Restoration

After a failed restoration, Lamborghini LM002 once driven on 'Top Gear' by The Stig is reborn

This 1987 Lamborghini LM002 was given a complete restoration following years of use and long-term storage.

Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

It's one thing to be tricked into getting a new air filter for your car when you go in for an oil change even though you don't need one. It's quite another to completely fail at a vehicle restoration.

Lamborghini LM002 chassis number 40 of 301 has been given a restoration by the experts at Bell Sport & Classic after having survived a series of owners, drivers, and a failed restoration attempt. The 11-month project completely overhauled the vehicle, which was driven on a 2003 episode of "Top Gear" by The Stig.

1987 Lamborghini LM002 The model is finished in a Blu Acupulco Metallizato paint job.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

The LM002 was produced by Lamborghini between 1986 and 1993. It was massive and powerful and full of machismo then. Even now, in the age of emission standards and public transportation, the LM002 is still highly regarded.

It came from the factory with a 450-bhp 5.2-liter V12 engine from the Countach under its hood. It has a 76.6-liter fuel tank, which buyers will need because the badass boxy model gets just 8 mpg.

This particular left-hand drive LM002 was purchased by its current owner in 2003, who spent six years enjoying it on- and off-road before placing it into storage in 2009. Ten years later it arrived at Bell Sport & Classic for a complete restoration after having one failed effort, with components in boxes.

Bell Sport & Classic had just the right man for the job. Their master technician, Attilio Romano, is a former Ferrari factory technician with over 40 years of experience in service and restoration. Prior to his time at Bell Sport & Classic, Romano was the lead technician at H.R. Owen across Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti models, including being the first factory-registered technician to work on the Veyron.

1987 Lamborghini LM002 The engine is original.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

"The engine block was still in place," Attilio remembers of starting work on the LM002, "but most of the ancillaries had been stripped off. All the separated components were supplied in boxes…it was a bit of a detective job, so the first thing we did was a thorough inventory."

However, not all the parts that were needed were there. Also, many of the parts and tools needed are now unavailable from Lamborghini. So, the team at Bell Sport & Classic set about creating new components in-house or outsourcing them from trusted suppliers.

At the rear the LM002 features two springs and dampers per wheel, while the front features a spring-within-a-spring suspension unit, with the two springs wound in opposite directions. With no service tool in existence to disassemble the front unit, Attilio created his own rig to compress and remove the two springs in one operation. Once apart, all components were inspected then sent to be powder coated.

1987 Lamborghini LM002 The LM002 was the very definition of utility vehicle.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

An up close look at the power plant revealed that the water pump had been leaking though the bearing seals. The housing had also fractured. With that part no longer stocked, Bell Sports & Classic relied on the expertise of Chesman Engineering of Coventry to create an entirely new pump to original specification.

Aside from the water pump, the LM002's engine was in relatively good condition. There were only had 13,690 miles on the power plant. It was in fine condition. The same could not be said for the transmission, which saw its dog gear and center diff damaged. A replacement was listed at over £6,000 and no new units were available. Attilio used his expertise to reshape the teeth using die grinders and files to get it back in proper working order.

The non-standard rear exhaust box was replaced with an original spec system.

1987 Lamborghini LM002 Most of the car's interior leather is original.Photo courtesy of Bell Sport & Classic

This LM002 was finished in a Blu Acupulco Metallizato paint job and had its cabin trimmed in light grey leather. Most of the leatherwork was just repairs as its good condition allowed for just minor touchups. All door deals were replaced.

The 1987 Lamborghini LM 002 is currently for sale by Bell Sports & Customs and listed at £285,000.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo brings an adventurous spirit to the table.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Imagine a Porsche 911 with a long, wagon-like back end and you end up with something like the Porsche Panamera. Make the 911 a Taycan, Porsche's fully-electric sports sedan, give it a wagon-like back end and increased ground clearance, and you have the 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Porsche says that the new model "draws on the strengths of its sport sedan sibling" giving buyers an idea of what to expect - a performance-focused driving style, sure-footedness, and a refined interior. The increased ground clearance via a standard air suspension and added cargo capacity make the Taycan Cross Turismo more adventure-ready.

The fresh body style give rear seat occupants 0.35 inches more legroom and 3.62 inches more headroom. With the rear seats folded, there's 42.8 cubic feet of cargo space, about 10 cubic feet less than what's in the 2021 Porsche Macan. With the seats erect, the differential is in the Macan's favor by just under two cubic feet (15.7 vs. 17.6). The Taycan Cross Turismo has 2.9 cubic feet of cargo space in the front, something the Macan doesn't have (because that's where its engine is).

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Roof rails are standard. A roof transport system and rear-mounted bike rack are available via Telequipment. The Off Road Design Package adds additional body cladding and raises the ride height an additional 10 millimeters (0.39 inches).

The boutique automaker will launch the model in four grades: Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo. All models will features dual-motor all-wheel drive, a two-speed rear transmission, Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management in conjunction with air suspension, Performance Battery Plus and its 800-volt battery architecture, adaptive aerodynamics, a panoramic glass roof.

The Taycan Cross Turismo will come standard with a Gravel drive model, meant for driving situations that need more traction than most. But, in no way should the car be considered anything more than dirt-path ready. The car is quipped with more cladding than the traditional Taycan in order to prevent paint chips and body damage.

Porsche says that Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can accelerate from a stop to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds while the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo can make the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo and Taycan 4 Cross Turismo can get to 60 mph in 3.9 and 4.8 seconds respectively.

Three years of free Electrify America charging is also included with every model.

Buyers will be able to order theres in a number of color ways, interior schemes, and Cross Turismo specific items such as the Off Road Design Package and 20-inch Off Road Design or 21-inch Cross Turismo Design wheels. There are 21,000 total combinations based solely on variant, wheel choice, exterior color, and interior selection.

Porsche's PCM infotainment and navigation system are standard. Wireless Apple CarPlay, Function on Demand, Plug and Charge capabilities, Apple Music, over-the-air updates for three years. Bose and Burmester audio systems and 14-way power-adjustable seats with massage functionality are available.

Adaptive cruise control, park assist, a head-up display, and lane keep assist will also be available.

The Taycan Cross Turismo models start at $90,900, not including the $1,350 destination charge. The Taycan Cross Turismo is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in summer 2021. EPA range figures will be announced closer to market launch.

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