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All New Rolls-Royce Ghost: CEO’s Open Letter

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As the final preparations are being made for the reveal of the new updated Rolls-Royce Ghost, the marque’s Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, has prepared an open letter.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Torsten Muller-Otvos
Torsten Müller-Ötvös
Chief Executive Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

27th July 2020

Dear Reader,

The launch of a new Rolls-Royce is unquestionably an historic moment. However, presenting a new Ghost carries with it tremendous responsibility. Our new Ghost, which will debut in the Autumn, follows the first ever Goodwood Ghost, which, since its launch in 2009 has become the most successful model in the marque’s 116-year history. Indeed, such was its timeless appeal, it enjoyed a lifespan of more than a decade. A truly remarkable achievement.

As we reached the final development stages of this our new product, we were faced with the coronavirus pandemic. This invisible enemy cast a grave and stubborn shadow on the world. At Rolls-Royce, we kept our spirits up. With the utmost focus on the wellbeing of our people at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, and around the world, we carefully and responsibly continued work on finalising this remarkable motor car. The experience reminded us that Rolls-Royce, with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy at its prow, has endured with resilience and continues to serve as a symbol of ambition and endeavour.

To create a product that would resonate with our Ghost clients for the next ten years meant that we had to listen very carefully to their demands and desires. And we did so. They told us that they very much enjoyed Ghost’s versatility and breadth of character. It is a car they enjoyed driving themselves – or to be driven in should the occasion call for a chauffeur. They also appreciated the car’s pared-back simplicity, or as they put it, “a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce”. 

Going further, our clients expressed an ardent desire for even more minimalism in design. This demand resonated with findings of our Luxury Intelligence Unit and designers at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex who, for some years had been tracking an emerging contemporary movement within a particular layer of luxury consumers, which included our Ghost clients, and which we called ‘Post Opulence’. We found that these clients are showing a marked tendency towards luxury objects that celebrate reduction and restraint – that don’t shout, but rather, whisper. They are seeking design purity by rejecting obvious and unnecessary embellishments and overt complication. To complement this minimalism, our Ghost clients require innovative but effortless technology and real engineering substance in their car.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Silhoutte

Of course, there will always be a place in this world, and at Rolls-Royce, for items and products of opulence that express the very best of human endeavour, inspire greatness and present a sense of theatre and magic. But we at Rolls-Royce remain alert for any signs of a recalibration of need within layers of the global luxury marketplace.

And so, five years ago, we set about the creation of our new Ghost. And such was the task that the only components we deemed fit to carry over were the Spirit of Ecstasy and umbrellas. Everything else is entirely new. The car has been designed, engineered, and crafted from the ground up at our Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex, to answer the express wishes and desires of a post-opulent group of clients.

Ghost is the purest expression of Rolls-Royce yet. It distils the pillars of our brand into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with our Ghost clients’ needs and, I believe, perfectly in tune with the times in which we are all living.  

Rolls-Royce will always continue driving forward. Our company will be neither defined nor limited by the temporary constraints of the times. We will continue planning for a better tomorrow with positivity and hope, striving for perfection and producing powerful symbols that inspire greatness and ambition.

In this spirit, we invite you to experience our new Ghost in the next few months. More details of this historic moment will follow over the coming weeks, beginning with a series of four beautiful animations, detailing rare insights into the lifestyles and behaviour of our Ghost client layer, and the tremendous technical substance underpinning what we believe is the most sublime expression of Rolls-Royce yet. These informative pieces will culminate in a fully digital debut of new Ghost to be followed by numerous client, media and public events around the world. 

Thank you. 

Stay Safe and Keep Your Spirits Up!

Torsten Müller-Ötvös
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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Luxury Cars

Bugatti Bolide Revealed: Brand’s Most Extreme Track-Focused Hyper Sports Car

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Bugatti has revealed their most extreme hypercar concept to date – the Bugatti Bolide, boasting a weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg per PS and a top speed in excess of 310 mph.
The Bugatti Bolide concept hyper sports car. Credit: Bugatti
The Bugatti Bolide concept hyper sports car. Credit: Bugatti

A week ago, Bugatti started teasing an incoming new reveal, which we now know to be the extreme lightweight Bugatti Bolide.

