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Luxury Automakers to Resume Production After COVID-19 Closures

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Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, and other luxury automakers have announced they will resume production at their factories from 4 May onwards following the COVID-19 closures put in place for employee safety.
Lamborghini factory restarting after covid-19 closures
Production of the Lamborghini Urus scheduled to resume. Credit: Lamborghini

Having been shuttered since early March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, luxury automakers including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley are now returning to their factories to resume production.

Below is an outline of the details around each manufacturers re-openings:

Bugatti – 4 May 2020

In Molsheim, France, Bugatti are back on track to re-start production of hypercars like the Chiron and Divo from 4 May following suspension of all factory activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having taken guidance from the French government and international experts, production at the main factory in Alsace will be under strict conditions, and employees that are able to work from home are still encouraged to do so.

In the press release President of Bugatti, Stephan Winklemann explained,  “We will do everything necessary to ensure that our employees are able to work safely. Wherever possible, they can still work from home to ensure that the minimum possible number of employees are on-site at any one time. With the help of the safety measures that we have put in place, we are finally making cars by hand again. That’s an important sign for all of our employees and our customers.”

Bugatti employees working at the factory are encouraged to self test their temperature each morning prior to starting work to ensure they are healthy and symptom-free and will receive their own protective face which must be worn at all times.

Production staff are also required to thoroughly clean tools before and after use and where possible, deliveries will be made without contact.

“I am confident that we have implemented the right measures to allow us to resume production in stages, while also providing the maximum possible protection for our employees,” says Stephan Winkelmann.

Bugatti to restart factory production after covid-19 closures
Bugatti staff will begin production on the Chiron and Divo models once again. Credit: Bugatti

Ferrari – 4 May 2020 (full production 8 May 2020)

Like other luxury automakers, Ferrari has announced they will return to the production facilities on 4 May and resume full production by Friday 8 May.

As part of Ferrari’s “Back on Track” program launched early April, the Italian luxury automaker had already moved into the “Installation Lap” phase at the end of April and begun safety training sessions with employees to ensure a safe working environment upon the return to the factories, helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

At both the facilities in Maranello and Modena, Ferrari has said they will be providing checks at the entrances of workstations, providing PPE (personal protective equipment) for employees, and also offering voluntary serological tests to workers before going to back to work.

Meanwhile all business activities that can be carried out through remote working will continue as usual in this way.

Koenigsegg

No official statement yet

Lamborghini – 4 May 2020

In a press release from Lamborghini, the Italian company announced they would be resuming car production activities at their Sant’Agata Bolognese location from the 4 May following their closure due to COVID-19 (although certain departments remained open to help manufacture respirators and masks for a local hospital).

Speaking on their current circumstances, Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, said: ”We are ready to restart with great energy, but also with strict protocols for safeguarding what is most precious to us: the safety of our people. This priority is why we were the first Italian automotive company to close and continues to be our guiding principle for a well-reasoned and safe recovery, because we still have not won the battle against COVID-19. We will constantly monitor the contagion’s evolution and be ready to adjust our protocols in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Italian government and the Emilia-Romagna Region, which we would like to thank for their support during this sensitive phase.”

Stefano Domenicali also gave fans a great surprise, revealing that Lamborghini would be launching a new model online on 7 May

“We continue to nurture the dreams of our fans and customers, and on 7 May, through a virtual launch, we will present a new car in order to complete our model range. We closed the first quarter of 2020 despite the situation with very positive results. From these results we want to secure our swift return to a leadership position, delivering our vehicles once again as soon as our dealers around the world reopen for business.”

Lamborghini factory restarting after covid-19 closures
Lamborghini set to restart from 4 May 2020 with enhanced safety measures in place. Credit: Lamborghini

McLaren

While no official statement has been made yet regarding production at their manufacturing facilities, McLaren Automotive has announced that all Pure McLaren driving experiences will be canceled for the remainder of 2020.

