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Cars

Bugatti Restoration Programme

Welcome to the world of Bugatti restoration, Bugatti’s personalized “La Maison Pur Sang” program.

If you’re reading this article, you might have wondered about whether it’s ever right to treat your Bugatti like an everyday VW Golf. At the end of the day, the two cars are from the same company – Volkswagen – and they can be driven for anything.

Even though an average Bugatti costs ten times the amount of an average family car, both cars are still practical for everyday tasks.

Bugatti recently revealed a bespoke restoration service known as the “La Maison Pur Sang” program. The first Bugatti to be restored was the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, the prototype for which was featured at Pebble Beach in 2008. An interesting fact is that due to its status as a prototype Bugatti, I don’t think it was sold to a customer. A prototype means that something may fall apart without giving any notice.

According to Bugatti, they reacquired the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport for restoration (from whom they reacquired is the question). The process of restoring a Bugatti involves the following:

Are you planning to buy a used Bugatti, or do you want to refresh your worn-out Bugatti? If so, there’s a service designed for your needs.

One final note, though: to enter Bugatti’s “La Maison Pur Sang” program, and also benefit from a restoration process for your Bugatti, this will set you back around the price of a brand new Audi A4!

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Cars

Ferrari 296 GTB

Ferrari recently revealed a new model, the 296 GTB. The other Ferraris’ 296 GTB features a turbo V6 engine coupled with an electric motor (PHEV aka plug-in hybrid). I know many Ferrari fans and owners won’t like this composition. However, I liked it!

Over the last two decades, Ferrari has focused on creating louder and louder cars. Different from the Ferraris of the 1990s, today’s Ferraris are very loud. They can even make residents uncomfortable when driven in urban areas.

Ferrari fans may not agree with me. In fact, they might tell me about how important a Ferrari’s exhaust noise is while playing with their smartphone to order food from Amazon!

Recently, the world has changed significantly. We now order food using smartphones and do banking without ever seeing any real money. So, what’s wrong with a Ferrari with a hybrid drivetrain? I believe that nostalgia and the male ego make things sound louder for no reason. Ferrari made this very well for a long time.

Now we know the importance of creating quieter cars, it’s worth noting Ferrari’s achievements in this area. Ferrari’s 296 GTB, powered by a 3-liter V6 turbo engine, produces 663 PS; the electric motor produces 167 PS and 350 nm of torque. In combination, the 296 GTB generates 830 PS and 740 nm of torque. The engine is coupled with an 8-speed DCT automatic gearbox and an e-diff.

Thanks to its electric motor, the Ferrari 296 GTB can travel on pure electricity up to 25 km! That’s amazing. You can travel in pure silence across town without annoying anyone, which makes this Ferrari an excellent car for people like me. The vehicle’s top speed is over 330 km/h and it only needs 2.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h!

For nearly half a century, Ferrari never had an offering with a V6 engine; and now they back to V6 and did a great job. The engine’s architecture is state-of-art, featuring 120-degree V angle to accommodate turbos for quicker response. There is also 350-bar fuel injector pressure and brake-by-wire technology for better braking. Notably, brake-by-wire technology is dangerous territory; Mercedes-Benz failed it with SBC in 2002!

Even the iconic Manettino switch has changed. Frank Stephenson designed the first Manettino for the Ferrari F430 in 2006. The new Manettino is called the eManettino and has four settings.

To wrap up, the Ferrari 296 GTB closes the gap between the SF90 Stradale and the F8 Tributo. It’s the perfect car for a new era of Ferrari. While I know that the 296 GTB wasn’t Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid (the SF90 Stradale holds that title), it’s the first V6 plug-hybrid. In my personal opinion, the 296 GTB is a fantastic car. It doesn’t shout like other Ferraris and it offers something unique. Despite being a plug-in hybrid, it is still a rear-wheel drive, unlike the SF90 Stradale. I think the 296 GTB would be an excellent car for newcomers to Ferrari!

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Cars

New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring

Porsche recently revealed the iconic 911 GT3 Touring, an ‘incognito mode’ take on the 911 GT3. The car shows no signs of its sheer power and abilities.

It looks like a normal Porsche 911, probably an entry-level model with no rear seats. However, under the bonnet, a high-revving 4-lt six-cylinder boxer engine can deliver 510 PS of power through a 6-speed manual or, for the first time, 7-speed PDK automatic transmission.

Go for the automatic option. Manual gearboxes are neither as quick nor efficient as PDK automatic gearboxes. For me, the manual gearbox is something unnecessary in today’s car world.

