Reminiscence of an icon
A pioneering spirit, passion for perfection and the desire to continually redefine its limits have been the key characteristics of BUGATTI since it was founded 110 years ago. None of the brand’s masterpieces reflect these values more impressively than the Type 57 SC Atlantic. Created by Ettore Bugatti’s eldest son Jean, the only four Atlantics ever created stand for pure elegance and sophistication.
With its homage to the fourth, all-black Atlantic, missing since the Second World War, BUGATTI is bringing the speed, technology, luxury and aesthetics of an icon into a new era. But the customised creation of “La Voiture Noire” is far more than a modern interpretation of the ghost of the gran turismo. “La Voiture Noire” is a tribute to BUGATTI’s own history, a manifesto of the BUGATTI aesthetic and a piece of automotive haute couture.
Bugatti had barely unveiled its new sports car when the vehicle was purchased by a mystery buyer for an unprecedented €16.7 million ($19 million).
The new supercar, named La Voiture Noire, was publicly debuted on Tuesday at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. The amount spent by an unknown German on the new most-expensive car ever built could buy over 500 Tesla Model 3s.
The automaker produced only one example of La Voiture Noire to celebrate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary.
According to the company, the six-tailpipe “hypercar” is equipped with an eight-liter engine that has 16 cylinders and 1500 brake horse power. The new vehicle is reportedly a homage to Bugatti’s legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic, which was produced in the 1930s.
The company hasn’t revealed the name of buyer who snapped up La Voiture Noire. However, several sources in the industry told CNBC that the luxury auto was purchased by former Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, who is known for his collection of high-performance cars.
According to Bugatti, La Voiture Noire is “more than a modern interpretation” of the old Type 57 SC Atlantic, of which only four units were ever produced. The Type 57 SC Atlantic is seen as the most famous work of Jean Bugatti, the son of the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti.
Fuel consumption, l/100km: 35.2 in urban areas / 15.2 in extra urban areas / 22.5 combined; combined CO2 emissions g/km: 516; efficiency class: G
WLTP: Fuel consumption, l/100km: low 43.3 / medium 22.2 / high 18.0 / extra high 18.3 / combined 22.3; CO2 emissions, combined, g/km: 506; efficiency class: G
„La Voiture Noire“ – More than a reinterpretation
“The Atlantic is one of the icons of BUGATTI’s rich history. At the time, this coupé was unique in its elegance, quality and performance, and it remains so today. A luxurious hyper sports car. For us, both an inspiration and obligation at the same time,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of BUGATTI.
In terms of exclusivity, performance and luxury, the new “La Voiture Noire” is every inch the equal of Jean Bugatti’s masterpiece. It is the perfect manifestation of BUGATTI’s cornerstones: “dynamic, luxury and elegance”.
“La Voiture Noire” is an opus of elegance and finesse. Purism and elegance are reflected in every surface and continued into each minute detail. The windscreen seems to flow seamlessly into the windows like the visor on a helmet. The newly designed bumpers are smoothly integrated into the body. Clear lines guide the eye subtly over the surface, which seems to blend into a single piece. With its extended front end and the distinctive BUGATTI Signature line, “La Voiture Noire” creates an elongated impression. Its elegant waistline accentuates the coupé’s contours. At the rear, six tailpipes bear witness to the incredible power of “La Voiture Noire”. Subtly incorporated into the overall appearance, they hint at the strength of the car’s heart, the iconic 16-cylinder engine.
The fin running down the centre of “La Voiture Noire” echoes the Atlantic’s legendary dorsal seam. It is a unique symbiosis of history and modernity, which subtly runs into the flowing lines of the perforated rear.
Down to the smallest details
Each component has been crafted by hand, accentuating the level of BUGATTI’s manufacturing quality. The carbon fibre body has a deep black gloss, interrupted only by the ultrafine fibre structure. Perfectly harmonised materials merge with the finish to leave the surface gleaming vividly.
Automotive Haute Couture
Individuality: the true form of luxury
Created according to the maxim, “elegance through minimalism and refinement through intensification”, “La Voiture Noire” raises the bar far beyond imagination. The exclusive one-off is a breathtaking example of automotive creativity and artistry, and delivers spectacular proof of BUGATTI’s ability to build the world’s strongest, most luxurious and exclusive hyper sports cars.
The wheels exemplify the car’s potent appearance. A special programme was used to calculate the optimal material thickness for the alloy wheels during construction.
The extent of BUGATTI’s manufacturing quality can be seen with the characteristic tail lights, which just like the main headlights, are specially made and fitted by hand in BUGATTI’s Molsheim atelier.
The heart of „La Voiture Noire“
Centrepiece of “La Voiture Noire” is its beating heart, the iconic 16-cylinder engine. This technical masterpiece is unique in the automobile world and a true mechanical highlight. The 16-cylinder, eight-litre engine delivers 1,103 kW/1,500 PS and 1,600 Newton-metres of torque.
