To truly understand the history behind arguably, one of the finest automobiles ever created, it's important to understand the history and philosophy of the automakers and designers responsible. Bugatti celebrated its 110th year anniversary in 2019. Its founder, Ettore Bugatti was skilled and passionate about engineering since he was a teen and he started the company in 1909, which would become a force to be reckoned with in the automotive industry that would evolve by the next century. His insistence on perfection drives the spirit that guides the company today. Bugatti has come a long way since the time of its inception, with new innovations and advances in their automotive technology and design architecture.
From concept up until production
The first Chiron came on the heels of the Veyron and the concept car was a glimpse of what the Veyron might look like in the future. The design of the Chiron named after Louis Chriron, famed race car champion, was headed up by none other than Achim Anscheidt, along with Fabrizio Giugiaro of Italdesign worked with Hartmut Warkuss of VW's design team in the development of the concept. They took inspiration of the Veyron and lowered the chassis while widening the body. The futuristic vehicle was given a retractable wing in the rear and open air door scoops. They thought it justice to power it with three turbos and 18 cylinders, hence the name, the 18/3. While the concept was completed in its entirety in 1999, the Chiron wold not see production for five more years.
The 1999 Bugatti Chiron Concept car was a coupe style and just one example of the vehicle was ever built. The 18 cylinder engine produced 555 bhp. It achieved a top speed of 205 mph. This was just the beginning of a journey that would take seven years until a production model of the Chiron would be perfected to the satisfaction of the fussy automakers who, like the founder of Bugatti, will never settle for less than absolute perfection in their automobiles. From concept to production, it's been a process and with patience and confidence the team moved forward to the year 2016 when once again, Bugatti would change the automobile industry with another exemplary example of what top skills, craftsmanship and the sparing of no expense can accomplish.
The first production model of the Chiron was made in 2016 with the generation running through the present. It was strictly limited to just 500 examples. The car made its formal debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show for its official introduction to the world. It was billed as the brand's premiere vehicle in several categories including exclusivity, luxury, speed and power. The super sports car was truly a high performance luxury sports car through and through, with definite improvements over the concept model introduced some 7 years prior. Bugatti had put a limiter on the speed of the 2016 Chiron to make it street legal with a restraint that would not allow it to exceed 420 km/h. The power of the new Chiron was a mind blowing 1,500 horse power with torque at 1,600 nm from the 16 cylinder engine. The price tag matched its superior performance coming in at 2.4 million Euros. Bugatti has a reputation for presenting the highest quality vehicles and they don't mind spending the necessary overhead funds to do it right.
The Chiron Sport
The first edition of the Chiron Sport was made in 2018. The design team shaved forty pound from the Chiron to make it lighter and more well balanced. The new variant of the Chiron featured carbon fiber material for the wiper arms making them 3 pounds lighter than the Chiron as they were cutting weight wherever they could. The engine was the same used in the Chiron, but the chassis was stiffer and in time trials, it was even faster. The price evolved along with the weight in reverse as the $3.6 million Chiron Sport exceeded the standard Chiron by $260,000. The Sport was a variant of the original Chiron which was made with the simple principle in mind that sometimes, less is much better and the Chiron Sport proved this theory to the world.
2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport 110 Ans
In celebration of the one hundred and tenth anniversary of Bugatti, a very special edition of the Chiron was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019. The Chiron Sport 110 Ans is the special anniversary edition and the ultra expensive machine was a rarity from the moment that it rolled off of Bugatti's production line because there were only 20 of them made. The brand claims a top speed of 280 mph, but only 261 has legitimately been proven. The acceleration is also out of this world as the 110 Ans propels from zero to sixty in a mere 2.4 seconds. The design team used carbon fiber for the body in a Steel blue carbon with parts exposed and Steel blue paint for a two tone finish of blue hues and red, blue and white trim reminiscent of the flag of France. The hypercar is packed with luxury features. The engine is an 8.0 liter quad turbo with 16 cylinders cranking 1,500 horsepower with 1,180 lb ft of torque, for a fast, powerful and beautiful luxury sport car that is priced at $3.2 million for the base model.
