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Say hello to the world’s most expensive new car … the £12 million Bugatti ‘Voiture Noire’

By Paul Connolly

Bugatti has created a one-off hypercar– at a cost of around £12 million including taxes.

The car, unveiled specially for the Geneva Motor Show, is the world’s most expensive new car.

Called the Bugatti ‘Voiture Noire’, or Black Car, it has already been snapped up by a Bugatti enthusiast.

The car is designed to celebrate the brand’s 110-year history, claiming design inspiration from the famous Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic dating back to 1936.

Although sharing an engine and some components from the Bugatti Chiron, the car has many distinct and new features – enough, say observers, to completely distance it from the Chiron.

It’s powered by a version of the Chiron’s 8-litre W16 engine, and also features a new six-tailpipe exhaust system at the rear.

“This is not only an engine but the heart of the vehicle and a technical masterpiece,” said Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann.

“There is no other car in the world with such an engine. It is not only extremely powerful but also beautiful to look at.”

The 16-cylinder engine with a displacement of 8 litres develops 1,103 kW/1,500 PS and 1,600 Newton-metres of torque.

Apart from price, little official data has been released. Media commentators say they reckon the car will have very slightly slower acceleration than the Chiron (under 2.5 seconds) and top speed (261 mph, electronically limited for safety) due to its revised, and apparently superior, transmission.

Winkelmann added: “La 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, Bugatti says the Voiture Noire creates an “elongated impression with the elegant waistline defining the contours of the coupé”.

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, says the manufacturer.

This means that the hyper sports car has changed its attitude and become a grand tourisme – or GT – ideal for comfortable travel on long trips.

The special edition hypercar features a hand-crafted carbon fibre body which features the shape of the original Type 57 including a lengthened nose, and well-known C-pillars.

According to the official Bugatti blurb about the new hypercarit is “a reminiscence of ‘la Voiture Noire’ a Type 57 SC Atlantic that was (founder’s son) 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. The Type 57 SC Atlantic was one of the most extraordinary grands tourismes and a timeless creation.

“Nowadays, it is one of the most valuable classic cars in the world. Only four Atlantics were 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 second car built was used by Jean Bugatti himself as well as some of the Bugatti grand prix drivers among his friends.”

Bugatti says car enthusiasts have been searching for the missing Atlantic for more than 80 years – it is “one of the great mysteries in the history of the automobile”. The car probably disappeared before the German invasion of Alsace, when it was to be dispatched to a safe region, it reckons.

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