Comfort and Luxury: Embrace the Journey, Not Just the Destination

Posted June 19, 2023 in Auto by Ashleigh King

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Driving the majestic Cullinan has always been a kind of unlikely intersectional experience of automotive performance and hospitality: signature ease-of-driving Rolls-Royce engineering meets the feeling that you are piloting an exceptionally crafted five-star hotel suite. That essence is made even more profound by the recent addition of bespoke “Recreation Modules” as an option for the luxury SUV. Back cargo areas of the Cullinan can be equipped with custom-designed, motorized 1.695 cubic-foot (48-liter) drawers that retract seamlessly and securely into the vehicle’s luggage area, outfitted with the necessary high-end accouterments for nearly any activity: fly-fishing, snowboarding, photography, on-the-road mixology, mobile DJ’ing, you name it. Moreover, a customer can commission multiple modules for all of their hobbies and easily switch them in or out as needed or remove the module altogether to maximize storage capacity. After a day of wafting along to the Cullinan’s effortless 6.7-liter V12 power plant, a quick sundowner at a roadside vista sounds like a perfect end to the day.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

One of the most unexpected notes we are hearing from European test drivers of the ID. Buzz is the vehicle’s superior comfort – especially compared to the nuts-and-bolts “peace-mobiles” of the 1960s and 70s to which it presents a modern, all-electric homage. Powered by an edgy 150kW (201hp, approximately) electric motor with a maximum torque of 229 lb-ft, the new ID. Buzz will almost certainly pack more power than the sewing machine-inspired 1,192cc, 30hp flat-four of the original VW buses, but cast into the spectrum of modern mobility, it still won’t be overly awe-inspiring (a leisurely 0 to 62mph slog of 10.2 seconds). However, with seating typically for five and a respectable 263-mile range between charges, you can see that it makes a case for itself on efficiency. Plus, the ID. Buzz’s passenger comfort features all revolve around appropriate modern technology. Expect 10-color ambient interior lighting, state-of-the-art software and a full menu of digital driver assistance technologies. All touch-and-feel comforts are equally cutting-edge and sustainable: synthetic, non-animal, and often recycled materials instead of leather – particularly in the ArtVelours “ECO” seat covers that are made from 71 percent recovered materials. If your journey is indeed more important to you than where you are going, the ID. Buzz may not get you there ahead of schedule, but it will undoubtedly provide you with a journey met by many smiling faces.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class 580e Hybrid


For sedan seaworthiness, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has served as a ne plus ultra example of interior comfort, down to a regulated automatic cabin scent system that can relax you, invigorate you, and everything in between. Now, in a recently announced plug-in version of the S-Class, you can experience the added “comfort” of having a smaller ecological footprint on your trips. The new S-Class hybrid offers a tempered hybrid combo of a three-liter, 367hp six-cylinder power plant paired with a 21.5Wh battery-powered permanent electric motor with a 148hp output (making for a total output of 510hp). But, the large battery and relatively robust battery power means that the car can often operate without engaging its traditional combustion engine at all. While the electric-only operational range for the S 580e 4MATIC might only be 62 miles, peak torque figures of 369 lb-ft and a top speed of 130mph indicate that Mercedes- Benz simply didn’t want to sacrifice any performance aspects of this flagship sedan to its alternative power source: 0 to 60mph in 5.1 seconds and all the interior comforts – like rear-seat calf massage and multi-stage interior lighting derived from the ultra-luxe Mercedes- Maybach S-Class – one would expect from MB’s winning top-of-the-line sedan.

Jaguar Limited Edition F-PACE SVR 1988


Jaguar’s unrivaled heritage a maker of eminently graceful sedans, may have slowly morphed recently into more focus on its pure sports cars and extraordinary stable of luxury crossovers, but fear not. Much of the stately performance/nimble handling of, say, an XJ saloon of old has found its way to the maker’s F-PACE SUV line, with the added comfort of space. The high-performance SVR Edition is an outstanding case-in-point: on the outside, expect racing-inspired and one-off bespoke elements like a Midnight Amethyst deep purple exterior paint and Champagne Gold alloy wheels and accents in the only 394 examples produced (to match up to the 394 laps completed by Jaguar’s winning team at Le Mans in 1988). It might at first seem odd to award this kind of special race-inspired detail to a luxury SUV, but consider the perfectly appropriate interior flourishes: open-pore carbon fiber finishers, semi-aniline ebony leather upholstery and exclusive Sunset Gold satin detailing across the dashboard, steering wheel spokes, gear shift paddles and the heated-and-cooled front performance seats. Given that, the race-honoring DNA also delivers a very nice bit of extra comfort oomph to long-haul trips, along with the capabilities of its blistering 5-liter V8 supercharged power plant. Limited to 349 editions.

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