Design

McLaren Verdant Theme GT by MSO comes complete with cashmere upholstery, 430-hour paint job

A new McLaren model shows off the automaker's customization options.

Photo courtesy of McLaren

McLaren is raising the bar on super luxury sports car personalization options with the new McLaren Verdant Theme GT by MSO. The customization crafted by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) takes the craftsmanship of the car and heightens the emotional appeal by delivering a unique one-of-one look for the most exclusive of customers.

This particular model utilizes the GT. According to McLaren,

"The Verdant Theme GT by MSO revels in a feeling for the verdant landscapes and fresh horizons that the GT has been designed to explore. Colors and materials employed with the highest level of technical precision reflect hues and textures from the natural world – for example, key touch points in the cabin are trimmed in cashmere, the first time this softest and most luxurious of wools has been used by McLaren and the first time it has become available in a supercar."

The car has a satin tri-tone paint finish that moves from light to dark blending three shades of green (Horsell Green, Arbor and Steppe Green) from nose to tail. The paint job required 430 hours of work to complete, the most complex process ever undertaken by MSO.

There are hand-painted pinstripe accents in Napier Green along the body and front splitter. The bespoke brake calipers are painted Napier Green as well. There's a MSO Black Pack that adds gloss black wheels, upper window surround, and exhaust finisher.

McLaren Verdant Theme GT by MSO

Photo courtesy of McLaren

Inside, Dark Green, Jet Black and Laurel Green leather with Laurel Green micro-piping contrasts with charcoal grey cashmere that is on the center tunnel, the door inserts, the lower section of dashboard, sun visors, head restraints, and the back upper section of the seats.

MSO has been working to perfect the application of cashmere for 18 months. It currently has limited availability as the most exclusive MSO option.

Further, the cabin has a dedication plaque, embroidered logos, and an accelerator panel laser-etched with the MSO logo.

No enhancements have been made to the car's powertrain.

Further information about McLaren Special Operations and the personalization opportunities it offers is available at https://cars.mclaren.com/en/mso.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 1 millionth vehicle off the line was a red Passat.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is celebrating the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly line - Aurora Red Metallic 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line. The milestone was reached later than initially anticipated due to production shutdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's gratifying to me that our team is back to work and able to mark yet another key milestone since the opening of VW's Chattanooga plant," said Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. "Part of us getting back to normal is taking time to recognize these important achievements which are only possible because of the hard work and commitment of our exceptional team here in Chattanooga."

2020 Volkswagen Passat Volkswagen's plant employs approximately 3,800 people.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Before the Chattanooga plant opened, Volkswagen hadn't made a vehicle in the U.S. in 22 years following the closing of the Westmoreland facility in Pennsylvania.

The Passat got its start as a vehicle designed specifically for the North American market.

Ground was broken on the Tennessee plant in 2009 and in 2011 it began producing Passats. It currently employees approximately 3,800 people. In the last nine years, the plant has produced more than 700,000 Passats and 100,000 Atlas SUVs. The new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and the refreshed 2021 Atlas recently began production.

The Chattanooga facility doesn't just produce vehicles for domestic sale. Chattanooga-assembled vehicles have been exported to Canada, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the Middle East.

Volkswagen has announced that the plant will be the company's North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles including the ID.4, representing an approximately $800 million investment, starting in 2022. The expansion to enable U.S. production of long-range EVs began in November 2019.

Volksagen Chattanooga line The Chattanooga plant produces a number of vehicles.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen isn't just committed to the cars it produces in Chattanooga. The company has invested in its community too. Late last year, Volkswagen donated $1.25 million to The Conservation Fund to purchase land near the plant so it could be donated to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Maserati is promising an electrified future for its brand.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

In his prom "Divine Comedy," Italian author Dante Alighieri wrote, "From a little spark may burst a flame." It is fitting that Italian automaker Maserati is using a spark to tease its future.

That future includes a completely redesigned Maserati Ghibli Hybrid. Maserati has also been showing a pre-production version of the car under wraps on a tour though Italy calling it the MC20. It was designed and engineered at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, Italy.

Maserati electrification 2020 As part of its announcement, Maserati shared images of its headquarters being hit by simulated lightning.Photo courtesy of Maserati

That bit about being straight from Italy is important to the brand. Despite being owned by a company headquartered in the Netherlands (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) that is about to merge with a company headquartered in France (PSA Group), the Maserati team has been given the freedom to design using Italian sports car DNA.

That Italian sports car DNA will be merging with a hybrid powertrain in a move all about sparking Maserati sales. For its part, the company is calling it, "the first in a line of new vehicles at the vanguard of a new era for Maserati." The's a next chapter, if you will.

Throughout 2020, Maserati is expected to strengthen its position in the luxury electric vehicles market as it works to allocate more of its production space to electrified cars.

The Ghibli Hybrid goes first, later this year. The Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabriolet will begin production in 2021 as the automaker's first all-electric cars. The next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be built at the Mirafiori production hub.

Maserati's Modena facility is in the process of a remodel, which will allow it to be modified enough to begin producing what the company is calling a "super sports car" in 2020.The Ghibli Hybrid will have the first hybrid engine in the history of the marque.

A forthcoming Maserati utility vehicle is set to be built at Cassino in 2021. The automaker is already teasing the model saying that it is, "intended to play a leading role for the brand, thanks to its innovative technologies." Technological innovation is not something Maserati has been known for lately so this could be a welcome change.

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