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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Como, Italy


Como, Italy
STATS
7 bedrooms
4 baths
7,530 sq. ft.
$34 million
Pedigree: Built in the late 19th century, this stucco-clad villa is perched on a superlative lot overlooking Lake Como, with views of the village of Bellagio on the opposite shore. Refined ornamentation, a grand scale, and neutral decor give an airy feel to the interiors, which have been restored by Milan-based architects Alberto Brugi and Elio Messi and are available furnished.

Property Values: The leafy seven-acre grounds include a gymnasium, a spa facility, a boathouse, and a pool.

Talking Point: A helipad allows for easy arrivals and quick departures.

Biotic Natural Resources

The biotic resources can be obtained in the raw form, or by means of cultivation through agriculture. Petroleum is a resource included in the category of biotic natural resources; the organic origin or petroleum is the reason behind its inclusion in biotic resources. The following list provides names of resources directly obtained from the biosphere. Most of the biotic resources are non-renewable in nature. Petroleum and natural gas were formed through years of decomposition of organic matter. This organic matter included the remains of plants and animals. Therefore, the resources are categorized as biotic.
  • Timber
  • Petroleum
  • Natural Gas
  • Fruits
  • Wax (tree wax)
Biotic Resources (Agriculture): Crops obtained through farming are the important natural resources. Few of the resources are given below.
  • Rice, Wheat and Corn: These are the cereals widely used by people the world over. Wheat, rice and corn form the bulk of grains cultivated by farmers for consumption.
  • Cotton: It is a cash crop which produces raw material for manufacturing of garments. Nowadays, even synthetic fibers are used for manufacturing garments, however, cotton holds the major share.
  • Sugarcane: The sugarcane crop, just like cotton is considered a cash crop for farmers. Sugar prepared from its cane is used in a variety of food products. In fact, the bakery products and other sweetmeats require sugar as its basic ingredient.
The crops mentioned above are important ones. The list of other plants used for the purpose of cultivation is presented below.
  • Parsley
  • Oat
  • Rye
  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Cauliflower
  • Catnip
  • Sunflower
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Okra
  • Squash
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Brussels Sprouts
The use of seafood including fish and other creatures (crabs, prawns, etc.) by human beings is in practice for a long time. However, the disastrous consequences of this activity are influencing the world. Inclusion of these organisms in the list of natural resources should therefore, be a matter of debate. It has been proved that fishing disrupts the ecological balance and also affects the fish habitat adversely. Similarly, feeding on terrestrial animals (meat) also has affected the food web to a great extent. Enlisting the names of these creatures as 'resources' might spark a debate in a world where we are increasingly becoming aware of problems associated with the fragile ecosystem.

Friday, July 6, 2012

British Virgin Islands













British Virgin Islands
STATS
7 bedrooms
8 baths, 5 half baths
17,000 sq. ft.
$50 million
Pedigree: Natural beauty abounds on Buck Island, a 43-acre private haven boasting pristine beaches, protected coves, and coral reefs. Presiding over it is a contemporary masonry compound, comprising a main building, a satellite master suite, and three guesthouses.

Property Values: An infinity pool, a helipad, and a cabana dot the land, while two additional villas occupy a base on nearby Tortola.

Talking Point: A partially built bridge adds archaeological intrigue.

More bloodshed sweeps across Syria


DAMASCUS: Fresh bloodshed swept Syria on Wednesday after Western powers and the Arab League demanded immediate UN action to stop the regime’s “killing machine” but holdout Russia vowed to veto any proposal it deemed unacceptable.

Wrangling at the United Nations came as fierce clashes raged across Syria’s powder keg regions killing 59 people, mostly civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitoring group said at least eight civilians were killed in shelling by regime forces in the restive central city of Homs while 24 were killed in fighting in the Damascus region.

Activists said the unrest had killed nearly 200 people nationwide over the previous three days while France said on Wednesday 6,000 people had been killed since the beginning of the uprising nearly 11 months ago.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, backed by her French and British counterparts and Qatar’s premier, led the charge on Tuesday for a tough UN resolution that would call on Assad to end the bloodshed and hand over power.

“We all know that change is coming to Syria. Despite its ruthless tactics, the Assad regime’s reign of terror will end,” Clinton told the UN Security Council. “The question for us is: how many more innocent civilians will die before this country is able to move forward?” But on Wednesday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov appeared to snuff out any hopes of a quick vote.

“Attempts are being made to find a text that is acceptable to all sides and would help find a political solution for the situation in Syria. Therefore there is going to be no vote in the next days,” he told Interfax news agency.

Analysts warn that the conflict, between a guerrilla movement backed by growing numbers of army deserters and a regime increasingly bent on repression, has largely eclipsed the peaceful protests seen at the start of the uprising.

“It is the beginning of an all-out armed conflict,” said Joshua Landis, head of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“We are heading toward real chaos,” he added. “The Syrian public in general is beginning to (realise) that there isn’t a magic ending to this, there isn’t a regime collapse.”

The new French death toll comes after UN human rights Chief Navi Pillay said on January 25 that her organisation had stopped counting the dead from Syria’s crackdown on the protests because it is too difficult to get information. Early in January, UN data showed more than 5,400 people killed in Syria since the pro-democracy uprising began in mid-March.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, speaking at the Security Council on behalf of the Arab League, said Assad’s regime had “failed to make any sincere effort” to end the crisis and believed the only solution was “to kill its own people.”

“Bloodshed continued and the killing machine is still at work,” he said. But Russia, a longstanding ally of Assad and one of the regime’s top suppliers of weapons, declared that the UN body did not have the authority to impose a resolution that called for regime change in Syria, a position supported by China.

“If the text is unacceptable then we will vote against,” Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia would not approve a text it viewed as “incorrect” and would “lead to a deepening of the conflict”, he said.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

amazing-dog-houses-and-doll-houses

There’s just something about smaller-than-normal houses that brings out the kid in all of us. Whether you’re spoiling your kids with a crazy doll house or pampering your pooch with a luxurious doghouse, these little versions of real houses are enough to keep you going “Awwww” for hours.

U.S. military says budget constraints to help spur growth of innovation


Despite its adverse effects, the current budget constraints will also help drive the growth of innovation in the U.S. military to maintain the U.S. status as the world's leader, a senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

"We have objectives for the United States as a leader in the international environment that are aggressive," said Kathleen Hicks, deputy undersecretary of defense for strategy, plans and forces, in an interview with the Pentagon Channel TV.

To achieve such objectives, U.S. forces and other instruments of national power must think through innovative approaches for executing their mission, Hicks said.

"I think you'll see an era of real innovation -- a transformation," she said.

Innovations are under way in the cyber domain and in space, as well as in the Navy-Air Force air-sea battle concept, in which air and naval forces integrate capabilities across domains, Hicks said.

"They're also taking place in missile defense, and in leveraging advantages in undersea warfare and in prompt global strike -- an effort to develop a system that can deliver a precision conventional weapon strike anywhere in the world within an hour," she added.

Other new approaches acknowledge realities of the recent defense budget preview on spending cuts, delivered on Jan. 26 by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hicks said.

Under the new budget plan, the U.S. military will produce a smaller, more agile and technologically enabled force by 2020, while putting stress on developing advanced military technologies to ensure the U.S. supremacy in its military might.

The plan was aimed at implementing President Barack Obama's defense strategy guidance, which includes cutting force structure, drawing down ground forces, maintaining the current focus in the Middle East and increasing the commitment in Asia.

