It's the most fun that affluent car enthusiasts can have with their Polos on. It is the high point of the summer for the Bugatti set. It's this weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on California's Monterey Peninsula, where a few thousand very affluent people stroll the Pebble Beach golf course to ogle a couple hundred collector cars and motorcycles. It should be noted that there's a lot to see and do that doesn't cost a penny, such as Thursday's Tour d'Elegance where beautiful cars drive the roads of Pebble Beach and Carmel. But if you want a seat at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club, you’d better pony up.
But it's not just about the Ruxton over there, or the the Ferrari Testa Rossa you're leaning on. It's also a stage for luxury brands who show up to tout their marque, their current lineup, special editions, concepts, and technical innovations. Infiniti, Lexus and Land Rover Jaguar are the biggies this year.
Infiniti, in addition to returning as sponsor of the Media Center for the week leading up to Sunday’s show, will field an Infiniti Performance Pavilion. The brand’s hub for ride-and-drives, it also features an interactive experiential element via a partnership with The Enthusiast Network (TEN) and Microsoft.
The effort, which touts Infiniti’s 560-hp concept sport sedan, and the Q50 Eau Rouge, has Xbox driving simulators running Microsoft’s “Forza 5” driving game, customized to feature the Eau Rouge, with the idea that visitors can test their skills on the world’s most famous racetracks without actually risking themselves or the car.
The pavilion will also have Microsoft Surface tablets running a product video app and 360-degree views into Infiniti vehicle interiors and exteriors. Through Saturday this week, Infiniti's exhibition will let visitors take the Q50 sports sedan and QX60 Hybrid 7-passenger crossover for a spin. The Nissan Motor luxury division will also show the 2015 Q70L sedan and QX80 Limited full-size SUV.
Via the TEN partnership, Infiniti will get traction on Motor Trend’s “Wide Open Throttle” YouTube channel, via live tapings at the pavilion featuring VIP guests. The episodes, starting Thursday, highlight the week’s automotive news both at Monterey and elsewhere, starting Thursday.
Lexus is taking over Pete Hay Hill during the show to introduce a premium vehicle trim called The Crafted Line by Lexus, characterized by white and obsidian exterior mated to a black/red two-tone interior. People (of means) who buy the 2015 limited-edition trim, available in its Sport models, also get a two-piece duffel bag set form lifestyle, travel and business accessory brand TUMI, which created the custom bags to complement The Crafted Line.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is a regular at Pebble Beach, is debuting new products and, by extension, the new Special Operations division that developed them. One, a global debut, is the 550hp Range Rover Sport SVR. The others are a U.S. production version of the Jaguar F-Type Project 7, and the prototype of of a Lightweight E-Type -- of which only six customer cars will be built, per the automaker.
The vehicles will be unveiled at Jaguar Land Rover's Pebble Beach Concours kickoff party on Thursday at the Pebble Beach and Tennis Club. On Friday, at the famed "The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering" at the golf club, the automaker will show its Land Rover model line-up, focusing on the Range Rover Sport SVR, the Range Rover Long-wheelbase, and the Range Rover Evoque Autobiography. Jaguar will feature its full model line-up at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway during the weekend.