The 911 GT3 Touring is not for people who want to show off; it’s for people who would love to experience the raw Porsche 911 experience without any fixed-wing or aero kits. One of the best aspects of the GT3 Touring is its retractable rear wing – it appears when it should appear.

You won’t have so many toys with the GT3 Touring, and you’ll have less comfort compared to the original 911, but the GT3 Touring has a purpose! I’m not sure how many grand touring experiences you can have with this car, but it will still be a great car to drive on long journeys.

Is it worth buying? Yes, and as you expected, it’s more expensive with fewer features!

Photos // Porsche

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Fashion

Tom Ford Beach Collection: Fucking Fabulous

We’re currently in a pandemic, and travelling isn’t easy. Just in case you’ve managed to get somewhere hot and next to the sea, you might consider making the occasion once in a lifetime with Tom Ford. Tom Ford recently revealed a beach collection for people who want to be stylish wherever they go.

Tom Ford’s beach collection is called ‘Fucking Fabulous.’ The collection comes with a nice beach towel and a beach tote bag. Both loudly feature the collection’s name, so be careful with any possible offence or negative reactions.

Both the towel and the tote bag are available in three striking colours: black, hot pink, and African violet. Try to avoid black because this colour will absorb the sun’s heat and burn you like nothing else!

Sadly, there are no shoes available to go with Tom Ford’s new collection. If you are brave enough, I would highly recommend Tom Ford’s Disco Ball platform sandals. They have enough surface to prevent sinking in the sand and complete your Tom Ford look with an outstanding style.

Photos // Tom Ford

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Cars

Bugatti Chiron Sport races with a Dassault Rafale Marine Jet

Bugatti released a video a few days ago. If you are reading this article in 2050, the thing to note is that humankind raced fighter jets with passenger vehicles. So, Bugatti decided to show how fast its Chiron Sport is against a fighter jet, as you might be expecting. What better fit for this race than a Dassault Rafale?

Before I criticize the video, let’s note that the Bugatti Chiron Sport is powered by an 8-liter quad-turbo W16 engine (designed in the late 1990s). This generates 1,500 PS and 1,600 nm of torque. The engine is coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox delivering power to an all-wheel drive system, enabling the Chiron Sport to reach 420 km/h. It is a fast car, and you would never be able to experience its full potential.

The unique characteristics of the Chiron Sport are the ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ exclusive edition, which is limited to twenty vehicles. All of these are probably gone now.
Bugatti pays homage to the unique and fruitful relationship between its founder and France’s legendary pilots and race car drivers, including Louis Blériot, Roland Garros, Robert Benoist, Bartolomeo Costantini, and Albert Divo.

Honestly, this is an excellent project from Bugatti, honoring its aviation heritage, and I liked it.

However, using a Dassault Rafale Marine fighter jet with 5,727 PS to show that the Chiron Sport is faster on the ground is a bit too much of a throwback to the 2000s. The Tesla Model S would also probably outpace a Dassault Rafale, as well as many other vehicles, because airplanes don’t move their vehicles for propulsion; they use compressed air instead. Therefore, planes can’t accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h as quickly as a car.

Videos like this used to be impressive ten or fifteen years ago, back when Nokia was the best phone manufacturer. The world has changed since then; sadly, you can’t impress people with these PR exercises. There are more creative ways to present an exclusive edition compared to this.

I didn’t write this article to moan about video production. Bugatti is a great brand that develops unique vehicles, and I would like to see them go forward in every direction.

Images // Bugatti

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Cars

New Location of HR Owen Rolls-Royce London

HR Owen Rolls-Royce has a new home in Mayfair, which opened its doors a few weeks ago. If you’ve ever visited Berkeley Square, Mayfair, you surely wouldn’t have missed the HR Owen Rolls-Royce showroom. As a part of Mayfair, it’s been there for decades.

However, Rolls-Royce is not the old Rolls-Royce. The automobile maker now offers five different models: Phantom, Ghost, Cullinan, Dawn, and Wraith. When you add the extended wheelbases and the Black Badge version, there are seven other models.

Unfortunately, the Berkeley Square showroom isn’t suitable for showing all these cars at the same time. So, they had to find a new home, and they did it! The new showroom in Mayfair is only a 2-minute walk from the previous showroom on foot (wearing trainers), an 8-minute walk in high heels, a 30-second drive, and a 1-nanosecond trip by Star Trek Enterprise. That’s to say, the Mayfair showroom is very close!

