Friday, August 5, 2011

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport LOr Blanc, 2011

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport LOr Blanc, 2011

With the partnership between Bugatti and the Königliche Porzellan-Manufatur Berlin (KPM) the renowned manufacturer emphasizes the ability in creating pieces of automotive art. The "L'Or Blanc" celebrates its world premiere with an exclusive unveiling ceremony on June 30, 2011 at the KPM workshops in Berlin. This unique version of a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is the world's first motor car to wear the finest porcelain on its body, as well as in its cabin. It captivates with an abstract exterior design.

The security officer nods, the door opens. Amidst pure white walls bright spotlights illuminate a Bugatti Grand Sport that is placed in the center of the spacious room. We have entered the hidden world of the Bugatti Design Studio. The team around Bugatti's Head of Design Achim Anscheidt works in a quiet and focused atmosphere as they walk around their latest object of desire. Several times they stop, take a step to the left and to the right; they bend down and up again, looking intensely at the Grand Sport from different angles. They analyse the reflections of light on the car's body before they step back for a moment to get an overall impression of their work. Thin blue lines flow over the bright white exterior of the fastest convertible in the world. It feels like visiting the atelier of an American pop-art artist.

The creation bears the name "L'Or Blanc." It represents an automobile that redefines the art of design. If you look at it through the eyes of a designer, you will recognize that it is the reflection of the studio lights on the body that attracts their interest. Positioned beneath a special light, the car is set in an ideal environment that provides an excellent image of the reflections. The studio light is reflected on the invisible edges between the body shapes of the Grand Sport. In numerous stages each reflection line is translated by Bugatti's designers onto the car body that has been pre-painted in a vibrant white tone. They use a precision tape made of Japanese soft tissue that can be easily torn off by hand. It adheres perfectly to sulphur-containing plasticine. By stretching them to a certain degree, these tapes are "lined" in pieces up to five meters long across the whole exterior of the car.

If the line does not fully meet the intention of the designers, they place a correction tape above the original line. This process is repeated until the final line has the right tension and character. Between the styling steps, the team looks at the car from a distance to evaluate the relation of the stripes to the white spaces. This is also the best way to ensure that lines flow from one side of the body across the roof and the rear to the opposite side. Even the smallest imperfections are being revised meticulously, as the final target is to achieve unrivalled perfection. Finally, the lines stretch across the perfectly shaped Bugatti like a grid of light reflections. Over the course of several weeks, the team of designers develop the final composition of dynamic bends and delicate lines that run over the automotive piece of art like the serpentines of the Italian Stelvio Pass.

In the next step, Bugatti's paint specialists dedicate themselves to the further completion of the masterpiece. Over the course of three weeks, each millimeter of the marked lines are being filled by hand with the characteristic blue color. In addition, the whole body receives five layers of clear lacquer. A varying and powerful gradient of the two colors is generated because the team had used a combination of tapes with different widths. While the blue lines dominate over the white spaces in the lower section of the convertible, the relation of colors inverts on the way to the roof so that the intense white appears even stronger. Twelve elements, made of finest porcelain at the Berlin based manufactory, complete the aesthetic approach of this special Grand Sport.

Let us change the location and visit the workshops of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur in the heart of Berlin. Following a tradition of around 250 years, at this location more than 170 craftsmen and specialists produce precious items, as today's expression of porcelain art. Hand-made plaster moulds are needed to craft the unique porcelain elements that appear in the exterior and interior of the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport "L'Or Blanc", and with a tremendous attention to detail, each mould is created and optimized in a several-week-long process at the research and development department. The team has to run a number of dedicated tests with the raw material to check the impact of the natural shrinkage of around 16 percent during firing and drying. Finally, the porcelain elements fit seamlessly to the Bugatti components.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport "L'Or Blanc" is the world's first automobile to be equipped with porcelain, and the development team invested a lot of effort to guarantee that each item is capable of performing in every driving situation in the most powerful car on the market. Before their application to the car, the porcelain elements were extensively examined in regard to automotive safety and quality to optimally protect the passengers in case of an accident.

As part of the exterior design, porcelain is used for the inlays of the centre wheel badges, the fuel filler cap and the oil filler cap as well as the signature "EB" badge at the rear. Their shiny white surface blends in with the brilliant bright finish of the paint suggesting that the car would be coated with a thin layer of porcelain, too.