Bugatti La Voiture Noire
The last variant of Bugatti's Chiron is still in the works, but it has recently been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019. It's a new super car that won't even be completed until two years or more, but it's a dream that will eventually come true. The Bugatti La Voiture Noire is going to be one of the most rare Bugatti's on the face of the earth as well as the most expensive. You see, they are only building one of them and we're told that at this point in time they haven't even gotten to the design of the interior yet. It's already sold and the fortunate buyer is waiting for the experts at Bugatti to complete the creation of this one of a kind super luxury car. It's going to come with a price tag of a whopping $12.4 million in USD. The example shown at Geneva was only able to show that the body is made of carbon fiber that is black in color and handcrafted. There was no more than a shell displayed but a lovely shell it was.
Bugatti Chiron Divo
Another variant of the Chiron is the Divo model. This car was made 30 pounds lighter than the standard Chiron and it was one of the more expensive variations made with a price tag of $5.8 million in USD. There were only 40 of them ever made and they amazingly sold like hotcakes. The Divo was a marked event in the evolution of the Chiron. This version came out with a redesign that made it incredibly track worthy. In comparison to the standard Chiron, the powertrain is the same, but the aesthetics are noticeably different with sharper lines and a more aggressive look. They swapped out the headlights and tail lights and gave the front fascia an update. The interior remained the same, but the real difference in the two is in the agility of the Divo. It's faster than the Chiron and it has a modified suspension, chassis and a few other tweaks and we're still wondering how they shaved a massive 77 pound off the weight. It screams from zero to 62 in 2.4 seconds proving its mettle for acceleration and it hits a top speed of 236 mph. Having explored the differences, namely more aggressive aesthetics, reduction in weight and upgrades to the suspension and chassis, is the $2.6 million hike in price really justified?
The making of history and commitment to excellence
The history of this premium high end luxury automaker is an important story and held in high regard as much as the history of anything else which has had a significant impact upon the world. By looking back, we see how a young 17 year old boy with a passion for engineering and auto making could change the world forever. The Bugatti company made steady progress in developing high performance, ultra luxury sports cars with a unique aesthetic that tells the world that it is a genuine Bugatti. They've kept the production numbers low and this has kept the price high. Many Bugatti's are already sold before they hit the showroom floor and that's impressive brand loyalty. They're a rich man's car of that there is no doubt, but there's something extra special about a Bugatti that goes beyond the prestige of the name, which can not be refuted, by the way.
The evolution of the Chiron
With a rich history of luxury sports car building and a penchant for premium materials and workmanship, the Chiron began as a great idea and a lovely concept car to show off at the world's motor car shows as a feat and accomplishment. The designers and engineers at Bugatti don't mind taking their time to create a vehicle which exudes perfection in every aspect, and that's why it was seven years before the Chiron was made into a production model that came out with 2 less valves than the earlier concept. From 2016 to the present, the Chiron has made the evolution to branch out into other variations, but the automakers were certain to ensure that the same DNA remained evident within each new creation. The Chiron is a super luxury sports car that sells for millions instead of thousands and there are few who can compete with the superiority of the brand that is in a class of its own, unless you want to bring Bentley into the picture, but here, again, it's like comparing apples with oranges as Bugatti is in a league of its own.
As we've come full circle with the Bugatti Chiron and its descendants, we see the humble beginnings and the painstaking time that the engineers and designers put into the very first model. They're carrying on the traditions that were set by Ettore Bugatti and if you think that the Chiron and its family members are over priced, consider the fact that no expense is spared in the time, materials and precision auto making that goes into the building of each example produced. With a hundred and ten years of forward progression in the auto industry, Bugatti occupies a very narrow place in the market. The saga of the Chiron is far from over as the production run has not yet ceased and there has been no predecessor yet named, similar to the way that royals carry on the family line. There will be more Chirons built as 2019 yielded new model years and there is yet another in the Bugatti La Voiture Noire variant which is still in the design process. Bugatti has withstood the test of time and sagging economies be damned because there will always be a demand for the next new Bugatti that makes ts grand entrance at Geneva.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson