International motor shows are often the platform for automotive makers to unveil their visions of the future. Be it concept cars, updates from a redesign, and examples of potentially exciting drivetrains, motor shows are generally a pathway to the future.
They are rarely known for truly unusual or rare vehicles being unveiled, however. Geneva, in Switzerland, was host to the showcasing of a rarity, and in this case a truly genuine “one off”. Fabled luxury marquee Bugatti surprised the automotive world with their La Voiture Noire.
Stephan Winkelman, Bugatti’s Chief Executive Officer, confirmed this saying:
“There will never be another. I am pleased to tell you that it has sold for 16.7 million euro.”, or approximately USD $18 million.
La Voiture Noire translates as “The Black Car” and that is exactly what it is. Clad in super glossy black with a depth pictures do not do justice to, “The Black Car” is said to be a tribute to the almost mythical Bugatti Atlantic Coupe.
One distinctive Atlantic design cue is the dorsal spine that runs from the top edge of the windscreen to the rear of the carbon fiber manufactured body. The profile itself is distinctively Bugatti, but lower in height, it seems, than its siblings such as the Chiron. Another Bugatti design staple is the “horse-collar” grille, almost invisible on La Voiture Noire.
No pictures of the interior have yet been made public, and perhaps there is a good reason for this. Geneva is possibly the last motor show that is an outlet for the sheer luxury car makers, and many are, as stated, concepts. The car shown by Bugatti is, in effect, a concept. The actual one off to be delivered to its undisclosed buyer, rumoured to be Ferdinand Piëch, is yet to be built.
No firm details of the engine, either, were made available but again rumour suggests it would be the same as fitted to the Chiron. That is a 16 cylinder in a W configuration, of 8.0L in capacity and said to produce 1,500 horsepower. The Chiron’s top speed is 420 km/h or 261 mph. Torque is a massive 1600Nm or 1180 ft-lb.
And as to the price being too high for “just an automobile? As its designer, Achim Anscheidt, said “But perhaps not if one considers it as a work of art.”