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Bugatti Test Driver Andy Wallace Explains How to Use Your Chiron

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Bugatti’s official test driver Andy Wallace has been with the company since 2011 and now explains how to use your Chiron including the drive modes, launch control, and speed key.
Bugatti Chiron Test Driver Andy Wallace Explains How To Drive The Chiron

If there is anyone that knows a thing or two about the Bugatti Chiron and is qualified to explain its nuances, it’s Bugatti’s official test driver Andy Wallace. Having been with the company since 2011 he’s already covered 150,000 km’s in the Chiron over the last few years, taking the car through its paces in the testing phase as well as demonstrating to clients the full extent of its capabilities.

Bugatti Test Driver Andy Wallace

Before joining Bugatti, Wallace spent the last 30 years of his career racing around tracks as a professional race driver, competing in both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona a combined 21 times (taking home the winners trophy on four occasions) and driving the 12 Hours of Sebring 19 times (and winning twice).

Andy Wallace with Le Mans 2006 team mates
Andy Wallace with team mates at 24 Hours Le Mans 2006

When Bugatti was looking for an official test driver back in 2011, former race engineers remembered Andy Wallace as a reliable and precise driver.

 “Actually, when my racing career ended I thought that would be the end of me sitting in powerful cars. But then Bugatti came up with an offer I couldn’t refuse,” recalled Andy Wallace.  “I’ve been mad about cars since I was five years old. I watched my first race at the age of eight, and then I drove in races myself for 33 years. And now I have the opportunity to drive such fantastic cars, with all that incomparable acceleration incorporated into a true luxury car. As a racing driver, it goes without saying that I love speed and lateral forces.”

Nowadays, Wallace has by no means slowed down the pace – in fact he was the driver of the record-breaking Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ which was the first series-production car to break the elusive 300 mph barrier – hitting a top speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h).

Bugatti Test Driver Andy Wallace Drives The Record Breaking Chiron Sport 300+

So it seemed a no-brainer to have Andy Wallace share a few thoughts and tips around how to use the Chiron given his extensive experience in the car. Below are 5 short clips with a summarized version or reference purposes if you don’t have time to watch the videos.

Episode 1 – A Few Fast Facts About the Bugatti Chiron
  • The Chiron is powered by a large W16 8-liter engine capable of producing 1500hp. As it is so incredibly fast, it also needs massive brakes capable of bringing it to a halt safely
  •  The Chiron has four large turbochargers that take a while to spool up but the Chiron’s unique two-stage system activates by closing off two of the turbochargers at low RPM and forces 8 cylinders on each side through only two of the turbocharges – thus they spin up very quickly and you reach maximum boost with only two turbocharges. As the revs rise and you need more volume the other two are engaged
  • The Chiron needs 1000 liters of air a second for combustion
  • The forces acting on the wheel when the car is at top speed (420km/h) mean that the outer edge of the wheel is subjected to 3000x gravity, making a tiny valve cap that weighs 2.5grams is equivalent to 7.5kg at maximum speed
Episode 2 – The Interior of the Bugatti Chiron
  • Despite the staggering performance of the car it’s still designed to be comfortable and all materials used are high quality
  • The Chiron does not have a center screen but all of the information you would find there is included on the dashboard.
  • The aircon dials can display extra information regarding driving performance but need to be activated (and viewed preferably after driving for safety reasons)
Episode 3 – How to Use the Bugatti Chiron Drive Modes
  • There are three normal modes in the Bugatti Chiron plus the top speed mode
  • Bugatti Chiron EB Mode: Is the standard automatic driving mode that you can drive in all day long from 0 – 380 km/h but when you reach 180km/h it will automatically switch to the autobahn mode without you doing anything
  • Bugatti Chiron Autobahn Mode: The drive will drop the ride height and rake the car 20mm at the front and 1mm at the back. Suspension will be stiffer, steering program stiffer and the wing will deploy to 10 degrees. What that does is drop the center of gravity and gives you more downforce, more stability and sharpens the reaction of the controls
  • Bugatti Chiron Handling Mode: Even more downforce and more stability than the autobahn mode
Episode 4 – How to Use the Bugatti Chiron Launch Control
  • How to launch control in the Bugatti Chiron
  • Have the pressure on with your left foot on the brake and push the launch control button. Done.
Episode 5 – How to Use the Bugatti Chiron Speed Key
  • The Bugatti Chiron Speed Key lets you override the standard 380km/h top speed to achieve a maximum speed of 420km/h.
  • All you need to do is slot the key into the holder and turn the key. Once the Chiron has gone through a series of checks to make sure it is safe to drive 420km/h it will show a new top speed limit of 420km/h on the dash and you’re free to go.

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Ferrari XX Program For Select Owners Returns July

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Ferrari has announced the XX Program is back on track for a July start after the cancellation of earlier events at Monza, Shanghai and Suzuka this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles. Credit: Ferrari

With Formula 1 being canceled this year and only a lone Charles Leclerc driving the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale in recent days, both race fans and Ferrari owners alike have been starved of race action this year but for a few very lucky Ferrari owners it has been announced that the Ferrari XX Program will be back on track to begin from July.

Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track.
Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track. Credit: Ferrari
What exactly is the Ferrari XX Program?

Ferrari’s XX Program is one of the most exclusive invite-only driver programs in the world, with a tiny membership of only around 30 individuals. It evolved out of the idea of involving a special group of customers in the development of the Ferraris of the future and in return, owners can own and use a very limited edition Ferrari FXX car developed exclusively for the track and supply feedback to the Corse Clienti engineers.

Designed for the track but NOT for professional competition use, the research and development team do not have to meet the regular homologation requirements required for racing and are given a lot more to play, offering certain benefits to owners who really want to see what their cars can do.

Time for a fresh set of wheels.
Time for a fresh set of wheels. Credit: Ferrari

Owners in the XX Program are able to take part in both the Corsa Clienti events and various technical test sessions held over the year at 8 or 9 tracks around the world and are closely monitored by Ferrari experts as well as get the chance to meet Maranello’s engineers and professional testers. Another perk for owners is that Ferrari will take care of every single detail regarding maintenance, logistics, and optimization of the vehicles.

Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice.
Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice. Credit: Ferrari

To date four models are part of the program: the FXX, the 599X, the FXX K, and the FXX K Evo from 2018 equipped with the brand new Evo kit.

The Ferrari FXX: The First One

The first laboratory-car, the Ferrari FXX, was launched in 2006 and is equipped with a 12-cylinder 6.3-liter engine that makes it capable of electrifying performance. According to the engineers, it is the most “straightforward” in its reactions but also the most difficult model to push to the limit. A development kit (EVO) for the FXX, which incorporates information gleaned from customers, has since improved the car’s already outstanding performance.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Program cars
The Ferrari 599 XX: The Next One

The second model in the Ferrari XX evolution is based on the Ferrari 599 and appeared in 2009. The Ferrari 599XX is a 700 horsepower vehicle packed with technology and equipped with very sophisticated systems including fans that, by sucking air from the faired bottom of the car and expelling through two rear pipes, make the vehicle stick to the asphalt, creating a perfect ground effect. Once again, performance is thrilling and has been further improved by adopting the EVO kit, which incorporates the suggestions made by tutors and customers, for an extreme car that is even more tailored to its drivers.

Ferrari XX Program 599XX
The Ferrari FXX K: 1000 HP Plus Hybrid

The Ferrari FXX K was officially presented at the Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi in December 2014. The letter K stands for “KERS” kinetic energy recovery technology that is used to maximize track performance. The FXX K is equipped with technological innovations that make for an unprecedented driving experience with the huge potential of the car summed up in a few significant figures: 1050 total horsepower, 860 of which come from the 6,262 cubic centimeter V12 heat engine, and 190 from the electric engine with over 900 Nm of maximum torque.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Programme
The Ferrari FXX K Evo: The Upgrade

The FXX-K Evo was unveiled at the Ferrari Finali Mondiali 2017 in Florence during the Ferrari 70th Anniversary celebration. It is an added aerodynamic package available for the existing Ferrari FXX-K that allows the car to produce 23% more downforce than the standard FXX-K and 75% more than the road-legal LaFerrari due to a modified front fascia, a large rear wing and underbody diffusers.

Ferrari XX Programme Corsa Clienti FXXEVO

While recent FXX Program events had to be canceled earlier this year due to travel restrictions and local authority protocols concerning COVID-19, the remainder of the 2020 season will continue as planned beginning with Corse Clienti activities held at Barcelona on 21 and 22 July, followed by the Ferrari Racing Days at Mugello from 28 to 30 August, and at Spa-Francorchamps from 11 to 13 September.

Following on, the Ferrari XX Program will run at the French Paul Ricard track before the final event in the Middle East that coincides with the Finali Mondiali at Abu Dhabi from 4 to 7 November.

Barcelona, 21-22 July
Mugello, 28-30 August
Spa-Francorchamps, 11-13 September
Paul Ricard, 26-27 September
Abu Dhabi (Finali Mondiali), 4-7 November

To ensure the safety of all participants and crew members, special protocols will be put in place as per the individual local authorities and all events will take place behind closed doors until further notice.

