The 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire Revealed In Geneva Is a Design Mockup Model that Was Built in 12 Weeks
The Bugatti one-off, whose unveiling I witnessed live in Geneva, is, actually, not a car. It is a design mockup that was built in just 12 weeks.
That is the time Bugatti designers needed to finish the model before its Geneva debut after Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann greenlighted the project.
While the car that occupied a central position in Bugatti’s stand at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show stand looked convincing, I could see that it lacks door handles and interior garnishes. I go on a limb here when I say that the La Voiture Noire showcased in Geneva did not have a fully functional drivetrain either.
The 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire Has Incredible Wheels
I am not sure that you have seen just how striking and complex the design of the 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire’s wheels really are. I am not writing about the painted pieces on the tires here, tough.
Although not the centerpiece of the La Voiture Noire, the wheels on the new Bugatti serve as a preeminent representation of Bugatti’s technological prowess. Supported by a complex structure painted in black and hidden behind the outer layer of the silver spokes, the wheels on the new Bugatti provide a uniquely rigid and robust composition perfectly suited for a 1,479-horsepower grand tourer. The design of this complexity changed the position of the strength load on the wheel.
The outer spokes we can all see just by glancing at the wheels are hollow and super light.
These spokes aren’t nearly as stiff to support all the weight and stress that wheel experience. The complex structure behind them provides that strength and moves the primary load from the outer part of the rim to the inside of it. In the most basic terms, the wheels on the new Bugatti La Voiture Noire look like a spider web that is formed to provide a unique aesthetic, Bugatti levels of sophistication, and unmatched strength and rigidness.
The Necessity for Better Heat Extraction Influenced the design of the 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire’s Taillights
While the look of the aft section of the La Voiture Noire is entirely different compared with the Chiron and the Divo, it is designed around the ideology of flawless functionality.
The necessity for the higher heat extraction profoundly influenced much of its design. Bugatti engineers tasked the designers to draw a car with at least the same levels of heat extraction capabilities as the Chiron. The designers ended up with a design that provides even higher levels of cooling. This led to some incredible aesthetic decisions.
For example, the thin straight LED bar from the Chiron is entirely replaced by a LED strip that stretches across the rear of the La Voiture Noire and follows the shape of the car.
It is positioned higher compared to the piece on the Chiron and creates a whole lot more space for the heat extraction. Apart from this measure, engineers installed a special carbon engine cover with microscopic openings for even better heat extraction.
Designer Achim Anscheidt commented while speaking with journalists at the Geneva Motor Show:
“Well, temperature wise that is not really ideal, so I had to offer them more room here in the back compared to the Chiron and move the tail light up and actually extract hot air from here, from here, from here and also here, and actually all around the license plate. When you compare it to the Chiron, we’re releasing more air from them.”
The 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire Has Aluminum Dorsal Fins
The most fearsome Bugatti ever designed is sequestered from the rest of the Bugattis by a pronounced centerline accentuation. The Chiron and the Divo do have it too, but the dorsal fin on the La Voiture Noire is bigger and more accentuated. To make it, Bugatti engineers had to integrate aluminum inlays inside the carbon structure of the La Voiture Noire shell. This solution mimics the iconic riveted centerline of the Type 57 Atlantic.
Centrally positioned windscreen wiper painted in the same hue as the aluminum inlay acts as a final vital design touch on the La Voiture Noire.
It visually elongates the centerline piece and gives The Black Car an even greater air of similarity with the legendary Type 57.
The 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire Has Been In Progress for 10 Years
Bugatti celebrated the Centenary ten years ago. Then, the company presented four unique Bugatti Veyron specials at Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in Lake Como. However, just before that time, the idea about something like the La Voiture Noire was born.
This year in Geneva, Chief Designer at Bugatti and a guy who likes his bowties a lot, Achim Anscheidt, said that the idea for the car had been in a drawer for more than ten years.
The company waited to find the right reason and the right customer for something as specialized as the new La Voiture Noire.
Considering that the La Voiture Noire, along with the Divo and the Chiron Sport celebrates the 110th anniversary of Bugatti and Jean Bugatti’s birth, I am confident that Bugatti planned to make a celebration of this magnitude ten years ago.
Who Bought the 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire?
Bugatti officials are tightlipped about the buyer of the most expensive new car in the world.
However, the word on the street is that former Volkswagen boss, Ferdinand Piech, was allegedly willing to drop $18.9 million for the one-off Bugatti La Voiture Noire.
He is well known for his affection for the original Type 57 Atlantic and classic Bugattis, and he definitely has means for a purchase of this magnitude. After all, I am writing here about the grandson of none other than Ferdinand Porsche.
Now, imagine if Piech or someone close to him has that missing Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic La Voiture Noire packed somewhere in a garage. It is not an impossible thought as the Nazis are known to have dealt with that car last. Also, everyone knows about Ferdinand Porsche ties with the Reich. Just imagine if both of these cars made an appearance. It would be the most incredible automotive moment of the decade.
The 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a Homage to the Legendary Missing Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic La Voiture Noire
I list here important design cues that link the new 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire to the lost classic from the thirties – the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic La Voiture Noire:
– * It is wholly black
– * It does have six exhausts as the original
It has an elongated front end
– * It has accentuated dorsal fin made of aluminum
– * It is possibly the fastest grand tourer on Earth
– * It is the most expensive car that’s ever existed to date
It Will Be Two Years Before the 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire is Actually Drivable
Right now, the most expensive car on earth is just a mock-up model. True, when it becomes operational in 2021 it will look exactly like the car we all saw in Geneva. I am sure that it shares raw performance with the Divo and the Chiron. It means the 0-62 mph sprint should come in 2.4 seconds and its top speed should slot somewhere between 236 mph (the Divo’s top speed) and 261 mph (the Chiron’s top speed).
2019 Bugatti La Voiture specifications
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.
Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron Sport.
Read our full review on the 2019 Bugatti Divo.