La Voiture Noire Bugatti’s new $19mn ‘hypercar’ sets new price record

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.




flowing lines
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.


Uncompromising perfection
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.

Manufactory BUGATTI
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.
The artist
Jean Bugatti

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 legend
The Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupé

An icon
Jean Bugatti’s most beautiful and famous design is the Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupé – perhaps the greatest of BUGATTI’s legends.

unprecedented elegance
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 myth
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)
Pre-Veyron
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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The greatest auto innovations of 2018

The greatest auto innovations of 2018

Few innovations thrill us more than the ones we drive. When you consider an electric supercar that snaps back your head with acceleration or a set of tungsten-coated brakes that’ll have you straining against your seatbelt faster than you can say “internal combustion engine,” it’s easy to conclude 2018 was a heckuva year for the road-going brilliance.

I-Pace by Jaguar

* * * Grand Award Winner
The first truly off-roadable electric vehicle
Jaguar’s I-Pace is an astonishing ride: It’ll rocket you to 60 mph in 4.5 silent seconds thanks to its 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque, delivered through electric motors mounted on each axle. But this machine truly shines away from the pavement: It’ll scamper gamely over rocks with its all-wheel-drive traction system (which senses both what it’s driving over and how much traction that surface affords), ford water 19.7 inches deep without damaging its 90-kilowatt-hour battery, and climb and descend steep slopes. Its electrified version of off-road cruise-control allows the car to manage both throttle and braking through snow, mud, or sand, up or down slopes, and at speeds between 2 and 18 mph. Instead of worrying about what gear you should be in and how much power to apply, the driver just needs to focus on steering and enjoying the ride. With high-speed charging—reaching 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes via a 100-kilowatt direct-current fast charger—it’s truly one of the most evolved and capable electric vehicles to arrive. It starts at $69,500.

C_Two by Rimac

* * * The fastest electric car
There’s not a single figure associated with this car that isn’t awesome: 1,914 horsepower, 258 mph, 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, 1,700 pound-feet of torque. The fact that all of this comes via four zero-emission electric motors—one at each wheel—seems almost an afterthought. While eco-conscious hypercar enthusiasts rave about green bona fides, performance junkies can ponder the experience of the car’s speed and handling, delivered through an all-wheel-drive system that lets you select how much power you want at either end of the car. Dial it all toward the back for maximum adventure through the turns, or keep a healthy dose flowing to the front tires for more grip. Though very much a driver’s car, this wicked-looking auto is also a docile touring machine when needed, with roomy luggage capacity, a comfy ride, and semi-autonomous capability to help you relax between Alpine bombing runs. It’ll cost you about $2,000,000.

Echo Auto by Amazon

* * * Alexa, take a ride with me
Amazon’s smart speaker hits the road. Plop this flat, $50 rectangle on your dash, and its eight microphones will pick out your voice over music and road noise when you ask for news, music, directions, what’s next on your calendar, or any of Alexa’s other 50,000 tricks (and counting). The coolest part, though, is its ability to perform location-specific actions. The device can execute commands automatically as you reach a particular place. Get it to play “The Imperial March”—you know, Darth Vader’s theme—when you pull into the parking lot at work.

EV charging by Electrify America

* * * Quick charging through a skinny cable
Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America plans to significantly juice the U.S.’s electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure with a trick bit of tech that will make powering your ride easier and faster. A liquid-cooled cable lets copious juice flow (up to 350 kilowatts of eco-machine-charging power) without overheating. This sort of capability could deliver 300 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Thanks to that cooling maneuver, the cable is so thin and light that EV owners won’t need a lifting belt to plug it in. The group plans to invest $2 billion in hundreds of charge stations around the country. It’s an effort that, we need to note, sprang directly from VW’s diesel scandal settlement.

RDX Intuitive True Touchpad Interface by Acura

* * * Infotainment control that finally makes sense
Using touchpads to control audio and navigation in cars is never easy—you can spend more time hunting for the cursor than you do cueing up the next track. This is all, of course, while reaching uncomfortably and staring at the screen rather than the road. Acura’s solution: “absolute positioning.” When you touch the pad, the corresponding area of the dash-mounted screen activates. So you simply tap the pad as though you’re tapping straight onto a twin of the display, one that happens to be conveniently located on the center console instead of under your windshield. You can even use it with gloves on.

E-Tron Virtual Mirrors by Audi

* * * A new way to look back
Despite U.S. regulators’ reluctance to approve digital side mirrors, this $75,000 Audi is plowing forward with the idea—overseas, at least. The system replaces conventional exterior mirrors with small cameras mounted on angled columns, resulting in a super-efficient 0.28 drag coefficient and making Audi’s electric the slipperiest SUV on the road. Inside the cabin, bright OLED screens tucked into the door sill show vivid images of the view behind you, and touch controls allow you to aim and zoom the “mirrors” for the optimal view. The cameras adapt to changing lighting conditions to ensure consistency and image legibility. It takes about 15 seconds to get used to the tech, then you never want to go back.

Super Cruise by Cadillac

* * * Safe hands-off driving
Super Cruise is, simply put, the best semi-autonomous driving mode out there. Available on the 2018 CT6 and later, it’s the first system that lets you keep your hands off the wheel for extended periods, as long as your eyes stay on the road. The camera-and-radar-based system monitors traffic and keeps clear of maneuvering cars, while an internal lens monitors your gaze to ensure you’re paying attention. If your mind wanders—or the car requires you to take over for any reason—it’ll alert you to re-engage.

Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) by Porsche

* * * Brakes that stop—and look—way better
Carbon-ceramic disc brakes deliver the ultimate in stopping power, but holy guacamole are they expensive. This latest tech from Porsche delivers a middle ground: better-but-not-quite-race-leading performance at less than half the price ($3,490, if you’re counting). The key is an ultra-hard 0.1-mm tungsten-carbide coating over an iron disc. The tungsten brakes generate 90 percent less dust—ending the eternal bane of Sunday-morning wheel scrubbers everywhere—have a 30-percent longer service life than conventional brakes, and offer increased friction for better control. Bonus: The discs acquire a slick mirror-finish as the miles accumulate.

MBUX by Mercedes-Benz

* * * An infotainment system you will actually use
Truly good infotainment systems are rare, but this one from Mercedes sets a standard. MBUX, which debuts in the new A-Class sedan, uses artificial intelligence—trained over countless hours studying human language and behavior patterns—to learn the driver’s preferences and understand the specific way they talk. Instead of some dinky cheap chip, the Benz relies on a six-core Nvidia processor and an Nvidia Parker 128 graphics card to ensure screen touches and swipes are instantaneous and precise. Maybe now you won’t just prop your phone up in front of the nav system’s screen.

QX50 Variable Compression Turbo Engine by Infiniti

* * * The shape-shifting engine
Compression ratio—how hard the pistons squeeze the mix of air and fuel in your cylinders—is one of an engine’s defining characteristics. High compression delivers that kick off the line or the ability to pull a heavy load from a standstill. But you don’t always need that much power. Gearheads have dreamed of tweaking compression since internal combustion first roared to life, and Infiniti’s engineers have spent two decades on the problem. They finally nailed it. Their solution: Adjust the reach of the pistons within the cylinders via linkages on the connecting rods and crankshafts that drive the pistons up and down. When the car’s computer calls for performance, the pistons travel farther up the cylinders and create higher compression. If the system doesn’t need the extra oomph, it holds the pistons back, saving fuel. The result: compression ratios that can nearly double when you need extra power, generating up 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque.

2019 Ranger by Ford

* * * The smallest new pickup truck—finally!
We’d be crazy about the reborn Ford Ranger—the first new U.S. model since 2011—just for the fact that it’s an affordable, compact pickup available stateside. (Europe gets all the cool, small haulers!) But this truck gets even better, packing a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine similar to the one you’ll find in the new Mustang, as well as automatic emergency braking standard on all trim levels. The tech suite doesn’t end there: On the XLT and Lariat trim packages, blind-spot monitoring can keep tabs on whatever you’re towing, and its lane-departure warning will ease your transition into Truck Life.

Formula E Battery Pack by McLaren Applied Technologies
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* * * This battery will make electric racing soooooo much better
Formula E, now in its fourth season, will gets a major upgrade this December: a new battery pack. So what? Well, previous packs couldn’t last an entire 50-minute race, so pitstops involved drivers getting out of their cars and hopping into fully charged rides. This looks, erm, awkward, and it’s kept a lot of major teams from entering the racing series; they didn’t want to be associated with an electric car that couldn’t go the distance. The new 54-kilowatt-hour packs (almost twice as powerful as the old ones) use a top-secret (it is racing, after all) cooling system that keeps them below 167 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature threshold beyond which the cells would begin to break down.
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Golf, anyone? VW unleashes a new-product barrage

Golf, anyone? VW unleashes a new-product barrage

Yesterday, Volkswagen revealed the Golf 7’s mid-life facelift and said all variants had been shown. But that’s not true, since the Golf R, GTD, Alltrack and e-Golf are missing.
While we wait for at least some of them to show up, let’s enjoy one of the few body style options left unexplored by the German automaker.
Volkswagen was really proud when it unveiled the Golf Cabriolet in 2011. But perhaps the engineering should have been put on hold for two more years because this convertible seemed outdated almost immediately.
They tried everything to fix that, from SEMA concepts to hot versions with the GTI and even the R’s all-wheel drive powertrain. We know nothing has worked because, after five years in production, the Golf Cabriolet is being discontinued by the end of 2016.
But what would it look like if instead of discontinuing it, Volkswagen would launch a brand new generation right now? Well, for starters, we shouldn’t be calling it the 7.5, as it would be the fifth incarnation of the car.
It would also look something like this rendering by X-Tomi Design, who may have chopped the roof a little too much for a production car.
Can you imagine what the outcome of a comparison between this and the current MX-5 Miata would be like? We can. Even if they somehow develop a comfortable convertible with a solid rear axle, the 2017 Golf Cabriolet would still be about 300 kilos heavier than the Mazda. It would never be as fun, but the Germans could easily make it faster.
Taking a look at the latest GTI engine, we see that it’s gone up to 245 PS and at least 350 Nm of torque. Off the line, the Miata would stand no chance. But even with something like the 1.8 TSI from the Polo GTI, the roofless Golf would be pretty fast.
A brand new Golf Cabrio would also be one of the most technologically advanced vehicles without a roof, comparable to some Audis. But not even that is reason enough to put it into production. Not only would it immediately turn into a money pit but without the engineering purity of a Miata or a Subaru BRZ, it would never serve the halo car role.

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