Jean Bugatti – the Stylist
Like his father Ettore, Gianoberto Mario Carlo Bugatti, named Jean, was a visionary, far ahead of his time. Ettore’s eldest son was a gifted car designer with a rare feel for proportions and aerodynamics. From the late 1920s onwards, he influenced the development of the company with his own stylistic ideas and designs, before assuming responsibility for management in 1936 at the age of 27.
A rich heritage
Jean was responsible for creating numerous classics for the legendary brand. With his pioneering designs for bodies, engines and chassis, he created some extraordinary vehicles until his tragic death in an accident in 1939, securing his place as a visionary artist in the history of the automobile. Like the company itself, Jean would have been 110 years old this year.
The Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupé
Jean Bugatti’s most beautiful and famous design is the Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupé – perhaps the greatest of BUGATTI’s legends.
Already at the time, its body was spectacularly eye-catching and unique. Its standout design feature is the protruding dorsal seam, which runs like a razor-sharp fin vertically from the hinge in the split bonnet through to the rear end.
The motoring equivalent of the Amber Room
The three remaining Atlantics are among the world’s most expensive and desirable classic cars. The whereabouts of Jean Bugatti’s personal “La Voiture Noire” are still unknown – the automotive equivalent of the Amber Room. It is thought the car disappeared during the Second World War, sent to a safe region before the German troops invaded Alsace. Its disappearance more than 80 years ago remains the biggest mystery in BUGATTI’s fabled history. Today, “La Voiture Noire” lives on as a myth.
With the new “La Voiture Noire”, BUGATTI has created a car that takes up that legend and carries it forward to the present day. In its exclusiveness, style, quality and performance, “La Voiture Noire” is an unprecedented creation that continues Jean Bugatti’s legacy in striving for unprecedented elegance and technical perfection.
Bugatti just unveiled the most expensive new car ever built
* * * Bugatti, the French sports car brand that is now owned by German automaker Volkswagen, has revealed the most expensive new car ever built. With a sale price of 16.7 million euros ($19 million), the Bugatti La Voiture Noire was publicly debuted Tuesday at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland.
Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer of high-performance automobiles, founded in 1909 in the then-German city of Molsheim, Alsace by the Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti. The cars were known for their design beauty and for their many race victories. Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 “Royale”, the Type 57 “Atlantic” and the Type 55 sports car.
The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean Bugatti in 1939 ensured there was not a successor to lead the factory. No more than about 8,000 cars were made. The company struggled financially, and released one last model in the 1950s, before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in 1963. In the 1990s, an Italian entrepreneur revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars. Today, the name is owned by the Volkswagen Group.
Under Ettore Bugatti
Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in Molsheim located in the Alsace region which was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic manner in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore’s family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (1856–1940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer).
The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing: in 1929 a privately entered Bugatti won the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. Racing success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron).
Bugatti cars were extremely successful in racing. The little Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four positions at its first race. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is one of the most successful racing cars. The Type 35 was developed by Bugatti with master engineer and racing driver Jean Chassagne who also drove it in the car’s first ever Grand Prix in 1924 Lyon. Bugattis swept to victory in the Targa Florio for five years straight from 1925 through 1929. Louis Chiron held the most podiums in Bugatti cars, and the modern marque revival Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. named the 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car in his honour. But it was the final racing success at Le Mans that is most remembered—Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron won the 1939 race with just one car and meagre resources.
Bugattis are noticeably focused on design. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured guilloché (engine turned) finishes on them, and safety wires had been threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti’s axles were forged such that the spring passed through a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley‘s cars as “the world’s fastest lorries” for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, “weight was the enemy”
Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. (1998–present)
Volkswagen AG acquired the Bugatti brand in 1998. Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign to produce Bugatti Automobiles’s first concept vehicle, the EB118, a coupé that debuted at the 1998 Paris Auto Show. The EB118 concept featured a 408-kilowatt (555 PS; 547 bhp), W-18 engine. After its Paris debut, the EB118 concept was shown again in 1999 at the Geneva Auto Show and the Tokyo Motor Show. Bugatti introduced its next concepts, the EB 218 at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show and the 18/3 Chiron at the 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA).
Veyron era (2005–2015)
Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. began assembling its first regular-production vehicle, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 (the 1001 PS super car with an 8-litre W-16 engine with four turbochargers) in September 2005 at the Bugatti Molsheim, France assembly “studio”. On 23 February 2015, Bugatti sold its last Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, which was named La Finale.
Chiron era (2016–present)
The Bugatti Chiron is a mid-engined, two-seated sports car, designed by Achim Anscheidt, developed as the successor to the Bugatti Veyron. The Chiron was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1, 2016.
This week at the Geneva Motor Show, Bugatti is also unveiling a special edition of the Chiron: the Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti.” Twenty have been manufactured, and they’ve all sold for a net price of €3 million ($3.4 million).
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