Pagani

No official statement yet

Porsche – 4 May 2020

As of Monday 4 May, Porsche will also resume production at factories in Zuffenhausen and Leipzig under the guidance of the Works Council and Health Management department and will increase production in stages up to full-scale capacity in due course.

“The restart is an important signal – for our employees as well as for our customers. We have monitored and analysed the situation very carefully right from the start and flexibly adapted processes. Now is the right time to look forward with optimism and to resume work – subject to special precautions,” says Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG.

Porsche production employees will be required to observe a minimum distance of 1.5 meters and work with a face mask in defined areas.

Also of great importance to Porsche is the ongoing support of medical institutions and medical personnel and as such Porsche will continue organizing equipment as part of the “Porsche helps” initiative and donate money to hospitals as well as food to food banks with an increased food budget of five million euros.

“It will take a great deal of effort to get the economic and social system moving again. Everyone must make a contribution to this,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “It is important to have a positive fundamental attitude. Every crisis also offers opportunities. And we want to make the most of them.” The company initially stopped production in its two factories on 21 March 2020 for a period of two weeks and announced that it would continuously reassess the situation. Due to bottlenecks in global supply chains, the factories have remained closed for a total of six weeks because orderly production was not possible.

Porsche factory restarting after covid-19 closures
Porsche staff will be back on the production line to ensure deliveries continue. Credit: Porsche

Bentley – 11 May 2020 (full production by 18 May 2020)

Bentley Motors will be resuming production activities slightly later than most with a phased return to company headquarters at Crewe, England scheduled from 11 May with a full return to production expected by 18 May.

As part of their COVID-19 employee program called “Come Back Stronger”, a set of 250 hygiene and social distancing measures have been put in place to protect the 4000 staff that work at Bentley and cover seven key areas – prior to leaving home, travel, entry, preparing for work, work stations, breaks, and exiting the site.

The “Come Back Stronger” plan marks the biggest change to daily working life in the company’s 100-year history and will require significant changes like redesigning areas of the manufacturing facility to ensure a 2 meter distance at all times between staff and one-way movement paths and traffic flows and introducing a new shift-pattern to minimize the population density on-site at any one time.

Facemasks and protective equipment supplied by Bentley will also be compulsory in all factory and office areas and where possible, staff that can work from home are encouraged to do so.

Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO, Bentley Motors, said: “Throughout this unprecedented crisis, the health and safety of our colleagues has, and will continue to be, paramount. These extensive new working measures will allow both our people and Bentley to come back stronger than ever and even more focused.

“The time is now right for Bentley to begin a gradual and controlled return to production, while ensuring our sites are the safest place any of us can be. Everybody will be able to play their part to ensure we can continue Bentley’s extraordinary journey into the future of luxury, sustainable mobility.”

Full production is anticipated to resume on 18 May with a later, staggered return to work for office-based colleagues and those able to work from home.

Bentley Motors restart factory production after covid-19 closures

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First Bugatti Divo Hypercars Ready For Delivery

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After two years of development at the Molsheim factory, the first Bugatti Divo hypercars are ready for delivery to their new owners.
Bugatti Divo Left Side Profile
First of the Bugatti Divo’s to be delivered to owners. Credit: Bugatti

It’s been two years since the Bugatti Divo was first revealed, and now the first Divo’s have been revealed ahead of delivery to their new owners.

Named after French pilot and Bugatti works racing driver Albert Divo who won six Grand Prix races and two Targa Florio’s, the limited edition Bugatti Divo takes a page out of the early era custom-bodied Bugatti’s and reimagines coachbuilding.

Bugatti Divo Revealed Molsheim France
Only 40 Bugatti Divo’s will be produced. Credit: Bugatti

“The Divo starts a new era at Bugatti – the era of modern coachbuilding,” shared Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “With the Divo we have created a highly customised masterpiece of automotive craftsmanship that is a must-have for any Bugatti collection.”

