Reminiscence of an icon
The successful continuation of their heritage poses a challenge for traditional companies. Once again, the French luxury brand Bugatti has shown that it can transform these challenges into unique models. With its one-off car “La Voiture Noire” Bugatti has again proved that it makes the world’s most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive hyper sports cars. “The true form of luxury is individuality. ‘La Voiture Noire’ is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourisme,” says Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. This is a coupé with the comfort of a luxury limousine and the power of a hyper sports car.
A pioneering spirit, a passion for perfection and the desire to continually redefine its limits have been the key characteristics of Bugatti since the brand was established 110 years ago. The new hyper sports car reflects Bugatti’s French heritage and its French identity – elegance through minimalism and refinement through intensification.
The Voiture Noire is a far more than a modern interpretation of Jean Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic. It is a feast of aesthetics. With its extended front end and the distinctive Bugatti C-line, the Voiture Noire creates an elongated impression with the elegant waistline defining the contours of the coupé. Purism and elegance are reflected in the surfaces and the clear lines. The bumpers are smoothly integrated into the body and the windscreen seems to flow seamlessly into the windows at the sides like the visor on a helmet. Without any irritating lines, the surface is “all of a piece” and there is nothing to disturb the optical flow. This means that the hyper sports car has changed its attitude and become a grand tourisme – ideal for comfortable travel on long trips.
“Every single component has been handcrafted and the carbon fibre body has a deep black gloss only interrupted by the ultrafine fibre structure. This is a material that has been handled perfectly,” says Bugatti designer Etienne Salomé. With a price tag of $18.9 million, this unique car has already been sold to a Bugatti enthusiast. It is the most expensive new car of all time.
The heart of the new creation is the iconic 16-cylinder engine – unique in the automotive world and the peak of the engineer’s art. The 16-cylinder engine with a displacement of 8 litres develops 1,103 kW/1,500 PS and 1,600 Newton-metres of torque. Six tailpipes at the rear bear witness to its incredible power and are also a tribute to the 16 cylinders.
In the first few decades of its existence, the French luxury brand had considerable success not only with the design of engines and chassis but also with its own bodies installed on existing chassis. The most famous example is the Type 57 and the Atlantic GT model which the La Voiture was based on – this grand tourisme could already reach a top speed in excess of 220 km/h over 80 years ago.
Ettore’s son Jean Bugatti was a visionary who was ahead of his time. He was the eldest son of company founder Ettore Bugatti, a gifted automobile designer and natural talent who was only matched by very few people in his understanding of proportions and aerodynamics. From the late 1920s onwards, Jean influenced the development of the company with his own ideas and designs, before assuming responsibility for management in 1936 at the age of 27. His most beautiful and most famous design is the Atlantic. Like the company itself, he would have been 110 years old this year.
The exclusive new “Voiture Noire”, is a tribute to the all-black Type 57 SC Atlantic that was Jean Bugatti’s most famous creation. The outstanding design feature was a dorsal seam running from the hinge in the split bonnet through to the rear end. Nowadays, it is one of the most valuable classic cars in the world. Only four Atlantics were ever made between 1936 and 1938, each of them with detailed differences created individually for a customer. Three of these extraordinary coupés are still in existence. The fourth car built was used by Jean Bugatti himself, and has been missing since since World War II. The world has been searching for this Atlantic for more than 80 years – it is one of the great mysteries in the history of the automobile. The car is speculated to have disappeared before the German invasion of Alsace, when it was to be dispatched to a safe region.
The new Voiture Noire, the perfect grand tourisme, is just as exclusive, powerful and luxurious as Jean Bugatti’s historic car. “With our automotive haute couture, we have shown what Bugatti is capable of” stated company president Stephan Winkelmann. Now and in the future.