a range of Land Rover vehicles has been launched which aims to move medical staff around the county when snow or flood water hits the region. 4×4 Assist Sussex is a group of trained responders and is working with local authorities to assist in community resilience and support in adverse weather conditions and community incidents. Responders are advanced driver-trained, first-aid qualified and vehicles carry essential equipment such as tow ropes, snow shovels, blankets, water, hi-vis and all 4x4s are fitted with flashing ambers to Highway standards. Editor of TheChauffeur.com, Paul Gibson commented; “I’m happy to support 4×4 Assist by offering some spare time and drive my own Land Rover Discovery when the community needs help. We have seen incidents in Sussex where the emergency service resources are stretched to their limit, so this is a great way to relieve that pressure somewhat.” Members of the new charity drive a variety of 4x4s, but the majority own models such as Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery and, of course, the go-anywhere Defender model, allowing them to offer a swift and reliable response. In May 2015, during a mains water burst in Hailsham, the group organised the distribution of water to the sick, elderly and vulnerable in the town for 48 hours straight through at the responders’ own expense. With a cold and unpredictable winter expected, the group is urging any 4×4 owners in Sussex to visit their website at http://www.4x4assist.co.uk and join up. The charity is also looking for sponsors and partners to allow them to offer increased training levels and advanced equipment to help saves lives in Sussex. Please visit the website http://www.4x4assist.co.uk to contact the...

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Mercedes-Benz gives a glimpse into new E-Class interior
Dec08

Mercedes-Benz gives a glimpse into new E-Class interior

Confirmed as the chauffeurs favourite car in many surveys carried out by TheChauffeur.com over the past 13 years, the new E-Class is coming to life. The manufacturer has revealed some images of the new luxury interior we can expect to see within the chauffeur industry in 2016. The images show the massive dual display which measure 12.3 inches per unit that according to Mercedes ‘appear to hover in space’. The wide-screen instrument cluster is optionally available with COMAND Online. Instead, the entry-level model of the new E-Class combines two tube-type round dials and a 17.8 cm colour display cluster with a central display with a 21.3 cm screen diagonal. The round dials, instrument cluster and central display are installed in a single frame with a high-gloss piano-lacquer look. In a further innovation, the new E-Class is the first ever car to integrate touch control buttons in the spokes of the multifunction steering wheel. Like the surface of a smartphone, the buttons are touch-sensitive and therefore respond precisely to horizontal and vertical finger swipes. This allows the driver to control every function of the infotainment system in the same simple, logical and intuitive manner as with a smartphone without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. A further input option, familiar from the C-Class, is offered by the touchpad on the centre console. This, too, allows all functions to be controlled by single or multi-finger gestures (multitouch). The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting. Having recognised the handwritten characters, the system reads them out to enable blind operation without the driver having to divert their attention from what is happening on the road. The new E-Class can also be controlled by direct buttons, such as for controlling the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for simple activation/deactivation of certain driver assistance systems. Passengers in the E-Class can enjoy a new control experience with high-resolution visualisations and animations, the developers have focused on the use of newly implemented presentation and display techniques to make it more intuitive – for the driver to register and experience information. For example, animated displays are used to show the mode of action of assistance systems, or of DYNAMIC SELECT. The likewise animated ECO display in the instrument cluster helps the driver to adopt an economical driving style in an easily understandable manner. Depending on the transmission, the new E-Class comes with two differently designed centre consoles. Models with automatic transmission have a straight-through centre console, with dynamically rising, sportily high connection to the cockpit, by a control panel in a “Black Panel” glass look....

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Volvo announces S90 premium hybrid saloon to shake-up sector

Swedish luxury car manufacturer Volvo has revealed the vehicle it predicts will give the premium sector something to worry about, as it launches its S90 saloon. Equipped with a host of new technologies, ranging from cutting-edge safety to cloud-based apps and services, the S90 is further proof of the Swedish brand’s continuing transformation. “With the launch of the XC90, we made a clear statement of intent. We are now clearly and firmly in the game. With $11 USD billion of investment over the past five years, we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be – we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group. The new Volvo S90 comes equipped with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. The system gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds of around 130 km/h and no longer needs to follow another car. Pilot Assist is another step towards full autonomous drive – a key innovation area for Volvo. The S90 will also come with a clean and powerful T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain and one of the most luxuriously appointed interiors and connected infotainment systems in the large saloon segment. “Our idea was to bring something entirely new to this rather conservative segment and deliver a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence on the exterior. On the inside, we have taken the S90 to the next level, delivering a high-end luxury experience that promises comfort and control,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group. The S90 also introduces a world-first function to City Safety – large animal detection – a system capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses or moose, night or day. The technology offers an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid a collision. The S90 has also benefitted from Volvo Cars’ recent investment in a highly advanced chassis simulator. “The S90 has taken a big stride forwards in terms of driving dynamics, performance and ride. We have completely redesigned the Volvo driving experience from the ground up to deliver a sense of precision, engaging control and comfort,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group. The S90 is set to be unveiled at the NAIAS in Detroit in...