Besides the signed porcelain inlays on the sides of the centre console, an intarsia made of finest porcelain is fixed to the rear panel between the seats. Similar to the exterior porcelain elements this item carries the relief of the famous elephant in an upright standing position that has been created by sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti. His brother Ettore had used the original draft to cast the radiator mascot for the Bugatti Royale. This elephant is a synonym for the brand still today. Embedded in the top of the centre console, there is a fine porcelain dish with edges finished in an exclusive diamond polishing - a technique that has been applied by the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin for the very first time. The precious dish can be removed and is part of a picnic set that was exclusively designed by KPM for the Bugatti car.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport "L'Or Blanc" presented in Berlin, is a one-of-a-kind creation. Nevertheless, the partnership is supposed to be continued, and Bugatti's designers received a lot of inspiration from porcelain painting offering a variety of new opportunities for the design. The price of the Bugatti L'Or Blanc is 1.65 million EUR.
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Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon, 2011

Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon, 2011

Cadillac unveiled the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon show car, foreshadowing the next addition to its V-Series performance line. It combines the performance and luxury of the landmark CTS-V Sport Sedan with the dramatic design of the CTS Sport Wagon.

The exterior is finished in Midnight Silver, first seen on the Cadillac Sixteen Concept, and accented by lustrous Liquid Silver-finished wheels and a black chrome finish on the grille's mesh insert. The rear fascia, upper spoiler and center high-mounted stop lamp are also unique to the show car.

Inside, the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon show car is trimmed in exclusive black leather with Alcantara accents. The upper section of the instrument panel and upper door panels are covered in the same premium leather, accented with midnight Sapele wood, while the microfiber material and stitching is applied to the lower door panels, pillars, console lid, headliner and steering wheel center. The show car features fine-grain black leather-trimmed Recaro seats with Alcantara seat inserts. The seat inserts are divided in the center and accented with dark gray stitching, while the V-series logo is laser etched into the seatbacks. Obsidian Black accents grace the center stack, console, steering wheel and door panels.

The show car's bespoke color and trim elements hint at the potential direction of color and trim in future Cadillac models. These elements are not yet intended for production, but represent Cadillac's desire to gauge customer reaction to new color and trim options.

Production Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon
The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon will go into production in late 2010, with initial sales in North America, followed by export markets including Europe and the Middle East. The new model rounds out the V-Series offerings, which include all variants of the CTS family's sedan, coupe and sport wagon body styles.

Like its sedan and coupe stable mates, the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V-8, which delivers 556 horsepower (415 kW) and is backed by either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. A suite of technical and performance elements complement the powertrain, including Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tires mounted on 19-inch forged aluminum wheels.

Like the other CTS V-Series models, the Sport Wagon incorporates a unique grille that doubles front-end airflow to help enable its high-performance capabilities. It is also visually identified by an aggressive front fascia and raised center section of the aluminum hood that provides clearance for the supercharger. It rides on 19-inch forged aluminum wheels available in painted or polished finishes.

The rest of the exterior carries the dramatic design of the new CTS Sport Wagon; the details of which include:

    * Signature V-shaped deck and tailgate motif
    * Large, vertical taillamps with light-pipe technology
    * Power-opening liftgate (via key fob or in-vehicle button)
    * CHMSL-integrated roof spoiler
    * Integrated roof load management system with available cross bars for a seamless appearance
    * Cargo management system with adjustable in-floor containment
    * Available panoramic UltraView sunroof

At the rear is a pair of 3-inch (76 mm) chrome exhaust outlets, which caps a performance dual-exhaust system made of high-grade stainless steel that will maintain a lustrous appearance longer than ordinary stainless.

Of course, cargo capability is a hallmark of wagons and the V-Series Sport Wagon delivers with 25.4 cubic feet (720 liters) of space behind the rear seats and 58 cubic feet (1,644 liters) with the seats folded - virtually doubling the available space of the sedan.

Supercharged performance
The 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine powers the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon - the same acclaimed engine found in the V-Series Sedan and Coupe models. Rated at 556 horsepower (415 kW) and 551 lb.-ft. of torque (747 Nm), it is the most powerful engine offered in Cadillac's history.

The engine features an intercooled Eaton Twin Vortices Series™ (TVS™) supercharger. This unique supercharger design employs twin four-lobe rotors, twisted 160 degrees. Typical superchargers feature three lobes twisted 60 degrees. The fourth lobe and added twist, when combined with unique air inlet and outlet ports, create smoother, more efficient airflow into the engine. In addition to improved overall efficiency, this supercharger has superior noise and vibration characteristics compared to more ordinary designs.

