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Ladies-only Drive Days

Ladies -only Drive Days

You want to trial a super-luxury car but a simple test drive just doesn’t cut it, right?

Or perhaps you want to know how it feels to be behind the wheel of a race-ready performance vehicle going flat-out on a track that’s free of radar-armed police and speed cameras.

Madam Wheels is thrilled to introduce its Ladies-Only Drive and Track-Day Experiences, exclusive overnight pleasure trips designed for women who have the need for speed and love high-end cars.

The Madam Wheels Drive Experiences will be a girls-only adventure steering luxury cars through spectacular landscapes taking in our country’s stunning scenery. Included in the mix will be a decadent blend of champagne sunsets, fine-dining and luxurious accomodation.

So, not only will you get to drive some of the most current and finest luxury cars on the road today, you’ll also be in the company of like-minded ladies sharing an exciting, addictive and utterly unforgettable experience.

There’s little doubt that the Madam Wheels Drive and Track-Day Experiences are the ultimate girlfriend getaway. They’re also the perfect solution for:

– companies looking for creative ways to get their female executive teams together

– businesses searching for novel gifts / gestures for their high-net-worth clients as a way to maintain contact between meetings

– CEOs who’d like to give a memorable “thanks” to their hard-working personal assistants

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Hypercars evolve as same, same but different

I think most of us can agree that evolution is a pretty good theory. You might prefer to believe a divine entity created every living thing, all in a hurry, about 6000 years ago, in which case all power to you, even though you quite possibly regard The Flintstones as some sort of documentary series.

For the purposes of this column, however, we’re going regard creationism as an idea not entertained by sane people. No offence intended. The idea underlying the theory of evolution is that life changes to best adapt
itself to its environment. Over a very long period of time, life becomes very
well suited to its environment, and often highly specialized.

Every hypercar is, at the end of the day, designed to the same brutally simple brief: go as fast as you possibly can.’

The term “survival of the fittest” was coined to help explain Charles Darwin’s
theory of natural selection, and it is sometimes misunderstood to mean only the
biggest, fastest, strongest (or whatever) survive; but what Darwin meant it to
mean is those life forms that are most fit-for-purpose tend to survive and pass their genes on to the next generation.

If being the biggest, fastest or strongest is what gives you the best chance of surviving then you’re more likely to survive and pass those traits on to your progeny, but it could be that being small, or a particular color or developing some unique way of opening coconuts is what gives you the best chance of surviving, and it’s those traits that will be passed on.

It’s “fittest” as in “best-suited”. This is, I think, why hypercars are all starting to look the same. Well, they are to me, anyway.

 

The Mercedes-AMG One, Aston Martin Valkyrie, Bugatti Divo, Hennessey Venom F5, SSC Tuatara, Pininfarina Battista, Rimac C Two (for quick photographic
evidence, look here).

Add to the list the Maserati MC20, released this week.

They  all look absolutely delicious and I’d have any one of them in a heartbeat. But
like men in tuxedos, while they also look delicious and I’d have almost any one
of them in a heartbeat, they all look a bit like all the others. Sure, there’s variations, but every hypercar is, at the end of the day, designed to the same brutally simple brief: go as fast as you possibly can. It is also desirable to be safe while doing it – which means it has to be able to go around corners occasionally, and to stop. 

 

Over time, much like in the animal kingdom, hypercar designs have converged on a basic shape, set of relative dimensions and a layout that produces the optimal combination of factors to fulfil the design brief. They’ve evolved to this end point in the space of a few decades rather than in the space of a few million years.

Even so, evolution is an excellent analogy of how hypercar design has been refined and refined and refined and, along the way, discarded anything that’s superfluous or which detracts from becoming as fit for purpose as it can be.

Until the laws of physics change, there will be a certain way of designing and building a hypercar that inevitably makes it look like the others. It’s for the same reason all fish look broadly similar, why birds (those that can fly) share some fundamental similarities, and why a man in a tuxedo cannot be improved upon.

 

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Jacquie Hayes Speaker Kit

Jacquie Hayes Speaker Kit

In the hot seat

Buckle up and settle in for the ride as Jacquie Hayes brings an action-packed perspective to one of the most explosive marketing opportunities in today’s economy – women.

As one of Australia’s few speakers and panellists to spotlight the issue, her message is clear: businesses that fail to recognise women’s purchasing power do so at their peril. Those who go out of their way to help women “feel the love” as consumers will thrive.

The rise…and rise…of girl power

Women hold the purse strings in the majority of purchase decisions that really matter, including buying houses and cars. They either influence what their partners buy or, increasingly, are buying in their own right as their earning power grows — a pattern seen not just in Australia, but globally, too.

As the founder of Madam Wheels, a luxury-car advisory service for women, Jacquie has the privilege of getting into the hearts and minds of women with money to splurge. She knows what they want and she’s made it her mission to get them into the cars of their dreams at the best possible price and with the most attractive conditions attached.
It isn’t pretty. The majority are underwhelmed. They feel underserved and undervalued in the marketplace.

