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Coronavirus Shutdowns: Lamborghini, Ferrari and Rolex Factory Closures

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Anyone waiting on a Lamborghini, Ferrari or a Rolex will have to wait just that little longer courtesy of the widespread effects of coronavirus as factories are temporarily shut down.

In response to governmental coronavirus policies issued by their home countries, large luxury manufacturers like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti, Bentley and Rolex have announced a temporary halt in production until the end of the month to ensure the safety of staff (and in some cases manage supply chain issues caused as a by-product of the shut downs).

Lamborghini announced the closure of its factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese Italy effective March 13 until March 25 2020.

Lamborghini factory closures caused by governmental coronavirus covid-19 policies.
Tools down at the Manifattura Lamborghini. Credit: Volkswagen AG

Commenting on the closure, Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini said, “This measure is an act of social responsibility and high sensibility towards our people, in the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves right now in Italy and which is also evolving abroad due to the worldwide spread of Coronavirus. As we have done up until now, we continue to monitor the situation in order to react rapidly and with the right flexibility, in collaboration with our people and in order to restart with energy in the right moment.”

Likewise, Ferrari will be halting all production at its Maranello and Modena factories until March 27 with Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri announcing in a press release on Saturday, “At a time like this, my gratitude goes first and foremost to Ferrari’s women and men who, with their tremendous commitment over the past few days, have demonstrated the passion and dedication that defines our marque. Together with our suppliers, they have ensured the company’s production. And it is out of our respect for them, for their peace of mind and those of their families that we have decided on this course of action.”

Ferrari’s course of action is in support of governmental directives but is also directly influenced by the “serious supply chain issues which no longer allow for continued production”.

Over at Pagani Automobili, production has been suspended for the next week and the museum and factory tours at their Italian headquarters have also been suspended until April 3 2020

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have announced they will be continuing on at their Goodwood based manufacturing site until Monday 23 March after which they will take two weeks break which will be followed by an already planned two week Easter maintenance shutdown.

Also noted is that “the day-to-day operations of the company will be assured by non-production employees who will remain at work at the company’s head office on the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex or who will work from home on a rotational basis.  Social distancing measures have been introduced throughout the company.”

Bugatti suspends production 20th March 2020
Bugatti suspends production 20th March 2020. Credit: Bugatti

Bugatti has suspending production of its hyper sports cars in Molsheim from March 20th, 2020. The various necessary regulations implemented by European governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic make it impossible, amongst other things, to maintain the supply chain of production and spare parts. In addition, it is almost impossible to deliver vehicles completed in the Atelier to their owners due to the travel restrictions. Bugatti supports the regulations that have been implemented by European governments as well as the recommendations of health experts and will intensify the measures already taken.

Bentley Motors suspends production from 20th March 2020
Bentley suspends production from 20th March 2020. Credit: Bentley Motors

Bentley Motors will suspend production from March 20th, 2020 at its Crewe, UK, factory headquarters for four weeks.

“This decision is based on the accelerated rate of infection by coronavirus and understandable restrictions applied, the resulting interruptions in supply chain that will soon be seen, as well as declining demand on some automotive markets.  But most importantly the decision is to protect the health of Bentley’s many colleagues, their families and communities.” Bentley Motors

Meanwhile in Geneva, Swiss watchmaker Rolex can’t seem to catch a break, first with the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month (of which they are the naming rights sponsor) and now Rolex Chief Executive Jean-Frédéric Dufour announcing the closing of operations in Geneva, Bienne and Crissier until March 27 2020.

Hublot have also officially announced they will be temporarily closing the production site until further notice stating “Due to the global spread of COVID-19, as a precautionary measure, and in order to protect the health and well-being of our staff and their families, we have decided to temporarily close our Manufacture’s production site until further notice.
We are confident in our ability to collectively rise to meet new challenges and will overcome this crisis, together.”

Watchmaker Patek Philippe has chosen to pause there monthly episodes posted to social media for March and will also be closing its headquarters and production sites until March 27.

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Luxury Cars

New Lamborghini Sián Roadster Hybrid: Only 19 Will Be Made

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The already sold-out Lamborghini Sián Roadster is the company’s first hybrid roadster and is powered by a supercapacitor instead of lithium-ion cells.
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster hybrid super sports car.
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster hybrid super sports car. Credit: Lamborghini

Lamborghini has officially revealed the new Lamborghini Sián Roadster – inspired by the Sián FKP 37 hybrid concept car first unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

After a week of Lamborghini teasing their new release with ambiguous images across social media, the Italian supercar maker has come forth with the latest hybrid creation.

Limited to only 19 vehicles (which are already sold-out), the Sián Roadster is the company’s first hybrid roadster and powered by Lamborghini’s 6.5-liter V12 engine with unique hybrid technologies that can produce up to 819 horsepower (602kW) of thermal and electric power.