A pair of six-speed transmissions is offered in the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon - a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual with a dual-disc clutch and a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift controls. The steering wheel-mounted controls require no shift lever movement and allow immediate tap up/tap down gear selection. Performance Algorithm Shifting provides the automotive transmission with a performance-oriented shift pattern during sustained high-performance driving. As with many Cadillac models, the driver needs only to slide the shifter into the manual "gate" to put the transmission into a performance mode.

Torque is channeled through the six-speed transmissions to a high-performance rear axle that features a limited-slip rear differential within a cast iron housing for greater thermal management and asymmetrical half-shafts to smoothly manage the supercharged engine's incredible torque. The unique design includes alternately sized half-shafts that also help dynamically balance the oscillation of torque from side to side, effectively eliminating "power hop."

Magnetic Ride Control
The V-Series achieves exceptional levels of road-holding performance, but also maintains the poise of a luxury car in "regular" driving conditions. The technical enabler of this dual-mode driving character is Cadillac's landmark Magnetic Ride Control. It is standard on the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon and is the world's fastest-reacting suspension technology. It uses shocks controlled by advanced magneto-rheological technology, rather than mechanical valves, to greatly accelerate response time and precision.

Electronic sensors at all four wheels literally "read the road" every millisecond, making constant adjustments to damping to create virtually instantaneous and extremely precise control of body motions. This is of particular benefit for a high-performance car because it helps keep the car very composed during hard cornering, acceleration, braking and other dynamic maneuvers.

The Magnetic Ride shocks also enable a broader range of damping control to optimize the ride and handling for all driving conditions. In the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon, an extra measure of control is offered, with two selectable modes (Tour and Sport), enabling the driver to tailor the suspension for grand touring or more spirited performance driving.

Cadillac pioneered Magnetic Ride Control, bringing it to production first in 2002, following decades of research on magneto-rheological science. Today, the technology appears only on a short roster of the world's most elite vehicles, including Cadillac V-Series models, the Escalade luxury SUV and the STS and DTS luxury sedans.

Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires
The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon incorporates sophisticated braking and tire systems, in partnership with two companies renowned for high-performance technology: Brembo and Michelin. Brembo brakes are at all four corners and include powerful, six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.

Large vented rotors enable strong initial braking force while optimizing heat resistance and eliminating fade. The brake rotors from Brembo are manufactured with "dual-cast" technology that combines cast iron and aluminum, resulting in superior performance and weight reduction.

The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon also includes an electric parking brake, which allows for optimal dead pedal placement, which is important for high-performance driving.

Michelin partnered with Cadillac engineers to develop an exclusive Pilot Sport PS2 tire specifically engineered for the CTS-V. The tires support high levels of grip in track conditions, while also affording excellent performance on the road.

Comfort, style and technology
The interior of the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon is shared with the sedan, including streamlined instrumentation, LED lighting and hand-cut-and-sewn accents.

The Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon production model will come standard with performance seats featuring perforated sueded microfiber inserts designed to hold the driver and front passenger in place during cornering. Recaro performance driving seats are optional and provide excellent support for spirited driving. These 14-way adjustable performance seats include pneumatic bolster controls in the seat cushions and backrests.

Complementing the performance seating are a thick steering wheel and a gauge package designed for easy, at-a-glance reference during performance driving. Large instruments have bold readouts, including an LED-lit "tracer" function in the tachometer that flashes as the engine nears the red line. The gauge layout includes a boost gauge and a lateral acceleration display.

Obsidian Black accents grace the center stack, console, steering wheel and door panels. The production steering wheel and shifter are available in Alcantara, providing the luxurious character of suede. These accents are elegant to the touch and aid the driver during support high-performance driving. Just like every CTS, the V-Series includes a hand-stitched instrument panel, door trim and center console.

Leading-edge infotainment features extend to the V-Series. Standard features include an advanced navigation system with a deployable screen, Bose 5.1 digital surround audio, factory-installed Bluetooth phone integration and a 40-gigabyte hard drive that allows the customer to store a large library of music files. The system uploads files via a USB port or the in-dash DVD/CD drive and allows stored tracks to be searched and selected through the radio controls.
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