Who’s listening

As a speaker, Jacquie shares her insights on how to sell high-end products or solutions to high-net-worth women. Her message applies to a broad cross-section of audiences including professional services executives, corporates, stockbrokers, financial planners, real estate agents, car manufacturers and dealerships, businesswomen, retailers, those in startups or tech companies, and women in the market for luxury cars, to name a few.

Keynote 1: The Rise of the She Economy: Savvy Insights for Businesses Selling to Women

It’s official. Women have huge purchasing power and this is only set to grow as their earning capacity rises. On top of that, they are among the biggest influencers when it comes to big-ticket items (“If she doesn’t like it, he doesn’t buy it”).

Yet, companies and businesses across the board fail to capitalise on the golden opportunity presented by the world’s largest buying segment!

In this keynote, you will:

– Gauge how prepared (or not) you are to meet the needs of this fully mature, ready-to-go market

– Dive deeper into the multiplier effect (even if women aren’t making the actual purchase, they are the gateway to others’ decisions, such as their children, friends or other consumers through word of mouth)

– Uncover how you can refine women’s overall experience of your service or product

– Discover how small tweaks in your customer service, engineering, design or packaging can make the biggest difference (and no, making it pink is not the solution)

– Understand why hassle-free, jargon-free and frustration-free purchasing is the way to go.

Keynote 2: Why Women Buy

Women are estimated to be earning US$18 trillion globally, a rise of $5 trillion in the past 5 years alone. Combine this with Boston Consulting Group’s predictions that women will control almost 75 per cent of discretionary spending globally within the next decade.

More and more, women are turning traditional notions on their head by purchasing the majority of so-called “male” products, such as cars and consumer electronics. It’s a perfect storm for anyone providing goods or services to this market. But how many of us understand exactly why women buy?

In this keynote, you will:

– Gain clarity on why women have become the single most disruptive consumer group in the world

– Be surprised at what motivates women to spend and buy (spoiler alert: altruism is important)

– Learn how women entrepreneurs will change the future of buying with products and services designed for women by women

– Become more sophisticated in the way you speak to, engage with and sell to women

– Hear how smart women with spending power experience numerous points of friction along the buying journey (using Madam Wheels clients as a case in point).

Vroom, vroom … and she’s off

Jacquie is sassy, spirited and switched on. It comes as no surprise given her longstanding career as a successful journalist. A natural storyteller and people-person, she engages easily with a range of audiences.

Part entertainment and part motivational, Jacquie’s keynotes (and panel discussions) reflect her irrepressible energy and passion for the subjects closest to her heart – women and luxury cars.

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New Maserati MC20 supercar challenges Ferrari and co

Maserati took it to the big boys of the luxury automotive market this week with the world premier of its new supercar, the MC20. It’s likely the car has designers and engineers at neighbouring Italian brands heading back to their drawing boards.

Not only is the MC20 sleek and spectacular, it’s a car designed to be a super car on the road and a race car on the track. As the name alludes, MC20 stands for Maserati Corse (Maserati Racing) 2020.

So it’s got looks and power, with its 630 horsepower making it Maserati’s most powerful series production car to date.

‘The MC20 is an impressive offering in the high-end automotive space where Maserati goes head to head with Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin Lagonda.’

The 2021 Maserati MC20 was launched to the world in its home town of Modena on Wednesday at an event themed “Time to be audacious” – perhaps a fitting sentiment in a desperate moment in the automotive world during which the economic and social impacts of Covid-19 are further battering an already damaged global car industry.

Images released for the launch depict a car which is elegant, luxurious and by far the sexiest thing to come off the Maserati production line.

It’s initially been produced as a coupe with an internal combustion engine, but convertible and all-wheel-drive full-electric versions are on their way, possibly as early as 2022.

The all-new engine is the first Maserati has produced for itself in more than two decades, and it’s turned out something special.

Named Nettuno – Italian for Neptune, whose three-pronged weapon inspired the Maserati logo – the twin-turbo V6 engine employs Maserati-patented Twin Combustion capabilities drawn from the latest Formula 1 engines – which basically help the rear-wheel-drive car take off like a rocket.

Maserati’s claimed sprint to 100kmh in less than 2.9 seconds would see the MC20 dispense with Lamborghini’s powerful Huracán Evo and compete with the Ferrari F8 Tributo. It’s capable of making the zero to 200kmh dash in less than 8.8 seconds, with a claimed top speed of 325kmh.

The new Maserati apparently spent more than 2000 man-hours being buffeted in the Dallara Wind Tunnel and dynamics tested using more than a thousand computerised simulations.

It’s ended up with a tonne of interesting and innovative technologies on board. The butterfly doors are not only pretty on the eye but improve the MC20’s ergonomics and facilitate ease of entry and exit.

Inside, there’s little to distract from the main game – a sporty driving experience. The driver’s needs are always central. In his or her line of sight are simple forms and very few sharp edges.

The carbon fibre-clad central console features a wireless smartphone charger, the driving mode selector (GT, Wet, Sport, Corsa and a fifth, Electronic Stability Control Off button), two speed selection buttons, the power window controls, the Multimedia System controls, and an under-armrest storage compartment. All other controls are on the steering wheel, including the ignition button to the left and launch control on the right.