Partnerships and smaller footprints will take up the slack for the U.S. military in places such as Africa and Latin America, where the new budget control plan has curtailed growth in military capacity building, Hicks said.

In areas of increasing importance, such as Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region, the U.S. military "is seeking new ways to partner," she said, noting that there will be a rotational deployment of U.S. troops in Australia and an agreement with Singapore will base four U.S. littoral combat ships there.

"That will really be the hallmark of our approach going forward," Hicks said. "These seemingly small investments are incredibly beneficial in terms of what we get and what the partners get in terms of engagement and stability."

Saif says Kareena's wax model looks hot


Saif Ali Khan is busy with his upcoming film, ‘Agent Vinod’ and hence couldn’t make to the unveiling of her wax model at Madame Tussauds.  But Bebo has immediately send him the picture of her wax model and Saif commented that she looked hot.  Bebo’s wax statue was dressed in a Manish Malhotra outfit from the song Mauja Hi Mauja track from Jab We Met and it was placed right next to that of Amitabh Bachchan.

She said, "Saif couldn't come as he's busy with Agent Vinod. I sent him the pictures a night before on the phone, and he said 'it looked so hot! Karisma also couldn't be here as she' busy with her film".

It’s a very proud moment for Kareena. Excited Kareena said, "The idea of being immortalised forever is scary. The feeling hasn't sunk in yet. When I looked around the room, I realised I was the youngest person from Bollywood to be waxed. Also I am right next to Mr Bachchan, so what more can one ask for?"

Kareena Kapoor is quite satisfied with the outcome and said that her eyes was very expressive. Bebo adds, "They have done a marvellous of capturing the eyes so well. They are expressive and have that same feel which the song from Jab We Met showcases. I can't comment about my statue, but the fans who travelled miles to come and see it have loved it. They've all told me it looks exactly like me."


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

integral-lighthouses

Integral lighthouses are an often-forgotten example of fine American lighthouses. They are, quite literally, houses with a light on top. While most lighthouses featured a nearby house for the keeper to live in, these lighthouses simply combined the two structures. Integral lighthouses were no longer built after the 1850s, but some of them stayed in commission long after that. These quirky pieces of American architecture don’t often get the attention they deserve for their part in lighthouse history.

VW Thunder Bunny Concept

VW Thunder Bunny Concept

VW Thunder Bunny Concept
Volkswagen introduces a concept vehicle that reflects its roots in the sport compact tuning community.

The story began back in the early '80s, with a man named Bill Neumann. Bill founded the California based tuning firm Automotive Performance Systems (APS). He was frustrated with the fact that Volkswagen's hot hatchback GTI had been sold in Germany since 1976, but hadn't yet come to America. Bill had driven the GTI in Europe on several of his parts-searching trips, and he was convinced it would be a big hit in America. So he sent letters to the factory. He wrote to enthusiast magazines and lobbied Volkswagen dealers for support. Then, he put together the proof that a Rabbit-based performance car was capable of generating both stunning performance numbers and lots of attention from the American automotive press corp.

Thus was born the original Thunder Bunny.

The APS-modified Rabbit was delivered to Motor Trend magazine late in 1981. Even though its staff was use to driving the best cars in the world, they were blown away by the little Volkswagen hatchback. As it was written in the March 1982 issue: "The little white wonder packs its own kind of lightning-quick rabbit punch — one that's guaranteed to kayo unsuspecting boulevard bullies." And when Road & Track magazine got its hands on the car, it reported a zero to 60-mph run in the low seven-second range and slalom times that at the time had been bettered only by the Ferrari 512 Boxer, Lamborghini Countach and Renault R5 Turbo. Exalted company, indeed.



2006 Volkswagen Thunder Bunny Concept
Bill's frustration ceased in the fall of 1982 when the GTI finally came to America, but by then Thunder Bunny had done its job. It put Neuspeed, the APS-trademarked line of parts and accessories, on the map. It also helped launch a vital North American community of specialists in watercooled Volkswagen performance. Modifying Volkswagens, of course, was not new in America — the Beetle had spawned a huge following of enthusiasts — but the new generation of Volkswagen cars hadn't sparked much interest in the go-fast crowd before the early '80s.

Neuspeed continues to be a leading force among the world's Volkswagen tuners, and it has never stopped building special projects. The latest is also called Thunder Bunny, and it was built in commemoration of Neuspeed's quantum leap forward all those years ago with the original rabid Rabbit. Designed in collaboration with Derek Jenkins, Chief Designer at the Volkswagen Design Center California located in Santa Monica, the new Thunder Bunny is an updated, thoroughly modern version of the original, and it debuts alongside the Concept R GTI on the Volkswagen stand at the 2006 SEMA Show.

Today's Thunder Bunny is a blend of subtle design massaging and tuning technology, built to show how a comfortable daily driver can also provide an exciting motoring experience. Creating the thunderous noise from under the hood is a newly developed turbocharger system, designed by Neuspeed especially for Volkswagen's 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. The high quality installation includes a modified intake manifold, Garrett ball-bearing turbocharger and air-to-air intercooler. A stainless exhaust and specially baffled aluminum oil pan were also sourced from APS for optimum flow and cooling. Boost is restricted to a maximum of seven lbs. in this Stage 1 kit, but it still produces 225 horsepower, 75 more than the stock 2.5 L, and a hefty dose of low-end torque. A performance clutch and Quaife differential were added to the powertrain for durability and a more efficient delivery of power to the front wheels.

Thunder Bunny's gleaming candy white exterior is made distinctive by several design studio touches. The concept's body kit includes a larger central grille and a more muscular rear valance framing a twin R32-style exhaust from Neuspeed. Like the R GTI, Thunder Bunny's paint was overlaid with graphics Jenkins calls "topographical" in pearl silver. They were meant to evoke the contours of the car's geography or waves of air that flow over the surfaces. However they are interpreted, the pearl silver graphics make a unique visual statement as they appear to blink on and off in the changing angles of the sun.

Like the original Thunder Bunny, the forged alloy "street" wheels are painted gold. In 19x8-inch sizing, they're wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 235/35-19 tires. Similar sized multi-spoked forged alloys were sourced from Neuspeed's RS line of wheels for track use. Both sets are lightweight, in keeping with the core GTI quality of nimble handling. The front brakes are 328mm two-piece floating cross-drilled discs from Brembo, gripped by bunny-bedecked Brembo four-piston brake calipers. That's right, bunnies. A veritable warren of Thunder Bunny logos dash to and fro across the surface of the white-painted caliper. At the rear, 310mm disc brakes are fitted.

Handling prowess comes from a suspension fitted with a Bilstein coil-over shock system and APS/Neuspeed sways bars, measuring 25mm front and rear. The suspension system is adjustable for both ride height and for shock stiffness, giving the new Thunder Bunny a dual character, suitable for the street or the track. A Neuspeed short-shift kit and custom spherical aluminum shift knob, created in the design studio, put the driver in closer touch with the manual transmission. A stock GTI steering wheel was recovered in alcantara to go along with the upgraded upholstery and trim.

Stock GTI seats were recovered in black and white checkered tweed that echoes styling trends from the early '80s, and the striking fabric is elegantly framed by surrounding black leather with white stitching. The color scheme is perfectly complemented by the white carbon-fiber interior trim provided by OSIR, experts in hand-laid composites and also major contributors to the design studio's Concept R GTI.

All those years ago, Bill Neumann asked a simple question. Volkswagen responded with the GTI, while Neuspeed became a leader in Volkswagen tuner circles…why a new Thunder Bunny? Think of it as a beautifully crafted response to another question, "What happens when you give a modern Rabbit to one of the original water-cooled Volkswagen tuners?"

