Bugatti reveals world's most expensive car

by Autocar UK 05 Mar 2019

Bugatti has revealed a new hypercar at Geneva. It's a one-off special called the 'La Voiture Noire' and costs £9.5 million (US$12.35m/Rs 87 crore) plus taxes - which makes it the world's most expensive new car ever sold. The wraps on the new car were removed on Tuesday morning at the show by Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann.

But no, we're afraid you can't buy it as it's already sold. Based on the Bugatti Chiron hypercar, the model harks back to the famous Type 57 SC Atlantic model created in 1936. That model was also a one-off, and owned by its designer Jean Bugatti, son of company founder Ettore. 

Jean died in a crash in 1939, but his car vanished without trace during the early days of the German invasion of France in 1940. 

The luxury brand has been teasing the release of a car based on the Atlantic for weeks on its Facebook page. A series of videos highlighted the history and heritage of the original production Atlantics, only four of which were ever made. The build-up led to the official unveiling of the new car at this year’s Geneva motor show.

La Voiture Noire features aggressive styling up front with a more pronounced grille than either the Veyron or Chiron, while the headlights recede back above the wheel arches rather than being placed horizontally above the bumper, which now juts out sharply.

While the styling isn’t entirely reminiscent of the smooth coupé contours and elongated bonnet of the original Atlantic, the most definitive stylistic aspect has been retained: the dorsal seam running up along the bonnet, between the windows and over the roof of the body (although the rivets have been left out).

At the rear, a continuous rear light runs along a grille-like back end, McLaren P1 style, with the company name illuminated in white below. All this sits above a bespoke exhaust set-up comprising six separate pipes running away from the car's 1479bhp 8.0-litre 16-cylinder engine. From the specs, it is likely to be the same engine used in the Chiron.

Bugatti has not named the buyer of the car, saying only that they are a ‘Bugatti enthusiast’. “The true form of luxury is individuality,” said Stephan Winkelmann. “La Voiture Noire is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourer.”

“With La Voiture Noire, we are paying homage to our heritage and bringing speed, technology, luxury and aesthetics forward to a new era,” Winkelmann continued. “With our automotive haute couture, we have shown what Bugatti is capable of.”

So who bought it? Winkelmann won't say, but did reveal he has "a list" of people who they know will be interested in such limited cars. And the first person he called, bought it. Given the average Bugatti owner owns around 30 cars, don't expect it to be used as a daily driver. The company has just about made money on the project, but the PR impact is as great as a series production car launch at least initially, said Winkelmann, making such cars well worth doing.


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