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Aston Martin, Mercedes up linkage through added ownership stake, strategic cooperation

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 007 Edition is just one of the new models the company rolled out this year.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

An expanded partnership between Aston Martin Lagonda and Mercedes-Benz will limit the beleaguered British automaker's risk and provide for a more tech-heavy future.

Tobias Moers, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, spent more than 25 years in senior roles at Diamler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz AG, prior to assuming the role in August 2020. "Today's expansion of our partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG is a critical step towards achieving our goals for Aston Martin. The capabilities of Mercedes-Benz AG technology will be fundamental to ensure our future products remain competitive and will allow us to invest efficiently in the areas that truly differentiate our products," he said in a statement regarding the news.

Mercedes already has a strategic partnership with Aston Martin. The new agreement allows the German automaker to become a more heavily invested long-term partner, supplier, and shareholder through a number of initiatives. These initiatives will effect everything from product development and technology offerings to fiscal stability.

Mercedes has given Aston Martin new financing. It is comprised of:

  • £125 million in new ordinary shares
  • £259 million equivalent in new second lien notes which mature in 2026 with detachable warrants incorporated representing 5.0% of the fully diluted issued share capital of Aston Martin following the proposed Mercedes-Benz AG share issuances
  • £840 million equivalent of first lien notes, which mature in 2025 and a refinanced revolving credit facility of £87 million maturing in 2025
This financing allows Aston Martin to repay a loan it took out as part of the U.K. Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. It also allows for working capital and capital expenditures to pay commissions and fees. Mercedes-Benz will then own up to 20 percent of Aston Martin.
In addition to financial stability, the partnership will give Aston Martin access to powertrain architecture for conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles currently on the market and future-oriented electric/electronic architecture. This will enable profit launches through 2027 and lower the cost and risk occurred when Aston Martin was faced with developing those technologies on its own.

Aston Martin is targeting 10,000 units of sale each year with $2 billion in revenue by 2024-2025, according to the announcement.

J.P. Morgan and Barclays were instrumental in helping put Goethe the agreement.

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CSR Racing 2 is a mobile game that allows gamers to drive a selection of Bugatti concept cars and production vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Bugatt

Bugatti and Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, have teamed up again to deliver a virtual drive experience in the Bugatti Bolide concept car to gamers. Bugatti has not yet decided if the Bolide, a hypercar that the President of Bugatti described as “riding a cannonball”, is bound for production.

Zynga’s CSR Racing 2 (CSR2) mobile game to allow players to compete against each other in drag race with different vehicles in various categories. As players win races they win points. These points can be used to upgrade their vehicle of purchase a more powerful model, like the Bolide.

The Bugatti Bolide is able to be raced at various tracks throughout the game.Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the concept, Bugatti has used its 8.0-liter W16 engine, which delivers 1,850 PS (1,824 horsepower) and 1,805 nM (1,364 pound-feet) of torque to move the Bolide1's 1,240-kilogram (2,733-pound) body. Bugatti clocks the model's top speed as being almost on-par with that of Formula One cars, well above 500 kilometers per hour (310 mph) and confirms that the weight and speed do not impact the car's agility.

The game gives gamers relatively accurate use of the car’s power.

"We are thrilled to have our fans experience the raw track-ready power of the Bugatti Bolide virtually through CSR2," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "Interactive entertainment allows racers across all generations to get behind the wheel of our latest hyper sport cars and feel their performance."

This is not the first collaboration between Zynga and Bugatti. Since last year, gamers have been able to add vehicles including the exclusive Chiron Pur Sport, the Chiron Super Sport 300+, La Voiture Noire, and the Centodieci to their garage, configure them and use them to race along the drag strip.

CSR2 is available to download for free on the App Store as well as the Google Play Store.

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The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is coming soon to a LEGO store near you.

Photo courtesy of LEGO

The Jeep Wrangler has fans the world over. For those fans whose extracurricular activities include LEGO building along with Jeeping, there's a new LEGO Technic model they'll want to take a look at. The LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the first LEGO model of a Jeep SUV.

Ask any Jeep Wrangler owner and they'll tell you that their vehicle is just a bigger version of this new LEGO set," said Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design. "The design of the Jeep Wrangler allows them to take it apart, top off, doors off, reconfigure it, add new pieces from our Mopar team, and then put it back together again. This LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler should bring a new level of joy to our Jeep enthusiasts and help inspire future designers to the brand."

LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Photo courtesy of LEGO

The 665-piece model features all the classic Jeep hallmarks - a performance 4x4 system, rugged tires, fold-down rear seats, and a seven-slot grille. It features a button operated front steering system and axle-articulation suspension. It has a yellow-and-black color scheme.

"The Jeep Wrangler is an icon in the off-road world" says Lars Thygesen, Designer, LEGO Technic. "The Rubicon has a lot of the iconic details loved by 4x4 fans the world over, so it was important to me to pack as many of the authentic, powerful features of the real vehicle into the LEGO Technic replica. I hope LEGO fans and vehicle lovers enjoy all aspects including the suspension, winch and open air design that we developed alongside the talented Jeep design team."

The LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler is designed for Jeep and LEGO fans alike, aged 9 and above. It will be available from January 1st 2021 from LEGO.com, LEGO stores and other retailers globally, priced at [49.99€/49.99$/£44.99].

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