Lamborghini Sian Roadster Hybrid Rear Side View
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster will produce up to 819 horsepower. Credit: Lamborghini

“The Sián Roadster encapsulates the spirit of Lamborghini,” says Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “It is the expression of breathtaking design and extraordinary performance, but most importantly embodies important future technologies. The Sián’s innovative hybrid powertrain heralds the direction for Lamborghini super sports cars, and the open-top Sián Roadster affirms a desire for the ultimate lifestyle Lamborghini as we move towards a tomorrow demanding new solutions.”

Only 19 Lamborghini Sián Roadster's will be built.
Only 19 Lamborghini Sián Roadster’s will be built. Credit: Lamborghini

Unlike many other electric vehicle manufacturers, the Sián Roadster uses a supercapacitor developed in collaboration with MIT in Boston, which can store ten more times power than lithium-ion batteries and delivers optimum performance.

Located in the bulkhead between the cockpit and engine, the supercapacitor and e-motor system weighs only 34kg and works in conjunction with the V12 engine and a new powertrain.

Sian Roadster Hybrid Interior Cockpit
The Sián Roadster’s new interior cockpit design. Credit: Lamborghini

The 48-volt e-motor itself delivers an additional 34hp for a total of 819hp (602kW), allowing the Sián Roadster to reach a top speed of over 218mph/350kmh and accelerate from 0 – 60mph 100kmh in less than 2.8 seconds.

The e-motor system also provides immediate response and supports low-speed manoeuvres (like reversing and parking) with electric power.

Lamborghini interior customisation
Endless customisation opportunities available to owners. Credit: Lamborghini

Another feature of the Sián Roadster is the regenerative braking system specially developed by Lamborghini. Unlike regular lithium-ion batteries, the supercapacitor’s symmetric behavior means that they can be charged and discharged with the same power, meaning the Sián’s energy storage system charges every time the vehicle brakes.

Each time the driver brakes, energy is stored in an instantly-available power boost which the driver can draw on immediately when accelerating away (making it 10% faster than a vehicle without this system).

Lamborghini Sian Roadster Tail lights exhaust rear view
Lamborghini Sián Roadster debuts in “Blu Uranas”. Credit: Lamborghini

Design-wise, the launch model of the Sián Roadster debuted in a color known as “Blu Uranas” with “Oro Electrum” wheels and “Blu Glauco” detailing, specially selected by Lamborghini’s Centro Stile and Ad Personam departments.

Carrying the unmistakable Lamborghini hexagonal DNA throughout the entire design, the Sián Roadster shares many of the same design elements of the coupe version, although it adds new details like the engine bonnet, the roll bar integrated into the front windscreen and aerodynamic wind vanes.

Sian Roadster Hybrid Rear View
Lamborghini’s hexagonal DNA continues through with the Sián Roadster. Credit: Lamborghini

No prices have been announced yet, but with all 19 limited editions already sold, you’ll most likely have to sell a kidney to get one anyway.

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Luxury Cars

The New James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation

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Fancy yourself the next James Bond? The new Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation, complete with all its gadgets might just be your cup of tea.
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Edition. Credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Edition. Credit: Aston Martin

After more than 50 years, Aston Martin has decided it is high time the gadget cars of the early James Bond make a comeback, with the first “Job 1” DB5 Goldfinger Continuation rolling off the production line (after a few extra modifications from the “Q’s” at Aston Martin).

Limited to 25 editions and built in collaboration with EON Productions, the new Goldfinger DB5 continuation model is the first new DB5 to be built in more than 50 years.

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation's rear smoke screen delivery system in action. Credit: Aston Martin
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation’s rear smoke screen delivery system in action. Credit: Aston Martin

Originally built between 1963 and 1965, only 900 saloon examples of the classic Aston Martin DB5 were originally constructed, but thanks to its iconic appearance in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger,” it has since been dubbed by some as “the most famous car in the world.”

Exterior paint color "Silver Birch" just like the original. Credit: Aston Martin
Exterior paint color “Silver Birch” just like the original. Credit: Aston Martin

Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “The DB5 is, without question, the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association with James Bond. To see, the first customer car finished, and realise that this is the first new DB5 we have built in more than half a century, really is quite a moment.

“It is a genuine privilege, and significant responsibility, to have been involved in the shaping of this new DB5 and to be helping to lead the creation of new versions of this automotive icon. I’m absolutely certain that the 25 lucky owners who are beginning to take delivery of these cars will be thrilled with them.”

These days the new DB5 Goldfinger Continuation takes around 4,500 hours of construction to create a working car complete with many of the operable gadgets from the movie, created by Bond film special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE.

Sharing the original DB5 styled aluminum exterior body panels and an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis structure, the new DB5 Goldfinger Continuations are powered by a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine and are only available in one exterior color – “Silver Birch,” just like the original James Bond car.

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation interior. Credit: Aston Martin
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation interior. Credit: Aston Martin

It’s important to note the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is not “road-legal,” (which is slightly disappointing if we’re honest and rules out about 98% of the locations you’d want to test out the gadgets). However, if its any consolation, you could still take it to a track to test out the following list of Bond-inspired gadgets.