US, allies urge UN action to end violence in Syria


Vowing to avoid "another Libya," the U.S. and its allies challenged Russia on Tuesday to overcome its opposition to a U.N. draft resolution demanding that Syrian President Bashar Assad yield power and end the violence that has killed thousands.

"It is time for the international community to put aside our own differences and send a clear message of support to the people of Syria," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the U.N. Security Council in backing an Arab League plan for the country.

Russia, one of Assad's strongest allies, has signaled it would veto any U.N. action against Damascus, fearing it could open the door to eventual international military involvement, the way an Arab-backed U.N. resolution led to NATO airstrikes in Libya.

But Clinton said U.N. action in Syria would not involve military intervention, unlike the NATO-led efforts that resulted in the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.

"I know that some members here may be concerned that the Security Council is headed toward another Libya," Clinton said. "That is a false analogy."


The top diplomats from Britain, France and Arab League pressed the same point: The objective of the draft resolution was not military involvement and a continued delay would come at the cost of the lives of innocent civilians.

"We all have a choice: Stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there," Clinton told council members.

"Despite its ruthless tactics, the Assad regime's reign of terror will end and the people of Syria will have the chance to chart their own destiny," she said. "The question for us is: How many more innocent civilians will die before this country is able to move forward toward the kind of future it deserves?"

The diplomatic showdown came as Syrian government forces took back control of the eastern suburbs of the capital, Damascus, after rebel soldiers briefly captured the area in a startling advance last week. The two-day offensive left more than 100 people dead, making it among the bloodiest days since the uprising began in March, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group.

The U.N. estimated several weeks ago that more than 5,400 people have been killed in the Syrian government crackdown, but has not been able to update the figure.

Russia has stood by Assad as he tries to crush the uprising. In October, Moscow vetoed the first Security Council attempt to condemn Syria's crackdown and has shown little sign of budging in its opposition.

Moscow's stance is motivated in part by its strategic and defense ties, including weapons sales, with Syria. Russia also rejects what it sees as a world order dominated by the U.S.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that Moscow "would never allow the Security Council to authorize anything similar to what happened in Libya."

Saying the U.N. should not choose sides, Lavrov told the ABC that all parties should cease violence and engage in dialogue. Russia "would not support anything that would be imposed on Syria," he said.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd emphasized that Assad must go and urged Russia to overcome its reservations regarding the Security Council resolution in lengthy discussions Tuesday with Lavrov.

"We cannot stand idly by while we see the death of Damascus unfold before us," Rudd told reporters in his hometown of Brisbane on Wednesday. "It's time that we had action from the U.N. Security Council to start to draw this appalling conflict — this appalling loss of life — to a close."

"Australia's position is clear as we put it to the Russian foreign minister yesterday and that is we need to take action in New York through the U.N. Security Council. President Assad must go, he must step down, a government of national unity must be formed which brings together elements of the Syrian opposition as well as all those other elements representatives of Syrian society," he added.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov also criticized the Western draft Security resolution on Syria. He wrote Tuesday on Twitter that it "does not lead to a search for compromise. Pushing this resolution is a path to civil war."

Still, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin indicated in his address to the council that agreement could still be reached with more negotiation. He said his country found "some of the elements of our text" in the current draft, "and that gives rise for hope."

An earlier proposal on Syria circulated by Russia had been rejected by some Western and Arab nations for not being strong enough. "We hope the council will come to consensus," Churkin said.

Clinton suggested that more negotiation on the text was necessary before a vote later in the week. "We will have a concerted effort over the next days to reach agreement in the Security Council to put forth a resolution that sends a message to President Assad and his regime," she told reporters.

Earlier in the session, the Arab League made a rare call to the council to condemn violence in a fellow Arab country, and adopt its peace plan.

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told the council that the league wanted the Security Council to act "to support our initiative and not to take its place."

"We are attempting to avoid any foreign intervention, particularly military intervention" in Syria, he said. "We have always stressed full respect of the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian people."

British Foreign Minister William Hague called for speedy action.

"How long do Syrian families have to live in fear that their children will be killed or tortured, before the Security Council will act?" Hague asked. "How many people need to die before the consciences of world capitals are stirred?"

In its current form, the resolution demands that Assad halt the crackdown and implement an Arab League peace plan calling for him to hand over power to his vice president. If Assad fails to comply within 15 days, the council would consider "further measures," a reference to a possible move to impose economic or other sanctions.

In his response, Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari lashed out at the league, accusing it of acting without consulting the Syrian leadership."How strange it is for us to see some members of the League of Arab States seeking the support of the Security Council against Syria," Ja'afari said. He noted that the Security Council often has voted in support of Israel against Arab-backed measures.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday at a news conference in Amman, Jordan, that he was "encouraged by the League of Arab States' initiative to seek a political solution" to the Syrian crisis.

"It is more urgent than ever to put an end to this bloodshed and violence, to start a credible political solution that addresses the legitimate aspiration of the Syrian people and to protect their fundamental freedoms," Ban said.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

modern-lighthouses

Not all notable lighthouses have such a long history. The Charleston Light was built in 1962 and has the distinction of being the last major government-funded manned lighthouse in the country. It is also the only American lighthouse to feature an elevator. These days the Charleston Light is automated. The Capo Branco Lighthouse is a curious-looking structure, but it is in fact a functioning lighthouse in Brazil. Besides guiding ships in the dark, it also marks the easternmost point of South American mainland.

pics of Evalia





















U.N. Expresses Grave Concern over Recent Pollution Evidence


A recent U.N. report studying atmospheric brown clouds finds that they are the newest, and perhaps the worst, threat to the world environment.
The U.N. warned the world again yesterday about the presence of "atmospheric brown clouds," huge plumes of dense smog that are apparently caused by the burning of fuels, including fossil fuels and wood. A U.N. Environment Program report indicates that when mixed with carbon dioxide emissions and other gases, they pose a lethal threat to the world environment. According to Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program, "All of this points to an even greater and urgent need to look at emissions across the planet."

The large clouds first became prominent in the world’s consciousness during the Summer Olympic Games that were held in Beijing last summer and are said by scientists to be especially thick around glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. Scientists warn that not only could the clouds lead to further global warming, but could also contribute to extreme weather conditions that have seemed to occur more frequently in recent years. On top of that, it is also widely believed that the changes to the environment expected to be wrought by the clouds will have "negative effects on water resources and crop yields," according to the U.N. report.

Yet another concern surrounding the insidious clouds is that they will cause human health problems, including those often associated with so-called "particulate pollution," particularly cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Some cities in particular appear to be bearing the brunt of the massive levels of fossil fuels being burned in Central and Far East Asia, including Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Dhaka, Karachi, Kolkata, Lagos, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tehran. The clouds were also cited as the source of light loss in cities such as Karachi, New Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing.

While the recent study focused primarily on the brown clouds and their formation and effects on Asia, it has been found that the clouds also form in other parts of the world and can move across entire continents in a matter of just three to four days. The clouds do form in the eastern United States and in Europe, but the heavier amounts of snow and rain in those regions tend to lessen the effect.

Russians should skip protest due to cold: Chief doctor



MOSCOW (AFP) - Russians should avoid attending the protest against the rule of Vladimir Putin in Moscow at the weekend to protect their health amid a spell of cold weather, the country's chief doctor said on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to rally for a march in the Russian capital on Saturday in the third mass protest challenging Putin ahead of next month's presidential elections.