For more information on the Ferrari XX Programme visit the website.

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New LEGO Lamborghini Sián – the Latest Supercar to “Roll off the Production Line”

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The LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP37 in lime green with gold rims is a miniature version of Lamborghini’s first-ever hybrid electric model production car.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green. Credit: Lamborghini

Lego and Lamborghini have teamed up to create the latest technic creation and delivered the futuristic LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 in a 1:8 scale model complete with 3,696 pieces for supercar fans to build.

First presented at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, the Lamborghini Sián (which means “flash” or “lightning” in the Italian Bolognese dialect) is Lamborghini’s first hybrid electric model production car and will only be produced in 63 limited editions.

LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Mini
You must be my mini-me. Credit: Lamborghini

Staying true to the design of the full-size version, the LEGO version features a technic replica of the V12 engine; a moveable rear spoiler; front and rear suspension; and a steering wheel complete with the tiniest Automobili Lamborghini badge you’ll ever find on a Lamborghini.

Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel.
Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel. Credit: Lamborghini

Speaking on the collaboration, Lamborghini CEO Stephano Domenicaly commented, “The LEGO brick is an icon in the same way as a Lamborghini super sports car. They both embody the pursuit of design perfection through constant research and development, create different emotions with every interaction, and are valued by generations. Each Lamborghini super sports car can be unique thanks to our Ad Personam personalization program and the specific driving style of each owner, just as LEGO bricks provide builders of all ages with endless possibilities for creation. This outstanding replica of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 from the LEGO Group presents a brilliant new building experience for both super sports car fans and LEGO enthusiasts, and Lamborghini is privileged to share this opportunity with the LEGO Group.”

Lamborghini's Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two cars
Lamborghini’s Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two Sián’s. Credit: Lamborghini

Based on the color configuration of the original full-sized version presented at Frankfurt (exterior paint in “Verde Gea” and details in “Oro Electrum”), the bright lime green LEGO Lamborghini Sián with gold rims also comes with the signature scissor doors, which open to reveal the intricately recreated cockpit, with a fully-functioning eight-speed sequential gearbox controlled by a movable paddle gearshift.

Discussing how to make a LEGO version
Discussing how to make a LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Made up of 3,696 pieces, the build instructions include special QR codes that can be scanned to reveal 13 special videos from Lamborghini and LEGO experts explaining the inspiration behind each stage of the design. Once completely built, it will measure over 5” (13 cm) high, 23” (60 cm) long and 9” (25 cm) wide.

Lego technic Lamborghini Sian doors up
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Rear View
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian engine bay
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian top view
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sian
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Oh, and if you “pop the hood” you’ll also find an overnight bag along with a unique serial number that offers access to additional special content.

The LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 will be available directly from LEGO stores, online at LEGO.com starting June 1 and from retailers globally starting August 1, 2020.

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Luxury Cars

McLaren to Cut 1,200 Jobs Including F1 Team Roles

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Supercar manufacturer and Formula 1 team McLaren have announced they will be cutting 1,200 jobs under a proposed restructuring program as it handles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and impending F1 cost cap.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days. Credit: McLaren

British supercar maker McLaren currently employs around 4,000 staff although in a sign of the times, are looking to cut almost a quarter of their workforce as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to their business.

The McLaren Technology Center by night.
The McLaren Technology Center by night. Credit: McLaren

In a statement made by the company McLaren chairman Paul Walsh, he noted they had been “severely affected” by the crisis and had worked hard to cut costs and avoid layoffs but unfortunately “we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce.”

“We deeply regret the impact that this restructure will have on all our people, but especially those whose jobs may be affected. It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business.

“But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce. This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth” he continued.

Both the British automaker operations at Woking Surrey, and the group’s Formula 1 team will be impacted with layoffs affecting the applied technologies, automotive and racing divisions. Temporary factory closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with empty showrooms due to “stay at home” instructions and canceled events, have all contributed to the squeeze McLaren has been feeling.

A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements.
A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s Formula 1 operations are also expected to lose around 70 staff out of the current 800 strong work-force although this decision is said to be affected more so by the new Formula 1 cost cap reductions that will come into play for the 2021 season.

The McLaren group had previously requested a £150m loan from the UK government and also tried to raise emergency funds by mortgaging its headquarters and historic car collection but were unsuccessful at the time due to a disagreement with shareholders over the bond collateral.

The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners.
The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s existing shareholders have however rallied and raised an additional £300m equity to support the long-term strategy of the brand.

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