Throwing around the question, “What if we developed an extreme, track-focused only hyper sports car?” Bugatti’s design team fast set about answering their own question in the form of an experimental study.

Bugatti Bolide Hypercar Garage Side View
The Bolide is a track-focused only experimental study. Credit: Bugatti

“We are perpetually aiming for new and exciting goals, and the question that we always keep in mind is: what if?” shared Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “We asked ourselves how we could realise the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats. Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball.”

The Bolide is powered by a modified 8-liter W16 engine. Credit: Bugatti
The Bolide is powered by a modified 8-liter W16 engine. Credit: Bugatti

Taking inspiration from historic X-Planes like the Bell X-1 jet flown by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager in 1974 (the first person to break the sound barrier at Mach 1.06), the Bugatti Bolide is an ultra-sporty vehicle with distinct “X” references throughout the design.

Inspired by the Bell X-1 jet with "X" references throughout. Credit: Bugatti
Inspired by the Bell X-1 jet with “X” references throughout. Credit: Bugatti

Like previous Bugatti models, the design team have once again applied its iconic color split to the Bolide with the lower half in exposed carbon (increased to 60% of the vehicle) and the remaining 40% painted in historic French Racing blue.

Featuring a modified version of Bugatti’s iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine, the Bolide is a track-focused hyper sports car with a stripped-down body for maximum downforce and an optimized gearbox for higher engine speeds.

Bugatti's most extreme, lightweight vehicle concept in modern times. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti’s most extreme, lightweight vehicle concept in modern times. Credit: Bugatti

Considered Bugatti’s most extreme, fasted, and lightest vehicle concept to date, the Bugatti Bolide boasts a weight-to-power ratio of 0.67kg per PS, made possible by the combination of the W16 engine with 1,850 PS and Bolide’s vehicle weight of 1,240 kilograms (as a comparison Koenigsegg’s One:1 power-to-weight ratio is 1,360 PS to 1360 kg for a 1:1 ratio).

Bugatti Bolide Hypercar Track Side View
Weight-to-power ratio 0.67kg per PS. Credit: Bugatti

“In my 16 years at Bugatti, I have never worked on a more extreme concept,” says Achim Anscheidt, Director of Design at Bugatti. “The design of the Bolide is radically tailored to the idea of lightweight construction, and the design principle therefore follows on from the overriding goal of achieving a fascinating weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kilograms per PS.

“It is the very first time that my team had the freedom of creating an absolutely minimalistic design around the W16 engine. The result is the most provocative proportion of a modern Bugatti ever and the distilled quintessence of our Bugatti design ethos that form follows performance,”

Continuing Bugatti's track racing legacy. Credit: Bugatti
Continuing Bugatti’s track racing legacy. Credit: Bugatti

To achieve a lighter bodyweight for the Bolide, Bugatti has completely overhauled the materials and production processes used, beginning with the screws and fastening elements made entirely out of titanium and 3D printed aerospace titanium alloy components.

Exterior carbon components have increased to 60%. Credit: Bugatti
Exterior carbon components have increased to 60%. Credit: Bugatti
The Bugatti Bolide focuses on performance and does away with some of the familiar "luxuries". Credit: Bugatti
The Bugatti Bolide focuses on performance and does away with some of the familiar “luxuries”. Credit: Bugatti

“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements,” explained Stefan Ellrott, member of the Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development. “Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data. The result: the smallest possible shell for a breathtaking performance vehicle that allows the W16 to truly come into its own.”

Currently revealed as a vehicle concept, no price has been announced yet, and it remains to be seen whether the Bugatti Bolide with go into series production in the future.