Bugatti Divo Revealed Molsheim Factory
An even sportier Bugatti than the Chiron. Credit: Bugatti

The difference in terms of today’s coachbuilding vehicles like the Divo is that in the past, master body-makers tailored different body shapes to a chassis – they hardly ever modified the technology. In contrast, with the new Divo development, designers and engineers have modified the technology and boosted the performance.

Bugatti Divo Revealed Molsheim Front View
Bugatti have completed a challenging two years of development to finally reveal the first customer builds. Credit: Bugatti

“We had a host of liberties when we developed the Divo because we limited the top speed to 380 km/h” shared Frank Heyl, Bugatti’s Deputy Design Director. “As a result, we were able to generate more downforce and turn the Divo into a visually and technically independent model.”

An even sportier-looking model compared to the Chiron, the Divo has a host of additional air intakes including a NACA air duct on the roof to help cool the 8.0-liter W16 engine, ducts to cool the brakes and intakes on the bonnet to reduce the front surface of the vehicle and improve airflow. Likewise, a new front spoiler design creates greater downforce.

Divo’s rear is also distinguished by a unique 3D taillight design featuring 44 light-up finds that complement the narrow LED front headlights.

Bugatti Divo Silver Grey Rear View
Unique 3D taillight design of the Divo. Credit: Bugatti

Only 40 Bugatti Divo’s will be produced, with each of the already sold-out models priced at approx €5 million.

Bugatti Divo Revealed Molsheim 2020
Bugatti Divo Revealed Molsheim 2020
Bugatti Divo Silver Grey Front View
Bugatti Divo French Grey Aerial View
Bugatti Divo Rear Left View French Grey
Bugatti Divo Rear Left View Black
Bugatti Divo Light Grey French Side View
Bugatti Divo Light Grey Front Side View
Bugatti Divo Light Grey French Rear View
Bugatti Divo Front View Trio
Bugatti Divo Front Side Profile
Bugatti Divo Front Left Light Grey View

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McLaren F1 Designer Reveals the Gordon Murray T.50 Supercar

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McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray has officially revealed a new limited edition three-seater T.50 supercar said to have the world’s lightest and highest-revving 3.9-liter V12 engine in the world.
Gordon Murray T50 Hypercar Front Left View
The limited edition Gordon Murray Automotive T.50. Credit: GMA

Legendary car designer Gordon Murray is no stranger to extreme car design, with 20 years’ experience in Formula 1 and cars like the iconic McLaren F1 in his portfolio. Now he’s finally had the opportunity to apply all his industry knowledge to his own supercar, namely the T.50, of which only 100 vehicles will made.

Described by Gordon Murray as his “ultimate car design,” the T.50 is the 50th car design penned by himself over his 50-year career and is said to improve on his acclaimed McLaren F1 “in every conceivable way.”

Gordon Murray with T50 supercar
Gordon Murray with his “ultimate car design”. Credit: GMA

Scheduled to be built at Gordon Murray’s Automotive Production Center in Surrey, UK, the new T.50 has been created as “engineering art,” and like the McLaren F1, features dihedral doors and a three-seat design with the driver’s seat positioned centrally.

Gordon Murray T50 Left Profile View Doors Up
Dihedral doors and clean lines. Credit: GMA
Gordon Murray T50 Supercar Interior
Central positioned drivers seat for the best driving experience. Credit: GMA

“With the design of our T.50 supercar, we are taking the same focused approach that was applied to the design of the McLaren F1”, shared Gordon Murray. “Thanks to modern materials and 30 years of development, we have been able to deliver a far better all-round car in the T50, while setting its weight at just 986kg, a full 150kg lighter than the F1.”

Gordon Murray T50 Left Side Aerial View
The T.50 is almost 1/3 lighter than the average supercar. Credit: GMA

Created with a carbon-fiber monocoque body, the T.50 weighs just 2,174 pounds / 986kgs (which is around 1/3 less than the average supercar) and is powered by a 100% bespoke 3.9-liter V12 engine that is the worlds lightest and highest-revving V12 engine to date.
Producing 663PS @ 11,500rpm and 467Nm of torque @ 9,000rpm, the Cosworth developed engine also features dry-sump oiling to prevent oil starvation in hard cornering, a feature that will be appreciated given the T.50’s power and grip.

