Link - by Avi Abrams

      See How Dodge Viper, Maserati, Bentley, and Other Supercars are Made
       - on National Geographic Channel's "Ultimate Factories" this month

      We've seen how Morgan cars are made (by hand, out of wood!), 
      and now it's time to showcase new episodes of the
      Ultimate Factories, covering the making of Maserati, Mercedez-Benz, Dodge Viper, Bentley
      and other exotic luxury cars. Exclusively for readers of Dark Roasted
      Blend we present some great behind-the-scenes photos of manufacturing
      these cars - courtesy of the National Geographic Channel (the episodes are
      aired each week in February).

      1. Ultimate Factories: Dodge Challenger

      Dodge Challenger, the American classic muscle car reborn 40 years after
      its inception, is built in just 20 hours - in the 3 million square foot
      Canadian assembly plant that pumps out 900 Challengers a day across 20
      miles of conveyer belts - and in the Mexican factory that builds the
      Challengers’ famed Hemi engine:


      Watch video
      “The Paint Shop”: as the factory carefully applies special layers of high-gloss paint to
      each Challenger body.

      2. Ultimate Factories: Maserati
      - Thursday, February 10 at 10PM ET/PT It takes 22 days for a Maserati to
      be assembled and considered road ready — and the Maserati GranTurismo
      Convertible, a $135,000 convertible that tops out at more than 170 mph, is
      the new pinnacle of performance and comfort. Parts are assembled in
      Torino, Italy, while Maserati engines, made by Ferrari, are delivered to
      Modena, Italy. Another nine days are spent inspecting and testing each
      finished car. Then each car must pass a grueling series of road tests on
      both local streets and highways as well as on Maserati’s own cobblestone
      test track before it is ready to be shipped across the world:


      Watch video
      “Building a Maserati Fuel Line”.

      3. Ultimate Factories: Dodge Viper
      - Thursday, February 17 at 10PM ET/PT Detroit’s only hand-built production
      car, the Dodge Viper, is born, bred and built in Detroit, Michigan. This
      ultimate factory is comprised of craftspeople who spend two and a half
      days building each Viper, which is packed with 600 horsepower that can
      take it from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. Without any robots on
      this assembly line, every Viper is truly hand-crafted. Priced at half of
      the cost of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, only 26,000 Vipers have hit the
      road in 18 years:


      Watch videos
      “Building a Viper Engine”
      “Chassis Assembly”.

      4. Ultimate Factories: Mercedes-Benz
      - Thursday, February 24 at 10PM ET/PT What does it take to build the
      571-horsepower Mercedes SLS? Computers control everything in a Mercedes
      with more than a mile of wiring in each car, but to create the fastest
      Mercedes to date — topping out at 197 mph — it takes some of the best
      engineers in the world to mold a light yet strong supercar in 15 hours:


      5. Ultimate Factories: Bentley
      - Thursday, March 3 at 10PM ET/PT It takes more than 550 hours and nine
      weeks for artisans and technicians to create the Mulsanne, a new
      design of the luxury car fit for royalty and rock stars. Precision robots
      ensure that this two-and-a-half-ton luxury car’s body is flawlessly
      molded, but the finest leather is hand-sewn for Bentley’s lavish
      upholstery. And the Bentley Woodshop tackles a centuries-old craft, wood
      veneering. It takes an hour to craft one wood panel, and the Mulsanne has
      more than 300!


      Among previous episodes of The Ultimate Factories:


      Lamborghini's factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy (20 miles/30
      kilometers north of Bologna) is building its fastest car ever the
      Murcielago SV, of which just 350 will be made. The $450,000
      Murcielago SV launches from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.2
      seconds and can achieve a top speed of 212 miles per hour. The factory
      builds the car almost entirely by hand including its engine and body. The
      car is also painted and assembled by hand, including installation of the
      famous Lamborghini scissor doors. Every car is custom-built to order, and
      only 2.7 cars are completed per day:


      Watch video
      “The Scissor Doors”
      "Powering the Murcielago"


      The Phantom is the first Rolls-Royce motorcar to be introduced
      since the company was acquired by BMW in 1998. Manufacture of the Phantom
      begins in Unterhallerau, Germany, where its strong, stiff and lightweight
      space frame chassis is built. Each space frame and body shell assembly is
      then sent to BMWs factory in Dingolfing, Germany for corrosion-resistance
      treatment and primer paint. Next, each Phantom is shipped to a
      manufacturing facility constructed by BMW specifically to build the new
      generation of Rolls-Royce motorcars.


      It takes an average of 450 hours and the skills of hundreds of dedicated
      craftspeople, artisans, designers, engineers, mechanics, painters, sewing
      machinists and others to hand-build each car. At a base price of $380,000,
      the Phantom comes equipped with an impressive list of standard amenities
      including 90 square yards (75 sq meters) of A-grade Bavarian leather
      upholstery and book matched interior wood trim, hand-crafted from exotic
      veneers, all of which are fashioned right in the main assembly building of
      the Goodwood plant.


      Camaro is built in the 10-million-square-foot factory in Oshawa, Ontario,
      Canada - one of the largest auto plants in the world. The car is stamped
      from cold raw steel and assembled by high-tech precise robots and nearly
      5,800 employees, to create the car's specially designed "unibody"












      (Photo Credits: Cry Havoc Productions, KAOS Entertainment, National
        Geographic Television, Hoff Productions - courtesy
        National Geographic Channel)

      Making a sophisticated, stylish car is a powerful statement of human
      engineering and manufacturing prowess, a process that's fascinating to
      observe, and - if lucky - to follow step-by-step in person. Each car is a
      beauty to behold and a privilege to own - and each car gets "born" in its
      own inimitable way.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Red Bentley looks like a long wheel base Flying Spur [Spud]. Other than that everythings allright with the article.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

American "exotic" cars are laughably simple compared to European models...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They may be "laughably simple" but you dim witted dolt they are also massively more affordable...doh

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admittedly US cars are often more affordable (although not so clearly here in Europe). You could also use terms like "cheap" or "primitive". US cars still seem to be ages behind european one in technology, driveability, let alone quality - materials used always more affordable. A especially funny detail in story "to create the car's specially designed "unibody" construction".


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