'The forecast for Saturday is extremely unfavourable with temperatures of minus 18 deg C predicted. This is a very low temperature for Moscow,' said Dr Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's chief sanitary doctor.

'If this forecast is true then I categorically advise people not to take part in these protests,' Dr Onishchenko, who is also the head of Russia's consumer protection watchdog, told the Interfax news agency.



Monday, July 2, 2012

Crazy-condos-urban-cactus

In an increasingly urban world, outdoor space is highly coveted. Apartment and condo dwellers especially are at a shortage of green and airy spaces to connect with nature in their homes. The designers of the Urban Cactus in Rotterdam want to change the experience of condo inhabitants by giving them amazing views and a personal garden space. The shape of each unit is dictated by the outdoor space it provides, with the terraces arranged in a staggered configuration so that each terrace features an open space overhead rather than the floor of the above unit.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Bentley Continental Flying Spur
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur made its international debut at the 2005 Geneva Salon and began its global roll-out from April 2005. Sharing heart and soul with its highly successful stablemate, the Continental GT, the Continental Flying Spur is a four-door Grand Tourer born of a coupé.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is the fastest four-door in the company's history, and the fastest in the world, with a top speed of 195mph. It marries the excitement, power, refinement and craftsmanship of the Continental GT with enhanced luxury and space to provide a supreme combination of performance, style and comfort.

The launch of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a further step forward in the revitalisation of Bentley, which began in 1998 with significant investment in Crewe, the company's design, engineering and manufacturing headquarters.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur was created at the state-of-the-art Crewe factory, where a 550-strong team of engineers has worked alongside Bentley's renowned designers, craftsmen and craftswomen. Access to parent company Volkswagen's worldwide engineering test facilities has also been of prime importance to the development of the car and the Continental Flying Spur has benefitted from the use of the group's advanced windtunnels, proving grounds and prototyping facilities.

"The Continental Flying Spur is a brilliant example of how to match world-beating technologies with renowned craftsmanship," says Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen. "It is a performance car but not at the cost of comfort and as such represents a unique proposition - a sumptuous and spacious four-door Grand Tourer with the heart and soul of a high-performance coupé."



2005 Bentley Continental Flying Spur
Design

If one phrase could sum up the brief for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur concept it would be: 'no compromise'. That clear but challenging ambition meant the Continental Flying Spur would need to offer the highest levels of elegance and comfort while still delivering performance and driving dynamics normally only found in sports cars.

In short it would be a sporting Grand Tourer with substantial rear legroom for passengers, a stunning interior and breathtaking cabin materials; a car capable of travelling great distances with ease while delivering immense driving pleasure - in other words, a consummate Bentley.

Design director Dirk van Braeckel created the car's bold and contemporary look at exactly the same time as its sister car, the Continental GT, thereby ensuring a consistency of image and appearance between the coupé and the equally potent four-door version.

"By designing both cars together, we could ensure that the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is unmistakeably related to the Continental GT," says van Braeckel. "They share presence and authority in equal measure. That means the Bentley Continental Flying Spur has a noticeably short front overhang like the GT and a broad, dominant bonnet and radiator grille. It is unmistakeably a Bentley."

Where the Continental GT coupé drew inspiration from the iconic 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental, the roots of the new four-door can be seen in the equally desirable and admired 1957 four-door Continental Flying Spur; the car from which the new model takes its name.

Clean, contemporary lines stand out on every surface of the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur, an effect that was a primary aim of Dirk van Braeckel and his design team, who were keen to ensure that the car was evocative, timeless and unostentatious. This design theme is key to the future direction of all Bentleys, one in which the past will serve as inspiration but won't dominate the end product. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur's look is intended to offer owners both individuality and understatement.

"One of the virtues of the Bentley brand has always been understatement," says van Braeckel. "Even in the early days, many people preferred Bentleys to other more ostentatious cars."

Where design cues have been evolved from past Bentleys, they are interpreted in a manner that befits a modern four-door Grand Tourer. Central to the Bentley Continental Flying Spur's appearance is the rounded C-pillar behind the rear doors - a motif found on many early Bentleys. This 'hockey stick' curve adds tension and sportiness to the car's profile.

The extra length of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur compared to the coupé emphasises the waistline of the car, creating the impression of a deep, solid body that offers seclusion and privacy to its occupants. The elongated profile also benefits the car's aerodynamic properties, critical when a top speed of 195mph is attainable. The body of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is also immensely stiff (46Hz resonance frequency) for both strength and durability.

"We have paid very close attention to the air flow over the car," says Bentley's head of exterior design, Raul Pires. "The rear bumper is specifically shaped to funnel air out cleanly from the underbody diffuser and the small aerofoil lip on the trailing edge of the bootlid provides downforce and stability at high speed. The four-door has an even better drag coefficient than the Continental GT - 0.31Cd compared to the coupé's 0.32Cd."

Design process technology

Like the Continental GT coupé, the Continental Flying Spur was first designed in the computer virtual world. With all its components existing in the virtual world before a single one was created as a physical property, it was possible to see how each part interacts with all the others, highlighting problems and conflicts that might not otherwise have come to light. This process cut down development time and enabled Bentley's engineers to design in quality and consistency at a component level.

Bentley also used advanced modelling techniques at the early pre-production stages to ensure that both the exterior and interior of the car were designed to astonishing levels of accuracy. Using a technique known as Data Control Modelling, precision-machined full-scale models of the inside and outside of the car were built using composite materials that are milled to within an accuracy of 0.1mm. The result is a perfect facsimile of the new car that can be used to construct extremely accurate tools for the production stage.

Interior design

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur's interior proportions provide luxurious legroom for all passengers and an impressive canvas on which Bentley's interior design team could set to work. Throughout the interior, leather hides or wood veneers on every surface combine to give a welcoming and contemporary environment for the driver and passengers alike.

Inspiration for key elements of the Continental Flying Spur's interior came from earlier Bentleys. A deep, generous wooden waistrail runs the length of the cabin, producing a feeling of cossetting protection and opulence. Deep waistrails are very much part of Bentley tradition stemming back to the 8-litre Bentleys of the 1930s. "The use of so much prominent wood is a really distinguishing factor for any Bentley," says Henrik Nordin, interior designer. "We have managed to build this into the Bentley Continental Flying Spur but without making it feel dated or retro. Instead it feels elegant, sumptuous and subtly sporting, which is exactly the sort of statement this car should make."

Craftsmanship

Naturally, wood veneers and leather hides remain an integral part of the Bentley furniture, but they have been tailored to suit the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, proving that these most traditional materials can still convey a contemporary feel. Though craftsmanship remains as important as ever, these enduring skills have been complemented by some 21st century technology allowing, for instance, wood veneer to be dramatically curved in a way that would simply not have been possible in the past. And while the hide is still applied to the car with as much loving care as ever, it is cut using a digitised process that ensures minimal levels of wastage and optimum quality levels.

Throughout the car small but ingenious design touches highlight the difference between a Bentley and a conventional luxury saloon. The front seat headrests, for example, have been kept as small as possible to allow passengers in the rear an unobstructed view out. Even the areas behind the interior door levers and grab handles are protected by a stylish metal plate that prevents rings on fingers damaging the precious leather lining.

Interior features and technology

Bentley Continental Flying Spur owners will want for nothing inside their car, whether behind the wheel or enjoying the ride as a passenger. The car is equipped with the latest advanced cabin technology from its power-latching doors and 16-way electrically powered front seats (that are also air-cooled and heated) with new electro-mechanical lumbar control, to its four-zone climate control, LED mood lighting and advanced infotainment system.