Gordon Murray T50 Supercar Work
Gordon Murray explaining the details of the T.50. Credit: GMA

With a central focus on light-weight design, Gordon Murray’s Formula 1 experience shows in the streamlined design of the T.50 supercar with every gram accounted for and all unneeded vents, wings and flaps removed to create what Gordon Murray describes as the most advanced aerodynamics ever seen on a car.

“Next-level aerodynamics allow us to avoid the current supercar trend for exaggerated wings, vents, and ducts. I was determined to create a clean and pure shape that would remain timeless, ensuring the T50 will still look fresh in 30 years.”

The proportions, size, and styling are also something Gordon Murray is 100% happy with, noting that the vehicle can carry three passengers, luggage, and the V12 engine comfortably while keeping under 1000kgs.

A stand-out feature of the T.50 is undoubtedly the giant 15.7-inch central fan at the rear of the vehicle, designed to achieve unmatched aerodynamic performance combined with the underbody aerodynamics and two dynamic rear spoilers.

Gordon Murray T50 Rear Tail
Not so secret aerodynamic weapon – the rear central fan. Credit: GMA
Gordon Murray T50 Left Rear View
Only 100 Gordon Murray T.50’s will be built. Credit: GMA

First used on Murray’s F1 design, the fan-assisted aerodynamic system improves on conventional ground-effect systems by actively managing both underbody and overbody airflow.

This boundary layer control ensures the most effective interaction of airflow on top of, and below the car, balancing drag and downforce at all speeds.

Gordon Murray T50 Rear Aerial View Doors Up

Through the application of two automatic and four driver-selected aero modes, the T.50 is capable of increasing downforce by 50%, reducing drag by 12.5%, and cutting the braking distance by 10m from 150mph.

T50 Drive Modes

Auto Mode: is the car’s default setting. In this mode, the T.50 operates like an ordinary supercar with passive ground-effect downforce.

Braking Mode: automatically deploys the rear spoilers to their maximum (+45 degree) angle when high levels of deceleration are required. The fan also operates simultaneously at high speed while the diffuser valves open. This function can double downforce, enhancing stability and grip, and shortening the 150mph-to-0mph braking distance by a full 10 meters.
If sudden deceleration is required, and when aerodynamics could influence stopping distance, Braking Mode overrides all other modes.

High Downforce Mode: is driver selectable and delivers enhanced traction – in this mode, the rear spoilers deploy at +10 degrees, diffuser valves open, and the fan spools up to increase downforce by 50%.

Streamline mode: cuts drag by 12.5% and boosts straight-line speed while also reducing fuel consumption and downforce. In this mode, the rear spoilers deploy to -10 degrees reducing base suction and drag. The diffuser valves close partially, stalling the diffuser and reducing downforce, which saves wheel travel to make the car more comfortable and efficient. It also sets the fan to operate at high speed, drawing air from the top deck to minimize drag while extending the trailing wake of the car, creating a ‘virtual longtail’ and producing 15kg of thrust.

V-Max Boost: is the most extreme T.50 mode. It uses the characteristics of Streamline Mode, then uses the car’s 48-volt integrated starter-generator to drive the fan – freeing up power to the driveshaft. Combined with the ram-air induction, this boosts power to 700PS for short bursts of acceleration.

Test Mode: operates when the car is stationary and is driver-selected. The fan spools up to its maximum 7,000rpm, the twin rear spoilers cycle through their full range of movement and the diffuser ducts / valves progressively open and close before returning to their rest position.

Gordon Murray T50 Gear Interior

As a limited edition model, each customer will be given first viewing of the vehicle design and will be invited for a seat, steering wheel, and pedals fitting session to set their car up to fit them perfectly. Throughout the build, clients will be kept informed and will have the option of visiting their vehicle. Once completed, owners will be offered tailored experiences and have access to a service network and “flying technician.”

