Wednesday, January 30, 2013

David Gandy Drives: Mercedes SLS AMG Coupé

Gandy Drives: Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe

30 January 2013


As I parked the SLS on my street, flipped open the Gullwing door and got out doing my best Marty McFly impression, a young boy holding his dad's hand walked by. Staring open-mouthed at gorgeous dark Monaco blue car, the child tugged at the bottom of his father's jacket and quietly said, "Dad, it's Batman!"Now I'm not suggesting that the young boy thought I was Christian Bale, nor am I criticising his car knowledge in mistaking my car for Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini Aventador. Merely that, for me, this is the reason for choosing an SLS over its super-car rivals: it will make you look, and feel, like you are driving the Batmobile. Nothing more to be said! End of discussion! But in the interests of balanced reviewing, here are my thoughts on the car for any budding Batmen…


Design


In short, simply stunning. The SLS doesn't make you look back just once after you've parked, it makes you look back until it's out of sight. I often find people standing around the car having their pictures taken. The chassis takes the finest design elements of the classic 300SL and gives them a modern interpretation. Then again, not everyone likes someone with a car that gets this amount of attention. Correction: Audi drivers don't like it. They wont let you out of junctions or lane change and will always attempt to race you. One such gentleman once deliberately drove into my car.It's a very wide car, so not ideal for London or British country lanes. Each width restriction barrier really is a clenched buttock cheeks, eyes closed moment.

Gullwing Doors

The reason this car is so unique and of course the main element that links it to the Fifties original. In reality they're hugely practical. They open up, not out, therefore only needing 30-something centimetres of space.The theatre of opening them up and climbing out never gets boring. The only drawback? Shorter people can't reach to close them. I've suggested electronic doors to Mercedes. Imagine pressing the key fob and the doors unlock and open while you walk up to the car. Please make this happen, Mercedes. Please, please, please

The engine


The SLS offers the best sounding V8 in the world, both stationery and at full throttle. (Sorry Aston and Ferrari.) It sounds like your very own Spitfire. It scares small children and the elderly. It almost insults your senses. To use full throttle in this car you either have to be slightly unhinged or be having a really, really bad day. Fuel-wise, a constant 75mph journey the SLS can return 25mpg - although on anything other than a constant 75mph run, it can return anything south of 12mpg

The interior


Surprisingly practical.  The boot is a good size and in the coupé you have the shelf behind the seats.  Can easily be packed for a week away, not just a weekend. The ergonomics are superb ergonomics. Every control is within a fingertip reach/ The cons? It's not quite special enough. At this price it needs to feel bespoke or handmade, but instead it feels more like a regular E-Class. I've also never been able to get used to difficult-to-use COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data system) rotary wheel/joystick.  A touch screen would be much quicker and intuitive. On the other hand, optional sports seats are the best seats in any car I have ever driven. I've experienced 300 mile trips without backache. I'm thinking of getting them for my living room.

Ride/Handling


The exploitable chassis is an absolute joy and feels like a larger, more powerful Lotus Elise. ESP and traction make the car virtually idiot proof (and more importantly, very safe) but can be turned down or off for the more advanced driver. The ride is hard but never uncomfortable and the SLS is versatile: this model can go from track car to long distance GT.The brakes are progressive and powerful. You don't think about them, you just know they are there when you need them…and you will!The steering and seats provide so much feedback, I now understand where the term "drive by the seat of your pants" comes from. Cons: as it's so low to the ground, the coupé  has a tendency to catch its nose on speed bumps and uneven surfaces, even at a snail's pace. What's more, this car will bite. Keep a change of underwear on hand if you're thinking about turning the ESP off. Brutal fun but slides are easy to catch and just about as much fun you can have with said pants on.

Gearbox

In full attack automatic mode, the SLS' gear box works well. However, it's slow witted and takes forever to engage from drive to reverse (and vice versa).In "C" mode the gearbox holds as high a gear as possible and is not intuitive. Go for a quick squeeze of the throttle at a roundabout or to overtake and the gearbox doesn't react. It's titanically slow, which can be dangerous.

