When the most expensive car ever made was produced, the vehicle was first introduced at a motor show in March 2019. One of the things that shook people at the car show was the vehicle’s price. So, what vehicle was that?
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The vehicle was revealed to the world by Bugatti at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The car was given the name “La Voiture Noire” (“the black car”), and it was built to commemorate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary; it’s the automaker’s only one-off car.
Another surprise was that someone bought the car before it was even introduced at the show.
And even though details about La Voiture Noire are now public knowledge, including what the new owner paid for it, there’s still some mystery surrounding it.
Jean Bugatti, son of the carmaker’s founder, Ettore Bugatti, designed the Atlantic, and only four cars were made. They were lowered grand tourers with supercharged DOHC in-line 8-cylinder engines that put out 200 hp. Their bizarre yet elegant elongated bodies and exaggerated fenders also represented a striking aesthetic.
Three of the Atlantic variants have survived to the present day. Jean Bugatti was quite proud of the fourth car, No. 57453, which was black with a dark brown and black interior. However, it mysteriously vanished in 1941 when it and many other cars were moved from the Bugatti factory in Molsheim near the French-German border to Bordeaux.
Bugatti built the present-day La Voiture Noire as a concept car as a tribute to the mythic character of the original. But if No. 57453 existed today, it would be worth over $100 million by some estimates.
About The La Voiture Noire
The most luxurious new car ever debuting in Geneva in 2019 was a grand tourer like the Atlantic that inspired it. It has the signature Bugatti horseshoe grille and thin curving tail lights that run the width of the car. Underneath, the word “Bugatti” is illuminated, and six exhaust pipes are below. Like the Atlantic, this supremely expensive car has a dorsal seam running down the centre of the car.
Because it is a grand tourer, it’s fairly heavy. When Bugatti completes the work on La Voiture Noire and goes home with its owner, its curb weight is estimated to be around 4,300 pounds. Hypercars, on the other hand, usually weigh no more than 3,500 pounds.
The heart of this car is a massive quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine that pumps out 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Its top speed is 260 mph, and it can run a zero to 60 mph heat in 2.4 seconds.
The Price & The Secret Buyer of the La Voiture Noire
One look at the stunning, one-of-a-kind La Voiture Noire makes it seem almost logical that a car lover would hand over almost $19 million (16.7 million euros) for it. That’s more expensive than the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta sale price at $17.5 million and the one-off Rolls-Royce Sweptail at $13 million. It’s three times the price of Bugatti’s Divo and six times more than the Chiron.
Yet another unanswered question is this: who paid such a tidy fortune for the car? At first, some reports said that it was Ferdinand Piech, former chairman of Volkswagen Group. This would make sense since VW is Bugatti’s parent company. And Piech would certainly know the story of Jean Bugatti’s lost Atlantic.
Other news stories named the buyer as soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who already owns a $2.5 million Chiron. Ronaldo has denied it. However, it was later revealed that the vehicle was completed and delivered to him in November 2021.