Whether specified as a four-seat model with a centre console between two electrically powered rear seats or the five-seat cabin with full-width rear seat, passengers will experience an environment that simply cannot be found in any other car. The four-seat option cradles its rear occupants in large, sculpted seats that are electrically adjustable for optimum comfort. These seats are divided by a centre console which is trimmed in premium leather hide and wood veneer and contains the seat and climate control systems as well as a beautifully designed ashtray alongside a cupholder and storage space. Passengers in the rear can also operate the chair of the front-seat passenger, thereby ensuring maximum legroom and comfort should the front be unoccupied.

Interior key features:

Five-seat configuration as standard with full-width rear seat.
Optional four-seater configuration with two individual rear seats and centre console with stowage, rear climate control functions and seat switches.
Innovative multi-function storage area in centre console of four-seater model, containing unique removable designer ashtray.
16-way electrically adjustable front seats incorporating climate control, three-position memory (seats, steering column, exterior mirrors) and electric lumbar control with massage facility.
Rear outer seat positions on five-seat model incorporate climate control, heating and electro-mechanical lumbar adjustment.
Rear centre armrest with lockable ski hatch.
Multi-zone electronic climate control system.
Comprehensive infotainment system includes:
Satellite navigation system with route guidance
Optional television tuner (except for US market)
Premium 12-channel audio system
Climate control operation
Computerised suspension control operation (damper and ride height settings).
6-CD auto changer in glove compartment.
Nokia 'docking station' system for in-car phone (except for Japanese market).
Bluetooth hands-free privacy handset in centre arm rest as a no-cost option (except for Japanese market).
Keyless entry and keyless ignition system (US market - keyless entry only).
Console-mounted starter button.
Electronic park brake with move-off assist (except for US market).
Column-mounted gearshift paddles.
Stainless steel-faced foot pedals and driver's foot rest.
Optional glass electric tilt-slide sunroof (non-cost option for US market).
Comprehensive anti-theft and immobiliser systems.
Exterior features and technology

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur combines the finest Bentley traditions and craftsmanship with highly advanced automotive technology. Wherever modern solutions have been introduced on the car, however, these are never to the detriment of driving enjoyment or passenger comfort. At Bentley we don't believe in overloading our cars, or our customers, with technology that they don't need or may never use. On the Bentley Continental Flying Spur every feature content or safety system must make a case for itself before being added. The result is a car that contains a host of practical and desirable features that complement rather than overshadow the unique character of the Continental Flying Spur. What's more, the full features list is almost entirely standard, meaning customers won't be forced to trawl through an exhausting options list at additional cost. Whether you opt for the four or five-seat version, the Continental Flying Spur's full range of technology and feature content will be available to all.

Exterior key features:

Twin bi-Xenon headlamps with integrated washer jets to front.
Unique LED bulbless lamps to rear.
Rear spoiler styled into bootlid operates in conjunction with underbody diffuser to provide enhanced high-speed stability, contributing to a low drag coefficient of 0.31Cd.
19-inch multi-spoke single piece sports alloy wheels as standard. (19 and 20-inch split-rim sports alloy wheels available as an option.)
Traditional Bentley twin oval stainless steel exhaust finishers.
Choice of 16 exterior paint colours.
Full infra-red laminated glazing to all windows (dependent on market).
Rain-sensing windscreen wiper system.
Power-latching to all doors.
Chassis & Engineering

Bentley occupies a unique position in the marketplace. Whereas other manufacturers offer either hard-edged sports saloons or rear-passenger orientated limousines, Bentley effortlessly straddles the gap between these two extremes, building grand touring masterpieces that offer refinement and performance in equal measure. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is no different, as member of the board, engineering, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn explains:

"All Bentleys must be able to pamper and perform when called upon. In the Bentley Continental Flying Spur you can be cruising along enjoying the highest comfort and luxury with superb ride quality. Then all you need to do is press the accelerator and the car is transformed. That is the character of the Continental GT coupé and one of our engineering challenges was to keep the family characteristics that people admire so much."

To ensure that the entire Bentley Continental range shared those qualities it was essential that both models had the right building blocks. The basis of the cars is an exceptionally stiff steel chassis and by extending the wheelbase of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur by 300mm (12 inches) the design team ensured the car had the spacious rear legroom that was a key objective.

The body of the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur is immensely stiff (46Hz resonance frequency) and this provides an extremely stable platform for the suspension and steering components for optimum on-road performance.

An increase in wheelbase helps the refinement and ride quality of any car, but that didn't stop the engineers carrying out a complete chassis retune. The Continental Flying Spur shares the same basic suspension system as its coupé equivalent - a four-link arrangement at the front and a trapezoidal multi-link rear axle with computer-controlled air springs and fully variable, electronically controlled shock absorbers in place of conventional coils. To optimise refinement and ride quality for the longer four-door model, however, significant changes have been introduced:

Redesigned electronic dampers within the air spring units ensure a suitable blend of sportiness and refinement.
New suspension bushes and reconfigured software are also introduced to complement the revised dampers.
A new aluminium subframe at the rear provides a light, stiff and strong platform for the multi-link rear suspension.
New aluminium uprights at the front lower the unsprung weight of the car and consequently improve all-round steering feel and rolling comfort.
One of the immense benefits of computer-controlled suspension is the ability to maintain a static ride height regardless of the load the car is carrying, as Keith Sharp, manager, chassis, suspension and vehicle dynamics, explains:

"By adjusting the suspension to control the car's height we can constantly ensure the optimum level of ride refinement. The other major advantage is that we can use the air suspension to change the attitude of the car at higher speeds to improve stability. We have programmed the Bentley Continental Flying Spur's suspension to lower the nose by 10mm and the rear end by 25mm at speeds over 155mph (250km/h). This reduces rear end lift at high velocities and means our car feels very stable, rather than nervous, as your speed increases."

Thanks to a continuous all-wheel drive system, the Continental Flying Spur is blessed with astonishing traction and poise whatever the weather. In standard conditions the drive is transferred equally between the front and rear axles via a highly sensitive centre Torsen differential. If, however, the differential detects a deviation in torque demand between the two axles it automatically sends more power to the wheels indicating greater grip.

As well as its advanced all-wheel drive system, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur incorporates traction control and an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), both of which can be disabled at the discretion of the driver. These driver aids operate discreetly, offering additional security and governance over the car's dynamic potential but without being intrusive, thereby ensuring the unique Bentley driving experience remains undisturbed.

The advanced technologies used in the Continental Flying Spur's suspension were rigorously tested on proving grounds, test tracks and roads across the world. The result is a car whose breadth and capability, in any weather, on any road surface, is simply awesome. Over the course of its development the car was subjected to a drive programme that saw it complete nearly a million miles.

"When it came to prototype driving and development we utilised the finest facilities all around the world," says Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, member of the board, engineering. "The car was extensively tested at internationally recognised venues such as the Nürburgring, Nardo and the Grossglockner mountain pass. We also adopted some new development processes that married tried and tested practices with Bentley specifics. The result is a car that has been developed to the highest possible standards."

Evidence of this thorough testing process is seen in the Bentley Continental Flying Spur's revised steering. To ensure that the car handles in a way that is suitable for a luxury saloon as well as a high-performance grand tourer, a new steering rack was engineered. To improve driver feel friction was reduced in the steering column, rack and suspension ball joints. The system's responsiveness was also adapted to suit a four-door grand tourer, with a slightly lighter weighting around the centre for more relaxed driving at high speeds and a more linear increase in loading as it begins to corner. The new rack also means the Bentley Continental Flying Spur has a highly competitive 11.8-metre turning circle kerb-to-kerb - an impressive figure for a car with such generous accommodation.

