- the felicity ace caught first in the atlantic ocean near the azores last week, and now we have learned that lamborghini had urus, aventador, and huracán
models on board.
- the car carrier ship was hauling thousands of vw group models from their european production homes to the united states. volkswagen golf r, gti, arteon, and id.4 vehicles were on board, as well as unspecified porsche and bentley models.
- bugatti has confirmed that it didn’t have any vehicles on the ship.
as salvage teams arrive at the felicity ace where it's floating near the azores in the atlantic ocean, executives at lamborghini are thinking about ways that the company might deal with the fact that a small number of rare aventadors could be lost to the burning ship.
the felicity ace is the car carrier that caught fire last week as it was crossing the atlantic from germany to the u.s. with thousands of new volkswagen group vehicles on board. mitsui o.s.k. lines, which owns the ship, has been issuing updates about the efforts to put out the fire and see if there’s anything left on board to salvage. two large tugboats from gibraltar arrived at the felicity ace’s location yesterday and started spraying the vessel with water cool off the hull. one salvage team is already on site and another was expected to arrive today. a third should be there this weekend. the plan, mitsui said, is for the salvage teams to board the felicity ace "when conditions are safe." all 22 crew members were rescued from the ship when it first caught fire and no timeline was given for when it might be safe for someone to go back on board.
as for the cars on board, the exact number and type has not yet been made public, but the more we learn about what’s on the ship, the more it looks like high-end buyers will be the ones most affected. initial reports said that around 1100 porsche vehicles, 189 bentley vehicles, and approximately 100 volkswagen golf r, gti, arteon, and id.4 vehicles were on the ship. now we learn that lamborghinis are also part of the picture. automotive news reports that dozens of lamborghinis, mostly urus suvs as well as aventador and huracán models, are on the ship.
"we don't know yet the final outcome," the ceo of automobili lamborghini america, andrea baldi, told automotive news. "we also are waiting for official information for the time being. we have informed our dealers, and they have informed our customers, because whatever happens, in any case, there will be a delay."
the biggest potential problem for lamborghini is the half-million-dollar aventadors, a model that’s sold out and is nearing the end of its production run. once the company learns the fate of the aventadors on the felicity ace, and if any of them are damaged or ruined, lamborghini will determine if it can get enough parts from its suppliers to rebuild the destroyed vehicles.
"the car is sold out, so there is always a possibility out of 563 units that some cancellation can allow an aventador replacement, but i prefer to hope for the time being that at least the few aventadors on the ship will be safe," baldi told automotive news.
bugatti, a former vw group brand that is now a joint venture between rimac automobili and porsche ag, was rumored to have a small number of vehicles on board the felicity ace, but that's not the case. bugatti confirmed to car and driver that none of its vehicles were on board the ship. bugatti might have dodged a bullet simply by not having any vehicles on this manifest, but the automaker is known to be extra careful when it ships its expensive luxury vehicles around the world. in 2014, for example, wired said the automaker wrapped a special-edition bugatti veyron grand sport vitesse "more carefully than royal nurses swaddle the future king george."
it’s worth repeating the story of how another vw group brand handled a similar situation a few years ago. in 2019, a ship called grande america caught fire and sank, taking with it (alongside a few dozen other porsches and around 2000 audis) four limited porsche 911 gt2 rs vehicles. the quirk was that porsche had already technically ended production of the limited-edition gt2 rs model, which would have meant that the buyers of those four cars would simply be out of luck. porsche, knowing that you can’t anger too many people willing to drop $300,000 on a car, decided to restart production for those 911s. that’s a move the aventador buyers affected by the felicity ace fire would certainly appreciate here, too.