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Exterior Gadgets:
  • Rear smoke screen delivery system
  • Rear simulated oil slick delivery system
  • Revolving number plates front and rear (triple plates)
  • Simulated twin front machine guns
  • Bullet resistant rear shield
  • Battering rams front and rear
  • Simulated tyre slasher
  • Removable passenger seat roof panel (optional equipment)
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system. Credit: Aston Martin
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system. Credit: Aston Martin
Revolving number plates for when you need to go incognito. Credit: Aston Martin
Revolving number plates for when you need to go incognito. Credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Interior Gadgets:
  • Simulated radar screen tracker map
  • Telephone in driver’s door
  • Gear knob actuator button
  • Armrest and center console-mounted switchgear
  • Under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray
  • Remote control for gadget activation
Simulated radar screen tracker map. Credit: Aston Martin
Simulated radar screen tracker map. Credit: Aston Martin
Gear knob actuator button. Credit: Aston Martin
Gear knob actuator button. Credit: Aston Martin
Telephone in drivers door. Credit: Aston Martin
Telephone in drivers door. Credit: Aston Martin
Remote control for gadget activation. Credit: Aston Martin
Remote control for gadget activation. Credit: Aston Martin

First deliveries of the 25 special DB5 Goldfinger Continuation vehicles to their owners have already commenced and will continue through the second half of 2020.

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Lifestyle

Rolls-Royce x Franck Muller “Crazy Numbers” Wraith Black Badge and Watch Collab Revealed

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Rolls-Royce Geneva and Swiss luxury watchmaker Franck Muller have recently joined forces to design two new creations: The Wraith Black Badge Inspired Crazy Hours Watch and an upcoming Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers.”
Franck Muller Rolls Royce Crazy Numbers Wraith Black Badge Partnership

Sharing a passion for excellence, Rolls-Royce Geneva and Swiss luxury watchmaker Franck Muller have joined forces to design two new creations: The Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers” and the Wraith Black Badge inspired “Crazy Hours” watch.

Or to put it another way – Rolls-Royce Geneva will customize a special Black Badge edition of the Wraith to reflect elements of Franck Muller’s Crazy Hours watch, and Franck Muller is creating a Wraith Black Badge inspired version of the watch.

Benefitting from the expertise of the Rolls-Royce’s “Bespoke Programme,” the Rolls-Royce Geneva “Crazy Numbers” Wraith Black Badge is an artistic demonstration of the extreme personalization that can be achieved and will see elements of Franck Muller’s iconic Crazy Hours watch intertwined throughout the vehicle design.

Featuring a special Velvet Sparkle exterior finish with a Twin-Coachline motif in Silver/Cobalto Blue mirroring the Crazy Numbers theme, the special Wraith edition will feature a deep Cobalto Blue interior and a unique dashboard fascia and embroidered “Crazy Hours” numbers on the rear console. Overhead the Starlight Headliner will also depict the “Crazy Hours” watch face.

Franck Muller Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Crazy Hours
Rear console embroidery inspired by Franck Muller “Crazy Hours” watch. Credit: Rolls-Royce Geneva

Sharing on the customization options of the special edition Matt Danton, Bespoke Designer at Rolls-Royce, commented, “Distinction, leadership and genuine expression is at the heart of the Bespoke Programme. The car is regarded as a key element of one’s taste and personal style, so it’s only natural it’s bespoke.”

Franck Muller Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Crazy Numbers
Custom dashboard fascia inspired by Franck Muller “Crazy Hours” watch. Credit: Rolls-Royce Geneva

As yet, Rolls-Royce has only provided teaser images of the upcoming edition; however production of Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers” is set to commence shortly with the actual motor car presented in the 4th quarter of 2020.

To celebrate the partnership, Franck Muller has also created two unique versions of the Crazy Hours watch. Featuring the same Cobalto Blue color scheme as the vehicle, one watch has a black dial with a Cobalto Blue case and black leather strap, while the other is a reverse combination with a Cobalto Blue dial, black case and blue strap.

Two versions of the Franck Muller Crazy Hours Wraith Black Badge Edition. Credit: Franck Muller
Two versions of the Franck Muller Crazy Hours Wraith Black Badge Edition. Credit: Franck Muller

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the world’s finest car manufacturer to produce this bespoke car and this exclusive watch collection,” says Nicholas Rudaz, director of Franck Muller Watchland. “To see our exceptional know-how of haute-horlogerie be interpreted into such an exclusive car has been a fascinating experience.”

For the uninitiated, the Franck Muller Crazy Hour watch is a self-winding watch with a 42-hour power reserve that displays the watch numbers in a very unconventional order and, at first glance, reminds one of something the Mad Hatter would wear to his next tea party.

Using its patented Crazy Hours mechanism, the central hour hand jumps to the correct hour number (one to twelve) even though the numbers are not in the standard order. Meanwhile, the minute hand continues to follow a conventional pattern and revolves around the dial on a 60-minute cycle.

As yet, pricing has not been announced for the Franck Muller Wraith Inspired Crazy Hours watch or the Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers.”

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