At the ongoing Geneva International Motor Show 2019, Bugatti pulled the wraps off a Divo-inspired special-edition hypercar that will be the one of its kind in the world. Inspired by Jean Bugatti’s “lost” Type 57SC Atlantic, the Bugatti La Voiture Noire has the potential to make Batman go weak in the knees with desire.
There’s no such thing as a cheap Bugatti. The entry-level Bugatti Chiron costs just under $3 million before taxes and options. The Chiron Sport commands a small (By Bugatti standards) premium over the regular variant. Then there’s the Divo, essentially a lighter, meaner, limited-edition Chiron that is track-focused and can be yours for about $6 million. Bugatti could very well pat itself on the back for a job well done.
But the French hypercar manufacturer outdid itself in Geneva with the unveiling of the bonkers Bugatti La Voiture Noire. Claimed by Bugatti as the most expensive new car of all time, the car’s price tag is as eye-watering as its design is heart-stopping. At $12.5 million before taxes and options, this one-off Divo crawls up to about $18.9 million in a roadworthy avatar.
Bugatti President Stephen Winkelmann describes La Voiture Noire as “automotive haute couture”. Coachbuilt automobiles are becoming increasingly popular, with eminent manufacturers like Ferrari and McLaren having developed extremely exclusive or one-off models. Companies like Zagato, Touring Superleggera, and Bertone are also successfully running coachbuilding businesses.
The Bugatti La Voiture Noire is cloaked majorly in black, with a prominent horseshoe grille taking up a lot of real estate on the front fascia. Vying for space are two huge air dams flanking the signature grille while swept back LED lights give away the car’s identity.
The profile is very much a Bugatti’s but it looks as if the car is about to morph into the Batmobile any moment. New wheels feature a bold new pattern and provide a popping contrast to the predominantly black colour scheme. The Divo has A-pillars that flow back to merge into the bodywork to form the signature Bugatti “C-Line”. The La Voiture Noire features “hidden” A-pillars making the windshield appear to wrap around the body, much like a helmet visor.
Bugatti also ditched the Divo’s massive rear wing to make way for an active spoiler. Move around to the back, and you are greeted by a derriere that is unlike any other Bugatti, or even automobile for that matter. A perforated panel covers the monstrous W16 engine. The taillamp is one giant LED strip running across the width of the rear end. Aboard the La Voiture Noire, this strip follows the contours of the haunch and rear deck. The end result is- I’m running short of words here, but I suppose the word ‘sublime’ should fit.
A large lit-up Bugatti script rests beneath the taillamp. A piece of bodywork below splits the rear end’s venting into two sections, aping the diffuser’s outline. Six exhausts poke out in a line out of the diffuser, making for an inimitable design. Bugatti Atlantic cars have been renowned for featuring a large central dorsal seam that ran the car’s length. The La Voiture Noire misses out on the seam (sadly) but harks back to it with a chrome strip taking the seam’s place.
Unlike the Divo, this one-off identifies itself as a grand tourer. No photos of the car’s interior have been released, but Bugatti claims the car has “the comfort of a luxury limousine” and is “the most elegant and fastest way to travel.”
I don’t doubt the statement one bit, seeing as the quad-turbocharged W16 still makes 1,500hp and 1,600Nm. The car surrounding this engine is otherworldly, in all seriousness. Stephen Winkelmann says, “the true form of luxury is individuality” and that this one-off expresses what the company is capable of creating. He further claimed that the Bugatti La Voiture Noire is “a tribute to perfect technology and perfect design”. This begs the question: If this one-off is indeed perfect, where does Bugatti go from here?