Bugatti La Voiture Noire Will Take 2 Years to Complete

by Scott Huntington

Everything sounds better in French. Hair care products, fancy pastries and of course automobiles all put on an air of exclusivity when you say their names in French.

No one knows that better than ultra-luxury automaker Bugatti. Easily the most storied marque in the nation's history, the newest "bug" to be announced exemplifies this rule. It goes only by the name "La Voiture Noire," which translates to "the black car." Revealed at the Geneva motor show, the Chiron-based one-off hypercar is being made-to-order for one wealthy mystery buyer. The price tag? A cool $19 million.

We Know What You're Thinking. Yes, It's Black

Quite possibly the best name choice since Ferrari chose to adorn their halo model with the name LaFerrari, the Voiture Noire like the Model T comes in any color you want, so long as it's black. But what else is there to know about this mythical monochrome phoenix?
La Voiture Noire is, in fact, a tribute car. It bears subtle design cues intended to evoke the lines of Bugatti's masterpiece Type 57C, a car that manages to look aerodynamic and modern even now, 80 years after it was first penned. You can see traces of the 57C's central dorsal fin in the double-bubble cockpit of La Voiture Noire and if you squint the raised headlights begin to take on the raised form of the finders on the classic Type 57, but the sheer width of the Chiron-based car will keep the uninformed from recognizing the calls back to its great predecessor.
Of the four Type 57Cs built, one has sold at auction for over $30 million, so technically La Voiture Noire doesn't surpass the earlier car in terms of value. But with only a single car expected to ever be made, the Noire has the potential to shoot up in value as soon as it leaves the factory floor. When will that happen? Not for an alleged two years.

An Unfinished Vision

Most of what we know about the black car comes from the Geneva motor show where the car made an eerily silent entry and exit under electric power. The production version won't be so stealthy, thanks to its 1500 horsepower quad-turbo W16, the most powerful engine currently available in a production car and one capable of propelling the first-generation Veyron to speeds in excess of 225 mph. Keen observers spotted the moving brake calipers on the Geneva car, expect those to remain stationary once the completed car is delivered.
The demo car was without an interior, however, if you've had a peek inside the current Chiron's lavishly appointed cockpit it's challenging to imagine how someone might go about one-upping a car seemingly created expressly to make people around you feel poor. When the "base" model if you can call it that comes with diamonds in the speakers, where do you go next? Does it come with a Flux Capacitor?

Are You Going to Daily it?

As for who the mystery purchaser of the car is, Bugatti is remaining tight-lipped. All that has been leaked officially is that this person is "A Buggati enthusiast." The name Ferdinand Peich the former chairman of Volkswagen Group, was reported by CNBC at one point however that allegation has since been pulled down and was not corroborated by any other sources.

Piech is the grandson of one Dr. Ferry Porsche himself, founder of the famous German brand. Ascending to the highest rank of the Volkswagen group would speak to Piech's taste in historically relevant automobiles, however, there are plenty of wealthy Sheiks and oil barons in the middle east who are known for commissioning these types of one-off projects. Whoever's writing the check probably won't be wringing their hands for two years wishing they could stop borrowing the wife's Volvo.

It's quite possible that the public will forget about this car entirely. Don't expect to see it at Cars & Coffee in Malibu hanging out with all those plebian McLarens. Whoever the phantom Bugatti enthusiast is, they should really strike a deal with Uber. Can you imagine the look on your date's face when you call a black car and this thing arrives? Too bad it only seats two. We think.