Gordon Murray T50 Hypercar Front Left Doors Up

Only 100 Gordon Murray T.50’s will be built at a starting price of £2.36m (before taxes) with production scheduled for January 2022.

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Limited Edition Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Revealed

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Limited to only 40 vehicles, the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is a track-only car with the most powerful naturally aspirated V12 engine produced by Lamborghini.
Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Side View

First announced earlier this year, the new track-only limited edition Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 has been revealed and has been developed in collaboration with Lamborghini Squadra Corse (development) and Lamborghini Centro Stile (styling).

Limited to only 40 units, the Essenza SCV12 has been fitted with the most powerful naturally aspirated V12 engine ever developed by Lamborghini and borrows technological solutions from the racing track for the ultimate driver’s experience.

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Side Front View

“Essenza SCV12 represents the purest track driving experience that our brand can offer, an engineering feat that highlights the inextricable link between our cars and the asphalt of the track,” says Automobili Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali. “Lamborghini is a brand constantly looking to the future and searching for new challenges, but we never forget our roots and who we are: Essenza SCV12 is the perfect combination of our unconventional spirit as a super sports car manufacturer and our true passion for motorsport.”

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Front View

Created exclusively for the track, the Essenza SCV12 delivers over 830hp, has higher downforce levels than a GT3 car, and an extreme power-to-weight ratio of 1.66kg/hp thanks to a newly developed carbon fiber monocoque chassis that does not require an internal roll cage. It is also the first GT car developed that adheres to all FIA prototype safety rules.

Maurizio Reggiani, Chief Technical Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, remarked: “Essenza SCV12 is the ultimate expression of the V12 naturally aspirated engine, the symbol of our brand since 1963. It is a project in which we combined the pursuit of engineering perfection with refined aerodynamics, futuristic design, and innovative solutions such as the carbon monocoque without internal roll-cage. The result is an engaging and uncompromising car, born to race and to showcase on the track the characteristics that have made Lamborghini famous worldwide, guaranteeing unique and special emotions for both the driver and onlookers.”

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Side Rear View

Aerodynamically, the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12’s front hood features a double air intake like the Huracán track cars that works to separate the hot airflow from the radiator and the cold air going to the roof scoop. At the rear, a large adjustable double-profile rear wing works to increase efficiency and downforce.

The design has also been a collaborative effort with the Lamborghini Centro Stile team with Mitja Borkert, Head of Lamborghini Centro Stile noting, “I was excited about this project from the very start, because it would allow us to create a car that was different but at the same time unmistakably Lamborghini, extreme but stylistically very clean, as a real racing car should be. With the Essenza SCV12 we pay tribute to both our racing past and the present: the large rear wing, side fins and front splitter are elements taken from the Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and GT3 EVO. This car is the perfect combination of our tradition and what we imagine for the future.”

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Y Interior Console

Continuing Lamborghini’s hexagonal geometry throughout the design, the Essenza SCV12 also has the “Y” stylistic feature repeated throughout the livery in the cockpit and an asymmetrical carbon “Y” racing instrument panel and dashboard. The multifunction steering wheel has also been inspired by F1 single-seater steering wheels allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Y Interior Cockpit

Only 40 track-only Lamborghini Essenza SCV12’s will be produced. Owners will be part of a unique program that includes an athletic training program and technical support similar to the official Squadra Corse drivers. As part of the program, owners will be given access to some of the most iconic racetracks around the world. Each car will also have a personalized garage plus dedicated services, including webcams, to allow customers to monitor their vehicles 24 hours a day using an app.

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 Side Left View

The official track calendar will start in 2021 with “arrive and drive” events held at numerous FIA Grade 1 homologated circuits and assistance will be provided by the Squadra Corse technical staff with the support of Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an excellent tutor for the customer-drivers; and Marco Mapelli, Lamborghini Squadra Corse Factory Driver.

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