Bugatti Bolide Hypercar Track Aerial Diagonal View
Bugatti Bolide Hypercar Track Stripes

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Multi-Million Dollar Elkhart Car Collection To Be Auctioned

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Over 240 cars from the single-owner Elkhart Collection will be auctioned this weekend almost entirely without reserve by RM Sotheby’s.
Elkhart Collection RM Sothebys
The Elkhart Collection will take place 23-24 October 2020. Credit: RM Sotheby’s

There’s not a whole lot of car collections that break the 200 count and even less that come up for auction, so you can imagine the Elkhart Collection will pique the interest of avid car collectors and enthusiasts in general.

Named “The Elkhart Collection” by RM Sotheby’s who are the auction house behind the sale, the event was originally announced in January 2020 and scheduled to take place 1-2 May in Elkhart, Indiana. In light of global events, it was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and rescheduled to 23-24 October 2020.

Elkhart Collection 2006 Ford GT Heritage
2006 Ford GT Heritage up for auction. Credit: RM Sotheby’s

Offered almost entirely without reserve, the single-owner collection of over 240 vehicles is the result of decades of careful collecting and showcases a tremendous range of marques, led in by Jaguar, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Ford, Ferrari, and more.

Top-value highlights include an exceptionally rare, Jet Age designed 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia, delivered initially to famed General Motors designer Henry S. Lauve; a striking 1969 Lamborghini Miura upgraded to SV specification; a beautifully restored 1964 Aston Martin DB5 upgraded to Vantage specification; and a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Continuation, “car zero” built to 1963 specification for 2016 after which six more were constructed by Jaguar Classic, this one being the global press car prior to delivery.

A restored 1968 Iso Grifo GL Series I is yet another highlight, tastefully upgraded to the ultimate ‘7-Litri’ specification, alongside a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Roadster.

Elkhart Collection 1993 Jaguar XJ220
1993 Jaguar XJ220 will attract the attention of a few. Credit: RM Sotheby’s

“The quality of the cars and the way that the Elkhart Collection has been maintained and looked after is incredible,” says Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “The building that they’ve been housed in is much more than a storage facility and has been designed specifically for the care of collector cars. More than ever, it’s true to say that there is quite literally something for anyone in the collector car hobby within this group of cars, from microcars, to classics, 50s and 60s sports cars, the modern era, and beyond. If there’s something you like, you’ll likely find it in the Elkhart Collection. These cars are all great examples of their kind, meticulously chosen for the collection, and we’re excited to bring them to market almost entirely without reserve for an auction the entire hobby can enjoy.”

RM Sothebys Elkhart Collection
A few of the Elkhart Colleciton up for offer. Credit: RM Sotheby’s

Cars in the collection range in value from $10,000 through to the multi-million-dollar mark and represent nearly every category within the collector car market. Additional cars on offer range from a London-to-Brighton veteran and still-eligible 1903 Clement 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau, to the Classic Era beauty of a genuine factory-supercharged 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged ‘Sportsman’ Cabriolet, and the unmistakable tailfins of a Hampton Green 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. The spirited microcar era is led by a rare 1960 FMR Tg 500 ‘Tiger’ and modern supercars are represented by a low-mileage 1993 Jaguar XJ220 and a 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition owned from new by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.

Elkhart Collection 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S by Bertone
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S by Bertone. Credit: RM Sothebys

Aside from the four-wheeled vehicles, the collection includes more than 30 motorcycles, a wooden triple-cockpit boat, an assortment of trucks, trailers, and equipment, alongside memorabilia such as children’s pedal cars, neon signs, and a variety of collectibles appealing to automotive collectors.

The auction follows in the footsteps of nearly 40 successful single owner private collection sales held by RM Sotheby’s over the years (an industry record), including the offering of The Guyton Collection, The Sáragga Collection, and The Taj Ma Garaj Collection in 2019 alone.

Elkhart Collection 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale
The eye-catching 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale up for auction. Credit: RM Sotheby’s

While live attendance to the 23 – 24 October auction has now been sold out, remote bidding is still available for those looking to add something new to their garage.