Conclusion

Give me £160k to spend on a car at the moment and this would be it. Yes, there are a few cars that will handle better and are quicker around a track, but today on roads filled with traffic, not to mention more cameras than a Canon showroom, and you need more than just speed and handling from your ride. Enter the SLS. Opening the doors and getting in is an event (in fact it's an event to just approach this car!). There's an old school brutality, finesse and class that harks back to the Fifties, the era of the original 300SL. You never feel the crassness or slight embarrassment you feel when driving, say, a Ferrari or Aston along with various footballers or middle aged bankers. Every drive in this car feels like a privilege. The length of the bonnet, the doors and the engine noise all come together to make you feel that you are driving something very special. Is it too expensive? Yes. But that just cements it's uniqueness - you rarely see, never mind pass, another SLS on the road. If I bought this car it would stay in my family for the next 60 years, not just because we won't see another car of this calibre for a very long time, but simply because it's that special.

Monday, January 14, 2013

David Gandy on BBC Radio 5 Live Men's Hour (Audio)



Last night ( January 13, 2013) David Gandy along with Oliver Spencer and Johnny Vaughn discussed London Collections: Men, men's fashion & men's style in general with Tim Samuels.

Friday, January 11, 2013

David Gandy launches his fundraising 'Blue Steel Appeal' (New Pics)

David Gandy Launches Blue Steel Appeal


David Gandy is pouting, but for a good reason. Last night (January 8, 2013) during London Collections: Men David Gandy launched the Blue Steel Appeal, yup you guessed it, taken from Ben Stiller's memorable pouty pose in the film Zoolander. The Blue Steel Appeal is working in collaboration with Red Nose Day 2013, with proceeds going towards the Comic Relief charity. David has worked with Comic Relief in the past. He appeared in a sketch for the popular British show Absolutely Fabulous last year.

The first Blue Steel event will be a fashion auction hosted by ebay on March 7th. And here's the best part ladies, David will be auctioning off a date with himself! Get your wallets or bank accounts ready this one looks like it will be a fight or a bid to the finish.


 


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For years, hunky British model David Gandy tried to distance himself from the Ben Stiller comedy about male models; Zoolander - and refused to laugh at any jokes comparing him to the film’s clueless protagonist, Derek Zoolander. Now he’s had a change of heart and decided to embrace the joke and the comedy pouting at last.

David told at an event at menswear fashion week, that he has seen the film approximately 20 times, and it still makes him laugh. When asked if he’d be up for a cameo in Zoolander II (should it be made) he replied ‘I love to. As far as I know, there are no plans to make a sequel, but if they do, I’d love to be involved. Just get me and Ben Stiller in a room together and I’m sure we could make this happen’.

Why has he changed his mind? He is joining forces with the TV charity fundraisers, Comic Relief, heading up a committee of fashion people to raise money for the good causes supported by Red Nose Day.

Last Tuesday announced his new role as Red Nose Day's 2013 fashion ambassador (Friday March, 15). The model starts his new role with the launch of Blue Steel Appeal - a series of fashion events and initiatives that will take place throughout the coming year to raise money for charity Comic Relief. Its name is inspired by satirical fashion film Zoolander, which stars Ben Stiller as model Derek Zoolander - a man famous for his pouty pose, Blue Steel. To celebrate his newly appointed Red Nose crown, Gandy hosted a private screening of 'Zoolander' at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Gandy will head up a fashion committee to help support his future plans - including British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush, Vogue editor Dolly Jones, GQ editor Dylan Jones, Comic Relief marketing director Michelle Settle, model Poppy Delevingne, photographer Rankin, stylist and magazine editor Sophia Neophitou and co-founder of Select Model Management, Tandy Anderson.The first official 'Blue Steel' event will then be a fashion auction on eBay on March 7, whereby fashionistas can bid on a selection of money-can't-buy items and experiences, donated by brands and individuals.

Gandy first worked with Comic Relief two years ago when Brit designer Vivienne Westwood turned her talents to designing some very witty, and stylish, charity t-shirts for Red Nose Day in 2011.Inspired by 18th-century caricatures by Hogarth, Westwood designed comedy tees emblazoned with red-nosed portraits of Shakespeare and Blackadder which were worn by Laura Bailey, Pixie Lott, model Alek Wek, Helena Christensen and himself.