Other services are run through the Maserati Connect system, including navigation, Alexa and Wifi Hotspot, which can also be managed through the relevant Maserati smartphone or smartwatch App.

Maserati says the MC20 was 100 per cent designed and built in Modena in a record 24 months. Development times were optimised with the use of in-house devised virtual dynamics simulations that allowed designers, engineers and technicians to create and test digital versions of the MC20 before prototypes were built.

The resulting cars were then tested and fine-tuned during the requisite track and road test-driving sessions across a range of uses and conditions.

The MC20 is an impressive offering in the high-end automotive space where Maserati goes head to head with PorscheFerrari and Aston Martin Lagonda. It’s certainly a strong start for the Trident brand as it moves into its new Era.

Maserati is accepting orders for the MC20 now with deliveries expected midway through next year. Of course, it won’t be cheap with a list price at launch of 216,000 euro ($A351,327).

In other Maserati developments, the company launched a hybrid version of its Ghibli luxury sedan earlier this year, and plans to launch a new SUV and redesigned GranTurismo and GranCabrio models by the end of 2022.

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Lucid Motors ups the electric game on World EV Day

Australia’s motoring history reached a new milestone in August 2020 when, for the first time ever, a petrol-electric hybrid was the number-one new vehicle sold over any month.

OK, that car might have been a less-than-thrilling Toyota RAV4s, but what matters is that nine out of 10 buyers of the vehicle chose the hybrid power train over petrol-only models.This news, from the Australia’s peak automotive body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), was particularly poignant as it landed on Madam Wheel’s news desk on Wednesday, September 9 – the inaugural World EV Day.

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Electric vehicles (EVs) have come a long way since the early starters came to market and today’s iterations are cheaper, can drive further and be charged in more places.Almost every car maker around has joined the road towards clean mobility, and now offers – or is planning to develop – an EV.

In celebration of this growing shift – and to push for the accelerated adoption of sustainable mobility – UK sustainability media company Green.TV set up the largely social media-led “World EV Day” campaign to engage with consumers about the benefits of EVs. Driving ranges in EVs have certainly improved over time, increasing from a median 117km (73 miles) in 2011 to 201km (125 miles) in 2019.

‘Rolls-Royce Motor Cars says it will skip hybrid cars altogether and go straight to full electrification when it’s ready to do so.’

Until today, the market’s mileage queen was the Telsa Model S, which got a 402-mile (647 km) rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2020.But that was trumped today with the launch in the US – timed to coincide with World EV Day – of the first EV from Lucid Motors, a Californian-based company run by Tesla’s former engineering boss, Peter Rawlinson.

The 2021 Lucid Air has an estimated EPA range of up to 517 miles (832 km) on a single charge and is able to accelerate to 100 km/h in about 2.5 seconds, Lucid says – though the Air is unlikely to get the promised range if a driver tests the punch speed too often.

In reality, range — like petrol mileage — depends on a bunch of things. They include the temperature, which accessories are being used, how loaded the car is, how it’s being driven, and the software which manages the batteries.

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mercedes luxury car

Among the more mainstream premium brands, Mercedes-Benz’s incoming EQS will be its first fully electric luxury sedan, due out next year along with Audi’s e-tron GT.

Daimler boss Ola Källenius says the EQS will be capable of driving more than 700 km between charges which, if accurate, will make the S-Class-sized sedan the longest-range series-produced electric vehicle in the world.Aston Martin is unlikely to produce an electric car – if at all – before 2025 after bleeding cash last year. The British marque definitively suspended its first electric car, the Rapide E, earlier this year and pushed back the 2022 launch of its all-electric Lagonda Vision Concept vehicle from the sub-brand.

Likewise, Ferrari has said it won’t produce an all-electric vehicle before 2025 and would focus on hybridization in the meantime.

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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, meanwhile, says it will skip hybrid cars altogether and go straight to full electrification when it’s ready to do so. When that may be, however, is unclear, with CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös refusing to be drawn on a timeline while he was visiting Melbourne last year.

“We’ll do it when we’re ready,” Müller-Ötvös told members of the local media.As for the global EV market generally, charging station numbers have increased from less than one million in 2014 to more than 7.3 million worldwide in 2020.

That’s giving confidence to motorists in long-range driving countries like Australia and supporting increased sales.In this country, more and more vehicle owners have been choosing to electrify their drive, according to the FCAI. In the first eight months of 2020, 6694 full-electric, petrol-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrids were sold, an increase of 113.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

The trend reflects international appetites for taking environmentally friendly strides toward future electric mobility. According to a BNEF report, vehicle sales for EVs will be 58 per cent by 2040. As far as pricing goes, the Lucid Air today debuted in the company’s range-topping Dream Edition spec with a starting price of US$169,000 (about $A233,000). This compares to the Tesla Model S’s ask of around $US80,000 to $ US120,000 ($A148,000-$A167,000 here).

Australian pricing for the Merceds-Benz EQS is yet to be released but it’s expected to be in a similar range to that of the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S.

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