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SSC Tuatara Is World’s “Fastest Production Vehicle” With Top Speed of 316 MPH

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North American SSC Tuatara hypercar has claimed the title of the world’s “Fastest Production Vehicle” with an average top speed of 316.11 mph.
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Driving Front Side
The SSC Tuatara is the world’s fastest production car. Credit: SCC North America

It wasn’t long ago that Koenigsegg set the world record for the fastest production vehicle with their Agera RS and then Bugatti with the Bugatti Chiron, but now the American built SSC Tuatara hypercar by SSC North America has broken the current record for the world’s fastest production vehicle with a blistering average top speed of 316.11mph.

SSC Tuatara Fastest Car Record Attempt Rear View
Checking over the SSC Tuatara. Credit: SCC North America

Driven by 29-year-old British professional racing driver Oliver Webb, the record-breaking drive took place on October 10 on a seven mile stretch of Route 160 outside of Las Vegas, using the first production SSC Tuatara owned by Philadelphian based Larry Caplin.

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Oliver Webb
British race driver Oliver Webb getting ready to break records. Credit: SSC North America

Originally planned to run in November 2019, the record-breaking attempt had to be rescheduled to March after running into problems with shutting down the highway. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the record-breaking attempt was delayed once again.

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Oliver James Webb Shelby
Going over final details with SSC CEO Jerod Shelby. Credit: SSC North America

Pushing the SSC Tuatara to an average speed of 316.11 mph (508.73 km/h), Webb completed the two consecutive high-speed tests needed to set the world record for World’s Fastest Production Vehicle”.

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Driving
The SSC Tuatara set an average time of 316 mph over two runs. Credit: SSC North America

The first run was completed in a time of 301.07 mph (484.53 km/h) in one direction before the second was completed in the opposite direction in an even faster time of 331.15 mph (532.93 km/h).

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Run Las Vegas Nevada Speed
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Driving Side View

To set an official record, the two runs had to be completed within an hour, and officials were on-site to confirm the record (using Dewetron GPS to track speeds using an average of 15 satellites).

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Driving Side

“It’s been ten years since we held this record with our first car, the Ultimate Aero, and the Tuatara is leagues ahead. Its performance reflects the dedication and focus with which we pursued this achievement,” said Jerod Shelby, CEO of SSC North America. “We came pretty close to meeting the theoretical numbers, which is astonishing to do in a real world setting on a public road. America’s new claim to victory in the ‘land-based space race’ is going to be tough to beat.”

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Oliver James Webb
Oliver Webb after the final run.

“There was definitely more in there. And with better conditions, I know we could have gone faster,” said Oliver Webb, who piloted the record run. “As I approached 331 mph, the Tuatara climbed almost 20 mph within the last five seconds. It was still pulling well. As I told Jerod, the car wasn’t running out of steam yet. The crosswinds are all that prevented us from realizing the car’s limit.”
Founded by Jerod Shelby in 1998 in Richland, WA, SSC North America is the American hypercar company that also created the Ultimate Aero, a model that previously held the “Fastest Production Car” record from 2007 – 2010 with a speed of 256.14 mph and is the basis for the SSC Tuatara.

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Results

“We validate our engineering by building a car capable of going 330 mph,” shared Shelby on the day of the speed run. “We validate our passion by accomplishing this, despite years of setbacks and challenges. And we validate our values by making sure Oliver’s safety was the first and foremost important goal of the day.”

“We see ourselves as a piece of history that we hope inspires others to break their own boundaries,” says Shelby. “The only way we got to where we are today is by breaking our own. Accomplishing a feat of engineering that pushes the limits of a road-legal car by a margin this large is both exciting and inconceivable, even to me. We are entering a time where we are no longer faced by the limit of machines, but by the human factor.”

SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Jerod Shelby Oliver Webb 316 mph
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Team
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Jerod Shelby Oliver Webb Run
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Jerod Shelby
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Engine
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Steering Wheel
SSC Tuatara Fastest Hypercar Record Attempt Doors Up

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