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Could LWB Range Rover be the ultimate chauffeur car?
Dec02

Could LWB Range Rover be the ultimate chauffeur car?

If you decided to offer your clients the pinnacle of chauffeur cars and the height of luxury, your mind would probably jump to the likes of a Rolls-Royce, Bentley or Maybach. All of these of course offer acres of legroom and enough luxuries to put the Dorchester to shame, but with the cheapest of these super-luxury limos costing £165,000, it’s time to think again, as there’s another option which could see you with £60,000 back in your wallet. Every winter, you’ll always come across an article from me banging on about how chauffeurs should be embracing 4×4 vehicles, enabling them to give a full service to their customers – this winter will be no different and I’m pleased to see a few more 4×4’s appearing in fleets over the past few years. So, wouldn’t it be great to be able to transport passengers in whatever mother nature throws at you and allowing the client to enjoy S-Class levels of luxury – enter the Range Rover long-wheelbase. Not only is it a British icon, but the latest version which appeared on our roads in 2012, is not only more pleasing to the eye than ever before, but Jaguar Land Rover has cleverly slotted an Jag XJ style interior into the Rangie, offering superb luxury levels. Our test vehicle for this report came in Hybrid form – under the bonnet a 3.0 V6 diesel, boosted by an electric motor with a Co2 figure of just 169g/km. A few options such as adaptive LED headlights, full panoramic roof, head-up display and £4,000 worth Meridian audio system making our test car come in at £118,810 on-the-road. First, let’s deal with the disappointment of the Hybrid system. We must remember the Range Rover LWB weighs 3 tonnes, and just to move it off the line takes the energy of a small power station anyway. Although the latest Range Rover has a massive weight saving over its predecessor, chauffeurs expecting to be wafting through the city in silence and using electric power will have bit of a shock. The full range of the electric motor when fully charged is 1 mile – no, it’s not a typo – 1 mile! The price of hearing the diesel engine cut in and out every few seconds will cost you a mere £4,000. The combined MPG of the Hybrid is listed to be 45mpg, the best I managed across seven days was 37, so my personal engine choice would be the 4.4 SDV8 diesel, with a base price of £106,000. So, what can you expect in return for half the value of a modest two bed mid-terrace house?...

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App-based Private Hire Company fined

Transport for London (TfL) has taken enforcement activity against an app-based minicab company that was operating illegally without a private hire licence. It has successfully prosecuted Splyt Technologies Ltd for breaching the requirement for a London private hire operator’s licence. Splyt, which offered private hire journeys through an app, launched their service in April this year without an operator’s licence.  TfL believed this to be in breach of legislation and Splyt ceased their operation following correspondence. Earlier this week, Splyt pleaded guilty to the charge. Splyt were fined £1,750 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, as well as being ordered to pay TfL’s claimed costs in full, a further £5,217.50. The District Judge remarked that it had been a complex case, and that there had been extensive correspondence between TfL and Splyt to try to resolve the matter. Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said: “This is a very positive result, and one that shows our commitment to tackling illegality in the private hire trade in order to protect the rights of the legitimate private hire and taxi trades in London. “We will continue to bear down on illegal activity of this kind, and as this result shows we will take action through the courts if necessary.” Another aspect of the work being undertaken with private hire is the current consultation into the regulations governing the trade.  The wide-ranging proposals seek to bring up to date the regulations governing London’s private hire sector to ensure they take into account recent developments in technology and are fit for the future. TfL wants to hear the views of passengers, members of both trades and all other interested parties on the proposals, so that the regulations can be shaped in a way that benefits both drivers and passengers. The number of private hire drivers in the Capital has risen rapidly in recent years – there are now 92,049 licenced private hire drivers, up from 76,249 in March 2015. This rapid growth has given rise to a number of wider issues, including rising traffic congestion, illegal parking and impacts on air quality. This is why the Mayor is calling for the Government to bring forward primary legislation to give TfL the power to cap minicab...

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Car dealer launches new luxury chauffeur service
Nov18

Car dealer launches new luxury chauffeur service

H.R. Owen, the UK’s largest luxury car dealer, has recently launched its latest arm of the group – H.R. Owen Chauffeur Drive. Offering a fleet of the Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Maserati vehicles – the company is now offering its chauffeur and conciege service to clients within the M25 from £65.00 per hour for the hire of a Maserati Quattroporte or £95 per hour for its Rolls-Royce Ghost. H.R. Owen Luxury Services Manager Sharon Wright said: “There are a number of private chauffeur companies in London, but none match H.R. Owen Chauffeur Drive’s full-service approach. From our drivers collecting customers at their homes in style, to them waiting outside shops and collecting and storing bags and driving them back home; our service is second-to-none – and good value, too. “Parking in the most exclusive locations in London can command prices of up to £25.00 an hour” she continued, “where as customers who hire our Maserati Quattroporte for the day will pay just £50.00 an hour – and they are being driven, looked after and their shopping guarded safely in...

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