Wheel and tyre choice is a vital part of the handling and dynamic characteristics of the Continental Flying Spur. The car will come with single-piece 19-inch alloy wheels as standard and will run on bespoke 275/40 R19 tyres produced by Pirelli and Michelin.

A final visual aid to help create that unmistakeable sporting presence is an optional 20-inch two-piece alloy sports wheel. This seven-spoke rim has a combination of chrome and silk finishes and retains the distinctive 'Bentley Motors' hub. The new two-piece sports wheel also wears a brand new tyre created exclusively for the larger rim and recently introduced as part of the Continental GT's optional Mulliner Driving Specification. Designed on behalf of Bentley by Yokohama, the Advan Sport 275/35 R20 tyre provides significant benefits for drivers looking for even sportier handling and improved steering feel and response.

The culmination of an intensive development programme carried out by both Bentley and Yokohama engineers, the new tyre has a lower sidewall that provides sharper turn-in feel and precision. The Yokohama Advan Sport manages to deliver increased performance without noticeable reduction in overall ride quality, meaning drivers will continue to enjoy the unparalleled luxury of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and now benefit from its increased sporting characteristics.

Braking is provided by huge ventilated disc brakes - the largest of any production passenger car on sale today. The front discs are 405mm in diameter and 36mm wide, and the rear discs 335mm in diameter and 22mm wide. These are retarded by aluminium single-sided callipers branded with cast aluminium 'Bentley' logos.

The braking system features a Bosch anti-lock system with Brake Assist and electronic pressure distribution. The Continental Flying Spur also has a unique electronic parking brake - after the driver has applied the brake it will automatically re-apply one and five minutes later. This prevents accidental slippage should the brake discs cool after use. The parking brake system can also be operated as an emergency brake. In this instance braking is applied to all four wheels and the car's electronic safety systems remain fully operational allowing the driver to steer as normal.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur also offers enhanced occupant safety with the use of a tyre-pressure monitoring system that constantly measures the tyre pressures in all four wheels and instantly warns the driver should a significant reduction occur.

Powertrain

The heart of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is its magnificent 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine which will propel the car to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 195mph. This awe-inspiring piece of engineering was created for both the coupé and four-door versions of the Continental and delivers phenomenal power (552bhp/411kW) as well as that legendary wave of torque (479lb ft/650Nm) from low revs that is the hallmark of every Bentley.

"When the decision was taken to produce the Continental family, we knew we would need an engine that was incredibly compact and well packaged to incorporate both its styling requirements and complex powertrain," reveals Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, member of the board, engineering. "From the outset the W12 concept was created with all the group's top products in mind. That is why we had significant input into the basic architecture of the engine. This basis was then developed extensively by Bentley to meet our exacting requirements - high torque at low revs and effortless acceleration."

Brian Gush, chassis, powertrain and motorsport director, explains the unique development process:

"The engine block is made from a hypereutectic aluminium alloy with silicon concentrates that reduce friction in the cylinder bores. Aluminium pistons were also specially developed to cope with the increase forces created by the turbochargers, which were themselves created exclusively for this Bentley engine."

The 12-cylinder block has a 48-valve head with four camshafts that operate using continually variable valve-timing. Power is transmitted via a seven-bearing crankshaft to the car's six-speed automatic transmission. To ensure that the large powerplant met stringent Euro IV and US LEV emissions regulations the twin turbochargers were designed with a unique bypass valve that automatically sends exhaust gases to heat the catalytic convertors when the car is started from cold. This valve then operates as the turbocharger wastegate at all other times.

The Borg-Warner turbochargers are also the ideal solution for producing the flat torque curve that is a key characteristic of every Bentley engine, ensuring that the driver has instantly available performance without a hint of turbo lag or having to shift down through the gears. That mighty torque curve is constant, with no drop-off from its maximum output of 479lb ft (650Nm) at just 1600rpm.

Packaging all those systems was a remarkable challenge in itself. The astonishing compactness of the engine - it is just 653mm long - was a critical target and with such immense amounts of torque it was equally imperative to have impressive traction in any conditions. What was called for was an all-wheel drive system that could cope with the Continental Flying Spur's performance capability and consequently as short an engine as possible to allow room for the extra componentry.

"The internal packaging of the engine is amazing," says Francis Ellison, module leader, powertrain. "And that helped when it came to designing all the other elements of the car's powertrain assembly. Because of the performance requirements, we wanted the centre of gravity to remain as low as possible and this meant we couldn't have the front differential under the engine. Instead we placed it between the engine and the gearbox. You can only do that if you have a very compact engine to begin with, otherwise you would have a car with a very long nose."

With ideal positioning of the main parts of the powertrain, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur has a 56:44 weight distribution over the front and rear axles. Unlike rear-wheel drive cars with large amounts of power, which are forced to put more weight over the rear wheels to improve traction, the Bentley's all-wheel drive system means the weight balance can be biased towards the front, thereby improving both the agility and handling of the car.

"Because we have a close to ideal distribution of weight, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur has excellent initial grip and turn-in when you start cornering," says Dr Ulrich Eichhorn. "You also get very good high-speed stability and it is much easier to tune an inherently stable chassis like ours to be agile than to make a nervous one stable."

Work was not just carried out on the performance capabilities of the engine but also its acoustic properties. The Continental Flying Spur has a re-engineered exhaust system that provides greater refinement for a car that has a broader role than the coupé.

"We have added a cross-tube in the centre of the exhaust system and we have also optimised the exhaust valve system to get the right acoustic pattern," explains Cameron Paterson, head of engineering for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. "The exhaust note in the Continental GT coupé was deliberately quite noticeable - it is a sports car after all. For the Continental Flying Spur we wanted to ensure more refinement when you are driving in a leisurely fashion but still create that unmistakeable Bentley sound when you are pressing on. With this new exhaust system we can achieve that by closing off one tailpipe at differing engine load levels."

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur's prodigious power is channelled through a six-speed automatic transmission built for Bentley by ZF. This is the same gearbox as used in the coupé but it has been recalibrated. The principle behind the reworked transmission is to give a more relaxed driving style but to retain the car's full performance when called upon. At most times the transmission will rely on the enormous torque produced by the engine to do more of the propulsion, thereby avoiding unnecessary downshifting and allowing the driver to enjoy the tremendous pulling power of the engine as well as giving a smoother driving experience.

However, the driver will always be just a push of the accelerator away from instantaneous response and the car's full potential. The ability of the gearbox to lock its torque converter during normal driving conditions replicates the immediacy of a manual transmission but without sacrificing any of the smoothness of an automatic gearbox.

The six-speed transmission can be left in full automatic mode or changed to a Tiptronic function that allows it to be used as a clutchless manual where gear changes take place only on the command of the driver, via either the gearlever or paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. Naturally the transmission constantly monitors the engine speeds and selected ratios to ensure that it is not possible to over-rev the engine when changing down in tiptronic mode or stall the car by slowing too much in a high gear.

These subtle but essential points sum up the character of this remarkable car. From a sound basic concept was devised a four-door grand tourer that delivers on every front. "Our job was to ensure that the car was exceptionally sporting and stable yet still refined and luxurious," says Dr Ulrich Eichhorn. "I always tell my teams that it is the concept that defines the potential but the detailed execution determines the result."