And last year, appearing in an Absolutely Fabulous sketch - also starring Kate Moss and Stella McCartney.

"Having seen first-hand the challenges people face in the UK and across the world, I wanted to do something to help," said Gandy. "After working briefly with Comic Relief on the Absolutely Fabulous sketch with Kate Moss and Stella McCartney last year, I decided to launch the Blue Steel Appeal to fundraise for Red Nose Day through fashion. I hope that the fashion industry will come together, have some fun, show off their best Blue Steel looks and raise money at the same time. There are truly wonderful people in the industry and it would be great to show the public the lighter side of what we do and encourage them to join us in fundraising. If we all rally together, I know we can really help a lot of people."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

David Gandy at the London Collections: Men A/W 2013 (Full Review - Day III)

LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN A/W 2013
Day 3 (January 9th, 2013)

09:00.- Christopher Raeburn (The Hospital Club: Show Space) 

David Gandy with Dylan Jonas

09:00.- J.W. Anderson: MEN (The Old Sorting Office) 


David Gandy & Sarah Ann Macklin

 15:00.- Katie Eary (The Hospital Club: Show Space) 


 19:30.- Sir Paul Smith, Tinie Tempah & Dylan Jones host a private dinner to celebrate London Collections: Men


22:00.- David Gandy and Sarah Ann Macklin at a private dinner hosted by Tom Ford to celebrate his runway show during London Collections MEN AW13 at Loulou's


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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

David Gandy at the London Collections: Men A/W 2013 (Full Review - Day II)

LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN A/W 2013
Day 2 (January 8th, 2013)

David Gandy interviewed by Linzi Boyd for SurgeryGroupTV




10:30.- Margaret Howell (Men's) (34 Wigmore Street) 


13:15.- Richard James Show (Cafe Royal) 

                                                                                                           Reggie Yates, David Gandy and Tinie Tempah

14:15.- Christopher Shannon (BFC Show Space) 


 15:00.- RAKE Salon Show (Tramp, 40 Jermyn St)


17:00.- Oliver Spencer (BFC Show Space) 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

David Gandy at the London Collections: Men A/W 2013 (Full Review - Day I)

LONDON Collections: Men began last Sunday and is becoming bigger than its hugely successful debut in June of last year. The British Fashion Council and London Collections: Men are taking over The Hospital Club in Covent Garden where with everything from runway shows and Designer Galleries to private showrooms and salons to lounges will be hosted there.




09:00 - 10:00.- Goodwood Sports & Racing by Belstaff 

12:00.- Topman Design (Topman Show Space)




13:00.- Lee Roach (The Old Sorting Office)


 After a hatless morning, this blog's favourite favourite subject - David Gandy, of course - suddenly slipped on a fedora for the Lou Dalton show. Indoor hat-wearing? What's all that about? Plus we hear from our Fulham spy that Gandy wears a flatcap inside his local pub too. At the Topman Design show (where that hat was still firmly on) we asked if the pub tip was on the money. "Absolutely," he said: "and I've got a cap for tonight. It's because I've got outrageously uncontrollable hair and now that people recognise me when I go out, if I can't be bothered to do it [tame his hair] it's cap on or hat on, a big chunky knit, and I'm good to go." So there you are. Luke Leitch, deputy fashion editor.


15:00.- MAN (Topman Show Space)

                                                                                                              David Gandy (L) and Oliver Cheshire
18:30.- Hackett London



The Prime Minister, David Cameron hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the official launch of London Collections: Men A/W 2013. Guests included the best of British designers, brand leaders from our most renowned fashion labels and some of fashion's key commentators.




David Gandy & Lisa Armstrong(Daily Telegraph)

18:30.- Tommy Hilfiger & Esquire Event




 (L) David Gandy & Oliver Cheshire and (R) with Ronnie Wood

 (L) Kimberley Wyatt, Max Rogers, David Gandy and Sarah Ann Macklin and 
(R) with Victoria Pendleton 

(L to R) Tommy Hilfiger, David Gandy, Ronnie Wood and Benedict Cumberbatch