Rolls-Royce’s new showroom in Mayfair is impressive; there are also lots of hidden gems. The best part is that you can see the whole Rolls-Royce range under the same roof. You name it, they have it!

The new showroom’s address is 50 Berkeley Street, W1J 8HD, London, United Kingdom.

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Cars

New Mercedes-Maybach S680 V12 4MATIC

After a very long time, probably 6-7 years later, I started to blog in the middle of the night. There is one reason for this: the Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC V12. After years and years of waiting, Mercedes-Benz finally released a V12 4MATIC sedan. For a short period, G65 AMG V12 was available, and it was four-wheel drive. However, there was no V12 sedan with an all-wheel-drive system.

As you would expect, Mercedes-Maybach is the perfect incognito luxury sedan that has the potential to eat the market share of Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls Royce Ghost. Mercedes-Maybach is half a decade ahead of both brands in terms of technology, including its driving assistance systems. However, the cool factor or multiplier of Maybach is not as strong as the British brands.

Anyway, the Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC is powered by a proper 6-lt V12 engine producing 612 PS and 900 Nm of torque (that’s a lot!), paired with a 9-speed automatic. 9-speed automatic and V12 is another first-timer. The sheer amount of torque produced by the V12 was always a transmission breaker. As we can see, Daimler AG’s metallurgy department found a way to cope with the torque.

These are some of the party tricks of the Mercedes-Maybach series. Yes, affordable V8 models are available as well, including a V6 for the Chinese market, Mercedes-Maybach S480 4MATIC (3-lt, 333 PS, and 480nm). However, the party tricks of Maybach are amazing, and I copied them from the press release directly. Just ignore the pricing; if you can afford it, you won’t be bothered by the pricing.

  • On request, the exclusive appearance of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can be further enhanced by a two-tone paint finish (14,875 euros) with a fine dividing line. A total of ten colour combinations from the Mercedes-Maybach paint chart are available for this.
  • When the electrically powered comfort doors at the rear (1606.50 euros) are operated, they open and close with no human effort even on gradients. Integration into the infotainment and control system MBUX and Blind Spot Assist ensures a high level of operating convenience and additional safety. In combination with MBUX Interior Assist in the rear, the closing action of the automatic comfort doors can even be started or stopped with a hand gesture.
  • Thanks to rear-axle steering (1547 euros), the S-Class feels as manoeuvrable as a compact car when driving in town.
    The revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT (2249.10 euros) allows completely new functions, for example the projection of guidelines or warning symbols onto the road surface.
  • With adaptive rear illumination (345.10 euros), the brightness and colour temperature of the interior lighting is adjustable in several stages. The LED spotlights are adjustable for position and size, allowing use as reading or lounge lights.
  • MBUX Interior Assist in the rear (523.60 euros) is able to detect rear-seat passengers. In this case the head restraints extend automatically. Intuitive hand gestures can be used to control the rear roller sun blind in the panoramic sliding sunroof. This is available in conjunction with MBUX Interior Assist in the front (642.60 euros).
  • With the MBUX high-end Rear Seat Entertainment system (2558.10 euros), passengers in the rear can also enjoy the full MBUX experience with direct access to vehicle functions. It is possible to watch films and access internet content on the two fully-integrated 11.6-inch high-resolution displays, for example.
  • The silver-plated champagne goblets (3808 euros) round off the exclusive atmosphere in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach. A tailor-made insert in the stowage compartment and two matching holders in the centre console hold the goblets in place even when on the move.

Technical details are;

  • S580 4MATIC: 3.9-lt V8, 503 PS + 20PS (electric boost), 700nm and 4.8-sec to 100km/h.
  • S680 4MATIC: 5.9-lt V12, 612 PS, 900nm and 4.5-sec to 100km/h.

Would I buy it? Yes!

Pictures // Daimler

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Cars

Latest Electric Cars of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi

Over the last few months, we experienced one of the highest numbers of electric car reveals. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi released a substantial number of electric vehicles to market, and here is a list of them.

Mercedes EQA (electric version of GLA), EQB (electric version of GLB), and EQS (electric version of S-Class). Soon to be EQE (electric version of E-Class).

BMW iX (electric version of X5), iX3 (electric version of X3, with only rear-wheel drive) and iX4 (electric version of 4-Series Gran Coupe, coming soon).

Audi RS e-tron GT (Audi version of Porsche Taycan), Q4 e-tron & Sportback (electric version of Q4 and based on VW platform with rear drum brake), and soon to be A6 e-tron (Electric version of A6).

Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the internal combustion engine, but the end is within sight. As far as I can tell from the press releases, VW Group, Daimler, and BMW will not be developing new internal combustion engines, and they will revise their existing ones. Honestly, this is a great way to improve the internal combustion engines (ICE); these engines are efficient, and improving them will help to increase efficiency levels.

Mercedes-Benz’s electric car range is a carbon copy of their existing ICE cars. Audi and BMW are following the same strategy. This means one thing: we will be moving from petrol to electricity without even noticing. The range anxiety is still here, but the ranges are getting better than better. Mercedes-Benz offers a 770-km range for a single charge, and that’s good. Also, we have many charging points.

The only issue is that electric cars are expensive, but their prices will go down eventually.

Recently, Rory Sutherland mentioned how cool electric cars are, noticing that they have motivated people to talk about their cars again. Honestly, if you own a petrol/diesel-powered car and talk about it all the time, it makes you a bit weird nowadays. The era of car-based status or showing off is gone, but if you buy an electric vehicle, you have a brand-new experience that people would love to hear about. I feel like electric cars will make cars cool again.

Will I buy an electric car? Yes. I am especially interested in the Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Photo // Audi, BMW, Daimler

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Fashion

Tom Ford Flip-flops for $990

Many people say Apple products are overpriced and that people should not buy them, or alternatively, Apple should lower its prices. Personally, I disagree. The fashion industry is far more brutal than the tech industry. A prime example is provided by the iconic brand Tom Ford.

Recently, Tom Ford introduced flip-flops with an astonishing price tag of $990 (£790). The reader may be incredulous, so I have attached the product details. Nothing about this product seems high-tech or expensive to manufacture. If you do not have them, nothing will change in your life. They are simply a pair of high-quality flip-flops with a Tom Ford logo. This, supposedly, justifies the price tag.

My conclusion is that tech brands are not, in fact, helping people to ‘show off’ or flaunt their status to others. If a consumer owns a $50,000 Mac Pro desktop computer, for instance, no-one will ever know, provided he or she does not carry it with them everywhere. On the other hand, for decades, fashion products have been designed to foster self-esteem and nurture vanity, and they succeed very well in doing so. A pair of Tom Ford flip-flops can highlight your financial success more than a Mac Pro or an Apple Watch. Moreover, high-end fashion products are not seen as frequently as their tech counterparts. Thus, the scarcity effect applies and makes these Tom Ford flip-flops more noteworthy than a tech product.

In sum, the next time you say that Apple makes ‘expensive products’, think twice. Apple and other tech firms have spent years refining their technology, and they spend billions (for example) on research and development. Moreover, their manufacturing process is complex and expensive. Making a computer is not like making a pair of heels or flip-flops. Therefore, technology firms must charge high prices to cover their costs and invest in future products.

US
https://www.tomford.com/velvet-and-calf-brighton-thong-sandal/W2921N-TVE011.html

UK
https://www.tomford.co.uk/velvet-and-calf-brighton-thong-sandal/W2921N-TVE011.html

Photos // Tom Ford

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Lifestyle

Nuuna: Probably the Best UX Designer Notebook

Nowadays, it has become less common to see a review of a notebook on a website. While we all try to embrace digital life, there is absolutely still room for a notebook. Especially if you are a user experience designer!

That’s what I do for a living. I am a user experience designer – not a blogger. So, I need to draw quick designs, and sadly digital tools can be a nightmare to use, meaning I always need a notebook to hand. Finding the perfect notebook, however, is an experience! The issue with many notebooks is the paper quality. Some notebooks (most of them) can’t cope with marker pens, fountain pens or anything that can throw a vast amount of ink onto the paper.

Because of this, I appreciate a good notebook when I find one, and recently I found a great one – Nuuna. I actually used a Nuuna notebook 5-6 years ago and decided to try them one more time, and it is now even better than before. Using the notebook is an experience in itself; you don’t buy a notebook, you buy something that looks extremely beautiful.

The paper quality is beyond anything I could have imagined after years of disappointing notebooks. Unlike other beautiful looking notebooks, Nuuna has high quality but low thickness paper, meaning it doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack, and also isn’t heavy to carry around.

The best part is that you can use any pen to hand without any problems. Even if the first pen you come across is a permanent marker like a Sharpie, yes it is a bit brutal on the paper, but it can handle it.

For sketching user interfaces or new ideas, I couldn’t recommend Nuuna enough. I would also highly recommend the dotted versions so that you can have a screen experience on paper.

Here is their website https://www.nuuna.com