Safety

The increase in wheelbase over the Continental GT coupé means the Continental Flying Spur will react differently to the physical forces created in the event of an accident. The change in what is known as its 'crash pulse' means it has a revised crash structure between the engine and front bumper. To ensure the highest possible protection in the event of a head-on crash the car was subjected to a series of advanced simulated crashes on a super-computer as well as more standard real world tests.

Bentley's advanced Dynamic Crash Analysis (DCA) capability means much of the trial and error traditionally associated with providing a car with good impact resistance has been bypassed. Indeed, so highly developed are the procedures that Bentley's engineers can put the Bentley Continental Flying Spur through a real world crash test with great confidence that the result will vary in no major way from those predicted in the virtual world.

Nevertheless it should be understood that DCA, as with all virtual design work, will never replace real world test procedures, nor was it ever designed to. Its role is simply to ensure that by the time these tests are conducted, the product is in as good a shape as possible to meet each new challenge.

To protect its occupants, the Continental Flying Spur is equipped with a full suite of safety equipment. There are two front airbags, four side thorax airbags for the front and rear-seats and full-length curtain bags that extend to the back of the cabin. Seat-belt pre-tensioners are used for all seats and a passenger occupant sensing system in the rear seats automatically raises the rear headrests to ensure the best possible protection against whiplash injuries.

It's not just the range of safety systems that protect the car's occupants, for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur's all-round abilities mean the driver is assured of having the performance to avoid many accidents in the first place. The all-wheel drive system offers major safety advantages not only in adverse road and weather conditions, while the latest traction, stability and brake control systems offer further opportunities to avert potential danger. Similarly the powerful 6.0-litre engine means outstandingly fast acceleration and a reduction in the time spent on the wrong side of the road during overtaking. To this end, the Continental Flying Spur is specified like no other four-door in the world.

Marketing

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur perfectly complements the existing range of Bentley models. The Continental GT continues to fulfil our customers' desire for a dynamic coupé that offers the very essence of Bentley: sporting prowess and Grand Touring performance. Similarly the Arnage range represents a unique proposition: the emotional purchase of a truly bespoke, hand-built and entirely individual limousine. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur will appeal to customers seeking a sumptuous four-door Grand Tourer sharing all the virtues of its coupé stablemate: high-performance, timeless design and superb craftsmanship.

Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen says the distinction between the new Continental Flying Spur and the Bentley Arnage range is simple:

"As Bentley Continental Flying Spur production begins, the Arnage will retain its true position as the most exclusive limousine in the world. If you work in a major capital city you might see a Continental Flying Spur a few times a month, but you will only come across an Arnage a few times a year. The Arnage will continue to be a bespoke car with real exclusivity."

"With the Bentley Continental Flying Spur we are opening our doors to new customers who value that unique combination of luxury, style, excitement and practicality. Nowhere else will they be able to enjoy a car that possesses all this as well as the dynamic qualities and power of the Continental GT coupé. The Continental Flying Spur promises a new motoring experience and we look forward to welcoming a new breed of discerning customers to our marque."

The business case for the new four-door is just as compelling. Bentley believes that by offering a car that appeals on both an emotional and rational level to customers it will fill a gap in the market that until this day remained empty. Bentleys are unique cars and the Continental Flying Spur holds a unique position in the market, above more commonplace saloons and below truly bespoke cars like the Arnage. Adrian Hallmark, member of the board, marketing, explains:

"We know there is a great market for a car like this. Like the original Flying Spur, the new Bentley is also purposely positioned as a premium product above a crowded market. When asking our future customers about their needs they were very clear - performance and luxury, style and practicality, inspiration and solidity, excitement and safety. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is our response to their 'no compromise' attitude, and our desire to further the Bentley story."

Bentley is confident that although the production of the new Continental Flying Spur will naturally increase annual sales volumes, the exclusivity of marque's brand will be retained - a factor that has been crucial to its mystique since its beginning in 1919. In the 85 years since, the marque has built a heritage and authenticity based upon its understanding of its customers and the passion for what it does. Whether competing at Le Mans, creating bespoke cars for loyal clients, or introducing new members to the exclusive Bentley family, it has always been done in a manner that echoes the spirit of its founder W.O. Bentley. To that purpose, every Bentley customer will still experience the most personal treatment from his local dealer right up to the factory gates at Crewe where they can come and watch their car being built.

Conclusion

The introduction of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur marks the next step in the revival of Britain's most revered automotive marque. Following on from the hugely successful launch of its sister car, the Continental GT coupé, this stunning new car will change people's perceptions of what performance, comfort and style from a four-door grand tourer means.

And the unveiling of the Continental Flying Spur is not the end of the story. Bentley remains committed to a thrilling future model programme, one that will reflect the core values of the company, ensuring its public perception is not diluted by over-production or unnecessary niche products.

"The purity of our brand is in clear focus now," says Adrian Hallmark, member of the board, marketing. "We can behave as an independent company because the economics of our business plan are sound and we don't have to compromise our products because of short-term financial decisions. We are that rare thing in the British automotive world - a car company that is expanding and we have done so by producing models that appeal to a demanding and growing customer group.

"Our aim is to restore Bentley to the position it once owned - the creator of definitive British Grand Tourers - and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is our next step in the fulfilment of that ambition."

Air Pollution Facts


Here is an account of the adverse air pollution effects, and what you can do to protect yourself against it.

Here are a few reports that have come out recently about the adverse effects of air pollution which will make you sit up and sniff the air around you apprehensively:
According to a study, living in a major city places people at a higher risk than living in the radioactive zone in Chernobyl.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2 million premature deaths are caused each year due to air pollution in cities across the world.
A recent study has revealed that exposure to fine particle matter in polluted air increases the risk of hospitalization due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
According to a German study, people who breathe in the fumes of heavy traffic regularly have higher chances of getting hardening of the arteries, which is associated with the risk of heart attack.
A Scottish study has shown that jogging with traffic around results in reduced blood flow to the heart. This is particularly dangerous for people with stable heart disease, because it can trigger off cardiac arrhythmia or even a heart attack.
According to a study conducted on eight-year-olds in Mexico City, being exposed for a long time to high levels of polluted air reduces lung function and growth in children.
According to a 20-year study conducted on the residents of Los Angeles, it has been shown that the adverse effects of air pollution have been grossly underestimated. The researchers opine that chronic health problems due to particulate matter in the air may be double or even triple times greater than the estimates available currently.
So what is air pollution and why is it so harmful? Air pollution is caused when it gets filled with too much gases, particulate matter, and droplets of liquid. In cities, the air gets polluted by the exhaust fumes of vehicles, along with the pollutants given off by construction work and industry. In the country, the dust given off by tractors working on fields, vehicles being driven on gravel or dirt tracks, smoke given off by crop and wood being burnt, and work carried out in rock quarries, are some of the causes of air pollution.

Another major air pollutant in cities is ozone that occurs at ground level. Ozone forms when nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons react with sunlight. However, not everything about ozone is bad. In fact, its presence in the upper atmosphere is beneficial because it keeps out harmful ultra-violet rays, which is one of the major causes of skin cancer. Ozone only becomes problematic when it occurs near the ground where it can be inhaled. When inhaled, ozone causes reduced lung capacity, choking, and coughing.

When the air is polluted, it causes irritation of the throat, lungs and eyes. Some of the common symptoms are: a burning sensation in the eyes, tightness in the chest, and coughing. It exacerbates respiratory conditions like emphysema and asthma, and reduces the body’s capacity to fight off infections of the respiratory system. Also, people afflicted with heart disease, like angina, are usually very sensitive to air pollution. People who exercise outdoors are also susceptible to the symptoms of air pollution, because it involves deeper and faster breathing.

