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Luxury Automakers to Resume Production After COVID-19 Closures



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.


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


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.


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


Luxury Cars

Bespoke Rolls-Royce Wraith “Inspired By Earth” Commissioned For Abu Dhabi



Rolls-Royce Abu Dhabi commissions a special “Inspired by Earth” Wraith, depicting the Middle East as seen from space.
The Rolls-Royce Wraith "Inspired By Earth". Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The Rolls-Royce Wraith “Inspired By Earth”. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The new Rolls-Royce Wraith “Inspired By Earth” proves once again that inspiration can come from anywhere and by anywhere, including a unique viewpoint from out of this world.

No stranger to bespoke commission requests by clients, Rolls-Royce is often tasked with creating designs that take inspiration from a favorite hobby or perhaps the desire to incorporate a unique family crest, but more often than not, the inspirations are closely related to the things we see every day so to speak.

An Earth inspired interior with elements of sand, rivers and nature. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
An Earth inspired interior with elements of sand, rivers and nature. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

In the latest bespoke commission, however, the design team was tasked with taking a much bigger view, that of our own planet, as seen from space.

Satellite view of the Middle East Region. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Satellite view of the Middle East Region. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

“We’re used to clients bringing us grand visions for their Bespoke Commissions, but this provided a new perspective altogether”says Michael Bryden, Lead Bespoke Designer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars .

“In our response to the brief, we’ve worked at both the ‘macro’ level, referencing the Sun and planets of the whole Solar System, and the much more personal ‘micro’ level, centering our view of the world on the place the customer calls home.”

Solar system elements on the dash board. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Solar system elements on the dash board. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Commissioned by Rolls-Royce Abu Dhabi, the Wraith “Inspired by Earth” edition takes design cues from the entire Solar System and features air-brushed artwork on the bonnet, of the Middle East region as it would be seen by an astronaut passing on overhead.

Hand-painted bonnet taking over 100 hours to complete. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Hand-painted bonnet taking over 100 hours to complete. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Focusing on the United Arab Emirates, the panorama extends across the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Oman, all precisely air-brushed by hand in a process that took over 100 hours to complete.

Finished in Royal Blue, the Wraith’s exterior color is also representative of the Earth’s surface covered in 75% water and is includes a delicate hand-painted coachline in Emerald Green that incorporates the Sun and the eight planets of the Solar System – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The planetary coach line of the Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired By Earth. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The planetary coach line of the Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired By Earth. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Earth theme continues on through to the interior, with the waterfall embroidery between the rear seats appearing as atmospheric clouds. Meanwhile, the seats made from Moccasin leather reflect the Emirate’s deserts while the Cobalt Blue, Navy, and Emerald Green accents symbolize the rivers, lakes, and nature in all forms.

Embroidery featuring the atmospheric clouds of Earth as seen from above. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Embroidery featuring the atmospheric clouds of Earth as seen from above. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Throughout the remainder of the interior, the Solar System is also found, including the treadplates and the clock with inlays of the planets in silver and Earth highlighted in gold.

Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired By Earth door sills with planetary details. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired By Earth door sills with planetary details. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Last but not least is the Wraith’s iconic Starlight Headliner, with the “Inspired By Earth” edition including an embroidered Solar System found hidden amongst the twinkling lights, capping off a truly interstellar design.

Bespoke Starlight Headliner with the solar system embroidery. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Bespoke Starlight Headliner with the solar system embroidery. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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Luxury Cars

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



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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Luxury Cars

Multi-Million Dollar Elkhart Car Collection To Be Auctioned



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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