Luxury

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24 : 08 : 22

McLaren’s latest hypercar first launched in a video game, fragrances for care-givers, and young renters feel the squeeze.

McLaren brings a video game hypercar to life

McLaren launches V10-powered single-seat Solus GT V10-powered single-seat Solus GT by McLaren, UK
McLaren launches V10-powered single-seat Solus GT V10-powered single-seat Solus GT by McLaren, UK
V10-powered single-seat Solus GT by McLaren, UK V10-powered single-seat Solus GT by McLaren, UK

California – Luxury car-maker McLaren’s latest hypercar, the Solus GT, originally appeared in the racing simulation video game Gran Turismo in 2017. Since then, McLaren's design team have worked to recreate the digital vehicle in real life, elevating the craftsmanship of its signature hypercars to new heights.

With wide-set, enclosed wheels, a large rear wing and a distinctive carbon fibre cockpit-style design, the Solus GT was built with speed, downforce and lap records in mind. While the car itself weighs less than 1,000kg, it generates 1,200kg of downforce at full power due to its unique monocoque chassis.

Owners of the limited-edition track car – of which all 25 units have already been sold for more than £3m ($3.5m, €3.6m) – will also receive a travel case for the vehicle that is designed to transport the Solus to events around the world, many of which will be organised by McLaren specifically for Solus owners.

Demonstrating how gaming can be used to trial new products, McLaren is exploring a future in which items that are introduced in the virtual world can help shape future production models. With this in mind, the Solus GT represents a new direction for the mobility industry.

Strategic opportunity

How can luxury car-makers inspire greater audience engagement by using video games or the metaverse to release new products and trial potential models?

These micro-homes offer affordable solution to the housing crisis

Tigín Tiny Homes design by Common Knowledge, UK Tigín Tiny Homes design by Common Knowledge, UK
Tigín Tiny Homes design by Common Knowledge, UK Tigín Tiny Homes design by Common Knowledge, UK

Ireland – With property prices across Ireland rising at 11% a year, according to MyHome, social non-profit enterprise Common Knowledge has launched its Tigin Tiny Homes concept as an affordable solution to the growing housing crisis. The 20-square-metre micro-homes are built with natural materials including Margent Farm’s hemp cladding, cork insulation and natural rubber floor tiles.

Intended for people who are struggling to afford their own homes, they can either be bought ready-made or for self-assembly, with Common Knowledge offering to teach the skills necessary to complete construction. ‘The reality for a lot of people is that they can't afford a home that's actually ready to move into. They can only afford a home that needs a lot of work, and they can't afford to do that work and pay rent,’ says Harrison Gardner, co-founder of Common Knowledge. ‘The Tiny Home is filling this gap; people can use it for a year or two or three, while they work on their forever home.'

The project takes a proactive approach to the housing crisis, empowering young people with practical skills and solutions needed to get on the property ladder. Innovations for young home-buyers will continue to be a top priority for young consumers as they look to break out of being generation rent.

Strategic opportunity

What practical skills can you offer a generation struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder? Take a pragmatic approach that includes both education and real-life strategies

Functional fragrances designed for care-givers

Singapore – Artisanal perfume company Scent by Six has released a collection of functional fragrances designed for care-givers in collaboration with the non-profit organisation Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL).

The Care range aims to promote positive emotions and comprises three scents: Care to Focus, Care to Relax and Care to Sleep Better. The fragrances were created over a period of months in a series of workshops with the assistance of CAL's volunteer care-givers, who drew on their personal experiences to assist in formulating the items. Some of the sales proceeds will be donated to CAL so the organisation can continue offering training and support for care-giving staff experiencing mental health struggles.

By using ingredients with mental health benefits, the company is bringing attention to the emotional effort involved in caring for others. ‘Caring for a loved one or a friend with a mental health issue demands a lot from the care-giver. CAL provides support and resources to help care-givers cope with their situation and to prevent burnout,’ says Jason Lee, founder of Scent by Six.

Catering for a particular segment of society, these perfumes represent a new path for the fragrances market.

Scent by SIX fragrance mental health Hikaru and Sleep return Scent by SIX, Singapore
Fragrance mental health Scent by SIX, Singapore Hikaru and Sleep return Scent by SIX, Singapore

Strategic opportunity

Perfume companies should consider running workshops to create functional fragrances that cater for specific segments of the market

Stat: A growing number of under-30s are paying unaffordable rent

_Agrihood Santa Clara, US _Agrihood Santa Clara, US

Spiralling rental costs are affecting an increasing proportion of young people in the UK, with more than 40% of those under 30 now spending over a third of their earnings on rent. The figure represents a five-year high, and is up about five percentage points on 2019, according to research from property consultancy Dataloft.

While London still has the highest rents in the UK, the study found that the affordability crisis is also hitting other towns and cities including Rotherham, Bolton, Salford, Walsall and Dudley, showing that the problem is not exclusive to the capital. A shortage of suitable housing is forcing prospective tenants to offer more than the asking price for fear of missing out on a property, with rapidly rising rental costs adding more pressure to household finances already squeezed by soaring food and energy prices.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite and rental costs take an ever-larger chunk out of young people’s earnings, value offerings across other categories including food, beauty and fashion will become an increasingly important way to help people make ends meet.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how to support this generation as the squeeze on finances continues to tighten. Focus on offering ranges that maximise value without sacrificing quality

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