In fact, polluted air is particularly detrimental to those who have lung and/or heart disease. When the pollution levels become very high, it can lead to them having to curtail their activities and even result in hospitalization. Severe air pollution has even been known to cause death in the recent past. However, such high levels of pollution are now not as common in the US.

Another group that is susceptible to the effects of air pollution is children. When they live in areas that have high levels of pollution, children tend to be prone to illnesses like earaches and bronchitis.

Although some groups of people feel the effects of air pollution more acutely, one of the positive factors is that when there is an improvement in the quality of air, the symptoms caused by air pollution are quickly alleviated for most people who are healthy.

The long-term effects of being exposed to low air pollution levels are still being studied.

Here are some of the ways you can prevent the harmful effects of air pollution affecting you and your family:
Try staying indoors as much as possible in the daytime. Usually the air indoors is less polluted than outdoors.
If you cannot avoid going outside, try to do it in the early morning or after sunset. This is particularly important when there are high levels of ozone, which is usually the case in many big cities, because sunshine triggers off the creation of ozone.
When the pollution levels are high, try not to exert yourself. The harder you breathe, the more polluted air you inhale into your lungs.
The above steps should be enough to protect you against air pollution if you are healthy. However, in case you work or live near some source of pollution, or if you are afflicted with chronic lung or heart problem, it is best to seek medical advice on the best ways to deal with it.

Muhammad Ali's legendary trainer, Angelo Dundee, dead at 90


Mastermind of the "rope a dope' strategy ... legendary trainer Angelo Dundee.
Angelo Dundee, the renowned trainer who guided Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard to boxing glory, died Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. He was 90.
His death was announced by his son, Jimmy, The Associated Press said.

In more than 60 years in professional boxing, Dundee gained acclaim as a brilliant cornerman, whether healing cuts, inspiring his fighters to battle on when they seemed to be reeling or adjusting strategy between rounds to counter an opponent's style.



Muhammad Ali has his hands bandaged by his manager Angelo Dundee in 1963"In that one minute, Angelo is Godzilla and Superman rolled into one," Dr Ferdie Pacheco, who often worked with Dundee and then became a TV boxing analyst, once remarked.
"You come back to the corner and he'll say, 'The guy's open for a hook, or this or that,"' Ali told The New York Times in 1981. "If he tells you something during a fight, you can believe it. As a cornerman, Angelo is the best in the world."
Dundee's first champion was Carmen Basilio, the welterweight and middleweight titleholder of the 1950s from upstate New York. Although best remembered for Ali and Leonard, he also trained the light-heavyweight champion Willie Pastrano, the heavyweight titleholder Jimmy Ellis and the welterweight champion Luis Rodriguez. Dundee advised George Foreman when he regained the heavyweight title at age 45. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.







Angelo Dundee (r) celebrates as Cassius Clay [Muhammed Ali] is lifted off the ring floor after beating Sonny Liston in 1964.Born Angelo Mirena, a Philadelphia native and the son of a railroad worker, he became Angelo Dundee after his brother, Joe, fought professionally under the name Johnny Dundee, in tribute to a former featherweight champion, and another brother, Chris, also adopted the Dundee name.After working as a cornerman at military boxing tournaments in England while in the Army Air Forces during World War II, Dundee served an apprenticeship at Stillman's Gym near the old Madison Square Garden in New York, learning his craft from veteran trainers like Ray Arcel, Charley Goldman and Chickie Ferrara. In the early 1950s, he teamed with his brother Chris to open the Fifth Street gym in Miami Beach, Florida. It became their longtime base, Angelo as a trainer and Chris as a promoter.In the late 1950s, Dundee gave some tips to a promising amateur heavyweight named Cassius Clay, and in December 1960, after Clay's first pro bout, Dundee became his trainer, working with him in Miami Beach. He guided him to the heavyweight title with a knockout of Sonny Liston in February 1964.

Angelo Dundee with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987.
In his memoir, Dundee said that he and Ali "had this special thing, a unique blend, a chemistry.""I never heard anything resembling a racist comment leave his mouth," he said. "There was never a black-white divide."Dundee knew all the tricks in the boxing trade, and then some.When Ali — or Clay, as was still known at the time — sought to regain his senses after being knocked down by Henry Cooper in the fourth round of their June 1963 bout, Dundee stuck his finger in a small slit that had opened in one of Ali's gloves, making the damage worse. Then he brought the badly damaged glove to the referee's attention. Dundee was told that a substitute glove wasn't available, and the few seconds of delay helped Clay recover. He knocked Cooper out in the fifth round.In the hours before Ali fought Foreman in Zaire in 1974 — the Rumble in the Jungle — Dundee noticed that the ring ropes were sagging in the high humidity. He used a razor blade to cut and refit them so they were tight, enabling Ali to bounce off them when Foreman unleashed his "anywhere" punches from all angles. Ali wore Foreman out, hanging back with the "rope-a-dope" strategy Ali undertook on his own, and he went on to win the bout.Dundee became Leonard's manager and cornerman when he turned pro in 1977. He taught Leonard to snap his left jab rather than paw with it and guided him to the welterweight championship with a knockout of Wilfred Benitez in 1979.Roberto Duran captured Leonard's title on a decision in June 1980, but Leonard won the rematch in November when Dundee persuaded him to avoid a slugfest and instead keep Duran turning while slipping his jabs. A thoroughly beaten Duran quit in the eighth round, uttering his inglorious "no mas."Dundee enjoyed chatting with reporters — he called himself a "mixologist" — and he tried to "blend" with his fighters, creating a rapport rather than imposing himself on them.In talking about his boxing savvy, he liked to say "when I see things through my eyes, I see things.""When Dundee speaks, traditional English usage is, to say the least, stretched and malapropisms abound," Ronald K. Fried wrote in "Cornermen: Great Boxing Trainers.""Yet the language is utterly original and Dundee's own — and it conveys exactly what Dundee knows in his heart."After retiring from full-time training, Dundee had stints in boxing broadcasting. He taught boxing technique to Russell Crowe for his role as the 1930s heavyweight champion Jimmy Braddock in the 2005 Hollywood movie "Cinderella Man."A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.Dundee once remarked: "I'm not star quality. The fighter is the star."But he took pride in his craft. As he put it: "You've got to combine certain qualities belonging to a doctor, an engineer, a psychologist and sometimes an actor, in addition to knowing your specific art well. There are more sides to being a trainer than those found on a Rubik's Cube."
George Foreman is tended to by Angelo Dundee in 1991.
Dundee avoided the temptation to tamper with the brilliance of his young and charismatic fighter, and he used a bit of psychology in honing his talents."I never touched that natural stuff with him," Dundee recalled in his memoir, My View From the Corner, written with Bert Randolph Sugar. "However, training Cassius was not quite the same as training another fighter. Some guys take direction and some don't, and this kid had to be handled with kid gloves. So every now and then I'd subtly suggest some move or other to him, couching it as if it were something he was already doing. I'd say something like: 'You're getting that jab down real good. You're bending your knees now and you're putting a lot of snap into it.' Now, he had never thrown a jab, but it was a way of letting him think it was his idea, his innovation."When Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali soon after winning the heavyweight title, his boxing management and financial affairs were handled by the Nation of Islam. Dundee was the only white man in his camp, and he grew disturbed over references to that fact.




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